Survey & Chapter 1:1-5

Fred R. Coulter—July 27, 1996

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This is going to be a unique series; unique from the point of view that I don't think that you would be able to get this course at any college; not even in any of the colleges in the Churches of God that I know of that will go right into the book of Romans the way that we are going to do it.

I first did a series in Romans many years ago and at that time I just went through the King James and the Greek Interlinear. So, when I would come to the places where there was a difficult translation or a wrong translation in the King James, then I would explain it. But it made it a little bit awkward, because I was going back and forth and most of the brethren, at that time, just had a King James and it was hard for them to follow-thru with the shifting back and forth.

Survey of the Book of Romans

With the translation I've got all of those difficult things already taken care of. What I want to do this time is I want to go through and let's just survey a little bit of the book of Romans all the way through. If you want to know the purpose statement for the whole book of Romans here it is right here:

Romans 1:17: "For therein the righteousness of God is being revealed… [present tense passive] …from faith unto faith, according as it is written: 'The just shall live by faith.'" Then everything else flows from that. Right after that, he starts showing what all the pagan religions did—yes, all the religions—and how they ended up.

Paul starts out talking to the individual person in Rom. 2 What he shows is that there are two ways to go: God's way, or the way of the flesh or the world. Now, let's come to the end of chapter two; very important. What he does, he starts 'leveling the playing field.' What do I mean by that? The Jews thought that they had a special playing field with God or a special relationship with God, and that regardless of what they did God had to honor that relationship because of His pledge. However, Paul comes along and makes this completely different; he changes it.

Romans 2:28: "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, neither is that circumcision which is external in the flesh; rather, he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and circumcision is of the heart, in the spirit and not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God" (vs 28-29).

Rom. 3 shows that all have sinned; all have come short of the glory of God; no one is doing righteousness. Then he sums it up by this:

Romans 3:19: "Now then, we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God." This is really telling us that the whole world is under law to God.

I also will let you know that wherever you see italics, those are words of clarification. Sometimes where there is not a definite article, it is very warranted to put one in when you consider the whole context. Other places it is not warranted to put in at all, because it shouldn't be there.

Verse 20: "Therefore, by works of law… [that's one of those instances; no definite article 'the' for law] …there shall no flesh…" Any human being; he's talking about whether Jew, whether Greek, whether Barbarian, whatever system of religion or law you may have, because the pagan religions have different works for justification. Various bathings and cuttings! Some in India have it where they run a sword through the sides of their cheeks or tongue or nose. Those are 'works of law' seeking to make them acceptable to God. That's what this is talking about and is quite a subject when we get there, we'll cover it in detail.

"…be justified before Him; for through the Law is the knowledge of sin" (v 20). I put the there because it's warranted to go ahead and add a definite article at that particular point.

Rom. 4 is really quite a profound chapter and lays some more of the groundwork for justification and showing that Abraham is the 'father of the uncircumcision' and the 'father of the circumcision' and that we are saved 'by faith.'

Rom. 5 tells us little bit more about this justification and what God has done. It comes down all the way through Rom. 6, and I want to tie that in with the last two verses of Rom. 3. We need to understand something very important, most theologians—especially Protestant theologians—will tell you that Paul, in introducing grace and faith, is saying that if you believe in Christ, in faith through grace, you have no works required at all; hence, there is no commandment-keeping or law-keeping; hence, the laws of God are null and void.

Now then, here's what Paul said, Romans 6:1: "What then shall we say? Shall we continue in sin so that grace may abound?…. [I made a 'stylistic' type of translation, v 2]: …MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 1-2).

Notice the translation by the King James, v 2: "God forbid!…." That is a strict interpretation. That is not a translation at all, because this reads in the Greek—'me ginoito'—which means may this thought never be! 'Don't ever let this thought come into existence,' is what he's saying. It's not 'God forbid'—God is not going to forbid anything. If He's allowed sin the way that He's allowed sin, He's not going to 'forbid.'

Verse 2: "MAY IT NEVER BE!…. [I've put it all in caps with an exclamation point to show that this is such an imperative statement.] …We who died to sin… [How did you die to sin? Baptism!] …how shall we live any longer therein?

Romans 3:30: "Since it is indeed one God Who will justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith. Are we, then, abolishing the Law through faith? MAY IT NEVER BE!…." (vs 30-31)—'me ginoito'—don't ever let this thought come into existence.

"…Rather, we are establishing the Law" (v 31). We will get into why we are establishing law; that's very important. Notice, in each case the definite article is not there, so he's not talking about just the law, concerning the laws of God. He's talking about law—meaning everything of God in addition to those things in the Old Testament and everything concerning what Christ said. Remember what Jesus said, 'If you love Me keep My commandments.' He didn't say, 'sin all you want.'

