The Seal of God’s Foundation


Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure,

having this seal,

The Lord knoweth them that are his.

And,

Let every one that nameth the name of Christ

depart from iniquity.


The foundation of those that are His is two-fold.

First, it is an intimate relationship with the Father, not a distant or intermittent connection.

‘the Lord knoweth them that are His.’

Christ is the rock on which this relationship is built. We are to have the same mind as Jesus had,

for the fruit of the Spirit is in

all goodness and righteousness and truth

~ Ephesians 5:8-10

————-

Let this mind be in you,

which was also in Christ Jesus

~ Philippians 2:5


Once again,

. . . the fruit of the Spirit is love,

joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

~ Galatians 5:21-13


To ‘knoweth’ is a prolonged verbal form indicating, a coming to know and becoming known. It is a two-way discovery of intimate knowledge and each other’s character.

It is through Christ working in our lives, chastising us, and making us holy that we can identify with Him. In this of our life is under His authority,

every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.’


God’s grace teaches us that He will not allow us to become once again subject to sin,

There hath no temptation taken you

but such as is common to man:

but God is faithful,

who will not suffer you

to be tempted above that ye are able;

but will with the temptation

also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it.

~ 1 Corinthians 10:13


We are sealed to the foundation of God by obedience,

if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body,

ye shall live.

Mortify therefore your members

which are upon the earth;

fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection,

evil concupiscence, and covetousness,

which is idolatry:

~ Colossians 3:4-6


Christ gave us a most precious and priceless gift, purity, freedom from sin, with good works.

who gave himself for us,

that he might redeem us from all iniquity,

and purify unto himself a peculiar people,

zealous of good works.

~ Titus 2:13-15


Our  faith and relationship with God necessitates good works within our salvation,

For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus unto good works,

which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.

~ Ephesians 2:5-10

If we fail to to believe with the fruits of obedience, Jesus will cast us aside.

And then will I profess unto them,

I never knew you:

depart from me,

ye that work iniquity.

~Matthew 7:16-27


If our works are filled with willful sin, it does not matter if we,

But those who profess to know God;

have not all obeyed the gospel

but in works deny him,

being abominable, and disobedient,

and unto every good work, reprobate.

~ Titus 1:15-16


Our carnal nature must die. If we have been saved, we have been freed from the corruption  and reign of sin in our life.

 . . . being sober minded. In all things

shewing thyself a pattern of good works:

in doctrine shewing uncorruptness,

gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned;

that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed,

having no evil thing to say of you.

~ Titus 2:7-9

We have no other choice as followers of Christ. We must flee sin at all costs in order to avoid the judgement.


Depart, ye that made the doctrine of my atonement a cloak for your sins, or ‘sewed’ it as a ‘pillow under the arms of my people,’ to make them sleep in carnal security, when they should have ‘worked out their salvation with fear and trembling.’

You profess to know me, but I disown you. My sheep I know: them that are mine I know. The seal of my holiness is upon them all: the motto of it, (Let him that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity,) is deeply engraven on their faithful breasts, — not on yours, ye ‘carnal, ye sold under sin!
~ John Fletcher


Who dares to stand for iniquity?

Who dares to proclaim this dark principle of sin

seething in the life of a Christian?

The Gospel demands that we stand in God’s light.


Stand with Paul:

What then?

shall we sin,

because we are not under the law,

but under grace?

God forbid.

~ Romans 6:14-16


Let Grace have its perfect work in your soul, and stand!

Romans 3:1-9, Personal Commentary


Chapter III continues to address the Jewish/Gentiles problems plaguing the early church.

Some of the things discussed are Jewish privilege, the consequences of sin, the corruption of our natural state, and how we stand guilty before God.

We also will see that there is nothing we can do to please God on our own strength.

Lastly, this chapter will show how the law is not put aside but established and completed through the work of Christ.

This post addresses vs. 1-9; the advantage of the Jew, the judgment due of sin, and loss of Israel’s favored privilege.


What advantage then hath the Jew?

or what profit is there of circumcision?

Much every way:

chiefly, because that unto them

were committed the oracles of God.


The Jews were entrusted with God’s word and progressive revelation. The is no higher honor than to have God dwell among your people revealing His plan of salvation for all the world.

They had first-hand knowledge from the beginnings of creation until John the Baptist prepared the way. Culminating with the Jewish apostles giving us the finished and complete Word of God.

His divine favor rested on this peculiar people. We too are chosen to the similar calling as they, to be purified, holy, and to show the love and works of God to the world.


Looking for that blessed hope,

and the glorious appearing of the great God

and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us,

that he might redeem us from all iniquity,

and purify unto himself a peculiar people,

zealous of good works

~ Titus 2:13-14


Israel had Moses and the prophets, the excellencies of God’s treasures, yet they repeately abused these privileges and were cut off.

Oh how the warning bell was rung!


For their lusts and idolatry, they were overthrown in the wilderness.

For their fornication, twenty three thousand fell in one day.

For tempting Christ, many were destroyed by serpents.

For murmuring, others were destroyed by the destroyer.

All these things were written for our admonition.

Do we dare to think that we can commit these same sins and stand justified before The Lord of Hosts?


This is the sin issue Paul is constantly referring to in his epistles. Conjoined with unbelief  in vs. 3-4. This epistle shows that through sin and unbelief we as Christians have much to work on if we are to be obedient unto the fruits of perfection for which Jesus’ commands.


For what if some did not believe?

shall their unbelief

make the faith of God without effect?

God forbid: yea, let God be true,

but every man a liar; as it is written,

That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings,

and mightest overcome when thou art judged.


Unbelief is highly problematic because we sin through unbelief.

Unbelief in the power of his word leads to disobedience of the Laws of Christ.

Unbelief that the grace of God is powerful enough to divide our soul from our spirit or that it has the power to rip out our sinful nature and make us a new creation.

Unbelief that God shall destroy any man who defiles the temple of God; for the temple of God is holy, which temple you are ~ 1 Corinthians 3:16-17.

We must believe and act on the whole truth of God’s word for in it is the power of complete salvation.


But if our unrighteousness

commend the righteousness of God,

what shall we say?

Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance?

(I speak as a man) God forbid:

for then how shall God judge the world?

For if the truth of God hath more abounded

through my lie unto his glory;

why yet am I also judged as a sinner?


Paul uses the term ‘God forbid’ 9 times in the New Testament. Just like its usage in the Old Testament the term pertains unequivocally to something that should NOT happen. It also intimates of consequences.

All our unbelief, all our sin, illustrates the mercy of God as He fulfills the promises He made to our forefathers coming in the flesh to suffer and die for our sins.

God’s punishment of sin is glorified in His mercy toward us when the Word came down and tabernacled among us.

Jesus showed us the way, then He provided us the power to walk in them through the grace of the Holy Ghost.

He is still interceding for us today in Heaven (Hebrews 7:25, Romans 8:34).


Paul is rightly explaining here that God’s judgment finds approval in the eyes of man through the utter sinfulness of our ways.

This is not an excuse to remain in sin.

Shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? God forbid!

We are to flee iniquity and find salvation in the approval and praises of God as His righteousness dwells and works in and through us.


 And not rather,

(as we be slanderously reported,

and as some affirm that we say,)

Let us do evil, that good may come?

whose damnation is just.


Paul’s enemies are most likely charging him from principles of the Mosaic law being ignorant of the freedom and Laws of Christ and the riches and mercies of God’s judgment.

