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Commentary on Romans.

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by justbyfaith, Oct 3, 2018.

  1. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:1, Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, 2 (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures) 3 Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh:

    The author of this epistle is Paul the apostle. The word, "servant' in the next sentence is doulos, which means bondservant, or bondslave. It is a reference back to Exodus 21:1-6, wherein it is written that after six years of service, if a slave loves his wife, family, and master more than the idea of freedom, he can have his ear pierced to the door with an awl and he will be the slave of that master for ever. A parallel passage is John 6:66-71, wherein (interestingly enough), John 6:66 speaks of how many disciples who followed Jesus went back and followed Him no more. By my calculations the number of the Beast means rejecting Jesus Christ completely after having been a Christian for many years. If anyone tells you that chapter and verse aren't inspired, show them this verse and then tell them (verbally) to go and read Proverbs 32 (Proverbs 30:2). Now Peter in the passage I am referring to said to the Lord, "To whom shall we go? You alone have the words of eternal life." We come to a place in our walk where we are faced with a decision to either become surrendered to Him for the rest of our lives (eternity) or to follow Him no more forever; and this is an eternal decision.

    Paul was called to be an apostle and separated unto the gospel of God. He wrote in Galatians 1 that he was called from his mother's womb; a similar testimony that the prophet Jeremiah also had. Predestination is a huge subject in modern theological doctrine; and I happen to believe in it. When I first heard of Calvin in my history book in elementary school, it was said that Calvin's primary contribution was concerning the subject of predestination. Now predestination is not only concerning salvation; but concerning a number of other things. In Jude 1:3-4 it is shown that certain false teachers, who preach grace as a license for sin (NIV), turn the grace of our God into lasciviousness and deny the only Lord God even our Lord Jesus Christ (kjv), their condemnation was marked out long ago (forordained, kjv). Predestination is also a basic truth in the nature of God's transcendence; He is outside of time, and therefore when He intervenes in human affairs, it is done from the perspective of eternity: both from before the foundation of the world and at the end of all things and everything in between; except from the perspective of not being bound to finite means of accomplishment. Now the word separated means holy; and to be separated unto the gospel of God means being called to the ministry, even of holiness, if you get my drift.

    Now this good news (the gospel of God) was promised before Jesus ever came to earth through the writings of the Old Testament prophets. Scripture passages in particular that stand out are Psalms 22 and Isaiah 53, which are specific prophecies that bear witness to the crucifixion. In Psalms 22, the very first line was spoken by Jesus, only in the Aramaic language, while he was dying on the Cross. Also the bodily suffering of crucifixion is described very adequately in verses throughout the chapter. Jesus spoke from the Cross, "I thirst" in fulfillment of a prophecy in that chapter. Isaiah 53 is considered to be a prophecy about the suffering of the Jewish people for other nations by most Jewish scholars (if they will handle it correctly this is the conclusion they should make if they are going to deny that it is about our Lord); the suffering servant of Isaiah dies for the sins of the world and if this refers to the Jewish people then anti-semitism has validity in that the Jews are supposed to die for the rest of the world. However I do not believe that this is the case, as I was circumcised the eighth day myself although my mother never told me specifically that I was Jewish (perhaps in order to keep me from being persecuted for my lineage); she did however tell me that there were parts of my nationality that were unknown (other than 1/2 Italian, some Norweigian, and 1/16 Cherokee) and therefore I identify with the Jewish people at the very least as a kind of Samaritan halfbreed according to what in the days of the New Testament was considered to be true of those who were only part Jewish. But I have digressed. What is the gospel of God? It is that Jew and Gentile alike can be redeemed by the sacrifice of a lamb that was completely innocent in the place of them for their sake as their sins are transferred to the lamb and the innocence of the lamb is applied to their account (see John chapter 1).

    Now this gospel is concerning God's Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who came and died on a Cross approximately 2,000 years ago (at the time of this writing) and also was risen from the dead by God the Father. Jesus also claimed that He had power to lay down His life and power to take it up again and that He had received that commandment from the Father.

    The crucifixion and resurrection is a historical fact and the world has never been the same since this occurence happened. Some say that Jesus was the greatest moral teacher who ever lived. C.S. Lewis set forth the proposition that since Jesus claimed to be God (John 8:24, John 8:58) and the Pharisees understood His claim well enough to pick up stones to stone Him for blasphemy (John 8:59, John 10:31-33), that this idea of Him being a great moral teacher cannot be unless He is indeed who He claimed to be (Now please read Matthew 5-7). Either He was a lunatic on the level of someone who thinks he is a poached egg, or He is a liar on the level of the devil of hell; or else He is the Lord and the God who created all of us as it is at the very least implied in John 1:1-3 and John 1:14.

