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These are brief sermons to be
taken for what they are worth.

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Volume 1, Sermon 18

1Corinthians 15:45-47  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy:
... the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    Christ descended to become the 'last Adam'. The Son of God was and is always SPIRIT, and upon arriving to earth and taking on the Name of Jesus he became the Father's 'quickening spirit' for the continuing ingathering of many sons unto the Father ... according to God's Plan of the Ages. Jesus Christ is this 'quickening spirit' ... from nine months before The Birth and ever always ongoing.
    I am convinced that the Lord's people should attempt to see him in the Gospels and in all the New Testament as The Whole Christ. This is far above our minds to do; but are we not the very children of God ... little spirits of the Holy Spirit in the Father by means of the faith of God?
    And is not Jesus ... within The Whole Christ ... the very Lord God who dealt with 'Abraham our father'?

1Corinthians continued -

35  But some man will say, How are (i.e. 'to arouse') the dead (so to be) raised up? and with what (kind of) body do they (have to) come (i.e. 'move one place to another')?
36,37  Thou fool, that which thou sowest is not quickened, except it die: And that which thou sowest, thou sowest not that body (of the plant) that shall be, but (rather) bare grain, (that) it may chance (i.e. 'obtain') of wheat, or of some other grain:
38  But God giveth it a body as it hath pleased him, and to every (kind of) seed his own body.
39  All flesh  is not the same flesh: but there is one kind of flesh of men, another flesh of beasts, another of fishes, and another of birds.
    The word 'body' means 'human or animal, dead or alive'. However, the word 'flesh' means 'that which is inside the body beneath the skin and covering the bones'; and in spiritual teaching the word usually means living; and depending on the context it can often mean 'human, the fallen nature of man'. Amid the flesh, then, is where the heart resides. Depending on the context, it can be flesh eaten of an animal, though not skin or bone.
    People know the human body and in verse 35 Paul tells that Christians mistakenly expect the raised from-the-dead body to look human, probably will have extra abilities, and perhaps needing no legs and feet, perhaps as a ghost. Paul chastises Christians; for by the scriptures (and all things on earth) they should known more of the nature of things ... and he used the word 'seed'.
    All Jews knew, and Christians should know, that Christ the Son (though Creator of men) having descended to walk among men within a body (that appeared human to human eyes) was also a 'seed' from heaven ... that some among men would become as a harvest of children of God of that heavenly 'seed' … ach to receive a 'quickened' heaven-type-body similar to the 'Seed'.
    Christ ('quickened' in heaven of the Father to 'quicken' 'seed' for a bountiful harvest) became planted as a 'seed' on earth, named Jesus, for many to become 'quickened' brethren (i.e. there is no male or female in heaven).
40,41  There are also celestial bodies, and bodies terrestrial: but the glory of the celestial is one, and the glory of the terrestrial is another. There is one glory of the sun, and another glory of the moon, and another glory of the stars: for one star differeth from another star in glory.
    There shall be 'quickened' 'bodies' in 'glory', and these 'quickened' 'stars' shall differ from each other in glory ... with One Star most glorious upon the Throne with the Father.
42-44  So also is the resurrection of the dead. It (i.e. each believer's body) is sown (of earth) in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: It is sown in dishonour (of fallen man); it is raised in glory (as the Son's brethren): it is sown in weakness; it is raised in (the Son's) power: It is sown a natural (i.e. 'psuchikos', Greek, meaning 'of breath') body; it is raised a spiritual body ...
... There is a natural body (of breath), and there is a spiritual body (of spirit).
    Each child of God in the resurrection, and not before, shall receive a quickened body.
45  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made (i.e. 'be, became, being') a living soul; (and) the last Adam was made (i.e. 'be, became, being') a quickening spirit.
