There is no work that you can do that is going to justify you before God

Fred R. Coulter—February 4, 2017

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Greetings, everyone! Welcome to Sabbath services!

Let's look at the world the way God looks at the world, and let's understand that no one, not even atheists, can get along without God. Men like to sit around and talk, have philosophies, give their ideas, write books, and today they can do videos and all this sort of thing with it, or they could do cell phone activity whatever it is.

After they [those in Athens] wanted to know what Paul was teaching—this was quite a session that he had—because right at Mars Hill was where all of the top philosophers gathered together to discuss philosophy, religion, gods, ethics, mathematics and all of this sort of thing. So, they were really into it. For him to be invited there was quite a thing.

Acts 17:22: "Then Paul stood in the center of Mars Hill and said, 'Men, Athenians, I perceive that in all things you are very reverent to deities.'"

That's interesting! Ecc. 3 says that God 'put eternity in the heart of man.' What does that mean? That means that God gave us capacity to think beyond ourselves ahead, and to think backwards in time also, but to have a sense—whether they know the Truth or not—that there must be something beyond the physical life we're living. The only way to discover the Truth is to come to God.

However, since God created all men and women… It's interesting there when you read Jer. 1; God said to Jeremiah, 'I formed you in the womb.' How did all human beings get here? God created Adam and Eve! He put in them the reproductive process that is passed on in every generation. So in a sense, God is actually really creating all human beings, because he formed the first man and woman and everything is passed on from there.

You read the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3; it goes all the way back to Adam, which says, 'The Son of God.' What we're going to see is that all human beings have a category of relationship with God. No exceptions! Even those who are following Satan the devil.

"'...you are very reverent… [or superstitious] …to deities; for as I was passing through and observing the objects of your veneration, I also found an altar on which was inscribed, "To an unknown God."....'" (vs 22-23). To them who knew everything, all the philosophers there, this is quite an admission.

"'...So then, He Whom you worship in ignorance… [think of these top philosophers, well-educated, thinking they're the wisest in the world] …Whom you worship in ignorance is the One that I proclaim to you'" (v 23).

Think of that! Because here's Mars Hill, they have all the gods carved in the top of the Parthenon. The temple of Zeus was right on the inside, and that was quite a spectacular thing, as well.

Verse 24: "He is the God Who made the world and all things that are in it...."—and there's no way getting around it. You cannot prove evolution—period!

Sidebar: I was watching a special program on NatGeo Wild, that's one of my favorite ones, and they show the discovery—when it was done about 30 or 40 years ago—of a fish that was supposed to be extinct. But it was exactly as the fossil, no evolution. They found that with various other things, as well. So, the question is: If there's evolution and things evolve, how is it that some things don't evolve. So, this was a conundrum for Paul, standing there speaking to these people.

"...Being the Lord of heaven and earth, He does not dwell in temples made by hands… [and men being religious, like to make temples] …nor is He served by the hands of men, as though He needs anything, for He gives to all life and breath and all things" (vs 24-25).

Every human being who's ever lived, or who are now living, or will live in the future, all come from the creative power of God. They can't get away from it, because that's what God has done. When God gives free moral agency, which he does to everyone, then they have to choose which way they are going to live.

If you've been watching the news lately, you see how strong free moral agency is! There are people who make up their mind, they don't care whether it's true or right or wrong, it's what they believe; so therefore, if it's what they believe, they believe it must be true because they believe it! God made us to believe, so all of these things come together here.

Verse 26: "And He made of one blood all the nations of men to dwell upon all the face of the earth..." When Trump gave his inauguration speech he said, in war it doesn't matter what color you are, you all bleed red.

"...having determined beforehand their appointed times and the boundaries of their dwelling" (v 26).

Now that is also an interesting statement. I think some people who want no borders and no nation, they ought to read that. So, you don't want borders, you don't want a nation, you're going against God! Here's why:

Verse 27: "In order that they might seek the Lord, if perhaps they might feel after Him and might find Him; though truly, He is not far from each one of us, for in Him we live and move and have our being..." (vs 27-28). Paul also wrote in another place: we have nothing we didn't receive!

Verse 29: "Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we should not think that the Godhead is like that which is made of gold, or silver, orstone—a graven thing of art..." Here he is standing right there where all of those things are. I mean, that must've been something for them to hear him say that.

"...a graven thing of art devised by the imagination of man; for although God has indeed overlooked the times of this ignorance, He now commands all men everywhere to repent" (vs 29-30). Then Paul tells them about the judgment day. Let's look at what God wants.

  • He's given free choice to everyone
  • He's given life
  • He's given death
  • He's given blessings
  • He's given cursings

Those are all automatic. He provides for all, because in the final analysis—as we know God's plan—He's going to take care of all of these things.

Man has rejected God and, therefore, has chosen the way of evil and Satan. That's why he has human nature that is evil from birth. It needs to be trained. We have today a perfect example of young people who have not been taught, they've not been trained, because it goes clear back to when Cain brought his offering. In his offering he chose not to bring what God said. So, God said, 'If you did well you would be accepted, but if not sin lies at the door.

