Fred R. Coulter—January 12, 2008

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  • How is it possible?
  • What should we do?
  • What does God require?
  • What does God do?

This is also going to help us understand how in that right standing, what we do and what God does!

Micah 6 is where the question is asked: What must I do to please God? We know that in 1-John 3 it says that God answers our prayers because we keep His commandments and do the things that are pleasing in His sight.

  • How can you be right with God?
  • How do you handle it when you have a guilty conscience?

A lot of people have guilty consciences even though God has already accepted them.

Micah 6:6: "With what shall I come before the LORD, to bow myself before God the Most High? Shall I come before Him with burnt offerings, with calves of a year old? Will the LORD be pleased with thousands of rams, with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my life? He has shown you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you but to do justice and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God?" (vs 6-8).

  • How do you do that?
  • What does the New Testament show us?

We are going to see that there are certain actions that God must take, and certain actions that we must take. What we do is not a function of ability, talents or personality; it is a function of the spirit because there's a spirit in man. Here is what God is seeking to do:

John 4:19: The woman said to Him, 'Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped in this mountain, but you say that the place where it is obligatory to worship is in Jerusalem'" (vs 19-20). We'll find out it's not a place, it's not a thing, but it is based upon Spirit and Truth.

Verse 21: "Jesus said to her, 'Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you shall neither in this mountain nor in Jerusalem worship the Father.'"

Now with the coming of Christ, you can worship God wherever you are. The temple is no longer a building, but you become the receptacle of God's Spirit. You then become a mini temple of God, which is quite something to consider when you understand it.

Verse 23: "But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers shall worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth…" That's what it has to be.

  • not in ritual
  • not in works
  • not 10,000 rivers of oil (Micah 6:7)
  • not the offering of your first born (Micah 6:7)

"…for the Father is indeed seeking those who worship Him in this manner" (v 23). God is seeking those who are seeking Him.

This is the beginning of the process of God working with people. {note sermons: Spirit of God/Spirit of Man—7 Spirits of God #s 1-2} The seven candles before the throne of God is not the seven churches. Those are the eyes of God (Rev. 4-5) that go 'to and fro through the earth seeking those who are seeking Him.' God is doing something on one hand, and then we must do something on the other hand. God works through the circumstances to do it.

Verse 24: "God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in Spirit and in Truth." Not in ritual or physical things, but from the heart.

Matthew 6:33: "But as for you, seek first the Kingdom of God…" We are to do that, true. But here is our part in finding God:

Matthew 7:7: "Ask…" First of all, you ask and pray to God, whatever your circumstances are:

  • you may have trials
  • you may have difficulties
  • you may be seeking the Truth
  • you may be seeking to understand the Bible

You ask God!

"Ask and it shall be given to you…." (v 7). Remember that the answer that comes may not necessarily be the answer that you thought you would get.

"…Seek, and you shall find. Knock, and it shall be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it shall be opened" (vs 7-8). God will hear!

Will God hear the prayer of any repentant person in the world who's wanting to seek God? Yes! Some Churches say that God does not answer the prayers of people not in the Church of God; that's not true! Otherwise, no one would be in the Church of God, because prayers had to be answered before people were in the Church of God.

Lots of times people will ask, they seek and they don't get the answer they are looking for, so they go someplace else. If there is a response to God, then God responds further. We have the Word of God and we start with this: our first prayer may be, 'Help me to understand.'

One woman said that she went to this Presbyterian church every Sunday for 20 years, and every Sunday she asked: 'Why don't we keep the Sabbath?' She needed to act upon that question and start seeking. When she finally started seeking, she found. Let's see how God deals with us. It has to do with faith, and faith requires action. Let's see how this comes about.

John 6:28: Therefore, they said to Him, 'What shall we do, in order that we ourselves may do the works of God?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'This is the work of God: that you believe in Him Whom He has sent'" (vs 28-29). Isn't that interesting; Jesus says that the work of God is to believe! Here is a spiritual work and you are to believe in Jesus Christ: what He said and what He taught.

Even some evangelicals today say that the Gospel was only for the Jews, so therefore, 'everything in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John we can ignore, because the Church started on Pentecost and after the Holy Spirit was given, that's what we go with.' They gradually take away, take away, take away so that the only thing that you do is just 'believe in your heart and you shall be saved.'

We're going to see what God does require, because He does require certain things and God responds and does certain things Himself. So, the first thing we are to do is believe in Jesus Christ. Then He amplifies this a little more, telling them that the Moses was not the Bread from God.