    Now Jesus was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. This means his lineage was of David. In Matthew chapter 1, and in Luke chapter 4, two different genealogies are given of Jesus' ancestry and one of them is only concerning Jesus' true stepfather Joseph; for His Father was the God who created all of us. In the concept of the Trinity, the Father descends to take on human form and this Person that comes into being who is wholly God and wholly man is called the Son of God, identified as the 2nd Person of the Trinity. When Jesus releases His Spirit back to the Father, the person of Jesus' Spirit is given the title the Holy Ghost. See John 4:23-24 and John 14:7-11 for details. Also Ephesians 4:4.

    Now the fact that Jesus is made according to the seed of David is to the Jehovah's Witness an evidence that Jesus is not the Lord God. However Isaiah 45:11 indicates that Jehovah God indeed has a Maker and I perceive this to mean that in the flesh Jesus had a created body. The Holy Spirit became one with the egg in the womb of the virgin Mary in the conception of Jesus. Now it is said in certain circles that sin is carried down DNA-wise through the father 's seed and not the mother's egg. Therefore since Jesus' Father was not human but the only Divine Creator, Jesus was sinless as a human being. Now since I believe in the entire sanctification of the believer (see 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, Hebrews 10:14, 1 John 3:9, Romans 6:6, Colossians 2:11), it is possible that there was an immaculate conception in my view (except that Mary lived before the Cross). However, I believe that sounder doctrine indicates to us that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God; and also that if we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. Therefore the only One who can accurately claim to be without sin is God.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  2. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:4-7, And declared to be the Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. 5 By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: 6 Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ. 7 To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God the Father and our Lord Jesus Christ.

    There are only a few things I want to touch on here. First of all, obedience to the faith. If a person believes in Jesus Christ they are a new creature in Christ; and their obedient lives will become evident to those watching them. When we truly place our faith in Jesus we also place our faith in His teachings; and Jesus gave us the crux of His teachings on morality in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew, chapters 5-7) and the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49). He spoke the word that if anyone hears His teachings in these Sermons and obeys them, they are like a wise man building his house upon a rock: and the winds came, and the storms blew, and they beat on that house; and it did not fall because it was founded on the rock. But if anyone hears His teachings and does not obey them, he is like a foolish man, which built his house on the sand, and the storms of life beat upon that house and it fell, and great was the fall of it. Perhaps in contrast, Jesus is the foundation that was laid by Paul in 1 Corinthians 3; and this seeming contradiction is reconciled by the above statements that if we believe in Jesus and have received Him as our Lord and Saviour, we will do our best in the power of the Holy Ghost to obey His teachings in the Sermons in question. We can indeed love our enemies if the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts through the Holy Ghost (Romans 5:5).

    Now there is also a parallel passage in Romans 16:26, where it talks about the obedience of faith. The obedience of faith is the obedience that results out of a heart of faith. The apostle James says very clearly in his epistle that faith without works is dead. Therefore a living and saving faith is a faith that produces works.

    However, we are saved by a living faith alone in Jesus Christ. Again, I emphasize that simply believing in Jesus apart from attempting to earn one's salvation through self-effort in an attempt to save one's self is the way to salvation; and that this simple faith will change the heart of the believer so that works will definitely follow if it is not a thief-on-the-cross situation.

    It is commonly touted in the Calvary Chapel Movement that grace always comes before peace and I am not inclined to argue with that statement. Grace does indeed always come before peace and it is indeed of five definitions that I can think of.

    Grace is:

    1) Unmerited Favour: <edit> Greek word for grace is charis in Greek: identified (Strong's #5485) as the divine influence upon the heart, and its reflection in the life: includes gratitude -- acceptable, benefit, (simple) favour, gift, grace (-ious), joy, liberality, pleasure, thank (-s, worthy);

    2) Getting what we don't deserve (heaven); as opposed to mercy, which is not getting what we do deserve (hell);

    3) The enabling power of the Lord;

    4) God's Riches At Christ's Expense; and,

    5) Goodness Rendered As Christ Empowers.

    There are two kinds of peace spoken of in the word:

    1) Peace with God (Romans 5:1).

