(Chapters 4:16-25 & 5:1-14)
Faith, Hope, Love

Fred R. Coulter—May 10, 1997

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Let's briefly review concerning Abraham. Romans 4:16: "For this reason it is of faith, in order that it might be by grace…" We're going to talk about grace today, but I'm not going to do an in-depth series on grace going through Romans {note sermon series: Grace of God}

"…to the end that the promise might be certain to all the seed …" (v 16)—the physical seed as well as the spiritual seed. Those who have been begotten by God the Father, because remember, in Gen. 15:4-5 we have the two promises:

  • the promise of the physical seed, which then would come through Isaac to Israel
  • the promise of the spiritual seed, who will be as stars of heaven

"…not to the one who is of the law only…" (v 16). That's the thing that the Jews are hung up on to this day. They feel that no one has a right but them. But Paul is saying no!

"…but also to the one who is of the faith of Abraham…" (v 16). That's why it talks about his faith being while he was in a condition of uncircumcision.

"…who is the father of us all, (exactly as it is written: 'I have made you a father of many nations.').…" (vs 16-17). Notice that God said 'I have made you.' Why? Because God talks about those things that are not as though they are!

"…before God in Whom he believed, Who gives life to the dead, and calls the things that are not as though they are; and who against hope believed in hope…" (vs 17-18).

We're all going to come to a time in our lives when things will get so down and so hard and so depressing and almost nowhere to go. You're in this box canyon and can't get out and the only thing you can do is look to God and hope in hope and trust in God's Word, because God is true and cannot lie.

"…in order that he might become a father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, 'So shall your seed be.' And he, not being weak in the faith, considered not his own body, already having become dead, being about one hundred years old, nor did he consider the deadness of Sarah's womb; and he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief…" (vs 18-20).

Let's understand something concerning the 'promise of God.' Why is it important to believe God? Because God cannot lie!That's why it's important. God was willing more abundantly to show the surety of His promise. This I will cover in Gen. 22 where the promise was given. This is something we need to understand, brethren: If God says something, it is! Do you understand that? That's why He says, 'I have made you a father of many nations. Do you believe that, Abraham?' And he still had quite a few years to go before Isaac was born. Why? Because God cannot lie! That's why!

Hebrews 6:13: "For God, after promising Abraham, swore by Himself… [this is an added surety that God gave] …since He could swear by none greater, saying, 'Surely in blessing I will bless you, and in multiplying I will multiply you.' Now after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise" (vs 13-15).

Imagine how happy he was when Isaac was born! He didn't have to hope for Isaac, because Isaac was there. If you have what you're hoping for, then you don't hope for it, because you already have it. He obtained the promise: Isaac. But there are many other promises yet to be fulfilled in the realm of the promises given to Abraham.

Verse 16: "For indeed, men swear by the greater… [they come in and put their hand on the Bible] …and confirmation by an oath puts an end to all disputes between them. In this way God, desiring more abundantly to show the heirs of the promise the unchangeable nature of His own purpose, confirmed it by an oath… [in other words, if God says something that is it; that is true] …so that by two immutable things…" (vs 16-18):

  • the existence of God, He's eternal
  • that He swore by Himself

"…in which it was impossible for God to lie…" (v 18).

  • What happens with most theologians today? They say God lied! 'Christ didn't mean this; God did mean that.'
  • Isn't that what they say? Yes, they do!
  • How do they say it? They say the principle of the Sabbath is one day in seven. Since it's more convenient for us to meet on Sunday than on Saturday, that's why we go to church on Sunday!

They have just made God a liar!Same thing concerning any doctrine you want to take: clean and unclean meats, Holy Days, Passover, anything! The Word of God has been tried and purified seven times. It's impossible for God to lie! Notice what this is to do for us:

"…we who have fled for refuge…" (v 18). When you're in a time of trouble and difficulty; you can always know that God is there.

"…might have strong encouragement to lay hold on the hope that has been set before us; which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both secure and steadfast… [How sure and steadfast?] …and which enters into the sanctuary within the veil" (vs 16-19).

That's saying, brethren, we have direct access to God the Father in heaven above right into the Holy of Holies. He has promised that He will hear! That is a magnificent thing to understand. That's why then your prayers will become far more effective when you pray with that understanding, and when you know that you get on your knees and you say, 'Our Father' you are heard right in the throne room of God in the Holy of Holies in heaven above.

I want you to think on that. And I want you understand that. Because the times that we are headed for are going to be so absolutely up-heaving and 'every which way but loose'; that's what's going to happen to this society. We've seen it already as a precursor, what happened within the Church. If you don't have this strong consolation to know that you have direct access to God the Father, with Jesus Christ at the right hand as our High Priest, then discouragement can get you down. You don't need to let it get you down.

Verse 20: "Where Jesus has entered for us as a forerunner, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchisedec."

