Fred R. Coulter—May 8, 2010

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Now we finished off and we covered part of Romans 4, so let's come to the last couple verses What we're going to do, we're going to see how that in the New Covenant that we are to keep the commandments of God through His grace. One of the reasons why the book of Romans is so hard to understand in the King James Version is because the key critical verses are not translated in accordance with the Greek. They add in without indicating that the words are added in, because they do not italicize them as they should, if a word is added in to help clarify things.

Romans 4:20: "And he [Abraham] did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief; rather, he was strengthened in the faith, giving glory to God; for he was fully persuaded that what He has promised... [Notice that's present tense. Not 'had' but 'has,' because it's still in the process of being fulfilled.] ...what He has promised, He is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness" (vs 20-22).

We're going to clarify something here that we need to, concerning works and no works, compared to James 2:22-23 are referring to when God took Abraham outdoors at night and said, 'Look at the stars and number them if you're able to count them.' Of course, he couldn't do that. So God said, 'So shall your seed be.' Now there was an impossible work for him to do. That's why God told him, 'If you're able to number them,' because having the faith that comes from God gives us the ability to do that's impossible for us to do without the Spirit and faith of God. A lot of people say, 'Okay, no works.' Rom. 4 refers to Gen. 15; James 2 refers to Gen. 22. So a lot of people get the two mixed up. What we have back here in Rom. 4 is that Abraham was imputed righteousness to him and he was justified because he believed. Now, this looks like a contradiction, but it's not.

Let's pick it up here in James 2:18: "But someone is going to say, 'You have faith, and I have works'... [That's always the argument back and forth, back and forth, rather than saying what kind of works do we have because we have faith. There's a difference, because in just referring to works alone, that doesn't imply that there's any faith involved.] ...My answer is: You prove your faith to me through your works... [Whatever they are. If you don't have any works, you don't have any faith, though you may claim. But that's your faith that you don't have any works.] ...and I will prove my faith to you through my works.... [Then he asked the question here:] ...Do you believe that God is one? You do well to believe this. Even the demons believe—and tremble in fear" (vs 18-19).

You know how it is in the world today, ninety-two percent of people believe there is a God, yet how many people attend church? Yet how many people believe what God has said? Then how many people are willing to act upon what God says? Like one man, he just recently asked his Sunday-keeping minister, sent me an email and said, 'Oh, the minister said oh yeah, we know that the Sabbath is on Saturday, but we keep Sunday the Lord's Day.' What are his works? Sunday! He has no faith. Does it not take faith to keep the Sabbath? Yes, indeed! But they admit, they all know it. They all had to cross this bridge when they went to their seminary.

Verse 20: "But are you willing to understand, O foolish man, that faith without works is dead?" Now faith is a spiritual matter—isn't it? Is not faith also listed as one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit? Yes, it is! The reason I'm going through this is because when we get back to Rom. 4 & 5, then we will project forward and see how we are to keep the commandments of God.

Now notice v 21; this sounds like it's just the opposite of what we read in Rom. 4. "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar?" Now where do we find this account? Gen. 22; a different time, a different command. The other was to count the stars. 'Can't do that, Lord, but I believe you.' This one is, 'Take your son, your only son'—only true son, he already had had Ishmael—'and you go to one of the mountains of Moriah and you offer your son as a burnt offering.' So what did he do? He did it!

Verse 21: "Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac, his own son, upon the altar? Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected?" (vs 21-22). Now that ties in with the parable that Jesus asked the Pharisees. He said, 'Tell Me this, a man had two sons. He asked them both to go work in the field. The first son said yes, I'll go work in the field. The second one said no, I won't go work in the field. But the first one didn't go, and the second one repented and went. Now who did the will of his father?' They said, 'The second one.' Then Jesus nailed them and He says, 'Well, John the Baptist came in the way of righteousness and you wouldn't believe him. The harlots and the publicans were baptized by him, but you wouldn't do it.' So we're looking at much the same thing here.

This is what he had to do; you know the account. He took a couple of other young men with him, he took the coals in one of those fire pots so he could start it. Took the wood, climbed up on the mountain. As they were going up Isaac said, 'Father, I see the wood, I'm carrying it; and I see the fire, but I don't see any animal for an offering.' And he said, 'My son, the Lord will provide.' Now God didn't have much of a space of a time to provide—did He? So he proceeded to make the altar of whole stones, just put them up there, laid the wood in order, tied up Isaac, put him on the wood, ready to reach down and get the knife and slit his throat. And Heb. 11 says he was willing to do that, because he knew that God could raise him from the dead. So there was faith exhibited on that side—right?

So he did, and you know what happened. Right when he was ready to use the knife, the voice out of heaven said, 'Abraham, Abraham.' And he said, 'Here I am.' I always like to think of that saying, 'HERE I AM!' And the voice said, 'Don't lay a hand on your son.' Here's the key thing; you ask why we have trials, why we have tests, now think of this: Abraham was called when he was seventy-five. Isaac was born when he was a hundred. Isaac was fifteen at this point. Fifteen and twenty-five is how much? Forty! What does forty signify? A time of testing and trial—that's correct! So in the fortieth year this occurred.

