Copyright 1994 - 2022 Bill's Bible Basics
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July 8, 2022
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July 8, 2022
We Are All Lawbreakers and Sinners, The Wicked Heart Of Man, We Have Received A Death Sentence Due To Sin, We Were In A Predicament And Without Hope In The World, God's Divine Plan, Jesus Was Sent To Close The Breach That Was Opened By Adam And Eve, The Offence And Free Gift, First Man Adam And Last Adam, We Are Made Righteous Through Christ's Obedience, He Was Obedient Unto Death, By The Counsel And Foreknowledge Of God, The Righteousness Of God Without The Law Through Faith In Jesus Christ, No Middle Ground: Saved By Works Or Saved By Grace, No Man Is Justified By The Works Of The Law, Jewish Attempts To Establish Their Own Righteousness Without Christ, Laws Of Moses Define Sin For Us And Inform Us We Are Sinners Who Stand Guilty Before God, The Law Was Our Schoolmaster To Bring Us Unto Christ, Sin Is Not Imputed When There Is No Law, We Are Not Under The Law But Under Grace Through Our Faith In Christ, We Are Dead To The Law, Jesus Christ Is The End Of The Law For Righteousness, Modern Legalism, Beware Of Hebrew Roots And Sacred Name Movements, Apostle Paul Haters, Paul Rebukes The Galatians, Jesus Was Made Sin And A Curse For Our Sakes, Jesus Came To Set Us Free From the Legalistic Yoke Of Bondage
Continuing our discussion from part one, as we've now seen, whether we like it, believe it or accept it or not, God's Word does not pull punches, and plainly declares that we are sinners. In some ways, whether we are willing to admit it to ourselves or not, and whether or not we have even realized it, we have all broken some of God's Laws. We have violated His Laws. Therefore, we are lawbreakers and sinners in His sight. As the Scriptures also inform us, in addition to the fact that we inherited our sinful nature from Adam and Eve, the reason why this is so, is because the unregenerate heart of man is actually quite evil. This Biblical truth likewise becomes evident by verses such as the following:
"And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
Genesis 6:5, KJV
"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?"
Jeremiah 17:9, KJV
"But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man."
Matthew 15:18-20, KJV
"And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man."
Mark 7:20-23, KJV
So much for falsely declaring that we are wonderful people who are good at heart by nature. It just is not true. That is NOT the way that God sees us at all. Unless we have been regenerated by His Spirit, we can be downright evil. Thus, another popular secular saying goes down the tubes. As we have also learned, because of the fact that we are sinners, sentence has been pronounced upon us, and that sentence is death; both physical death, as well as eternal separation from God. Let me remind you again of that verse from Romans chapter five, along with a few more which confirm this important truth:
"Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come . . . I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins."
John 8:21, 24, KJV
"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 . . . That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 5:12, 21, KJV
"Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? . . . For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:16, 23, KJV
"The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
1 Corinthians 15:56, KJV
"Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
Ephesians 2:5, KJV
"But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death."
James 1:14-15, KJV
Clearly then, because of the original sin of Adam and Eve, which we have all sadly inherited from that original pair, we find ourselves in quite a predicament. Or more correctly stated, we DID find ourselves in that hopeless predicament. And indeed, it was a hopeless situation; for as the Apostle Paul also writes:
"That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, HAVING NO HOPE, and without God in the world:"
Ephesians 2:12, KJV
"But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, EVEN AS OTHERS WHICH HAVE NO HOPE."
1 Thessalonians 4:13, KJV
Thus far in this series, we have clearly defined both the origin of sin, and the nature of sin, as well as the sad consequences which have resulted from sin; that of course being death. However, thankfully, as some of the previous verses likewise begin to reveal, we are NOT without hope, because our Heavenly Father put into motion a Divine Plan which would free us from the curse of the Law, as well as from death itself, if we are willing to meet His conditions. As you may already know, that wonderful plan centers around Jesus Christ. It is for that reason that in the previous group of verses, the Apostle Paul wrote the following:
"even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord . . . but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord . . . hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)"
Thus, in his Epistle to the Romans, after explaining to his readers how sin and death entered into this world through Adam and Eve, Paul continues to explain how God sent His Son into the world, in order to repair the breach, so that we can partake of His Grace and Mercy, and inherit the righteousness of Jesus Christ. Consider the following verses. I have added some words in brackets for the sake of clarification:
"But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one [meaning Adam] many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. And not as it was by one that sinned [meaning Adam], so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation [meaning by Adam], but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. For if by one man's offence [meaning by Adam] death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) Therefore as by the offence of one [meaning by Adam] judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one [meaning by Jesus] the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners [meaning by Adam], so by the obedience of one [meaning by Jesus] shall many be made righteous."
