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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #12 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #1

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s notice this morning the first blessing: WE HAVE BEEN JUSTIFIED BY FAITH!

If you’re a believer in Christ, has this truth gotten a hold of you — that you have been made right — justified — before a holy God because of the finished work of Jesus Christ? Many in our culture don’t think they need to be justified before a holy God. Or they think they can justify themselves by their own goodness. [I’ve written a whole chapter on the “goodness” people in my little book Unlike Jesus]. Mark 10 would be a great section to read about how our goodness can never satisfy a holy God.

Thank the Lord today for your justification in Christ! And be ready to share that blessing with others whom God sends your way!

 
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Posted by on December 29, 2020 in Romans 5

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #9 Justified! (Some Thoughts on Romans 4)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 4 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Paul uses both Abraham (vv. 1-5, 9-25) and David (vv. 5-8) to prove righteousness comes by faith, not by works!

1. Our natural tendency is to try to get ourselves justified by our works (v. 2).

2. Our before-conversion works don’t count! (v. 5).

3. Righteousness is credited to the one who doesn’t work but trusts God by faith (v. 5).

4. Righteousness is credited to those who believe in him who raised Jesus from the dead (v. 24)

5. The Lord Jesus was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification (v. 25).

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2020 in Romans 4

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #8Free Justification! (A Study of Romans 3:22-25)

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 3 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

God is righteous and we aren’t. We need His righteousness so that we will not come under His wrath.

But how do we get that righteousness? Our text makes it quite clear that His righteousness is given “to all who believe” (v. 22). Ethnicity does not matter. Both Jew and Gentile are sinners who fall woefully short of God’s glory (v. 23).

This justification is given freely to those who believe. But it has been purchased by Christ’s “sacrifice of atonement through the shedding of his blood” (v. 25) for sinners.

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2020 in Romans 3

 

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Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 3 Part 2)

Continuing on with our study of this letter to the Galatians, we are now in chapter three, looking for major themes.  We’ve seen the theme of the biblical place of rebuke or correction (vv. 1-6)

Paul now moves to an Old Testament illustration of salvation by faith.  The theme is justification by faith (vv. 6-9).

We are told that Abraham “believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness” (v. 6).  This exact expression is given three times in the New Testament (in Rom. 4:3; James 2:23; and here in Gal. 3:6).  But what is the background to that statement?

The Old Testament context is Genesis 15 when God promises old Abram that he will have a son who is his own flesh and blood. God then promises that Abram’s offspring would match the number of the stars in the sky. We are then told that “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness” (v. 6). God then established a covenant with Abram to seal His promise (vv. 8-21).

How does that OT story relate to the issue of justification by faith?  It is clear here in verse 8 that to be “blessed” through Abram means to be justified by faith!  Scripture “announced the gospel in advance to Abraham” (v. 8).  The issue in Galatians in not primarily legalism or Judaism or circumcision.  The issue is:  how is one justified before God?  And the answer is FAITH!

In our next post we will see more specifically HOW Christ brought about justification.  But my question today is:  Aren’t you glad for the blessing of justification you have received through Abraham, the man of faith?

 

 

 
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Posted by on May 27, 2018 in Galatians

 

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Major Themes in the Book of Galatians (Ch. 2 Part 3)

We continue picking out major themes in this great NT epistle of Galatians.  I’m using these posts to guide my study as I prepare to teach the book to students at Word of Life Korea in June.

As we think our way through this six-chapter letter, we’ve seen two themes in chapter two.  Let’s now notice a third theme:  the living out of the Christian life (vv. 19-21)!

The law, though good, only serves to show us our sin and to bring death!  But we then receive LIFE through the Son.  We are crucified with Christ; our old life is over.  We now have Christ living in us (v. 20).

But this is not a passive life.  Paul says, “The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God . . .” (v. 20).  The idea that Christ lives His life (again) through me has led some believers to a kind of passive, Quaker-like existence.  No!  We are to actively add qualities to our faith (see 2 Pe. 1), to pursue godliness, to now live in the body (v. 20).

Trying to live one’s life by keeping the law means that one is setting aside the grace of God.  If that is how righteousness could be gained, then Christ died for nothing (v. 21)!  No one will be justified by keeping the law — not even the Apostle Peter!

 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2018 in Galatians

 

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Some Predictions from a Non-Prophet (on the Homosexual Agenda): Part 2

In our first blog on this issue, we looked at I Corinthians 6 where the Apostle Paul says:

 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. 

As Paul lists these nine categories of sin, he is certainly making the point that those who practice these sins are wrongdoers who will not inherit the kingdom of God (= go to be with God when they die).  This CATEGORICAL STATEMENT is followed by a CLEAR DECLARATION: “and that is what some of you were” (v. 11).  Notice Paul uses the word “were.”  {Some have suggested that Alcoholics Anonymous’ insistence that recovering alcoholics should continue to call themselves alcoholics may be open to some criticism here}.

His point seems to be that some of the Corinthian believers were previously sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, men who had sex with other men, thieves, greedy, drunkards, slanderers, and swindlers.  Those behaviors had ceased once they became followers of Jesus.

Paul’s CLEAR DECLARATION is followed by his pronouncement Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 10.59.01 PMof God’s CLEANSING ACTIONS in those believers (v. 11).  What did God do for those who came to Him?  He performed three specific actions:  He washed them; He sanctified them; and He justified them.  We should not be surprised that a BIble-denying world mocks the need for such sinners to be washed, sanctified, or justified.

Although we must love sinners and seek to win them to the Lord, what ought our reactions be to those who practice sexual immorality, engage in idolatry, commit adultery, have the habit of thievery, are marked by greed, live a life of drunkenness, are characterized by slander, or look to swindle others?  Should we not be disgusted, deeply Screen Shot 2015-07-08 at 3.41.25 PMconcerned, outraged at these sins that disqualify someone from HEAVEN?!  If so, what ought to be our response to those of the fourth category who “have sex with other men”?  They, like we all, need the cleansing power of the Savior’s blood.  They need to be set apart (sanctified) to God.  They desperately require the justification that can only come from the forgiveness offered in the gospel.

If you agree with those sentiments, my friend, then you will be in for some serious challenges to your faith in the coming days. (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on July 16, 2015 in homosexual agenda

 

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Time for a Great Quote! (R.C. Sproul)

“I’m afraid that in the United States of America today the prevailing Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 6.19.53 AMdoctrine of justification is not justification by faith alone. It is not even justification by good works or by a combination of faith and works. The prevailing notion of justification in our culture today is justification by death. All one has to do to be received into the everlasting arms of God is to die.” (R.C. Sproul, Saved from What?)

 
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Posted by on September 30, 2014 in salvation

 

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