Posts Tagged ‘Law’


Most  people have seen “Achmed the Dead Terrorist” with comedian Jeff Dunham

  • He is known for yelling, “Silence! I kill you!” to Dunham and people in the audience
  • His favorite Christmas song is “Jingle Bombs”.
  • When Jeff mentions that Achmed appears to be dead because he’s a skeleton, Achmed responds, “It’s a flesh wound.”
  • When Dunham inquires as to how he died, Achmed explains his incompetence with explosives, by saying that they both suffer from “premature detonation.”

Achmed went to a Doctor for an examination. The Doctor examines Achmed and says it looks like he has scoliosis, and orders an X-Ray. Achmed says, “why don’t you just take a Polaroid?”

Paul wants us to see the Polaroid of our Body the way God Sees it: And He wants us to answer this question – Who’s Got  Your Body? Paul presents foundational truth about our body and we must allow that truth to replace our experience.

Whatever contradicts the truth of God’s Word is to be  regarded as the Devil’s Lie, not because it may not be in itself a very real fact to our senses, but because God has stated a greater fact before which the other must eventually yield. Nee NCL p 75.

The body (flesh) is sin’s special sphere of operation. Man is a slave to sin because his body is sin’s puppet. The moment the body is disengaged or disemployed from sin, we cease to be sin’s slave. Our body is liberated from sin’s power and influence. The old man is crucified to release the body from the dominion of sin. With sin’s partner, the old man, crucified, and the new man taking its place, sin’s power over the body is broken.

Let’sl look at what God wants us to do with this body, this flesh. He wants us to believe what His Word says is true. If you recall, we looked at Romans 6 verse 6 and discovered that is our old man was crucified with Christ. Then we looked at Romans 6:11 and saw how we are to count (or reckon) on our old man being dead. The Christian life is not to be a life of following rules, or fleshly struggling to overcome sin. The Christian life is lived in the Grace of God and in His power. God has provided our deliverance rom sin, not by abolishing it, not by removing our flesh, but by removing the old man!

Now we continue on in Romans starting at verse 12, and we discover a new command:

1. COMMAND…

(6:12) Believer’s are commanded to not let sin rule over their bodies. This is a forceful command.

  1. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof. Romans 6:12

1. We Must Not Let Sin Reign

(basileuetō): have authority, rule, control, occupy, hold sway, prevail over him. The present tense is used, so the idea is a continuous attitude and behavior.

  • “Awake to righteousness, and sin not; for some have not the knowledge of God: I speak this to your shame” (1 Cor. 15:34).
  • “My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous” (1 John 2:1).

Our bodies are dying (mortal-thnetos). Our bodies are unemployed (body of sin annulled Rom 6:6)

2. We Must Not Obey (To yield to a superior command or force) sin in its lusts (epithumiais).

The word means strong desire or craving and passion. The pull of sin is sometimes strong, very strong. All men know what it is to lust after things, after more and more, whether it be money, property, security, position, pleasure, fun, or fleshly stimulation. The true believer must not yield to these pulls. He must not let the lusts of his eyes and flesh rule and regulate his mind and behavior. He must not let lust order his life. He must not obey sin in its lusts, in its cravings and desires and passions. He must resist the lusts of his “mortal body.”

  • “And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell” (Matthew 5:29).
  • “For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live” (Romans 8:13).
  • “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
  • “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

2. PRESENT…

vs 13: Present yourselves to God

Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:13

1. (6:13)  Body is an instrument (hóplon)

The body is not the source of sin, but the Bible says and man’s experience proves that the body is the instrument of sin, the organ which sin uses to manifest and satisfy itself. But Romans 6:6 says our body is unemployed, it is annulled, put out of action when it comes to the power of sin. Now our bodies are free to be instruments fit for the Master!

2.  (6:13) We Must Not Present The Members Of Our Body To Sin.

The word “present” (paristēmi) means to offer; to put at the disposal of; to give; to grant; to turn over to. Some translations use yield, but that implies a passive action. The idea is much more active in its intent. You are to present your bodies to God as instruments for His use. The believer is not to allow the members of his body to be instruments or tools of unrighteousness. If he takes a member of his body and uses it as an instrument or tool of unrighteousness, he sins.

“Do Not Present” is in the imperative, which means it is a command, a command in the present, which means we must always be aware that we do not present ourselves as instruments of sin. Therefore, we must be vigilant in watching who we serve.

