Radio Broadcast Tuesday 12/17/2019

Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P23 (12-17-19)

Synopsis

Let the Holy Spirit reveal truth to you as you read the 5th chapter of Romans. Paul answers a common question: What is the purpose of the law? Have you come to understand that the law was never designed for you to be made righteous before God? It is only through the law that you are conscious of sin. The law is to reveal sin in you so that you might seek a savior. There is only one savior, Jesus Christ. He is the only one who has no sin of his own, being God in the flesh, and the only one who has a life to lay down only to raise it up again.

But who has understood what Jesus came to do? Many know that Jesus died, was buried and rose again. But just knowing that is like knowing Jesus as a man in history. Even Satan knows that Jesus died, but that certainly made no difference in the heart of Satan. What is the condition of your heart today? To those who are lost, I make this appeal. Have you recognized that you are a sinner? Have you understood that you are wretched, enslaved to sin, in bondage to the law of sin and death? Have you come to the end of the law for righteousness? If so, then you are now ready to hear the message of good news. The gospel is good news.

Since the fall of man in the garden of Eden, all of mankind has been born without the Spirit of God living in him. He is born dead to God, or spiritually dead. That is why man asks why he is here and the meaning and purpose of life. That is why man is empty inside. He is devoid of spiritual life. Man being born dead spiritually is the reason God sent His Son, Jesus, who is God, who took on human flesh, to redeem mankind from death in order to give him new life. Sin is what caused man’s death. Mankind is born under the law of sin and death. The penalty of sin is death.

So Jesus came to take the punishment of death for your sin and mine, and indeed the sins of the entire world. He took away the consequence of sin, which is death, by dying in our place, to fulfill the just requirements of the law for us. Now that sin is out of the way, he also came to rise again, so that the same life that raised him from the dead, can raise you from the dead also.

The only thing that keeps you from God is not your sinning, but the sin of unbelief in Jesus. Why? Because salvation is not getting your sins forgiven. Now that is a necessary part of salvation and is something God had to do in order for life to be given. Salvation is receiving new life. You have already been reconciled to God by the death of His Son. Now be reconciled. Come to receive an offer of new life. Repent unto salvation. Change your mind. Repentance is not saying “I used to do this or that and now I don’t” It is changing your mind about what you believe concerning the provision of Jesus Christ for you. It is recognizing you are a sinner, you are spiritually dead already, and you need new life, and the only life available to you is the life in Christ Jesus. Your trust is in nothing else and in no one else but Jesus Christ alone.

Jesus offers eternal life as a gift to all mankind. Do you want eternal life? Do you want the Spirit of God, the same Spirit in Jesus, to be living in you? Do you want to have a personal relationship with the living God, the one who created you in your mother’s womb and who created all there is, and in whom there is life forevermore? Do you want to know God personally, a God of unconditional love and acceptance, a God of love and mercy, yet perfectly holy and just? Are you willing to allow Jesus to reverse the curse that occurred in the garden of Eden, that was passed down to all men? Are you willing to turn from the attitude of independence of God, from deciding for yourself what is good and evil, right and wrong, and instead to turn to God’s initial design in creation, for you to fully trust God for life and godliness, a relationship of trust with a living God, who perfectly loves you, and who knows what you need before you even ask?

So this gift of life is not like the trespass, where all men died spiritually, and without choice as a result of the fall of Adam. You now have a choice to receive life in Christ Jesus. Do you want the life of Christ Jesus, to be living in you by His Spirit? If the answer is yes, then express to God in prayer this attitude in your heart, a desire to receive Christ by faith.

“Lord, I thank you that you died for me personally. I thank you that the death I deserved, you died in my place. You have taken away all my sins, never to be seen again by the eyes of God. Lord, I ask you to come into my life to be my Lord, Savior and best friend. I thank you for your resurrection, and by that resurrection, I ask you to raise me from the dead, to place your Spirit to live in me. In Jesus name.”

