Fred R. Coulter—July 31, 2010

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As I mentioned, we will understand what it means to be under law or under grace. And you're also going to realize that the historical arguments of the past between Protestantism and the Churches of God, between the lawless grace and the righteous grace, between not keeping the commandments and keeping the commandments, the argument goes much further than that and the explanations that Paul gave go much deeper than that. As we have seen with the New Covenant, the whole standard is a spiritual standard. And we will see, that's why

  • we need the Spirit of God
  • we need the love of God
  • we need the grace of God

So let's ask the questions: What does it mean to be under law or under grace? Whois under law and Whois under grace? And what you're going to see is that a lot of people who think they are under grace are actually under law and don't realize it. There's one fundamental purpose of law that people have forgotten. Now I've mentioned it before, but let's come to Romans 7:1 and let's find out exactly about law

We'll look at certain select verses out of Romans to see and understand exactly what is meant by under law and under grace, because the Protestants, wrongly, say that if you keep the commandments of God you are under law and you are trying to seek justification by law-keeping or works. They never ask the question—even though we're not seeking to be justified by that because that can only come through Jesus Christ—why does Jesus say that everyone is going to be judged according to his works if there are no works required? Hadn't thought of that.

We've read this how many times. And let me just say in being a minister now for nearly 50-years, having studied the Bible for well over 60-years, I still learn when I read the book of Romans. I don't know how many hundreds of times we've gone through the book of Romans. We have a whole series on the book of Romans that we send out. But we're going to have to do is send this series of God's Grace and Commandment-Keeping with it and say, okay, when you get done with the Romans series then you go back and you listen to this one, because this is going to help you understand even more. Because from the time that we did this over here until we did this one here, we've grown in knowledge and understanding and now we understand it more completely. Although many of these things have been here all the time, what happens is this: You get the argument in your mind and you stick along the track of the argument rather than looking beyond the track.

Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren... [Most of us are.] ...(for I am speaking to those who know law)... [When he says to know law that is to know and understand the function of law.] (Now, let's read the statement which is absolutely true!): ...that the law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live?"

How does the law operate? It says 'rules over a man for as long a time as he may live.' Is every human being subject to law? Many laws! Laws within their body. You have the laws which make the eyes work, the ears work, the brain work, movement of your arms and muscles. You're subject to the laws that God put in your body: the heart, the lungs, the liver, the spleen, the intestines, and all of that. You're subject to all of those, and when something goes wrong and there's a law broken somewhere along the line, then you either have a headache, you have an earache, you have eye ache, you have heart ache, you have lung problems, you have liver problems, you have spleen problems, you have digestive problems, and all of that—correct? It's not functioning correctly! And how long does this operate? Does it not, through everyone's life?

Likewise, are you subject to the law of gravity your entire life? Yes, indeed! You need to breathe, you need to eat, you have all of these things. And there are laws concerning the food. The reason why we have so much sickness today is because we have interfered with the laws of God to modify the food, and now we have so much unhealthy food that people get sick from eating food that they think is healthy.

One person said, 'Hey. I read an article which tells you how you can survive in the supermarket era of today's food. Every supermarket has all of the fresh produce and things on the outside of the aisles.' So she said, 'We were told buy all the live, living food'—and now you can get a lot of it organic—'use that that's on the outside wall. Do not go down through the aisles where you have boxes of cereal.' Might as well eat the cardboard, has as much nutrition in the cereal; it's all been modified and added to.

Just to give you an example here, just a short little example. These laws also apply to every living thing. Now we've got two living things in our back yard called dogs. They're about 12-years-old. Because they're such vicious animals, the city sends a dog license renewal so that you better be sure and get the rabbis' shot for these vicious dogs. One of them, Teddy, he's a combination between a toy collie and a Pomeranian, so he has this fur that grows out like this. Between the two the jaws never matched up. He has the upper jaw of the collie and the lower jaw of the Pomeranian and he's got Andy Gump's overhang, overbite that's about this much here. The vet said, 'I've never seen a dog with that big of overbite.'

Dolores got the notice to get him done and normally she would take him down to the city to get the free shots, but they moved the shot dates up to the Sabbath, so she took it up to a vet. She brought the dogs in, though they're 12-years old, they thought they were young puppies, because we take good care of them. One thing we feed them and this really astounded the vet. He was looking at the dogs and said, 'Oh, he's got all his teeth. How old is he?' Well, he's about 11 or 12-years-old 'Really, what do you feed him?' Turkey franks! 'Huh?' He couldn't believe that because he sold dog vitamins, dog food, and if you open up a can of dog food it smells absolutely terrible and ask yourself would you eat it? No! And besides it's cheaper to feed them turkey franks than it is anything else and it keeps them healthier. And he couldn't believe it. He actually got mad because now he could not prescribe his dog food for our dog. So he reluctantly gave the shot and Dolores came home and fed them some turkey franks.

