Romans 3-8; Power!

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

I love Romans! In this book, Paul portrays the power of the gospel so vividly! Let’s take a look.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus.” Romans 3:23-24

So many times we hear verse 23 read when pointing out that we all have sinned, and they stop there. The verse may end but the sentence and thought continues on into verse 24. It says that while all have sinned, all have also been justified. There are no conditions met by man for this justification.

In Romans 5:12 Paul says, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” There were no conditions met by me to make me a sinner. When Adam sinned, I sinned in Adam seeing how my flesh was in Adam’s flesh, I sinned in Adam, with no choice of my own. The eastern mind, which thinks more corporately than the western mind which thinks more individually, grasps this concept more easily. In Genesis 25, God tells Rebekah, that two nations are in her womb, seeing how the flesh of millions would come from the flesh of her twin sons. In Hebrews 7 Paul says that what Abraham did, his grandson Levi also did, seeing how Levi came from the flesh of Abraham. Even today, in many eastern countries, when an individual wins an Olympic gold medal, the medal goes to the country and not the individual. The eastern mind thinks more corporately. So, when Adam sinned, we all sinned in Adam and were made sinners, with no choice of our own. Now look what else happened!

For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.  Romans 5:10

Where we all sinned in Adam, we have all lived a perfect life in Jesus! Jesus took my flesh (Romans 8:3-4) and lived a perfect life with my flesh! We are saved by His life! Friends this all took place and was resolved before we were ever born or made a choice! Jesus has totally undone all the damage Adam caused. We have all sinned and we have all been justified! We do not need to win God to us, He has won Himself to us.

Therefore as by the offence of one [judgment came] upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [the free gift came] upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.  Romans 5:18-19

We all understand that in this verse when it says many were made sinners that is means everyone, but when we read that the free gift came upon all to justification of life, we don’t think that means everyone. It does! Jesus totally undid all the damage Adam caused! I hear people say you have to accept a gift before you can have it. Not so! John 3:16 says God gave His son, not offered, but gave. When I worked at UPS I delivered many packages that I had to go back to later and pick up because the customer did not want them. Even though the customer did not accept them, they still had them until they rejected them. Same with justification!

As many as have sinned have been justified. There is great power in the book of Romans. Romans chapter 4 uses Abraham as an illustration. Abraham was promised a son in his old age. First Abraham tries to help God keep His promise by working it out for Him. He takes Hagar to wife, as she is much younger than his first wife. God then has Abraham circumcised so that he can cast away the confidence he had in his own flesh to work out what God had already promised He would do. Abraham realizes, that the child will come from God’s promise and not by the works of his flesh.  Romans 4:21 says of Abraham, “And being fully persuaded that, what he [God] had promised, he was able also to perform.”  

All God asks is that we trust His promise, and what He can do for us and through us!

Romans 3-8 tells me:

  1. Adam sinned and made us all sinners. Thus we all deserved to die. Romans 3:23, 6:23
  2. My flesh that deserved to die died with Christ. Romans 8:3-4
  3. While formerly I had sinned in Adam, I now have lived a perfect life in Christ. Romans 5:10
  4. If I continue to do like Abraham and try to save myself by the works of my own flesh, I need to do like Abraham and throw away my trust in my flesh and works, and trust that Jesus has already promised and performed my justification. While God did not make me a robot, I am free at any time to throw away the gift that has already been given, but God has given, not just offered, the free gift of justification. 
  5. While Romans 5:10 says I lived a perfect life in Christ, which is my justification; my salvation from the penalty of sin, Romans 8:4 tells me Jesus wants to fulfill in me His law, which is my sanctification; my salvation from the power of sin.

Redemption in Romans, Lesson 3

I am writing today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

In light of this week’s SS lesson I like the below passage from “Reflecting Christ, p.77  So many times we quote Romans 3:23 which says we all are sinners without continuing the sentence into verse 24 where it says that all have been justified! The same “all” that were sinners.

 Since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus. Romans 3:23, 24, R.S.V.     

  We need Jesus every moment. To lose His love from our hearts means much. Yet He Himself says: “I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.” . . .  The religion of many is very much like an icicle–freezingly cold. The hearts of not a few are still unmelted, unsubdued. They cannot touch the hearts of others, because their own hearts are not surcharged with the blessed love that flows from the heart of Christ. . . .       Genuine religion is based upon a belief in the Scriptures. God’s Word is to be believed without question. No part of it is to be cut and carved to fit certain theories. Men are not to exalt human wisdom by sitting in judgment upon God’s Word. The Bible was written by holy men of old, as they were moved upon by the Holy Spirit; and this Book contains all that we know for certain and all that we can ever hope to learn in regard to God and Christ, unless, like Paul, we are taken to the third heaven. . . . This revelation to the apostle did not spoil his humility. 

     The life of a Christian is a life regulated by the Word of God just as it reads. All the truths of the Old and the New Testaments form a complete whole. These truths we are to cherish, believe, and obey. To the true disciple, faith in God’s Word is a living, active principle; for “with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation” (Romans 10:10). By faith man believes that he receives the righteousness of Christ.  
     Faith, in itself, is an act of the mind. Jesus Himself is the author and the finisher of our faith. He gave His life for us; and His blood speaks in our behalf better things than spoke the blood of Abel, which cried unto God against Cain the murderer. Christ’s blood was shed to remit our sins.  

     Many commit the error of trying to define minutely the fine points of distinction between justification and sanctification. Into the definitions of these two terms they often bring their own ideas and speculations. Why try to be more minute than is Inspiration on the vital question of righteousness by faith?–Manuscript 21, 1891. 

     Those who are united with Christ through the daily, hourly exercise of the faith which works by love and purifies the soul receive the forgiveness of their sins, and are sanctified unto eternal life.–Manuscript 12a, 1901. 

You may find more studies and devotionals at In Light of The Cross.