Romans 5:15-19, KJV
The Apostle Paul uses the same kind of comparison between Adam and Jesus in his first Epistle to the Corinthian brethren when discussing the resurrection and transformation of the dead. In fact, in the verses below, Paul refers to Jesus as "the last Adam" and "the second man".
"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."
1 Corinthians 15:45-47, KJV
In fact, if we go back to Romans 5:14 -- which I shared with you in part one -- Paul told us that Adam "is the figure of him that was to come." In that Scripture, Paul is of course referring to Jesus Christ. In essence, we can say then that Jesus was a kind of replacement for Adam, just as Seth was a replacement for Abel, following his murder by his jealous brother, Cain. In other words, while the first Adam failed God's test of love, loyalty and obedience, Jesus -- who is the last Adam -- passed that same test with flying colors, even though it led Him straight to the Cross. And it was a direct result of Jesus' obedience to His Father's will, that we can now be made righteous today, simply by accepting His Sacrifice as valid Atonement for our sins. As we read just a moment ago:
"For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous."
Romans 5:19, KJV
Let me share two more related verses with you which are found in Paul's Epistle to the brethren at Philippi, which again clearly demonstrate exactly how obedient Jesus was. He humbled Himself, and He went all the way to the Cross:
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross."
Philippians 2:7-8, KJV
I delve more into this topic regarding Jesus' submission in the series entitled "So You Really Think You Are So Humble?" Of course, as the Apostle Peter explained to his audience in Acts chapter two, all of these things happened by the counsel and foreknowledge of God, according to His Divine Plan, as we can easily determine by the following set of verses:
"Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know: Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, ye have taken, and by wicked hands have crucified and slain: Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be holden of it."
Acts 2:22-24, KJV
If you take the time to slowly and carefully read Paul's entire Epistle to the Romans, you will quickly see that he dwells upon this same central theme throughout his letter. Over and over again, Paul informs his readers that trying to justify ourselves through our own works, and endeavoring to achieve our own righteousness through observance of the Mosaic Law, just won't work. It is an exercise in futility. The only righteousness to be had, is obtained through faith in the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Period. There is no other way. Consider the following additional verses that are found in this very same Epistle:
"But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe . . . Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith."
Romans 3:21-22, 24-27, KJV
"For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us."
Romans 5:6-8, KJV
"Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 6:11, KJV
"And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."
Romans 8:10, KJV
In short, there is no middle ground here. There is no sitting on the fence. We either believe that we are saved and made righteous by our own supposed good works, or else we believe that we are only saved and made righteous by the Grace of God through our faith in the Atoning Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Paul tells us the very same thing in the following Scripture which is likewise found in his Epistle to the Roman brethren:
"And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work."
Romans 11:6, KJV
Can the truth be any clear than that? Turning to the Apostle Paul's Epistles to the Galatians and to the Philippians, we find him saying the exact same thing. That is, that we have no righteousness of our own, and that we simply cannot be justified by the works of the Law. We must depend solely on the righteousness of God which comes through faith in Christ. In fact, Paul states that if we really believe that we can achieve our own righteousness through the works of the Law, then Christ died in vain! In other words, everything that He suffered through was just a complete waste of time, as well as a needless waste of His life. However, as I have already made quite clear, our own self-righteous works just will not cut it, my friends. Consider what the Apostle Paul wrote:
"Knowing that a man is NOT JUSTIFIED BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and NOT BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW: FOR BY THE WORKS OF THE LAW SHALL NO FLESH BE JUSTIFIED . . . I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then CHRIST IS DEAD IN VAIN."
Galatians 2:16, 21, KJV
"But that NO MAN IS JUSTIFIED BY THE LAW in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith."
Galatians 3:11, KJV
"Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace."
