A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF ROMANS
A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF ROMANS Copyright Š 2006 Trumpet Ministries, Inc. All Rights Reserved
In the Book of Romans are found definitive statements concerning the transition from the Law of Moses to the grace of God in Christ.
Complete trust in the atonement made by the Lord Jesus is emphasized, and also the righteous personality and behavior that genuine trust and faith always produce.
Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. (Romans 6:3)
By entering the crucifixion and resurrection of the Lord Jesus we are removed from the legal authority of the Law of Moses and are given access to the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit so we may be set free from the guilt and compulsion of sin.
Paul’s teaching concerning the transition from Moses to Christ is not understood by numerous believers.
The present distortion of Paul’s teaching has destroyed the testimony and moral strength of the churches of our day.
Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (Romans 6:16)
The believer who continues to sin will die spiritually.
The wages earned by the sinning Christian is spiritual death!
The Book of Romans contains what probably are the strongest statements to be made by Paul—perhaps the strongest statements in all Scripture—concerning Divine foreknowledge, predestination, and calling.
A firm grasp on the concept of Divine calling is necessary if the saint is to understand the majesty of God, and to cease from his own works and enter the rest of God.
Divine foreknowledge and election do not, if understood properly, cause passivity or a deadening sense of inevitability in the saint.
However, the calling of Abraham and the nation of Israel cannot be grasped apart from the concept of Divine election, nor can the creation of the Body of Christ.
The olive tree, once the possession of the physical people and land of Israel, passed to a remnant of Jews and Gentiles.
In the last days the olive tree (Christ) will return to the physical land and people of Israel and they will be born again of the Spirit of God.
Table of Contents
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen
Chapter One Chapter Two Chapter Three Chapter Four Chapter Five Chapter Six Chapter Seven Chapter Eight Chapter Nine Chapter Ten Chapter Eleven Chapter Twelve Chapter Thirteen Chapter Fourteen Chapter Fifteen Chapter Sixteen
A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF ROMANS
1.How does Paul regard himself?
2.What was Paul’s calling?
3.For what Divine purpose was Paul set apart as an individual?
4.By whom was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God promised?
5.With whom is the Gospel of the Kingdom concerned?
6.How did the Holy Spirit distinguish by power Christ as being the Son of God?
7.What did Paul receive through Jesus and for His name’s sake?
8.To what group do the saints in Rome now belong?
9.To whom is Paul writing?
10.What was the calling of the believers in Rome?
11.What does Paul confer on the holy ones who are dwelling in the city of Rome?
12.What is Paul’s first reason for thanksgiving?
13.What does Paul pray for unceasingly, concerning the saints in Rome?
14.What was Paul’s reason for longing to see them?
15.Of what did Paul desire that the saints in Rome be aware?
16.To whom was Paul indebted to give the Presence and knowledge of Christ?
17.To whom was Paul now ready and eager to announce the Good News of Christ?
18.Why was Paul not ashamed of the Good News of Christ?
19.To whom is the salvation of Christ directed?
20.What is revealed in the Gospel of Christ?
21.How is God’s righteousness received and maintained?
22.How do the righteous live?
23.Read Habakkuk 2:4. 24.What is being revealed?
25.On what is God’s wrath falling?
26.What is true of these unrighteous men?
27.How have the invisible truths of God been made plain?
28.What is revealed in nature?
29.What therefore is true?
30.How has mankind responded to the portrayal of God in nature?
31.Instead, what has taken place?
32.How do people view themselves, who do not trust in the Lord?
33.What actually is true?
34.What did mankind do with the Glory of the incorruptible God?
35.How did God respond to man’s casting Him aside?
36.What exchange have people made?
37.What have people done with the physical creation, the world of nature?
38.How do the saints regard their Creator?
39.What has God done because people chose to worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator?
40.What did the women do?
41.What did the men do?
42.What did such receive within themselves?
43.Of what do such people not approve?
44.What did God do with those people?
45.What did people proceed to do as a result of losing their ability to distinguish between right and wrong?
46.What type of personality and behavior characterizes human beings who have been deprived of the ability to distinguish between right and wrong?
47.What do such human beings know and acknowledge?
48.In spite of their knowledge of God’s laws, what do they do?
1.How do we condemn ourselves?
2.Of what can we be sure?
3.What questions does Paul ask us?
4.Of what fact may we be ignorant?
5.What may we be doing without realizing it?
6.How will God deal with each person in the hour when he is judged?
7.What will people receive, who, with steadfast endurance in well-doing, are seeking for glory, honor, and immortality?
8.What will people (Christian or not) receive who are contentious and self-willed, who are not yielding to the truth but to unrighteousness?
9.Who will receive glory, honor, and peace from God?
10.What is true of God’s attitude toward sin?
11.What is true of people who have sinned without having a knowledge of the Law?
12.What is true of people who possess God’s Law and sin against the Law?
13.Who are justified in the sight of God?
14.What is true of the nations who, although they do not possess a knowledge of God’s Law, practice by their instincts the deeds that God’s Law declares to be righteous?
15.What do such tribes reveal?
16.What is true of the unlearned nations with regard to their reasonings?
17.When will all such codes, behaviors, and reasonings be revealed?
18.What is true of the Jew?
19.Of what is the Jew confident, because he possesses the Law of Moses?
20.By having the Law, what does the Jew possess?
21.What does Paul ask the Jew, therefore?
22.What has the behavior of the Jews caused to take place?
23.Read Ezekiel 36:20.
24.When is circumcision profitable?
25.What is true when the Law is being broken and wickedness is being practiced?
26.What happens when the uncircumcised Gentile keeps the requirements of the Law?
27.What will the uncircumcised Gentile, who is fulfilling the Law, be able to do?
28.Who is not a true Jew?
29.What is not true circumcision?
30.Who is a true Jew?
31.What is true circumcision?
32.What else distinguishes the true Jew?
1.In what way, then, is the Jew superior? Of what profit is the rite of circumcision?
2.What was true if some of the Jews did not mix faith with the Word that was given to them?
3.What will always be the case?
4.Read Psalms 51:4. 5.If our unrighteousness establishes God’s righteousness, what question is raised?
6.What is Paul’s answer to the question that has been raised by human thinking?
7.What additional question is raised by Paul?
8.What have some people accused Paul of teaching?
9.What conclusion does Paul reach concerning such teachers?
10.What does Paul ask now?
11.What is Paul’s answer?
12.Read Psalms 5:9; 10:7; 14:2,3; 36:1; 140:3; Isaiah 59:7,8. 13.What conclusion can be drawn from the above passages?
14.To whom does the Law speak?
15.What is therefore true?
16.Can any human being become justified before God by performing the works of the Law of Moses?
17.What does the Law of Moses (the Ten Commandments) bring to us?
18.What has been manifest and witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets?
19.What righteousness has been revealed?
20.What is true of all persons on the earth?
21.What is true of each person who believes in Christ?
22.In what role has God presented Christ to the world?
23.What has God accomplished by presenting Christ as the appeasing, reconciling, satisfying blood-covering?
24.Again, what does the blood-offering of Jesus proclaim?
25.What has happened to man’s boasting about a righteousness he has earned by keeping the Law?
26.What law is it that has ruled out boasting about righteousness?
27.What is Paul’s conclusion?
28.Is God the God of Jews only?
29.If it is true that the same God makes righteous the circumcised Jews by faith and the uncircumcised Gentiles through faith, have we then made the Law of no effect?
1.Whom does Paul discuss now?
2.What would have been true if Abraham had been declared to be a righteous man on the basis of his observance of the moral law of God?
3.What, then, would have been true of his boasting?
4.What does the Scripture declare concerning Abraham’s righteousness?
5.What is true of the person who attempts to attain righteousness by keeping the works of the Law?
6.What is true of the person who does not attain righteousness by keeping the works of the Law but who believes in God who justifies the ungodly?
7.What did David declare concerning the blessedness of the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from the works of law?
8.What important question does Paul raise?
9.Who was it that received righteousness because of his faith in God’s promise of a multiplied Seed?
10.Was the righteousness given to him before or after he was circumcised?
11.Of what was the sign of circumcision a seal?
12.Why was righteousness reckoned to Abraham before he was circumcised?
13.To whom is Abraham the father of the circumcised?
14.On what basis was the promise given to Abraham and to his Seed that he should be the heir of the world?
15.What is true if the inheritance is given on the basis of keeping the Law?
16.What does the Law bring?
17.What is true where there is no law?
18.By what means do we obtain righteousness and salvation?
19.Why has God based our attaining His righteousness on the exercise of our faith rather than on our performance of the works of the Law?
20.Since the achievement of righteousness comes by God’s gift of grace, who is eligible to receive it?
21.Of whom is Abraham a father?
22.In whose sight is Abraham our father?
23.What is God able to do?
24.Did Abraham have physical grounds for hope that he might have a son?
25.What did he do, nevertheless?
26.What was Abraham’s hope?
27.What consideration did not weaken Abraham’s faith?
28.How did Abraham respond to the promise of God concerning his Seed?
29.Of what was Abraham persuaded?
30.Exactly what was counted to Abraham as righteousness ?
31.When the Scripture declares that righteousness was ascribed to Abraham on the basis of his faith in God’s promise, is it referring only to him?
32.Why was Christ delivered over to death?
33.Why was Christ raised from among the dead?
1.On what basis is the saint, Jew or Gentile, declared righteous?
2.How is peace established between God and us?
3.What has brought us into this grace of God in Christ in which we stand?
4.In what do we rejoice?
5.In what else do we rejoice?
6.What does tribulation produce in us ?
7.What does endurance, or perseverance, result in?
8.What does character bring to us?
9.What does our hope insure?
10.What is true of the saint who is enduring in the hope that God has given us through Christ?
11.What took place while we still were weak and helpless?
12.Is it likely that someone would be willing to give his life for a righteous man?
13.Would someone be willing to give his life for a good man?
14.But how did God demonstrate His love toward us?
15.On what authority have we been declared to be righteous?
16.If we have been declared to be righteous through His blood, what certainly must be true?
17.What state were we in when we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son?
18.If when we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, what is certainly true?
19.What else is true?
20.How did sin enter the world?
21.How did death enter the world?
22.How was death able to gain power over all men?
23.Was sin in the world before the Law of Moses?
24.What is the case when there is no Law?
25.What happened, nevertheless?
26.Of whom is Adam a type, a figure, a foreshadowing?
27.How does the offense of Adam differ from the gift that came by Christ?
28.How does the gift that came to us through Christ differ from what we received through Adam?
29.What spirit gained power over mankind as a result of the offence of Adam?
30.What, then, will certainly be true of those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness?
31.What resulted from the one transgression of Adam?
32.What resulted from one act of Divine righteousness?
33.What resulted from Adam’s disobedience?
34.What will be the result of the obedience of Christ?
35.Why was the Law introduced?
36.What provision has God now made?
37.How does sin rule in death?
38.How does grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Christ our Lord?
1.What question does Paul raise based on that which he has just taught, concerning our receiving righteousness on the basis of our faith in Christ?
2.What is Paul’s answer?
3.What is Paul’s response to the fact that his explanation of the new covenant is leading some to conclude that we can and should continue in our sinful conduct?
4.What is true of each of us who has been baptized into Christ?
5.Why were we buried with Him by baptism into death?
6.In what two aspects have we become united with Christ?
7.What is it that was crucified with Christ?
8.What is true of the person who has died?
9.What results from putting to death our adamic personality?
10.What is true of the person who is "dead with Christ"?
11.What will be true of us if we have died with Christ?
12.What is true of Christ, now that He has been raised from the dead?
13.How many times did Christ die to sin?
14.In what manner does Christ live now?
15.In what way are we dead?
16.In what way are we alive?
17.Because we see ourselves as united with Christ in His death upon the cross, and eternally alive with Christ as an inseparable part of His Divine Glory that flows from the Throne of God in Heaven, what action are we to take regarding sin?
18.What are we not to be doing?
19.What are we to be doing?
20.What is true of our relationship to sin?
21.What question does Paul ask the second time and what is his answer?
22.What principle of moral servitude does Paul give us?
23.What is true of a person before he receives Christ as his personal Lord and Savior?
24.What must be true of each person who becomes a Christian?
25.From what has Christ released us?
26.To what has Christ bound us?
27.Why does Paul refer to slaves and masters?
28.How had the saints in Rome behaved before they had become Christians?
29.What did Paul tell them to do now, because they were Christians?
30.What is true of the person who is the slave of sin?
31.What does Paul invite the saints in Rome to consider?
32.What was the fruit of their former unrighteous behavior?
33.What is the fruit of their Christ-empowered righteous behavior?
34.What flows forth as an inseparable aspect of holiness in the Presence of God?
35.What are the wages of sin? What flows forth as an inseparable aspect of sin and rebellion against the Lord God of Heaven?
36.What is the gift of God?
1.To whom is Paul speaking at this point?
2.What is the period of time that the Law of Moses has jurisdiction over a person?
3.Over what period of time does the Law bind a married woman to her husband?
4.What happens at the moment her husband dies?
5.What will be true if she marries another man while her husband is still living?
6.What becomes true when her husband dies?
7.What becomes true of us legally at the moment we are united with the death of Christ on the cross?
8.What shall take place in our life if we truly have been married to the Lord Jesus Christ?
9.What was true of us when we were living as flesh-and-blood human beings, apart from the Life of Christ?
10.What always results from filthy, lawless, rebellious actions, words, and motives?
11.What is the relationship of the Christian saint to the Law of Moses?
12.How are we to serve God under the new covenant?
13.Is the Law of Moses sin?
14.What does the Law of Moses accomplish?
15.How did Paul become aware that he was coveting and lusting?
16.Because of the commandments of the Law, what were the coveting and lusting that dwelled in Paul’s physical body able to do?
17.What was true where there was no Law?
18.What is true of the individual to whom the Law of Moses has not come as yet?
19.What occurs when the light of the Law shines?
20.What was the Law of Moses designed to accomplish?
21.What actually takes place, however?
22.What was sin’s response to the light of the Law of Moses?
23.What is true of every commandment of the Law of Moses?
24.Was it the holy and righteous and good commandment that produced death in us?
25.What is true of the Law?
26.What is true of human beings?
27.What does Paul state concerning the slavery into which he was born as a human being?
28.What is true if an individual is objecting to the things he is doing?
29.What fact becomes clear if a person does not understand what he is doing, is not practicing the things he desires to do, is doing the things he hates?
30.What does Paul know to be true of his flesh?
31.What is present in Paul?
32.What is not present in Paul?
33.What about the good that Paul desired to do?
34.What about the evil that Paul desired not to do?
35.If Paul practiced what he desired not to do, what, then, was true?
36.What law did Paul discover to be in effect?
37.What was the attitude of Paul’s "inner man" toward the Law of Moses?
38.What did Paul see in the members of his physical body?
39.What was the "different" law doing?
40.What is the condition of the individual who is bound to that with which he is in disagreement, to that which he finds condemning and repulsive?
41.What question does Paul ask?
42.What is Paul’s response to his own question?
43.What does Paul conclude?
1.What is true of each person who is "in Christ"?
2.What is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ"?
3.What is "the law of sin and death"?
4.What does the law of the Spirit of life in Christ do for us?
5.What is the Law of Moses unable to do?
6.Why is the Law of Moses unable to loose us and create righteousness in us?
7.How did God respond to the inability of His Law, given through Moses, to loose us from sin’s bondages and create true righteousness in us?
8.Why was it necessary that Christ die on our behalf?
9.What person has the righteousness of the Law of Moses ascribed to him or her?
10.What is true of people who are walking "in the flesh"?
11.What is true of people who are living "in the Spirit"?
12.What do we reap when we follow the desires of our flesh and soul?
13.What do we reap when our mind is continually influenced by the Holy Spirit?
14.What is true of the human mind?
15.What is the case with people who are living as natural flesh and blood human beings, following the inclinations of their flesh and soul?
16.What is true of the person in whom the Spirit of God is dwelling?
17.What can be said of someone who does not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him?
18.What can be stated concerning the person in whom Christ is dwelling?
19.What will take place in every person in whom the Spirit of God is dwelling?
20.Paul has taught us that living in the flesh results in spiritual death, while living in the Spirit of God results in triumphant resurrection.
What does he conclude from this?
21.What will happen to us if we live according to the desires of our physical body?
22.What will happen to us if, by the Holy Spirit of God, we put to death the deeds of our physical body?
23.Who are the true sons of God?
24.What does the Holy Spirit lead the sons of God to do?
25.What has the Christian saint not received?
26.What has the Christian saint received?
27.What do the Holy Spirit and our spirit both testify?
28.What is true of us if we indeed are God’s own children?
29.What is necessary if we are to realize our coheirship with Christ?
30.Paul suffered much in the world (II Corinthians 11:23-33, for example).
What does Paul state concerning our sufferings in the world?
31.What is the material creation eagerly, ardently awaiting?
32.To what has the creation been made subject?
33.Who put the creation in subjection to vanity?
34.What did God give to the creation after He had brought it under the curse of vanity and futility?
35.At what point and in what manner will the physical creation be set free from the bondage of corruption and released into the freedom of the glory of the children of God?
36.What do we know to be true of the material creation?
37.Why do we, who possess the firstfruits of the Spirit of God within ourselves, sigh and groan within ourselves?
38.What saves the saint?
39.What will we continue to do until the Lord returns?
40.How does the Holy Spirit help us in our weakness?
41.Who searches the hearts of all persons everywhere?
42.What does Christ know?
43.What does the saint know?
44.What is God’s purpose concerning the people whom He foreknew?
45.What is true of Christ?
46.What is true of each of the persons whom God has predestined to be in the image of His Son?
47.What does it mean to be "called?"
48.What is true of each saint whom God has called?
49.What is true of each person whom God has declared to be righteous?
50.What conclusion do we draw from the knowledge that God, before He created the world, viewed us as being called, righteous, and glorified?
51.What did the Father do as part of His program bring His many sons to glory?
52.What do we conclude, as we realize God gave His Son to die for us in order to accomplish His plan for us?
53.What authority or power is able to accuse one of the sons whom God has elected?
54.What Person possesses the authority to hold an individual guilty? To retain the guilt of sin?
55.What tribulation or persecution or danger or lack of material necessities is able to separate a son of God from the love of Christ?
56.Read Psalms 44:22. 57.Are God’s sons, God’s elect, ever allowed to suffer in the world?
58.How are we able to gain an overwhelming victory over tribulations, persecutions, and survival problems such as famine?
59.Of what fact had Paul become convinced?
1.How did Paul feel in his heart?
2.What was the cause of Paul’s grief? On whose behalf could he have wished to be accursed from Christ?
3.What has the Lord given to the Israelites?
4.Have God’s covenants and promises directed toward Israel failed in their eternal purpose?
5.How do we explain our answer to the preceding question, when it appears that the nation of Israel has rejected its Christ?
6.What about Abraham’s descendants?
7.What is the significance of the expression, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called"?
8.What is the word of promise?
9.What other Israelites does Paul use as examples in his teaching of foreknowledge and election?
10.Who were born of Rebecca by Isaac?
11.What statements did the Lord God make concerning Jacob and Esau?
12.How could the Lord state, before the children were born, before they had done anything good or evil, that the elder would serve the younger?
13.Is God unrighteous?
14.What did God declare to Moses?
15.What is the correct conclusion to draw from the above passage?
16.What does the Scripture say to Pharaoh?
17.How does Paul respond to the individual who is questioning the ways of the God?
18.What does Paul proceed to ask?
19.What did God say in Hosea, concerning the calling of the elect Gentiles?
20.What sovereign statement concerning Israel, God’s chosen, God’s elect, did the Spirit of Christ make through the prophet Isaiah?
21.What else did the Spirit of Christ state in Isaiah?
22.What are we to conclude from our understanding of the foreknowledge, predestination, and election of God?
23.What happened to the Israelites, the people for whom the Apostle Paul carried such a burden of sorrow and grief?
24.Why were the Israelites unable to gain right standing in the sight of God?
25.What was hindering the Israelites in their pursuit of righteousness?
26.Read Isaiah 28:16. 27.Who is the Stone of stumbling, the Rock of offence, that has been laid in Zion?
1.What was Paul’s heart’s desire and delight, and supplication toward God, on behalf of the Israelites?
2.What was true of the Israelites?
3.Of what were the Israelites ignorant?
4.What were the Israelites seeking to establish?
5.To what were the Israelites not submitting, not subjecting themselves?
6.What is the relationship of Christ to the Law of Moses?
7.What did Moses write concerning the righteousness that comes from the Law?
8.What does the righteousness that comes by faith have to say?
9.Where is righteousness?
10.What is the word of righteousness by faith?
11.What is the first step in obtaining righteousness, right standing in the sight of God?
12.What is the second step in obtaining righteousness, in obtaining salvation?
13.What will our future hold if we will confess that Christ is Lord of all and will believe in our heart that God has raised Him from among the dead?
14.From God’s viewpoint, what act on our part brings us into the state of righteousness?
15.What act on our part delivers us from the wrath of God and saves us into the everlasting Kingdom of God?
16.What does the Scripture state concerning the Lord Jesus Christ?
17.Concerning being made righteous through faith in Christ, what difference has God established between Jew and Greek?
18.Who will be saved?
19.What must people do before they call on Christ for salvation?
20.What must take place before people can believe in Christ?
21.What is necessary if people are to hear of Christ?
22.What is needed if someone is to preach the Good News of Christ to people?
23.Read Isaiah 52:7. 24.Have all obeyed the Good News of Christ?
25.Read Isaiah 53:1. 26.What does faith come from?
27.Where does what is heard come from?
28.Has not everyone heard the speech and knowledge of Christ?
29.Did Israel know of the speech and knowledge of Christ?
30.What did Moses declare?
31.What did Isaiah announce?
32.What did the Spirit of Christ in Isaiah say to the Israelites?
1.Has God cast off the Jewish race?
2.What was Paul’s lineage?
3.Has God disowned and rejected the people who used to be known as His chosen nation?
4.What did Elijah do?
5.How did God answer Elijah?
6.What were Elijah and the seven thousand men?
7.What exists "at the present time"?
8.What is true if salvation can only come to an individual on the basis of the grace and calling of God?
9.What has Israel not obtained?
10.Who of Israel has obtained righteousness in the sight of God?
11.What has happened to the Israelites who are not of the elect, not chosen?
12.What has God given to the Israelites who are not of the elect?
13.What burden did King David place upon the Israelites who have not been called of God, who are not of the elect?
14.Did the Israelites, who were not of the remnant, of the election, stumble so they might fall away from God forever?
15.Why did God give the Israelites the "spirit of slumber"?
16.What did the stumbling of the Israelites result in?
17.What did the loss of the Israelites result in?
18.What, therefore, will the reinstatement of the Israelites result in?
19.To whom is Paul speaking at this point?
20.Why did Paul emphasize his ministry in this fashion?
21.What did God’s rejection of the Israelites result in?
22.What will God’s accepting back the nation of Israel be?
23.If the first piece taken from a lump of dough is set aside as holy to the Lord, what is true of the rest of the lump?
24.What is true of an entire tree if the root of the tree is holy?
25.If some of the branches (Israelites) of the holy olive tree were broken off, and we Gentiles, being branches from a wild olive tree, were grafted in among the natural branches and have become partakers with the natural branches of the root and the richness of the holy olive tree, what attitude should we then take toward the former branches?
26.What might the Greek and Roman Christians be tempted to claim?
27.What is Paul’s answer to this claim?
28.What attitude must the saved Gentiles not take?
29.How do we know that God will not hesitate to send judgment on the Gentile Christians, if we stray from the path He has marked out for us?
30.What, then, do we understand?
31.What always happens to God’s chosen people, His elect, when they decide to forsake God?
32.What is the attitude of the Lord God toward each Gentile who joyfully receives Christ as Lord and Savior?
33.What will happen to us Gentiles if we do not walk in Christ ?
34.What happens to each Jewish person who chooses joyfully to receive Jesus, his Christ?
35.Is God able and willing to restore the Jews?
36.From what was each Gentile originally cut off?
37.What takes place when a Gentile receives Christ?
38.What does this fact tell us concerning the natural branches that had been cut off from the holy root?
39.Why did Paul desire that the Gentile Greeks and Romans would understand God’s program?
40.Many of the Israelites, the natural branches, were—and still are—blind to the Gospel of Christ.
How long will this blindness continue?
41.What will happen to the Israelites, the natural branches, just as soon as the full measure of Gentiles has come to the Lord?
42.What does the Scripture declare concerning the restoration of the natural branches?
43.What are the Jews, with respect to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?
44.What are the Jews, with respect to Divine election?
45.What is true of the gifts and the calling of God?
46.What had been true of the Christian people of Rome?
47.What is true now of the Roman Christians?
48.Why were the Israelites disobedient to the Gospel?
49.What has the Lord God in His infinite wisdom brought to pass?
50.What does Paul conclude from what he has just written?
51.Read Isaiah 40:13,14. 52.What question does Paul ask?
53.From whom, through whom, and to whom are all things?
54.To whom does all the glory belong forever, ages without end?
1.On what basis does Paul appeal to the saints of Rome?
2.What does Paul urge the believers in Rome to do?
3.How does God regard the living and holy sacrifice of our physical body consecrated to His purposes?
4.What are we not to fashion ourselves after?
5.How are we to be transformed into the image of the Lord?
6.What can we know if we keep renewing our mind in Christ?
7.How does Paul advise each Christian person to regard himself or herself?
8.What is true of the physical body?
9.What is true of the saints?
10.What is true of the members of Christ’s Body?
11.What is each Christian to do?
12.What should the Christian do when someone becomes enraged and attempts to harm him, or does harm him?
13.What should we do for our enemy if he is hungry?
14.What should we do for our enemy if he is thirsty?
15.What do we do to our enemy when we give him food, drink, or other assistance?
16.By what means is the Christian able to overcome the foulest, most perverse evil?
1.To whom should every person be subject?
2.Where has all existing authority and rulership come from?
3.When we resist authority, what are we resisting?
4.What does the saint receive from God when he resists authority?
5.Who has reason to fear a ruler?
6.What should we do so we will not be in fear of the rulers who govern us?
7.What are civil authorities?
8.What is true if we are practicing evil?
9.Why does a civil ruler carry a weapon?
10.What should a civil ruler be?
11.Why should a Christian be subject to civil authorities?
12.Should the Christian pay all lawful taxes imposed by civil authorities?
13.How should the Christian respond to the government of his land?
14.Should a Christian incur indebtedness?
15.What do we owe other people?
16.Who has fulfilled the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments?
17.Why is love the fulfillment of the Law of Moses?
18.What time is it?
19.What impels us to cast off the unfruitful works of darkness?
20.What is almost at an end?
21.What is near at hand?
22.What should we do in view of the fact that the Day of the Lord is upon us?
23.With what should we clothe ourselves?
24.How is the saint to behave himself or herself?
25.Name some of the dark practices of Hell.
26.With whom should we clothe ourselves?
27.What should we do about the lusts and desires of our physical body?
1.How should a strong, victorious Christian regard and act toward a believer in Christ who is weak in faith?
2.What is true of the faith of the strong Christian?
3.What about the weaker saint?
4.What must the stronger not do?
5.What must the Christian who is involved in dietary regulations not do?
6.What is true of the eater and the one who does not eat?
7.What must none of us do?
8.What is true of the relationship between Christ and each of His servants?
9.What is true of an individual Christian?
10.What is true of his fellow Christian?
11.What about such differences of opinion?
12.What is true of the saint who observes a particular day as being holy?
13.What is true of the believer who eats food?
14.What about the Christian who believes that certain foods are prohibited?
15.How does each saint live and each saint die?
16.What is true of each of us, whether we live or whether we die?
17.Why did Christ die and live again?
18.Why should we never judge our brother for his personal beliefs, or hold him in contempt because of his weak and limited faith?
19.Read Isaiah 45:23. 20.What is true of each person who lives on the earth?
21.What should all Christians cease doing?
22.What should we be passing judgment upon?
23.Of what fact was Paul convinced in the Lord Jesus?
24.What is true if a believer considers some thing or some action to be unclean?
25.If a Christian brother or sister judges some food that we are eating to be unclean in God’s sight, and we continue to eat that food, knowing we are grieving a member of Christ’s Body, what then is true of us?
26.What are we never to do?
27.What is the saint to avoid if at all possible?
28.Is the Kingdom of God created by our selection of what we eat and what we drink?
29.What is the Kingdom of God, if it does not consist of dietary and other regulations governing behavior?
30.What is true of the person who, through the Holy Spirit, is serving Christ in righteous behavior, in Divine peace, and in spiritual joy?
31.What should each saint be pursuing?
32.What must we not do?
33.What is true of all food?
34.What about the Christian who eats certain foods that offend his conscience and the consciences of his fellow Christians?
35.What is the proper way for a Christian to behave?
36.What should the disciple do concerning his personal convictions regarding food, holy days, clothing, and similar details of daily living?
37.What believer is receiving a blessing?
38.What does a person bring on himself who doubts that it is acceptable to God that he eat a certain food, and proceeds to eat it anyway?
39.In what condition is the believer living if he suspects that what he is doing is not pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ?
1.What are strong Christians to do?
2.What should each of us do?
3.Whom did Christ strive always to please?
4.Read Psalms 69:9.
5.Why were the Old Testament Scriptures written?
6.What was Paul’s prayer for the saints in Rome?
7.What attitude should the members of the Body of Christ take toward one another?
8.To whom has Christ become a servant?
9.Why did Christ set aside His majesty and become a servant of the Jews?
10.Read Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalms 18:49; Psalms 117:1; Isaiah 11:10.
11.What additional prayer did Paul offer for the saints in Rome?
12.Of what had Paul become persuaded concerning the saints in Rome?
13.In what attitude had Paul written to the saints in Rome?
14.To whom did Christ send Paul with the Gospel of God?
15.On what grounds did Paul find reason to boast in Christ?
16.Of what did Paul dare to speak?
17.What had been the extent of Paul’s travels in the preaching of the Gospel of Christ?
18.Toward what were Paul’s efforts and ambition directed?
19.Read Isaiah 52:15. 20.Why had Paul been hindered on several occasions from visiting the saints in Rome?
21.How did Paul feel now?
22.What country was Paul thinking of visiting?
23.What was Paul’s hope?
24.Where was Paul staying when he wrote the letter to the saints in Rome?
25.Where was Paul going after he left Corinth?
26.Why were the Gentile Christians of Macedonia and Corinth glad to have the opportunity to assist the destitute Jewish Christians of the large church in Jerusalem, which was under the leadership of James and the other distinguished Apostles and elders?
27.What was Paul planning to do after he had presented to the poor Jews of Jerusalem this blessing from the Gentile believers?
28.Of what was Paul certain?
29.What did Paul exhort the saints in Rome to do in his behalf?
30.What did Paul hope would happen?
31.What benediction does Paul pronounce on the saints in Rome?
1.Whom did Paul commend to the saints of Rome?
2.What did Paul request of the saints in Rome, concerning Phoebe?
3.Why was Paul so concerned about Phoebe’s welfare in Rome?
4.To whom did Paul send greetings?
5.How were the saints to greet one another?
6.Who were sending their greetings to the saints in Rome?
7.What did Paul exhort the saints in Rome to do?
8.What is true of people who come among the saints and cause divisions and occasions of stumbling?
9.What means do such self-seekers employ in order to divide the saints for their own purposes?
10.What report had reached all the Christian assemblies?
11.What was Paul’s reaction to this good report?
12.What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Rome?
13.What will the God of peace do shortly?
14.What blessing does Paul pronounce on the saints in Rome?
15.What Christian workers, who were with Paul, sent greetings to the Roman saints in this letter?
16.Who else greeted the saints in Rome?
17.Who else sent greetings?
18.What benediction does Paul pronounce on them for the second time?
19.In what words does the Apostle Paul commend the "called of Christ" in Rome, to God the Father?
A STUDY GUIDE FOR THE BOOK OF ROMANS
1. How does Paul regard himself?
As a bondservant of Christ.
We have a great need in the United States to think of ourselves as the slaves of Jesus Christ. The only free individual is the one who is the slave of Christ.
2. What was Paul’s calling?
Paul was an apostle—a person sent forth from the Presence of Christ with a commission.
3. For what Divine purpose was Paul set apart as an individual?
For the purpose of proclaiming and teaching the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
4. By whom was the Gospel of the Kingdom of God promised?
By the Prophets of Israel, as recorded in the Old Testament Scriptures.
5. With whom is the Gospel of the Kingdom concerned?
With Christ, the Son of God, of the lineage of King David.
6. How did the Holy Spirit distinguish by power Christ as being the Son of God?
By raising Him from the dead through the Spirit of holiness.
7. What did Paul receive through Jesus and for His name’s sake?
Grace and apostleship for the purpose of bringing about, among all the nations, the obedience that is produced by faith.
8. To what group do the saints in Rome now belong?
Those who have been called to belong to Christ.
The Book of Romans contains what probably are the strongest statements to be made by Paul—perhaps the strongest statements in all Scripture—concerning Divine foreknowledge, predestination, and calling.
A firm grasp on the concept of Divine calling is necessary if the saint is to understand the majesty of God and is to cease from his own works and enter the rest of God.
Divine foreknowledge and election do not, if understood properly, cause passivity or a deadening sense of inevitability in the saint. But the calling of Abraham and the nation of Israel cannot be grasped apart from the concept of Divine election nor can the creation of the Body of Christ.
9. To whom is Paul writing?
To all of God’s beloved people living in the city of Rome.
10. What was the calling of the believers in Rome?
They were called to be saints.
The term "saints" means holy ones. The name "Christian" is seldom applied to the believer in the New Testament. The word "saint" is used often, and with reason, in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. It states something about our election, our position in God, and our conduct. A believer in Christ is a saint, a holy person.
If we are not living a righteous and holy life we are not walking in the Spirit, we are not living in the Kingdom of God. It is as simple as that.
To be "saved by grace" is to be escaping the corruption that is in the world through lust—escaping by the supernatural wisdom and power being given us daily through the Holy Spirit who is dwelling in us.
Every believer is called to be a saint, called to be righteous, holy, and obedient through the Virtue that is in Christ.
We are called to be saints. We are known by the fruit of holiness.
11. What does Paul confer on the holy ones who are dwelling in the city of Rome?
Grace and peace from God the Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Grace is the blessing, wisdom, and strength of God by which we can walk in heavenly places even though we still are on the earth.
Divine peace is the Presence of Christ in our heart and mind so we possess a deeply settled awareness of joy and security, whether or not we are pleased with our outward circumstances.
12. What is Paul’s first reason for thanksgiving?
The faith of the saints in Rome was being announced throughout the whole world.
This was very important because the city of Rome was the center of government of a great empire.
13. What does Paul pray for unceasingly, concerning the saints in Rome?
Paul was praying for their welfare and that God would grant him a prosperous journey to them.
14. What was Paul’s reason for longing to see them?
Paul desired to impart to them some spiritual gift so they would be strengthened and established in the faith.
Paul had never visited the church in Rome and was writing this letter to them from Corinth. It took him three years after this letter to get there.
Perhaps Paul felt that he had exalted himself just a bit by stating that he was going to impart to them some spiritual gift. So he immediately assumed their level by explaining, "that is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me."
Few men in history have been used by the God of Heaven to a degree equal to that of the Apostle Paul. But Paul never forgot that man is the dust of the ground and that it is the Glory of the Lord that always is to be exalted.
15. Of what did Paul desire that the saints in Rome be aware?
He had often planned to come to them and bear the fruit of Christ among them just as he had among other nations; but hindrances to his visit had arisen.
16. To whom was Paul indebted to give the Presence and knowledge of Christ?
To the Greeks, to the non-Greeks, to the wise, to the unintelligent.
17. To whom was Paul now ready and eager to announce the Good News of Christ?
To people living in Rome.
18. Why was Paul not ashamed of the Good News of Christ?
Because it is the power of God to salvation to every individual who believes it and receives it.
19. To whom is the salvation of Christ directed?
To the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
20. What is revealed in the Gospel of Christ?
The righteousness of God.
21. How is God’s righteousness received and maintained?
22. How do the righteous live?
23. Read Habakkuk 2:4.
Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by his faith (Habakkuk 2:4).
"The just shall live by faith" is a foundational statement, a basic premise of the Kingdom of God. It did not originate in the New Testament but in the Book of Habakkuk.
Largely because of the theology of Martin Luther the expression the just shall live by faith has come to mean men cannot save themselves by righteous works but only by believing in the Lord Jesus.
While this is true, the conclusion being drawn from it today is not true. The current understanding of the just shall live by faith is that people are not required to seek God and to serve Him diligently because to do so would be to attempt to save oneself by works. It is said we are saved by faith alone apart from any righteous conduct on our part. This is not scriptural. It would be to maintain that one has been healed because he has called the doctor even though he still is sick.
Part of the problem arises from our defining salvation as being salvation from Hell rather than salvation from sin. We are attempting to use the Divine salvation as a means of escaping the consequences of our lawlessness, rather than what it is in actuality—a means of escaping our lawlessness.
If God’s salvation were a means of escaping the consequences of lawlessness, rather than a suspension of Divine judgment while we are being transformed into lawfulness, it would be a change in what God is. In this case the Christian Gospel would be the worst possible catastrophe. It would be far better that the universe be obliterated.
The Christian churches of our day are in moral confusion because Paul’s doctrine in the Book of Romans has been perverted into an excuse for immorality. It may be true that the Book of Romans is the most misunderstood writing of all time.
Let us think about the correct understanding of the just shall live by faith.
There are two ways in which a human being can live on the earth. He can live in pride, presumption, haughtiness, self-exaltation, self-will, self-seeking, or he can live in humble dependence on the Lord.
Man can attempt to insure his own survival, his own joy, his own communication of his worth, reputation, and eminence, his own rulership, his own achievement of lasting and worthwhile projects, or he can trust in the Lord for his survival, his joy, the communication of his worth, reputation, and eminence, his rulership, his achievement of lasting and worthwhile projects.
People live by pride and self-seeking or by trust and faith in God.
The just shall live by faith means the righteous individual is the one who journeys through life by faith in God and dependence on God, and who looks to God alone for righteousness, for approval, and for reward. It does not mean godly behavior is not a requisite of salvation. In fact, godly behavior is salvation. Godly character and behavior are the only proof, the very demonstration, of salvation. Faith apart from works of godliness is dead—and a dead faith is not the salvation that proceeds from the God of Israel!
24. What is being revealed?
The wrath of God from Heaven.
25. On what is God’s wrath falling?
On the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who are holding down, suppressing, hindering the truth by wickedness.
26. What is true of these unrighteous men?
God has made the knowledge of Himself plain to them.
27. How have the invisible truths of God been made plain?
They have been made plain since the world was created, by the things that have been created.
All of nature describes the Lord God to us. "The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handiwork" (Psalms 19:1). We can see the Glory of God in the things around us.
28. What is revealed in nature?
The eternal power of God and His Divine Nature.
29. What therefore is true?
The people who hinder the truth of God by their wickedness are without excuse. God’s power and Divinity can be witnessed on all sides in the created world.
30. How has mankind responded to the portrayal of God in nature?
People have not glorified God or given thanks to Him.
31. Instead, what has taken place?
Men and women have become vain and fruitless in their reasonings and their senseless hearts have become darkened.
32. How do people view themselves who do not trust in the Lord?
As being wise.
33. What actually is true?
They become fools. This always is the case when human beings deny their Maker.
34. What did mankind do with the Glory of the incorruptible God?
Men changed God’s Glory into idols fashioned in the image of corruptible man, of birds, of animals, of reptiles.
35. How did God respond to man’s casting Him aside?
God gave people over to the lusts of their hearts, to uncleanness, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves.
36. What exchange have people made?
They have exchanged the truth about God for a lie.
37. What have people done with the physical creation, the world of nature?
They have chosen to worship, reverence, and serve what has been created rather than Him who created all things, and who deserves their worship and praise.
38. How do the saints regard their Creator?
In our eyes He is blessed to the ages of ages. Amen.
39. What has God done because people chose to worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator?
God has abandoned the people to shameful passions.
40. What did the women do?
They exchanged natural relations for unnatural relations.
41. What did the men do?
They left the natural use of the female and burned in their lust one toward another, behaving shamefully.
42. What did such receive within themselves?
The wages suited to their acts of perversion.
43. Of what do such people not approve?
Acknowledging God; retaining Him in their knowledge.