Verse 35: "Jesus said to them, 'I AM the Bread of Life… [this has overtones toward the Passover] …the one who comes to Me…"—you must come to Jesus Christ.

  • we are to believe in Him
  • we are to come to Him

In seeking God, we come to God! We will see then that God spiritually comes to us! Here's what Jesus tells those who have difficulties and problems:

Matthew 11:28: "Come to Me, all you who labor and are overly burdened…"

  • the labor of sin
  • the labor of trials, troubles and difficulties

Lay all your burdens upon God, for He cares for you!

"…and I will give you rest" (v 28). What is that rest? He shows you what righteousness is, what sin is, what is right, what is wrong, and He gives you His Spirit so that you know what God wants you to do and know what God will do for you.

Verse 29: "Take My yoke upon you, and learn from Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light" (vs 29-30).

Let's see how Jesus expressed His being the Bread of Life.

John 6:35: "…the one who comes to Me shall never hunger… [you'll always be spiritually filled] …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 35-36).

But here's what God does when you do that, v 44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…"

  • God is working
  • God is seeking those who seek Him
  • God will answer the prayers of those who pray to Him

Of course, it has to be in sincerity and in truth! Here is a working action between you in seeking God and God in seeking you.

"…and I will raise him up at the last day…. [talking about the resurrection] …It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'…." (v 44-45).

Everything we learn from the Word of God is the teaching of God. God is teaching us! But we need His Spirit so that it becomes a permanent part of us.

"…Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me" (v 45).

In order to make sure that there are very few failures, everyone has to come through Christ. We are going to see how that takes place.

Verse 63: "It is the Spirit that gives life… [the Holy Spirit of God] …the flesh profits nothing…." Think of this in the way that people worship in other 'religions' and other so-called Christian churches.

  • Does it profit anything to crawl on your knees for two miles to go worship before an idol of the virgin of Guadeloupe? No! That's a physical thing!
  • Does it accomplish anything to flagellate your back with small scourges so you can experience the sufferings of Jesus? No! you're experiencing your own suffering!
  • Does it accomplish anything for those who in the Philippines during the Easter season to be crucified on a cross?

Of course, every year they take pictures of those who are crucified—somehow they survive—and somehow this is supposed to make them more righteous. NO! It's not Spirit and Life; it's the words of Christ, the flesh profits nothing! That's what we need to understand.

"…The words that I speak to you, they are Spirit and they are Life" (v 63).

  • What happens when we read the Word of God?

Here we have His spoken word!

  • What happens, what is the connection, between the words that we're reading and your mind, spirit and heart?

Only these words in the Bible can really convey what God wants to be conveyed to us, because there His words. So, there is a spiritual interaction:

Your spirit—the spirit of man—must be seeking and responding to God, and God's Spirit must come to you to make that connection where you begin to understand,

Can you look back to when God was calling you, and there was a time when it was almost like a light being turned on to understand? That was a spiritual connection that God made with you. Not yet through begettal, because of baptism, but to lead you as long as you're seeking God. The words are Spirit and Life.

Verse 64: "'But there are some of you who do not believe.'…." So, another person could take the same Bible or the hear the words of Christ personally—like back then—and not believe, because they are not willing to do what God says.

Let's see how we are in the world, and what God has to do to break that cycle. Our human nature is a combination of our own inner sins—which everyone has through the law of sin and death that we call human nature. It's a combination of what is in the world around us of whom Satan is 'the god of this world.' It is also called the spirit of fear and the spirit of bondage. That comes from Satan the devil. That is not talking about a possession necessarily, but that is talking about the influence of the world around you. Satan is the one who is deceiving the whole world.

Isn't it true that when you get out in certain places, certain things happen and certain things begin affecting you in a sinful way? I don't want to say satanic, but it appeals to the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life. There are certain occasions that you find yourself in where you want to get away from it. Why? Because of the influence that is there!

Satan has a lot of helpers in bringing this influence. Today we have all of the technology, the media, Internet; all of these things Satan is able to use. As well, God is able to use and does use.

So, let's just look at the world. Here you are in the world; you don't know which way is up or which way is down, but you're seeking God. You're seeking Him and He's seeking whom He is going to call, because you have to answer the call. Then God has to do something—which only God can do—that is based on your true inner heart and mind of the reality: Do you really want to know God? God has to do something!

