|Romans 3 |
1 What advantage then has the Jew? Or what profit is there in circumcision?
2 Much in every way, principally, because the oracles of God [words] were committed to them.
3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
4 God forbid [No]. Let God be true, even if every man is a liar; as it is written, 'That you might be justified in your sayings, and might overcome when you are judged.'
5 But if our unrighteousness commends the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous by taking vengeance? (I speak as a man.)
6 God forbid [No!]. For then how else would God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God has more abounded through my lies to his glory; why am I also judged as a sinner?
8 And not rather, (as we are slanderously reported, and as some claim that we say,) 'Let us do evil, that good may come?' Their damnation is just.
9 What then? Are we better than they? No, in no way. For we have previously proved to both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
10 As it is written, "There is no one who is righteous, no, not one. [There were times in Israel when no one was righteous, and there are times when there is not a righteous man on the whole earth. But obviously Noah was righteous, Moses was righteous, the Apostles with tens of thousands of their early church were righteous, and tens of thousands of the early Quakers were righteous. Of all the righteous men in scriptures, the following is a partial list: Job, Enoch, Noah, Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Jehoshaphat, Nehemiah, Deborah Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Zechariah, Hosea, Zacharias, Elizabeth, Hezekiah, Asa, David, etc.]
11 There is no one who understands, there is no one who seeks after God. [There were times in Israel when the way to seek God had been lost, and there are times when no one on the whole earth is seeking God properly. To seek God, you must patiently and persistently wait on Him in humble silence, listen for His spoken words, and then obey what he commands; God is only found and known through revelation. The most common error has been to think studying the scriptures was seeking God. The Jews studied the scriptures, but because they did not understand God, they crucified the Holy One of Israel.]
12 They have all gone out of the way, together they have become unprofitable; there is no one who does good, no, not one. [There were times in Israel when no one did good, and there are times when no one does good on the whole earth.]
19 Now we know that whatever things the law said, it was said to those who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.
20 For no one is declared righteous in his sight by the works of the law, for by the law comes the knowledge of sin.
21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is manifested, which is witnessed by the law and the prophets;
22 Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all and upon all those who believe,2 for there is no difference. [There is an imputed righteousness received when the sinful nature has been crucified; imputation ends and the possession of the righteousness of Christ occurs when you are born again and enter union with Him. Both are obtained by operational faith, the obedient faith within the heart, the evidence of belief.]
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, [Grace is a teaching, purifying process that results in redemption from all sin and purity, Tit 2:11-14: — grace is not the instant, cheap grace that Christendom has imagined — imaginary grace yields imaginary righteousness and imaginary justification. We are not instantly justified for we through the Spirit, in faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal 5:5, as we seek to be justified in Christ. Gal 2:17. Since justification is through redemption that occurs at the full possession of the Spirit, after you have experienced being sealed with the Spirit of promise, then justification is long after your first believed.]
25 Whom God has 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.
26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness, that he might be just, and the justifier of he who believes in Jesus. [God does justify he who believes in Jesus, but not instantly: we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal 5:5, as we seek to be justified in Christ. Gal 2:17. Inward faith justifies. We are justified, redeemed, and purified at the same time by God's grace through our faith of hearing and obeying; grace teaches us what to deny and how to live righteously and godly, redeeming us from all iniquity and purifying us, Tit 2:11-14 — thus we become justified, not before.]
27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what sort of law? By works? No, only by the law of faith. [From the word of the Lord within: "Faith is to hear the Word of God and obey." For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision, nor uncircumcision benefits anything except faith, which is energized and demonstrated by works [thus operating] through love. Gal 5:6. The law of faith is to hear the word of God from within your heart and obey, until you are totally walking in the steps of faith, guided by the word of the Lord in all words to speak and all deeds to do — thus to live by faith, Gal 3:11.]