Now, if this prayer expresses the attitude of your heart, then you are born again. The Holy Spirit has taken residence in you, and you can now discern the things of God. You can now hear and understand what God will speak to you through His word, the scriptures we hold in our hands today. You have become a new creation, a child of God. You are no longer a Catholic, a Baptist, or whatever you may have once identified yourself as. You are a part of the body of Christ. You are no longer an alcoholic or addict or whatever label you had put on yourself or were enslaved to. You are no longer under the law of sin and death. You are now under the Spirit of life. You are under grace, free to grow as a child of God. You may now walk in the newness of life. You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

That is the good news of the gospel. That is the same gospel the apostle Paul proclaimed concerning what Jesus Christ came to accomplish, came to reveal to men, and accomplished, and said, “It is finished.”. To help people grasp this message, Paul answers three common questions many a person has asked. If I am under grace, and when sin increases, grace increases all the more, then should I sin so grace increases? By no means. You died to the law of sin and death, so how can you live in it any longer. You are a new creation.

Check out the scriptures and let the Spirit teach you how to answer these questions.

  • What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase (Romans 6:1)?
  • What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace (Romans 6:15)?
  • What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful (Romans 7:7)?

Transcript

Let us turn to the 5th chapter of Romans. Then we will get into chapter 6.

We need to understand how subtle Satan is in this world in which we live. God gave us the law. The purpose of the law, we are told in the bible, is to show us our sinfulness so we may turn to Christ for salvation (Galatians 3:19-29).

Galatians 3:19-29 (TLB)
19 Well then, why were the laws given? They were added after the promise was given, to show men how guilty they are of breaking God’s laws. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of Christ, the Child to whom God’s promise was made. (And there is this further difference. God gave his laws to angels to give to Moses, who then gave them to the people; 20 but when God gave his promise to Abraham, he did it by himself alone, without angels or Moses as go-betweens.)

21-22 Well then, are God’s laws and God’s promises against each other? Of course not! If we could be saved by his laws, then God would not have had to give us a different way to get out of the grip of sin – for the Scriptures insist we are all its prisoners. The only way out is through faith in Jesus Christ; the way of escape is open to all who believe him.

23 Until Christ came we were guarded by the law, kept in protective custody, so to speak, until we could believe in the coming Savior.

24 Let me put it another way. The Jewish laws were our teacher and guide until Christ came to give us right standing with God through our faith. 25 But now that Christ has come, we don’t need those laws any longer to guard us and lead us to him. 26 For now we are all children of God through faith in Jesus Christ, 27 and we who have been baptized into union with Christ are enveloped by him. 28 We are no longer Jews or Greeks or slaves or free men or even merely men or women, but we are all the same – we are Christians; we are one in Christ Jesus. 29 And now that we are Christ’s we are the true descendants of Abraham, and all of God’s promises to him belong to us.

Now that was the purpose of the law. It was given to us for that purpose. It is there in front of us to show us, “I can’t” and in seeing that “I can’t”, I am automatically going to look to who can. And the answer is Jesus.

Romans 3:20
20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

I can’t make myself holy in the sight of God. I can’t make myself righteous in the sight of God. I can do nothing to forgive my sins in the sight of God. That is something that has to be done for me. I have no righteousness of my own. I have no holiness of my own. In fact, the very opposite is true of each and every one of us. God gave us the law, that truth, because man in our ego and our pride is too prideful to see how evil our hearts can be.

You see that sometimes. You certainly saw that in wars and battles. We see that as people recapture, many times, what you see in World War II movies. You see the inhumane treatment that man can do to another person, never thinking they are capable of it, yet we are. The law had to be given to stir us up, to show us our sinfulness, for one reason only. The laaw was not given to beat us to death, but to show us our sinfulness, so we may turn to the one who can take away our sin. Satan takes that law, that God gave to us, to show us our sinfulness, and he perverts it. In other words, all evil is is the perversion of good. That was Satan’s ploy from day one, to take what God gave us and pervert it to have a different meaning.

I was talking to some people in Florida. You do not put your faith in what God said. You put your faith in what the word of God means. You would not know what it means unless He said it. But your faith is not in what He said, but in what He means. It is not what the word of God says but what the word of God means. Satan believes in what He said. Anybody believes in what He said. If you went to any evangelical person on the face of this earth and asked him the basic questions, “Do you think Jesus cried out on the cross and said, ‘It is finished’?” Everybody would say “Amen. Oh, yes. Absolutely!” You then ask, “Do you believe Jesus is God?” “Oh yes. Absolutely!” What does that mean? If God said “it is finished”, what does that mean?

