Tag Archives: Romans

The Heart of the Bible

The Heart of the Bible. The greatest paragraph in the the Word of God.

The greatest paragraph in the Word of God.

James Mongomery Boice writes in his commentary on Romans 3, Volume 1, Chapter 40, page 3 “But now things are different. There is hope because of what the Lord Jesus Christ has accomplished. The incarnation, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus have changed everything.”

Martin Lloyd-Jones calls them “the great turning point”

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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Who’s the Divisive One?

SeekingBiblicalI ask a friend and Christian Brother if he thought that he and I were divisive, as we are somewhat cut from the same mold (I worse than he is).

We stand up for the word of God and take a strong stance on doctrine and the truth found in God’s word.

This all came about after I recently read a quote from a pastor and writer who quoted Paul on being “Divisive”

“It’s striking that Paul regards ‘divisiveness’ as those who depart from sound doctrine.” While we might define “divisiveness” as taking a strict stance on doctrines, Paul’s definition was the opposite. Divisiveness, for Paul, was anything that went loosey-goosey with the given gospel…. and I might add… The word of God.

If you look up the word divisiveness in the dictionary you’ll read this… Creating disunity or dissension.

Paul says this in Romans 16:17 Now I urge you, brethren, keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned, and turn away from them.

cutting straightDo we have the wrong idea and definition of who is a divisive person?

I think we do!

What does Paul say? Keep your eye on those who cause dissensions and hindrances contrary to the teaching which you learned.

Divisive one’s are those who turn everything to their own interests and teach and say things contrary to the word of God `1 Timothy 1:3, 1 Timothy 6:3 Galatians 1:8, 9

So as it has been said repeatedly by great Christians in the past…

“It’s far better to be divided by Truth than united in error.”

Divisiveness, for Paul, was anything that went loosey-goosey towards the gosple and the word of God, not someone who takes a strict stance on doctrine and the word of God.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God
as a workman who does not need to be ashamed,
accurately handling the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What I Learned This Week In Romans

For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. I had no peace (Romans 5:1) when I was an unsaved man, I was at war with God, I was His enemy! Colossians 1:21. I wanted all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life 1 John 2:16 I didn’t want to please God nor did I have the capability to do so, for my mind was set on me and my flesh.

In the flesh… This the opposite of in Christ? Romans 8:9 says However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. Last week we looked at Romans 7:1-4 that we might bear fruit for God. Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.

What kind of fruit did we bear before we as believers were joined to Christ? These kinds of fruit… Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these! Galatians 5:19, 20 and 21. For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. Romans 7:5.

In the flesh sarx has many nuances so we must make sure we get the correct context of each use of sarx… The range of meaning extends from the physical flesh both human and animal, to the human body, to the entire person, and even to all humankind!

It can refer to humans controlled by sin and its passions.

Kenneth Wuest Word Studies in the Greek N.T. says this

The expression “in the flesh” refers to the condition of a person in the absolute control of the evil nature, as is clearly seen by a consideration of Paul’s words in 8:9, where he says, “But ye are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God, dwell in you.” That is, in the case where the person is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, that person is not in the control of the evil nature. That individual is a saved person. Consequently, the one who is in the flesh is an unsaved person, the flesh here referring to the fallen nature.

These sinful passions which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death. When we were unredeemed and dead in our trespasses and sin we walked according to this world with all its lust and indulging the desires of the flesh. Ephesians 2:1, 2 and 3.

Paul say this in Romans 8:6, 7 and 8… For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace, 7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Paul reminds us who are in Christ that we have been released from the Law, having died to that by which we were bound, so that we serve in newness of the Spirit and not in oldness of the letter. Romans 7:6.

We have died to the Law… Therefore, my brethren, you also were made to die to the Law through the body of Christ, so that you might be joined to another, to Him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God. Romans 7:4. We now have a new relationship with Christ in His death and we are now joined to Christ in His resurrection, Christ suffered the penalty of death that the law demanded. We are now joined to Him, we are now “In Christ” Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law Galatians 3:13.

I love Kenneth Wuest translation of Romans 7:6 “But now, we were discharged from the law, having died to that in which we were constantly being held down, insomuch that we are rendering habitually a bondslave’s obedience in a sphere new in quality, that of the Spirit, and not in a sphere outworn as to usefulness, in a sphere of that which was written.”

