Fred R. Coulter—June 19, 2010

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Most people are told and assume, that is if they are in one brand of 'Christian religion' or another, that there were different dispensations, and that the Jews, and what they call Jews, they include all Israelites. But as you know there were twelve tribes of Israel of which the Jews are one tribe. They say that in the dispensation with the Jews or Israel that God gave them salvation through the law. That's what they say.

When you come to Protestantism, and we'll cover some of those Scriptures (not this time, but we'll be sure and get into them), they say you can't receive salvation through the law. So how come they could receive salvation through the law, supposedly, and today we can't receive salvation through the law? Over here they were bound to keep the law and then the Protestants on the other hand say, 'The law's been done away.'

How are you going to do away with law? As I said before do this: Have the Supreme Court issue a verdict that all laws in the United States are null and void. They'll be no such thing as a criminal from now on. Any action is perfectly acceptable because there's no law. Well, how would like that lawless society? So, therefore, we have to open all the prisons, let everybody out.

Let's answer the question by coming to Deuteronomy 5, what you call the second giving of the law, because Moses writes about it concerning the Ten Commandments, But let's go back to chapter 4 first and let's read some things here. Let's understand the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law is to be understood in how God gave it. Let's understand a couple of other things first.

  • God is Lawgiver
  • The one Who gave the laws to Israel in the Old Testament was the one Who became Jesus Christ

Let's see what He told Israel. This was part of Moses' last long sermon written out for the children of Israel before they went into the 'promised land.'

Deuteronomy 4:1 "'And now, O Israel, hearken to the statutes and to the judgments which I teach you, in order to do them, so that you may live and go in and possess the land which the LORD God of your fathers gives to you.... [Now notice very carefully.] ...You shall not add to the word which I command you; neither shall you take away from it, so that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you'" (vs 1-2). That's pretty plain—isn't it? And we will find out why didn't the children of Israel obey God? And if they were to receive salvation through law-keeping, why wouldn't they want to keep it so they could receive salvation? Wouldn't you? But when we read the promise here, and we read all the Old Testament, we have no promise of eternal life in the Old Covenant. No promise whatsoever. We have promise of what? Land, physical blessings, in return for obedience to the letter of the law. That's what we have. No salvation!

Verse 5: "Behold, I have taught you statutes and judgments, even as the LORD my God commanded me, so that you should do so in the land where you go to possess it. And you shall keep and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations... [Now remember, what was part of the covenant that God gave to Israel, that they would be what? A kingdom of priests! That means that Israel was to carry God's laws to the other nations so they would be able to live according to God's laws. So that's why the next statement here is:] ...your understanding in the sight of the nations, which shall hear all these statutes and say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people'" (vs 5-6). 'Oh, we want to be like you.' But we'll find the reverse occurred. The children of Israel said of the pagan ways, 'Oh, we want to be like you.'

"For what nation is so great whose God is so near to them, as the LORD our God is, whenever we call upon Him? And what great nation has statutes and judgments that are so righteous as all this law which I set before you today?" (vs 7-8). Now, if it were righteous, if it's good, if it's true, why wouldn't you want to keep it? And if you didn't want to keep it, what was it that kept you from keeping it? Which then will help answer the question today: What is it that we need, which comes from God, in order to keep the laws of God the way He desires?

Verse 9: "Only take heed to yourself and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things which your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. But teach them to your children, and your children's children, To remember the day that you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, 'Gather the people to Me, and I will make them hear My words so that they may learn to fear Me all the days that they live upon the earth, and they may teach their children'" (vs 9-10). No promise of eternal life!

Now what do we have in the New Testament, what is the promise of eternal life? John 3:16, 'For God so loved the world, He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life.' That also shows there are some conditions to it. Then He warns them about idolatry, and then chapter five we have a restating of the Ten Commandments.

