Moments: Seasons Pass Quickly

Temptations last only a season. They come to us, after a while, they leave.

How we were influenced by them can have consequences in our daily walk and eternal destiny.

We are to clothe ourselves in the armor of God and stand firm in the power of His might.


Like ‘the fowls of the air that devoured’ the seed, Satan wants to pluck heaven out of your soul, Mark 4:3-8.

He wants temptation to lead to sin so he can ‘wither away your faith’ and cause your heart to fail. 

Pleasures of this world spring up all around us in an attempt to choke out the work, word, and spirit of God.

He wants you dead, first spiritually, the physically.


The battle we are in is not child’s play. There is a war is raging for the souls of men, yours and mine.


God has given His children all we need to withstand and win this lifelong battle. See Ephesians 6:10-20. For a longer read on the subject, get the book, The Christian in Complete Armour by William Gurnall.


God has provided us a way to overcome every temptation we encounter, 1 Corinthians 10:13.

So we are without excuse when we sin as Christians. When we sin we become the servant of sin. Satan is the father of sin and by sinning we become an enemy of righteousness, Romans 6:12-14.

If we persist in sin we will not abide with God in eternity.

Read Jesus’ own words highlighted and emboldened below. The matter could not be clearer. You must be free of sin to be Jesus disciple.


Then said Jesus to those Jews

which believed on him,

If ye continue in my word,

then are ye my disciples indeed; 

and ye shall know the truth,

and the truth shall make you free. 

They answered him,

We be Abraham’s seed,

and were never in bondage to any man:

how sayest thou, Ye shall be made free? 

Jesus answered them,

Verily, verily, I say unto you,

Whosoever committeth sin

is the servant of sin. 

And the servant abideth not

in the house for ever:

but the Son abideth ever. 

If the Son therefore shall make you free,

ye shall be free indeed.


There is hope in repentance when we sin.

But that repentance must be genuine and a long standing. When we truly turn from sin and repent, we will no longer to be dragged down in the putrid bowels of its influence again.

This is where the grace and longsuffering from God comes in. He is here to help us overcome sin, all of it. If we let Him . . .


Like a piano with a dead key, we become amiss when we fail to resist temptation.

First and foremost as Christians, we are to stand firm in our faith and free ourselves from the chains of sin. ‘Enduring hardness, as a good soldier,’ we are not to ‘entangleth ourselves with the affairs of this life; that we may please him who hath chosen us’ (2 Timothy 2:2-4).

We cannot serve God the way He wants us to when we are serving another master.

It may be a frank and willful sin like lusting after something (or someone) in your heart or something as subtle as a casual lie.


Regardless, sin squelches that still small voice of God in our heart.

Like a piano out of tune, we turn into a bad melody, when we ignore God’s harmonious word and submit to sin.

We don’t hear Him when we should . . .

We don’t pray when we should . . .
or get up . . .
or listen . . .
or talk . . .
or walk . . .


This short season of life goes by so fast.

One day our retiring will come.

Will those minutes, hours, days, or years choosing sin stain your eternal soul?

Or will serving Our Lord with a broken and contrite spirit shine on that day?


He wants to grow and be servants of righteousness, not servants of sin:

Know ye not,

that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey,

his servants ye are to whom ye obey;

whether of sin unto death,

or of obedience unto righteousness?

~ Romans 6:16


I remember too many days and opportunities lost.

Just yesterday, I learned that I needed to talk.

Just talk.

To anyone, especially strangers.

Talking breaks the ice and provides opportunities for God’s love to be shine through.


Are you in a place that you can hear Him?

More importantly, are you in a place where He can hear you?

Get up.

Fight the good fight.

Every day.

Make sure your armor is on.

Because tomorrow is coming and the enemy is waiting . . . .

What is Piety?

Piety should be the primary or overriding characteristic of every Christian. Unfortunately, many professing Christians have been taught to disregard or even denigrate terms like piety, religion, religious, or other early biblical principles.

But these terms hold special meaning when we consider them with a pure heart.

According to John Fletcher, piety is, “the knowledge of God and the various relations he stands in to man, which leads us to adore, and obey him, in public and in private.”

Great multitudes of the church today have lost what it means to be pious. All too often, we live lives tainted with hypocrisy.

We worship on Sunday, and lust after sports teams on Monday. Or, are consumed the news of the day, or with routine shopping habits, we may covet a new shiny car or RV. Fill in the blank: I compromise by _____ . Inch-by-inch, it slowly eats away at our ability to humbly and wholeheartedly seek after the Lord.

When the church condones these behaviors, and they do. Just look amongst the churches and see how we choose to devote most of our time and money. Most look no different than the world around them.


Buy and large, we see compromise and tacit approval by those in high positions because of pressure from the pews. There is little difference between how the parishioners and the overseers live. This is antinomianism (the doctrine of compromise: continuing to sin that grace may abound).


Christ prophesied about this in the parables of the mustard seed and leaven. This post here lightly discusses the meaning of the parable.

Piety is the direct opposite and is the effect that a well-rounded, humble, and sincere love of God from the perspective of a  sacrificed life.

Jesus lived a life of piety.

All the Apostles but one, lived this piety. God has given us so many examples of how to walk this way.

Nearly every page alludes to this principle. Yet, I have not heard a pastor utter the word or or describe what it means to be pious in many years; until recently.


Jesus warned of the dangers awaiting for those who choose to continue on a path void of piety –

The light of the body is the eye: therefore when thine eye is single, thy whole body also is full of light; but when thine eye is evil, thy body also is full of darkness. Take heed therefore that the light which is in thee be not darkness. If thy whole body therefore be full of light, having no part dark, the whole shall be full of light, as when the bright shining of a candle doth give thee light ~ Luke 11:34-36;

Darkness is sin my friend.


There is nothing better to keep sin at bay than clinging to the garments of the Lord. We are to teach this to your children by living it –

Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons ~ Deuteronomy 4:9;


God is fighting for those who love Him with their lives –

Take good heed therefore unto yourselves, that ye love the Lord your God ~ Joshua 23:11;


For we are His temple and are instructed to prepare Him a place to dwell –

Take heed now; for the Lord hath chosen thee to build an house for the sanctuary: be strong, and do it 1 Chronicles 28:10;


If we don’t remain strong in doing this, the warning –

If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are ~ 1 Corinthians 3:17;

Sin is the only thing that defiles the temple of God.


God wants us to fear living in iniquity as we work out our salvation –

And he set judges in the land throughout all the fenced cities of Judah, city by city, and said to the judges, Take heed what ye do: for ye judge not for man, but for the Lord, who is with you in the judgment. Wherefore now let the fear of the Lord be upon you; take heed and do it: for there is no iniquity with the Lord our God, nor respect of persons, nor taking of gifts ~ 2 Chronicles 19:6-8;

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. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasurePhilippians 2:12-13;


He wants us to bridle our tongue and sin not –

I said, I will take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue: I will keep my mouth with a bridle, while the wicked is before me ~ Psalm 39:1;

For in many things we offend all. If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man, and able also to bridle the whole body. Behold, we put bits in the horses’ mouths, that they may obey us; and we turn about their whole body. Behold also the ships, which though they be so great, and are driven of fierce winds, yet are they turned about with a very small helm, whithersoever the governor listeth. Even so the tongue is a little member, and boasteth great things. Behold, how great a matter a little fire kindleth! And the tongue is a fire, a world of iniquity: so is the tongue among our members, that it defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the course of nature; and it is set on fire of hell ~ James 3:2-6;


We are not to be distracted by this world when God calls us to worship or assemble ourselves together for Him –

thus saith the Lord; Take heed to yourselves, and bear no burden on the sabbath day, nor bring it in by the gates of Jerusalem ~ Jeremiah 17:21;

and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins ~ Hebrews 10:24-26;

Did you know that choosing not attend and participate (to your capacity) in an assembly is a willful sin?