But the “present yourselves to God” is in the aorist tense, which means a onetime action that you make. It is not something you do over and over. Just as the golden vessels were presented to the Lord one time, just as Samuel was presented by his mother one time, so you must at one time present your members unto God, for Him to use as He sees fit. God will then be responsible for your body. From that day we must watch who we are yielded too, and lest we forget, God will constantly remind us.

3. We Present Ourselves To God.

Note a significant fact: in the Greek this is not written in the present tense, but in the aorist tense. This simply means the believer is to make a one-time decision for God, a once-for-all dedication of his life to God. We do not just yield- that has the idea of ‘passive surrender’! No, we actively present ourselves to God as His New Creation!

The presentation of your life to God is to be sincere and genuine—a one time decision. You are to yield yourself—your body, your life, all that you are—to God; and your decision is to be a permanent, one time decision.

We present our members to God as instruments of righteousness. Turn the members of your body over to God: your eyes, ears, mouth, tongue, hands, feet, mind—all your members. Every part of your body is to be given over as an instrument or tool to do righteousness.

Present to God as one who has passed from death to life. God doesn’t want the old man, God wants our new life! Our flesh is unemployed, so He wants to employ it, but We must consciously present it to Him!

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:1-2).

3. LEARN…

(6:14-15) Sin does not dominate true believers. We are under grace and not under the law.

For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace. What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! Romans 6:14-15

1. Struggling to Keep the Law is an act of the Flesh

The believer is constantly aware that he fails and comes short of the law. He struggles and strives, wrestles and grapples, works and labors to obey; but his experience is full of tension and pressure, disappointment and discouragement. The person under law never lives a victorious life, for he is constantly coming short of God’s glory and perfection. The defeated Christian is relying upon his flesh and self-will to overcome sin.

  • This is not God’s Way!

God’s way is the power of His Grace!

  • “For mine iniquities are gone over mine head: as a heavy burden they are too heavy for me” (Psalm 38:4).
  • “For innumerable evils have compassed me about: mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up; they are more than the hairs of mine head: therefore my heart faileth me” (Psalm 40:12).
  • “For I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is ever before me” (Psalm 51:3).

2.  We Are Under Grace, Not Under Law.

God is not a legal judge hovering over you to punish you every time you sin by breaking a particular law.

What does being under grace mean? It means that the believer accepts the grace of God demonstrated in Jesus Christ. The believer accepts the righteousness, the sinless perfection of Christ as his own righteousness. The believer identifies his life with the life of Christ,

God counts the faith of the believer as the righteousness of Jesus Christ.

  • How do we keep from serving sin and from living under sin and from displeasing God?
  • How do we live under grace day by day?
  • How do we live under God’s favor all of the time?
  • How can we please God and receive His approval and acceptance?

And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.” 1 Corinthians 1:30-31

We must constantly keep before us the glorious truth that we are under God’s grace.

God is our Father, and we have become true children of God’s. We are only accepted and beloved in Jesus Christ. We abide in Jesus Christ. As long as we abide, we bear fruit. If we fail to abide by faith, we do not bear fruit.

We have need of daily cleansing. There are presumptuous sins, there are sins of omission and commission. Jesus said we will need our feet washed as we travel this earth. Sin will be around us, but sin does not have control over us.

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

3.  Are We Allowed To Continue In Sin?

Can we sin and sin and keep on expecting God to forgive and forgive? Scripture shouts: God forbid! Then Scripture argues that a true child of God must not continue in sin. Why does the true child of God not sin? Why does he keep away from sin?

⇒  Because the grace of Christ indwells us!

“For thou art not a God that hath pleasure in wickedness: neither shall evil dwell with thee” (Psalm 5:4).

⇒  Because we turned to God in order to get away from sin and its shame and destruction.

He did not turn to God in order to have the freedom to sin, but to be set free from the enslavement and habits of sin, to break the bondage and consequences of sin.

  • “What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death” (Romans 6:21).
Sin is not to dominate the believer

We as Children of God must learn something: sin will not and does not dominate the true believer. There are three reasons.

1.  God is not a legal judge hovering over the child to punish him every time he sins by breaking a particular law. The child is not under such frightening dominion.

2.  God is a gracious and loving Father. He cares and suffers long with growing children. When His child falls into sin, God is long-suffering, ever willing to forgive His erring child—if the child will only come and ask forgiveness and turn from his sin (Luke 17:3-4; 1 John 1:9).

3.  God is a teaching Father who disciplines. He exhorts His child not to fall into the dominating trap of sin (cp. Hebrews 12:5-11; 1 John 2:1-2).

