Fred R. Coulter—April 3, 2010

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Track 1 or Download

Greetings, brethren, and welcome to the Sabbath during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. When we have the sequence of the Passover in the middle of the week, then we have the same sequence in the year that Jesus was born, in the year that He was crucified, in the year that the children of Israel had their Passover and exodus, and also in the year that God gave the Covenant to Abraham. In the years when it's not that way, such as this year, then the whole sequence of three days and three nights in the tomb is lost. Therefore, that's why God used the sequence of events during the year of 30A.D. when the Passover was in the middle of the week.

We are told that we are saved by grace, but what does grace mean? How does that apply to us? What is the meaning of it for the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Because of terrible translations of Gal. 2, 3; Rom. 3, 5, 6, 7 the Protestant world is completely misguided in their understanding concerning law, and that's because they know nothing about Judaism.

If you have not gone online or asked for the series Scripturalism vs Judaism, you need to get that series so you can understand. Also, we have in the Bible 'Appendix Z,' which is How to Understand Paul's Difficult Scriptures Concerning the Law and Commandments of God. This becomes very important because of the misunderstanding of evangelicals and Protestantism concerning law and commandment-keeping and our insistence that the commandments are to be kept. There is a head-on collision and they say we reject grace and faith and we are trying to work out our salvationby works. Nothing could be further from the truth!When you come to totally understand it, and understand what grace is, it's going to give you a whole complete different perspective on what the New Testament is teaching us. And I think you're going to be absolutely surprised and pleased.

Let's understand some things that are very, very important. Let's go back and review the Passover. Jesus said that we are to, once a year on the Passover night, partake of the Passover, wash one another's feet, eat the unleavened bread and drink the wine. Those are the covenant symbols of the New Testament. Let's also understand another principle: No man can tell God what to do. And God, for the convenience of carnal-minded people, is not going to do away with His law. So we need to understand truly what grace is. and how does commandment-keeping fit into it.

Let's go to the first chapter of John and let's begin with the basic principles of what we understand, what we need to know, how we need to put it together and what we're going to do is put the different Scriptures together: 'a little here, a little there; line upon line; precept upon precept'—and what are we going to find? We're going to find the correct understanding of grace and faith and commandment-keeping and doing the things that please God.

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.. [We know this basic fundamental that Jesus Christ was God manifested in the flesh.] .He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light. [because as we saw on the first day of Unleavened Bread, we are to walk in the light of Jesus Christ, and He is the light.] .shines in the darkness. [the darkness is this world; this world, with its religions, is in darkness! And Satan the devil is the 'prince of darkness.'] ..but the darkness does not comprehend it" (vs 1-5).

Why? What puts them in the dark? What blinds them? We keep the Sabbath, the Passover and the Holy Daysthose three things are fundamental in understanding the plan of God; fundamental in our relationship with God; and God will not go outside of those things! If you are a good Sunday-keeper, you better prove, from the Bible, that Sunday is the day God commanded; and you better read Rome's Challenge to the Protestants, because that is a fundamental, dividing line. Sunday and the Eucharist/Communion and the holidays of this world. Here are the three things of the Truth and here are the three things of the counterfeit and these three things bring darkness. And they do not bring people to God.

We need to understand that. This is important during the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because during the Feast of Unleavened Bread it pictures putting sin out of our life, but it also pictures being perfected in Christ—and that is a complete operation of grace. I don't think we have understood grace in its fullness. So let's see what we can understand here.

Verse 14: "And the Word became flesh, and tabernacled among us. ['tabernacled' means temporarily dwelling. In other words, coming into the realm of men and living with them.] .(and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth. John testified concerning Him, and proclaimed, saying, 'This was He of Whom I said, "He Who comes after me has precedence over me because He was before me."' And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace" (vs 14-16).

Now, let's ask the question: Does grace upon grace eliminate law-keeping? Well, when you read the next verse you might think that it does. However, we're going to see, it does not. Verse 17: "For the law was given through Moses, but the grace and the Truth came through Jesus Christ." So everything that Jesus taught us has to be grace and truth—does it not? What was required with the law of Moses? That required obedience in the letter of the law—is that not correct? Yes, indeed!

Grace and truth not only gives us the understanding and true meaning of the laws and commandments and statutes and judgments of God, but it is also the grace to put us in a relationship with God and to rescue us from Satan the devil. And let's see how God does that, because that whole thing is an operation of grace.

Let's come back to Ephesians, the second chapter. Let's see what this tells us and examine what the Apostle Paul is really writing. Let's realize the meaning of it from the perspective of what we have just read. And let's also understand that in being rescued from Satan the devil we are being rescued from sin, and just as Jesus told those whom He healed who were sinning: 'Go and sin no more.' We're going to see the same thing applies to those whom God calls in another and very important way.

Ephesians 2:1: "Now you were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you walked in times past according to the course of this world. [you are part of the world] .according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (vs 1-3). Now, what was the state of our mind at that time?

Let's come back here to Romans, the eighth chapter and let's read something. Let's remember the Proverbs that we have memorized:

  • "There is a way that seems right to a man and the end thereof are the ways of death."
  • "Every way of man is clean in his own eyes."
  • "Every man is justified of his own actions."