‘He that readership sermons and good books at home to save his pains of going to hear, is a thief to his soul in a religious habit’ ~ William Gurnall.


We are to know that God meets all our daily needs, enabling us to walk in Him –

For they shall eat, and not have enough: they shall commit whoredom, and shall not increase: because they have left off to take heed to the Lord ~ Hosea 4:10;


We are not to seek the approval of men –

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 6:1;


We are to protect all children even the unborn –

Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven ~ Matthew 18:10;


We are to obey only the word of God in order to avoid the deceit of man regarding the Lord’s coming –

And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many ~ Matthew 24:3-5;


We need to protect our faith and fear what can happen if we don’t –

Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:  for if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee ~ Romans 11:20-21.


We are to live our lives in a way that does not cause a weaker brother to stumble and by our liberty cause them to perish –

But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak . . .  and through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ ~ 1 Corinthians 8:9, 11,12;


We need to dedicate our life only to the original teachings of the apostles and Jesus –

Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee ~ 1 Timothy 4:15-16.


Those that have come to the knowledge of the glory of the Lord will cast off worldly desires, fleshly doctrines and live a life free the practice of hypocrisy and willful sin.

If you are not doing all the God calls you to do as demonstrated by some of the examples provided above. I exhort you to get on your knees, plead to God for forgiveness, and find a church that practices these.

Very few churches do. If you don’t believe me than then believe Jesus’ words about the leaven (sin) and the fowls (tools of Satan) contaminating most of the church.


I have found that those that practice piety are generally found in holiness churches. There are people who practice piety in other churches but why kick against the pricks?

I have spent 30 years in various churches and this is the conclusion I have come to while seeking God with all my mind, heart, and strength. Now brethren. I love you too. This is why I write here.

My words may be filled with imperfections but please, love me as Christ calls us to love each other.


Habakkuk 2:14


For the earth shall be filled

with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,

as the waters cover the sea.


This is one of the most beautiful prophesies I have read.

It is couched amongst the judgments against King Nebuchadnezzar (and others who would commit evil in the similitude of his ways).


According to Clarke’s commentary this prophesy has a 3-fold meaning. I believe there is a more than that due to the dual nature of the glory of the Lord.

First: it is applied to the kingdom of Babylon because of the evils King Nebuchadnezzar wrought.

It is also applied directly to King Nebuchadnezzar as God humiliated him in the eyes of the whole world by turning him like unto a wild beast for 7 years.


The same hour

was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar:

and he was driven from men,

and did eat grass as oxen,

and his body was wet with the dew of heaven,

till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers,

and his nails like birds’ claws.

Daniel 4:33


King Nebuchadnezzar and his empire came to the knowledge of The Lord through God’s judgment. I find it fascinating the many meanings of the glory of the Lord.


Here is what King Nebuchadnezzar said about the knowledge of God’s glory:

Now I Nebuchadnezzar

praise and extol and honour

the King of heaven,

all whose works are truth,

and his ways judgment:

and those that walk in pride

he is able to abase,

Daniel 4.37.


Through the process of judging Nebuchadnezzar’s empire, the Lord restored his people to their land. This enabled the second and third parts of the prophesy.


The second part: When Jesus came, He brought the full knowledge of God’s glorious plan to all of His people.

His apostles, disciples, and many sinners were filled with with the knowledge of The Lord and it covered Israel like water does the sea.


 They shall not hurt

nor destroy in all my holy mountain:

for the earth

shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD,

as the waters cover the sea

Isaiah 11:9.


The verse above is a direct reference to the Messiah as is the whole of Isaiah chapter 11.

God the Son came and fulfilled the prophesy with His holy word. His Apostles continued the process leading to the third part of the prophesy.


Those that did not heed the message of the Lord were destroyed in 70 A.D. by the resulting judgment of disobedience in sin.


as the waters cover the sea


Often times the sea is considered to be people in scripture. So, in the context above with the Jesus, the sea were those dwelling in the land of Israel.


In the third part of the prophesy, the sea becomes the whole Earth wherein all peoples dwell.

When the ends of the Earth are reached with the glory of the gospel, this will usher in the fullness of the Gentiles. Then God’s second reclaiming of Israel will occur.

At that time, the whole world really will be filled with the knowledge of the Glory of the Lord.


It must be understood that within the glory of the Lord is found reward and punishment.

This is why God chastises us. His glory will expose everyone’s soul.

He wants His disciple’s souls to be richly rewarded, so he works on us as we work out our salvation.


Salvation is as simple as a prayer of repentance of sin and faith in the works of Christ.

After initial salvation, there is a walk that must be walked. Hypocrisy has no part in Jesus’ true disciples. Consider Judas a chosen Apostle with all the power thereof, or Ananias and Sapphira judged dead in their tracks for lying.

That is why we battle fervently against sin because the workers of iniquity (those who practice sin) will be judged in the coming of His glory.

God wants us to be sanctified and holy, with a heart cleansed of sin. He wants to transform our soul into His temple, His dwelling place.

He will not dwell were darkness lives: in a heart choosing to serve sin (and by extension, Satan). We are not to believe the lie, “Ye shall not surely die.” The soul that sinneth reaps destruction.

Grace abounded greatly to sinners by the work of Christ to bring salvation not to condone sin. Once sinners are saved, grace is to abound in them by the love of God shedding abroad in our hearts teaching us how to live holy lives and do works of righteousness free from the workings of sin.

Don’t believe the deception from Satan that sinning is okay. Those that believe this are working iniquity for the father of lies.


The fowls of the air lodging in the shadows of branches are workers of Satan as well as the leaven corrupting the kingdom of God with sin. All who practice such ways will be cast into outer darkness in the full revelation of God’s glory.


In that day, let none of us be revealed to be fowls in the mustard tree or leaven weaving corruption in the meals of grain.


Let us rather, ‘being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.’ ~ Romans 6:22


 For the earth shall be filled

with the knowledge of the glory of the LORD,

as the waters cover the sea

~ Habakkuk 2:14.


1 Peter 1:15, Gird up the loins of your mind.


In my study of the ‘Disciplined Life’ by Richard S. Taylor, I came across this wonderful verse:

Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,

be sober, and hope to the end

for the grace that is to be brought unto you

at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

~ 1 Peter 1:15.


What does it mean to ‘gird up the loins of your mind?’

It is clearly a call to action.

Yet, only by faith, hope, grace, and the revealed knowledge of Jesus Christ can we obey the Apostle’s solemn instruction.

Therefore if any man be in Christ,

he is a new creature:

old things are passed away;

behold, all things are become new,

~ 2 Corinthians 5:17.

If we humbly repent, turn from all our sin, and sacrifice the whole of our life on the alter of God.

Then the Holy Spirit can fill us and prepare us for transforming works fitting for repentance.


Don’t be deceived by vain words, Satan wants corrupt Christians, good Christians.

He already has the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars.

Many who profess to be Christians and know the Lord will be rejected. Do you fit any of the categories above that Satan rules over? For we are commanded to abstain from all sin or even the appearance of evil.


The god of this world wants us to compromise just a little; to revive something from the old man, take on a new worldly distraction, anything that is contrary to the will of God.

Then, he can slither in, entice that compromise until: it ‘hath conceived, and bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death’ to our soul.

When we ‘gird up the loins of our mind’, we allow the Holy Ghost to search our soul, and bring to us to ‘a better hope; by the which we draw nigh (close) to the presence of God.

We cannot ignore this call to prepare us for His service.

We must work out our salvation according to scripture: in fear and trembling in order to shed the bonds of sin and glory in the love of God being shed upon our hearts that casts out all fear and makes us perfect.

