The Law of Faith – 4-27-22

being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” Romans 3:24-26 NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Romans chapter 3 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

God’s Judgment Defended

What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the [a]oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be [b]true but every man a liar. As it is written:

“That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.”

But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their [c]condemnation is just.

All Have Sinned

What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

10 As it is written:

“There is none righteous, no, not one;
11 There is none who understands;
There is none who seeks after God.
12 They have all turned aside;
They have together become unprofitable;
There is none who does good, no, not one.”
13 “Their throat is an open [d]tomb;
With their tongues they have practiced deceit”;
“The poison of asps is under their lips”;
14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.”
15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood;
16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;
17 And the way of peace they have not known.”
18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become [e]guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

God’s Righteousness Through Faith

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all [f]and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified [g]freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a [h]propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Boasting Excluded

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is [i]justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Footnotes

  1. Romans 3:2 sayings, Scriptures
  2. Romans 3:4 Found true
  3. Romans 3:8 Lit. judgment
  4. Romans 3:13 grave
  5. Romans 3:19 accountable
  6. Romans 3:22 NU omits and on all
  7. Romans 3:24 without any cost
  8. Romans 3:25 mercy seat
  9. Romans 3:28 declared righteous

MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Thank you for returning. I suspect our numbers will drop during the study of Romans because no one like the hard truths in this book. It starts off like a slap to the face (God’s wrath is coming on sinners and you are a sinner), followed by a couple chapters of slaps which may include fists (more on God’s wrath), followed by a punch to the gut, throw you into the fire of trials and somewhere around chapter 6 this book literally tries to kill you (and that isn’t even half way through the book).  Every time I read this book, God reveals more about myself to me. This doesn’t seem to be a book with deep revelation about God, as much as it is a tool of God’s to refine us, cleanse us, keep us humble and make us more like Him.

On Monday, I challenged us all to take a few actions daily to help get us some healthy roots and to root out any sins within us. This morning I copied it here for all of our ease of use.  I hope you, like I am, are serious about making more changes in our lives and becoming more Christ-like.

PRAYER FOR FORGIVENESS:
Dear God, I am sorry for being filled with all/any unrighteousness, and/or sexual immorality, and/or wickedness, and/or covetousness, and/or maliciousness, and/or envy, murder, and strife, and/or deceit and evil-mindedness, and/or being a whisperers and  backbiters, and/or haters of God, and/or violent, and/or proud and boasting, and/or inventors of evil things, and/or disobedient to parents, and/or undiscerning, and/or untrustworthy, and/or unloving, and/or unforgiving, and/or unmerciful, and/or for practicing such things are deserving of death. Please forgive me even though I knew better and I understand the righteous judgment of You, God. Please wash me with the Blood of Jesus. Cleanse me and help me turn from my evil ways – convict me strongly when I do wrong that I may notice and stop. And send a fresh filling of your anointing to break the yokes of bondage and help me destroy the roots with a mindful effort and focus on you. Please reignite the fire in my belly that I may burn for you in boldness. In the name of Jesus we pray ~amen

HEALTHY ROOTS CHALLENGE: this challenge is to heal and strengthen our roots
One – Give God ALL the Glory
Two – Dedicated time for Thanksgiving, and be thankful for all things!
Three – Guard our hearts and mind, rebuking and stopping sinful or not godly thoughts, not letting our minds wander and be prayerful and intentional in thinking.
Four – And finally, let us be humble. Humble enough to say I do not know it all and God has something new to reveal to me in this book and in this day.
(Please review the blog post from 4/25/22 for an explanation as to why we are doing this daily and for the scriptural reference instructing us to make these things a practice in our lives. Until they flow from us naturally, we can intentionally and with all of our hearts, scheduled them into our lives and watch them heal and reroute our unhealthy roots that gave sinful/evil fruits.)

Now, staying humble and honest with ourselves – let us look at chapter three where Paul defends God’s judgment and wrath. This is why I was not born back then and was not called to write scriptures. I would have taken the first portion of this book and said: people are all bad, God is good, because He says so and that is that.  But there is so much more to all of this and we are sinners deserving death, but we are exceedingly loveable and so God, painstakingly, is trying to explain himself to us so we understand His inability to change and that he is righteous, good and a perfect judge. His rules are universal. So He made the way through Jesus as the easiest access to Him ever!