That's what this whole book of Hebrews is about. It is a profound book. What it does, it shows that everything as a Christian bypasses and completely renders null and void all of the physical temple things and rituals that were done at the temple in Jerusalem. This is important for us to understand, because when they build the temple again in Jerusalem, believe me there is going to be a push for all Christians to join in on the sacrifices; and a push for all of them to join in on the 15th Seder Passover. This is why God has given us time to really get our noses in the Bible, that we can:

  • know the Word of God
  • believe the Word of God
  • hope in the Word of God
  • understand the things that are going to happen and the times in which we are living

Romans 4:20: "And he did not doubt the promise of God through unbelief; rather, he was strengthened in the faith, giving glory to God." Remember: You have nothing you didn't receive! Give glory to God for everything! "…he was strengthened in the faith…"

Notice what this does: When you understand in every fiber of your being that everything that you have comes from God:

  • the knowledge of God
  • the calling from God
  • the Word of God

and you give glory to God for it, what happens? It strengthens your faith!

  • you have greater faith
  • you have greater belief
  • you have greater conviction

Verse 21: "For he was fully persuaded…" What happened in the days of Elijah? That's what it's like in the Church today. 'How long halt you between two opinions? If the Lord be God, follow Him. If Baal be God, follow him.' Then Elijah proved that it was the LORD Who was God. "…fully persuaded…" That's where we need to be.

"…that what He had promised…" (v 21). Not only the promises to Abraham, but also, brethren, we have the promise of eternal life. And we need to be fully persuaded that God will keep His promise! Yes! He will!

"…He is also able to do" (v 21)—which means that God has the power to perform it!

When you're fully persuaded, let's see what kind of attitude we need to have when we are fully persuaded. I'll tell you something else that happens, too, brethren. When you are fully persuaded, God begins to grant you greater faith and greater understanding. You grow in it! It's not something that God just pours into your head. You grow in it!

Here's the attitude that we need to come to, to be fully persuaded. Here is the most fully persuaded attitude of all, Psa, 119. These two verses you will hear me go to quite often because they're very profound. These are fundamental in the foundation of our belief and faith. If you have belief and faith, then you can have hope, because you understand that what God said is true.

Psalm 119:127: "Therefore, I love Your commandments…" If you love God you will love the Truth, and if you love the Truth you will love His commandments, you will love the Word of God and all of that together.

"…above gold… [the greatest physical possession you can have] …yea, above fine gold…. [purified many times over] (and you come to this point): …Therefore, I esteem all Your precepts concerning all things to be right… [not just what you agree with. The only agreement is that you agree with God] …and I hate every false way" (vs 127-128).

Romans 4:21: "For he was fully persuaded…" That's how we have to be concerning everything, brethren—fully persuaded!

"…that what He has promised, He is also able to do. As a result, it was also imputed to him for righteousness" (vs 21-22). Granted righteousness; given. To believe God and to believe His Word is greater than a work of law. And you are imputed righteousness from God because that is the greatest thing that you can do: believe God!

Verse 23: "But it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him; rather, it was also written for our sakes, to whom it shall be imputed—to those who believe in Him Who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offenses and was raised for our justification" (vs 23-25).

You might go back and review in the Special Word Study: justification. Justification means to be put in right standing with God the Father in heaven above, through the forgiveness of your sins; you are justified!We have two things here:

  • delivered for our offenses
  • raised for our justification

He had to be raised in order to be accepted as the sacrifice for all the sins of mankind.

1-Corinthians 15:12: "But if Christ is being preached, that He rose from the dead…" Let's understand that this is probably less than 30 years after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Remember, at the beginning he says that Christ 'rose according to the Scriptures'; was seen of the 12 and then 500 of the brethren all at once. Then Paul saw Him last of all.

Yet, here in the Church they are saying, v 12: "…how is it that some among you are saying that there is no resurrection of the dead?" (v 12). So, if you think people left the faith quickly in the recent present time, they were doing it then with the apostles right with them. That's amazing!

Verse 13: "For if there is no resurrection from the dead, neither has Christ been raised." This is going to give you a good sequence of how to logically build your case with proper deductive reasoning.

Verse 14: "And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain, and your faith is also in vain. And we are also found to be false witnesses of God… [you're lying for God] …because we have testified of God that He raised Christ, Whom He did not raise, if indeed the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised. But if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins" (vs 14-17). You have not been justified. That's why he says in Rom. 4:25 that 'He was raised for our justification.'

Verse 18: "And those who have fallen asleep in Christ have then perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most miserable. But… [after all the IFs] …now Christ has been raised from the dead; He has become the Firstfruit of those who have fallen asleep" (vs 18-20). That's very powerful, brethren!

I'll tell you another thing, too, your faith in the Word of God is the evidence of the resurrection of Jesus Christ! Did you know that? They virtually have succeeded in removing all historical evidence of Christ and the Church. That's why belief in the Word of God becomes very important. {note sermon series on Justification} As we go through the Epistle of Romans I'm going to refer to sermon series so we won't have to take the time to go through them now. Those are still valid.

Romans 5:1: "Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through Whom we also have access by faith… [very important to understand it is the access; there is only one way] …into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations, realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance, and endurance brings forth character, and character brings forth hope" (vs 1-4). The way that the Greek is constructed, it is referring back to where it is 'brings forth endurance'

Verse 5: "And the hope of God never makes us ashamed because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, which has been given to us."