But what does God say? Because we are going to see there is a vast difference between keeping the commandments of God in the letter and keeping them in the spirit. What kind of mind leads to sinning that Satan inspires, as we just read in Eph. 2?

Romans 8:7: "Because the carnal mind. [that's the fleshly mind and mind void of judgment concerning spiritual things.] .is enmity against God. [that means it's an enemy of God] .for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be."

Now, let's ask a question: What are we told by the Catholics and the Protestants concerning keeping the commandments of God? No one can keep them so why try? Yet, they insist upon it. That is true to one extent, if you not converted and do not have the Spirit of God, you cannot keep them, and you can't keep them in the spirit, because that requires the Spirit of God.

".enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be."This is why Protestantism and Catholicism put people in two categories—the churched and the unchurched. I think that's very interesting because if you are not in covenant with God—with the New Covenant Passover, and keeping the Sabbath and the Holy Days—you are carnal. God only gives His Holy Spirit to whom? To those who obey Him! What kind of obedience is required?

"But those who are in the flesh cannot please God.. [We are to please God—aren't we? Yes! (we'll see some Scriptures which say that). Here is the dividing line which we are going to see all the way through]: .However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, ifthe Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him" (vs 8-9).

Let's understand something: Do you think that God—coming in the flesh, full of grace and truth, teaching His disciples and His apostles concerning the Passover, concerning the right keeping of the Sabbath, concerning the Holy Days—that He is going to accommodate the carnal-minded people who profess a Christianity which is totally carnal? That's why people are quitting church; 76-million people are church-hopping, quitting church or staying at home because they can't find God in the churches. Why is that? Though they profess faith, they don't believe in God. Let me rephrase that: They may believe IN God, but they don't believe God to the point of obeying. So there's the dividing line.

Now, let's see how we are rescued. Let's see what God has to do to bring us out of the grips of Satan the devil, out of this world, so that something happens in our minds and God begins dealing with us as an act of grace. If God deals with us personally in our lives, is this not grace? Yes, indeed!

Ephesians 2:3: "Among whom also we all once had our conduct in the lusts of our flesh, doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind, and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world. But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us. [Isn't that something? God loves the whole world, but it's His great love that loves us, because we're called; we're chosen; we're selected by God, through Jesus Christ which is by grace.] .even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)" (vs 3-5). Has been saved by grace! The Protestants misunderstand this because they think 'once saved always saved'; believe in Jesus, open you're heart, accept Him and now eternal life is given to you and you can't lose it. Wrong!Wrong! Wrong!

It's just like if you come to the starting line in a race. 'Get on your mark, get set, go!' BANG! the gun goes off and then all of a sudden a wall comes right up in front of them about three steps out of the starting blocs and the referee comes over and says, 'Well, you finished the race.' And you say, 'I just got started.' Well, 'have been saved'—the question needs to be: From what? (we'll see that in just a minute).

"And He has raised us up together and has caused us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages that are coming He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus" (vs 6-7). Whoa! It jumps immediately from initial salvation—being saved from our sins and Satan the devil—immediately to the end goal. But that doesn't mean we have arrived there yet, because it explains to us here what we need to do and how we need to do it.

Verse 8: "For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves; it is the gift of God. [Grace brings the gift of God. What are the gifts of God? We'll see what they are, and we will see that repentance is a gift of God:

  • comes from the grace of God
  • walking in the grace of God
  • standing in the grace of God
  • growing in grace and in knowledge

—all of that is an operation of grace.

Let's see something else that is an operation of grace. It doesn't come from ourselves. Let me ask you a question when we finish the next couple of verses.

"Not of works, so that no one may boast.. [The Protestants say, 'Well, you don't have works, you don't have to keep the commandments, it's not anything that you do.' Wrong! Not of works that we do separate from what God requires.] (Notice, this tells a greater part of the rest of the story): .For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto the good works that God ordained beforehand in order that we might walk in them" (vs 9-10). What are 'good works'? Is not Sabbath-keeping good?

If you keep the Sabbath the way God intends you to keep it, whose work is it? Yours or God's? It's God's! With His Spirit you can do that. But without His Spirit you cannot do that. Same way with the Passover and the Holy Days and living our lives on a day-to-day basis.

Let's notice something else; God is working in us to create in us something that's very important we need to realize: Salvation is not instantaneous in belief as the Protestants would have you accept. There is, however, a starting point. But as Peter says, we are 'to grow in grace and knowledge.' Is that not true? Yes, indeed!

Let's look at this here again a little bit: Created: salvation is creation! It says in 2-Cor. 5 that if 'anyone is Christ's he is a new creation' and that means that he is being created. 1-John 2:6 says that 'here in is our love being perfected because we are walking as He walked.' If he was full of grace and truth and we're walking as He walked—and we're obligated to walk that way—is that not a work from God? motivated by His Spirit to do His will from the heart? does that not then become an operation of grace? Yes, it does!

Now, let's look and see that salvation is creation. You have been saved from Satan the devil and your sins. How does God do that? Come to Colossians, the first chapter, and let's see. We will see that God intervenes in our lives that only God can rescue us from Satan the devil. We can't possibly do it of ourselves.

(Almost all of Col. 1 is one long sentence. It drives English punctuation nuts! Trying to figure out how to do it, because it's a clause after a clause after a clause.)