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law.3 [Faith is not belief in Jesus based on the historical accuracy of the Bible; that is Bible faith. Faith is hearing the word of God, who is Jesus, from within your heart, for faith is the gift of God and is authored by revelation from Jesus Christ; faith within justifies; faith within purifies. Hearing Jesus speak to you once does not justify you; you must keep hearing and obeying until your sinful nature is crucified. We seek to be justified. Further, you are under the law, (the inner law that includes the moral core of the Mosaic law), as schoolmaster until faith has come, Gal 3:25, Gal 5:18. Faith that frees from the law comes with the receipt of the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law. Gal 5:22-23. You are free because you are walking in love, walking according to the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus.
There is a huge difference between deeds of the law (sacrifices, circumcision, tithing, days, foods, etc.), vs. trying to comply with the moral core of the commandments, (don't steal, don't lie, don't murder, don't commit adultery, don't covet, love your neighbor, etc.). Deeds of the law are worthless, but turning from evil is still essential. Christendom incorrectly tells you that even the moral commandments, (which are included in the law on every man's heart), are void. Do you not know brothers, (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives ? Rom 7:1. Until you lose your life by crucifying your sinful nature, your carnal mind, and your evil spirit, you are still alive and still subject to the moral laws. Also Paul said in Gal 5:18, if (and when) you are led (prompted, ordered, commanded) by the Spirit, you are not under the law; until we are under total control of the Spirit of God, the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes the moral core of the Mosaic Law, is our schoolmaster, reminding us of our shortcomings and motivating us to go to God for change. Christendom would have you ignore the essential schoolmaster, which leads to the true, operational faith.
George Fox writes of when you are justified: "a believer that is justified is a new creature, is past from the death which came by sin, and comes to enter into His rest, where there is no sin. He who is the sanctification, is the justification, and so by their sanctification are they justified; it is one and the same, what sanctifies, justifies."]
29 Is he the God of the Jews only? Is he not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also.
30 Seeing it is one God, who will justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
31 Do we then render inoperative the law through faith? Absolutely not, instead we establish the law.4 [A man who walks in the royal law of love, is prompted and energized by God what to say and what to do, so that his every action and word is from loving obedience to the will of God. He no longer walks by laws that restricted his flesh, having crucified his fleshly nature and having died to the law through the many laws received as commands from the Lord, which progressively reduced his fleshly life's actions, words, and thoughts until gone. Truly such a man loves the LORD your God with all his heart, and with all his soul, and with all his mind, and with all his strength; and loves his neighbor as himself. Such a man fulfills the law and establishes the law — thus honoring the law. From the Word of the Lord within: "We establish the law with honor."]
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter
1 Today's 'Christians' have no fear of God; they think Jesus excuses all sin. They sin with no remorse or fear of consequences. They think they can ignore all of Jesus' teachings, commands, and warnings, expecting him to defend them in judgment — but he will not be their excuse; instead they will hear him say: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who work iniquity [sin, lawlessness, or wickedness]!’ Mat 7:21-23. Jesus continues to warn us, saying: Sin no more! and Repent or perish! [to lose your soul ].
2 the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ to all, and upon all, those who believe. Jesus said our highest priority in life should be to seek God's righteousness: But seek first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness. Mat 6:33. This righteousness of God comes by faith, as you seek God with all our heart and soul. This faith is a gift of God, received after we have crucified our selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial; we receive the gift of faith with the fruit of the Spirit, and results in receiving the Spirit of Christ in sufficient measure to be our true Lord, Master, and King, supplying thoughts, our words to speak, and ordering our works to be done — to His and the Father's glory. Believing in Jesus is not the faith that imputes righteousness.
Jesus told us to make seeking the Kingdom of God and His righteousness the highest priority of our life, with more attention than seeking provision for our food and clothing, Mat 6:33; and the function of true grace is to teach us how to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world, Tit 2:11-12. To seek His righteousness and access true grace that teaches you how to live righteously and changes you to be able to live righteously, there is only one thing needed: to persistently and patiently sit at the feet of Jesus in humble silence as you listen for, and then obey, His words of life that He speaks to you from within your heart. Luke 10:39-42, Rom 10:8,17,Deu 30:10-14.