So even with animals, everything is run by law and you can go from the smallest clear to the vastness of the universe and it's all run by law. And all that law rules all the time—why? Because God is supreme and God is eternal! "…the law rules over a man for as long a time as he may live." What does it mean to be under law then? If it rules over you, are you not under it? Every human being is under law!

Now let's come back here to Romans 3:3—he's talking about the Jews: "For what if some did not believe? Shall their unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God?" Here's a great lesson and you can watch this every time you watch the television and one political party is caught doing something and the other political party says, 'Well, they do it, too. They do it'—right? Well, because the Jews were unfaithful, does that mean God is unfaithful?

Verse 4: "MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, let God be true but every man a liar, exactly as it is written: 'That You [God] might be justified in Your words..." Because

  • God is perfect
  • God is right
  • God is Holy
  • God is righteous
  • God is good
  • kind
  • just
  • gracious
  • all merciful

and so forth.

"...and might overcome when You are being judged by men.'" And that is the correct translation because it is present tense passive 'you are being judged,' from the Greek.

Do people judge God? Yes, all the time! Do they judge His Word? Yes, all the time!—don't they? So he goes on to say: "But if our unrighteousness brings to reality God's righteousness, what shall we say?" (v 5). In other words, when you see sin and you see disorder and you see confusion, as we're seeing now everywhere you look and everything that is done—and someone here just handed some pictures of a 94-year old granny from Mexico trying to get across the border with marijuana strapped around her waist, strapped around her thighs, strapped around her calves, and trying to bring that across the border. You'd never think 94-year-old little granny, well she's such a sweet little woman, there's not a criminal thought in her head. Wonder how much they promised her?

When you see all the things that go wrong because of sin, what does that bring out? Eventually it brings out this: God is right! And as Dolores and I were talking this morning when she found out that every year the congressmen and senators do not write their bills. Special interest groups or the legislative council writes the bills. She asked me the question this morning, she said, 'Guess how many bills that the Congress passes every year?' I said, 'I don't know.' She said, 'Four thousand!' Many of them for regulations.

Now that we have a government that is so crooked, now that we have a society that is so corrupt, given over to addictions and thievery and killing and murder and adultery, and all the works of the flesh: What happens? What do people finally conclude when they come to their senses? We can't have that, that is wrong! So then they go for what is right and everything that is right has to do with being based on God's righteousness. So when you look around and you see all the things that are wrong and then you think about the right way to settle it, then you're looking at God's righteousness—right?

And Dolores said, 'Well, God has only Ten Commandments.' And He has something else, too. 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Right? How many laws would there need to be if everyone did that? How frequent would sin be if most of the people practiced that? 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' Can you think of a crime-free community with no locks, with no electronic alarm systems, no keys for cars? Even when we went to Ambassador College they bragged for a while, 'Well, we've never had anybody steal anything here at Ambassador College.' People would put money up in the little mailboxes there and one day someone stole it. Right there—supposedly, at that time, what? The most righteous place on earth—right?

So he says, v 5: "But if our unrighteousness brings to reality God's righteousness, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous to inflict His wrath?.… [Against people for sinning. Now people want to lie, cheat, and steal. They want to take. They want to corrupt people, but if they're caught they want no punishment.] ...(I am speaking according to man's view.) MAY IT NEVER BE! Otherwise, how shall God judge the world?" (vs 5-6). So God judges the world by correction.

Then he brings out a point: "For if, by my falsehood, the Truth of God has shown itself to be supremely great, to His glory, why am I still being judged as a sinner?" (v 7).

  • Why would he be judged as a sinner?
  • Who would judge him as a sinner?
  • Who would say that he has forsaken the way of God when he really got into God's way?

Think of that!

  • What was Paul before he was called? Saul, a Pharisee!
  • And how did they view his conversion?
  • Leaving God, he's a sinner.
  • Now he's teaching the grace of God.
  • You don't have to keep the laws of God.

So the argument goes clear back to the Pharisees and the Jews, clear back in the time of the Apostle Paul and carries clear down here to now and none of them understand.

Verse 8: "But not, according as we are being blasphemously charged, and according as some are affirming that we say, 'Let us practice evil things in order that good things may come.' Their condemnation is deserved." And no one says that. God never said that. The grace of God never allows that. The grace of God never allows the abrogation of His laws and commandments. Rather, as we have seen in this series:

  • it requires the grace of God

in order to be a complete Christian heading for the goal to become as perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.