Let's go back and look at some very key, important things:

  • v 1—faith
  • v 2—faith, hope
  • v 4—hope
  • v 5—love

We have faith, hope and love. That's the same thing we find in 1-Cor. 13:13—when everything else fails, these three remain and live: faith, hope and love—and the greatest of these is love! You see how that Paul, in writing, incorporates the same thing here, almost the same kind of structure of it.

  • we are justified by faith
  • we have peace with God

Why is it important that we have peace with God? Why does he say that we have peace with God? We were the enemies of God. We're no longer the enemies, nor are we at war with God. We have peace with God! Christ is called 'the Prince of Peace' (Isa. 9:6).

Let's see what Jesus said; let's see what kind of peace we have. This is the kind of peace that we need along with faith and hope and love to really help us and inspire us and guide us. These are the things that will cast out fear—'perfect love casts out fear.'

On the Passover night, as part of the Passover instructions, Jesus said, John 14:27: "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give it to you…. [we're going to see how the world gives peace in just a bit] …Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it fear." He gives us that peace! That's tremendous!

Let's see how the world gives peace. We're going to see how it is in the world. I want you to think about the Middle East peace process. Is there peace? No! Are they trying to build peace? Yes! Will it work? No!

Ezekiel 13:10: "Because, even because they have seduced My people, saying, 'Peace,' and there was no peace—…" I want you to look at the peace efforts around the world:

  • Remember WWI, the war to end all wars?
  • Didn't do it, did it?
  • Remember WWII, to make the world safe for democracy?
    • Didn't do it!
    • Didn't stop wars!

We've had many wars since then. Every time 'peace, peace,' but as soon as a peace agreement is signed they look for a way around it. That is the peace of the world. It's going to happen in the end-time, there's going to be 'peace, peace.' When they shall say 'peace and safety' then what 'sudden destruction will come upon them.' Here's how they do it:

"…and when anyone builds a weak wall they cover it with whitewash" (v 10)—untempered mortar. What is 'untempered mortar'? That's mud! It's not concrete, because if you have concrete in the sand, it will temper and get hard. Mud works just fine as long as the weather is hot and it is dry.

I remember seeing a documentary of one of the cities in the Saudi Arabian desert. They built their building out of adobe mud. They didn't bake them or anything; they just built them. Of course, it doesn't rain in the desert, except once in a great while. Then they had a great rainstorm and guess what? The city walls just melted down and the house and the buildings were collapsing. That's what's going to happen with this peace. We have a one-world government, a one-world religion and they're going to bring 'peace' to the earth. Look what's going to happen:

Verse 11: "Say to those who cover it with whitewash… [all the peace agreements; all the ecumenical movements] …that it shall fall; there will be a flooding rain; and you, O great hailstones, shall fall, and a stormy wind will break forth. And, behold, when the wall has fallen, shall it not be said to you, "Where is the whitewash with which you have covered it?"' Therefore, thus says the Lord GOD, 'I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury. And there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and hailstones in fury to destroy it. And I will break down the wall that you have covered with whitewash, and bring it down to the ground; yea, I will expose its foundation…. [you can tie that in with Rev. 16 & 18] …And it shall fall, and you shall be destroyed in her midst; and you shall know that I am the LORD'" (vs 11-14).

Let's see how they're going to do this; let's see what happens. Same way in our lives, we can have a spiritual life that is constructed out of untempered mortar rather than through the blood of Christ and the Holy Spirit.

Isaiah 59:1: "Behold, the LORD'S hand is not shortened that it cannot save, nor is His ear heavy that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have come between you and your God, and your sins have hid His face from you, that He will not hear" (vs 1-2).

  • we are to be the opposite with peace with God
  • we are to have direct access to God
  • we have our sins forgiven
  • we have the grace of God to cover us in which we are living in

So therefore, God hears us!

Verse 3: "For your hands are defiled with blood…" You can think of this in the government; you can think of this in churches; wherever it applies, it is true.
"…your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue has muttered perverseness. None calls for justice…" (vs 3-4).

Oh, they do, but in their own way! Rather than God's justice they want their justice. That's what's happening over there in the former Yugoslavia—Croatia, Serbia, Herzegovina, and Bosnia. Now it's happening again in Albania. It's happening in the Sudan. It happened between the Indians and Pakistanis. Everyone wants peace on their terms. Happening with the Jews and the Arabs. They found an Arab man killed who had been selling property to the Jews. How can you ever get peace?

"…nor does anyone plead for Truth; they trust in vanity and speak lies…. [sounds like a presidential campaign] …They conceive mischief and bring forth iniquity. They hatch adders' eggs and weave the spider's web… [they have their plan and their design] …he who eats their eggs dies, and that which is crushed breaks out into a viper…. [it becomes worse] …Their webs shall not become clothing, nor shall they cover themselves with their works; their works are works of iniquity, and the acts of violence are in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths" (vs 4-7).

I just read to you the nightly news and the prime time programs that follow.

Verse 8: "They have not known the way of peace… [Why? Because the way of peace is through Christ!] …and there is no justice in their ways. They have made crooked paths for themselves; whoever goes therein shall not know peace."