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…" (vs 1-2). Whatever the world said, you did. Whatever the world did, you did.

"…according to the prince of the power of the air… [Satan's control] …the spirit that is now working within the children of disobedience; among whom also we all once had our conduct… [How?] …in the lusts of our flesh…" (vs 2-3).

You can have lusts of the flesh that will be bad and you know it's leading you to evil, and you become disgusted with it, and you start repenting of it and seeking God. Then God will start dealing with you. But if you're just left in the lust of the flesh, you will continue that way and ultimately that leads to death.

"…doing the things willed by the flesh and by the mind…" (v 3). A lot of these things appear good.

How about all of these 'success' programs that you see advertised on television? That appears to be good, but it leaves out God! So, man is able with the nature of good and evil to accentuate the good over the evil, but that does not necessarily mean that he is spiritual or understands spiritual things. On the other hand, you have people who can accentuate the evil and go into evil more and more and eventually get all wrapped up in the depths of Satan. So, you have those two extremes in human nature.

Will God deal with someone who is in the depths of Satan? He dealt with the Apostle Paul, didn't He? A lot of people at the other end, where they're doing 'good works' and 'good things' as far as human nature is concerned—and understand that Satan loves 'do-gooders' to carryout his plans—some of them are so involved in doing 'good' that they can't see the evil of their own human nature. They're not seeking God. So, you have the whole spectrum of different things going on in the world "among whom also we all once had our conduct…"

God has to do something, because we are doing things willed by the flesh, willed by the mind "…and were by nature the children of wrath, even as the rest of the world" (v 3).

But here is God's intervention in our lives, but only after we respond in seeking God; then God responds in answering us.

Verse 4: "But God, Who is rich in mercy because of His great love with which He loved us." That ties in with 'God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him may have everlasting life!' Not a guarantee if you're not faithful.

So, He loved us, v 5: "Even when we were dead in our trespasses, has made us alive together with Christ. (For you have been saved by grace.)"

What one thing can anyone do to get out of the clutches of Satan other than repent? Nothing! Repentance is a work of faith and a work of belief, as differentiated from a work of ritual or a work of commandment-keeping. This is a change of heart and mind, so you have to respond to God. It's by God's grace that He deals in your life.

Verse 6: "And He has raised us up together and has caused us to sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus…. [that's obviously yet in the future] …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. For by grace you have been saved…" (vs 6-8).

Saved from what? Satan the devil and human nature! This does not mean saved in the sense that you are now a spirit being! Salvation is a process; by grace you have been saved!

"…through faith, and this especially is not of your own selves… [it doesn't come from within you] …it is the gift of God" (v 8).

Let's examine the words through faith: What does faith require? Obedience! You have belief, which is the foundation of faith, then you have to obey. By faith Noah built the ark when he was warned of God (Heb. 11). So, you have faith, and you have works followed by the faith. Faith by itself without the works required by faith will not save.

Protestants have it all wrong. They say it's by faith, or it's by grace alone, and there's nothing you can do, you just have a good feeling in your heart. You go on the way that you go and you come to church every Sunday and keep Christmas, New Years, Easter and all of this. You haven't acted in faith toward God! That's the wrong kind of faith. It is a gift of God; you can't work it up yourself.

Verse 9: "Not of works…" Let's understand something very, very important in our relationship to God: Not of works that you originate, like we read in Micah 6!

  • Should it be 10,000 rivers of oil?
  • Should it be rams and lambs slaughtered without end?
  • Should it be the offering of your firstborn?

No! You're to walk humbly with the Lord your God!

  • How do you do that?

Verse 9: "Not of works so that no one may boast." If you want to understand that verse completely, study the whole book of Job. Job had to learn that any righteousness he had came from God.

Let's look at several other verses so we can understand about being saved. We're going to see, as explained in Eph. 2, that salvation is a process. First, you must be rescued from Satan the devil and your human nature. Next, you have to be put in right standing with God through repentance and baptism. We're also going to see that the process of conversion between the point of being called and baptized until the point of death or resurrection is a process.

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."

  • we're standing in the Gospel
  • we're surrounded with the grace of God

Verse 2: "By which you are also being saved… [it's a process] …if… [it's a condition] …you are holding fast the words that I proclaimed to you; otherwise, you have believed in vain."

Let's see the finality of it, and that there are three steps to salvation:

  • saved from Satan and sin
  • are being saved through the process of your life of being faithful to the end
  • shall be saved at the resurrection

Romans 5:8: "But God commends His own love to us because, when we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more, therefore, having been justified now by His blood… [put in right standing] …we shall be saved from wrath through Him" (vs 8-9).