  • it requires the conversion within

and the mind of Christ.

And we are going to see only those

  • who have been called and answered the call,
  • who have repented of their sins
  • who have been baptized
  • received the Holy Spirit of God

are the ones who are under grace. All the rest are under law. Do you understand that? Why? Because the law rules over a man as long as he lives—correct? You are under law. Now when God intervenes and calls you and you are converted, then something happens that you are not under law in the same way.

Come here to 1-Corinthians 9, and let's see what Paul says concerning that. In the world you are under law! It rules over you! When you are converted, who rules over you? Law or God? God does! The whole sequence changes, so that you become converted. But conversion and receiving the Holy Spirit of God, does not mean the abrogation or the abolition of law.

Notice what Paul says here, 1-Corinthians 9:20: "Now to the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews... [In other words, he approached everything from the Jewish point of view and went forward from there to Christ.] ...to those who are under law... [Which in every one, talking to them about their sins, talking to them about their problems as under law. 'I know what you're talking about, I understand what it is, I have sinned.'] ...that I might gain those who are under law." In other words, the ones who are under law are unconverted—correct? The converted are not under law.

Verse 21: "To those who are without law... [That means they have no understanding of the written law. That's what it means 'without law,' because everyone is under law so you cannot have total absence of law, because that's a non-existence—correct? So you can't have that.] ...as without law... [Notice the parenthetical statement here]: ...(not being without law to God, but within law to Christ)... [What does that mean? The Greek there is 'en nomos,' in law, not under law. The King James has it wrong. I'm just going to alert every Protestant out there, the King James Version of the Bible has for all the difficult Scriptures of the Apostle Paul the worst translation possible, because it is not translated correctly from the Greek. That is followed through all the way through in all of the translations.] ...but within law to Christ)." So that's your status when you're converted, you're within law. You are not under law, because you are under grace, but within law to God.

I think this is really deeply important that we understand what we're talking about here and that we get away from the traditional Sabbath/Sunday controversy, law/grace controversy, and those arguments, and get those completely out of our heads. Those are all false arguments, because of the translation, because of the interpretation, and the lack of willingness to obey God on the Protestants' part.

Romans 3:9: "What then? Are we of ourselves better?…. [we Jews] ...Not at all! For we have already charged both Jews and Gentiles—ALL—with being under sin... [And that means, not having your sins forgiven. We're going to see that also means 'under law,' and 'under sin,' are very synonymous.] ...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. 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; And the way of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes'" (vs 9-18). That indicts every generation from Adam clear on down to our time.

Now v 19 becomes a very key thing. "Now then, we know that whatever the law says, it speaks to those who are under the law... [Everyone is under law—and this tells us what? The laws of God are over everyone! The Protestants think, 'Oh, they're done away.' No, they're not.] ...it speaks to those who are under the law... [Now notice the next part of the sentence here.] ...so that every mouth may be stopped... [Now, you're not going to talk back to God when He says this is sin.] ...and all the world... [Now what does that include? All the world—doesn't it? No exception!] ...and all the world may become guilty before God." Or culpable, or accountable.

Doesn't Paul write here later in Romans 14 that everyone is going to come before the judgment seat of Jesus Christ and give an account for himself? Yes, he does! All the world is under law. All the world is under sin and they are guilty before God. Now because of that, because now he's beginning to talk about—now I won't go through all the things concerning justification. We have covered that. So I'll just refer to it, but that we understand this:

Verse 20: "Therefore, by works of law there shall no flesh be justified before Him..." Works of law is any work of any law. And the King James says 'by the works of the law,' which is an absolutely blasphemous translation and don't anyone come to me and tell me, oh, that the King James Version is the best version there is. The longer that I study the Bible, study the Greek, and have translated the Greek New Testament and have worked with Michael Heiss to translate the Old Testament and have the Bible here, I'm here to tell you that's what wrong with Protestantism, plus the New Age versions which are even worse.

If you are under law and you are under sin, can you do anything of yourself to have your sins forgiven? No! That's why God requires repentance. There is no work that you can do. All religions have works that you do. What is it with Catholicism? 'Oh, if you make a pilgrimage to Rome, man, you can buy an indulgence for the next ten years.' The Muslims have it: well, if you make a pilgrimage to Mecca and you go get in the crowd of 2-million people and go around in a circle, counter clockwise they go—isn't that interesting? They're always backwards—aren't they? And you know what's in that little shrine that they have that they all circle around it? A big black stone. They claim, 'We don't have idolatry.' Really?