Colossians 1:9: "For this cause we also, from the day that we heard of it, do not cease to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. [There is a growth, there is a changing. We're going to see that while we're doing this that we are beingsaved.] .that you may walk worthily of the Lord, unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work. [those good works that God ordained that we are to walk in them. And if we walk in them—and as God has ordained them and has given us His Spirit—which is by grace; forgiveness is by grace; leading us to understand His will, which is by grace; then walking worthily of the Lord in every good work is an operation of grace.] .and growing in the knowledge of God" (vs 9-10). That's what we are to do. That's why you are not saved the instant you have your sins forgiven. That is a beginning. That's why every year it begins with what? Passover, Unleavened Bread, to show us the process that God is using.

Verse 11: "Being strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory, unto all endurance and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father, Who has made us qualified for the share of the inheritance of the saints in the light. [not of your own works, but good works which God has ordained. The Father qualifies us! You've heard it said, 'Well, you've got to qualify for the Kingdom of God.' True, but how do you do that? By walking in the ways that God has ordained! So God is the One Who is doing it, giving us a] .share of the inheritance of the saints in the light" (vs 11-12).

Verse 13 is very important because we are going to see that when God begins dealing with us, it is the beginning of an act of grace that God gives us. Why has God called those of us who know God and hasn't called the world? Why do we understand things that Protestantism and Catholicism cannot understand? Because we are fully under the grace of God! Everything that we do then is motivated by this grace. Let me just be very specific: You cannot get away from Satan the devil unless God calls you and rescues you out of it. You may, as far as the world, be very sincere and upright, hard working, loving your family, a good citizen in the neighborhood, etc., but you are part and parcel of this world. You're just not the malicious, evil ones in this world, though you are living in sin against God and don't know it; because you're blind; because you have not been personally rescued, by God, from Satan the devil.

Verse 13: "Who has personally rescued us from the power of darkness. [sound like what we read back there in John 1? Yes, indeed!] .and has transferred us unto the Kingdom of the Son of His love. [We are under the jurisdiction of the Kingdom of God. We don't get into the Kingdom of God until we are changed at the resurrection, changed from flesh to spirit and enter into the Kingdom of God, because Paul said, 'flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God—period, end of story! Done!] .in Whom we have redemption through His own blood, even the remission of sins" (vs 13-14).

You cannot approach God until you reach that point. But how do you reach that point? What is it that God does? Let's understand that Jesus said, 'Many are called, but few are chosen.' Why are few chosen? Few believe and few repent! That's why! And those who have been chosen, they have a great spiritual work to be done, that God requires their participation in it through the Spirit of God. So then, salvation becomes creation, and salvation is a process that takes time. It's not the instantaneous thing that the Protestants tell you that it is. And this is why so many people are church-hopping and quitting churches; because they never can accomplish what the Bible tells them to accomplish when they are told they don't have to keep any laws; when they are told they don't have to keep the Sabbath and the Passover and the Holy Days.

And let me tell you something very important: Sabbath is a beginning. Passover is covenant, and covenant is the relationship that you need to have with God so that this process of God creating in you His character and you becoming the workmanship of God comes to fruition.

1-Corinthians 15—this is the proper translation. As I have mentioned, the key verses that Protestantism locks into are nearly universally mistranslated from the Greek in the King James Version. And then they are misinterpreted. With this Bible In It's Original Order—A Faithful Version with Commentary, ministers do not need to stand up in the pulpit and give themselves out as having superior knowledge by saying, 'Let me tell you what the Greek really means'; because it's been translated to reflect the true meaning of the Greek. And here is the precise verse:

1–Corinthians 15:1: "Now I am declaring to you, brethren, the same Gospel that I proclaimed to you, which you also received, and in which you are now standing. [you have to be in the Gospel of Christ, in the Truth of God. Standing means the way that you live, and that is the category to which you belong. It says in Rom. 8 'you are spiritually minded because you have the Spirit of God.'] .by which you are also being saved." (vs 1-2).

It is a process; it's not an instantaneous thing. We have to grow. We have to overcome. God has to, first of all, intervene in our lives. We'll see a little later that the completion of the process is found in Rom. 5 where it says, 'we shall be saved from wrath.' And that's at the resurrection.

  • You have been saved from Satan and your sins
  • You are being saved as long as you are standing in the Gospel and walking in the way of Truth
  • You shall be saved at the resurrection

We need to understand that. This is all an operation of grace. It has to be an operation of grace, it can't be anything else. How does it start out?

Let's come to John, the sixth chapter, because it says in Col. 1 that Jesus Christ and the Father have personally rescued us from Satan the devil. Remember the prayer of Jesus Christ—His last prayer—where He says, 'Father, these are in the world and I desire that You do not take them out of the world, but that You protect them from the evil one. They are not of the world just as I am not of the world, sanctify them in Your Truth—which is grace—Your Word is Truth.' Understanding the Word of God is an operation of grace that comes from God, with His Spirit, through His Word, to you in your heart and in your mind. Here is how it starts:

I.You Must Believe!