The truth of our NEW LIFE in Christ is that we live in and experience the power of grace!

4. KNOW

vs 16: Know that you can only serve one master

Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? Romans 6:16

1.  You Can Serve Only One Master, Sin Or God.

The word “servant” (doulos) means slave. A person is either the slave of sin or of God, and there is a very simple test to tell which master a person serves. Do you yield to sin, that is, serve sin? or do you yield to God, that is, serve God? Either sin is your master or God is your Master. You either yield to sin or you yield to God. This does not mean that you become sinless and perfect, but that…

  • you do not plan to sin.
  • you depend upon the life of Jesus
  • you diligently seek to make God the Master of your life by obeying Him.
  • you study God’s Word so that you will know His commandments and can obey Him.
  • you walk in open confession before God, talking to Him all day long, ever gaining an unbroken fellowship with Him as the Master of your life.

2. You walk in the flesh, or you walk in the Spirit!

You either walk by sight, or your walk by faith!

  • “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money. Matthew 6:24 .
  • “Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin” (John 8:34).
  • “A double minded man is unstable in all his ways” (James 1:8).
  • “While they [the carnal or fleshy] promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for of whom a man is overcome, of the same is he brought in bondage” (2 Peter 2:19).

5. REMEMBER…

vs. 16-17 Remember your decision to obey

But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. Romans 6:17-18

1. Remember Your Decision. You Chose Righteousness.

  • Note the stated fact: believers “were the servants of sin.”

You used to yield to sin, all kinds of sin ranging from…

language and media
⇒  immoral thoughts to adultery.
⇒  simple thoughts of pride to drunkenness.
⇒  simple acts of selfishness to stealing.
⇒  self-centeredness from eating to what you buy and what you do.
⇒  hurting and using people

You obeyed God! Not in your flesh, not just obedience to a bunch of rules, but you obeyed from your heart!

  • “And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment” (1 John 3:23).
  • “Not everyone that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21).

2. Note The Result: We Are Freed From Sin.

They are counted righteous by God, not sinful. God sees believers as righteous people, not as sinners. Therefore, believers are freed from sin and its consequences. God does not charge believers with sin; He does not lay sin against them. Believers are freed from the accusation of sin, and they shall never be charged with sin. God has freed them from sin through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ (cp. Romans 8:33-34).

We become the servant of righteousness. Once we truly know God’s glorious love, we are driven to serve God in appreciation for what God has done for us in Christ Jesus. We are driven to be the servant of God by living righteously and godly in this present world.

6. DO…

I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness. For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. Romans 6:19-20

1. Do Serve God With The Same Fervor That You Served Sin.

Your body was a slave to sin because your old man was very much alive. All the old man could do was influence your body to sin. Sin held sway over our old man, so our dress, our attitudes, our speech and our thoughts all give way to the bondage of sin. Our thinking gets so upside down that we think everything we do is OK! We ‘justify’ ourselves, our actions, our attitudes and our words. But we are enemies of God.

Sin always produces more sin. As Romans 1 illustrated, sin is a downward spiral that results in our world being turned opposite of what God’s view is. Sin enslaves. Sin becomes a binding chain that produces habits that we simply ‘tolerate’ and even accept. “iniquity unto iniquity” – Iniquity issuing in an abiding iniquitous state

2. Present Your Members As Slaves To Righteousness That Work Holiness

“Let righteousness work holiness” (hagiasmon). The word means sanctification or holy. The believer is to yield the parts of his body to serve righteousness, and he is to let righteousness sanctify him more and more. He is to live righteously and become more and more holy like God.

When you served sin, you were free from righteousness: you were not credited with righteousness. You did not have the opportunity to live righteously before God. But now you have obeyed God; you have believed. Now you have the opportunity to live righteously, so begin to serve God with the same fervor and energy with which you were serving sin. Let righteousness enslave you and become the bondage and habit of your life.”

  • “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof” (Romans 13:14).
  • “This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh” (Galatians 5:16).
  • “And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts” (Galatians 5:24).
  • “Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry” (Col. 3:2-5).
  • “Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul” (1 Peter 2:11).
  • “That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God” (1 Peter 4:2).

7. QUESTION…

What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. Romans 6:21-22

1.  Question if there is any fruit in sin. (Of Course Not!)

The true believer is ashamed of his past sin.

  • “And he said, I heard thy voice in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Genesis 3:10).
  • “And said, O my God, I am ashamed and blush to lift up my face to thee, my God: for our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is grown up unto the heavens” (Ezra 9:6).