Now Deut. 5 becomes very important. The people told Moses after they heard the Ten Commandments, 'Moses, you speak to God and let God speak to you, and then you tell us what God has said.' So we find that in Deuteronomy 5:27: "You go near and hear all that the LORD our God shall say. And you speak to us all that the LORD our God shall speak to you, and we will hear it, and do it"

And remember the covenant that we covered on Day 49 leading up to Pentecost—remember that? How that the covenant, Moses read all the words of the covenant to them? They said, 'All that the Lord has said we will do.' So they had the sacrificial animals for the covenant sacrifice. He took half the blood, he sprinkled it on the book of the law, and then the other half he sprinkled on the people. So the covenant was made. They said, 'We will do it.'

Now v 28: "And the LORD heard the voice of your words when you spoke to me. And the LORD said to me, 'I have heard the voice of the words of this people, which they have spoken to you. They have well said all that they have spoken." In other words, they're well intended. They mean well.

Just like your kids when you tell them, 'Oh, be sure and do this.' 'Yes, mommy, yes, daddy.' They go out and don't do it. They may have intended to do well, but they don't. Now notice this next statement here, because this is what you might say is the heart and core of the reason why there was no salvation through law. Never has been salvation through law this way.

Verse 29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them and with their children forever!" What was the problem? They didn't have the heart. They had good intentions, but not the heart. What kind of heart did they have? Well, God called them what? A stiff-necked people!—right? So what kind of heart did they have? If you're going to receive eternal life, there's got to be conversion in this life—correct? No law can make you converted. What does it take for conversion? We'll see a little later on, the Spirit of God. They weren't given the Spirit of God. So what kind of heart did they have?

  • Jeremiah 17:9: "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it."
  • Jeremiah 10:23: "…the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man who walks to direct his steps."
  • Proverbs 14:12: "There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof is the way of death"

Correct? Yes! And even when going against law, the carnal mind justifies it in such a way as to convince itself that it's still going to work out okay, one way or the other.

Deuteronomy 5:29: "Oh, that there were such a heart in them that they would fear Me and keep all My commandments always, so that it might be well with them." Never, never, never, was the law of God given as a curse. What was the curse of the law? The Law? No! The curse of the law was what? Transgression of the law! 'The wages of sin is death.'

Let's see what happened here even though he commanded them 'to love Me', and all this sort of thing. Let's come to the book of Judges, chapter two. Let's see what happened to the children of Israel. They got into the 'promised land,' they divided the land between the twelve tribes, they set up the tabernacle at Shiloh, Joshua was the one who led them in. Eliezer was the high priest, and then even with God helping them with the battle to conquer the land—and, of course there were many battles in it—they didn't do what God said. So because they didn't expel them and didn't get rid of the Canaanites as God had said:

 Judges 2:1: "And the angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, 'I made you go up out of Egypt, and I have brought you into the land which I swore to your fathers. And I said, "I will never break My covenant with you."

Let's understand something about covenant that we'll touch on a little later. A covenant is made as an agreement before the agreement is ratified. The covenant ratifies it. It's different than a testimony, or testament. Last will and testament you write it down, but it doesn't take place until you die, and you can change it any time you want to, even right up to the point of death. Covenant is entirely different. A covenant is made, there is a covenant sacrifice, and what happens is this: you pledge your death to make that covenant good, that if you break the terms of that covenant, you will die. They didn't keep the covenant here. God said, 'I will never break My covenant.' But what did He have in place of breaking it, in case the children of Israel broke it and were rebellious and didn't obey—what did God give? If they obeyed they received the blessings—correct? If they didn't obey, they received the cursings. You find that all summarized in Deut. 28.

Now here's part of these instructions, after He said: "...'I will never break My covenant with you. And you shall make no treaty with those who live in this land. You shall throw down their altars. But you have not obeyed My voice. What is this that you have done?' And I also said, 'I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'…. [Now no one likes to hear bad news, so look what happened]: …And it came to pass when the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. And they called the name of that place The Place of Weeping. And they sacrificed there to the LORD" (vs 1-5). Well, what happened was that God still said He would work with them, even in spite of it.

Notice how people are. They will follow a leader, and when the leader changes, different things happen. Verse 7: "And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD that He did for Israel. And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being a hundred and ten years old. And they buried him on the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in mount Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash. And also all that generation were gathered to their fathers…." (vs 7-10).