Righteousness occurs at the end of your journey to union with God in His kingdom, not in the beginning.
From the Word of the Lord within:
There is no righteousness apart from God. Righteousness need be created. Aim at and pursue righteousness, without which no one will see the Lord. There is a righteousness imputed only after death. We, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness. The Spirit makes alive unto righteousness. Awake to righteousness and sin not. He who does righteousness is through with sin. Pursue righteousness and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord. He who is righteous is done with sin. Make yourselves slaves to righteousness, whose reward is holiness.
Righteousness is imputed when you receive faith with the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law, to then walk in love, obeying the continuous commands of Christ; this occurs at the death of your selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial. When you possess the fullness of Christ, that ends imputation, and you are righteous as He is righteous. Until then we, through the Spirit, wait for the hope of righteousness by faith, Gal. 5:5. We wait by hearing the Lord speak to us from within our heart and believing what he says. We exercise our faith to carry the inward cross of self-denial, which is to obey the commands we hear God speak to us as we wait, watch, and listen in silence for his directions, teachings, commands, encouragements, convictions, and destruction of sin in our hearts.
George Fox writes of the imputed righteousness and righteousness in The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded:
For they who witness Christ within them, witness justification there, and sanctification; for ‘Abraham believed, and it was imputed to him for righteousness;’ and his belief was within, and he saw Christ's glory. Those who believe come to witness the imputation; but those who come again to witness righteousness, are nearer than when they did first believe; and to witness that they have received Christ within, is the end of their belief. There they witness the righteousness itself without imputation, which is the substance, what the promise ends in, and all the fathers hoped for, who stood in the imputation, and all the believers in him. Christ being come [within a man], the end of man's belief, the righteousness itself, here is a justification alone, without the imputation, Christ the righteousness of God: blessing and glory forever! And a believer that is justified is a new creature, is past from the death which came by sin, and comes to enter into his rest, where there is no sin. He who is the sanctification, is the justification, and so by their sanctification are they justified; it is one and the same, what sanctifies, justifies....Men are justified by the believing, and in the faith and by the faith, and in believing they overcome, and have victory; and there are mortification, and sanctification, and redemption, and justification, all possessed together in the one, which is Christ, and this to the particular satisfaction. "
The blind guides of Christianity say to rely on the "imputed righteousness of Christ" to us, based on our faith; as it was with Abraham, Rom 4:3-11.
Abraham's faith was not simply belief in God; Abraham obeyed God's voice, Gen 22:18,26:5.
Abraham's faith was to listen for God's words, hear them, and then obey them.
His faith produced works of obedient faith that proved his love for God.
To hear God's spoken words and obey them is the true faith, which faith the Apostles also preached.
God also ordered Abraham to "walk before me and be perfect." Gen 17:1.
As Abraham exercised his faith to be circumcised, (as ordered) — so we must receive the spiritual circumcision, our heart circumcised from sin.
As Abraham exercised his faith to leave his home for a new land, (as ordered), — so we must forsake all the world to enter God's Kingdom.
As Abraham exercised his faith, willing to sacrifice Isaac, (as ordered) — so too we must crucify our selfish life to save the life of our soul.
If Abraham had not obeyed God's voice in all the above, you would be reading about another person instead of Abraham.
Abraham exposed himself to hear God's commands. Like Abraham, we too must expose ourselves to hear God's commands — hear Him, obey Him, and keep doing so with patient endurance to the end; otherwise we will not become free from sin, not attain righteousness, and be banned from heaven when we die.
Righteousness comes through faith in Jesus, but the faith that imputes righteousness is only the faith that frees from the law; this measure of faith that frees is received with the fruit of the Spirit, and that only occurs after you have crucified your lusts and affections on the inward cross of self-denial; and this is not instant or easily accomplished.