John MacArthur writes in his Romans commentary “As believers, we are dead to the law as far as its demands and condemnation are concerned, but because we now live in newness of the Spirit, we love and serve God’s law with a full and joyous heart. And we know that to obey His law is to do His will and that to do His will is to give Him glory.”

It was Paul who said in Romans 13:14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts.

Otherwise Stated:
Cloth yourself with Christ

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

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What I Learned This Week In Romans

Romans 6 is now complete, we finished up Romans 6:21-23 this past Sunday and it was truly a wonderful time in the word of God. This is not an exhausted study, but a brief overview in what we learned.

Therefore what benefit were you then deriving from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the outcome of those things is death. 22 But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Do you notice how Paul repeats the word Benefit? We learned last week that the word “benefit” is the word karpos, which literally means fruit. What you do bears fruit. If you sin, there will be fruit of sin. If you follow Jesus as Lord and Master, there will be fruit of the Spirit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life.

When we are saved it changes a man completely, we now as Paul describes become slaves of God and not sin, it reminds me of the words of Thomas Watson who said “Grace alters a man walk” the resulting benefit is sanctification. Wuest puts it this way… “The word sanctify in the Greek means to set apart, and the word sanctification refers to the setting apart process.” 

Martyn Lloyd-Jones has the right idea when he wrote… The main characteristic of people who are sanctified is that God is in the center of their lives. That is the first thing we may say about them. Before we get them to say what they do or do not do with regard to a particular action, we must be clear about the central, primary, most vital thing…Sanctification is that which separates us from sin unto God…The essence of sanctification is that I love God in whom I believe and who has been revealed to me, with the whole of my being…Sanctification is a matter of being rightly related to God, and becoming entirely devoted to him…not only separated from the world but separated unto God and sharing his life (Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Sanctified Through the Truth)

Paul says that the outcome is eternal life, our glorification, when we see Christ. Paul can say “I AM CONFIDENT” in Philippians 1:6 For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work (Justification) in you will perfect it (Sanctification) until the day of Christ Jesus (Glorification) We as Paul put it are “confirmed to the end” 1 Corinthians 1:8 The God who justifies is the same God who sanctifies, it was Jesus who said in John 17:17, 18 and 19 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth.

Then in verse 23 in Romans 3 we have For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. It easy to see that Paul presents two masters, Sin or God, Two ways, wages or a free gift and two eternities, life or death. The wages of sin is death and we have earned it without Christ, but the free gift of God’s grace is eternal life and you can’t earn it, because God provides the free gift through a person… but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.  

Salvation can not be earned by works or religion, For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. Ephesians 2:8, 9 Jesus Christ is the only way, Peter boldly proclaim “And there is salvation in no one else; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12

You see when God calls you, He changes your destination from eternal death to eternal life. Is Jesus your Savior and Lord? It’s either Yes or No, death or life… So come and cry out to God to save you ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ Luke 18:13 and He will indeed alter your walk from death to life (2 Corinthians 5:17)………….

and you will spend eternity with Him forever.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

 

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Paul says in the very first words Romans 6:3 Or do you not know? (Know what?)

. that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

We learned last week that Paul anticipated a question being asked… What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? 2 May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 6: 1, 2 Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, “sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life, because we live in Christ and Christ lives in us!” To say then that because we have this super abounding grace we can sin all the more , Paul say “May it never be!”

Walking out of Sunday school class it was clear to us that we now know Paul!

Know What?

That we who have faith in Him who saved us, were once dead in our trespasses and sins Ephesians 2:1 but have been made alive, born from above by the Holy Spirit John 3:4-8, that it was His great mercy and love that even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ Ephesians 2:4. We now know that we were buried with Him in baptism by the Holy Spirit, that we were crucified with Him Galatians 2:20 and its no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us. We now know that we are new creatures in Christ going from death to life 2 Corinthians 5:17, by what He did on that cross taking our sins, the cup of God’s wrath on Himself that we may become the righteousness of God in Him 2 Corinthians 5:21.

We now know Paul the very moment we were saved by God through faith by His free gift of irresistible efficacious grace were baptized by His Holy Spirit into His death 1 Corinthians 12:13. We now know we have been baptized with Christ, we are now clothed with Christ Galatians 3:27. We now make no provision for the flesh, and we put on our Lord Jesus Christ who just happens to live in us Paul Romans 13:14. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works that we should walk in them Ephesians 2:10.

