Understanding Apostasy

An Understanding of Apostasy

Book of 1 John Chapter 2 verses 15-29

In last week’s lesson we learned about Spiritual growth and in this week’s lesson we will learn why we need that growth.

Whenever the Holy Spirit takes the time to warn us about certain things, then we need to pay attention to what He says.

Reading the Scriptures every day is a wonderful thing and we all should do so, but sometimes we need to put our nose to the grindstone and really study to see what the Lord is saying!

This is one of those places!

When we think about “apostasy” in the church, we are talking about those who are forsaking the Lord Jesus Christ and His teachings.

The Apostle Paul says there will be a “falling away” from Christ!

2Th 2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

In the Book to Timothy, Paul says “departing from the faith”.

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

Again in the Book to Timothy Paul writes they will not “endure sound doctrine”.

2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

These are all Scriptures dealing with “Apostasy” and there are many more.

How does the Apostle John teach us about these things? He says:

*1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.

We cannot experience true victory in Jesus, until we have victory over this world of evil!

This is a world dominated by Satan and we must have victory over Satan and Jesus provides that victory!

Our faith is based upon the invisible things of God’s world, which He offers to us.

If we turn around and seek happiness in this world which will one day end, we are forsaking the truth of God!

This world may seem to be a good world, but it is an evil world!

We live in a world where our worthiness is determined by the amount of possessions we own!

Does this mean we cannot appreciate the wonders of God’s creation? Absolutely not!

God has provided all the things necessary for us to live a comfortable life and have joy in our lives.

The truth is, the heavens and this earth are just temporary things that are aging and passing away.

We live in a corruptible world, as those with powers use these same elements of the earth to indulge in corruption and sinfulness.

We must not become attached to the things of this world which will be destroyed!

There are no perfect governments on this earth.
There are no perfect societies upon this earth.

Even the church has forgotten to strive for perfection!

We may be loyal to some good things upon this earth, but we must stand against all the bad things of this earth!

Col 3:1 If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2 Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3 For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4 When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

We may live in this world, but we are not to be friends of this world!

Jas 4:4 Ye adulterers and adulteresses, know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God.

What is the real truth of this world we live in?

*1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

We can sit upon a mountain top and view the wonders of God’s creation and just say how beautiful is God’s creation, but when we get back home, we see something for different.

When we look out upon the societies, we see everyone lusting after the things of the flesh.

We see people giving in to the desires of the flesh.

We live in a sack of flesh that will indulge in any sinful behavior if and when it is given that opportunity!

In most cases it begins with the things we see!

The danger of these things is that we desire things that go against the truth of God.

We desire and go after these things to possess that are forbidden by the Word of God.

We may look upon another man’s wife with desire and this is the sin of adultery even if it goes no further than that desire!

Mat 6:22 The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light.
Mat 6:23 But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness!

It may sound unrealistic, but we must make a vow with our eyes!

Job_31:1 I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

What was the downfall of the great King Solomon?

Ecc 2:10 And whatsoever mine eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour: and this was my portion of all my labour.
Ecc 2:11 Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and, behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun.

There is no profit from the things of this world!

Then there is the pride of life.

The pride we have that is centered upon ourselves, goes against the Word of God!

When we believe that we are so special that God will just bend over backwards to accommodate our own desires.
When we believe we can do all things without God we will be sadly mistaken.

There is no future without God!

Mat 12:50 For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

When we fall into these traps, they become so deep they are hard to climb back out of them.

In fact we will not be able to on our own, we will just pass away with the rest of the world!

*1Jn 2:17 And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.

There is only one thing that we need to do every day. We need to do the will of God!

We must understand that there is nothing outside the scope of God’s sovereign rule!

Our own salvation falls under this rule of God!

2Ti 1:9 Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2Ti 1:10 But is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, and hath brought life and immortality to light through the gospel:

God does as He pleases and, it pleased God to provide us a means of eternal salvation!

God does not and will not ever adjust His plan to accommodate our will! We must obey His will for us!

But there is the permissive will of God, where God will allow certain things that fall in place with His eternal plan.

The truth is the Lord Jesus Christ died according to the preconceived plan of God for our salvation.

This does not mean that wicked men were not responsible for His death!

God knew there was no other way that we could be brought back in fellowship with Him!

We should stand in awe of our Great God who could conceive such a plan of salvation!

We can entrust our eternal days to our Almighty God!

We should rejoice in our salvation!

We can rest in peace as we observe all the things in this evil world we live in!

God holds people responsible for their sins, at the same time He has a plan of redemption!

Col 1:9 For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

God proves that He is in total control of this world, but He allows us to make our own choices!

God lets us know that He loves us! It grieves God when we make the wrong choices!

God’s will, will abide forever!

Joh 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:
Joh 10:28 And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.
Joh 10:29 My Father, which gave them me, is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand.
Joh 10:30 I and my Father are one.

We must also realize that we are in the last of the last days!

*1Jn 2:18 Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time.

There may not be more people who disagree with the doctrine of Jesus Christ, though I believe there are many more.

What we can be sure of in these last days is, that those who do reject Jesus speak with louder voices drowning out the Church because the Church has become so passive!