God said, 'Now I know that you fear Me.' Think of that. Here was one that God talked to on a regular basis, knew him inside out, but He said, 'Now I know that you fear Me.' He said, 'In blessing I will bless.' He said, 'I swear by Myself.' Now you can't get any higher oath, you can't get anything more guaranteed or assured than that. Because the Word of God is true, just if He speaks it, but if He swears by Himself, there's no way that that cannot be fulfilled. So all of those who discount the Bible and all the Protestants who change the law and things like this, and bring in their own, you better listen up. Because everything's going to happen exactly the way that God has said.

Like I mentioned in one of the series that I did on keeping the commandments of God and grace: Abraham, Your Calling and Baptism. So when you get to Galatians it says, 'And if you are Christ's, then are you Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise.' It says if you're baptized, then you're Abraham's seed and heirs according to promise. Well, here we have promise is going to be fulfilled.

James 2:22: "Do you not see that faith was working together... [See that? What does Jesus tell all the Churches in Rev. 2 & 3? That He will reward them according to their works, but they had to have faith to have the works—is that not correct? We'll see here in just a bit you need the Spirit of God in order to have faith. We'll put it all together and then see how we are to keep the commandments of God.] ...Do you not see that faith was working together with his works, and by works his faith was perfected?"

Do you believe more in the Sabbath today than ever before? Yes! What is one of the reasons why you do? Because we keep it! Do we believe God more? Yes, because we've been keeping God's ways! 'Was perfected.' That'll be number eight, since number eight is a new beginning. I'll do a sermon on being perfected. I think that will be very inspiring to you.

Verse 23: "And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, 'Now Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him for righteousness'; and he was called a friend of God. You see, then, that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only" (vs 23-24). Has to be together! If you have faith, you're going to have works. Works will back up that faith, and faith will back up the works, because they're together. If you don't have faith, you won't have works. Or if you don't have faith, the works that you will have will not be the works of God, because you don't believe Him. That's the pit into which Protestantism falls. They don't understand that.

Now let's come back to Romans 4:22, again here, please: "As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness. But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; rather, it was also written for our sakes... [we can learn from that] whom it shall be imputed—to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification" (vs 22-25).

Now Jesus was made sin for us. He knew no sin, but He became sin, as a sin offering for us that we can have our sins forgiven and justified. What is justification once again? Right standing with God through the forgiveness of sin based on the faith in Jesus Christ's sacrifice and His shed blood. That justifies you! No law of any kind can justify you, because law was not meant to justify.

Look at it this way: the new cars today do not need a key. I rented one onetime and I said, 'Where's the key?' He said, 'It doesn't need a key.' I love keys. I've got my car key right here, wouldn't be without it. So he said, 'Here's what you do. You just get in, push the button, starts.' He said, 'Now when you stop the car, you put your foot on the brake, and you just press it, don't hold it, just press it. It'll go off.' He says, 'If you press it and hold onto it, it'll go off, but it will leave the electricity on and the battery will go right down.' So here I have my car key and I'm used to car keys, so I tool out to this new car, like I did when I rented a car and rented a car in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and I had to put my suitcases in the trunk of the car. So they gave me a key and I go out there and I open it up. It was dark. I couldn't see anything, so I got back to where the trunk was and I was looking for the hole for the key. I couldn't find it. I tried the little emblem on the back, I thought maybe it flipped up and the key would fit right in there. No, it wasn't there, so I felt all around and it was dark and couldn't see anything and it was raining. So I opened up the back seat door on the driver's side and threw the suitcases in, got in the car and drove off. I said, 'Well, that's stupid. They gave me a key, but it won't open.' So next morning I got out to the car and guess what they had? They had a push button.

Now the point of this is: you cannot have the wrong combination. You must have the right combination. The person who had a push-button start car, they would get into my car and they'd be lost. They'd be looking for the push button. Going crazy—'where's the push button, where's the push button? Hey, Fred, where's the push button?' Here's the key. I like keys myself. I feel safer with keys. I don't feel safer with push buttons. You can do it one step further. You have push button and you have thumbprint recognition. Now, what if your thumb was cut off in an accident and you needed to go to the hospital, but you couldn't start your car? Needless to say in either case, if it isn't done right, it'll create problems.

Now in order to be justified, let's run through the steps on this carefully:

  • You have to repent.
  • You have to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Savior Who's sacrifice and shed blood paid for your sins.
  • You have to be baptized and enter into covenant with God, because Christ died for you. In baptism, you die for Christ.
  • You have to be raised out of the watery grave, and what happens when you're raised out of the watery grave? Repent and be baptized for the remission of sins and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
  • The gift of the Holy Spirit.

That includes everything that we're reading about here in Romans 5:1. "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ…. [And the beginning of every epistle is what? 'Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ'—right? Yes! We have peace, which means you don't fight God and God's not fighting you.] …Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God" (vs 1-2).