So why would we want to sin all the more? A ridiculous thought… May it never be! We are being made into the image of the glory of the Lord 2 Corinthians 3:18 because Christ is the image of God 2 Corinthians 4:4.

Paul says in Romans 6:4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.

We have a new life our old life is DEAD!

But there is much hope for us in Christ!

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

We had a great time in the word of God in our Romans class, I ended my teaching section of Romans with Romans 6:1, 2. I remember writing a post on this last January, but its an important enough issue to revisit, first here is the text we learned in Church this past Lord’s day.

so that, as sin reigned in death, even so grace would reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? May it never be! How shall we who died to sin still live in it? Romans 5:21, 6:1,2

The rhetorical question Paul is asking is… Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase? Paul answers his own question, May it never be!

Paul is saying “Absolutely Not! May it never be!” There were these people called Antinomians and still are in some forms today “The Antinomians say they’re saved by grace but they live sinful lives, what we do doesn’t matter as long as we believe rightly. They say, “I’m under grace, I can do what I want to do! I’m free in Jesus, I can do whatever I want to do because God loves me just the way I am” 

Yes we as Christians are free in Christ Jesus, no longer under the bondage of sin, BUT! We have become slaves of righteousness Romans 6:18 says.

Then Romans 6:22 says But now having been freed from sin and enslaved to God, you derive your benefit, resulting in sanctification, and the outcome, eternal life. Peter tell us to Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God in 1 Peter 2:16.

Jude 4 warns us about ungodly persons who turn the grace of our God into licentiousness and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. 

As I told the class our goal as Christians is not perfectionism, its Holiness!  Of course the Christian life is not a straight line from A to Glorification… Of course we are going to have setbacks and struggles with our sin-life… That is why Paul wrote the conflict of two natures in Romans 7.

Though sin lives in us, believers do not live in sin…. You see, sin remains in us but sin does not reign in a believer’s life because we live in Christ!

So I have to ask the question, do we want Justification without Sanctification and without Holiness?

Peter calls us to Holiness: Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance, 15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior; 16 because it is written, “YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY.” 1 Peter 1:13, 14

I have heard this so many times from people, I made a decision years ago for Christ, I walked the aisle, I sign the card, I prayed the prayer, my Pastor said I was saved, he welcomed me in the family of  God! I’m ok. I’ll be fine! I’m saved! I love Jesus and his teaching, but I just want to have fun, I’ll get back into it after.

But Jesus said in John 14:15 “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

Wearing Christian Tee-Shirts and Bracelets, doesn’t make you a Christian, Tattooing your body or growing a soul patch doesn’t make you a Christian, quoting a lyric from your favorite Contemporary Christian Artist doesn’t make you a Christian! Living one foot in the world and one in Christ, so as to have the best of both worlds doesn’t make you a Christian!

What makes you a Christian is fellowship with Jesus Christ OUR Lord! 1 Corinthians 1:9 and what He’s done for you on that cross, what makes you a Christian is His free gift of GRACE and that grace will as Thomas Watson said “Alters a Mans Walk” Grace Changes you, you can no longer pick and choose and do what you want to do. We present our bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, we no longer conform to this world but are being transformed by the renewing of our minds Romans 12:1, 2

Spurgeon asks this question in one of his sermons… “If grace does not make you to differ from your own surroundings, is it really grace at all?”

Then he said this….

“Grace is the mother and nurse of holiness, and not the apologist of sin.”

Are we to continue in sin so grace can abound more? Continue is (epimeno) abide, endure, continue, stay or remain, the word continue means to practice or to habitually yield to sin. Paul’s answer May it never be!

Grace never causes a believer to love sin and pursue it, grace causes a believer to hate their sin and flee from it, grace causes a believer to confess their sins to God.

If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar and His word is not in us. 1 John 18-10

I think if there was a verse I could pick out that describes a professing Christian who says their saved and live their life their own way would be Judges 21:25 ”In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”

Are we living like there is no King Jesus in our life, doing what is right in our own eyes? That is what the unbeliever does!

I’ll close with these words from 1 John 2:15, 16 and 17.

Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. 17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

Grace does NOT promote SIN!
Grace promotes HOLINESS!

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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What I Learned In Church This Week

Birth is both the cause and the cure, when I read that recently in preparing my lesson for Sunday school, I thought to myself it’s as easy as that. Jesus said it Himself in John 3:3 “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

But really is it that easy to be born again?

