Classic Christianity – Book of Romans P36 (01-29-19)
Have you come to grasp the love of God that is in Christ Jesus? If you are in Christ Jesus, allowing Him to renew your mind with truth, the truth shall set you free. Sadly, so many believers have not studied the word of God for themselves, and have kept listening to error from the pulpit. If someone tells you that God will get you if you sin, is that true? No. God has taken away your sins, never to be seen again from the eyes of God. And that was done at the cross. There is now no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus. But do you see how a little error here and there, keeps you from walking in freedom. Who will boldly go to the throne of grace in your time of need, thinking God is mad at you or is punishing you?
Another serious error is thinking salvation is getting your sins forgiven. I do not think anybody wants to go to hell. So, sure, I will say thank you Jesus for dying on the cross for my sins. But, someone thinking that, is he really saved? If he did not come to Christ for life, he is not! If he has no commitment to God, no desire to be pleasing to God, then he was not born again. Such is the watering down of the gospel, such a serious matter, leading many people to the broad road that leads to destruction. Who will be bold to confront the compromisers and false teachers of this age?
So, if you are in Christ, expect persecution and expect not to be well-liked or popular. Not many people today want to hear truth. Truth hurts. God prophesied about the last days, that men will gather around teachers to themselves, for their itching ears to hear, but not for truth. Rather, they will believe a lie, whatever myth, spiritual experience, prayer practice, religious tradition, the mystical, the false notion of the divine within, or any other myth out there. Sadly, not many will come to the knowledge of the truth, and receive that truth into their hearts, that they would be born again. t is heartbreaking among relatives and friends, to hear people resist truth that could save their soul.
So now we have a God who has condemned, by His own choice, people to hell, and is therefore also blessed somebody to heaven. What love is that? That is the kind of God they have. I do not want a God like that! Why did they do that? Because of a misunderstanding of what salvation is. If you look at salvation as the cross, then you have to conclude that is universal salvation. He not only died for our sins but the sins of the whole world. If that is what salvation is, getting sins forgiven, then how can you conclude anything except he died for the sins of the whole world and everyone is saved. But that is not salvation, getting sins forgiven.
10 For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!
That happened for the whole world. Saved by his what? His life.
7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace
In Him, you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Where is this forgiveness, that was provided for the whole world, received? In Him. If someone came to you, and said, “I put a million bucks in the bank account and if you spend it, it will be replenished.” “You are kidding me.” “No, it is there.” “Where do I go get it?” “In the bank.” “I do not like the bank. I like Seven Eleven.” “Sorry, the money is not in the Seven Eleven, and there are no ATMs. The money is in the bank.” “Well, I do not want to go to the bank.” “Then you will die a pauper.”
What is provided for, you are not going to where it is received. So you will die a pauper. If I do not go to the bank, I will die a pauper. Why? Because I am too stupid to go to the bank. He said the money is in the bank.
Salvation is in Jesus. It is not in Mohammad or Buddha. Salvation is in Jesus. It is in His resurrected life. He came that you might have life. What do you need life for? Because you are dead.
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.
24 Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”
25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life”. What do you need life for? Because you are dead.
1 John 5:10-12
10 Whoever believes in the Son of God accepts this testimony. Whoever does not believe God has made him out to be a liar, because they have not believed the testimony God has given about his Son. 11 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.
What does it mean when you do not have life? You are dead. Why do we not understand this? So many church leaders are streaming people down aisles to get forgiveness. You were already forgiven before you were even born. But that forgiveness is only received in Him. That is why He says, “come to me for life”.
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
“I will give you what? Me, Jesus.” We ignore that. We have gotten to the point we ignored it so long that we accept it as okay theology of “Come to Jesus and get your sins forgiven”. That is not salvation. You cannot get salvation by coming to Jesus only for forgiveness. You come to Jesus to get life, and in that life you have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Where did you get redeemed, by coming to Jesus for redemption? No, you came to Jesus. When you come to Jesus, what did you get? Redemption. What else did you get? Forgiveness of sins. How did you get it? By going to the bank. And we are sending people to Seven Eleven and saying “you can get Jesus over there.”
This is not a minor issue. Nor was it a minor issue to the apostle Paul, for the apostle Paul to make the statement like he did.
1 Corinthians 15:17
17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
Without the resurrection, we are to be pitied of all people and are still in our sins. He is telling you exactly where salvation is to be found, and that is in Him, in His resurrected life. That life that raised him from the dead came to raise you and me from the dead. I was born dead. When I came to Jesus, I came alive. When I came alive, I received what he came to give me, redemption and the forgiveness of sins. That is the good news of gospel. It is not how bad you are but how dead you are.
Yet, so many people are pointing fingers at other people, saying that if you keep on sinning you will go to hell, and that is a lie. You will go to hell when you refuse the life of Jesus. When you refuse the life of Jesus, you will remain dead. Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me though he were dead yet shall he live and whosoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?”
So he is talking about the Jew and the Gentile.