    2) The peace of God, which transcends all understanding, which will guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:6-7), the condition of that promise being that we are careful (anxious) for nothing but that in everything by prayer and supplication we make our requests known unto the Lord.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2018
  3. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    Romans is a tremendous epistle! :)

    Psalm 40 also develops the bonservant theme, Messianically: 'Mine ears hast Thou opened' (Hebrews: 'opened' = digged, i.e., pierced).
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2018
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  4. H. Richard

    H. Richard Well-Known Member

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    I disagree with the how you define "obedience to the faith".

    To some this means obedience to keep the law and that is where your opinion leads too. IMHO it means a person keeping their faith, belief, trust, and confidence in the gospel of grace where it is a fact that Jesus atoned (paid) for all the sins of those that believe it did. In other words trusting in Jesus' atonement on the cross+ nothing.

    Will a person who is saved do good works? I think yes, they will, but it isn't keeping the law, It is teaching about God's grace so that God can add others in Christ.

    1 Cor 12:27-31
    27 Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually.
    28 And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.
    29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Are all workers of miracles?
    30 Do all have gifts of healings? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret?
    31 But earnestly desire the best gifts. And yet I show you a more excellent way.
    NKJV

    Your opinion, and that is all that it is, obedience is keeping the law and that is not found in the above.

    Eph 4:11-12
    11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
    12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
    NKJV

    1 Tim 1:6-7
    6 from which some, having strayed, have turned aside to idle talk,
    7 desiring to be teachers of the law, understanding neither what they say nor the things which they affirm.
    NKJV

    Rom 1:5
    5 Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name,
    NKJV

    Doesn't say obedience to the law.

    Rom 16:26
    26 but now made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith —
    NKJV

    Doesn't say obedience to the law.

    You all know where I stand. It is in the obedience to the work of the cross where God made a plan of salvation that saves sinner, the ungodly, who are looking for God's work to save them. And it does for all who will believe it.

    But the religious say it only does for them that can save themselves by not sinning. The power of salvation is in Jesus, not in man's works.
     
  5. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Obedience to the faith = surrender to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. It means receiving His love into our hearts that we might live according to it (Romans 5:5).

    Now love is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:8-10, Romans 8:4, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6).

    So then, we receive the Holy Spirit by faith (Galatians 2:14) and we receive the love of God through the Holy Spirit (Romans 5:5). And this love is never in word or in tongue only, but is in deed and in truth (1 John 3:17-18).

    Therefore obedience to the gospel results in obeying the specific things that Jesus preached we ought to obey in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew chapters 5-7) and the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6:20-49). The apostle James advised us, But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. (James 1:22). The Sermons that I mention were the core of Jesus' teaching on moral uprightness and purity; and while obeying them technically is not salvational, if we are truly saved we will obey them. Of course we must never stumble at the stumblingstone of thinking that we can save ourselves by obedience to the tenets found in those moral teachings. We are saved completely and solely through the Cross of Jesus Christ, even His finished work; and as the result we live according to the love of the Lord (Romans 5:5) which is identified specifically by the moral teachings found in the Sermons in question.

    While obedience to the gospel, in itself, might be identified as receiving Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour; and thus His love into your heart and life; for Jesus Christ is God (Hebrews 1:8), and God is love (1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16).

    Also, the law of God is written in the hearts and minds of those who will be subjects of the grace of God under the New Covenant (Hebrews 8:8-10, Hebrews 10:16); the righteousness of the law is fulfilled in those who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit (Romans 8:4); and those who are spiritually-minded are subject in their minds to the law of the Lord (Romans 8:7).
     
    Last edited: Oct 19, 2018
  6. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:8-15, 8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that ye may be established. 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

    First, in verse 8, the faith of the Roman Christians was spoken of throughout the whole world. This was not to say that the gospel had been preached throughout the whole world; for if that were the case, then the end would have come (Matthew 24:14). But the pure and holy lives of faith that they lived was evident to the world around them so that it was spoken of by everyone. Can we say this of those who profess Christianity in today's world? We would do well to come back to the moral tenets of the faith and live according to them; in order that we might be able to exemplify through the way that we live what it means to be a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17).

    Now in verses 9-12, Paul refers to his prayer for the Romans. He desires that he might come to them in a prosperous journey. Nevertheless when Paul finally journeyed to Rome, it was not by means of a prosperous journey, but rather when Paul came to Rome, he came as a prisoner under trial by the Romans over his preaching of the gospel in Jerusalem.