How are we born again after being born in such sin, just as David said I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me.” Psalm 51:5  And because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so, 8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God. Romans 8: 7, 8

Really?  That one sin of Adam nose-dived the entire world into condemnation, eternal destruction and hell? We are hostile toward God and while in the flesh can NOT please Him? There is nothing good in us to some how muster up enough faith to respond to the Gospel without God’s spirit coming into us from above.

You remember what God said to Adam and Eve “but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.” You might be asking by now, die how? You see we died a spiritual death and now are dead in our trespasses and sin, DEAD! We are walking dead zombies spiritually Ephesians 2:1.

Was it God’s plan that they were going to live forever in a perfect garden, with a perfect life, just pro-creating in a perfect environment, but then let sin enter the world that He could send His Son His one and only Son to save us? Yes and Yes!

Was sin part of God’s plan all along? You know the plan before the foundation of the world, where He has known us and chose us to believe? You know what I really can’t wrap my brains around this one, but I know this!

Without sin there can be no Savior!

Without sin there can be no “Grace”


Read what Paul says to those believers from Ephesus who are faithful in Christ Jesus:

2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, 4 just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we would be holy and blameless before Him. In love 5 He predestined us to adoption as sons through Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the kind intention of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace, which He freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. 7 In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of His grace 8 which He lavished on us. In all wisdom and insight

9 He made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His kind intention which He purposed in Him 10 with a view to an administration suitable to the fullness of the times, that is, the summing up of all things in Christ, things in the heavens and things on the earth. In Him 11 also we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to His purpose who works all things after the counsel of His will, 12 to the end that we who were the first to hope in Christ would be to the praise of His glory. 13 In Him, you also, after listening to the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation-having also believed, you were sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise, 14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory. Ephesians 1:2-14

In the end who gets all the glory? God… to the praise of His glory. People just want to do and have a part in everything, and once we take credit for any part of our salvation we take away His glory. It says in Romans 8:9  “if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.” Without the Spirit of God we can’t accept the things of God, they are foolishness to us, we are spiritually bankrupt. 1 Corinthians 2:14.

How do we get this Spirit? Jesus told Nicodemus ”You must be born again, He was saying you must be born from above. Nicodemus responded in John 3:9 ”How can these things be?”

How can the Philippian jailor just out of the blue say in Acts 16:30 “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”  You see God had worked in his heart to believed, just as Lydia believed the words of Paul about Christ, the Jailor believed the words about Christ from Paul and Silas, they were praying and singing hymns of praise to God, and the prisoners were listening to them and It would be my guess that the jailor was too! Acts 16:25

How does Lydia and the Jailor believe and what must they do to be saved?  ”Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved! That’s it Just believe!

Yes, just believe because the Lord opened your heart to respond to the words about Christ Acts 16:14. Because faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. Romans 10:17. It’s not about doing things to gain your salvation, its by being born from above and God enabling you to respond to the words spoken about Christ.

Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:15

So to re-ask my first question, is it that easy to be born again?

Jesus has the answer in Matthew 19:26  “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

An He said ”It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give to the one who thirsts from the spring of the water of life without cost. Revelation 21:6

If He’s called you to Himself, you’re coming.

So come and drink of the fountain of life

With God all things are possible

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

 

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When Adam fell… We fell!

I’m preparing to teach on Adams fall in Romans 5:12 which says Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned— I came across this from Thomas Brooks……

Adam’s first estate was a state of perfect knowledge, wisdom and understanding. It was a perfect state of holiness, righteousness and happiness. There was nothing within him, but what was desirable and delectable; there was nothing without him, but what was amiable and commendable; nor was there anything around him, but what was serviceable and comfortable.

Adam, in his innocent estate, was . . .

  • the epitome of wisdom and knowledge,
  • the image of God,
  • the delight of heaven,
  • the glory of the creation,
  • the world’s great master,
  • the Lord’s great darling.

But when Adam fell—we fell.
When he lost all—we lost all.

There are five things we lost in our fall:

  1.  Our holy image—and so became vile;
  2.  Our divine sonship—and so became children of Satan;
  3.  Our friendship with God—and so became His enemies;
  4.  Our communion with God—and so became strangers;
  5.  Our happiness—and so became miserable.

