In this chapter Paul discusses our relationship to the law.

1.  The Law is forever - we must die to it in order to be married to another - to the Spirit.
2.  The Law is revealing - the law cannot make us righteous it only reveals that we are unrighteous.
3.  The Law is holy - we are the ones who must change, we are unholy.

A right relationship to the law is one that sees the law as a right, unwavering standard that must be met for salvation.  But this standard can only be met through the righteousness of Christ.  I must die to self - admit that I do not and cannot measure up on my own.  I must confess (agree) that only Christ measures up and receive His righteousness by faith.  The same is true in sanctification.  Righteous living is produced by dying to self righteousness and yielding to the Spirit of Christ to produce righteous living (fruit) in me.

Walk with the Lord and in rig
 
Through the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ a gift has been purchased for us.  When we receive this gift by faith it brings several new things into our life!

1.  A new position - We are in Christ - no longer a sinner but a son!
2.  A new power - We can yield to God's Spirit in us and walk in victory over sin!
3.  A new possession - We have eternal life - quantity and quality only found in Christ!

"Thanks be unto God for His unspeakable gift"  Receive the gift!  Show gratitude for the gift!  Share the good news of the gift!

Walk with the Lord and rejoice in His great gift!!!

 
To be justified is to be declared righteous by God.  Some have said it this way: "Justified" - "Just as if I'd never sinned".

1.  The Path of Justification - "by faith" - we do not work for, buy or merit justification.
2.  The Product of Justification - "peace with God" - no longer condemned or under His wrath, alienated from God.
3.  The Price of Justification - "our Lord Jesus Christ" - the blood sacrifice of Jesus is the only payment that is acceptable to God for my sin.

Jesus took the wrath of God that I deserved on the cross so that I could be justified.  When by faith I received Jesus' payment for me and trusted in Him alone as my Savior, God declared me righteous.  If God showed this kind of love toward me when I was His enemy how much more will He love me and pour out His grace toward me as His friend?

Walk with the Lord and in the blessing 
 
Today we continue to learn about the descendants of Abraham who are of his lineage through faith.  Remember, that righteousness was counted to Abraham prior to his circumcision.  In the same manner, anyone who places his/her faith in the promise of God will be counted as righteous, whether they have sought to keep the law or not, because the law only brings condemnation.

This passage speaks of the promise of God which was given to Abraham.  Abraham's faith was not simply in the promise itself but in the God who had made it.  Because Abraham had put his trust in the God who made the promise, he believed that the promise would be fulfilled.  The same is true for us today.  We have so much more information concerning the promise that Abraham may not have had detailed knowledge of (though we know Jesus said that Abraham looked forward to His day).  However, in the same manner as Abraham, our faith in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ is made substantive because of the God who has the power to forgive sins, grant righteousness and justify us.  So Paul tells us today that righteousness will be counted to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus from the dead, who was delivered up for our transgressions and risen for our justification.  If God is not who He says He is, than the events of Jesus' life, death and resurrection do not hold the power that His Word says it does.  But, He is...so believe in Him.  Believe in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus our Lord, putting your faith in God, who is able to count you righteous.  Be encouraged also.  God, who is able to grant you righteousness has also promised to complete the work He has started in you when Jesus comes again (Philippians 1:6).  
 
In these verses Paul is making the argument in trusting God through faith alone and not works.  He is using Abraham as a prime example.  Here he was in the wicked city Ur of the Chaldees probably a worshipper of idols.  God just picked him out among the many of that city and told him to leave and go to a place where He would tell him and he left.  Mind you he didn't go all the way until his father did but he went.  Sometimes family members can be a hinderance to faith.
Paul is bringing out the fact in using Abraham as an example that we are saved through faith alone not works of any kind.  He says that Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness.  Our sin debt is too heavy to pay with the best of our works.  David affirms this too in Psalm 32. 
When God singled out Abraham and his family as a people of faith, He then gave him and the future men of his family the sign called circumcision.  Since then all of the men of Israel were to be circumcised.
Now we have a question about us Gentiles who have faith but not circumcised Israelites.  We are called children of Abraham because of our faith even thought we don't have circumcision (men) as an outward sign in the flesh.  In other Bible verses Paul calls it a circumcised heart. 
So I can call myself, because of faith not works in Jesus Christ, a son of Abraham. Even though he did not personally know about Jesus Christ, he was a man of faith.  Are you a person who has that kind of faith?
 
