Fred R. Coulter—January 23, 2010

computer - Video | pdfIcon - PDF | Audio - | [Up]

Track 1: or Download

(Transcript begins at 15:52 of Track 1)

We've been getting a lot of new people coming to the website, CBCG.org, and also through the Restoring the Original Bible, York Publishing, sales website, and as well as Church at Home. Church at Home is up and running and you can get it on churchathome.com; .org or .net—we have all three. We have eighteen—and by the time this message gets out we'll have at least twenty—half-hour sermons on Church at Home.

As a result we're beginning to see how absolutely staunch that the Protestants are in proclaiming that Christians do not have to keep the law. I got this memo from a man—we've communicated back and forth several times—and he proposed some questions. So we will look at these and answer some of these questions. What I'm going to do is have a special section set up on Church at Home, so they can click through to a section that we will have for the Bible Answer to the Evangelicals. The reason that that is necessary is because they do not understand the Bible. They do not understand the Scriptures, because they pick and choose. You might say 'cherry picking.' And they think that they have a new theology that Paul brought, which I will get into detail, not necessarily today, but in these series of sermons. They think they have something new, but when you understand what they are doing, you find out this: that if you say the Gospels was for the Jews only, which they do, and if you say that the General Epistles were because these were Jewish apostles—they never stop and think that Jesus was born of the tribe of Judah—correct?—and they actually believe that they don't have to follow the commands of Jesus in the Gospels.

Then they also do not understand the term under the law or under law, because they do not get in and really study the Scriptures, nor do they investigate the Greek underlying those statements. So we will answer all of these things, take them one-by-one, and let's see what we come up with from the Scriptures. Here's one thing that they believe universally, and the Jews want everyone to believe this, which is this: They keep the laws of God in the Old Testament. That's what they want everyone to believe, and that they are all united and monolithical in this belief. However, that is utterly not true. There are probably as many different sects and divisions of Judaism as there are of Protestantism. You have four main branches: the liberal, the reformed, the conservative, and the orthodox. When they come and read the Bible, they think that anything to do with the law is Judaism. That creates great problems for them.

Now we have covered here—he asked this question: 'Matthew 5:18-19 indicates that as far as Christ was concerned, not one jot or tittle of the law would pass away until all is fulfilled. Has all the law been fulfilled today?' Well, you forgot something very interesting there, so while you're turning to Matthew 5, let me keep reading. 'Are we still under it? If so, do you still perform animal sacrifices?' You can almost predict what's going to happen. ' For that matter, do you still obey all the commands of Christ? If you believe you do, let me ask you some questions from the Gospels.' Okay, we'll tackle those in just a minute.

Let's come to Matthew 5, since he refers to it, even though we have gone over it, let's just review, so that we understand that anyone who throws away the Word of God does away with the commandments of God without asking the question. That's why we have in the Bible an appendices which is, How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets? We just made it into a booklet, so we can get it out.

So let's pick it up here in Matthew 5:17. Remember, following the rules of Bible study, the verses before, the verses after, what does it say, what does it not say, who said it, what does it mean, and all of that. "Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill." Now what does fulfill mean? Fulfill means to bring them to the full. All the prophecies concerning Christ and His ministry and His suffering and death and crucifixion, were fulfilled in His life. By doing that, He did not do away with those Scriptures, but what are those Scriptures now, the ones that have been fulfilled? They are a witness and testimony that the Word of God is trueand it happened. That's why we also have, in several of our publications, twenty-eight prophecies fulfilled in one day, referring to the crucifixion, and so forth.

  • Have all the prophecies been fulfilled? No!
  • Is the kingdom of God here on earth? No!
  • Is Christ king over the earth? No!
  • Has the resurrection taken place? No!

When you look at the book of Revelation, very little from Rev. 6 on has been fulfilled. The book of Revelation is so important that it is the seventh division of the Bible, in seven divisions, because you need all the rest of the Bible to understand the book of Revelation. So it's not something that you just pick up and read. Now none of those have been fulfilled.

Fulfill means to bring to the full. That's what it means. It does not mean to do away. Since the Law of God is perfect, the commandments of God endure forever, then what did Jesus do to the Law? He filled it to the full, or as it says there in Isaiah, 'He shall make the law glorious,' or as the King James says, 'honorable.' Now we'll see how that takes place.