    Note that the phrase 'the last Adam' does not contain the word 'man'; for 'the last Adam' was of heaven and not of earth; in that, 'man' is 'made' of earth, the 'dust of the ground'. And note that Jesus (in the form of 'man') is 'the last', for no other will be 'made' again. The Greek word for 'man' is 'anyrwpov' meaning 'human, male of female'. The Hebrew, however, has varied words for man and woman. Thus, in the Old Testament the connection is to earth, or dust of the ground, whereas the Greek is unaware of such a connection.
    A 'living soul' must become 'quickened' if it is to become a raised-brother of Jesus ... that is, from the threshing floor of earth into the Heavenly Garner of God. In his resurrected 'body' Jesus Christ returned to heaven and, with the Father, he is busy helping each child of God toward 'the resurrection of the dead'. All had been arranged within God's Plan of the Ages.
46,47  Howbeit that (body) was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural (i.e. 'of breath'); and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: ...
... the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    The words 'of' and 'from' are the same and are 'ek' in the Greek. The word is a possessive joining word saying, "one thing belongs to the other thing" and "the one thing originated of or from the other thing". Thus, 'first man is of the earth' and ... 'the second man is the Lord (who is of or originates) from heaven'. That is, earth is the source of the first man ... and heaven is the source of the Lord ... one earthy ... One heavenly. But let us recap a few verses:
    In verse 45 Paul mentions the Bible's reference to Adam the first man as created from the ground. Also he mentions the 'last' Adam (not created) the Son of God begotten in heaven.
    Then in verse 46 Paul distinguished the natural from the spiritual. Then in verse 47 he brought his thought down to earth's environment where the begotten Jesus (the Second Adam) walked among men begotten of created Adam. One 'of Spirit' walked among created ones 'of breath'.
    Christ (to become the 'second Adam') descended in the form of a male Judaite babe. He descended ... landing if you will ... within the womb of Mary.
    And from that time Christ took on himself that body, which after  eight days from birthing was taken to the local synagogue where he was circumcised according to the Law of Moses, and he received the Name Jesus. And since his resurrection he anticipates his victorious season to raise the dead, thereby quickening each child of God with a quickened-spiritual body.
    Now considering the One who appeared to look like a man-walking-among-men on earth: Here Paul used the word 'man' only because the Greek had but the one word 'anyrwpov' to indicate a non-animal-adult-male. Ah, but in the same verse Paul quickly explained this One to be 'the Lord from heaven'. Though Jesus had walked the earth among men, Paul here used the present tense of 'the Lord from heaven', in that now Jesus Christ is present tense.
    In very fact, Christ descended to receive the name Jesus so as to walk as 'the second Adam' even though he 'is the Lord from heaven'. Dear reader, Christ came not to be born of a virgin so as to become a human sinless man so as to save other men from their sins.
    Christ descended directly from heaven, arriving to Israel in the womb of a virgin of the lineage of David of the tribe of Judah ... betrothed to Joseph son of David. Eight days after Christ came forth from that womb in the form of a male Judaite babe, he was taken to the synagogue in Bethlehem for circumcision according to the Law of Moses and received the Name Jesus ... and all his earthly days the Son walked pleasing unto the Father.
    Mary well knew and understood that Christ descended within his Lordship as the Only Begotten Son of God to take up his role as 'the lamb slain from the foundation of the world'. Therefore, Mary received and carried her Messiah. Even so Mary, in her proud "motherhood", could not pass up the opportunity to push her "grown son" into a situation for him to change water into wine ... even though he had not yet performed a miracle as 'the Lord from heaven'.
    Three years later, he became the "descended-crucified-resurrected-ascended" Lord.
    And the Son-Christ-Savior-Risen-Lord awaits me and my sweet wife ... even as we await Him.
    And you also dear reader? I trust it is so.