All the sinful movements move through our nation and others with much fanfare but if something good tries to do the same things then they are forbidden or drowned out because the Church refuses to take a stand and many even endorse this evil!

These loudly proclaim that God could never be a human and so the Scriptures are so full of errors that to believe we can know the actual Word of God makes us a people who border on insanity.

These antichrists broadcast their message freely, on every level!

There are also more antichrists in the church than ever before, and they too loudly proclaim a false doctrine driven by the world giving in to immorality.

John says we are approaching the midnight hour when darkness will assume to rule our world.

The Antichrist could step onto the stage of this world at any moment. He may already be there but hiding in the shadows!

This Antichrist is not the spirit of antichrist that is in our world now, but this will be an actual person.

This Antichrist will rise to be on the stage as a world leader and the world will listen to him because he will speak with the voice of Satan who has transfigured into a spirit of light.

2Co_11:14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.

There are so many today denying the truth of God and the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, we can be certain that the Second Coming of the Lord is very soon!

What is the truth?

2Th_2:3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;

We are in that day of the great falling away!

*1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us: but they went out, that they might be made manifest that they were not all of us.

Where do antichrist come from? They walk right out of the doors of the church proclaiming they have been misled.

Teachers who proclaim some new doctrine.

Preachers who have mixed the doctrine of evolution with the truth of creation.

Preachers who have allowed the government to dictate the doctrine of the Church.

Churches that have opened the church doors to the world denying the true Christ who is the foundation of the Church!

1Ti 4:1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
1Ti 4:3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.

How can we know them?

*1Jn 2:20 But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.
1Jn 2:21 I have not written unto you because ye know not the truth, but because ye know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

That word unction means as believers we have the anointing of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit lives within each of us to guide us and to protect us from false things.

A non-believer or an antichrist cannot have the anointing to the Holy Spirit so they cannot know the truth of doctrines of the Bible!

Joh 14:15 If ye love me, keep my commandments.
Joh 14:16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever;
Joh 14:17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
Joh 14:18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
Joh 14:19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
Joh 14:20 At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you.
Joh 14:21 He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

The Holy Spirit knows all things about Jesus Christ that we need to know so He will lead us away from the antichrist!

*1Jn 2:22 Who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son.
1Jn 2:23 Whosoever denieth the Son, the same hath not the Father: (but) he that acknowledgeth the Son hath the Father also.

We are God the Father’s “little children” and we need to be warned!

Those who deny that Jesus is the Messiah are liars!
Those who deny that Jesus is a Person in the Personage of God, God the Father, God the Son, God the Holy Spirit are all liars!
Those who deny that Jesus was 100% man and 100% God at the same time are all liars!
Those who deny the truth of the Word of God are all liars!
Those who deny that Jesus is God have chosen to believe the Anti-god!

Mat 10:33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Those who stand against God the Father and His Son are doomed to damnation!

Mat 10:34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

There are really no true Atheists in this world, but the world is full of people who claim some god and the only God is the Lord Jesus Christ!

Mat 10:37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
Mat 10:38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.

I think the Holy Spirit answers every question that can be ask about our Savior right here in this passage!

Those who are sure we have a Creator had better know that God the Father sent forth His Son as this Creator and to reject any part of these things is to deny Him!

*1Jn 2:24 Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.
1Jn 2:25 And this is the promise that he hath promised us, even eternal life.

What we have heard from the Apostles is the “Gospel” of the Lord Jesus Christ.

It is the “Gospel” that has all the answers of life and life eternal!

If we do not know God, how can we ever say we are pleasing to Him.

“And let’s just get one thing very straight right now, God is MALE and not female”!

How can there be a “Bride of Christ” if there is not the Groom, God the Son, the Lord Jesus Christ?

It is the “Gospel” that must continue in us all our days once He has come into our hearts!

God has given us 66 books all bound up in one and any study of these books will lead you to the Lord Jesus Christ the answer to life, the answer to salvation, the answer to eternal life!

What words best describe the “Gospel”?

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
1Co 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
1Co 15:4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
1Co 15:5 And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
1Co 15:6 After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
1Co 15:7 After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
1Co 15:8 And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Gal 1:6 I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel:
Gal 1:7 Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ.
Gal 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:9 As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed.
Gal 1:10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant of Christ.
Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
Gal 1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

There is only one “Gospel”!

It is by the “Gospel” that comes eternal life in fellowship with the Almighty God!

As long as we are upon this earth there will be those deny the “Gospel”!

*1Jn 2:26 These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you.
1Jn 2:27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

John has already taught us that these who would “seduce”(entice, deceive, lead astray) would come from inside the Church.

1Jn 2:19 They went out from us, but they were not of us;

Those, some inside the church, will teach that there is some other way to restore fellowship with God and this simply is not true.

No one is good enough.
No one is righteous enough.
No one is rich enough.

We must always be on guard against false teaching because there is just too much at stake.

We will never regain fellowship with our Creator if we try some other way than the “Gospel”!

If God the Father, sent God the Son to die for us then, how could we ever believe that there was some other way?

God sent His Son to save mankind, if there had been some other way then there would be no need for the “Gospel”!