Salvation is by grace alone, THROUGH FAITH ALONE. in Christ alone!  Faith is exclusive!

1.  Faith is exclusive of works - we cannot earn righteousness
2.  Faith is exclusive of pride - we have no innate righteousness
3.  Faith is exclusive of prejudice - faith is necessary for all and all can believe

You may have heard people say that they have faith but what kind of faith do they have.  Only exclusive faith in Jesus Christ alone will save!

Walk with the Lord and
 
Paul writes about the seriousness of sin.

1.  The sphere of sin - "all", "none righteous"
2.  The scope of sin - filthy attitudes and actions
3.  The sentence of sin - guilty, condemned

We must see the seriousness of sin.  Sin like an incurable disease has made us helpless and hopeless, doomed to an eternal hell.  Only Jesus Christ could save us!  Jesus willingly took God's wrath against sin for me!  He is worthy of my all!
 
This chapter begins with Paul saying that the Jews have an advantage in that they were given the very truth of God.  When I look at the word oracles, I think of the word oratory which is the making and giving of a speech.  In my mind that is what the whole Old Testament is in all its various kinds of truth,  much of it the grand theme the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Thus the Jews would have a great advantage over the Gentiles.  
Now in verse 3 just because some Jews did not believe it doesn't make the faith of others unreal or without effect.  God is to be spoken as speaking truth and everyone who denies it is a liar.  We have a lot of that in our world today.  I heard about a delightful saying on a church sign.  The Bible is true.  Don't myth it.  
The rest of these verses I find difficult to put the interpretation on paper.  If I live as a sinner feeling I am okay in doing so does that make God unjust to punish me.  Today's judgement is always just and right.  I take for example Abraham's conversation with God about Sodom's destruction.  Shall not the Judge of all the world do right.  The city was destoyed and we would say rightfully so, but not all men would say that.
Verse 8 ends with the statement, "whose damnation is just"  What  would I be to to speak against God? Can I judge the righteous requirements of God? I would be a fool to do that and believe me there are plenty of those kind of fools in this world.  Don't be that kind of fool.  Just trust Christ and have your sins forgiven.

 
 
The Jews felt that they were privileged and that they had a right to judge others.  In this passage God shows that He is the one, true judge and that all are subject to His judgment. How does God practice judgment?

1.  According to truth - v.2 
2.  According to men's deeds - v.6
3.  According to men's hearts - v.16

Men in general and the Jews in particular judge according to biased, self-righteous comparison.  We are quick to see in others the things we are struggling with ourselves.  This is a good way to examine our own hearts - look at the things that others do that irritate us and first judge ourselves. (Matthew 7:1-5)  We also tend to think that knowledge of the law or truth is equal to obeying it. God says this is deceiving. (James 1:22)  We also pride ourselves in not practicing certain sins in action but at the same time we are guilty of the same or worse in our hearts. (Matthew 5:21,27)

God sees and knows and will accurately judge all sin!  All men are sinners!  I need to concentrate on judging myself instead of others so that I will not be judged by God.  Thank God that Jesus was willing to take God's wrath for my sin!

Walk with the Lord and let Him judge!!!

 
The title for today's blog post may be confusing at first, but I promise it will make sense in a short while.

Today's passage could be considered pretty upsetting.  We learned that unrighteous people really have no excuse to not believe and reject God.  We learned that the reason they will not believe is because they willingly suppress the truth.  We also learned that this rejection of God resulted in sinful man being left to his own devices and enslavement to sin.  We learned that sinful man is given to their own debased minds which allows them to honor and celebrated the sins that are listed in this chapter (Does this help us to understand why people in the world today are fighting for "rights" for those who do the things listed in this chapter?). 

So where is the joy in this?  Let me direct you to 1 Corinthians 6:11.  After giving a similar list of characteristic sins in unrighteous man, Paul reminds the church, "and such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God."  Sometimes we forget that this list of sinful acts in Romans 1 (and 1 Corinthians 6) describe us too!  If you are a follower of Jesus today, it should not define you now, and it should define you less and less as God works in your life to conform you into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29).

Praise God for His work of grace in our lives to love us and show us His grace and mercy.  It it was up to us, we would willingly suppress the truth...BUT GOD!  He showed His love to us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us! (Romans 5:8). 

Praise the Lord for His grace today.