  • What is the wrath?
  • What is the ultimate wrath of God?
  • The Lake of Fire, the second death!

Verse 10: "For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His own Son, much more then, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life."

Because He was resurrected from the dead, we will be resurrected from the dead. The resurrection is the ultimate of salvation, because you are then a spirit being.

  • being saved
  • have been saved
  • shall be saved

shows the whole process of conversion, growing and overcoming!

God is doing something very special God is doing something with those whom He has called; who upon repentance have received the Holy Spirit of God! He is doing something within us that is His work but requires our active participation and cooperation.

Ephesians 2:10: "For we are His workmanship, being created in Christ Jesus…" That's something! The creation of God is still going on within us to build Godly character. That's why 'once saved always saved' is not quite so!

Once saved always saved IF you are faithful and IFyou grow in grace and knowledge, because He's called us to eternal life. What we do after we are called and receive the Holy Spirit of God is growing in grace and knowledge and developing the character of God looking forward to the resurrection of eternal life. We need this before we can have that.

This is why that everything we do: living our lives, Sabbath services, Holy Days—all of these things—are there so we can develop the mind of Christ through "…His workmanship created in Christ Jesus…"

"…unto the good works…" (v 10). What are the good works? The fruits of the Spirit and obedience in the Spirit!

Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faith, meekness, self-control; against such things there is no law" (vs 22-23).

In this workmanship that God is doing and the good works that we have, these are spiritual works. That's why you've heard me say that we are to:

  • walk in faith
  • believe in hope
  • live in love

This is something that we grow in, practice and do daily. Of course, with our human nature we are going to fall short. So therefore, with the grace of God we have access to God and forgiveness and repentance.

Ephesians 2:10: "…unto the good works that God ordained beforehand…"—because this was His plan, which was predestined before He created man, but we are not plugged into that predestination plan until we repent and receive the Spirit of God. Otherwise, it would be fatalism and there would be no such thing as free choice. It would be a vain thing for God to say, 'I set before you life and death and good and evil, therefore, choose life so you may live.' God gave free choice and we have to choose.

"…in order that we might walk in them" (v 10). That is to walk in faith, believe in hope and live in love!

Let's see this explained by Paul in a different way; let's begin at the entry level with God working with us and God responding to us. Remember that Jesus said that He was 'the Way, the Truth and the Life, and no man comes to the Father except through Me.' That is the only way, and it's not how people think of Jesus, or their version of Jesus, it's:

  • how the Bible shows the complete Word of God
  • how God shows that we are to believe in Jesus and who the real Jesus is

After Paul denounces all of the things that men have done, all of the societies that they have made and created, which is filled with all wickedness and things. It seems as though there's more wickedness, more violence and more occultism is coming into the average things on television and even ads. All of those things play on the mind, and Paul is saying here in Rom. 2, that the end result is death. There are some people who knowingly get involved and knowingly are doing these things to corrupt other people.

When we come to the point that God is going to be dealing with us, let's see how that comes about:

Romans 2:4: "Or do you despise the riches of His kindness and forbearance…"—because He's put up with us with all of our carnality, sins and difficulties before we start seeking God.

"…and long-suffering, not knowing that the graciousness of God leads you to repentance?" (v 4). This is why every person has got to come and see and realize that the evil and the wickedness of their own human nature and repent! When you repent, it is God Who leads you to see the difference.

It's not a matter of being sorry for being caught. It's a matter of a complete abhorrence of self, of the flesh, of the lust, of the satanic world. And that God is leading you out of this world, out of sin and leading you to repentance. Yes, even after conversion, you come to deeper and deeper repentance through the rest of your Christian life, because you then understand more of the depths of sin and the greatness of God, the evil and wretchedness of iniquity and wickedness, and the righteousness of God.

So, God is seeking those who are seeking Him. Those who are sincere and true He leads to repentance. However, those who don't, Paul gives a warning:

Verse 5: "But you, according to your own hardness and unrepentant heart, are storing up wrath for yourself against the day of wrath and revelation of God's righteous judgment."

There is going to be a final reckoning. You can only run from God so long. You can only ignore the inevitable Truth for so long.

Notice what's going to happen, v 6: "Who will render to each one according to his own works." No one will escape!