44. What did God do with those people?
God abandoned them to a mind that no longer is able to distinguish between right and wrong—between what is acceptable and approved and what is unacceptable and disapproved.
45. What did people proceed to do as a result of losing their ability to distinguish between right and wrong?
They behaved in a manner not suitable to human beings.
46. What type of personality and behavior characterizes human beings who have been deprived of the ability to distinguish between right and wrong?
They are filled with unrighteousness, with what is not upright, not merciful, not acceptable to their Creator:
Fornication, wickedness, covetousness.
Malice, envy, murder, strife.
Guile, an evil disposition, whispering.
Gossip, slander, hating God.
Insolence, arrogance, boasting.
The invention of evil things, disobedience to parents.
Lack of understanding, treachery.
Unnatural affection, callousness, cruelty.
47. What do such human beings know and acknowledge?
The righteous sentence of God is that they who practice such things are worthy of death.
48. In spite of their knowledge of God’s laws, what do they do?
They practice these behaviors and approve of and encourage all who do such things.
1. How do we condemn ourselves?
By doing the things for which we are judging other people.
2. Of what can we be sure?
The judgment of God is according to truth with regard to every individual who practices wickedness.
3. What questions does Paul ask us?
Do we believe we will escape the judgment of God when we are practicing the wickedness for which we are condemning others? Do we despise the riches of God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience?
4. Of what fact may we be ignorant?
The kindness of God leads us to repentance.
5. What may we be doing without realizing it?
Because of our stubbornness and unrepentant heart we may be storing up wrath on ourselves—wrath that will be exercised in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.
6. How will God deal with each person in the hour when he is judged?
According to what he has done.
There is an important truth here, a truth that sometimes has been eclipsed by an incorrect understanding of how the grace of God operates under the new covenant.
Paul is the Apostle and teacher of the grace of God in Christ. Paul carefully and ably shows we are saved by the righteousness of God in Christ and that we cannot add to this righteousness by striving to keep the Law of Moses.
Paul teaches that we are saved by grace and not by works. By "works" he means the works of the Jewish Law.
Gentile Bible teachers have interpreted the word "works" to mean righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
Gentiles, not being familiar with or pressed by the Law of Moses, have interpreted Paul’s statements concerning works to mean godly behavior is not an essential aspect of salvation. We Gentiles believe we are saved by faith in Christ apart from godly behavior. Salvation independent of godly behavior is an error in Protestant theology and represents an erroneous application of Paul’s thesis.
This error in understanding has perverted beyond recognition the Gospel of grace taught by the Apostle Paul.
Being saved "by grace" has come to mean the necessary aspect of Christianity is that we make a correct statement of faith concerning Christ. Whether or not we practice righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God is not essential to our entrance into the Kingdom of God because we have been "saved by grace."
Any person who studies carefully the writings of Paul, as well as those of the other Apostles, can observe instantly that far more emphasis is placed on righteous behavior that on a correct statement of faith concerning Christ.
Jesus commanded us to let our light shine. Many Christian churches have interpreted this to mean we should tell others about the way of salvation in Christ. Is this what Jesus meant?
Or did He mean when men witness our righteous conduct they will glorify God?
Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven (Matthew 5:16).
"Your good works."
Are Christians identified by a statement of faith in Christ or by righteous conduct?
What does the saying mean, "Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them" (Matthew 7:20)?
If "by their fruits ye shall know them" means the prophets of the Lord can be identified by their statement of faith concerning Christ, then the Christian churches are true to the Scripture.
If "by their fruits ye shall know them" means the prophets of Christ are identified, not by their statement of faith but by their righteous behavior, holiness, and obedience to God, then the doctrine of Divine grace is being taught incorrectly in our day.
If the question during the Day of the Lord is whether we have made the right kind of statement about Christ, then Christians have understood Paul’s teaching concerning the grace of God.
If the question during the Day of the Lord is whether or not we have lived in righteous behavior holiness, and obedience to God, then Christians have not understood Paul’s teaching concerning the grace of God in Christ.
We will leave it to the reader to search the four Gospel accounts and determine for himself or herself what issues will be raised at the return of the Lord Jesus from Heaven.
Divine grace has been preached as an alternate road to the Kingdom of God. Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount (the fifth through the seventh chapters of Matthew) in which he described how men should live. But now we have an alternate route to the Kingdom of God. Instead of doing what Jesus said, it is enough that we "receive Him by faith." Then we will be saved "by grace alone."
Some hard-core Dispensationalists maintain that the Sermon on the Mount is not applicable to the saints because the saints are saved by grace. This one teaching alone should alert any devout believer to the fact that Dispensationalism is the enemy of Christ. Like the Pharisees of old, we have made the Word of God of none effect.
The truth is, the Sermon on the Mount contains the eternal laws of the Kingdom of God. Whoever has the Spirit of God in him will say amen to this. Of course the Sermon on the Mount applies full force to the saints of the new covenant! Any teaching to the contrary is not coming from the Lord for it makes His words irrelevant.
Every devout, experienced Christian will recognize the implications of the issue we are raising here. If salvation by grace means God has invalidated the Sermon on the Mount for the believers of the new covenant, then all is safe and well in the camp of the Christians—of which we are a part.
If salvation by grace does not mean God has invalidated the Sermon on the Mount but that the true grace of God in Christ is the Divine plan for enabling us to keep the Sermon on the Mount in this world, then millions of Christians have not understood Paul.
We are raising this issue at the point of Romans 2:6. We are raising it here because we cannot "see" or "hear" what Paul is saying further if our mind keeps on advising us that it does not apply to us because we are saved by grace and not by works.
At some point the view was advanced that we accept Christ because we cannot keep the commandments of God. All have sinned so God has decided to save us apart from our behavior. We cannot save ourselves and so God has given Jesus Christ to us so we can believe and be saved. Since this is true, the only purpose of the commandments of Christ and of His Apostles is to show us clearly that we cannot save ourselves.
This is what I was taught when I came to Christ.
It absolutely is true that all have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God. It absolutely is true that no human being can save himself. Perfect so far!
The problem is what we mean by the word "saved." We mean qualified to go to Heaven when we die to live there eternally in a mansion. This is not what the Scriptures mean by "saved."
Therefore the current view of the Christian salvation is incorrect and destructive of God’s purpose in Christ.
To be saved is to be brought into the Kingdom of God. Since there is no sin in the Kingdom of God, the program of salvation (and it is a program, a lifelong process), has to do with deliverance from sin and self-will.
It absolutely is true that all have sinned and have come short of the Glory of God. It absolutely is true that no human being can save himself, can deliver himself from sin.
God has sent the Lord Jesus Christ to deliver us from sin so we can enter His Kingdom.
Therefore we are to keep all of the commandments issued by Christ and His Apostles. God has given us grace through Christ so we can keep the commandments, not in order to provide an alternate route into the Kingdom of God!
We come boldly to the throne of grace to receive power to keep the commandments of God.
It is said we cannot save ourselves by good works. This is the same as saying we cannot be delivered from sin by practicing good works. It is true that the adamic nature cannot deliver itself from the bondages of sin. But there is grace in the Lord Jesus that can and does deliver us from sin.
"Well," one will ask, "did God us so we would be able to keep His commandments?"
The answer is, yes. Notice below:
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:10)
The new covenant is not a means of evading the commandments of God but of keeping the commandments of God. When we do not keep the commandments of God we are not bearing the fruit of Christ’s image that God is looking for. Therefore we shall be cut out of the Vine, out of Christ.
We understand, therefore, that the present understanding of the Christian salvation is incorrect. The result of the error has been the moral destruction of the churches and, as a result, the moral destruction of the secular governments that have only the moral light of the churches to guide them.
Today we see numerous pastors and believers falling into moral sin. The reason is twofold. First it is because the satanic pressure on the world has increased. Second it is because the Gospel is viewed as a means of avoiding the commandments of God rather than the means of keeping the Lord’s commandments.
In our day the Lord must remove the view of the Gospel as the Divine alternative to godly behavior. If He does not, the end of the age is surely at hand and multitudes of believers will face destruction in the day of resurrection.
The Great Commission did not charge the Apostles to go forth and advise the nations that if they "make a decision for Christ" there is no need for them to keep God’s commandments. The Great Commission charged the Apostles to teach the nations to keep the commandments of the Lord.
The end result of all of God’s covenants is people who do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. Whenever this goal is changed for any reason whatever, no matter how "correct" the reason may seem to be, we know that Satan has been at work.
If we are saved by belief alone, then God will not recompense "every man according to his deeds." God will render to every man according to his deeds except the men who have believed in Christ. God will not repay the believers according to their deeds.
The current Dispensational teaching is that upon receiving Christ the spiritual laws of cause and effect are done away. The Christian will not be held accountable for his behavior in the world. He will not reap what he sows. His lies, his stealing, his fornication, his rage, his gossiping, his self-will shall not be dealt with as will the wickedness of people who have not accepted Christ.
According to the current deception, the inhabitants of Heaven and of the new Jerusalem will not be people who practice righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. They will lie. They will steal. They will bear malice in their hearts, and they will not forgive.
Their behavior is not of critical importance because they all are saved by grace—"saved" meaning they have been allowed to enter Paradise. For ten thousand years, according to one commentator, the believers will be praising God for His grace, meaning they still are filled with wickedness but God has brought them into Paradise.
It is maintained by deceived teachers that the main thing God is searching for is our statement of belief in His Son. What kind of character we demonstrate is important, but not critically so—at least not as far as Divine judgment is concerned.
The Dispensationalist holds that a true Christian saint is one who possesses the correct statement of faith concerning the Lord Christ. Whether or not he or she practices fornication, stealing, self-will, self-exaltation, disobedience to God, murder, covetousness, or strife will not have a significant bearing on his or her destiny when death comes and Divine judgment is administered.
Do you truly believe this?
It is not what Paul, James, Peter, and John taught. It is not what Paul meant when he taught that we are saved by grace through faith.
The Scripture states:
Who will render to every man according to his deeds (Romans 2:6).
Our question is, does Romans 2:6 (above) apply to the new-covenant saint?
The writer’s conviction is that it does, with the following two provisions:
The sinful man or woman, boy or girl, on coming to the Lord Jesus for salvation, receives total forgiveness of all sins committed. This is a full pardon. God remembers these sins no longer.
When a Christian sins he is to confess the sin to the Lord and repent of his conduct, receiving Divine grace to enable him to resist the devil in the future. Upon confessing his sin he is forgiven and cleansed, and the particular behavior will never be mentioned to him again provided he does not resume practicing what has been confessed and repented of.
The above two provisions apply to the Christian. There is no provision for the individual who has not believed in Christ, who has not come under the new covenant.
If Divine grace is not an indulgent attitude on God’s part such that the behavior of Christian people is being overlooked, what relationship does grace have to the Divine standards of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God?
Divine grace, which is the Virtue of God imparted to men through Christ, includes within itself the supernatural wisdom and power which, when received by the saint, enables him or her to meet the Divine standards of righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
God’s requirements are not some fantastically difficult and complicated program beyond the mind of man to conceive. God has showed us what is good, and all He requires is that we behave righteously, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. This is all. Not so hard at that!
God has given us His Word, the body and blood of His Son, and the eternal, incorruptible resurrection Life of His Holy Spirit. He has given us these so we will have the wisdom and strength to behave righteously, love mercy, and walk humbly with God.
God expects that we will accept His forgiveness and also the provisions He has made so we will live in obedience to His will. God never allows any saint at any time to be tempted beyond God’s provisions. There always is a way of escape that has been constructed for the particular temptation.
To maintain we are debtors to the flesh to walk in the flesh; to say we are condemned to disobey God while we are in the world; is to deny the ability of the new covenant to make us new creatures in Christ.
If we will study the Scripture, examining the provisions God has made for us and mix faith with the Word that we read, we will find that God is expecting each saint to grow in grace. To grow in grace is to mature in the ability to distinguish between good and evil and in the strength to choose the good.
The mark of maturity is skill in the word of righteousness (Hebrews 5:13).
Now you have become aware of two different viewpoints of Divine grace. The first viewpoint is that Jesus saves us in our sins so we can go to Heaven. The second viewpoint is that Jesus saves us from our sins so we no longer will be incurring the wrath of God but can have fellowship with Him throughout all the marvels of the ages to come.
Which viewpoint do you choose to believe?
Your choice may determine whether or not you decide to conduct your life as the Lamb and His Apostles taught us; and as a result whether you enter the Kingdom of God.
As we proceed in our study of the Book of Romans you may notice that the writer of this Study Guide favors the second viewpoint, and will interpret Paul’s statements in the light that Divine grace (which in its fullest sense is the Lord Jesus Himself) includes the power to overcome sin.
7. What will people receive, who, with steadfast endurance in well-doing, are seeking for glory, honor, and immortality?
Let us consider Romans 2:7 for just a moment:
To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
If we are speaking of people who have never received Christ, we are claiming that an individual can receive eternal life by good works. Is this true?
If we are speaking of people who have received Christ, we are stating that a Christian person must endure steadfastly in well-doing, continually seeking for glory and honor and immortality, if he or she is to attain eternal life. Is this true?
We Christians must—absolutely must—endure steadfastly in well-doing if we are to attain eternal life. We must choose each day to live in Christ. Eternal life does not come on the basis of a correct statement concerning the work of redemption and the lordship of Christ. Rather, eternal life comes to us as we cast ourselves on God through Christ, receiving into ourselves the Divine Life that enables us to escape the lusts of the world.
8. What will people (Christian or not) receive who are contentious and self-willed and are not yielding to the truth but to unrighteousness?
Anger and wrath, tribulation, and sorrow, on every soul of man who practices evil—on the Jew first, and also the Greek.
9. Who will receive glory, honor and peace from God?
Every person who practices what is good in God’s sight—the Jew first, and also the Greek.
10. What is true of God’s attitude toward sin?
God’s anger is directed against sin no matter who the person is who is committing it.
Being a Jew or a Christian does not qualify us to escape Divine judgment!
11. What is true of people who have sinned without having a knowledge of the Law?
They will perish without reference to the Law.
The spiritual principle is that we are judged in terms of our knowledge of God. To whom much is given, much is required. To whom little is given, little is required. When the Law comes, sin "revives" because the Law brings to us the knowledge of sin.
One error in Christian theology is the concept that people who never have heard the Gospel of Christ will be cast into the Lake of Fire. This doctrine is heartless, unrighteous, and does not agree with the manner in which the Scriptures describe the administration of the judgment of God.
Notice the following passages of Scripture. They teach that God judges us according to what we know, not according to what we do not know or what we have not heard.
And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more (Luke 12:47,48).
If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin: but now they have no cloke for their sin (John 15:22).
If I had not done among them the works which none other man did, they had not had sin: but now have they both seen and hated both me and my Father (John 15:24).
For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed (ascribed) when there is no law (Romans 5:13).
"Sin is not imputed when there is no law"!
12. What is true of people who possess God’s Law and sin against the Law?
They are judged on the basis of the Law (of Moses) they possess.
13. Who are justified in the sight of God?
Not the hearers of the Law but the doers of the Law.
We need to keep this principle in mind. Building our house on the rock is not only to study what Jesus has commanded or to believe Jesus is God’s Son, but to do what He commanded.
14. What is true of the nations who, although they do not possess a knowledge of God’s Law, practice by their instincts the deeds that God’s Law declares to be righteous?
Although they do not know God’s Law, they are a law to themselves.
Many of the tribes of the earth who have never heard of the Scriptures have developed moral codes—principles of right and wrong. Sometimes these correspond to the eternal moral law of God. Honor, truth, honesty, loyalty, courage, moral cleanliness are found in some of the native codes of conduct. The tribes judge themselves in terms of their own standards, their own conscience.
15. What do such tribes reveal?
They show the requirements of the Law (of Moses) written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness as to what is right or wrong.
God’s eternal moral law, from which the Law of Moses was derived, never changes, whether we are speaking of the old covenant, the new covenant, or no covenant. It always has been, it is and shall continue to be, wrong and evil to bear false witness, to steal, to murder, to commit adultery.
There are instances where tribes of the earth have adopted codes contrary to these principles of right and wrong. This is not because their hearts or consciences are different from other men, it is because demon spirits have warped their natural instincts of right and wrong. When these spirits are cast out their natural instincts of right and wrong will be restored.
16. What is true of the unlearned nations with regard to their reasonings?
They accuse or excuse their behavior according to their understanding of right and wrong.
17. When will all such codes, behaviors, and reasonings be revealed?
In the Day when God judges the secrets of men by Christ, just as Paul taught us.
18. What is true of the Jew?
He relies on the Law of Moses.
He boasts in God.
He knows God’s will.
He is able to approve of what is superior, having been instructed from the Law.
19. Of what is the Jew confident because he possesses the Law of Moses?
He is a guide to the blind.
He is a light to those who are in darkness.
He is an instructor of the foolish.
He is a teacher of infants.
20. By having the Law, what does the Jew possess?
The framework of knowledge and truth.
21. What does Paul ask the Jew, therefore?
You who are teaching others, aren’t you teaching yourself?
You who preach a man should not steal, do you steal?
You who say a man should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?
You who abhor idols, are you committing sacrilege?
You who boast about the Law, are you dishonoring God by breaking the Law?
22. What has the behavior of the Jews caused to take place?
The name of God has been blasphemed among the nations because of the Jews, just as it is written.
23. Ezekiel 36:20.
And when they entered unto the heathen, whither they went, they profaned my holy name, when they said to them, These are the people of the Lord, and are gone forth out of his land (Ezekiel 36:20).
24. When is circumcision profitable?
When the moral requirements of the Law are being observed.
25. What is true when the Law is being broken and wickedness is being practiced?
Circumcision becomes uncircumcision.
26. What happens when the uncircumcised Gentile keeps the requirements of the Law?
His uncircumcision is counted as circumcision.
27. What will the uncircumcised Gentile, who is fulfilling the Law, be able to do?
He will be able to judge those who, although they possess the letter of the Law and covenant of circumcision, are breaking the Law.
28. Who is not a true Jew?
The person who is a Jew only by race and not by behavior.
Notice that the true Jew is the individual who keeps God’s commandments. This is the same under all Divine covenants.
29. What is not true circumcision?
That which is in the flesh but not in the heart.
30. Who is a true Jew?
He who is one inwardly.
31. What is true circumcision?
That which is of the heart, a spiritual covenant, not just according to the letter of the Law.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked (Deuteronomy 10:16).
32. What else distinguishes the true Jew?
His praise comes from God, not from men.
This may be a play on the Hebrew name Judah, meaning "praise," from which the term Jew has been derived.
1. In what way, then, is the Jew superior? Of what profit is the rite of circumcision?
There is much superiority and profit. First, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles, the Word of God.
2. What was true if some of the Jews did not mix faith with the Word that was given to them?
Their unbelief did not make God’s faithfulness of no effect.
The concept here may be that the lack of trust of some of the Jews in the oracles, the Scriptures, that were entrusted to them, could not in any manner take away from the trustworthiness of the Scriptures. When the Jews broke the faith, this did not mean the integrity of what God had given was harmed or changed in any manner.
The Jews were supposed to approach the Law with faith, thus learning to walk in righteousness before the Lord. Instead, the Scripture took the place of the Lord, and the Jews served by the letter of what was written instead of looking to God continually for every aspect of life.
The same mistake has been made by Christians. The grace of God is intended to lead the Christian to faith in God through the Lord Jesus, resulting in righteous behavior. Instead the grace of God has been perverted into an excuse to break the moral commandments of the Lord.
3. What will always be the case?
God will prove to be true while every man is found to be a liar.
4. Read Psalms 51:4.
Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest (Psalms 51:4).
5. If our unrighteousness establishes God’s righteousness, what question is raised?
Is God unrighteous when He inflicts wrath on men who, by their unrighteousness behavior, are demonstrating God’s righteousness?
At this point, Paul is taking it on himself to apply human reasoning to God’s Person and ways.
6. What is Paul’s answer to the question that has been raised by human thinking?
No, God is not unrighteous when He inflicts wrath on people who are practicing unrighteousness, even though their unrighteous behavior establishes God’s righteousness.
If God’s determinations were unrighteous He would not be able to judge the world.
7. What additional question is raised by Paul?
If Paul’s lie, Paul’s sin, has caused the truth of God to abound to God’s glory, why would Paul then be judged as a sinner?
8. What have some people accused Paul of teaching?
Let us practice evil behavior so good may be produced.
Some Christian teachers have come close to such a conclusion in their teachings of grace. They have stated that any attempt on our part to live righteously is an affront to Divine grace. This type of preposterous, harmful conclusion is reached when one aspect of Divine truth is emphasized and the remainder neglected.
9. What conclusion does Paul reach concerning such teachers?
God is just when He judges them.
10. What does Paul ask now?
Are we better than those who misunderstand the grace of God?
Are we, who understand that God does not want us to practice wickedness so His righteousness may be enlarged, better than those who advocate such foolishness?
11. What is Paul’s answer?
No, because God already has charged both Jews and Greeks with sin—all have sinned.
Psalms 5:9; 10:7; 14:2,3; 36:1; 140:3; Isaiah 59:7,8.
For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inner part is very wickedness; their throat is an open sepulchre; they flatter with their tongue (Psalms 5:9).
His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud: under his tongue is mischief and vanity (Psalms 10:7).
The Lord looked down from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all together become filthy: there is none that doeth good, no, not one (Psalms 14:2,3).
The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, that there is no fear of God before his eyes (Psalms 36:1).
They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent; adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah (Psalms 140:3).
Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace (Isaiah 59:7,8).
13. What conclusion can be drawn from the above passages?
Every person on the earth is guilty before God of wickedness and rebellion.
14. To whom does the Law speak?
To those who possess the Law, who are living under the Law.
15. What is true, therefore?
Every mouth is closed and the whole world is brought under Divine judgment.
The Gentiles, having not the Law of Moses, are under Divine judgment because they chose to ignore the knowledge of God that has been given to them through the natural creation.
The Jews, who do possess the Law given at the hand of Moses, are under Divine judgment because they have not observed the commandments of the Law.
16. Can any human being become justified before God by performing the works of the Law of Moses?
17. What does the Law of Moses (the Ten Commandments) bring to us?
The recognition of sin.
Divine Law gives the ability to distinguish between good and evil (Genesis 2:9).
18. What has been manifested and witnessed to by the Law and the Prophets?
A righteousness from God apart from law.
Let us repeat our earlier comment. We Gentiles have interpreted Paul’s "righteousness of God without the law" to mean, "righteousness of God apart from godly living"—a destructive error.
The following quotation from Taylor (Tyndale House Publishers. Living Letters by Kenneth N. Taylor), quoted in The New Testament from 26 Translations, comments on Romans 3:21: "But now God has shown us a different way to heaven—not by being ‘good enough’ and trying to keep his laws...."
Apart from the fact that finding the way to Heaven is never presented by Paul as being the goal of salvation, nor does going to Heaven have anything to do with the context of Romans 3:21, a Gentile would understand "not by being ‘good enough’ and trying to keep his laws" to mean God has given us a plan of salvation whereby we may live in immorality without affecting our relationship to God.
Not having read enough of Taylor’s work to know whether he takes care of this problem in his text or notes, we do realize we have a good illustration, in this fragment of his commentary, of the manner in which the Apostle Paul has been interpreted.
The expression "the righteousness of God without the law" means vastly more than an imputed (ascribed) righteousness. The righteousness of God without the Law comes as we leave Moses and are married to Christ. Our marriage to Christ, requiring as it does an intense interaction with the living Christ in every detail of life, produces a righteousness of character and behavior that the Law never could produce.
We leave one source of godly character and behavior, the Law of Moses observed by a devout heart, and go to another source of godly character and behavior, which is the forming and dwelling of Christ in us.
When studying Romans, we must keep in mind that Paul had an ongoing battle with Jewish theologians and teachers who were insisting that righteousness could come by the Law of Moses. Some of the Jewish teachers had become Christians and they believed that the new converts must follow Moses as well as Christ. Paul’s argument against mixing Moses with Christ must be seen from this standpoint; otherwise, Paul appears to be saying the grace of the new covenant can function apart from the formation of a new creation.
Paul’s employment of the term works does not refer to upright, godly behavior, but to the Law of Moses or a similar body of religious observances. The Law of Moses, and the new covenant, have precisely the same objective: to cause us to practice righteousness, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with God.
The difference between the old covenant and the new covenant is not that the old covenant works by the letter and the new covenant works by faith. The eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews uses people from the time of Abel to prove to us that no person, under the old covenant or the new, ever pleased God other than by faith.
The people under the old covenant displeased God, attempting to please God apart from faith in Him. Devout Jews do the same today as they attempt to keep the Sabbath by not throwing a light switch. The Sabbath commandment has nothing to do with throwing a light switch or riding in an elevator. The Sabbath commandment has to do with setting apart a day to think about God and to seek His pleasure, not with straining over light switches.
Again, God gave us the new covenant so we might exercise faith toward Himself. And again, we have missed the point entirely. We have adopted a few key verses, such as Romans 10:9,10, and by means of these we hope to avoid the important issues of judgment, mercy, and faith. We have made the same mistake as the Jews—and for the same reason. Our hearts are not right in the sight of God!
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it (Hebrews 4:2).
"Not being mixed with faith"!
The Jews were supposed to mix faith with the gospel of deliverance from Egypt and possession of the land of promise, but they did not do so. They chose instead to follow the letter of the statutes while their hearts were far from God. This was a perennial complaint of the Lord against Israel.
Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no more stiffnecked (Deuteronomy 10:16).
And rend your heart, and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil (Joel 2:13).
He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to practice righteousness, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8).
The difference between the two covenants is not only that one was of the letter and the other is by faith. The main difference is, the old covenant contains a provision for forgiving sin while the new covenant contains both a provision for forgiving sin and also a provision for removing the tendencies of sin. Both covenants require faith on the part of the worshiper, for without faith it never has been possible to please God.
The confusion over the nature of new-covenant grace is an understandable error, given the complexity of the concept, but it has been deadly in its effect. True saints must now throw off the false security given by the teaching of "workless grace" and follow the exhortations to holiness given by the Lord Jesus and the Apostles of the Lamb.
Later passages in Romans, as well as the tenor of Paul’s writings in all of His Epistles, reveal beyond doubt that Paul lived and taught righteousness, and indeed would be appalled were he to see how his exposition of Divine grace has been interpreted by us Gentiles.
19. What righteousness has been revealed?
A righteousness coming from God through faith in Christ for all those who believe, no difference being made between Jew and Gentile.
20. What is true of all persons on the earth?
All have sinned and come short of the Glory of God.
21. What is true of each person who believes in Christ?
He is declared righteous as a gift by God’s grace, through the redemption that is in Christ.
22. In what role has God presented Christ to the world?
As the Mercy Seat, as the propitiatory covering, as the atonement, the reconciliation to God, so through faith in the blood of Jesus the sinner may possess the means of satisfying the requirements of Divine justice, enabling him to come into the Presence of God.
23. What has God accomplished by presenting Christ as the appeasing, reconciling, satisfying blood-covering?
God has shown His righteousness with respect to the sins that have been committed previously. He has provided this means of demonstrating His righteousness to people, while at the same time, in His forbearance, "passing over" the sins that men have practiced.
In the cross God has demonstrated both Divine righteousness and Divine mercy. Divine justice has not been harmed and a way has been provided for the repentant, believing sinner.
24. Again, what does the blood-offering of Jesus proclaim?
The blood of Christ reveals the righteousness of the Lord God of Heaven. The blood of the cross declares that God is righteous and that He has made righteous with God’s own righteousness the person who places his faith in Christ.
25. What has happened to man’s boasting about a righteousness he has earned by keeping the Law?
It has been excluded.
26. What law is it that has ruled out boasting about righteousness?
Not a law requiring religious observances but a law requiring faith.
27. What is Paul’s conclusion?
A man is counted as being righteous on the basis of having placed his faith in the provision God has made through Christ, the works of the Law not being able to add anything to it or to subtract from it.
28. Is God the God of Jews only?
No, He is the God of Gentiles also.
Notice the importance of the Jew, in Paul’s thinking, with the Gentile being of secondary emphasis.
Is important to keep in mind that the Jew always is first in the plan of God. Because God has dispersed the Jews for two thousand years, the Gentiles have assumed that they have inherited the place in God’s Kingdom formerly held by Jews. This is not the case. Christianity in the beginning was a Jewish religion and will once again be a Jewish religion when the Lord gathers His people from the ends of the earth. We Gentiles are guests at the banquet.
29. If it is true that the same God makes righteous the circumcised Jews by faith and the uncircumcised Gentiles through faith, have we then made the Law of no effect?
No, we have upheld the Law.
It appears to us, from the text of the Book of Romans and from the logic of what is being stated by Paul, that by the term Law he is referring to the Ten Commandments and to related moral injunctions (Romans 7:2,7).
The substance of the discussion from Chapters One through Eight is the transgression of the Divine standards of moral righteousness, and the provision God has made under the new covenant for delivering people from the guilt and the power of the transgressions.
It seems clear that Paul is thinking about the moral conduct of human beings, especially of those in the lustful city of Rome—Jews and Gentiles alike. God has made a way of salvation through Christ that deals directly with the problem of such immoral, abominable behavior.
The Divine grace in Christ does not do away with the Law of God as though God has changed His standards for human behavior.
God and His eternal moral law, of which the Law of Moses is an abbreviated, negative part, never change. They are eternal. Sin is sin and the soul that sins shall die. This rule shall never be changed in any manner whatever.
Calvary does not demonstrate that God has changed His mind about what is right and what is wrong. Rather, the judgment that fell on Christ on the cross reveals to us the terrible consequences of immorality and lawlessness.
God never is indulgent toward the sins of Christians, as some appear to believe. Not at all. Some believers are rebuked and chastened by the Lord Jesus to their astonishment and dismay, shaking their trust in the goodness of God (I Corinthians 11:32, Revelation 3:19).
Every one of our sins was carried to the cross by the Lord Jesus Christ. Not one sin was overlooked. Not one was left unaccounted for. It is not true that God overlooks or is indulgent toward the sins of Christian people. A fearful price was paid for each sin of each person.
If we keep this thought in mind we will not be so careless about committing sin. If we realize sins must be accounted for, and that our Lord Jesus had to bear them in His own body, we may not be so willing to add to Christ’s burden and grief.
No, the Law was not whisked away by the Lord God of Heaven in a change of mood. The awful consequences of rebellion and immorality were paid to the last drop of agony, as the Lord Jesus descended into Hell under the crushing weight of our moral transgressions, our wickedness, our rebellion.
Therefore Calvary did not change the Law, it established the Law in that it revealed the terrible penalty for sin and then made it possible for those who believe to be forgiven.
1. Whom does Paul discuss now?
Abraham, the "father" of the Jews by physical descent, and the father of all who believe by the promises of the Scriptures.
2. What would have been true if Abraham had been declared to be a righteous man on the basis of his observance of the moral law of God?
Abraham would have possessed grounds for boasting.
3. What, then, would have been true of his boasting?
It would not have been a boasting that gave credit to God.
4. What does the Scripture declare concerning Abraham’s righteousness?
"Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness."
Abraham was called out of the large, prosperous city of Ur of the Chaldees. There was no basis of which we know for his being selected in this manner, other than the will and grace of God.
The concept of election, of foreknowledge, of predestination, of grace is based on the Lord’s calling of people in this fashion. There is no basis for the Lord’s selections other than His own will and purposes.
The Scriptures are a record of a righteous God seeking men, not of righteous men seeking God. The Scriptures are a record of God’s grace.
One starry night, after Abram had rescued Lot from Chedorlaomer, the Lord spoke to him a word of comfort and assurance: "Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward."
Abram (Abraham) told the Lord what was on his heart: "And Abram said, Behold, to me thou hast given no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir."
Then God promised Abraham: "And, behold, the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir."
At this point God brought Abraham from his tent.
... Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness (Genesis 15:5,6).
The Lord gave to Paul the Apostle the responsibility of explaining the transition from the old covenant to the new covenant. This explanation brought Paul into conflict with such leaders as the Apostle Peter.
Paul based his explanation of the transition—of the way the new covenant differs from the old covenant—on the manner in which Abraham received the status of righteousness in the sight of God.
God gave to Abraham a promise concerning the Seed who would come from his own body and who would be multiplied as the stars of heaven.
Abraham believed and received God’s promise, although his natural circumstances at that time did not seem to confirm what God was saying.
The Lord God counted Abraham’s belief in the promise as being righteousness.
The righteousness proceeded from Abraham’s belief in the promise of the Lord, not from any success or failure in the practice of the moral law of God—the law expressed later in the Ten Commandments and Levitical statutes.
5. What is true of the person who attempts to attain righteousness by keeping the works of the Law?
The reward of righteousness does not come as the gift of God but as the payment for what has been earned.
6. What is true of the person who does not attain righteousness by keeping the works of the Law but who believes in God who justifies the ungodly?
His faith is reckoned as righteousness.
7. What did David declare concerning the blessedness of the man to whom God reckons righteousness apart from the works of law?
Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile (Psalms 32:1,2).
8. What important question does Paul raise?
Does the blessing of freely ascribed righteousness come on the circumcised Jews only, or on the uncircumcised Gentiles also (keeping in mind that Abraham’s faith was regarded as righteousness)?
9. Who was it that received righteousness because of his faith in God’s promise of a multiplied Seed?
10. Was the righteousness given to him before or after he was circumcised?
Before he was circumcised.
11. Of what was the sign of circumcision a seal?
The sign of circumcision was a seal of the righteousness that has been reckoned to him because of his faith—faith that had been demonstrated before he was circumcised.
12. Why was righteousness reckoned to Abraham before he was circumcised?
So he might be the father of all who believe in God’s promise, although they have not been circumcised, that righteousness might be ascribed also to them.
13. To whom is Abraham the father of the circumcised?
To those Jews who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that Abraham exercised before he was circumcised.
14. On what basis was the promise given to Abraham and to his Seed that he should be the heir of the world?
Not through the Law but through the righteousness resulting from faith.
15. What is true if the inheritance is given on the basis of keeping the Law?
Faith has been made useless and the promise amounts to nothing.
16. What does the Law bring?
17. What is true where there is no law?
There is no violation of the law.
There was no written law of God at the time that Abraham received righteousness on the basis of his faith in the promise of God. The Ten Commandments were given several hundred years later.
In his writings, Paul makes it clear that God does not judge people in terms of light they have not seen.
Manmade laws may obligate people who are ignorant of them, but it is not so with the Law of God.
The Law of God is light. When that light comes it reveals sin. When sin has been exposed, Divine judgment must be exercised.
Adam and Eve were forbidden to eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is the Law of God, because God had not clothed them as yet. They became conscious of sin before Divine preparation had been made for their garments of righteousness, so to speak.
The Ten Commandments were given in God’s time. The moment the commandments came, sin was revealed and mankind became guilty and died spiritually.
For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died (Romans 7:9).
The garments of righteousness with which to clothe our nakedness are given to us through the Lord Jesus Christ and His atoning death.
Where there is no Law there is no transgression, no spiritual nakedness. The moment the Law comes our sinful condition is illuminated. We see, then, that Divine wrath, not salvation or inheritance, comes to us through the Law of God.
The Law brings death but Christ brings eternal, incorruptible life.
18. By what means do we obtain righteousness and salvation?
By faith in God’s promise.
19. Why has God based our attaining His righteousness on the exercise of our faith rather than on our performance of the works of the Law?
People can receive the pure righteousness of God as His gift, under His conditions, and in the manner and to the extent that satisfies God. This, instead of attempting to attain His lofty requirements through their own faulty efforts to keep the Ten Commandments by human virtue, wisdom, and strength.
20. Since the achievement of righteousness comes by God’s gift of grace, who is eligible to receive it?
The promise is certain to all the Seed, not to those only who are under the Law but also to those who are the children of Abraham by faith. Abraham is the father of the believing circumcised Jews and the believing uncircumcised Gentiles.
21. Of whom is Abraham a father?
Of many nations, not only of the Jewish nation.
22. In whose sight is Abraham our father?
In the sight of God.
23. What is God able to do?
To raise the dead into life, and to refer to things as being in existence although they are not as yet in existence in the material world.
God describes the future as He will and is hindered by nothing.
24. Did Abraham have physical grounds for hope that he might have a son?
25. What did he do, nevertheless?
He chose to believe God indeed had given hope where there was no reason to hope.
26. What was Abraham’s hope?
That he would become the father of many nations, based on the fact that God had told him his Seed would be as the stars in the sky.
27. What consideration did not weaken Abraham’s faith?
The fact that his body, being about a hundred years of age, was dead as far as bearing a son was concerned. The same condition was true of his wife, Sarah.
28. How did Abraham respond to the promise of God concerning his Seed?
Abraham did not doubt through unbelief but grew strong through his faith, giving glory to God.
29. Of what was Abraham persuaded?
What God had promised He was able also to do.
30. Exactly what was counted to Abraham as righteousness?
The fact that he was persuaded, assured, that what God has promised He is able also to do. Faith in God’s integrity and ability assigns God’s righteousness to us.
We are saved by God’s grace working through our faith. Our faith maintains that what God has declared to be true in the Scriptures is eternally true and reliable. The righteous live by their faith in the dependability of God and His Word.
To the end of his life on the earth the Apostle Paul was seeking to grasp ever more firmly the righteousness that comes from faith in God and His Word (Philippians 3:9). Interacting with God through faith produced in Paul the life lived in the power of Christ’s resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings.
31. When the Scripture declares that righteousness was ascribed to Abraham on the basis of his faith in God’s promise, is it referring only to him?
No, it is referring also to us who believe in the One who raised Jesus our Lord from among the dead.
32. Why was Christ delivered over to death?
To make an atonement (reconciliation) for our offenses against God’s Law.
33. Why was Christ raised from among the dead?
So we may be declared righteous in the sight of God.
The substitution of Christ’s life for our life was necessary in order to make an atonement for our sins. The innocent had to die for the guilty in order to balance the scales of Divine justice and righteousness.
The scales have been balanced (for had they not been balanced, righteousness could not have been ascribed to us under any circumstances). Since God the Father has raised Christ from the dead the way is now clear for ascribed righteousness to flow to us as individuals.
Upon what basis will righteousness be ascribed?
Righteousness will be ascribed on the basis of our faith in the promise of God, as was true of Abraham.
But on what promise will our faith rest? The promise that Christ died for our sins and that God raised Him again as an evidence that the sacrifice has been accepted. It remains to us to believe in God, and to demonstrate our belief by receiving the remission of sins that God has provided through the death of His Son.
If we will believe God has forgiven us through Christ, that Christ has been raised from the dead, and that we too will be raised from the dead, God will declare us righteous apart from the works of the Law just as He declared Abraham righteous apart from the works of the Law.
1. On what basis is the saint, Jew or Gentile, declared righteous?
On the basis of his or her faith in the things God has promised through Christ, just as was true of Abraham.
2. How is peace established between God and us?
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, as we rest our faith and trust on Him and His work.
3. What has brought us into this grace of God in Christ in which we stand?
Our faith, as it grasps the redemption that is in Christ.
4. In what do we rejoice?
In the hope of entering the Glory of God.
5. In what else do we rejoice?
6. What does tribulation produce in us ?
7. What does endurance, or perseverance, result in?
8. What does character bring to us?
9. What does our hope insure?
That we will never be put to shame.
10. What is true of the saint who is enduring in the hope that God has given us through Christ?
The love of God has filled his heart through the Holy Spirit who was given to him.
11. What took place while we still were weak and helpless?
At the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
12. Is it likely that someone would be willing to give his life for a righteous man?
13. Would someone be willing to give his life for a good man?
14. But how did God demonstrate His love toward us?
Christ died on our behalf while we were yet sinners.
15. On what authority have we been declared to be righteous?
On the authority of the blood of Christ that was offered on the cross.
16. If we have been declared to be righteous through His blood, what certainly must be true?
We will be saved through Him from the Divine wrath.
17. What state were we in when we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son?
We were the enemies of God.
18. If when we were God’s enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, what is certainly true?
We will be saved through the life of the Lord Jesus.
19. What else is true?
We are rejoicing in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have been reconciled to God.
20. How did sin enter the world?
Through one man—Adam.
21. How did death enter the world?
22. How was death able to gain power over all men?
All men have sinned.