God then sent God the Holy Spirit to protect His investment!

Without the anointing of the Holy Spirit to seal our redemption we would still be lost!

Tit 3:4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared,
Tit_3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

We cannot deny the Triune God and still say we understand the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ!

We are doomed to failure if we do not abide in our Savior!

*1Jn 2:28 And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1Jn 2:29 If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.

What is the greatest test of being a Christian? Do we rest in the truth of the “Gospel”?

Do we dwell with Jesus?

Are we ashamed of Jesus Christ?

Have we made our home with the Lord?

I can openly confess that Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior!
I fully believe that God has shown His love for me by Jesus Christ!
I can confess that I love God because He first loved me!

1Jn 4:15 Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.
1Jn 4:16 And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.
1Jn 4:17 Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world.

I will have boldness in the Day of Judgment because “I know my name is written down in the Lamb’s Book of Life”!

I know the truth of God and this truth has made me free from the penalties of sin!

Joh_8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Joh_8:36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

I will never be ashamed of my Savior!!!!!

I am at peace with God because He called me to meet His Son!

I have been “Born Again” into the family of God!

Have You?

Amen

Let’s Pray!

We Can Be Certain Of Christ’s Forgiveness

The Certainty Of Christ’s Forgiveness

Book of Luke 15

Forgiveness of our sins is the first part of our justification before God.

We are justified by our “faith” in the work of Jesus Christ.

Rom 5:1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
Rom 5:2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

BUT, We are saved by God’s “Grace”!

Eph 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.

As sinners, with faith in the work of Jesus Christ to erase our sin debt, we are forever freed from the guilt and penalty of sin.

Justification is the exact opposite of condemnation!

We already know that Jesus used many parables to teach the truth of the “Gospel”.

The parable of the Prodigal Son is the greatest and most beloved story ever told in human language.

The title “prodigal” describes someone who is given to live an extravagant lifestyle making expenditures on things that go far beyond their actual needs. A prodigal will also possess a very liberal attitude toward the Word of God and the “Gospel” of Jesus Christ.

What is the truth of God?

God loves and reaches out to all the prodigals of this world!

God will run to embrace any prodigal who calls on Him for salvation and repents, no matter how terrible their sin!

*****Luk 15:11 And he said, A certain man had two sons:
Luk 15:12 And the younger of them said to his father, Father, give me the portion of goods that falleth to me. And he divided unto them his living.
Luk 15:13 And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country, and there wasted his substance with riotous living.

Here is a man who is the son of his father by birth.

He belonged to the estate(the world) by natural birth of his father.

The facts will show that he did not belong to his father with his heart, his mind, nor his spirit.

This son wanted two things:

1) He wanted his inheritance given to him. Which means “dad I wish you were dead”.

He wanted all the worldly possessions which he would inherit.

He wanted to get all his father would give him in order that he could enjoy it in that day and time.

We should consider:

a) He had not earned any of it, it was all his fathers, therefore he did not deserve it.

b) He was selfish, self-centered, rude and unkind. He demanded for his father to just “give”. (Not please nor may I have) He cared not what effect this would have on his father’s estate or on his other brother.

Kind of sounds like the world we live in now where the many want handouts of things they did not earn themselves and feel like this world owes them something. They are all, selfish, self-centered, rude, and unkind to those who work and contribute to the system that provides all these things.

The Bible says:

2Ti 3:1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

This prodigal said “give me my independence” and “finance me” the way I want to live because “I refuse to live by your rules”.

We know that so many of our youth have these very same thoughts today!

He felt he was tied down by his family and was held responsible to help care for his father’s property.

He felt his father made to many demands on his life.
He felt his father hindered his freedom.
He felt his father restricted his pleasure.
He felt his father just had to much control of his lifestyle.

SO, His father gave him his freedom and his portion of possessions at that time. His father let him go to live as he wished to live.

He rebelled, he revolted and he went to a far country.

He chose a place that had different rules and a place that was full of sinful pleasures.

He chose the pathway to death and Hell, though he did not realize it at first.

And what did he do?

“He wasted his substance on riotous living”.

Jer 44:16 As for the word that thou hast spoken unto us in the name of the LORD, we will not hearken unto thee.

What would this prodigal find out about the world?

He would find that this world would leave him homeless.
He would find that worldly happiness is unsatisfying.
He would find that this world will degrade and humiliate those who place their trust in it.
He found out that he did not possess the knowledge of his own future as he had thought.

What is the truth of of these things?

Men will desert the world when the world deserts them!

This is the feeling many of our young have today.
This is the feeling many of black community have today.
This is the feeling many of the so-called middle class have today.

There is already a famine of those that trust the Word of God in our world today!

Amo 8:11 Behold, the days come, saith the Lord GOD, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD:
Amo 8:12 And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the LORD, and shall not find it.

Tit 1:16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

*****Luk 15:14 And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that land; and he began to be in want.
Luk 15:15 And he went and joined himself to a citizen of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine.

What happens when we abandon the truths of God?

What happens when we underestimate the value of our Heavenly Father?

What happens when we pursue our own will and ignore the will of the Heavenly Father?

We will begin to be in want!