That's the first step. After they had seen how Jesus fed them with the bread and the fish and it multiplied and so forth. They said, 'Oh, this is good, let's have a full-time welfare program here and be fed all the time by this man. Let's make Him king so He can do that!' John 6:28: "Therefore, they said to Him, 'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?'" Everyone who wants to do something for God his or her way.

I remember meeting a woman one time and she had fingernails she hadn't cut in 20-years and had them all taped up with tape. I told her to cut them, that is your work. 'Oh, I did this so when people ask me why I have long fingernails, I tell them because God wants me to.' No! Nowhere is that in the Bible. And that is a work of yourself. All people want to do good for God. Listen, it's the other way around. God is going to do good for you first, and then you can do good for God when you are capable of doing good God's way! And that's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about.

Here's what He told them, v 29: "Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.'" Must believe in Jesus first. Protestants have the right, but everything else after that is wrong. And you must believe unto repentance and baptism and receiving the Holy Spirit and walking in the good works, which God has foreordained for us to walk in, that He can create in us what is necessary for salvation. And all of that is an operation of God. So, first you must believe.

Verse 30: "Therefore, they said to Him, 'What sign will You perform, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness, as it is written: "He gave them bread to eat thatcame down from heaven."'.. [They were approaching it in an entirely carnally; selfishly.] (So what did Jesus say? He told them the whole meaning of His coming to this earth): .Then Jesus said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven; but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' Therefore, they said to Him, 'Lord, give this bread to us always.' Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me shall never hunger; and the one who believes in Me shall never thirst at any time. But as I said to you, you also have seen Me, yet you do not believe.'" (vs 30-36).

How does true belief come? It is an individual, personal act of God in your life—which is an act of grace. Let's see the dividing line. Here all these people were well intended do-gooders, but they were carnal minded and wanted to do the will of God their way, for their own personal satisfaction, not for God.

Verse 44: "No one. [no individual in the world—period!] .can come to Me [Christ] unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him. [that's quite a thing—isn't it?] .and I will raise him up at the last day." Who is the first one to intervene in your life to begin to lead you to the Truth? God the Father! He has to draw you! Is that not an act of grace? Very definitely is! He has to draw you. This is the moment in your life when you said, 'God, I want to know about you,' and you responded in the right way. God began to personally deal in your life. This is the beginning of personally rescuing you from Satan the devil and your sins. Can you remember that day when all of a sudden something happened in your life? Now you wanted to know about God. Now you hungered and thirst after the Word of God. Now you were just almost, some people feel, compelled: 'I've got to know! Where is the Truth? Where is God? and how do I find it.' God the Father's the One Who does that.

Now, let's notice something else that happens, too. We'll see what God does to fulfill it. Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'" If God intervenes in your life to draw you, and you respond to Him—you have to respond—that's the beginning of a calling. You have to answer the call in order to be chosen. But if you do, how are you going to learn of God's way? God the Father is going to teach you!

What else did Jesus say? Verse 63: "It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing.." Let's understand this: There is no fleshly work you can do, not having the Spirit of God, that God is going to honor as worthy of salvation. The flesh profits nothing! Those long fingernails profit nothing! Or whatever it is that you do. You go to mass every morning as a faithful Catholic and you think you're doing good. That profits you nothing! You go to communion every Sunday as a Protestant. That profits you nothing! Those are not the instructions of God, and your mind has not been opened. You may be faithful to what you are doing, but you are not faithful to God. You may think you're faithful to God, but every time you bow down before an idol, you're unfaithful to God. And every time you take the communion—that is not the true Passover—you are unfaithful to God because you're violating His Word.

"It is the Spirit that gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life" An act of grace and truth from Christ, now with the Father beginning to call you. Let's see what happens then. Let's see what God does.

Track 2 or Download

Let's continue on with the grace of God in the Bible. The true grace of God as brought out in the New Testament in the operation of calling and conversion and growing and overcoming, which fits into the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Not only are we to put sin out of our life—as pictured by leaven—but we are also to eat the unleavened bread, and that symbolizes the true Word of God.

Jesus also said to back up what we read in John 6, John 14:6 ".'I am the way, and the Truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father except through Me.'" When you do that, it has to be God's way!

When you come to the point when you know that something has changed in your life, you know that you love God's way; you understand that something is drawing you; something is leading you and you want to get your life squared around.

  • You see your sins.
  • You see your wretchedness.
  • You see your rebellion and your carnal mindedness

and you understand that whatever you may have done as a nominal 'Christian' in the world, it's just so much of your own works. Yes, you had some Truth. Yes, you understood certain things. But you didn't really understand the Bible, and you really didn't understand God's way and you really did not have the Spirit of God. It may have been with you on certain occasions. But when God is dealing with you—when it says there in John 6 the Father Himself 'draws you'—that is the beginning of God's grace in your life, to begin to save you. To begin to bring you to repentance, so the next step then is:

II. Repentance

Let's come to Romans, the second chapter, and let's see that it is God and His graciousness that leads you to repentance. So even repentance is an operation of the grace of God—it is the gift of God. God gives all of these things freely, but we have to respond to God.

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" God is the One Who's doing it. If you answer the call of God He's going to respond to you and begin leading you. Now, you've got to follow that lead, and that lead comes to repentance.