Now here's the key. Watch what happens, and we've seen this in how many generations—right? A new generation comes along, 'Oh, those old fogies in the old generation, they don't know anything.' They forget that we were kids once and grew up and all that sort of thing. It's like when we are children and see our parents, we cannot envision the time—lest we see a picture—of when they were infants. And because when children are born the parents are already older, they have no concept of it as they're growing up. So when this generation begins to mature and begins to think, then one of the things that they see—what's one of the first things that teenagers see in their parents?–their parents are not perfect, and they see what their parents do that's wrong. What does that do to human nature? Well, if they do that wrong, then I'm justified if I don't do it right. First thing. That's what happened here.

So he died and was buried. Verse 10: "And also all that generation were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD, nor even the works which He had done for Israel." Now this tells us two things—doesn't it?

  • The parents didn't teach them.

Had they done that, they would have known—yes?

  • If there was teaching, the kids didn't want to learn.

They had all of these Canaanites around them living within their borders, and, of course, they weren't fighting and warring with them all the time. They saw how they lived and they saw their gods and they saw the traditions that they had, and they saw the things that they did. They said to themselves, 'Well, this looks pretty good. Why does God condemn them for it? Look they have this feast and they have a wonderful time. Isn't that good?' Well, today, or down through the centuries, rather, and still done today, I saw a special on a Catholic priest down in the way back jungles of Peru. So he came to these natives, even today, and he taught them. He learned their language and taught them. Then he took their gods, right in front of their eyes and blessed them and renamed them with Catholic names. And they continued with the same ceremony and the same thing.

Well, here's this generation. 'Look, these people don't keep the Sabbath, but look how well they do. These people don't keep the Holy Days, but look how well they do. And by the way, they've got some very interesting quaint traditions.' Like we would call Halloween today, and Christmas, and Easter, and New Years, and all that sort of thing. And they have fun. So I'm just trying to put it in terms so that we can see what happened here, so that we will understand what is necessary for the New Covenant and what kind of obedience do we need and what do we need to obey. Obviously the human heart, human nature of and by itself cannot meet the requirements of the New Testament. That's why we find so many Protestants in particularly say, 'Well, no one can keep the commandments, so why keep them. They're done away.' So just like they do if there are too many crimes of a certain variety, they say, 'Okay, we'll no longer make this a crime,' and the crimes go away. No, they don't! You just change the name of it. That's the way human nature works.

So let's see what they did, v 11: "And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim." Now the 'im' on the end of that word Baal, means plurals. There were many gods. Baal is what? The sun-god! I've got some books, about ten of them coming, which are entitled, Too Long in the Sun, which are very good for entry-level people. So what were they doing? What day is the day of worship for the sun-god? Sunday. And lo and behold, when you really understand the truth of what went on in the Old Testament, the sin of Israel was Sunday worship. Now what do Sunday worshippers tell us today? 'Oh, it's a sin if you keep the Sabbath' –right? Everything's upside down again.

Verse 12: "And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, Who brought them out of the land of Egypt. And they followed other gods, even the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves to them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth…. [the female goddess] …And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hand of spoilers who spoiled them. And He sold them into the hand of their enemies all around, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies" (vs 12-14).

Now he did this in hopes that they would repent, and when they were in great distress they cried out to the Lord, v 16: "Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who spoiled them." And this is a summary of all the rest of the book of Judges. You read it. This judge did real well and they had peace for forty years and the children of Israel went after Baal and served Ashtaroth again. Over and over and over again was the cycle.

Let's bring this forward to today. Let's ask the question: Since they did not do that in keeping the covenant of God, and God said He would never, never break His covenant, how then did God end the Old Covenant? A covenant is a marriage agreement; marriage between Israel and God. They were the physical people. God would bless them with physical blessings. In order to end that covenant all of Israel would have to die or God would have to die. So this is why Christ came in the flesh, one of the reasons, not the only reason, but one of the reasons.

Now we read in Isa. 54 that the Lord is your husband. Now with that background, let's understand some difficult Scriptures here so we can understand what happened. It also tells us what we need to do, and Romans then tells us how God is working this out.