23. Was sin in the world before the Law of Moses?
24. What is the case when there is no Law?
Sin is not reckoned, not charged to our account.
25. What happened, nevertheless?
Death ruled from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned in the same manner that Adam did.
Even though we are not guilty when we are ignorant of God’s will, it also is true that we reap the consequences of our actions. An unlearned person may have a clear conscience before God when he fornicates with a prostitute. But he may nevertheless contract a venereal disease.
26. Of whom is Adam a type, a figure, a foreshadowing?
The Lord Jesus Christ.
27. How does the offense of Adam differ from the gift that came by Christ?
Many people died as a result of the offence that Adam committed; but through the one man, Christ, many people were able to receive the grace of God and the gift of righteousness (which brings eternal life) included in that grace.
28. How does the gift that came to us through Christ differ from what we received through Adam?
The sentence of judgment was passed on the one sin of Adam bringing condemnation on all mankind; but the gift of God in Christ, recognizing the multitude of the sins of mankind, brings the righteousness of God to all who will receive it.
29. What spirit gained power over mankind as a result of the offence of Adam?
30. What, then, will certainly be true of those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness?
They will reign in the authority and power of eternal, incorruptible life through the one Man, Christ.
31. What resulted from the one transgression of Adam?
Condemnation came on all mankind.
32. What resulted from one act of Divine righteousness?
All mankind became eligible to receive God’s righteousness, which in turn brings eternal life in place of death.
33. What resulted from Adam’s disobedience?
Many people were made sinners.
34. What will be the result of the obedience of Christ?
Many people will be made righteous.
35. Why was the Law introduced?
That sin might be more sinful, might abound.
36. What provision has God now made?
A covering of grace that abounds to a greater extent than did sin when the Law was given.
The Law of Moses demonstrates how sinful human conduct actually is. It reveals also how great God’s mercy and love are. The greater our sin is seen to be, the greater God’s love is seen to be as He forgives and removes the sin.
God’s grace is greater that our sin.
37. How does sin rule in death?
Sin results in:
Separation from the Divine Life that is in Christ.
The urge to keep sinning.
The destruction of the body.
Finally, residence in Hell and then in the Lake of Fire.
The worst result of sin is that we are separated in this world and the next from the Presence of the Father, from the Presence of the Lamb, from the company of the saints and holy angels—from all that is joyous and peaceful.
38. How does grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life, through Christ our Lord?
Through grace we receive forgiveness of our sins. Being in a state of righteousness, we now are eligible to receive the Holy Spirit. Christ is born in us. We receive His body and His blood as Divine Substance and Life within us.
Each day we behold the Glory of God in the face of Christ, and each day we are transformed into the image of what we are beholding.
The Holy Spirit is eternal, incorruptible resurrection Life within us. The body and blood of Christ are eternal Life within us. The Divine Life enables us to walk in the light of fellowship with the Father. As we continue each day in fellowship with the Father, the blood of His Son, Christ, cleanses us from all sin.
We are receiving the grace, the Virtue, of God continually. God’s Virtue is enabling us to overcome the world, Satan, and our own flesh and self-will. The rule of grace keeps on creating righteousness in our personality. The end result is that we are living, moving, and having our being in eternal, resurrection life—life being issued to us from the Throne of God in Heaven.
1. What question does Paul raise based on what he has just taught concerning our receiving righteousness on the basis of our faith in Christ?
Should we continue in sin, that grace may abound—grace meaning the gift of righteousness and virtue that comes to us on the basis of our faith in the promise of God?
2. What is Paul’s answer?
May it never be!
A related question is, will the sins of the Christian be judged, or has the believer been released from the consequences of his actions because of his statement of belief in Christ?
Our point of view is, the believer is not released from the consequences of his actions, with two specific provisions:
The sins committed before the individual heard the Gospel and received the Lord Jesus. These are covered by the blood of the Lamb.
The sins that the believer confesses and forsakes as he walks in the light of God’s will. These are forgiven and removed by the Lord Jesus.
It indeed is remarkable that the God of Heaven entrusted to one man—Paul—the explanation of the nature of the new covenant and the ways in which the new covenant differs from the old covenant.
The differences between the two covenants are not as easy to explain as we might wish. Many Christian people would find it quite difficult to explain the principal points of difference.
Paul understood the differences and presented them clearly. But the teachers and saints even of his own day could not grasp Paul’s thinking.
Peter reflected on the problem:
As also in all his [Paul’s] epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction (II Peter 3:16).
We understand, therefore, that the Scripture itself reports that the writings of Paul contain "things hard to be understood." Apparently Peter himself did not understand the principal differences between the two covenants. It appears he did not clearly understand the relationship of circumcision to Christ’s salvation (Galatians 2:14).
In explaining the difference between the two covenants many Christians would say, "We are not under the Law but under grace." The problem is, they would not be able to define grace in a manner that would correspond to Paul’s epistles.
Most likely they would claim that grace means God overlooks the sins of Gentiles who believe in Jesus whereas He would not overlook the sins of the Jews under the old covenant; or that righteousness came from obeying the letter of the old covenant while righteousness now results from faith under the new covenant.
This would be a mixture of errors. God does not overlook the sins of Gentiles who believe in Jesus. Also it is not true that righteousness came from obeying the letter of the old covenant. From the days of Abel righteousness always has come by faith, as we read in the eleventh chapter of the Book of Hebrews.
The faith of today’s Christianism is not always true faith in the Lord Jesus because true faith in the Lord Jesus leads to a new creation. Faith in the Lord is a continuing relationship with the living Jesus in every detail of life. Today’s "faith" tends to be a belief about Jesus. The demons have no faith in the Lord Jesus but they do indeed have a belief about Jesus.
It is important today for Christian believers to understand the changes that are made as we pass from the old covenant to the new covenant, and also aspects that remain the same throughout all of God’s covenants.
A Christian believer might say, "I am not saved by works but by grace." If he were asked to define what he meant by works he might present the meaning as "doing good"; "not sinning"; "being like Jesus"; or a similar definition. Also, he probably would explain grace as salvation obtained by acknowledging and accepting Christ as the Son of God apart from godliness of character and behavior. This is the modern form of Gnosticism, an ancient heresy that emphasized the possession of certain secrets of knowledge, belief in which would bring the person into union with God.
If Paul, in the early chapters of Romans, meant we are saved by belief in points of theology pertaining to Christ, and godly moral behavior is not the proof of our salvation, then Paul is contradicting Jude, First John, Hebrews, First and Second Peter, Revelation, much of the writings of the Old Testament Prophets, and the bulk of his own statements in his Epistles.
Paul, in his arguments, was not contrasting grace and righteous behavior. If he were, then God’s goal no longer is a new creation but a universe of people whose acceptability to the Lord results from their belief in an abstract, imputed (ascribed) righteousness.
Someone recently taught that the saints do not have to overcome sin. Jesus did all the overcoming, they stated, and we receive perfect righteousness by believing that Jesus overcame sin. Our belief "actualizes" victory in us. Furthermore, they maintained, whenever we are convicted of sin, this is a trick, a lie of Satan. There can be no sin in us because we believe in the victory won by the Lord Jesus. This is Gnosticism.
An experienced Christian might find such a viewpoint too close to Christian Science or other "science of mind" doctrines or the "faith-prosperity" errors to accept it as being the Divine plan of salvation. There would be no reason for the Christian to put on his armor because there is no need for him to fight. Jesus did it all.
But how does the "Jesus did it all" approach to salvation differ from the concept that righteousness comes by faith in Christ apart from godly behavior (which is the basic Christian position)?
It appears to us that the two doctrines come from the same root.
If Christian grace is salvation by naked belief in the existence and atoning work of Christ, then repentance can never have a place in the Christian experience. Of what would one repent if God does not see his behavior except through Christ?
If Jesus did all the overcoming and we merely accept the finished work by faith, then repentance is a meaningless exercise. In fact, it is an affront to God who already has given us perfect righteousness.
We saints may suspect that something is wrong with the concept of receiving and maintaining a perfect state of righteousness apart from a change of our behavior. But Paul’s writings are so hard for us to understand we are unable to pinpoint the error.
When Paul spoke of works he actually was referring to the observances of the Law of Moses, including the Ten Commandments, circumcision, the Sabbath day, the dietary regulations, and the sacrifices of the Tabernacle of the Congregation.
Certain Jewish teachers, some seeking their own gain, were following the Apostles into the Gentile assemblies and teaching the Law of Moses. When Paul contrasts grace and the Law of Moses, as he does in the beginning chapters of the Book of Romans, he is refuting the teaching of the Jewish teachers.
Paul is contrasting being saved by the covenant God made with the Jews with being saved by accepting what God has accomplished through Christ. Paul is maintaining we are saved by faith in the Person and atoning work of Christ and that it is not necessary to add to the Divine atonement the statutes of the Law of Moses.
Paul was not contrasting God’s salvation in Christ with righteous, godly behavior when teaching we are saved by grace and not by works. He was comparing the atonement made by Christ with the Law of Moses.
Paul was not saying "we are not saved by righteous behavior but by God’s love." God’s love when correctly received always leads to righteous behavior. There can be no contrast between God’s love and righteous behavior.
Paul was teaching that we are not saved by the Law of Moses but by the atonement made by Christ on the cross. The atonement made by Christ does not lead to keeping the observances of Moses: to circumcision, to the observance of feast days, to the washing of pots and dishes, to the laws of diet, to animal sacrifices. There is a difference between grace and the Law of Moses.
Can you understand the distinction between these two different comparisons: grace compared with the Law of Moses as distinguished from grace compared with the righteous and holy conduct of life?
It is worth one’s while to consider the distinction between the two comparisons. Paul was stating that because we are under grace we no longer are required to observe the Levitical statutes (the "works" to which he was referring).
If, however, Paul had been maintaining that because we are under grace we no longer are required to crucify the flesh with its lusts and appetites, we no longer are required to observe the eternal moral laws, then most of the New Testament writings, including the Sermon on the Mount, would not be part of the new covenant.
Some theologians teach that Christians are not obligated to observe the teaching of the Sermon on the Mount because Christians are saved by grace and not by works. This perversion of Paul’s intention and doctrine has destroyed the moral strength of the churches.
The Dispensational purists are teaching that the New Testament exhortations to holiness are not a part of Christianity, since we are saved by grace and not by godly behavior. They are teaching error, and the result is that the testimony of many of the Christian churches has been ruined in the latter part of the twentieth century.
Modern Christian teaching is a mixture of humanism, Gnosticism, and Dispensationalism (the most dangerous of the three).
Righteous behavior must proceed from both the old covenant and the new covenant or else Divine judgment certainly shall follow. If righteous behavior does not proceed from the new covenant, while it did in many instances proceed from the old covenant as we know from the godly lives of the saints mentioned in the Old Testament, then the old covenant is superior to the new covenant in accomplishing the eternal purpose of God.
However, righteous behavior indeed does proceed from the new covenant. Righteousness and holiness are revealed in the behavior and teaching of the Apostles of the Lamb.
The eternal purpose of God is the creation of both righteous conduct and praise to Himself in the earth. The covenant that best accomplishes these two goals is the superior covenant.
For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations (Isaiah 61:11).
The nucleus of the present theological confusion probably has to do with the goal of the covenants. The goal of both the old and new covenants is people who behave justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with God. however, present-day theology perceives the goal of the new covenant to be that of gaining entrance to Heaven when we die.
No covenant of God ever had going to Heaven when we die as its aim. This incorrect goal well may be the main reason for our difficulty in understanding the Apostle Paul. The goal of the old covenant was to create righteous individuals. The goal of the new covenant is to create righteous individuals, not to attain residence in the spirit realm. The goal of current theology is unscriptural.
Current theology maintains we are saved by grace, not by righteous behavior, so we can go to Heaven when we die. However, if the goal of the new covenant is not to go to Heaven but righteous behavior (which it assuredly is!), then to teach that God is saving us by grace apart from our works is to maintain that God is saving us apart from saving us.
The mythological view of eternal residence in Heaven as the goal of the Divine redemption may have originated in the Catholic churches and undoubtedly was due to the influence of Gnosticism, which teaches that matter is inherently evil and spirit is inherently good. In any case, there is no basis whatever in the Old Testament or the New Testament for the doctrine that life in Heaven is the goal of redemption. The goal is righteous behavior with a view toward resurrection to eternal life and a place in God’s Kingdom on the new earth.
Is the new covenant God’s apology for our sinning?
Is Christ the minister of sin?
Is it true that when we commit adultery God sees Christ and not us?
Is Christ actually the covering for our wicked actions so God does not and cannot judge them?
Do you believe this?
For there are certain men crept in unawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation, ungodly men, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [immorality], and denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ (Jude 1:4).
What does "turning the grace of our God into lasciviousness [immorality]" mean? It means, according to the context, coming into the Christian assembly as a member, as a fellow saint supposedly, and practicing wicked behavior. When a person who seeks to have fellowship with God’s people practices immorality he is turning the grace of God into lust.
But if Christ is a covering for our wickedness, and God sees us only through the righteous Jesus, how can such grace be turned into immorality, seeing that grace covers our behavior?
Well, one may say, the wicked to whom Jude refers never had received Christ but only had made a superficial profession. How do we know this?
By their behavior, of course. If they had actually received Christ they would not be bound by adultery.
Is this our argument?
Then what we are maintaining is that a true saint can be recognized only by his or her conduct, which is the truth of the Scripture. We have come to agree with Pastor James that faith apart from works is dead.
Faith can live only in works of righteousness. In fact, the grace of God saves us so we can practice righteous works, not so we can flee from the earth and go to live in the realm of bodiless spirits.
For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Does the above passage teach us we are saved by grace through faith so we may be created unto good works, unto good works! If it does, contemporary Christian theology is in error.
Have we not been woefully deceived?
Many godly saints were produced under the old covenant, such as the parents of John the Baptist.
And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless (Luke 1:6).
"Walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless."
If Zacharias and Elizabeth (and we easily could name many other saints of the Scriptures) were examples of what could be produced by the old covenant, are we to believe the new covenant produces people who are less righteous?
Beyond all dispute, God’s purpose is to create people who live according to His standards. Would God call a covenant "better" that is less able to produce godliness in human beings? If we believe so, then we view the new covenant only in terms of our own convenience, not in terms of God’s pleasure or His eternal purposes in Christ.
The truth is, the new covenant is vastly more able to create godly behavior than was true of the old covenant. This is why we have the new covenant. Therefore being saved by grace does not mean godly behavior no longer is required of God’s chosen people, His elect.
Paul was aware that his teaching in the third, fourth, and fifth chapters of Romans could be interpreted to mean grace is God’s license for ungodly behavior. "Let us do evil that God’s grace may be revealed more clearly," some were saying.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? (Romans 6:1,2).
No Christian who understands the new covenant would claim we can ease our way into God’s favor by observing the Law of Moses or by performing good works under any moral code. We come into the favor of God by believing and receiving that which He has performed through Christ. To attempt to satisfy God by our own works of righteousness is to make the atonement God accomplished on the cross of Calvary of none effect.
This is what Paul was maintaining. We must receive the atonement made by Christ on the cross. In so doing there is no need for us to go back and pick up the Law of Moses, because the Law of Moses was the Divine means of bringing us to Christ, of causing us to recognize our need of the Redeemer.
Now we come to the issue being presented in the sixth chapter of Romans: After we have been introduced (Romans 5:2) by faith into grace, how are we to live?
What master are we to obey?
We understand from the major portion of the writings of the New Testament that being "saved by grace" does not mean we will be received by the Lord God of Heaven as saints while we are continuing to practice wickedness. This is the assumption being made today but it is not what Paul meant by being saved by grace.
Being saved by grace means we are to come to the cross of Calvary and receive what God is offering there, meanwhile, vigorously and thoroughly repenting of our past behavior. Having done this we are to make certain we are following the Lord Jesus each day, that we are abiding in Him at all times. We are to live, move, and have our being in the Holy Spirit of God (Romans 8:14; Galatians 5:18).
The Christian who lives "in the flesh" rather than in prayerful obedience to the Holy Spirit is placing his salvation in jeopardy (Romans 8:5-13). God is looking for fruit. The fruit God is looking for is Christ in us. God has planted Christ in the believers and He expects to reap Christ in the believers.
By reaping Christ we are referring to the righteous, holy and obedient behavior that shows forth in us as Christ is being formed in us.
If any individual is abiding in Christ and Christ in him, a new creature who practices righteousness is being revealed. What can we say of the "believer" if, after a period of time, no new creation is in evidence?
If Christ is not being brought forth in our personality, as evidenced by a transformation of character and behavior in line with God’s Word, then God’s grace, God’s salvation, is not working in us.
The fruit of godly behavior is the evidence we are being saved, that the Redeemer is fulfilling the moral law within us. The Christian is known by his fruit.
If no godly behavior is coming forth in our life, then Christ is not growing in us. If Christ is not growing in us, God’s grace is not growing in us. Christ is the grace of God to us (I Corinthians 1:30).
Being saved by grace does not mean God receives us so we can continue in our sinful, rebellious patterns of behavior. Grace is not God’s substitute for righteous, holy, and obedient behavior, for without holiness no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
The new covenant is Christ (Isaiah 42:6). The grace of God is Christ. Eternal life is Christ. The resurrection from among the dead is Christ. The way, the truth, and the life are Christ. Christ Himself is our Salvation (Isaiah 12:2).
If Christ is being formed in us the new covenant is being formed in us; the grace of God is being formed in us; eternal life is being formed in us; the resurrection from the dead is being formed in us; the way, the truth, and the life are being formed in us; salvation is being formed in us.
But if we are living "in the flesh," if we are choosing to emphasize our animal characteristics of eating, playing, working, sleeping, and reproducing, all affected by the uncleanness of sin, and are paying minimal attention to the Spirit of God, then Christ is withering in us; eternal life is withering in us; the resurrection from the dead is withering in us; the way, the truth, and the life are withering in us; salvation is withering in us; the new covenant is withering in us; grace is withering in us (Luke 8:13,14).
As we stated previously, one of the principal hindrances to our ability to grasp the principles of the new covenant is that we understand the goal of salvation to be that of going to Heaven when we die.
Going to Heaven when we die is our joyous hope but it is not the goal of salvation. We are looking for paradise but God is looking for righteous people. It is difficult to understand the new covenant when one views Heaven as being the goal of salvation because the new covenant is not addressed to our going to Heaven but to our transformation into the likeness of the moral character of Christ.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (Hebrews 8:10).
We pass into the Presence of God when we die physically, if we die in Christ. We believe this to be the case although there is a scarcity of Scripture on the subject of what happens to us after we die. In any event, going to Heaven is not the goal toward which the numerous graces and gifts of God under the new covenant are directed. The last two chapters of the Book of Revelation find us on the earth, not in Heaven.
The gifts and graces of the new covenant have to do with the forming of Christ in us. The forming of Christ in us is the new covenant. The new covenant will have been fulfilled in us when Christ has been formed in us, and it is through means of the transformation of our personality that the purposes of God will be fulfilled.
The new covenant is not fulfilled by the fact of our dying and going to Heaven.
The new covenant is fulfilled when Christ is formed in us and we are in the moral image of Christ. It is to this transformation that we have been predestined and it is the transformation of our personality that fulfills the purpose of God in calling us out of the world (Romans 8:28,29).
The old covenant is a set of observances that enables a human being to conduct himself or herself in a manner that God will accept under those terms of limited understanding. When the person fails to conduct himself properly, provision for reconciliation to God has been provided through animal sacrifice.
The new covenant has little to do with the terms of the old covenant, and this is why Paul did not want the believers to attempt to mix the two.
The new covenant is Christ: as our blood atonement, as our Divine Substance whose body and blood we eat and drink, as our Lord whom we serve at all times, as our good Shepherd, as our Baptizer with the Holy Spirit of God, as our Healer, as our Example in all things, as our Redeemer who will return to receive us, as our resurrection Life who will transform our mortal body, as our Hope, our Wisdom, our Sanctification, and as our heavenly Bridegroom who will come for us so we may be with Him where He is forever.
Some of these aspects of Divine grace were included in the old covenant; others were not present at all.
Under the new covenant Christ is with us and in us and we are with Him and in Him. Christ is All in all to us. He Himself is the New Covenant. He is being formed in us until we have been created an eternally inseparable part of Him, the fullness of His Being, the revelation of His supreme Glory. This is the Kingdom of God.
The old covenant produced righteous, holy, and obedient behavior, by commanding the people of the Lord to do in faith what the Lord had written to them by the hand of Moses and the Prophets.
The new covenant produces righteous, holy, and obedient behavior by filling us with the Holy Spirit of God and creating Christ in us.
Both covenants require righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God. The new covenant requires more righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God than the old covenant because Christ, the Author of all true righteousness, holiness, and obedience, has been given to us as Savior and Lord and is being formed in us.
Much more grace to do God’s will is available under the new covenant.
To view the new covenant as a plan for removing the requirement of righteous and holy living as an integral and necessary part of the Divine salvation is to misunderstand completely what God is accomplishing in people through Christ.
The writings of Paul can be wrested to mean our continuing sinful conduct is a further opportunity for God’s grace and mercy to be revealed. But to accept such a conclusion is to make Christ an excuse for our rebellion and sin.
The believer who views the new covenant as a plan whereby an individual is released from conscience and law so he can live as he pleases, and then attain eternal residence in Paradise, is misunderstanding both the process and the goal of the salvation made possible through Christ.
Such a believer will be able to comprehend neither the Old Testament Prophets nor the New Testament Apostles. The meaning of major passages of the Scriptures will be hidden from him because he does not perceive correctly the plan or the purpose of God.
The doctrine that the Jews were obligated to behave in a morally correct manner, and the Christian is not obligated to behave in a morally correct manner because the Christian is "saved by grace," is totally in error.
The Christian who does not, after a reasonable period of time, begin to bear the fruit of Christ likeness, will be removed from the Vine by the Father (John 15:2). If we truly are in Christ, a new creation is coming into view. Our former character and behavior are passing away for eternity. A new creation is being revealed and every part of the new creation is of God (II Corinthians 5:17,18).
If we will study the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans we may notice that Paul does not conclude, from his teaching in the preceding chapters of Romans, that because of the grace of the new covenant, righteous and holy behavior need not follow as an essential part of our salvation in Christ.
In fact, Paul’s conclusion is quite the contrary.
In the last few verses of Chapter Six of Romans we can observe that the grace of God leads from slavery to sin, to slavery to God. The person who commits sin is the slave of sin. Slavery to God results in our being set apart to God as holy people: holy in standing before God; holy in character; holy in behavior (Romans 6:22).
Divine grace in Christ enables us to break the yoke of sin. Breaking the yoke of sin results in our sanctification—our separation to God as His special people (II Corinthians 6:17).
It is separation to God in righteousness, holiness and obedience that finally brings about our possession of eternal life (Romans 6:22).
Paul warns the believer in Christ: "If you serve sin you will be paid your due wages. Your wages are eternal death!" (Romans 6:23).
God is offering to us freely the gift of eternal life. We receive eternal life as we believe in Christ, receiving Him into our personality and serving Him with all diligence.
Then, through His grace (the virtue, wisdom, and power He gives to us) we learn to serve righteousness. It is our walking in righteousness that enables us to keep the eternal life given to us, and to add to it until we are filled with eternal life—spirit, soul, and (at His appearing) body.
3. What is Paul’s response to the fact that his explanation of the new covenant is leading some to conclude that we can and should continue in our sinful conduct?
How shall we, who are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
A correct interpretation of Romans, Chapter Six depends on our understanding of the expression "we, who are dead to sin."
Paul explains that our baptism in water signifies that our former personality has been united with Christ in His death on the cross and we now are free to participate with Christ in eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
Being "dead to sin" means we left our first personality in the waters of baptism. We died with Christ.
How do we adjust our thinking to this truth?
First of all, does being dead to sin mean we no longer experience any urge to sin or to follow our self-will?
Indeed not! The experienced saint understands that he always must be on his guard against the lusts of his flesh and soul.
Second, does being dead to sin mean no matter what we do our actions cannot be judged as sinful by the Lord God of Heaven?
If such were the case the numerous admonitions of the New Testament writings would be superfluous or meaningless.
Why would Paul be so concerned about the believer in Corinth who was committing incest with his stepmother if a believer’s conduct cannot be judged as sinful under the terms and conditions of the new covenant?
If being "dead to sin" does not mean we no longer have a desire to sin, or that if we practice sin we are not accountable because we have "died," then precisely what does the expression signify?
Our death to sin, as represented by baptism in water, means God views our first personality as a creation that is passing away. God has taken it upon Himself to forgive all the sins of our first personality, the first creation, through the offering of Christ. God henceforth is expecting to behold the evidence of resurrection, the Divine Life of His Son, Christ, springing up as a new personality within us.
With this in mind, our continuing in the works of malice and lust of our former personality would be contrary to all that we, by faith, are testifying is taking place in us. It would be illogical, unreasonable, unthinkable to continue as a slave of sin. "May it never be!"
How are we to view our death to sin?
We view being dead to sin as the correct way to regard our first personality. We are not to live as a typical flesh and blood human being, occupied with survival, idolatry, and the building of our own kingdom. Rather we are to be directing our attention to the things of Christ: prayer, His Word, assemble with the saints, serving the Lord, seeking first the Kingdom of God.
Our first personality died with Christ. Our new personality, which is Christ formed in us, is in the process of growing to maturity as we learn to walk in the Spirit of God. Sin and rebellion against God belong to our former personality, not to our new born-again personality.
Our new personality shall overcome the world; it does not sin (I John 3:9; 5:4).
What can we say concerning the program of change from our former personality to our new born-again personality?
We must recognize that this change is an actual, tangible, observable transformation of our personality. It is not accomplished by our human efforts but by the Divine Virtue, wisdom, and energy of the Lord God of Heaven.
Our transformation into righteous, holy and obedient behavior does not take place instantly. We must be patient as the Lord works with us. But transformation does take place. The teaching that states we cannot, through the Lord Jesus, overcome sin and self-will in this world is unscriptural. Such teaching is defeating, destructive, and disastrous as far as the new covenant is concerned.
First, we must regard ourselves as crucified to the world, to sin, to our former personality, and them as crucified to us.
Second, we must follow the Holy Spirit as He leads us to confess, repent of, and resist the desires that direct us into ungodly behavior, thus putting them to death. We are to put sin to death through the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:13).
Third, we must allow the Lord Jesus to work with us until our self-will has been brought low and we have learned to find our peace and joy in the will of Christ. We are to set aside our own life and receive His Life and His will. We are to take up our cross and follow Him each day.
These three attitudes and actions are essential to the new covenant. If one of the three is missing we cannot lead the life of victory in Christ.
Being "dead to sin" means we have been crucified with Christ, that we judge the manifestations of sin in us as being unfit for the Kingdom of God and proceed to drive them out through the Holy Spirit, and that we have chosen to offer ourselves as a bondslave to Christ in order that His will may be performed in our daily life.
If any person be in Christ there is a new creation. We cannot continue in our former sinful ways. This is not what it means to live by faith. This is not the grace of God under the new covenant. Continuing in our rebellious and sinful ways reveals that we have not repented and come under the new covenant with the Lord.
The Apostle Paul did not preach "unconditional grace"—the Christian message of our day.
Notice, in the twenty-fourth chapter of the Book of Acts, Felix, the Governor of Caesarea, sent for Paul to hear him discuss faith in Christ (verse 24). Paul talked to Felix and Drusilla, not only about a free gift of righteousness but about righteous conduct, self-control, and the coming judgment. Felix was frightened, not elated, by Paul’s words.
If Paul had spoken of free grace and a pre-tribulation "rapture" there would have been no need for Felix to be afraid. But Paul spoke of righteous behavior, of self-control, and of the wrath of Christ upon all those who do not live righteously and employ self-control. Such preaching is found throughout Paul’s Epistles.
But righteousness, self-control, and judgment are not always found in the corruption of Paul’s doctrine being advanced today. The current preaching of unconditional grace (entrance into Paradise no matter how we behave) is a monstrous, destructive error. It is a blackening of the name of God and His Christ to state that by a confession of theology we are excused from righteous behavior and self-control.
4. What is true of each of us who has been baptized into Christ?
We were baptized into His death.
5. Why were we buried with Him by baptism into death?
So we too, along with the Lord Jesus, may walk in newness of life through the glory of the Father that raised Christ from the dead.
6. In what two aspects have we become united with Christ?
In the likeness of His death; in the likeness of his resurrection.
7. What is it that was crucified with Christ?
Our old nature, our old self, our adamic nature, our first personality.
It was not just the sinful part of our personality that was crucified with Christ, it was our entire first personality—that which was born of our human parents.
There is an important concept here. Many believers who are willing to allow the Holy Spirit to destroy the bondages of sin in them are not as willing to allow the Lord to put to death their self-exaltation and self-will.
We would like to put away the bad and cling to what we think is good. Our self-exaltation, self-love, self-seeking, stubbornness, unteachableness, and self-will are not always seen by us to be evil. They are not demonic but are of our own personality, and so we may perceive them to be proper behavior on our part. The truth is, such self-centeredness is a greater problem in the Kingdom than the lusts of demons.
We often see such adamic traits well advanced in older Christians. This is because they have not lived a crucified life in the Lord Jesus.
The Lord does not allow us to keep any part of our original personality. All of it—even our sense of honor, friendliness, willingness to help others—must go to the cross. That which is accepted of God is then filled with the resurrection life of Christ and restored to us.
If any person is in Christ a new creation is coming forth, and all elements of the new creation are of God. Every part of the old must pass away, as in the whole burnt offering (Leviticus 1:9).
Why must the whole be consumed? It is because no part of our own righteousness is acceptable to God. Every aspect of our personality must become an eternal source of the flowing out of the resurrection life of Christ. Any part we attempt to retain will come into conflict with the glory of the Lord Jesus.
We must keep in mind that the adamic personality is temporary. If we do not sow to the Holy Spirit we will not reap the new personality, which is eternal. Therefore in the day of resurrection we will lose our personality, we will reap corruption and spiritual nakedness.
The good aspects of the adamic personality, such as truthfulness, integrity, honesty, humility, are "wood." They will hold up during ordinary pressures. But when exposed to fiery testing they will not survive. However, the gold of the Divine Nature will survive all fires.
Adam must have integrity if he is to make a success of the Kingdom of God. He must receive the Word into an honest and good heart if he is to bring forth lasting fruit. The adamic integrity is needed in order to keep our body on the altar of God as a living sacrifice.
adamic integrity is necessary to insure that Christ keeps on increasing and Adam himself keeps on decreasing. If we do not have a measure of integrity in our first personality we may find it difficult, or even impossible, to crucify our old nature and patiently bring forth the new personality.
Our adamic nature may be a friendly person but under enough pressure he will become hostile. Adam may pride himself on his love for people, but when he is subjected to the perversity and evil of demons he will become bitter and hateful. But the Divine love of God is powerful enough to overcome all evil.
The adamic shall pass away. That which is of Christ shall never pass away.
All of us have ideas concerning our own worth: our loyalty to our friends, our intelligence, our talents—even our ability to work in the Kingdom of God.
But all that is gain to us is loss for Christ. Only He is the Kingdom of God. We must decrease and He must increase. We are to live by the power of His resurrection. We are to share in His sufferings. In all things and in all ways we are being made Him—an eternally inseparable part of Him.
8. What is true of the person who has died?
He has been freed from sin.
It is true in criminal law that once the accused is deceased the judge cannot sentence him to any punishment. If he is dead he is dead. The maximum penalty has been paid.
The Law of Moses does not judge and convict a person who has died. Once we die we no longer are under the Law of Moses. If we reckon ourselves dead in water baptism, then the Law of Moses no longer has jurisdiction over us.
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth? (Romans 7:1)
Many Christians are confused today over the role the Law of Moses, the Torah, should play in their walk with God. The answer is, the moral principles embodied in the Torah are eternal. They preceded the Law, found expression in the Law, and are written in the heart of the Christian as Christ is formed in him. But the written Torah itself has no jurisdiction over the individual who has died in Christ. This is true of the Sabbath day, circumcision, and all other ceremonial practices.
9. What results from putting to death our adamic personality?
We are set free from slavery to sin and therefore are eligible to become the servant of another.
What an awesome, far-reaching concept is presented in Romans 6:6,7!
In order to appreciate what God has provided here we have to consider the condition of mankind upon the earth.
Each person born on the earth has been convicted of sin already and is awaiting the sentencing of the Judgment Seat of Christ.
Every individual was born with two counts against him or her. The first problem is, we are guilty of disobedience to God’s will because of the disobedience of our father, Adam, and because of our own behavior. The second problem is, we have inherited in our flesh a disposition toward sin and rebellion against God.
We were born convicted of sin and full of sinful, rebellious tendencies. We did not have a chance to be a righteous person in God’s sight. We were born in a thoroughly unrighteous condition.
More than that, we were born to await the Day of Judgment, the day of sentencing. The maximum sentence handed down from the Judgment Seat of Christ is eternal banishment from the Presence of our Creator in an area of tormenting fire.
The Day of God’s vengeance has not come as yet. However, the date of sentencing was set when the angels of Heaven fell in pride and disobedience.
And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time? (Matthew 8:29).
"Before the time"! The time appears to have been set.
The moment Adam and Eve were infected with the evil virus of spiritual wickedness they too, along with the rebellious angels, were convicted of sin against God. They were cut off from His Presence as they had known it in the garden and now must await the day of sentencing.
Adam and Eve became the slaves of sin, for whoever sins is the slave of that sin. No human being ever can become the master of sin. He is the slave of the sin he commits.
Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whoever committeth sin is the servant [slave] of sin (John 8:34).
Has the God of Heaven actually stated we are sinners from the moment of birth?
Were we born guilty?
Are we compelled to behave unrighteously?
Are we all sinners by virtue of being human beings?
Yes, it is true. Because our ancestors, Adam and Eve, consented to join the ranks of the spirits in rebellion against God, they and every one of their descendants were convicted of iniquity and brought under slavery to the compulsion of sin.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned (Romans 5:12).
We are not of those who teach that babies are cast into the fire when they die because they were born in sin. Jesus saves whomever He chooses to save, apart from our formulas.
If a human being is to be restored to favor with God, two aspects of sin must be dealt with: (1) the guilt must be removed; and (2) the bondage of slavery must be removed.
Most Christians probably understand quite well the extraordinary lengths to which God went upon Calvary in order to remove our guilt.
We have stated that we were born convicted of lawlessness and we all are awaiting the day of sentencing, the Day of Judgment. This is true.
But when we believe in Christ, placing our trust in Him for salvation, the Judge hands down the sentence: "Not guilty!"
We are not guilty now. We shall be found not guilty in the Day of Judgment. Such is the love of God toward us. God found a way to remove condemnation from us. He suffered the penalty Himself.
What has not been as clearly understood by most Christians, it appears, is the provision God has made for the second problem, that is, the bondage of slavery to sin—the compelling power in our flesh that urges us to keep on repeating the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
The Lord God requires righteousness of us, not only the righteousness He has imputed (ascribed) to us but also righteous behavior—for the Kingdom of God is in righteous behavior, not in ascribed righteousness.
We find an actual "law," as Paul describes it, dwelling in our body, striving to dictate to us that we, whether or not we approve, must keep on breaking God’s laws. We inherited this law, this compulsion. It is resident in our flesh. The law of sin in our flesh hates God and resists righteous behavior at every opportunity.
We may not consent to the dwelling of the law of sin in our flesh or agree with the deeds it invites us to do. But the sinful tendencies often find expression in spite of our desire to be righteous. We are in slavery to an alien force that took dominion over us through means of the disobedience of Adam and Eve.
Therefore we cry out with Paul:
O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? (Romans 7:24).
We have said we are not guilty now (Romans 8:1) and we shall be found not guilty in the Day of Judgment (John 5:29) provided we walk each day in the light of God’s will.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. (I John 1:7)
The guilt of Adam’s sin and of our own sinning has been removed from us through the atonement made for us by Christ on the cross (II Corinthians 5:19).
But now we come to a different issue. What provision has God made for the corrupting appetites in our flesh, the alien force, the law of sin that keeps our mortal body in a condition of rebellion and death?
How do we gain release from slavery to sin so we can serve the Lord Jesus in righteous behavior?
Let us speak first of the grace available to us in this life, and then of the liberation, the redemption, the salvation coming to us with the return of Christ from Heaven.
We Christians are in the pursuit of eternal, incorruptible life, meaning we are in the pursuit of righteous behavior. Eternal life and righteous behavior always go together. But how can we obtain righteous behavior in our present life?
In order to achieve righteous, holy, and obedient behavior we must, first of all, cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He slays the sinful tendencies in us. Second, we must follow the Spirit as He creates Christ in us. Righteous behavior on our part comes from the Person and Life of Christ abiding in every part of our personality.
All righteousness, including both the removal of condemnation and the release into righteous behavior, proceeds from Christ. The only righteousness God ultimately accepts is that which comes from Himself through the Lord Jesus Christ.
How do we cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He slays the sinful tendencies in us?
For if ye live in the appetites of the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Romans 8:13).
Although the Holy Spirit uses a variety of techniques, including suffering, to free the believer from the works of the flesh, we have found the following five steps of faith to be helpful in gaining release from sinful imaginations, motives, speech, and actions.
Confess the thoughts, words, or deeds as sin (I John 1:9).
Resolve never to practice it or them again (I Corinthians 15:34).
Receive wholeheartedly God’s forgiveness and cleansing (I John 1:9).
Draw near to God in order to gain His Presence and help (James 4:8).
Resist the devil the next time you are tempted by that which has been confessed (James 4:7).
Confess your sinful word or deed to the Lord and on some occasions to an experienced saint of the same sex as yourself or to your husband or wife. Confession and sincere repentance lead directly into release from slavery to the particular sin, whether it be adultery, fornication, filthy speaking, murderous rage, gluttony, sorcery, gossiping, harsh criticism, impatience, lack of self-control, or any other sin.
As in all areas of the Christian life, wisdom must be used in the practice of confession. In many instances it is sufficient to name the sin before God. On other occasions it is helpful—sometimes necessary—to get help from members of the Body of Christ. Do not confess your sin to someone who is spiritually immature, or of the opposite sex (except your wife or husband), or who will stumble, or who will repeat to someone else what you have confessed. Do not confess immorality to your wife or husband unless absolutely necessary because your confession may place a terrible and unnecessary load on your partner.
Often the results of these five steps are dramatic. Sometimes, however, we do not obtain relief immediately because the Spirit is working on other aspects of our personality or on circumstances having to do with the behaviors under scrutiny. But deliverance shall come. Sin shall not have dominion over us because the grace of God in Christ is sufficient to deliver us (Romans 6:14).
Some sins can be overcome merely by ceasing to practice them, as in the following admonition:
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (I Corinthians 15:34).
Other sins are removed from us by chastening and suffering:
Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby (Hebrews 12:11).
Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; that he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God (I Peter 4:1,2).
The Divine Life of Christ comes to us through the Holy Spirit, subduing and replacing by superior virtue, wisdom, and force the sinful tendencies of our body. Freedom from condemnation and release from the slavery imposed by sin restore us to the state of innocence in which Adam and Eve began.
Now we are ready for a strong, conquering love of righteous behavior and a strong, conquering hatred of sin and disobedience to be developed in us—for Christ loves righteousness and hates wickedness.
Where can we obtain a strong love of righteousness and a strong hatred of sin?
Only from the Divine Virtue of Christ Himself. We must eat of Him and drink of Him and live by Him if we are to develop the kind of character the Father in Heaven regards as righteous.
As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me (John 6:57).
As Christ is formed in us and dwells in us His righteous Nature begins to affect every part of our personality: our speech, our actions, our motives, our imaginations, our emotions, our reasonings, our physical health, our ability to distinguish between good and evil and to choose the good, our understanding, our attitudes—in short, all we are, do, say, and perceive.
True righteousness is Christ in us. Christ is our life, our wisdom, our sanctification, our release into freedom from sin and disobedience. Christ is All in all to us and we are being created the fullness of Him, the shining forth of His Divine glory.
Our righteousness shall exceed by far the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees because our righteousness is Christ Himself: first, in removal of condemnation; then, in an indwelling power to love righteousness and hate iniquity. The Holy Spirit is bringing us to the condition of total righteousness of personality and behavior. This is the image of Christ (Romans 8:29).