29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son
Who is he talking about? The Gentile. The Jews have been predestined for this. The Gentile too have been predestined. This book was written to the Romans, the Gentiles, who were considered second rate by the Jews. Now, we got the gospel and the Gentiles got so proud in that they got the gospel. Paul deals with that in the next chapter.
that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.
He will be firstborn among many brothers, Jewish and Gentile brothers, the whole group.
30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
Who did he also justify? The Gentiles. Are we together? We are not adding to what he did. The Jew was justified. You too, Gentile, were also justified. The Jews were called. You too were called. The Jew had been glorified. You too also are glorified.
Now, before we go further, let us go back to the book of Ephesians.
4 For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Who did he choose? Anyone who came to him by faith has been chosen to be holy and blameless in his sight.
14 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
You have been made holy by the blood of Christ. That was in His mind, predestined before the foundation of the world, that all who come to him, would be made holy and blameless in his sight.
1 Peter 1:18-21
18 For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from your ancestors, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. 20 He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. 21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.
1 In love 5 he predestined us for adoption to sonship through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will – 6 to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace 8 that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and understanding, 9 he made known to us
Here again, he had to make known to the Jew this mystery, a Mysterion. I am not talking about Perry Mason (a popular television series, 1957 – 1966, solving a crime mystery). This is a mystery held in the heart of God, unknown to man, and revealed to man when God chose to reveal it. So he made known to us, the Jews, this mystery.
the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, 10 to be put into effect when the times reach their fulfillment – to bring unity to all things in heaven and on earth under Christ.
The Jew and the Gentile both are under one head, Christ.
11 In him we were also chosen,
Who is the also chosen? The Gentiles.
having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will,
He is telling them that he is bringing both of them, Jew and Gentile, together. For what purpose?
12 in order that we, who were the first [Jew] to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. 13 And you also [Gentile] were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, 14 who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession – to the praise of his glory.
Is that good news? So he goes ahead.
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called € ‘ uncircumcised ’ by those who call themselves ‘ the circumcision ’ (which is done in the body by human hands) – 12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now
Who is he walking to here? The Gentile.
in Christ Jesus you who once were far away [Gentile] have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups [Jew and Gentile] one [Ekklesia]
2 Corinthians 5:17
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!
and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
What is the dividing wall of hostility? He is going to tell us.
15 by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations.
What does he call the law, with its rules and regulations? The wall of hostility. The Jews said we have the law. The Gentiles were never given the law. We just went over to the Jew and stole the law. The Gentile says, “You did not do very well obeying the law. So just watch my smoke”. God never gave the law to the Gentile. There was a wall of hostility. He abolished the law by nailing it to a cross. The law has been fulfilled, where God says to us, “You can’t and I did“. In so doing, what was his purpose?
His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, 16 and in one body to reconcile both of them [Jew and Gentile] to God through the cross,
So what was accomplished through the cross? Reconciliation. What does God no longer count against Him? Sins.
2 Corinthians 5:19
19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them.
by which he put to death their hostility. 17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away [Gentile] and peace to those who were near [Jew]. 18 For through him we both [Jew and Gentile] have access to the Father by one Spirit.
19 Consequently, you [Gentiles] are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. 21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. 22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.
Is this good news?
Let us look at Ephesians 3:6.
6 This mystery is that through the gospel the Gentiles are heirs together with Israel, members together of one body, and sharers together in the promise in Christ Jesus.
One body. Not a Jew body and not a Gentile body. That to me kind of annihilates all the Jewish Christians getting together and having a Messianic Jewish only gathering. This annihilates this idea of having Gentile Christians together, and saying let us not have any Jews over here. There is one body and let us have worship together, and let us have unity among our differences. Jew, I cancelled the law. Why are you still trying to keep it? I cancelled your dietary laws. Peter said everything is now clean. I cancelled the ten commandments you were under. I cancelled everything you had and were holding onto for your salvation. It is gone and you come to Christ one way and that is by faith. And Gentiles, you do identically the same thing.
So he says to us that all of this was accomplished by this mystery. Now turn to chapter 4 in Ephesians.
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.
You have received life and I told you to go love one another. Now, I want you to do so. You grew up Jew, different than the Gentiles, but I want you to learn to love each other. Be humble. Do not be cocky. Do not be talking, “We are God’s people”. All you have to say to someone who talks like that is say, “The heck you are”.
2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
What does that mean? You are going to have some trials and tribulations. Bear with one another. Hang in there. Hold onto truth.
3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.
Now, look what it says here.
4 There is one body and one Spirit,
There is one body. There is not a Jew body and a Gentile body. There is one Spirit. He did not give one Spirit to the Jews and a different Spirit to the Gentiles.
just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.
Let us now go back to Romans. Do you see how exciting this message is, when it is taught in according to scripture. Do you see how unifying it is when you see how God, in His foreknowledge and purpose, reached out to you and me, who are Gentiles, and reached out to the Jews. There is a girl down here who is Jew. I worked with Ed Hecht for some thirty years, who is a Jew. I never think of him being a Jew. He never thinks of me as being a Gentile. We are children of the living God. I do not care what your background is. You are a child of God and that makes us brothers and sisters in Christ.