Let's look at how we begin to restore peace in an individual particular way. Here is the beginning of peace: when you quit making war with God:

Psalm 119:165 "Great peace have those who love Your law, and there is no stumbling block for them." Why? Because:

  • you have hope in God
  • you know what is right
  • you keep His commandments because you love Him

all of that is all the peace of God.

Let's see how that is to work in our lives. It is to have a moving and profound impact in our lives. With this peace there are things that we need to do.

Colossians 3:12: "Put on then, as the elect of God… [that means personally, hand-chosen by God.] …Holy and beloved, deep inner affections, kindness, humility…"

Since we have nothing we didn't receive, what are we to brag about of anything that we have? The more that we understand that, the more that we praise God for it, the more that we love God because of it, then God is going to give us greater understanding, give us greater love and all of those things will come, brethren.

"…meekness and long-suffering; forbearing one another… [this is the whole story of the unleavened bread] …and forgiving one another if anyone has a complaint against another… [being not at peace with him] …even as Christ forgave you, so also you should forgive. And above all these things put on love…" (vs 12-14).

That's the whole goal! Ask God to help you understand His love, study His love—note sermon series: Love of God—it will make a profound change in your life. When we were going through that series, it made profound changes in our lives. I'm glad that we have it so that now the brethren coming along we can say, 'Here's the whole package.'

"…which is the bond of perfection…. [that's how you become perfect] …And let the peace of God rule in your hearts…" (vs 14-15). This really is the greatest mental health program in the world, right there.

"…to which you were called into one body, and be thankful…. [How do you let it rule in your heart?]: …Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly…" (vs 15-16)—fully, profoundly. That's why

  • we need to know the Word of God
  • we need to live by the Word of God
  • we need to think by the Word of God

—that's dwelling in us richly! "…in all wisdom…" (v 16). And it will help you overcome your stupidity. I still ask God: Help me to think; I don't know how to think as I ought to.

Do you ever make so many mistakes and blunders, and all at once it hits you? You realize the great stupidity that you have been exercising. I remember driving down the road one day—praying while I'm driving: 'O God, teach me how to think! I don't know how to think! I've made so many mistakes, I don't which way to come and go.' I hope I'm learning that and I know God is teaching me and helping me; it's something that we need to have. It comes only from the Word of God! That's how we make peace with God and let it rule in our hearts.

Romans 5:2: "Through Whom… [through Whom; through Jesus Christ] …we also now have the access…" What is that access? We saw part of it. Entrance into the Holy of Holies in heaven above: …by faith… [the access, not an access; that's why I left the definite article there, it is in the Greek] …into this grace in which we now stand…"

You are standing in the grace of God. In other words, the grace of God is covering you like an umbrella relationship from God and you are standing in that grace. Every aspect of your relationship with God is based upon that grace. That's why no hierarchical church can truly preach the grace of God because they dispense it with their rules the way that they want it, just like the Catholic Church. They have works of grace, which are the seven things of the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Let's see what true grace is all about.

booklet: The Epistle of the Apostle Paul to the Romans: Special Word Studies from the Greek (pg 8): The Grace of God.

Grace as defined in the New Testament…

There is a grace of the Old Testament, but it is not as profound as the New.

…comes from the Greek word 'charis,' which means favor, grace, gracious help or care…

Remember, you're standing in this. As I'm reading these words, I want you to think that you are standing in this grace before God and that all of these things apply to you, and all of these things are given to inspire you to love God even more; to inspire you to want to keep the commandments of God even more. That's why Paul said, 'What, shall we sin that grace may abound, God forbid!' Just think: You're standing before God in this.

…goodwill, the gracious intention of God or gift; the practical application of goodwill, a favor, gracious deed or benefaction, a store of grace…

What do I mean store of grace? What does that have to do? Christ is called the propitiation, continual mercy seat for our sins. But Grace goes beyond that. You are in a 'store of grace.'
John 1:14: "And the Word… [the One Who became Christ] …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"

  • Is God eternal? Yes!
  • Is His love eternal? Yes!
  • Is His grace eternal? Yes!

That 'store of grace' for us is never ending. Do you understand that? It's never ending. Our relationship with grace through grace with God is one that is never ending.

Verse 15: "John testified concerning Him, and proclaimed, saying, 'This was He of Whom I said, "He Who comes after me has precedence over me because He was before me."'…. [that means existed before me] …And of His fullness…" (vs 15-16)—Greek: 'pleroma.'

  • Does God ever run dry? No!
  • Does God ever run out? No!
  • Is God always full? Yes!

Verse 16: "And of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace…. [a store of grace; grace upon grace] …For the Law was given through Moses… [up to that time the greatest authority they had was the Law of Moses] …and the grace and the Truth…" (vs 16-17).

True access to God the Father in heaven above; the grace in which you are in the right standing with God the Father and Jesus Christ constantly "…came through Jesus Christ" (v 17). It comes no other way. That's what we mean 'a store of grace.'

Think of that, brethren. I want you to understand that. When you start comparing your human nature and your weakness and your calling of God, you'll look at that and maybe become discouraged. But remember, there is grace, which is greater than you. There is God, Who is greater than you. That's why He's given grace.