Here, even in quoting v 18, here is something that he left out. "For truly I say to you, until the heaven and earth shall pass away, one jot or one tittle shall in no way pass from the Law until everything has been fulfilled." Well, obviously everything hasn't been fulfilled. Heaven and earth is still here. So if you say that it's done away or that it has been fulfilled, and heaven and earth is still here, you've got a problem.

Now let's come on to v 19, and let's see, because there will be some assumptions that are made by evangelicals toward the Law, and toward these verses the way that they explain them. Matthew 5:19: "Therefore, whoever shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so... [Very interesting, isn't it? And what is considered the least commandment by the Protestants? The Sabbath!] ...and shall teach men so... [Do they teach men so? Yes! I saw a video of a Sunday-keeping minister, who was preaching on Sunday, and he got up and smiled and said, 'This is the day that the Lord has made.' God has made all days, but he did not get up and say, 'This is the day that the Lord has made and sanctified and blessed', as you find in Gen. 2. Just a little side as we go through here.] ...shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven... [Now doesn't say they're going to get there, but if they do, they're the least.] ...but whoever shall practice and teach them, this one shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven." Now wouldn't you want to then do that if you want to get into the Kingdom of Heaven, and you want a greater reward? Wouldn't you want to do that? Why would they reject such a blessing?

Here's where they fall right off the cliff, because they don't know the difference between the laws and commandments of God, and the laws and traditions of Judaism. Verse 20: "For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven." What was the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees? Everyone automatically thinks, in evangelical land, that those are the Ten Commandments or the commandments of God. If that is so, pray tell I ask, why do the evangelicals eliminate the Sabbath, but they go back and say, 'Well, we need to keep the fifth commandment, honor father and mother. We need to have no murder, we need to have no adultery, we need to have no stealing, we need to have no false witnessing, we need to have to coveting.' Why take those and yet leave off the others? We'll let them try and answer that.

The real truth is this: The scribes and Pharisees, though they had the form of the commandments, never kept them. What did they keep? Now that may come as a shock and a surprise. If they had their own righteousness, because they didn't keep the commandments of God, then this tells us that our righteousness has to be conformed to the commandments of God—by deduction.

Let's come to John 7:19. We've covered some of this in the past, but it's good to go back and review it, and let's understand something here. This is quite a verse. So they were out there, they were seeking to find Him, to kill Him, to do away with Him, etc. John 7:19 "Did not Moses give you the law... [Yes! Moses gave it to them. God gave it to Moses to give to them—correct? Yes! So remember, that's all the twelve tribes of Israel, as well.] ...and not one of you is practicing the law?.... [Now that's quite a statement—isn't it? So what was their righteousness? It was their own.] ...Why do you seek to kill Me?'" Now they still followed some of the commands of Moses, but in effect they rejected it.

"The people answered and said, 'You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?' Jesus answered and said to them, 'I did one work, and you were all amazed. Now then, Moses gave you circumcision—not that it was from Moses, but from the fathers—and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. If a man received circumcision on the Sabbath, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with Me because I made a man entirely whole on the Sabbath?'" (vs 20-23). Because they weren't keeping the Sabbath.

Now as I mentioned and this book that Phil Neal is, I would say three quarters done, Judaism is Not The Law or Religion of Moses, we're going to have twenty pages of the Code of Jewish Law, which all come from the oral tradition. What needs to be understood is this: When the scribes and the Pharisees say 'the Law of Moses' they are talking about their oral traditions, not the literal laws contained in the Pentateuch. Now they have that as a framework, but unless you know about Judaism and you know about their laws, you don't understand a single thing of what is said back here in Matt. 5.

Now let's see how, and we've gone through this before, but this is good to really review and go through so that we understand what we need to do, because these are the words of Jesus. What did Paul say, 'If you do not adhere to the sound words of Jesus Christ, then you're just carnal, striving after vain words and arguments,' just summarizing there, 1-Tim. 6.

Let's come over here to Mark 7 and just review this again, because this tells us about the righteousness of the Pharisees.

  • Yes, they did have the Sabbath.
  • Yes, they did have the Holy Days.
  • Yes, they did have the Law of Moses, but they weren't practicing it.

All the Holy Days that came along, they had their own way of observing it rather than God's way, because they wholly substituted the commandments of God with their traditions.

