In Christ, Chapter Seven
Paul said in Rom. 3:19-31, (NIV)
" Now we know that
whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every
mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore
no one will be declared
righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law
we become conscious of sin.
But now a righteousness from God, apart from law,
has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. This righteousness from God
comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe.
There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of
and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished—
he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. Where, then, is boasting? It is excluded. On what principle? On that of observing the law? No, but on that of faith. For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from observing the law. Is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles too? Yes, of Gentiles too, since there is only one God, who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through that same faith.
Let me make a very profound statement! All God ever wanted from man was for man to believe Him and He took this principle of faith and made it the foundation of our salvation. According to what Paul says here and in other places, we are either justified faith or not at all! This justification is in the Lord's eyes! As far as the Lord is concerned there is no other way. We cannot by our works be justified in His sight and yet we can demonstrate our faith by our works!
The church has in times past made the mistake of preaching works and Law. I was told that the Old Law had passed away and we were now living under the New Law of Christ. However, this is not what the Gospel of Paul taught us. He said in Rom. 3:20,
"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!
Before the Law came we had no knowledge of sin! We didn't know what breaking the Law was because there was no Law! Paul said in Rom. 7:7-14 (KJV),
"What shall we say, then? Is
the law sin? Certainly not! Indeed I would not have known what sin was except
through the law. For I
would not have known what coveting really was if the law had not said, “Do not
But sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, produced in me every kind of covetous desire. For apart from law, sin is dead.
Once I was alive apart from law; but when the commandment came, sin sprang to life and I died. I found that the very commandment that was intended to bring life actually brought death. For sin, seizing the opportunity afforded by the commandment, deceived me, and through the commandment put me to death. So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good. Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means! But in order that sin might be recognized as sin, it produced death in me through what was good, so that through the commandment sin might become utterly sinful. We know that the law is spiritual; but I am (was) unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin.
Question! How were we sold as a slave to sin? Who sold us? The answer is Adam! Paul said in Rom. 5:12-17, (NIV)
"Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, (ADAM) and death through sin, and in this way death came to all men, because all sinned— for before the law was given, sin was in the world. But sin is not taken into account when there is no law. Nevertheless, death reigned from the time of Adam to the time of Moses, even over those who did not sin by breaking a command, as did Adam, who was a pattern ( Or a shadow or a type) of the one to come.
But the gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died by the trespass of the one man, how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!
Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification. For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.
We were sold as a slave to sin when Adam broke the Law that God had given to him. The Law was very simple to Adam. Don't eat the fruit of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil because in the Day that you eat of it, you will die! Did Adam Die the day that he ate of the fruit? He died both physically and Spiritually! The minute that Adam and Eve ate the fruit, their eyes were open, meaning that they suddenly become aware that something was wrong and they become afraid. What were they afraid of? They were afraid of coming into God's presence!
Someone says, "Yes, but they didn't die physically!" They did if you understand the Day of the Lord! Peter said in 2 Pet. 3:8,
"But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day."
Adam lived 930 years and Methuselah lived 969 years. No man has lived a day as God measures time or a thousand years as we measure time! So Adam died in the day or time period that he disobeyed God. The point is that Adam's sin brought death to all men! This is because he was he was the head of the human family and when he sinned against God, it contaminated his seed and the whole human race comes from Adam.
The important thing to remember here is that Adam was one of only two men that walked this earth whose actions effected all of mankind. He was head of all of mankind and as such was given authority and power to rule this world. God told him in Gen. 1:28,
"Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."
Because of the authority that was given him by God, when he broke the commandment that God had given to him, sin and death entered the world and all of Adam's seed. So that you don't get confused, let me give you the Bible's definition of what this sin is. John said in 1 Jn. 3:4,
"Whosoever committeth sin transgresses also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law."
That's about as plain as it can be stated. Anytime you break God's Law you have sinned! No doubt, you are aware of that. It has been taught in our churches for a very long time. However, what you are probably not aware of is the fact that Jesus did away with the Law and nailed it to the cross. (Col. 2:14) Paul said in Eph. 2:14-15, (NIV)
"For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the Law with its commandments and regulations."