The fruit of sin is death. The fruit of sin is not good; there is nothing good about it. Sin corrupts, destroys, and dooms all who seek its fruits. This should always be remembered by men.

David struggled with this:

Behold, these are the wicked; always at ease, they increase in riches. All in vain have I kept my heart clean and washed my hands in innocence. For all the day long I have been stricken and rebuked every morning. If I had said, “I will speak thus,” I would have betrayed the generation of your children. But when I thought how to understand this, it seemed to me a wearisome task, until I went into the sanctuary of God; then I discerned their end. Truly you set them in slippery places; you make them fall to ruin. How they are destroyed in a moment, swept away utterly by terrors! Psalms 73:12-19

2.  Real Fruit Belongs To Believers Who Are Slaves Of God.

We are “set free” from the corruption of sin by justification in Jesus Christ. Through the blood of Jesus, we are justified in God’s sight. We are declared as righteous as Jesus Christ because we are IN Christ the glorious love of God. We now owe our new life to God himself. Our members are His, set apart as Holy just as the Temple vessels were.

We now bear the fruit of that leads to sanctification and eternal life.

  • “I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing” (John 15:5).
  • “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death” (Romans 8:2).
  • “Having therefore these promises, dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 7:1).
  • “And the Lord make you to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you: to the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints” (1 Thes. 3:12-13).

Bearing The Glorious Hope And End Of Eternal Life.

  • “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him” (John 3:36).
  • “And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gathereth fruit unto life eternal: that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together” (John 4:36).
  • “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life” (John 5:24).

8.  CONSIDER…

v 23: the wages of sin vs. the gift of God, of eternal life.

Death (thanatos): the basic meaning of death is separation. “Death never means extinction, annihilation, non-existence, or inactivity.”

Sin deserves death for two very clear reasons. Sinners Live their lives without God, so they will Live their Eternities without God.

1.  Sin ignores and denies God

  • Acts against His nature.
  • Acts in the interest of man.

2.  Sin is rebellion against God.

  • It is rejecting God, ignoring God, disobeying God, denying God,
  • It refuses to Give God His proper place in our life.

They have no part of God.  They are to be banished from God’s sight.They are to be separated from God’s presence forever. They will experience the wrath of God that Jesus experienced for them on the Cross.

As a laborer receives his wages, so sinners shall receive their wages. Each and every day you ignore God and refuse Jesus Christ, you are storing up God’s wrath upon your life. Just as it would be unjust not to pay the laborer, it would be unjust not to pay sinners for their work.

In fact, if sinners did not receive their just punishment, it would be the most gross injustice to His Son, Jesus Christ. Why? Because God would be saying to His Son; your death didn’t mean a thing. Your pain, your suffering, your very life was all a waste. When you experienced Hell for the sake of sinners, it did not mean a thing, becasue I’m going to let them into heaven anyway! Ghastly thought!

Sinners must receive their just wages. Sinners must die; They must be banished forever from the presence of God.

  • “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” (Romans 5:12).
  • “Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death” (James 1:15).
  • “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power” (2 Thes. 1:9).
  • “The soul that sinneth, it shall die. (Ezekiel 18:20).

3.  The gift of God is eternal life.

Note that eternal life is not the payment of wages. A man cannot work for and earn eternal life. It is the gift of God, and it is only through Jesus Christ our Lord

  • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life” (John 3:16).
  • “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; that being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life” (Titus 3:5-7).

Have you Presented Your Body to God?

Consecration begins when we realize the old man is dead-knowing, reckoning, presenting.

When we know our old man is crucified, then we reckon ourselves dead to sin, and alive unto God. Giving myself to Him naturally follows, for we realize that my newness of life is based upon His resurrection, and indeed my very life is in Him! When we realize that Jesus is our very life, then we naturally give Him everything!

Unless I pass through death, there is nothing to consecrate to Him, there is nothing God can accept, for God has condemned my old man to the cross.

Consecration (presenting) means that I consider my whole life as belonging to Him.

Money in my pocket -if it is mine, I can do whatever I want. If it belongs to another, then the money is in my trust, and I cannot buy what I please.

How many of us realize that because Christ is risen, we are alive “unto God and not unto ourselves.

We belong to another, and we dare not squander a cent of our money, a second of our time or any of our mental or physical powers on anything other than what the Lord wants!

What is Holiness?

