CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 29 September Romans 2:28 - The False Badge of Faith By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment Romans 2:28 "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh." (NASB) "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:" (KJV) "For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision." (NLT) "For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh," (NET) A most important lesson here! There are NO Grandchildren in the Faith!!! We are not believers because we are the descendents of Christian parents, or because we were baptized or participated in some other religious ceremony! Like Israel, who took pride in being the keepers of the oracles of God, we too presume upon God's Grace when we think that owning a Bible or attending church brings salvation. "For he is not a Jew ... - He who is merely descended from Abraham, and is circumcised, and externally conforms to the Law only, does not possess the true character, and manifest the true spirit, contemplated by the separation of the Jewish people. Their separation required much more." Dr. Albert Barnes We cling to our badges and other outward signs because the inward man is still defiant toward the will of God. This guarantees us one or many trips around Mount Sinai until we repent and turn away from our sin and ask for the forgiveness that flows from the throne room of Grace to the foot of Golgotha where the crimson flood makes us white a snow. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved! "There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 NLT) "In a word, they are invited to return by repentance, and enjoy all the promises made to Israel. The Messiah Himself should return from heaven to establish their blessing. The whole nation is here addressed as natural heirs of the promises made to Abraham. But, while they were speaking, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to lay hands on them, being grieved that they preached the resurrection, which their unbelief and dogmatic system did not receive. They put them in prison, for it was evening. The hope of Israel was set aside; the grace of God had spoken in vain, great and patient as it was. Many, however, believed their word: five thousand persons already confessed the Lord Jesus." Dr. John Darby Was it not the high priests, the rich and influential in the society, and the Roman authority that together crucified the Son of God? How many times in American history do we find the same influences being applied to bring about a great evil? What religious badge was worn when one man owned another? Or when in time of war we incarcerated our fellow citizens based upon our own fears and the President did ask us to pray with him to Almighty God? Let us consider this with the events of our day! How are we doing church? What badge are we wearing today? Romans 2:28 "For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh." (NASB) "For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:" (KJV) "For you are not a true Jew just because you were born of Jewish parents or because you have gone through the ceremony of circumcision." (NLT) "For a person is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision something that is outward in the flesh," (NET) A most important lesson here! There are NO Grandchildren in the Faith!!! We are not believers because we are the descendents of Christian parents, or because we were baptized or participated in some other religious ceremony! Like Israel, who took pride in being the keepers of the oracles of God, we too presume upon God's Grace when we think that owning a Bible or attending church brings salvation. "For he is not a Jew ... - He who is merely descended from Abraham, and is circumcised, and externally conforms to the Law only, does not possess the true character, and manifest the true spirit, contemplated by the separation of the Jewish people. Their separation required much more." Dr. Albert Barnes We cling to our badges and other outward signs because the inward man is still defiant toward the will of God. This guarantees us one or many trips around Mount Sinai until we repent and turn away from our sin and ask for the forgiveness that flows from the throne room of Grace to the foot of Golgotha where the crimson flood makes us white a snow. There is no other name under heaven by which we must be saved! "There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved." (Acts 4:12 NLT) "In a word, they are invited to return by repentance, and enjoy all the promises made to Israel. The Messiah Himself should return from heaven to establish their blessing. The whole nation is here addressed as natural heirs of the promises made to Abraham. But, while they were speaking, the priests, and the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to lay hands on them, being grieved that they preached the resurrection, which their unbelief and dogmatic system did not receive. They put them in prison, for it was evening. The hope of Israel was set aside; the grace of God had spoken in vain, great and patient as it was. Many, however, believed their word: five thousand persons already confessed the Lord Jesus." Dr. John Darby Was it not the high priests, the rich and influential in the society, and the Roman authority that together crucified the Son of God? How many times in American history do we find the same influences being applied to bring about a great evil? What religious badge was worn when one man owned another? Or when in time of war we incarcerated our fellow citizens based upon our own fears and the President did ask us to pray with him to Almighty God? Let us consider this with the events of our day! How are we doing church? What badge are we wearing today? Related Romans 3:30 - One God - One Faith - One Salvation "since indeed God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith is one." (NASB) "Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith." (KJV) "There is only one God, and He makes people right with Himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles." (NLT) "Since God is one, he will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith." (NET) Rom 3:30 Seeing it is one God - επιπερ εις ο θεος. This has been rendered, Seeing God is one. It however makes little difference in the sense: the apostle’s meaning most evidently is, it is one and the same God who made both Jews and Gentiles, who shall justify - pardon, the circumcision - the believing Jews, by faith; and the uncircumcision - the believing Gentiles, by the same faith; as there is but one Savior and one atonement provided for the whole. It is fanciful to suppose that the apostle has one meaning when he says, εκ πιστεως, By faith, and a different meaning when he says, δια της πιστεως, Through faith. Both the prepositions are to be understood in precisely the same sense; only the addition of the article της, in the last case, extends and more pointedly ascertains the meaning. It is one and the same God who shall justify the believing Jews by faith; and the believing Gentiles δια της πιστεως, by That Same faith. Dr. Adam Clarke Rom 3:30 Seeing it is one God,.... God is one in nature and essence, though there are three persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; whence it appears, that he that is the God of the Jews, is also the God of the Gentiles, or there would be more gods than one; and that these are justified in one and the same manner, or God must be divided; for God, as he is one in nature, so he is one in will, in his promises, and in the methods of his grace: which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith. The objects of justification are "the circumcision", the circumcised Jews, and "the uncircumcision", the uncircumcised Gentiles; the circumcision of the one does not forward, and the uncircumcision of the other does not hinder, nor neither of them effect the grace of justification: the justifier of them is one and the same, who is God; and the matter of their justification is the same, which is the righteousness of Christ; and the manner of it, or the means of their comfortable apprehension of it, is the same; for those phrases, "by faith", and "through faith", mean one and the same thing; see Philippians 3:9. Dr. John Gill So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. (Romans 3:28 NLT) Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith. And Abraham is also the spiritual father of those who have been circumcised, but only if they have the same kind of faith Abraham had before he was circumcised. (Romans 4:11-12 NLT) Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him. For "Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved." (Romans 10:12-13 NLT) When I saw that they were not following the truth of the gospel message, I said to Peter in front of all the others, "Since you, a Jew by birth, have discarded the Jewish laws and are living like a Gentile, why are you now trying to make these Gentiles follow the Jewish traditions? "You and I are Jews by birth, not 'sinners' like the Gentiles. Yet we know that a person is made right with God by faith in Jesus Christ, not by obeying the law. And we have believed in Christ Jesus, so that we might be made right with God because of our faith in Christ, not because we have obeyed the law. For no one will ever be made right with God by obeying the law." (Galatians 2:14-16 NLT) What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would declare the Gentiles to be righteous because of their faith. God proclaimed this good news to Abraham long ago when He said, "All nations will be blessed through you." (Galatians 3:8 NLT) Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham. (Galatians 3:20 NLT) There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28 NLT) For when we place our faith in Christ Jesus, there is no benefit in being circumcised or being uncircumcised. What is important is faith expressing itself in love. (Galatians 5:6 NLT) It doesn't matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation. (Galatians 6:15 NLT) For we who worship by the Spirit of God are the ones who are truly circumcised. We rely on what Christ Jesus has done for us. We put no confidence in human effort, (Philippians 3:3 NLT) So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. When you came to Christ, you were "circumcised," but not by a physical procedure. Christ performed a spiritual circumcision—the cutting away of your sinful nature. (Colossians 2:10-11 NLT) I was much surprised by a recently published poll to find that only 35% of Evangelical Christians believe that Christ is the only way! It is pretty hard to miss the doctrinal implication herein described. The New Living Translation pretty well reiterates the reformation mantra: Salvation by Grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. Romans 4:14 - Faith Inoperative "For if those who are of the Law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;" (NASB) "For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:" (KJV) "If God's promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless." (NLT) "For if they become heirs by the law, faith is empty and the promise is nullified." (NET) Once again we see that faith is the foundation upon which salvation stands. Obedience to the law was an impossible dream because we could not keep it. So the Lord Jesus Christ provided the way (by faith) where we are able to live without being forever condemned by the weight of our own sin. If we could have been justified by the law then faith would useless. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die. (Galatians 2:21 NLT) For if the inheritance could be received by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God's promise. But God graciously gave it to Abraham as a promise. Why, then, was the law given? It was given alongside the promise to show people their sins. But the law was designed to last only until the coming of the child who was promised. God gave His law through angels to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. Now a mediator is helpful if more than one party must reach an agreement. But God, who is one, did not use a mediator when He gave His promise to Abraham. Is there a conflict, then, between God's law and God's promises? Absolutely not! If the law could give us new life, we could be made right with God by obeying it. But the Scriptures declare that we are all prisoners of sin, so we receive God's promise of freedom only by believing in Jesus Christ. Before the way of faith in Christ was available to us, we were placed under guard by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until the way of faith was revealed. Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came; it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith. (Galatians 3:18-24 NLT) For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God's grace. (Galatians 5:4 NLT) I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God's way of making us right with Himself depends on faith. (Philippians 3:9 NLT) For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God. (Hebrews 7:19 NLT) Rom 4:14 For if they which are of the law - Who seek for justification and acceptance by the Law. Faith is made void - Faith would have no place in the scheme; and consequently the strong commendations bestowed on the faith of Abraham, would be bestowed without any just cause. If people are justified by the Law, they cannot be by faith, and faith would be useless in this work. And the promise ... - A promise looks to the future. Its design and tendency is to excite trust and confidence in him who makes it. All the promises of God have this design and tendency; and consequently, as God has given many promises, the object is to call forth the lively and constant faith of people, all going to show that in the divine estimation, faith is of inestimable value. But if people are justified by the Law; if they are rendered “acceptable” by conformity to the institutions of Moses; then they cannot depend for acceptance on any promise made to Abraham, or his seed. They cut themselves off from that promise, and stand independent of it. That promise, like all other promises, was made to excite faith. If, therefore, the Jews depended on the Law for justification, they were cut off from all the promises made to Abraham; and if they could be justified by the Law, the promise was useless. This is as true now as it was then. If people seek to be justified by their morality or their forms of religion, they cannot depend on any promise of God; for he has made no promise to any such attempt. They stand independently of any promise, covenant, or compact, and are depending on a scheme of their own; a scheme which would render his plan vain and useless; which would render his promises, and the atonement of Christ, and the work of the Spirit of no value. It is clear, therefore, that such an attempt at salvation cannot be successful. (Dr. Albert Barnes) 'Useless' Faith? Is there such a thing as ‘useless faith’ from a Christian worldview? Does the Bible answer the question? First of all, I think it fair to say that we (professing believers) almost always think about faith in a positive light, as does scripture. The Old Testament is full of men and women of faith. The New Testament tells us we are saved “by grace through faith”. On occasion, Jesus commended individuals for their faith. In the book of Hebrews there is a long list of notable men and women of faith, as well as heroic deeds that were the result of their faith in a great God. So what’s this about “useless” faith? Is it even a ‘thing’ from a biblical perspective? I suggest to you that it is, and that ‘useless faith’ is a serious topic at least twice in the Bible, once from the perspective of the Apostle Paul, and once from the perspective of James, the brother of Jesus, in the book bearing his name. The Apostle Paul addresses the topic from something the Bible claims is a historical fact, while James approaches it with human works in view. For a look at what Paul had to say about “useless” faith, we need only take a look at 1Corinthians, chapter 15, his great treatise on the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the final resurrection of believers: 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain. 15 We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Cor 15:12-19) Apparently there were some in the Corinthian church who were denying the future resurrection of the dead, although it was being preached that Christ indeed rose from the dead, a fact attested to by witnesses. 12 Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? Paul then states that if Christ has not been raised, his (Paul’s) preaching and the faith of Believers in Corinth is in vain (useless) (v 14), a point he reiterated in v. 17. Moving on to what James has to say about “useless” faith, we’ll turn to James, Chapter 2. 14 What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? 15 If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, 16 and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? 17 So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. 18 But someone will say, “You have faith and I have works.” Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works. 19 You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder! 20 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? 22 You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”—and he was called a friend of God. 24 You see that a person is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For as the body apart from the spirit is dead, so also faith apart from works is dead.\ First Janes asks his listeners if want to be shown that faith apart from works is useless (v. 20) and then says very clearly that faith part from works is dead (v. 26). Clearly he is saying that faith without works is useless and dead, but in what context? We need only go back to an earlier verse (v. 14) to see that James’ conclusion is based on someone professing faith but never displaying works did not have saving faith. He is saying that if claims o having faith do not produce works, it was personal faith professed, but NOT saving faith possessed, and completely “useless”. So yes, there is such a thing as ‘useless’ faith according to the Bible, from at least two perspective: 1. If Christ died but was not resurrected, our faith and indeed Christianity itself is useless (1 Cor 15). This is a serious doctrinal issue. 