Herein is our love made perfect,

that we may have boldness in the day of judgment:

because as he is, so are we in this world

There is no fear in love;

but perfect love casteth out fear:

because fear hath torment.

He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 

We love him, because he first loved us

~ 1 John 4:17-19.


The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge connects most of the dots and summarizes more fully what it means to ‘gird up the loins of our mind.’

The scriptures below paint an immeasurable picture for us learn and grow by.

It is anything but compromise or suffering (allowing) Satan a foothold in our lives.

Oh, to the contrary . . . we are to cut him off!


 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind,

be sober, and hope to the end

for the grace that is to be brought unto you

at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

As obedient children,

not fashioning yourselves according to

the former lusts in your ignorance:

But as he which hath called you is holy,

so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;

Because it is written,

Be ye holy; for I am holy

~ 1 Peter1:13-15.


Be ye therefore perfect,

even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect

~ Matthew 5:48


That he would grant unto us,

that we being delivered

out of the hand of our enemies

might serve him without fear,

In holiness and righteousness before him,

all the days of our life

~ Luke 1:74-75.


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

~ 2Corinthians 7:1.


Be ye therefore followers of God,

as dear children; And walk in love,

as Christ also hath loved us,

and hath given himself for us an offering

and a sacrifice to God

for a sweet smelling savour

~ Ephesians 5:1-2


Only let your conversation be

as it becometh the gospel of Christ:

that whether I come and see you,

or else be absent,

I may hear of your affairs,

that ye stand fast in one spirit,

with one mind

striving together for the faith of the gospel;

~ Philippians 1:27.


That ye may be blameless and harmless,

the sons of God, without rebuke,

in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,

among whom ye shine as lights in the world;

Holding forth the word of life;

that I may rejoice in the day of Christ,

that I have not run in vain,

neither laboured in vain

~ Philippians 2:15-16.


For this is the will of God,

even your sanctification,

that ye should abstain from fornication:

That every one of you

should know how to possess his vessel

in sanctification and honour;

Not in the lust of concupiscence,

even as the Gentiles which know not God:

That no man go beyond

and defraud his brother in any matter:

because that the Lord is the avenger of all such,

as we also have forewarned you and testified.

For God hath not called us unto uncleanness,

but unto holiness

~ 1 Thessalonians 4:3-7


For the grace of God that bringeth salvation

hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that,

denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,

we should live soberly, righteously,

and godly, in this present 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

~ Tit 2:11-14


This is a faithful saying,

and these things I will that thou affirm constantly,

that they which have believed in God

might be careful to maintain good works.

These things are good and profitable unto men

~ Titus 3:8.


And let ours also learn to maintain good works

for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful

~ Titus 3:14


Follow peace with all men,

and holiness,

without which no man shall see the Lord

~ Hebrews 12:14.


Whereby are given unto us exceeding great

and precious promises: that by these

ye might be partakers of the divine nature,

having escaped the corruption

that is in the world through lust.

And beside this, giving all diligence,

add to your faith virtue;

and to virtue knowledge;

And to knowledge temperance;

and to temperance patience;

and to patience godliness;

And to godliness brotherly kindness;

and to brotherly kindness charity.

For if these things be in you,

and abound,

they make you that ye shall neither be barren

nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

But he that lacketh these things is blind,

and cannot see afar off,

and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

Wherefore the rather, brethren,

give diligence to make your calling and election sure:

for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:

~ 2 Peter 1:4-10.


Having your conversation (behavior) honest among the Gentiles:

that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers,

they may by your good works,

which they shall behold,

glorify God in the day of visitation

~ 1 Peter 2:12.


Having a good conscience; that,

whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers,

they may be ashamed that falsely accuse

your good conversation in Christ

~ 1 Peter 3:16.


Let no man despise thy youth;

but be thou an example of the believers,

in word, in conversation,

in charity, in spirit, in faith,

in purity

~ 1 Timothy 4:12.


Let your conversation be without covetousness;

and be content with such things as ye have:

for he hath said,

I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee

~ Hebrews 13:5.


Who is a wise man

and endued with knowledge among you?

let him shew out of a good conversation

his works with meekness of wisdom

~ James 3:13.


Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,

what manner of persons ought ye to be

in all holy conversation and godliness,

Looking for and hasting

unto the coming of the day of God,

wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,

and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?

Nevertheless we, according to his promise,

look for new heavens and a new earth,

wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Wherefore, beloved,

seeing that ye look for such things,

be diligent that ye may be found of him

in peace, without spot, and blameless

~ 2 Peter 3:11-14.


For He has empowered us

to reach and live according to this high calling:

For it is God which worketh in you

both to will and to do of his good pleasure

~ Philippians 2:13.


God has called us to live according to His ways and to produce fruits of righteousness through holy living. He longs to purify your heart and cleanse your mind from sin.

If we believe the gospel, we already the power to do everything He commands.

Why would He tell us to love Him with all our Heart, Mind, and Strength and to Love our Neighbor as Ourselves if He didn’t empower us to do so?

The gospel is the power of Jesus Christ unto salvation.

The end of the gospel is ‘an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you.’


For this cause we also,

since the day we heard it,

do not cease to pray for you,

and to desire that ye might be filled

with the knowledge of his will

in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;

That ye might walk worthy of the Lord

unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work,

and increasing in the knowledge of God;

~ Colossians 1:9-10.


Now the God of peace,

that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus,

that great shepherd of the sheep,

through the blood of the everlasting covenant,

Make you perfect

in every good work to do his will,

working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight,

through Jesus Christ;

to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen

~ Hebrews 13:20-21.


The Holy Spirit has provided us the grace to walk this higher path.

Let His purifying fire cleanse your soul and keep you in His truth.

According to his mercy he saved us,

by the washing of regeneration,

and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

And may you be a sweet smelling savor to our Heavenly Father and Blessed Lord, Jesus Christ.

Romans 1:8-15, Personal Commentary


~ Romans 1:8-15

First, I thank my God

through Jesus Christ for you all,

that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 

For God is my witness,

whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son,

that without ceasing

I make mention of you always in my prayers; 

making request, if by any means now at length

I might have a prosperous journey

by the will of God to come unto you. 

For I long to see you,

that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift,

to the end ye may be established; 

that is, that I may be comforted together with you

by the mutual faith both of you and me. 

Now I would not have you ignorant,

brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you,

(but was let hitherto,)

that I might have some fruit among you also,

even as among other Gentiles. 

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians;

both to the wise, and to the unwise. 

So, as much as in me is,

I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.


We are still in the preface of Paul’s letter, a part of his greeting. Nevertheless, there is much to be gleaned in these inspired words  of God.

Paul’s praise and kindness glistens through these verses. The church of Rome had become well-known throughout Christendom as servants of Christ and Paul longs to continue the process and build them up in the grace of God.


Verse 8:

  First, I thank my God

Even in Paul’s address to others, he goes straight to God showing his continuous devotion to Him.

through Jesus Christ for you all,

He highlights from whom all blessings flow, our Lord and Saviour.

that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 

This cannot be taken literally, like many things in scripture, it is an expression probably meaning that wherever Paul or his companions went in the Roman empire, they heard the good news about the church in Rome.

There is an old saying, “all roads lead to Rome,” this is similar to Paul’s meaning here.

What an amazing work God had done in Rome. It is unclear who gave them the word of God. We know in Acts that Aquila and Priscilla went to Italy but who specifically started the Church in Rome is a mystery to me.

One day this will be revealed when, ‘the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.’


Verse 9a:

For God is my witness,

whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son,

that without ceasing

We serve God in spirit and truth. We do not serve Him in the fleshly or carnal nature. Sin has no part in our service with God. All our heart, mind, and strength should be dedicated to living out the ‘good news.’