Now let's talk about grace. Let me give a couple definitions of grace here that will help us understand what it is. In the Old Testament the basic Hebrew word for grace that is translated grace is pronounced 'chen' which means

  • grace
  • favor
  • good will
  • kindness
  • gracious
  • pleasant
  • in the way of having pity on someone.
  • to be gracious
  • to favor
  • to be favorably inclined
  • to pity
  • to be compassionate
  • to be madeacceptable

All of that's New Testament, too—isn't it? Also

  • to bend or to stoop in kindness to an inferior

That's us, we're the inferior; God is the superior.

  • to be moved to favor by a petition or request—prayer.
  • to show favor—receive blessing, understanding.
  • to grant or to give favor or to graciously show mercy and piety.

Now it was very interesting, Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. Who's excluded? His children! And Noah walked with God and Noah was righteous. That's a New Testament description. In the New Testament what we are going to see, and we will finish with this when we get to the end of this message, grace in the New Testament is based upon the love of God—God's love for us, our love for God.

New Testament definition of grace comes from the word 'charis'—which means

  • God's Divine gracious favor and blessing
  • gracious care
  • help
  • good will
  • benefit
  • gift
  • goodness
  • benefaction
  • endowment.

If you want the full definition, get the booklet we sent you some time ago and you can read, Grace of God in the Bible, in that. The definition for grace in the Old Testament is page 1 and grace for the New Testament is page 26.
Romans 5:2: "...we have access by faith into this grace... [This tells us what? If you don't have faith to keep God's commandments, you do not have access to grace—right? So there's a lot of false grace out there that people claim, and that false grace is lawlessness.] (Now then, here's what that does for us): ...and not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance, and endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope. 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" (vs 2-5). None of the things that we have talked about are able to be completed in our lives without the Spirit of God.

Let's see how this is going to work out here. Now there's some other things we'll talk about, what the Holy Spirit will do for us, but we receive:

  • the calling of God
  • forgiveness of God
  • the baptism
  • the covenant
  • the Holy Spirit

Now then, now we are equipped to obey God. People can go out and try and obey God and they can in the letter of the law. But after awhile they see that it is very hard to do. And so they say, 'Well, since God has forgiven us and we have had righteousness imputed to us once for all, all of our sins, all the rest of our life are covered'—which they're not as we saw in Num. 6, they're not all covered. Remember this, the key for sin is: all sin is past sin, as we've covered. God is not going to forgive future sin, because He doesn't know what you're going to do, because we have free choice—right? You haven't yet done it. Whatever the sin may be that you're going to do tomorrow, you haven't done it. But as soon as you've done it, it's a past sin—all past sins. That's why, as we've pointed out, you are to pray for forgiveness everyday. And where do we find, as chapter seven talks about, the sin within? Where do find the sin? Right 'upstairs,' our thoughts! This is why God is writing His commandments in our hearts and in our minds so we think with the Word of God, we think with the laws and commandments of God, and as Jesus said, 'The words I speak to you, they are spirit and they are life.' Meaning that they are also spiritually discerned. You need the Spirit of God to understand.

I drive up and I park there everyday—Smoker's Paradise, the smoke shop downstairs and I see people come and go all the time. I think to myself, 'I wonder if they realize the blessing that they have in buying their cigarettes and things down here.' They can choose which way they want to die. If you want to die with cancer of your jaw, throat, and stomach and liver, get some chewing tobacco. If you want to die a slower death, get some filtered cigarettes. If you want to die a little faster, you know, and reach your paradise where you're all messed up, and you're sick and you're in pain, and you're dying, and you're gasping out your last—just like Dolores and I on our very first visit that we had up in Eugene. Dale Hampton said go visit this man in the hospital, so we went over to visit him. This guy was gasping out his last—very bad. He smoked all of his life. There he was withered up, wrinkled, miserable, painful and then he showed us his hands, black from the body trying to expel the accumulated nicotine within his system. Then he showed us the bottom of his feet, black. Looked like he walked on coal and handled coal. I think of those two things when I see that sign, Smoker's Paradise. I think about, well what would the person look like coming in the first day as a teenager—think it is what, nineteen you can buy—strong, tough, beautiful, vivacious, buying their first cigarette. Fast-forward 50-years, and have them come in—hacking, coughing, wrinkled, miserable, bent over, that's their paradise.

Then the ones who are really bad are the ones who now have their little oxygen tank that they push with them, where they're all hooked up into their nose. They still go into the Smoker's Paradise and buy their cigarettes. Oh, yeah, even some have a tracheotomy. I have seen those who have had tracheotomies that they are so hooked on cigarettes that they put the cigarette in their tracheotomy and they light it and they smoke through the tracheotomy, but they had their throat removed because of cancer of the throat. What a wonderful paradise that is. Was mentioned that one movie star had pancreatic cancer and he smoked heavily and he said, 'I'm going to smoke to my very last breath.' Now that's faith. Well, God rewarded him according to his works. He went to smoker's paradise.