'inherit the kingdom of God'
48,49  As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy (i.e. present tense): and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly (i.e. present tense). And as we (Paul speaks in present tense to Christians) have borne (past tense) the image of the earthy, we shall also (future tense) bear the image of the heavenly.
50  Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood (of the' earthly' 'breath' body) cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
    And yet, dear reader, here we presently walk ... each a redeemed of God ... not of earth ... not in heaven ... not of what he or she was ... nor yet of what he or she will be. 
    Ah, but we "super-spiritual brethren" think we are more toward heaven than toward earth. How sad that we "super-spiritual brethren" look so far down our noses upon our other brethren.
    You see, years ago I had desired to become as one of the "published-super-spiritual-brethren" and I tried living / desiring to be like them: ... and many around me, looking down on our lowly brethren along with me, said that I was one of them.
    But I was not. The Lord began settling me down into my place of floating between earth and heaven ... with the Spirit making sure I did not float too far upward ... so as to stay where God had placed me along with my precious wife floating beside me.
    And thus, it is interesting that the two of us do not see the "lowly" as lowly and the "super" as super ... in that, all brothers and sisters float around between-earth-and-heaven along with us.
     Thank You Lord. It is very interesting that us "floaters" shall 'inherit the kingdom of God'.
51-55  Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead (of the Lord) shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible (present tense) must put on incorruption (future tense), and this mortal must (present tense) put on immortality (future tense). So (finally) when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. ... O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law.
    So, not yet in the grave, death continues stinging as I continue stumbling along ... looking to the Spirit within the Law of God. I love the Law of God (thus of Christ) even as the Spirit of Righteousness keeps banging me about so that I continue "floating" where I am supposed to be.
    What of the grave? When does incorruption to me occur? When do I receive immortality? It is when the 'trumpet shall sound'. If my earthly body stops before the trumpet sounds, where will I be? The answer (verse 51) is 'asleep'. Where? In the 'bosom of Abraham' (father of all 'children by faith'). As I wait upon the Lord, I shall continue in this waiting until the Lord raises me up. Where is 'Abraham's bosom'? I do not know, but I shall be with Abraham, the Lord's 'man of faith', kept safe 'asleep in Christ'.
57  But thanks be to God, which giveth us (each) the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
58  Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye stedfast, unmoveable ("floating" where the Lord has put you), always abounding (i.e. 'to exceed', as water flows over the top of a measuring cup) in (i.e. 'in, by, with, among') the (ongoing) work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
    What is 'the work of the Lord'? It is ... Our "descended-crucified-resurrected-and-ascended" Lord working our victory (as Paul has outlined) toward incorruption and mortality. The 'work' of the Son for the Father is bringing to Him an exceeding, over the top, harvest of children.
    The Greek word for 'labour' is 'sorrow, a beating of the breast with grief'. It is what the child of God can go through for Christ's sake. Presently a great many believers are going through much tribulation, grief, and physical death for the Name of Christ Jesus ... while blessed active church members too much think their own work is the 'labour' Paul mentions.
    The evangelical church of which I am a part teaches too much that we should be "abounding in his work of gathering souls into the church" ... when to my mind and heart each brother or sister should be more interested in "being fixed in him as he does his work".
    Indeed, the Church truly is: The 'forsaking not the gathering of yourselves together'; whereas individually we should truly 'love God with all your heart, mind, and soul and your neighbors as yourself'. If we could only ever get this even a little bit correct, I think it would bring a large smile, even a grin, upon the face of our Lord.
    Why do we think so much that Jesus needs us? Why do we think we are so needed here in this world even while Jesus is at work getting us through and on toward resurrected incorruption? Why do we think in our corruption that we can do incorruption things? Perhaps as we float around we are too much attracted to this world than attracted to heaven.
    If you agree or do not agree with my words, dear reader: In Paul's words, we know that we are of the brethren and are being moved along toward resurrected incorruption: and the body of Jesus shows what lies ahead for us. Meet you there.