He also said in Gal. 5:18,
"If you are led of the Spirit, you are not under the law."
To sin against God you must break His Law! If He has taken away His Law, there is no way you can sin against Him! I think you would have to agree with me that if He has taken away His Law, then we cannot break it! If we cannot break His Law then we cannot sin by breaking it!
Was the Law opposed to the promises of God? Paul talks about this in Gal. 3:21-29, (NIV)
"Is the law, therefore, opposed to the promises of God? Absolutely not! For if a law had been given that could impart life, then righteousness would certainly have come by the law. But the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. Before this faith came, we were held prisoners by the law, locked up until faith should be revealed. So the law was put in charge to lead us to Christ that we might be justified by faith. Now that faith has come, we are no longer under the supervision of the law. You are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus, for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. If you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise."
Let's look very closely at what he is saying here. We have already discovered that we were sold as a slave to sin when Adam broke the Law that God had given to him. Paul is here saying that the Scripture declares that the whole world is a prisoner of sin, so that what was promised, being given through faith in Jesus Christ, might be given to those who believe. The reason that the whole world is a prisoner of sin is so that what was promised might be given to those who believe in Jesus Christ. Our faith in Jesus Christ is what sets us free from the control of sin and the Law! As a matter of fact, Paul says in 1 Cor. 15:56,
" The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law."
The end result of sin is death or separation. The one thing that gives sin the power to rule is the Law! If there is no Law, sin does not have the power to rule. Why? Because if there is no Law to break, whatever you do is not sin because sin is the breaking of the Law! This is why Paul said in Col. 2:13-15,
"And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses; Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it."
Paul is here saying what God was doing when Jesus was put on the cross. Jesus said that He came to fulfill the Law, which He did, and God took the Law and nailed it to the cross and did away with it and as a result, the principalities and powers had no basis to make their accusations against us, thus He made an open show of them because they no longer had any authority. By our faith in Jesus Christ we were set free from the Law of Sin and Death.
Paul said in Rom. 4:13-17,
"It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who live by law are heirs, faith has no value and the promise is worthless, because law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression. Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were."
In order for the unmerited grace of God to be experienced it must be because we believe Him! Without faith it is impossible to please Him! (Heb.11:6) Paul says in Eph. 2:8-9,
"For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast."
When we hear the good news that God is not holding our sins against us if we will just believe Him, He gives us the faith to believe what He says! Even our faith is given to us because He loves us so much and all we have to do is to believe Him. The Good News is very simple! Religion has made salvation so hard to receive because it teaches us that we must work our way to heaven and we are never quite sure we have been saved. However, the Apostle John said in Jn. 20:30-31,
"And many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book: But these are written, that you might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you might have life through his name."
Paul made a very interesting statement in 1 Cor. 6:12, (NIV)
"Everything is permissible for me—but not everything is beneficial. Everything is permissible for me—but I will not be mastered by anything."
And in the (KJV),
"All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any."
Freedom from Law puts the responsibility on each of us to so order our lives so that we can be pleasing in God's sight and even though I might be allowed to do some things, all things are not profitable to me! This is where each of us must learn to be led by the Spirit of God! This is what Paul was talking about in Phil. 2:12-13,
"Wherefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which works in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure."
The church in days past has used this verse of scripture to promote the idea that we must work our way to heaven but this is not what Paul is talking about here. He said in Rom. 12:2,
"And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God."
This renewing of our minds is a life long process and the more we succeed in renewing our minds is the closer we will draw to our Father because He said in Isaiah 55:7-9,
"Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."
Paul said in 1 Cor. 2:12,
"Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God."
Also in verse 16,
"For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ."
It should be evident from these verses that we were not left alone in this world to figure out what the will of our Father is for us but God is at work in each of us, through His Spirit that lives in us, to work out His desires for us.