There is no work of law. Under the covenant with Israel, God did give them certain animal sacrifices that they could offer at the temple and they would be forgiven to the temple. Please understand that. They had no Holy Spirit, they had no promises of eternal life. You do not read anything about eternal life, except some of the promises to David, some of the prophets, and so forth. So they did this work, and as Paul says there in Hebrews, it was only sufficient to the temple. So therefore, that is not before God. That is a different thing. That means in the presence of God.

So let's read this again. "Therefore, by works of law there shall no flesh be justified before Him... [or in His presence. And where is His presence? In heaven above where His throne is, where Christ is at the right hand.] ...for through the law is the knowledge of sin" (v 20). That's what law does. Law cannot forgive! Remember that, only God can!

Then he talks about how to be justified upon repentance, through the shed blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ Who is the propitiation of our sins. So there can be no other forgiveness that is real forgiveness before God, unless there is repentance to God—forgiveness through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus Christ. That's why he says over here, v 28: "Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith..." You must believe in that. And this kind of faith is the faith that you must prove.

  • God exists
  • His Word is true
  • that Jesus did die for you
  • that if you accept that sacrifice, since He was God manifested in the flesh, then you have your sins forgiven before God in heaven above.

This is a complete emotional change. It is a choice on your part to do so when you come to the knowledge and conviction of God and sin and His laws. It can't come by works of law.

"...Consequently, we reckon that a man is justified by faith, separate from works of law…. [So then something new, the Jews didn't know this]: …Is He the God of the Jews only?... [To this day they keep saying that He is, that the Sabbath and the Holy Days are only for the Jews. God made them for mankind.] ...Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? YES! He is also God of the Gentiles. Since it is indeed one God Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.... [same operation] ...Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law" (vs 29-31). Why? Because now when you are converted and have your sins forgiven before God in heaven above—and that forgiveness comes through Jesus Christ—you are establishing law, because now then you have the desire to love God and to keep His commandments.

Let's come over here to Romans 6:14-15, and then we'll understand the whole thing here as we go along. I hope this makes it simple and plain enough that everyone can understand it. Unless you are in covenant with God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and baptism, you are not under grace—period! Doesn't matter what you think, doesn't matter what a preacher may tell you. You cannot come to God apart from the way that He says, because that is lawless.

Romans 6:14: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace.... [then he clarifies it] ...What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!" (vs 14-15). Why? Because once you are under grace, you live within law, like Paul. We've covered this before, so I'm not going to go through in great detail here in chapter six. But come back here to v 1, because a lot of people say, 'Well, Jesus' righteousness is imputed to you so therefore, you don't have to keep the commandments.' Really? Most Protestants believe, 'Well, Jesus is my Sabbath. He kept the Sabbath for me. Hooray, praise God, I don't have to keep it. Isn't that wonderful!' But the preacher says, 'You better be here every Sunday.' Why is that?

Did Jesus keep the law so you can murder? So you can have other gods before you? Did God impute His righteousness to you so that you no longer have anything to do whatsoever? And if that's the case, why then is God going to judge you according to your works? You see the insanity of the reasoning of the Protestants concerning it. That's why Protestantism is imploding and also why we're re-doing the book, Lord, What Should I Do?, so it can reach out to Protestants. Between Phil Neal and I we're re-doing it and re-writing it so it's going to be for someone out there in the world, 'Lord, what should I do?' The first one was written for those when the upheaval came in the Churches of God back in 1995.

Back here to Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin.... [Basic question: What is sin? 'Sin is transgression of the law.' 'Sin is lawlessness.'] ...Shall we continue in sin... [Now what does that mean? What were you living in before you answered the call of God? Sin! Isn't that true? Were you not living in sin before God called you? Shall you continue to live the same way:] ...so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE!" (vs 1-2).

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Let me read Romans 6:1 again. "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin, so that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin... [And, of course, that's in baptism. We've already covered that—haven't we?] ...how shall we live any longer therein? (vs 1-2).

Why did Protestantism get so mixed up? Now William Tyndale, if you read what he wrote, he said that we should keep the commandments of God from the bottom ground of our heart, that we need to love God with all our heart and mind and soul and being. He did, however, make a very bad mistranslation there in Rom. 3:20 where he said without the fulfilling of the law, which he added there, and that was his worst moment in his translation of the New Testament. However, the source of it actually came from Martin Luther, and then was picked up by the other Protestants.