Few there be dedicated to serving God in this manner. And what a blessing they are!

The first 11 chapters of Romans are dedicated to the contentions that arose from Gentile converts and the privileges the Jewish believers had. That combined with the Paul’s desire to provide apostolic oversight in the church in Rome is why this is perhaps the most important of all his epistles.

Not only does this letter describe the fullness of the gospel in detail, Paul explains the purpose and end of the Jewish Law and contends that salvation cannot be acquired by any observance of it.


He is also living out the Law of Christ (described below) which is a fulfillment of the Jewish Law.

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 . . .

 . . . Brethren,

if a man be overtaken in a fault,

ye which are spiritual,

restore such an one in the spirit of meekness;

considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. 

Bear ye one another’s burdens,

and so fulfil the law of Christ.

For if a man think himself to be something,

when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself

~ Galatians 6:1-3.


We as a church have misunderstood “the law” to mean any works of righteousness. It is a dreadful mistake to ignore the whole of scripture attesting to our need to produce fruits of righteousness resulting from genuine and complete repentance.

It was planted in a good soil by great waters,

that it might bring forth branches,

and that it might bear fruit,

that it might be a goodly vine

~ Ezekiel 17:8

Jesus himself demands complete submission from His disciples (you and me).

Whosover he be of you

that foresaketh not all that he hath,

he cannot be my disciple.


When Paul ends this verse, ‘that without ceasing’, he is proclaiming that the service of Christ is not limited to any Jewish or Gentile religious ceremony.
It is experienced by the renewing of the mind in power. This comes through prayer, assembling ourselves together, serving others, and the whole of religious obedience that faith through grace and outpouring of the spirit of God confirms in a submissive heart.


Verse 9b-10:

I make mention of you always in my prayers; 

making request, if by any means now at length

I might have a prosperous journey

by the will of God to come unto you. 

Paul has been longing to visit the church in Rome. Though, as a slave, he is dedicated to the will and dictates of God’s leading. How much do we hear, listen, and follow God’s voice?

Has our routine or ‘spiritual box’ quieted Him beyond the ability to be prompted by His gentle leading?


Paul’s desire to see them is solely for the purposes of God. How many times do we spend thousands of dollars on vacations over and over merely for personal pleasure and carnal fulfillment?

Though God temporarily hindered him visiting them, providence enabled this letter to literally go to the whole world on the roads that led to Rome.

The will of God seems to me always focused on presenting His plan of loving redemption to all the world.


Verses 11-12:

For I long to see you,

that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift,

to the end ye may be established; 

that is, that I may be comforted together with you

by the mutual faith both of you and me.

Since it is highly unlikely that an apostle had yet to visit Rome at the time of this writing, it is possible that they were not benefited with some of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Like today, we don’t see very much of the gifts of the spirit in the church, i.e.,Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

Paul wants to show the Romans a more excellent way that goes beyond the spiritual gifts he will bring. God is offering this holy blessing to all of us even today.


Here Paul also shows the importance of the assembling together by his desire to visit them in order to prevent the eventual practices of a sinning and lukewarm, Laodicean church as noted in his letter of Hebrews.

 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith

without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

and let us consider one another

to provoke unto love and to good works: 

not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together,

as the manner of some is;

but exhorting one another:

and so much the more,

as ye see the day approaching.

 For if we sin wilfully

after that we have received the knowledge of the truth,

there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,

~ Hebrews 10:23-26.


With his preface, Paul is indirectly calling the church of Rome to a more excellent way in the beauty of holiness, purity, and sanctification.

The natural outcome  of Paul’s establishing the church in Rome will be and out-pouring of God’s love,  overcoming discord, and the other practices of sin that are common among those that remain in carnality and sin.


Verse 13:

Now I would not have you ignorant,

brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you,

(but was let hitherto,)

that I might have some fruit among you also,

even as among other Gentiles.

Paul is saying here that God divinely hindered him from visiting them. I can imagine their realization in the purpose and development of patience and perseverance from this divine intervention.


Here is why he was hindered:

through mighty signs and wonders,

by the power of the Spirit of God;

so that from Jerusalem,

and round about unto Illyricum,

I have fully preached the gospel of Christ. 

Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel,

not where Christ was named,

lest I should build upon another man’s foundation: 

but as it is written,

To whom he was not spoken of,

they shall see:

and they that have not heard shall understand.

For which cause also

I have been much hindered from coming to you

~ Romans 15:22.


Someone was building the church in Rome, who it is was was not revealed. So he preached in areas untouched by the gospel. Later, it becomes clear that Paul’s time to visit Rome had come and, he like a good servant follows the lead of God.

Throughout his life, Paul remained lovingly and obedient servant to the commandments of Jesus to; Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

I am confident that as we go through this letter, Paul will give us great insights of our holy calling and how we are to be obedient by his example to the Law of Christ.


Verses 14-15:

I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians;

both to the wise, and to the unwise. 

So, as much as in me is,

I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

 A debtor: Paul was a steward of the hidden mysteries of God. He became obligated to obey the calling of Christ when, on the road to Damascus, ‘he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? ‘


He was entrusted and therefore indebted to go into all the world and preach the gospel to the Greeks and Barbarians. In ancient Greece, if you were not a Greek, you were considered an uncultured barbarian.

 And the barbarous people

shewed us no little kindness:

for they kindled a fire,

and received us every one,

because of the present rain,

and because of the cold

~ Acts 28:2.

Paul longed to preach to all that lived in darkness; the Barbarians, Greeks, and Jews. What an example we should follow.

Do you long to preach or share the gospel to others regardless if they are Americans, Arabs, Jews or others?

The Lord is nigh unto them

that are of a broken heart;

and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Many in the world around us are broken, hurting, and live with a dark, cold heart filled with sin. God wants to get close to them (nigh) to mold their heart, save them from their sins, and fill them with His love.

We are called to share these sympathies. God plucked deeply at Paul’s heart in order to address specific weaknesses and faults in the church of Rome. Through our obedience to God’s leading, we too can be blessed with giving the gift of life eternal.


We have now finished Paul’s introduction to the Romans.

The next post will address the brief and yet powerful proclamation of the gospel in verses 16-17.

After that, we will delve into the terrible subject of sin completing the first section in chapter III, verse 20.


May God strengthen you and richly bless your heart, mind, and soul with His love.

Romans 1:1-7: Introduction and Personal Commentary


In this study of the book of Romans, I will be using multiple commentaries, referring to Greek and Hebrew, and mining other references as the opportunity arises.


The study will follow Joseph Agar Beet’s dividing method since they seems to most accurately capture the thought progression of Paul.

  1. Introduction
  2. Sin and it’s consequences,
  3. Justification through faith in Christ,
  4. Life in Christ
  5. Synthesis of OT and NT
  6. Putting it all into practice.
  7. Conclusion

Here is the first section of my personal commentary introducing us to the Book of Romans written (in my humble opinion) by one of the greatest of all Apostles of Christ.


Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ,

called to be an apostle,

separated unto the gospel of God,

(Which he had promised afore

by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

which was made of the seed of David

according to the flesh;

And declared to be the Son of God with power,

according to the spirit of holiness,

by the resurrection from the dead:

By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith

among all nations, for his name:

Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father,

and the Lord Jesus Christ.

~ Romans 1:1-7


Paul had not yet visited Rome and is writing as a stranger to them. With that in mind, he is explaining God’s plan of salvation comprehensively.


Verse 1:

‘Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ’

The word servant in Greek literally means a slave. Paul is declaring that he is the property of Jesus and is no longer his own.

His life, personal choices, and end all belong to the Father.

Here, Paul is also proclaiming his complete submission to the work of the Holy Ghost, ‘not my will but thine be done’ that is working the will of Christ.