    Now Paul mentioned the Romans without ceasing in his prayers. This does not mean that he never went about his daily business for that he was praying 24/7. What it means is that when Paul did pray, the Romans were a constant subject in his mind that he brought to God in prayer. In Luke 11:1 we find that Jesus Himself ceased to pray at a certain point. Nevertheless Jesus was without sin; and therefore He could not have been neglectful of the New Testament command (written in the heavenlies as a part of God's eternal law) to pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Jesus had a constant communion with the Father; and this is what it means to pray without ceasing. It does not mean that we are always, 24/7, voicing our requests to God. Although if one wanted to insist on that as being a rule of law, it would only prove that the law is impossible to keep; because every one of us has to go about our daily business at some point and therefore we cannot voice our requests to God 24/7; otherwise we would not be able to provide for our own food and would be so heavenly minded that we would be no earthly good. But to be in constant communion with God is essential: I think of the concept found in the title of the book written by Brother Lawrence, Practicing the Presence of God (see also Psalms 10:4 (kjv)).

    Paul wishes to impart to the Romans a spiritual gift through the laying on of hands; in imparting the Holy Spirit to them in such an act. This would be for the purpose of the Roman Christians being able to minister to each other more effectively as an outworking of the gospel having been preached to them. Ephesians 4:16 and Colossians 2:19 come to mind. Paul wishes to be a partaker of the benefit of having imparted the Holy Spirit to the Roman Christians at a time yet future to Paul's writing of this.

    In verse 13 Paul mentions that he was hindered by circumstances from coming to Rome. Now there are basically two reasons why someone might be hindered from doing a certain thing that he is set on doing. 1) the Holy Spirit forbids him to do it, as in the case of Acts of the Apostles 16:6-7; and 2) satan hinders the process of doing what we desire to do, as in the case of 1 Thessalonians 2:18. The first has to do with the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit; the second has to do with circumstances that are set up by the enemy of our souls. Now in the case of 2), we can indeed be overcomers if we persevere and pray through the obstacles; however, note that even the apostles were held back by devilish circumstances for a season.

    In verse 14 Paul calls himself a debtor. He is saying here that he owes it to God to preach the gospel to Greeks and Barbarians; for he is indebted to God for his salvation. This is an incomplete way of saying that after all that God had done for him, how could he do anything but serve the Lord in evangelizing the people whom God had called him to? In 1 Corinthians 9:16 Paul wrote, For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel.

    When the called minister decides at any point that he will be silent and not speak the words of the Lord anymore for whatever reason (persecution is usually the primary reason), he will find after a season that the word of God is like what it says in Jeremiah 20:9, Then I said, I will not make mention of him, nor speak any more in his name. But his word was in mine heart as a burning fire shut up in my bones, and I was weary with forbearing, and I could not stay. Or in Job 32:18-20, the words spoken by Elihu: For I am full of matter, the spirit within me constraineth me. Behold, my belly is as wine which hath no vent; it is ready to burst like new bottles. I will speak, that I may be refreshed: I will open my lips and answer. or, what the Psalmist said in Psalms 39:1-4, I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me. I was dumb with silence, I held my peace, even from good, and my sorrow was stirred. My heart was hot within me, while I was musing the fire burned: then spake I with my tongue, LORD, make me to know mine end, and the measure of my days, what it is; that I may know how frail I am.

    Further down in the epistle of Paul to the Romans, Paul speaks again of the fact that we as believers in Christ are debtors to Christ. In Romans 8:12, Paul writes, Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

    What this is saying is that 1) we are not obligated to the flesh, to live according to it; and 2) we are obligated to not live according to the flesh but rather we are obligated to live according to the Spirit.

    But the point being that in these two places, Paul speaks of being a debtor to Christ.

    So then, we owe it to our Lord to 1) evangelize the nations; and 2) to live according to the dictates of the Holy Spirit whom he has placed within us, and not according to our carnal desires and/or thinking.

    Because He has saved us; He has forgiven us and will not impute sin to us (Romans 4:8) if we have placed our trust in His finished work. Therefore how can we do anything but serve Him out of sheer gratitude? We are bought with a price; therefore let us glorify the Lord in our body, and in our spirit, which are God's.

    Therefore in verse 15 Paul tells the Roman Christians that he is ready to preach the gospel to them, and he will do this for them in two ways: 1) by writing this epistle, which contains the preaching of the gospel within it to the fullest extent, and is the greatest book on doctrinal issues ever written; and 2) by going to them in person and preaching to them with his actual mouth speaking forth the words at some future later date. For it is written in Romans 10:17, Faith cometh by hearing; and hearing by the word of God. So then it would be important for them, at some point, to hear the gospel preached to them into their ears and through the gate of hearing; and not just through their eyes as they might read the epistle that Paul has sent to them.