Out of the booklet that we have, Which Day is the True Christian Sabbath—I know we send you a lot of literature and we send you a lot of things, but believe me they are all very important; the day's going to come when you may not be able to receive things because of the stress of the times—so learn it, study it, read it, do all that you can, because it's very important. Which Day is the True Christian Sabbath, pgs 39-40:

The authority of the Catholic doctrine and tradition was not seriously challenged until the time of Martin Luther. When Martin Luther rejected the corruption and lawlessness of the Roman Catholic Church, he appeared to be seeking the Truth of God.

Which was true. He nailed his 95 thesis on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral.

He labored diligently to translate the Scriptures into the German language so that the common people could read and learn from the Word of God. But the religion that developed as a result of Martin Luther's teachings, known as Lutheranism, did not restore the true teachings of Jesus Christ. The reformation that Martin Luther began was not complete, because he still rejected the Second and Fourth Commandments

And the Catholics at the Council of Trent actually had a party among the Catholics that were for 'Scriptures Only'—'sola scriptura.' That was the theme of the Reformation. But when they really studied and understood that the Protestants continued with Sunday, they knew that the Protestants had a fatal flaw in their 'sola scriptura,' because they understood that the Sabbath was the only day commanded in the Bible. And they said, 'Since the Protestants have accepted tradition of the church, therefore, we will continue with our teachings.' So the 'sola scriptura' party of the Council of Trent which lasted over forty years which by way, completely lost any influence upon changing the Catholics.

Now remember back in Rev. 3 where it talks about the church at Thyatira that they allowed that prophetess Jezebel? Direct reference to sun worship, because Jezebel was the daughter of the priest of Baal who married king Ahab in Israel. So that identifies what the system is, and Catholicism is sun worship. Catholicism is Baal worship.

So here Martin Luther—now William Tyndale went further and did better than he did, much, much better. But let's read what happened.

The result was another form of religious lawlessness. Luther claimed that a person who had been saved through the grace of God could not lose salvation, regardless of the degree or intensity of the sins that might be committed.

Now that's something! Let's go to the book of Jude 3: "Beloved, when personally exerting all my diligence to write to you concerning the common salvation, I was compelled to write to you, exhorting you to fervently fight for the faith... [And that's true today, more than ever before.] ...which once for all time has been delivered to the saints…. [That's why we are Scripturalists and we go by the Bible—Old Testament and New Testament.] …For certain men have stealthily crept in, those who long ago have been written about, condemning them to this judgment. They are ungodly men, who are perverting the grace of our God, turning it into licentiousness, and are personally denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 3-4).

Now let's understand something before I read the rest of it. Martin Luther had a chance, but he didn't follow through. It's just like everybody else. A lot of people start out when God gives them a chance, but they never follow through. Remember Jeroboam, it's a good example. Jeroboam was one of the generals of Solomon and Jeroboam was from the tribe of Ephraim. He was one of the leading men. God sent the prophet to Jeroboam and took a cloth and tore into ten pieces and said, 'This represents the ten tribes of Israel. God is going to give them to you so you can be king and rule over them. And if you follow God and if you keep His commandments, God will establish your dynasty with the same promises that He gave to David.' He had a chance, but what did Jeroboam do? He got afraid and listened to the counsel of the pagans and set up his own religion in Dan and Bethel and set up the golden calf. Jeroboam, the son of Nebat; that's what Martin Luther turned out to be. I'll show it to you right here. He claimed that:

...regardless of the degree or intensity of the sins that might be committed... [by a person.] ...This perverse teaching is clearly expressed in a letter written by Luther: "Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your faith in Christ be stronger...

'Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? May it never be!'

"Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your faith in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where righteousness can exist.
Really?
"No sin can separate us from Him...

Why then does the epistle to the Hebrews say, 'If you commit the unpardonable sin, you better fear the judgment of God.' Did he not translate that from Greek into German? Yes, he did! Notice what else he says. Let me repeat that statement.

"No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery a thousand times each day."

You wonder why Protestantism is lawless and antichrist? That's its foundation! Now if you want the source and everything of it, get out the booklet. God says, 'May it never be.' And here is the reason why they never went beyond accepting the grace of God for their own perverted use, because they never understood about baptism.

Romans 6:2: "MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?" You can't live in sin. Now, yes, we're going to commit sins, but when we repent we have access to God the Father in heaven above, and we have forgiveness for those sins. We'll cover that in due time. But baptism is a co-joining to the death of Christ. You are co-crucified with Him. It is a covenant death, and that is your symbolic death under the watery grave that you will follow God and love Him and keep His commandments through the grace of God. That's important to understand.

The only ones who are under the grace of God are the ones who are covenant with God. No one else in under grace, because when you are in covenant with God and you come out of this watery grave, you are to walk in newness of life or the way that God has intended us to how? In the Spirit! We'll see that again in just a minute. That's important to understand.