Such is the grace available to us in this life. Let us turn now to the redemption, the liberation, the salvation that will be brought to us with the return of Christ from Heaven.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:28).
We believe in and stress the release and blessings Christ brings to us today—right now! Nevertheless the writings of the Apostles point clearly toward the salvation, the redemption, the release that will be brought to a climax with the filling of our mortal body with resurrection life.
There are many such forward-looking passages, including Hebrews 9:28 (quoted above).
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith (Galatians 5:5).
"Wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." Can you see in this verse the future aspect of righteousness, the righteousness that is to come?
The future righteousness is not only an ascribed righteousness for we have that already. Rather it is a righteousness of behavior, a white robe symbolizing the desire to serve God in holiness.
The Apostle Paul looked at righteousness as being the marvelous reward Christ will bring with Him when He appears "the second time without sin unto salvation."
There are at least three aspects of the salvation, the liberation, the redemption, the righteousness, that Christ will bring to us when He returns from Heaven:
The sentence of "not guilty" in the Day of Judgment.
The resurrection of our mortal body, the removal of the remaining sinful tendencies from us, and the filling of us with His Presence so we love righteousness and hate iniquity.
The authority and power of righteousness so we can rule the world in righteousness, enforcing the laws of the Kingdom of God.
The sentence of "not guilty" in the Day of Judgment. The blood of the Lamb of God makes possible an expunging of our record so it is as though we never have sinned.
Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. (Romans 5:9)
The resurrection of our mortal body, the removal of the remaining sinful tendencies from us, and the filling of us with His Presence so we love righteousness and hate iniquity. The Scripture makes reference to the "white robe" of the saint. The white robe is a symbolic portrayal of the removal of sinful tendencies and the possession of the righteous Nature of Christ.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them (Ephesians 2:10).
We must be found "worthy" of the white robe (Luke 21:36; Revelation 3:4). The white robe of righteous conduct will not be given to the lukewarm believer.
Notice the description of the firstfruits of the Wife of the Lamb at the appearing of Christ:
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteous deeds] of saints (Revelation 19:8).
The Greek term translated "righteousness" in the above verse does not refer to ascribed righteousness but to righteous behavior and should be translated righteousnesses or righteous deeds.
Revelation 19:8 means every righteous behavior accomplished in the saint on earth, as Christ lives in and through him, is woven into a garment with which the saint will be clothed at the return of the Lord.
Here is the righteousness of God: we are clothed in our own Christ-wrought righteous behavior. It is true that we reap what we have sown.
If Christ is being formed in us and is dwelling in us, honest, upright character begins to appear; kindness and mercy begin to be demonstrated; our walk begins to be one of faithful, humble dependence on the Lord.
When the Lord appears we shall be clothed with the upright character we have exercised on the earth, the compassion and kindness we have shown, and the faithfulness to God’s will that has been true of us—all of which have proceeded from Christ’ own Character and Virtue.
We have done what we could, with His help. Now Jesus will finish the work by removing all remaining traces of sin and rebellion and clothing us with a spiritual body free from sin and ready to serve God.
Are you satisfied with the thought of being clothed with your own behavior?
It is the overcomer, the conqueror, who receives the white robe of righteous behavior.
Think about the following words directed toward the believers in Sardis:
Thou hast a few names even in Sardis which have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with me in white: for they are worthy (Revelation 3:4).
Can you see in the above verse that if we defile our garments (walk in unrighteousness) today we will not be granted the white robe of righteous behavior in the Day of Christ?
If we desire to receive righteousness in the Day of the Lord we must walk in righteousness today. We must demonstrate our worthiness by walking with Him today, washing our robes and making them white in the blood of the Lamb.
There is a very important scriptural concept that seldom is mentioned in Christian circles. It is that salvation comes at the end of our discipleship, not only or even primarily at the beginning. The Christian message stresses we are saved the moment we receive the Lord Jesus. This is true to a certain extent. However, much more is stated in the Scripture about salvation in the Day of the Lord than about our initial step of coming to God through Christ.
Consider the following:
And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. (Matthew 10:22)
"He that endureth to the end shall be saved." What does this mean?
And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. (Romans 13:11)
For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end; (Hebrews 3:14)
But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition [destruction]; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul. (Hebrews 10:39)
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. (I Peter 1:5)
And if the righteous scarcely be saved [is saved with difficulty], where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? (I Peter 4:18)
If we would think of salvation as a process, a program that has a specific beginning, a specific plan for change, and a specific conclusion, an alpha and an omega, we would be closer to the Scriptures in our understanding.
It is possible to begin the program of salvation and then to fail the course.
I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. (Jude 1:5)
Because of man’s love for himself the modern stress is "once you are saved you cannot be lost." Not only is this doctrine totally unscriptural but it is leading countless believers to destruction."
The Scripture, Old and New Testament, speak clearly that yesterday’s righteousness does not cover today’s wickedness. Salvation is a program, a process. We can begin and then back out any time we choose. But only those who persevere to the end of the course will be saved.
The five steps of death to sin we mentioned previously help us wash our robes in the blood of the Lamb.
Washing our robes involves more than a passive acceptance of "Christ’s righteousness." It includes thorough repentance and a laying hold on God until we overcome, through His grace, the problems with which we are (or should be) wrestling. The promises are to "him that overcometh."
We are not suggesting the believer should be losing his or her peace by wrestling vainly against sin. The Lord’s victorious saints learn when to press the battle and when to rest in the Presence of the Lord.
The following verse reveals the sublime rejoicing of the saint at the moment of his or her resurrection to righteousness:
I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels (Isaiah 61:10).
The authority and power of righteousness will be issued to us so we can rule the world in righteousness, enforcing the laws of the Kingdom of God. The nature of the Kingdom of God is first, righteousness (Romans 14:17).
The Lord Jesus will rule the creation in righteousness and we, as His coheirs, will govern with Him.
Behold, a king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment (Isaiah 32:1).
The scepter of Christ’s throne is that of righteousness.
But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom (Hebrews 1:8).
The issue of righteousness, of performing God’s will in the earth, is a question of power.
The authority of Satan was destroyed on the cross of Calvary. Satan no longer can make any lawful claim on the creation.
But Satan’s power (the amount of power Christ allows Satan to exercise, because all authority and power in Heaven and on the earth is held by Christ) prevents us and the nations of the earth from practicing righteousness. We are in a spiritual warfare.
But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members (Romans 7:23).
We Christians do not behave righteously at all times and cannot command the nations of the earth to act righteously because we do not possess enough power to enforce our will over our own body or over the governments of the world.
But to those who are willing to receive the fullness of Christ, God will issue the crown—the authority and power—of righteousness in the Day of the Lord.
Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also love his appearing (II Timothy 4:8).
In the Day to come when Paul or some other saint issues a righteous law to a nation of the earth, obedience to that law will be enforced by the powerful angels who do God’s will.
The saints will rule the world in righteousness. The moral law of God will be enforced by the government located in the city of Jerusalem. If you are a believer in Jesus, prepare yourself today to rule, or else to be ruled, in righteousness.
Under the new covenant the Lord God brings us all the way from miserable servitude to sin to glorious royal authority in righteousness. We proceed to this righteousness by the crucifixion of our old nature and the creation of the righteous nature of the Lord Jesus in us.
Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin (Romans 6:6).
When we die with Christ on the cross we become legally dead from God’s standpoint. The purpose of our death to the Law of Moses is that we may be free to marry (come into perfect union with) the Lord Jesus. It is our union with Jesus that brings forth the fruit of righteousness in our personality.
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God (Romans 7:4).
Because we are dead with Christ we are released from the guilt imposed by the Law.
Because we affirm and live as though every part of our former personality has died with Christ, every part of our personality is now eligible and available to receive the fullness of the Divine Virtue of Christ. The fullness of Christ produces in us the fullness of righteous behavior—now and at His glorious appearing.
If Christ the Lord is dwelling in us, and we are an eternally inseparable revelation of His Being and Life, God Almighty will entrust to us in that Day the fullness of authority and power, causing us to shine in righteousness as the stars of the heavens (Daniel 12:3).
Our God is a God of righteousness. There is no sin whatever in Him. We are being created in His image as Christ is being formed in us through the various workings of the Holy Spirit of God.
"That henceforth we should not serve sin." This has been God’s objective from the beginning.
10. What is true of the person who is "dead with Christ"?
He no longer is under condemnation because "the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth" (Romans 7:1).
11. What will be true of us if we have died with Christ?
We will live with Him. The life of Christ always comes from death because it is resurrection life. The more completely we are willing to be fashioned in His death the more completely we will be fashioned in His life.
12. What is true of Christ, now that He has been raised from the dead?
Death no longer has the power to rule Him.
13. How many times did Christ die to sin?
14. In what manner does Christ live now?
He lives as the total Revelation of the Glory of God Almighty.
15. In what way are we dead?
We are dead to sin and sin is dead to us. This is true because we have grown into union with Christ in His death on the cross.
16. In what way are we alive?
We are the continuation, the extension, the increase of the Revelation of the Glory of God that is Christ.
17. Because we see ourselves as united with Christ in His death upon the cross, and eternally alive with Christ as an inseparable part of His Divine Glory that flows from the Throne of God in Heaven, what action are we to take regarding sin?
We are to refuse to allow sin to rule in our mortal body. We are to refuse to obey the desires of our mortal body when such desires are not in harmony with God’s Word and will. Our refusal is in answer to the question raised in the first verse: "Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?"
18. What are we not to be doing?
We are not to be yielding the members of our body as slaves to sin, as instruments, tools, of unrighteousness.
19. What are we to be doing?
We are to be yielding ourselves to God as someone who has been resurrected with Jesus from the dead and the members of our body as instruments of righteousness. We are to declare ourselves God’s slave and act accordingly.
20. What is true of our relationship to sin?
Sin does not have the power to rule us because we are not under the Law but under grace. Sin no longer possesses authority over us because we now are part of Christ’s death. Sin is the transgression of the Law, and the Law governs our former personality—that which has been grafted into union with Christ in His death on the cross.
The Law cannot exercise authority over our new man, our new personality that has been grafted into union with the resurrection of Christ. We are part of the resurrection Glory of Christ.
Sin cannot exert legal authority over us because legally we are dead. Sin cannot exert compelling power over us because we are part of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. Although there may be areas of our personality that continually strive to lead us away from the path of righteousness and that attempt to resist our efforts to overcome them, as we press forward in Christ we finally will gain the upper hand over every one of them and drive them out of our "land."
The Spirit of God is ready to assist us, if we choose to avail ourselves of His help.
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Paul stated, "For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace." What Paul means by this must be interpreted by his statements throughout the Book of Romans.
When we are under the Law, sin has dominion over us because the Law points out our guilt but does not deliver us from the bondage of sin.
When we are under grace, the Law has no authority over us. However, the urge to sin is present. We have been forgiven completely through the blood of Jesus but the law of sin is present in our members.
The manner in which we address ourselves to these facts, the understanding of them that we have, may determine whether or not we make a success of the program of salvation.
Sin shall not have dominion over us for three reasons: (1) the Law no longer has the authority to condemn us; (2) we are without the guilt of sin because of the atoning blood of Jesus; (3) God has given us grace through the body and blood of the Lord, the birth of the Divine Seed in us, the indwelling Presence of the Spirit of God, and the testimony of the Apostles so through these we may possess enough virtue, wisdom, and strength to overcome the world, Satan, and the lusts and self-will that dwell in our personality—particularly in our flesh.
As long as we are abiding in the Lord Jesus, as long as we are pressing forward each day in the work of transformation, the blood of Jesus is maintaining our guiltlessness before the Father.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).
The current Christian position interprets Paul to mean because we are under grace we cannot be guilty of sin; that salvation is unconditional and based on a verbal profession; that God sees the disciple only through the righteousness of Jesus. None of this is true.
When the believer yields to lust or ceases to seek the Lord or disobeys what he feels in his heart is God’s will, condemnation is at hand. Salvation no longer is operating in him as it should. God sends judgment on him so he will not be condemned with the world.
The Christian position that the blessing of God is not conditional but holds true eternally once a verbal profession has been made, independently of a life of discipleship, is not true. It is a wresting of Paul’s doctrine. It will lead the teacher and the student to certain destruction. There is no scriptural support for such a distortion of God’s program. We ought to know better than this!
21. What question does Paul ask the second time and what is his answer?
Shall we continue to sin because we are not under the Law of Moses but under grace? Absolutely not!
22. What principle of moral servitude does Paul give us?
We make the choice as to whom we will serve. We can choose to serve sin. If we saints serve sin our wages shall be death. We can choose to obey righteousness. If we obey righteousness our wages will be eternal life.
As we have stated, God will regard us as righteous if we continue to serve Him through Christ. There is more to righteousness by grace through faith than an initial statement of belief in the atonement made by the Lord Jesus.
The unsaved individual possesses neither the authority nor the power to make such a moral choice. He or she remains under the guilt of Adam’s sin as well as the guilt of his own sin. He has no wisdom or power, other than what comes from his own flesh and blood, with which to resist the moral wickedness and filth continually flowing from his own personality, as well as from the rulers of the spiritual darkness of the world.
It is only the born-again Christian who possesses freedom from condemnation, the wisdom and energy of the Spirit of God, and the indwelling Presence of Christ. Through these he has been given the opportunity to choose to obey God, to enter the crucifixion of his own personality and the resurrection of a new personality, thus attaining righteousness and the resulting eternal life. The Christian’s alternative is to choose to obey sin, thus entering spiritual death.
23. What is true of a person before he receives Christ as his personal Lord and Savior?
He is the slave of sin.
24. What must be true of each person who becomes a Christian?
He must commit himself to obey from his heart the teachings of the Apostles of Christ.
Today there are numerous people who "get saved," according to the current formula, but who do not repent. They are attempting to receive Christ as their personal Savior without accepting Him as their personal Lord. They have no intention of changing their course of life and allowing Christ to exercise rulership over their conduct.
They have mentally assented to the facts of redemption but have not embraced the teachings of the Apostles.
Their water baptism does not indicate they have been grafted into union with the death of Christ and the resurrection of Christ. Their water baptism is a religious rite by means of which they have (so they hope) completed the ceremony that guarantees their entrance into Heaven when they die.
In many churches the mental assent that is apart from a genuine repentance is associated with the so-called "rapture" of the "Gentile Church." Those who have expressed belief in Jesus hope to escape the troubles of the world by becoming invisible and being caught up to Heaven to live in a mansion.
Such thinking has no apparent relationship to the sixth chapter of Romans or with the passages of Scripture that describe the coming of the Lord and the first resurrection from the dead.
The first resurrection from the dead is the promised salvation, the salvation that is to be revealed to the Lord’s faithful disciples when He returns to earth. First there must be an inner spiritual resurrection—that which is presented in the sixth chapter of the Book of Romans and the third chapter of Philippians. Then there will be a physical resurrection based on the inner spiritual resurrection. The physical resurrection is described in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians.
The coming of the Lord and the first resurrection from the dead will not be an unscriptural secret "rapture" in which the believers become invisible but rather a worldwide manifestation of the Glory of Christ.
Apart from an inner spiritual resurrection there can be no physical resurrection. The first resurrection from the dead will be an open manifestation of the inner spiritual resurrection the Church has attained in the Lord Jesus Christ (Ephesians 2:6; Colossians 3:2; Philippians 3:11; Revelation 20:4-6).
Therefore we say to God’s faithful saints, in the name of our Lord Jesus, the emphasis of the Holy Spirit today is on our coming to know the power of the resurrection of Jesus and on sharing His sufferings. It is time for the Bride to awaken and enter union with the Bridegroom.
If we will allow Him to do so the Lord Jesus shall press us into His death and His resurrection.
Christ cannot return until the firstfruits of His Bride have been pressed into His death and into His resurrection.
Why is this?
It is because He is going to return both in and with us. His coming is not merely an external event as far as the members of His Body are concerned. His coming is bound together with our spiritual development.
When the Lord shall build up Zion, he shall appear in his glory. (Psalms 102:16)
The return of the Lord Jesus from Heaven is that of an individual who today is seated at the right hand of God Almighty. But at the same time Christ is being formed in us and is dwelling in us.
The Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead nearly two thousand years ago. Every act of righteousness flowing from Christ’s Life within a believer is part of that one resurrection. Christ’s resurrection is continuing in us. It is one vast resurrection spread over two thousand years.
We are an eternally inseparable part of the one resurrection. When the Lord Jesus returns, the same resurrection will enter our body.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power [authority], but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. (Revelation 20:6)
The first resurrection from the dead is not a departure to Heaven. It is the open demonstration to the world of that which began in the cave of Joseph of Arimathea. The radiant Life that Is Christ is the only righteousness available to mankind.
The coming of Christ cannot be separated spiritually from His development in us. He will appear in the clouds and we shall appear with Him as an inseparable, integral part of His Presence.
When the Light from Heaven returns and illumines the darkness of the world, all the lesser lights also will shine—those who return with Him and those who yet remain alive on the earth. His coming will be as the lightning appearing from the east (the morning of the Day of the Lord) and shining to the west (to every place where there is a member of the Body of Christ). The Divine Glory will be revealed wherever there is a member of the Body.
Like the torches held high during the ancient feast of Tabernacles, the great Light and the lesser lights will overcome all the darkness oppressing the world.
Physical resurrection will take place instantly. The inner spiritual resurrection cannot take place instantly. Inner resurrection can take place only as the Holy Spirit brings us into circumstances that cleanse and crucify a part of our personality, and then raises the slain part into newness of life in Christ.
We cooperate in the program of death and resurrection by choosing to present the parts of our body as instruments of righteousness. We choose to obey God rather than to obey sin. Meanwhile sin keeps on seeking our worship.
Given the fact that we are being created an integral part of the resurrection and revelation of Christ, it is unthinkable that we should choose to yield to the demands of sin.
We are to obey the writings of the Apostles. They gave us many commandments. There is a teaching today that states there is nothing we can do to obey the commandments of the New Testament. Rather, we are to wait until Christ obeys the commandments in us and through us.
While there are a few passages that could be construed to mean we are to do nothing but wait until Jesus obeys the Word in us, there are an abundance of passages that command us to take action.
Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named among you, as becometh saints; neither filthiness, nor foolish talking, nor jesting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks. (Ephesians 5:2-4)
Walk in love.
Do not fornicate or practice unclean or covetous behavior.
Do not say filthy or foolish words. Do not jest.
Give thanks to God.
There are numerous such commandments from Matthew through to Revelation.
How do we keep the commandments of the Lord? We keep them by doing what the Word says to do. If we cannot refrain from fornication, or covetousness, or uncleanness, or foolish talking, then we are bound by Satan. We need in this instance to go to the church and ask for help from the elders.
If we will pray, read our Bible, gather with fervent saints, obey the Lord when He tells us to do something, serve, give of our money, we then will find that by making an effort we can achieve the changes in our conduct that are commanded by the Apostles of Christ.
To forgive our enemies is difficult, but if we will come boldly before the throne of God we can obtain enough Divine grace to enable us to forgive someone who has harmed us.
If we wait for the Lord to move us to righteousness we will be treated as a disobedient child. We must do what the Scriptures command. If we do not, if we continue to practice sin, we will die spiritually. We will slay the eternal Life that was given to us when we accepted the atonement made by Christ.
Any teaching contrary to this will result only in moral chaos.
25. From what has Christ released us?
From the condemnation of sin and the compelling power of sin.
26. To what has Christ bound us?
To the state of righteousness in the sight of God and to the principles of righteous behavior in our speech, our thinking, and our actions.
27. Why does Paul refer to slaves and masters?
Because this illustration could be understood readily by the saints in Rome, who either were served by slaves captured in war or were themselves slaves.
28. How had the saints in Rome behaved before they had become Christians?
They had yielded their bodies as slaves to impurity and lawlessness.
29. What did Paul tell them to do now, because they were Christians?
To yield their bodies to righteous behavior, which would result in their being set apart as holy in the Presence of God.
The Christian’s acceptability to God depends not only on the blood of Christ sprinkled on the Mercy Seat in Heaven but also on his Christ-inspired behavior (compare II Corinthians 6:17).
30. What is true of the person who is the slave of sin?
He is not the slave of righteousness.
31. What does Paul invite the saints in Rome to consider?
The results, the fruit, of the behaviors they had practiced as unsaved people.
It seems likely that the believers in Rome, and in other countries as well, were having the same problems we see today. The saints did not understand fully that forgiveness is only one-half of the atonement, the Divine reconciliation.
The other half of the atonement is the release from the power of sin, the transformation of behavior that takes place in us as each day we are brought further into the death of Christ and further into His eternal, incorruptible resurrection life—life that expresses itself in stern obedience to the Father. Divine Life cannot possibly express itself in slavery to sin and Satan.
Whoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (I John 3:15).
32. What was the fruit of their former unrighteous behavior?
The bondage of sin, corruption of character and behavior, destroyed relationships, separation from God, physical sickness, and premature physical death.
33. What is the fruit of their Christ-empowered righteous behavior?
They are set apart as holy in the Presence of God.
34. What is produced as an inseparable aspect of holiness in the Presence of God?
Eternal life is not a "reward" handed us upon voicing our assent to the facts of salvation. Eternal life is the spiritual life that accompanies our acceptance by God and our union with God through Christ, just as warmth and light accompany the rising of the sun.
Eternal life is much more than perpetual existence. Eternal life is a kind of life as biologic life is a kind of life. All spirits—clean and unclean—have perpetual existence. Eternal life is Christ. He is the Tree of eternal Life.
As we are pressed into Christ’s crucifixion, choosing to yield ourselves as the servants of righteousness, eternal life in the form of the resurrection of Jesus rises in every element of our personality. We receive eternal life into our spirit, into our soul, and—at the return from Heaven of the Lord—into our body.
35. What are the wages of sin? What is produced as an inseparable aspect of sin and rebellion against the Lord God of Heaven?
Death! Death in our spirit! Death in our soul! Death in our body!
Death is the absence of the eternal resurrection life that can come only from Christ and is Christ. He Himself is the Resurrection and the Life. When we possess Him we possess resurrection life.
But the spirit, soul, and body that are without Christ are without eternal life.
Salvation consists of much more than a vocal expression of belief in the facts of Christ’s atoning death and triumphant resurrection. The devils are assured of these facts and tremble in terror. Yet they possess no redemption.
Salvation includes the actual possession of the Life that is in Christ. The proof that we actually have received such life is found in our speech, in our deeds, and in our imaginations and motives.
If our behavior is not, over a period of time, obviously being transformed into what is pleasing to God, then it is not possible that Christ is in truth dwelling in us; for what is born of Christ does not commit sin (I John 3:8-10).
It is not our intention, in so saying, to discourage some sincere disciple who is not growing as fast as he thinks he should. Spiritual growth is slow but certain. Many times the Lord’s ways are difficult to understand and it appears no progress is being made in our transformation. But if we are praying, reading the Scriptures, gathering together with the saints when possible, giving, serving, and doing all else we know to do, God’s Spirit will cause us to grow in Christ.
Rather it is our intention to point out the error of Christian teaching that maintains no growth is necessary, that we are saved by unconditional grace such that it is not critically important whether or not we serve the Lord. Those who teach the error of unconditional grace are leading multitudes astray in our day.
36. What is the gift of God?
Eternal life in Christ our Lord.
God has freely given us eternal resurrection life. Such life is based on acquittal from the condemnation of sin and the development of righteousness and holiness in personality and behavior. The Spirit of God implants in us the Virtue, wisdom, and energy of Christ—His love of righteousness and hatred of lawlessness.
Christ covers the one who places his faith and trust in Him with His own robe of righteousness. The Father in Heaven accepts this ascribed righteousness. Then the Lord Jesus gently and skillfully begins to direct His new servant into paths of righteousness.
Jesus leads each of His sheep in paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. How wonderful is the love of the good Shepherd for His little ones!
Romans 6:23 often is preached to the unsaved. In context it is directed toward the Christian. It applies also to the unsaved individual because he already is spiritually dead and his continuing unrighteous behavior is proof of his spiritual death.
Every human being on the earth is eligible to receive eternal life through Christ because Christ has died for the sins of the whole world. By virtue of being human we are eligible to receive total, complete reconciliation to the Lord God of Heaven (I John 2:2).
Let us keep in mind, however, that Paul, in Romans 6:23, is not addressing the unsaved. He is reacting against "Christians" who might interpret his teaching of the grace of God to mean our conduct upon the earth is not directly related to our salvation; we can continue to sin and Divine grace will increase, or at least not be diminished in any manner.
Paul asks the Christians of our own day: "Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound"?
Paul’s answer shows that such a conclusion is unthinkable. If we choose to yield to the demands of our sinful body after having been baptized into union with the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, we will be paid in death. Our wages will be death.
When we receive Christ we are given a choice. For the first time in our life we are free to choose between behaving righteously and behaving sinfully. The spiritually dead, those who have not as yet received Jesus, have no such choice.
If we choose to continue to obey sin we will die spiritually as a natural consequence—Christian or not. We, not God, have broken the terms of the new covenant.
We can choose to receive the Life of Jesus such that our behavior is transformed into righteous conduct. The result of righteous conduct is eternal life in the Presence of God. This is the true grace of God wherein we are to stand.
1. To whom is Paul speaking at this point?
To those who have been educated in the Law of Moses.
2. What is the period of time that the Law of Moses has jurisdiction over a person?
As long as he or she is alive.
3. Over what period of time does the Law bind a married woman to her husband?
As long as he is living.
4. What happens at the moment her husband dies?
She possesses a full release from the points of the Law that bound her to her husband.
5. What will be true if she marries another man while her husband is still living?
She will be judged to be an adulteress.
6. What becomes true when her husband dies?
She is free to marry another man without being judged to be an adulteress.
7. What becomes true of us legally at the moment we are united with the death of Christ on the cross?
We have died to the Law by our union with the dead body of Christ on the cross. As a result, we are allowed to be married to the resurrected Christ and no charge of adultery, in terms of our former marriage to the Law, can be brought against us.
We have not died to the Law of Moses so we may be free but so we may be married to Christ. This concept is extremely important. The current thinking is that we now are free from Moses so let us rejoice in our freedom. This is a warped idea. We are free to be married to Christ, not free to do as we please.
Marriage to Christ places far, far greater restrictions on our behavior than ever could be true of the Law of Moses. Until the Christian churches understand this the present moral disaster will continue.
8. What will take place in our life if we truly have been married to the Lord Jesus Christ?
The fruit of Christ-likeness will begin to show in our own personality and behavior, and also in the personality and behavior of those to whom we minister.
By the expression Christ-likeness we do not mean an imitation of Christ; although Jesus certainly is the best example of a human being that mankind has ever seen and He is well worth imitating.
By Christ-likeness we mean the moral image of Christ, which will begin to be formed and expressed in our personality and behavior because He—Christ Himself—is being formed in us and is dwelling in us. His likeness cannot be reproduced by the efforts of flesh and blood. His likeness can come only from Himself.
The only true righteousness, according to the judgment of almighty God, is that which proceeds directly from God through the Lord Jesus Christ by means of His substitutionary death, and also by His living Presence and will, which are revealed within us as we are pressed by the Holy Spirit into His death and into His resurrection.
9. What was true of us when we were living as flesh-and-blood human beings apart from the Life of Christ?
The passions and covetings of our flesh, which the Law of Moses denounces as sin, continually pressed us to do unclean, lawless, rebellious deeds.
10. What always results from filthy, lawless, rebellious actions, words, and motives?
Death—the absence of the Life of Christ; removal from the Presence and blessing of our Creator.
11. What is the relationship of the Christian saint to the Law of Moses?
He is dead to the Law of Moses.
The Law of Moses, including all aspects of the first covenant, retains no authority over the Christian.
However this does not mean we are free to behave unrighteously. It does mean we have changed from one set of spiritual requirements to a different set.
Two facts have been established:
There never is one moment when we are not under one covenant or the other—we never are without responsibility in the sight of God.
The two covenants cannot be mixed. The first covenant consists of a body of obligations and restrictions that we are to do. The second covenant is Christ.
12. How are we to serve God under the new covenant?
In the newness of the Holy Spirit interacting with our new, born-again spiritual nature; not in the oldness of the obligations and restrictions that governed our former personality.
The new covenant is the eternal, incorruptible resurrection Life of Christ permeating and transforming every element of our personality.
13. Is the Law of Moses sin?
14. What does the Law of Moses accomplish?
The Law brings to us the knowledge of sin.
15. How did Paul become aware he was coveting and lusting?
The Law kept commanding him, "You shall not covet; you shall not lust after the possessions of another person."
16. Because of the commandments of the Law, what were the coveting and lusting that dwelled in Paul’s physical body able to do?
They were able to "come to life" and dominate Paul’s consciousness.
17. What was true where there was no Law?
Sin was dead. The lusting and coveting actually were being practiced but there was no consciousness of these actions, words, and imaginations. Paul’s conscience was clear. The sin was not a recognized problem apart from the declarations of the Law of Moses. It was the Law that made sin a problem.
18. What is true of the individual to whom the Law of Moses has not come as yet?
He is "alive" in his ignorance of the Law, just as Adam and Eve enjoyed the fellowship of God even though they were naked. The moment they became conscious of their nakedness they then were naked. Then they were ashamed and their fellowship with God was broken.
19. What occurs when the light of the Law shines?
Sin, being exposed by the Law, comes to life. Sin deceives us and, using the commandment, separates us from the Lord.
20. What was the Law of Moses designed to accomplish?
It was designed to bring life to the people of the Lord by turning them away from the sinful deeds that result in death.
21. What actually takes place, however?
Because of the law of sin that dwells in our flesh we are unable to do what the Law of Moses commands. We are made aware of our sinful behavior without finding any means by which to change our behavior.
We see ourselves to be naked when the light of the Law of Moses shines on us. We come under guilt, under condemnation. Because we are unable to change our behavior the end result is death—the destruction of our fellowship with God (I John 1:7).
22. What was sin’s response to the light of the Law of Moses?
The deceitfulness of covetousness and lust kept on drawing Paul into behavior contrary to God’s commandment. In this way, covetousness was able to reveal itself as Paul’s true master, to demonstrate that Paul was not in control of his own behavior.
All sin has its source in Satan. Satan demands the worship of mankind. All sin is the worship of Satan, an acknowledgment of our continuing servitude. Sin uses the Law of Moses to establish its own claim over human beings, deceiving them, putting them to death by bringing them under guilt and separating them from God by the Law.
23. What is true of every commandment of the Law of Moses?
It is holy, and righteous, and good.
24. Was it the holy and righteous and good commandment that produced death in us?
Certainly not! It was sin that produced the death. The commandment magnified the sin, giving it sufficient strength to cut us off from the Presence of God.
25. What is true of the Law?
It is spiritual. The Law has its origin in God, who is a Spirit. Each of the Ten Commandments is a judgment against wicked spirits, against the evil powers of spiritual darkness.
The Law of Moses, the power to live righteously, and the desire to sin—all have their source of wisdom and energy in the spirit realm, not in the material realm.
26. What is true of human beings?
We are formed of flesh and blood. We were born under the guilt of sin because of the disobedience of Adam and Eve. We live in bondage to the seducing power of sin.
27. What does Paul state concerning the slavery into which he was born as a human being?
"I do not understand what I am doing. I am not practicing the things I desire to do. I am doing what I hate."
28. What is true if an individual is objecting to the things he is doing?
He is confessing he is in agreement with the commandments of the Law of Moses—he perceives them as being good.
29. What fact becomes clear if a person does not understand what he is doing, is not practicing the things he desires to do, is doing the things he hates?
He does not possess the power to act according to his own judgment and desires. The sin dwelling in him is in control of his actions.
A few verses later Paul refers to the "law of sin" which was dwelling in the members of his body.
Here is a remarkable fact indeed. The physical body is made up of various chemical elements. It is able to live and move around because of its several systems that work together. There are muscles, bones, nerves, emotions, and so forth that constitute the physical body.
The physical body is morally neutral. God declared that all He had made was "very good."
If the physical body is nothing more than a combination of elements arranged in systems, and is good, where, then, does the "law of sin" originate?
In the bones?
In the hair?
In the muscles?
In the nerves?
What is it that induces us to covet and lust?
To lie and steal?
To fall into murderous rages?
To practice sorcery?
If we think back to Adam and Eve, the answer at once becomes apparent. The material creation was "very good." An angel that had left its first place of authority entered the garden in the form of a serpent. The angel, Satan, was able to persuade Adam and Eve to disobey God. The moment they disobeyed God they died. They died in that the law of sin entered the members of their bodies.
Adam and Eve remained alive as flesh and blood people for nearly a millennium. But they were changed. Their physical bodies still were chemical elements working together in systems. But in addition there were abiding in their bodies sinful and rebellious spirits born of the cherub that had deceived them.
Their physical bodies were dead because of indwelling sin and spiritual death. Their spirits were dead, no longer abiding in union with the Spirit of God. Their souls were dead because the soul is in union with God through the spirit.
Although they continued to breathe, and think, and speak, and act, Adam and Eve were dead. The moment they disobeyed they died.
Every descendant of Adam and Eve is born dead, being under the guilt of sin and the power of sin.
Many times the question is raised: Was Paul referring, in the seventh chapter of Romans, to a person under the Law of Moses or to a Christian who is being saved by grace?
It is our understanding that Paul is referring to both Jew and Christian, although in the sixth and eighth chapters he points out the path to deliverance for the Christian.
The body of both Jew and Christian is dead because of sin.
And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness (Romans 8:10).
Any Christian believer who is convinced that there is no principle of sin dwelling in the parts of his body is deceiving no one but himself.
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us (I John 1:8).
Each of us, whether a Jew or a Christian, recognizes there are times we do not behave in a manner we understand or of which we approve. Therefore Paul is speaking to both Jew and Christian, in the seventh chapter of Romans.
There is a difference between the end result of the old covenant and the end result of the new covenant. The old covenant informs us what sin is and issues warnings and guidelines concerning our conduct. The old covenant cannot, however, enable the believer to finally overcome the guilt and compelling power of sin.
For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect (Hebrews 10:1).
For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins (Hebrews 10:4).
The believer in Christ commences his discipleship with a willing inner man and an unwilling body. "The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."
However, stupendous Divine Virtues and energies have been issued to the Christian that were not available under the old covenant. For example, no believer under the old covenant was born again. No believer under the old covenant possessed the eternal indwelling of the Holy Spirit. No believer under the old covenant was given to eat of the flesh of Christ or to drink of the blood of Christ.
Because of these Satan-destroying virtues and energies the Christian disciple is assured of a continually maturing ability to overcome sinful tendencies through the Virtue contained in Christ’s resurrection Life.
The final state of maturity will be revealed as the Christian shines as part of Christ’s resurrection in the Day of the Lord. At that time, authority and power will be issued to the saint so sin and death will retain no claim or hold on him in any manner whatever.
We shall live to witness the day when all sin and rebellion against God will be destroyed from the earth. Even the memory of sin will be removed. The evil virus of sin and rebellion will be contained eternally where it belongs—in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof (Romans 6:12).
Therefore, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live in the appetites of the flesh (Romans 8:12).
Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame (I Corinthians 15:34).
This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh (Galatians 5:16).
Galatians 5:17 teaches us that the struggle of Romans, Chapter Seven is true of the Christian:
For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so ye cannot do the things that ye would.
If we are walking in the Spirit of God we are not under the guilt imposed by the Law of Moses. In addition the Spirit keeps on giving us the power to refrain from fulfilling the lusts of our flesh.
If we fight the good fight of faith, gaining, through the Holy Spirit, mastery over the sin that dwells in our flesh, we will receive the robe of righteous conduct.
So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:28).
30. What does Paul know to be true of his flesh?
There is nothing good dwelling in it.
31. What is present in Paul?
The desire to please God.
32. What is not present in Paul?
The ability to do good.
The doing of good is not present in any human being. The doing of good is present in Christ, however, and when Christ is dwelling in us, the ability to do good is present.
33. What about the good that Paul desired to do?
He did not practice it. The power to do good was not present in his personality but the desire and ability to practice evil were present.
34. What about the evil that Paul desired not to do?
He practiced it because of the sin dwelling in him.
35. If Paul practiced what he desired not to do, what, then, was true?
The highest level of Paul’s conscious being was neither approving nor directing his own behavior. The sin dwelling in him caused him to behave as he did.
36. What law did Paul discover to be in effect?
The law of evil was present in Paul, in the man who desired to practice what is good in the sight of God.
37. What was the attitude of Paul’s "inner man" toward the Law of Moses?
Paul’s heart delighted in the Law.
38. What did Paul see in the members of his physical body?
A law different from the Law of Moses, different from the attitude of Paul’s heart and mind.
39. What was the "different" law doing?
It was waging war against the desire of Paul’s mind to serve God’s law. The lusts dwelling in Paul’s flesh were keeping him in captivity to sin.
40. What is the condition of the individual who is bound to that with which he is in disagreement, to that which he finds condemning and repulsive?
One of wretchedness.
41. What question does Paul ask?
Who shall deliver me from my body—that which contains in itself forces that lead only to death?
42. What is Paul’s response to his own question?
To give thanks to God through Christ, our Lord.
Who is it that delivers us from being compelled to think, speak, and act in a sinful and rebellious manner, from being forced to behave differently from what we desire in our mind and heart?
It is Christ.
When and how does Christ deliver us from being forced to sin against our will?
The moment we receive Him He provides us with the power to choose not to sin.
For sin shall not have dominion over you [shall not rule over you]: for ye are not under the law, but under grace (Romans 6:14).
It is the power of the Spirit of God operating on the basis of the authority of the blood of Jesus that enables us to put to death the deeds of our physical body.
For if ye live in the appetites of the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify [put to death] the deeds of the body, ye shall live (Romans 8:13).
When the Lord Jesus Christ appears in the clouds of glory He will bring with Him our "house which is from heaven." That "house," which is being fashioned from incorruptible resurrection life, will clothe our mortal body, swallowing it up in life. Being clothed with life will totally, utterly, destroy from our flesh every particle of the law of sin. This is the white robe of righteous conduct being formed now before the Throne of God as we sow to righteous conduct in our present mortal body.
For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith (Galatians 5:5).
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (II Corinthians 4:17).
It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body (I Corinthians 15:44).
And not only they [the material creation], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body (Romans 8:23).
43. What does Paul conclude?
A righteous man, before he learns how to overcome sin through Christ, serves God’s law with his mind but sin’s law with his flesh.
1. What is true of each person who is "in Christ"?
He or she is without condemnation. This means there is a continuing verdict of not guilty proceeding from God, the Judge of the bench of Heaven.
The key phrase is, "in Christ." All of the workings of the new covenant depend directly on our being in Christ.
If our redemption depends directly on our being in Christ we ought to pay close attention to what this expression means to us as an individual. If our freedom from condemnation is founded on our being and behaving in Christ, we must seek to live in this manner.
Being in Christ means we are an inseparable, integral part of His death on the cross and an inseparable, integral part of His triumphant resurrection from among the dead.
When the Lord God of Heaven views the death of His beloved Son, Christ, He beholds each of us as being part of that death. When the Lord God of Heaven views the triumphant resurrection of His Son, He beholds each of us as being part of that resurrection.
What must we do to maintain perfect union with Him in His death and resurrection, in practical daily living?
We must maintain the attitude, in all that we think, say, and do, that we are in continuing union with His death on the cross and with His victorious resurrection. One day the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ shall fill the heavens and the earth with His Person, influence, and Glory.
We are crucified to the world and the world is crucified to us. We are crucified to our whole first personality and our whole first personality is crucified to us. We are crucified to sin and sin is crucified to us. We are crucified to our ambitions and our ambitions are crucified to us. We are crucified to being anything and doing anything, and being anything and doing anything are crucified to us.
Christ is being formed in us and is dwelling in us. All that we are doing, saying, and thinking is to be proceeding directly from His resurrection life.
The Holy Spirit presses us into the death of Christ so our personality and behavior spring from His resurrection life rather than from our flesh and blood life.
As long as we are abiding in the Person and will of Christ we continue to be without condemnation in the sight of almighty God.
The part of our personality that is proceeding from Christ is actually and practically righteous because Christ is God’s righteousness. The only righteousness that exists under the new covenant is Christ.
The part of our personality that has not as yet come into actual union with the death and resurrection of Christ is accounted as being righteous because of the principle of the firstfruits. The principle of the firstfruits is that if part of a harvest is set apart as holy to the Lord God the whole harvest has been set apart as holy to the Lord God.
