Ode to the Farmer

I love farming. And if I had my way, I would be a farmer. This desire has been on my heart for many years.
My family even Hobbie farmed for 2 1/2 years.

Alas, it was not His will. Nevertheless, our family learned valuable lessons from the time and experience. Even today, I am still learning to listen to God softly speak and guide my direction.

This post is inspired from one of those precious moments this morning. It is from Jesus’ parables of the sower.


The Kingdom of Heaven is literally inside us if the living the Word abides in our hear and our spirit has been made alive.


And in the days of these kings

shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,

which shall never be destroyed:

and the kingdom shall not be left to other people,

but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms,

and it shall stand for ever.

~ Daniel 2:44 

————

The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:

Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there!

for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.

~ Luke 17:20b


Jesus promises us that the Comforter would bring heavenly peace to us if we are obedient according to His scriptural and Holy commands.

The Holy Spirit also provides us a blessed assurance when our faith is genuine, abiding, and working righteousness.


And the work of righteousness shall be peace;

and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever.

~ Isaiah 32:17 

————-

Confirming the souls of the disciples,

and exhorting them to continue in the faith,

and that we must through much tribulation

enter into the kingdom of God.

~ Acts 14:22 

————-

 Because he hath appointed a day,

in the which he will judge the world in righteousness

by that man whom he hath ordained;

whereof he hath given assurance unto all men,

in that he hath raised him from the dead.

~ Acts 17:31

————-

That their hearts might be comforted,

being knit together in love,

and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding,

to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God,

and of the Father, and of Christ;

~ Colossians 2:2 

————-

 For our gospel came not unto you in word only,

but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost,

and in much assurance;

as ye know what manner of men we were among you

for your sake.

~ 1 Thessalonians 1:5

————-

 And we desire that every one of you

do shew the same diligence

to the full assurance of hope unto the end:

~ Hebrews 6:11

————-

Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith,

having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience,

and our bodies washed with pure water.

~ Hebrews 10:22 


The kingdom is also in the future: this second element of the twofold promise, we hope in as well.


 

And the kingdom and dominion,

and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven,

shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High,

whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,

and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

~ Daniel 7:27 

————-

Hearken, my beloved brethren,

Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith,

and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised

to them that love him?

~ James 2:5


This future kingdom is beyond our comprehension to imagine or understand. God’s Kingdom is not for those who practice or continue in sin. The promise is for those who are faithful in Christ.


 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God?

Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters,

nor adulterers, nor effeminate,

nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards,

nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

~ 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

————-

 Now this I say, brethren,

that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God;

neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.

~ 1 Corinthians 15:50

————-

 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings,

and such like: of the which I tell you before,

as I have also told you in time past,

that they which do such things

shall not inherit the kingdom of God. 

~ Galatians 5:21


Do you do such things?


 For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person,

nor covetous man, who is an idolater,

hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. 

~ Ephesians 5:5


Like Jesus, the farmer plants seeds telling those in the soil:


 Repent:

for the kingdom

of heaven is at hand.

~ Matthew 4:17


The Farmer and His Voice


We are to tell others about Jesus, reveal sin, and let His holy truth illuminate the day (or darkness) regardless of the circumstances or consequences. When we are walking in obedience to Him, He will give us discernment and when or what to speak.

For while it is your body working and your mouth speaking, it is not you who worketh the fields but the Spirit of God,


But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up,

take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak,

neither do ye premeditate:

but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour,

that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak,

but the Holy Ghost.

~ Mark 13:11

————-

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost,

and began to speak with other tongues,

as the Spirit gave them utterance.

~ Acts 2:4

————-

And set up false witnesses, which said,

This man ceaseth not to speak blasphemous words

against this holy place, and the law:

~ Acts 6:13

————-

And as I began to speak,

the Holy Ghost fell on them,

as on us at the beginning.

~ Acts 11:15

————-

Which things also we speak,

not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth,

but which the Holy Ghost teacheth;

comparing spiritual things with spiritual.

~ 1 Corinthians 2:13

————-

Wherefore I give you to understand,

that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed:

and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord,

but by the Holy Ghost. 

~ 1 Corinthians 12:3 


We are walking according to the spirit and not according to the flesh (practicing or choosing to continue to sin). This sinful predispodition in a Christian is put to death, killed, utterly mortified;

so that it no longer lives but through righteousness in the power of the gospel, the Holy Spirit now lives and dwells in your soul, through your decisions and thoughts, and all your intentions.