Come back here to Romans 5:1. Let's understand. Rom. 6 says that you're buried with Him into His death, co-crucified with Him, and that is the covenant death that you pledge to God. Notice what he says here, Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith..." Because

  • you believe in the sacrifice of Christ
  • you believe in His shed blood
  • you believe that what God has said is true
  • you believe and you know through the experience of repentance that your sins have really been forgiven

and now after baptism you are to walk in newness of life and not live any longer therein in the sins that you had before—correct? Yes! "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand..." (vs 1-2). If you stand in grace, what are you? Are you not under grace? Yes, you are! Just like under law means the law has rule over you all your life. It still does here now, but through grace then you keep the laws and commandments of God

  • motivated by love
  • motivated by change
  • motivated and led by the Holy Spirit of God for the spiritual application of all the laws of God,

not just external do's and don'ts!

Like Dolores was reading this morning out of the new Judaism book. She was reading to me some of The Code of Jewish Law! And she said, 'These things are insane.' She read one of them and said, 'Listen, this one says you're not to write with a pencil on the Sabbath, but if you do, you can't erase it.' That's a sin. So I immediately threw out all my pencils. No!

That is justification by works of law that have no connection with God. When you are under grace and you have been co-joined to the crucifixion of Christ and you come out of that watery grave, you are now to have a personal relationship with God. And only those who have a personal relationship with God, through the operation of God that He laid out the way that it should be, only those are the ones who are under grace. No one else is! They're all under law and under sin. Rom. 3 says all, the whole world—correct? Yes! Do you understand the magnitude of your calling?

"Through Whom we also have access by faith unto this grace... [we are under grace] ...in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, realizing that tribulation brings for endurance, and endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope" (vs 2-4). Because we're to develop the character of God, the mind of God, to become perfected through His Holy Spirit, to overcome, to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Jesus Christ. You see that? That's what's so important.

"And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us" (v 5). So that we may have this relationship with God. No one can have a personal relationship with God without the Holy Spirit of God. No one is going to receive the Holy Spirit of God unless they repent, unless they have been baptized, unless they have had hands laid on them and unless they come out of the watery grave and walk in newness of life to live their lives according to the laws and commandments of God through His grace. That's it! So you're either/or—it's not both.

Let's come back here to Romans 6:7. So spiritually speaking before God your physical self and you have died to sin through baptism. That does not completely get rid of the law and sin and death within. That's the topic of Rom. 7. Romans 6:7:"Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin.... [by this covenant relationship through baptism] ...Now if we died together with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him, Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him" (vs 7-9).

Verse 23: "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." So we're looking for eternal life, and that can only come through the grace of God through keeping the commandments of God in the spirit through the power of God's Spirit. And you need the Spirit of God

  • to keep the commandments of God in the spirit
  • to have the love of God
  • to love Him
  • to love your neighbor
  • to love the brethren
  • to even love your enemy

Verse 9: "Knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more; death no longer has any dominion over Him. For when he died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God" (vs 9-10). Is He still obedient? Of course! Never sinned, did He? If Christ is going to be in you, what is He going to motivate you to do? He's going to motivate you to have the love and desire to keep the commandments of God spiritually and to seek eternal life.

Verse 11: "In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin... [Not like Luther says here, 'Let your sins be strong, but let your faith in Christ be stronger.' That is insanity. That is double-mindedness.] ...be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord. Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body... [because you still have it] ...by obeying it in the lusts thereof…. [Which is the law of sin and death within that we covered in Rom. 7—correct? Yes! So it's there, but it says don't let it rule.] …Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin... [Which is the exact opposite of what Martin Luther wrote—right? Yes!] ...rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God" (vs 11-13).

Now what is righteousness then? All the characteristics of God, all the commandment-keeping in the Spirit of God, etc.—that's righteousness. Verse 14, he says it again here: "For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law..."—because

  • you've repented
  • you've had your sins forgiven
  • you're in covenant with God
  • you now have the strength, through the Holy Spirit, to overcome sin.

So it won't rule over you, because you're not under law, but you're under grace. You see the difference?

  • Under law you're in the world.
  • Under grace, you're under God

and within law to God the Father and Jesus Christ,

  • desiring to do what is right
  • desiring to love God
  • desiring to pray

And when you sin, then what do you do? You repent, because the Holy Spirit within you convicts you of sin. Did you have that before you were baptized, before you knew of God? No! You just did whatever came into your mind—right? Regardless of how minor or how severe that your sins may have been. And you lived in deceit and you lived under Satan's rule. We all did. That's what it says in Eph. 2.