For if the firstfruit be holy, the lump [the entire substance] is also holy: and if the root be holy, so are the branches (Romans 11:16).
When we place our faith in Christ for salvation we become born-again of the Spirit of God. Our new born-again nature takes its place in Christ at the right hand of the Father. A "firstfruits" of our personality has been harvested and then "waved" before the Lord (Leviticus 23:11).
The waving of the firstfruits sets apart the whole harvest as holy to the Lord.
When we continue to walk in the light of God’s Presence and will, the blood of Christ keeps on sanctifying us in the sight of the Lord.
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin (I John 1:7).
Because a firstfruits of our life already has been harvested and presented to the Lord, all of our personality has been set apart as holy to the Lord. Therefore, through the blood of the righteous Jesus we continue to be without any condemnation whatever in the sight of God.
When the Holy Spirit points out a sin in our life we are to confess it and turn away from it through the wisdom and power that the Holy Spirit provides.
We are to turn our attention to coming to know the power of Christ’s resurrection, to sharing His sufferings, to being changed into His death, if by any means we may arrive at the resurrection that is from among the dead.
Our task is to keep ourselves in the love of God, in the Presence and will of Christ. We do this through faith as we pray, study the Scriptures, assemble with the saints, exercise our individual responsibility and ministry in the Kingdom of God, and press into all other aspects of the Christian discipleship.
God’s promise to us is that if we will continue to walk in the light of His Presence He will continue to view us as being without condemnation in Christ. This is the true grace of God in which we stand and the manner in which the new covenant brings us to fullness of stature in Christ.
2. What is "the law of the Spirit of life in Christ"?
The righteousness of the blood atonement plus the holiness, wisdom, and energy of the Spirit of God abiding eternally in the saint.
3. What is "the law of sin and death"?
The law, the principle of spiritual darkness, the satanic, demonic desire to sin which keeps us from practicing the righteous conduct that we desire, and directs us to partake of the lusts and rebellions that are displeasing to almighty God. This principle works together with the Law of Moses to slay us, to separate us from God.
4. What does the law of the Spirit of life in Christ do for us?
The law of the Spirit of life in Christ applies to us the righteousness of Christ and provides us with wisdom and energy superior to the principle of sin dwelling in our members. By so doing the law of the Spirit of life sets us free from the destructive interaction of the Law of Moses and the principle of sin dwelling in the members of our body.
5. What is the Law of Moses unable to do?
It is unable to loose us from sin’s bondage and create true righteousness in us.
6. Why is the Law of Moses unable to loose us and create righteousness in us?
Because the Law of Moses depends on our human personality to meet the Divine standards of righteous, holy, and obedient behavior.
7. How did God respond to the inability of His Law, given through Moses, to loose us from sin’s bondages and create true righteousness in us?
God sent His own Son in the form of sinful flesh (although without sin), and the Divine judgment fell on the flesh of Christ as though it had been sinful. Christ became our sin-offering.
The Word of God, Christ, became flesh. There was no principle of sin dwelling in His flesh because He was born of God through the virgin, Mary. Christ was born without the guilt of sin and without the principle of sin dwelling in the members of His physical body.
Christ lived on this earth for thirty-three years without once committing sin.
The sinless Son of God, and Son of Man, provided God with the unblemished Passover Lamb that was needed to take away the sin of the world.
Although Christ never was guilty of one sin against the Law of Moses He was visited with the judgment and execution of sentence that must attend the soul that sins.
He was led from the city of Jerusalem, bearing on His Personality the full burden of the sins and rebellions of mankind. The sentence of death was executed. His spirit, soul, and body were cut off from the Presence of His beloved Father.
The Sinless bore the sentence of the sinful. In this manner, sin was judged in the flesh of Christ. Because of the one perfect offering, the complete atonement, the Holy Spirit can attribute the righteousness of the Law of Moses to each individual who will place his or her trust in the act of substitutionary death that was performed by Christ on the cross of Calvary.
8. Why was it necessary that Christ die on our behalf?
So the requirement of the Law of Moses might be satisfied as far as we are concerned. When the righteousness of Christ is applied to our account it is as though we had managed to keep the Law of Moses in every detail.
9. What person has the righteousness of the Law of Moses ascribed to him or her?
The individual who is not walking according to the desires of his or her flesh and soul but according to the Spirit of God.
This last truth, found in the fourth verse of the eighth chapter, is so important, so crucial, we will deal with it again.
What behavior on our part results in salvation by grace through faith?
What must we do if we are to participate in the new covenant?
When do the promises of the Book of Romans become true for us as an individual?
Who is without condemnation in the sight of God?
The answer is, the person who walks "not in the appetites of the flesh, but after the Spirit."
It is taught commonly that salvation is an eternal, unconditional amnesty for the believer. Once we make a profession of faith, salvation operates by "grace" and how we behave is not critically important. This is an error. The Divine redemption always is conditional, always based on our behavior, always an opportunity through Christ, always proceeding as we interact with the Spirit of God.
Salvation never is an eternal, unconditional amnesty. Today, tomorrow, a million years from now, the soul that sins shall die, shall be cut off from God.
The Father sent the Lord Jesus so men might be able to turn from their sins and learn to serve God. Those who do so shall be saved from wrath and brought into the new world. Those who do not turn from their evil, after all the mercy and provisions of the Lord, shall be cast into the area prepared for the devil and his angels.
It is Satan who has introduced the idea of an eternal amnesty, for he hopes to obtain such an amnesty for himself. But it shall never be given.
If walking not according to our physical reasoning and abilities but after the Spirit of God is the critical issue of the new covenant, and our freedom from condemnation is founded on it, we need to be certain we are fulfilling this requirement.
Human beings are occupied with material survival, with seeking pleasure, and with striving to enlarge their influence and to construct something worthwhile and enduring.
Walking "in the appetites of the flesh" means we are pursuing these three areas according to our own wisdom, energy, and talents. This is true even when our security, our pleasure, and the enlarging of our influence and the worthwhile and enduring structure we are creating, have to do (so we think) with the Kingdom of God. On many occasions the building of the supposed Kingdom of God is a fleshly, soulish enterprise.
Walking "after the Spirit" means we are pursuing these three areas by waiting on the Lord, not in passivity or inevitability but in vital union with Him through prayer and patient, unrelenting obedience.
If our personality and behavior are flowing from waiting on the Lord, from the shining forth of His resurrection Life, we are walking "after the Spirit." This is true even though what we are doing appears to have nothing to do with religion or with the Church.
God is directly concerned and involved with the activities of the whole earth, not just with religious activities. Christ guides us in every area of life. No activity or interest of the saint escapes the intense involvement of the Lord Christ. He loves us that much!
We partake of new-covenant righteousness as we walk after the Spirit.
10. What is true of people who are walking "in the flesh"?
Their minds are occupied with all their fleshly activities of working and enjoying themselves.
11. What is true of people who are living "in the Spirit"?
Their minds are occupied with the Lord Jesus, with the Word of God, with the fellowship of the saints, with prayer, with their service in the Lord’s vineyard.
12. What do we reap when we follow the desires of our flesh and soul?
Spiritual death—the loss of the Presence and fellowship of God in Christ.
There is no more effective way to lose the Presence and fellowship of God than to follow the desires of the flesh and soul, keeping busy with the things of the world—houses, furnishings, vehicles, properties, money, clothes, employment, entertainment, travel, leaving little time for prayer, studying the Scriptures, or having fellowship with fervent disciples. While these are not necessarily sin they cause us to neglect our salvation and therefore destroy our spiritual life.
13. What do we reap when our mind is continually influenced by the Holy Spirit?
Life and peace.
14. What is true of the human mind?
It is hostile toward God. It is not subject to the Law of God nor is it able to be subject to God.
15. What is the case with people who are living as natural flesh and blood human beings, following the inclinations of their flesh and soul?
They cannot please God.
The person who is occupied with material survival, with material happiness, with working, playing, eating, sleeping, reproducing is little different from an animal. He is not learning to become a son of God, which is the intended destiny of each believer in Christ.
God has predestined us to be changed into the image of His Son—Christ. If we ignore God’s plan for us, choosing instead to occupy ourselves with the human activities of the world, we are not fulfilling God’s purpose in calling us in Christ. If we continue to turn our back on God’s will for us our end will be tragic indeed when compared with the glory that the Lord had prepared for us.
For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be changed into the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers (Romans 8:29).
16. What is true of the person in whom the Spirit of God is dwelling?
His life is more than just human-animal existence. The Holy Spirit of God has become part of his personality.
17. What can be said of someone who does not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in him?
He does not belong to Christ.
All the people of the world can be separated into two groups: those who have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them and those who do not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them.
People who have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them are Christians, regardless of their doctrinal beliefs. Those who do not have the Spirit of Christ dwelling in them are not Christians, regardless of their doctrinal beliefs.
In the last days, as the wheat and the tares come to maturity side by side, the division between Christians and non-Christians will become increasingly clear. When the Lord returns, those who are abiding in Christ will rise to meet the Lord in the air. Then the true Church will be one in Christ in God.
18. What can be stated concerning the person in whom Christ is dwelling?
Although his physical body is spiritually dead because of the law of sin dwelling in it, his inner, born-again spiritual nature is alive unto God in the Holy Spirit because of the righteousness of the indwelling Christ.
19. What will take place in every person in whom the Spirit of God is dwelling?
God the Father will impart resurrection life to the mortal body of that person by God’s Spirit who is dwelling in him. This is the first resurrection from the dead, and it will occur at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven.
In our opinion, Romans 8:11 is an extremely important passage of Scripture. It is speaking of the redemption, the resurrection that will take place in us at the coming of the Lord.
Notice that our resurrection depends on the fact that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us, and will issue from the Holy Spirit who is in us. The resurrection life is in us now, waiting for the Father’s time to be exercised.
How can we be sure that the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us?
We can determine if the Holy Spirit is dwelling in us by the kind of behavior we are manifesting.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law (Galatians 5:22,23).
Divine love, joy, and peace demonstrated in our personality are an indication that the Spirit of God is abiding in us.
But if hatred, misery, unrest, impatience, harshness, selfishness, unbelief, hardness, lack of self-control are being revealed in our behavior we need to ask the Lord Jesus if the Spirit of God is abiding in us, whether or not we speak in tongues and exercise spiritual gifts.
Doctrinal belief has little to do with the resurrection. The resurrection from the dead is the expected spiritual outcome of walking in the Spirit of God. The resurrection from the dead is not a reward for possessing correct beliefs of doctrine, accepted theology.
Multitudes of Christians are unaware of this. If they do not learn to walk in the Spirit of God they will not participate in the resurrection that will occur when the Lord returns. It is not that God will punish them for not walking in the Spirit; it is, rather, that they are not cooperating with the Holy Spirit in the forming of the resurrection in them in the present hour.
Jesus taught us the parable of the ten virgins so we may understand that the crucial issue, as far as the first resurrection from the dead is concerned, is the possession of "oil" (a type of the Holy Spirit).
They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them (Matthew 25:3).
The five were virgins. They possessed lamps, a type of the Word of God, the Scriptures. But they were not careful to maintain the Oil of the Holy Spirit of God.
The startling truth of Romans 8:11 is that the resurrection is at work in us now. The Spirit who will raise us up in the Day of the Lord is dwelling in us already. Our responsibility is to yield to the Spirit, to allow Him to direct our preparation for eternal union with the Lord Jesus Christ.
If we sow to the indwelling Holy Spirit we will reap eternal life.
If we do not sow to the Spirit, choosing instead to follow the desires of our flesh and human mind, we will not be part of the first resurrection. Paul informs us that if we live according to the appetites and passions of our flesh we will kill our spiritual life (Romans 8:13; Galatians 6:8).
It is possible for us to prevent our own resurrection by not sowing to the resurrection life that is in us.
If we continue to follow the Holy Spirit each day, then, when the Lord comes, our mortal bodies, our physical bodies, our spiritually dead bodies will be delivered from all sinful tendencies and given eternal life.
What a glorious answer to Paul’s cry, "Who shall deliver me from the body of this death?"!
20. Paul has taught us that living in the flesh results in spiritual death while living in the Spirit of God results in triumphant resurrection. What does he conclude from this?
The Christian is not under obligation to his physical body, is not bound to honor its lusts and rebellions against God and His purposes.
Romans 8:12 is one of several verses in the New Testament writings that inform us we are not required nor can we be compelled to live according to the flesh.
It is not unusual to hear Christian people express the belief that as long as we are in the world we are obligated to sin. This point of view is not scriptural. There is enough virtue in Christ to enable us to overcome our sins if this is what we want to do.
There is no power in the world or in the heavens that can compel a member of the Body of Christ to commit adultery or to lie or steal, if that member calls on Christ in the hour of temptation. If Satan can force us to sin, then he also can overcome the resurrection of Christ.
The solution to the sin problem does not consist of going to Heaven. Sin originated in Heaven, not in the earth. Sin was introduced into mankind by creatures who previously had dwelled in the highest heaven.
The resurrection from the dead has little or nothing to do with going to Heaven. The resurrection from the dead, which is the direct result of the overcoming of sin, has to do only with the Lord Jesus Christ. He Himself is the Resurrection from the dead.
The solution to the sin problem consists of being grafted into the death of Christ and into the resurrection of Christ. Our resurrection will be complete when our spirit, soul, and body are unblemished expressions of the resurrection Life of Christ.
After we have attained the resurrection we may be assigned to serve the Lord Jesus on the earth, or in Heaven, as the Lord directs. Actually, there is far more Scripture to the effect that the resurrected saints will serve the Lord on the earth rather than in Heaven (the last two chapters of the Book of Revelation, for example).
The goal of the Christian discipleship is to attain the redemption of our physical body. After that, our service to God will extend into eternity, and into realms we cannot know at this time.
If we choose to live according to the desires of our physical body we will forfeit these glorious opportunities of life and service. If we choose to live according to the Holy Spirit, then we now are passing over the threshold of the royal destiny to which we have been summoned by the King of Glory.
21. What will happen to us if we live according to the desires of our physical body?
The sins and cares of the world will choke off the growth of the Divine Life that has been born in us. We will destroy our own resurrection. We will die spiritually.
22. What will happen to us if, by the Holy Spirit of God, we put to death the deeds of our physical body?
We will participate in the first resurrection from the dead.
The saints walk in the awesome power of the resurrection of Christ. We are without condemnation in the sight of God.
As part of the walk of victory the Spirit of God directs our attention to specific deeds of our body that are unclean. When He does we are to confess them as sin and resolutely turn away from them. Then the Spirit will apply the blood of Christ to the uncleanness of behavior so we are forgiven and cleansed. From this point onward the Spirit will enable us to never again participate in the filthy practices.
What are we to do about the deeds of our body?
We are to put them to death.
We are not to struggle ineffectively with the lusts of our flesh. We are to kill them as the Holy Spirit gives us the virtue, wisdom, and energy.
What does it mean to put something to death?
It means to force the life from it. The Holy Spirit enables us to force the life from the law of sin that dwells in our members.
There may be someone reading these lines who wishes he or she could gain victory over fornication or lusting or lying or stealing or using profanity. Wishing and hoping are a start in the right direction. But God, under the new covenant, has given us far more ability than desiring and hoping—ability that will enable us to kill the sin in our flesh.
Call the thing by name—the lusting or lying or stealing or profanity. Denounce it! Declare that it has no part in the Kingdom of God. Take dominion over it in the name of Christ. Bring the blood of Christ against it. Bring the Spirit of God against it. Call on God in Jesus’ name and ask Him to put it to death, to rid you of its filthy tentacles forever.
The reason people do not gain victory over specific sins is that they do not name the sin clearly and denounce it vigorously. They do not persist before the Lord in denouncing and hating the deed. Mankind invited Satan into the human personality. Only mankind, through the Lord Jesus Christ, can drive Satan out of the human personality.
Put the thought, word, or deed to death through the Holy Spirit of God. Do it now! Do it with all your strength and determination and God will help you. You cannot force it out by your own strength but you can renounce it and call upon the Lord for help.
If you will come against your problem in the name of Christ you will be delivered and all of its life will die in you. Try it and see for yourself.
First you must stop excusing your conduct, stop apologizing for the devil and justifying his lusts and behaviors. Denounce the sin as the filthy spirit that it is and turn away from it. God already has given to you through Christ the authority and power to cast of these chains, these graveclothes.
If you choose to remain bound you will remain bound. But you shall not attain the first resurrection from the dead while you are bound in sin.
If you choose to be loosed, then be loosed! Live, in Jesus’ name! Cast off from yourself the unprofitable works of darkness. It is your responsibility to make the choice.
If you are so bound you cannot make up your mind to resist your sins, then tell Christ of your helplessness. He will give you the desire to throw off your sins through the power of the Spirit of God.
23. Who are the true sons of God?
Those who are led by the Holy Spirit of God.
24. What does the Holy Spirit lead the sons of God to do?
He leads them to put to death the sinful actions of their bodies.
As soon as the Holy Spirit enters us in resurrection power He begins to lead us into judgment, into putting to death the sinful actions of our body.
Eternal judgment always follows the resurrection from the dead (Hebrews 6:2).
As soon as Lazarus is raised the graveclothes must be removed from him (John 11:44).
25. What has the Christian saint not received?
A spirit of bondage leading again into fear. From the context, it seems Paul is referring to the Law of Moses which, working together with the law of sin abiding in the parts of our body, brings us into bondage and death.
26. What has the Christian saint received?
A spirit of adoption that causes him to exclaim, "My Father!"
27. What do the Holy Spirit and our spirit both testify?
That we are children of God.
28. What is true of us if we indeed are God’s own children?
We are God’s heirs, coheirs with Christ of God’s possessions.
29. What is necessary if we are to realize our coheirship with Christ?
We must be sharing His sufferings so we may share His glory, being glorified together with Him.
The incorruptible life and glory for which we are hoping proceeds only from participation in Christ’s death. Attainment to the first resurrection, the resurrection of the royal priesthood, flows from conformity to Christ’s death (Revelation 20:6).
Christ died and rose again two thousand years ago. Today the Holy Spirit is creating us an integral part of His death and His resurrection.
If we cooperate with the Holy Spirit as He presses us into the death and into the life of Christ, then, when Christ appears, we will appear with Him as an incorruptible part of His Presence. The new creation that we will be seen to be will not be us, nor will it be Christ. It will be a new creation compounded from Christ and us—a unique revelation to the universe of the Person and will of the almighty God of Heaven.
30. Paul suffered much in the world (II Corinthians 11:23-33, for example). What does Paul state concerning our sufferings in the world?
Our sufferings are not worthy to be compared with the glory about to be revealed to us.
Romans 8:17-19 inform us that the resurrection Glory of Christ’s Presence, at His coming, will be revealed not only to us but in us and through us.
Christ—Head and Body—shall shine as lightning, demonstrating the glory of His resurrection throughout the whole earth.
31. What is the material creation eagerly, ardently awaiting?
The revealing of the sons of God.
Romans 8:19 is one of the most significant passages in the Scriptures. The eternal purpose of God is shown here.
The picture is that of the material realm, afflicted frustrated, impotent, bound with slavery to sin, decay, and death. The earth is a huge prison filled with nations of peoples. The earth is not Hell, but the spirit of Hell is active among earth’s prisoners.
The dark rock walls loom high on every side. There is no escape, no release from this most impregnable of prisons.
Then Christ died and rose again. At His resurrection the hand of God Almighty reached down and opened the massive door of the prison—but just a crack!
The crack was large enough, however, to let the glorious light of Heaven stream into the darkness. The prisoners grouped about the light. When will the door be opened so earth’s prisoners can be restored to the Presence of God and the lost Paradise?
The Divine Life was withdrawn from all the material creation the moment Adam and Eve disobeyed the Lord God.
The Divine decree has been proclaimed from Heaven: "In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed: because thou hast obeyed my voice."
All the nations of the earth!
When will the nations of the earth be blessed?
When the Seed—Christ—becomes as "the stars of the heaven, and as the sand that is on the sea shore." Dominion results from fruitfulness.
Why did the Lord Jesus Christ not open the prison door two thousand years ago? He is the King of the Kingdom. He possesses all authority and power in Heaven and on the earth.
Christ did not release the creation two thousand years ago because it is the purpose of the Father to bring many sons to glory, many brothers of Christ into their inheritance.
How will the Lord God do this?
He will accomplish His plan by creating Christ in each of the sons, so when Christ is revealed from Heaven they will be revealed as part of His resurrection glory.
Christ, and those who have become one with Him, in total, complete union with Him, will be revealed to the world. The universal power and authority of that revelation will destroy sin and sinners from the earth. At the same time, the peoples of the earth who have hoped in God’s mercy will be released to righteousness, peace, and joy.
This is the revealing to the creation of the sons of God. It is the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The violence of the setting up of the Kingdom of God on the earth is described in Joel 2:1-11, Isaiah 13:3-11, Micah 5:7-9, Habakkuk 3:11-16, Malachi 4:3, Jude 14,15, Revelation 19:11-21, and in other passages of the Scriptures.
In fact, the main topic of the Scriptures is the establishing of the Kingdom of God on the earth, and Christ as the King of the Kingdom.
The mystery of the Gospel of the coming Kingdom is that Christ is in us. This is to say, the Kingdom of God is both an external kingdom and an internal kingdom.
To the saint, the supreme joy of the Kingdom of God is that Christ—the King of the Kingdom—is being created in him and is dwelling in him. From this eternal vantage point—the heart of the saint—the King of Glory will rule the creation in love. Then, God the Father, whose Kingdom it is, will be All in all in Christ in the saints in Divine love.
The ministries and gifts given to the Christian Church are for the purpose of building the Body of Christ into maturity in the Head. As soon as the Body of Christ has been built up into the Head, the whole Christ—Head and Body—will be revealed to the nation of Israel and to the remainder of the peoples of the earth. This is Christ, the Servant of the Lord, who is to come (Isaiah, Chapter 42).
32. To what has the creation been made subject?
To vanity, futility.
33. Who placed the creation in subjection to vanity?
34. What did God give to the creation after He had brought it under the curse of vanity and futility?
The hope that one day the creation itself will be freed from its slavery to corruption and released into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
35. At what point and in what manner will the physical creation be set free from the bondage of corruption and released into the freedom of the glory of the children of God?
The deliverance will come when the sons of God are revealed.
The sons of God, as Christ lives in them and works through them, will release the physical creation from its slavery to corruption and will bring it into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.
The Church, the Body of Christ, is being created as an enlargement of the Head—Christ. When the Lord Jesus returns to the earth it will be for the purpose of manifesting His glory through His saints.
The Head cannot return until the Body is ready. Therefore each of us should give full attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in forming Christ in us. If Christ intended to return to the earth apart from the perfecting of the Body, He would have come long ago and would have spared earth’s peoples the unimaginable anguish that fills each day of history.
The fact is, the coming visible demonstration to the peoples of the earth of the triumphant victory over death accomplished by the Lord Jesus is related to the forming of that same resurrection in His saints now. Our inner resurrection and His open manifestation to the world are all part of the one resurrection of Christ.
We shall appear with Him in glory.
He in us will pass from person to person on the earth, releasing each of the saved into God’s glorious liberty. This will not be a mass, impersonal action. It will be fashioned in the most tender, loving care for the persons involved, just as our own resurrection always will be a personal relationship between ourselves and the wonderful Person and power of the Lord Jesus Christ (Philippians 3:21).
36. What do we know to be true of the material creation?
It is sighing and travailing in the pangs of childbirth. The creation will continue to suffer birth pains until the Kingdom of God has been established on the earth.
The saint possesses a great, unconquerable hope. He understands that the increasing chaos of the world political and economic systems is announcing the coming to the earth of the only political and economic system that will bring release and glory to the peoples of the earth—the Kingdom of God.
The Glory of the Lord is about to be born in the earth.
37. Why do we who possess the firstfruits of the Spirit of God sigh and groan within ourselves?
We are looking forward fervently to our adoption as sons of God, an adoption demonstrated by the redemption of our bodies.
It is important to note that it is the first resurrection, the redemption of our mortal body, that signifies our adoption as a son of God.
Today we possess the firstfruits of the Spirit of God. This means what we are experiencing in our inner born-again nature is the freedom of the glory of the children of God that one day will permeate the material creation.
Our physical body is dead—cut off from the Life of God because of the law of sin that abides in the members of our body.
When Jesus returns He will abolish every claim of sin on our mortal body and will fill and transform our body with incorruptible resurrection life. This is the first resurrection from the dead, the redemption of our body from the hand of the last enemy, death.
The transformation of our mortal body by the resurrection life of Christ will establish us as sons of God, just as Christ was declared to be the Son of God when the Holy Spirit exercised the power that raised Him from the dead (Romans 1:14).
As soon as our body has been redeemed we will be able to think, speak, and act in perfect righteousness, holiness, and obedience to God.
Our inner, spiritual nature is born of God, but our body is adopted.
38. What saves the saint?
His hope that Christ will release him from the power of sin and death.
39. What will we continue to do until the Lord returns?
We will wait patiently for our release into the glorious freedom of the sons of God and strive against sin by the grace Christ gives us.
It is that hope of righteousness, and an accompanying patience, that saves us into the Kingdom of Christ (Galatians 5:5). This is the true Christian faith.
40. How does the Holy Spirit help us in our weakness?
We do not know what we should pray for but the Holy Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with sighings and groanings that are inexpressible.
41. Who searches the hearts of all persons everywhere?
The Lord Jesus Christ.
42. What does Christ know?
Christ knows the mind of the Holy Spirit because Christ makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
43. What does the saint know?
He knows that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to God’s eternal purpose in Christ.
44. What is God’s purpose concerning the people whom He foreknew?
He predestined them to be changed into the image of His Son, Christ.
45. What is true of Christ?
He is the firstborn among many brothers.
Romans 8:29 has stupendous implications. It describes the eternal purpose of God in world history.
God is creating by His Divine wisdom and power many brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
God is insuring that all things work together for good to the future brothers of the Lord Jesus. The history of mankind has taken place within the boundaries of God’s purpose. The release and progress of mankind await the bringing forth of the brothers of Christ. They are a firstfruits to God of the peoples of the earth.
The concepts of Divine foreknowledge and predestination have proved to be difficult for some earnest inquirers to accept.
The saint who desires to grow in the wisdom and revelation of Christ must accept the concepts of Divine foreknowledge and predestination. Apart from them it is impossible to understand the ways of the Lord God of Heaven.
Divine foreknowledge and Divine predestination are truths of the holy Scriptures. The Scriptures are not to be tampered with in any manner whatever.
God is God. He is wiser, more powerful, greater, more loving, more capable of wrath, more able to work according to His own counsel, than any of us are able to conceive.
Perhaps our sinful and rebellious nature would attempt to accuse God of injustice because He works in terms of His foreknowledge and eternal purposes. But we cannot alter the Scriptures. The Scriptures will remain intact when the universe passes away.
God is the Potter and we are the clay. Let God be true and every man a liar.
God’s foreknowledge is universal in scope and totally accurate in detail.
God’s foreknowledge is universal enough and accurate enough to enable Him to chart the course of every one of His creatures, especially those whom He has predestined to be changed into the image of His beloved Son.
God has given His creatures the opportunity to choose to serve Him (although we observed in the seventh chapter of Romans that this opportunity can be hampered seriously by the principle of sin that abides in the parts of our physical body).
God’s foreknowledge enables Him to know in advance the decisions each creature will make. The Divine foreknowledge governs the decisions of God concerning the destiny of each individual.
God cannot be tempted with sin. God never leads anyone into sin or forces him to sin. Sin does not proceed from the Lord God of Heaven.
God knows in advance what each person will do over the course of his existence. We must temper this statement, however, by the fact that the present world is one great area of testing. It is our response to the test that seals the purposes of God concerning us.
God knew what was in Abraham’s heart. But it was after Abraham actually went ahead with the sacrifice of Isaac that God spoke:
And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me. (Genesis 22:12)
"Now I know."
God judges people by what they do, what actions they take. This is a very important principle of spirituality and of judgment.
Whenever we state that God knows in advance what each person will do we must temper this idea with the fact that God takes chances with people, putting them into situations where there is a possibility that His servant will fall.
Many people disappoint God during their lifetime. The disappointment is genuine. In the days of Noah, God expressed grief concerning the creation of mankind. Some individuals are appointed to great glory and then make wrong choices.
Let no believer ever accept a spirit of inevitability concerning life on the earth. The Scriptures mean exactly what they state. Life is a window of opportunity. We can choose to lay hold on our Divine calling or we can let it slip. This is a real choice that each one of us has, and the consequences are eternal.
All spirits are eternal in existence. If God had no purpose in a particular spirit He would not have created it.
Before God created Satan or any other fallen angel, God knew sin and rebellion would take place. Any creature of God that possesses a will of its own is capable of sinning, of rebelling against God.
When God made the tree of the knowledge of good and evil to grow from the ground of the garden, God understood that Satan would be able to deceive the innocent Eve into disobeying Him.
You may ask, Why does God allow circumstances to exist that He understands will result in sin and rebellion, with the accompanying tragedy and anguish? It is so He can immunize His children against sin.
The events of history were allowed to take place because God has purposed to create many sons in His own image, many brothers of the Lord Jesus Christ.
No doubt God, from unimaginable eons past, has been planning to bring a large number of sons into the image of His beloved Son, Christ. God has decided to create a family, to enlarge His own Being.
It may be true that each of the sons who is created in the image of Christ will one day be responsible to Christ for a universe of creatures. It is a very large canvas that the God of Heaven is painting.
A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time (Isaiah 60:22).
There is an important precaution that must be taken before sons are created in the image of the Father. Before these immense beings bearing galactic authority and power are established in responsible positions in the universe, their love of righteousness and obedience to God must be perfected beyond any possibility of sin and disobedience occurring at a later time. Can you see the reason for this?
When Satan and the angels fell, as God knew beforehand that they would, the materials were at hand for the immunization of God’s future sons against sin and disobedience.
God’s immunizing power is the Lord Jesus Christ. The Christian Church does not always appear to be aware of this fact. One gains the impression at times that God’s people are looking to their move to Heaven as the solution to the sin problem.
Moving to Heaven will not release us from the chains of sin and rebellion. Not once in the Scriptures is going to Heaven presented as the means of redemption. Sin and rebellion against the Lord God began in Heaven, in the realm of spirits without bodies. Since this is true, being carried to Heaven will not create within the sons of God the virtue necessary for satisfying the Father that sin and rebellion will not be found in them.
The viewpoint of current Christian theology is that the goal of salvation is to bring people to Heaven. Added to this is the belief that going to Heaven will release us from the chains of slavery to sin and rebellion.
The goal and the means of attaining the goal are both incorrect. The goal of the Divine redemption is to conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus. Only the forming and dwelling of Christ in us are sufficient to release us from the chains of slavery to sin.
Because the goal and the means of attaining the goal are incorrect, the plans and procedures of the Christian churches are often ineffective in accomplishing the Divine purpose.
The Christians churches are seeking to increase their numbers, with the understanding that their congregations are on their way to Heaven. The churches are not nearly as intent on the transformation from Adam to the new creation, the image of Christ.
Many of the churches are out of the Lord’s will. They are wasting His time and resources. The pressures God will send in the future shall sweep away the current plans and procedures and replace them with the Bride without blemish.
What is God’s solution to the problem of sin and rebellion?
The solution is the Character, the Person, the Virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is only as Christ is formed in us that our heavenly Father can be certain we shall not reintroduce sin and rebellion into His creation.
God, understanding all this from the beginning, created Adam and Eve as a beginning step in His plan to form many sons in His image. It is apparent that Adam and Eve were not immune to sin and rebellion. Christ had not been formed in them.
Just as the Lord God knew he would, Satan entered the garden and infected Adam and Eve with sin and rebellion. The material creation thus was exposed to the worst of all sicknesses. Sin and rebellion spread through the earth like the flames of Hell. God was aware this would take place.
In the fullness of time, God sent forth the resistance, the antibodies, that create immunity to sin and rebellion. The resistance, the antibodies, consists of the Person, the Character, the Virtue, of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Everyone who will accept the "vaccination" of being filled with Christ will become immune for eternity to sin and rebellion.
Do you comprehend the wisdom of God?
Nothing takes God by surprise. Nothing can harm one of God’s elect if that individual will continue to dwell in God through Christ.
The wall that surrounds the new Jerusalem is a symbolic portrayal of the resistance, the immunity to sin possessed by the Bride of the Lamb. Adam’s bride was not immune to sin. There may be an actual wall around the holy city, but the spiritual meaning of the wall is the immunity to sin and rebellion, the love of righteousness and holiness, and the obedience to God that are being created in the sons of God.
One day soon God will be able to trust His sons with vast, universal assignments of accomplishment and rulership. They will never disobey God. Why not?
Because it no longer is they who are living but a new creation. The new creation is a unique expression of the Lord God—an expression produced from an eternally inseparable blend of Christ and the saint.
The new creation is not the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not the saint. Yet, both Christ and the saint are present in the new person, the new little brother of Christ.
How can the two become one in this fashion?
The unity of Christ and the saint is the same unity that exists in Christ and the Father. Christ is the eternal Life who has been with the Father from the beginning. God is in Christ. Christ is filled with all the fullness of God. There is an eternal union in which neither Christ nor God has lost His identity.
In the same manner, God is in Christ in us. We are in Christ in God. God the Father has not lost His Identity as a Person. Christ has not lost His Identity as a Person. We have not lost our identity as a person.
The new person produced by this union is not the Father, nor is he the Lord Jesus Christ, nor is he we ourselves. He is a new person, not having existed previously.
The new persons formed in this manner are the Kingdom of God—the eternal expression of the almighty God throughout His creation.
And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me (John 17:22,23).
Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature [a new creation]: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God,.. (II Corinthians 5:17,18).
The new personages, the kings and priests of God, are eternally immune to sin and rebellion even though tremendous areas of opportunity for choice will be opened to them.
How have they become they immune to sin?
They are immune because they have been sick and have died with the disease of sin and rebellion. Then they were raised from the dead by being permeated in every aspect of their personality with the Divine Person and Virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ.
By reason of being filled with the Divine Person of the Lord Jesus Christ they have become an eternally inseparable part of the God of Heaven. Therefore they cannot sin. They have been born of God. They will not sin because Christ will not sin.
Whoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God (I John 3:9).
Now do you understand why God allows sin and rebellion to continue in His creation?
It is because He is building resistance in His sons against the dreadful disease of sin. As soon as each son, each brother of Christ, has been completely immunized, God will cast Satan, every other sinning angel, and every person who refuses Christ into the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
The lake that burns with fire and sulfur is not a redemptive fire. It is eternal wrath, eternal torment. All sin and rebellion—the horrible virus—will be contained within the dark, oppressive interior of the earth.
The virus of sin and rebellion will never be obliterated. It will be confined in one location for eternity. The tormenting fire, and those who dwell therein, will serve as a perpetual reminder to the whole universe of the result of sin and rebellion against the Most High.
Understanding these facts we can begin to gain an inkling of the truly awesome implications of the expression: "We know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
The arena in which mankind plays out its brief episode on the earth is a working area for the Lord God of Heaven as He is bringing forth sons in His own image. The sons will grow into his likeness during the future billions of eons.
The sons of God will bear responsibility of such magnitude that no language on earth could encompass and convey such grandeur, such avenues of development and expression.
Given such a program it is not surprising that God examines and weighs exceedingly carefully every thought, every motive, every imagination, every word, every action, every posture, every attitude of the heirs of His salvation. They are the seed of the worlds to come. Therefore they must be perfect.
Perfect in Christ! It is extremely important to keep in mind that God is not creating sons apart from Himself. He is creating sons in Christ who are part of God’s own Being.
An "expert Christian," that is, someone who is attaining Christ-likeness but who is not an inseparable aspect of the radiance of Christ’s resurrection Life, is not of God. He is of the False Prophet.
The saints of themselves are nothing. The assembly of saints is nothing. If all the saints on the earth of all time were to assemble in one place and agree on one course of action it would still be nothing and less than nothing. Such an assemblage would be the worst possible enemy of God in the universe. Be sure you understand this if you would be the friend of God.
The only important aspect of all God’s workings is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. What He is. What He does. Not what we do for Him or in His Name.
It is only as each saint becomes part of the Divine Personage, the Lord Jesus, that any good is performed in the Kingdom of God.
46. What is true of each of the persons whom God has predestined to be in the image of His Son?
God has "called" that individual.
Notice that the elect are not predestined to be saved, they are predestined to be in the image of Christ.
Although all Heaven is blessed and rejoices when a sinner repents and returns to the Father’s house, it remains true that God’s eternal purpose has not been fulfilled when we receive the Lord and have our sins forgiven. The Divine purpose has been accomplished only when we have been fashioned into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Notice also the past tense of the verbs employed in Romans 8:30: He "called"; He "justified"; He "glorified." Before He created the universe God saw each of His sons as called, as justified, as glorified. God already views you and me in the state of glorification. Let us therefore give diligence to make our calling and election certain.
47. What does it mean to be "called?"
It means to have the Lord open our spiritual eyes to behold God’s Lamb who was slain for our sins. It refers to the Divine prompting to come out of the world and receive the Lord Jesus Christ.
The concept of being "called" is associated with the idea of foreknowledge, of predestination, of Divine sovereignty. The awareness of the sovereignty of God in salvation is necessary if we are to accept the clear statements of the Scriptures.
For ye see your calling, brothers, how that not many wise men in the appetites of the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (I Corinthians 1:26).
A study of the Old Testament and New Testament will reveal that God is sovereign in our salvation.
A person is called or he is not called. If he is not called, attempts to bring him to Christ must be exercised apart from the Holy Spirit of God.
Saints who labor in the Lord’s vineyard develop a sense of the timing of the Holy Spirit. To those who pray, waiting on the Lord, there is given an awareness of the present will of Christ. If we are serving the Lord in our own wisdom and strength, we are working in the flesh and not in the Spirit of God. We must wait on the Lord to find what He is doing. What He is doing—this is what we are to do.
We see, then, that God is building His own Kingdom. God picks and chooses according to His own purposes in Christ. When God calls an individual, that person is given a desire to do the will of God in Christ. He can refuse to obey the call if he so chooses.
Saints of experience can recount incidences in which people have expressed an awareness of the Lord’s will for themselves. The individuals either have obeyed the Lord’s will or have resisted it.
It indeed is a fearful act to resist the callings of God. Woe to anyone who continues to resist the voice of the Lord God!
48. What is true of each saint whom God has called?
God has declared that individual to be righteous.
Here is a powerful statement. God reaches down toward that person and says, "Righteous." Isn’t that remarkable?
Because God is God, and our Creator, He can declare to be righteous anyone whom He choose to bless in this manner. The concept of sovereignly applied righteousness is a necessary element in our understanding of the way of the Lord.
It is of great help to the victorious saint, the overcomer, the conqueror, when he is in the thick of the conflict, to understand that the Father in Heaven declared him to be righteous before he was born.
The righteousness of the elect is of the Lord God of Heaven. Therefore every tongue that will rise against us in judgment will be silenced. The Lord God has, of His own will, declared us to be righteous. It is in God’s authority and power to do that. No power can decree otherwise after God has spoken.
49. What is true of each person whom God has declared to be righteous?
God already views that individual in the state of glorification, the condition in which eternal, incorruptible resurrection life is filling every particle of his spirit, his soul, and his body. God now beholds the saint’s glorification as an accomplished fact.
Notice that the passage (Romans 8:30) passes from justified to glorified. Sanctified is omitted.
But sanctification must follow justification or glorification is not possible.
Predestination is a sovereign work of God. Election is a sovereign work of God. Justification is a sovereign work of God. Glorification is a sovereign work of God.
But sanctification is an interaction of the believer with the Divine Nature as his personality changes from Adam to Christ.
Sanctification is holiness—holiness that is the Presence of God in Christ.
We must enter the process of sanctification. We must become holy. If we do not, we will not be glorified in the Day of the Lord.
We sanctify ourselves, with the help of the Lord.
And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts (Galatians 5:24).
That ye put off concerning the former conversation [former way of life] the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness (Ephesians 4:24).
Mortify [put to death] therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence [lust], and covetousness, which is idolatry (Colossians 3:5).
And every man that hath this hope [of glorification] in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (I John 3:3).