Let's come to Romans 8:7 first, so that we understand the human mind without the Spirit of God. That is essential to understand. "Because the carnal mind is enmity against God, for it 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). Yet, in the New Covenant we are to please God—right? So we have to have something from God to change that. That's the whole purpose of the New Covenant.

  • The Protestants have it all wrong—salvation with no law, you just be good.
  • The Jews have it all wrong—they rejected Christ.
  • The Catholics have it all wrong—they follow their traditions which have replaced the Word of God.

And none of them have asked the question: What did God do and now after what God has done, what does God require? We'll see.

Romans 7:1: "Are you ignorant, brethren... [He starts several places in the New Testament that way. 'What, don't you know?'] ...(for I am speaking to those who know law)... [to the Jews] ...that the law rules over a man for as long as time as he may live?" Isn't that true, all law. Laws that govern the earth, gravity, air, oxygen, food, getting along with one another, relationship with God, and so forth. But here he's talking now of the marriage law, and this becomes important because the Old Covenant was a marriage between Israel and the Lord. So he's bringing this out to show how God ended the covenant with Israel.

"For the woman who is married is bound by law to the husband as long as he is living; but if the husband should die, she is released from the law that bound her to the husband… [Simple to understand.] …So then, if she should marry another man as long as the husband is living, she shall be called an adulteress... [What did God call Israel? An adulteress! You read Ezek. 16. That'll blow your mind. He called her not only an adulteress, an unmitigated whore of the worst kind that she would pay her lovers instead of being like a normal whore of charging her customers. That's how bad she's gotten. Well nationally are we doing the same thing today? Yeah! As a nation? Yes!] ...but if the husband should die... [Now for Israel, who was the husband? The Lord God!—correct? That's another proof that the Lord God of the Old Covenant was the One Who became Jesus Christ, because He died.] ...but if the husband should die, she is free from the law that bound her to the husband..." (vs 2-3). I added in the italicized words because that's the sense of it. This does not mean free from all law.

Let's just use the example of a physical husband and wife. If the husband dies, is she free to break every law that there is? Of course not! So we're talking about the law of marriage, so she is free from the law that bound her to her husband. " that she is no longer an adulteress if she is married to another man" (v 3). Christ died! What does that do to a marriage when one dies? That frees the remaining mate, so that he or she can remarry—correct?

Now since Christ rose from the dead and He's living again, that makes Him free to marry the Church—doesn't it? Both are free in this particular case—right? The marriage covenant has ceased, not the laws, not the commandments, the covenant agreement to do the laws and commandments. The covenant of physical blessings in return for letter of the law obedience. That's come to an end. And we'll get into the rest. Let's finish this, because it's very important. Once we understand this principle and once we understand chapter seven and this part of it, then we are going to understand what we are to do with the New Covenant and how we are to keep the commandments of God and how God gives us the ability to do it that He never gave the children of Israel.

"In the same way, my brethren, you also were made dead to the marriage law of the Old Covenant by the body of Christ... [you mean His death] order for you to be married to another... [Because, see, it would have broken the covenant for them to engage in a covenant relationship with another god, so Christ had to die, or all Israel had to die. God being merciful and kind, and in order to carry out His prophecies and purpose for Israel, all Israel did not die—God died.] order for you to be married to another, Who was raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit to God" (v 4). What kind of fruit? We'll see that a little bit later. What are the fruits of the Spirit?

  • love
  • joy
  • peace
  • faith
  • hope
  • goodness
  • longsuffering
  • temperance
  • self control

Verse 5: "For as long as we were in the flesh..." What does in the flesh mean? Because you're still in the flesh. Cut myself, I'm going to bleed. You fall down and land on your face, you're going to have a scab, maybe even a scar, so we're still in the flesh.

Come back here to Romans 8:9, and it tells us. "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." So then the question becomes: How do you get the Spirit of God? Then you go back through the sermons, From God's Calling to Eternal Life. That'll tell you a lot about it.