Paul uses the same Greek word describing a slave in Romans 6:22 teaching us about our relationship to God, our freedom from sin, and the types of fruit we are to bear unto the end which, will lead to eternal life.

‘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.


In the Old Testament, when the Hebrew word servant was used to describe a ‘servant of God’, it often referred to that person as a prophet and leader reflecting God’s intention for a people.


Now after the death of Moses

the servant of the Lord

it came to pass,

that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun,

Moses’ minister, saying, 

Moses my servant is dead;

now therefore arise,

go over this Jordan, thou,

and all this people,

unto the land which I do give to them,

even to the children of Israel,

~ Joshua 1:1-2.


With this in mind and noting that in the remaining half of verse one Paul states,

‘separated unto the gospel of God’

We can rightly attest that Paul was set apart in order to bring his master’s commandments to the Romans. He is following his calling as an apostle to the Messiah Matthew 1:21 foretold to come at that time Daniel 9:25.

Paul was sent as a minister not unlike Joshua yet he was sent to liberate the Gentiles from the power of Satan; to witness about their sanctification Acts 26:16-18; that they are to do the works and calling of the Lord 1 Corinthians 12:27-31, and to stand strong, righteous, and firm in truth, for the benefit of others Ephesians 6:10-18).

He was appointed to this work alone. Like chosen Israel, or Paul’s previous role as a Pharisee, he was once again set apart; this time to proclaim the gospel.

Paul revealed the ‘good news’ by representing Christ and modeling the life of a true Christian.


 Verse 2:

Which he had promised afore

by his prophets in the holy scriptures


Here Paul is referencing many Old Testament scriptures. Some of them include: Isaiah 28:16; : Isaiah 40:1-11. Romans 10:11-17 is rich with OT references to the Jewish Messiah as well as the promise of Abraham to the Gentiles in Galatians 3:8. He was truly a Bible Scholar.


Paul is also saying his words are inspired, holy scripture. Once again, the setting apart the whole of his life from any carnal or earthly works.


Throughout the book of Romans there is a consistent reference to the scriptures of old ‘as it is written’, ‘by his prophets’, ‘promised afore’, setting an early credence to the power, importance, and authority of the Old Testament and the prophets.

This we need to consider deeply.

To understand the prophets and how the law points to our salvation is invaluable. For in them is found Jesus, the fulfillment of their purpose.

Jesus brought the Old Testament to life. All who follow Him will find that the New Testament can lead us to a perfect and glorious state of immortality. We see the word make alive in the hearts of His followers.

There is no greater purpose than to set apart our life to the work and calling of Jesus.


 Verses 3-4:

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord,

which was made of the seed of David

according to the flesh;

And declared to be the Son of God with power,

according to the spirit of holiness,

by the resurrection from the dead:


Paul begins explaining Jesus’ relation to the Father, his humanity, and how by the law, He came in the line of David, a man after God’s own heart, a line of imperfection, yet He was perfect in nature and holiness.

The process of Jesus coming into this world, the Father from heaven declaring, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased,” the testimony of the prophets and scripture all point to His diety. This combined with His manner of death, burial, and resurrection finished the writings of the law.


Paul is now proclaiming to the Romans that the old is completed and new covenant that Jesus made has come;

all things according to the pattern

shewed to thee in the mount. 

But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry,

by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant,

which was established upon better promises,

~ Hebrews 8:5-7.


How Jesus’ human nature and divine nature were combined to complete this glorious purpose is a mystery of God that I cannot fathom. Nevertheless, Jesus became like us and we can learn His precious truths from the whole of scripture.


The last portion of verse 4 ‘according to the spirit of holiness’ is difficult but I find it succinctly summarized in the following scripture:

We now have a ‘high priest

which cannot be touched

with the feeling of our infirmities;

but was in all points tempted like as we are,

yet without sin’

~ Hebrews 4:15


This statement according to the spirit of holiness‘ implies Jesus’ unreserved commitment to the Father’s calling and purpose, His personal holiness, and His unreserved love toward us.

Holiness is amply used in scripture to refer to God’s character.

For our calling, like His, denotes a purity of heart in devotion to God. Jesus wants us to be so completely dedicated to Him that we will not even to use idle words. Rather, we are suppose to allow God to chastise our heart until every act, intention, and impulse is dedicated to the service and and will of the Father.

Now no chastening for the present

seemeth to be joyous, but grievous:

nevertheless afterward it yieldeth

the peaceable fruit of righteousness

unto them which are exercised thereby. 

Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down,

and the feeble knees; 

and make straight paths for your feet,

lest that which is lame be turned out of the way;

but let it rather be healed. 

Follow peace with all men, and holiness,

without which no man shall see the Lord:

looking diligently lest any man fail

of the grace of God;

lest any root of bitterness

springing up trouble you,

and thereby many be defiled;

lest there be any fornicator,

or profane person, as Esau,

who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright, 

~ Hebrews 12:11-16


This is holiness unto The Lord, your birthright. Please do not let your dedication to Him wither on the vine.

A beautiful, sweet child-like faith, falling in love with His ways, earnestly seeking God through any valley or the shadow death. To the wilderness is our calling.

We are to plant the seeds and water the gospel wherever we go, all the while, giving God the best of our life.


Thus saith the LORD;

I remember thee, the kindness of thy youth,

the love of thine espousals,

when thou wentest after me in the wilderness,

in a land that was not sown.

Israel was holiness unto the LORD,

and the firstfruits of his increase:

~ Jeremiah 2:3.


It is interesting to note that after the death of Christ, the official genealogical records stored in the temple were destroyed. Never again would Israel be able to determine the line of David or the coming Messiah.

Paul is making a lasting and final statement regarding Jesus’ lineage in verse 4. It will be preserved for Israel and the world until the very end of days. He also reinforces it in other letters;

But when the fulness of the time was come,

God sent forth his Son, made of a woman,

made under the law,

To redeem them that were under the law,

that we might receive the adoption of sons.

And because ye are sons,

God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts,

crying, Abba, Father.

Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son;

and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ

~ Galatians 4:4.


Verses 5:

By whom we have received grace and apostleship,

for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:


Here Paul shows how grace and apostleship were given to him by his obedience of faith.

This is telling.

The more faithful and obedient we are, the more responsibility and reward we will be given. He was given the opportunity to preach to the whole world through the written word.

There was no backsliding in Paul’s Christianity. It was unheard of for an apostle. Judas did such and paid an awful price.

Backsliding or sin should not be mentioned among those called saints Ephesians 5:1-5. We are to build each other up in the love of God  Jude 1:17-23, and live in holiness and godliness 2 Peter 3:11.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood,

an holy nation, a peculiar people;

that ye should shew forth the praises of him

who hath called you out of darkness

into his marvellous light:

~ 1 Peter 2:9.


Repentance and forgiveness is there for backsliders and sinners but responsibility and rewards become jeopardized or even lost. For our heavenly calling is to be holy unto the Lord.

The honor the Lord gave to to the work of Barnabas and Paul was to have the title of Christian named form their labors in Antioch. We should be worthy of such honor. But it does come with a price.


Verses 6-7

Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

To all that be in Rome,

beloved of God, called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father,

and the Lord Jesus Christ


Paul is closing his introduction with a reminder to the Romans that they were called to be saints in order to, ‘press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.’

He will elaborate more in future chapters describing what being a saint means in the life of a Christian.

Neither does he fail to mention the promises of grace to all men with the power to save and preserve those sanctified in Christ.

He also blesses them with peace revealing a path and purpose to those beloved of God who abide and cling to the hope of our Father and Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans Ch. 1:1-3:20, A Division I Review


A review of Romans 1:1-3:20


We have come to a close in the first major division in the study of Romans which focused primarily on the reality of sin and its consequences.