Now the dispute here in Mark 7 is very interesting, because a lot of people come here and say, 'See, Jesus made all meats clean.' As a matter of fact, that's how the New International Version translates the sum of this argument, which is a complete violation of the Greek. That is not true! Do you think that in Judea that anyone would eat unclean meats, except the Romans? That's why there were the herd of swine there to feed the Romans. The Jews wouldn't. So it's an argument over defiled hands, unwashed hands. But notice what Jesus said to them.

Mark 7:5, when they said: "'Why don't your disciples walk according to the tradition of the elders…' And He answered and said to them, 'Well did Isaiah prophesy concerning you hypocrites, as it is written, "This people honors Me with their lips, but their hearts are far away from Me. But in vain do they worship Me, teaching for doctrine the commandments of men.".... [Now here is a great principle that we need to understand.] ...For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this'" (vs 5-8).

Now notice the result of tradition, v 8: "'For leaving the commandment of God, you hold fast the tradition of men, such as the washing of pots and cups; and you practice many other things like this.' Then He said to them, 'Full well do you reject the commandment of God, so that you may observe your own tradition'" (vs 8-9). What are the commandments of God? Psalm 119:172 says: 'All Your commandments are righteousness.' —correct? Yes! Now we'll talk about the righteousness in the New Testament which is in addition to that. We'll get to that a little later.

So if they reject the commandment of God to keep their own tradition, they have substituted their way for the way of God—is that not correct? Yes! Now then, once you understand this, now let's come to Matthew 5, and see what else Jesus said and how your righteousness can exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees. It can do it because

  1. you keep the commandments of God, and then
  2. He tells you how to keep the commandments of God

Back here to Matthew 5:20, let's just repeat that for the record here. "For I say to you, unless your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, there is no way that you shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit murder; but whoever commits murder shall be subject to judgment.' But I say to you... [Now notice, we're going to see Jesus made the righteousness of the commandments and laws of God to be much more binding and spiritual. In the New Covenant God is dealing with the mind and with the heart, not just the outward action alone. The outward action has to be according to the commandments of God. But what is the internal thought in the mind? That's what God is interested in.] ...But I say to you..." (vs 20-22). Now you stop and think about this: this is showing that He has greater authority than Moses—correct?

Come over here to the end of Matthew 7:28. This is why they were astonished, because what was the highest level of authority for the laws and commandments that they knew up to this point? Moses—right?—if you followed the commandments of God.

Matthew 7:28 "Now it came to pass that when Jesus had finished these words, the multitudes were amazed at His teaching; For He taught them as one Who had authority, and not as the scribes." That authority came from God. Remember when the Pharisees came up to Him and said, 'Tell us, who gave You this authority and by whose authority do You speak?' Remember that? And Jesus said, 'I will answer you if you will answer Me. The baptism of John: Was it of men or God?' So they all got together and reasoned and said, 'Well, if we say of it's of God, He will say why didn't you obey him? If we say it's of men, all the people will stone us for they believed him.'

So Jesus is bringing authority greater than Moses and they understood from the prophecies that One was going to come to do this. Now let's come back here to Matthew 5:22. So here is Jesus' teaching on murder. "But I say to you, everyone who is angry with his brother without cause shall be subject to judgment... [Now this is anger. Now there's cause for righteous anger if someone really does something that is wrong, but lots of time people lose their tempers just because they're selfish and carnal and angry.] ...Now you have heard it said, 'Whoever shall say to his brother, "Raca," shall be subject to the judgment of the council.' But I say to you, whoever shall say, 'You fool,' shall be subject to the fire of Gehenna.'" Now is that a higher standard or not? Is that a higher standard than physically murdering someone or not? Yes!

Hold your place here and let's come back. This is how we put the Bible together: line upon line, here a little, there a little, precept upon precept. Let's come to 1-John 2, and let's see what John wrote which agrees one hundred percent with the words of Jesus. Even the evangelicals say, 'Well, these were the Jewish apostles, so we don't necessarily have to follow them.' Let's see what John says here concerning murder in the mind.

1-John 2:9: "Anyone who claims that he is in the light, but hates his brother, is in the darkness until now.... [Hatred in the mind.] ...The one who loves his brother is dwelling in the light, and there is no cause of offense in him. But the one who hates his brother is in darkness, and is walking in darkness, and does not know where he is going because the darkness has blinded his eyes" (vs 9-11). And what did Jesus say concerning the blind? 'Let the blind lead the blind,' and what will happen? They'll both fall into the ditch.

Now let's come to 1-John 3:11 and let's see what he said also concerning murder. "For this is the message that you heard from the beginning—that we should love one another... [Isn't that what Jesus said? 'By this shall all men know that you are My disciples, if you love one another as I've loved you.' Yes!] ...Not as Cain, who was of the wicked one, and murdered his own brother. And what was the reason that he murdered him? Because his own works were wicked, but his brother's works were righteous.... [So he explains about it here.] ...My brethren, do not be amazed if the world hates you. We know that we have passed from death into life because we love the brethren. The one who does not love his brother is dwelling in death.... [Does that amplify what Jesus said in the spiritual sense? Yes!] ...Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer... [Does that clarify the teaching of Jesus on murder? Yes, indeed!] ...and you know that no murderer has eternal life dwelling within him" (vs 11-15).

So you see how the Scriptures agree? This is how to find out what Jesus was teaching here in Matt. 5, 6, and 7, because these are now the spiritual application of the laws of God. Let's come back to Matthew 5, and let's ask a couple of questions here. What happens when you see someone who's angry and hateful? Does that not cause strife and division, and all of this sort of thing? If you have hatred, how can you love someone? This is why we need to repent of all hatred toward all people. Let God judge them. He'll take care of them. Don't worry about it. Put it in God's hands.

Now let's come back here and see what Jesus said concerning adultery, Matthew 5:27. Yes, and I know, we'll get to this a little later—they always say, 'Well, you can find nine of the commandments in the New Testament, but you can't find where Jesus said remember to keep the Sabbath Holy, Yes, yes, yes.' We'll cover that bridge when we get to it, but we'll see what the Apostle James wrote concerning murder and adultery here in just a little bit.

Track 2: or Download

As we read this, I want you to think about the commandment which says, 'you shall not commit adultery.' But I also want you to think if everyone kept that commandment, in addition to whatever others they would be willing to keep, how much better would this society be? Now notice, Jesus talks about the source of adultery and all sexual sins.

"You have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you, everyone who looks upon a woman to lust after her has already committed adultery with her in this heart" (vs 27-28). That's where it all begins. It all begins in the mind. That's what it's all about. We'll come back and answer the question here for v 29, and so forth a little later, but let's do this. Put this in your notes, I'll just quote it to you: Job 31:1, because here you find the spiritual application of it in the Old Testament. 'I made a covenant with my eyes, how then could I look upon a virgin?' Now if every man would do that, that would solve a lot of sexual problems—wouldn't it?

And if every woman would also do the same thing, not to show off her body to men—a lot of women get all upset and say, 'Well, dirty, filthy men, they watch pornography.' True! But what about the dirty, filthy women who pose? That's why in John 8, remember the woman who was caught in adultery? Why did Jesus let her go? What did He write in the sand? Because the laws of God say that if someone is caught in adultery, you must have the man and the woman—right? Yes! So I believe, He was writing in the sand, 'Where is the man? Which one of you trapped her?' It was a judgment, not mercy, because the man was not there. How can you catch a woman in adultery, if you're not catching a man in adultery? What did He tell her, when He asked her, He said, 'Does anyone condemn you?' She said, 'No, Lord.' He said, 'Go and sin no more,' didn't He? Yes, indeed! There it is right there.

We've already covered about murder, but let's come back to the Epistle of James, the first one after the book of Acts in the Bible in its Original Order. That's the way that it should be. We have lots of commentary to show how we should understand it, and so forth. Let's come here and see some New Testament teaching. If you can just overcome, if you're an evangelical, your hang-up that this was the brother of Jesus and a Jew, and just read his words, maybe you'll come to some understanding here.

James 2:10: "For if anyone keeps the whole law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all... [because sin is sin] ...For He Who said, 'You shall not commit adultery,' also said, 'You shall not commit murder.' Now if you do not commit adultery, but you commit murder, you have become a transgressor of the law. In this manner speak and in this manner behave; as those who are about to be judged by the law of freedom" (vs 10-12). How is God going to judge people? By their behavior.

We'll get into grace; we'll get into forgiveness; we'll get into all of those things as we go along. So this series, The Bible Answer to Evangelicals, is going to end up being quite extensive, because it needs to be. There are so many millions of people involved in it. In the book, Quitting Church, there are 76-million people that are in the state of flux either going to church or changing church, or trying to find church, or staying at home or giving up, because they find nothing of substance in the churches that they attend. Why? Because they have no substance—that's why.

This tells us: After this Sabbath are we not all going to be more aware of lust, if it happens? Are we not going to be all more aware that we need to do as Job, make a covenant with our eyes, and don't take sneak peeks at pornography, and stuff like that—right? Yes! All women ought to me more discreet in how they dress so they don't have plunging necklines down to their bellybutton, because they know what they are doing. They understand what it does to men and that's why they do it. You're not kidding anybody.

Let's come back to v 10, "For if anyone keeps the whole law, but sins in one aspect, he becomes guilty of all." How do you keep the whole law? You keep it by having the Spirit of God, that's how you do it. Let me ask you, just this past week, have you had any other god's before you? No! Have you had any idols you bow down to? No! Have you taken God's name in vain? No! Have you broken the Sabbath? No! You can't honor your father and mother because you're past that age. You have not murdered; you have not committed adultery; you have not stolen; you haven't born false witness, and you're not coveting. So you've kept the whole law. Would you not agree? That doesn't mean that in your mind there may have been some violations that you need to repent of, and that's why the model prayer is that every day we ask for forgiveness. So that's how you keep the whole law and with the Spirit of God.

Now let's come back here and we will see the sum of the whole thing in Matthew 5. Then we'll answer some of the other technical things that he asked. How is it possible to do some of these things? Matthew 5:33: "Again, you have heard that it was said to those in ancient times, 'You shall not forswear yourself, but you shall perform your oaths to the Lord.' But I say to you, do not swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is God's throne; Nor by the earth, for it is the footstool of His feet; nor by Jerusalem, because it is the city of the great King. Neither shall you swear by your head, because you do not have the power to make one hair white or black. But let your word be good, your 'Yes' be yes and your 'No' be no; for anything that is added to these is from the evil one" (vs 33-37). So you learn to be honest from the inside out.

That's how your righteousness becomes more than the scribes and Pharisees. Because even on the Kol Nidre, which is the oath that the Jews take in the synagogue on the Sabbath, they disannul or they annul all the vows and contracts that they will make in the coming year. That's the complete opposite of what Christ is talking about here. That's why if you let your yes be yes and your no be no, guess what? Your righteousness is greater than the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees—correct? Yes!

Now let's come down here, we've heard this before, v 43: "You have heard that it was said, "You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy." But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you, so that you yourselves may be the children of your Father Who is in heaven... [He's going to give you eternal life. And who knows, that may even turn the enemy.] ...for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not the tax collectors practice the same thing? And if you salute your brethren only, what have you done that is extraordinary? Do not the tax collectors practice the same thing?.... [So here's the sum of it, here's the goal, here is the reason for all of it]: ...Therefore, you shall be perfect, even as your Father Who is in heaven is perfect'" (vs 43-48). Now that's quite a goal.

That's the whole purpose of growing in grace and knowledge. The New Testament teaches that this is a process—it is a process of conversion. So that's the whole goal! Let's come to v 29: "So then, if your right eye shall cause you to offend, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is better for you that one of your members should perish than that your whole body be cast into Gehenna.'"

Now, he asked the question: If you believe all the teachings of Jesus and this is His command, do you do this? Let's look at another one. Let's come here to Luke 12, and what we are going to find out, this shows that he has no knowledge of the Bible. He does not understand the spiritual application of the Word of God. He quotes Luke 12:33, so let's take a look at that. Luke 12:32: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father delights in giving you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make for yourself purses that do not grow old, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief can come near, and no moth can destroy. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also" (vs 32-34).

So he asks the question: 'Have you sold all your possessions?' We find that back here in Matthew 19 something similar to and where the rich man came to Him. Here's something else. So we'll ask the question, 'Have you done this?' There are several other impossible things that are there and he says, 'This is why what Jesus taught was a different gospel for the Jews. So do you fulfill this? Do you keep this?' How can you answer yes, if you have not done this?

Matthew 19:16: "Now at that time, one came to Him and said, 'Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?' And He said to him, 'Why do you call Me good?.... [Now a lot of people have pondered that. Was He God in the flesh? Yes, He was! Was He good, in the sense He was better than any other man? Yes, He was perfect! But why would He say, 'Don't call Me good'? Because being in the flesh, carrying the human nature with Him, He could not be wholly good as God is good—that's why.] ...No one is good except one—God. But if you desire to enter into life, keep the commandments" (vs 16-17).

Now how are the evangelicals going to answer this? You want to enter into life, keep the commandments. Well, they answer it by saying, 'This is Jesus' teaching for the Jews.' Not the correct answer, as we will see. "Then he said to Him, 'Which?' And Jesus said, 'You shall not commit murder; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; honor your father and your mother; and, you shall love your neighbor as yourself'" (vs 18-19). He didn't mention the Sabbath and they turn there all the time and say, 'He didn't mention the Sabbath.' Why? Because Judea and Galilee were Sabbath-keeping nationseveryone kept the Sabbath. It didn't need to be mentioned, but it was the human relations that He was talking about.

Now notice, v 20: "The young man said to Him, 'I have kept all these things from my youth. What do I yet lack?'.... [He probably figured, 'Boy, I'm real close to getting this eternal life thing. I've done all these things.' Which tells you what? He lived in a commandment-keeping family—right?] ...Jesus said to him, 'If you desire to be perfect... [And didn't we just read that is what the goal was?] ...go and sell your property, and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me'" (vs 20-21). So he asked me here, 'Have you done this? Do you live in a house? Do you have a wife?' Yes!

"But after hearing this word, the young man went away grieving, because he had many possessions. Then Jesus said to His disciples, 'Truly I say to you, it is extremely difficult for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.'…. [That is a hard saying—isn't it? Even His disciples didn't know what to say about this.] …But after hearing this, the disciples were greatly astonished and said, 'Who then is able to be saved?' But Jesus looked at them and said, 'With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible.' Then Peter answered and said to Him, 'Behold, we have left everything and have followed You. What then shall be for us?'" (vs 22-27).

So He says because Peter said that, Peter left his house, Peter left his wife, Peter sold everything that he had. Did he? How can you fulfill that in a greater degree than literally cutting off your hand or cutting off your foot or selling everything that you have? "And Jesus said to them, 'Truly I say to you who have followed Me: in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit upon the throne of His glory, you also shall sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses, or brothers, or sister, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and shall inherit eternal life. But many of the first shall be last, and the last first'" (vs 28-30). Very interesting!

Now before we answer the question how this is possible, let's come to Luke 14, because he brought this up. 'Have you done this?' I should have asked him if he had. Luke 14:26: "'If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and, in addition, his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.... [The strongest ligation of the impossibility of it.] ...And whoever does not carry his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.… [Then He gives the explanation of building a tower, and so forth, and so on.] (v 33): ...In the same way also, each one of you who does not forsake all these he possesses cannot be My disciple'" (vs 26-27, 33). Have you forsaken all that you possess? Have you sold all that you possess? Do you do it in such an extreme way that you hate your father, mother, brother, sister, etc.?

Come here to Matthew 10 and we will see how Jesus interprets that, because the Greek means to love less in comparison to God. Matthew 10:37. Here's how He shows it and here begins to be the key to answering: How can we do those things? Let's answer it another way: Is there another means of accomplishing this that is greater than cutting off your hand or foot? That is greater than selling what you have? That is greater than forsaking all that you have in a literal sense? Yes!

Matthew 10:37: "'The one who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me... [So you have to love God more.] ...and the one who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And the one who does not take up his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me. The one who has found his life shall lose it; and the one who has lost his life for My sake shall find it'" (vs 37-39). That is the key.

How do you lose your life for Christ? What can you do that is greater than selling your physical goods or cutting off your limbs or gouging out your eye? Let's see what is greater than that. We find the answer back here in the book of Romans. What did Peter preach on that Day of Pentecost that the Holy Spirit was given? He said, 'Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ.' Granted, some of them did subsequently sell a lot of their possessions. That is true, but let's see what is greater than doing that. And it is the covenant of baptism which is greater than selling all your physical things, because of this: You pledge your life unconditionally to God in baptism. You don't put any of your physical possessions, or your life, or your family, ahead of God. That's greater! Let's notice about this covenant of baptism. Now I want all of the evangelicals to please listen carefully.

Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?" What is sin? Sin is the transgression of the law—is it not? Yes, it is! Sin is also defined as lawlessness, too. Now lawlessness can be defined in two ways:

  1. you are anti-law—which evangelicals are
  2. you replace the Law of God with your own traditions as did the scribes and Pharisees

You cannot live in sin. You can't continue in sin so that grace may abound. 'I'm saved by grace.' That's true, but notice to Paul's answer to living in sin. Now you need to stop and think and consider this:

  • Would be living in sin if you're living in adultery? Yes!
  • Would you be living in sin if you're actively stealing? Yes!
  • Would you be living in sin if you were a murderer? Yes!
  • Would you be living in sin if you were an idolater? Yes!
  • Would you be living in sin if you had other gods before you? Yes!
  • Would you be living in sin if you took the name of God in vain? Yes!
  • Would you be living in sin if you did not keep the Sabbath? Yes!

So the truth is, all Sunday-keepers are living in sin and saying, 'Let grace abound.' They don't even know it, because they don't understand the Scriptures.

Now notice Paul's answer to that question, v 2: "MAY IT NEVER BE!.... [and that's in caps, because that's the force of the Greek. The King James translates it, 'God forbid.' That is not a translation that is an expression.] ...We who died to sin, how shall we live any longer therein?.... [Isn't dying to sin greater than selling everything that you have? And if it came necessary to do it, you would—wouldn't you? But if you die to sin and die to this world, you have done something greater than cutting off an arm or a leg, or selling all that you have. Now notice the severity of this, because this is a covenant.] ...Or are you ignorant that we, as many as were baptized into Christ Jesus, were baptized into His death" (vs 2-3).

And yet the evangelicals say that Paul taught that they didn't have to be baptized. We'll cover that a little later. And if he did, why did he write this? And remember in 1-Cor. he said, 'I teach the same thing in all the churches.' So the truth of the matter is this: It's not what is written in one epistle that you take and apply. It's what is written in all of his epistles that you take and apply, because that was his teaching in all the churches. Is he teaching the churches in Rome this? Yes! Were there Gentiles there? Yes! But notice: 'baptized into His death.' This is a covenant unto death. You pledge your life to Christ unto death, to die to sin.

Verse 4: "Therefore, we were buried with Him through the baptism into the death... [because His death was the death] ...so 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." Now baptism is by full immersion in water. Let me ask you a question: have people drowned in water? Yes, they've died in water. That's why baptism is by full immersion, because it is a burial of your old self. If the minister is kind and understanding, he'll raise you up out of it after you've been baptized!! If you're in Pakistan or Afghanistan, might be a different story.

Now here's the trade off. "...so 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" (v 4).

  • a change of heart
  • a change of mind
  • a change of priorities

—living God's way, the way of the Lord as defined in the Gospels and the Epistles. Now notice the solemn act before God, how important this is which is greater than all your possessions—is it not? Yes! "For if we have been conjoined together in the likeness of His death, so also shall we be in the likeness of His resurrection" (v 5). Now that's something—isn't it?

Notice what takes place, which is greater than selling all that you have. Because you can sell everything that you have and if you're not converted, even though you sell it, it doesn't bring anything to you in the way of eternal life—does it? Because you haven't come to a higher level of understanding. Verse 6: "Know this, that our old man was co-crucified with Him... [Because He died for you. His death is applied to you in the same manner that He was crucified.] ...in order that the body of sin might be destroyed... [Which then shows a process—doesn't it? It's not instantly destroyed. No, we grow, we change, we overcome, we repent.] ...so that we might no longer be enslaved to sin... [Now is that greater than selling all your goods? Yes, indeed!] ...Because the one who has died to sin has been justified from sin" (vs 6- 7).

Come over here to Romans 7:9 where Paul says: "For I was once alive without law... [He was a Pharisee, wasn't he? How could he be without law? Because what did he do? He kept all the traditions of the Pharisees—right?] ...but after the commandment came, sin revived, and I died." Not a literal death. How did he die? In the watery grave of baptism. Was Paul baptized? Do you think that Paul would not teach baptism? Well, he does right here in Rom. 6, which he taught in all the churches.