Romans 7:5, again: "For as long as we were in the flesh... [That is without the Spirit of God.] ...the passions of sins, which were through the law... [because the law is the knowledge of sin] ...were working within our own members... [Now he's including himself.] bring forth fruit unto death." Because 'the wages of sin is death'—right? Isn't that true? Yes!

Now, v 6 becomes a very key important verse, which is completely misunderstood by the Protestants. "But now we have been released from the law... ['Hallelujah! We don't have to keep any more law.' That's not the context. What is the context? The marriage law!—right? You are released from the marriage law that bound you to the Old Covenant God Who was the One Who became Jesus Christ in order to die to make that possible.] ...But now we have been released from the law because we have died to that in which we were held... [Did Christ die? Yes, He did! What does he mean 'we have died to that in which we were held'? How do you die? You do die, though you still live!] ...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."

It's not which law, it is how to keep the law—in the letter or the spirit. Now let's answer the question: How did we die? "What then shall we say? Is the law sin?.... [the Protestants seem to think so. They call it a curse—right? And if it's a curse, then it's sin, isn't it? Yes, indeed!] ...MAY IT NEVER BE!... [you'll see throughout the New Testament, but especially in the book of Romans, MAY IT NEVER BE in capital letters, because the Greek there is 'me ginoito,' which means 'don't ever let this come into being.' May it never be.] ...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.'…. [Now who is writing this? Paul. What was Paul? A leading rabbi in Judaism. Did he know the law? Yes! Did he know it spiritually? No!] ...except that the law said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, having grasped an opportunity by the commandment, worked out within me every kind of lust because apart from law, sin was dead.... [If there is no law to state sin, there is no sin. 'For by the law is the knowledge of sin.' But notice he's explaining the spiritual consciousness of sin in this case.] ...For I was once alive without law; but after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died" (vs 7-9).

  • Where is it recorded that Paul died?
  • How did he die?
  • Was he resurrected from the dead?

Because he said, 'I died.'

  • How did he die?

Come back here to Romans 6, and we'll answer the question how did Paul die and he said here of those he said, that 'we died.'

  • How did you die?
  • Was he a dead man writing to dead people?

Sometimes it's good to ask the silly question, so that we understand what's going on.

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Now let's ask the question: How did Paul die, where he said, Romans 7:9: "For I was once alive without law... [Well, he always had law, but what does that mean? He was living in the what? In the flesh without the true knowledge of law! The letter of the law is not the true knowledge of the law. The spirit of law is the true knowledge of the law. The intent! ] ...but after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died…. [Now after the commandment came, that means after he understood the commandment] …sin revived and I died." He says he died.

Verse 6: "But now we have been released from the law... [That is the covenant marriage law.] ...because we have died..." Paul said, "I died" ( v 9) How did he die? It wasn't a physical death, he's not talking about a physical death.

Come over here to Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin... [That is break the law.] that grace may abound? MAY IT NEVER BE! We who died to sin... [How did you die to sin?] shall we live any longer therein?…. [No verse can bring as much understanding concerning how we're to keep the commandments of God. We died to sin, which is what? Transgression of the law!] …How shall we live any longer therein? Or are you ignorant that we... [we who died to sin ] many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death?" (vs 1-3). So we're talking about the death by baptism, not a physical death. That's why baptism cannot be sprinkling. It has to be complete immersion, because it is what? A covenant symbolic death! You're coming to God, you're accepting the sacrifice of Christ for the payment of your sins, His death. Now in order to enter into covenant with that, you die through baptism.

"Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death? Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death... [His death and your death. So what actually happens when you are baptized, you are pledging your symbolic death to keep the covenant. Now what happens if you don't? What death do you suffer then? A second death!] that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, in the same way, we also should walk in newness of life…. [A new way of living. What is that newness of life? That is, you receive the Spirit of God through on the laying on of hands after baptism.] …For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death... [That covenant death.] also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (vs 3-5).

That's why Paul wrote, 'We shall see Him as He is. He will transform our vile bodies to be made like His glorious body.' But the problem is this: Christ died when He was perfect. We die the baptismal death when we understand we are sinners and imperfect. That's why we come up out of the watery grave so that we can walk in newness of life. Jesus stated the goal, the goal of the New Covenant and how perfect we were to become, because when you're buried in the watery grave of baptism—you're what? You're declaring you're a sinner and God is through this covenant symbolic death, He is forgiving your sins through the sacrifice of Christ and then opening the way for relationship between Jesus Christ and God the Father and you, so you can become perfected. That's what it's all about.