Now, if you are not under grace—just take this the other way around—but under law, sin rules over you—doesn't it? Just like the family that lived on the pension there for thirty years. What a shock. (Knock, knock). 'Who's that? It's the government here to bring an honorable reward.' They were living in sin, living a lie, cheating and defrauding and in the neighborhood they appeared wonderful neighbors. Isn't that right? Sure!

Verse 15: "What then?... [Let's answer Martin Luther and all the rest.] ...Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!" Now what I want you to do is go through the book of Romans and see every place where 'MAY IT NEVER BE' in caps, because that's how it should be translated, and it comes from the Greek 'me ginoito,' meaning 'don't let this ever be.' Because 'ginoito' means to bring into being; 'me' is negation of bring into being, so it is 'MAY IT NEVER BE.' King James says 'God forbid,' and that is a complete mistranslation.

Verse 16: "Don't you realize that to whom you yield yourselves as servants to obey, you are servants of the one you obey, whether it is of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness." And you really can't obey with the obedience that really is necessary for the righteousness of God without the Spirit of God and you don't get that unless you're under grace. And you don't get that unless you're in covenant with God.

Verse 17: "But thanks be to God, that you were the servants of sin... [You were under law, you were under sin.] ...but you have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you; and having been delivered from sin..." (vs 17-18).

  • cleanse your heart
  • cleanse your mind
  • cleanse your conscience
  • delivered from the consequences of that sin.

"...you became the servants of righteousness…. [Through the grace of God, through the Spirit of God.] …I speak from a human point of view because of the weakness of your flesh... [He says, 'Now I want you to learn a lesson. Remember how dedicated you were to sin? Remember how dedicated you were to what you were doing, whatever your great sins were?'] ...for just as you once yielded your members in bondage to uncleanness, and to lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now yield your members... [That means your whole being.] ...in bondage to righteousness unto sanctification" (vs 18-19). Which comes from God's Spirit.

Now you see how all of this makes sense. You're not under law. Why? Just remember very simply: you went under water to die—correct? Baptism! "For when you were the servants of sin, you were free from righteousness. Therefore, what fruit did you have then in the things of which you are now ashamed?...." (vs 20-21). Look back at your life and see all the foolishness and all the sin and all the damage and all the rottenness, all the lies, all the cheating, all the stealing, all the adultery, all the fornication, everything that just came crashing in on your life. And we all experienced it—didn't we? One way or the other, in one degree or another. Is that not correct? Yes! Now what is your life like? Look back and see that and thank God and don't say, 'Oh, God, how great I am.' Say, 'Oh, God, how great You are that you delivered me from this.'

"...For the end result of those things is death. But now that you have been delivered from sin and have become the servants of God... [That's who you are—are you not? Do you have the Spirit of God in you? Yes! Does that Spirit of God come in two forms? The Spirit of Christ and of the Father? Yes! And we're going to see that you use the Spirit of God to overcome the pulls of sin and pulls of the flesh that are still there.] ...become the servants of God, you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end result is eternal life…. [That's the goal we're shooting for, you see.] …For the wages of sin is death, but gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 21-23).

Now I hope that really gives you a grasp of understanding what does it mean to be under grace and not under law. Very few people are under grace. You cannot have grace in a Sunday-keeping church, because they are under law, because they reject the Sabbath. They claim they are not under law and they have the freedom to reject the Sabbath and the freedom to impose Sunday and they have no authority from God to do it. So they are under law and under sin and under licentiousness and are perverting the grace of God and have nothing to do with the grace of God. Now they may have a lot of good sermons on how to straighten out your life and they may give some good things out of the Word of God, but when it comes down to the covenant relationship with God and the covenant death in baptism, they don't have it. And if you don't have that, you are still under law, you are still under sin.

We've already covered the first part here of Romans 7, but let's see how this is to be applied. We know Christ died that the Church now could marry Him, and he's speaking of the marriage covenant. We've gone through that.

Romans 7:4: "In the same way, my brethren, you also were made dead to the marriage law of the Old Covenant... [Because marriage is binding until death—correct? Yes!] ...by the body of Christ in order for you to be married to another... [And that marriage comes when? When Christ returns and the resurrection occurs!] ...Who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God…. [Now our lives are to exemplify the life of Christ.] …For as long as we were in the flesh, the passions of sins, which were through the law... [Because you were under law—correct?] ...were working within our own members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we have been released from the law... [That is the marriage covenant with ancient Israel.] ...because we have died to that in which we were held so that we might serve in newness of the spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter" (vs 4-6).