2. If we say we have faith, but our faith does not result in works to the glory of God, we never had the ‘gift of God’ faith (See Eph 2:8-9) that actually saves (James 2:14-25). This is a serious personal issue. So we all have good reason to follow some sound advice from the Apostle Paul: “Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!” (2 Cor 13:5, ESV) Romans 1:17 - God's Righteousness Revealed Romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.'" (NASB) "For therein is the G1343 righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The G1342 just shall live by faith." (KJV) "This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, 'It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'" (NLT) G1343 (Strong) δικαιοσυ?νη dikaiosune? dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification: - righteousness. G1342 (Strong) δι?καιος dikaios dik'-ah-yos From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): - just, meet, right (-eous). Righteousness (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) ri?´chus-nes (?????, caddi?k?, adjective, “righteous,” or occasionally “just” ???, cedhek?, noun, occasionally = “riahteousness,” occasionally = “justice”; δικαιος, di?kaios, adjective, δικαιοσυ?νη, dikaiosu?ne?, noun, from δι?κη, di?ke?, whose first meaning seems to have been “custom”; the general use suggested conformity to a standard: righteousness, “the state of him who is such as he ought to be” Righteousness (Noah Webster) RIGHTEOUSNESS, n. ri'chusness. 1. Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion. 2. Applied to God, the perfection or holiness of his nature; exact rectitude; faithfulness. 3. The active and passive obedience of Christ, by which the law of God is fulfilled. Dan 9. 4. Justice; equity between man and man. Luke 1. 5. The cause of our justification. The Lord our righteousness. Jer 23. Our misery and ruin being the product and consequent of our iniquity, that which will show us the way of salvation must needs show us the way of justification, and this the gospel does. The gospel makes known a righteousness. While God is a just and holy God, and we are guilty sinners, it is necessary we should have a righteousness wherein to appear before him; and, blessed be God, there is such a righteousness brought in by Messiah the prince (Dan_9:24) and revealed in the gospel; a righteousness, that is, a gracious method of reconciliation and acceptance, notwithstanding the guilt of our sins. Mathew Henry (1662 - 1714) Righteousness by Faith Orville J. Nave (1841-1917), A.M., D.D., LL.D. (Army Chaplain) Go Army! Genesis 15:6 "And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith." (NLT) Romans 4:3 "For the Scriptures tell us, 'Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.'" (NLT) Romans 4:5 "But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners." (NLT) Romans 4:9 "Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith." (NLT) Romans 4:11 "Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith." (NLT) Romans 4:13 "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith." (NASB) Romans 4:22 "And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. (NLT) Romans 4:24 "for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (NLT) In Christ we have all that we require. His Gospel reveals His righteousness whose purpose is our redemption, transformation, and adoption. The concept that began the reformation, that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. Dear Heavenly Father how amazing is your love. It is like the words of the song: The love of God has been extended to a fallen race, Through Christ the savior of all men, there's hope in saving grace The Love of God is greater far, than gold or silver ever could afford, It reaches past the highest star and covers all the world! His power is eternal..eternal, His glory is supernal..supernal! When all this earth shall pass away, there'll always be the Love of God! It goes beneath the deepest stain that sin could ever leave, Redeeming souls to live again, who will, on Christ believe- will believe! The love of God is greater far, than gold or silver, ever could afford, It reaches past the highest star, and covers all the world! His power is eternal...eternal! His glory is supernal...supernal! When all this earth shall pass away, there'll always be, the Love Of God! (Bill Gaither) From faith to faith; that is, as say some, from the faith of God to the faith of men; from the faith of preachers to the faith of hearers; from the faith of the Old to the faith of the New Testament saints; or rather from one degree of faith to another; for faith, as it grows and increases, has clearer sights of this righteousness, as held forth in the Gospel. For the proof of this, a passage of Scripture is cited, Habakkuk 2:4 Dr. John Gill (1690-1771) Romans 3:31 - Faith Unfurled Rom 3:31 Do we then make void the law — Do we render it vain and useless; do we destroy its moral obligation; and do we prevent obedience to it, by the doctrine of justification by faith? This was an objection which would naturally be made; and which has thousands of times been since made, that the doctrine of justification by faith tends to licentiousness. The word “law” here, I understand as referring to the moral law, and not merely to the Old Testament. This is evident from Romans 3:20-21, where the apostle shows that no man could be justified by deeds of law, by conformity with the moral law. God forbid - By no means. This is an explicit denial of any such tendency. Yea, we establish the law — That is, by the doctrine of justification by faith; by this scheme of treating people as righteous, the moral law is confirmed, its obligation is enforced, obedience