    For it is important that we receive the truth both through the gate of the ears and through the gate of the eyes. We both need to hear the gospel preached to us by a minister, and we also need to have those precious devotional times with the Lord. When He knocks and we respond to His knocking, it is so that we might sup with Him and He with us (Revelation 3:20). The food at the table where we fellowship with Christ is His word.
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2018
  7. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:16, For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

    The gospel of Jesus Christ, identified in 1 Corinthians 15:1-4 and John 3:16, is nothing to be ashamed of. Jesus said at one point that if anyone would be ashamed of Him and His words, of them would He also be ashamed when He comes to receive His bride.

    The gospel is the power of God unto salvation. Christ offers forgiveness of past, present, and future sin, Romans 4:8. When we come to Christ confessing our sin, we come to Him declaring that our sin is ever before us, Psalms 51:3. In confessing our future sins, our future sins are forgiven, 1 John 1:9. But how is this the power of God unto salvation? Knowing that we are forgiven and that our entrance into heaven is absolute and secure, we love Christ because He first loved us, 1 John 4:19. Having been forgiven much, we love much, Luke 7:36-50. When we believe in Jesus and receive Him into our hearts, John 1:12, Revelation 3:20, Colossians 1:27, we receive the love of God, Romans 5:5. Because Jesus is God, John 8:24, John 8:58, John 8:59, John 10:31-33, Exodus 3:14, and God is love, 1 John 4:8, 1 John 4:16. So when we receive Jesus we are receiving God and in receiving God we are receiving the love of God.

    It is this love that transforms us, making us into new creatures in Christ, 2 Corinthians 5:17. We are not going to love in word or in tongue only, but in deed and in truth, 1 John 3:17-18. Having received the Holy Spirit by faith, Galatians 3:14, and therefore the love of God, Romans 5:5, we begin to walk as transformed individuals. Salvation is both forgiveness of sins and the regeneration and renewing that takes place when a man is born again. There is always a marked difference between those who are redeemed and those who are not. Unredeemed men may indeed be moral and upright; but their motivation for doing right things is self-glory...their motivation for righteousness is never to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ. Thus there is always that taint of selfishness in all of their righteous deeds, see Isaiah 64:6.

    Jesus died on the Cross for our sins, was buried, and rose again the third day according to the scriptures. This is the gospel in a nutshell. Understanding that we are forgiven through His sacrifice is the only proper motivation for practicing righteousness from the Lord's perspective. If we practice righteousness in an attempt to earn our way into the kingdom of God, we are asking Him for wages for our righteousness, which is as filthy rags: sin...and the wages of sin is death, Romans 6:23.

    So then, understanding that He has redeemed us through His shed blood...through what He did for us on the Cross...we, out of thankfulness and in a response of love, serve Him out of sheer gratitude...understanding that we are not obtaining our salvation thereby in any way, shape, or form, but that He has saved us and that our service to Him is done out of the work that He has done within us as we have seen the great love that He has for us and as the result we have fallen head over heels in love with Him for the virtue that we see in His Divine nature in that He loved us unconditionally and came to die for us while we were yet sinners, while we were still in rebellion against Him...He did this knowing that we could reject Him, and that many would...but He loved us enough to come and die for the ones whom He knew would receive Him.

    So then, the Lord makes us into new creatures in Him. The old has gone; behold, all things have become new! The old is the sinful ways that we used to walk in, the new is the righteous nature and character that Christ has given us in redeeming us in our hearts...in taking out the old heart of stone and replacing it with an heart of flesh. It brings to mind controversial scriptures such as 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24, Hebrews 10:14, and 1 John 3:9...however it is clear that if you have the blessing of knowing Him, you don't have to walk in slavery to sin...He can set you free, Romans 6:22, Jude 1:24, 2 Peter 1:10, John 8:31-36.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018
  8. Deborah_

    Deborah_ Active Member

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    Faith and obedience are inseparable. As Bonhoeffer put it, “Only the one who believes is obedient, and only the one who is obedient believes.” (Bonhoeffer: Discipleship) This is because faith (in the Biblical sense) isn’t an abstract concept but a concrete one: it does not exist unless put into practice. And so it is more than just intellectual assent or even verbal confession; it contains an essential element of submission to Christ. If He really is Lord, then that makes a difference to what we do!
     