When we give ourselves wholly to Christ, that is holiness. We do not become holy by the eradication of something evil within. We become holy by being separated unto God! We have gone to the Cross and discovered not only must we kneel at the feet of Jesus and let His blood cover our sins and cloth us with His righteousness.

Our Journey does not end there, it only begins. For the next step is to join Him on the cross and realize that our old man was crucified with Him that we should no longer serve sin. Once we know that our old man was crucified, we count on it, we reckon it to be true in our life.

Then we present ourselves to Jesus. We don’t give Him any of the old man, that is dead. We give him our unemployed body, our hands, our feet, our face, our self, and we say, put these to work as you see fit. All the old Jim Tompkins is dead, and the life I now life is Jesus living through me.

I give myself to you alone, with my one desire being to know you and to walk with you on the course you have chosen for me. I want nothing for myself! I want everything for God!

Then you can say with Paul, I have finished my course (2 Tim 4:7)

You can say “I know that the will of God is good and acceptable and perfect for me!” (Rom 12:2)

  • How can a tailor make you a suit without the fabric?
  • How can a builder build you a house without the building materials?

We cannot expect the Lord to live out His life in us if we do not give Him our lives in which to live!

Will you present yourselves to God?

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The minister decided to do something a little different one Sunday morning. He said ‘Today, I am going to say a single word and you are going to help me preach.’ Whatever single word I say, I want you to sing whatever hymn that comes to your mind.

The pastor shouted out, ‘Cross,’ Immediately the congregation started singing in unison, ‘The Old Rugged Cross.’

The pastor hollered out ‘Grace.’ The congregation began to sing ‘Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound.’

The pastor said ‘Power.’ The congregation sang ‘There is Power in the Blood’

The Pastor said ‘Sex.’ The congregation fell in total silence. Everyone was in shock. They all nervously began to look around at each other afraid to say anything. Then all of a sudden, way from in the back of the church, a little old eighty seven year old grandmother stood up and began to sing ‘Precious Memories.’

Memories can be precious, but to live our life in the past is not practical, nor pleasing to God. It means you have stagnated, been put out to pasture, basically your life is over. Life is meant to be lived in the now, with new precious memories. God is God of the Living, God is actively, intimately involved in your lives. He wants to be your God of the Now, not the God of the past.

God asks the question each and every day you get up: What are you going to do with me today?

We recently looked at how God values the Blood of Jesus Christ. He values the Blood so supremely that it was sufficient to satisfy His righteous demands for sinful man, it is powerful enough to enable us to be declared righteous, it is powerful enough to allow God to dwell in us, it is powerful enough for that very same blood to cleanse our conscience, not only at Salvation, but each and every day we live. It is powerful enough to put God on the side of man against all the accusations of Satan., In fact, through the blood, God declares that there is now NO CONDEMNATION. Satan can’t bring one charge against us.

The difficulty you and I face is one of belief. This week we will look at FAITH, and what it means to live a life of faith as Paul presented it here in Romans 3:26-4:24.

The saddest indictment that Jesus can bring against you is “O you of little faith!

Matthew 8:23-27 (ESV) And when he got into the boat, his disciples followed him. And behold, there arose a great storm on the sea, so that the boat was being swamped by the waves; but he was asleep. And they went and woke him, saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing.” And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?” Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, “What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?”

Faith represents a storm of change. Instead of being tossed about by the storms of this world, you are in charge, you are in control. Your storm is more overpowering! FAITH has that power. It is not your personal power, but it is a rock solid belief in the one who has the Power!

So this morning I want us to step inside the Ship that Jesus commands, it is the ship called the USS FAITH! Let’s see what we need to learn in order to weather any storm, any tsunami, any hurricane!

What happens now to human pride of achievement? There is no more room for it. Why, because failure to keep the Law has killed it? Not at all, but because the whole matter is now on a different plane – believing instead of achieving. We see now that a man is justified before God by the fact of his faith in God’s appointed Saviour and not by what he has managed to achieve under the Law. And God is God of both Jews and Gentiles, let us be quite clear about that! The same God is ready to justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised by faith also. Are we then undermining the Law by this insistence on faith? Not a bit of it! We put the Law in its proper place. Romans 3:27-31 (Phillips NT)

[Romans 3:27 (ESV) Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith.]

In order to cruise with jesus, there are three things that are not allowed aboard His ship of Faith! These Three things will keep you from the Power of the Law of Faith which powers the USS FAITH!

THREE NO-NO’s!