He absolute denies this perversion in doing evil that good may come and defends the principle of God’s moral judgment of our sins.

We are moral creatures and will be held morally accountable for every one of all our thoughts, words, deeds, and intentions.


 What then? are we better than they?

No, in no wise:

for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles,

that they are all under sin;


In the Greek this verse literally means: Are we holding before ourselves (a shield in which we can escape judgment?) This is expounding on the argument against those who believe they can continue in sin and escape God’s punishment as noted in chapters I and II.

We are all under the guilt and power of sin; the Jews, by transgression of the written law; the gentiles, by transgression of the law of nature.

This is a strong proof condemning all sin and extends to those who continue to practice sin.

Paul is arguing that there is no protection in the mercy of God, the possession of the law, or in circumcision.

We will stand silent before God if we are found to be guilty in sin. His glorious majesty will reign justice over us. Do not use the truth of the gospel as an excuse to sin.


Like David, we can commit murder, lust, and envy. There will come a time; If we have not repented from and ceased in the sins we practice, we will not escape God’s everlasting judgment.

We learned in the last chapter that the Jews’ hypocrisy and sin was more wicked and because they knew better. Their judgment will also be much harsher.

The same stands true of us. The more knowledge of God we have, the more we will be held accountable such as pastors and teachers. Or, if we get saved and come to know Jesus, then turn away. How much worse is our judgment?


Ye therefore, beloved,

seeing ye know these things before,

beware lest ye also,

being led away with the error of the wicked,

fall from your own stedfastness

~ 2 Peter 3:17.


We can fall away after believing for a while as Jesus said,

They on the rock are they,

which, when they hear,

receive the word with joy;

and these have no root,

which for a while believe,

and in time of temptation fall away.

And that which fell among thorns are they,

which, when they have heard, go forth,

and are choked with cares and riches

and pleasures of this life,

and bring no fruit to perfection.


Those last 5 words of Jesus should sting us all in the core of our souls unless our heart is made of stone.

bring no fruit to perfection.

We are to bring fruits unto perfection. Be not deceived by man’s doctrine; which is a doctrine straight from Satan himself; that we cannot bring fruits unto perfection and must remain in sin.

God longs to inhabit holy and pure temples.

Make your tabernacle a fitting place for Him to dwell.

(I think this applies to most Christians) that it is time to clean house. In order to be inhabited by a loving, righteous, and living God.

Remember, our God is an awesome God. He is also a jealous God and does not tolerate sin or wickedness in His temple. He destroyed His temple two times so far. He will the third temple as well.

More importantly, He will destroy your temple if you continue to defile it with sin and wickedness.


Know ye not that ye are the temple of God,

and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 

If any man defile the temple of God,

him shall God destroy;

for the temple of God is holy,

which temple ye are.

Let no man deceive himself.

If any man among you seemeth to be wise in this world,

let him become a fool,

that he may be wise

~ I Corinthians 3:16-18


 know ye not that your body

is the temple of the Holy Ghost

which is in you,

which ye have of God,

and ye are not your own?

For ye are bought with a price:

therefore glorify God in your body,

and in your spirit, which are God’s.

~ I Corinthians 6:19-20


We are not our own and must bring fruits unto perfection; God’s perfection in us, Christian perfection in Him.

Romans 2:25-29, Personal Commentary


Romans II vs. 25-29


25 For circumcision verily profiteth,

if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law,

thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.

26 Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law,

shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?


Circumcision was a sign of God’s covenant with the Jews. If they were obedient to the practice of the God’s law, He would shower them with blessings.

Inversely, if a Jew did not obey or practice the laws of righteousness,

their circumcision was useless and rather than a blessing, they would receive a curse,

and their special relationship with God would be lost.


27 And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature,

if it fulfil the law, judge thee,

who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?

28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly;

neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly;

and circumcision is that of the heart,

in the spirit, and not in the letter;

whose praise is not of men, but of God.


Their outward sign of circumcision was symbolic of how:

“The LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart (inward parts), and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.”

Without obedience, circumcision becomes without meaning and without its intended effect.


The very same observation holds true for Christianity with regards to our outward acts of obedience such as water baptism,

“Making the word of God of none effect through tradition”.

Like Paul said to the Corinthians,

“I thank God that I baptized none of you, but Crispus and Gaius . . . For Christ sent me not to baptize, but to preach the gospel: not with wisdom of words, lest the cross of Christ should be made of none effect.”


When our actions do not reflect God’s plan through His love, they are coming from another source;  thant of an impure, tainted and sinful nature. That is why we may say in that day, ‘Lord, Lord.’

Therefore, baptism as well as all our thoughts and actions should be tempered with the utmost sincerity and reverence subjected to the complete council of God.


 

Circumcision

When Gentiles, who are uncircumcised

walk according to the spirit and design of God’s promise,

it is accounted to them as righteous

and they are ‘accomplishing the law.’


Verse 27 reveals that Gentiles will judge those who are circumcised.

If anyone wants to follow God and be part of His chosen people, then they must transform their heart through the workings of His grace.


The grace of God that bringeth salvation

(appearing to all men),

to teach us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts,

so we can live soberly, righteously,

and godly, in this present world;

Grace can redeem us from all iniquity,

and purify us to Himself

making us a peculiar people,

zealous of good works.


When we deny that grace can free us from iniquity, purify our hearts, and make us holy, we are despising God and His plan of salvation.

Will there be a place in Heaven for despising and rebellious Christians?


~ Jeremiah 4:4

Circumcise yourselves to the LORD,

and take away the foreskins of your heart,

ye men of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem:

lest my fury come forth like fire,

and burn that none can quench it,

because of the evil of your doings.


The Jews were instructed to have God purify their hearts lest the continued works of their indwelling sin bring upon them judgment. The same holds true for us.


~ Jeremiah 4:10

Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD!

surely thou hast greatly deceived this people and Jerusalem,

saying, Ye shall have peace;

whereas the sword reacheth unto the soul.


God’s Spirit is a two-edged sword able to divide the spirit from the soul. With that sword, He discerns our heart.

It is a wonderful blessing to believe and allow the Lord to circumcise and inhabit our heart.

That same sword may come down and wrest utter destruction upon our soul if we don’t.


~ Jeremiah 9:26

Egypt, and Judah, and Edom,

and the children of Ammon, and Moab,

and all that are in the utmost corners,

that dwell in the wilderness:

for all these nations are uncircumcised,

and all the house of Israel are uncircumcised in the heart.


Here God is associating the heathen with His chosen people because they did not keep His judgments nor do them. God cannot save His people from their iniquities if they choose to remain in them.


~ Ezekiel 44:7

In that ye have brought into my sanctuary strangers,

uncircumcised in heart, and uncircumcised in flesh,

to be in my sanctuary, to pollute it,

even my house, when ye offer my bread,

the fat and the blood,

and they have broken my covenant because of all your abominations.


God wants to cleanse us from all filthiness of spirit and create a sanctuary within our soul, His temple. God does not take pleasure or dwell with those who remain disobedient wallowing in sin.


~ Ezekiel 44:9

Thus saith the Lord GOD;

No stranger, uncircumcised in heart, nor uncircumcised in flesh,

shall enter into my sanctuary,

of any stranger that is among the children of Israel.


‘It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master.’ He does not want strangers to His holiness nor a people who does not know Him. He wants us to be as He is.