Paul produced compelling arguments from scripture and creation demonstrating our complete guilt in sin.

He has shown that God is angry with all of us because we know the truth but repress it by our godless ways.


He has shown that we all are without excuse; the Jews because they were given the oracles of God;  the rest of humanity because the invisible things of God were made known to them.

Paul appeals to our conscience, our internal moral clock; however broken, it remains and proclaims our eternal guilt in light of God’s manifest truth.

Jesus will provide this final judgment to all of creation.


Not even with the great advantage afforded to Israel were they kept from the guilt of sin. On the contrary, it was the giving of the law that revealed and defined the sin found in us.


This section of Romans showed us how the knowledge of God’s law will hold us accountable. Our punishment will be based upon our works in context with our repression of the truth in unrighteousness.


 And I saw a great white throne,

and him that sat on it,

from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away;

and there was found no place for them. 

And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God;

and the books were opened:

and another book was opened,

which is the book of life:

and the dead were judged out of those things

which were written in the books,

according to their works.

And the sea gave up the dead which were in it;

and death and hell delivered up the dead

which were in them:

and they were judged every man according to their works. 

And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire.

This is the second death. 

And whosoever was not found

written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire

~ Revelation 20:11-14


One last point regarding sin. Jesus gives us specific instructions as well as giving an example of how few who profess the name of the Lord really are going to heaven.

He explains that our works need to be reflective of the faith and instructions as given in the gospel. If we don’t, He will come like a thief, take away what remains, and cast us into hell.

We must be worthy of His calling and overcome the world by our obedience of faith in Him. Not only will we be judged by our works, we will also be rewarded by them.


And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write;

These things saith he

that hath the seven Spirits of God,

and the seven stars;

I know thy works,

that thou hast a name that thou livest,

and art dead. 

Be watchful,

and strengthen the things which remain,

that are ready to die:

for I have not found thy works perfect before God. 

Remember therefore how thou hast received and heard,

and hold fast, and repent.

If therefore thou shalt not watch,

I will come on thee as a thief,

and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee. 

Thou hast a few names even in Sardis

which have not defiled their garments;

and they shall walk with me in white:

for they are worthy. 

He that overcometh,

the same shall be clothed in white raiment;

and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life,

but I will confess his name before my Father,

and before his angels. 

He that hath an ear,

let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

~ Revelation 3: 1-6


Do you have an ear to hear?

Will you hold fast to all that has been given and taught in the New Testament?

Will you repent of every sin, completely turn from them, and stop committing them?

Will you live your life demonstrating that you are watching for His coming?

Will you overcome the way side, the fowls, the rocks and thorns?

Will you obtain a good report by faith?

Most importantly, will you love God with all your heart, mind, and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself?


For I am not ashamed of the Gospel.

For it is a power of God, for salvation,

to everyone that believes,

both to Jew first and to Greek.

For righteousness of God is revealed in it,

by faith, for faith, according as it is written,

“But the righteous man by faith will live.”

~ Romans 1:16-17


To be righteous means to be just; a standard that is equal and fair in judgement and conduct to all.

Treating others with the same conduct becoming a child of God. That is; loving them as God first loved us.

Our conduct is based on Jesus’ life, is reflected in the acts of the Apostles (not necessarily the book), and commanded throughout the New Testament.

There is a standard by which we may be saved. For the unrighteous sinner will not inherit the Kingdom of God.

Leviticus 19:36, Matthew 20:4; Colossians 4:1, 2 Timothy 4:8, Romans 2:1-6; Acts 4:19; John 7:24.

If we are righteous before God, Luke 1:6; Deuteronomy 6:25, we will enjoy His approval and reward.


By definition, a sinner is considered to be unrighteous. If so, then the inverse must be seriously considered.


This righteousness is revealed by faith in saving power; Romans 3:1-5. This righteousness is not our own. It is God’s and is given to us as a condition of our obedience in faith. In this righteousness, fruits or works unto eternal life are produced.


The next Division; Romans 3:21 through Chapter 5, will address our justification through faith in Christ.

Some of the subjects include:

  1. That we are without boasting,
  2. How through the faith and promise of Abraham, the law was firmly established in the church,
  3. That our hope is grounded in the faithfulness in Christ cancelling the curse of Adam,
  4. And the Law was given to the Israelites to prepare us for Jesus’ coming and to be genuinely obedient in our faith.

 

Romans 1:16-17, Personal Commentary


Within these two verses are found the main purpose of Paul’s letter to the Romans.


~ Romans 1:16-17

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

for it is the power of God unto salvation

to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 

For therein is the righteousness of God

revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.


Verse 16a:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ:

Paul starts off with how God has changes his heart and life.

The gospel is the power of God. The living and breathing word. God’s loving plan of redemption offered to every living soul. to all who believe regardless of their stature, state they are in, even if they are in the throws of death or persecution such as the thief on the cross.

Paul knew God’s will is to ‘have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.’ Yet, many will perish falling victim to the wiles and schemes of ‘the rulers of the darkness of this world.’

. . . in Corinthians he brings some clarification,

For the preaching of the cross

is to them that perish foolishness;

but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.

For it is written,

I will destroy the wisdom of the wise,

and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent,

~ 1 Corinthians 1:18.



 Once again, we must turn to the Old Testament to get a fuller understanding,
For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

In that day shall the Lord of hosts

be for a crown of glory,

and for a diadem of beauty,

unto the residue of his people,

and for a spirit of judgment

to him that sitteth in judgment,

and for strength to them that turn the battle to the gate

~ Isaiah 28:6.

and

And kings shall be thy nursing fathers,

and their queens thy nursing mothers:

they shall bow down to thee

with their face toward the earth,

and lick up the dust of thy feet;

and thou shalt know that I am the Lord:

for they shall not be ashamed that wait for me

~ Isaiah 49:23.


In the end, with so many billions of people walking the face of this Earth, only a few, a residue if you will, will be found waiting patiently, longsuffering in the Lord.

Jesus explained that His children would wax strong and greater than anything imagined.

He also warned that among them would be agents of Satan bringing corruption and death (fowls lodged and resting among us).

Also, in the leaven (sin and evil) was found hidden in the meal spoiling those grains around it.

Please do not give any place for the devil, sin, or corrupt living in your life lest you find yourself unknowingly roosting in the shadow of tree or leavening the meal on the broad road to destruction.


Then said he,

Unto what is the kingdom of God like?

and whereunto shall I resemble it? 

It is like a grain of mustard seed,

which a man took,

and cast into his garden;

and it grew, and waxed a great tree;

and the fowls of the air lodged in the branches of it.

And again he said,

Whereunto shall I liken the kingdom of God? 

It is like leaven,

which a woman took and hid in three measures of meal,

till the whole was leavened

Luke 13:18-20.


Waiting on the Lord, through grace we submit and pray without ceasing fulfilling the Law of Christ.

He hath shewed thee,

O man, what is good;

and what doth the Lord require of thee,

but to do justly,

and to love mercy,

and to walk humbly with thy God

Micah 6:8.


Verse 16b:

for it is the power of God unto salvation

to every one that believeth;

to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 


 These words provide comfort and encouragement to all who have come to the knowledge of the truth. Initially, there is no differentiation.


Then Paul brings a distinction.

The main reason is because the Jews were the holders of the promise that was fulfilled in them by Jesus.

There was also a strong cultural and religious influence causing confusion and compromise as noted by the Book of John. We will discuss this further in later chapters.

Nevertheless among the chief rulers

also many believed on him;

but because of the Pharisees they did not confess him,

lest they should be put out of the synagogue: 

for they loved the praise of men

more than the praise of God,

John 12:14-43.


