Grace is a Gift | Grace of God Series #5

by Fred R. Coulter—February 23, 1985

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Here's a little chart that I’ve put up on the board which will help us understand a little bit more about the New Testament and New Covenant, and the grace that we need.  But first of all let’s go to Ephesians 2.  And this is a key verse, a key section which will help us to understand about the relationship of ancient Israel to God, and that is the key to understanding the difference between the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Here is a verse, once again, that you read along, you go over and you just pass right by it and it really doesn’t tell us… No, it does tell us what we need to know but we don’t get out of it what we need to know because we’re not thinking in the terms that we really ought to.

Right here let’s begin in verse 11.  He gets done showing about grace, verses 4-10 and then he says, “Wherefore remember that you were once the Gentiles [or in the past time you were once the nations in the flesh], who are called uncircumcision by that called circumcision in the flesh made by hand and that you were at that time apart from Christ…” (Eph. 3:11-12, Berry’s Greek Interlinear, paraphrased).  Now I want you to circle that word if you have your interlinear because we will see this word again when we come to Romans 3.  Now apart means “separate from”, “apart from”.  It doesn’t mean that Christ was not there.  Christ was there but they were not called to Christ.  They were not brought to God.  They were separate from God because God gave the Gentiles over to what?  Over to their own devices, over to their own gods and everything.  Why?  Because God chose of all the nations only Israel.  And God only worked through Israel directly.  And when they would go into captivity then God would work from time to time in a secondary manner with the other nations like Babylon and King Nebuchadnezzar.  Like when He brought the Assyrians to take away the northern 10 tribes, then He worked with then only as much as to fulfill His will, but He never went to another nation directly to deal with them as He did the Israelites.

Why would that be so?  The reason it is so is because the Old Covenant was also a marriage covenant.  And for God to go to another nation and deal with them as He did with Israel would be on God’s part committing spiritual adultery.  So that is why He gave them a bill of divorcement and sent them away into captivity.  But He did not marry another, or enter into a covenant relationship with any other nation.  That’s why in Romans 7 it says concerning the marriage covenant, that Christ died, therefore releasing that Old Covenant so that the New Covenant could be established.

So the Gentiles were apart from Christ.  Now notice, “…alienated from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope [or that is hope not having], and without God in the world…”  You’re either with the true God or you are without the true God.  One or the other.  You can’t really be half way in-between.  I mean there are many categories in the world that are somewhat half way in-between but you can’t be half way in-between as far as God’s relationship is concerned.  Either you are or you aren’t.  “…But now in Christ, you who were once afar off…”  Now notice far off.  That’s a key thing that we want to cover.  You might want to emphasize that.  “…Are become near by the blood of Christ.  For He is our peace, Who has made both one, and the middle wall of the fence [or partition] has been broken down [or torn down] and the enmity contained in the decrees and the laws of commandments He annulled in His flesh, that the two…”  Now the enmity contained in decrees and commandments and laws were not the Old Testament because those are good laws.  Paul called it Holy, spiritual and good.  These were the religious laws of the Jews on the one hand, and the religions of the Gentiles on the other hand.  They had religions.  They {garbled} what they thought was God, but they were alienated from the true God.  They were without God in the world.  “…That He might make of the two one new man, making peace; and might reconcile both into one body to God through the cross, having slain the enmity by it; and having come He preached the gospel of peace [or announced the glad tidings of peace] to you who were afar off and to those who were near” (vs. 12-17).  Who were the ones who were near?  Israel is the one who was near.  They did not have a relationship with God that we can have under the New Covenant but they were closer to God.  The Gentiles were far off, they were removed.  “…Peace to you who were afar off and to those who are near.  And that through Him we have access by one Spirit to the Father.”  A complete different arrangement.  “So that you are no longer strangers and sojourners, but fellow-citizens of the saints and of the household of God…” (vs. 17-19).

Now, let’s go back to Deuteronomy 4, and let’s see from the very words of God how He says that He would be near to them, that He would be their God.  Let’s begin in verse 6.  “Keep therefore and do them [that is the commandments, statutes, and judgments of God]; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations…”  Now that’s all the rest of the Gentiles, who were what?  Far removed from God.  “…In the sight of the nations which shall hear all these statutes, and say, Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.”  Now notice verse 7.  “For what nation is there so great, who hath God so nigh unto them…”  Now the closest one to fulfill that was the Queen of Sheba.  She came and saw Solomon, and she said exactly those words.  “This is a great nation, a great God…”  And tradition has it that she went back to her country and she supposedly built a temple much like the one that Solomon had build.  And she commanded her people to worship the true God, and I think we have some of the remnants today in the Ethiopians, who are supposed to be Christians and they claim that they are descendants of the Queen of Sheba, especially the house of the Emperor Heile Selasie.  He called himself of the lion of the tribe of Judah, is what he used to call himself.  Never the less, that’s what their relationship was.  They were near to God.  We’re going to see several things as to why grace is needed in relationship to this.  “…Who hath God so nigh unto them, as the LORD our God is in all things that we call upon Him for?  And what nation is there so great, that hath statutes and judgments so righteous as all this law, which I set before you this day?” (Deut. 4:6-8, King James).  So there was a righteousness of the law.  Now where the religionists became all out of place on this was when they created their own traditions and commandments, as the Pharisees did, which what?  They rejected the commandments of God that they could keep their own traditions.

Now, let’s look at the chart that I’ve drawn up here on the chalkboard.  It has a white background but we can use these wipe-off type of things.  Now, under the Old Covenant I’ve put in the middle on each side of the Old Covenant / New Covenant, put Abraham Covenant.  Because this is referred to in Romans 4, and it’s referred to in Galatians 3, that if you be Christ’s, then what?  Are you Abraham’s seed and heirs according to the promise.  And the Abrahamic Covenant was given when?  Before he was circumcised.  So there were actually two covenants that were given with Abraham.  One, before his circumcision.  The next one at the time of his circumcision, coming up and leading to the time then when Israel would be called as a nation out of Egypt.

Under the Old Covenant with Israel, here is the order of events.  You have God, and then angels would intercede for Israel with God.  You had the laws and commandments, and you had the temple, the high priest, the sacrifices and there was no promise of eternal life.  It was justification to the temple, and the temple and nation to God.  That’s why they were near to God.