No person can walk with God, no person ever can see the Lord, if his personality is not holy.
Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you (II Corinthians 6:17).
Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
One of the massive errors of contemporary theology is the concept that justification alone is sufficient for glorification. Rather, it is true that after God justifies us we must go through the "wilderness" while God sanctifies us. After that, we are ready to enter the promised land of glorification.
Before He created the universe, God declared each of His sons, the brothers of Christ, to be called, to be righteous, to be gloriously filled and overflowing with Divine Life. It all was accomplished in eons past for each of the elect.
Our task now is to run the race of sanctification, to overcome the world, Satan, the lusts of our flesh, and our self-will; for these are not holy, they are not of the Father.
All the energies of the universe are contributing toward bringing to pass what the Lord God of Heaven has stated concerning His chosen people. The realization of our Divine calling enables us to press forward into the fullness of the rest, the inheritance to which we have been summoned by the King.
We do not create our own inheritance. Our responsibility is to walk in the Spirit of God so He can accomplish the will of God in us.
50. What conclusion do we draw from the knowledge that God, before He created the world, viewed us as being called, righteous, and glorified?
Since God has taken this position concerning us there is no power that can prevent us from gaining our inheritance.
51. What did the Father do as part of His program to bring His many sons to glory?
God did not spare His only begotten Son, Christ, but delivered Him up to crucifixion in order to pay the full price for the guilt of our sins and rebellions.
52. What do we conclude as we realize God gave His Son to die for us in order to accomplish His plan for us?
God in and through the living Lord Jesus will freely give us all things.
53. What authority or power is able to accuse one of the sons whom God has elected?
No authority or power can accuse the elect of God. God, the Judge of all persons, has stated a verdict of "not guilty." Once that verdict has been stated by the Judge the case is dismissed. The trial is concluded. The courtroom is cleared.
54. What Person possesses the authority to hold an individual guilty? To retain the guilt of sin?
Only the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for our sins, who was raised in triumph, who today is at the right hand of God.
The only Person who possesses the authority to condemn us is making intercession on our behalf.
55. What tribulation or persecution or danger or lack of material necessities is able to separate a son of God from the love of Christ?
There is no suffering or persecution or violence or danger or lack of the necessities of life that has the ability to separate a saint from the love of Christ.
56. Read Psalms 44:22.
Yea, for thy sake are we killed all the day long; we are counted as sheep for the slaughter (Psalms 44:22).
57. Are God’s sons, God’s elect, ever allowed to suffer in the world?
58. How are we able to gain an overwhelming victory over tribulation, persecution, and survival problems such as famine?
Through Christ. We always are more than conquerors because the Conqueror, Christ, is in us and always is with us.
59. Of what fact had Paul become convinced?
No situation, spiritual power, or created thing ever will be able to separate one of God’s elected sons from the love of God that is in Christ our Lord.
1. How did Paul feel in his heart?
He was experiencing grief and continual sorrow.
2. What was the cause of Paul’s grief? On whose behalf could he have wished to be accursed from Christ?
On behalf of the Jewish race, of which Paul was a member.
3. What has the Lord given to the Israelites?
The adoption as sons of God, the Glory of God dwelling between the wings of the cherubim, the Divine covenant of circumcision, the Ten Commandments, the priestly ministries and sacrificial offerings, the promises of Divine blessing and of Christ to come.
It is important that Paul did not say that the blessings of God, including the adoption as sons, were for the Israelites, but that they are (present tense) for the Israelites.
Currently there is a concept termed replacement theology. The idea is that the Christian Church, because of the disobedience of the Jews, has replaced the nation of Israel as the servant of the Lord.
This concept is incorrect. If it were true, God’s calling would depend on our works rather that on His foreknowledge and election.
The adoption as sons and the Glory of God are first for the Jews. The Gospel of salvation always is to the Jew first.
It is not that God has turned away from the Jews, it is, rather, that the elect Gentiles have been grafted on Israel, on the cultivated olive tree. The new covenant always is made with Israel, and we must become part of Israel through Christ in order to enter the new covenant.
God never changes. The names of the twelve tribes of Israel are on the gates of the new Jerusalem while the names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb are in the foundations of the wall. Thus the names of twenty-four Jews are written on the heavenly city—the city that is the hope and joy of all believers in Christ.
As soon as the full number of elect Gentiles have entered the Kingdom of God, God will turn once again to physical Israel. The Spirit of God will be poured on the nation of Israel; for the promises of God to Israel never shall be done away.
The patriarchs of old, the prophets and heroes of faith, were all Israelites. Christ was born of God through the flesh of a virgin of Israel. Christ of the Jews is Lord over all, blessed of God forever.
The fact that God selected Abraham from all the inhabitants of the large city of Ur, and chose Abraham’s descendants, the nation of Israel, with whom God has dealt in a manner that has never been true of any other race of people, is one of the clearest demonstrations in all Scripture of Divine foreknowledge, predestination, and election.
4. Have God’s covenants and promises directed toward Israel failed in their eternal purpose?
5. How do we explain our answer to the preceding question, when it appears that the nation of Israel has rejected its Christ?
All who have descended in the flesh from Jacob are not the "Israel" of whom the prophets spoke, to whom the promises were made.
6. What about Abraham’s descendants?
They are not part of the Seed of promise just because they are the physical descendants of Abraham.
7. What is the significance of the expression, "In Isaac shall thy seed be called"?
It is not the children born of the flesh who are the children, the chosen of God, it is the children who are born according to the Divine promise.
Paul’s point is that an Israelite—in terms of the prophecies and promises of the Scripture—is not merely an individual who descended from Abraham after the flesh, a natural descendant.
An Israelite, according to the meaning and intent of the Scriptures, is an individual who is born by Divine intervention in fulfillment of a promise given by the Lord God of Heaven.
"Israel" cannot be produced apart from Divine intervention and the miraculous fulfillment of God’s Word. Israel cannot be born of the natural reproductive abilities of human beings.
8. What is the word of promise?
"At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son."
We realize from the above passage that Isaac was the result of Divine intervention in the lives of Abraham and Sarah and was the miraculous fulfillment of God’s Word.
9. What other Israelites does Paul use as examples in his teaching of foreknowledge and election?
Rebecca, Isaac, Jacob, and Esau.
10. Who were born of Rebecca by Isaac?
The twins, Jacob and Esau.
11. What statements did the Lord God make concerning Jacob and Esau?
"The elder shall serve the younger"; and, "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
12. How could the Lord state, before the children were born, before they had done anything good or evil, that the elder would serve the younger?
The answer is found in the sovereignty, the foreknowledge, the predestination, the election of almighty God.
The purpose of God according to election stands, not on the basis of the works of human beings but on the basis of God who calls.
13. Is God unrighteous?
14. What did God declare to Moses?
"I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion."
15. What is the correct conclusion to draw from the above passage?
The Divine redemption does not work in terms of the person who desires or the person who works but in terms of the Lord God of Heaven who shows mercy to the person toward whom God chooses of His own will to show mercy.
16. What does the Scripture say to Pharaoh?
"Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth."
Paul’s conclusion from this statement (which was directed toward Pharaoh) is that God shows mercy to whom God chooses to show mercy and God hardens whom God chooses to harden.
Romans 9:17,18 is a critical passage of Scripture. If we accept it as it stands, the sovereignty of God and His elective grace are established.
Perhaps our stubborn, rebellious, self-centered natures are willing to accuse God of injustice. If so it is because the Spirit of wisdom and revelation is not abiding in us. We are living according to our soul and human mind and have been influenced by the prevailing spirit of humanism.
Let us declare God to be God!
Either the whole Scripture is eternally true or it is not.
The "Laodicean" spirit that fills the world and the churches today is so occupied with "the rights of people" that it cannot accept all of God’s Word.
As we stated previously, the concept of Israel being a chosen nation establishes the doctrine of election to such an extent there should be no reason for the sincere Christian to have trouble with Romans 9:18. If one nation is chosen, and another nation is not chosen but instead suffers destruction, then the Lord God is working according to His own desires among the nations of the earth.
God will sacrifice nations of people in order to accomplish His purposes in His chosen people.
For I am the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life (Isaiah 43:3,4).
Pharaoh was raised to great authority for one reason: that the God of Heaven might demonstrate His own power for all to see, and that His own name might be declared through all the earth.
This is why Pharaoh was "raised up."
It is necessary that God’s people suffer, but woe to those whom God permits to harm Israel!
The wickedness of Pharaoh, the Philistines, the Babylonians, Judas Iscariot, Ananias and Sapphira, has been used of the Holy Spirit to bring God’s elect to the state God desires; but each of the tools of injury will suffer because of its behavior toward God’s elect.
We may ask, Did God cause Pharaoh or Judas or Ananias to rebel against the Spirit of God?
No. The circumstances of their lives worked together so the spiritual message was illustrated.
What about man’s "free will"?
A little reflection will reveal that only one Person in the universe possesses an unhindered will, and that is the God of Heaven.
Every human being on earth is the product of his circumstances, of the degree to which God protects Him from evil spirits, and of the extent to which God reveals to him the propose of God in Christ.
No person can come to Jesus unless the Father draws him, giving him the desire to come to the Lord.
We do not choose Christ, He chooses us.
There is not a Christian living who would not fall into deception if he were not kept from temptation by the Lord Jesus Christ.
Why does God protect some people from making disastrous choices and permit other people to make those choices? God alone fully understands the answer to this question.
Do we imagine that we are serving Christ by our own intelligence and strength?
We see, therefore, that there is no such thing as free will among human beings. Each of us is the product of overwhelming forces. God remains in precise control of each of these forces.
None of us would be able to stand in Christ even for one day if God were to remove from us His sovereignly appointed love and protection.
It is clear that God is bringing many sons to glory. These sons were chosen in Christ before the creation of the world. Earth’s history is a record of the events God has designed to bring forth a group of brothers of Christ who are in the image of Christ. There is no authority or power that can prevent God’s purpose or that can harm one of God’s elect outside of God’s perfect will.
The person living in the flesh will ask, "Why does God still find fault with people? Who has resisted God’s purpose?"
These are the questions we would expect from a self-centered, stubborn, rebellious individual who is ready to accuse the Lord of unrighteousness.
It is enough for us to know that God works matters according to His own will and program and then holds us accountable for our behavior.
The fact that our human minds cannot see the logic or justice of God working all matters according to His own will, and yet holding us accountable for our behavior, does not authorize us to question God and bring Him to account for His actions. Let God be true and every man a liar.
God will explain the paradoxes of the Scriptures to those who love him, but the remainder of the people will remain blind.
17. How does Paul respond to the individual who is questioning the ways of God?
"Who do you think you are, speaking against God in this manner?
"Will the thing formed say to Him who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’
"Does not the potter have enough authority over a lump of clay to make from the same lump a piece of pottery of distinction and another for more common purposes?"
We understand, then, that Paul was not concerned about the "rights of people." He was more interested in the rights of God.
18. What does Paul proceed to ask?
"What if God, desiring to show His anger and to demonstrate His power, exercised patience in bearing with the objects of His wrath—the objects prepared for destruction? In so doing God was able to make known the riches of His glory on objects of mercy He prepared beforehand for glory. He called out the objects of mercy, even us, not only from among Jews but also from among the Gentiles. How shall we respond to this?"
19. What did God say in Hosea, concerning the calling of the elect Gentiles?
As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of God (Romans 9:25,26).
Notice the sovereign action: "I will call"; "there shall they be called."
This type of sovereign declaration is true of the Old Testament statements that have to do with the new covenant and the Kingdom of God. God’s Word concerning the setting up of His Kingdom, His righteousness on the earth, is composed of assertions of the Divine will.
God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; (Hebrews 1:1,2).
God shall perform His work of redemption with His elect. He shall fill the earth with His glory, with the image of His Son, Christ. No power can prevent Him from completing His work perfectly.
The work of righteousness has been finished already. God is resting. We are to enter God’s rest, waiting until the events God has set in motion bring forth the Bride of the Lamb without spot or wrinkle.
20. What sovereign statement concerning Israel, God’s chosen, God’s elect, did the Spirit of Christ make through the prophet Isaiah?
. . . Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: for he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth (Romans 9:27,28).
Foreknowledge! Predestination! Election!
A remnant of the children of Israel shall be saved. The "children" (sons) referred to here had not been born as yet when the Spirit of Christ spoke in Isaiah.
Picture the sons of Israel as the "sand of the sea." Each of the sons was or will be born at a point in history. He or she (for this is referring to people, not just to males) grew from babyhood to childhood to adolescence to adulthood to middle age to old age, and then died.
Did these people determine their own destinies?
Christ declared in advance that only a portion of them would be saved.
We know that the Lord will "finish the work" of salvation and "cut it short in righteousness." The world is under the impression that it is finding its own way, by its own wisdom and strength, through various accidents and misfortunes, groping for the solutions to be brought to it by learned people.
But the history of each person has been known to God from the beginning. God knows the destiny of each person in the world. This especially is true in the case of His elect.
In like manner, the Book of Revelation has spoken concerning the nations of the earth at the end of the millennium—perhaps a thousand years from now.
None of these people has been born as yet. Yet their destiny has been known to God for the thousands of years the Scriptures have been in existence.
And they [the nations of the earth] went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them (Revelation 20:9).
The people of the nations of Revelation 20:9 will be born, live out their lives, be deceived by Satan, and be destroyed by Divine fire—exactly as John has prophesied.
Although all this is true, God commands us: "Choose ye this day whom ye will serve." God will hold us to account for every decision we make.
21. What else did the Spirit of Christ state in Isaiah?
. . . Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha (Romans 9:29).
It is the Lord who preserves the seed of Israel, not the goodness of a minority of the Jews. If God had not determined to save a remnant of the nation, Israel would have been destroyed after the fashion of Sodom and Gomorrah.
The Messianic inheritance, the Presence of God, the Holy Spirit, rested on Abraham. The Messianic inheritance is the "olive tree."
The olive tree passed from Abraham to Isaac, from Isaac to Jacob (Israel), and from Jacob to his sons.
The olive tree was with all the people of Israel until Isaiah proclaimed that God had chosen a remnant of Israel for His redemption.
For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness (Isaiah 10:22).
By the time of the Lord Jesus, the olive tree was a fraction of all the descendants of Jacob.
The Holy Spirit then called to salvation in Christ the remnant of Israel and a remnant of Gentiles. The two remnants now composed the olive tree, inheriting the Presence of God and the Holy Spirit
In the last days the two remnants will become one stick in God’s hand and will be caught up to meet the Lord when He appears in the clouds of glory.
After that, the two remnants will return to earth, with the Lord Jesus as their Head, and God will pour out His Spirit on the physical land and people of Israel. Thus all Israel, the Lord’s elect, the olive tree, will be delivered from sin. The Lord Jesus will rule the world from the city of Jerusalem.
The purpose of the great tribulation is to perfect the two remnants and to drive them together in the Lord Jesus. The two remnants, as we understand the Scriptures, will constitute the firstfruits of the Bride of the Lamb.
Our salvation comes through elective grace, an election which is proceeding in harmony with the utterances of the Prophets given thousands of years ago. The Divine proclamations are working, working, working in the heavens and on the earth. Nothing can prevent the full creation of all that the almighty Word of God has spoken.
You and I are part of what has been proclaimed in advance.
22. What are we to conclude from our understanding of the foreknowledge, predestination, and election of God?
The Gentiles, who were not pursuing righteousness, received the righteousness of God by receiving Christ. This is in accord with what the Spirit of Christ spoke through the Prophet (Hosea 1:10).
23. What happened to the Israelites, the people for whom the Apostle Paul carried such a burden of sorrow and grief?
The Israelites pursued righteousness in terms of the Law of Moses and of their own accumulated traditions. The Israelites did not attain right standing in the sight of God.
24. Why were the Israelites unable to gain right standing in the sight of God?
Because they did not pursue righteousness by exercising faith in God and His purposes but by attempting to follow all the details of the Law of Moses apart from the Presence of God. They were blindly adhering to the multitude of traditions that had been developed by the teachers and elders of Israel.
Jesus informed the Jews that they were straining out gnats and swallowing camels. They were careful to observe details of tradition but were ignoring justice, mercy, and faith.
There was nothing wrong with the Law of Moses. The problem was, the Israelites did not join heartfelt faith and the Presence of the Lord to the ceremonial observances.
25. What was hindering the Israelites in their pursuit of righteousness?
The stone of stumbling, the rock of offence.
26. Read Isaiah 28:16.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste (Isaiah 28:16).
27. Who is the Stone of stumbling, the Rock of offence, that has been laid in Zion?
1. What was Paul’s heart’s desire and delight, and supplication toward God, on behalf of the Israelites?
Their salvation in Christ.
2. What was true of the Israelites?
They were working zealously to please God without knowing how to do so.
3. Of what were the Israelites ignorant?
God’s program for providing righteousness through the Lord Jesus Christ.
4. What were the Israelites seeking to establish?
Their own righteousness.
5. To what were the Israelites not submitting, not subjecting themselves?
To the righteousness that God has provided for every person.
It is to the conflict between the works of the Law of Moses, as kept by the Israelites, and God’s righteousness in Christ, that Paul is referring when he speaks of redemption by Divine grace rather than by works.
Unfortunately, Paul’s "redemption by grace" has been understood by many in our own day (as we emphasized previously) to mean the Christian salvation has little to do with the way people behave. This is a wresting of Paul’s doctrine and it leads to the destruction of the believer rather than to eternal life (II Peter 3:16).
6. What is the relationship of Christ to the Law of Moses?
Christ is the end, the termination, the superseding, the completion, the goal, the consummation, of the Law of Moses bringing righteousness to everyone who believes in Him.
From the context it appears that Paul means when we come to Christ we no longer are obligated to observe the Law of Moses. This interpretation agrees with Paul’s statements in the seventh chapter of Romans:
Wherefore, my brothers, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God (Romans 7:4).
However, there is more to the issue than the simple idea that when we come to the Lord we can forget about the eternal moral law of God. This is the current belief and it has destroyed the moral character of the Christian people.
Notice the following:
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law [Torah] in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people (Jeremiah 31:33).
Jeremiah here is prophesying of the coming of the new covenant, the Christian covenant.
Think about these words:
"I will put my law [Torah] in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts."
The Torah, the term used to describe the new covenant, refers to the Books of Moses in particular, and also to God’s eternal moral law.
There certainly is a very great difference between bringing an end to the Law, and putting the Law, the Torah, in our inner parts and writing it in our hearts.
The Torah written in our mind and heart is not the letter of the Law of Moses but the eternal moral law of God.
In one sense, when we receive Christ we no longer are under the Law of Moses. But in another sense we are more fully involved with the Torah than is true of any non-Christian Jew.
To not understand this is to miss completely Paul’s explanation of the grace of God under the new covenant.
It is true that as soon as we receive Christ we no longer are bound by the statutes of the Law of Moses. But the Law is not done away; rather, it is established for eternity in our heart.
The Lord Jesus Christ is the Word of God made flesh. This is to say, He Himself is the Law. He who gave the Law is the Law.
There is no higher form of the Law of God than the Lord Himself. The holy city, the new Jerusalem, is the highest form of the Law of God because it is the Wife of the Lamb; it is she who is one with Him.
Let us consider, for example, the ordinance of the Sabbath day, which is part of the Ten Commandments.
The observance of the Sabbath day includes not working at our daily employment. The Jews of today, missing God’s point entirely, observe the Sabbath day by not turning on a light switch or not riding in an elevator.
Under Moses, the meaning of the Sabbath day is that we cease from our own works, our own pleasures, and seek the pleasure of the Lord. We are to do this once each week—on Saturday.
If thou turn away thy foot from the sabbath, from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable; and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words (Isaiah 58:13).
The Lord Jesus observed the above commandment seven days of every week, twenty-four hours of every day. He never sought His own pleasure. He always honored God. He did not speak His own words, travel His own path, or perform His own works.
Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works (John 14:10).
As Christ is formed in us, we too enter the rest of God and cease from our own works, seeking God’s will and pleasure in every detail of our life..
Yes, we are free from the statutes of the Law of Moses.
No, the Law of God has not come to an end. It is created in us until we fulfill in our personalities the highest possible interpretation of the Law, the Torah.
7. What did Moses write concerning the righteousness that comes from the Law?
The person who chooses to obey what God has said will live by God’s ordinances.
Ye shall therefore keep my statutes, and my judgments: which if a man do, he shall live in them: I am the Lord (Leviticus 18:5).
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil (Deuteronomy 30:15).
8. What does the righteousness that comes by faith have to say?
. . . Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? that is, to bring Christ down from above: or, Who shall descend into the deep? that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead. But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach (Romans 10:6-8).
Righteousness is not in Heaven that we must bring Christ down in order to obtain it.
Righteousness is not in the depths below that we must resurrect Christ once more in order to obtain it.
Perhaps Paul is referring to the devout Jew who pursues righteousness with grim determination. Paul may be saying, "You do not have to ascend to Heaven or descend into the abyss. You do not have to move mountains or live an impossibly ascetic life. If you will simply accept Christ whom God has given, God’s righteousness and salvation will be yours."
9. Where is righteousness?
The word of righteousness is near us, in our mouth and in our heart. It is the word of faith that Paul preached.
10. What is the word of righteousness by faith?
That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation (Romans 10:9,10).
11. What is the first step in obtaining righteousness, right standing in the sight of God?
Confessing that Jesus is Lord.
When we bow the knee and accept Jesus as Lord, making a verbal confession, God counts that to us as righteousness. It is God’s intention that Jesus be Lord of all; and every person who receives Christ as Lord of all is held to be righteous by God Almighty.
Woe be to any individual who will not accept the lordship of Christ and attempts to establish himself or someone else as lord! He is held to be unrighteous by the Lord God, and his end is destruction.
12. What is the second step in obtaining righteousness, in obtaining salvation?
To believe in our heart that God has raised Christ from the dead.
Believing that God raised Jesus from the dead shows that we have faith in God’s power. There is such a note of victory here! The Lord Jesus promised us eternal life, and God guaranteed that promise by raising Christ.
In raising Christ, God confirmed two facts: (1) God has received and approved of the sacrifice made for our sins; and (2) Satan did not possess enough strength to keep Jesus bound in Hell, and does not possess enough strength to prevent our resurrection with the Lord.
Our faith in these two facts causes God to regard us as righteous. God did the work, and we receive righteousness by believing and receiving God’s efforts on our behalf.
In raising Christ from the dead, God gave us something difficult to believe—something impossible in terms of the principles of nature with which we are familiar.
In promising Abraham that his descendants would be in number as the stars of the heavens, God gave him something difficult to believe—something impossible in terms of the principles of nature with which he was familiar.
When Abraham believed that God would do what He promised, would do the impossible on his behalf, God counted that act of faith as being Abraham’s righteousness.
When we believe God performed the impossible by raising Christ from the dead, and that He has raised us up in Him, God counts that act of faith on our part as being our righteousness—our right standing in His sight.
13. What will our future hold if we will confess that Christ is Lord of all and will believe in our heart that God has raised Him from among the dead?
We will be spared in the Day of Wrath and saved into the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Savior, Christ.
14. From God’s viewpoint, what act on our part brings us into the state of righteousness?
Our firm, unswerving faith that the Lord God of Heaven indeed has raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.
15. What act on our part delivers us from the wrath of God and saves us into the everlasting Kingdom of God?
Confessing with our mouth that Christ is Lord of all.
16. What does the Scripture state concerning the Lord Jesus Christ?
"Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed [disappointed; confounded]."
Our own attempts at righteousness may end in disappointment and confusion. When we rest our faith on Christ we always emerge in success and victory.
A caution may be introduced here. It often is stated, in an attempt to prove that our own righteousness will not save us, that all human righteousness is as filthy rags.
But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away (Isaiah 64:6).
This verse is being taken out of context. Notice the preceding verse.
Thou meetest him that rejoiceth and worketh righteousness, those that remember thee in thy ways: behold, thou art wroth; for we have sinned: in those is continuance, and we will be saved (Isaiah 64:5).
Isaiah is not saying whenever a person strives to be righteous, God considers his actions to be filthy rags. In fact, God meets the individual who "rejoiceth and worketh righteousness." Rather, Isaiah is proclaiming that God willingly accepts the righteous individual; but the Jews of Isaiah’s day were practicing uncleanness.
When a person, Christian or not, seeks to tell the truth, to act on principle, to behave honorably, to be trustworthy, faithful, conscientious, dependable, God does not consider his efforts to be filthy rags!
If, however, an individual hears the good news of Christ, and then rejects Christ in favor of attempting to please God by righteous actions or religious observances, God will not accept his attempts to save himself.
The problem of today is, many Christians are under the impression that God does not expect decent, honorable behavior from them because "all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." Obviously, Paul’s doctrine of grace has been wrested until it produces moral destruction.
There is a deeper truth here. As we mature in Christ, we come to realize every part of our original, adamic personality is treacherous. Also, all of our religious accomplishments are loss for Christ if they have not been performed by His motivation, wisdom, and strength.
We are to keep on allowing the Holy Spirit to bring down our adamic personality to death until every aspect of our personality and behavior is of Christ, in Christ, by Christ. In this sense, all of our own righteousness and accomplishments are filthy rags by comparison.
But it is destructive to tell the new Christian that it isn’t necessary that he strive to behave uprightly because all our righteousnesses are filthy rags. Also, we ought not to despise people who are not of God’s elect but who are honorable in their behavior. Indeed, their conduct may save them in the Day of Judgment when every person is judged according to his works (unless they knowingly have rejected the Lord Jesus).
Current Christian theology, in its effort to prove there is salvation only in the name of Christ, has produced a kind of moral bubble in which the believers are to float. They often are cut off from the real world of moral behavior and from God’s readiness to bless the righteous and condemn the unrighteous whether or not they are Christians.
The salvation that is in Christ, instead of being a force to create righteous individuals, has become an alternative to godly character and behavior. The goal has become eternal residence in the spirit realm rather than moral transformation. We have embraced fables in place of the Gospel of the Kingdom of God.
17. Concerning being made righteous through faith in Christ, what difference has God established between Jew and Greek?
None. Christ is Lord of the Jew and Lord of the Greek, and He assigns His riches to every person who calls on Him.
18. Who will be saved?
"Whoever will call on the name of the Lord."
19. What must people do before they call on Christ for salvation?
They must believe in Him.
20. What must take place before people can believe in Christ?
They must hear of Him.
21. What is necessary if people are to hear of Christ?
22. What is needed if someone is to preach the Good News of Christ to people?
He must be sent.
23. Read Isaiah 52:7.
How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth! (Isaiah 52:7).
24. Have all obeyed the Good News of Christ?
25. Read Isaiah 53:1.
Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed? (Isaiah 53:1).
26. What does faith come from?
That which is heard.
27. Where does what is heard come from?
The utterance of Christ.
28. Has not everyone heard the speech and knowledge of Christ?
Yes, they have.
Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world (Romans 10:18—compare Psalms 19:4).
29. Did Israel know of the speech and knowledge of Christ?
Yes, the Jews did. The Spirit of Christ in Moses and Isaiah spoke in advance of God’s plan of redemption for the Gentiles.
30. What did Moses declare?
. . . I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you (Romans 10:19).
They have moved me to jealousy with that which is not God; they have provoked me to anger with their vanities: and I will move them to jealousy with those which are not a people; I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation (Deuteronomy 32:21).
Notice God’s sovereign will proclaimed hundreds of years in advance of the birth of the people involved.
31. What did Isaiah announce?
. . . I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me (Romans 10:20—compare Isaiah 65:1).
32. What did the Spirit of Christ in Isaiah say to the Israelites?
. . . All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying [obstinate] people (Romans 10:21—compare Isaiah 65:2).
1. Has God cast off the Jewish race?
2. What was Paul’s lineage?
Paul was an Israelite of the seed of Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin.
3. Has God disowned and rejected the people who used to be known as His chosen nation?
Some Christian churches have taken the attitude that because the Jews rejected Jesus, God has rejected the Jews and has given the Kingdom of God to the believing Gentiles. This concept is unscriptural. It is not at all true, as Paul explains later.
4. What did Elijah do?
He pleaded with God against Israel.
Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life (Romans 11:3—compare I Kings 19:10).
5. How did God answer Elijah?
. . . I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal (Romans 11:4—compare I Kings 19:18).
6. What were Elijah and the seven thousand men?
A Divinely elected remnant.
7. What exists "at the present time"?
A remnant according to the election of Divine grace (Divine calling working in terms of foreknowledge and sovereign choice).
The remnant consists of both Jews and Gentiles (Romans 9:24) who have been called, justified, and glorified, so the eternal purpose of God in Christ may be accomplished.
The doctrine of the remnant is important throughout the Scriptures.
The name Sardis means remnant, or they who have escaped. Even in Sardis there was a small fraction of the mass of believers who knew the Lord Jesus and were following Him.
The concept of a remnant, of a Gideon’s army drawn from God’s elect, appears in the writings of the Prophets of Israel, and also in the New Testament. The idea is that of an "Elijah" company—those who serve God with a perfect heart during a period when the people of the Lord are cold and backslidden.
And it shall come to pass, that he that is left in Zion, and he that remaineth in Jerusalem, shall be called holy, even every one that is written among the living in Jerusalem (Isaiah 4:3).
And it shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them; but shall stay upon the Lord, the Holy One of Israel, in truth. The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God (Isaiah 10:20,21).
And it shall come to pass, that whoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the Lord hath said, and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call (Joel 2:32).
Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved (Romans 9:27).
Speaking of Elijah, of the remnant, and of election, Paul states:
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace (Romans 11:5).
The "remnant" are the persons, either Jewish or Gentile by natural birth, whom God has called—as Elijah—to stand against the remainder of the household of God as the representatives of His Person, will and ways. The remnant have "escaped" the demonic oppression and spiritual coldness that characterize the Lord’s people.
The remainder of natural Israel has been given by the Lord "the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear" (Romans 11:8).
The remainder of the Gentiles, who have not been elected to the remnant, continue in spiritual ignorance and death.
Over every prophet is a prophet who rebukes him. Over that superior prophet is a higher prophet who rebukes the superior prophet. Over the higher prophet is an even more superior prophet who rebukes the higher prophet. And so on and on until we reach the Lord, who rebukes all the prophets.
This was the case when the Levites (Exodus, Chapter 32) came out from the remainder of the Israelites and killed their brothers with the sword. So it will be true when the Lord comes with ten thousand of His saints to judge the sinners in the churches.
From the days of Elijah to the present there has been a godly remnant that stands as a rebuke to the household of God.
8. What is true if salvation can only come to an individual on the basis of the grace and calling of God?
If such be the case, salvation cannot come to the individual on the basis of his works; for if salvation comes on the basis of the religious zeal of the individual, grace no longer would be a calling, justification, and glorification based on God’s foreknowledge and sovereign choice.
9. What has Israel not obtained?
The righteousness in the sight of God it is seeking.
10. Who of Israel has obtained righteousness in the sight of God?
The elect—they whom God has chosen.
11. What has happened to the Israelites who are not of the elect, not chosen?
They have been blinded by the Lord.
He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given (Matthew 13:11).
12. What has God given to the Israelites who are not of the elect?
A spirit of slumber.
Eyes not able to see.
Ears not able to hear (compare Isaiah 29:10; Deuteronomy 29:4).
13. What burden did King David place upon the Israelites who have not been called of God, who are not of the elect?
. . . Let their table be made a snare, and a trap, and a stumblingblock, and a recompence [just retribution] unto them: let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see, and bow down their back alway (Romans 11:9,10—compare Psalms 69:22,23).
14. Did the Israelites, who were not of the remnant, of the election, stumble so they might fall away from God forever?
15. Why did God give the Israelites the "spirit of slumber"?
So by their stumbling salvation should come to the Gentiles in order to provoke the Israelites to jealousy.
16. What did the stumbling of the Israelites result in?
The wealth of the world.
17. What did the loss of the Israelites result in?
The wealth of the nations.
18. What, therefore, will the reinstatement of the Israelites result in?
The release and Divine blessing of the nations of the earth (Isaiah 2:2,3).
19. To whom is Paul speaking at this point?
To the Gentiles. Paul is stressing and taking pride in his ministry as an Apostle to the Gentiles.
20. Why did Paul emphasize his ministry in this fashion?
In order to provoke to jealousy his countrymen, hoping to save some of them.
21. What did God’s rejection of the Israelites result in?
The reconciling of the world to God.
22. What will God’s accepting back the nation of Israel be?
Life from the dead.
23. If the first piece taken from a lump of dough is set aside as holy to the Lord, what is true of the rest of the lump?
The Lord views the entire lump as holy because the first piece (the firstfruits) has been sanctified to the Lord.
24. What is true of an entire tree if the root of the tree is holy?
The branches of the tree also are holy.
25. If some of the branches (Israelites) of the holy olive tree were broken off and we Gentiles, being branches from a wild olive tree, were grafted in among the natural branches and have become partakers with the natural branches of the root and the richness of the holy olive tree, what attitude should we not take toward the former branches?
We are not to adopt an attitude of superiority toward the Israelites, the natural branches. We must keep in mind that the Gentile branches are not supporting the root of Israel; rather, the root of Israel is supporting the Gentile branches.
Romans 11:17,18 reveals to us that there is only one Israel, one called-out people, one elect of God, one Church.
Some have taught that there is a Jewish church and a Gentile church. This is not true. There is no Gentile church.
The new covenant is made only with Israel, and we Gentiles are grafted on the one olive tree.
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people (Hebrews 8:10).
The Church of the Lord Jesus, the Body of Christ, began with converted Jews. The writers of the Old Testament and the New Testament were Israelites. The Apostles of Christ were Israelites.
From this fact alone we understand that there is no Gentile church.
If there is a Gentile church, when did it begin?
Who was its first member?
Who were its apostles and prophets?
Was the first member of the Gentile church the Apostle Paul of the tribe of Benjamin?
Or is it true that Paul is a member of the Jewish church and you and I are members of the Gentile church and Paul has no part with us?
One of the concepts related to the doctrine of the two churches separated by race is that God loves the Gentile Christians so much He will not allow them to be harmed by the great tribulation (which itself is nonsensical in that Gentile Christians are suffering cruelly in many parts of the earth today); but He is ready to consign His own firstborn, the Jews to any kind of horrible torture. This teaching is clearly anti-Semitic.
The scriptural truth is, there is only one Church, one Body of Christ, one Kingdom of God, of Heaven. The called-out nation of Israel was God’s "Church" in a natural form. The new-covenant Church, the Church of the Firstborn, began when the Lord Jesus Christ, its first Member, rose from the dead. Then came the Apostles and elders, all of whom were Israelites.
The Jewish Apostles preached the Gospel of the Kingdom. They preached to the Jews first, then to the Greeks and Romans, and finally to the farthest reaches of the earth.
The Gentiles on receiving Christ were grafted onto the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
As soon as the full number of the Gentiles has been grafted on the holy tree, on the Church, the Body of Christ, the Seed of Abraham, the power of Christ will be directed once more (as appears to be happening already) toward the people and land of the nation of Israel.
Christ finally will be received by His own race.
And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn (Zechariah 12:10).
The Christian Church began with Israelites and will end with Israelites. We Gentiles have been grafted on that one holy tree.
To create a separate Gentile church is to do violence to the Scriptures, wresting them in such a fashion that any coherent, intelligible interpretation of the Old Testament prophecies is impossible.
Yet today we have Christians teaching that there are two churches of God, one Jewish and one Gentile.
The life and ministry of the patriarch Joseph, which is a major type of the life and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, includes Joseph’s marriage to Asenath, an Egyptian (Genesis 41:45). Some scholars consider Asenath to be a type of Gentile Christians.
We are in agreement with this interpretation of Joseph and Asenath.
Consider: on marrying Joseph, Asenath became one with him according to God’s Word pertaining to marriage. Asenath became a member of Israel as truly as if she had been born of Jacob. In no manner was Asenath separate from Joseph and Joseph’s family.
Two sons were born to Joseph and Asenath—Manasseh and Ephraim. Manasseh and Ephraim were not considered to be half Israelite and half Egyptian. Manasseh and Ephraim became tribes in Israel with all legal rights and inheritance pertaining thereto, including a portion in the land of promise (Genesis 48:20).
Therefore Asenath, the daughter of Potipherah, the priest of On, is a true type of Gentile Christians who are grafted on Israel and are not separate from Israel, nor do they constitute another church or family of God.
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28).
But, some have taught, the Gentiles are a heavenly church and the Israelites are an earthly church. If such is the case, of what church were Peter and Paul members—the heavenly Gentile church or the earthly Jewish church?
Again, is the Lord Jesus Christ going to rule an earthly Jewish church, the members of which have never been born again?
How can they enter the Kingdom of God without having been born again? (John 3:5).
The moment anyone is born again of water and of the Spirit he enters the one Body of Christ, the heavenly Jerusalem, "which is the mother of us all" (Galatians 4:26). Isn’t that true?
The teaching of a pre-tribulation rapture has created chaos in biblical interpretation, forcing a division between a Jewish elect and a Gentile elect— a thoroughly unscriptural position.
Are we limited to inference when we are teaching that the Body of Christ is one?
Not at all. Let Paul speak to this point:
Wherefore remember, that ye [Greeks of Ephesus] being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision [Gentiles] by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands [Jews]; that at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the [Jewish] covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world: but now in Christ ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who hath made both one [Jew and Gentile], and hath broken the middle wall of partition between us; having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace (Ephesians 2:11-15).
"One new man"!
There are not two churches, there is only the one new Man.
Then Paul goes on to say:
Now therefore you Gentiles of Ephesus are no more strangers from Israel and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the Jewish saints, and of the Jewish household of God (Ephesians 2:19).
The oneness of Jews and Gentiles in the Body of Christ, the Kingdom of God, the Church, is far too important a concept to be decided by inference or assumption. Therefore the Holy Spirit had Paul explain (in the second chapter of Ephesians) that the Gentiles, through the blood of the cross, are brought into Israel, into the one chosen family of God.
The separating of the Gentile elect from the Jewish elect is no innocent result of a misunderstanding of theology. It proceeds from Satan who understands that the power of the Kingdom, the renewal of natural Israel, and the salvation of the world, will come from the union of a Jewish remnant and a Gentile remnant who have been made one "stick" (the cross) in the Lord’s hand.
26. What might the Greek and Roman Christians be tempted to claim?
The natural, Israelite branches were broken off so Gentiles might be grafted on the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
27. What is Paul’s answer to this claim?
The Israelite branches were broken off because they would not believe in Christ. The Gentile branches were grafted on the elect olive tree because the Gentiles chose to believe the Gospel of the Kingdom.
28. What attitude must the saved Gentiles not take?
Gentiles must not allow themselves to become proud and haughty but are to work out their own salvation with fear and trembling.
There is no doubt that over the period of Christian Church history the Gentiles, misunderstanding the program of God, have come to believe Christ belongs to the Gentiles and that the Jews have been cast aside and have no part in the Kingdom of Christ.
29. How do we know that God will not hesitate to send judgment on the Gentile Christians if we stray from the path He has marked out for us?
Because God did not hesitate to send judgment on the natural branches when they strayed from the path of righteousness.
30. What, then, do we understand?
God is both kind and severe.
God’s kindness is being overemphasized today while God’s severity is not being portrayed sufficiently.
The prophecy has come to pass: we are accumulating to ourselves teachers who will tickle our ears with the lie that God is ready to remove all problems from us and to bless us while we walk in our own ways (II Timothy 4:3,4).
This is a false vision of God. Those who are preaching it are false prophets.
God is at once kind and severe. His kindness is so great as to be incomprehensible to us and His severity is so great as to be incomprehensible to us.
We understand neither God’s love nor God’s wrath. The reason we cannot understand or appreciate the love of God is that we have become unwilling to admit that God is capable of dreadful wrath.
However, our unwillingness to recognize the severity of the wrath to come will not alter future history. The future will take place as described in the Book of Revelation.
We need to perceive both the kindness and the severity of almighty God. Multitudes of Christian believers are dangerously unprepared for the wrath that is to come. They are not living their daily life in the Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ.
31. What always happens to God’s chosen people, His elect, when they decide to forsake God?
Divine severity is exercised toward them to a fearful extent. Each sincere Christian would do well to consider carefully Deuteronomy 28:15-68, keeping in mind that it was the Spirit of Christ who was speaking through Moses.