to it is secured. This is done in the following manner: God showed respect to it, in being unwilling to pardon sinners without an atonement. He showed that it could not be violated with impunity; that he was resolved to fulfill its threatenings. Jesus Christ came to magnify it, and to make it honorable. He showed respect to it in his life; and he died to show that God was determined to inflict its penalty. the plan of justification by faith leads to an observance of the Law. The sinner sees the evil of transgression. He sees the respect which God has shown to the Law. He gives his heart to God, and yields himself to obey his Law. All the sentiments that arise from the conviction of sin; that flow from gratitude for mercies; that spring from love to God; all his views of the sacredness of the Law, prompt him to yield obedience to it. The fact that Christ endured such sufferings to show the evil of violating the Law, is one of the strongest motives prompting to obedience. We do not easily and readily repeat what overwhelms our best friends in calamity; and we are brought to hate what inflicted such woes on the Savior's soul. The sentiment recorded by Watts is as true as it is beautiful: “’Twas for my sins my dearest Lord. Hung on the cursed tree. And groan’d away his dying life, For thee, my soul, for thee. “O how I hate those lusts of mine. That crucified my Lord; Those sins that pierc’d and nail’d his flesh. Fast to the fatal wood. “Yes, my Redeemer, they shall die, My heart hath so decreed; Nor will I spare the guilty things. That made my Saviour bleed.” This is an advantage in moral influence which no cold, abstract law always has over the human mind. And one of the chief glories of the plan of salvation is, that while it justifies the sinner, it brings a new set of influences from heaven, more tender and mighty than can be drawn from any other source, to produce obedience to the Law of God. Dr. Albert Barnes "Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law." (NASB) "Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law." (KJV) "Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law." (NLT) "Do we then nullify the law through faith? Absolutely not! Instead we uphold the law." (NET) We see later on in Romans 7 that the law was not scrapped but fulfilled. Though it would be my thought to do a way with the law, the Lord chose instead to do a way with the lawbreaker. For now we live by faith in Christ. We tried with all of our might to use the Law of our Mind to obey the Law of God but the Law but the Law of Sin and Death gave but one outcome, death. But in Christ we find a new law present, the Law of the Spirit of Life, that has set us free! (This is indeed a beautiful and just view of the moral influence of the gospel, and especially of the doctrine of justification by faith alone. It may be questioned, however, whether the apostle in this place refers chiefly, or even at all, to the sanctifying tendency of his doctrine. This he does very fully in the 6th Rom.; and therefore, if another and consistent sense can be found, we need not resort to the supposition that he now anticipates what he intended, in a subsequent part of his epistle, more fully to discuss. In what other way, then, does the apostle’s doctrine establish the Law? How does he vindicate himself from the charge of making it void? In the preceding chapter he had pointed out the true ground of pardon in the “righteousness of God.” He had explained that none could be justified but they who had by faith received it. “Do we then,” he asks in conclusion,” make void the Law by maintaining thus, that no sinner can be accepted who does not receive a righteousness commensurate with all its demands?.” “Yea, we establish the law,” is the obvious answer. Jesus has died to satisfy its claims, and lives to honor its precepts. Thus, he hath brought in “righteousness,” which, being imputed to them that believe, forms such a ground of pardon and acceptance, as the Law cannot challenge. Calvin, in his commentary on the passage, though he does not exclude the idea of sanctification, yet gives prominence to the view now stated. “When,” says he, “we come to Christ, the exact righteousness of the Law is first found in him, which also becomes ours by imputation; in the next place sanctification is acquired,” etc.) Dr. Albert Barnes Romans 1:12 - Mutual Faith Romans 1:12 "that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine." (NASB) "That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me." (KJV) "When we get together, I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours." (NLT) A Common Faith "There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism," (Eph 4:5 NLT) "I am writing to Titus, my true son in the faith that we share. May God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior give you grace and peace." (Titus 1:4 NLT) "Dear friends, I had been eagerly planning to write to you about the salvation we all share. But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to His holy people." (Jude 1:3 NLT) "The grace of faith is the same in all the saints, and so is the doctrine of it, as dispensed by Christ's faithful ministers, and experimentally received and embraced by his people; the consideration of which has a very great influence on the comfort and establishment of each other; nor are any so perfect, but they may receive benefit from others, even though inferior to them." Dr. John Gill (1690-1771) We enjoy comfort from our common faith. We bring comfort to others and at the same time receive comfort. It is the fullness of this faith we share in Christ Jesus that is mutual by design because we are all part of the body with Christ as the head. We are mutually blessed by Christ and each other. How cool is that? Way cool. Thanks Dear Heavenly Father for your design of the faith wherein I walk. Help me to appreciate my dear brothers and sisters in Christ in a new and special way today that I may both enjoy and impart a blessing. Soli Deo Gloria (For the Glory of God Alone) Comments are closed.