This is a high calling. For many it is too hard to bare or even hear.


Are you circumcised by the author of all spiritual affections and holy purposes; the searcher of your soul?

Have you entered into the promise of Abraham?

His saving grace is indescribable. Its fruit can purge us from our sin.

He desires to make us anew, reborn, a people chosen to be alive in His holiness.


Romans Chapter II speaks mostly of the condition in our heart. It speaks also that:

God’s law is universal, holds no exceptions, and is no respect or of persons.

Hypocrisy is unacceptable: We cannot continue in sin and teach others or expect to hold onto the promises of the God.

Remember John the Baptist’s confrontation?

But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees

come to his baptism, he said unto them,

O generation of vipers,

who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance:

And think not to say within yourselves,

We have Abraham to our father


This also speaks that repentance must be genuine, complete, and must remain throughout our lives.

We turn back to the world again and commit or practice the same sins that the unsaved practice, we are no different than they. We are to be a peculiar people: see Exodus 19:5; Deuteronomy 14:2; fulfilling the whole law Deuteronomy 26:18; producing good works Titus 2:14; and receiving the praises of God 1 Peter 2:9.

If we fail to do this, we may become like a proverb.

The dog is turned to his own vomit again;

and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire

~ 2 Peter 2:20-22.


God wants to prepare us for His kingdom. He wants to cleanse us from sin so we can avoid Satan’s snare to despise the savior once again and, ‘crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame‘.


We also saw how God’s law is revealed to all people regardless of their origin or personal knowledge of the gospel making us all ‘without excuse.’

He can write His law in our hearts wherever and whoever we are enabling us to love Him with all our heart, mind, and strength and our neighbor as our self.


We always fall short in our own power. God wants to carry us across the river and wash our scarlet sin making it as white as snow.

Why would we not want Him to bless our soul and make us whole?

Romans 2:12-24, Personal Commentary


This section of the chapter focuses primarily on God’s faithfulness in judgment of the Jews, Gentiles, and how these principles apply to the church today.


 For as many as have sinned without law

shall also perish without law:

and as many as have sinned in the law

shall be judged by the law;

(For not the hearers of the law are just before God,

but the doers of the law shall be justified.

For when the Gentiles, which have not the law,

do by nature the things contained in the law,

these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts,

their conscience also bearing witness,

and their thoughts the mean

while accusing or else excusing one another;)

In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men

by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

Behold, thou art called a Jew,

and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,

And knowest his will,

and approvest the things that are more excellent,

being instructed out of the law;

And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind,

a light of them which are in darkness,

An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes,

which hast the form of knowledge

and of the truth in the law.

Thou therefore which teachest another,

teachest thou not thyself?

thou that preachest a man should not steal,

dost thou steal?

Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery,

dost thou commit adultery?

thou that abhorrest idols,

dost thou commit sacrilege?

Thou that makest thy boast of the law,

through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?

For the name of God is blasphemed

among the Gentiles through you,

as it is written.


Paul is showing the Roman church that both the Jew under the law and Gentile without the law will be judged by how they follow God’s revealed principles by;

allowing Him to transform their heart, ‘cut’ sin out of their soul, and produce genuine fruits of His righteousness.

The Jews knew exactly what God wanted but it was only beneficial to a small remnant because most of His elect did not allow God to;

give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them. And take the heart of stone out of their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, that they may walk in My statutes and keep My ordinances and do them.”

Most of us do not completely submit to His righteous calling and prefer to keep some of our own ways. This is a compromise with Satan.

William Gurnall states,

. . . our lust will not lie so patiently on the altar, as Isaac, or as a ‘Lamb that is brought to the slaughter which was dumb,’ but will roar and shriek; yea, even shake and rend the heart with its hideous outcries.

Who is able to express the conflicts, the wrestlings, the convulsions of spirit the Christian feels, before he can bring his heart to this work?

Or who can fully set forth the art, the rhetorical insinuations, with which such a lust will plead for itself? One while Satan will extenuate and mince the matter:

It is but a little one, O spare it, and thy soul shall live for all that. Another while he flatters the soul with the secrecy of it: Thou mayest keep me and thy credit also;

I will not be seen abroad in thy company to shame thee among thy neighbours; shut me up in the most retired room thou hast in thy heart, from the hearing of others,

if thou wilt only let me now and then have the wanton embraces of thy thoughts and affections in secret.

 

We are certainly commanded to uncompromisingly, “leave the principles of the doctrine of Christ, and go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, moving on maturity in Christ and remain babes.”

That is why the the doctrine of Christ is overwhelmingly prominent in the church today.For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

The Jews were obviously held to God’s high standard. Christians have one that is much higher. We have the perfected ‘Law of Christ.’

They were suppose to reveal God’s plan, nature, and love to the world. Now, we are called to do this. In essence, Christianity has replaced the works of the Jews.


In vs. 16-22, Paul explains why the Jews stand condemned because they were committing the same sins in their hearts and minds while they were teaching others to avoid the same.

Today, pastors, teachers, and others are following the same path as God’s chosen people did. How many divorced pastors are teaching about marital fidelity? How many of us take pleasure in movies that depict sin (multiple violations of the ten commandments, not loving our neighbor, etc.)?

We are called to be guardians of holiness and vigilantly prevent the sin of hypocrisy in our own lives. We are not suppose to portray even the appearance of evil in anything we buy, speak, or do.

Like the Jews, only a remnant of Christians are in genuine obedience today. Most of us are coated with sin, wrestling with personal interests, and lack sorely in demonstrating God’s holiness.


More importantly, this is what I pulled from this section of Romans:

1. If Jews continue to sin against God’s revealed Mosaic law, by those principles will they be judged?

2. If the Gentiles continue to sin against God’s natural manifestations without the law, by those principles will they be judged?

3. If Christians continue to sin and not move beyond doctrine of Christ on unto perfection by these principles won’t we equally be judged?

These are questions that will be answered as we unpack the rest of this study on Romans and support the whole of scripture.


Verse 16 is an incredibly powerful verse gleaning hints of the coming judgment:

In the day when God shall judge

the secrets of men by Jesus Christ

according to my gospel.


1. Paul is stating here that his thoughts and actions are in complete subjection to the Holy Spirit. He is announcing a perfection in his writing, which naturally flows from his perfected obedience of faith as an Apostle and follower of Jesus.

The words he writes are inspired, emanating directly from the Holy Ghost. His words are part of the completed gospel of Christ.

Paul’s life is an example for us. The fruits entire submission produces are powerful; working righteousness in Christ, edifying others to become holy by the washing of the word, and shining God’s light of judgment and glory.


2.  Paul reveals how all men will be judged; Jesus in a glorified human body will sit before us, judging the inner secrets (workings) of their hearts.

Have your innermost thoughts and intentions been made pure by the washing and cleansing of the blood of Jesus Christ?

Have you fallen down at His feet and given Him your all?

Is God pleased with what he sees when He searched the recesses of your heart?


These words are not merely letters on a page. From them flow peace unto eternal life or death unto destruction.

What is emanating from your heart? Is it the purity and overflowing love of God?

Or is it any number of things holding back God’s complete work; self interests or sinful desires. Don’t silence that still small voice coaxing you to surrender.


If any man come to me,

and hate not his father, and mother,

and wife, and children, and brethren,

and sisters, yea, and his own life also,

he cannot be my disciple.