Paul clarifies: for we through the Spirit, by faith, we patiently wait for the hope of righteousness. Gal. 5:5
Paul further: You are slaves of whom you obey; whether of sin that leads to death, or of obedience that leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16,19
(Obedience to what? To the commands and teachings we hear from the Lord as we wait on Him.)
Jesus said: Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousnes, for they shall be filled. Mat 5:6
(How could anyone hunger and thirst for righteousness if they are instantly righteous
by simply believing in Jesus?)
Jesus further said: But seek first the Kingdom of God, and His righteousness. Mat 6:33
(We are to seek the righteousness of God as the highest priority in our life, more than food and clothing.)
Paul again: Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Cor 15:34
(Anyone who thinks they can continue to sin and be righteous has no knowledge of God
and is to be shamed.)
We are clearly not instantly righteous because we believe or have faith, otherwise, we would not be told:
We must go to Him to receive his cleansing grace to become righteous — the fruit of which is peace;
and the effect of righteousness is quietness and confident trust forever. Isaiah 32:17
Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Rom 3:24
But this access to God does not make us instantly justified, for we seek to be justified in Christ. Gal. 2:17
While observing what was said by the Word of Lord within: "there is a righteousness only imputed at death," apparently imputed righteousness and righteousness, the end of imputation, occur in parallel with the two stages of perfection, which Fox and Crisp both described.
"For there is a state of discipleship, by which a man hardly knows a settlement, so much as how to watch with Christ rightly and constantly; but it is a great matter to be able to dwell and abide with Him [Christ]. None can do this, but he that can dwell with devouring fire and everlasting burnings for the pure word of life is a fire, and he that sits down in the heavenly place in him, must sit down in that fire."
Christianity's pervasive belief that you are righteous because you believe Jesus is the Son of God is not true, as John takes care to debunk:
Little children, let no man deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, even as He is righteous. 1 John 7. Jesus only spoke, judged, and did as He was prompted and ordered by God; to practice righteousness we also must be able to only speak what we hear Him order us to say and only do what we are ordered to do by God. This ability only comes after we have crucified our selfish spirit and sin has been destroyed by the Spirit through bearing the inward cross of self-denial; then we are walking the same way He walked and in the world as He was with perfection, purity, and holiness. We must be restored to the image of God that Adam lost in the Garden; to put on the newly created nature [of Christ], which is created in God's image of true righteousness and holiness. When we are righteous, everything we say and do is just, fair, morally correct, perfect, true, holy, virtuous, good, and pure. When we are righteous, everything we say and everything we do is right — righteousness.
He who commits sin is of the devil, for the devil sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God is revealed [in us], that he might destroy [in us] the works [sin] of the devil. 1 John 3:8.
Whoever is born of God does not commit sin, for his seed [Christ] remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 1 John 3:9
By this the children of God and the children of the devil are revealed [distinguished]: whoever does not live righteously is not of God, neither is he who does not love his brother. 1 John 3:10
Clearly, you must be freed from all sin before you are righteous. Clearly, as John says above, you must be righteous in your conduct and words as Jesus was righteous. Clearly you must have died to sin, you must have had your selfish spirit crucified, you must have had your heart circumcised by the Spirit, you must have put off the body of the sins of the flesh, you must have stripped yourself of your former nature that controlled your conduct, you must have mortified [put to death] the deeds of the body that are of the earthly life — before you can have any righteousness from God, even the imputed righteousness.
So too, as Paul said, Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame. 1 Cor 15:34. It is impossible to be righteous and still be sinning. Until you have been freed from the bondage of sin, you cannot be righteous; both John and Paul have emphasized it. John warns us to not be deceived that we can be righteous and still sin. Paul shames those who think they can sin and be righteous, saying they do not have knowledge of God. And if your knowledge of God comes from hearing others talk, or reading the Bible, you do not have knowledge of God because what may be known of God is revealed in them; for God has shown it to them; Rom 1:19; God is only known by revelation.