Galatians 5:4, KJV
"And be found in him, NOT HAVING MINE OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:"
Philippians 3:9, KJV
It is amazing how clear the previous verses are, and yet so many legalistic Christians -- and Jews as well -- still miss it. It goes right over their heads. They still want to mix God's Grace and Mercy with their own self-righteous works in a feeble attempt to somehow save themselves, as if God needs their help. It is as if to suggest that when Jesus said "It is finished" as He hung on that Cross, that He didn't really mean it. You know, kind of like "Well, boys, I have taken it this far; now you need to take it the rest of the way!" How ridiculous can you get?
In his Epistle to the Romans, the Apostle Paul exposes this futile endeavor of the Jews to establish their own form of righteousness before God. In the first three verses of the tenth chapter, Paul specifically writes as follows:
"Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God's righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God."
Romans 10:1-3, KJV
As you probably understand by now, when Paul writes "unto the righteousness of God", he is of course referring directly to the righteousness which we obtain through our faith in Jesus Christ. Sadly, two thousand years have passed since then, and the religious Jews are still at it with their vain, legalistic ways, trying to prove their righteousness without Christ. But the real tragedy, is that they are now dragging a lot of our Christian brethren along with them. More on this in a moment.
You may recall from part one of this series that the Apostle Paul likewise wrote "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Exactly what does Paul mean by that? Well, in the first half of the verse, what Paul is basically saying is that it is by the Law -- in other words, by the Laws of Moses -- that we know what sin is. Stated another way, the Law defines sin for us. The Law says "Do this, but don't do that. If you do that, then you are sinning against God." So the Law tells us that we are in fact sinners. It informs us that we all stand guilty before God. Now, if we turn to chapters three and seven of this same Epistle, Paul spells it out even more clearly for us when he writes the following words:
"Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and ALL THE WORLD MAY BECOME GUILTY BEFORE GOD. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: FOR BY THE LAW IS THE KNOWLEDGE OF SIN."
Romans 3:19-20, KJV
"What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet."
Romans 7:7, KJV
It is for this very same reason that in his Epistle to the brethren at Galatia, Paul informs his readers that the Laws of Moses served as a schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. Whereas before they strived to be righteous by observing the mandates of the Mosaic Law -- which was really a humanly impossible task, as per Romans 3:20 above which states that "by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight -- now that very same justification, and that very same righteousness, could be obtained by placing one's faith in the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Consider these verses:
"But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster."
Galatians 3:23-25, KJV
In the second half of that previous verse, Paul also wrote "but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Exactly what does Paul mean by this? Again, this is fully explained by taking a close look at a few other related verses in some of Paul's Epistles, beginning with the previous ones where he says that "we are no longer under a schoolmaster", meaning that we are no longer under the Law. In other words, if we are no longer under the Laws of Moses, then there is really nothing with which any of us can be accused of sin. There is nothing pointing the finger at us and pronouncing "You are guilty!"
In that verse -- Romans 5:13 -- the word "imputed" finds its origin in the Koine Greek word "ἐλλογέω", or "ellogeo" as we would write it in English. Pronounced el-log-eh'-o, this word means to reckon in, set to one's account, or to lay to one's charge. So again, when there is no law, we simply are not charged with sin. Following are some additional verses for your consideration:
"For sin shall not have dominion over you: FOR YE ARE NOT UNDER THE LAW, BUT UNDER GRACE."
Romans 6:14, KJV
"Wherefore, my brethren, YE ALSO ARE BECOME DEAD TO THE LAW BY THE BODY OF CHRIST; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God. For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. BUT NOW WE ARE DELIVERED FROM THE LAW, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter."
Romans 7:4-6, KJV
"For CHRIST IS THE END OF THE LAW for righteousness to every one that believeth."