John 19:30
30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.

Consider what God has said and ask Him what that personally means for you. Check out John 2:2 and Luke 24:7.

1 John 2:2 (KJV)
2 And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

Luke 24:7
7 ‘The Son of Man must be delivered over to the hands of sinners, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ ”

God said “it is finished” when he hung on a cross, and died and took away the sins of the entire world. We all know that is what he said, but the issue is what did he mean? Did he mean, “I forgave you but” or did he mean, “it is over”. When it says God was in Christ reconciling the entire world unto himself not counting your sins against you, we all know that is what it says. The issue is “What does that mean?” Does that mean you are reconciled but you are not reconciled? Does that mean you are forgiven but then you keep asking to get forgiveness? Is that what that means?

2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.

So your faith is not in what someone says. Your faith has to be placed in what something means. I will tell you something. You will never learn what it means by studying intellectually. There is only one way to know what it means. That is by the Spirit of God who reveals to you what it means. You need the Spirit of God living in you to tell you what it says. But to know what it means, you have to have the Holy Spirit reveal to you what it means (1 Corinthians 2:9-10).

1 Corinthians 2:9-10
9 However, as it is written:

“What no eye has seen,
what no ear has heard,
and what no human mind has conceived” –
the things God has prepared for those who love him –

10 these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit.

So in order for truth to be revealed as to its meaning, that is the work of the Holy Spirit of God. If you are not indwelt by the Holy Spirit of God, you are not going to know what it means. That is why scripture says the natural man cannot understand spiritual things (1 Corinthians 2:14).

1 Corinthians 2:14
14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit.

What does that mean? You cannot understand the meaning of spiritual things. It sounds foolish to you. If you are listening today and you do not understand spiritual things, there is a reason. You are lost and you must be born again (John 3:7).

John 3:7
7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’

And if you are lost, do not try to learn more. Get saved (John 3:7). How are you going to be saved? By the one who saved you, coming to Him, to the one who died on a cross to take away the sins of the entire world, the one raised from the dead in order to give you life, and without that life living in you, you cannot understand spiritual things, to give you life and to come to life in Christ Jesus. That is what it takes, by faith, and by faith alone. Your eye cannot see. Your ear cannot hear. Your mind cannot conceive of those things God has prepared for those who love Him. It has to be revealed by the Spirit. The natural man cannot understand spiritual things. It is foolish to him, but the spiritual man understands all things because the Spirit of God is there to reveal it to you.

The law was given for the purpose of showing us that we are sinners so that we would turn to Christ Jesus for our salvation. Now, as we get into these passages of scripture, you are going to see that purpose at the end of chapter 5. Then we come into chapter 6 and chapter 7. If you in your mind will put a parentheses around chapters 6 and chapter 7, because that is what it is. It is a parentheses. If you were to look at verse 20 in chapter 5, the law was added so that the trespass might increase, but where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Romans 5:20-21
20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

If you go over to chapter 8. Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus because though Christ Jesus, the law of the Spirit of life has set me free from the law of sin and death.

Romans 8:1-2
1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.

Do you see the flow there? It is a continuation of thought, but in there, as Paul would normally do, he is saying that before we go forward, let us clear up some of the dumb questions often asked. You are going to have three dumb questions that are asked in chapter 6 and chapter 7. When I say dumb questions, they are really not dumb questions but they are questions that people ask that do not know what this is talking about. So Paul says that he is going to clear those up before we go into chapter 8, before we talk about there being no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus.

Let us pick up in verse 12 in chapter 5.

Romans 5:12
12 Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned –

Who was that one man through whom sin entered? That was Adam. Death through sin. What is the wages of sin? Death. (Romans 6:23)

Romans 5:13
13 To be sure, sin was in the world before the law was given,

John 1:17
17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

Before the law was given, sin was still in the world.

Romans 5:13
but sin is not charged against anyone’s account where there is no law.

When there is no law, sin is not taken into account. Even though sin is not taken into account, the consequence of sin, called death, was in effect from the day of Adam to this very day. Are we together?