Instead of finding happiness, this prodigal is over taken with poverty.

He can no longer provide for himself.

Things happen in this world that are far beyond man’s control and he had no more control of his surroundings.

The fruit of evil deeds will always reveal it’s poison!

He has not become a citizen in a better land, he has only become a stranger and a slave to a citizen of that place where he had searched for happiness.

A worldly lifestyle cannot bring a life of peace!

To a Jew to play any part in the care of swine is about as low and degrading as they can become.

The lust of his flesh had brought poverty.
The lust of his eyes had brought no satisfaction.
His pride of life had brought humility.

1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

This world will never have anything better to offer than these 3 things!

He found out husk are only food fit for swine!

For the most part swine are heavy, stupid, animals, that delight to wallow in the mire of this world!

He was destitute of all spiritual help, and left out in the world.

In the world as long as you have money you will always have friends to help you spend your money but when the money goes so goes those friends.

Eph 2:12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:

*****Luk 15:16 And he would fain have filled his belly with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

This man was suffering through a natural disaster that affects all in an area, good or bad.

This man had lost all his friends.

This man was a Jew in the world of the Gentile.

Those husk were actually the fruit of the Carob tree.

This tree is very common in Syria and Egypt and produces pods 6 to 10 inches long and shaped like a horn.

These husk were part of the diet of the truly poor but were for the most part used to feed the swine.

This young man would have never seen such a thing as a meal in his father’s house but even these things were denied from him.

We see that this Jew in a Gentile world was being spiritually, mentally and emotionally drained for he had allowed his riches to be his god.

He had become a slave to the world in a far country and sought refuge with another man far away from God.

He had allowed sin to lead him into the “hog pens” of the world.

That’s what sin does!

Sin will take you farther than you want to go!

Sin will keep you longer than you want to stay!

Sin will cost you much more than you want to pay!

Pro 5:21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the LORD, and he pondereth all his goings.
Pro 5:22 His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins.
Pro 5:23 He shall die without instruction; and in the greatness of his folly he shall go astray.

2Pe 2:19 While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage.

This world we live in makes great promises but just ask the older generation how true those promises are.

The truth is, nothing in the hands of man can ever satisfy the spiritual needs of any individual!

This young man finally came to his senses.

*****Luk 15:17 And when he came to himself, he said, How many hired servants of my father’s have bread enough and to spare, and I perish with hunger!

This young man began to realize the worth of his father’s house.

This man was finally taking the first steps to repentance.

Repentance begins when we realize we are traveling down life’s roadway in the wrong direction!

He thought upon life in his fathers house. (In type our Heavenly Father)

He thought upon the riches that even the servants had in his father’s house. (In type the believers, the children of God)

His father had provided abundantly for all those in his house, even the lowest servant.

He finally realized the sense of being in a loving family and belonging and having purpose.

He finally realized he had chosen a path to an early death. (“I perish”)

He was already perishing in this life.

He was also doomed to perish eternally.

Joh 3:16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
Joh 3:18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.

It was time to make a move before he was unable to do so.

2Co 6:2 (For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)

It would be a humbling thing to go face his father but he would first have to repent.

*****Luk 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee,
Luk 15:19 And am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants.

What is the definition of repentance?

He had to arise!
He had to go away from his sinful life!
He had to humbly turn toward his father!
He had to admit he had sinned against the God of Heaven.

We have to have a true sense of our own guilt.
We have to realize that the mercy of God will only come through Jesus Christ.
We have to hate sin.
We have to walk in the ways of God.

He had to realize his unworthiness!

Up to this point he had only a head knowledge of what to do, but a head knowledge will simply not get you saved!

It was time to take action!

*****Luk 15:20 And he arose, and came to his father. But when he was yet a great way off, his father saw him, and had compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.
Luk 15:21 And the son said unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight, and am no more worthy to be called thy son.

This prodigal son came to himself, and snapped back into reality.

He then arose to return to his father!

Of all the decisions he had ever made in his life, this was the most important decision he would ever make!

Once we realize we are just dirty sinners we must make the personal decision to remove ourselves from that filth. No one can do this for us!

He arose and he turned away from his sinful life.

He realized that there is a God in Heaven and he had sinned against Him and his father.

Sin insults the purity and despises the love of God.

Sin destroys the morality of man!

We can confess that we love the Lord but until we repent we have not given God anything to work with.

Act 8:22 Repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee.

Isa 55:6 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near:
Isa 55:7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

What is the truth of God?

“While he was yet a great ways off, his father saw him, had compassion, and ran, and loved on him”

The truth is God can see into the heart. He had not seen his father yet but his father could see him.

Psa 51:17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Psa 22:24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

It would not have done this prodigal any good just to realize his sin, if he did not also arise and go unto his father.

Repentance is a sign that we are sincere and have returned from our wicked ways!

God forgives as soon as we repent and this is the reason this father could run to his son.

This exactly what happens with our Father who is in Heaven!

God is full of “Mercy”.

God is full of “Grace”.

God is so full of “Mercy” and “Grace” that He is always bursting at the seams to show His love for us.

But we must first believe and then we must repent!

Pro 28:13 He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.

