Skip to comments.Nothing to Brag about- Romans 3
Posted on 08/29/2010 5:56:39 AM PDT by pastorbillrandles
Nothing to Brag about Romans 3
Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.(Romans 3:27-28)
Why is it that God requires faith and not works? Why is it that Gods salvation is only accessible to those who believe in His gospel ? Part od the answer to this question is in the quote above.
We have seen that man is so bankrupt, he is so estranged from God and corrupted, that there is no way that he can save himself. He is condemned and there is nothing he can possibly do to justify himself before God. Salvation is entirely of God.
The requirement of faith underscores this. There is nothing man has to glory in except the saving work of Jesus Christ on our behalf. Faith is a response to Gods initiative, an open hand ,receiving the gift of Gods love and forgiveness. It removes boasting entirely.
It was unbelief that brought us into ruin. Had Adam and Eve only believed in the goodness of God, the right of God to impose limits on them for their good, we would not have fallen. And it is unbelief that has ever been our own plague.
The serpent presented a different view of God to the first man and woman, by implying that God was with holding something that would be good- a share in his own Divinity.God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes shall be opened, and you will know good and evil (for yourself, and on your own terms).
Believing the serpents slander against God, they broke faith, launching out in independence from God, grasping for that which they believed had been denied them.They would live on their own terms and be their own people, they would decide for themselves what right and wrong are.
This is the meaning of unbelief, not skepticism, but independence from God.
All sins are expressions of unbelief, therefore the scripture says Whatever is not of faith is a sin(Romans 14:22).Why do we sin? because we believe not! We are estranged from God because we no longer believe Him.
Why do people fornicate? because they dont really believe that Gods plan of marriage is the best for them. Why do they take drugs to alter their consciousness? Because they dont believe in Gods reality for them. Why do they steal? Because they reject the things God has given them, or they rebel against Gods order of productive work.All sin is unbelief.
Faith and Love are intrinsically linked, to quit believing is to quit loving and vice versa. The only way to believe in God is to love Him, and the only way to Love Him is to believe Him.
God is good, and knows best, and He has the right to impose limits on any of us. We can know that those limits are for our own good and His glory. But we have to believe that God is good.
A Christian conversion is a reversal of this process of unbelief. We come as sinners again to God, helpless and bankrupt, deeply estranged from His glory and splendor, and from the joy of His communion.We can offer Him nothing of any value, we can only believe in the good news of His own salvation. All on our part is humble response.
Salvation by faith in the substitute, Jesus, cures us of our deepest problem and the fountain of all of our corruption, independent pride. God ordained faith because it really does humble us, it takes Self out of the picture, it rightly gives God all of the glory.
If salvation were indeed by works, of the Law or otherwise, than boasting would be inevitable. We are the good people, who dont smoke or drink, we home school our children and never watch dirty movies. But whether it be in gross sins or exalted religion, the principle of proud Independence from God, self effort and self promotion, all are an abomination of God.
We can only say with the blessed hymnist:
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure,
Save from wrath and make me pure.
Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy laws demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.
Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to Thy cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless, look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.
A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If then I am the Father, Where is My honor? And if I am a Master, Where is My reverence? Says the LORD of hosts... Mal 1:6
Amen! Thank you God for your grace!
Is it possible for a skeptic to be “saved”? It is extremely unlikely that I’ll ever be 100% sure that an ancient carpenter died on the cross and was resurrected from death. I try to be on God’s side but I don’t have the slightest bit of trust. God is pretty much just a hypothesis to me, a very important hypothesis.
Excellent post Pastor Bill.
The journey of faith begins in doubt. Such doubt is not disbelief.
Soothsayer here is the article I referenced, I have no idea why that link failed-
Why the Ressurection matters...
Every day more and more people are taking a look — for some, a 2nd one — at the historical person of Jesus of Nazareth.
So why do His life and teachings still generate such interest today?
What I Found in My Search
To begin with, everything about Him was unique: The prophecies of His coming. His birth. His life. His teachings. His miracles. His death. And especially His resurrection.
It is history’s most significant event.
The validity of Jesus’ claims about Himself rests on the Resurrection — whether He rose from the dead or stayed in the grave.
Many skeptics say that to believe in a risen Christ is nothing more than a blind leap of faith with little or no basis in truth.
When confronted with the facts, however, those who are intellectually honest have been forced to admit that the Resurrection is an historical event based on irrefutable proofs.
On my spiritual journey from agnosticism to faith in Christ, I, like many people, had a problem with the Resurrection.
But my personal study brought me to a firm conviction that a bodily resurrection is the only explanation for Christ’s empty tomb.
Several evidences helped me reach this conclusion.
Evidence for the Resurrection
1st, Christ predicted His resurrection. The Bible records, “From that time Jesus began to show His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things ... and be killed, and be raised up on the third day” (Matthew 16:21, New American Standard Bible). Even though His followers did not understand what He was telling them at the time, they remembered His words and recorded them.