Just like in Acts 2:38 when they asked the apostles, 'What shall we do?' They understood that on the day of Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was given, and Peter was preaching to them and said, 'you have killed the Holy One of God.' They repented and said, 'What shall we do?' And he [Peter] said, ".'Repent and be baptized each one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and you yourselves shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.'" So it's the Spirit of God that leads you to repentance.

On that day of Pentecost, God's Spirit filled the whole temple area—did it not? Yes, indeed! And there were 3,000 that repented. You always have to ask the question: What happened to the rest of them? There may have been as many as up to 50,000 there. Same way you have to ask the question: How about all of those that Jesus healed? How about all of those that Jesus fed? Where are they? Where did they go? Why were they not converted?

  • They didn't come to God God's way.
  • They did not repent.
  • They did not seek the will of God.
  • The did not desire to come to God to receive His Holy Spirit.

Let's see how God works with us and let's see what it's talking about. 'All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.' And we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law; and under the law does not mean law-keeping. 'Under the law' means under the penalty of law because of sin. God does that, Romans 3:19: ".so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

Then we come to a very difficult verse here in Roman 3, so I'm going to explain it not in great detail, but enough so you will understand it. This is a key to understanding Paul's difficult Scriptures, and it's buried in the Greek. It has to do with the Word law—in the Greek is 'nomos'—whether it has a definite article or not. With the article it is called 'ho nomos'; without the article it is called 'nomos'—the principle of law; 'ho nomos' is the law—referring to the Law of God or in some cases, the Covenant that God made with Israel.

All the works that the Jews did were works of law. And all of their traditions, which they did, rejected the Truth of God. It was their works, not God's works. The commandments of God are God's works. The traditions of men are men's works. And men expect to go to God with their works to justify themselves before God. It won't work without repentance! And that means you repent of all of your traditions. You set those aside and you come to God brokenhearted, broken-spirited, and ask God to forgive you for your sins. It's not done by works of law. It is done by a 'broken heart and contrite spirit.' That's what God honors.

Now, let's read v 20: "Therefore, by works of law. [those are Jewish traditional works; rituals at the temple] .there shall no flesh be justified before Him; for through the law isthe knowledge of sin." The law has no power to do anything, and justification only comes from God personally, because He's the One Who is personally rescuing you. He is the One Who is drawing you—which is an act of grace. However, ".knowledge is sin."

III. Forgiveness—receive the Holy Spirit

Verse 21: "But now, the righteousness of God. [and this is the righteousness which comes from justification. So all the way through chapter 3, if you read the word 'justification' instead of 'righteousness'—and 'justification' means to be put in right standing with God; and 'righteousness' means to be declared righteous; that is sinless. Not righteous in that you are fully righteous in doing all the good works of God, but now you can start doing them.] .the righteousness of God that is separate from law has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets; even the righteousness of God thatis through the faith of Jesus Christ, toward all and upon all those who believe; for there is no difference" (vs 21-22).

All right, have to believe, then you have to repent. God is the One Who draws you. God is the One Who leads you to repentance, and you recognize this.

Verse 23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. [When you repent what happens? God does something because you believe in Jesus Christ. You believe in His sacrifice. You believe that He is the ultimate sacrifice for the sins that every human being commits. And you come to Him asking for forgiveness.] .but are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness [justification], in respect to the remission of sins that are past" (vs 23-25).

Doesn't forgive future sins because you don't know what you're going to do and you don't know what is going to be. All sins are past sins. When you commit them, in an instant of time, it is past. If I count one second, that second is over and in the past—correct? If you sin it is something that you have done; it is a past sin. You need that forgiven, the remission of those sins.

How is this done? Verse 26: "Through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness [justification] in the present time, that He might be just, and the one Who justifies the one who is of the faith of Jesus." You believe in Jesus Christ!

Notice what he says. Let's understand what this is telling us. And let's understand what this grace does. This is completely different from just obeying the commandments of God in the letter of the law as God required of Israel. This is now coming to a spiritual understanding, through God drawing you, through leading you to repentance, leading you to accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, trust in His shed blood for the forgiveness of your sins, and now you begin a new relationship with God. That's what the Feast of Unleavened Bread is all about. How is your relationship with God?

Verse 27: "Therefore, where is boasting? It is excluded.. [it's not of your works] .Through what law? The law of works? By no means! Rather, it is through a law of faith." And that law of faith is just what I laid out to you:

  • Drawing of God
  • Leading to repentance
  • Repentance and baptism
  • Believing in the sacrifice of Christ
  • The forgiveness of your sins
  • Receiving the Holy Spirit.

IV. Relationship with God

Verse 28: "Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith, separate from works of law. Is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? YES! He is also God of the Gentiles. [notice the next two verses; this becomes very important in understanding law and commandment-keeping in the New Covenant. This is something you may never have really properly understood, and maybe you're still contaminated with the false understanding, the bad translations and misinterpretations of Protestantism. Just like it says in Rom. 9, 'Israel has a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge—whether it be the Jews or the Catholics and Protestants.] .since it is indeed one God Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith" (vs 28-30).