This shows that God has set the standard on how we live. He could've chosen to repent and bring a proper offering, but he didn't. He chose to kill his brother. So, free moral agency really gets very powerful. We see it manifested today, whenever people don't like something that is being done to try and straighten out all the evil that's going on, they start rioting, looting, burning and saying 'this is a free expression that we have,' protected by First Amendment rights.

Well how soon does that get to killing? So, human nature is very evil! Let's see what Jesus said about human nature. This is why we need God, we need repentance, and we need it His way. We're going to see how that is. Man has his way apart from God. But he still has a relationship with God, because God gave him life.

God has provided everything for them to live. He gives rain, air, water and food to all human beings, provided that they work and produce, whether they know the true God or don't know the true God. And because of the sin of Adam and Eve, human nature is very sinful, and Satan the devil is the ruler of the world.

It is interesting when you read Mark 7. The first part of the chapter starts out with the traditions of men. What are the traditions of men of the Jews? Their way of having 'a religion' is to try and put themselves in right standing with God. No man can put himself in the right standing with God through their own works, because those are works of law. Let's put this all together here.

Mark 7:21: "For from within, out of the hearts of men go forth evil thoughts..."

Sidebar: What is the purpose of conversion? The purpose of conversion is to convert the mind so that you are not led by your evil thoughts! A lot of thoughts that people have, that appear good, are actually evil. But they don't find that out until later, because they failed to obey God. God gives them plenty of time to repent so that they won't have to suffer the penalty. But the penalty will sooner or later come.

"...evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders…[that's where all the trouble starts] …thefts, covetousness, wickednesses, guile, licentiousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness… [all of these things are found in Washington, DLC: District of Liars and Corruption] …all these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man" (vs 21-23).

This is why no work of any law that you do can put you in right standing with God. Any of the things that you do that are commanded by God, that's fine. But for eternal life it requires repentance, baptism, conversion! "All these evils go forth from within, and these defile a man."

This is why we have Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way, which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death."

Proverbs 16:2: "All the ways of a man are clean… [or right] …in his own eyes..."

Ezek. 7—very important because we get to a point, how evil can evil get, and people still put up with it? All you have to do is look at the Middle East.

Ezekiel 7:1: "Moreover, the Word of the LORD came to me, saying, 'And also you, son of man, thus says the Lord GOD to the land of Israel, "An end!.… [God will put up with it to a certain point, but an end comes] ...The end has come upon the four corners of the land. Now the end has come upon you, and I will send My anger upon you and will judge you according to your ways, and will lay upon you all your abominations"'" (vs 1-3).

Stop and think! Remember when the ten tribes separated from Judah. Jeroboam was made king. Jeroboam was offered, that if he would keep the commandments of God and teach the people that, that God would give him a dynasty like He promised David. But Jeroboam didn't do it.

How long did God put up with Israel and all of their ungodliness? Two hundred and thirty two years before He sent them off into captivity! They had various wars, various plagues, various famines, various times of blessing, etc. But there comes a time when the end comes, and we also know that there's an end coming on the whole world. Always remember that whenever there is repentance, God will honor that.

Today there seems to be a good degree of repentance, coming back to some of the aspects of God, in the nation in the letter of the Law. That's how God judges the nations, in the letter of the Law. We're judged spiritually! So, the standard for us is a lot higher. He says that the end is coming.

Verse 4: "'And My eye shall not spare you, neither will I have pity. But I will repay your ways upon you, and your abominations shall be in your midst; and you shall know that I am the LORD.' Thus says the Lord GOD, 'An evil: Behold, an unheard of evil has come!'" (vs 4-5). As we get down toward the end of the age, that's sure true.

Verse 7: "The encirclement of doom has come unto you, O dwellers of the land. The time has come, the day of tumult is near, and not a joyful shouting upon the mountains. And I will soon pour out My fury upon you, and fulfill My anger upon you. And I will judge you according to your ways, and will repay you for all your abominations" (vs 7-8).

This is how God deals with all nations. This is how He deals with Israel. Jer. 18 shows that God raises up nations, puts them down and judges them.

Let's see the transition point here, and God's promises if there is repentance, because God always honors it. Then we will tie that together with what is in the New Testament, and we will see what the true justification is, then with that we can examine the little more of the book of Galatians.

Isa. 55—here is New Testament doctrine in the Old Testament. Remember when the apostles started preaching, how did they preach the Gospel? From the prophecies of the Old Testament! Here's one of them. Here's what He offers today.

Isaiah 55:1: "Ho, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat.... [How do you buy when you have no money? By repentance and your attitude!] ...Yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread?…. [that which really leads to life] ...And your labor for what never satisfies? Hearken diligently to Me..." (vs 1-2).

That's the call that has always gone out: listen to God! Notice how He says here. Hearken means to listen to obey. How to obey? Diligently!

"...and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. Bow down your ear, and come to Me; hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David" (vs 2-3). That is New Testament doctrine right there. We'll see how that has been expanded.

Verse 4: "Behold, I have given Him for a witness to the people, a Prince and Commander of people. Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know; a nation that did not know you shall run to you because of the LORD your God, and for the Holy One of Israel; for He has glorified you" (vs 4-5).