1. NO PRIDE! (27,28)
Quit trying to keep a “profit & loss” statement w/God! Quit making an entry on the “credit” side of the page whenever you carry out one of the law’s requirements. The Gift always glorifies the Giver not the Recipient! So, no boasting! Remember the great hymn, “When I survey the wondrous cross, On which the prince of glory died, My richest gain I count but loss, And pour contempt on all my pride!”

2. NO PREJUDICE! (29,30)

Paul takes them to the basis of the Jewish creed, the very thing that every Synagogue service always begins with even today…The Shema, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one!” “One” – Not one kind of God for the Gentiles & One kind for the Jews…The Lord is One! The way to God is the same way for all!

3. NO PRESUMPTION! (31)

Does this mean the nd of the law? No! – It strengthens it! The Law is the expression of God’s Character and should never be ignored. Up to this time man tried to be a good man, tired to keep the commandments, tried to serve God, because he was afraid of God, & terrified of the punishment that would come. But now we strive for goodness because we love God, not because we are afraid of him!

Romans 4 and the Power of Faith

I. The USS FAITH is Piloted by Jesus and Powered by the Law of Faith

Romans 4 is all about the “Law of Faith” mentioned by Paul in Romans 3:27: “Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith! Here Paul masterfully lay’s out what the Reformers called “Sola Fide”! (Faith Alone). We MUST get aboard the USS FAITH, there is no other way!

“Any church which puts in the place of justification by faith in Christ another method of salvation is a Harlot church”. (Spurgeon)

The Monstrous Hull of the USS Faith is made out of an impenetrable material called JUSTIFINIAM!

Let’s go over justification one more time! It is a process by which an individual is brought into an unmerited, right relationship w/God. It does mark that instantaneous point of entry that makes a person right with God. As long as you remain in the ship of Faith, you are declared righteous! Even though the salt spray of sin covers you, the Blood of Jesus continually cleanses you! HOW? By staying on the ship called FAITH! As soon as you get off, as soon as you start to listen to the accusations of Satan, as soon as you start to feel sorry about yourself, as soon as you focus on yourself, you are wavering on the deck, and the danger is that you will fall and become shipwreck.

1 Timothy 1:19 (ESV) holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,

Faith is able to turn the tables on the storms of life. Faith is able to quiet the winds, calm the sea, and deliver you safely to God’s destination. Faith alone!

A.   USS FAITH BLOWS THE STORM OF WORKS AWAY  (1-8)

Jewish tradition said it was from works! (The Mishna’s 3rd division Kiddushin [4.14] interpreting Gen.26:5 “because Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” “we find that Abraham our father had performed the whole law before it was given” [actually came 4 centuries later];

(Romans 4:1-2) “What shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.”

Abraham was not righteous because of his works. There is no boasting aboard the USS FAITH! “For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” He believed God – He trusted in what God said! He believed God would keep His word!

(vs 4) “Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due.” No, he didn’t work for his right standing with God, nor try to earn it as his rightful wage.

(vs 5) “And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness” God justifies the ungodly not the righteous, simply because you believe His Word! The ‘self-righteous” don’t see their need for a Savior. Only those who see their ungodliness cry out for God!

Mt.9:11-13 “Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” When Jesus heard that, He said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. “But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy and not sacrifice.’ For I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance.”

(vs 6-8) “just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
To strengthen his argument First Mate David speaks.  From Ps.32:1,2 we see David knew God’s “forgiveness, covering, & the promise not to credit the sin any longer to his account.”

As long as you are remain in USS FAITH, your sins are covered, you are in a right lawful relationship with God. Your lawlessness is remembered no more! Corrie Ten Boom said “When we confess our sins, God casts then into the deepest ocean, gone forever. And even though I cannot find a scripture for it, I believe God then places a sign out there that says, NO FISHING ALLOWED!”

Justification is a double accounting. God will never count our sins against us. God credits our account w/righteousness, as a free gift, by faith, altogether apart from our works.

1 John 1:5-10 (ESV) This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

1 John 2:1-6 (ESV) My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments. Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him, but whoever keeps his word, in him truly the love of God is perfected. By this we may know that we are in him: whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.

B.   USS FAITH BLOWS THE STORM OF RITUALS AWAY! (9-12)

Romans 4:9-12 (ESV) Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

When was Abraham Justified by Faith(saved)? Gen.15:6: “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness!” When was Abraham circumcised? Gen.17:22-27! So, it was several years later (Ishmael was 13). Kent Hughes says, “Sola Fide was a Gentile Principle long before it was a Jewish reality!”