What kind of works did we see we're to do? The good works of God:

  • as defined by the spiritual Godly character
  • as defined by His laws and commandments

Verse 7: "On the one hand, to those who with patient endurance in good works are seeking glory and honor and immortality—eternal life; on the other hand, to those who are contentious and who disobey the Truth…" (vs 7-8). What is Truth?

  • Your Word is Truth
  • Your commandments are Truth
  • Your Word is true from the beginning

"…but obey unrighteousness…" (v 8). The unrighteousness comes from:

  • the lust of the flesh
  • the lust of the eyes
  • the prince of the power of the air

and you are obeying all of these things! All of these impulses! All of these sins! What happens to them?

"…indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish—upon every soul of man who works out evil, both of the Jew first, and of the Greek… [showing the difference] …but glory and honor and peace to everyone who works good…" (vs 8-10). There we have good works and works good.

"…both to the Jew first, and to the Greek, because there is no respect of persons with God" (vs 10-11). Always remember that! Everyone who is faithful to God has an inside track to God. But no man has an inside track to God that he dispenses to other people. Does that make sense? God has opened it for all people!

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Verse 12: "For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law…"—to the people that God never gave the Law to; He gave it to Israel up to this point and Israel sinned and were carried off into captivity. Then it came to the Jews.

"…and as many as have sinned within the Law shall be judged by the Law" (v 12). If you know, you're responsible. What did Jesus say about the servant who knew to do good and didn't do it? He should be beaten—corrected—with many stripes! The one who didn't know to do good, shall be beaten with few. He's still going to have his troubles and difficulties because he's sinning against God. 'The wages of sin is death,' and difficulty between the time of sin and death.

Verse 13: "Because the hearers of the Law are not just before God…" What does it mean to be just before God? To be in right standing with God! A lot of people hear the Law and say they don't have to do the Law. They heard it, but don't do it!

"…but the doers of the Law shall be justified" (v 13). How does that square with grace? A lot of people think you're saved by grace and there are no works; it's not of law. Is this a contradiction that "…the doers of the Law shall be justified"? What does this mean? How do you answer that? You go back and it shows you:

Verse 4: "…the graciousness of God leads you to repentance."

  • What do you repent of? Sin! Peter said to 'repent and be baptized for the remission of your sins.'
  • What do you do when you repent of sin? You cease sinning!
  • What is sin? The transgression of the Law!

When you repent, you start keeping the laws and commandments of God as He intended them to be kept. Otherwise, you can't be in right standing before God! Maybe you never thought of it that way, but there it is right there:

Verse 13: "…the doers of the Law shall be justified." Then Paul goes on to show how important the laws of God are, even for people who were never given the Law.

Verse 14: "For when the Gentiles, which do not have the Law, practice by nature the things contained in the Law, these who do not have the Law are a law unto themselves; who show the work of the Law written in their own hearts…" (vs 14-15).

{Note Appendix R: What is meant by "the Woks of Law"? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version) also found at}

"…their consciences bearing witness, and their reasonings also as they accuse or defend one another)" (v 15).

Rom. 3 is very important in understanding the dual operation that God is doing and that we must do.

Romans 3:9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better?…. [those who consider themselves Jews] …Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin, exactly as it is written: 'For there is not a righteous one—not even one! There is not one who understands; there is not one who seeks after God'" (vs 9-11).

That is everyone who is out there in the world living in sin; they're not seeking after God. Try this sometime: Go to some night spot on Friday night—God forgive you for going—but start talking about God and see how many are interested in God. They're out there 'seeking the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life,' and are being hypnotized into this world's system with all of the music and flashing lights and everything. They are totally under the control of Satan the devil.

I have found that people who have the Spirit of God is that one thing they cannot tolerate is rock music. Why? Because that is against the Spirit of God!

Verse 12: "They have all gone out of the way; together they have all become depraved. There is not even one who is practicing kindness. No, there is not so much as one! Their throats are like an open grave; with their tongues they have used deceit; the venom of asps is under their lips, whose mouths are full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways" (vs 12-16). Just do a 'bird's eye-view' around the world.

  • Is there destruction and misery around the world? Yes!
  • Are they seeking after God? No!
  • Do they have a form of God that they are after? Yes!

I have to say one thing about radical Muslims: they have a zeal for what they are doing. It would really be nice—aside from the violence that they spawn—if people would be that zealous for the true God! Not to kill other people, but to have a mindset and willingness to serve God to the ultimate capacity that they could! So, don't anyone say that Fred is endorsing suicide bombers.