Rom. 7—the first part talks about the marriage law and the releasing of Christ from the people of the Old Covenant by His death. It talks about the internal struggle that Christians go through in overcoming sin. A lot of people think—and it's a Protestant misnomer—that if you are right with God and you are on God's side so to speak, you shouldn't have one bit of trouble. So hence, we get the feeling that if we have trials and difficulties then somehow God is against us, and we go around with a guilt complex. 'Oh my, what have I done?' Rather, Paul is showing us that we have the eternal conflict of overcoming. Please understand, people in the world do not have the conflict! They have no consciousness of sin in the sense that they have the Holy Spirit to convict them.

That's one good measure of 'do you have the Holy Spirit? The measure is this: When you have sinned you are convicted of it mentally, yes, because it's the Holy Spirit convicting you! Furthermore, when you do something and you come to the consciousness of it later on, that it was really a dastardly deed, that's God's Spirit showing you the operation of the law of sin and death within you.

Rom. 8 shows how the final justification takes place: We have to led of the Holy Spirit. He sums up the whole struggle of sin once we've been justified:

Romans 8:28: "And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God to those who are called according to His purpose." Notice again, it is for those who are 'loving God.' Then Paul goes on showing that 'nothing shall separate us.' Look at all of these trials. I mean, these are something! Nothing will be able to separate us!

Rom. 9-11 picks up on another whole topic that he needs to cover having to do with Israel in the flesh and does God still have an obligation to them because of the promises given to the fathers and why God cut off Israel.

Romans 11:32 is the summation of it all: "For God has given them all over to unbelief in order that He might show mercy to all." This is where the beginning of the understanding of the second resurrection takes place, right here. If God gives someone over to unbelief, whose responsibility it is to take away that unbelief? God's! If He doesn't do it, can He justly condemn someone to the Lake of Fire? No! God is just! Paul did not understand that, but he did understand this:

Verse 33: "O the depth of the riches of both the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unfathomable are His judgments and unsearchable are His ways! For who did know the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who first gave to Him, and it shall be recompensed to him again? For from Him, and through Him, and unto Him are all things; to Him be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen." (vs 33-36). He ends the section right here.

  • Rom. 12 gives us some good Christian living principles.
  • Rom. 13 has to do with the civil rulers and powers that are there.

I want to cover something that will help and give us a little overview as we're going through here.

Romans 13:8: "Do not be indebted to anyone for anything, unless it is to love one another. For the one who loves another has fulfilled the law, because it says, 'You shall not commit adultery. You shall not commit murder. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not lust.' And if there be any other commandment…" (vs 8-9). How broad an application is that? It says, 'if there be'—it's in the subjunctive meaning it's all inclusive.

"…it is summed up in this saying, even by this standard: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does not do any wrong to its neighbor; therefore, love is the full expression of God's Law" (vs 9-10).

That's quite different from the King James translation. Protestants will read the King James, which says, v 10: "…love is the fulfilling of the law." So therefore, if we're loving, 'we don't have to keep the law.' But that is not what it means! Jesus said, 'If you love Me, keep My commandments.'

Can you have law-keeping and commandment-keeping without love? You can! Not toward God and not truly toward your neighbor, but in general it can be done. What is a classic example of that? Where they had laws, they had rules, they had regulations and they carried them out? Yes, the Nazis! Love is what brings fullness to the Law! That fills the Law full! Because you are loving! That's why, when you go back to Deut. 5 the Law is given, then God tells them, 'Hear, O Israel, you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your strength!' Love then is that which fulfills the law, or fills it full.

Let me give you an example. This was taken from The San Francisco Chronicle. It's the exact antithesis of using the Scripture without love:

Man, 38, Killed over Bible Contest. Dadeville, Alabama: "A man who lost an early morning Bible quoting contest allegedly killed the man who beat him," police said. Gabriel Taylor, 38, was shot once in the face outside his apartment Thursday. Police are searching for the suspect whose name was not revealed and who has believed to have left Dadeville, about 50 miles northeast of Auburn, Alabama.

Taylor, a preacher's brother, and the suspect were comparing their Bible knowledge outside an apartment complex, each quoting versions of the same passage.

If you've read New Age Bible versions you'll know the problems they have.

The suspect retrieved his Bible, realized he was wrong and threatened to kill Taylor, witnesses said.