So simple, but most of us are to stubborn and to foolish to say that we are wrong in our way of thinking.

1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

A true parable always represents a Heavenly truth.

We should be able to see that the tenderness of our God, who is also the Most Powerful of beings, is so wonderful.

Our Mighty God is also a God of compassion!

Our God is showing His eagerness to run to us in our hour of repentance to catch us lest we fall!

God will make haste to save all that are lost if they will have faith and repent!

We must never overlook God’s readiness to accept and pardon each of us just as we are!

We must never allow our unworthiness to get in our way, God knows exactly what we are!

Remember God sent His Son Jesus to save us “because we are all sinners”.

And remember God made this plan before He created Heaven and Earth.

God just knows!

*****Luk 15:22 But the father said to his servants, Bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:
Luk 15:23 And bring hither the fatted calf, and kill it; and let us eat, and be merry:
Luk 15:24 For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found. And they began to be merry.

We should understand that God recognizes the earliest beginnings of conviction because when he was still a great off, his father recognized him.

He had not seen his father but his father saw him.

What this son had not recognized the love of his father had been drawing him all along.

If he had ever lost the image of his father from his memory, he would have never returned.

When many would have rejected their son for such things, God shows compassion and mercy.

This prodigal was accepted and restored because he had returned.

Again the key to being accepted by God is faith, then repentance!

If this were not true then this parable would have little meaning at all.

A Parable is an earthly story that reveals Heavenly truths!

Before this son even had a chance to clean his life up, his father had accepted him back into the family.

We cannot clean ourselves up because that is the thing that God will do.

His father gave him the best of robes.

Symbolizing his acceptance back into the family in son-ship and honor.

**The robe symbolized his being clothed in righteousness!

2Co 5:21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:

His father gave him some new shoes.

**The shoes immediately elevated him above servant-hood. He became a free man. Free from the bondage of sin!

2Co 3:17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

Joh 8:32 And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall “make” you free.

This son was now equipped to carry the “Gospel” wherever he went.

His father gave him a ring.

**The ring restored him to a position of authority.

The son could now represent his father and his kingdom.

Gal 4:6 And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Gal 4:7 Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Rom 8:15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Rom 8:16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
Rom 8:17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

Only then can there be a celebration!

It is God’s own joy that He would have all Heaven rejoice with Him and proclaim a sinner returned to the flock of Heaven.

Luk 15:7 I say unto you, that likewise joy shall be in heaven over one sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, which need no repentance.

Luk 15:10 Likewise, I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.

The father celebrated his son’s return.

All that his son needed was provided to him.

The father proclaimed his son’s new life!

1Pe 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

He, who was once lost has now been found!

1Pe 2:24 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.
1Pe 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

The truth is a life without God is a wasted life!

Sin in all it’s forms is a waster of life!

Sin may have it’s own kind of liberty but this liberty will always lead to misery and degrading bondage.

The soul was made by God, the soul was made for God and the soul was made for the delight of God and sin prevents this from happening and therefore there must be suffering and loss.

Because God is God, He cannot deny Himself!

Because God is Holy, He must be an active opponent of sin and once saved, He expects the same from each of us.

The biggest problem our world has today is that the modern day Church has forgotten what it’s job is!

Jesus Christ came to seek and to save and He has now given this job to the Church until He returns!

We have seen that God gets great joy in our salvation and that is only because we can be certain of Christ’s forgiveness.

Questions?

Let’s Pray!

The Means Of Righteousness

The Means Of Righteousness

“Faith In Jesus Christ”

Text: Romans 3:21-5:21

In our first lesson we saw that God does not ask the "Lost" person to clean himself up and behave before he can be saved. Many try this and fail.

What God ask each and everyone of us to do is to "Believe"! Upon that one thing will God give the free gift of life!

Remember the key to the Book of Romans:

Rom 1:17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

We cannot be "Justified" until we have "Faith"!

This the truth of the Gospel!

In the second lesson we saw from "God’s Viewpoint" just how hopeless and dismal humanity really is.

Remember:

Rom 3:20  Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

"Justification" does not come from any law of mankind. We cannot "justify" our selves by self-righteous living.

Gal 3:24  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith.
Gal 3:25  But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
Gal 3:26  For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Let us now learn how to attain to the "Righteousness Required of God".

Justification can only come by "Faith"!

This is the "heart" of the Gospel.

The "Truth" is the entire world is guilty before God!

Our Text:

*****Rom 3:21  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

"But Now", After we have seen how we have failed we will see that there is a way to escape this misery of sin without death and we will see what God expects!

We will see that what any law could not do, what no amount of works could do, but only what God can do.

The "righteousness of God" is much much more than just "Right-doing".

One of the biggest mistakes made in our way of thinking is that the "Law" still holds some place in God’s righteousness.

The "justification" that can come only from God is based on an entirely different principle.

Heb 7:18  For there is verily a disannulling of the commandment going before [for the weakness and unprofitableness thereof].

Remember this is God’s Plan of Salvation and we should not question How God Goes About Doing It!

Those old Laws served their purpose because God is a God of purpose but they are set aside for a New Way.