Now in the New Covenant, we have something better.  We don’t get near to God.  That is why the Old Covenant could not do what the New Covenant was supposed to do.  The Old Covenant was not designed to bring eternal life.  The Old Covenant was designed to bring them near to God.  And as it says in Galatians 3, that the law was to lead them to Christ.  Why?  Because you could see with the Old Covenant that there were certain limitations that couldn’t be overcome.  And the main limitation was it could not open the way to have direct connection with God.  They were brought near to God, but in the New Covenant then, we have direct connection with God the Father.

How do we have that direct connection with God the Father in the New Covenant?  With His Holy Spirit.  See they were near.  The Gentiles were cut off.  In other words it was true, God just cut them off.  They were cut off - nothing to do with God.  The more you study about some of these nations and things, the more you really understand that that was so.  Now they had good and evil mixed in their society, and as Paul said that the Gentiles which had not the law when they do the things contained in the law are a law unto themselves.  So, they did not have direct access to God.

Now, we have direct access to God the Father through Jesus Christ, and He is our sacrifice and our High Priest.  And He is also the mediator of the New Covenant.  In the Old Covenant the angels were the mediators.  God only put His presence in the temple and the holy of holies one day a year, on the Day of Atonement.  Here we have the presence of God in us every day with His Holy Spirit.  Quite a different thing.  We have the promise of eternal life and that necessitates grace.  And the reason you need grace is because the things in the Old Covenant, though they were good, though they were holy, though they were righteous, could not bring eternal life.  It wasn’t designed to bring eternal life because even though they were near to God, and they had indirect access to God, we have direct access to God through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.  So it takes something more than was with the Old Covenant.  That’s why we need grace.  And that as Jesus said, “Keep My commandments.”  So in the Old Covenant when they were justified to the temple, and the temple and the nation to God, in the New Covenant we’re justified before God the Father in heaven, receive the Holy Spirit, and instead of a physical temple, we are the spiritual temple here on earth because we have God’s Spirit in us.

The temple, as you will read under the Old Covenant in Exodus 25:8 or 9, that He built the tabernacle so He could dwell among them.  They would have been a whole lot closer to God had they not sinned when He was giving the Ten Commandments.  When they sinned then God removed Himself yet one step further from them.  And that’s why we have the high priest going in once a year.

Now it is completely different, as far as our relationship to God.  In the Old Covenant, even they could pray at the time when they were praying.  You know, it’s not saying that God would not hear their prayers, or answer their prayers, but God was not directly involved in their life in creating in them that which is going to be for eternal life.  There is another flaw, that we will see here in just a minute in the whole relationship of man with God and that’s why we need the grace of God to compensate for that.  We’ll see that here in just a little bit.

Let me use another analogy.  If you have an imported Japanese, or foreign car, it is not designed to do the work of a bulldozer.  So if you put a blade on the front of that little car to do the work of a bulldozer what would happen?  You’d soon smash it up.  It would all wreck up, see.  Nor is the bulldozer designed to go 60 m.p.h. or more, down the highway.  I mean what would happen to the highway and the bulldozer if someone got that up and going 60 m.p.h. down the road.  It would just chew it all up.  Well that, in a sense, is a good analogy that the Old Covenant was not designed to give life.  Or if there was a law which could give life, verily, justification would have been by a law.  But there is the grace of God, and the forgiveness of sin, which then makes it possible to have that relationship with God.  And it’s not just near to God, it is that God is in you, and that’s a whole totally different relationship.

Now let’s go on and see why we need eternal life.  I mean we need grace in relationship to eternal life.  Let’s go to Romans 3.  Now, I will just refer you to the series on the book of Romans.  I’m not going to go through in quite as much detail this particular time, as I did then, but we’re going to pick it up here in verse 9.

Now you would have to conclude that if you were an Israelite and you were near to God, you would conclude that you would be in a better relationship than the Gentiles who were cut off and far from God.  But not according to the New Covenant.  Because the New Covenant requires something else.  That’s why he says in verse 9, “What then?  Are we better [that is than the Gentiles]?  Not at all:  for we before charged both Jews and Greeks all [are] under sin [that is, being with sin] according as it has been written,  There is not one righteous, not even one…” (Rom. 3:9-10, BGI, paraphrased).

Now under the Old Covenant, what did Paul say his relationship with God was?  Blameless.  He said in Philippians 3, the righteousness which is of the law, blameless.  What did it say of Zachariah and Elisabeth, the mother and father of John the Baptist?  They were blameless.  Why?  Because their attitude was right.  They were near to God.  And they were keeping the commandments that were there.  So as far as the Old Covenant was concerned they were blameless, but were they without sin?  No.  Could not be. And the Old Covenant was not designed to counterbalance and give the Holy Spirit to counterbalance the human nature and the law of sin and death, as we will see.

So they’re all under sin, “…as it has been written,  There is not one righteous, not even one: there is not [one] that understands, there is not [one] that seeks after God [that’s in the spiritual sense we’re talking about].  All did go out of the way, together they became unprofitable; there is not [one] practicing kindness…”  Now notice that is a derivative of grace.  This is charise too teta. It’s kind of an awkward pronunciation.  Sounds almost a like a little bit like you’re talking about potatoes there. But it is a derivative of grace.  “…There is not so much as one.  Their throat is an opened sepulchre…” (vs. 11-13).  And this is exactly what happens.

I was talking with a man who was in charge of something called “Help Yourself Real Estate”.  And he just opened an office in Gilroy, and he was telling me that the realtors, once they come in contact with them because they sell for a flat fee of $2450, and they help you sell.  In other words if you’re going to show your house they just give you the names and telephone number and you and the people work it out and they come and look at your home and then you pay them only $2450.  Well you know what this does to the realtors.  That wipes them out because normally they’re used to 6% or 3% and no less than 1 ½% if they have a three way split.  So what happens first of all, the realtors ignore them.  Then they start bad-mouthing them, and then they start actively working against them.

Well, he just opened his office in Gilroy.  He got new desks, new furniture, a new phone system, and all ready to go and he leased out an office that used to be a jewelry store.  So he thought everything was going to be fine and safe, but someone threw a Molotove cocktail through the window and burned out the inside of it and ruined all his new furniture, his phone system and everything, and he didn’t take out any fire insurance so he is down the tube with it.

Now these are probably, whoever did it, a good upstanding person who probably belongs to one of the civic clubs, who probably goes to church on Sunday.  And you can find out how quickly the bitterness and the stinging tongue will come when you bring up about the commandments of God and the Sabbath. Boy they can be so nice and then just turn an evil face to you right away.  And that’s showing exactly how human nature is.  That’s just the way it is.  “The poison of asps is under their tongues” (vs. 13).  I can prove that very quickly because if what is on these three tapes concerning homosexuality were played on one of the stations up there in San Francisco, they would almost have a war going on right during the time the guy was speaking.  You know they would.  It just shows and reveals human nature.  That’s the way that human nature is.

“Of whom the mouth is full of cursing and full of bitterness; their feet are  swift to shed blood; ruin and misery are in their ways…”  And I submit look at Lebanon, look at Southeast Asia, look at Nicaragua, look at Chili, look at South Africa.  “…And a way of peace they know not…”  And they’re always seeking peace, aren’t they?  They’re always talking about peace, aren’t they.  They don’t know the way.  “…There is no fear of God before their eyes.  Now we know that whatsoever the law says, to those in the law it speaks…” (vs. 14-19).  Now that’s virtually everyone because no one is exempt from the laws of God.  Although this is directly talking about those who are within the Old Covenant.

But notice what it says here, “…that every mouth may be stopped, and that all the world may be under judgment to God.”  Now that’s all the world.  That’s not just Israel, that’s all the world, see.  “Wherefore by works of law there shall not be any flesh be justified before Him…”  Now that means, in His presence.  They can be justified to the temple.  And because of the angels that were at the temple, the temple to God.  But from works of law no flesh can be justified in the presence of God.  Why?  Because, as we will see, they still have the law of sin and death in them and it takes something more than what we can do.  It takes something only what God can do.  For here’s what law does…  “…for through law [is] the knowledge of sin” (vs. 19-20).  That is the function of law.  Is it still the function of law today to show what sin is?  Yes.  The function of law is to bring the knowledge of sin to show what sin is.  Then what does God determine that the penalty of the law is?   The wages of sin is death. 

“But now apart from law [or that is separate from law, or separate and in addition to the law, is what he’s talking about] the righteousness of God…”  Because in order to receive eternal life you need the righteousness of God.  And that can only be given to you.  That can only be imputed to you.  Or that is, that can only be given to you in the way of Christ and the grace of God.  It can’t come any other way.  Why can’t it come any other way?  Because God determined that’s the only way it’s going to come.  We have to have the righteousness of God in order to have eternal life.

“Now, separate from law…”  You will notice it is not “the law”.  In the Greek there is no definite article.  That’s important.  “…The righteousness of God has been manifest, being borne witness to by the law and the prophets: even the righteousness of God through faith of Jesus Christ towards all and upon all those that believe, there is no difference…” (vs. 21-22).  Now you see, God is not just working through the nation of Israel alone.  And this is what has angered the Jews so much.

Now I’ve been reading a book understanding the difficult sayings of Jesus.  It is a pretty good book, and the premise of the whole thing is that, Matthew especially, perhaps Mark, maybe perhaps some of the things that Luke had, were originally written in Hebrew but translated to Greek, not Aramaic.  The sacred-namer’s say that it’s in Aramaic, but it’s not Aramaic.   And it helps understand a few difficult things in Matthew, and so forth, because it helps clarify it.  But he has missed the whole point.  Now the people who are doing this is the center of the foundation for Judo-Christian understanding.  The reason he is missing a very important point is this:  there are no extant text of the New Testament in Hebrew anywhere.  I mean not even copies.  Meaning, we have copies of Greek manuscripts, and in certain cases it’s obvious that it was translated from the Hebrew because it’s very similar to what the Septuagint was, which was translated from the Hebrew into Greek.  But because of the hatred that the Jews had for the Gentiles, hatred, therefore when God began dealing with the Gentiles, what happened?

Remember when the apostle Paul came back to Jerusalem and they found out he was there.  They went to kill him.  And then he was arrested.  He said to the officer, “Now let me talk to the mob out here and see if I can calm them down a little bit.”  So he came out on the balcony and he started talking in what?  He started talking in Hebrew, and they were all quiet.  Remember what happened when he mentioned the name Gentiles?  Now this was before the destruction of Jerusalem.  They went into a wild frenzy.  And they were ready to take Paul and dismember him.  So what happened?  The captain of the guard had to throw him in the clink that night, keep everybody away and then they snuck out at midnight taking Paul down to Caesarea.

Now, the authors of this book are Bevan and Blizzard. Blizzard is quite knowledgeable.  And they missed the whole point of how much the Jews have hated Jesus Christ.  And he says we ought to go through all of the writings of the Rabbis and that will help us understand the New Testament.  And I say, absolutely not.  Maybe from a linguistic point of view it could.  But since the Jews hated Jesus so much, guess what they have in their Talmud, in their Mishna’s?  They have sayings very similar to what Jesus taught about being nice and being good, so you have the counterfeit over here.  But God cut off and rejected and sent the Jews away because they did not receive Jesus Christ.  And even in the New Testament Church there was a problem between the Jews and the Gentiles, between circumcision and uncircumcision.  So in going through the book I can see exactly what will happen to that foundation.  The Jews are going to get in there and destroy the truth about Jesus Christ because that has been their goal for 1900 years, and until God calls them that is still going to be their goal - anyway they’re going to do it.  And they can do it nicely.  They do it nicely today.  I’ve heard Jews on talk shows say, “Well, Jesus was a good man.  Yes, we recognize that He was a prophet like other prophets.”  But that destroys the divinity of Jesus Christ.  And until God opens the minds of the Jews they are still going to be at loggerheads with this: that God has made no difference between Jew and Gentile in relationship to coming before God in the New Covenant.  And that’s the whole basis of the problem, and it’s 1900 years old.

So he said, “There is no difference for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God…” (vs. 23).   That is all Jews, all Israelites, all Gentiles.  “…Being justified gratuitously by His grace…”  Now it is God’s grace and goodness, His love and forbearance that He forgives our sins, which makes us justified to God.  “…Through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus…”  Notice it’s being justified freely by His grace.  There it is charite, if you want to circle the word charise, in this case it’s charite.  “…Whom God has set forth a mercy seat through faith in His blood…” (vs. 24-25).  That is in the blood of Jesus Christ, because even though they had sacrifices under the Old Covenant, what does the book of Hebrews tell us?  The blood of bulls and goats cannot take away sin.  And who do you sin against?  You sin against God.  So what takes away the sin before God?  The blood of Jesus Christ.  What took away the sin before the temple?  The blood of animals.  That’s why they were near to God.  They could not be brought into the presence of God.

“…Faith in His blood, for a showing forth of His righteousness, in the respect of the passing by the of the sins that have taken place before.”  And of course as we know there is no such thing as future sin, although sin will occur in the future because it is not yet done.  Do you understand what I mean?  It’s like this ad for the Datsun or Nissan GX300.  This policeman comes up and here’s this thing parked on the road. And he looks at, and here it is bright red.  And they get the lights on it and he looks at it and they play this music, and he looks inside, and walks around it.  He pulled up behind in his motorcycle.  So then it shows him standing there writing out a ticket.  So the owner comes out and says, “What are you doing?”  He tears the ticket out and gives it to him and says, “This is for speeding.”  Now it never went anyplace.  Now what would happen when he’d go to court?  That would not be a sin because he did not do it.  But if he did speed and got caught, he did it.  And when he got caught it was in the past tense.  So all sin is in the past tense, because it is an action and a thought that you do now.  I mean who knows what we’ll think tomorrow, I mean for good or for bad.  Now I have yard work to do tomorrow.  Lots of yard work to do.  So by 12 o’clock tomorrow afternoon, or 2 o’clock in the afternoon when it’s hot, I don’t really know what my future attitude is going to be.  Especially, we have more trouble with rotten hoses.  You know, you haven’t used them all summer.  You go out there and hook them up to run water and the end falls off because you buy this $3.98 hose, 50 feet.

I went out this morning just to turn it on, just to let the water run, you know. You aren’t breaking the Sabbath if you water your lawn.  So I went out there and the hose fell apart on me.  So I had one of these handy-dandy little quick fix-it’s, so I put it on and I didn’t realize it but I made both ends the same.  (Laughter)  Instead of one being one way and one being the other way.  So I though, “Oh no.  Boy, that’ll teach me to do that on the Sabbath.”  Now I didn’t know I was going to do that.  I did not know that I was going to get up this morning and run out there and say, “God I’m out and I’m going to fix this hose, and we are going to water the lawn.”  No, I just said, hey, well it’s a little dry, and since Jonathan has to stay home and watch the dog today, I’ll let him move the hose around.  I went out and turned it on and we ended up with all this total disaster over just a dinky rotten hose, see.  So it’s the same way that happens.  My wife is laughing because she saw it.  You know, go out there and screw it in and you’re looking, one piece is in one hand, the other piece is in the other hand.  She told me to be careful.   I didn’t know how careful.

So anyway, it’s the same way with our relationship with God.  That’s why we’re told in the prayer that we are to ask for forgiveness of our sins every day because every day there are sins that we will do.  Either sins of mental temptation, of or sins of omission, or commission and God is not giving us a blanket thing for the entire future, as we will see a little later on.  So it is “…of the sins that are past in the forbearance of God for the showing forth of His righteousness in the present time, for His being just and justifying him that is of the faith of Jesus Christ” (vs. 25-26).  Now when we come down to the Passover time, which will probably in two or three weeks, then I’m going to give a sermon showing why the sacrifice of Christ is what we remember, and why that is so very important.  But if we have the faith that Christ is the only One, where it said, “I am the way, I am the truth, and I am the life…” , then if we believe that then God gives us His grace, and He gives us that gift of grace which is His righteousness.  Because if God is going to give us eternal life, that is the only righteousness that will qualify for it.  Isn’t that correct?

“Where then is boasting?”  Cause the Jews can’t say, “Well, we’ve had a religion now for over 3500 years. We’re near to God.”  The Gentile can say, “Well, so be it, but I have God’s Spirit to  have direct access to God.  And that’s because of God’s calling, not because I’m great or because I’m better than you, but because of what God has done.”

It says, “It is excluded.  Through what law?  Of works?  No, but through a law of faith” (vs. 27).  Every time I read that it really is kind of mind-boggling because if faith is opposite of law, how can you have a law of faith?  Well, the law of faith means that there is a certain set way that God has ordained that faith is going to work.  And it’s based on belief and the attitude.  And it’s based upon what God has done.  Remember, Jesus said that if any come some other way, they are a thief and robbers.  So it is a law of faith.  “Therefore we reckon [or, we calculate through this] that a man is justified by faith…”  Faith in what?  In Jesus Christ.  Faith in God the Father.  Faith in His sacrifice.  Faith in what He has done separate and apart from works of law.  Now, “Is He a God of the Jews only, and not  also of the Gentiles?  Yes, also of the Gentiles since indeed one God it is Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumision through faith” (vs. 28-30).  And that’s just a play on words.  Either by faith or through faith, it means exactly the same thing.  That’s why he used two different words.  It’s a play on words.

“Do we then make void [or make of no effect] law through faith?”  Now notice this next statement , “May it not be!”  The Greek here is me.  Those are the first two letters.  Then genoito comes from the word, as we saw there concerning begotten, and this is the same word that is used for created.  Hold your place here and let’s go to John 1:3.  It says, “For through Him all things came into being…”  Now notice the word “came into being”.  It is ageneto.  Now that is the past tense of “coming into being”.  This is “came into being”, ageneto.  So when you come back here to me genoito, it is the same word and it really means “Don’t ever let that thought come into your mind”, or “Don’t ever let that come into existence”, that kind of thinking.  It’s the same root word.  Don’t let it ever come into existence.  It says, “May it not be.”  The King James says, “God forbid”, but that’s a complete mistranslation there.  It means, “May it never be.”  And in this case, “May that thought never come into existence.  But we establish law” (vs. 31).

Now why do we establish law?  Because through the process of repentance, the receiving of God’s Holy Spirit, coupled with the grace of God and the keeping of the commandments of God, we want to keep the commandments of God.  So we establish it because it becomes a part of us.  When it becomes a part of us, that’s the best way to establish law.  Just like with our children.  When it becomes a part of them, that they automatically do the things that we’ve been trying to teach them all their lives, boy that’s fine.  We don’t have to go around and say do this, do that, do the other thing, don’t do this, don’t do that, don’t do the other thing.  It establishes it, and that’s what we’re trying to do in teaching, isn’t it?  We’re trying to establish it in them so they will do it.  So likewise with God.  That’s why He says that, “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel, and the house of Judah after those days.  I will put My laws into their minds, and My commandments into their hearts.”  And as we will see a little later in the Greek, it means to write them in the tablets of their heart.  Now, the Old Covenant was what?  He wrote them on tablets of stone.  And they were always to what?  Have the Ten Commandments written and placed at the door post when they would come in, so they could see it when they come in and when they go out.  And the orthodox Jews still do it today.

Now when I was pastoring down in Torrence and Santa Monica, Santa Monica area reached up into the Hollywood area.  And when I would go visit in the Jewish areas I could tell who was a Jew and who was a Catholic.  Catholics make sure they know they’re Catholic.  They put a little cross right up to the left side of their door.  And the Jews put a little…well it doesn’t really look like a McDonald’s thing, but that’s  the way it looked, only it has the Ten Commandments written on it and it’s supposed to be the two plates.  Even the Jews to this day do that.  They put this little thing, that it is the Torah, and they have the Ten Commandments written on them.  Now, we have it where then, we establish law because it is in our hearts and our minds, and our inward parts.  In other words, we’re not seeking an opportunity to sin, hoping we won’t get caught.  That is a work of law.  We are seeking an opportunity not to sin.  So if a temptation comes along, rather than saying, “Oh well, no one’s around, I’ll do it.”  We avoid it completely.  We get away from it completely.  Totally different approach.  One is carnal, one is spiritual.

Now, chapter 4, we won’t go through all of chapter 4 but let’s come down to verse 15.  It says, “For the law works out wrath…”  Now why can the law, because it’s holy, and spiritual, and just, and good, as Paul said in Romans 7, why does it work out wrath?  Because every time you break the law there is a penalty required.  And what is the penalty?  The wages of sin is death.  So the law works out wrath.  “…Wherefore, where there is no law there is no transgression.”  Why?  Because we saw the law gives us what?  The knowledge of sin.  Wherefore by the law is the knowledge of sin.  The wages of sin is death.  “Wherefore the law works out wrath, the wages of sin is death.  And where there is no law there is no transgression.”  So this is where you come into a catch-22.  The law tells us what sin is, and we are to what?  Repent of our sins.  If we are to repent of our sins and accept the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, we are brought into the relationship of grace with God and we establish law.

Now, the Protestants say, “We do away with law altogether.”  Then what do you have?  If you do away with law altogether, which is ridiculous.  It’s like walking in and saying, “I cancel the law of gravity.”  But everybody’s still sitting in their chair.  You know, they’re not up floating around.  You can’t cancel the law of gravity.  You can’t cancel the laws of God.  What happens when a person makes a proclamation that you have no laws that you have to…then you have no definition of sin.  Then what happens?  They go back and they establish their own righteousness.  “Well, yeah, murder is sin.  Well, we do need to honor mother and father.”

Part 2

…at 100 years old it would be impossible for him, of his own, to engender children, let alone the difficulty or the deadness of the womb of Sarah.  So he had to say, “Yes Lord, Your word is true.  I believe what you say.”  So when God says He forgives your sins, then we believe what He says.  If he says, “I am going to give you eternal life, if you believe in Jesus Christ.” (And Jesus said, “Keep My commandments.”)  And He says, “This is a gift that I give to you.  It is a free gift based upon belief.  You don’t have to climb Mt. Everest.  You don’t have to do so many Hail Mary’s and Our Father’s.  You don’t have to build buildings.  You don’t have to make statues or idols.  You believe what I said.”  Now you’re not any more capable of giving yourself eternal life than Abraham was in engendering Isaac.  So then in the same way, if we believe God in what He says, He will fulfill what He says.  Now that’s why grace is so fantastic.  Because the only way this can come is through grace.

“He didn’t doubt to unbelief, but being strengthened in faith giving glory to God, and being fully assured that what He had promised He is able also to do it” (vs. 20-21).  Now notice the word “able”.  It is dunatos, which is derived from the word dunamis, which means He has the power to do it.  And God has the power to perform what He has promised.  “Wherefore it was also reckoned to him for righteousness.”  Because see, when you believe God, God then imparts to you His righteousness to overcome and compensate for our own sins and weaknesses.  Because we cannot be spiritually righteous before God on our own.  “…Reckoned to him for righteousness.  And this was not written only on account of him that it was reckoned, but also on account of us to whom it is about to be reckoned, to those that believe on Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from among the dead, Who was delivered for our offences [and we’re going to see the depth of why He was delivered for our offences], and was raised for our justification” (vs. 22-24).  In other words He had to be raised to go before God the Father, and to have that sacrifice accepted before there was justification.

Now, chapter 5, verse 1.  “Having been justified therefore by faith, peace we have toward God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through Whom we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand…” Now we’re getting into that direct access to God the Father.  “…And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.”  Rather than how good we are and what righteousness we can do, we boast in God and what He can do.  “Not only so. But we also boast in tribulations and knowing that tribulations works out endurance, and endurance proof…”, and I went through this last week, I believe, “…and proof hope, and hope does not make ashamed, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit which is given to us.  For when we were still being without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For hardly for a just man will one die; and on behalf of a good man…” And so even in the flesh you can talk about good people as people view people.  A good person in the world is still a sinner before God.  “…Perhaps someone might even dare to die; but God commends His own love to us that while we were being sinners Christ died for us.  Much more, therefore, having been justified now by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath by His life.”  That is we shall be saved by Him from wrath.  “For if we, being enemies, were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more having been reconciled we shall be saved by His life.  And not only so but also boasting in God through our Lord Jesus Christ through Who we now have received the reconciliation [it says in the King James, the atonement]” (Rom. 5:1-11).