    Christ-come-in-a-heavenly-body (named Jesus as commanded by the Angel Gabriel) was himself incorruptible as he walked on earth among the people of Israel. Christ's body was unlovely, quite unattractive in itself. Most people were not attracted toward Jesus (though he was ever growing in fame) because they were very busy with living and livelihood. We see it foretold in Isaiah 53:1-3.
    Others were turned away by the religious gossip about him. Even so, many came to see the signs and miracles, and among these were the few who were drawn to him by the Son-Spirit upon him.
    Even the adult children of Joseph and Mary considered him strange and arrogant, as they did not believe he was of God, the Messiah. Even the parents' ongoing-testimony about Jesus amid the family could not influence them into believing. Only after the cross and Jesus' resurrection did they come to know him as the Christ.
    Is it any wonder, then, that the world having the Church, the Bible, Christmas, etc., just does not get it. Only with one's eyes opened to the Cross and the Resurrection can a person get it, accept it, cling to it. Thus and thereby, James the oldest human son of Joseph and Mary became not only an apostle, but became the head of the church in Jerusalem. Likely, it had been James and his brothers who learned carpentry (probably the construction business) from Joseph their father such that his business provided well for and blessed his large and growing family.
You can also download this study as a pdf file.

The Faith of God   as in Romans 3:3 and following -
    In the Book of Romans, Paul writes in a rather concise manner proceeding quickly through many short Bible passages along with short statements toward mini-conclusions, and then going on.
    Paul's Bible was the Old Testament which was very well studied and known to his audience in Rome, to both Jews and Gentiles in the church there. At that time, most of these Gentiles previously had been studying in the Jewish synagogues as converts to the Law of Moses and so they easily followed Paul's logic. Yet, some of Paul's mini-conclusions mystified some of these Jewish and Gentile Christians who themselves used human faith more than God's faith ... which Paul will now teach us.
    Modern Christians who mostly study the New Testament struggle through the Book of Romans due to their lack of Old Testament knowledge. In other words, when Paul quoted a passage known by the Romans, they knew what he meant ... while to the modern mind such short passages by Paul needs further explanation. I shall be helping (in my style) to get through Paul's letter to the Roman church.
    We shall see Paul teaching of several types of people in the early Christian Church. Due to his letter to the Roman Church, the Apostle Peter proclaimed (and other apostles acknowledged) that Paul had become the expert in teaching Christians about who and what they had become in the Lord Jesus.
    2 Peter 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
    At birth Paul had been surnamed Saul of Tarsus. He became a renown scholar in Jerusalem and a protector "of the faith" which at the time was errantly taught from the Law. So when he stood guard over the robes of the those stoning Stephen, his zeal became noticed by the leaders of the Sanhedrin who gave him the important and influential assignment to bring into the Holy City of Jerusalem for judgment the heretic followers of Jesus. However, while on assignment, the very Spirit of Christ Jesus appeared to him in a Voice. Read the story in Acts 9.
    In this, then, Saul the zealous scholar became Paul the zealous scholarly apostle. Within the Spirit's teaching Paul became the Church's teacher ... the Book of Romans standing foremost among the Epistles for our purpose here.

Romans 1
1  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated (i.e. 'exclusively appointed') unto the gospel (i.e. 'good news of a reward') of God,
    Paul had been given the privilege of announcing the anciently promised reward to Israelites and to anyone who would receive the reward within its conditions. Having personally received the Promise of this reward, Paul had been 'separated' unto proclaiming it to others.
2-4  (Which he (i.e. God) had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made (i.e. 'came, became') 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:
    Let me put it a little more correctly: '...; (by God) declared Son of God amid power according to Spirit of Holiness of (i.e. out of, from) resurrected dead.' That is, God had done both: 1) several times He had declared directly from heaven in a loud Voice of Jesus' Sonship, and then 2) He had by means of resurrection again declared Jesus to be the Son of God.
5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
    Again let me put it a little more correctly: '...and apostleship into obedience-to-faith among all nations (i.e. Gentiles) for his name.'
6,7  Among whom are ye also ('the' is not original text) called (i.e. 'invited') of Jesus Christ: To all (church members) that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints (i.e. 'invited (to become) holy'): Grace to you and peace from God our Father, (also) and the Lord Jesus Christ.
    Paul is writing to the many congregations in Rome and in the local surrounding area. He does not know which members are not-yet Christian, which members are young or mature Christian, and which members are chosen-by-the-Spirit leaders. Paul himself had to have grown up through every one of these stages; therefore; he wanted all to know that they are invited into, or toward, holiness in and 'of Jesus Christ'.
    If each church member was a true Christian then Paul had not to worry about the church at Rome ... and need not have worried about any of the other churches ... but Paul was worried. If Paul calculated that at least 75% of the members were in fact true believers, still he was worried. As far as the church itself was concerned, so much depended on the spiritual depth of its leaders.
8-16  First, (then)I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith (as the entire church) is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of (i.e. 'belong to, pertaining to') his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, (that) 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 (regarding my worry) 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 (i.e. 'prevented or forbidden') hitherto,) ...
    See Acts 16:7 and 1Thesalonians 2:8 for two ways in which Paul could be 'prevented'.
... 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. 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.
17  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: ...
... as it is written, The just shall live by faith.  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
    Paul quotes from Habakkuk 2:4 when Habakkuk and the tribes of Judah and Benjamin had been held captive from off their land within the great Babylonian empire. Their plight was due to 'ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness'. In fact, each of the Epistle writers quoted from Habakkuk 2:4 because each was walking within the same kind of experience as Habakkuk in his walk.
    With the same burden as Habakkuk, Paul has been carrying a great burden for the New Testament congregations. He is burdened as he writes to the large and expanding church in Rome. Many are not yet saved by grace and many are saved and not living it … all too true in all churches. Too many, then, were not entering into the 'holiness pertaining to Jesus Christ'.
    We will now leave the rest of this chapter and proceed on to the next.