Now what does the newness of the spirit mean? It means this: With the Spirit of God in you, you now inwardly have an awareness when sin begins, because sin starts where? In the mind! You—must have the thought before the action. Now when you have the action before the thought, it's an accident—right?

"What then shall we say? Is the law sin?... [If it were sin, God would have abolished it—right?] ...MAY IT NEVER BE!... [Just on these two pages, there are three places where it says 'MAY IT NEVER BE!,' right?] ...But I had not known sin, except through the law. Furthermore, I would not have been conscious of lust, except that the law said, 'You shall not covet'" (v 7). Now let's see how he explains this, because a lot of people in the world, unconverted and under law and under sin, know that certain things are sin. But they don't have a conviction of it, because they don't have the Spirit of God to convict them.

"But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment... [Because the commandment's part of the law—correct? And the law what? Rules over a man as long as he lives—correct? Yes!] ...worked out within me every kind of lust because apart from law sin was dead... [In other words, there couldn't be any sin if there is no law, for 'by the law is the knowledge of sin.' Now notice what he says here, because he's talking in spiritual terms, not in physical terms.] ...For I was once alive without law... [Now how could that be if he was a Pharisee? He had law. He said in Phil. 3 concerning law, blameless. But what did he say of it? It's all 'skubalon.' You know what 'skubalon' is? Dung! Four letter word in Greek and in English.] ...but after the commandment came... [That is the spiritual understanding of the commandment.] ...sin revived, and I died" (vs 8-9). Now, how did he die? Sin revived, because he's now aware of it. You see the magnitude of sin. 'Sin revived, and I died.' How did he die? Through watery baptism! He didn't die a death. Was Paul resurrected from the dead literally? No! Did he come out of a watery grave? Yes! What did Ananias say? He said, 'Brother Saul, arise, be baptized. Have your sins washed away'—right? What was his sin? Persecuting the Church and everything that went with that.

"And the commandment, which was meant to result in life, was found to be unto death for me" (v 10). Isn't that true? No, you go back to Psa. 19. That's why here in the front of the Bible. Here just turn right back to the front of the Bible. We have in the first section right here, the first thing that we have and we planned it this way.

Right after the presentation you have the Ten Commandments, then Exodus Twenty. Then we have The Perfect Law of God. Now it can be there, people can read it, but without the Spirit of God they cannot understand it in the depth that it ought to be. So we have Psa. 19 here. So we've designed the layout of the Bible this way. Starts out here Psalm 19:7: "The law of the LORD is perfect, restoring the soul. The precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandments of the LORD are pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether" (vs 7-9).

It says here that the commandment, which meant life became death to him—why? Because he really had a conviction of sin. And until you have God's Spirit working with you to lead you to repentance and you have a conviction of sin, you don't understand. Then after you're baptized and have the Holy Spirit of God in you, then the Spirit of God works within you to convict you of the sin within that is still left over there through the law of sin and death that is inherent in your being. It's called human nature. That's the battle we have to overcome.

Then he understood the scope of the law of God, the commandment of God. Romans 7:12: "Therefore, the law is indeed Holy, and the commandment Holy and righteous and good."

Verse 14: "For we know that the law is spiritual..." That's important to understand. How are we to serve now? In the Spirit of God!

  • That's how we are to serve, because it is spiritual.
  • That's why He gave us His Spirit so we can keep it.
  • That's why we have the Spirit of God within us so that we can overcome the sin within and we understand the fullness of law.

But how does the carnal mind under law and under sin view the laws of God? Romans 8:7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be." Isn't that the way people do? Yes, indeed!

We've covered as much as we can today. Rather intense in what we've covered, so this will be all that we'll cover for today. I need to go through Gal. 3. We've already gone through Gal. 2, and then we'll go to 1-John because there are some places in 1-John that are difficult indeed to reconcile with some of the other things.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 7:1
  • Romans 3:3-8
  • 1-Corinthians 9:20-21
  • Romans 3:9-20, 28-31
  • Romans 6:14-15, 1-2
  • Jude 3-4
  • Romans 6:2
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • Romans 6:7-9, 23, 9-23
  • Romans 7:4-10,
  • Psalm 19:7-9
  • Romans 7:12, 14
  • Romans 8:7

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Romans 14
  • Revelation 3
  • Ephesians 2
  • Philippians 3
  • Galatians 2, 3
  • 1-John

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Romans
  • God's Grace & Commandment-Keeping

Books:

  • Lord, What Shall I Do?
  • Which Day is the True Christian Sabbath?
  • Judaism—Revelation of Moses, or Religion of Men? by Philip Neal
  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman Goldin

FRC:lp
Transcribed: 8-11-10
Formatted: bo—8-12-10

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