Romans 10:4, KJV
To really reiterate this important point, consider all of the ways in which the Apostle Paul tells his readers that once we come to Christ, we are no longer dependent upon the Law for our righteousness. We are no longer under the Law. We're only under Grace through our faith in Jesus Christ. He alone gives us our righteousness and favor with God the Father:
1. no longer under a schoolmaster
2. when there is no law
3. for ye are not under the law
4. ye also are become dead to the law
5. we are delivered from the law
6. Christ is the end of the law
As I mentioned earlier in this series, sadly, despite how very clear this point is made in the Apostle Paul's letters, there are certain Christians today who still just don't seem to get it. These brethren remain slaves to legalism to this very day. Why don't they get it? It is due in large part to the fact that they have been seriously blinded and deceived by pro-Israel propaganda, and by Jewish legalism, which has infiltrated certain modern denominations. So many Christians seem to have this misguided desire or need to feel and act more Jewish. It is as if they believe that by so doing, they are more pleasing in God's sight. In fact, I dare say that some of these Christians act more like Old Testament Jews than like New Testament Christians. In my view, it is such a works trip. I am reminded of the following verse:
"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."
Galatians 3:28, KJV
These misguided Christians adopt Jewish names, observe Jewish holy days and customs, use Jewish words and phrases instead of long-held, traditional Christian terms, and argue over the proper names for God the Father and Jesus. They are legalists just like the Scribes and Pharisees of old who condemned the Lord Himself, and they will condemn you too if you don't use the names which they deem appropriate, or fail to observe the mandates of the Mosaic Law, as they self-righteously claim to do.
I myself have personally encountered these wayward Christians many times on some of the social networks, particularly when I still had a Facebook account. As you may already know, much of this modern-day deception which has infiltrated so many of the churches, is directly influenced by, and promoted by, the "Hebrew Roots" movement -- one flavor of which is the Sacred Name Movement -- and other pro-Jewish, pro-Israel, and Torah observant groups. Torah is the first five Books of the Bible as written by Moses, also known as the Books of the Law, or the Pentateuch.
In fact, some of these brethren are so deceived, that they even accuse Paul of being a liar, deceiver, usurper, imposter and a false apostle. One author even refers to Paul as the "Devil's Apostle". Such people totally reject Paul's letters. Likewise, some of these people are so deceived that they go so far as to erroneously promote the belief that Paul started his own brand of religion, meaning our Christian faith. It is really tragic. May God open their eyes and free them from the deception which has them so blinded and bound to the Law.
As I will be explaining more fully in a moment, the sad thing about all of this Hebrew Roots nonsense is that these are the very same things from which Jesus came to free us. It is also the main reason why the Apostle Paul wrote his rebuke to the Galatians after they fell again under the bondage of the Laws of Moses. In that Epistle, Paul said such things as these:
"And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage:"
Galatians 2:4, KJV
"O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you? This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Have ye suffered so many things in vain? if it be yet in vain."
Galatians 3:1-4, KJV
"But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?"
Galatians 4:9, KJV
"Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage."
Galatians 5:1, KJV
At any rate, as the Scriptures further inform us, Jesus was made sin for us, in order that we might be justified and made righteous before God the Father, through Him. In other words, Jesus took our guilt upon Himself when He died on that Cross. He in fact became a curse for us, as you'll see in a moment. The Law said that we all stood guilty before God. We were all sinners. As such, we were all condemned to both physical and eternal death, because the wages of sin is death. However, as we have already seen, God set in motion a Divine Plan which would satisfy the requirements of the Law, so that we could get out from under that burden. That is, out from under the heavy burden of the Law, exactly as we saw a moment ago. We could be justified without the Laws of Moses. Consider this group of verses:
For he hath made him [meaning Jesus] to BE SIN FOR US, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him [meaning in Jesus]."
2 Corinthians 5:21, KJV
"Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, BEING MADE A CURSE FOR US: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith."
Galatians 3:13-14, KJV
"And by him [meaning by Jesus] all that believe [in Christ's Sacrifice] are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses."
Acts 13:39, KJV
Perhaps you may recall how in some of the Gospels, the Lord spoke of this legalistic burden to which we were hopelessly chained, and from which He came to liberate us. It is the very same message that we see Paul preaching in his Epistles to the Romans, to the Galatians, and elsewhere. For example, consider the following verses which are found in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John:
"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30, KJV
"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,"
Luke 4:18, KJV
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free . . . If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."
John 8:31-32, 36, KJV
Clearly then, Jesus told His followers and listeners exactly what His mission on Earth was. It was a mission of mercy. It was a mission of liberation. It was a mission for which only He was suited, because He was willing to meet the requirement of the Law, and pay the ultimate price for our Redemption and Salvation. He was willing to do what none of us could ever do.
Please go to part three for the conclusion of this series.
⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .