July 26, 2018
CHRIST, THE END GOAL OF THE LAW
Romans chapter 9 explained how God chose the Jews according to His own mercy and divine will, not according to any willing or working on their parts (Rom. 9:16). Now in chapter 10, Paul explains that even though God had selected the Jews to receive His law, and even more, that they were selected to be the people to which the Promised Seed, Jesus Christ, was given, this special selection of God did not negate the requirement that they must believe in Christ in order to be saved. Their selection did not negate their responsibility to believe.
Now everyone, whether Jew or Gentile, can be made right with God through faith in Christ Jesus, His Son.
July 25, 2018
GOD’S MERCY AND MAN’S WILL AND WORKS
God shows mercy according to His own will and according to His own character. It is not in response to man’s will and works, yet this does not negate man’s responsibility. God shows mercy, not out of obligation, nor any indebtedness to humanity. For God’s mercy is an attribute of God’s character and is directed by God’s perfect will.
God’s mercy is on display in the cross of Christ. For God demonstrated His love and mercy toward us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Rom. 5:8). So, God did this not in response to us, but according to His own love and mercy. However, this message of the cross, which is the gospel, still requires a faith response from us in order to be recipients of God’s mercy.
July 24, 2018
TRUSTING GOD’S GOOD PURPOSE FOR US
Are you facing a time of difficulty and wondering where God is today? Have you gone through a time of suffering and questioning how God can possibly allow it, much less, use it? Yet, God is sovereign. God is at work. He is making you like Jesus. That is His purpose for those who love Him and are called by Him. You can face any trial or trouble knowing that God will cause it ultimately to come together for His purpose, which is that you should “become like his Son” (Rom. 8:29).
So, don’t waste the pain. Don’t lean away, but lean into Jesus all the more. Trust God’s good purpose for your life.
July 23, 2018
THE SPIRIT OF SLAVERY VS. THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION
The former life before receiving Christ is one of slavery to sin. The actions of the slave are motivated by fear. So, the one enslaved to sin leads a life motivated and marked by fear. Among these fears are the fear of man, the fear of bad consequence and the fear of death. In addition, the former life is marked by the slave’s mentality. The slave is in bondage to sin, so that even when he wishes to do good, he does the opposite, even the thing he hates (See Rom. 7).
However, the one who has received Christ is set free from slavery to sin. For to receive Christ is to receive the Spirit of Adoption, so that the believer is adopted into God’s family, no longer a slave, but a son. Not only children of God, but sons of God, for sons receive an inheritance. And all who believe, whether male or female, will receive the inheritance of sonship, becoming co-heirs with Christ, the Son of God. The one who has trusted Christ is no longer motivated by fear, but is free to please the Father by God’s Spirit living within. It is the Spirit that gives the believer the urge and right to call God, “Abba” which is Aramaic for “Daddy.”
As believers in Christ, we are no longer slaves of fear, but sons of God, set free by His Spirit and adopted into His family.
July 22, 2018
GOD’S LOVE AND LAW FULLY SATISFIED IN CHRIST!
What is the “just requirement of the law?” It is that those who cannot keep it must die. For the wages of sin is death (Rom. 3:23). God sent His Son to “fully satisfy” the law by dying in our place, taking the penalty of death that we deserved. Jesus alone has kept the law, yet He gave Himself as a sacrifice for our sins. So now, we that believe in Jesus, are set free from death and the power of the sin nature. Having been set free from sin, we are empowered to follow the Spirit. Jesus took upon Himself our sin, separation, and death. And He offers in exchange His righteousness, Sonship and eternal life.
Jesus has fully satisfied both God’s love and law, for both are intermingled at the cross of Christ.
July 21, 2018
SINCE GOD’S LAW CANNOT SAVE, WHAT GOOD IS IT?
Sin is aroused to further rebellion by God’s law. Does this mean that God’s law is itself sinful? Certainly not! If a mother tells her toddler not to touch the hot stove, she has given the child her law. Yet, the sin nature within the child is immediately activated to do the very thing she was commanded by her mother not to do. She feels the overwhelming urge to touch it! So, the mother’s law was good, but it did not have the power to affect the child’s desire.
If God’s law cannot save, what good is it? There are at least three good purposes for God’s law. In Romans 7:7, Paul has named the first purpose, which is to mirror our sinful condition by naming what is sinful, thus reflecting our guilty condition. Paul used as his example the one who covets and is proven sinful by the tenth command of God’s Decalogue, “Thou shalt not covet.” What are the three purposes of the law?
THREE “R”s OF THE LAW: (OR THREE “P”s)
1) Reflect our guilty condition (Like a perfect mirror).
2) Restrain our sinful behavior (Like a prison guard).
3) Reveal our need for a Savior (Like a pedagogue).
The law is good and useful, but it cannot save. Only faith in Christ saves and empowers us to produce a harvest of righteousness in His name.
July 20, 2018
WAGES ARE EARNED BUT GIFTS ARE RECEIVED
The word translated “wages” was used to denote a Roman soldier’s pay during Paul’s time. So, “wages” are earned. Since we are all sinners (Rom. 3:23), we have all earned death. Death is the just desert for a life of sin. This death is not only the death of the body, but as it stands in opposition to “eternal life,” it is the eternal damnation of the soul, which is the “second death” (Rev. 20:14-15).
So, the wages of sin coincides with and follows the life of sin. Wages are given as they are earned and after they are earned. But the “free gift” of God is given before the life of righteousness that follows. After all, it is the receiving of the free gift of God that sets the sinner free from sin’s slavery and sin’s wages, so that they are made righteous before God and given eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.
The economy of fallen humanity is about earning, but the economy of God is about receiving. Will you stop trying to earn that which can only be received? Receive the free gift of God, which is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord and be set free from the wages of sin, which is death.
July 19, 2018
CONDEMNATION OR JUSTIFICATION?
If Adam’s one sin was enough to bring condemnation upon all, then how much more will Christ’s one act of righteousness result in justification and eternal life for all who believe? Being born to Adam’s line, we are already sinful and under the condemnation of death. But believing in Jesus Christ, we are born again by the Spirit, so that we are justified, made right with God, and given eternal life.
Why would you remain under condemnation when justification is available through Christ?
July 18, 2018
ABRAHAM’S SPIRITUAL FATHERHOOD
The apostle Paul quoted Genesis 17:5 to make the argument that God’s promise to Abraham was not only for his natural descendants, but also for the great multitudes from every nation that would believe. Paul retained the past tense language of Genesis, which quoted God saying, “I have made you” as if it had already come to pass, even though Abraham had yet to see his son, Isaac, born. God spoke of it as a thing already done, and in a sense, it was. For God had so preordained and determined, since before the foundation of the earth, that He would send His Son to redeem all those who believe (1 Peter 1:20). This Son, is Jesus, who is the “Promised Seed” of Abraham (Gal. 3:16). So, Abraham is the father of all, whether Jew or Gentile that believe in Jesus, the promised Seed of Abraham.
July 17, 2018
FAITH COUNTED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS
Paul explained that Abraham, the human founder of Judaism, was not considered righteous by his circumcision, but by his faith. Paul quoted Moses, who wrote of Abraham, “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). So, faith has always been the only way to please God. And what is the object of that faith? The object of our faith is the Lamb of God. Abraham believed that God would provide the Lamb. And God did, replacing Abraham’s son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.
Now, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world has already come. He is Jesus, the object of our faith, the One in whom we believe, so that God counts us as righteous because of our faith in Jesus.