So what was the importance of circumcision then?

  • It was not the work that attained him a right relationship w/God.
  • It was a sign of the justifying faith he already had.
  • It was a sign of faith, not a substitute for it.
  • It was also a sign of God’s Faithfulness to the Jews
  • Just as the Blood is God’s Sign to us of our forgivenss
  • Just like what baptism is to us today!

So, The USS FAITH was built before the seal of circumcision. God’s promises to Abraham & his descendants were not tied to their keeping the Law. The promise was of grace. It all starts with faith. And it always has. And it always will!

To put the relationship between God & man on a legalistic basis invites the wrath of God!

C. USS FAITH CALMS THE STORM OF THE LAW! (13-25)

(13-17)for the promise to abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression. That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the god in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist.

That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham. Some people are made uncomfortable by walking by faith. They would rather see a system of rules and laws to live by. It is easier to walk by sight that way. It is easier to live in the flesh.

“You’re worried about permissiveness–about the way the preaching of grace seems to say it’s okay to do all kinds of terrible things as long as you just walk in afterward and take the free gift of God’s forgiveness. …While you and I may be worried about seeming to give permission, Jesus apparently wasn’t. He wasn’t afraid of giving the prodigal son a kiss instead of a lecture, a party instead of probation; and he proved that by bringing in the elder brother at the end of the story and having him raise pretty much the same objections you do. He’s angry about the party. He complains that his father is lowering standards and ignoring virtue–that music, dancing, and a fattened calf are, in effect, just so many permissions to break the law.

And to that, Jesus has the father say only one thing: “Cut that out! We’re not playing good boys and bad boys any more. Your brother was dead and he’s alive again. The name of the game from now on is resurrection, not bookkeeping.”(Robert Farrar Capon, Between Noon and Three. Christianity Today, Vol. 30, no. 7.)

Common sense will tell you that you are too wrong to meet the standards of a holy God. Pardoning grace tells you that it’s all right in spite of so much in you that is wrong. Realistic common sense tells you that you are too weak, too harassed, too human to change for the better.
Pardoning grace promises that you can trust God to have a better tomorrow.

(vs 18) “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.”) Contrary to hope in hope he believed! This is chiseled faith – not rose-colored glasses faith; not positive outlook that denies pain & struggle faith. We’re talking about “white-knuckle” faith. The kind that holds on for dear life!

Faith didn’t come easy for Abraham:

This one called “exalted father”(Abram)…was childless, in a culture in which it was a disgrace to the whole family. At 75 called to leave home,  given the promise of an heir of his own(“surely now the child will come”) – He didn’t. 10 years past he’s 85, he receives a re-promise. Confident God would do it, but still unclear how, he takes Hagar as his surrogate solution! At age 86 Ishmael is born(but this wasn’t the child of God’s covenant). 13 more years & he’s 99 now. He hears from God again. Name change “father of a multitude”[ok, that helps!] Promise reconfirmed. Finally at age 100 Isaac was born.

25 YEARS AFTER GOD PROMISED!

“Hope prevents us from clinging to what we have, and frees us to move away from the safe place, and enter unknown and fearful territory.” Henri J. Nouwen in The Wounded Healer.  Christianity Today, Vol. 40, no. 13.

(vs 19-20) “He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead ( since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,

He glorified God by letting Him be God! Let Jesus Steer the USS Faith! He is the only one who can take the helm! True Faith would never put its own name in lights, but instead it always tips a searchlight to point up to God & His Grace!

(vs 21) “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.

D. L. Moody said “God never made a promise that was too good to be true.”

(vs 23) But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone,

Paul says this has application to you this morning so, listen up! This wasn’t just for Abraham. This is for YOU!

In whom is your faith placed? Yourself? Your good works? Your faith’s faith? Your ability to lead a “good enough” life? Or, is it placed in His provision (Jesus Christ?)

Only Jesus can wipe your slate clean!  Only he can give you His own righteousness!

(24, 25) “but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.”)

So how is a person saved today?Simply by believing God’s promises as Abraham did.

“Faith & promise go together just as law & works go together.”Warren Wiersbe; pg.733

Imputed/credited/accounted – “At Calvary, our sins were put on Christ’s account; when you trusted Christ, God put Christ’s righteousness on your account” (2 Cor.5:21) Jesus Christ, crucified & raised to life, is God the Father’s gracious provision for the sins of a fallen race.