(go to the next track)

This has to do with eternal life, and that's the greatest grace of all. This grace should happen now; this is applied to us now. The greatest grace is eternal life, that is true, but this is happening now. We are in that relationship of grace with God the Father and Jesus Christ now! 'By grace are you saved and that not of yourself.' That saved means have been saved from Satan and the world.
How do you understand that other than intellectually? You must understand it spiritually, and you must really ask God to help you understand this grace by understanding what He has done to put you in this state and this condition and it will become a very profound spiritual experience for you, and it will happen. It did with us when we were going through and understanding about grace.

There will come a time, as you begin to understand this and grow close to God in the love of God, that there will be a definite spiritual experience that you will go through—while you are praying, while you are studying, while you are going through a trial and difficulty—that will be a profound landmark in your spiritual life, that you will know that it has something that has occurred that didn't occur before and in this life.

(continuing in Word Studies booklet)
…a store of grace, a state of grace, a deed of grace and a work of grace…

What is a work of grace?

  • forgiveness of sin
  • granting you the Holy Spirit
  • giving you understanding of the Word of God
  • being able to teach the Word of God is a gift of God that God gives

…to be grateful, gratitude or thanks. Grace denote the state of relationship between God and the believer through Jesus Christ.

Defines the relationship. We are standing in that grace.

When grace is used as part of an opening greeting or closing salutation, it is used to confer Divine grace to the one who is reading the epistle.

Ephesians 1:1 "Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints who are in Ephesus and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: Grace and peace be to you… [which is God's favor and blessing and goodness and kindness] …from God… [now, currently] …our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (vs 1-2). That's why he opens all the epistles that way. That's why it's there, for us to read.

Grace is the free and undeserved gift of God the Father through Jesus Christ. The grace of God is the greatest expression of God the Father's love and all-encompassing mercy. Grace is more than the forgiveness of sins. To be under grace means to continually be receiving…

Here's what it means to stand in this grace:
…God's Divine love, favor, blessing, gracious care, help, goodwill, benefits, gifts and goodness.…

s blessing are the blessing of trials.

…God the Father is the Source from which grace is granted to the believer….

That's what we just read: 'Grace be to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.'

…The ONLY MEANS by which grace is granted to the believer is through the birth, life, crucifixion, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ as the perfect sacrifice of God the Father.

This becomes a very profound and all encompassing thing.

The believer enters the grace of God through faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of his or her sins. God the Father grants his grace to each believer upon repentance of sins and baptism by immersion, which is the outward manifestation of repentance. Through grace, the believer's sins are forgiven and the righteousness of Jesus Christ is imputed to him or her.

Not only are the sins forgiven, but the gift of grace/the gift of righteousness is given to you. That is wonderful! Brethren, I don't think we really fully comprehend the greatness of the work of God to bring us to Him in this condition, that He would view us the same way He does Jesus Christ. That is something!

Grace establishes a new spiritual relationship between the believer and God the Father and Jesus Christ.

That's why we stand in the grace!

Through the unearned and unmerited gift of grace, the believer is not only chosen, called, forgiven and accepted by God the Father through his Beloved, but is also begotten with the Holy Spirit, making him or her a children of God and an heir of eternal life. From this point, the spiritually begotten believer begins a new life under grace. As the Scriptures reveal, living under grace requires the believer to live by every Word of God with complete love and devotion to God the Father and Jesus Christ. Grace does not grant one license to practice sin by ignoring or rejecting the commandments of God.

What we are talking about here is this: I talked to a man the other day and he said, 'We need to discern the difference between someone who is religious and someone who is converted.' That was profound, deep insight on his part. What has been the problem with churches and religions? They're religious; they are not converted! They don't have the grace of God.

Only those who keep His commandments can abide in His love and remain under His grace. Every believer who receives the grace of God has a personal obligation to God the Father and Jesus Christ to forsake his or her old sinful thoughts and practices and to live a new life, daily growing in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ. For every believer who lives under grace, Jesus Christ acts as Redeemer, High Priest and Advocate. If the believer commits a sin, He intercedes to propitiate the Father and to obtain His mercy and grace. The grace of God, which comes through Jesus Christ, keeps the repentant believer in a continual state of blamelessness and sinlessness.

Do you understand that? I hope you do! {note sermons: The Righteousness of the Law and The Righteousness of Faith. Those both fit in here very profoundly into what we're talking about.} What we've just covered here concerning grace is a very detailed and compact description of grace. This is based upon all of the 150-plus Scriptures that bear upon grace and the meaning of it in our lives. That's why it's important to go through the whole series, because we go through every Scripture in the Old and New Testaments where it talks about the grace of God.

Romans 5:2: "Through Whom we also have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we ourselves boast in the hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also boast in tribulations … [mostly after the fact, when we have learned the lesson] …realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance" (vs 2-3).

That's the whole purpose of these trials! And there will come a time in your life that God is working with you and perfecting you and you are going through nothing but a series of trial after trial after trial, and it seems like to be in unremitting end. You're anything but joyful! I know what I'm saying, brethren, because I have been there.