Now verse 12, and this comes to show us why then we need the grace of God, and why only God can give it to us.  Now, let me just draw another little thing here on the board.  As we have our little diagram that I drew before, here is God, and here is Israel, and they were close to God.  They didn’t have direct access to God.  And on a personal basis, even though they were near to God, they were still cut off from God, spiritually, because they sinned.  So here are the Gentiles over here, and these are the two which are going to be made one in Christ.  Now this is why God has to call us.  What cuts us off from God?  Sin does.  But what causes us to sin?  We’ll get into that.  That’s the law of sin and death.  So therefore, God is the One Who has to make the initiating action to us.

#1.  God calls us.  That’s why it says in John 6, “No one can come to Me except the Father draw him.”  God has to call us.  It can’t be done any other way.

#2.  God has to grant repentance.

#3.  God has to forgive sin.

#4.  God has to give His Holy Spirit.

Everything is what God has to do, isn’t it?  That’s why it’s the grace of God.

#5.  God has to do give us His righteousness.  We can’t get that kind of righteousness ourself.

#6.  God has to give the justification.

Ok, what do we have to do?  We have to believe and also keep the commandments.  Notice all that God has to do.  That’s why it says in Galatians that if there were a law given that could give life, verily there it would be given through a law.  But it’s through the grace of God.

Now then we have direct access to God the Father.  That’s why Christ came to reveal Him.  Now we’ll see the thing that has cut us off from God and why we need the grace of God.  That’s very, very important.  Therefore we’re not going to take the grace of God lightly.  Therefore we are not going to even let that thought come into existence that we void the law of God.

Now let’s pick it up here in verse 12.  “On this account, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by sin death, and thus to all men death passed…” Now that’s where the law of sin and death entered.  And it’s something we all inherit.  Now when babies are born you see these cute little sweet things.  And they’re nice and cuddly and warm until all the natural bodily processes begin and then those other things need to be taken care of.  Same way with our little puppy.  It’s nice and cuddly and cute and everything like that, but it doesn’t know what it should do, and where it should do it, and it’s already done it where it shouldn’t do it and it’s already gotten someone in trouble, and weee, the smell is unbelievable, you know.  And we just got it yesterday afternoon.  So it’s exactly the same way.  These cute little babies, though God calls them innocent, do have in them the law of sin and death from birth.  That is what cuts all human beings off from God.  Now God brought the Israelites close to Him, but He kept all the Gentiles cut off until the time of the receiving of the Holy Spirit.  Then God opened it up for all, making no difference.  “…And thus death passed to all men.”  And then it says, “For all have sinned.”

Now all have sinned and they would still sin, whether they were able…you know like the young man.  He came to Christ and said, “What good thing should I do to inherit eternal life?”  He said, “Keep the commandments.”  He said, “I am.”  He said, “Then go sell all that you have and become perfect [that is become perfectly mature spiritually].”  And he couldn’t understand it.  Well that was one that Jesus didn’t call.  He couldn’t understand it.  Didn’t want to give it up.  But if a person were able to be perfect in the flesh… Now it’s an impossibility but we’ll say ok, the only one to do it was Christ.  But if a person were able, what about his children?  They inherit the law of sin and death and what happens?  They sin.  All have sinned.  See, that’s what it’s talking about.  “Until law [that is until the Old Covenant commonly called The Law was given] sin was in the world.  But sin is not put to account when there is no law” (vs. 12-13).  That’s why God holds all sinners, didn’t He say all have sinned, Jews and Gentiles?  So then that shows God’s laws are active and working all the time, otherwise God could not hold them accountable.  He says those who know to better and sin will be beaten with many stripes.  Those who sin and don’t know any better will be beaten with few stripes.  But they’ll still be beaten.  That was the parable.

“But death reigned from Adam until Moses even upon them who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is the figure of the coming One [that is Adam was the figure of the Christ], but shall not as the offence, so also be the free gift?” (vs. 14-15).  Now notice the free gift, it is pronounced there charisma, which is gift of grace.  The free gift.  Freely given.  God doesn’t charge us for it.  Now in some organizations you think God does.  God does not charge for it.  He gives it to us free.

“For if by the offense of one many died [because death was passed to many because of that sin], much more the grace of God and the gift in grace…” Now that gift in grace is the righteousness of God imputed to us.  That is a gift.  God says, “Here is the gift of righteousness before Me.  You are as Jesus Christ.”  Now, God has done that to inspire us to want to do better, but don’t get all self-righteous about it because it’s through Christ.  He’s given it to us to inspire us to keep the commandments of God and not get all entangled in our own traditions and things which are against the laws of God.  It is the free gift.  “…And the gift of grace, which is of the one man Jesus Christ, which did abound to many.  But shall not as by the one having sinned…” In other words, shall it not be as it came upon all men to sin, because of the sin of Adam, shall it not be that the grace of God will be given to all of those that God calls?  Yes.  That’s what it means.  “For if indeed the judgment of the one who sinned was to condemnation, but the free gift of many is the justification of offences” (vs. 15-16).  Now if you’re following along in the Greek, the word order is not in the proper order, so that’s why I’m reading it a little differently here, even though I’m reading the same words.

“For if by the offence of one death reigned by the one…” In other words that’s something to think about.  Because Adam and Eve sinned death was passed on to all human beings from them.  Death comes to all human beings, and it is inevitable.   I mean we just heard yesterday that the fellow who invented the diet, rather discovered the process.  He didn’t invent it.  He just discovered some of the laws of health that God had, Pritikin was his name.  And it was that if you exercise, if you cut way down on the fats…I think he’s gone to the extreme to have no fats.  I think the body needs a certain amount, but not animal fats…then the body can recuperate and the heart will recuperate and you can live longer, but he unfortunately got leukemia and he committed suicide day before yesterday.  So death comes to all men.

Now, how many here have read Adele Davis health books. You all have.  She’s got a lot of stuff there, and boy I imagine in her lifetime she was popping pills by the carload every day.  I mean hands full of pills.  But you know something, she died of cancer of the bone marrow.  It’s given once for all to die. That death was because of the sin of Adam and Eve.  So it passed to all.  So the death of Jesus Christ and His resurrection, how much more is that going to do for those who believe in Christ?  They’ll be given eternal life.  That’s what it says, toward all men of the justification of our offences.

“For if by the one offence death reigned by the one much more to those then who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness receiving shall reign in life by the One Jesus Christ” (vs. 17).  Now where it’s talking about life, it means eternal life.  Shall reign in eternal life.  “So then, as by one the offence was to all men to condemnation [all condemned to death because of sin], so also by One [that is Jesus] accomplished righteousness toward all men to justification of life.”  Now that could read in the Greek, “into the justification for eternal life”.  “For as by the disobedient of one man all [or, the many] were constituted to sinners, even so by the obedience of One the many shall be constituted as righteous.  But law came in by and by that might abound the offence…” In other words, in order to clearly define that sin is sin God gave His laws to Israel to make it very apparent.  “… But where sin abound grace over abounded…” Because that is able to cover sin, forgive sin.  “…So that as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to life eternal through Jesus Christ our Lord” (vs. 18-21).  Ok, now that’s why we need the grace of God.

Now we need to follow through and continue this in chapter 6.  Now notice again, “What then shall we say?”  And many people have said this, that the more you sin the more grace you need, therefore the more grace that comes the more it glorifies God because God is glorified in giving grace.  Now I’ve almost heard people say it just that way.  “What shall we say then?  Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?” (Rom. 6:1, BGI, paraphrased).

Now notice verse 2.  “May it not be!”  In other words here it is again, me-genoito, which is “may this thought never come into existence.”  That’s why they said, “God forbid” in the King James.  It means more than just “God forbid”.  “We who died to sin, how shall we still live in it [or, how shall we live any longer in it]?”  And we can’t live in sin.  Sooner or later if you have the Spirit of God and you have not done despite to the Spirit of grace, sooner or later you can no longer live in sin.  Though you may through weakness of flesh be tempted to living in sin, sooner or later you can’t live in that.  Why?  Because the Spirit of God is going to prick your conscience so much that you are going to come out of it.  You can’t live in it.

“Or are you ignorant that as many as were baptized unto Christ Jesus were baptized unto His death.  We were buried there for with Him by baptism into the death [that is into His death, the death, and also the death can refer to the second death], that as Christ was raised up from among the dead by the glory of the Father, so also we in newness of life should walk.  For if we have been conjoined to become in the likeness of His death, so also we shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that the old man was crucified with Him that He might annul the body of sin that we are no longer subservient to sin.” (vs. 3-6).  Now notice the word subservient.  It is douleuein, which comes from the word doulos, which means slave.  Slave of sin.

“For that he that died has been justified from sin.”  And if you’re baptized you’ve been justified from sin.  “If we died with Christ [that is, through baptism], we believe that we shall also live with Him, knowing that Christ, having been raised from among the dead, dies no more, and death has no rule over Him” (vs. 7-9) Now that’s the thing we need to realize.  We have, through Christ, been made free from the law of sin and death.  We are going to die because we all die in Adam.  But we have been made free from the law of sin and death, which is in our members though we still have to fight it because God has not removed it, but rather He has given His Holy Spirit.

So if we could look at it this way: if you have two wires…  Now in order to make these two wires from 110 into 210, you have to have a third wire bringing the third lead in.  When you do that something changes.  You don’t remove the wire, but you add another one.  So it is with receiving the Holy Spirit of God.  He does not take out of us the law of sin and death.  But He puts into us His Holy Spirit, which is like that third wire to give us the power and strength to overcome through Christ.  That’s why we have the enigma in the seventh chapter about doing the things he didn’t want to do while he still loved God and loved the law of God.

Ok, let’s continue here for just a minute.  “...Death has no more rule over Him.  For in that He died, He died once for all, but in that He lives He lives to God.  Now so likewise [that means exactly in the same way] also reckon yourselves indeed to be dead to sin…” We don’t have to obey the sin.  We don’t have to obey the temptation.  We don’t have to obey the lust that is there.  See we are dead to sin.  “…But alive to Christ Jesus our Lord.  Therefore don’t let sin reign [rule] in your mortal bodies…” See the sin is still going to be there because of the law of sin and death, but don’t let it rule in your body.  Don’t let it just completely consume you.  Now when you hear these tapes on what the homosexuals do you’re going to see how sin rules in their lives.  Absolutely consumingly rules them in their lives.  We’re not to let sin rule in our lives.  “…For you to obey it [sin] in it’s desires.  Neither be yielding your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but yield yourselves…”  So you see the choice is still there.  There’s still that question of doubt what we’re going to do.  But as long as we remain within the grace of God we will receive eternal life.  “…But yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from among the dead, and your members instruments of righteousness to God.  For sin shall not rule you, for you are not under law but under grace” (vs. 10-14).  And this has been one of the most misunderstood verses that has ever been.  And a source of controversy.

Let’s see exactly what it says.  “For sin shall not rule you, for you are not under law…” What happens when they were under law?  They were near to God but they didn’t have direct access.  Isn’t that correct?  They could have their sins forgiven at the temple but it was impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to blot out sins before God in heaven spiritually.  That’s why Christ died.  So, if you are under law, even under the Old Covenant there is still the motions of sin are death.  But we are under grace.   And what does that grace do?  That grace puts us in contact with God, gives us His Holy Spirit and all the things I said that God does for us, and brings us into the very presence of God the Father through Christ Jesus.  Now that’s why we are under grace.  No way whatsoever is he talking about to keep the laws of God, or the commandments of God the way that God would want us to because we are under grace.  He’s not talking about that at all.  We are not under the Old Covenant.  We are not under the sacrificial system.  We are under the New Covenant, which is the covenant of grace, which brings us into that direct contact with God the Father.