And whosoever doth not bear his cross,

and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

So likewise,

whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all

that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

~ Luke 14:26-27, 33


Can you say that you are His disciple?

Wherefore, my beloved,

as ye have always obeyed,

not as in my presence only,

but now much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

~ Philippians 2:12


The following is an excerpt addressing pastoral and church responsibility to adhering strictly to God’s predestined plan for our lives.


Names are signs of things, and wherever there is a Bible name used, there is a thing signified by that name.

To say there is no process, or state indicated by the terms “cleansed,” “purged,” “washed,” “crucified;” or “holiness,” “perfection,” “pureness,” “sanctification,” and “purity,” is not only to contradict the Saviour;

but, to pour contempt upon the Holy Ghost, by whose immediate inspiration these names were given.

If these names do not imply a real work of God, and an attainable religious experience; what better is the Bible than a Pagan Legend, which treats of imaginary things as if they were positive realities?

As rational creatures, we desire to understand the experience of our hearts; and the state which through grace, we have obtained, or may obtain.

If true views are not apprehended, and correct ones adopted, these theories will be; and false views often have a pernicious effect.

Definiteness and clearness in religious teaching and experience, are of the utmost importance. It is to be feared the day of reckoning will disclose the solemn fact,

that millions failed to be pure in heart, because of the vague and indefinite teachings of those who were over them in the Lord.

Multiplied thousands are battling year after year with their inbred corruptions; who, if they had been properly instructed and guided, would long since have been washed in the blood of Christ, and now living in established holiness.

Where will the severest responsibility rest for the mixed immoral state of vast numbers of partially purified believers in the Church of God;

but upon the equivocal, indefinite, and but partially sanctified teachers; who like Caleb and Joshua, should be the leaders of the people out of their wilderness state into the goodly land of their spiritual Canaan?

~ J. A. Wood


Moving on to verse 24;


 For the name of God is blasphemed

among the Gentiles through you,

as it is written.


I cannot tell you how many times I have observed God being blasphemed because Christians were not living according to God’s revealed standards. I think we all stand guilty of this.

Just this week, someone cut me off while speeding; swerving in an out of traffic lanes. I noticed a Christian symbol on their car. How many others saw the same thing and possibly cursed God or thought of the hypocrisy of Christianity?

We should not give excuse for others to blaspheme God, we are without excuse when we do.


Even non-Christians can and do partially follow God’s law confirming the evidence He leaves in their hearts and minds and will be judged accordingly.

There are universal truths found in God’s laws that permeate all societies.

If we are going to teach others how to be followers of Christ we are to be examples as such. This includes pointing out the sin of others.


 Judge not, that ye be not judged.

For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged:

and with what measure ye mete,

it shall be measured to you again.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye,

but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?

Or how wilt thou say to thy brother,

Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye;

and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye?

Thou hypocrite,

first cast out the beam out of thine own eye;

and then shalt thou see clearly

to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye,

Matthew 7:1-5.


There is no other way to follow this command than to be cleansed from sin. Our perspective of others changes when God’s love is overflowing in our soul.


There hath no temptation taken you

but such as is common to man:

but God is faithful,

who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;

but will with the temptation

also make a way to escape,

that ye may be able to bear it,

I Corinthians 10:13.


Temptations are to be successfully resisted and sinful desires mortified in those who live for God.

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.

Awake to righteousness, and sin not;

for some have not the knowledge of God:

I speak this to your shame,

I Corinthians 15:34.


Paul in Corinthians states that when sin reigns in our body, mind, and soul we do not have the knowledge of God. Is it safe to assume likewise that, ‘God does not know us?’

There is nothing we do to exalt ourselves above sin. Only the power of the Holy Spirit completely changing our hearts can perform this wonderful work.

We can and must learn from the scriptures how to “present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is our reasonable service.”

We are called to abhor idols and all other sin. This cannot be done in our natural sinful nature; only when we allow sanctification to work and purify our hearts can this become a genuine reality.

Are you teaching yourself? Are you teaching others? I know I am.

This message, which permeates the whole of scripture, demands total surrender, a renewing of our minds, and obeying all that God desires.

These verses have particularly struck my conscience. Pausing me to stand back and re-evaluate my relationship with our God.

Do secret things of sin cling to your soul?


Let us strive to not allow God to be blasphemed

because of our ‘words, thoughts, or deeds.’

We are guardians of His name and His honor.

Let our conduct be consistent with our profession.


God has shown us all we need to know. He has provided the path of righteousness. It is up to us to cling to it with all our might. We are to search for it like hidden treasure by committing all our resources to it.

The Doctrine of Sanctification, from Antiquity to Today


Clement of Rome (30-110@ A. D.)

Let us pray, therefore, and implore of his mercy, that we may live blameless in love, free from all human partialities for one against another.

All the generations from Adam even unto this day have passed away; but those who, through the grace of God have been made perfect in love, now possess a place among the godly, and shall be manifest at the revelation of the kingdom of God.


Justin Martyr (100-165 A. D)

For our own Ruler, the divine Word, who even now constantly aids us, does not desire strength of body and beauty of feature, nor yet the high spirit of earth’s nobility,

but a pure soul, fortified by holiness, and the watchwords of our King, holy actions, for through the Word power passes into the soul.

O trumpet of peace to the soul that is at war! O weapon that puttest to flight terrible passions!

These instructions that quench the innate fires of the soul! These have conquered me — the divinity of the instruction, and the power of the Word:

for as a skilled serpent charmer lures the terrible reptile from his den and causes it to flee, so the Word drives the fearful passions of our sensual nature from the very recesses of the soul; first driving forth lust, through which every ill is begotten;

hatreds, strife, envy, emulations, anger, and such like. Lust being once banished, the soul becomes calm and serene. And being set free from the ills in which it was sunk up to the neck, it returns to him which made it.


Macarius the Great (300-391 A. D.)

Only let every one take especial care that when he has been “born again of the Spirit,” he thoroughly wash out the inward sin. For that new birth of the Spirit, bears indeed a certain image of perfection in form and parts, though not in power, intelligence, and vigor.

But he who has attained to perfect manhood, and the full measure of growth, renounces the things of childhood. And this is what the Apostle has signified:

‘Whether there be tongues or prophecies they shall cease.’ As, therefore, he who is become a man no longer received either the food or the discourse which is suited to a child, but rejects them with disdain as having passed on to another stage of life;

so likewise he who has attained to the full measure of evangelical perfection, and who has advanced his spiritual infancy to the perfection of its growth.

There are some, who abstain from all overt sins, as fornication, theft, avarice, and all similar corruptions, and who therefore class themselves with the holy;

and yet are they far from being such in truth, For, evil is not yet wholly expelled from them; but it still lives, and lurks, and creeps within, their minds.

But the holy, is he who is perfectly cleansed in the inward man. For, abstinence from overt sins is not perfection but purification of the mind within is alone perfection.

And the end of every Scripture, both Old and New, is purity; and everyone, whether Jew or Greek, is desirous of purity, though he is unable to attain it.

But this I affirm, that purity of heart cannot otherwise be effected than through Jesus.

Wherefore, when the Comforter came at the feast of Pentecost, according to the promise, and when the power of the Good Spirit had rested upon the souls of the Apostles, the veil of sin was at once taken off from their hearts, their evil passions were extinguished, and the eyes of their hearts were opened;

and being thence forward replenished with wisdom, and established perfect by the Spirit, which governed and directed their souls, the were taught to fulfill the will of God and were led into the knowledge of all truth,

when, therefore, we feel ourselves effected to tears on hearing the word of God, let us still with a firm faith beseech Christ to come to us; in full confidence that the Spirit will truly come, and will both hear and pray in us, according to His will.


Hugo of St. Victor (1096-1141 A. D.)

Fire is applied to green wood, it kindles with difficulty; clouds of smoke arise; a flame is seen at intervals, flashing out here and there; as the fire gains strength,

it pierces the fuel; presently it leaps and roars in triumph, the nature of the wood is being transformed into the nature of fire.

Then, the struggle over, the crackling ceases, the smoke is gone, there is left a tranquil, friendly brightness, for the master-element has subdued all into itself.

So, do sin and grace contend; and the smoke of trouble and anguish hang over the strife. But when grace grows stronger, and the soul’s eye clearer, and truth pervades and swallows up the kindling aspiring nature, then comes the holy calm, and love is all in all.

Save God in the heart, nothing of self is left.


Theologia Germania (Penned @ 1350 A. D.)

Now be assured that no one can be enlightened unless he be first cleansed or purified and stripped. So also, no one can be united with God unless be be first enlightened.

Thus there are three stages: The purification concerneth those who are beginning or repenting, and is brought to pass in a three-fold wise;by contrition and sorrow for sin, by full confession, by hearty amendment.

The enlightening belongeth to such as are growing and also taketh place in three ways: to wit, by the eschewel of sin, by the practice of virtue and good works, and by the willing endurance of all manner of temptation and trials.

The union belongeth to such as are perfect, and also is brought to pass in three ways: to wit, by pureness and singleness of heart, by love, and by the contemplation of God, the Creator of all things.


Peter Poiret (1646-1719 A. D.)

But when he thinks himself far advanced, and his activity at an end, and as it were quite wearied and spent in this holy employment, which is a true worship of God;

then does God strike him with a light so penetrating and so lively, and with motions so internal and powerful, that all the corruption of the inward recesses of his soul, is stirred up from the very bottom.

And this discovers to him on one hand so great and so perfect a purity in God, that all his past good works and righteousness seem to him but little in comparison of it;

and on the other hand, the corruption that is at the bottom of his heart which he discerned not before, appears to him so heinous that not daring to do anything more, nor to use any activity so corrupt as he is, despairing of whatever may come from him, he casts himself as dead into God’s hands.

From the time of this perfect resignation, God becomes all in man: he works in him as he pleases and without opposition; and there grace is absolute mistress.

‘Tis God that then disposes of the liberty and faculties of man, of his desires, his understandings, and of everything: he moves and penetrates all by the motions of his love and of his divine light;

but in such a manner as is at first very dreadful and mortifying to sense; because God’s motions investing the inmost recesses of the soul are expelling thence their most central and rooted corruption,

which is not alone without great agonies which are extremely acute and desolating to a soul that is by nature of the greatest and tenderest perception imaginable.

But this perfect operation of purifying grace being finished, the soul comes pure out of this furnace, and lives thence forward in the bright element of reigning grace.

She is then a new creature, and her divine faculties, now that they are repaired in their utmost recesses are governed and acted by the Holy Ghost, who uses them as he sees convenient for God’s glory and the benefit of other souls.


John Wesley (1703-1791)

But we are at present concerned only with that salvation which the Apostle is directly speaking of. And this consists of two general parts, justification and sanctification.

Justification is another word for pardon. It is the forgiveness of all our sins; and , what is necessarily implied therein, our acceptance with God.

The price whereby this hath been procured for us (commonly termed “the meritorious cause of our justification”), is the blood and righteousness of Christ;

or, to express it a little more clearly, all that Christ hath done and suffered for us, till He “poured out His soul for the transgressors.”

The immediate effects of justification are, the peace of God, a “peace that passeth all understanding,” and a “rejoicing in hope of the glory of God” “with joy unspeakable and full of glory.”

And at the same time that we are justified, yea, in that very moment, sanctification begins. In that instant we are born again, born from above, born of the Spirit: there is a real as well as a relative change.

We are inwardly renewed by the power of God. We feel “the love of God shed abroad in our heart by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us”;

producing love to all mankind, and more especially to the children of God; expelling the love of the world, the love of pleasure, of ease, of honour, of money, together with pride, anger, self-will, and every other evil temper;

in a word, changing the earthly, sensual, devilish mind, into “the mind which was in Christ Jesus.”

How naturally do those who experience such a change imagine that all sin is gone; that it is utterly rooted out of their heart, and has no more any place therein!

How easily do they draw that inference, “I feel no sin; therefore, I have none: it does not stir; therefore it does not exist: it has no motion; therefore, it has no being!”

But it is seldom long before they are undeceived, finding sin was only suspended, not destroyed.

Temptations return, and sin revives; showing it was but stunned before, not dead. They now feel two principles in themselves, plainly contrary to each other;

“the flesh lusting against the Spirit”; nature opposing the grace of God. They cannot deny, that although they still feel power to believe in Christ, and to love God;

and although His “Spirit” still “witnesses with their spirits, that they are children of God”; yet they feel in themselves sometimes pride or self-will, sometimes anger or unbelief.

They find one or more of these frequently stirring in their heart, though not conquering; yea, perhaps, “thrusting sore at them that they may fall”; but the Lord is their help.

How exactly did Macarius, fourteen hundred years ago, describe the present experience of the children of God:”The unskilful,” or unexperienced, “when grace operates, presently imagine they have no more sin.

Whereas they that have discretion cannot deny, that even we who have the grace of God may be molested again.

For we have often had instances of some among the brethren, who have experienced such grace as to affirm that they had no sin in them; and yet, after all,

when they thought themselves entirely freed from it, the corruption that lurked within was stirred up anew, and they were wellnigh burned up.”

From the time of our being born again, the gradual work of sanctification takes place. We are enabled “by the Spirit” to “mortify the deeds of the body,” of our evil nature;

and as we are more and more dead to sin, we are more and more alive to God.

We so on from grace to grace, while we are careful to “abstain from all appearance of evil,” and are “zealous of good works,” as we have opportunity, doing good to all men;

while we walk in all His ordinances blameless, therein worshipping Him in spirit and in truth; while we take up our cross, and deny ourselves every pleasure that does not lead us to God.

It is thus that we wait for entire sanctification; for a full salvation from all our sins, –from pride, self-will, anger, unbelief; or, as the Apostle expresses it, “go unto perfection.”

But what is perfection The word has various senses: here it means perfect love.

It is love excluding sin; love filling the heart, taking up the whole capacity of the soul. It is love “rejoicing evermore, praying without ceasing, in everything giving thanks.”


Sources

The Sermons of John Wesley – Sermon 43, The Scripture Way of Salvation

Objections to Entire Sanctification Considered, by H. A. Baldwin

Romans 2:1-11, Personal Commentary


~ Romans 2:1-11

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.

But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth

against them which commit such things.

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?

Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness

and forbearance and longsuffering;

not knowing that the goodness of God

leadeth thee to repentance?

But after thy hardness and impenitent heart

treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath

and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;

Who will render to every man according to his deeds:

To them who by patient continuance in well doing

seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:

But unto them that are contentious,

and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness,

indignation and wrath, 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.


This is a continuation from chapter I, Paul expounding on sin.

We know that the Romans have knowledge of God and now have received the good news.

It is clear in Paul’s approach that his audience has not moved beyond the principles of the doctrine of Christ. The subject at hand is their eternal judgment.

Because of the uncleanness of their hearts (refer to chapter i), Paul now pronounces them guilty as hypocrites. They have received the gospel with gladness and now believe they can judge others.

It is to the heart stained with sin to which Paul is reaching out; as it is in Hebrews,

Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,

let us go on unto perfection;

not laying again the foundation . . . of eternal judgment

And this will we do, if God permit

~ Hebrews 6:1-3.


The Jew was not able to attain righteousness through the Mosaic law though it did benefit them. Nor was it possible for the Gentile without the law (in part iv).

They both knew to some varying degree the truth of God, yet they held it back in unrighteousness and in willful sin (in part ii).

We as Christians are guilty of sin when we assume the role as judge over others when we are commiting the types of sins. (see Luke 18:11).

Our sinful nature is inconsistent with God’s purity and love and in this state, it is impossible to continue in sin and please God.

 For when for the time ye ought to be teachers,

ye have need that one teach you again

which be the first principles of the oracles of God;

and are become such as have need of milk,

and not of strong meat. 

For every one that useth milk is unskilful

in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

~ Hebrews 5:12-13


Verse 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. 

It is hypocrisy for any man to condemn others if they are guilty of the same sin. One example is the sin of adultery or fornication. We like Job are to, ‘make a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid?

That means more than not intentionally looking at women inconveniently, but going where they may be found to entice you (sporting events, bars, TV, etc.).

Living in this type of hypocrisy cannot stand in the light of God’s love and desire to save us from our sins while His righteous judgment denounces our sins.

God calls us to have our heart cleansed, purified, and freed from all sin. He demands that we complete the process He started moving on from the doctrine of Christ unto perfection.


Verse 2:

 But we are sure that the judgment of God

is according to truth against them

which commit such things.

God does not distinguish between believers or nonbelievers regarding God’s eternal judgment. Paul is specifically speaking to those who continue in willful sin while judging others in hypocrisy.

This is a sound warning of impending judgment to those believers who; fail to act and completely turn from their sins, have their hearts purified, and move on to perfection in the love of God and others.

Knowing the truth and following it is not nearly as easy as it seems. Over the millennia, our understanding has been darkened through sin, and the doctrine of the Bible has been corrupted through multitudes of teachers.

Most assuredly we will continue sin unless God changes us from the inside out. This is the underlying problem in the church today: Not moving on to perfection or sanctification.

If our heart remains stained with sin, we cannot in complete measure be free from its corruption and influences. We have not done as Jesus commanded and not fall,

And that which fell among thorns are they,

which, when they have heard, go forth,

and are choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life,

and bring no fruit to perfection.

~ Luke 8:14


Here are some supporting references: (Psalm 24:4; Proverbs 20:9; Matthew 5:8; 1 Timothy 1:5; 2 Timothy 2:22; Hebrews 10:22; 1 Peter 1:22)


Paul is warning the Romans that if they do not move onto perfection, they too will fall by the wayside or the thorns of life will ensnare them as they already have.

God wants to shed His love abroad in our hearts but it is our sinful nature that restrains Him. How can we truly be repentant if we are continuing in feed it?

We are in essence rejecting, repressing, and dishonoring God’s love.


We show contempt to God’s and His goodness toward us when we willfully continue to sin after we have been justified.

This is the worst type of hypocrisy. We keep on doing what we have been doing while we mix the truth of Christianity in.

This is defined many times in scripture as compromise, dead works, lukewarm, losing our first love, and continuing in sin. I dare not think that God will tolerate this in His bride. The Bible gives us warning of judgment when our heart remains stained in the darkness of sin.


Ecclesiastes 8:11 ~

Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily,

therefore the heart of the sons of men

is fully set in them to do evil.


Sin is like a virus. It grows and spreads inside us. It hides in places we are unaware. We become so familiar with it that it no longer resembles sin. It resembles our thinking. Now, it waits, looking for opportunity to quench the spirit.

Paul is saying here that the sin of others is no different than the sin in us for we are all born into the same sinful nature in need of deep and thorough cleansing.


Romans 2:5-6 describes how we as are storing up wrath for ourselves when our heart continues in hardness and impenitence. First to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

But after thy hardness and impenitent heart

treasurest up unto thyself wrath

against the day of wrath and revelation

of the righteous judgment of God;

Who will render to every man according to his deeds:


One the corruptions in the church today is the belief that when we get saved, we remain saved. This doctrine fails to consider many scriptures that indicate otherwise.

Sin hardens our heart. Sin also requires repentance and complete abandonment from any type of evil.

If we fail to deal with sin through the process of consecration and sanctification, we will continue to have a hard heart and the fruits that a hardened heart produces.

This results from impenitence; the belief, thought or act of failing to repent and cease from any and all sin.

We may end up seeing the wrath of God pour upon us.


The remedy is a pure heart cleansed of sin, overflowing with the love of Christ to God and our fellow man.


Verse 7 stands in sharp contrast to the first 6 verses. This is also true for verse 10.

To them who by patient continuance in well doing

seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life . . .

. . . But glory, honour, and peace,

to every man that worketh good,

to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:

Perseverance is a key component to these verses. We must continue or persist in patient love, which speaks of the need to have our heart sanctified in perfection.

We must come to God for His sustaining grace. His grace will teach us how to live a sanctified life. That was His plan all along.

Verses 6 and 10 also stand alone in their absence of judgment or stain from sin. All the other thoughts in this chapter intimate judgment resulting from the acts of an impure heart.


Paul is identifying two types of people distinguished by the condition of their heart.

The works emanating from the condition of their soul is the determining factor God uses when He dispenses punishments and rewards.

To some; eternal life after they have purified their life, suffered trials, tribulations, and persevered until the end.

To most; they are described above as contentious. We already know that their hearts are hard and the have failed to repent (and by extension) cease from their sin.

Because they did not obey the truth (the pure love of God), but obeyed unrighteousness (remained in a sinful and carnal nature), they are set to receive God’s indignation and wrath.


When God’s judgment comes

there will be no Jew

there will be no Gentile

The holy will stand

the unrighteous be damned.


~ Philippians 2:12

Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed,

not as in my presence only,

but now much more in my absence,

work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.

Romans 1:18-32 Personal Commentary

In Part I, Paul introduced himself and explains his role as an apostle and why his responsibility in Christ has brought him to write this letter of the gospel of Jesus Christ to the Romans.


In this section of Romans, Paul explained how God revealed Himself  to the world, the reckless abandoned nature of sin, our inability to independently resist or overcome sin, and God’s righteous anger and imminent wrath against all who commit and are guilty of sin.

There is no current evidence I have seen that indicates an Apostle personally visited Rome the start the church there. So, I believe that Paul is fulfilling his duty by revealing to them in this epistle a complete gospel picture as he can.

In this chapter, he is showing church in Rome why we need God. The foundation of consecration and commitment to Him has already been laid in the first part of the chapter. We are to be His slaves and to do his will above all.


Our Need for God

It is of utmost importance to seek His ways and to follow His path of righteousness. This is especially true in light of our accountability to God who has manifested Himself through nature, prophets, and His word since the beginning of creation.

And we, as nations of peoples have generally given back to Him, dishonor and utter disregard.

Yet, His plan of redemption was lovingly designed before the foundation of the world. It was given first to his chosen people. It was written in scripture for all to read, and lastly, lived out through Jesus’ suffering and death on the cross.

While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us ~ Romans 5:8. See also John 17:24; Ephesians 1:3-4; Hebrews 4:1-12; 9:26-28.

Romans I-IIIa details our utter contempt for God. It also explains that His holy and righteous judgment is bearing down upon a rebellious and disrespectful world.

Why did Jesus have to suffer and die? Romans chapter 1:18-32 explains the extent of God’s disdain for our sin and our need to be redeemed from such a state.

Beautifully, God’s divine plan of redemption has the power to completely replace our deceitful and unrighteous hearts with one like His.


 Romans 1:18-32 ~

For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven

against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men,

who hold the truth in unrighteousness;

Because that which may be known of God

is manifest in them;

for God hath shewed it unto them.

For the invisible things of him

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:

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.

Professing themselves to be wise,

they became fools,

And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God

into an image made like to corruptible man,

and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.

Wherefore God also gave them up

to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts,

to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:

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.

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 themselvesthat 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, fornication,

wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness;

full of envy, murder, debate, deceit,

malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God,

despiteful, proud, boasters,

inventors of evil things,

disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenant breakers,

without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing 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.


Our Sinful Nature

All of this wickedness is completely natural for us. We have been inculcated into a grand deception by the father of all lies. In our fallen and sinful state we have no choice but to be subject to the power of sin.

We wallow in it, enjoy its effects, and the Devil remains over us as our master and Father; keeping our minds shrouded in darkness, disbelief, and doubt.

Romans 1:18-32 screams of our need for redemption.

Paul shows why God is angry against all sin, that His anger is revealed presently, and that we are already under His judgment that is kindled, yet to be fully aflame.

God’s judgment correlates with the degradation of our nature as it spirals deeper and deeper into depravity, darkness, and subjection to sin. We fall further and further away from the source of our salvation with every debilitating step into sin.

Joseph Agar Beet describes this well:
“In proportion as the image of God fades from our view do we fall into thoughts, motives, and practices, which for very shame we must hide from our fellows.”

This fact should put fear in every readers’ mind. Sin is of the Devil and our willingness to submit to it means we are submitting to the Devil’s authority and power. When we willingly sin, we also subject ourselves to the wrath that God has divined for Satan and his angels.

When we live in a state of sin, we disregard and dishonor our creator, savior, and judge.

Oh how foreboding it is to be a sinner in the hands of an angry God.


God’s Perspective

Paul is showing us what we are like in God’s holy eyes. Yet, God in His infinite wisdom sees something still within us. Yet to be revealed is His plan for salvation in this Gospel to the Romans.

Throughout scripture, God calls us to turn away from our sin and embrace Him. We can come and sit at His feet and bask in His glory, holiness, his love.

But, we must give Him our filthy hearts so He can purify them and make them whiter than snow ~ Psalms 51:5-13.

He is waiting to cleanse us from our sins and free us from the power of Satan ~ Acts 26:18; 2 Thessalonians 2:7-12.

If we do not have a heart cleansed by God, even as believers, sin still rules in our soul. This should be deeply troubling.

We are called and commanded to, be ye holy for He is holy ~ 1 Peter 1:14-17. If we fail to do this, we are disobeying God. When we persist in sin, we are continuing in the same disobedience that we read about above.

Judgment is coming once again to the world for the same reason that is came before the great flood ~2 Peter 3:3-7.

As Peter the Apostle so explicitly stated in 2 Peter 3:10-12, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (all behaviors) and godliness, In light of God’s coming judgment?

Paul describes two qualities of sin; ungodliness, which can be described as our disrespect for God; and unrighteousness of men which, is the refusal to conform to the laws of God. We still have laws we must follow as Christians, the Law of Christ.

These two qualities are the common denominator of God’s judgment in our natural inclination to resist the truth. God is evermore angry at us because we know the truth and suppress it in unrighteousness.

So, we are without excuse and bear the full weight of our own sin.


Proof that our heart was darkened is found in vs. 22-23, we profess to be wise. Paul also refers to us in animal terms; male and female rather than human terms. This is due in part to our overwhelming propensity to desire things that are wicked leading to idolatry and lustful desires.

How insulting is this to God who made the Heavens and the Earth so He can be with us?

The problem of our sin is further compounded in our intentional suppression of the truth and inability to discern and desire to any thing related to God.

Albeit, we are bound in sin and unable to please God. This should bring guilt, but with every transgression our heart becomes more and more seared until we no longer feel guilt or realize the error of our ways.

As Christians, we must purge these types of influences in our walk with Christ. We must feel the full guilt of our sin, be ever repentant, and vigilant in seeking God’s blessing of cleansing our heart of sin.


Our Heart

The heart is deceitful above all things,

and desperately wicked: who can know it?

~ Jeremiah 17:9

It is also described as the core or inmost center of man and is insinuated  in metaphors throughout scripture. Here are just three examples: Exodus 15:8; Matthew 12:40; 2 Samuel 18:14.

The Bible is full of metaphors. Just last night, I realized that the creation story is a metaphor for our sin and our salvation. God created us void, there was no knowledge of good or evil, we were in darkness, His spirit hovered and waited to change and form us,  He fills us with His desires like in the 6 days of creation, and when He is done with us, He rests and we in Him.

In Jonah chapter 2, God speaks of the process of genuine repentance, consecration to Him, and sanctification in Him. This is God’s plan for us now; to save us from our sins.

Our thoughts, our words, and all our actions are derived from the condition of our heart. God calls us to bridle it. Only God can do that for us.

It is the corruption of the heart, the foundation from which Paul’s letter to the Romans will build. See Matthew 15:18; 1 Corinthians 4:5; Hebrews 4:12; Ephesians 1:18.

Studying the heart would require volumes and is only scraped upon here.


The last verse of this chapter I find amazingly disturbing because it is true of ever person who has walked the face of the Earth.

Who knowing 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.


This verse cuts to the core of sin in as much as it rings true in every heart. We are all guilty of  wickedness and in desperate need of God’s cleansing power.

Conviction of sin speaks of the things God is working on; Listen to it. God wants to cleanse our heart, clear our guilty soul, and bring us every moment in truth and light with Him.


True Disciples of Christ

Walking with Christ is sometimes painful and humiliating. Expect it. Yet is is joyful and rewarding as His rich blessings are poured down upon us when we least expect them.

The journey to the cross is paved in sacrifice and obedience; in honor and holiness.

Firstly, When we come to Christ, it is absolutely necessary that we sacrifice our most precious belongings, those we love most must be placed secondary to Christ.

For me, that was my children. I have given them up to God and place Christ positionally and literally over them. We are instructed to seek God’s pleasure and interest more than anything else.

Nothing can compete with God. The innermost parts of our heart and soul must love God more than any of our worldly affections.

This must be so, or we cannot be His disciple. Nor are we considered worthy of Him or His Heavenly reward. According to Jesus,

If any man come to me, and hate not his father,

and mother, and wife, and children,

and brethren, and sisters,

yea, and his own life also,

he cannot be my disciple.

And whosoever doth not bear his cross,

and come after me,

cannot be my disciple

~ Luke 14:26-27.


And he that taketh not his cross,

and followeth after me, is not worthy of me

~ Matthew 10:38.

If anyone professes to be a Christian, it must be on these terms.