Romans 2
1   Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest (your brothers and sisters): for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. But we (the apostles) are (entirely) sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
3,4  And thinkest thou this (also), O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest (also) the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering (by so doing); not knowing that the goodness of God (also would) leadeth thee to repentance?
5-9  But after thy (own) hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and (the) revelation of the righteous judgment of God; ... Who will render to every man according to his deeds: ... ... (yet) To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, (i.e.) eternal life: ...
... But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey (instead) unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, (such that) Tribulation and anguish, (will be) upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
10,11  But (yet) 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.
2:12  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;
    We shall not get into doctrinal differences regarding "always saved" or "not always saved".
    At this point, instead, we shall get into Paul teaching us modern church members. He will be comparing problems in the early Church with similar problems long existing among the Jews before and after Christ's descent to earth.
    Paul had come out of the errant teaching of his day and for years had been taught by the Spirit ... within which he had become 'a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated (i.e. 'exclusively appointed') unto the gospel of God', and so he will teach us about the problems of the children of God through the ages ... i.e. before and during the age of the Mosaic Law ... and continuing even from his day to now ... until Jesus comes.
    Paul will teach about men and women 1) who think they are children of God and 2) many who obviously are children of God and 3) some who 'press on toward the mark' held up to us by Paul.
    Paul tells the Christians in Rome, 'to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile'. So dear reader, pay attention as Paul first tells us about the True Righteous Law ... and then as he tells us about ourselves.
13  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but (instead only) the doers of the law shall be justified (future tense).
14-15  For when the Gentiles (of the nations), which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, (though) having not the law, are (even so) a law unto themselves: Which (therefore) shew (plainly) 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 ...
    Through the ages: God had also placed Truth (both before and within the Law to Israel) into the very hearts of individuals and the assemblies in which they gathered of like heart and mind ... such that 'their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another'. God knew them ... and by God they knew themselves.
    How much, indeed, has Israel and Christianity errantly judged such believers: ... Not knowing the Son of God, yet they believed God and what He was putting into their hearts. Paul tells us that God is Greater than the limitations we foolishly attempt to place upon Him.
    Yes ... the Scriptures are ever totally true. Yet, faulty is our weak and often misguided understanding of Scriptural Truth ... by which we walk ... tripping ourselves as we go along. Yes, I love the brethren among whom I "float about"; but all else I judge not; for I seek to mind my business as the Lord gives it to me to do.
    Yes, the things I observe often cause me to wonder about them; yet, I know that judgment belongs to the Lord. This leaves me free to care about others without much judging of that which I do not understand. Thank you Paul. Thank you Lord.
16  ...  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
28  For (still speaking of 'the Jew first') he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that (Israelite) circumcision, which is outward (only) in the flesh:
29  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter (of Law); whose praise is not of men, but of God. (... thus also as in verses 14-15.)

Romans 3
1,2  What advantage then (i.e. 'beyond, more than') hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every  way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles (i.e. 'utterances') of God (when giving Moses the Law).
3  For what if some (Israelites way back then) did not believe? shall their unbelief (back then and now) make the faith of God without effect ?
    Hebrews 4:1,2  Let us (now) therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his rest, any of you should seem to come short of it.  For unto us was the gospel (i.e. good news of his rest) preached, as well as (it had also been) unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with (God's) faith in them that heard it.
    What is 'the faith of God' or God's faith? I wrote the initial manuscript of my book "God's Hook" (a book about Biblical faith) in the early 1980s. In it are many Bible stories illustrating the Biblical faith that happened between God and a person(s). It is available free on this website.
    This Sermon, then, considers Paul's teaching to the Romans, which teaching was and is simple.     And yet our many and varied "faith-doctrines" seemingly are too confusing for our modern times. Very early Christian assemblies were becoming confused by influential men and women teaching versions of God's faith which better fit into their own work ethic.
    Thinkers have pride in their (our) thoughts which too often lead astray; thereby God's high Truth becomes judged by man's low intellect.
3:4  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou (O God) mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome (i.e. 'conquer') when thou art judged (by men).
    Psalms 51:4  Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest (to man), and be clear (in your intentions) when thou judgest (men).
    God's intentions toward man have everything to do with the faith of God.
    Paul teaches that never at any time or in any manner had man's lack of God's faith changed what God was doing or intended to do. Never had the Law been changed or made powerless as Israelites operated primarily by their own human faith. God's blessings and judgments to them remained constantly effective as He clearly and victoriously judged His people.
    Paul is going to teach what this means for us Christians ... who too much think that "salvation in the past ages unto the Israelites was by obedience to law and not by faith".
    Verse 3 should be more than a hint that obedience to the Law (if it was ever to please God) had always to have been mixed with (God's) faith in them that heard it (i.e. the Law).
    So then: Is there such a thing as to please God without having also to be mixed with (God's) faith? With the above verses in mind, to us the answer would seem to be "No"... in that Paul teaches that whenever God is pleased with a person He counts him as 'justified'.
    But we shall see that there are two kinds of 'justification' in God, of which Paul will inform us.
5-12  But if our unrighteousness (said to the Church in Rome) commend the righteousness of God (which in error some have been been teaching), what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak (this) as a man), God forbid: for then (if so) how shall God judge the world?
... For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie (as taught in that false doctrine) unto his glory; why yet am I also (by God's justice) judged as a sinner? And not rather, (as we (apostles) be slanderously reported, and as some affirm (about us) that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? ... whose damnation (of such teaching) is just.
... What then? are we (apostles) better than they (who teach such falsehoods)? No, in no wise (are we better): for we have before (by means of the Scriptures) proved (that) both Jews and Gentiles, that they (and we) are all under sin;
... As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that (truly) understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They (Jews and Gentiles) are all gone out of the way (by their own thinking), they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.