How about that! Arguing over the Scriptures unto death! The epitome of law! What was the law? Did you do this correct? No love! BAM! I wonder what they're going to say when Christ resurrects them to the second resurrection and says: 'Remember that argument you had?' That's why love is that which brings 'fullness to the law.'

The verse to understand the key to understanding, Romans 14:21: "It is better not to eat meat, or drink wine, or anything else by which your brother stumbles, or is offended, or is made weak. Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Blessed is the one who does not condemn himself in what he approves" (vs 21-22).

This does away with all thoughts of changing the Sabbath Day to Sunday. If you are to assemble on the Sabbath Day, how can you have faith to yourself alone? You can't!

Rom. 15 talks about hope leading up to the end of it, and talks about God's Spirit. Beginning in v 24 he talks about going on to Spain. Notice v 32 ends with an 'Amen.' When I was translating this, it was very evident that there were edits or additions to this that Paul made at a later time. Some of those you can detect by the 'Amen.'

Romans 16:20: "But the God of peace will bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen." Then he has another thought he wants to put on there, but he doesn't want to change v 20. Then he talks about Timothy (v 21) and the different ones there, and then Gaius (v 23).

Verse 24: "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with all of you. Amen." Then he adds something else he wanted to put there. So then he put this last section:

Verse 25: "Now, to Him Who has the power to establish you, according to my Gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that in past ages has been kept secret; but now is made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations unto the obedience of faith" (vs 25-26).

We'll see 'obedience of faith' again in Rom. 1; so he ends where he begins:

Verse 27: "To the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory into the ages of eternity. Amen." So, there's another Amen.

 

Romans 1:1-7

Now then, let's go back to Romans 1 and let's begin. We're going to cover some of the background for what he has written, and we're going to see that even in a word or two he is talking to people who have knowledge of the Scriptures. He is also talking to them who may very well have portions of the New Testament not yet canonized: Matthew, Mark or Luke. That may have been available to them. Remember, Luke was with Paul and he wrote the Gospel of Luke and also the book of Acts.

Romans 1:1 "Paul, a bondservant… [Greek word 'doulous,' which mean slave; purchased servant] …of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, set apart to preach the Gospel of God, which He had promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures concerning His Son; Who came from the seed of David according to the flesh, Who was declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead—Jesus Christ our Lord; through Whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith… [there's that phrase that just ended chapter 16] …among all the nations, in behalf of His name; in Whom you also are called of Jesus Christ: to all those who are in Rome, beloved by God, the called saints: Grace and peace be to you from God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ." (vs 1-7).

We're going to get some other Scriptures that fit in with this to show the background of what he's writing about and some of the things that are very important for us to understand.

Verse 1: "Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle… [not called to be, but a called; he was called by God] …set apart to preach the Gospel of God."

Verse 6: "In Whom you also are called of Jesus Christ…" The called is a noun. It is not an adverb or verb. It is not the object of the action. This is the result of the action and you are now called. This makes it entirely different.

Verse 7: "To all those who are in Rome, beloved by God, the called saints…" Not called to be saints. When you have received the Holy Spirit of God, you are a saint; you are a called saint.

Let's see how we are called. Let's look at some basic Scriptures with this, because we are dealing with something that is very important and profound for us to understand. We're going to go by three Scriptures which we all know, but let's emphasize it so we can understand about what it means to be the called as a noun; that is your status.

John 6:44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father, Who sent Me, draws him…" Years ago those who would read this would say, 'except the Spirit of the Father'; it doesn't say 'the Spirit of the Father' in the Greek. This is the Father.

Let's understand something very important, and if you get really down and discouraged keep this in mind. Just like I did in the sermon When All Else Fails, Remember God Loves You. If the world hates you; your husband or wife hate you; your children hate you; your boss hates you; everyone you look at the store or wherever you are you think they count you as nothing and they hate you and don't like you and you're just sort of all alone, down, blue, miserable and wretched, remember, God loves you!I guarantee you one thing: The day will come when you will be at that place! There's a very important reason why: That's so you can understand the fullness of what this means right here in v 44.

The Father Himself, of His own personal choice and selection—because to be the called means chosen, selected—the Father Himself initiates the call, I'm sure, in conjunction with Christ.

"…Who sent Me, draws him…" Why should you be interested in God at all anyhow? What happened in your life one day when you're tooling down the road on your bicycle, much like Paul was on his donkey, something happened and all of a sudden you began to think of God. Why did that happen? How did that happen? God the Father was intervening in your life, directly, to begin it. But you have to answer the call! 'Many are called, few are chosen.' If you don't answer the call, then you cannot be called.