This is talking about conversion of the Gentiles. Here's the key: individual basis. Just like Paul said, 'God says now to repent of these vanities' (Acts 17).

Verse 6: "Seek the LORD while He may be found; call upon Him while He is near." Here's what has to happen with this seeking: there has to be repentance! Repentance means

  • a change of thinking
  • a change of action
  • a change of living

Verse 7: "Let the wicked forsake his way... [not cling to part of it] ...and the unrighteous man his thoughts... [goes right back to Mark 7] ...and let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon."

Here's where we get to the New Testament doctrine of grace, and our relationship with God. That's what becomes so important. It says, 'seek the Lord while He may be found.' The question is: Does there come a time when you can't find Him? Yes! When there is no repentance! What happens if they seek God just before their head his lopped off by a guillotine? O Lord!

  • If they haven't committed the unpardonable sin they'll be in the second resurrection!
  • If they've committed the unpardonable sin all their seeking will do no good!

Verse 8: "'For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor your ways My ways,' says the LORD."

  • What is the point of conversion? The point of conversion is to change our thinking and our heart!
  • What does the Proverbs say? As a man thinks in his heart so he is!

What's really important in it, no one can really read anybody else's mind. Sometimes husbands and wives can make pretty good guesses, because they been around each other for so long. But you still don't know what's in the mind of the individual.

If you want an interesting thing to watch, go watch on Headline News, Forensic Files. Then also go to CNBC and watch all of the pilfering of money from people through various financial schemes, and buying and selling and stocks and bonds and different financial schemes. Look how devious and evil those things are.

How do you change a carnal mind? First of all, they've got to come to a point in their lives that they recognize the Truth! The first Truth they recognize is there has to be a God, and 'I am in terrible trouble!'

Let's see what has to happen to everyone. We'll talk about some of the other things concerning Christ and how we learn and all that sort of thing.

Luke 15:11: "Then He said, 'A certain man had two sons; and the younger of them said to his father, "Father, give me that portion of the property which falls to me." And he divided to them his living. And not many days after, the younger son gathered everything together and departed into a distant country....'" (vs 11-13).

'I'm leaving home, I'm going on my own, I'm going to do what I want.' Doesn't every young person come to that point? Yes indeed! Here is the operation of free choice.

"...And there he wasted all his substance, living in debauchery…. [sort of like some of the western movies you see you know] …But after he had spent everything, there arose a severe famine throughout that country, and he began to be in need. Then he went and hired himself out to one of the citizens of that country, and he sent him into his fields to feed swine" (vs 13-15). For a Jewish young man, that's pretty awful job, don't you think?

Verse 16: "And he was longing to fill his stomach with the husks that the swine were eating, but no one gave anything to him. And when he came to himself..." (vs 16-17).

That's the key important thing here. Even though we have a carnal mind that is evil, we can still come to choose right from wrong. Even though we may live under Satan's sway, God is there to bring us out from under that, if we come to this point, "...he came to himself..." Everyone of us coming to the point of conversion, man or woman, has had to do this.

"…he said, 'How many of my father's hired servants have an abundance of bread, and I am dying of hunger? I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him, "Father, I have sinned..."'" (vs 17-18).

That's repentance! Repentance continues after that, and as we've already discussed, God is the One Who grants repentance! So, when you come to yourself, that's a very important thing. Notice the change in attitude.

"…'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; and I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me as one of your hired servants.' And he arose and went to his father...." (vs 18-20).

A lot of people think they've done so bad that God can't forgive them. Well, if you really repent, God will forgive you:

  • stop and think of Ahab
  • stop and think of Manasseh
  • look at what David did

Did God forgive them? Yes!

"...But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was moved with compassion, and ran and embraced him, and ardently kissed him. And his son said to him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you, and I am no longer worthy to be called your son.' But the father said to his servant, 'Bring out a robe, the best robe, and clothe him, and give him a ring for his hand and sandals for his feet; and bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and be merry. For this my son was dead, but is alive again...'" (vs 20-24).

You can stop and think of other Scriptures. What did Jesus say to the man who said, 'I'll follow You, but let me go bury my father.' Jesus said, 'Let the dead bury their dead,' because all human beings without God, even though there living, are as good as dead. Everyone comes to the point that they die, some sooner, some later.

Verse 24: "'For this my son was dead, but is alive again; and he was lost, but is found.' And they began to be merry." Then we had the problem with the other son who was self-righteous. Which sin is worse? God is the One Who has to judge that!

Now let's see how this operation works. We'll cover about the sacrifice of Christ when we get closer to the Passover and so forth, but Christ came for the very purpose of bringing repentance. The very first thing He said when He was preaching in Galilee was, 'Repent and believe the Gospel! Change your way, seek God while He may be found!' That's a way of initiating people to respond to Isa. 55, and believe the Gospel!

This is why no work of any man, apart from repentance and obeying God, can bring you to the point that you can be justified. No work!