    Now Paul speaks of Israelites truly religious and walking before God in obedience to the Law, and yet walking by their own human understanding ... minds and hearts ... their human kind of faith.
    Self reliance to work God's Ways is human faith and strength, and has always lured men and women thinkers out of God's Ways ... which Way can only truly be walked pleasingly in the faith of God.

13-18  (Not operating in the faith of God) Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness (toward those in a simple in-Christ-faith walk): Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes.
    Paul uses condemning language against the high leaders of Israel in Jerusalem, keepers of the Law. He implies that the same can occur in the Church. While he judges not the false teachers and false shepherds that have emerged within many of the new church assemblies, he nevertheless calls their actions despicable.
19  Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: (so) that every mouth (within God's judgments) may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
    Paul and all the apostles had been continually beset by Jews and other folks in varied church congregations which had either continued under the Law or had begun teaching doctrines too much designed to be "a Law of the Church".
    The 'law of Christ' is not "a Christian Law" or a "Church Law".
20  Therefore by the deeds of (obedience to) the law there shall no flesh be justified in his (God's) sight: for by the law is (only) the knowledge of sin.
    'shall no flesh be justified' is Paul's introduction to his readers about personal 'justification' in God's sight. Above we saw what Paul meant by 'body' as different from 'flesh'; and in the spiritual sense of his teaching he pointed to that which is 'natural' (i.e. flesh of man).
    But here he teaches 1) that the requirement of the Law for the nation of Israel had been altogether separate from 2) the personal requirement of each Israelite to walk in the faith of God.
    Let me put it this way: a) each American is responsible to the requirements of the Constitution and its governmental laws; but b) also in the document is implied a God under which the Constitution was established. In other words, in America there is the human law and there is implied the Higher Law. The framers were led 'under God' and thereby they instituted all things 'under God'. They wrote and taught a) that proper obedience to the law by the people would ensure longevity of the nation. Moreover, b) proper walking by each citizen faithful to the Higher Law would ensure each person longevity 'under God'.
    Paul thus states that no human can be justified in God's sight due to strict (or otherwise) obedience to the Law ... because the Mosaic Law unto Israelites taught 1) "what is sin"; and yet, if you broke the Law 2) the Sacrificial Law offered personal forgiveness under shed blood (of animals until such time when the 'lamb of God' would come).
    Personal 'justification' in God's sight was by the Law of Blood to those who walked in (and by) the faith of God. Governmental 'justification' unto the nation of Israel was by the Mosaic Law ... with blessings and/or punishment depending on Israel's faithfulness to the Law. For even as each American is 'justified' by our law when obeying it, so was 'justification' to each Israelite who walked by the requirements of the Law. And (verse 3) so 'what if some (Israelites) did not believe (i.e. active faith of God)? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?'
    What, then, if many Americans love not the American Way ... yet do not break its laws? A huge effort exists to change or even destroy the American Way ... working in the American system to destroy it ... and protected (i.e. 'justified') in the system … continuing to mount a force against our system. Obedience to American law is not the same as living and walking in the spirit of America. Many coming to America wish to join in the spirit of America, while many simply obey the laws while trying to change the system.
    Similar methodology was in the Mosaic Law; in that, there was (in God's sight) 'justification' within the Law by obedience to it. Yet, separately and apart from the Law was 'justification' (in God's sight) by the faith of God.
    Yet, by the time of Jesus too many Jews believed in and sincerely worked at the Law of God, thus were 'justified' by the Law. Ah, but of them, too many leaders and followers did not walk (in God's sight) by the faith of God. Far too many, and for too many years, Israelites had been taught to obey "doing the Law" for their personal 'justification' instead of living within the faith of God for personal 'justification'.
    Therefore, 'in the fulness of time' Christ descended and by the name Jesus he walked among the people of God ... not yet to establish the kingdom, but to fulfill his role as 'the lamb slain from the foundation of the world'. According to God's Plan of the Ages, the time had arrived (when under God's watchful and manipulating eye the stage had been set for the Better Salvation ... when no longer would the blood of bulls and goats be required.
21  But now the righteousness of God without (i.e. 'separate, apart from') the law is (made) manifested (by the new 'law of Christ'), (also of old) being witnessed by the law (itself) and the prophets;