2nd, Jesus made numerous appearances to His followers. He comforted the mourners outside His tomb on Sunday morning. On the road to Emmaus, He explained things about Himself from the Old Testament. Later, He ate in their presence and invited them to touch Him. Scripture records that Jesus was seen by more than 500 at one time. Some may argue that a few people could have agreed to a deception, but how can one explain the collaboration of 500 people?
3rd, the unrelenting faith of the disciples convinces me of the Resurrection. Those disciples who were once so afraid that they deserted their Lord now courageously proclaimed this news, risking their lives to preach. Their bold and courageous behavior does not make sense unless they knew with absolute certainty that Jesus had been raised from the dead.
4th, the growth of the Christian church confirms the Resurrection. Peter’s first sermon, which dealt with Christ’s resurrection, stirred people to receive Him as their living Savior. Luke records the thrilling results: “That day there were added about three thousand souls” (Acts 2:41). And that group of believers has multiplied until now it reaches around the world. Today, there are hundreds of millions of believers.
Finally, the testimony of hundreds of millions of transformed lives through the centuries shows the power of the Resurrection. Many have been delivered from addictions. The destitute and despairing have found hope. Broken marriages have been restored. The most conclusive proof for the resurrection of Jesus Christ is that He is living within believers today in all of His resurrected life and transforming power.
The Resurrection sets Christianity apart. No other religious leader has broken the power of death and conquered sin.
Significance of the Resurrection
The Resurrection confirms that Jesus is who He claimed to be. Let us consider the magnitude of this event:
The Resurrection proved that Christ was divine. The fact that Jesus Christ died on the cross does not prove in itself He is God. Jesus proved His deity by fulfilling the prophecies of His death and by His return from the grave. The Bible declares that “by being raised from the dead [Christ] was proved to be the mighty Son of God, with the holy nature of God Himself” (Romans 1:4, The Living Bible).
The Resurrection proved Christ’s power to forgive sin. The Bible asserts, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins” (1 Corinthians 15:17). By rising from the dead, Jesus proved His authority and power to break the bonds of sin and to assure forgiveness and eternal life to all who accept His gift of salvation.
The Resurrection revealed Christ’s power over death. The Bible records, “Christ rose from the dead and will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him” (Romans 6:9, TLB). The Resurrection secured our victory over death as well and “lifted us up from the grave into glory along with Christ, where we sit with him in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 2:6).
The Resurrection defeated God’s enemy. From the moment of his original rebellion until the day of the Cross, the devil fought viciously and cunningly to overthrow the kingdom of God. Satan must have thought he had dealt the final and decisive blow in this age-old war. But this was the devil’s most serious miscalculation. The Cross was heaven’s triumph. And when Jesus Christ arose, the power of sin and death was forever shattered. Because of the Resurrection, Christians need never fear Satan or death again.
Completion of Redemption
For 40 days after His death and resurrection, Christ appeared many times to His followers.
On 1 occasion, He gathered His remaining 11 disciples on a mountain in Galilee and gave them His Great Commission.
He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always” (Matthew 28:19,20).
Later, the Book of Acts records that, on the Mount of Olives, He admonished His disciples to wait in Jerusalem until they were filled with the Holy Spirit and then to take His message to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to the ends of the world (Acts 1:4,5,8).
Immediately after, He rose skyward and disappeared into the clouds, leaving the disciples staring after Him in amazed wonder.
The ascension of Christ was the final act in the drama of redemption. His mission completed, Jesus Christ was exalted to His former glory.
The resurrection of Jesus Christ ranks as history’s most revolutionary event.
One cannot deny that He shook the world in His day.
But His life just as dramatically has shaped the course of history in our time.
The Resurrection is the final proof that Jesus Christ is who He claimed to be.
The problem is that there is no physical proof outside the Bible. Augustus Caesar built cities so we can have a considerable degree of confidence that he existed. Jesus was a poor carpenter who died as a common criminal. There are written records indicating that Jesus existed but the resurrection is an entirely different situation.
It pretty much all comes down to whether or not you think the Bible itself is sufficient evidence. I don’t see it doing anything particularly amazing like predicting earthquakes down to the date and hour. All the predictions could be prepared ahead of time. Jesus spent 30 years preparing to fulfill the scriptures. He clearly did his homework.
I’m not trying to be blasphemous but the evidence is hardly blowing me away.
It's a canard now but there is that old saying that people take it on face value Aristotle and Plato and Socrates lived and walked the earth based on scant recorded evidence, but not Christ?
the Dead Sea Scrolls discovery in the late 1940’s proved that the Bible we have today was correctly translated and is a perfect record.
The proof you should be concerned with is whether or not what the Bible says is TRUE; not that you have not done the research or not to figure out how many supporting ancient texts exist today.
Lincoln told his assistant that he takes what he can understand of the Bible as true and the rest on faith..
and since Lincoln's day there have been so many archaeological discoveries and other Biblical proofs that we are in a better position today as historically sound believers than we were in mid 19th century.
Pastor Randles has ministered to me personally in power and I am sure he can answer any of your questions, Sooth. Bless you. Pastor R's post today is my church as I'm under the weather. Bless You Too Pastor R. For every kindness and your thoughtfulness and consideration for us online saints...
