Romans 3:19-28 Now we know that whatever the Law says, it speaks to those who are under the Law, so that every mouth may be closed and all the world may become accountable to God; because by the works of the Law no flesh will be justified in His sight; for through the Law comes the knowledge of sin. But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction; for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God; being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of our sins, in the forbearance of God; for the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus. Where then is the glorying? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith. We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.
I realize that for many, salvation by grace alone is contrary to what you have come to believe, but I would hope my recent posts would help convince you otherwise. The idea that we have to do something to earn our salvation is ingrained in the hearts of men from the first time Moses introduced the law. An agnostic friend of mine demonstrated that fact to me ... when asked what his view was on redemption? he answered; “well if there is a god, I would hope that when I die, if I stood before him, he would look at my life and see that I have been a good person, better than most, and judge me favorably.” Unfortunately, my intellectual friend who claims to be a bible scholar is ignorant to the whole message of Christ and the central message of the New Testament. And his supposed superior intellectual intelligence would not allow for him to stop and listen to someone with lesser education than he. He is lost in the "well, this is what I think" foolishness, which is obviously has no impact whatsoever on God's truth. Many Christians are deceived here also, along with many others who are lost in supposed Christian religions that follow old covenant teachings to their great loss ... think new covenant! We should never allow man-made religious doctrines to come between us and God. Many great people have fallen for the idea that if they can just be a good enough person, by following the teachings of their church, or the model of Jesus in their daily life, or by following the laws of the Old Testament, this will gain them God’s favor. This is clearly a worthy discipline for anyone to follow, but it has nothing to do with God’s plan for our forgiveness, redemption, salvation and eternal life. Unfortunately, this road is a dead end, no matter how well intentioned. These are good people; it's not fair, you say. That is where we are confused, this is not a game and we do not make the rules. Romans: 3:10-12 says: as it is written,“THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE. The truth is that the New Testament teaches a new covenant. Propitiation means: Christ shed his blood on the cross for you and me as atonement for our sins, and as a result God says: “I will remember their sins and their lawless deeds no more.” Period! Done!! It is Finished!!! This is the Good News! We cannot work our way to righteousness and God's favor. We become righteous through Christ and only through Christ. Truly righteous deeds are a result of Christ in our lives. They are the working out of His righteousness in us as we are renewed, transformed and guided by the Holy Spirit. Unless you have lived a perfect life, your good deeds do not result in your salvation, and they have no bearing on your ability to receive eternal life. The "good works" teaching is heresy. As born again Christians ... we already have eternal life.
I memorized Romans 3:23 and have quoted it hundreds of times. Looking at the verse in it's proper context reveals many truths that we may not have considered otherwise. God gave us the law because men were running wild and had no concept of right and wrong. The law came so that men would be aware of sin. Through the law comes the knowledge of sin. By the law, all became accountable to God and needed atonement for their sins. God (Jesus) came in the form of a man to be a propitiation or atonement for the sins of all mankind. It is clear by the above text that by the works of the Law, no flesh will be justified in His sight. So, are many religions leading sincere people away from God? People who from the world’s standard of measure are good, honest, and law abiding people ... are they led away from God and His gift of eternal life? Yes, absolutely. And many of them are missionaries knocking on our doors. They have been trained to reach out to you and I with another gospel that might lead you down any number of wrong paths. Most religions are Biblically deemed to be false religions. Do I respect their effort and their right to believe whatever they choose? Of course, I would fight along side them to protect that right, but they need to be challenged in these errors, lest they lead the unsuspecting away from God, and into a cult or false religion. Someone might ask me; “why do you quote so much scripture in a single post?” The scripture is the truth and this is the only thing I want to talk about … everything else is just opinion.
The more truth ... and the less opinion, and the less religion ... all the better.
The righteousness of God came apart from the law through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe! Wow … that word "all" is exciting! God looks at all who believe in Jesus Christ and in every case without distinction, God sees a righteous person. No one person is better than another. You, me, Billy Graham or Mother Teresa, God sees us all the same … without distinction. Our good deeds or Christ-like walk have no bearing on our salvation. Will God honor faithfulness and a man walking in righteousness? Will there be rewards in Heaven for those who live a faithful righteous life? Absolutely, and living for Christ every day should be foremost in our mind, but only Christ’s finished work on the cross at Calvary, only His propitiation for our sins can gain us eternal life in Heaven. The redemption is in Christ Jesus. Not you or I. We are justified freely by his grace and his grace alone, and it is a free gift. We do not have to do anything to earn this free gift. As the Apostle Paul so clearly says; But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works, otherwise grace is no longer grace. Romans 11:6
God planned to be a propitiation for our sins, through faith, in his blood (on the cross), to show his righteousness because of the passing over of our sins … for the showing of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him (you and I) that has faith in Jesus. God wanted to show us his righteousness, his justness and His love for each of us. He has given us a glimpse of his love on the cross … can you imagine what it will be like to be in his presence for eternity, free of the cares of the world? Did you notice here that God is not the justifier of those who are good people? Nope, He is “the justifier of him that have faith in Jesus” He is the justifier, and you and I are the justified. Eternity is now and we can be free of the cares of this world. All we must do is abide and rest in Him: “set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God. … We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.” It’s the reckoning that counts.
God Bless You My Friends, Bob
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