We must without exception, be ready and willing to suffer persecution, be it something as small as refraining from speaking from a selfish heart to light mockery for standing for Christ. Or it may be something like losing a job opportunity, or even more severe such as incarceration, torture, or death.

In our day to day life, we must forbear any evil, sin, or convenient thought, word, or deed if it sacrifices the pure example following Jesus in truth, holiness, and righteousness.

This is a moment by moment service of love. All is done in consideration of God’s will.


Adam Clarke highlights this point well in his commentary:

“Let him deny himself, and take up his cross – A rule that can never be too much observed: let him in all things deny his own will, however pleasing, and do the will of God, however painful.

Should we not consider all crosses, all things grievous to flesh and blood, as what they really are, as opportunities of embracing God’s will at the expense of our own?

And consequently as so many steps by which we may advance toward perfection?

We should make a swift progress in the spiritual life, if we were faithful in this practice.

Crosses are so frequent, that whoever makes advantage of them, will soon be a great gainer.

Great crosses are occasions of great improvement: and the little ones, which come daily, and even hourly, make up in number what they want in weight.

We may in these daily and hourly crosses make effectual oblations (offerings) of our will to God;

which oblations, so frequently repeated, will soon amount to a great sum.

Let us remember then (what can never be sufficiently inculcated [instilled]) that God is the author of all events: that none is so small or inconsiderable, as to escape his notice and direction.

Every event therefore declares to us the will of God, to which thus declared we should heartily submit.

We should renounce our own to embrace it; we should approve and choose what his choice warrants as best for us.

Herein should we exercise ourselves continually; this should be our practice all the day long.

We should in humility accept the little crosses that are dispensed to us, as those that best suit our weakness.

Let us bear these little things, at least for God’s sake, and prefer his will to our own in matters of so small importance.

And his goodness will accept these mean oblations; for he despiseth not the day of small things.”

What does God despise? Our refusal to obey this command to pick up our cross and follow Him.


To escape His wrath

and understand His ways

Our heart cleansed of all it’s sin

What a wonderful thing to be considered worthy

and to be called, The Sons of God


In the next chapter, the deep nature of sin will be explored and the need to reflect God’s character, judgment, and love.

There is much to be learned from the book of Romans. It is a gospel within itself, revealed to the church as instructions from Christ fulfilled in the life of Paul.

What are we do do with sin as a Christian?

But now being made free from sin,

and become servants to God,

ye have your fruit unto holiness,

and the end everlasting life

~ Romans 6:22


If we are following Christ’s salvation plan as taught in scriptures, we will be sanctified and made free from sin.


delivering thee from the people,

and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, 

to open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light,

and from the power of Satan unto God,

that they may receive forgiveness of sins,

and inheritance among them

which are sanctified by faith that is in me.

~ Acts 26:17-18


Sin

Sin should no longer have power over us. Nor should we serve sin (and its Father) by our predisposition to sin in our heart. This leads to death and separation from God.

To understand this more clearly, we must briefly describe the nature and parameters of sin.


 A Simple and Brief Description

Sin is a condition or state of the soul. It does not require action to exist. The sinful nature is the tendency or propensity to commit evil, this includes any thought that does not conform to the will of God.

Simply stated, if we do not repent, believe in and give everything to God, love Him with all our heart, mind, soul and strength, and love our neighbor as our self, we are missing the mark.

Within this standard should be the condition of the Christian soul. God provides the ability to follow His royal commandment. Anywhere outside of this is sin.


How great is our sin if we willingly disobey our master while He tarries in a a far away land?

~ Matthew 18:32-35


Let a man so account of us,

as of the ministers of Christ,

and stewards of the mysteries of God.

Moreover it is required in stewards,

that a man be found faithful.

~ 1 Corinthians 4:1-2


One of the mystery of God is that we cannot really obey His commandments unless He enables us through grace by obedience of faith toward Him being sanctified in His word. ~ 1 Peter 1:2

This entails utter and complete repentance of our carnal nature and submitting everything God’s alter.

Then and only then can God shed His love abroad, purify our hearts, and enable us to obey His royal law. (Matthew 5:12-22; Mark 12:29-31; Luke 1:72-75; ; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; Hebrews 8:5-6.

When His law is written in our hearts, our carnal nature and tendency to sin is replaced with a purified heart freed from sin, its power, and we can be truly obedient to the Law of Christ.

We are now free to please and serve Him without the constraints and conflicts of inbred or internal sin.

What law is written in our hearts? The 10 commandments: Exodus 24:12; Deuteronomy 30:10; Joshua 22:5; 2 Kings 23:25; Proverbs 3:1; Ezekiel 36:26-28; Luke 24:44; Romans 3:15; Romans 3:31, 8:2-4; Romans 13:8-10; Hebrews 8:13; 1 John 3:15


 

We become His slave (or servant) ~ Romans 1:1, to serve as He wills exclusive of our will. This is completed daily in perpetual submission to and from His love.

The Anointed of God has given us commandments which we are obligated to follow.

As a Christian, our calling is to serve our master. No longer are we to please our self. Our desires are no longer our own. They belong to Him and He will grant us new desires according to His riches and grace if we submit wholly to Him. There is no other was as a Christian. This is explained in Revelation.

We are to be about His business where ever He leads.


True obedience, by definition, is pleasing God unto salvation. It cannot be performed by a soul that is not completely consecrated to God. He requires a broken spirit and a broken and a contrite heart. ~ Psalms 51:17 not a luke-warm or ‘Carnal Christian’.

As servants of Christ, through the power of grace, the Holy Spirit enables us to obey Him without compromise, corruption, or internal conflict.

If a Christian cannot serve God in this capacity; uncompromising in sincerity and unfeigned love, he or she must reevaluate his standing in the grace of God and seek him wholeheartedly.

He will reward any one richly who does this ~ Luke 6:21-23.

Glory be to God for His power and blessings are above all riches. His love is everlasting.


God is Holy

We are also to be holy in nature and actions. For this is our high and sobering call.

Within the service of holiness, there dwells no sin. There is no fruit from the tree of evil. We now derive our essence from the root, which is God. We dwell on the vine of Christ ~ John 15:1-8.

The Holy Spirit does not entertain or abide in sin. Our sinful nature must be changed, transformed to His image, which is holy. We no longer can willfully sin for He will not abide with such wickedness. It is sin God abhors. He loves us. If we choose to willing sin after we are saved, we will perish. Thanks be to God, He provides repentance and restoration when we sin if our repentance is genuine.

He has given us a way out from all temptations that lead to sin so we no longer have to entertain, dwell in, or commit sin ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Holiness is the great commandment. It is love. His love in us, in our hearts. This is what God is and what He places in your heart. We must as Christians move on from carnality the principles of the doctrine of Christ (milk) unto perfection . . .


Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ,

let us go on unto perfection;

not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works,

and of faith toward God, 

of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands,

and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. 

And this will we do, if God permit. 

For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,

and have tasted of the heavenly gift,

and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, 

and have tasted the good word of God,

and the powers of the world to come, 

if they shall fall away,

to renew them again unto repentance;

seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh,

and put him to an open shame.

~ Hebrew 6:1-6


The fruits produced from a faithful heart sacrificed to God is purity, love, and service toward others.  If we continue in holiness will at the end of our life, reap life everlasting.


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. 

For the wages of sin is death;

but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

~ Romans 6:21-23


Sin has no place in heaven, is not found in God, and should not be in a Christian’s life.

Abide in Him and He will abide in you.