Have you ever seen this beachside torture, where they dig a vertical hole in the sand and they put you in up to your neck at low tide and then the tide starts coming in and the waves start coming in. There you are, you can't move. Many times we get to the trials that we feel just like that. The waves are overwhelming! At that point I don't think anyone rejoices in a trial. Here's what we have to understand concerning these trials:

Hebrews 12:6: "For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and He severely disciplines every son whom He receives.'…. [these are the trials we go through] …If you endure chastening, God is dealing with you as a Father with His sons. For who is the son whom the Father does not chasten?…. [God the Father; He chastens everyone of us] …But if you are without chastisement, of which all are partakers, then you are bastards and not sons. Furthermore, we have had our fleshly fathers who chastened us, and we respected them; should we not all the more willingly be subject to the Father of spirits, and live forever? For in the first case, they chastened us for a few days in whatever way seemed good to them; but in the second case, He chastens us for our own benefit that we may be partakers of His Holiness" (vs 6-10). That's why Paul said he rejoiced in tribulation! He saw the other end of the tunnel.

Verse 11: "Now truly, no chastisement for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous… [it does; painful, miserable, upset at night, can't sleep, worrying, stewing, fretting] …nevertheless, afterwards…"

When it's all over and done. I'll have to say that some of the trials I've gone through, I really didn't learn or understand what they really meant until years later. Then all of a sudden BING! I understood! So, if you're going through trials and tribulations and difficulties now, ask God for understanding. Ask for His grace to go through it. Ask for His grace and wisdom to understand it.

"…afterwards it yields the peaceable fruits of righteousness to those who have been exercised by it" (v 11).

Let's see that there is hope. They don't continue forever. Notice how this ties in with grace:

1-Peter 5:10: "Now, may the God of all grace, Who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little while, Himself perfect you, establish, strengthen, and settle you." That's why we 'boast in tribulation.'

Romans 5:3: "…realizing that tribulation brings forth endurance… [let's see how that endurance will come along] …and the endurance brings forth character…" (vs 3-4). Because you learn and you understand and you realize; now you understand

  • why you have to do this
  • why you must obey God
  • why you must love God

That is the character that comes with trials. You learn that all your anger and all your frustration and all your depression didn't save you out of it. God had to rescue you—didn't He? Yes, He did! Then you have the character that comes from God because you realize that He can do it.

Let's see why we are to count all of these trials a joy, James 1:1: "James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes, which are in the dispersion: Greetings! Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you are beset by various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance" (vs 1-3).

Patient endurance; that's what we are experiencing right now, we are at the endurance kind of stage so God is going to help us graduate beyond that for other things that He wants us to learn and grow into: the very character of God!

Verse 4: "But let endurance have its perfect work, so that you may be perfect and complete, not lacking in anything. However, if anyone lacks wisdom… [that's why you have the trials. You ask God for wisdom] … let him ask of God, Who gives to everyone freely and does not reproach the one who asks;and it shall be given to him. But let him ask in faith…" (vs 4-6)—because you believe God. That's why it starts out with faith, and then hope, and then love; and all of this is because of grace.

"…not doubting at all because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven by the wind and tossed to and fro" (v 6).

Water must have support. Water of itself has no form and the wind can blow it. Now, that's kind of like what has happened in the Church:

  • you can keep the Sabbath if you want to, but if you don't want to you don't have to
  • you can eat unleavened bread during the Days of Unleavened Bread if you want to, but you can eat leavened bread if you would rather
  • you can go to church on Sunday if the Sabbath is not good enough for you
  • you can keep Christmas or not keep Christmas
  • you can keep the Feast of Tabernacles or not keep the Feast of Tabernacles

And by the way, when do you think it would be most convenient for you to keep the Feast of Tabernacles?

All of those are the wind! What are we subject to today? Every wind of doctrine!If you have no faith and the wind of doctrine comes in, you're just like a wave. 'Well, that sounds interesting!' Someone was telling me that he was talking to a minister about the 14th/15th Passover thing. After he got done explaining it, the minister said, 'I knew that once,' which was a profound statement! It had been blown away! What happens then?

Verse 7: "Do not let that man expect that he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways" (vs 7-8).

That's what Satan wants to get people into, this double-mindedness! That's why the trials must be used to develop character. What that does, that brings you understanding, and understanding then brings you hope, because endurance brings forth hope.

Romans 5:5: "And the hope of God never makes us ashamed…" Never, brethren! You should never be ashamed of:

  • the hope of God
  • the hope of the resurrection
  • the fact that you're a Christian that you believe in Jesus Christ
  • that you keep the commandments of God and the Sabbath and the Holy Days

 and the whole package! You have nothing to be ashamed about! The world ought to be ashamed of the way that they are living!

"…because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts…" (v 5). That's quite an expression! That's what you need. You need the love of God:

"…poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which was given to us" (v 5).

Again, I recommend the Love of God sermon series and in that I did the one sermon: The Love of God and Your Second Calling. That one is very important for you to understand. You will experience what we did with that, also.

We're just going to summarize a little bit concerning the love of God, John 15:7 "If you dwell in Me, and My words dwell in you…" Do you understand why that's important? Yes, very important!