Now back to Romans 6:8: "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... [This is our commitment, this is our conversion, this is our covenant with God through Christ] ...In the same way also, you should indeed reckon yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God through Christ Jesus our Lord" (vs 8-11). There, that's how you do it.

What else do we do? One of the errors in studying the Bible in the time-worn paths of Protestantism, evangelicalism, and Catholicism, though they don't go through the Bible very much, you only pick and choose what you want. But you've got to go through the whole thing here. Verse 12: "Therefore... [Now what does therefore mean? Start here in v 1, you carry it all the way through, here's the conclusion]: ...Therefore, do not let sin rule in your mortal body by obeying it in the lusts thereof." Is not overcoming sin greater than selling all that you have? Because you have made the commitment that nothing in your life is important except the eternal relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. Everything else follows below that. So therefore, you can retain all of those things, because your priority and conversion takes place of all of that. Because it's greater than the physical getting rid of your goods.

Verse 13: "Likewise, do not yield your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin; rather, yield yourselves to God as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.... [Now then, here comes v 14. This is the one that evangelicals turn to in isolation, and they don't have a clue as to what it means or understand it. Let me just tell you this: v 14 is a summary of everything from Rom. 3, 4, 5, and 6, up to this point.] ...For sin shall not rule over you because you are not under law, but under grace" (vs 13-14). 'Therefore, we don't have to keep law.'

Now the King James translators made the unfortunate poor translation of saying, 'under the law.' But the truth is, in the Greek there is no definite article. If you know the smallest, little itty-bitty thing about Greek, you will know that the definite article is most important. 'You are not under law, but under grace'—for what? For justification! That's what it's all talking about and the major act of justification is baptism, because you have all your past sins forgiven. Then you are under grace and you are justified to God, not because of any law. Here is a great truth, which they fail to understand and completely misinterpret which is this: No law can justify before God.

That's not the function of law. The function of law is to what? Define what sin is. The whole purpose of Judaism and the rituals at the temple was to justify you to the temple. 'You are not under law, but under grace,' because you can go to God and repent and have your sins forgiven. You don't need to do an act of the tradition of the elders. You do not need to go to the temple and offer a sacrifice. You need to come to God with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, and those are the sacrifices that God looks to and that is under grace. Once you are baptized, you are put into a spiritual relationship with God, which is: you have the Spirit of God, you have access to God the Father and Jesus Christ directly in heaven above, and you do not use any law for justification, but you keep the laws and commandments of God because you are not to live in sin. That's why! So they miss the whole point.

That's why you can't just jump in and read a verse here and read a verse there and understand these things. I've got right here on this one page probably enough for two or three more sermons to cover it. So we will answer them, because they really believe this. They staunchly believe this. They staunchly believe that if you keep the law, you are under a curse, because the law is a curse. That's why we have in the Bible Appendix Z, which is Understanding Paul's Difficult Scriptures Concerning the Law and Commandments of God.

So we'll continue, but I hope this helps understand how you can do something greater than selling everything that you have. That is, through baptism you belong to Christ and you're in the covenant relationship through the death of the old self in the watery grave of baptism. That's greater than those other verses. So yes, we have done it in as much as that we do not put any of these things between us and God, and we have accomplished something greater than doing that. A converted heart and mind is greater than the sale of your possessions.

Scriptural References:

  1. Matthew 5:17-20
  2. John 7:19-23
  3. Mark 7:5-9
  4. Matthew 5:20-22
  5. Matthew 7:28
  6. Matthew 5:22
  7. 1-John 2:9-11
  8. 1-John 3:11-15
  9. Matthew 5:27-28
  10. James 2:10-12, 10
  11. Matthew 5:33-37, 43-48, 29
  12. Luke 12:32-34
  13. Matthew 19:16-30
  14. Luke 14:26-27, 33
  15. Matthew 10:37-39
  16. Romans 6:1-7
  17. Romans 7:9
  18. Romans 6:8-14
  19. 1-Corinthians 9:21

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 2
  • 1-Timothy 6
  • Psalm 119:172
  • Job 31:1
  • John 8

Also referenced:

Books:

  • Code of Jewish Law by Solomon Ganzfried & Hyman Goldin
  • Quitting Church by Julia Duin
  • Booklet: How Did Jesus Fulfill the Law and the Prophets?

 

BOOKS