  • same operation
  • same Gospel
  • same calling
  • same repentance
  • same forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Verse 31—key understanding—all Protestants and Catholics, you better listen up! This is going to judge you as well as judge everyone else:

"Are we, then, abolishing law through faith?.. [faith and grace do not abolish law] .MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law." How do you establish law? Not doing away with it, but through the grace of God the laws and commandments of God have a different operation in the hearts and minds of those who have the Spirit of God. Let's see what that is. How do we establish law?

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?" (vs 1-2). And what is sin? You all know it: 'Sin is the transgression of the law.. Sin is lawlessness.'

By grace, what establishes law? Let's answer the question and let's realize and understand something you may have never understood before, which is this: The only way that you can keep the commandments of God in the spirit, with a pure heart, is with the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of God comes by grace. Here's what it does. Here's the covenant that God has for us and with us, and this is what the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread picture.

Hebrews 10:16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord.. [that's back in the prophecies there] .'I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds. [stop and think about this a minute. This is a converted mind—is it not? Mind of the Spirit, as Paul wrote of? Yes, indeed! 'The carnal mind is enmity against God and not subject to the law of God, neither, indeed, can be.' So there needs to be this spiritual circumcision of the heart and mind through repentance and baptism and receiving the Spirit of God. By receiving the Spirit of God, what does He do? He's creating in us something new! We are His creation. We are His workmanship! Unto eternal life. What does that do?] ."I will give My laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds."

That is an act of grace. That is establishing law, because now, rather than having the law out here in a book, or here in a Bible, or here on tablets of stone, or there in the church or courthouse square listing the Ten Commandments in stone, it's in the mind and in the heart. This, with the Spirit of God, the Spirit of Truth, is how we are to live. So, isn't that amazing? Maybe we've never understood it before. To keep the commandments of God in the spirit of the law, with the Spirit of God, with the laws and commandments written in our mind and inscribed in our heart, is an act of grace and part of the grace of God that we are standing in.

Never again let anyone say, 'Oh, you're trying to work out your own salvation by keeping law.' They are so far removed from the Truth that they do not have a clue what grace and salvation is all about. To them, grace is abolishing the law of God and giving license to sin! What did Paul say, 'Shall we sin that grace may abound? GOD FORBID! MAY IT NEVER BE!' Isn't that something?

Verse 17—here's also grace: "'And their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again."' This is why we repent every day, because now instead of overt sins out here, we have inner sins which are in here, which we are told through the Apostle Paul in 2-Cor. 10 that we are 'to bring every thought into captivity to Christ, casting down vain imaginations that exalt itself against the knowledge of God'; because we have this battle going on: overcoming the carnal mind, being led of the Holy Spirit. Now let me guarantee you something that is true: That is an operation of the Spirit of God to cleanse your mind, to continue to lead you to repentance, to continue to draw you close to God. You have no other need of any other sacrifice.

Verse 18: "Now where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices for sin. Therefore, brethren, having confidence to enter into the true Holiest by the blood of Jesus" (vs 18-19). What is the true Holiness? That is the very throne-room of God! And that is an operation of God, and you do not have the ability to have that on a continuous basis unless you have the Spirit of God; unless you're walking in the good works that God has given—which are spiritually keeping His laws and commandments and statutes and judgments. Are we not keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Literally, by getting rid of leaven? And spiritually by having our lives changed? Yes! Are we not keeping the New Covenant Passover the way that Jesus said, so that we continue that covenant relationship with God? Yes!

Verse 20: "By a new and living way, which He consecrated for us through the veil (that is, His flesh). [notice what this is to do; notice what kind of faith this is to produce; notice what kind of relation and fellowship that we are to have with God.] .and having a great High Priest over the house of God. [Christ is the Head of the Church! He's at the right hand of God! He's there to intervene! He's there to be with us! He is there to guide us!] .let us approach God with a true heart, with full conviction of faith, our hearts having been purified from a wicked conscience, and our bodies having been washed with pure water" (vs 20-22). Isn't that something? That shows baptism is absolutely necessary!

"Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful" (v 23). Brethren, isn't that absolutely something? That is fantastic! We need to know and understand what God has done. Because Christ was full of grace and truth; everything He said on how to keep the commandments of God; how to live our lives; how to have contact with God; all the things that he inspired to be written in the Bible for our teaching, for our edification—these are the very words of the original apostles of God now translated in hundreds of languages, going out to the ends of the earth, as Jesus said, as a witness to the world; as instruction for those who are called of Him. That's what it's all about! That is the grace of God!

Verse 23: "Let us hold fast without wavering to the hope that we profess, for He Who promised is faithful; and let us be concerned about one another, and be stirring up one another unto love and good works" (vs 23-24). There it is again! And how did Jesus say He would judge all of the churches? According to your works! Is that not correct? Now, all of the works that are in our lives are a reflection of the grace of God—is it not? Is not receiving the Spirit of God an act of grace from God? Yes, it is!

Now, let's come to Philippians, the second chapter; let's see something else that is an act of grace. We've gone here many times—haven't we? Yes, indeed! Notice what our conduct needs to be and notice the end result of it, which then are the good works that we are to walk in; having our minds changed; having the laws and commandments written in our hearts and in our minds—and that includes everything that Jesus said. Think about it for a minute! Isn't that the greatest grace that can be? Remember, Jesus was full of grace and truth! Yes, Moses gave the law, but Jesus gave the grace to be able to keep it spiritually! Isn't that a tremendous thing to understand? If we keep the commandments of God in love and service and all of these things, is that not motivated by the Spirit of God? Is that not part of the grace of God? So the truth is, if you are converted and have the Spirit of God, and keep the commandments of God, that is all within the grace of God!