Rom 5:20  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Rom 5:21  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

If we do not believe that all history of "Our Sin" ended at the Cross, for even our Old Man died there, then we may try to hold on to some of those old laws of self righteousness.

This why there are many so weak in "Faith" that they still desire a teacher of the law:

1Ti 1:7  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

It is because there has never been even one person on this earth that could keep those laws. Remember there was only one chance to get it all right. We would all fail at some point in our life span.

This is why God was so "Gracious" and gave us His Christ to perform all the requirements of the Law for us.

God says that the "Believer" is not under law of any kind but dead to the law:

Gal 2:19  For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God.
Gal 2:20  I am crucified with Christ: [nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God], who loved me, and gave himself for me.

"This is a brand New Creature" that had not existed until inviting Jesus Christ to be his Savior!

To try to go back under any of those Old Laws would be trying to put Jesus, Our Lord back under the Law He has fulfilled.

Jesus Christ Himself said:

Mat 5:17  "Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, [but to fulfil]."

This fulfilled law is the "Royal Law" law of Our Lord:

Jas 2:8  If ye fulfil the "royal law" according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well:
Jas 2:9  But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.

When we show respect for one of God’s children above another we have become a "Judge." God call us to be witnesses and not judges.

A Saint of God that sins after salvation has broken the "Royal Law" of Jesus Christ:

Mat 22:38  This is the first and great commandment.
Mat 22:39  And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

We must pray a prayer of repentance to be forgiven and not carry this sin with us.

God showed just how "righteous" He truly is when He would not spare the life of His Son Jesus at the Cross.

Only such a "righteous" God as Jehovah can therefore forgive "Sin"!

Isa 53:5  But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
Isa 53:6  All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

God is able to come to us now in "Absolute Grace" but only because of Jesus Christ Our Savior! There is no amount of the sin of the believer that this "Grace" cannot cover.

God can then after His forgiveness, declare the believing sinner to be "righteous". Not righteous on his own merits and not because Christ merits have been transferred to him but only because we as sinners place our trust in Him, because God places us inside the Risen Christ.

2Co 5:21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; [that we might be made the righteousness of God in him].

Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh

We should never think of ourselves apart from Jesus Christ!

*****Rom 3:22  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

We as human beings always look at "righteousness" as something we lost and want to get back. This is self-righteousness at its worst.

The pure fact of God’s gift allows us all, who are still ungodly, to be reckoned as "righteous". This is the fact of the "Gospel".

Justification is by God Himself and His reckoning a sinner to be "righteous".

Man does not have to change before He is "Justified", Man must certainly believe. Faith is the key that unlocks this mystery. It is the "Shed Blood" of Our Savior and that alone, which has caused God to declare man righteous.

God’s "Grace" is the reason but our own "Faith" is the instrument of Our Salvation!

It is "Faith" that brings mans heart to the light of Jesus:

Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

It is the Word of God that we must base our own Salvation and not words of any man, Preacher, or Pastor.

We must prove all things under the light of God’s Word.

We must have "Simple Faith" concerning God’s Own Testimony  concerning His Son Jesus!

2Co 11:3  But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

It is not the faith that Christ Jesus had in our salvation but it is "our Faith" in the redeeming work of Our Lord Jesus Christ that brings us to salvation.

This not just believing in Christ!  But believing on the finished work of Christ Jesus on the Cross and His Resurrection. It is believing on a God who could cause all these things to happen.

I cannot imagine any religion that placed their faith in any thing that was less powerful than Jehovah God.

God does not simply place His righteousness on the Believer, God accounts righteousness to the Believer through "Faith" in Jesus Christ.

Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, [his faith is counted for righteousness].

*****Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

The phrase "all have sinned" is in the past tense. This sin began with Adam and everyone that came after him.

The phrase "come short of the glory" is in the present tense. Everyone from the time of Adam until the day we live that has sinned and that is everyone, they all have continually fell short of God’s Glory.

This not only means each individual but the entire human race!

Rom 5:12  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:

This means all mankind:

1.) Have failed to meet God’s "Approval":

2.) Have lost all "Spiritual Strength"

3.) Have no ability to stand in God’s "Presence"

We know that to be "justified" by "faith" is to rejoice in the "Hope of Glory of God".

Jesus says:

Joh 12:43  For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

Man has found deliverance in the guilt of "SIN" and feel delivered by "SINS" power.

*****Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

This is by far the greatest verse in the Bible on "justification through faith"!

This does not mean man has been made righteous or holy. It does mean that righteousness is placed in our account. Justification is not a change God makes in us BUT IT IS A CHANGE IN OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH HIM!

THIS IS A FREE GIFT UPON OUR "FAITH"!

Jesus says:

Rev 21:6  And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.

The "Grace" of God is in fact a God with "no limits" giving His Love with "no limits" because of the Work Christ Jesus did on that Cross.

Because sin, which is described by the law, is no longer a snare we can have eternal and unhindered freedom of it.

Jesus Christ did all the Work and we that believe reap all the Benefits!

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

This word redemption comes from the Greek word "apolutrosis" and always means we have been delivered from the "Wrath of God":

Luk 21:28  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

We should be looking up right now because we can see all these things coming to pass right now!