"…you shall ask whatever you desire, and it shall come to pass for you. In this is My Father glorified, that you bear much fruit; so shall you be My disciples. As the Father has loved Me, I also have loved you; live in My love" (vs 7-9).

Let the love of God be poured out! Poured out into your heart! That means you have to open your mind and heart to receive it. Unfortunately, too many people who have practiced religion rather than the love of God have a little teeny hole into their minds, of which hardly the love of God even has a chance of penetrating the hole so it can be poured in there. It doesn't have it.

Verse 10: "If you keep My commandments, you shall live in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and live in His love."

That's how the love of God is going to be poured out into our hearts, through the Holy Spirit, which God has given us. That is also a grace of God, because it's a gift of God. Concerning faith, hope and love:

  • we are to walk by faith
  • we are to live by hope
  • we are to dwell in love

Very simple, but very profound! The greatest of these is love. Here's the great thing about it, brethren:

Romans 5:6: "For even when we were without strength, at the appointed time… [at the very set time that God had predetermined] …Christ died for the ungodly. For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, although perhaps someone might have the courage even to die for a good man. But God commends His own love to us because, when we were still sinners, Christ died for us" (vs 6-8).

That's what it means, John 3:16: "For God so loved the world… [all His enemies] …that He gave His only begotten Son, so that everyone who believes in Him may not perish, but may have everlasting life." That's why we are told to love our enemies, because Christ did.

Romans 5:9: "Much more, therefore, having been justified now by His blood… [that was taken into the Holy of Holies] …we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His own Son, much more then, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life…. [because He lives we will live; the greatest grace of all, eternal life] …And not only this, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by Whom we have now received the reconciliation" (vs 9-11).

Then we come to a very important section of Scripture, where he begins to explain how the world got this way. Everything from Rom. 1:1 down to Rom 5:11 is building up to this one place. Now then, he's going to give us understanding as to how the world got into its sinful condition.
Verse 12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way death passed into… [became a part of] …all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned all mankind; and it is for this reason that all have sinned."

When God created Adam and Eve, He created them with a neutral mind. They weren't hostile to God when He created them. But He also, just like He does today, set choices before them. In reference: Deut. 30:15-20, where He says, 'Behold this day I set before you life and good, and death and evil—choose life.' He essentially did the same thing here. All of humanity from Adam hinged upon what Adam did. Notice what He says in instructing. Remember, the Word of God is true; it is living. Anything God says in the way of a command, if you break it you have sinned.

Genesis 2:16: "And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, 'You may freely eat of every tree in the garden, but you shall not eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, for in the day that you eat of it in dying you shall surely die'" (vs 16-17).

So, the day before he ate of it he was not subject to death. But, he did not have eternal life either. Adam and Eve were created neutral. They could choose God's way, as pictured by the Tree of Life and go that way—and the world would have been different. Or, they could have eaten of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil—which they did—and now God's plan would go in that direction. But notice what happens: Satan always comes along and he twists and turns things!

Yes, the Hebrew means 'in dying you shall die'—the process of death shall start. They lived to be 900-years-old, and I've often wondered: What did they think at year 500? 'We're still here, look at all this time.' Year 600! How about year 800? 'I guess we're not going to die.' But if a day be a thousand years, he died in that day! From that day on, if you have the possibility of dying, you are dead, as far as God is concerned. It's only a matter of time.

So, let's read what Satan did here. He came along and the first thing he does is challenge. The best way to get someone involved, to begin leading them astray, is to let them correct a misstatement that you give. Here's what he said:

Genesis 3:1: "Now, the serpent was more cunning than any creature of the field, which the LORD God had made. And he said to the woman, 'Is it true that God has said, "You shall not eat of any tree of the garden"?' And the woman said to the serpent, 'We may freely eat the fruit of the trees of the garden, but of the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has indeed said, "You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die."' And the serpent said to the woman, 'In dying, you shall not surely die!" (vs 1-4). He accuses God of lying. And you know the rest of the story.

What happened when they got caught? Verse 11: "And He [God] said, 'Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree which I commanded you that you should not eat?' And the man said, 'The woman…'" (vs 11-12). Always got to blame somebody else. Who was he really blaming, the woman? or God? He was blaming God!
Verse 12: "And the man said, 'The woman whom You gave to be with me…'" In other words, if you hadn't given me this woman, Lord, I wouldn't have eaten of it.

"'…she gave me of the tree, and I ate.' And the LORD God said to the woman, 'What is this you have done?' And the woman said, 'The serpent deceived me… [someone else made me do it] …and I ate'" (vs 12-13). And God said, 'I understand your intentions were well.' NO!

Verse 14: "And the LORD God said to the serpent, 'Because you have done this you are cursed above all livestock, and above every animal of the field. You shall go upon your belly, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He will bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel'" (vs 14-15).

Right then with the first sin was the prophecy that there had to be the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ to take care of sin.

Now then, something happened to them, v 16: "To the woman He said, 'I will greatly increase your sorrow and your conception—in sorrow shall you bring forth children….'"

That doesn't mean just in childbearing; that means that your children growing up and all the trials and difficulties that they go through and all the horrendous worrying and stewing that you do as mothers and grandmothers. That's what it means!