Now notice again what he says.  He says, “…for sin shall not rule over you for you are not under law, but under grace.  Now notice again verse 15, because he has to emphasize it again.  “What then?  Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace?”  Notice again, “May it not be!”  Me-genoito, may this never even come into your mind or thought.  Because isn’t that the way that the carnal mind works?  Isn’t it?  Yes, that’s the way that the carnal mind works.  It’s just the same way with parents.  If you don’t tell them exactly… For example, if they’re going to go someplace, “Please let us know where you’re going and how long you’re going to be gone, and when you’re going to come back and be here exactly at such and such a time.”  Now if you don’t’ tell them that, they’ll say, “Well, guess what?  They didn’t tell me to tell, so I’m not telling.”  That’s a carnal mind working.  And that’s what he’s talking about here.  Don’t be carnally minded in it and think because God wants to forgive our sins, is willing to forgive our sins, is desirous of forgiving our sins, that we say, “Well now, God wants to forgive our sins.  I’ll sin and then, hey, God has to forgive our sins.”  He said, “Don’t let that even come into your thought.  May it never be.  Know you not that to whom you yield yourselves bondsmen…” Now notice the word bondsmen.  It is doulous, which is the plural for doulous, which is slave.  “…Neither yield yourselves to be come slaves for obedience unto sin [that’s the thought of it there], because slaves you are to him whom you obey, whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness..”  Now that obedience involves belief and acceptance and faith in Christ Jesus.  And of course keeping the commandments of God.  “But thanks be to God that you were the servants of sin, but you obeyed from the heart that which was delivered the form of teaching which has been delivered to you.  And you having been set free from sin, you became the slaves to righteousness.  That I speak humanly on account of the weakness of your flesh” (vs. 15-19).

Continuing now, “Humanly I speak on account of the weakness of your flesh.  For as you yielded your members in bondage to uncleanness and to lawlessness unto lawlessness, so now also yield your members in bondage to righteousness unto sanctification.”  Which then, sanctification is another word for holiness.  “For when you were slaves of sin, you were free as to righteousness.  Now what fruit therefore did you have when you then were in those things of which you are now ashamed?  For the end of those things is death.  But now having been set free from sin, and having become the slaves to God [or the servants of God], you have your fruit unto sanctification, and the end eternal life.”  Now notice the word end, telos.  We’ll talk about telos a little later but I want you to be familiar with that word.  Telos means “the pinnacle of”.  It can mean “the end”, but it also means the pinnacle.  Where it says Christ is the end of the law, it doesn’t mean He did away with it, it means that Christ is the pinnacle of the law.  The whole purpose or projection to the law.  You see, and so that you become the servants or the slaves to God and you have your fruit unto sanctification and the pinnacle or the end of this is eternal life.  “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift…” Now it is not really translated properly in the King James because you will see the word for gift is “free gift” or charisma.  “…The charisma, [or the free gift of grace] of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (vs. 19-23).

Now, I’ll just review chapter 7 because I want you to go through and read chapter 7.  Especially beginning with verse 7 where he says, “What shall we say then, is the law sin?”  There we have that statement again.  “God forbid…”  Where it is, “Don’t ever let that thought come into your mind”, would be a modern vernacular way of translating that.  “We know sin by the law, but the law is spiritual and holy and just and good.  But I as a human being have sin in my flesh which is called the law of sin and death. Therefore because of that law of sin and death…”, now I’m just paraphrasing chapter 7 because I want to get to chapter 8.  “Therefore that law of sin and death causes me to practice the things that I hate, that I don’t want to do.  But through the grace and the goodness of God, because I am serving the law of God and serving Christ through grace with my mind, therefore it is only the law of sin and death in my members that is making me sin and not my pre-determinate will.”  Now that’s a summation of chapter 7.

Go to the last couple verses in chapter 7 where he says because of this conflict going on, verse 21, “I find then the law that there is the will in me to practice what is right, but when I practice what is right evil is present with me.”  That’s a conflict that goes on.  You still have the law of sin and death that has been cancelled out spiritually before God because He presents you as Christ, that you are righteous to Him.  As long as we are under the grace of God He is not going to condemn us because we have the law of sin and death in us.  Rather He has compensated for it with God’s Holy Spirit.  And before God the Father we have been made free from the law of sin and death.  It’s still there to plague us in the flesh but we are not to yield ourselves to it.  We are not to let it rule in our lives.  Rather we are to let the Holy Spirit rule in us.

“For the law being powerless…” Now why was the law powerless.  The law was powerless to compensate for the law of sin and death.  The law was powerless to give eternal life because the law stated what brought death.  Therefore what brings death cannot bring life.  So the law was powerless.  “For the law being powerless, in that it was weak through the flesh, God, having sent His Own Son in the likeness of flesh of sin and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh…” Condemned it.  We’ll see how He did when we come to the Passover time, very clearly.  “…That the requirement [that is the righteousness] of the law should be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.  For they that walk according to the flesh, the things of the flesh must mind, and they that are walking according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit mind.  For the mind of the flesh is death, but the mind of the Spirit is life and peace.”  And that is with God.  “Because the mind of the flesh is enmity toward God for to the law of God it is not subject, for neither indeed can be [it’s an impossibility], and they that are in the flesh cannot please God” (Rom. 8:3-8, BGI, paraphrased).  That’s quite a statement.  You need to think on that.  Cannot please God.  Someone without the Spirit of God cannot please God - it is impossible.  They can be as good as they want to.  See that’s the whole story of Job.  Cannot please God.  Only thing that can please God is where His Spirit is.

“But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwell in you.  But if anyone has not the Spirit of Christ, he is not of Him.  But if Christ be in you, the body indeed is dead on account of sin, but the Spirit is life on account of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He Who raised up Christ from among the dead will quicken also your mortal bodies on account of the Spirit that is dwelling in you.  So then brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh, for if you live according to the flesh you are about to die.  But if by the Spirit you live, the deeds of the body you will put to death, you will live.  For as many as are let by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God” (vs. 9-14).

Well, I’m going to go ahead and end it there, because that ends the thought right there at that point.  Now I hope that we can all understand more about the grace of God and why we need the grace of God.  Now I wanted to go through this in detail because next week then I’m going to go through a majority of the places where the grace of God is used in the New Testament and we are going to see that when Paul starts out his letters and says, “Grace be to you…” , he is saying that there is something coming from God to you.  And that’s a tremendous thing.  We read over that, yes.  “Paul, an apostle to God, grace and peace be to you from our Lord Jesus Christ…”, then now we’re ready to get into it.  No, we missed all that, that was right there at the front.  And so next time we’ll go through the majority of scriptures.  I won’t take the time to go through every one, though I intended to.  But I’ll organize them in such a way that we’ll understand it.  So the next one will be the last tape on the grace of God.