In the last post, we saw how Paul wanted deeply to impart spiritual gifts to the Romans; and now he it begins.

We must remember that gifts from God are tempered with our obligation to change and ‘abhor that which is evil; and to ‘cleave to that which is good,’ as noted by the sore discussion of sin beginning in the next verse, 1:18, and ending 2 chapters later.

. . . For unto whomsoever much is given,

of him shall be much required . . .

~ Luke 12:48.


We must fully ‘submit ourselves therefore to God thus clothing ourselves with righteousness.

This is of utmost necessity if we are to ‘stand strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might against the wiles of the devil.’

For this world is thick with dark and wicked ways.

We must learn to always dwell with our Master so, in the end, we will stand proven, justified by our works not of the law but of works wrought in faith shining forth from the light of Christ;

For more reading on this issue, please read Hebrews chapter 11.


Here is some clarification:

 For it is God which worketh in you

both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 

Do all things without murmurings and disputings: 

that we may be blameless and harmless,

the sons of God,

without rebuke,

in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,

among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 

holding forth the word of life;

~ Philippians 2:14-16.


Paul did not want to ‘run in vain, neither labour in vain’ but to advance everyone’s salvation.


Verse 17:

For therein is the righteousness of God

revealed from faith to faith:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.


Therin

This is describing the gospel taught in all Jesus’ words, synthesized in complete harmony throughout the epistles, and finalized in John’s Revelation.


is the righteousness of God

This wondrous statement holds many revelations:

Pertaining to God it refers toward:

  • His eternal and holy nature,
  • His justice, love, and mercy toward repentant sinners,
  • His judgment and condemnation against all evil, sin,
  • To all even those who believe the word but continue to sin willfully.

It also pertains to us:

  • Our faith in Christ,
  • in submission to the calling and teachings of grace,
  • and ultimately, the rewards He brings when He comes in His kingdom.

These are some the general meanings of the righteousness of God.


revealed from faith to faith:

The veil has been lifted. The old law has passed and a new law has come. The light shines forth to all who believe.

From God’s side of the veil, the Gospel has been revealed. To our side, we are to receive it, take it in, and live it.

God’s righteousness is no longer demonstrated by works of the Jewish law or those of our own devising.

He has given us truth to believe building upon our faith. Then He gives us more faith by truth.

This is a continual process. The problem occurs when we live in sin rather than the light God has given designed to sanctify us in our faith.

His revealing of faith to faith is shines on our obedience to His word.

Our eternal state is dependent upon this genuine and saving faith.


God has provided so many examples of patience and longsuffering, (Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14:18–20; Psalm 86:15; Romans 2:4; 1 Peter 3:9; 2 Peter 3:15) how can we not continually serve Him with anything but a pure heart cleansed from all sin and compromise?


Through our faith (that God enables) we are justified. It is a living and active faith not a dead faith without works, being alone. Faith through obedience naturally produces righteous works.


Christ is calling all us to be His workmanship. This is what was ordained from the beginning.

For by grace are ye saved through faith;

and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 

not of works, lest any man should boast. 

For we are his workmanship,

created in Christ Jesus unto good works,

which God hath before ordained

that we should walk in them,

~ Ephesians 2:8-10.

and

This is a faithful saying, and these things

I will that thou affirm constantly,

that they which have believed in God

might be careful to maintain good works.

These things are good and profitable unto men

~ Titus 3:8.


. . . and lastly:

as it is written,

The just shall live by faith.

Jesus! There is salvation in no other name. We cannot live a righteous and holy life without practicing consistently our faith in Him.

He brought us to salvation through faith alone.

In Him we are preserve by maintaining our walk of faith.

Jesus will ultimately justify us by our faith.

Through his unmerited favor, we are to treat others as such.


We are not to draw back in our faith but to believe unto the end to the saving of our soul.

but if any man draw back,

my soul shall have no pleasure in him.

But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition;

but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

~ Hebrews 10:38-39


I love scripture so much.


Habakuk chapter 2 is a great example how we should not live. Please read it if you like.

My favorite verse in that chapter is:

For the earth shall be filled

with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord,

as the waters cover the sea.

~ Habukuk 2:14


The next section beginning in Romans 1:18, will be covering God’s justice, wrath, and sin.

Remember,

The just shall live by faith.

Romans 3:10-20, Personal Commentary


Romans 3:10-20

As it is written,

There is none righteous, no, not one:

There is none that understandeth,

there is none that seeketh after God.

They are all gone out of the way,

they are together become unprofitable;

there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

Their throat is an open sepulchre;

with their tongues they have used deceit;

the poison of asps is under their lips:

Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

Their feet are swift to shed blood:

Destruction and misery are in their ways:

And the way of peace have they not known:

There is no fear of God before their eyes.

Now we know that what things soever the law saith,

it saith to them who are under the law:

that every mouth may be stopped,

and all the world may become guilty before God.

Therefore by the deeds of the law

there shall no flesh be justified in his sight:

for by the law is the knowledge of sin.


Paul starts off this segment of scriptures with: it is written. We will go through some of the O.T. passages to get a better picture of what message he is trying to convey.


Vs. 10-12 are from Psalms 14:1-3

The fool hath said in his heart,

There is no God. They are corrupt,

they have done abominable works,

there is none that doeth good.

The LORD looked down from heaven

upon the children of men,

to see if there were any that did understand,

and seek God.

They are all gone aside,

they are all together become filthy:

there is none that doeth good, no, not one.


Vs. 13-17 is from Jeremiah 5:16

Their quiver is as an open sepulchre,

they are all mighty men.


. . . and from Psalms 5:9

For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;

their inward part is very wickedness;

their throat is an open sepulchre;

they flatter with their tongue.


And one of our greatest forefathers, David, and his bloodshed in 2 Samuel 11:14

And he wrote in the letter, saying,

Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle,

and retire ye from him,

that he may be smitten, and die.


. . . and Psalms 10:7

His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and fraud:

under his tongue is mischief and vanity.


. . . and Psalm 115:7

They have hands, but they handle not:

feet have they, but they walk not:

neither speak they through their throat.


. . . and Psalms 140:3

They have sharpened their tongues like a serpent;

adders’ poison is under their lips. Selah.


. . . and Isaiah 59:7-8

Their feet run to evil,

and they make haste to shed innocent blood:

their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity;

wasting and destruction are in their paths.

The way of peace they know not;

and there is no judgment in their goings:

they have made them crooked paths:

whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.


. . . and lastly for this purpose (for much more can be expounded here), Psalm 36:1-4

The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart,

that there is no fear of God before his eyes.

For he flattereth himself in his own eyes,

until his iniquity be found to be hateful.

The words of his mouth are iniquity and deceit:

he hath left off to be wise, and to do good.

He deviseth mischief upon his bed;

he setteth himself in a way that is not good;

he abhorreth not evil.


Within the context of these verses are the histories and depths of iniquity for both the Israelites and the Gentiles.

Our sin goes deep, plunging beyond the knowledge of our souls. We have loved its dark ways and our position on it path. This evil is of our own making and yet is lined with stains of Satan’s fingerprints.


Romans 3:10-20 is an awful picture of our nature and enmity toward God because it is an accurate depiction of our predisposition to sin in all our manners and ways.

All that we do and all that we are in the natural man sits in direct opposition to the Holiness of God.

What a picture of how far we have fallen from the days spent walking with God in the Garden of Eden.


This narrative is further delineated by the written law given to us in the O.T. as noted in verses 19-20. With this law comes our knowledge of sin and our utter and hopeless resulting from it.


I am struck with amazement by this section of Romans. Not for many decades in my church or circle of Christians have I ever heard a sound discussion on the depths or nature of our sin.