 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

————-

 Mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth;

fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection,

evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry

~ Colossians 3:5

————-

 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.

~ Romans 1:16

————-

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.

~ Romans 15:19 

————-

Now to him that is of power to stablish you

according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ,

according to the revelation of the mystery,

which was kept secret since the world began.

~ Romans 16:25 


The Farmer and His Seed


Sometimes our words fall by the wayside, even to other professing Christians who may perish if they fail to strive to enter in through narrow gait.

Satan can take the words of truth out of someone’s heart if they are not careful to dig and nourish the soil of their heart allowing the word to grow.


Behold, a sower went forth to sow;

And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side,

and the fowls came and devoured them up:

Some fell upon stony places,

where they had not much earth: and forthwith they sprung up,

because they had no deepness of earth:

And when the sun was up, they were scorched;

and because they had no root, they withered away.

And some fell among thorns;

and the thorns sprung up, and choked them:

But other fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit,

some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.

~ Matthew 5:3-9


Sometimes the distractions of worldly interests are lie thorns springing up, choking the word of God, stifling life out of our heart.

Blessed is the farmer that continues to till the ground producing good fruit, “some an hundredfold, some sixtyfold, some thirtyfold”


As followers of Christ, we have at our fingertips the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven. We just have to ask and receive from the abundance of a loving God and Father .

Let your ears hear, let your mind understand, let your eyes see, and receive the beauty that is Christ’s kingdom.


A hardened heart, ears dull of hearing, eyes closed, and darkens understanding and freedom from sin. All that remains in the heart will be used by the wicked to become spoiled and unfruitful when even simple trials much less real tribulation comes.


You are a farmer. As a Christian, you sow good seed in the field ready for harvest. Jesus said the enemy would come and sow tares among the wheat. 

Do not worry, do not fear. Judge nothing before its time.


When the Lord comes,

He will bring to light the hidden things of darkness,

and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts:

and then shall you have the praise of God.

~ 1 Corinthians 4:5


The Mustard Seed


Most of us like to have something growing in our yard that we can pick and eat fresh. When we are obedient to God’s word and do not remain silent, our little faith grow. As we grow and tell others about Christ, His kingdom is enlarged all in the presence of the enemy.

The mustard seed, which the farmer sowed in his field, although the least of all seeds, became the greatest in his garden, so large, it became like a tree.

The wicked one also benefitted from the farmer’s work.

No matter, we can take the word of God, cast it in the field so it permeates all around us.

This is what our Christian walk should  be like: hiding God’s word in our heart and the hearts of others so that grace may abound.

When the end comes, the harvest will begin. Those that have kept their heart dark with sin will be gathered and burned in consuming fire.


For the Son of man shall send forth his angels,

and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend,

and them which do iniquity;

And shall cast them into a furnace of fire:

there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.

 ~ Matthew 13:41- 43


Conclusion


The farmers will then shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their God.

Are you a farmer?

Have you found that treasure like a pearl hidden in the field of your heart? Have you sold all that you have in hopes of purchasing it?

Spread the word as much as you can. The King of heaven will gather the good into holy vessels and cast away the bad.

God has given you Bible, tools and all. Dig into the word, store it in your barn, share your treasures both new and old before you depart this rich land.


Remember, if you are Christian, you are that farmer Christ spoke about in Matthew 14, Mark 4, and Luke 8.

He has already provided for all your  needs. All you have to do is trust and obey.


But this I say,

He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly;

and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.

Every man according as he purposeth in his heart,

so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity:

for God loveth a cheerful giver.

And God is able to make all grace abound toward you;

that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things,

may abound to every good work:

(As it is written, He hath dispersed abroad;

he hath given to the poor: his righteousness remaineth for ever.

Now he that ministereth seed to the sower

both minister bread for your food,

and multiply your seed sown,

and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)

Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness,

which causeth through us thanksgiving to God.

For the administration of this service

not only supplieth the want of the saints,

but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto God;

Whiles by the experiment of this ministration

they glorify God for your professed subjection

unto the gospel of Christ,

and for your liberal distribution unto them, and unto all men;

And by their prayer for you,

which long after you for the exceeding grace of God in you.

Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift.

~ 1 Corinthians 9:6-12, 15


Salvation is yours for the taking. What will you do with it?

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 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.

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.