Romans 5:14
14 Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who is a pattern of the one to come.

Whether you were under the law or not under the law, death was in the world. The wages of sin was still death to all men from Adam forward.

Romans 5:15
15 But the gift is not like the trespass.

This gift is the gift of Christ Jesus.

Romans 5:15
For if the many died by the trespass of the one man,

Through Adam’s death we were all born into this world in Adam, dead. Do we understand that? We came into this world, not in the image of God. You have people say that we are all born in the image of God. No, we are not. We are born in the image of Adam. In Genesis it tells us that (Genesis 5:1-4).

Genesis 5:1-4
1 This is the written account of Adam’s family line.

When God created mankind, he made them in the likeness of God. 2 He created them male and female and blessed them. And he named them “Mankind”[adam]; when they were created.

3 When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image; and he named him Seth.

When Adam and Eve had Seth, Seth was born in the image of Adam. Adam and Eve were created in the image of God. They were created by God. Seth was born in the image of Adam. So we were not born in the image of God. When are we born in the image of God? When we are born again.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Now when you are born again, what happens? If any man be in Christ, he is a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17). Who has to enable you to be born from above? God. Mom and dad gave me physical birth. God must give me spiritual birth (John 3:5:5-8). I cannot get that from mom and dad. So the gift is not like the trespass.

John 3:5:5-8
5 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. 6 Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit[or but spirit] gives birth to spirit. 7 You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You[The Greek is plural] must be born again.’ 8 The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.”[The Greek for Spirit is the same as that for wind]

Romans 5:15
For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!

Again, the gift of God is not like the result of one man’s sin. Through one man’s sin, all are dead. The gift of God is not like that. Why? Because the gift of God is given only to those who receive the offer of God by faith. Death came to all men. No choice. You had no choice in your spiritual death. You were born dead. At least you can say you can blame it on Adam. That is the way you were born. All men are born dead.

Colossians 2:13-14
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[us] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

If you are listening today, and you are not in Christ, you are dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature. You are born that way. You did not have to choose it. You are born that way. Your choice is, Do I want to stay that way? Or do I want life? You have a choice on that (John 1:12).

John 1:12
12 Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God

If you stay dead, and you die, then you are going to be dead forever, separated from God forever. If as a result of your choice into life, that God if what you said to me is true, then you will have life with God forever. It is not about how good or bad I have been, for that does not matter. The issue is how dead you are, not how good or bad you are, but how dead you are. Dead is dead. If that is true, then I am dead spiritually then I have a choice, to either remain dead spiritually (2 Thessalonians 1:5-9) or to choose life (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18). That is your choice. Whatever you choose on that is where you spend eternity.

2 Thessalonians 1:5-9
5 All this is evidence that God’s judgment is right, and as a result you will be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are suffering. 6 God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7 and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8 He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9 They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18
13 Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. 14 For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15 According to the Lord’s word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

Romans 5:16
16 Nor can the gift of God be compared with the result of one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation,

What is the condemnation of God for sin? Death. Judgment followed one sin and brought death, or condemnation.

Romans 5:16-18
but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. 17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

18 Consequently [as a result of], just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people.

Did you notice what he said that brings life? Why do you need life? Because you are dead. Folks, unfortunately, that is the teaching that you very seldom hear even in evangelical circles. You hear people talk about being a sinner and you need forgiveness. Nobody talks about the fact you are dead as a hammer and you need life. That is the issue of salvation. The issue of salvation is not forgiveness, even though sin had to be taken away, and forgiveness had to be provided for all people in order to give you eternal life. But the whole issue of salvation is life. So it is justification that brings life for all men.

Romans 5:19-20
19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase.

The law was put into effect, so that you and I, would see that our trespasses are increasing.

Romans 5:20
But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,

You cannot out-sin the grace of God. Some of us have tried. But you cannot do it.

Romans 5:21
21 so that, just as sin reigned in death,

How does sin reign in death? If you are under the condemnation of the wages of sin, which is death, sin is reigning in your life. Do you understand? As long as you are under the condemnation of the death penalty, sin is going to reign in your life.