  • it doesn't matter how much you give to the poor
  • it doesn't matter what kind of work you do
  • it doesn't matter how many cathedrals you build
  • it doesn't matter what kind of religious office a person may hold

I mean, think of all the religions in the world now, because men are religious creatures. Even atheists are religious, because they believe in their atheism. Think of that! Here's why no work of any man, apart from God, can bring them to God!

John 14:6: "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way... [there's the way of man, there's the way of God] ...and the Truth...'" You have to come to the point of Truth, real Truth:

  • not part of the Truth
  • not some of the Truth
  • all of the Truth

"…and the Life; no one comes to the Father except through Me" (v 6).

So, it doesn't matter what people may do in a religious sense to think that they can make themselves right with God, unless there's repentance and you come to Christ and you let that sacrifice pay for your sins. Why is that sacrifice necessary? Because God made us, He created us, He gave us the law of sin and death within our members! There is in every human being an aging process. We look before the Flood, they lived long time, a long, long time.

Then God said He is going to limited it to 120 years. And it gradually came down so that, and even David died at 70 years. The reason it came down gradually is because there had to be repopulation of the earth.

We have to come through Christ. He took on human nature and became a man, and as Creator—since He lived a perfect life—His death covered the sins of all human beings who repent. There must be repentance first! When we come to the point of conversion, John 6:38 is where we need to come; you don't come to this all at once.

John 5:30, Jesus said: "I have no power to do anything of Myself…" Think about that for just a minute!

What's one of the popular things that they have at Christmas time? that they put out in the public? A nativity scene! Do you know how that started? That started because Francis of Assisi thought it was a good idea to have a nativity scene! So, the pope authorized that he could do it, and now look what is happen to it. What does that have to do with bringing people to God? Nothing! He probably felt really good. He probably felt excited as he was making the little doll, or putting up the little manger scene or whatever it may be. Look at today what people have with lights. My, my! All the competition in the neighborhood, who's got the most lights! Does that make them righteous? No!

John 6:38: "For I did not come down from heaven to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me." We do have to do the will of God instead of our own will. What did Jesus say to those false prophets that used his name? You didn't do the will of my Father Who is in heaven!

"...but the will of Him Who sent Me. And this is the will of the Father Who sent Me: that of all whom He has given Me, I should not lose any, but should raise them up in the last day" (vs 38-39).

Now, that's very interesting. A lot of people think that's the Last Great Day. No! What is the last day of the count to Pentecost? The 50th day! That's the first resurrection! These are the ones that the Father gives Christ.

Verse 40: "And this is the will of Him Who sent Me: that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in Him, may have eternal life..." There's much more to it, because if you believe:

  • you hear
  • you do
  • you follow

"'...and I will raise him up at the last day.' Then the Jews were complaining against Him, because He said, 'I AM the Bread that came down from heaven.' And they were saying, 'Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? Why then does He say, "I came down from heaven"?' For this reason, Jesus answered them and said, 'Do not be complaining among one another. No one..."'" (vs 40-44).

This is the key as to why only justification can come from God through Christ and His sacrifice, because that's what God determined to do. No law, no board of trustees, no action by men can do it.

Verse 44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

Think about this! The reason we are here and the reason why there are true Christians wherever they are, is because the Father was the One Who led them to repentance because of the circumstances, just exactly like the prodigal son. You look back at your circumstances. I can look back and look at mine, and yes, it would just about like that. Notice what else:

Verse 45: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore, everyone who has heard from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me. No one has seen the Father except He Who is from God; He has seen the Father" (vs 45-46).

Those are the parameters.

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I've summarized Romans several times so I'm not going to get involved in summarizing it, but just quickly go through it. Anybody remember from the last one what was the most important verse in Rom. 2. Where does it start?

Romans 2:13: "Because the hearers of the Law are not just before God…" A lot of people hear it. How many people know the Sabbath? 'Yes, I know the Sabbath, but my church keeps Sunday.'

"...but the doers of the Law shall be justified" (v 13). This tells us very important thing. First repentance, coming to yourself, then recognizing sin, then ceasing to sin and beginning to obey. Then you have your sins forgiven through Christ.

The most important thing to remember on that is this: No human activity or philosophy or work, can substitute for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ! Those in the Old Covenant had the animal sacrifices, but as Paul writes, that's not able to take away sins spiritually before God. They were forgiven to the temple that is true.

Then the Jews, after they came back after the captivity said, 'All right, what we need to do to keep from breaking the Ten Commandments, is to put a fence around it.' The fence around the Ten Commandments are all the traditional laws of the Jews, which if they kept these, they wouldn't be breaking the Ten Commandments. Which ended up that they kept all of these, which were breaking the Ten Commandments, because that became their idol, which means that became their god. So, when Christ came, they didn't recognizing Him.

This is what Paul is getting to. The Father Himself has to get involved in our lives. When does that happen? When we come to ourselves!

Now then, to be put in right standing with God means that you have had your sins forgiven, which is justification! When you have been justified, you're in right standing with God. Now, to finish the covenant relationship with God, it requires two things in the way of sacrifice.

  • the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His death; then His resurrection to be our High Priest

That's half of the covenant; that's God's part! What is our part?