Most of the time we just read v 44, but v 45 is important, too: "It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.'…." Brethren, that's what the whole Gospel is all about. That's what needs to be taught.

"…Therefore, everyone who has heard… [they respond, they listen, they act upon it] …from the Father, and has learned, comes to Me." (v 45). That's why we are called the called. You can also put there the chosen. Who then are the chosen people? The saints of God!

Verse 65: "And He said, 'For this reason, I have said to you, no one can come to Me unless it has been given to him from My Father.'" Given is a gift! That's why everything, in dealing with us, God deals in grace. When we get to grace we're going to go into an in-depth study of it.

Here again is another basic Scripture, and these three Scriptures always tie in together:

John 14:6 "Jesus said to him, 'I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life… [there's no wiggle room in that. He's not a way, a truth, a life—He is THE] …no one comes to the Father except through Me.'" It's not the one who wills; it is not the one who runs; but it is God Who chooses!

John 16:27—the reason God has done this: "For the Father Himself loves you… [present tense] …because you have loved Me, and have believed that I came forth from God." That's why you are the called—as a noun—rather than you have been called—as receiving. Once you have received and answered the calling, then you are the called. So, your status changes.

Now let's look at a couple of things concerning called: chosen, selected. That's something! Isn't that something? Think about that for a minute! That God the Father would select you and me and whomever else that He selects. That is amazing! Doesn't that put everything in greater perspective, why we need to always retain our relationship with God the Father and Jesus Christ. That's where it always goes and that's where it comes from.

We are told to make our calling and election sure. 2-Peter 1:10: "For this reason, brethren, be even more diligent to make your calling and election sure; because if you are doing these things, you will never fall at any time." We're going to see 'obedience of the faith' when we get to that section.

We're also told by Paul, 1-Corinthians 1:26: "For you see your calling, brethren, that there are not many who are wise according to the flesh, not many who are powerful, not many who are highborn among you. Rather, God has chosen the foolish things of the world, so that He might put to shame those who are wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world…" (vs 26-27). The base, those who are not counted by the world as not existing,

"…so that He might put to shame those who are wise; and God has chosen the weak things of the world so that He might put to shame… [bring to nothing] …the strong things" (v 27). That is going to be an astounding thing!

Note sermon: The Impossible Work of God. What God is doing, from a human point of view, is an impossibility, but He's going to do it. Paul is part of the pattern, as we covered in the first sermon in this series.

Ephesians 1:17 has to do with our calling, or our having been selected: "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you…"

Who's going to be giving these things? Brethren, if we understand this unto a very deep conviction in our hearts and in our minds and in our lives, it's going to make a great difference in our relationship to God; a great difference in our relationship to each other.

"…the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him. And may the eyes of your mind be enlightened…" (vs 17-18). In other words, to comprehend spiritually in your mind's eye, to be enlightened!

"…in order that you may comprehend what is the hope of His calling…" (v 18). So, there is great hope. And we'll see in Rom. 4 that hope is the whole thing that we're dealing with. Abraham had to come to the point where his only hope was hope itself—hope against hope!

"…and what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the inner working of His mighty power, which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His right hand in the heavenly places" (vs 18-20). That shows about our calling; we need to make our calling and election sure!

Romans 1:2: "Which He had promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures… [Paul talks about two things here]: …[#1]concerning His Son; Who came from the seed of David according to the flesh, [#2]Who was declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead—Jesus Christ our Lord" (vs 2-4). We're going to look at both aspects of this. How did he come of the seed of David?

Isa. 9—where it was prophesied "…through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures…" It talks about Jesus Christ. You actually have two close together: Isa. 8 & 9.

Isaiah 9:6: "For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulders; and His name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and over His kingdom, to order it and to establish it" (vs 6-7).

Isaiah 8:8: "And he shall sweep through Judah, overflowing as he passes through; he shall reach even to the neck…." Talking about His second return.

The thing that is very difficult with the Old Testament is you have parts of the first coming, parts of the second coming, and in many cases interlaced together. So, without the New Testament it is awfully hard to pull them apart. That is the spirit of understanding and gift that God gave to all the original apostles because they didn't have the New Testament. They had to go back to the Old Testament and extract all of these things out of it. Here's part of it where He's talking about His second coming, and yet, we will see this has to do with Christ's own name Immanuel which is God with us!

"…And the stretching out of his wings shall fill the breadth of your land, O Immanuel" (v 9).

Let's see concerning the begettal of Jesus Christ and the prophecy that was given by Gabriel when he came and announced to Mary what would happen.