Antinomianism has permeating the church so deeply today, it is like the lie I heard when I was a child;

‘Satan’s best trick is to get people to believe he doesn’t exist.’


Like ostriches, we stick our heads in the sand, listening to our teachers who, for fear of a shrinking audience, neglect to pronounce our wicked ways, condemn our actions, and lead us unto perfection.

So we go on ignoring, justified, as we increasingly tolerate, and eventually accept the sin in and around us as normal and expected.


We now drink from its fount calling the tepid and rancid waters of sin ‘God’s will’ for our lives.

Nothing can be further from the truth.


Sin leads all that continue willingly in it to the grave where Hell resides, waiting to be filled.

The voice of sin, calls to us. It creates a house for us to dwell, but it is really a prison cell, another lie from Satan.

It becomes comfortable like a home should be because we have chosen to make it so. The door is always open, inviting.


Satan will leave us alone if we are compromising in our faith and living in this house of sin. For he has us right where he wants us.

He just sits back and waits, watching.

Everyday, we go back our cell and bring home some selfishness (maybe a new car and with it, unnecessary debt); or a little greed so we can have that extra vacation or latest lifestyle desire; or maybe a little lie here or there, justifying something we covet.

And one day, we find that these compromises have completely reshapened our experience and have become the normal Christian life.

As some point, for most of us, it may become too late. When we are resting comfortably in our bed, the door will suddenly slam shut and our life will end. Hell will be waiting to take us home.


Why? Because we simply believed in justification by faith alone?

We failed to work out our salvation with fear and trembling.

We saw the light in the day of our visitation and put our faith in Christ, and He imputed our faith as righteousness.


But did we go into the vineyard as His worker?

Or, did we continue in sin that grace may abound?

Did we abide in Him, and He in us?

Did we abandon all our ways and produce fruits meet for repentance leading unto perfection?

Did we ignore the cry from James, that faith without works is dead, being alone?

Did we refuse to be transformed by the renewing of our mind, that we may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God?

Were we steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord?

Did we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end?

Were we made free from sin, to become servants to God, having our fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life?

Were we hated of all men for His name’s sake: did we remember that everyone that endures unto the end, the same shall be saved?

Did we doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven?

Did we strive to not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good?

Did we fail to heed the scriptural warning that;

That every idle word that men shall speak,

they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

For by thy words thou shalt be justified,

and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.


Behold, I come quickly;

and my reward is with me,

to give every man according as his work shall be.

I will give unto every on of you according to your works.

For the Son of man

shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels;

and then he shall reward every man

according to his works.


We will all be judged by how we spend our time here on Earth. As James says, ‘But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers, deceiving your own selves.’

And Jesus, ‘Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.’


For the time is come that judgment

must begin at the house of God:

and if it first begin at us,

what shall the end be of them

that obey not the gospel of God?


Everything we do and say now as a Christian is more important than it ever was. God will judge us first.

We are to live our life as a temple, separated, holy, and dedicated to God; not as in a house decorated comfortably and captivated by sin and the world.

This section of scripture showed us how utterly sinful and deserving of judgment we really are. I can’t wait to review the scriptures declaring God’s path to holiness leading to that final and glorious promise of salvation.

There is something valuable from every point of scripture especially in the discussion of our innate evil nature.


There are two common threads coming from this section of Romans.

1. Our complete innate wickedness and how we stand silent and guilty before God.

2. There is no justification or redemption by God’s law. All it does is bring us to a full knowledge of our sin.

By works a man is justified, and not by faith only.


Many do not like the title of this post for what it implies, but it is taken directly from scripture and intimated to be as important as faith. For within an active faith are found works to be shown reflective of genuine repentance.

Controversy aside, we are called unto good works as a Christian and commanded to hold fast our profession of faith. We are also told that those who profess Christ but are impure, sinful, and live with unbelief perform works unto eternal punishment.


 

This is why I am posting some of my favorite verses that necessitate a life devoted to God.

They are in no particular order but speak volumes to those willing to listen and obey God’s word and not adhere to a particular doctrine that denies works of righteousness as a necessary part of a disciple’s life.

Our church is drenched in antinomianism and is teaching us to live in the wicked mire of sin. If this doctrine remains in our heart and lives, we will perish in our sin.


Romans 11:21-22

For if God spared not the natural branches,

take heed lest he also spare not thee.

Behold therefore the goodness

and severity of God:

on them which fell, severity;

but toward thee, goodness,

if thou continue in his goodness:

otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.


1 Corinthians 10:1-12

Moreover, brethren,

I would not that ye should be ignorant,

how that all our fathers were under the cloud,

and all passed through the sea;

And were all baptized unto Moses

in the cloud and in the sea;

And did all eat the same spiritual meat;

And did all drink the same spiritual drink:

for they drank of that spiritual Rock

that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.

But with many of them

God was not well pleased:

for they were overthrown in the wilderness.

Now these things were our examples,

to the intent we should not lust after evil things,

as they also lusted.

Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them;

as it is written,

The people sat down to eat and drink,

and rose up to play.

Neither let us commit fornication,

as some of them committed,

and fell in one day three and twenty thousand.

Neither let us tempt Christ,

as some of them also tempted,

and were destroyed of serpents.

Neither murmur ye,

as some of them also murmured,

and were destroyed of the destroyer.

Now all these things happened unto them

for ensamples:

and they are written for our admonition,

upon whom the ends of the world are come.

Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth

take heed lest he fall.


2 Peter 2:4-9

For if God spared not the angels that sinned,

but cast them down to hell,

and delivered them into chains of darkness,

to be reserved unto judgment;

And spared not the old world,

but saved Noah the eighth person,

a preacher of righteousness,

bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly;

And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha

into ashes condemned them with an overthrow,

making them an ensample

unto those that after should live ungodly;

And delivered just Lot,

vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked:

(For that righteous man dwelling among them,

in seeing and hearing,

vexed his righteous soul from day to day

with their unlawful deeds;)

The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly

out of temptations,

and to reserve the unjust

unto the day of judgment to be punished:


Jude 1:5

I will therefore put you in remembrance,

though ye once knew this, how that the Lord,

having saved the people out of the land of Egypt,

afterward destroyed them that believed not.


James 2:14-26

What doth it profit, my brethren,

though a man say he hath faith,

and have not works?

can faith save him? 

If a brother or sister be naked,

and destitute of daily food, 

and one of you say unto them,

Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled;

notwithstanding ye give them not those things

which are needful to the body;

what doth it profit? 

Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead,

being alone. 

Yea, a man may say,

Thou hast faith, and I have works:

shew me thy faith without thy works,

and I will shew thee my faith by my works. 

Thou believest that there is one God;

thou doest well:

the devils also believe, and tremble. 

But wilt thou know, O vain man,

that faith without works is dead? 

Was not Abraham our father justified by works,

when he had offered Isaac

his son upon the altar? 

Seest thou how faith wrought with his works,

and by works was faith made perfect?

And the scripture was fulfilled which saith,

Abraham believed God,

and it was imputed unto him for righteousness:

and he was called the Friend of God. 

Ye see then how that by works a man is justified,

and not by faith only. 

Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot

justified by works,

when she had received the messengers,

and had sent them out another way? 

For as the body without the spirit is dead,

so faith without works is dead also.


Some are already withering believing their current state is acceptable to God.  Take heed lest ye fall. It is not just belief or faith alone that will save you. We are to:

Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance

(John the Baptist)


Whereupon, O king Agrippa,

I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision:

but shewed first unto them of Damascus,

and at Jerusalem,

and throughout all the coasts of Judæa,

and then to the Gentiles,

that they should repent and turn to God,

and do works meet for repentance

(Paul the Apostle)


God can deliver you if you seek after Him like you do your most precious treasures . . . for in this, He is found.