Matthew 5:48: "'Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect.'" You're not going to do that if you're just in the flesh without the Spirit of God. How can that be? It cannot be done. So this is a spiritual requirement here. Paul is showing back here in Rom. 6 the spiritual requirement, and let's see the perfection that takes place step-by-step-by-step. And with this perfection, we're going to see in chapter seven—if we don't finish it today, we'll finish it with one more—that we are to overcome the sin within.

Romans 5:6: "For even when we were without strength, at the appointed time... [Passover day.] ...Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, although perhaps someone might have the courage even to die for a good man. But God commends His own love to us because, when we were still sinners, Christ died for us…. [Nothing like this in the Old Covenant, all animal sacrifice. There was no salvation given. Heb. 10 tells us there's no salvation through the animal sacrifices, only through Christ.] …Much more, therefore, having been justified now by His blood, we shall be saved..." (vs 6-9). Future! When does the final salvation come? At the resurrection!

  • When we've been baptized, we've been saved from our sins and Satan the devil.
  • If we stay in the Gospel, we are continuing to be saved.
  • Here is the third step of it, resurrection shall be saved.

Romans 6:5: "For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection. Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him... [The Greek there is 'sun,' [transcribers note: pronounced 'soon.'] means joined together, co-crucified. So we join the crucifixion of Christ, and He died for sin.] ...that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed... [Now that's important to understand, because it tells us that it is a process. Perfection takes time. Getting rid of sins a process.] ...that the body of sin might be destroyed, so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin" (vs 5-6).

Now notice carefully, it doesn't say you won't sin. It says you won't be enslaved to sin. That's why we have to pray every day for forgiveness. "Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin" (v 7). What kind of sin have we been justified from? All future sin as well? Most Protestants believe that.

Romans 3:23: "For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; but are being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.... [given to us, no charge, free.] ...Whom God has openly manifested to be a propitiation through faith in His blood... [Now what is a propitiation? A propitiation is a continuing mercy seat or a continuing source of mercy for forgiveness. It's not done all at once and everything—now you're perfect. No, it's a start!] ...propitiation through faith in His blood, in order to demonstrate His righteousness... [Which in this case, the righteousness is justification.] respect to the remission of sins that are past" (vs 23-25).

This is something we all need to understand clearly. Will we sin and goof up, maybe even tomorrow, maybe even tonight before we go to bed? Yes! So you're not perfect—are you? Perfection is what we're working for—correct? That won't be completed until the resurrection. So we have forgiveness of sin, that our sins that are past. Now I want you to think for a minute. What are you going to sin tomorrow? 'God, forgive me today, because tomorrow I'm going to murder this man.' No, you don't have forgiveness of future sin—why? There is no such thing as future sin eligible for forgiveness, because the future has not yet come and you have not yet sinned. So you don't get forgiveness for something you have not done.

When you sin in an instant of time, what do you have? It's a past sin immediately—right? So the only sins that are forgiven are the remission of sins that are past. Now the Catholics have a way around that to make a little money. They sell indulgences. The more you pay, you get an indulgence for future sin. In other words, forgiveness ahead of time. If you make a pilgrimage trip to the Vatican, you also get an indulgence. The more that you pay for that indulgence, the more you're going to have forgiven. And you find none of that in the Bible. Just like the priest told that man, he said, 'We don't use the Bible.'

"...sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; yes, to publicly declare His righteousness... [or justification, because that's what he's talking about here.] the present time, that He might be just... [And that's what the righteousness there means, justification.] ...and the one Who justified the one who is of the faith of Jesus" (vs 25-26). Past sins!