Philippians 2:1—we've read this many times, but may now this will have more meaning for us: "Now then, if there be any encouragement in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any deep inner affections and compassions, fulfill my joy, that you be of the same mind, having the same love, being joined together in soul, minding the one thing" (vs 1-2). What is that one thing? Growing in grace and knowledge and attaining to the Kingdom of God; building now the character of God:

  • love
  • faith
  • hope
  • temperance
  • kindness
  • goodness
  • meekness

—all the fruits of the Holy Spirit. Be of one mind, standing for the Truth in firm, solid—rock solid way—built on Christ.

"Let nothing be done through contention or vainglory, but in humility, each esteeming the others above himself. Let each one look not only after his own things, but let each one also consider the things of others. Let this mind. [this is the ultimate of the grace of God; this is the high degree of conversion that we are to come to, brethren. And it can only be done through grace. Keeping the commandments of God, motivated from the heart and the spirit, which is grace.] .be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus" (vs 3-5). Having the very mind of Christ!

What could be a more gracious act of God than that! That's why we keep the Sabbath, the Passover, and the Holy Days. God puts His presence in those days!

  • God blesses us with His love!
  • God blesses us with His understanding!
  • God blesses us with His Truth!
  • God motivates us and encourages us because these are special days that are His appointed Feasts!

If we come to God and fellowship with Him, He fellowships with us, and that is the true living grace of God. Not as the Protestants have it—get your sins forgiven, start at the starting line; Whoop! you're all done. No! Jesus said, 'Enter in at the narrow gate, for difficult is the way and hard is the way that lead to life.' But Jesus also said, 'Come to Me, you who are overburdened and take My yoke upon you, for My burden is light.'

Colossians 1:20—notice how this fits in. This is all a part of Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. "And, having made peace through the blood of His cross, by Him to reconcile all things to Himself. [and we are being reconciled to God; we are a new creation of God; we are developing the character of God; and it is all through the grace and love of God that this is accomplished.] .by Him, whether the things on the earth, or the things in heaven. For you were once alienated and enemies in your minds by wicked works; but now He has reconciled you in the body of His flesh through death. [the death of Jesus Christ and your death in the watery grave to be conjoined to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ in the covenant pledge: that you belong to God irrevocably from that moment forward, never to turn back, never to go against God! That's what it's all about!] .to present you. [This is a total act of grace! Brethren, understand it!] .Holy and unblamable and unimpeachable before Him" (vs 20-22).

  • That's what God wants.
  • That is the perfection that comes.
  • That's the reason why we are called.
  • We are His workmanship!

Notice there's a condition, v 23: "If indeed you continue in the faith grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the Gospel, which you have heard, and which was proclaimed in all the creation that is under heaven; of which I, Paul, became a servant." Isn't that something?

Verse 26: "Even the mystery. [the secret of God, that He has opened our minds to understand! The rest of the world cannot understand. And it's amazing how much they are blinded.] .that has been hidden from ages and from generations, but has now been revealed to His saints. [Do you understand that Jesus said, 'Blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear'—and let that blessing be multiplied many, many times over; because now we have the whole Word of God, and we have the Bible that we can study, we can learn, we can grow, we can overcome, we can use this to guide us in everything in our lives, brethren. This is the instruction book for eternal life.] .revealed to His saints, to whom God did will to make known."

  • It's God's will that He dealt in your life.
  • It's God's will that He called you.
  • It's God's will that He gave you His Holy Spirit.
  • It is God's will that you walk in the good works.
  • It is God's will that you have access to God the Father in heaven above.
  • It is God's will that with all of these things this is the great grace of God which has come from Jesus Christ, Who is full of grace and truth!

".to whom God did will to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (vs 26-27). That's what God has called us to, brethren.

Let's come back to Ephesians, the first chapter. I want you let these words sink deep into your ears as Jesus told His disciples. He said, 'Listen and let these words sink deep into your ears.' In other words, let it penetrate your mind with the Spirit of God completely. Let's understand that everything we do is because of the grace of God, and through the grace of God, and everything that God does for us and to us and through us is because of the grace of God. You don't have to worry about people. Remember what Jesus told the Pharisees and scribes when they said, 'Oh, tell your disciples to quit saying Hosanna to the Highest' as He was coming into Jerusalem. He said, 'If they would quit the stones themselves would speak up.' So let's understand! Let's not get lifted up concerning everything that God has done with us, but be thankful and grateful, just like the Apostle Paul. 

Ephesians 1:1: "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 1-2). Every epistle that Paul wrote starts out with this, because everything that he has to tell them comes from the grace of God, through his teaching, through his writing, through the inspiration given to him. And through the grace of God the Word of God has been preserved and we have it today.