Romans 5:21
so also grace might reign

So just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness.

Romans 5:21
through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

As we go up, I want you, just for a minute, to look into your bible and look at verse 14 in chapter 6. That will all tie in to what we are dealing with.

Romans 6:14
14 For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.

Now folks, again, do we all know what that says? Anyone here who does not know what that says? If you do not know what it says, read it again. Sin shall not be your master. Why? Because you are not under the law, but under grace. Now the issue is, what does that mean? What do you think that means? If sin is your master, it is because you are under the law. Sin shall no longer be your master. Why? Because you are not under the law. If you are under the law, sin is your master. Do we understand what it is saying here?

If sin shall not be your master, because you are not under the law, it means that if you are under the law, sin is your master. Are we in agreement on that? Is there any doubt in meaning to what this is? If you are under the law, my friends, sin is your master. Why? Because if you are under the law, the wages of sin is death. Therefore, you are reigning in sin. Sin is reigning in your life because always dangling out there is the fear of death (Hebrews 2:14-18).

Hebrews 2:14-18 (KJV)
14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;

15 And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage.

16 For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.

17 Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

18 For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.

So this whole passage is trying to get us to see that you must get free from the law if you are ever going to live in the newness of life under grace in Christ Jesus. You cannot do it under the law. You cannot be controlled by the Spirit and be controlled by Satan at the same time. If you are under the law, you are controlled by Satan. Sin is your master. Who is the master of sin? Satan. When you are under the law, you are controlled by Satan.

Now we like to talk around this. We do not think it is politically correct to make these kinds of statements. But let me tell you, that is what the bible teaches. The law has been perverted by Satan. You are no longer using the law if you look at the law as that what God gave to me to show me I was sinful so that I would turn to Christ by faith. That is fantastic. If you use that law for any other purpose you are being controlled by the one who perverted the gospel and perverted what law is, and that is Satan. Paul was not politically correct when he talked about legalists (Galatians 3:1-3). He said they are perverting the gospel (Galatians 3:6-8).

Galatians 3:1-3
1 You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2 I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? 3 Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

Galatians 3:6-8
6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel – 7 which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse!

Let us start in chapter 6 of Romans. Paul is going to answer three basic questions.

Romans 6:1
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

Romans 6:15
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace?

Romans 7:7
7 What shall we say, then? Is the law sinful?

Three basic questions, that are obviously, going to pop up in a person’s mind, when they are either first introduced to the fact that you are no longer under law, but under grace, or are adamant toward that teaching, or whatever the problem might be. Paul says he is going to address these basic questions to get them out of the way before we go into chapter 8. There is therefore now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus (Romans 8:1-2).

Romans 6:1
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

If this grace is so good, so that when sin increases, and grace increases all the more, and we all know how much we love God’s grace, then should we just go on sinning so that grace might increase? So God’s grace will keep flowing and flowing?

Romans 6:2
2 By no means!

He is going to tell us something here. We died to sin.

Romans 6:2
We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

Let us get back to this. Did he say we died to sinning? No. He said we died to what? Sin. What is sin from God’s vantage point? That which is not of faith is sin (Romans 14:23). Without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

Romans 14:23
23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin

Hebrews 11:6
6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.

The root of all sinning is the sin that occurred in the garden of Eden, of denying the truth that God had told us, and accepting the lie of Satan. Is that where it all began? Is that what sin is? I am going to believe Satan and say to God, “God, you do not know what you are talking about.”

Genesis 2:17
17 “but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

How did Satan deceive? He did not deceive by saying God did not say that. He said, “Surely God did not mean this?” See, back to the meaning. “Surely he did not mean that you would surely die?” Here is Satan, leaning on the tree, that God said do not touch this. God did not say do not touch the tree. Adam told Eve not to touch it. Adam added to the truth. I think Satan was just leaning on the tree, saying: “See, you do not die. Surely, he did not mean that?” That is how Satan deceives you and me every day of our lives, is after one thing, and that is to try to convince you that surely God did not mean this.

Genesis 3:1
1 Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

For more information of the creation, deception and fall of man in the garden of Eden, read the account in Genesis 2 and 3.

Romans 6:1-2
1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?