With this kind of forgiveness, then v 31 he asks and answers the question. "Are we, then, abolishing law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE! Rather, we are establishing law." And how do you establish law? That's where the Holy Spirit enters in, because as we read, the children of Israel did not have the heart. Why? Because they didn't receive the Holy Spirit! Why? Because God never gave it! That's why He never promised eternal life to them. But in exchange for letter of the law obedience, He blessed them in the land. Now that's why in America we're suffering through what we're suffering through, because so many people are sinning, just absolutely heinously against God. And we claim God gave us this country. God bless America. We put God in the constitution. The national constitution, and all state constitutions say, 'The Lord God Almighty.' And what do we do?

  • fill the land with sin
  • fill it with abortion
  • fill it with murder
  • fill it with thievery
  • fill it with corporate theft
  • with government stealing

—and everything. Like I've mentioned many times, the reason we have the President we have is because that's what God said we deserve, because of how we've treated Him. So that's why the same thing the children of Israel went through—right? And these are the children of Israel today—right? They turn their back on God and then they come and have a religion and say, 'Oh, just believe and everything is fine.' No, you have to believe and then you have to work. Those are spiritual works.

Now let's come back to Romans 6:6 and see it here: "Knowing this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him in order that the body of sin might be destroyed... [a process] that we might no longer be enslaved to sin... [a process] ...Because the one who died... [in the watery grave] sin has been justified from sin. 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. For when He died, He died unto sin once for all; but in that He lives, He lives unto God. In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin... [That's what Paul meant when he said, 'I died.' In other words, he had the conviction of what sin really was. Then you are buried in the covenant death, we die to sin, our purpose now is to go forward and be perfected.] ...indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord.... [This is very profound and interesting]: ...Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof" (vs 11-12).

What does this tell us? There's still a battle against sin—right? Isn't that true? Yes! Because, as we will see, and we'll cover that in the next one, because I want everyone to really understand, how the law is established and how we are to keep it.

Verse 13—notice how this comes right along with what we've been saying. "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin... [Showing that they could do that, couldn't they? Yes!] ...rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead... [from the watery grave of baptism] ...and your members as instruments of righteousness to God…. [Now if you're doing that and warring against the sin and overcoming the sin, notice what he says here. This is the thing]: …For sin... [That is under these conditions we just described.] ...shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace."

Everyone loves to go to v 14 in Protestant-land and say, 'See, you're not under law and if you keep law, you're under law.' Then how do we yield ourselves to righteousness which is law? What does this mean? What are we talking about all the way through here? We're talking about justification through Christ for our sins, which is grace—correct? Yes! That's what we're talking about here.

How, and notice, v 14, 'under law,' is not 'under the law,' because 'the' is not there in the Greek. Under law for justification. Did they have laws for justification in the Old Covenant? Yes! What were they? Animal sacrifices! What did Judaism have? They had laws for justification! What was the problem in the first century? It was between Judaism and the Law of God! So you're not under law; i.e., the sacrifices of the Old Covenant. And you're not under law; i.e., the laws of Judaism; but you're under grace and grace comes from God. With the Spirit of God that's how sin will not rule over you.

Verse 15: "What then? Shall we sin... [transgress the Law of God or shall we sin by professing that the law has been abolished? No! When Paul said 'through the operation of forgiveness and justification by grace, we establish law.'] ...Shall we sin because we are not under law, but under grace? MAY IT NEVER BE!"

Scriptural References:

  • Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 5-10
  • Deuteronomy 5:27-29
  • Jeremiah 17:9
  • Jeremiah 10:23
  • Proverbs 14:12
  • Deuteronomy 5:29
  • Judges 2:1-5, 12-14, 16
  • Romans 8:7-8
  • Romans 7:1-5
  • Romans 8:9
  • Romans 7:5-9, 6
  • Romans 6:1-5
  • Matthew 5:48
  • Romans 5:6-9
  • Romans 6:5-7
  • Romans 3:23-26, 31
  • Romans 6:6-15

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • John 3:16
  • Deuteronomy 28
  • Isaiah 54
  • Ezekiel 16
  • Hebrews 10

Also referenced:

Sermon: From God's Calling to Eternal Life

Book: Too Long in the Sun by Richard Rives

Transcribed: 7-1-10
Formatted: bo—7-6-10