So the whole thing is, you can't defy God by coming to God to tell Him about His grace, tell Him that you don't have to keep His commandments, and that you are going to do it your way. That is as stupid as smoker's paradise trying to get eternal life. You're dead before you even start, because you have not done the things that God expects you to do. That's why we have beginning here:

  • Romans 2—we have repentance.
  • Romans 3-4—we have justification.
  • Romans 5—we have how that's done through the sacrifice of Christ.
  • Romans 6—we have baptism.
  • Romans 7—overcoming the sin within, because now with the Spirit of God we're able to recognize sin in our thoughts, whereas before we wouldn't recognize sin in our thoughts.

We're affected by things we hear and really don't want to hear. I forget which store it was in, or where it was, but there was song on, I remember the words—'I'm a girl-watcher.' I thought, 'Yeah, a girl-luster.' He could not understand that that was sin, because He didn't have the Spirit of God. But what happens when you understand what Christ said, 'You're not to look upon a woman to lust after her in your heart, because you've already committed adultery with her.' Then you know the girl-watching is not what you're supposed to do—right? So you get it out of your mind and you go someplace else. You could not do that without the Spirit of God.

All that combined together, we'll come to Romans 8:1: "Consequently, there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." That's how we're to be walking. What does it mean to be 'walking according to the Spirit?' All the things that lead up repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Spirit of God, you're walking in the truth of God in the Spirit of God, having the commandments of God written in your heart and in your mind, you're walking according to the Spirit.

"Because the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus... [That is receiving the Holy Spirit, the power to overcome] ...has delivered me from the law of sin and death…. [You now have the tools to overcome the law of sin within, and through the resurrection by Jesus Christ the power to overcome death.] …For what was impossible for the law to do... [Because no law can make you do anything.] that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh" (vs 2-3).

Now notice how many times here Romans 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 it comes back to the sacrifice of Christ. It comes back to the justification that God gives. You know almost all of it here in this chapter, but we're going to see something a little bit more as we go along here.

Verse 4, key verse—why did God do all of this? "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us... [Now if you're a Protestant friend out there in the world, tell me how the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in you, if you believe that the law has been abolished? If it has been abolished, as you claim, which it hasn't, then you cannot have the righteousness of the law fulfilled in you, because it doesn't exist—right? Isn't that true? Yes! We can look at it this way: everyone take a deep breath and hold your breath. You can all do that—right? Not very long, but you did. That's pretty good. Don't get dizzy and pass out now. If I walked up to a corpse and said, 'Take a deep breath and hold it,' couldn't do it, there's no life—right? Right! What did Jesus say? 'Let the dead bury their dead.' Spiritually dead they can't keep the laws of God. They cannot have the righteousness—notice this]: ...of the law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit."

We're getting to the point that we understand now you can't keep the commandments of God in the New Covenant except by the Spirit of God through the grace of God and there is no such thing in the New Testament as a fight between grace and faith and law and obedience altogether. No such thing as that. 'Walking according to the Spirit.'

Now notice the comparison. You know where we're going with this. "For those who walk according to the flesh mind the things of the flesh... [You can't do the things of the Spirit. That's why Protestantism says, 'No use trying to keep the commandments of God, because you can't keep them.' Without the Spirit of God, that is true. You can keep them in the letter to a certain extent until a female walks by and you're a girl-watcher. Or until a man walks by and you're a man-watcher, if you're a woman. There are a lot of those, too. Or whatever it may be.] ...but those who walk according to the Spirit mind the things of the Spirit" (v 5). What are the things of the Spirit, but the

Word of God
Truth of God
commandments of God

—right? Yes! "For to be carnally minded is death... [the wages of sin is death] ...but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" (v 6). That's what it's to bring us.

  • Yes, we have the things we need to overcome.
  • Yes, we have the struggle of the sin within.
  • Yes, we have to fight the world, and so forth.

But God has given us the strength and power to do it. He's given us the way to think. This is why we are to pray and to study and to grow in grace and knowledge, because God is creating in us

  • His character
  • His love
  • His Truth
  • everything about God within us

How many times have you read this? Verse 7: "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be."

All pastors, the Protestant churches know, that fifty percent of your fellow pastors are hooked on pornography. How many are having affairs? And how many are divorced? The reason is, they're carnal-minded. You want to know how carnal-minded you are as a minister in a Sunday-keeping church? You stand up some Sunday and you tell all the people out there in front of you, 'Brethren, I've been wrong about Sunday all my life. I'm repenting of that, because that's a lie, so this will be our last Sunday service. I'm going to give you a sermon on the Sabbath. Next week we ain't a gonna meet on Sunday any more. You want to meet, you come on Saturday.' And you see how many people rebel at that! There might even some stand up in the pulpit and shake their fist at you, tell you to get out of here.

" is not subject to the law of God; neither indeed can it be. But those who are in the flesh cannot please God" (vs 7-8). But those who have the Spirit of God can please God (1-John 3:22-24).

Let's take a break and we'll come back and we'll continue you on and show how we are to keep the commandments of God in the New Covenant. So this approach, though it may seem like a minor adjustment in what we believe, this is really vastly major, because now all the Scriptures come together and we are not fighting against the Protestants, but we are putting the whole message of God together the way it should be and let them fight against God. We'll just tell the truth.