  • repentance, obedience and baptism

That's why it starts out here, Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 1-2).

Where does grace start? Grace starts when the Father Himself begins dealing in your life to lead you to repentance! Now He puts you in a relationship with God. Remember where we started, where everyone has a relationship with God? There are three categories:

  • truly converted
  • those who are good citizens in the world, who are not dedicated sinners

They have not committed the unpardonable sin, they will be there for the second resurrection.

  • the incorrigible wicked who will never repent under any circumstances

Everyone in the world is under law. We've covered that. Now when we are baptized, we are put in what is called, under grace. Now, under grace does not mean an absence of law. Under grace is a description of God:

  • working in your life
  • giving you the Holy Spirit
  • opening your mind to understand the Word of God

That is a relationship of grace!

  • Do you still sin? Yes!
  • What do we do? Repent!

That's why the daily prayer has forgive us our sins, daily. Why do we still have evil in our minds? Because conversion is a process! Just like obedience is a process! The whole world is under law; we're under grace!
What standard do we have for keeping the commandments of God that the world does not have? God judges them according to the letter of the Law! When you are baptized that is your symbolic death. Then God gives you the Holy Spirit and you are in covenant with Him, and you are in relationship with God under grace. If you want to know the limits of how far people can go and that God will correct them—and if they yield to the correction and repent God will still work with them—study Rev, 2 & 3, the seven churches.

That's important because those are the direct words of Christ to every church member down through history. You want to know what Christ says? You want to know what He thinks to you personally? Well, not only the Gospels, not only the epistles, but in particularly the seven churches showing how you live your life.

Heb. 10 shows that sacrifice and offering does not forgive sins before God in heaven above; they forgive sins to the temple. That's it!

Hebrews 10:5: "For this reason, when He comes into the world, He says, 'Sacrifice and offering You did not desire...'"

After the temple was destroyed, what is God going to do? But even that, He said that if someone 'has a broken heart and trembles at My Word, that's more then all the offerings and sacrifices.'

"...but You have prepared a body for Me. You did not delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin. Then said I, 'Lo, I come (as it is written of Me in the Scroll of the Book) to do Your will, O God.'" (vs 5-7).

Daniel 10:21: "But I will show you that which is written in the Scripture of Truth…."—in heaven above, and that's what this is talking about right here in Heb. 10:7.

Hebrews 10:8: "In the saying above, He said, 'Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin (which are offered according to the priestly law) You did not desire nor delight in.'

Why? Because people are hypocritical! The same thing happens with Catholics. 'I'll make a pilgrimage to Rome, and I will get indulgences.' People would come and offer a sacrifice, but there was, in some cases, no real repentance.

Verse 9: "Then He said, 'Lo, I come to do Your will, O God.'.…" The only way you can do the will of God is through the grace of God and the power and Spirit of God.

"...He takes away the first covenant in order that He may establish the second covenant" (v 9). The second covenant is the New Covenant of the New Testament. The standard for everything is higher. That's why when Jesus began preaching—Matt. 5-7—He gave the higher standard: hatred becomes murder; lust becomes adultery, etc.

Then He said we're to 'become perfect like our Father in heaven is perfect.' Right at the very beginning of His ministry He told us the ultimate outcome of what God is doing.

Verse 10: "By Whose will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all." Can any man produce anything that is greater than the sacrifice of Christ? No! That's why no law and no sacrifice justifies you. But you must be a doer of the Law to be justified.

Verse 11: "Now, every high priest stands ministering day by day... [the temple was still standing when he wrote this] ...offering the same sacrifices repeatedly, which are never able toremove sins… [only got forgiveness at the temple] …but He [Christ], after offering one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God" (vs 11-12).

How much greater is this? You're coming to God the Father who's in heaven above, with Jesus Christ at the right hand of God, rather than going to:

  • a physical temple
  • a physical priest
  • a physical Levi

and bring

  • physical gold
  • a physical oxen
  • a physical lamb
  • a physical turtledove
  • an offering of bread
  • an offering of flour

and the priest does whatever he does with it! The sacrifice of Christ, Who is the Creator of all mankind, is supreme; nothing can replace that!

Verse 13: "Since that time, He is waiting until His enemies are placed as a footstool for His feet.... [read the book of Revelation to see how that's going to be] …For by one offering He has obtained eternal perfection for those who are sanctified" (vs 13-14).

Now, you must take that and add to it; remember that you have to add the Scriptures together:

  • repentance
  • overcoming
  • the washing of the water by the Word
  • keeping the laws of God
  • loving God
  • loving each other

All of these things expand from that. Just like when God brought them to Mount Sinai, what did He ask them? He said, 'If you will obey My voice, you'll be My people.' They said, 'Yes, we'll do it.'

But when they heard all the rest of the voice, and everything else that Moses wrote, they said, 'What have we gotten ourselves into? Because they really didn't want to do it! But in the presence of God they said, 'Yes, we'll do it.' But when God spoke they said. 'Oh no, Moses you talk to us.' Yes, you have to have a fall guy. So, here's what it will be:

Verse 15: "And the Holy Spirit also bears witness to us; for after He had previously said, '"This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days, says the Lord..."' (vs 15-16).