Instead of understanding what salvation is, which is life, and because people have concentrated on the fact that you can be saved by merely saying Jesus died for my sins. Listen. Who wants to go to hell? If all I got to do is say, “thank you, Jesus, for dying for my sins”, and that is all I have to do, then I will do that. But there is no commitment to life that way. Such a person is saying to God, “I do not want you to live in me. I will keep you on the cross for forgiving my sins”.
We have to understand how the Christian world has taken truth and watered it down. You hear that Sunday after Sunday, watered it down, and people have reduced salvation to the cross, instead of including the resurrection. Oh, we acknowledge. “I believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Christ”. So you ask someone, “What is the meaning of the resurrection?“ “I don’t know.” “What is the meaning of the cross?” “Oh, that is where my sins were taken away”. “What is meaning of the resurrection?” “Not sure.”
The meaning of the resurrection is he was raised from the dead so that that life that raised him from the dead can raise you from the dead. In case you have not figured it out, you have a worse problem that sin. It is called death. The only solution to death is life. The only life available to us is Jesus. The Christian message is not a religious message. It is a practical message. You are born dead and when you are dead, you need life. If you do not choose life, then you are going to remain dead. When you choose life, then you are going to get eternal life, life eternally. When does it begin? The minute you have the Son. There is no one else who can give it to you.
All these other things come out in conversation with people. So you like Buddha. Fine. So you like Mohammed. Fine. Can he give you life? You like Moses. Can he give you life? You like the pope. Can he give you life? No, but I like Luther. Can he give you life? Can Calvin give you life? No one can give you life except Christ Jesus. He is the only one raised from the dead capable of giving you and me life. Life, that is what salvation is about.
We tolerate these things. We tolerate co-mingling law and grace in our churches. We tolerate the emphasis on the cross at the exclusion of the resurrection. The mindset in many people is this, “As long as you have a good choir and good programs, that is all that matters. Just keep me entertained. Keep my ears being tickled. I do not need truth. It hurts. I just want some fluffy stuff.” It says that in scripture, that in the last days, people will not listen to truth.
2 Timothy 4:3-4
3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.
“Al I want is fluffy stuff. Just give me an emotional experience. I do not want any meaning to it. Just let me feel good. Let me tingle.” I can rub your back with a feather and get you tingled. I want something concrete for my life. I want something real. I want something I can hang onto. That is what Jesus will do for you.
31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things?
What are we going to say? This is what we are going to say.
If God is for us, who can be against us?
We do not have to fear man. We do not have to walk around fearful that we are not going to be popular. I have told people before, that I decided a long time ago that I am not going to be running for sheriff. So I do not care how popular I am among peers. You should not either. You have a situation: “Paul is telling me, brother is not there. He is anti. He is nuts.” So I do not care. I do not fear him. Do you? If God is for you, who can be against you? Now, if God is not for you, then you would be in trouble. Look at that. God is for you. He has reached out to you.
32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all – how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen?
Who is going to bring a charge against the Jew, or the Gentile?
It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.
Sometimes we do not even know what to pray for. Do not worry about it. God will intercede for you.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?
Is that not a question? Can anything separate you from the love of God? No!
How many of you have ever been in trouble? Did that separate you from the love of God? Did you ever think it did? Yes, we do. One time we thought we were separated because of our evil behavior, but now God has reconciled us through his physical death.
21 Once you were alienated from God and were enemies in your minds because of your evil behavior. 22 But now he has reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation
Have you not heard that every time you sin, God turns his back on you? Have you ever heard that one? How many of you heard that one, every time you sin, brother? It is like having God spinning on a chair. He sees old Jim sin. Then he confesses, and He comes back again. But then Jim sins again, so God spins around again. So God is twirling around up there, quite busy. Yet, that is what you have been taught. Is that true? No. Your sins have been placed on the back of God never to see them again. He is not twirling around on a chair. Nothing can separate you from the love of God.
How many of you have ever been through hardship? We have. Does that separate you from God? No. If God will cause it to work together for the good, the way He will cause it to work together for good is when you are going through trouble and hardships, it will draw you to Jesus. But it can also draw you away from Him if your faith is not in the right place, if you think God is punishing you. “Oh, God is getting me for that?” Is that true? How can He be getting you for it when He put it on His back and paid for that. Did we just read that there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. What does that mean? There is no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus. What does it mean in the Greek? Same thing. God is not punishing you. If He did, you would live in total punishment. If a person thinks the reason I do not get punished is because I am so good, you are really deceived. Jesus said there is not anybody who is good. When they called him good, he said, “Why do you call me good, for there is no one who is good. If you want to call me good then call me God for only God is good.”
This is what he is saying. If God is for you, who will be against you? If you are going into the market place of life and being available and being a body through whom Christ is to live His life, to be a branch, are you going to have persecution? You sure are. Why? The world does not like Jesus. They will like him up to a point but “do not let him get close to me”. People in the world do not like Jesus. Just look at the film by Mel Gibson. People were up in arms over this. Why? It tells the truth and people do not like the truth.
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”[Psalm 44:22]
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.