When you compare that to a Laodicean attitude that many in the Church have today, what a comparison. We have the Truth and how we are acting upon it as compared to those who are deceived and don't know the Truth and are acting upon what they have been taught in the way that they believe. Can you imagine that when those suicide bombers are resurrected in the second resurrection and they see everything that they've been told that's going to happen? It's going to be plenty of water for those who live in the desert. It's going to be lots of food, peace and plenty. Only one thing: No! You don't get 72 virgins!

Now, there has to be the Law for two functions:

  • to show the righteousness of God
  • to show transgression and what sin is

Verse 19: Now then, we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God."

In other words, no one is going to tell God what to do! Study the book of Job, because he was going to tell God that he wanted 'an umpire to referee between him and God, because surely his [Job's] works were good.' They were. You read everything that he said about himself and there wasn't one thing wrong. But the problem was that he forgot that God created him, God gave those laws, God expected him to do it, and the righteousness that Job had had nothing to do with his own personal being. But God gave it! And furthermore, 'Job, if you're good, why don't you look out into the heavens and see what I [God] have created; why don't you see what I have done!'

Then you know what happened. God told him, 'If you can clothe yourself with glory, if you can correct the wicked and make him dust, if you can make yourself have majesty, then I will declare to you that you can save yourself.' That's when Job repented and came to his own senses.

A lot of people don't understand the book of Job. I know that when I first read it, I didn't understand it. The first time I read the book of Job I thought that God was wrong. I was looking at my life and how I was striving to do what was right, and then I looked at what Job did and I didn't understand the difference. Job's life was so much better than anything that I could even possibly think of. But he didn't realize that it was God Who gave him the strength and power to do it, and created him! "…and all the world may become guilty before God."

Verse 20: "Therefore, by works of law there shall no flesh be justified before Him…"

Romans 2:13: "…but the doers of the Law shall be justified." How do we understand that? First there has to be repentance and then keeping the commandments of God! Here Paul is talking about a work that we do, like there would be some 'great work' that you would do (Micah): bring 10,000 vessels of oil before God; craw on your knees a half mile to the temple, beat your flesh.

Law does not justify! Law cannot justify! Why? That is not the function of law. Only God can justify through the sacrifice of Christ and His shed blood, because that's the instrumentality of justification to put you in right standing with God.

Romans 3:20: "…for through the Law is the knowledge of sin." It tells us right and wrong, and we need to keep it so that we don't sin, but that doesn't make us right before God. God has to make us right before Him; He does it through Christ.

Let's talk about righteousness; there are four kinds of righteousness:

  • the letter of the Law, if you obey
  • the Spirit of the Law, which equals spiritual righteousness
  • the justification of God, which puts you in right standing with Him

When you are put in right standing with Him, you are counted righteous through Christ.

    • the imputed righteousness that God gives you when you have God's Spirit

We'll look at all of those as we go on. What we are talking about is a hard Scripture for me to understand when I first read it.

Verse 21 (KJV): "…the righteousness of God without the law…" How can you have righteousness in the absence of law. Without means the absence of. I didn't understand that for a long time until I realized that the word doesn't mean the absence of, but separate from the Law, which clears up everything because it is a separate operation from the Law to make you right before God. That's what it's talking about.

Verse 21 (FV): "But now the righteousness of God that is separate from law has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets."

If you just read that in the King James Version alone, you're almost hopeless to try an understand it, because it's sort of gobbly-gook and contradictory.

  • How can you have righteousness without law?
  • How can that righteousness be attested by the Law and the Prophets? This means the justification!

Let's read it with that meaning; v 21: " But now the [justification] righteousness of God…" [that puts you in right standing with Him] …that is separate from law… [law-keeping; you're required to keep the Law because 'the doers of the Law shall be justified] …has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophet."

What did they witness? They testified of the coming of the Messiah! As a matter of fact, you can go back to Gen. 3:15 and that one verse foretells the whole plan of God in a capsule.

Remember that in the book of Revelation, Jesus says that He is 'the First and the Last, the Beginning and the Ending.' Let's go to the beginning and see where God actually, in a summary capsule, revealed His whole plan in one verse.

Genesis 3:15: "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He… [her Seed] …will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel." This is a prophecy of the coming Messiah and the coming Messiah is part of the Law, the witness that we're talking about here. This also tells the ending of it here, that God is going to be victorious and Christ is going to overcome all. Here is the whole plan of God in a capsule summary. Amazing, isn't it? All the rest of the Bible flows from that one verse, clear back to the book of Revelation.