30,31  Seeing (that) it is one God, which shall justify the (Law's) circumcision by (God's) faith (for the Jew), and (justify) uncircumcision through (God's) faith (for the Gentile) ... Do we then make void the (old) law (which had always been) through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the (true righteousness taught within the) law?
    Remember: Paul was spiritually expert in the Old Testament. All his teachings under the Spirit had been taught to him from his Bible about 'the mystery' (i.e. Christ and God's Purpose in the 'lamb slain from the foundation of the world'). In the Lord, it was the teachings of Paul and the other apostles that began the Church. Therefore, Paul states in verse 21 'But (in Christ) now the righteousness of God without (i.e. 'apart from') the law is manifested, being witnessed (also of old) by the law (itself) and the prophets;
    Paul taught (from Scripture) much for all Christians, including 1) law-justification regarding obedience within the nation of Israel ... as separate from 2) individual-justification regarding the faith of God within a person.
    At this point in our text Paul focuses directly upon the Christians in Rome, for he has heard A) of the faith of the majority, but also B) reports of false teaching raising up.

Romans 4
1  What (conclusion) shall we say then (regarding) that Abraham ... our father, as pertaining to the flesh, ... hath found?
2  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
     To repeat: works-justification is in and toward the Law. Ah, 'but not before God' so that Paul continues teaching Roman Christians regarding the faith of God. So here we continue with justification by means of the faith of God.
3  For what saith the scripture ... Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4  Now to him that worketh (the Law, good works, etc.) is the reward (, but) not reckoned (to a reward) of grace, but of debt (for the works).
    The Lord commands that Christians do good works like love one another, care for the sick, give alms, etc., and he expects obedience in this. These can be accomplished by good persons who are not the children of God; and many children of God do these by obedience to God and by obedience to family and church. The Lord promises good rewards for doing these works and the rewards come to both Christians and non-Christians, for God is Good and Faithful to His Word.
    Yet, Paul tells us that such work is 'not reckoned (unto the reward) of grace'. The grace-reward has everthing to do with the faith of God and is granted after the Resurrection of the Dead.
5  But to him that worketh not, but believeth (i.e. 'faith in action') on him that justifieth the ungodly, his (i.e. this one's) faith is counted (by God) for righteousness.
6-8  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
    Above Paul mentioned and here so does King David that there are folks who, out of inward goodness put there by God, do rightly never for the sake of reward. Perhaps only in the Resurrection will they realize with understanding their reward ... that in grace their sin had not been 'imputed' to them. Through the ages some folks have without understanding acted within the
the faith of God; understanding or not, God honors it. I am not saying this; Paul and David are saying it.
    So, what of Christians who do good works? This question is the very thing into which Paul is leading the Jewish and Gentile church members in Rome. Too many still were walking faithfully to the Law even though they were 'saved by Grace'. The church in Rome was growing rapidly, somewhat by human good works and somewhat by the Spirit's moving. This has been ever true of the Church.
    'The Christian walking by faith' is not 'the Christian walking in good works'. When your child is in grave danger, your crying out to God is 'faith in action' and not in 'the action of a good works'. Doing what you can to help your child is 'good work' even while you are 'crying out to Go in faith'. My wife and I know of this, and you can read of it in my book 'God's Hook', free on this website.   
9,10  Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness. How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? (It was) Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
11  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
    Abraham was in a faith-active walk with the Lord who then gave him 'a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had'. Of course the 'seal' was going to be inherited to his lineage and especially to Israel. Paul points out that this faith of God in Abraham was not a function of being circumcised or not circumcised, but was a function of walking pleasingly before God. This 'sign' to Abraham was due to 'the righteousness of the faith'.
     But it would not be thus for the Israelites; for the sign to them and to the world would be that they were the children of God's Promise to Abraham. It was through Moses, then, that the 'sign' became affixed unto the nation of Israel through the Mosaic Law for the nation.
    Also available, however, to each descendent of Abraham (separate from the Law) was (and is) 'the righteousness of the faith with God' as it had been chronicled about many men and women in the Old Testament who walked by this kind of faith with God.