Luke 1:27: "To a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the lineage of David; and the name of the virgin was Mary. And after coming to her, the angel said, 'Hail, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you; blessed are you among women.'" (vs 27-28). Highly favored means you have been graciously blessed!

Verse 29: "But when she saw him, she was greatly perplexed at his message, and was considering what kind of salutation this might be."

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Verse 30: "Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, because you have found grace with God; and behold, you shall conceive in your womb and give birth to a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give Him the throne of David, His forefather… [direct fulfilling of that Scripture] …and He shall reign over the house of Jacob into the ages, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.' But Mary said to the angel, 'How shall this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?' And the angel answered and said to her, 'The Holy Spirit shall come upon you, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow you; and for this reason, the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God'" (vs 30-35).

It's very interesting in the Greek. The Greek does not mean shall be born. The Greek here is the present tense participle of being begotten—that which is in you—"…the Holy One being begotten in you shall be called the Son of God." We're going to see He was called the Son of God in the flesh, and He was called the Son of God after the resurrection, as well. But some people believe that He was not the Son of God until the resurrection. That is not so!

We're going to see there are two distinct things here. When we go through some of these things, let's always remember that there is nothing impossible for God to do. Later, when we get to Rom. 8 we will cover a little bit more about the nature of God; we'll go into that in detail. Someone always asks: How can God become a man? That becomes a very complicated topic. But the nature of God is most important because you must know the right God and you must know His right nature, otherwise you have the wrong God.

Here Jesus did something to them, Matthew 22:41: "While the Pharisees were assembled together, Jesus questioned them, saying, 'What do you think concerning the Christ? Whose son is He?' They said to Him, 'The Son of David.' He said to them, 'How then does David in spirit call Him Lord, saying, "The LORD said to my Lord, 'Sit at My right hand, until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet'"? Therefore, if David calls Him Lord, how is He his Son?''" (vs 41-45). They couldn't answer that!

We just saw the begettal of Christ (Luke 1), where He is called the Lord, Psalm 110:1 "The LORD…" YHVH—and I think it's interesting, to a tape by a 'Christian' Jew who has radio program, and he calls YHVH—not YHWH—and he pronounced it Ya-ho-va, the soft 'j' sound. If you had the harder 'j' sound it would be Ja-ho-va. Only once did he say, Yahweh.

So. this first one is: …The YHVH said unto my [Adonai] Lord…" Adonai, which then is 'Lord.' Notice the difference in the spelling—one is all caps and the other one is lower case. Who was Lord over David in the sense that it was not God? Was there anyone higher than David? This is why it reveals two who were called 'God' under various titles of Jehovah, Adonai and El Shaddai and all of the others.

"…'Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies as Your footstool.' The LORD shall send the rod of Your strength out of Zion saying, 'Rule in the midst of Your enemies.' Your people will offer themselves in the day of Your power, in the beauties of Holiness from the womb of the morning: Yours is the dew of Your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not repent, 'You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.' The LORD at Your right hand shall strike through kings in the day of His wrath" (vs 1-5). This is talking about the second return of Christ.

Verse 6: "He shall judge among the nations, He shall fill them with dead bodies; He shall shatter chief men over the broad earth. He shall drink of the brook by the way; therefore, He shall lift up the head" (vs 6-7).

You see how many things are blended in together. That's why going through and trying to pick out these prophecies in the Old Testament, sometimes you have to pick out a phrase or a verse right in the middle of it all.

Let's see where it talks about 'this day I have begotten you' which refers what we read in Luke 1. I'm not going to go through all of Psa. 2, but much of that could be applied today in exactly what is happening in this coming world-government and so forth; everybody getting away from God into the great apostasy.

Psalm 2:7: "I will declare the decree of the LORD. He has said to Me, 'You are My Son; this day I have begotten You.'" This could not refer to David, because David was already a full-grown man!

There was only one day when that occurred. Then He was known as the only begotten Son of God! We are begotten sons, but not like Christ. That's why He is called the only begotten. And begotten refers to when He was conceived physically in the womb of the virgin Mary.

Let's look at some other Scriptures that show that He was called while He was in the flesh, the Son of God.

Mark 1:1: "The beginning of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God." That's what He's called. Jesus even called Himself the Son of God. But we're also going to see that He was not the Son until He was begotten.

John 1:50[transcriber's correction]: "Nathanael answered and said to Him, 'Rabbi, You are the Son of God; You are the King of Israel.'" So, they knew! Remember when the wise-men came; they came to Herod and they wanted to know 'Where is He that is born King of the Jews?' They knew that He was to be born in Bethlehem.