Romans 3:21: "But now the righteousness of God… [meaning justification; being justified to being made right before God] …that is separate from law has been revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets." Now, that makes more sense—doesn't it? Let's go on to the next verse to verify that:

Verse 22: "Even the righteousness… [justification] …of God that is through the faith of Jesus Christ…" He explains how that happens. You have to have faith in Jesus Christ:

  • in Who He was as the Son of God
  • in Who He was as God before He became flesh
  • in His sacrifice as Creator
  • that His sacrifice covers all sin

No work of any kind that you can do separate from that can make you right before God. I'll clarify it this way: no work of any law, but a work of repentance, a broken heart and contrite spirit is the first step for that justification.

"…toward all and upon all those who believe; for there is no difference" (v 22). What Christ did, He did. You must believe in that! And belief in what He did is not a keeping of a law, but it is faith and belief in the operation of God that what He said and did is true, and you believe God!

Verse 23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; but are being justified… [that is the ultimate result of this righteousness. You are put in right standing with God] …freely by His grace… [you can't buy it; you can't earn it] …through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus" (vs 23-24).

There you have the completion of the operation. That's why He said, 'I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. I am the Bread of Life.' All of that altogether. Let's carry this further because it's not just a one-time event that occurs.

Verse 25: "Whom God has openly manifested… [sending Christ, openly crucified, opening dying, publicly known] …to be a propitiation…"—which means that it is a continuous source of mercy and forgiveness. Not just a one-time act for a one-time occurrence. Or, in the case of our lives, a one-time occurrence of repentance and all is solved with one repentance. NO!

We repent many times in our lives. As a matter of fact, how often are we to repent? Well, the model prayer says, 'Forgive us our sins as we sin against others.' So, that's daily! That's why it is a propitiation, which means a continual source of mercy and forgiveness for sin.

1-John 1:9: "If we confess our own sins…" On an ongoing basis; John is writing those who have been Christians for years and years. We confess our sins to God!

  • He knows the heart!
  • He knows the intent!
  • He knows everything about us!

"…He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…. [this shows the process of being saved] …If we say that we have not sinned…" vs 9-10)—which is New Age religion, and it ends up with no sin, no repentance and we are sufficient unto ourselves, which is pure satanic humanism.

Verse 10: "If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His Word is not in us."

1-John 2:1: "My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin…. [God doesn't want us to sin] …And yet, if anyone does sin…"

What's going to happen when you do sin? You may leave here and something happens and you lose your temper then you've blown it! You've sinned, even though you don't want to sin. I know that's happened to me. I've gone along and have a had a good day and all of sudden BAM! there it is, a blooper. It may be big; it may be small.

"…we have an Advocate with the Father; Jesus Christ the Righteous… [He's advocating for us; He leads us to repentance] …and He is the propitiation for our sins…" (vs 1-2). He is talking to Christians. We continually go to God, under His grace, for the forgiveness of sin. He is merciful and kind to forgive us our sins.

"…and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world" (v 2). So, don't get exclusive in thinking that we're the only ones. God has a bigger plan of which we're a part of, but God's great plan that He's going to carry out and finish, as we understand as much as we do, is really going to be something!

Can you imagine the forgiving of the forgiveness of all of those in the second resurrection? You talk about forgiving a heap of a lot of sin. That's the history of the whole world. We need to understand that God has given this to us, the firstfruits.

Romans 3:25: "Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness, in respect to the remission of sins that are past."

Let's understand another principle that is true: There is no such thing as future sin! Though you may sin in the future. That sounds like a little gobbly-gook, but it isn't when you understand it. All sin is past! Because in the moment that you sin, it's past! You can't go to God and say, 'God forgive me, because tomorrow at two o'clock I'm going to steal $100,000. I want forgiveness in advance. By the way, I'm sending $50,000 of this to the priest as an indulgence.' NO! All sin is past! What if tomorrow you don't have any big bloopers? That will be a nice day.

Verse 26: "Through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness… [justification, or right standing with God] …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 what Christ did
  • you believe Who Christ is
  • you believe in His sacrifice
  • you believe that His sacrifice was once for all time, for all sin, to cover all humanity forever for those who repent

It gets right back to where we started:

  • What do we do?
  • What does God do?