    In the very beginning of the developement of a chosen people God made it very clear that His choice of circumcism for the chosen people did not in any way make them more valuable than all others in His sight; always it was in The Faith of God.
    The Faith of God was required and operative in the Garden of Eden until Eve and then Adam violated The Faith of God. Such violations made them (as children of God) needful of the chastisement of a Father to His childern; and so it has been ever sence. To become a child of God, then, is by The Faith of God. To be pleasing to God is by The Faith of God. To continue in a pleasing relationship to God requires the chastisement of a Father. Indeed, the world is altogether needful of the chastisements of God so as to receive salvation through God's Son; which brings each of us back to The Faith of God.   But let us continue with Abraham.
12  And (therefore Abraham is) the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
13  For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but (instead) through the righteousness of faith (i.e. 'pertaining to faith').
14,15  For (indeed) if they which are of the law be heirs (simply by means of being of the law), (then) faith is made void, and the promise (through faith is) made of none effect: Because the law worketh (out) wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
    In the Garden, Adam and Eve walked in faith within (or under) the law of the tree. Without the Garden-Law there would have been no transgression. Always God's children walked (and do walk) under a Law of God. How does a person come under a Law of God? Only within and by The Faith of God ... which brings with it a Law of God.
    Here, then, we see a Law of God that comes with The Faith of God.
    Moreover, there came a law of God (the Mosaic Law) that came with being physically born into a chosen group of people (in the case of this passage it is the people of the nation of Israel). Under my Christian parents' law, I was not a child of God until by The Faith of God I was joined to my parents among the children of God. 
16  Therefore it (i.e. the Promise) is of faith, that it might be (entirely) by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed (i.e. of the Son who is the Seed); not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,
    The Promise is: Christ the Son descending to establish a Kingdom and rule over the 'seed'.
    The phrase 'that which is of the law' refers to those of the 'promise' who are true Jews by The Faith of God while yet walking in the Mosaic Law. And 'that also which is of the faith of Abraham' refers to those of the 'promise' by The Faith of God without works of the Mosaic Law. Each (symbolically) has Abraham for a father ... whose faith points, through the Son to the Father.
    SADLY, the phrase 'not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith' has been taken by so many folks to mean "the Jews were of the law and not of faith".
    Yet, Paul says, the 'promise' is One Promise which awaits all who are of The Faith of God.
17  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
18  Who (i.e. Abraham) against hope believed (i.e. 'activated faith') in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
19  And being not weak (i.e. strong) in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet (did he consider) the deadness of Sara's womb:
20-22  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
23-25  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed (i.e. 'reconded, accounted') to him; But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe (i.e. 'actively faith') on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead; Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

Romans 5
1,2  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
3-5  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

James' letter to the Christian Israelites -
1-4  James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting. My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations (i.e.' trials, proving'); Knowing this, that the trying (i.e. 'the proving') of your faith worketh patience. But let patience (i.e. 'steadfastness'), have her perfect (i.e. 'finished') work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
5-7  If any of you lack wisdom (in this), let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

1Corinthians 15:45-47  And so it is written, The first man Adam was made a living soul; the last Adam was made a quickening spirit. ... The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven.
    I am as 'The first man is of the earth, earthy'. Dear reader, I struggle somewhat in this; but my Lord is kind even should he chastise me from time to time ... usually with the Word. Even with a tear, I enjoy this because by his Spirit he is speaking to me.

    So many Christians think: “Jesus knows our sorrows because he had human suffering like what humans suffer.”
    I differ: “Jesus understands our sorrows because he lived and walked among sinful Israelites ... sorrowing for them for 33 years. Not even his closest disciples understood him ... comprehending his Holy Heavenly Nature only after he had conquered the grave and
rose up into heaven directly before them.
    Perhaps we need to ask the Spirit
in the Gospels to open to us the wonders of Jesus Christ.

Sincerely, Ron

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