You say you believe in Jesus, but what faith do you lay claim to? Do you believe what you hear Jesus from within your heart tell you what to do, as a result of waiting on him in silence, while listening for him to speak to you; or do you believe that Jesus was resurrected, was the Son of God, etc. What hope do you have? To be able to sin without penalty and go to heaven when you die; or to become free from sin, enter the Kingdom of Heaven while still on earth, and then be there forever? Two different hopes, two different faiths. One hope is true, one hope is a lie. One faith is true, one faith is a lie. One hope purifies, the other leaves you in the sorrow of sin. One faith purifies, the other leaves you defiled. One faith accompanied by obedience leads to salvation, the other to Hell. One faith leads to the righteousness of Christ being possessed, the other faith leaves you without. The true gospel unleashes the power of God to an experienced, purified salvation, the other is a form of godliness without the power with only a presumed salvation. If any man preaches any other gospel to you than that you have received, [from Paul] let him be accursed, Gal 1:8-9. Paul said he was sent by Jesus to preach this gospel: I am sending you to open their eyes that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may thus receive forgiveness and release from their sins and a place and portion among those who are consecrated and purified by faith in Me. Acts 26:17-18. The evidence of faith is obedience, the result of obedience is the fruit of the Spirit, which proves you are a true follower of Christ. Obedience leads to righteousness. Rom 6:16, as we through the Spirit, by faith, patiently wait for the hope of righteousness, Gal. 5:5.
3 a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the law. Only faith within justifies; faith is hearing Jesus, the Word, speak to you from in your heart. Rom 10:8,17, Deu 30:10-14, Eph 4:21, John 1:1-4,1:14, Rev 19:13-16. One does not hear the Lord speak to you once to be justified. Every word you hear from the Spirit brings you closer to justification, but you must keep hearing and obeying until your sinful nature has been crucified on the inward cross of self-denial, to then receive faith at part of the fruit of the Spirit, which frees you from the law and justifies you. Faith must be authored by Jesus, and he authors faith by revelation, but not just by your belief that the Bible truly states Jesus to be the Son of God; that is Bible-faith, not faith authored by Jesus. From the Word of the Lord within: "Until you can witness receiving faith from Christ, you are under the law. Until you witness the law fulfilled in you, you are under the law."
You receive faith at the conclusion of the crucifixion of your selfish spirit on the inward cross of self-denial; which gift of faith is part of the fruit of the Spirit. Having been delivered from all sin, Jesus becomes our true Lord, Master, and King, supplying thoughts, our words to speak, and ordering our works to be done — to His and the Father's glory.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness [or meekness, or humility], and self-control. Against these there is no law. Those who belong to Christ have crucified the flesh [the sinful nature] with its passions and desires [lusts and affections]. Gal 5:22-24
When the sinful nature has been put to death, then you walk in love, following the Spirit, fulfilling the law; and then you are truly righteous; and then you are justified. And so a man is justified by faith, when he has been crucified of his selfish, evil spirit on the inward cross of self-denial, to then receive the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus in sufficient measure to enter into union with Him. Jesus becomes your true Lord, Master, and King, supplying thoughts, your words to speak, and ordering your works to be done — to His and the Father's glory. Then you have been redeemed, then you are sanctified, then you are justified, then you are righteous.
George Fox writes of when you are justified in his writing The Great Mystery of the Great Whore Unfolded:
"a believer that is justified is a new creature, is past from the death which came by sin, and comes to enter into His rest, where there is no sin. He who is the sanctification, is the justification, and so by their sanctification are they justified; it is one and the same, what sanctifies, justifies....Men are justified by the believing, and in the faith and by the faith, and in believing they overcome, and have victory; and there are mortification, and sanctification, and redemption, and justification, all possessed together in the one, which is Christ, and this to the particular satisfaction."
Clearly justification occurs at the second stage of perfection.
We have defined the faith that justifies; now we need to define the works of the law or deeds of the law to which this same verse speaks.