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  9. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Yes indeed, @Deborah_

    Yet it is a faith apart from obedience that actually saves (Romans 4:6). We do nothing to earn our righteous standing with God. The transformation that God works in us is through faith in Jesus Christ alone: I cannot obtain this transformation by doing some good work like giving to the poor. It is wholly through His shed blood that we receive forgiveness and regeneration...of course when we are transformed through the power of faith, it means that we will live different lives than before we were redeemed...and this amounts to doing good works for the kingdom! Thus faith without works is dead...however our salvation comes through a faith that is apart from works (Romans 4:5-6). It is bare faith that saves us, with nothing added.
     
  10. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:17, For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

    Therein...in the gospel...the righteousness of God...salvation...is revealed from faith to faith...and the just shall live by faith.

    Salvation is by faith in the beginning, it is by faith in the end; and it is by faith all the way through.

    See Colossians 2:6 and Galatians 3:1-3.

    In the first passage, we are to walk in Him in the same way that we received Him...and that is by faith.

    In the second passage, we are not to begin in the Spirit (by faith) and then complete our salvation in the power of the flesh (through the works of the law).

    Of course, if we receive the Spirit by faith (Galatians 3:14) and the love of God by the Spirit (Romans 5:5), which is not in word or in tongue only but in deed and in truth (1 John 3:17-18) and is the fulfilling of the law (Romans 13:8-10, Galatians 5:14, 1 John 5:3, 2 John 1:6); then the ultimate result of living by faith is the fulfilling of the law within us (Romans 8:4).

    However, we are not to have as the root of our understanding of salvation, to be that we are saved through performing the works of the law. It is the result and not the cause of salvation.

    And yet in Galatians 3:1-3, Colossians 2:6, and the primary passage that we are looking at, we are not to move over from living by faith to living by seeking to obtain (or maintain) our salvation through the works of the law.

    Nevertheless the result of real salvation is that we will begin to be obedient to God's commandments.

    Therefore the key to our understanding is that our focus is to be the Cross of Christ and what Jesus has done for us--His grace--and to abide in His grace without beginning to focus on how we are going to obey the Lord in any kind of way of seeking to prove that we are saved thereby, or in any kind of way to obtain a continued salvation, such as is the teaching of some false teachers--that we obtain initial salvation by faith but that ultimate salvation is by works.

    Salvation is by faith at the beginning, it is by faith in the end, and it is by faith all the way through. As we have received Jesus Christ the Lord (by faith), so we are to walk in Him. Having begun in the Spirit (by faith), we are not to seek to be perfected by the flesh (through seeking to be justified through law-keeping).

    The answer is that for the one who is truly born of God, obedience is completely a work of grace in the person's life and the result of faith. It does not have to do with looking to obey a set of do's and don'ts in order to obtain salvation. We obey because we love the Lord and because we don't ever lose sight of His grace towards us.

    If we were ever to lose sight of His grace towards us, we would begin to seek to obtain or maintain our salvation through our works; and we would no longer be obeying because we love Him, but rather we would be obeying out of an employee/employer relationship...we would be seeking wages for services rendered. And our righteousnesses would be as filthy rags...sin (Isaiah 64:6). However we know from scripture that the wages of sin is death (Romans 6:23).

    So then, having begun in the Spirit, we are not made perfect by the flesh. Through the Spirit, the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in us...but not because we are seeking to obtain righteousness through the law. Rather, as we live by faith, God the Holy Spirit produces His love in our hearts which is the fulfilling of the law, because we never lose sight of the grace of God...His simple favour which produces within us His love out of sheer gratitude for what He has done for us; and also is shed abroad in our hearts through His Spirit (see Luke 7:36-50, 1 John 4:19, Romans 5:5).

    Therefore our focus is not in our obedience but in understanding His love for us...and when we do that, obedience will fall into place.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  11. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    edited #2, #10.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  12. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    In the next few posts there is going to be an "elephant in the room" that I am going to do my best to avoid mentioning in my own exposition; while the basic scripture quotation cannot fail to mention it and yet I will not fail to do as I always do and quote the scriptures at hand and also give my exposition of what I believe they say. Looking ahead to a time in which it may be against the law to mention this "elephant" apart from the actual quotation of the scriptures that mention them, I will refrain in the coming messages from mentioning this "elephant" except in the quoting of relevant scriptures on the subject.

    I believe that in 1 Corinthians 2:13-14 it is clear that those who have unregenerated minds will not be able to understand the scriptures as the Holy Spirit wrote them, unless the Holy Spirit interprets these scriptures to their minds through a sovereign work of grace in their lives at a time when they are ready to understand the message and will be able to receive it and repent of that thing in their lives that would actually be a blinding influence so that they would not understand what is being spoken of here.