Deuteronomy 28:15-68 is a good balance to the concept being presented today, which has the Lord serving as the head butler and grand Santa Claus of the Christian assemblies. With God there always is Mount Gerizim, the mount of blessing, and Mount Ebal, the mount of cursing, until we enter perfect love, joy, and peace in the center of His will (Deuteronomy 11:29; I Peter 5:10).
32. What is the attitude of the Lord God toward each Gentile who joyfully receives Christ as Lord and Savior?
Kindness and graciousness.
33. What will happen to us Gentiles if we do not walk in Christ?
We will be cut off from the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
34. What happens to each Jewish person who chooses joyfully to receive Jesus, his Christ?
God grafts him or her back on the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
35. Is God able and willing to restore the Jews?
Was the father of the prodigal son able and willing to restore his son to the family?
36. From what was each Gentile originally cut off?
An olive tree that by nature is wild and uncultivated.
37. What takes place when a Gentile receives Christ?
He is removed from his natural root, the wild olive tree, and is grafted on the holy, cultivated olive tree of Israel.
38. What does this fact tell us concerning the natural branches that had been cut off from the holy root?
They readily can be grafted back on their own tree.
39. Why did Paul desire that the Gentile Greeks and Romans would understand God’s program?
So they would not fall into presumptuous pride because of their "own wisdom and goodness" in receiving Christ.
40. Many of the Israelites, the natural branches, were—and still are—blind to the Gospel of Christ. How long will this blindness continue?
Until God has reaped His harvest of the Gentiles.
41. What will happen to the Israelites, the natural branches, just as soon as the full measure of Gentiles has come to the Lord?
The whole nation of Israel will turn to the Lord and be saved.
By the expression "all Israel," Paul is referring to those who, to this point, have been blinded. Beginning in Chapter Nine of Romans, Paul expresses his concern for his own people, physical Israel. He teaches that God has chosen a remnant of the entire nation, and has sent blindness upon the majority of the Jews.
Because of the stumbling of the Jews due to their blindness, the Divine redemption, which once was the exclusive property of the Jewish people, has come to a remnant of Gentiles. The elect Gentiles have been grafted on the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
But, Paul claims, if the remnant, the firstfruits, is holy, then the lump of dough from which it was taken also is holy. God has not changed His mind concerning His chosen people, the Jews, but has turned His attention for a specific period of time to Gentiles whom He has chosen.
"All Israel," then, is speaking first of the previously blinded majority whom God will graft on the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. This is the primary meaning of the term, as we understand it.
Because wild branches have meanwhile been grafted on the root of Abraham, the declaration "all Israel shall be saved" is extended to mean the entire olive tree, including the elect Gentiles, will be delivered totally from slavery to Satan during the closing of the present age and the opening of the Kingdom era.
42. What does the Scripture declare concerning the restoration of the natural branches?
And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord (Isaiah 59:20)
. . . There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins (Romans 11:26,27).
Notice the difference between the two passages. Isaiah tells us that the Redeemer shall come to those who "turn from transgression in Jacob."
Paul then claims that the Deliverer shall come from Zion and "turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
Will the Redeemer-Deliverer come to those who turn from transgression in Jacob, or will He turn away ungodliness from Jacob?
Both are true. The Redeemer will come first to Zion, to the firstfruits of His Church. These are the remnant who, because of God’s election upon them and working within them, are enabled to gain through Christ victory over the works of Satan.
When the firstfruits have been perfected in the Lord they will be gathered to Jesus and return with Him to save the nation of Israel. This is the coming of the Deliverer from Zion.
The Holy Spirit of God through Christ—Head and Body—will turn away ungodliness from those who repent of their sins today. In the future, the Holy Spirit will bring repentance to the entire nation of Israel, opening their eyes to Christ. Then the power of deliverance in Christ will break the chains of sin and the Jews once again will dance and sing in the greatest joy before their Lord and King.
Until the spirit be poured upon us from on high, and the wilderness be a fruitful field, and the fruitful field be counted for a forest (Isaiah 32:15).
The Scriptures teach clearly that a day of redemption is coming for Israel. Israel shall rejoice once again and find security and quiet rest in the Lord.
And my people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places; (Isaiah 32:18).
Israel’s Redeemer-Deliverer shall appear in the last days.
Here is a most important prophecy, which surely shall come to pass. There may be no more intense longing in the heart of the Lord Jesus than for the deliverance of His countrymen, the people of Israel.
The teachers of today who believe the Lord Jesus has rejected His own nation in favor of the wild Gentiles know neither the Lord nor His Word.
Notice the Divine sovereignty: "There shall come"! There is no question about what will take place as soon as the last Gentile, according to election, has been grafted on the root of Israel.
The Deliverer will come from Zion. Zion speaks of a firstfruits of the Church. The Ark of God was in the city of Zion, a suburb of Jerusalem, while the remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation was located at the high place of Gibeon outside of Jerusalem.
The removal of the Ark from the remainder of the Tabernacle of the Congregation portrays the removal of the firstfruits of the Church from the remainder of the Church, for a season.
Zion speaks also of war in that the area of Zion was associated with the defense of the city of Jerusalem (II Samuel 5:7-9).. Zion was David’s city, and David was a man of war.
The Lord’s firstfruits, His deliverers, His warrior-saints, will gather together on the heavenly Zion, and then the Lord will descend with them and deliver the city of Jerusalem from the enemy.
And saviours [deliverers] shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau [the works of the flesh]; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s (Obadiah 1:21).
And I looked, and, lo, a Lamb stood on the mount Sion, and with him an hundred forty and four thousand, having his Father’s name written in their foreheads (Revelation 14:1).
We know from the prophecies of the Old Testament that the Anointed Deliverer is the Servant of the Lord. The Servant of the Lord is Christ—Head and Body.
Just as the Egyptian Asenath was part of Joseph, so are we Christians part of Christ. Wherever He is, we are. Whatever He does, we do.
Christ will reveal Himself to a remnant of the Jews during the "years of famine," the great tribulation, following the allegory of Joseph. We of the remnant of elect Gentiles will have the privilege of sharing His inconceivable joy as He receives the adoration that was denied Him at His first appearing to Israel.
According to our understanding, the two remnants, the elect Jews and the elect Gentiles, will be purified and brought together as a result of the pressures of the great tribulation.
Therefore will he [the Lord Jesus] give them [the Jews] up, until the time that she which travaileth [the Church] hath brought forth [Christ in the believers]: then the remnant of his brothers [Christ-filled victorious saints] shall return unto the children of Israel (Micah 5:3 ).
The two remnants will become "one stick" in the Lord’s hand.
Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim and for all the house of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:16).
Judah portrays the remnant of Jews, and Joseph (Ephraim) portrays the remnant of Gentiles. The promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations (not just the nation of Israel) was carried forward in Ephraim.
And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations (Genesis 48:19).
When the spiritual darkness has attained its fullness, when the tares of evil have come to maturity, the Lord suddenly will appear. He will enter the two remnants (now one stick in His hand) in the fullness of the spiritual fulfillment of the feast of Tabernacles.
The Glory of God then will arise upon the holy remnant, for this is the royal priesthood and the first resurrection from the dead.
Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee (Isaiah 60:1).
Then the Lord will speak to them, and the whole body of the firstfruits, the true witnesses of all ages, will rise to meet the Lord in the air. They will be clothed in the robes of righteousness—robes fashioned from their own Christ-filled righteous deeds while on earth. Each has gained victory in the Lord during his or her own period of history.
My dove, my undefiled is but one; she is the only one of her mother, she is the choice one of her that bare her. The daughters saw her, and blessed her; yea, the queens and the concubines, and they praised her. Who is she that looketh forth as the morning, fair as the moon, clear as the sun, and terrible as an army with banners? (Song of Solomon 6:9,10).
And to her was granted that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white: for the fine linen is the righteousness [righteousnesses; righteous deeds] of saints (Revelation 19:8).
The royal priesthood, the judges of the nations of the earth, will be assigned to the thrones in the air previously occupied by the lords of darkness.
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: . . . . (Revelation 20:4).
The Lord Jesus will descend to the Mount of Olives at the head of His army. Antichrist will attack and occupy Jerusalem, as we understand it, but the Lord and His forces will come against Antichrist and totally destroy his armies.
For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle (Zechariah 14:2,3).
... and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee (Zechariah 14:5 ).
The Lord will pour His Spirit upon Israel and by His sovereign power remove the bondages of sin from them.
The Lord Jesus will enter the city of Jerusalem with His warrior-remnant and be crowned King of all the earth, sitting on the Throne of David at the site of what today is referred to as the Temple Mount.
And David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them (Ezekiel 37:24).
The reason Jesus will remove the sins of His people by His sovereign power, while today we must labor in the Spirit for many years in order to gain the upper hand over our wicked nature, is that the Lord Jesus is making us kings and priests. We must gain not only deliverance from sin but in addition the crown of righteousness and life. This is to say, we must obtain the kind of spiritual character and authority that can enforce righteousness and life. It is not sufficient that we merely receive righteousness and life for ourselves.
In that Day the Jews will be granted deliverance from Satan. We of today are being helped to gain deliverance from sin and also the authority and ability to govern the nations of saved peoples of the earth; just as the authority and ability to judge the tribes of Israel have been created in the Apostles of the Lamb.
We are given many obstacles to overcome so ruling strength may be developed in us. The right response to suffering creates the ruling personality.
And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel (Matthew 19:28).
Truly, it is "the kingdom and patience of Christ" (Revelation 1:9).
The Deliverer will "turn away ungodliness from Jacob."
Both deliverance and forgiveness are found in the new covenant, the Christian covenant. It is the covenant God promised to Israel, "when I shall take away their sins."
For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people: and they shall not teach every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord: for all shall know me, from the least to the greatest. For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more (Hebrews 8:10-12).
"Their sins and their iniquities will I remember no more."
Does Christ indeed possess such authority and power?
Can He at will, through His own authority and power, declare an individual or a nation guiltless and also break the bondage of sin and implant righteousness in such people?
The Lord indeed can deliver whom He will at any time. He revealed this in His redemption of the Apostle Paul.
And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks (Acts 9:5).
Paul’s part was to obey God.
And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do (Acts 9:6).
Salvation always is an opportunity. God takes the first step but we must take the second.
Salvation always is an invitation, an opportunity. It is presented to us according to the sovereign will of God in Christ, but we must respond to the Lord. This was true of Saul of Tarsus. Of all the Pharisees who were persecuting the Christians, only Saul was chosen by the Lord (and this while he still was attacking the Christians!) to be the Apostle to the Gentiles.
Then it was Saul’s turn. He had to respond in obedience. In the deepest sense, even his obedience was the gift of the Lord.
The Lord Jesus Christ possesses authority and power over the guilt and compulsion of sin and rebellion.
As thou hast given him power [authority] over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him (John 17:2).
The concept of the Lord Jesus sovereignly redeeming and releasing the nation of Israel is part of the larger concept of foreknowledge, predestination, and election.
The purpose of the two thousand years of the Church Age has been the developing of the Body of the Redeemer, the Redeemer who is to come from Zion and deliver all Israel from the hand of the enemy.
The promised redemption will come at the end of the present age.
. . . shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation (Hebrews 9:28).
Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time (I Peter 1:5).
The promised salvation is yet ahead of us; but meanwhile, Christ is being formed in the members of His Body.
God can declare and create righteousness by His own will. Salvation is by grace through faith according to the eternal purposes of the Lord God of Heaven who works all things according to His own sovereign will, who is blessed forever. Amen.
"I will take away their sins." Think of it!
What a Day of days is ahead for the nation of Israel!
And he answered and spake unto those that stood before him, saying, Take away the filthy garments from him. And unto him he said, Behold, I have caused thine iniquity to pass from thee, and I will clothe thee with change of raiment. (Zechariah 3:4).
43. What are the Jews, with respect to the Gospel of the Kingdom of God?
Enemies, so the Gentiles may have the opportunity to be grafted on the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
44. What are the Jews, with respect to Divine election?
They are beloved for the sake of their fathers, the patriarchs.
45. What is true of the gifts and the calling of God?
God does not change His mind.
46. What had been true of the Christian people of Rome?
Before they became believers they had not believed God and had been disobedient to Him.
47. What is true now of the Roman Christians?
The mercy of God has been extended to them because the children of Israel cast aside their own Bread from Heaven.
48. Why were the Israelites disobedient to the Gospel?
So the mercy that has been extended to the Gentiles may one day prove to be a source of mercy for the Jews.
This is taking place today as some Gentile Christians are devoting their lives to the task of bringing the Gospel of Christ to the Jews. Other Gentile Christians are aiding the new nation of Israel in every possible way. Many Gentile Christians are praying for the peace of Jerusalem, while some Gentile Christians believe God no longer has a plan for physical Israel.
49. What has the Lord God in His infinite wisdom brought to pass?
God has locked up all mankind in the state of disobedience so He might be in a position to show mercy to all, saving each person only on the basis of his faith in the blood of Christ that was shed for him on the cross.
50. What does Paul conclude from what he has just written?
The depth of the riches of wisdom and knowledge of God are astonishing. God’s judgments cannot be searched out by the human mind. God’s ways cannot be traced, cannot be defined and predicted. God is God!
The saint learns to cast himself on God and trust in Him. There is no way in which we are able to comprehend the judgments and ways of God.
51. Read Isaiah 40:13,14.
Who hath directed the spirit of the Lord, or being his counseller hath taught him? With whom took he counsel, and who instructed him, and taught him in the path of judgment, and taught him knowledge, and shewed to him the way of understanding? (Isaiah 40:13,14).
52. What question does Paul ask?
What human being has put God in his debt by giving something to God?
Our life and breath were given us by the Lord. Any objection we raise concerning God’s right to elect whom He will has no foundation in law or justice.
No individual possesses anything at all except what God has given to him, including his own conscious existence. Therefore God owes no person anything—including redemption.
God will do what He will do and we have no grounds or power for objection. Whatever God extends to us in his love is to be received with thanksgiving. Whether we are Jew or Gentile, God is not in our debt. We have given nothing to God. We owe all that we are and possess to the almighty God.
The only reasonable response we can make to our indebtedness to God is to present to Him our physical body as a whole burnt offering, as Paul exhorts in Chapter Twelve.
53. From whom, through whom, and to whom are all things?
God the Father.
54. To whom does all the glory belong forever, ages without end?
God the Father, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
1. On what basis does Paul appeal to the saints of Rome?
On the basis of the mercy and compassion of God.
2. What does Paul urge the believers in Rome to do?
To present their physical bodies to God as a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God.
This would not be a sin offering but a burnt offering, a consecration offering to establish fellowship with God.
If his offering be a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish: he shall offer it of his own voluntary will at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation before the Lord (Leviticus 1:3).
3. How does God regard the living and holy sacrifice of our physical body consecrated to His purposes?
As our intelligent service of Divine worship.
Some passages are central to the ways and purposes of God. Romans 12:1,2 is one such passage.
No Israelite of the old covenant was required to serve God in such an intense manner. Of all the laws, statutes, and ordinances, none asked for the offering of the body of the believer as a living sacrifice, a thing devoted totally to the Lord for His glory.
The cheap, easy "gospel" message of today offers eternal residence in Paradise if we will but assent to the fact that Jesus is Lord and Savior—a truth understood only too well by Satan and the demons, who receive no eternal life as a result of their "belief." Once having made this profession, they say, we can never be in danger of the wrath of God.
Therefore the Christian churches are in moral chaos.
The God of Israel has not given us a simple, easy plan whereby we may attain eternal residence in Paradise. He has moved from the demands of the Law to an inconceivably greater demand: "Offer your physical body to Me. This is your reasonable service of worship, the only sacrifice I will accept from you."
4. What are we not to fashion ourselves after?
The present age, the ways of the world.
5. How are we to be transformed into the image of the Lord?
By the renewing of our mind.
There is a battle today for the minds of human beings. Never before in history has there been the amount of communication taking place that is true of our time. Books, schools, radio, television, motion pictures, magnetic tapes, computers—all are contributing to the flow of facts, concepts, and values.
There is no doubt that Satan is using every technological means to accelerate the rise of man-centeredness and rebellion against all authority. The unwary will allow themselves to be molded according to Satan’s concepts of what is desirable for mankind.
The mark of Antichrist is being stamped in the forehead, in the mind.
What can the sincere disciple do in order to escape from this influence?
How do we renew our mind so we may be transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus Christ, being able to prove God’s will for us—that which is good, acceptable, and perfect?
We must have a special time of prayer each day as well as continual prayer throughout the day and night. We must engage in continual reading and meditating in the Scriptures. We must seek fellowship with sincere, fervent Christians, and actively participate in Christian service—all as the Lord leads.
It is important to the Christian disciple to understand thoroughly that he is not of the world. We are in the world but we are not part of its ways of believing and behaving. The goals of the people of the world are not our goals.
There are differences between the Christian and the non-Christian.
The Holy Spirit of God is dwelling eternally within the Christian. The non-Christian has only his human spirit. Also, all Christians are partakers of the body and blood of Christ, which brings them into a spiritual family that is more closely knit than families of flesh and blood.
The non-Christian continually is being fashioned in the image of the world spirit because this is the image being communicated to him through his eyes and ears. The Christian, if he is abiding in Christ, is being fashioned continually in the image of Christ because the Holy Spirit is communicating to him the Word of God, the Divine Substance and Virtue of Christ, and eternal, incorruptible resurrection life.
If we will present our body a holy, living sacrifice to God, the Spirit of God will keep renewing our mind with the heavenly things. The result will be a transformation of what we are and do and a continuing awareness of the will of God in all matters.
6. What can we know if we keep renewing our mind in Christ?
The will of God—that which is good, acceptable, and perfect in God’s sight concerning His plan for us.
The most important knowledge any individual can possess is the will of God for his life. It appears that many—perhaps most—Christian people are not certain of the will of God for their lives.
It often is difficult to prove the will of God for ourselves. At other times we are certain of the Lord’s will. In all instances, the first business of the Christian each day is to pray for the will of God and to perform God’s will to the best of his knowledge and ability, always asking the Lord for grace to help in the battle.
There is no true Christian discipleship other than the constant performing of God’s will to the best of our understanding. God’s will is to be done in singleness of heart and mind with no wavering. Our whole life is to be committed to God. Nothing less than total commitment is acceptable to the Lord Jesus.
Any gospel that teaches we can be accepted by the Lord apart from the rigorous doing of His will each day is not of God. It is the contemporary lie that is preached and taught in so many Christian churches. The winds of Divine judgment soon shall blow upon the nations. The broom of destruction shall sweep away the easy, comfortable, lying message that terms itself "the Christian Gospel."
God’s will can be proven only by the offering of our body a holy living sacrifice to Christ, and by the transformation of our personality through the renewing of our mind continually in the Word and ways of God.
It is interesting to note that the Israelites were given numerous laws and ordinances to follow, but seldom were they admonished to follow God’s personal will for their lives.
But as soon as we begin reading the New Testament we notice the stress on doing God’s will for us personally, apart from religious ordinances.
Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:10).
It is true also the concept of God as Father is not stressed in the Old Testament but is emphasized in the New Testament.
No doubt the two changes are related. Under the old covenant the Lord required that we observe specific ordinances. Under the new covenant our Father directs every aspect of our daily life.
There are no quick, easy ways to the knowledge of the Lord. Those who desire a quick, easy method to determine the Lord’s will abide in deception. The true Christian way is the way of cross-carrying obedience to Christ. Anyone who seeks another way will stumble and fall.
It has become a common practice in Charismatic circles to trust in "words"—special bits of information spoken to the believer from a supernatural source.
The author is one who thinks he hears from the Lord while in prayer. He has been well acquainted for over forty-five years, with the ways of the Pentecostal-Charismatic churches, with tongues, prophecy, "words," laying on of hands, and other phenomena.
We would insert a note of caution at this time. It seems many believers, including ministers, are receiving words that are not from the Lord. The occurrences of delusion may indicate that the spirit of deception has been given increased access to the heavenlies and is able to deceive even experienced saints.
At one time we were able to test the spirits by asking them if Christ has come in the flesh or if Jesus is Lord of all. Now, it appears, deceiving spirits are able to answer yes to these questions.
How, then, can we test the spirits?
Only by presenting our body a living sacrifice, proving the will of God in each instance. It helps also to observe carefully the fruit of our behavior, to see if righteousness, holiness, love, joy, and peace are in evidence; also, if our conduct is according to the Word of God.
It seems ministers who have heard from the Lord in time past are now hearing from demons. Each of us needs to return to the Lord and petition Him constantly to remove the darkness, the treachery, the lies from our heart and mind.
There is a verse in Daniel that suggests in the last days the enemy will be given access to the heavenlies.
And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down (Daniel 8:9-11).
The above passage contains very serious information of concern to the Lord’s holy people. We will have to keep very close to the Lord if we are to survive the spiritual horrors now at hand.
It may be well at this point to consider what Paul has taught thus far in the Book of Romans.
In the early chapters Paul described the new covenant. God has given us His own righteousness, which we are to receive by faith. We are saved by faith in the grace of God.
Then we discovered that Paul was not teaching that we are to accept our forgiveness and then live our life in the flesh, expecting the Lord Jesus to come and bring us to Heaven on the basis of our verbal agreement with the facts of redemption.
Rather, Paul keeps on insisting that we are obliged to walk "in the Spirit," meaning that our thinking, speaking, and acting are always to be governed by the energy and wisdom of the Holy Spirit of God.
Paul goes on to explain that the saints, the brothers of Christ, were elected, chosen in Christ before the world was created. Part of this eternal program includes a temporary setting aside of the greater part of the nation of Israel so some Gentiles may be added to the root of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Now we have arrived at the response that, in the light of the mercy and compassion of God under the new covenant, is expected of each person who receives Christ as Lord and Savior.
Each of us is to present his or her body a holy and living sacrifice to Christ to be used according to His will. There is no other acceptable Christian discipleship. The grace of God under the new covenant assists those who take up their cross and follow Jesus.
But, one may ask, many Christian people live and die without ever having truly turned over their lives to Jesus. Are they lost?
Our answer to this commonly asked question is as follows:
The Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to take up our cross and follow Him. If we do less than that we will have to give an answer for our lack of diligence when we see Him.
The Scripture gives us hope that some will be saved by fire, as was Lot, entering naked into the Presence of Christ. We believe the individual who is trusting in a last-minute entrance into Paradise is taking a terrible risk with his immortal soul. There is a scriptural basis for his being cut out of the vine (John 15:2); for being cast into outer darkness (Matthew 25:30); and for not being permitted to go with the Bridegroom when He appears (Matthew 25:12).
It must be kept in mind also those who were not able to possess their soul will enter eternity with much of their personality burned away by the fire of Divine judgment.
The Scriptures teach clearly and directly that each believer will be revealed before the Judgment Seat of Christ and will give an answer for his behavior in his body. Each of us will be rewarded exactly as our work has been (II Corinthians 5:10; Revelation 22:12).
It is our belief that the churches have overemphasized the teaching of freely given grace (limiting the definition of grace to "forgiveness") and have not considered as carefully the implications of II Corinthians 5:10 and Revelation 22:12, which most certainly are directed toward the disciples of Jesus.
7. How does Paul advise each Christian person to regard himself or herself?
We are not to have a higher opinion of ourselves and our ministry than the facts would indicate. We are to use sound, sober judgment when estimating our own position and abilities, according to the measure of faith God has assigned to us.
It appears that over the last few decades a spirit of commercialization has overtaken the assemblies of Christ. There is a "sell" that accompanies the Gospel.
Recently a spirit has crept into the churches that suggests to us we should search the Bible for spiritual principles that will bring health, wealth, and joy in the world.
In place of working out our own salvation with fear and trembling we are to "speak the creative word" and we will get everything we want.
This "sell," this commercialization of spiritual principles, cannot be found among the patriarchs or the Prophets or Apostles. Where has it come from?
There are times when a Christian should rouse himself and begin to demonstrate vital faith in God’s Word.
But prayer and faith are not to be used as weapons by which we are to get from God what we want in order to achieve our own pleasures and ambitions in the world. The battle always is to be pressed in terms of a life given to God for His service.
In Romans, Chapter 12 Paul is exhorting us to think about the type of Christian service for which God has fitted us. We always are to present our body a living and holy sacrifice to God. We are to be transformed into the image of the Lord Jesus so we may prove the will of God in our own life.
We are to be diligent stewards of the gifts and ministries God has entrusted to our care, using them to build the Body of Christ.
God has given a measure of faith to each Christian. We are not to be presumptuous in the use of our faith. If it is little, then we are to exercise that amount. If our faith is great, then we are to respond accordingly.
Faith is not our attempt to believe. True faith is the gift of God. We can employ only the faith that has been given to us. To attempt to manipulate the spirit realm by striving to "believe" is a soulish endeavor practiced by members of occult societies and religions.
If we have ever practiced imaging or soulish faith or positive confession we need to pray that God will forgive us and deliver us from all vestiges of these demonic efforts. They are not faith in the Lord Jesus but soulish faith guided by the self-will of the practitioner.
8. What is true of the physical body?
It is made up of many parts, each of which has a special use in the body.
9. What is true of the saints?
We all are parts of the one Body of Christ and work together in the Body, just as takes place among the many different parts of the physical body.
10. What is true of the members of Christ’s Body?
There are a variety of gifts among us that differ according to the grace given the individual believer.
11. What is each Christian to do?
Each Christian is to put his own gift into practice for the overall good of the Body of Christ.
If his gift is:
Prophecy, he should put this talent to work in the Kingdom, prophesying in accordance with the proportion of faith God has assigned to him.
Service, he should serve according to the grace that has been given.
Teaching, he should teach, by God’s grace.
Encouragement, he should admonish, console, and encourage the saints.
Giving, he should give simply and liberally.
Leadership, he should be diligent in the Lord.
Mercy, he should show mercy with cheerfulness.
He is to:
Let love be unfeigned, without hypocrisy.
Loathe, abhor, what is evil and wicked.
Cleave to what is good.
Show kind affection toward other members in brotherly love.
Prefer that other Christians receive honor in place of himself.
Not be lazy when diligence is required.
Be fervent in spirit.
Serve the Lord.
Rejoice in the hope of the coming of Christ.
Persevere in prayer.
Share his material goods with the destitute saints.
Pursue and practice hospitality.
Bless those who persecute him, bless and not curse.
Rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep.
Remain in fellowship with the brothers and sisters, not allowing himself to become lifted up in pride.
Associate and work along with the humble and lowly.
Not think of himself as wise and superior.
Not give back evil because of evil done to him.
Provide right and honorable things in the sight of all men.
Be at peace with all men as far as it is within his power to do so.
12. What should the Christian do when someone becomes enraged and attempts to harm him or does harm him?
The saint is to step back and leave room for God’s wrath, not responding in rage. Rage is of Satan.
The Christian is not to seek revenge. In time of distress the saint is to turn to the Lord, seeking peace with other people—even enemies—as God gives the grace to do so.
If the Christian will refrain from seeking revenge, from being vindictive, from holding a grudge, from adopting an unforgiving attitude, God shall exercise His wrath, His vengeance.
. . . for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord (Romans 12:19).
There is no more critical area of the Christian discipleship than that of vengeance for wrong done. Many saints, who cannot be tempted by immorality or worldly riches are brought into jeopardy of their redemption by either inability or unwillingness to forgive real or imagined wrongs done to them.
Numerous Christian assemblies throughout the earth are characterized by congregations that are full of the venom of bitterness, unforgiveness, hatred, suspicion, distrust, hardness of heart.
Brother against sister, sister against sister, pastor against congregation, church board member against pastor, deacon against deacon, and on and on it goes.
The tales of church strife and bitterness are legion. Has the accuser of the brothers succeeded?
Have the gates of Hell overcome the Church of Christ?
Is a church that is filled with unforgiveness and bitterness actually an assembly of believers in Christ?
By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another (John 13:35).
What can we say of an assembly that is full of hatred?
From the Word of Christ we can state that such a church is not of God. It is filled with Satan. It is a synagogue of Satan, to use a phrase from the Book of Revelation.
When a Christian church becomes full of people seeking revenge, being filled with unforgiveness, that church has lost its testimony. Its light has gone out. It may be "ministering" but it is not bearing witness of Christ.
The disciples of Christ are known by their love one for another. Apart from such love there is no Church of Christ.
Did not the Pharisees obey Moses? Were they not of the elect, the chosen people? Yet they murdered the Lord Jesus Christ. Who actually was their "father"?
So it is true today that many "Christian" assemblies have little love for God, for Christ, and for the saints. They are as the Pharisees of Jesus’ day. They bear the name of the true God but they are murderers of Christ.
Is it possible to be saved by grace and still have unforgiveness toward an individual?
No, it is not.
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses (Matthew 6:15).
Are we saved by grace? If we hate our brother, we are filled with spiritual death, not spiritual life.
Whoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him (I John 3:15).
Whoever is filled with hatred and unforgiveness toward another individual, whether that individual is a Christian or an unbeliever, is under condemnation from God. He is in spiritual trouble. He is holding himself in bondage and also may be holding in bondage the object of his hatred and unforgiveness.
He is not walking in Divine light. He is walking in sin regardless of his statement of faith in Christ.
What should a believer in Christ do if he discovers he is harboring unforgiveness or hatred in his heart and mind toward another person?
He must confess to God that his attitude is sinful and has no place in the Kingdom of God.
Immediately, through the grace of Christ, forgive that individual, letting go of all animosity.
If he has said or done something to harm the object of his hatred, he must pray for the wisdom and strength to go and attempt to make restitution and restore the broken fellowship.
He must ask God’s forgiveness for the sin of unforgiveness and allow the blood of Christ and the resurrection life of the Holy Spirit to cleanse his heart from all malice toward the individual.
He must draw near to God in order to receive more of the Divine Nature of Christ, more of the eternal love of God that is powerful enough to overcome all the power of Satan.
He must resist the devil the next time Satan attempts to destroy the loving unity of the members of the Body of Christ.
There are few issues in the Kingdom of God as important as the maintaining of an attitude of forgiveness and love. One of the predominant characteristics of the mature Christian, the one in whom Christ has been formed, is the power of Divine love—love mighty enough to overcome death itself. Here is the image of Christ.
If we will stand back and not take matters into our own hands, the Lord God of Heaven will take care of all injustices, and He will bring forth our righteousness as the light and our judgment as the noonday.
13. What should we do for our enemy if he is hungry?
14. What should we do for our enemy if he is thirsty?
Give him a drink.
15. What do we do to our enemy when we give him food, drink, or other assistance?
We heap burning coals on his head.
If someone harms us deliberately, and we then respond in kindness and forgiveness, he must make one of two choices: he must either repair the harm he has done to us or else gloat over his victory. If he repents and repairs the harm, a brother has been gained. If he gloats over his victory, the wrath of God abides on him and every injury will return to him tenfold.
Divine coals will burn his head until he makes one choice or the other.
In the Kingdom of God it is the person who is strong enough to forgive who is the victor, the overcomer, the conqueror.
When we do not seek our own vengeance, stepping out of the way and allowing God to administer righteousness, the Lord is free to move and bring justice.
When we seek our own revenge we stand between God and our adversary and both of us come under judgment.
If neither of us will forgive the other, there is a danger that both will be destroyed.
But if ye bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another (Galatians 5:15).
16. By what means is the Christian able to overcome the foulest, most perverse evil?
With Divine good.
There is evil of an incomprehensible depth of venom and perversity that is abroad in the land today. Whenever the saint comes near it he must be fenced about by the power and Virtue of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The evil is venomous and contagious. The unwary saint can become infected with it. Soon he is attempting to fight evil with evil, fire with fire. However, the devil is the master of evil, of fire, of wrath, of murder. If the saint chooses to fight evil with evil he will be overcome. He will lose his spiritual life.
The saint’s weapon is Divine Goodness and mercy. There are occasions when we are tempted to strike back against the evil that is facing us, or to justify or defend ourselves. Hatred rises within us. If we will call on God, asking Him to fill us with Divine power and love, with the body and blood of Christ, the Virtue of Christ will be given to us. We will go on our way peacefully, keeping our attention fixed on the Lord Jesus and His glory. By so doing we will fill our environment with Christ and overcome evil with good, although the evil is perverse, unreasonable, filled with malice.
Today we are beholding the tares coming to maturity. A foulness is boiling up from the depths of Hell and filling the earth. The peoples of the nations are beginning to portray in their actions and words the nature of the demons and fallen angels.
The Holy Spirit is warning that we now are on the edge of a revelation of demonic activity unparalleled in its filth. More and more, demons will be deriving their fulfillment from human flesh as people give themselves over without restraint to their lusts. The curse on Satan is that he will eat dust, and "dust" is the flesh of man.
The Christian not only is not to participate in the foulness that is filling the world, he is to refrain from thinking about it, talking about it, fretting about it. God will destroy the foulness in His time. If the saint will keep his mind and speech centered on the Lord Jesus Christ he can survive throughout the coming flood of evil.
Not only will he survive personally but he will be a source of life and deliverance for all who will listen to him.
If the Christian begins to fight back, blaming and cursing the blinded peoples of the world, he will begin to go down to defeat. The poison of the evil will overcome him.
The goal of Satan is to move the Christian’s attention away from the Lord Jesus and to cause him to think constantly about the works of Satan. If Satan can do that he can bring the Christian down to defeat.
We are not to allow ourselves to become bitter and distraught while overcoming evil.
Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity (Psalms 37:1).
In many instances, the reason we become so angry with evil is that some of the evil is within us. Without realizing it we are envious.
The wickedness that is within us desires to fight against the wickedness in the world. The demon world is filled with quarreling and fighting, whereas God’s holy Presence is filled with peace.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed (Psalms 37:3).
Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil. For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the Lord, they shall inherit the earth (Psalms 37:7-9).
Even though we see gross wickedness and injustice on every hand, let us turn our attention to the Lord Jesus. He will fill us with His love and peace. No one can harm us or overcome us when we are resting in His eternal, incorruptible resurrection life and glory. Jesus will overcome all evil at last.
1. To whom should every person be subject?
To the authorities placed over him or her.
The saint learns from the Lord to be subject to people who are in authority over him, whether in the church or in the world.
An attitude of rebellion and resistance against authority is not approved of God. Satan was the leader of the original rebellion, the original revolution.
God always works in terms of authority. God is a King. The Kingdom of God operates according to lines of authority. A person who will not accept authority cannot make a success of entering the Kingdom of God.
The true saints of Christ are meek and teachable. Although they know how to rejoice and to triumph fiercely and independently in the Lord God, and are free from all men, yet they also know how to submit themselves one to another and to all authority, in the name of Christ. They have been taught submission to authority and are in peace in their submission.
The reason the saint finds rest in submitting to authority is that he has learned to look past the ruler to the Lord and perform his service to the Lord Jesus.
Whether the authority is in his home or the church or the government of the country, the saint is to obey the authority as unto the Lord, trusting God to make certain he is ruled according to God’s will.
One of the prime lessons of the life of victory in Christ is that of acceptance of authority. Some Christians will not accept authority. They are useless to the Kingdom of God.
The only time a Christian is to defy authority is when the Spirit of God directs him to do so. This does not happen often. Usually it is the pride and self-seeking of the Christian that causes him to break rules and resist the law.
In almost every case, God will enable the Christian to keep all the laws made by man. The Christian must be patient and look to God rather than attempt to grasp control of circumstances that are displeasing to him or that he thinks are unrighteous.
The excuse that the laws were made by the unsaved is not an excuse in the sight of God. It is our God who established the unsaved in their positions of authority.
Lift not up your horn on high: speak not with a stiff neck. For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another (Psalms 75:5-7).
It is the immoral who resist authority and government.
Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise also these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, despise dominion, and speak evil of dignities. (Jude 1:8).
If we would please Jesus we must submit ourselves one to another and to all authority. We are not to be flatterers or man-pleasers. We are to perform our work and serve Christ. We are to fear God and "honor the king." Yet, we remain free in our heart from all men because we are the servants of Christ.
The true saint (holy one) is a diligent, conscientious worker because he always performs his responsibilities and tasks as to the Lord, whether he is working in the church or in the world.
2. Where has all existing authority and rulership come from?
The Lord God of Heaven.
3. When we resist authority, what are we resisting?
The laws of God.
4. What does the saint receive from God when he resists authority?
5. Who has reason to fear a ruler?
The person who is practicing evil.
6. What should we do so we will not be in fear of the rulers who govern us?
We should practice what is good and lawful; then the rulers will praise us.
7. What are civil authorities?
God’s servants who bring good to us.
8. What is true if we are practicing evil?
We have reason to fear governmental authority.
Some Christians learn the above truth to their dismay. They break the laws of their country and then are surprised when they are sent to jail. To make matters worse, they speak of themselves as being persecuted for the Gospel’s sake.
They had supposed that because they are Christians they were not obligated to obey the laws of their city and country. They found out that God did not deliver them, because their breaking of the laws of their land was not of God but proceeded from their own rebellious and sinful nature.
In most instances, Christian people can do all that God requires of them without having to disobey the government. A Christian should be a model of good citizenship and righteous behavior, providing an honest, honorable testimony in the sight of all men.
There have been occasions in history, as in the instances of Joseph, Daniel, Nehemiah, Queen Esther, and Mordecai, when God’s saints have exercised rulership under the auspices of civil government.
There have been other occasions, such as the saving alive of the baby Moses and the preaching of Peter and John, when godly people have had to disobey and resist the rulers.
Some nations of today, which in time past had been influenced by the Christian churches, have turned to sin. As a result, Satan in them is speaking against the ways and people of the God of Heaven. As always, the Judaic-Christian believers are the objects of hatred and persecution.
Whereas we once could cooperate cheerfully with the courts and the schools it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so. Many Christians are extremely upset over the practice of abortion. Others are dismayed at the teaching of humanism and Eastern religions in the public schools while Judaism and Christianity are driven out as evils not suitable for the pliable minds of children. The fact that God created the universe is regarded as undesirable, unscientific dogma, while the easily disproved hypothesis of evolution is held up as scientific truth.
The explanation that this is the normal, expected outworking of a democracy is not sound. The rejection of God’s ways and people is a calculated effort by Satan and Satan-inspired people. It is the beginning of massive, vicious persecution. Only a spark is needed to start the bonfire.
Reasonable, educated, otherwise-lawful Christian people are observing the rapid spread of these abominations and are deeply concerned and vexed. It is apparent that the day is near when the Christian churches once again will be forced into hiding. We simply cannot participate in the works of Satan, even if they are endorsed by our government.
If a Christian decides to resist the government and break the law he will do well to make certain he has as good a reason as the parents of Moses, as genuine a commission as Peter and John. Otherwise he will bring on himself the condemnation of God and of the civil authorities.
God will not honor the immature, self-centered Christian who is attempting to build what he believes to be God’s Kingdom apart from prayer and the wisdom of the Holy Spirit. If such a person breaks the law he will be held to account just as any other person, saved or unsaved.
9. Why does a civil ruler carry a weapon?
To control the lawless.
Many nations are becoming lawless. Their governments have lost the will to rule. One of the symptoms of the loss of the will to rule is an unwillingness to punish the guilty. Men may commit heinous, multiple murders but the government is persuaded easily that to put such men to death is immoral and too harsh.
Secular governments, in their efforts to justify their release of the guilty, may quote from the words of the Lord Jesus: "But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" (Matthew 5:44).
Unlearned people, some secular and some Christian, maintain that since the Lord told us to love our enemies the wicked should get light sentences and never the death penalty.
In this they are illogical and unscriptural. In the first place, to pursue this line of reasoning is to let all criminals go totally free because the Lord said we should love our enemies.
In the second place, the words of the Lord concerning forgiveness do not apply to a governmental system of criminal law. The words of the Lord have to do with the individual who is tempted to harbor hatred in his heart, not with the criminal justice system.
The verse that applies to governmental systems of criminal justice is Romans 13:4: "He beareth not the sword in vain." He bears not the sword in vain because he is God’s minister to put a stop to sin.
The only reason for the existence of secular government is to enforce God’s laws of morality.
Paul teaches us that the last days of the present age will witness a revolt against all authority.
Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away [revolt against authority] first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition destruction (II Thessalonians 2:3).
The teaching that the Christian "will not be here" during the "falling away" (revolt against authority) is refuted by the above verse. The Day of the Lord shall not come until the nations have rejected all authority and the man of lawlessness has been revealed.