Anyway, how about the OT prophecy about the thirty pieces of silver that Judas got for betraying Jesus and the Potter's Field where Judas hanged himself?
Jesus had NOTHING to do with the fulfillment of that prophecy.
Your issue, like mine and everyone elses, is not one of historicity or prooftexts. It is whether or not you want to believe Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor, the King of Kings, the Balm of Gilead, the Lifter of our Heads, the Lover of our Souls etc.
Once you ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and behold who He is, the rest falls into place. Ask Him for the faith to believe and to open your eyes to the reality of the kingdom of Heaven. He will answer.
Looks like another good article from Bill pinging myself for future reference.
“Once you ask Him to reveal Himself to you, and behold who He is, the rest falls into place. Ask Him for the faith to believe and to open your eyes to the reality of the kingdom of Heaven. He will answer.”
People keep telling me that but I don’t understand it. What am I supposed to look out for? A vision? Inspiration? Confidence? Some kind of feeling in my heart?
I have had to become extremely cold and callous just to survive the endless horrors of this world. I am no longer capable of any kind of spirituality. Nothing short of persistent physical evidence can convert me now. Even historical evidence is not enough. Being 90% certain wouldn’t be enough. I need to be 100% certain.
Just out of curiosity, where does the Old Testament mention the 30 pieces of silver.
Sorry Sooth, maybe google around on it, I forget. Psalms maybe?
You are certain you are a sinner who has broken the some if not all of the 10 Commandments at one time or another, right?
“You are certain you are a sinner who has broken the some if not all of the 10 Commandments at one time or another, right?”
Yes. I break all of them many times a day except 1,2,7,8, and 10 which never apply to me anyway. I worship nothing, desire nothing (but death and death for my enemies), I don’t steal, and I’ll NEVER get married or have any sexual relationships. The 6th I violate a billion times a second.
Actually...the 6th doesn’t apply anyway. Leftists are not people.
Then you have a need for a Savior to save you from the death we all deserve for our sins.
Salvation means being spared the punishment we all deserve from God for our sins. God will judge our sins whether we have blood covering for them or not, hopefully we have Christ’s covering. God is that just.
Have mercy on me and Sooth and our loved ones today Lord God, we all are sick sinners, intent on the muddiness of our flesh and feeling, help us dear Lord, with your Holy Spirit.
Hey sooth- check this out- frm Zecharia 11:12-13 - 530 BC-
And I said unto them, If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver.
13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.
The phrase “cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord” is amazing in detail because Judas tried to return the 30 pieces by throwing thm to the priests in the temple, but their scruples wouldn’t let them accept “Blood money” so they used it to buy a field called “the potters field” for the burial of pilgrimns to jerusalem- thus was prophecy fulfilled-
“There are written records indicating that Jesus existed but the resurrection is an entirely different situation.”
How many eyewitnesses claimed to have seen him after he was killed? I believe that there even exists Roman documentation about the tomb being empty.
Now ask yourself was it all a hoax? Well, look at the deaths that the apostles suffered in Jesus’ name. Would you allow yourself to be crucied or boiled in oil for something that you KNEW was a hoax?
I'm sure you can find some people in other religions that would allow that to be done to them, out of a false security of their own God or religion.
Reasoning with a unbeliever to try to get them to become a believer most of the time does not work, most of the time If you can convince them that Christianity is true, you only convince them in their mind but not their heart. It creates false christians because they end up using their reasoning to go through the works oriented steps to become a Christian, but their heart never gets changed. God doesn't call us to convince Worshippers of Reason to become Christians through the science of Apologetics even though some people are lead to Christ through it, but reasoning still doesn't make us Christians, It is the change of our heart that does that. When we can see ourselves as sinners that need a savior and see Jesus as the savior that the work of salvation actually beginns. Personally I believe God has to do the change of the heart before we can see ourselves as sinners, but that is another discussion. What God calls us to do is to Preach the Gospel where ever you go, and let God do the work in them. The Churches that spend a lot of time in Apologetics are mostly churches that are preaching a works oriented Gospel void of Grace. Most people who live on their religion of reason have no desire to become another one of those do-gooder works oriented christians, maybe one of the reasons why they don't want to become a do-gooder christian is because most of the do-gooder christians can't reason very good. They basically don't want to rub shoulders with people they have nothing in common with. But kidding aside God calls us to preach the gospel to them and not to spend a lot of time reasoning with them.
“Reasoning with a unbeliever to try to get them to become a believer most of the time does not work, most of the time If you can convince them that Christianity is true, you only convince them in their mind but not their heart.”
Unfortunately for some of us (myself included) we are so right-brained that we require more proof than faith. You get my mind FIRST...my heart will follow. For myself, the actions and deaths of the Apostles is proof enough that the ONLY thing that makes sense is that Jesus lives, He was crucified for our sins and that he rose again, defeating death. Otherwise why risk your life for a lie?
It took me until the age of 35 to come to grips with that logical argument but I did and I have not looked back. Jesus Christ is my savior, and everyone elses’ as well should they choose to see the logical choice and live for Him.