    Because of this blinding factor (see 2 Corinthians 4:3-4) I do not believe that I will be under any legal danger in any future where there might be legal prohibition concerning the writing or speaking of the subject at hand.

    Scriptures that bear mentioning are 1 Corinthians 6:11 (see context on your own time), And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. And Ephesians 5:12, For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret.

    Romans 1:18-25,

    18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; 19 Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it to them. 20 For the invisible things from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: 21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and to fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    So, in verse 18, I find it interesting that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven. You would not think of wrath as being a heavenly thing; and yet it is revealed from heaven. Such a wrath would have to be against something that is truly of hell and that reeks of all the violence of hell. It is revealed against those who hold the truth in unrighteousness, iow, they have the truth, but they hold it and do not live by it, also they suppress it from being told to the general people, their attempt is to make the truth look like the words of some kind of monster.

    But (v.19) God has manifested to those who suppress the truth in this manner, that He is truly good and that their hateful attacks on His character are not founded in reality: God has shewed it to them that He is good. Later in the book (Romans 2:4) it becomes clear that God shows kindness to the sinner who rails against Him in the hopes that that sinner might come to repentance: He is longsuffering towards them and treats them in such a fashion as they would not have treated Him had they been God and he the one railing against Them.

    In v.20, God has made it clear through the things that He has created, His eternal power and Godhead; and truly, those who rail against Him are without excuse before the throne of God: for I have heard even the staunchest of this kind say to me that when they watch seagulls fying in formation (for example) they cannot deny that there is a reality to the concept of God. Even the concepts of atheistic evolution (which these staunch haters of God ascribe to) are not enough for them to, in those sane moments when the evidence is clearly before them, continue to deny the existence of the Divine Creator.

    In v.21, I would point out that the cause of the sin that is spoken of later (in Romans 1:26-32) is a lack of being thankful to God for all of the good things that He has done in creating a world wherein they are able to have great pleasure in just the holy things of life; such as food or kayacking or hiking up a mountain trail or the marriage bed of which the prototype was Adam and Eve. They became vain in their imaginations and their foolish heart was darkened.

    In v.22, Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools. They became the College Professors of our day, who say in their heart, there is no God (see Psalms 14:1, Psalms 53:1), and who teach the theory of evolution in an attempt to deny the existence of the Creator.

    In v. 23, they, whether in the worship of idols, or, as this scripture would say prophetically of the development of the theory of evolution, changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like unto corruptible man, and to birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things. This is another cause of the sins that are spoken of later (in Romans 1:26-32): an adherence to the theory of evolution in denial of a Creator who can have a say over their moral conduct of living.

    In v.24, this resulted in unbridled lust in which they dishonoured their own bodies between themselves. Now the unregenerated mind may not understand what is meant by this, see 1 Corinthians 2:14. For I once showed this scripture (Romans 1:24-32) to someone to whom I believed that it applies and they simply got a blank look on their face and did not understand that it applied to them, nor did they understand how it applied to them.

    In v.25, it shows that the basic result of all of this is basic humanism and an exalting of the animal kingdom and humanity over God.
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2018
  13. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 1:26-32, For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another, men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient: Being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, malliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, Backbuters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful, Who kowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    I think that we ought to take this passage as a whole; and that, after you read it, you make your own conclusions as to what it is saying.

    My only commentary on this will be that there are four definitions of the word love in scripture, defined by four different Greek words: 1) Agape; is the sacrificial love that God had for us in coming to die for us on the Cross. 2) Phileo: brotherly love as indicated by a strong friendship, which is often identified as Christian love, although it is a lesser love than agape which is what Jesus requires of all men. 3) Storge, or family love, and 4) Eros, or sexual love.

    I want to say unequivocably that the love that was between King David and his friend Jonathan was a very strong phileo; perhaps agape; but nothing else.
     
  14. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 2:1-5, 1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. 3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God.

    In v.1, there are a few references that I would point out that apply: Matthew 7:1-6, Luke 6:37, and James 4:11-12. I believe that Pastor Romaine is famous in the Calvary Chapel Movement for saying that "Any time you point the finger at someone else, chances are you have three fingers pointing back at you." There is an exception to the rule of these scriptures in Isaiah 54:17; and that is that if you are a servant of the Most High, every tongue that rises up against you in judgment you shall condemn; and that this is your heritage as a servant of the LORD.