Our liberty comes from the ransom that was paid by Jesus Christ.

This is the reason of our "Thanks Giving":

Col 1:12  Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light:
Col 1:13  Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:
Col 1:14  In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:

This is what we missed out on:

Heb 9:15  And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament,[that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament], they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.

We have missed out on that death because of Our Savior!

THIS IS GOD’S FREE GIFT TO THE BELIEVER!

*****Rom 3:25  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;

This verse plainly states that this was not just last minute decision that God made. God knew all along and He made His preparations. The "Lamb" was foreordained from before the time of "Creation". God created a perfect world but He knew this world would fail not because God’s creation of earth was not perfect but because "Sin" began in Heaven with Lucifer, whom we call Satan.

We must be clear in our thoughts of Our God. God is Holy in His being:

1.) God is righteous in His character.

2.) God’s righteousness appears in His dealings with His Creation.

3.) God will forever be righteous.

4.) God’s "Holiness" is not a word used to describe relationship.

5.) God would be Holy even if there were no creation.

6.) It is God’s Holiness that requires "Propitiation"

7.) It is not that God has hate for the sinner but that God has love for the sinner that required the death of His Son.

8.) God is seeking fellowship with Man, His greatest creation, and no sinful creature can stand before a Holy God and live.

9.) Because of Sin, there will be God’s Wrath against Sin, because of His Holy Nature.

10.) It is death to draw nigh to God, not because He is vindictive, because God is Love. We cannot draw nigh to God because He is Holy and we would die because we are sinful, unclean, and unholy.

11.) This is why Jesus had to die and become our "Propitiation".

12.) Jesus took our place on the cross because we could not do that and live.

If you look back at the Book of Leviticus chapter 16 you can study in "type" this act of "Grace" and "Mercy" that is God’s Plan.

We have no reason to question what God does for our benefit and are foolish to do so!

The fact that the Son of God has come, sent by the God of Love, and has born our sin for us, so that we will miss out on God’s judgment, but draw near to God by the Blood of Christ, REVEALS GOD’S HOLINESS TO US AND FOR OUR OWN SAKES.

The Bible says:

Heb 9:8  The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet made manifest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing:
Heb 9:9  Which was a figure for the time then present, in which were offered both gifts and sacrifices, that could not make him that did the service perfect, as pertaining to the conscience;
Heb 9:10  Which stood only in meats and drinks, and divers washings, and carnal ordinances, imposed on them until the time of reformation.
Heb 9:11  But Christ being come an high priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building;
Heb 9:12  Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
 
Heb 10:19  Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
Heb 10:20  By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

The Cross of Jesus stands as a witness to the "Unchanging Character of God"!

*****Rom 3:26  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.

Before we could accept the reality of the "Cross", God had to take the time to show us examples of "His Divine Judgment".

There was:

1.) The Worldwide Flood.

2.) The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

3.) The Plagues of Egypt.

4.) The dispersion of Israel

Then and only then did God address the Sin of the individual man at the Cross!

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Old Testament believers looked forward and were forgiven on credit. Today we look backward to the Cross, where Christ Jesus was judged for "OUR SIN".

Our "Faith" must stand on the Work of Christ on the Cross!

The Half Brother of Jesus gave us these words:

Jud 1:20  But ye, beloved, building up yourselves [on your most holy faith], praying in the Holy Ghost,
Jud 1:21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

If our "Faith" is not Holy, we will not stand before a Holy God.

*****Rom 3:27  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.

There is no boasting of any law when the law of "Faith", that that is of the "Gospel" of Jesus Christ has been applied!

Judaism and also no other religion has words that come close to what Our Holy God has given to us!

NO OTHER RELIGION CAN BOAST AGAINST THE WORD OF GOD!

IT IS THE LAW OF "FAITH" THAT STANDS ABOVE ALL OTHERS!

THAT "FAITH" THAT IS IN CHRIST JESUS, THE SON OF GOD!

*****Rom 3:28  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.

THIS IS GOD’S ANSWER TO ANY BOASTING OF OTHERS!

*****Rom 4:1  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?

Paul recognized himself as a Jew and a descendant of Abraham in this verse. It was the Jew who had possession of the Old Testament. It was the Jew that had a Divine relationship with God, not any other nation. It was the Jew whose religion stood above all the rest.

And Abraham was the earthly father of the Jew!

Rom 4:2  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
Rom 4:3  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.

Paul simply said that if Abraham had done these things on his own then maybe he could have boasted.

Paul simply said that Abraham, the father of the Jew because Abraham had "only believed" what God had told him. Abraham had "Faith"!

The Bible plainly states in the same scriptures the God had given to these Jew:

Gen 15:6  And he believed in the LORD; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

It was the "faith" of Abraham that was counted for his righteousness and not anything that he had done in himself.

No matter your way in life, we all, rich or poor, have the same standing with God because it is "Faith" that unlocks the "Heart of God".

If we believe in our own hearts that what God says is true and beyond question, we can then begin a "personal relationship" with Our Father in Heaven!

When we turn our hearts away from ourselves and toward God and His promises, then God is free to fulfill those promises. Jesus Christ is our Channel of contact to this Holy God. The Holy Spirit is our Power of contact to this Holy God. It is "Our Faith" that binds it all together.