That is the days of the coming of Christ, His ministry, His life, His death and resurrection. This covenant was not established until Pentecost (Acts 2).

"'...I will give My Laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds'" (v 16).

That's what's the important thing. Before conversion and the Holy Spirit, if you did something that was wrong, yet look right, we did something that was sin, which you thought was right, you had no compunction about it, none at all! So, just a little hint of the sermon I'm going to give, which is why we still have evil thoughts in our mind—How to Control Your Thoughts. We're not yet perfected, and the Word of God has got to be placed in there to remove those things; that is a lifelong process!

You didn't experience those things before you were converted, because you didn't have God's Holy Spirit so you can overcome. God is working with us:

  • with His grace
  • with His Spirit
  • with His Law
  • with His Word

We've got a fantastic combination today with the whole Bible and everything we have today.

Let's go back, let's examine what happened there when God told Moses, 'All right, the people said yes, you confirm the covenant with the sacrifice, you sprinkle half the blood on the on the Book of the Law and half on the people. You come up here for 40 days and 40 nights, and we are going to get all the details.' What happened? The people said, 'Where's Moses? You know we saw the volcano going off up there on top of the mountain, what if he fell in and burned up?'

I'm just kind of giving you little scenario, as to why they justified what they did. So, they came to Aaron. It makes you wonder what Aaron did in Egypt, because they came to Aaron and said, 'Look, this Moses, we don't know what happened to him.' Aaron should have said, 'Have faith, God is there; wait! Moses will come back.' No, they came to Aaron and said, 'What's happened to him. Now make us gods. We've got to have a god. So, what did Aaron do? He fashioned a golden calf! He may have had others working on it, but he supervised it. This always put a question in my mind: In Egypt:

  • Was Aaron an idol-maker?
  • Were some of the people idol-makers?
  • What did that bring them?

Look at all the work that they did, then they had a big feast. And Aaron said, 'The gods that brought you out of Egypt.' In the presence of God! That's why:

  • coming to yourself
  • repenting
  • coming to God
  • abhorring your sins
  • asking forgiveness through the sacrifice of Christ in baptism
  • receiving the Holy Spirit

is so much superior!

Here's what He will do, v 16: "'This is the covenant that I will establish with them after those days,' says the Lord, 'I will give My Laws into their hearts, and I will inscribe them in their minds… [For what purpose? So that you develop the mind of Christ!] …and their sins and lawlessness I will not remember ever again.' Now, where remission of these is, it is no longer necessary to offer sacrifices… [of animals] …for sin" (vs 16-18).

Remission means forgiveness, and forgiveness means repentance. So, you have all of that that you add in to it as well. I can tell you one thing that the Protestants always make the mistake on, they bring Galatians to new people to try and substantiate that the laws don't have to be kept anymore. They don't have a clue as to what it really says.

Now, in light of what I've said here, can you now understand even more of Gal. 2 where Peter and the Jews separated from the Gentiles to eat separately, because that's what Judaism prescribed before, which was never a Law of God. This is why it's in here. It's not in here to tell us to not keep the commandments of God. It's here to tell us we're not to follow the traditions of men! and That there is no work that you can do that is going to make you right before God, unless you love God and keep His commandments and obey Him.

Did that make them better separating? or Did it make it worse? Made it worse! Can you imagine what was going on in that congregation? Can you imagine the Gentiles coming to Paul and say, 'Look over here, Peter and all of those from James came down from Jerusalem the headquarters church.' Well we know how headquarters works, don't we! Remember when Paul went up to Jerusalem, James and the elders said, 'Look at how many thousands believe.' Well, they all didn't really believe. Good lesson: Never get involved in political schemes to make it right!

What did James do? He was the half-brother of Jesus. 'Everybody up here in Jerusalem says that you're telling the people out there, especially the Jews, that you don't have to circumcise their children anymore, and that the sacrifices up here really don't account for very much. Now then, why don't you do this: we've got some brothers over here who believe, who have taken a vow, and they need to finish off the vow. So, why don't you go pay for their sacrifices so that other people who will see you, will understand that, no, you haven't thrown away the Law.'

So, Paul agreed. He should have done what he did here in Gal. 2, but he didn't. Did it backfire? Did that political move do one thing spiritually for anyone? No, it exposed all the carnality of others, and almost cost Paul his life! Now you know why Paul told them that works of law do not justify before God!

Galatians 2:21: "I do not nullify the grace of God..." If you go back and have your own rules, your own regulations, and turn your back on the Truth and love of God, the grace of God, you nullify it!

"...for if righteousness... [true righteousness comes from God's Spirit] ...is through works of law, then Christ died in vain" (v 21).

We've covered Gal. 3, but we want to cover just a little bit more here. Without all of the background coming up to what we've already covered, it's very hard to understand some of these things.

Galatians 3:1: "O foolish Galatians, who has bewitched you... [deceived you] ...into not obeying the Truth…"

That's what we were always to keep, the Truth, the spiritual Truth of the spiritual revelation of Jesus Christ, of all the commandments and laws of God. Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every Word of God.