Verse 3: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly things with Christ." Look at all the heavenly things that we have given to us:

  • God's Spirit
  • God's Truth
  • having access to God the Father in heaven above
  • Christ at His right hand
  • having faith
  • having knowledge
  • having understanding
  • having the love of God
  • the Truth of God
  • the steadfastness of the Word of God

Fantastic! Isn't it? Yes! Those are spiritual things in Christ! "According as He has personally chosen us for Himself. [God reached down and has personally called you! Understand that! And every minister and elder understand that! Brethren are not chattel to be ruled over by a hierarchical ministry so that they can retire on the tithes of the brethren!] .before the foundation of the world. [that means He had his plan already to go] .in order that we might be Holy and blameless before Him in love" (v 4).

And this plan, which God purposed in Himself "Having predestinated us for sonship to Himself. [We're to be His sons! We're to be His daughters! We are to live in the Family of God forever! We have been called to the first resurrection, but we have got to yield to God and have our hearts cleansed; our minds cleansed, and have God's Spirit replace it with His Truth, His love and His good works.] .through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His own will. [Think of that! God the Father own will! In each and every one of our lives!] .to the praise of the glory of His grace." (vs 5-6). [notice, it's all the grace of God!

What happens?

How does God look down and see you?

".wherein He has made us objects of His grace in the Beloved Son; in Whom we have redemption through His blood, even the remission of sins, according to the riches of His grace. [there it is grace mentioned three times right there—right? Everything that we do, brethren, is by the grace of God] .which He has made to abound toward us in all wisdom and intelligence; having made known to us the mystery of His own will, according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Himself" (vs 6-9).

Think about that! What a fantastic grace that it is, that we know the plan of God, the will of God, the understanding of His Truth. "That in thedivine plan for the fulfilling of the times, He might bring all things together in Christ, both the things in the heavens and the things upon the earth" (v 10). We're part of that. And the first resurrection will be a living spiritual part of that.

"Yes, in Him. [I want you to grasp what God has for us, brethren, and it's all by His grace] .in Whom we also have obtained an inheritance, having been predestinated according to His purpose, Who is working out all things according to the counsel of His own will. [What is the will of God?] .that we might be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in the Christ. [Think of that!] .in Whom you also trusted after hearing the Word of the Truth, the Gospel of your salvation; in Whom also, after believing, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory" (vs 11-14).

So we're waiting for the resurrection. Listen, as Jesus said, 'The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you they are spirit; they are life.' And all the writings of the apostles fall into that category, too.

"Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession [the resurrection], to the praise of His glory. For this cause, I also, after hearing of the faith in the Lord Jesus that is among you, and the love toward all the saints, do not cease to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers. [Brethren, that's what we do every day for one another. We pray for you, you pray for us, and we know that we can't get along without your prayers.] (Here is Paul's hope. Here is Paul's prayer for all Christians): .that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him.. [That is through His grace.] .And may the eyes of your mind be enlightened. (vs 14-18).

In other words, one of those experiences that you have. You're going along and all of a sudden something clicks and it's just like BING! a light goes on, and you say, 'Aha! I understand. Well, let this be one of those moments. Let this be one of those times during this Feast of Unleavened Bread to turn you to God with all your heart, mind, soul and being. This is what Paul is writing about!

".in order that you may comprehend what is the hope of His calling, and what is the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the inner working of His mighty power" (vs 18-19). Let the Spirit of God work in us to change us, to give us the character of God, to give us the laws and commandments of God, to give us the desire, to give us the love, to inspire us, to empower us to do the will of God. That's why we're here.

Verse 20: "Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places. [Listen, brethren, God has called us to the greatest calling that can ever, ever,ever be. Don't look at your frailties, your weaknesses and your problems and difficulties. Cast all your cares upon the Lord because He loves you and cares for you, as we will see as pictured by the last day of Feast of Unleavened Bread. God is going to see us through every difficulty, every trial, everything that we go through, but let this be that which motivates you and inspires you and gives you the hope and the Truth and the love and the steadfastness to serve God with all your heart, mind, soul and being. Yes!

Verse 21: "Far above every principality and authority and power and lordship, and every name that is named—not only in this age, but also in the age to come. [and that's the ultimate where we will be, brethren.] .for He has subordinated all things under His feet, and has given Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is His body—the fullness of Him Who fills all things in all" (vs 21-23).

And that is because of the grace of God and what Christ gives us and what God the Father gives us is full of grace and truth. Everything that we do, every thought that we have—growing, changing, overcoming, keeping the commandments of God in spirit and in truth, and in worshiping God in that way—are all the operation of the grace of God.

So let us really understand what God is doing. I hope you continue to have a wonderful Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Scriptural References:

  1. John 1:1-5, 14-17
  2. Ephesians 2:1-3
  3. Romans 8:7-9
  4. Ephesians 2:3-10
  5. Colossians 1:9-14
  6. 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
  7. John 6:28-36, 44-45, 63
  8. John 14:6
  9. Romans 2:4
  10. Acts 2:38
  11. Romans 3:19-31
  12. Romans 6:1-2
  13. Hebrews 10:16-24
  14. Philippians 2:1-5
  15. Colossians 1:20-23, 26-27
  16. Ephesians 1:1-23

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Galatians 2, 3
  • Romans 3, 5-7
  • 2 Corinthians 5
  • 1 John 2:6
  • Romans 5, 9
  • 2 Corinthians 10

Also referenced: Sermon: Scripturalism vs Judaism

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