Once in a church in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where the Jesus Film was being shown, Weeping and gasps of unbelief could be heard in the shocked hush as Jesus was crucified. As the Bengalis watched, they were feeling the agony of Jesus’ pain and the disappointment of the disciples. In that emotional moment, one young boy in the crowded church suddenly cried out, “Do not be afraid. He gets up again! I saw it before.” A small boy’s encouraging cry gave new hope to the viewers of the film. – “He is risen!” is the cry that gives new hope to all!


father pleads with olders sonThe Father pleaded (’parakaleo’) with the Elder Brother to come in and enjoy the feast with his brother. It was a call to fellowship, it was a call to relationship, it was a call to repentance from his selfish and unloving ways. Much the same way our paraclete (Holy Spirit) comes alongside us each and every day. We can have the same reaction that the Elder Brother had. His reaction is described in Zechariah 7:11: “But they refused to pay attention and turned a stubborn shoulder and stopped their ears that they might not hear.

cover ears upHard to believe isn’t it, that this Elder Brother refused the Father’s pleadings. Not really. Most people are good at stopping their ears at times. Sometimes we’ll even murmur to cover any sound. This is why Jesus mentioned several times “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

hands-over-earsPaul experienced people covering their ears, but one instance was notable and recorded in Acts 28:

For this reason, therefore, I have asked (parakaleo) to see you and speak with you, since it is because of the hope of Israel that I am wearing this chain.” And they said to him, “We have received no letters from Judea about you, and none of the brothers coming here has reported or spoken any evil about you. But we desire to hear from you what your views are, for with regard to this sect we know that everywhere it is spoken against.” When they had appointed a day for him, they came to him at his lodging in greater numbers. From morning till evening he expounded to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the Law of Moses and from the Prophets. And some were convinced by what he said, but others disbelieved. And disagreeing among themselves, they departed after Paul had made one statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your fathers through Isaiah the prophet: “ ‘Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive. For this people’s heart has grown dull, and with their ears they can barely hear, and their eyes they have closed; lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their heart and turn, and I would heal them.’ Therefore let it be known to you that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.” Acts 28:20-29

he_who_has_earsThis was a watershed moment in Paul’s life. He realized that from now on it was a waste of time to preach to the Jews. Their ears were closed up. The Gentiles would listen. So he would concentrate his efforts with them.

The Jews could not consider that God had changed, that the Messiah had indeed come. They were stuck in their traditions, in the past. They held tightly to their LAW.

He that hath ears let him hearJesus said “He that has ears to hear, let him hear.”  Jesus wanted His people to see that God is Living, God is in the Present, God is not in the past.

Jesus is constantly speaking to us, through His Holy Spirit. If we live in the past, we will cover our ears, or simply ignore what He says TODAY. Several times Jesus pointed out what the Jews thought was right according to the Law and traditions, and Scripture records: “BUT I SAY UNTO YOU!”

Here are the “But I say unto you” passages:

  • But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. Matthew 5:22
  • But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. Matthew 5:28
  • But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery. Matthew 5:32
  • But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne: Matthew 5:34
  • But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. Matthew 5:39
  • But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; Matthew 5:44
  • But I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you. Matthew 11:22
  • But I say unto you, That it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for thee. Matthew 11:24
  • But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple. Matthew 12:6
  • But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. Matthew 12:36
  • But I say unto you, That Elias is come already, and they knew him not, but have done unto him whatsoever they listed. Likewise shall also the Son of man suffer of them. Matthew 17:12
  • But I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father’s kingdom. Matthew 26:29
  • But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him. Mark 9:13
  • But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Luke 6:27
  • But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city. Luke 10:12

do not listenJesus wants us to realize that He is always speaking, and that we must always be listening. If we believe we already know what we should do, we are being an ELDER BROTHER. We are stopping our ears to what the Holy Spirit is saying TODAY!

As Watchman Nee said: “If I do today what I did a month ago because the Lord leads me to do it TODAY, that is life; but if I do it today simply because he led me to a month ago, that is law. The law can be a week old or centuries old, but the SPEAKING of the Holy Spirit can never be more than 24 hours old”

The Elder Brother lived in the past, and held tightly his conceptions of righteousness and acceptance. But the Father was speaking to him TODAY, and calling him to a FRESH experience of LIFE with the Father and the younger brother.

listen intentlyDo we know the freshness of today’s walk with the Father? Are our ears listening to Him, or are they stopped up?

I am listening, and am ready to go in. I want that fresh daily experience with the Father!

Father: Wake me every morning with the ears of a disciple, willing and wanting to listen and obey!