  • What about all those sacrifices and things back in the Old Testament? You have a greater sacrifice; you have Christ!
  • What about the temple and all the things there? We have a greater temple in heaven above!

Furthermore, you're better off because you have the Spirit of God. With the Spirit of God dwelling in you, you are a mini-temple of God.

  • Isn't that higher?
  • Isn't that greater?
  • Isn't that better?
  • Yes!

All of that is the grace of God!

Verse 5: "Therefore, consider this: He Who is supplying the Spirit to you..."

Consider the Spirit just like electricity. It's got to keep coming, and you use it, and it comes. What if you turn to switch off the electricity? No more light! You do something to turn off Christ, then you're walking away from the Light.

"…and Who is working deeds of power among you, is He doing it by works of law or by the hearing of faith?…. [you believe and God does] …It is exactly as it is written: 'Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'" (vs 5-6).

You believe but you respond and you obey. What also does it say concerning Abraham in Genesis 26:5: "Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws." All of it! What do we do? Same thing! Will Abraham be in the Kingdom of God? Yes! Jesus said to the scribes and Pharisees, 'You'll see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the Kingdom of God, and you yourselves shut out.'

Galatians 3:7: "Because of this, you should understand that those who are of faith are the true sons of Abraham. Now in the Scriptures, God seeing in advance that He would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the Gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, 'In you shall all the nations be blessed'" (vs 7-8).

  • Did God have a plan from the beginning?

He is not like us, we start out on the trip and all we have is a map. God had the whole thing all planned out!

  • When was Christ officially slain before the act ever took place? From the foundation of the earth!
  • When was it publicly announced that He was going to go through that? Right after the sin of Adam and Eve!
  • How many of the prophecies down through time?

What God wanted first, was regardless of the condition, He wanted lots of human beings, because He is reproducing Himself through human beings. He is not doing it through any other means. That's why were made in the image of God.

Verse 9: "It is for this reason that those who are of faith are being blessed with the believing Abraham. For as many as are relying on works of law... [rather than belief and faith and loving obedience] ...are under a curse, because it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who does not continue in all things that have been written in the Book of the Law to do them'" (vs 9-10).

  • Are the Ten Commandments there? Yes, the Ten Commandments are there!
  • Is that the only place that they are? No!

They're codified there. But you see, if you don't know the things that we know concerning the Law, you can read that, and say, 'Yes, I guess we don't have to keep them.

Let's analyze this little bit.

  • When was Galatians written? About maybe 55A.D.!
  • Was the temple still standing in Jerusalem? Yes!
  • Were they still offering sacrifices there in Jerusalem? Yes!
  • Were the Jews still keeping all of their traditional laws and rituals and things like that? Yes!

The Gentiles couldn't keep everything written in the Book of the Law because they were excluded from the temple, and had to stay in the court of the Gentiles. The Galatians were Gentiles, uncircumcised. Think of this: After the temple was destroyed, no one could keep any of those things.

Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified. Justification comes through the sacrifice of Christ, the forgiveness of God and the remission of sin! Only God can do that, and that only comes through Christ, and that only is applied upon real repentance, and add in baptism.

Verse 11: "Therefore, it is evident that no one is being justified before God by means of works of law; because it is written, 'The just shall live by faith.'…. [belief, conversion, God's Spirit] …Now then, the law is not based on faith; but, 'The man who practices these things shall live in them'" (vs 11-12).

For what? For physical blessings! Today we can see the same thing. Are there decent good law-abiding people in the world, who live within the letter of the Law of much of God's Law, and the laws of society? They live in it. Many live long lives. The ones that don't live long lives are the ones who sin.

Verse 13: "Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law..." The Law is not the curse; the curse is the transgression of the Law.

  • Have you been a transgressor? Yes!
  • What is the wages of sin? You've earned it: death!
  • Do you need to be re-deemed off of death row? That is only by the sacrifice of Christ!

"…having become a curse for us (for it is written, 'Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree') in order that the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles by… [or through] …Christ Jesus, and that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith" (vs 13-14).

You don't receive the promise of the Spirit by a traditional act of Judaism or Catholicism or any other religion. You don't receive justification and receiving of the Spirit of God by idolatry, or by Sunday-keeping. You don't!

Let's go one step further; we have the Jews. Are they justified with Sabbath keeping? No, because they reject Christ! Faith only comes through Christ. That's where we are in this whole situation here. Now then, Paul begins to explain something very important:

Verse 15: "Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective), even when a man's covenant has been ratified, no one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it." Can't be changed. I want you look at the word add.

Let me read it in the King James, Galatians 3:15: "Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man's covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannuls, or adds thereto." I want you to think about the words adds to it.

Verse 16 (KJV): "Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise" (vs 16-18).

I did not understand v 19 until I was a minister well over seven years; v 19 (KJV): Wherefore then serves the law? It was added…"

How can you add it when it says that you don't add. The correct translation is how we have it in the Faithful Version. It was placed alongside.