  • they knew the town
  • they knew that He was to be born
  • they knew He was to be called Immanuel
  • they knew that He was to be the Son of God and the King of Israel

That's quite an admission!

Now then, let's see what Jesus referred to Himself in another type of reference, v 51[transcriber's correction]: "Jesus answered and said to him, 'Because I told you, "I saw you under the fig tree," do you believe? Greater things than these shall you see.' And He said to him, 'Truly, truly I say to you, hereafter you shall see heaven open, and the angels of God descending to and ascending from the Son of man.'" (vs 51-52).

That's quite a thing! He called Himself the 'the Son of man' and angels descending and ascending upon Him. Don't ask me exactly how that worked because I can't tell you. But, I'm sure that's one of the reasons why He was able not to sin, in addition to being filled with the Holy Spirit and being begotten by God the Father.

John 3:16: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten…" In the New International Version and New American Standard Version, they translate this 'the one and the only Son of God.' What does that do? That closes it off.

"…gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life" (v 3).

John 5:17: "But Jesus answered them, 'My Father is working until now, and I work.' So then, on account of this saying, the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, not only because He had loosed the Sabbath, but also because He had called God His own Father, making Himself equal with God. Therefore, Jesus answered and said to them, 'Truly, truly I say to you, the Son has no power to do anything of Himself…'" (vs 17-19). So, He called Himself the 'Son of God/the Son of man.'

Verse 25: "Truly, truly I say to you, the hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God; and those who hear shall live."  He called Himself the Son of God/the Son of man—referring to His physical existence.

John 9:35: "Jesus heard that they had cast him out… [the man who was born blind, whom He healed] …and when He found him, He said to him, 'Do you believe in the Son of God?'…. [referring to Himself] ...He answered and said, 'Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?' And Jesus said to him, 'You have seen Him, and He is the One Who is even now speaking to you.' Then he said, 'Lord, I believe.' And he worshiped Him" (vs 35-38). Called the Son of God! The Son of God is worthy of worship.

Let's look at something else. We'll see right in the first chapter of John that before He was the Son of God—begotten of God—He was called the Word and He was God. This is important to understand because all trinitarians believe that the Son was eternally the Son, the Father was eternally the Father and that the Father has eternally begotten the Son. That is not true. Jesus did not become the Son of God until His begettal. 'This day I have begotten You,' the only begotten Son of God.

  • one of Elohim became the Son at that point
  • the other of Elohim—meaning God—became the Father

John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word… [that's what He was called, the Word of God] …and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

These are all past tense forms translated was, the Greek is 'eimi'—which could also have the meaning: before the beginning was the Word, and the Word WAS with God at that time, and the Word WAS God before the beginning. Now, what does it say of Christ? Slain before the foundation of the world!
"…He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and not even one thing that was created came into being without Him. In Him was life…" (vs 3-4). That can only be God, therefore, God Christ could not have been a created being and He did not exist until the time of His begettal by the Father—that is not correct!

Verse 14: And the Word became flesh…" If you become something, that means you've already have been something before that.

So, He "…became flesh and tabernacled among us (and we ourselves beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten with the Father), full of grace and truth" (v 14).

Verse 18: "No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, Who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him." That's talking about the only begotten Son. He did not become a Son until He was begotten.

Now let's look at the term firstborn, because that has to do with the resurrection. I want to show you the difference between begotten and born—especially firstborn.

Matthew 1:23: "'Behold, the virgin shall be with child and shall give birth to a Son, and they shall call His name Emmanuel'… [we read that prophecy (Isa. 8:8)] …which is being interpreted, 'God with us.' And when Joseph was awakened from his sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord had commanded, and took his wife to wed; but he did not have sexual relations with her until after she had given birth to her Son, the firstborn; and he called His name Jesus" (vs 23-25).

There's a difference in the Greek in the phrase only begotten and firstborn. Only begotten in the Greek is 'monogenes':

  • 'mono' is only
  • 'genes' means begotten

Firstborn is quite different: the Greek is

  • 'prototokos'—'proto'

we even have in English: prototypes, the first one of a kind

  • 'totokos' comes from to give birth
  • 'prototokos' means you are already born, the firstborn
  • 'monogenes' means to be begotten, not yet born.

Are we begotten of the Holy Spirit now? Yes! But we are not born of the resurrection, yet!

Let's see this concerning 'prototokos.' Then we are going to see a couple of places where they have mistranslated only begotten—'monogenes'—to read firstborn. Or they have translated 'prototokos'—meaning firstborn—to read 'monogenes.' That is not correct!

Here is where we have it concerning Jesus was born again. Did we not just read where Jesus was called the firstborn of Mary—'prototokos.'