Because of Abraham’s "Faith" we all have an opportunity to meet our Father in Heaven:

Gen 12:3  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

*****Rom 4:4  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
Rom 4:5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.

The whole world thinks that being good and doing good are merits deserving credit enough to meet the God of "mercy". In fact no amount of works of the lost will gain him any favor with God and that same person will meet God but it will be the God of "wrath".

Righteousness is not based on doing right! When we think that God owes us something for the good things we do then we have failed in understanding the "Mercy and Grace" of God.

That thought is a thought of "wages" or of being paid for our goodness and we have no goodness before we have "Faith".

It seems to many that is declaring ungodly people righteous over those that do good things.

God does not say "godly" people will be saved, God does say "righteous" people will be saved and our righteousness is Jesus Christ.

All people must rely on God to become godly!

Remember what God has already said:

Rom 3:23  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

When we take it on our own selves to judge one lost person above another we have committed an abomination in the eyes of God because even He does not do this!

All must stand by the Shed Blood of Jesus, we have no other ground to stand on and be saved!

*****Rom 5:1  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 

I.) What "justification" is not:

1.) Justification is not just making the ungodly, godly.

We are all still sinners.

2.) Justification is not a "change of heart".

3.) Justification is not "making an unjust man just" in his behavior.

4.) Justification is not to be confused with "Sanctification".

II.) "Justification" is:

1.) God’s declaration that a man can now stand before Him.

2.) This "justification" can only come through Christ Jesus.

Rom 3:24  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

3.) The same God that said all the world is guilty, now "justifies" those that are convicted of this guilt and believe God’s means of Salvation.

4.) Justification is the accounting by God to a believing sinner, of the Work Christ Jesus did on the Cross and connecting this believing sinner with the Risen Christ in Glory and giving the sinner the same acceptance before Him as He has Christ Jesus. This sinner from this time on belongs to Jesus Christ until they are delivered to Our Father in Heaven.

In this first verse God does not say to be justified but He does say "having been justified". Once this takes place it will be eternal. What God does last forever!

What have we seen so far?

1.) Chapter three, Christ was set forth as a propitiation.

2.) Chapter four, Christ was raised for our justification.

3.) Chapter five, We have peace with God, through Jesus Christ.

Peace means our war with God is over and God is holding nothing against us.

a.) God judged our sin upon Christ Jesus, who is our substitute.

b.) God is wholly satisfied with Christ’s sacrifice.

c.) God is now at rest with us Forever.

No matter how much we understand. No matter how weak our "faith". No matter how we stumble in our walk with Him. God is looking at us through the Blood of His Son and all He sees is Jesus.

It is Christ Jesus that made this "peace" on the Cross:

Joh 19:30  When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

Now that Jesus is raised from the dead, IT IS JESUS THAT IS OUR PEACE!

This is not the peace of God but the Peace With God.

*****Rom 5:2  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Not only do we have "Peace" with God but now in addition, also access to God’s "Grace". These things take place the very moment we "Believe". We are now forever under God’s Grace and not affected by those condemning laws.

We now have a future, not of this world. We have the same promise of entering into the same "Glorified" state as Christ Jesus.

Col 3:4  When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Jesus said to Our Father:

Joh 17:22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
Joh 17:23  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.
Joh 17:24  Father, [I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am]; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

What Christ Jesus ask Our Father to do He will do!

*****Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God’s Love for the unworthy sinner.

1.) Verse six was not in our lesson but this verse says the sinner is helpless against the Devil and his ungodliness.

God sent His Son, Jesus Christ to die for our sin and ask nothing in return but our "Faith".

2.) Verse seven also not in our lesson, but this verse tells us that you could search the world and you would not find any man willing to do such as to die for a vile sinner though there may be some that would die for a good man.

3.) In our verse God "Commended His Love". While we were in the very act of sinning our worse sin God sent His Son Jesus. "Commend" means God treated every sinner as though they could be worthy. God loved us when we are worthless, full of sin, unable and even unwilling to pay for such "Grace" or to "Obey Him".

God shows His "Grace" in His "Love".

God "SO LOVED" the world.

Verse 10 we did not cover yet it says even though we were His "enemies" God reconciled us to Him by the death of Jesus Christ the Messiah.

What did God buy but we who still fail Him every day!

*****Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

But "Much More" than just sending the Lord Jesus to die for us, God will see to it that now we as believers and accounted "Righteous" by the Blood of Jesus, we shall be saved from the coming "Wrath".

It is the "Shed Blood" that places us on Justifying ground. This is where our security is found!

This not "spilled blood" for to spill is an accident. This is "shed blood" to shed is an intentional act!

This is the message God has given to everyone that has lived and will live before the "Second Coming" of Christ. Jehovah God is our Father in Heaven who wants the absolute best for all His Children.

The "Good News" of the Gospel is not that everyone is lost but THAT EVERY LIVING SOUL CAN BE SAVED!

We can be made "righteous".

We can be forgiven.

Our "SIN" can be covered by the "Blood of Jesus".

This is the "Good News" for all mankind!

Let’s Pray!