(go to the next track)

Verse 9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you." So we go right back to the basics on what? How do you receive the Holy Spirit of God? Repent, be baptized, keep the commandments of God—right? Yes! Protestantism mostly does not baptize any more. Their repentance is a farce. It's like Jonathan said, they are declaring themselves saved in the name of Jesus and they know nothing about Him. They don't have the Holy Spirit, because God does not give the Holy Spirit to anyone who won't obey Him. It's that simple. If you don't obey God, you don't get the Holy Spirit.

  • Do Protestants obey God? No!
  • Do they keep the Sabbath? No!
  • Do they have other gods before the true God? Yes!
  • Do they keep the holidays? Yes!
    • They don't keep the Holy Days
    • They don't obey God
    • They don't obey Christ

They are following the spirit of anti-Christ, which is 'you sin and I, Satan, will give you a benefit.' Same old story as Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden—right? So all you Protestants out there, ask yourself the question: Why are your churches coming apart? Why are they filled with sin? Because you're not converted and you do not have the Holy Spirit, and you have enmity and hostility toward the laws and commandments of God! That's what you have, yet you profess to love the Lord. And Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments; namely, Mine.' So if you love God, you better start repenting. And if you're hung up and rebellious at what I'm saying against this, and you think that I'm bringing people under the law and you think that I'm trying to bring people into a cult, you're absolutely wrong, because you who do not follow the Bible, you who do not follow the Scriptures, you who do not have the Holy Spirit, are a cult.

The biggest 'Christian' religious cult in the world is the Roman Catholic Church. All you Protestants are their offspring, with a few little different clothing. That's all you are. You better get serious about salvation, because the years for you to change are few indeed, and judgment is coming like a great tsunami, as if you were on a satellite looking down on the earth and you could see this ten thousand foot wave coming across the ocean slowly, slowly, slowly. Then it's going to hit, and you will know when it hits. And that is the judgment of God because you're carnal-minded; because you have stolen the name of Christ, preached another Jesus, keep days and commandments that God said He hates. 'The carnal mind is enmity against God,' against Him personally. 'It is not subject to the law of God,' so you hate God and you hate the law of God, both. You have no more understanding of God than that sign, Smoker's Paradise, brings health to smokers.

Verse 9: "However, you are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if the Spirit of God is indeed dwelling within you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him…. [Doesn't matter what you profess. Doesn't matter what you teach. If it is not according to the Word of God, it's because there's no light in you.] …But if Christ be within you... [That's how we keep the commandments of God through grace—Christ in us.] ...the body is indeed dead because of sin; however, the Spirit is life because of righteousness" (vs 9-10).

And we're to reflect the true righteousness of God. That's what it says up here in v 4: "In order that the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who are not walking according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit." That's what God wants.

Now notice, v 11: "Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you... [notice the 'ifs'; I want you to circle it, v 11, v 10, v 9 twice—if, if, if] ...Now if the Spirit of Him Who raised Jesus from the dead is dwelling within you, He Who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal bodies because of His Spirit that dwells within you. So then, brethren, we are not debtors to the flesh, to live according to the flesh…. [The way the world does.] …Because if you are living according to the flesh, you shall die... [That means the second death in the lake of fire, because in Adam everyone dies.] ...but if... [There it is again, two more 'ifs.' Look at that. Go through this chapter and circle every 'if' and ask yourself, 'Am I doing this? Does this apply to me?'] ...but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you shall live" (vs 11-13).

Now what does this tell us? The Spirit of God within gives us the power to overcome the law of sin within. Gives us the power through having the Holy Spirit write in our hearts and in our minds the laws and commandments of God, the Word of God, so we learn

  • to think like God
  • act like God
  • behave like God in our behavior.

That's why He's given us the Holy Spirit.

And I say to all the Churches of God, you better wake up and pay attention, because your judgment's twice what it's going to be against the Protestants, because you know better. And it's coming, it's coming! We're living in the days, the judgment of God is coming on every one, everywhere, and it's going to fall, and it's going to take down. The only ones who are going to survive relatively unharmed are those who truly love God with all their hearts, and mind, and soul, and being, and are truly being wise and led by the Spirit of God. But this shows the process of change and growth and overcoming. You don't instantly accept Jesus, like you tell your people in your congregation, you Protestants, and now you're saved, and you have no more sin and you can't sin again. It's a process. We overcome.

Verse 14: "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God... [How can you be led by the Spirit of God, if you don't have it? How can you be led by the Spirit of God if you don't obey Him? How can you be led by the Spirit of God if you do not have enough faith to keep the laws and commandments of God? Not going to happen!] ...For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God"—because God has a great plan. You need to understand about the plan of God. You need to realize what God is offering. You don't have a clue.

Now notice, v 15: "Now you have not received a spirit of bondage again unto fear... [That's the spirit of the world, that's the spirit of Satan, that's the spirit of antichrist, which all Christianity in the world has and they are labeled by what they do. As Jesus said, 'You'll know them by their fruits.' You keep Sunday, Christmas, Easter, you keep Halloween, you keep all the holidays of the world, and you have your societies just trashed with sin and crime—bondage of fear, bondage of the world.] ...but you [true Christians] .have received the Spirit of sonship, whereby we call out, 'Abba, Father.'" That's the true relationship. That's why we all need to repent and get back to God, because

  • God loves us
  • God cares for us
  • God wants us in a relationship with Him

where we love Him, keep His commandments, that He can give us of His Spirit, that He can give us of His Word written in our hearts and in our minds and in our being, so that that's how we live and function. That's what God wants.