Colossians 1:18: "And He is the Head of the body, the Church; Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…" He was the beginning of those who are resurrected from the dead; not meaning that He was the beginning of the creation of God when God decided to create. Do you understand the difference?

"…Who is the Beginning, the Firstborn from among the dead…"—'prototokos.'

Now let's go to Rom. 8 and we will see where He is the firstborn, and if you're the firstborn, what does that automatically tell you? That tells you there are more to come! When you have an only child, how many are there? One!

Romans 8:29: "Because those whom He did foreknow He also predestinated to be conformed to the image of His own Son, that He might be the Firstborn among many brethren." Now we're into the Family of God at this point. In this case again it is 'prototokos'—firstborn.

Let's look at it where we have a little difficulty, Hebrews 1:4: "Having been made so much greater than any of the angels, inasmuch as He has inherited a name exceedingly superior to them. For to which of the angels did He ever say, 'You are My Son; this day… [today] …I have begotten… [which comes from 'genes'] …You'? And again, 'I will be a Father to Him… [when the begettal took place, that's when the One of Elohim became the Father] …and He will be a Son to Me'? And again, when He brought the Firstborn… ['prototokos'] …into the world… [could refer to after His physical birth] …He said, 'Let all the angels of God worship Him'" (vs 4-6).

Did not the angels worship Christ? What happened when He was born?

  • the heavens opened up and departed
  • the shepherd saw the angels singing and gave him a message

What were they singing? Glory to God in the Highest!

We've covered many things which are on the Messiah. Some Sabbath when you're not able to get to church and you have it, listen to it; and if you don't have it, I recommend you get it; get the CDs which have the whole complete Messiah. If you don't feel like reading and studying the Bible that day, just put that on—it's about two hours altogether. You will have a sermon sung to you like you have never heard in your entire life. One of them, which I really like, the soprano has it and it talks about this instance where the angels are singing: It's 'Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest.' Marvelous! It's just magnificent! I really love to listen to the Messiah.

Hebrews 1:5 (KJV): "For unto which of the angels said He at any time, 'You are My Son, this day have I begotten you? And again, I will be to Him a Father, and He shall be to me a Son? And again, when He brings in the first begotten [not correct!—'prototokos'—firstborn!] …into the world, He says, 'And let all the angels of God worship Him'" (vs 5-6).

Now, let's apply this again to firstborn from the dead. Let's see another mistranslation in the King James;

Revelation 1:5 (KJV): "And from Jesus Christ, Who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead…" Not a correct translation, blatantly wrong! This does not come from 'genes' or 'gennao' whatsoever. This is 'prototokos'—firstborn.

Read it the way it should read: Revelation 1:5: "And from Jesus Christ, the faithful Witness, the Firstborn from the dead…"—'eknekros'—which means out from the grave, out of the earth. So, He is "…the Firstborn from the dead..."

Let's look at this again and let's put this all together; Acts 13:22: "And after removing him [Saul], He [God] raised up David to be their king… [to raise up a physical person] …to whom He also gave testimony, saying, "I have found David, the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will perform all My will." Of this man's seed has God according to His promise raised up to Israel a Savior, Jesus" (vs 22-23).

Verse 33 (KJV): "God has fulfilled the same unto us, their children, in that He has raised up Jesus again…." not in the Greek. Raise up again could have reference toward the resurrection, but this is to 'raise up Jesus the man, not raise up from the resurrection. We'll see the next verse he talks about that.

"…as it is also written in the second Psalm, You are My Son, this day have I begotten You'" (v 33 KJV). That was the day of His begettal, having nothing to do with the resurrection.

Verse 34 (KJV): "And as concerning that He raised Him up from the dead…'" There we have raised Him up from the dead. That is the resurrection part of it. The other one: He has raised up Jesus has exactly the same meaning that He raised up David (v 22), exactly the same verb and exactly the same language.

This also has to do with this prophecy that was given to Moses; Deuteronomy 18:15: "The LORD your God will raise up unto you a Prophet from the midst of you, of your brethren… [of the flesh] …One like me…. [referring to Moses himself] …To Him you shall hearken."

Verse 18: "I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, One like you, and will put My words in His mouth…." This is talking about the physical life and ministry of Christ.

So, back there in Acts 13 when it says, 'and He raised up Jesus' it does not mean again. It's not in the Greek. The word 'palin' is not there. That was an interpretation by the translators.

We also have one other thing concerning this. Romans 1:4—resurrected, He "…was declared the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of Holiness, by the resurrection from the dead—Jesus Christ our Lord." Let's look at a couple of Scriptures prophesying of His being resurrected.