1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision?”
Usually I do not take a question for the Jews and gentrify it, We all know how much I like to keep the Bible pure. However, He is talking (as we saw yesterday) to people who think they have it made because they were born into it, aka Jews. This was the first generation of Christian. Now we have families who are many generations serving as Christians and, like the audience Paul spoke to yesterday, there are those who think being born and raised in church is enough to secure their salvation. They learned on an unconscious level that they can earn heaven – this was an accidental consequence of not teaching true repentance from the pulpits around the world regularly enough. Because true repentance is a life style and not a one-time prayer with a street preacher or an altar call with a traveling evangelist.
SO, is there NO advantage to having been raised in church? We can apply this to all generations.
and this begins a pattern of rhetorical questions designed to make us think and consider ourselves and examine our hearts and minds. Some questions are sarcastic. Some of them Paul answers. Paul waxes very philosophical in this letter – and I am reminded that he is in Corinth, having come from Athens and having spent much time with their style of thinking and processing logic while understanding the bigger truths. I am sure that the cleverness of the writing and questioning made the difficult content easier to handle for those in Rome, and maybe for us as well as his questioning leads us to reason out the same things.

Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: “That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged.”

Sometimes we cannot break this book down into a verse by verse study because of these questions. The overall meaning gets lost. I once watched a teacher stubble through verse 4 (and with good reason). God tells truth. Man is a liar. Then you are justified in your words. 
Sounds like the liar is justified in his lies. So turn on an audio version of this chapter and listen and it is so much more clear. AND take a close look at the printing – the capital letter at the beginning of You and Your. Unlike me, the Bible never misses a capital when referring to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.
So when is God justified in His words and when does God need to overcome when He is judged? Who can judge the Lord?!
Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be proved right when You speak and blameless when You judge.” Psalm 51:4
Paul Is writing to a church of both Jew and gentile – but the Jews are being addressed right now and they would have made this cross reference. A Psalm of David, and his beautiful big time repentance. He was a man after God’s own heart and knew how to Love God Big and Repent Big. If only we can learn that!  Lord, help us fall in love with you!

But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.
You may have thought this at one time or another. I have. I have also heard children in children’s church reason this out. Let me date the language and get rid of the questions: If I sin, and repent, I get forgiven. Then I go and try not to sin and it is hard. And I make a mistake and sin. So again I repent and I get forgiven. So I go again and try not to sin, but it is so fun and hard not to and I was forgiven the last time, so why not do it again? I can repent and ask for forgiveness after – and be forgiven. Always be forgiven. Why bother trying not to sin?! Let us do evil that good may come! I know many Catholics who have reasoned this out and sin Monday through Saturday then go to confession and start the week off clean. Or do they? Paul warns the Romans of this, yet centuries later it was the Holy Roman Church which put confession and penance, and therefore permissive sins, into practice. They must have missed the letter written to them! (Yes, I am saying this was somewhat prophetic on Paul’s part – but also that spirit of religion ran deep, and was seemingly planted in the church right at the beginning.)

What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.”
And there it is folks! False piety and religious spirit confronted and leveled because man is leveled. We are all created equal in God’s eyes. No one is better or worse. The saying that no sin is worse than another is not entirely accurate – but sin is sin and that spot on you will keep you separated from God. Be it separated by an inch or be it separated by a mile, is not the point. The point is we can be in an intimate position with God but instead are separated, because we were too pride, ignorant or stubborn to apologize and ask to be washed.

10 As it is written:…”
The following come from multiple scriptures. I will try to reference a few for you.

“…There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.”  (Psalm 14 or Psalm 53)

13 “Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; (Psalm 5:9)
“The poison of asps is under their lips”; (Psalm 140:3)

14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” (Psalm 10:7)

15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.” (Proverbs 1:16 and Isaiah 59:7)

18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (Psalm 36:1)

I know some of you know your scriptures well enough to know this, but for those who do not know: I sometimes speak and write and reference scriptures in my writing as I get going and the verses flow from me mixed with the point I am saying and they aren’t always full passages or verses, but sometimes partial and they aren’t always quoted word for word and since I have some memorized in multiple versions, sometimes I mix the versions together in my head on accident.  And I may even say IT IS WRITTEN – even though it is not written in one place exactly as I had said it. And I sometimes do not stop and give you the chapter and verse for each one.
That is exactly what Paul did here. And yes, there was a Greek version of the Jewish scriptures which Paul studied and quoted from as well as the Hebrew. You will often see his quotes do not match up with our Old Testament because of this.