"The Spirit itself bears witness conjointly with our own spirit, testifying that we are the children of God…. [That's what God wants. He wants us to be His children. That's the whole plan of God. It's not going to heaven. It's not a beatific vision. It is seeing God face-to-face as our Father.] …Now if... [There it is again. That makes a total of eight through v 17. Go back and ask yourself the question: Do I fulfill those 'ifs' before God, or has God given me of His Spirit in truth so that in my life these seven 'ifs' are fulfilled?] ...Now if we are children, we are also heirs—truly, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ—if indeed [#8] we suffer together with Him, so that we may also be glorified together with Him" (vs 16-17). Isn't that something? That's what God wants.

Let's come back here to 1-John 3; let's give you just a little preview. We'll expand on this a little bit more as we go along. 1-John 3:1: "Behold! What glorious love the Father has given to us, that we should be called the children of God!…. [And the Greek here is the 'technon' meaning the very begotten children of God, His very own, not adopted.] …For this very reason, the world does not know us because it did not know Him. Beloved, now we are the children of God, and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be; but we know that when He is manifested, we shall be like Him, because we shall see Him exactly as He is" (vs 1-2). At the resurrection, we'll cover for Pentecost, He's going to transform our bodies to be made like to His glorious body.

Now then, what does God tell us what to do here? Let's come to 2-Corinthians 6. Let's see what God tells us to do. How is it we are to be in the world? How is it are we to live our lives? 2-Corinthians 6:11—Paul is pleading with them: "O you Corinthians! Our mouths have been opened to you, and our hearts have been enlarged toward you. You are not suppressed by us, but you are restricted in your own hearts" (vs 11-12). Now this had to do with giving and tithing to Paul, but it's a principle.

A lot of people are restricted in their own hearts. They don't believe God, they won't keep His commandments. As a matter of fact, the more hard-shelled Protestant you are, the more rebellious you are against God and you think you're right. And you're restricted in your hearts. Open your heart to God the way it should be.

"Now in return for our ministry to you (I am speaking to you as to children), you should also enlarge your hearts toward us. Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers.... [But the problem is, most of those who are 'Christians' in the world are not true believers in God. Now that's a warning for us. And yet some of the Churches of God turn around and go out to the Protestants and rub their hands together and purr and they're really nice and say, 'Well, how do you understand these things?' And they fall for the trap and fall right in there and give up the Truth.] ...Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and lawlessness have in common?...." (vs 13-14).

Isn't that true? Think about that! Think of the schizophrenic stupidity of the Protestant doctrine that God or Christ or Paul has abolished His law to create lawlessness? How do you like America now with a lawless President, a lawless Congress, a lawless society, do you like it? Do you feel comfortable? Are you happy? Or are you apprehensive? Afraid? Guess who created that? All you ministers and priests out there who say you represent God and you say that God has done away with His laws. You have created that. You have nothing in common with God except you use His name in vain.

"...And what fellowship does light have with darkness? And what union does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement is there between a temple of God... [And we're all a temple of God. That's what he talks about there in 1-Cor. 3.] ...and idols?.... [And all the Catholics dutifully say, 'This is the church of God with the power from Peter.' But it has no power from Christ. That hideous thing, with all of the pedophilia and sins and rottenness and corruptness and political things that they do. There's no agreement between that and God.] ...For you are a temple of the living God, exactly as God said: 'I will dwell in them and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people'" (vs 14-16). That's what God wants. He wants you to have His Spirit. That's what it's all about. That's what repentance is all about. That's what baptism is all about, so that you can love God and keep His commandments through the grace of God. Doesn't come any other way just because they're listed out.

"'Therefore, come out from the midst of them and be separate,' says the Lord... [Yes, indeed! Come out of this world. Isn't that what it says there in Rev. 18, 'come out of her My people.' That's Babylon the great and that's what you're living in. that you be not partaker of her sins. For sins have reached to high heaven and God's judgment is near.] separate,' says the Lord, 'and touch not the unclean, and I will receive you" (v 17).

  • idols are unclean
  • Sunday is unclean
  • Christmas is unclean
  • all the holidays are unclean
  • the mass is unclean
  • the priests are unclean
  • the ministers are unclean
  • those who attend are unclean.

That's how God looks at all of that.

You think God is pleased with our nation? You think God is pleased with the world? Look at what is happening. "'...touch not the unclean, and I will receive you; and I shall be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters,' says the Lord Almighty" (vs 17-18). That's what God wants.