"'…Your desire shall be toward your husband, and he shall rule over you.'…. [I don't care what women think, that hasn't changed!] …And to Adam He said, 'Because you have hearkened to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree—of which I commanded you, saying, "You shall not eat of it!"—the ground is cursed for your sake. In sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life. It shall also bring forth thorns and thistles to you, and thus you shall eat the herbs of the field; in the sweat of your face you shall eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are, and to dust you shall return'" (vs 16-19).

Romans 5:12: "Therefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and by means of sin came death; and in this way death passed into all mankind…" He's telling you how we have the human nature that we do, and we are all subject to death from the instant of conception until whatever time we die. Is that not true? Yes!

"…and it is for this reason that all have sinned" (v 12).

Not only was death passed into human beings, and that is something that we inherit genetically. They can't figure it out, but all cells in the human body have a point of aging and then final termination. Also, along with that is the proclivity to sin. Came right along in the same package. That's why Paul says:

Romans 8:2: "Because the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus has delivered me from the law of sin and death." So, not only it was it the law of sin, but the law of death passed into all human beings.

Romans 5:12: "…and in this way death passed into all mankind; and it is for this reason that… [we have a nature of death] …all have sinned… [we're going to understand that a little bit more and he clarifies it] …(For before the Law… [that is given to Israel] …sin was in the world. However, sin is not charged when law does not exist" (vs 12-13).

What is he saying? There was law before the law to Israel! Otherwise sin cannot be charged! Sin is the transgression of the Law!

Let's see sin way before—the culmination of the world that ended in the Flood—of the giving of the Law to Israel, which was some 3,000 years into the history of mankind. Do you think God would go 3,000 years without having laws? He's the Lawgiver! He's the Creator! It's absurd! But some people believe it, which is lie. Not only is sin not charged where there is no law, but look at how the world was:

Genesis 6:5: "And the LORD saw that the wickedness…" There couldn't be wickedness if there wasn't law. You can go back to the account with Cain and Abel. God told Cain 'sin lies at the door.' There was law!

"…of man was great on the earth, and every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually…. [so bad that]: …And the LORD repented that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. And the LORD said, 'I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth… [You talk about being discouraged! Even God was discouraged here!] …both man and beast, and the crawling thing, and the fowl of the air; for I repent that I have made them.' But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD" (vs 5-8).

That's why grace is so profound, brethren. Did grace not save all of physical mankind? Yes! Through Noah and his family!

Verse 9: "These are the generations of Noah. Noah was a righteous man and perfect in his generations, for Noah walked with God." Walking with God is saying:

  • he obeyed Him
  • he kept His commandments
  • he did that which was right in the sight of the Lord

Verse 11: "Now the earth also was corrupt before God, and the earth was filled with violence. And God looked upon the earth, and behold, it was corrupt—for all flesh had corrupted its way upon the earth. And God said to Noah, 'The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them. And, behold, I will destroy them with the earth'" (vs 11-13).

So people who read Romans 5:13, do not have clue as to what they are talking about—that's why Paul wrote it, "(For before the Law, sin was in the world. However, sin is not imputed when law does not exist; nevertheless, death… [the wages of sin is death] …reigned from Adam until Moses, even upon those who had not sinned in the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the One Who was to come" (vs 13-14).

There you have it! There was sin! The law of sin and death was given to Adam and Eve, passed on to all the progeny of mankind from that time on down to now and we all inherit the law of sin and death and that's why we have the nature that we have. God has done it to mankind, so who has to solve the problem? God does!

And that's the rest of the story of the book of Romans!

Scriptures from The Holy Bible in Its Original Order, A Faithful Version 

Scriptural References:

  • Romans 4:16-20
  • Hebrews 6:13-20
  • Romans 4:20-21
  • Psalm 119:127-128
  • Romans 4:21-25
  • 1 Corinthians 15:12-20
  • Romans 5:1-5
  • John 14:27
  • Ezekiel 13:10-14
  • Isaiah 59:1-8
  • Psalm 119:165
  • Colossians 3:12-16
  • Romans 5:2
  • John 1:14-17
  • Ephesians 1:1-2
  • Romans 5:2-3
  • Hebrews 12:6-11
  • 1 Peter 5:10-11
  • Romans 5:3-4
  • James 1:1-7
  • Romans 5:5
  • John 15:7-10
  • Romans 5:6-8
  • John 3:16
  • Romans 5:9-12
  • Genesis 2:16-17
  • Genesis 3:1-4, 11-19
  • Romans 5:12
  • Romans 8:2
  • Romans 5:12
  • Genesis 5:5-9, 11-13
  • Romans 5:13-14

Scriptures referenced, not quoted:

  • Genesis 15:4-5; 22
  • 1-Corinthians 13:13
  • Isaiah 9:6
  • Revelation 16, 18
  • Deuteronomy 30:15-20

Also referenced:

Sermon Series:

  • Grace of God
  • Justification
  • Love of God

Sermons:

  • Righteousness of the Law
  • Righteousness of Faith
  • The Love of God & Your Second Calling (part of the Love series)

FRC:bo
Transcribed: 12-21-10
Reformatted/Corrected:November-December/2016

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