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Here is the fault with The Law. (Yes there were a few faults obviously – which is why God had to take a greater measure and send His Son to die for our sins.) First of all, by “The Law” Paul is referring to the Atonement Law. The covenant for land and everything given to Jacob means the food laws and Sabbath are still in effect, as they state “forever”. But the Atonement part does not say forever. And Jesus came to fulfil it – not cancel it out and replace it. So you and I must understand it – because what Jesus did to fulfil it built upon it. Atonement Law was God’s rules on how to deal with sin. You take a blameless, spotless, perfect animal, and you lay your sins upon it. The price for sinning is death. Adam and Even knew NOT of death until they sinned – and the curse of death takes everything because of sin. So when you put your sins upon the lamb, you sacrifice it to God – and your sins are burnt up making a dark cloud of smoke and leaving behind soot and ash. It did not wash your sins away – it transferred them literally into dust of ash, and figuratively and spiritually off of you. Atonement doesn’t justify you before God it just acknowledges your sin.
If you aren’t a Jew and under The Law, you can’t understand your guilt and strive to be justified. So to fix this fault – Jesus came here, became the lamb (still need someone to pay death) But then, He overcame death and now we can be forgiven instead of atoned. We can be washed clean instead of being left with ashes to clean up. And we can be justified by God.  Yes, it is through Jesus that we can have the revelation of our guilt before the righteousness of God – and be justified.

21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.”

A quick google search for the definition of propitiation says an appeasement or atonement to a god. I am unhappy with that satanically corrupted definition.  Because if atonement was enough Jesus did not have to die. Propitiation is not a fancy way to say I atoned for my sins.
It is not an appeasement either. That gives me the imagined image in my head that God is a fire exploding volcano and if we throw Jesus in the volcano will stop rumbling. Or even worse, my dog is a little fat because when she acts up I feed her a treat to appease her and get her to do as I say – and I most certainly am not feeding Jesus to God every time He acts up – God does not act up.
Propitiation is a type of replacement. My sins means I was the one who deserved the beating and death. I committed the crime. But Jesus took my place in death, in the grave, and in resurrection – so I may life eternally, through faith in Jesus – and therefore our Just and Righteous God can justify us.

27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith.”
So The Atonement Law was fulfilled by Jesus and (just like everything Grace touches) it was transformed into the Law of Faith. We have spoken many times about how the Law and Grace are not opposites. We are not now “under grace” because atonement law no longer needs animal sacrifices. We are now under the Law of Faith (why don’t more people pick up that phrase?)! In the Law of Faith we no longer focus on our own sins, but we can give those sins away and focus on our redeemer.

28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.”
And for those who say we replace “The Law” and we get rid of “The Law” how about reading that Paul says “Certainly Not!” We now establish the law.

The point being made in these chapters is in the fine details of a core belief at the root of our ability to even be Christians, aka justified in the sight of God. It IS critical to read what is said and understand – it is Jesus, it is the very cornerstone we build our houses on. We cannot stand in the days to come if we are built on the lie of a corrupted grace that somehow replaced this orderly God (who doesn’t change). This universal law of death for sin has transformed, NOT changed, Not been replaced and is called The Law of Faith.
And as we continue our study, you will see that this establishment of law is still very much the same requiring we still make sacrifices, but not for atonement or justification. Which was the point of the old system at the temple, but man’s focus shifted over time and they missed the point. The raised their sheep, and thought they somehow took part in the atonement. They focused on the outside and forgot to examine themselves and look inward. Jesus now fills us on the inside and from the inside out, we are believers. The temple is now our bodies. The sacrifices happen within us. All of The Law, they used to play out physically was to teach them to do it internally, and when it did not happen, God sent Jesus to make it right and now we get it. Being clean or defiled comes from within, no matter how many times we wash our hands or shower.  I suppose at this point we are starting to understand why we have spoken of justification for 3 days. Beside avoiding God’s wrath, which is frightening and preferable NOT to think of, we are studying justification to understand that it is in the Law of Faith – of believing He was and Is and IS TO COME!

So today, continue to examine yourself, do some housekeeping, and prepare the Temple (yourself) for a move of God within you as we clean up and practice these chapters along our way of studying Romans.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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