Now let's see how we are to obey in the Spirit through the grace of God. Let's come here to Ephesians 4:11—there is also a message for all who are teachers and preachers: "And He gave some as apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers... [So that you can be exalted, so that you can be over people, so that you can be between God and the people, so you as a Catholic priest have the power to call down the flesh and blood of Christ into the host. Christ never obeyed that command once. That is an absolute blasphemous lie. NO!] ...For the perfecting of the saints... [You are to serve, you are to help, you're to teach, you're to uplift, you're to bring them the Word of God. Not be like the blind leading the blind and you're all falling in the ditch and wondering what's happening.] ...for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ" (vs 11-12)—to up-build it.

That's why Christ was called a carpenter, but He was a builder, not a carpenter. And he didn't make those stupid little chairs that you see for Mary as you watched an enactment of it on History Channel. He built buildings, lifted stone, hoisted heavy timber; that's what Christ did, he built. Now He's building the House of God, the spiritual body of Christ, the Church.

Notice: "...for the edifying... [the up-building] ...of the body of Christ; until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man... [We'll talk about perfection here in the next sermon. We are to become perfect through the perfect Spirit of Christ, through the Spirit of Truth, through the love of God, through the love of God's Word.] ...unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (vs 12-13). Hey, how's that for a goal? That's God's plan for you.

Then he says here, v 21: "If indeed... [There's that word again. Man, they're just leaping off the page—aren't they?] ...If indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, according to the Truth in Jesus: That concerning your former conduct, you put off the old man, which is corrupt according to deceitful lusts... [the process of conversion, the process of overcoming] ...And that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind..."

Have the laws and commandments of God written in your hears and in your mind—inscribed, become very part of your being, your thought, and your thoughts convey to your body, to your whole body. Very interesting! Christ said that if the light be in you is light, the whole body will be full of light. Why? Because with the Spirit of God and the Truth of God, you're whole body will be focused toward God. Isn't that something? That's amazing—isn't it? But He says 'if the light that be in you is darkness, how great is that darkness.' That's the way it is in the world, all that darkness.

" renewed in the spirit of your mind... [Day-by-day, be renewed everyday, be changed everyday. That's why there's prayer, that's why there's repentance, that's why there's Bible study—all the time. You are being educated for eternal life.] ...And that you put on the new man... [We're a new creature, a new creation in Christ.] ...which according to God... [That is, according to God's way, His Spirit, His plan, and what He's doing in you.] created in righteousness and Holiness of the Truth" (21-24). Now just think what that will do for your whole body if your mind is filled with the Spirit of God, the laws of God, the Truth of God, the love of God, your whole body is automatically going to respond and be more healthy. Think of that!

So therefore, here's what we do, because we have to overcome, v 25: "Therefore, let each one put away lies and speak the Truth with his neighbor because we are members of one another.... [Then he tells us how to conduct our lives and our emotions, because the greatest problem we have today is physical sickness because of emotions, wrong emotions and fear, and all the things that go on in the world. "When you become angry, do not sin.... [There's a righteous anger, get over it. That's to change sin, but do not become angry and go around and become a raging bull.]] not sin. Do not let the sun go down on your anger... [Never go to bed angry, you're never going to sleep. Pray! You're angry when you're in bed, get up and pray, or pray right while you're lying in bed. Have God help you get rid of it. Why? Because it opens up the door for Satan to come along and start lobbing in some thoughts that you really don't need.] ...Neither give place to the devil" (vs 26-27).

He's going to come along and say, 'Now that's good. Don't ever forgive that person. That's good, yeah, you really need to hate that person. You're right, you're justified in that.' What did Jesus say? 'Love your enemies, pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you.' Isn't that hard? Yes! Don't give place to the devil.

"Let the one who stole, steal no more; rather, let him labor with his hands, working at what is good, so that he may impart something to the one who has need. Do not let any corrupt communication come out of your mouth... [Try that on for discipline for a week.] ...but that which is good and needful for edification that it may give grace to those who hear. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God... [How do you grieve the Holy Spirit of God? By the very things we just mentioned and sin.] ...And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God by which you have been sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and indignation, and wrath, and clamor, and evil speaking be removed from you, together with all malice..." (vs 28-31).

Also remember this: It's easy to get wrapped up in politics. It's easy to try and think that you can solve the world's problems through politics, but I have a special message for all you Tea Partiers out there: If you don't repent to God first, all your political action is going to backfire on you, because God wants you to repent to Him. That's doesn't mean returning to your Sunday-keeping church. Because if you do, you 'ain't' repented one bit, if I can phrase it that way.

"And be removed from you, together with all malice; And be kind and tenderhearted toward one another, forgiving one another, even as God has also in Christ forgiven you" (v 32). Isn't that something? There it is again. And forgiveness toward each other within the Church and within our lives is perhaps the key most important thing that we do for our spiritual and our physical health, as we've already covered on a sermon. Now that we've done the putting out, now that we have done getting rid of the sin, that's our part. We're to recognize it, repent of it, put it out, do what is good.

Notice what he says here Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God..." That's the goal. Come to Matt. 5:48, because that's where we also started all of this—right? This is the goal! This is what God wants in our lives! This is what we are to co-operatively work with God and His Spirit and His Word, through prayer, through study, through all the things that we do as true Christians.