    In v.2, we understand that concerning the things that we are most apt to condemn in others because of the passages at hand, that, in verse 1, we are very likely to be guilty ourselves, if we pass judgment, in the secret corners of our hearts; but that God's judgment against such things is righteous, not only against those whom we are judging, but against us if we do the same things of which we are judging others of being guilty. A Bible College Student gave a message on how he saw someone doing something so horrible that he despised it, and he lifted his finger to pass judgment; but at the same moment, the perpetrator lifted his finger and pointed at him. Enraged, he yelled at him, "how dare you!" but the perpetrator did the same thing. As you can probably guess, he was looking in the mirror. The point is that our sins look infinitely worse on someone else than they do on us when we are looking at the picture. King David wanted the death penalty for the person in Nathan's parable that represented him, when he did not think it was him.

    In v.3, we find that passing judgment on other people in no way exempts us from being judged by the Lord on the same issues. Some people think that if they pass judgment on everyone else that they have a get out of jail free card. They think that if they are the police they can't be the criminal. Not so in God's scrutiny of things.

    In v.4, we find that it is God's goodness and his kindness that leads us to repentance. Notice that His goodness and kindness is not a guarantee that we will repent, because of the next verse:

    In v.5, it becomes clear that if someone continues to have a hard and impudent heart in the face of God's kindness, that there will come a day, if they do not ever repent, that they will face God''s wrath and righteous judgment against their sin. But of course God continues to show them kindness in the hopes that they will repent. In Genesis 6:3 we find that the Spirit of the LORD will not strive with man for ever; for his days shall be an hundred and twenty years. We have an opportunity to repent and believe the gospel as long as we are alive; but it is pretty clear in Proverbs 27:1 and Ecclesiastes 9:11 that time and chance happen to everything and that there is no telling what a day may bring forth.
     
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  15. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    Why not? Is God not powerful enough to free someone from sin and graciously grant him a lifestyle in harmony with His laws?
     
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  16. bbyrd009

    bbyrd009 Groper

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    apparently not, huh
     
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  17. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    See 1 Corinthians 15:34,

    Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame.

    compare to 1 John 3:4,

    Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2018 at 8:02 PM
  18. justbyfaith

    justbyfaith Well-Known Member

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    Romans 2:6-11, 6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 7 To them who by patient continuance in well-doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile: But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile. For there is no respect of persons with God.

    We must be certain in our understanding of this passage to know that, while our deeds will be judged by the Lord, even that we will be judged by our deeds, that our salvation is by grace through faith in Jesus Christ; and that not of ourselves: it is the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast. Ephesians 2:8-9.

    It is that, if anyone is saved by grace through faith, they are made into a new creature in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17); and that the attitude of a new creature in Christ is that he, through patient continuance in well-doing, seeks for glory and honour and immortality. The born again believer is not the kind to be contentious and/or disobedient to the truth. Eternal life belongs to those who have an eternal perspective and who fear the possibility of an eternity without Christ. Indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish, belong to those who obey unrighteousness. To those who work good there will be glory and honour and peace.

    The question arises, where is there anyone that it can be said that he works good? is it not written that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God? Apart from Christ, there is no one who does good: however, those who are in Christ are not under the law; and therefore what the law says to those who are under the law does not apply; because they are not under the law. Sin shall not have dominion over them because they are not under the law.

    There is no respect of persons with God. This indicates that every man shall be judged on the basis of his works. If the works that he has done in life indicate the inner transformation that amounts to being born again (through faith alone in Jesus Christ), then he will enter in.

    Now everyone has done evil; for we were all conceived in sin. Therefore will not all be raised unto the resurrection of damnation (John 5:29)? No; because for those who are in Christ, not only has their sin been forgiven/washed away, but they have been given a new heart and a new spirit (Ezekiel 36:25-27) so that from the point of being born again on, their inclination is towards good instead of their former evil practice. Note that God looks on the heart; so He considers mere anger without a cause to be as murder; and lusting after a woman to be as adultery. If you lack integrity, so that your yea is nay and/or your nay is yea; then you fall short in the area of being truthful; and God might consider you to be a liar. There are exceptions to this, as with the psychiatric system of this world, where a man is forced into med compliance so that his nay becomes yea whether he wants it to be or not. And he does not have the right to refuse it in the long run, because they will simply wait for a period of time and then come after him again.

    But if we seek for glory, honour, and immortality, the result will be eternal life; because anyone who seeks immortality will eventually find the way into it; and that way is through the door, which door is Jesus Christ of Nazareth, even calling on His name in surrender and faith.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018 at 1:09 PM
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