We died to this unbelieving heart. We died to that. You were born an unbeliever. Where the word repentance is used in the scripture is not in relation to “I used to smoke and now I don’t”. Repentance was a total change of mind. I was an unbeliever. That does not mean that I did not give intellectual assent to Jesus. But I did not become a believer until I understood the meaning that Jesus died for me. We personalize this gospel. I know he died on a tree.

James 2:19
19 You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder.

Luke 10:18
18 He [Jesus] replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Satan knows Jesus died on a cross. Satan knows he was raised from the dead. He hated every minute of it. It is not the case that Satan did not know those things.

It is the case they never internalize it. I knew those things too. I knew Jesus died on a cross and I believed it. How did I believe it? The same way I believed Abraham Lincoln was killed in Ford’s theater. It was written down in history and I believed it. I believe Abraham Lincoln was killed in Ford’s theater. Didn’t you? All that historical stuff. I believed all those things. But I do not know Jesus death and resurrection had an application to me. When it came down to the point where I realized Jesus died for me. Jesus took away my sins. Jesus was raised for me. I was dead and Christ came to give me life.

John 10:10
The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 14:6
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

1 John 5:11-13
111 And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 12 Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.

13 I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.

He did that for me. Pretty soon, instead of this being an historical event, it becomes a personal event. And you say, “Thank you.” Why do you say “Thank you?” Because Jesus just did something for me that I did not know. I knew about it but I did not know he did it for me. That is when it becomes real.

Now, who was I before I was saved back in 1969? I was Bob George without spiritual life. I had life but not spiritual life. I was Bob George, dead in my sins and in the uncircumcision of my sinful nature. I was Bob George without the Spirit of God living in me. That is who I was. That was my identity.

When I came to Christ, in 1969, I became a new creation. If any man be in Christ, he is a brand new creation. Old things have passed away. Behold all things become new.

2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

Who am I today? Bob George with the Spirit of God living in me. Who was I before? Bob George without the Spirit of God living in me. Where is that guy? He is dead as a hammer. He is gone. There is no more Bob George without the Spirit of God living in me. He is gone. I am a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Romans 6:10-12
10 The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.

11 In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires.

John 16:9 (TLB)
9 The world’s sin is unbelief in me

I died to sin. I died to my unbelief (John 16:9). How can I live in my unbelief any longer? How can I live as an unbeliever? How can I live any more not knowing what God says and what God means or not paying any attention to it? Well, you can’t. Because you are a believer today, if you are truly born again. So I cannot live in that any more (Romans 6:10-12).

Romans 6:3
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus

How did that happen? God came to live in us through Christ Jesus. That is Christ in you, your hope of glory. If the Son of God does not live in you, then you do not belong to Him.

Romans 8:9-10
9 You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ. 10 But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

There is only one way to be born again, and that is to be born again of the Spirit. That is why you do not be born again of the Spirit today, and then receive the Spirit tomorrow, as some people teach. That is an impossibility. There are not two spirits. If you are born again, you are born again of the Spirit. Jesus comes by his Spirit and takes up residence in your heart.

Romans 6:3
3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?

Then what did the Spirit do? The Spirit of God baptized us into the body of Christ (Romans 6:3). That is me in Christ now. Christ in me (Colossians 1:27). Me in Christ (1 Corinthians 1:30). So all of us were placed into the body of Christ (1 Corinthians 12:27). We have one head, that is Jesus (Colossians 1:18). You and I are the body. And although the body has many parts, they form one body (Romans 12:4-5).

Colossians 1:27
27 To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory

1 Corinthians 1:30
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God – that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.

1 Corinthians 12:27
Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.

Colossians 1:18
18 And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy.

Romans 12:4-5
4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others.

Do we understand that? You are a part of the body of Christ Jesus here on this earth. He is the head and you are the body. All of us were placed into Christ just as we were placed, or baptized, into his death.

Romans 6:3
were baptized into his death?

What does that mean? When I came to Christ, I accepted what Christ Jesus did for me at the cross. How did he pull that off? He had to die for the forgiveness of my sins.

Colossians 2:13-14
13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[us] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14 having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross.

Colossians 1:13-14
13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.

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