The lawlessness, as we understand the forces that are operating, will come from two sources that will become one source of lawlessness.
One source of lawlessness is secular. It stems from the fact that ancient authoritarian government has been rejected in favor of individual liberty. The problem here is, the rule of the individual is based on the self-control of human beings, and human beings are not able to control themselves. Satan steps in and controls people who are not controlled by the government. This is Antichrist.
Another source of lawlessness is Christian. It rises from the change from Law to grace, from leaving the Law of Moses and moving to the law of the Holy Spirit. But Christian believers, while they do leave Moses, do not bring themselves under the law of the Holy Spirit. Therefore they are married neither to Moses nor Christ, and Satan assumes control of their personalities. This is the False Prophet. The False Prophet is undisciplined Christianity, crossless Christianity.
We notice in the Book of Revelation that the False Prophet (lawless Christianity) will support the Antichrist (lawless secular society) in the last days.
And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:12).
A lawless Christian Church and a lawless secular society will support each other. The result will be a humanistic secular world and a babylonish (manmade, man-centered, man-directed) Church. The babylonish Church will no doubt have its world headquarters at the site of ancient Babylon. The lawless Church and the lawless world government will rule the nations until the secular nations finally destroy the babylonish Church.
And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire (Revelation 17:16).
God is a God of government, of rule, of order. The believer, even in the present evil, lawless hour, must look always to the Lord Jesus to insure that he is cheerfully obeying all lawful government as unto the Lord.
If we would understand the source of the pressure to remove restraints upon behavior and to impose light sentences on the guilty we must examine the situation of Satan. He hopes to convince the inhabitants of the heavens, and mankind, that God should grant him amnesty. Satan seeks to persuade people that the criminal should be forgiven. This is the source of the concept that the heinous, multiple murderer should be released on his promise "not to do it again."
But Satan never shall be granted amnesty by the Lord.
And because the governments of today have refused to avenge the innocent and punish the guilty, the Lord Himself shall come and bring judgment and justice.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law (Isaiah 42:4).
Then the guilty shall be punished and the meek of the earth shall sing the praises of God.
10. What should a civil ruler be?
A servant of God, an avenger who brings Divine wrath on the individual who is practicing evil (according to the Bible definition of "evil"), whether or not the person is a believer in Christ.
11. Why should a Christian be subject to civil authorities?
So wrath will not fall on him; also, to maintain a clear conscience before the Lord.
12. Should the Christian pay all lawful taxes imposed by civil authorities?
Yes, he should because the rulers are servants of God, exercising diligent rulership in the responsibility God has given to them.
13. How should the Christian respond to the government of his land?
He should give faithfully according to the following rule:
Taxes to whom taxes are due.
Revenue to whom revenue is due.
Fear to whom fear is due.
Honor to whom honor is due.
This is the proper way for a Christian to respond to the government of his city and country. If he acts defiantly toward the civil authorities he will not bear a true witness of God, our lawful King. God is glorified when we keep the law, not, ordinarily, when we break the law.
14. Should a Christian incur indebtedness?
As far as possible the Christian should avoid bringing himself under bondage, placing himself under financial or other type of obligation. It is difficult to keep ourselves free of debt, in some nations, but it is desirable to do so.
We do not say that a believer should never borrow money from a lending institution. Sometimes it is impossible to buy a car or house without borrowing money, and both may be necessary according to our particular situation. However, as we pray the Lord Jesus will help us become the head and not the tail, meaning we will be in a position to give rather than having to borrow from others.
15. What do we owe other people?
To love them, in Jesus’ name.
16. Who has fulfilled the Law of Moses, the Ten Commandments?
The person who loves his neighbor as himself.
17. Why is love the fulfillment of the Law of Moses?
Because when we love our neighbor we will not harm him in any manner.
We will not commit adultery, murder, steal, or covet if we love our neighbor because such wickedness is harmful to him or her.
18. What time is it?
It is the hour to awaken from the sleep of rebellion against authority and hatred against our neighbor and to put into practice obedience to civil authority and love for our neighbor.
19. What impels us to cast off the unfruitful works of darkness?
Our salvation is at hand. The "salvation" being looked for is the coming of the Lord Jesus to punish the wicked and reward the righteous.
For the righteous, the coming of the Divine salvation will mean an end of suffering and entrance into the fullness of joy and peace. For those who have obeyed the Holy Spirit in putting to death the deeds of their body the coming of salvation will mean the removal of the last traces of sin and the receiving of a body that loves righteousness instead of sin.
For the wicked, the coming of salvation will mean outer darkness—or worse!
The Judge stands at the door. Christ is soon to appear and He will judge each of us according to the works we have practiced in the world, whether they have been good or evil. We shall be recompensed according to our works. What we sow in the world we shall reap in the Day of the Lord.
20. What is almost at an end?
The "night" of the reign of Satan over the nations of the earth.
21. What is near at hand?
The "day" of the righteous rule of Christ over the kingdoms of the world.
When the Lord Jesus Christ returns and establishes His Kingdom on the earth there will be many laws that all people must obey. If we are rebellious and resistant to the laws of the Kingdom of God now we will be rebellious and resistant to the laws of the Kingdom of God then; because the laws now as well as then proceed from God.
One thing is certain: no person will be assigned a position of rulership alongside Christ who himself has never learned to be subject to rulership.
22. What should we do in view of the fact that the Day of the Lord is upon us?
We should cast off the rebellion and hatred that is so prevalent in the earth today.
23. With what should we clothe ourselves?
The armor of light, the armor of law-abiding, godly behavior.
24. How is the saint to behave himself or herself?
As someone who is walking in the light of God, not in the darkness of Satan.
25. Name some of the dark practices of Satan.
Reveling, drunkenness, sexual excesses, strife, jealousy, envy.
26. With whom should we clothe ourselves?
With the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. He is the Light of God.
27. What should we do about the lusts and desires of our physical body?
We should not gratify our sinful nature.
The Christian personality is not to be governed by the sinful nature. The Christian personality is to be governed by the Spirit of God who is dwelling eternally in the Christian. Either the lusts of the body or the holiness of the Spirit will dominate us. It is the responsibility of each saint to decide what power will direct his actions, words, and thoughts.
1. How should a strong, victorious Christian regard and act toward a believer in Christ who is weak in faith?
He should receive the weaker brother or sister, but not for the purpose of arguing with him or her about the teachings of the Kingdom of God.
2. What is true of the faith of the strong Christian?
He is ready to give thanks for whatever kind of food is set before him to eat.
3. What about the weaker saint?
His faith will permit him to eat only vegetables.
4. What must the stronger not do?
He must not hold in contempt his brother or sister in Christ who is afraid to eat anything except vegetables.
5. What must the Christian who is involved in dietary regulations not do?
He must not pass judgment on his brother or sister who is willing to eat many different types of food.
6. What is true of the eater and the one who does not eat?
God has received both of them.
7. What must none of us do?
We must not judge one of Christ’s servants concerning matters of personal belief.
8. What is true of the relationship between Christ and each of His servants?
Each stands or falls to Christ alone; and he shall be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.
9. What is true of an individual Christian?
He has a day that he sets aside as being holy.
10. What is true of his fellow Christian?
He considers every day to be the same in the Lord’s sight.
11. What about such differences of opinion?
Each believer should be persuaded, assured in his own mind.
12. What is true of the saint who observes a particular day as being holy?
He observes that day in faith toward God.
13. What is true of the believer who eats food?
He does so in faith toward God, giving thanks to Him for the food.
14. What about the Christian who believes that certain foods are prohibited?
He refrains from eating, meanwhile thanking God for His goodness.
15. How does each saint live and each saint die?
To the Lord, not to himself or herself.
16. What is true of each of us, whether we live or whether we die?
We belong to the Lord Jesus Christ.
17. Why did Christ die and live again?
So He may rule both the dead and the living.
This point should be emphasized. The verse does not state that Christ died and rose again that he might save us but that He might rule us in undisputed lordship.
Multitudes of people today have received Christ as Savior. It seems only a few have received Christ as Lord.
Is it possible to receive Christ as Savior and not as Lord?
Many governments of today are democratic in philosophy, that is, they subscribe to the concept that people who are being ruled ought to have the opportunity to express their opinions concerning the manner in which they are governed.
In such governments the concept of slavery is considered undesirable. Democratic, libertarian thinking is widespread in the earth in the present hour. This is at least part of the reason why people are unwilling to receive Christ as their personal Lord.
Personal Savior, yes. Personal Lord—not quite!
Yet the Apostle Paul speaks of himself as a bondslave of Christ.
Is each Christian a bondslave of Christ?
Is Christ our absolute Lord and Master?
Is this actually what it means to be a Christian?
If so, there may not be many Christians on the earth today.
If Christ is our personal Lord, He rules our time, our goals, our employment, where we live, what we do each day, whom we marry, where we go, what relaxation we enjoy, what we read, when we go to sleep, and when we rise in the morning. Such is the relation between master and bondslave.
Christ owns us if we are bondslaves. Does Christ own you?
Or is He your servant to use as you will?
Some today are teaching that we are to use Christ in order to attain our goals in life.
Others, of which this writer is one, are teaching the opposite. We are teaching that we belong to Christ and exist solely for His use and His pleasure. We are not our own, we were purchased by Christ’s death. Now we live for Him alone.
There is an important difference of opinion here and it affects many people in their relationship to Christ.
What is true in your case?
Are you indeed a bondslave of Christ, or is Christ a means by which you are able to obtain what you think you need in order to lead a happy and successful life?
If you are a bondslave of Christ, it is true that you are a Christian.
If you are one of those who are attempting to use Christ as a means of spiritual power so you can lead a happy and successful life, you are not a Christian at all.
You have been deceived by the twentieth-century gospel, a gospel that has been influenced by the religion of humanism and also by the craftiness of preachers and teachers of the Bible who are acquiring material gain by their skill in manipulating people.
If you are not a true Christian it is your own fault, not the fault of the many false teachers who are making merchandise of Christianity.
Arise spiritually at once and throw off this deception. Confess aloud with your mouth to Jesus that you forever are His bondslave and that never again will you attempt to use Him as a source of spiritual power for your own ends.
If you will make this confession, this determination, you will join the ranks of God’s heroes of faith of Hebrews, Chapter 11. You will leave the using of Christ to the members of the Laodicean church—the church of the rights of people.
Christ died and rose again so He may rule us, not that He may scurry around to do our bidding, making Himself our bondslave.
18. Why should we never judge our brother for his personal beliefs or hold him in contempt because of his weak and limited faith?
Because each of us one day will stand before the judgment seat of God, bowing our knee to the Lord Jesus and giving praise to God.
In that Day we will give a precise accounting of our actions, words, and thoughts while we lived on the earth. We do not want to be put in the position, at that time, of having to explain to the Lord God why it was that we were so harsh in our judgment of our fellow Christians and now are asking God’s mercy and patience concerning our own frailties.
19. Read Isaiah 45:23.
I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear (Isaiah 45:23).
20. What is true of each person who lives on the earth?
One day he will give an account of himself to the God of Heaven.
21. What should all Christians cease doing?
Each of us should cease judging his neighbor.
22. What should we be passing judgment on?
We should be insuring that we ourselves are not putting a cause of stumbling or an occasion to fall in the path of our brother or sister.
23. Of what fact was Paul convinced in the Lord Jesus?
That nothing is unclean in itself.
Romans 14:14, like every other passage of Scripture, must be interpreted in terms of the whole Word of God.
Sometimes this verse is used to justify something that indeed is unclean of itself. Fornication, lust, stealing, lying, covetousness, foolishness, rage, drunkenness, envying, profanity are unclean of themselves. They are the expressions of demons.
Romans 14:14 is a verse that the ungodly can wrest to their own destruction.
God has left a door open here so the willfully filthy person, the person who chooses to be ignorant and unclean, can deceive himself.
God always examines the hearts of the people on the earth. The person who is hungering and thirsting after righteousness will be filled with righteousness. The person who delights in evil will find many opportunities to achieve the desires of his heart and will be able to justify his filthiness from the Scriptures. God catches the crafty in their craftiness.
We always must guard our heart with all diligence, for from it flow the issues of life. Our speech, meanwhile, either justifies or condemns us in the sight of God.
24. What is true if a believer considers some thing or some action to be unclean?
To him it is unclean, and if he practices it his conscience will be defiled before the Lord.
25. If a Christian brother or sister judges some food we are eating to be unclean in God’s sight, and we continue to eat that food knowing we are grieving a member of Christ’s Body, what then is true of us?
We are not walking any longer by the rule of love.
26. What are we never to do?
We are never to destroy by our eating habits a believer in Christ, because Christ has died for him or her.
27. What is the saint to avoid if at all possible?
Behaving in such a manner that his actions, although practiced by himself in a holy, joyful attitude to the Lord, are a cause of grief and confusion to other Christians who have been taught that what he is doing is unrighteous and unholy.
28. Is the Kingdom of God created by our selection of what we eat and what we drink?
We know there were Jewish Christians in Rome because Paul says, "I speak to them that know the law" (Romans 7:1).
As we know, the Jews, before they became Christians, were governed by the numerous dietary regulations contained in the Law and in the traditions of the elders.
Becoming a Christian involved several major changes in Jewish thinking regarding the requirement of circumcision, the observance of holy days, animal sacrifices, gathering together with Gentiles to worship the Lord, and the variety of ordinances governing eating and drinking.
Unlike the old covenant, the new covenant is of the Holy Spirit rather than of a body of laws and ordinances contained in writing. Details of behavior, such as the observance of holy days and the eating of specific foods, are not set forth in writing.
Bible teachers have attempted to glean such details of behavior from the writings of the Apostles and make a Christian religion that the natural man can practice. But the true Christian redemption is the crucifixion of the adamic nature and the forming and dwelling of Christ in the personality. The exhortations of the Apostles are guidelines for the believer until the new creation comes into view. The new creation keeps the laws of God by nature because it has been born of God.
We have also a more sure word of prophecy [the Scriptures]; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts (II Peter 1:19).
In view of the long-standing Hebrew traditions governing eating and drinking, combined with the lack of such ordinances under the new covenant, it is not surprising that food and drink became a topic of concern in assemblies that contained both Jews and Gentiles.
Paul taught that the solution is the adoption of brotherly love as the guiding principle. If any of us is practicing a behavior that is forbidden by the conscience of our brother or sister in Christ, we are to change our behavior in a manner that will strengthen and build up our fellow member of the Body of Christ.
29. What is the Kingdom of God if it does not consist of dietary and other ceremonial regulations governing behavior?
The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit.
The Kingdom of God is first, righteousness in the Holy Spirit. Righteousness is honest, upright, straightforward dealings in the sight of God and men.
Righteousness is the exercising of mercy and kindness toward other people. Righteousness is a humble reliance on God in all that we do, in place of self-centeredness, self-reliance, self-seeking, self-vaunting, self-assertion.
Righteousness leads us into peace with God and peace with men. There is no peace whatever to the wicked. The wicked live in a barren, desolate, tense, frantic, joyless environment. The wicked continually seek to heap to themselves everything of value, of profit. When they succeed in so doing they die and leave it all to the righteous.
Meanwhile, the righteous are enjoying the peace of the Lord.
Without peace there can be no joy. Righteousness and peace lead us to joy. Joy is that happy, glad state found only in the Kingdom of God, only among the righteous.
The wicked have "fun." Fun consists of the merry, heedless stimulation of the body. The difference between fun and joy is revealed when the saint is persecuted. The believer has no "fun" when he is locked up in prison for his faith. But the joy of the Lord is his portion.
The righteous leap for joy, not for fun, when they are persecuted, because the Glory of the Lord is resting on them and their future is radiant with the hope of immortality in the Presence of the King.
The Kingdom of God is first, righteousness; and after that, peace and joy—all in the Holy Spirit.
Everything in the Kingdom depends on righteousness. There is no Kingdom of God apart from righteousness. Righteousness is given to us through Christ’s blood when first we are saved. Then, through the Holy Spirit, we begin to practice righteousness in our daily life.
It is impossible to practice fornication, lust, rage, covetousness, lying, stealing, envy, strife, foolishness, and remain in the Kingdom of God. This fact alone reveals to us that many of the churches of Christ are not in the Kingdom of God and have no part whatever in the Kingdom of God.
Where the Holy Spirit has produced righteous behavior, the peace of God, the joy of Christ—that is the Kingdom of God.
30. What is true of the person who, through the Holy Spirit, is serving Christ in righteous behavior, in Divine peace, and in spiritual joy?
That individual is acceptable to God and approved by all mankind. God will make certain that even his enemies are at peace with him (Proverbs 16:7).
31. What should each saint be pursuing?
Things that result in peace and that build up in spiritual strength our brothers and sisters in Christ.
32. What must we not do?
We must not destroy the work of God for the sake of food.
33. What is true of all food?
All food is clean to the Christian (Acts 10:15). The Christian is to receive his food with thanksgiving to God, and eat and drink to the Glory of Christ (I Timothy 4:3-6).
34. What about the Christian who eats certain foods that offend his conscience and the consciences of his fellow Christians?
He should not continue eating that particular type of food. He is practicing evil by so doing.
35. What is the proper way for a Christian to behave?
He is not to eat flesh nor to drink wine nor to do anything else that causes his brother or sister to stumble or be offended or be weakened in the faith of Christ.
36. What should the disciple do concerning his personal convictions regarding food, holy days, clothing, and similar details of daily living?
He should keep such details between himself and God because they are not central in importance in the new covenant or in the Kingdom of God. The only time such details become of importance is when they hinder the spiritual development of a member of the Body of Christ.
37. What believer is receiving a blessing?
The believer who is eating and drinking and doing everything else with a clear conscience before God and the Lamb.
Christians often live in defeat. We can be—and should be—more than conquerors!
Much depends on our attitude and our words, as well as on our deeds.
The only attitude of mind and testimony of speech that bring success and victory in the Kingdom of God are the attitude and testimony of righteousness, of joy, and of peace.
We are to take a stand of absolute obedience and then confess our stand with our mouth. We are determined to please God. We are determined to obey God. We are determined that through Christ we will gain victory over all sin and disobedience.
Now we are doing God’s will. When we sin we confess our sin and then repent of it. Through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we do not keep repeating our sins.
If we believe something in our life is not pleasing to God, we get rid of it. By the Holy Spirit’s help we drive it from our life. We handle sin roughly and we handle our own flesh roughly. We do not pamper sin or rebellion in our life.
We never, never, never say, "I know what God wants me to do but I’m not doing it."
Why aren’t you doing it?
Are you a rebel against God?
Do you so despise the Emperor of the universe that you would acknowledge to Heaven and earth that you are joining the ranks of Satan and the fallen angels who refused to obey the Lord God?
Don’t you realize your words are condemning you and that they will become creatures and stand by you at the Judgment Seat of Christ and point the finger of accusation at you?
It has been stated that the world is waiting to see someone who will "go all the way with God," someone who will obey God perfectly and faithfully.
Such a statement reflects incredible rebellion, an awful, profound exposure of the depths to which the churches have fallen.
There is no such thing as a saint of God who is not doing God’s will perfectly and faithfully. Other "believers" are merely church members. To be a Christian is to be a disciple of Christ.
To be a disciple of Christ is to be a bondslave of Christ. Being a bondslave signifies absolute, total, utter, loyalty and obedience to the point of physical death.
There are deaths that the faithful followers of Christ are required to pass through that are far more difficult to endure than physical death.
Consider Abraham and his offering up of Isaac!
The only true Christian is the man or woman, boy or girl, who lives his daily life faithfully, loyally, as the bondslave of Christ. All else is "Babylon"—religious confusion.
If there are only twenty-five people doing God’s will on the earth today, then there are only twenty-five Christians. God never shall alter His standards because of the sin and rebellion in the churches of Christ.
38. What does a person bring on himself who doubts that it is acceptable to God that he eat a certain food, and proceeds to eat it anyway?
He brings condemnation on himself. He was walking in the light, in fellowship with his Father in Heaven. Then he went and partook of something he suspected was not pleasing to God.
He has broken his fellowship with God. Why did he do this?
Because there was something of the world he desired more than he desired fellowship with his Father in Heaven.
He immediately must confess what he has done to the Lord, resolve never to do it again, receive forgiveness and cleansing, draw near to God for His strength and fellowship, and sternly resist, through the help of the Spirit of God, the temptation to repeat the questionable behavior.
Later, if he is shown that the particular behavior is acceptable to God, he can resume practicing it; but only when the peace of God is present.
On occasion a conscientious believer is tormented by Satan concerning an action or relationship or thing that in actuality is not sin in the sight of God. The person who has a strong desire to please the Lord sometimes is drawn into a doubtful area.
The safest procedure is to give up the questionable practice or thing until the Lord makes it plain that there is no problem.
Numerous Christians live in condemnation because they are afraid God will take some thing or relationship from them. So they keep on with their life, hoping that God will accept them.
Living in fear and doubt is not of the Kingdom of God. The overcomer comes before the Lord and puts every relationship, every situation, every person, every activity, every thing including his own life on the altar of God. He gives it all to God.
As soon as he has given all to God it becomes true that all he possesses belongs to God and all God possesses belongs to him. From then on, God gives him what is best for him.
To submit all that we are and possess to God is to enter the death of the cross. Entering the death of the cross requires more faith and trust than most believers have. But until all goes to the cross the individual remains in his adamic state; and Adam cannot, under any circumstances, inherit the Kingdom of God.
To hold back anything from the Lord is to pave the way for spiritual weakness and defeat. There is no part of our personality that is exempt from the process of death and resurrection in Jesus.
We absolutely must hold up our physical body a living sacrifice to the Lord. If we do not, we are not a genuine Christian. We may be a church member, we may have taken the "four steps of salvation," but we are not a true Christian.
39. In what condition is the believer living if he suspects that what he is doing is not pleasing to the Lord Jesus Christ?
He or she is living in sin. "Whatever is not of faith is sin."
How many Christian people are living in defeat, in loss of fellowship with God, having a defiled conscience?
How many are huddled in their trenches, like so many Israelites, while "Goliath" comes forth each day and mocks them and their Lord Jesus?
Is the Christian Church a group of spiritually helpless adherents to a religious faith—a faith whose standards are hopelessly beyond any possibility of attainment in the world?
Or is the Christian Church the expression in the earth of the atoning death and triumphant resurrection of the Lord of Glory?
What is your opinion?
Is there enough power in the Holy Spirit to create the Church a blazing revelation of Divine power and Divine righteousness?
Can it be true that the churches are not burning brightly in power and righteousness because the members are not mixing faith with the written Word of God; and that the present impoverishment of the testimony has nothing to do with the circumstances of the world?
If it is true that we are failing to reveal Christ to our own generation because of our carelessness with the written Word, and because of our love of the world and our disobedience to God, then it is time for the God of Heaven to send the hornets of tribulation among us until we turn to God and do His will.
Our generation well may be the most spiritually needy of history. But there is no doubt that if we Christians will repent of our unbelief and disobedience, turning to God in Spirit-empowered worship and supplication, He will pour on us the latter rain of His Holy Spirit. Then we will be able in our day to hold up the Lord Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth. If and when we do, the nations will behold His righteousness and His Divine Glory.
Then the nations will turn to Him and be saved.
1. What are strong Christians to do?
Strong Christians are to bear the weaknesses of those who are not as strong rather than to remain occupied with pleasing themselves.
2. What should each of us do?
We should contribute to our neighbor’s joy in such a manner as to build him up in Christ.
God has given to each member of the Body of Christ a portion of Divine grace by which he can strengthen his brothers and sisters in the Lord. These contributions of ministry bring joy and strength to the Body of Christ (Ephesians 4:7-16).
Our attitude is to be one of concern and helpfulness toward every Christian on the earth, as God gives us the spiritual strength to adopt such a helpful, constructive attitude.
3. Whom did Christ strive always to please?
The Father in Heaven.
4. Read Psalms 69:9.
For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me. (Psalms 69:9)
5. Why were the Old Testament Scriptures written?
They were written for the instruction of Christian people. The Scriptures teach us patient endurance. The Scriptures encourage us and hold continually before us the hope of the Glory of God in Christ.
6. What was Paul’s prayer for the saints in Rome?
That God, who gives patience and comfort to His saints, would bring them into one mind in Christ; that in one accord, with one voice, they would glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7. What attitude should the members of the Body of Christ take toward one another?
We should welcome and receive one another warmly just as Christ has welcomed and received each of us to the Glory of God.
8. To whom has Christ become a servant?
To the circumcision, the Jews, in order to prove God’s truthfulness by confirming the promises given to the forefathers of the nation of Israel.
9. Why did Christ set aside His majesty and become a servant of the Jews?
So the Gentiles may glorify God for His mercy.
10. Read Deuteronomy 32:43; Psalms 18:49; Psalms 117:1; Isaiah 11:10.
Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people (Deuteronomy 32:43).
Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O Lord, among the heathen, and sing praises unto thy name (Psalms 18:49).
O praise the Lord, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people (Psalms 117:1).
And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious (Isaiah 11:10).
11. What additional prayer did Paul offer for the saints in Rome?
That the God of hope would fill them with all joy and peace in believing; that the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit would cause them to be filled to overflowing with the hope of the glory that is coming to the Church with the return of the Lord Jesus Christ from Heaven.
12. Of what had Paul become persuaded concerning the saints in Rome?
That they were full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able to admonish one another.
13. In what attitude had Paul written to the saints in Rome?
Paul had written boldly to them along some lines of the Gospel, bringing again to their minds the discipline to which they had committed themselves when they received Christ. Even though he himself had never been among them, Paul felt qualified to admonish them because of the grace that God had given him to make the Gentiles obedient to the faith.
14. To whom did Christ send Paul with the Gospel of God?
To the Gentiles, and Rome was a Gentile city. Paul was serving as a priest, and the Gentiles were the offering that Paul was presenting before God. Paul trusted that the offering he was presenting would be acceptable to God, being set aside as holy to the Lord by the Presence and working of the Holy Spirit of God.
15. On what grounds did Paul find reason to boast in Christ?
On the grounds that he indeed had been sent to the Gentiles by the Lord for the purpose of presenting the Gentiles as an offering to God; and the Holy Spirit was working through Paul, blessing and confirming the Word of the Gospel with signs following.
16. Of what did Paul dare to speak?
Of that which Christ had wrought through Paul in order to bring the Gentiles under obedience to Christ:
By word and deed.
By mighty signs and wonders.
By the power of the Spirit of God.
17. What had been the extent of Paul’s travels in the preaching of the Gospel of Christ?
From Jerusalem in a circuit reaching as far as Illyricum—an area north of Macedonia.
18. Toward what were Paul’s efforts and ambition directed?
Toward the preaching of the Gospel of Christ in areas where people had never heard of Christ. Paul avoided building on a foundation that had been laid by other apostles and teachers.
19. Read Isaiah 52:15.
So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him: for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider (Isaiah 52:15).
20. Why had Paul been hindered on several occasions from visiting the saints in Rome?
Because of the time he was spending going where Christ was not known.
The people of Rome already had heard the Gospel. Citizens of that city had been in Jerusalem observing the feast of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit first descended on the Christian Church. Also, it is believed that some Christian people who had heard the Gospel from Paul’s mouth had gone to live in Rome (see Chapter 16 of Romans).
21. How did Paul feel now?
Paul believed that his work had been accomplished in Asia Minor and in Greece. In addition, Paul for many years had had a longing to minister to the saints in Rome.
22. What country was Paul thinking of visiting?
23. What was Paul’s hope?
That he could stop by Rome on his way to Spain, and that after he had enjoyed the company of the saints in Rome they would help him forward on his journey to Spain.
24. Where was Paul staying when he wrote the letter to the saints in Rome?
25. Where was Paul going after he left Corinth?
Paul had gathered a substantial amount of money from the churches of Macedonia and Corinth. Paul was going to Jerusalem to give this offering to the impoverished saints of Jerusalem. The city of Jerusalem was in economic difficulties at this time.
26. Why were the Gentile Christians of Macedonia and Corinth glad to have the opportunity to assist the destitute Jewish Christians of the large church in Jerusalem, which was under the leadership of James and the other distinguished Apostles and elders?
Because the Gentile believers of Greece realized that the Kingdom of God is of the Jews and that the Greeks had shared in the "children’s bread," the spiritual wealth that belongs to the Jews. It seemed reasonable that the Greeks should in turn share their material wealth with the Jews.
27. What was Paul planning to do after he had presented to the poor Jews of Jerusalem this blessing from the Gentile believers?
Paul planned to journey to Spain, stopping by Rome on the way.
Paul did reach Rome as a prisoner three years after the letter to the saints in Rome was written. It is not known whether or not he achieved his goal of visiting Spain.
28. Of what was Paul certain?
That when he did arrive in Rome he would come in the fullness of the blessing of the Gospel of Christ.
29. What did Paul exhort the saints in Rome to do in his behalf?
To add their prayers to his that he would be delivered from the wrath of the Israelites in Jerusalem who had rejected their Christ, and that the large offering of money he was bringing with him would be acceptable to the poor saints there.
Paul knew the determination of the Pharisees to destroy the Christian faith. The Pharisees had murdered Jesus, James, Stephen, and others. Paul knew the Pharisees would not hesitate to imprison or kill any person who received Jesus of Nazareth as Christ. Paul himself had viciously persecuted the Christian families.
Paul understood that there was a good chance he would be put to death as soon as he arrived in Jerusalem.
30. What did Paul hope would happen?
That he would accomplish his purposes in Jerusalem and then would be able to visit Rome in answer to the prayers of the saints there, finding rest and refreshing among them.
31. What benediction does Paul pronounce on the saints in Rome?
"Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen."
1. Whom did Paul commend to the saints of Rome?
Phoebe, a sister in the Lord, a servant of the assembly that met in Cenchrea.
It appears that Paul sent his letter to the saints in Rome by the hand of Phoebe. Phoebe lived in Cenchrea, a suburb of Corinth, and was getting ready to sail to Rome.
2. What did Paul request of the saints in Rome, concerning Phoebe?
That the Christians of Rome would welcome her in the Lord in a manner worthy of Christian people; that they would assist her in any matter in which she had need.
3. Why was Paul so concerned about Phoebe’s welfare in Rome?
Because she had supported and defended many of the saints, including Paul himself.
4. To whom did Paul send greetings?
Priscilla and Aquila, Paul's fellow workers in Christ. Priscilla and Aquila had exposed themselves to great danger in order to save Paul’s life. All the Gentile churches were grateful to Priscilla and Aquila for their courageous, selfless service in the Kingdom of God.
The saints who assembled in the home of Priscilla and Aquila.
Epenetus, beloved of Paul, the first person of Asia Minor to become a Christian.
Mary, a woman who had labored strenuously in building up the church in Rome.
Andronicus and Junias, relatives of Paul, who had been in prison with him. These two men had been Christians before Paul himself had been converted.
It is difficult to determine from verse seven whether Andronicus and Junias were apostles, or whether the meaning is that they had a good reputation among those who were Apostles, such as Peter, James, and John.
Possibly Andronicus and Junias were apostles. The New Testament writings indicate that there were apostles of Christ who were not of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb, not of the Twelve whose names are inscribed in the twelve foundations of the New Jerusalem. Acts 14:14 is an example, where Barnabas is named as an apostle.
The term apostle signifies a person whom Christ has sent forth on a specific mission, often to a designated group of people. An apostle is an ambassador of Christ, a missionary.
Ampliatus, Paul’s beloved in the Lord.
Urbanus, Paul’s fellow worker in Christ.
Stachys, Paul’s beloved.
Apelles, a believer approved in Christ.
The members of the household of Aristobulus.
Herodion, a relative of Paul.
The members of the household of Narcissus, people who "are in the Lord."
Tryphena and Tryphosa, sisters who had labored in the Lord.
Persis, a sister beloved of Paul, who had worked very hard in the Lord.
Rufus, one of the Lord’s elect.
The mother of Rufus, whom Paul thought of as his own mother.
Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brothers who had fellowship with them.
Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who served the Lord with them.
5. How were the saints to greet one another?
With a holy kiss.
6. Who were sending their greetings to the saints in Rome?
All of the other churches of Christ.
7. What did Paul exhort the saints in Rome to do?
To watch out for individuals who cause division and stumbling blocks contrary to the teaching that had been given to the saints and to turn away from such troublemakers.
8. What is true of people who come among the saints and cause divisions and occasions of stumbling?
They do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, they serve their own belly.
9. What means do such self-seekers employ in order to divide the saints for their own purposes?
They use smooth speech and flattery and deceive the hearts of unsuspecting, innocent believers in Christ.
10. What report had reached all the Christian assemblies?
The report of the obedience to the Gospel of the believers in Rome.
11. What was Paul’s reaction to this good report?
Paul rejoiced over the strong, fruitful faith of the Christians in Rome.
12. What was Paul’s desire for the saints in Rome?
That they would be wise indeed concerning what is good but pure, simple, and innocent concerning what is evil.
13. What will the God of peace do shortly?
God will crush Satan under the feet of the saints.
Romans 16:20 is one of the key, critical verses of the Scriptures that provide insight into the Divine plan of redemption.
Satan soon shall be crushed under the feet of the saints!
The crushing will not be a temporary setback in which some of the branches are cut from the massive trunk of rebellion and sin. This shall be a death wound, a shaft in the heart, a striking off of the head, a destroying of root and branch, a purging from the earth of the thought, the motive, the imagination, the attitude, the word, the deed, the very memory of sin and rebellion against the most high God.
Many contemporary writings by Christian teachers reveal that the assumption still is being made that Heaven is the eternal home of the saints and that the present earth and our sinful body belong to Satan and cannot be taken from him.
How such error can continue to flow from the pens of men and women who are so well instructed in the Scriptures is difficult to understand.
Heaven is not the eternal home of the saint. The present earth, and then the new earth, are the proper homes of the saint. The spirit heavens are the home of the angels—a different race of intelligent creatures. The earth is for people. The new earth is for the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit, the saints, and the nations of saved peoples of the earth.
Neither the present earth nor the new earth belongs to Satan but to the Lord Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus does not look with joy on thieving, lying, murdering spirits who are destroying His possessions. He soon will come and destroy such spirits with a wrath incomprehensible to human beings.
The nations of the earth do not belong to Satan but to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our physical bodies do not belong to Satan but to the Lord Jesus Christ.
Nothing belongs to Satan! The earth, its peoples, death, life, light, darkness, the present age, the ages to come, every creature, every thing—all belong to Christ and His saints.
Nothing belongs to Satan and his followers—not even the keys of Hell. All has been given to Christ.
Satan’s eternal home is the lake that burns with fire and sulfur.
Who will destroy Satan and his followers from the earth?
It is God in Christ in the saints. The point of action is the feet of the saints.
It was mankind that opened the door and allowed Satan, sin, rebellion, and death to enter the hearts of men.
It is God in Christ in mankind who will drive Satan, sin, rebellion, and death from the hearts of men and then will close the gates against them for eternity.
The process of driving out wickedness and closing the gates against it for eternity is taking place today in God’s firstfruits, Christ’s conquerors, the holy remnant whom God has called out from the spirit of Babylon.
When the process of redemption has been completed in the victorious saints it will be extended to the remainder of the elect, and then to the rest of God’s creation. Even the memory of Satan, sin, rebellion, and death will be destroyed from the earth.
This is not to say that everyone will be saved. There will be some who will not receive Christ as Lord of all. These are rebels and they will not be permitted to enjoy the wonders that God has prepared for those who love Him and are obedient to Him.
Therefore prepare yourself to rule in righteousness, or to be ruled in righteousness, or else to be destroyed along with Satan and his followers. The saints soon shall take the Kingdom.
If you desire to rule in righteousness, permit the Lord Jesus Christ to fill your heart with His love of righteousness and hatred of lawlessness. Open the everlasting doors of your personality and allow the King of Glory to enter. You will find He is strong and mighty in battle, and that He has entered you so the inheritance that is His and yours may be restored to Him and to you (see Psalms 24).
The following passages of Scripture will strengthen your confidence that God has ordained that the saints shall crush Satan under their feet, and that the victory shall be total.
And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel (Genesis 3:15).
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies (Genesis 22:17).
But the Lord thy God shall deliver them unto thee, and shall destroy them with a mighty destruction, until they be destroyed. And he shall deliver their kings into thine hand, and thou shalt destroy their name from under heaven: there shall no man be able to stand before thee, until thou have destroyed them (Deuteronomy 7:23,24).
And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the host ran, and cried, and fled (Judges 7:21).
The story of Gideon and his victory is an important type of the Day of Christ.
The trumpet of God will sound through the saints as with one voice they announce the return of Christ as King of all kings and Lord of all lords.
Then the earthen vessels, the "pitchers" (physical bodies of the saints) will be "broken" in resurrection transformation. The light of incorruptible, eternal resurrection life will blaze from their personalities. Every thing and work of Satan will be crushed under them as they advance in the fullness of the power and wisdom of the Spirit of God.
And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life (Judges 16:30).
The above episode from the life of Samson is a symbolic portrayal of the Day of the Lord. Just before the coming of Jesus a repentant Church, the "hair" of its sanctification growing out, will bow in the death of absolute obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
The restored sanctification plus the death of obedience, in association with the coming from Heaven of the Lord Jesus Christ, will destroy the kingdom of darkness.
And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the Lord; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him (I Samuel 5:4).
On a prior occasion, Dagon had been toppled (I Samuel 5:3). The initial toppling of Dagon typifies the destroying of Satan’s authority on the cross of Calvary.
But as soon as God in Christ in the saints confronts Satan in the last days, both the head of Satan and his power to work will be cut off. This will take place "upon the threshold," that is, at the coming of the Kingdom of God to the earth.
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet (Psalms 91:13).
To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord (Psalms 149:8,9).
For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit (Isaiah 14:13-15).
Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by the multitude of thine iniquities, by the iniquity of thy traffick; therefore will I bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all them that behold thee. All they that know thee among the people shall be astonished at thee: thou shalt be a terror, and never shalt thou be any more (Ezekiel 28:18,19).
Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom (Daniel 7:22).
And the Lord shall utter his voice before his army: for his camp is very great: for he is strong that executeth his word: for the day of the Lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it? (Joel 2:11).
And saviours [deliverers] shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the Lord’s (Obadiah 21).
Thine hand shall be lifted up upon thine adversaries, and all thine enemies shall be cut off (Micah 5:9).
For now will I break his yoke from off thee, and will burst thy bonds in sunder (Nahum 1:13).
Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people, even for salvation with thine anointed; thou woundedst the head out of the house of the wicked, by discovering the foundation unto the neck. Selah (Habakkuk 3:13).
And they shall be as mighty men, which tread down their enemies in the mire of the streets in the battle: and they shall fight, because the Lord is with them, and the riders on horses shall be confounded (Zechariah 10:5).
And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts (Malachi 4:3).
And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you (Luke 10:18,19).
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God (Romans 8:19).
And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled (II Corinthians 10:6).
And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming (II Thessalonians 2:8).
And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him (Jude 1:14,15).
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with sulfur. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh (Revelation 19:19-21).
"And the God of peace shall bruise [crush] Satan under your feet shortly."
14. What blessing does Paul pronounce on the saints in Rome?
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you."
15. What Christian workers, who were with Paul, sent greetings to the Roman saints in this letter?
Timothy, Paul’s fellow worker, and also Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, Paul’s relatives.
Perhaps when Paul referred to Andronicus, Junias, Herodion, Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater as his kinsmen he was speaking of the fact that they were Israelites, not that they necessarily were his blood relatives.
16. Who else greeted the saints in Rome?
Tertius, a man who wrote this epistle as Paul dictated it. Some scholars are of the opinion that Paul had an affliction in his eyes and had difficulty seeing well enough to write.
17. Who else sent greetings?
Gaius, in whose home Paul was staying.
The whole group of Christians in Corinth.
Erastus, apparently a man of high position, the director of public works of Corinth, one of the largest, wealthiest cities of the Roman Empire.
Quartus, a believer who wished to be remembered to the saints in Rome.
Paul’s love for the believers, Jews and Gentiles alike, is revealed by the number of individuals whom he addresses by name in his Epistles. A true Christian church is made up of a group of people, often quite small in number, who have fervent love for the Lord Jesus Christ and for each other.
18. What benediction does Paul pronounce on them for the second time?
"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all."
19. In what words does the Apostle Paul commend the "called of Christ" in Rome, to God the Father?
Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen (Romans 16:25-27).