"...it added because of transgressions…" (v 19 KJV). Now, the Church of God Seventh Day and Worldwide Church of God said the sacrifices were added because the children of Israel sinned. Nonsense! God commanded the sacrifices before the children of Israel sinned with the golden calf. Did He not? Whether or not sacrifice is required for the confirming of the covenant. Didn't Moses sprinkle the blood on the Book of the Law and on the people? Yes! There were sacrifices.

I had to work my way through that. So, I went through every place in the Old Testament about sacrifices. Did God intend sacrifices? Yes, He did!

Verse 19 (KJV): "Wherefore then serves the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator."

So, let's read the correct translation: The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version:

Verse 15: "Brethren (I am speaking from a human perspective), even when a man's covenant has been ratified, no one nullifies it, or adds a codicil to it. Now, to Abraham and to his Seed were the promises spoken. He does not say, 'and to your seeds,' as of many; but as of one, 'and to your Seed,' which is Christ. Now this I say, that the covenant ratified beforehand by God to Christ cannot be annulled by the Law, which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect" (vs 15-17). This goes clear back to Gen. 12 & 15.

What was the promise that God made to Abraham in Gen. 15? You have two things to come:

  • physical seed and then the children of Israel

When the children of Israel came, there was another covenant given for them. It didn't annul, it didn't change anything that God said to Abraham.

  • the promise of Christ to come is throughout the Old Testament

When He comes, it did not nullify the promise given to Abraham, it fulfilled!

 "...which was given four hundred and thirty years later, so as to make the promise of no effect…. [of course not] …For if the inheritance is by law, it is no longer by promise" (vs 17-18).

God promises something, and there are always conditions to the promise: Obey My voice! Love Me!What is the greatest commandment? Love God with all your heart, mind, soul and being! So, in order to go through these Scriptures, you have to bring the whole Bible to bear on these things, otherwise reading it in a vacuum and having no knowledge of those things, you can look at it superficially and say, 'Yeah, I guess that's right.

That's what the Protestants do. I know this becomes a little complicated. Just because something comes later, doesn't mean it's added. The word means placed alongside. You can't add to the covenant that God gave to Abraham.

Where it says the Law, that doesn't mean just the Law. The Law in this case means the entire covenant given to Israel. That's the mistake. Not just the Ten Commandments, and then we added all of the sacrifices to it. This is referring to—and this is where the confusion comes in—the Law means the whole covenant given to Israel. The laws and commandments of God were in force in every covenant:

  • the Adamic covenant
  • the 'Noahasian' covenant
  • the Abrahamic covenant
  • the Israel covenant
  • the Church covenant

Laws and commandments are always there! You get someone new, or say that they come to a Protestant church for three or four months. Then you hear a sermon like this, it was added so therefore, when Christ came it was done away. No! It was raised to a higher standard. Sacrifices were fulfilled. How? The sacrifice of Christ!

It says in Isaiah 42:21: "…He will magnify the Law…"—meaning to expand it and spiritually make it more binding than in the letter of the Law.

The other thing that is the great mistake they make is they assume that those under the covenant with Israel that God gave, that they likewise received a promise of eternal life. No, they didn't! There was no salvation given to them for spiritual salvation. There was physical salvation, physical blessing. That's why you have the blessings and you have the cursings.

All of those things are there for a physical people. Because like it is today, God is not central. God is kind of on the sidelines. Look at the liberals today. Atheist and everything! There is no God there, except 'the god of this world' Satan the devil. What makes people want to have law and order? When there  becomes so much crime and death and slaughter, the people get sick and tired of it!

I saw a statistic on the news. Just in Mexico last year, there were 20,000 murders in Mexico. There were 15,000 a year before, 20,000 this year. So, when Trump says are sending their crooks, murderers, rapists and 'druggies,' it's true! In Chicago during the eight years that Obama was an office, there were 4,200 murders. He didn't visit once! Not once to his hometown! Look at it. People are crying out: 'We need law and order!

All right, that is for physical people. That is a type of returning to law and order, which is a type of repentance. But not repentance to God for salvation. I don't know what they are going to do with Chicago; I have no idea.

You cannot solve the problems of mankind without God, without His laws, and you find no purpose in life until you understand what Christ has done! This shows you the entire principal. Simplest way to put it is this: Nothing can substitute for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ—period!

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

Scriptural References:

  • Acts 17:22-30
  • Mark 7:21-23
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Proverbs 16:2
  • Ezekiel 7:1-8
  • Isaiah 55:1-8
  • Luke 15:11-24
  • John 14:6
  • John 5:30
  • John 6:38-46
  • Romans 2:13
  • Romans 6:1-2
  • Hebrews 10:5-7
  • Daniel 10:21
  • Hebrews 10:8-18
  • Galatians 2:21
  • Galatians 3:1, 5-6
  • Genesis 26:5
  • Galatians 3:7-18
  • Isaiah 42:21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Ecclesiastes 3
  • Jeremiah 1
  • Luke 3
  • Jeremiah 18
  • Acts 17
  • Revelation 2; 3
  • Matthew 5-7
  • Acts 2
  • Genesis 12; 15

Also referenced: Sermon: How to Control Your
                                    Thoughts

FRC: po/bo
Transcribed: 3/1/17

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