Psalm 16:8 talks about He would not leave His soul in hell. "I have set the LORD always before Me…. [another reason why Christ did not sin] …Because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore, My heart is glad, and My glory rejoices; My flesh also shall rest in safety, for You will not abandon My soul to the grave; neither will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption" (vs 8-10).

That was the promise given by the One Who became the Father. Since it's impossible for God to lie, Jesus knew He would be resurrected. He knew that!

Verse 11: "You will make known to Me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy. At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore." That is also talking about the resurrection.

Peter quoted that on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2). He was resurrected from the dead by the Spirit of Holiness. Let's see what that is:

John 17:1: "Jesus spoke these words, and lifted up His eyes to heaven and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify Your own Son, so that Your Son may also glorify You; since You have given Him authority over all flesh, in order that He may give eternal life to all whom You have given Him. For this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, Whom You did send. I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work that You gave Me to do. And now, Father, glorify Me with Your own self… [which then is the Spirit of Holiness] …with the glory that I had with You before the world existed'" (vs 1-5).

I don't want to burden you down with too much Greek, but I need to mention this. The word translated 'was' comes from the Greek word 'eni' which means and is the present infinitive to bebefore the world came into being, that's what it means: "…with the glory that I had with You before the world existed [came into being]." Again, showing that He was God before He became human. He is asking for that glory back. Through the power of the resurrection the Spirit of Holiness.

Romans 1:5: "Through Whom we received the grace and apostleship…" We're going to talk an awful lot about grace later on. Suffice it to say at this point, this is the gift of grace given for his apostleship.

"…for obedience to the faith…" (v 5). That's quite a statement. We read that right at the end. He finishes off the book of Romans with obedience to the faith and he begins it with obedience to the faith. In one sense this is kind of a contradiction for Protestants. If you have grace and there's nothing for you to obey, how can you be obedient to the faith? In this case, the faith means that as a result of your faith and belief there is obedience to follow.

Let's see that Peter also understood it. Understand that the faith can also mean the body of belief; so you have beliefs to which you must be obedient. If you believe someone and you have belief, you're going to act upon that belief and that belief is called obedience.

We'll see the same thing here that Peter also understood it, 1-Peter 1:1: "Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the elect strangers scattered in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia; who have been chosen according to the predetermined knowledge of God the Father… [His plan He is going to carry out] …by sanctification through the Spirit…" (vs 1-2). That's why we are called. When we are called and receive the Holy Spirit, we are sanctified and we are called saints. Catholics have it: a saint is someone declared by the pope to be a righteous, virtuous person by their works to be declared worthy of worship. So then they make an idol to that saint. For us, we are saints, because we're sanctified by the Spirit.

"…unto obedience…" (v 2)—everything there is that Christ said. Did we not read the words that 'If you love Me, you will keep My words. If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.'

  • that's the obedience that's required
  • that obedience has to be with faith
  • that obedience has to be with love

Love brings fullness to the law!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version (except where noted)

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 1:17
  • Romans 2:28-29
  • Romans 3:19-20
  • Romans 6:1-2
  • Romans 3:30-31
  • Romans 8:28
  • Romans 11:32-36
  • Romans 13:8-10
  • Romans 14:21-22
  • Romans 16:20, 24-27
  • Romans 1:1-7, 1, 6-7
  • John 6:44-45, 65
  • John 14:6
  • John 16:27
  • 2 Peter 1:10
  • 1 Corinthians 1:26-27
  • Ephesians 1:17-20
  • Romans 1:2-4
  • Isaiah 9:6-7
  • Isaiah 8:8
  • Luke 1:27-35
  • Matthew 22:41-45
  • Psalm 110:1-7
  • Psalm 2:7
  • Mark 1:1
  • John 1:50-52
  • John 3:16
  • John 5:17-19, 25
  • John 9:35-38
  • John 1:1-4, 14, 18
  • Matthew 1:23-25
  • Colossians 1:18
  • Romans 8:29
  • Hebrews 1:4-6
  • Hebrews 1:5-6
  • Revelation 1:5-6
  • Acts 13:22-23, 33-34
  • Deuteronomy 18:15, 18
  • Romans 1:4
  • Psalm 16:8-11
  • John 17:1-5
  • Romans 1:5
  • 1 Peter 1:1-2

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Deuteronomy 5
  • Acts 2

Also referenced: Sermons:

  • When All Else Fails, Remember God Loves You (Love Series #1)
  • The Impossible Work of God

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 10-15-10
Reformatted/Corrected: November/2016

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