Matthew 5:48: "'Therefore, you shall be perfect... [How does that square with doing away with the law? How does that square, 'Well no one needs to keep the commandments, because no one can.' Well, without the Holy Spirit you can't keep the commandments, but here's a command of Jesus. Do you believe Jesus? Do you profess His name?] ...Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect.'" How do we do that?

Here's how our conduct is to be. This is the standard that God sets up that we are to shoot for. Ephesians 5:1: "Therefore, be imitators of God, as beloved children... [Now think of the attitude that it takes for that. Think of what it takes to be in your mind and in your heart. God is love; we need to grow in love. We receive faith and goodness and temperance and kindness, and all of those things come from God.] imitators of God... [That doesn't mean that you become spineless and like Jell-O and you have no backbone and you don't stand for the Truth. There's a time to stand for the truth. Does God stand for the Truth? You bet He does!] ...And walk in love, even as Christ also loved us, and gave Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savor" (vs 1-2). That's something! If we keep that in our minds, this will motivate us—won't it? This will help us—won't it? Yes, indeed, every bit of it!

Verse 3: "But fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness, do not permit it even to be named among you, as is fitting for saints." And yet, the Church of God we all know of tolerated one of its leading evangelists to commit adultery and fornication and lying and cheating for how many years. And yet they wouldn't deal with it. When he was finally cornered, he admitted to 200 women. That's what he admitted to. No telling how many he didn't count beyond that. God says, 'Don't let it even be mentioned once.'

Verse 4: "Nor filthiness, nor foolish talking or jesting, which are not becoming; but instead, thanksgiving. For this you know, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous person, who is an idolater, has any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ and of God…. [Quite a difference—isn't it?] …Do not let anyone deceive you with vain words; for because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore, do not be joint partakers with them. For you were once darkness; but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light" (vs 4-8). You take all these things, all these things we are to do, look at the challenge of what God has given us to do. But He's also equipped us with the Holy Spirit to do it, but He wants us to put forth our maximum effort by choice, and love, and doing what God wants us to do. We can do that.

"(Because the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and Truth;) Proving what is well pleasing to the Lord; and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them; for it is shameful even to mention the things being done by them in secret" (vs 9-12). So, in order for us to keep the commandments of God, we must do it through the grace of God and we must do it through the love of God. These are the things that God wants us to do as we just read here. Quite a change!—isn't it? Quite a challenge!—isn't it? This will help bring a whole new dimension to your thinking as a Christian and in law-keeping. You'll understand that God intends us to keep His laws in the Spirit.

Now for example, when the Sabbath comes, we know the Sabbath begins at sundown, but what do we do then?

  • we think about the Sabbath
  • we think about the Word of God
  • maybe we study the Word of God
  • pray

I know what I do. I prepare my sermons. Friday comes, begins the Sabbath, I'm preparing my sermons. And I'm not sitting there wondering, 'Well, wonder what this baseball game is doing?' Or you're keeping the Sabbath and say, 'Well, I'd really rather be out there playing basketball.' Or you're keeping the Sabbath and you say, 'Well, I'd really rather be at work, because just think how much money I could make at work today if I were working. I'd get time-and-a-half.' Are you keeping the Sabbath spiritually? No! But with the Spirit of God and the mind of Christ, and we'll cover that next time, you can be pleasing to God and do the things that God wants you to do.

  • He's called you
  • He loves you
  • He wants you
  • He has a great plan for you
  • He wants to work His workmanship within you
  • He wants to create in you that very same kind of mind that Christ has

Then when the resurrection comes, it's going to be a tremendous thing. We still don't know how it's going to be done.

It's just like you plant a seed in the ground. If you could plant it one of these see-through little pots, say put in a bean seed. So you put in a bean seed, you put in the water, you have the dirt in there, the bean seed, you put a little water in it, and no one knows how it happens, but it starts to sprout, starts to grow. And all the little kids in the third grade look at that, that's when we did it in third grade, everybody bring a bean and we'll plant a bean and we'll watch it grow. Everybody goes, 'Ooooh.' Today all the scientists and everything, when they see that they go, 'Ooooh,' because they don't know it's done. But isn't that an amazing thing? And it grows. Then lo and behold that old bean is consumed, it's gone, no longer there, and there's a new plant.

That's what the resurrection's going to be like, only it's going to go in an instant, 'in a twinkling of an eye we're going to be changed.' We're going to be glorified like Christ is. That's the whole purpose of it. That's why in keeping the commandments of God it can only be done through grace.

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 4:20-22
  • James 2:18-24
  • Romans 4:22-25
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • Romans 8:1-10, 4, 11-17
  • 1-John 3:1-2
  • 2-Corinthians 6:11-18
  • Ephesians 4:11-13, 21-32
  • Ephesians 5:1
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Ephesians 5:1-12

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 15, 22
  • Hebrews 11
  • Revelation 2,3
  • Numbers 6
  • 1-John 3:22-24
  • 1-Corinthians 3
  • Revelation 18

Also referenced:

  • Sermon: Abraham, Your Calling & Baptism
  • Booklet: The Grace of God in the Bible

Transcribed: 5-21-10
Formatted: bo—5/24/10