Verse 27: "Therefore, where is boasting? It is excluded. Through what law? The law of works?…." No, because there is nothing you can do in a work of law to justify you before God. Justification is a work of God based upon your faith!

"…By no means! Rather, it is through a law of faith" (v 27). Is that not a contradictory statement? What is the "…law of faith"?

  • seek God
  • God is seeking you
  • repentance
  • baptism
  • receiving of the Holy Spirit
  • walking in the way of God

Verse 28: "Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified… [made right with God] …by faith, separate from works of law." Keeping any law, that's fine; God says you need to keep them. You need to do that, otherwise you're a sinner. But it's separate from.

In other words, God did not give a formula, for example, for the sin offering of a bullock. If someone gave a sin offering of a bullock he would bring it to the priest and the sinner would lay his hands on the offering and confess his sins over it, then he was to cut its throat and the priest would take it and would cut it up and offering as a sin offering. The whole sin offering would be taken outside the camp and be burned. Then the sinner was justified to the temple. That was a law of justification under the Old Covenant.

Now it is belief in Christ, which is justification by faith that is separate from works of law.

Verse 29: "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 since it is indeed one God…" (vs 29-30).

These next verses give us the whole reason for being made in right standing with God through the operation of Christ: "…Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. Are we, then, abolishing the Law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing the Law" (vs 30-31). How do you establish the Law?

  • through repentance
  • through receiving the Holy Spirit
  • keeping the commandments of God in the spirit
  • developing all of the Godly character traits that God wants us to have.

The way that you establish law is very important. All true law-keeping must come from within. Look at all the Ten Commandments. Let's just take the last six for an example. What if the world lived by the last six commandments—honoring father and mother, not murdering, not committing adultery—and everyone had this training as a little child? and they loved and respected each other?

Just think how low the crime rate would go because you establish obedience from within; you can't enforce it from without except with a police force to make people do it. The more lawless the society becomes, the more the police become like military soldiers to enforce it.

Just take you shall not commit adultery. Think how much this would save the society of all the problems that that creates. Then watch when they have the entrapping of pedophiles. What happens when the pedophile comes to the house and he's finally encountered by the host and says, 'I'm so and so from MSNBC.' Then he gives every excuse under the sun as to why he's not there to have sex with the adolescent. 'I just came to hang out.'

He's asked: 'What did you write out? Did you write this?' they have all the communication that was back and forth. 'What did you mean by this?' (the overt talk about sex). Well, this is the first time I've every done it. 'I have a police record here that says…' You're looking at a lawless individual who the only way he's going to quit committing pedophile sins is to be forced to stop.

That's the complete opposite of establishing the Law the way God wants it. He wants it in your mind and heart so that you live by it. Therefore, the thought of going online to elicit sex from a child or adolescent would never come into your mind, and you would never have a situation such as at this show on MSNBC or what I just described with it.

But there are thousands and thousands of pedophiles out there. Sooner or later, to make it not a crime, is to say it's legal. Isn't that the way human nature does? Isn't that what they do over in Southeast Asia? Yes!

This is what is so great about God's way in the New Testament and His Holy Spirit: we establish law!

  • we desire to keep the Law
  • we love the Law
  • we love God
  • we love each other
  • we do the things that are pleasing in God's sight

This is what puts us in right standing with God through Jesus Christ. When you get through all the difficult Scriptures and get down to the simplicity of it, it is really quite a wonderful thing indeed.

That's how a man or woman can be in right standing with God!

All Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Micah 6:6-8
  • John 4:19-21, 23-24
  • Matthew 6:33
  • Matthew 7:7-8
  • John 6:28-29, 35
  • Matthew 11:28-30
  • John 6:35-36, 44-45, 63-64
  • Ephesians 2:1-9
  • 1 Corinthians 15:1-2
  • Romans 5:8-10
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • Ephesians 2:10
  • Romans 2:4-13, 4, 13-15
  • Romans 3:9-16, 19-20
  • Romans 2:13
  • Romans 3:20-21
  • Genesis 3:15
  • Romans 3:21-25
  • 1 John 1:9-10
  • 1 John 2:1-2
  • Romans 3:25-31

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

    • Revelation 4; 5
    • Hebrews 11

Also referenced:

  • Sermons: Spirit of God/Spirit of Man—7 Spirits of God #s 1-2
  • Appendix R: What is meant by "the Woks of Law"? (The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version) also found at

FRC: bo
Transcribed: 10-29-17