Sin and death came into the world by Adam’s fall. For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ. Romans 5:17

O sirs! what a wonder is this—that the great God, who was so transcendently dishonored, despised, provoked, incensed, and injured by poor base sinners; should so freely, so readily, so graciously, condescend to vile forlorn sinners—as to own them, as to love them, and as to enter into a covenant of grace and mercy with them! This may well be the wonder of angels, and the astonishment of men!~ Thomas Brooks, “Paradise Opened” 1675

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What I Learned In Church This Week

The war is over we are no longer threatened by God’s wrath so Paul can write in Romans 5:1Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”, therefore having been saved by grace through faith not of ourselves Ephesians 2:8, 9 we are no longer at war with God… You might be saying I was never at war with God and I would say yes you were and more than that, He was at war with you! Paul said that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” Romans 1:18. But now we who have been saved by grace through faith in the finished work of Christ. Therefore, therefore what? Therefore having been justified, declared “NOT GUILTY” by God through Jesus Christ we have peace, hope and blessed assurance.

We now have peace and assurance with God, not peace within ourselves, not subjectively but objectively, peace WITH God! We who are saved by His grace are no longer at war. We can say with Paul with great assurance that “I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ, 9 and may be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own derived from the Law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which comes from God on the basis of faith, 10 that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; 11 in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead.”

Like it says above, justification has removed our guilt and sin and has made us right through Christ Jesus 2 Corinthians 5:21. Christ has broken down the wall that separated us from God and has made PEACE. That’s a great word  “Peace”  We now have “Peace with God!” He is now our friend John 15:13-15 and without God, His wrath stays! John 3:36, Romans 1:18.  But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), Ephesians 2:4, 5 Romans 5:2 says through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.

When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory. Colossians 3:4

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh may I then in Him be found.
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

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What I Learned In Church This week

I have a lot I want to tell you about Church this past Lord’s day, but know that is impossible, I would love to share with you the continued sermon series in Galatians that My Pastor is preaching, how he explained to us in Galatians 4:21-31 what it means to be a slave or free. I would love to share with you Sunday evening when we met to share in the baptism of fourteen people who outwardly shown their commitment to Jesus Christ… Please join me in prayer for these people that their commitment would be true and fruitful and that He who began a good work in them (Philippians 1:6) will see them through.

There is so many points in the Romans study that I want to talk about as we finished up Romans chapter four… Where Paul says:

Therefore IT WAS ALSO CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS. 23 Now not for his sake only was it written that it was credited to him, 24 but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 He who was delivered over because of our transgressions, and was raised because of our justification. Romans 4:22-25

As I was thinking back on this past Lord’s day, It seems to me here in Romans and in the Galatians sermon series (Galatians 4:21-31) Paul goes back to Old Testament scripture to teach us something, and not just facts but knowledge of the events that happen for our benefit.

Learning that, just like Abraham was justified by faith, we as believers are justified on the same basis… Then in Galatians chapter four Paul takes us back to Abraham Sarah and Hagar, where Paul writes ” For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by the bondwoman and one by the free woman. 23 But the son by the bondwoman was born according to the flesh, and the son by the free woman through the promise.” Galatians 4:22-23

Like my Pastor explained Ismael was born to Hagar the natural way, BUT Isaac was born to a barren Sarah supernaturally through the promise. Paul says again in Galatians 4:30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the bondwoman and her son, For the son of the bondwoman shall not be an heir with the son of the free woman.”

I learned in Church that this was all written for our benefit, “but for our sake also, to whom it will be credited, as those who believe in Him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead” Romans 4:24. Look what Paul writes in Romans chapter 15 verse 4 For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. Romans 15:4

It’s only God’s word that can give us HOPE and our hope is defined by SCRIPTURE, because all scripture is inspired by God 2 Timothy 3:16, 17.

One writer puts it this way:

“In my opinion, the greatest sin in the church of Jesus Christ in this generation is ignorance of the Word of God. Many times I have heard a church officer say, “Well, I don’t know much about the Bible, but …” and then he gives his opinion, which often actually contradicts the Word of God! Why doesn’t he know much about the Bible? These things were written aforetime for our learning. God wants you to know His Word.”

Paul writes in 1 Timothy 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus according to the commandment of God our Savior, and of Christ Jesus, who is our hope, and it’s all made known to us “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” God placed the O.T. on display for the readers of Paul and now have placed the bible the word of God on display for us that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

and that’s a beautiful thing!
Soli Deo Gloria
Lenny

 

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