Works of the law count for nothing. Works of the law are the cereal offering, the lamb offering, the bull offering, washings, not eating certain foods, circumcision, tithing, sabbaths, celebration of days, festivals, etc.; these are dead works of the law, decided when to be done by the carnal mind and will of man.
But what about the moral commandments of the Law: love your neighbor as you love yourself; don't steal; don't commit adultery; don't lie; don't covet; don't murder; and honor your father and mother? Clearly to observe these commandments is not works of the law; a work is not to cease murder today, or to not commit adultery tonight, or to not lie this afternoon, or to love your neighbor today, or take an hour to love God, etc. These commandments are the moral core of the law and are a part of the law written on every man's heart, whose conscience bears witness, while their thoughts accuse or excuse them, and by which God will judge them. Rom 2:8-16; these commandments have not been annulled by faith in Jesus or grace and must be kept in mind by any who wish to please God.
Do you not know brothers, (for I speak to those who know the law), that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? Rom 7:1.
While Christ's blood sacrifice made the Mosaic law obsolete, the inner law on every man's heart is still alive, never cancelled, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law); and for you to be free from this inner law, by which all men shall be judged, you must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as additional laws in your heart, in which are the laws you must obey and continue to obey until you are crucified, to then walk in love and liberty under no laws.
Until you lose your life by crucifying your sinful nature, your carnal mind, and your evil spirit, you are still under the law; until then you are still walking in restricted flesh; until then the law is your schoolmaster. Until Christ replaces your nature, mind, and spirit with His so that your fleshly nature is dead, you are under the law. When Christ controls your thoughts, words, and deeds, then the law no longer has dominion over you because the selfish "you" has died. Even those who know no law have the inner law on their hearts by which a man is judged and which has dominion over him until the death.
The inner law on every man's heart makes us feel bad when we lie or steal. This law includes the external moral laws:* do not steal, do not lie, do not covet, do not murder, do not commit adultery, (and all sexual immorality), honor your parents, do unto others as you would have them do to you, etc. The inner law's moral laws exceed the external, Mosaic moral laws for as Jesus said, he came to fulfill the law; and then He told us how it was to be strengthened, which the inner law reflects. This strengthened inner law can be understood to have been violated anytime you exhibit a fruit of the flesh, which includes: sexual immorality, uncleanness, covetousness, filthiness, foolish talking, jesting, profanity, adultery, lack of restraint, sorcery, hatred, arguments, jealousies, rage, selfish ambition, divisiveness, envies, murders, drunkenness, revelries (partying), evil thoughts, fornications, wickedness, deceit, blasphemy, pride, anger, boasting, flattery, immodesty, immorality, and foolishness. Any of these disqualify all men from heaven. A man innocent of all these fruits of the flesh is in full compliance with the rigid requirements of salvation stated in the scriptures: be perfect as the Father is perfect, Mat 5:48; be righteous as He is righteous, 1 John 3:7-10; be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36; become pure as He is pure. 1 John 3:3; as he who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15; walk as he walked, 1 John 2:6; and as he is, so are we in this present world. 1 John 4:17.
For you to be free from this inner law, by which all men shall be judged, you must submit to God condemning the sins in your flesh, with commands tailored to your life's circumstances and that you hear when waiting on Him; those commands are established as additional laws in your heart, in which are all the laws you must obey and continue to obey until you are completely crucified, to then walk in love and liberty under no laws.
From the Word of the Lord within:
- "You must have a devotion to the law that is on every man's heart; you must listen; and you must obey.
- Restraint of sin is not enough; salvation is being freed from even the desire of your sins.
- Only a heart that is purged of sin is acceptable to God.
- Be on your guard at all times to be sure your words do not reflect the fruits of the flesh."
Paul makes it very plain that if you do not obey the moral laws, you have no salvation and no inheritance in the Kingdom of God:
Clearly the moral laws cannot be dead, when disobedience to the moral laws keep you out of the kingdom and salvation. The law is not dead and a believer in Jesus is not exempt from being banned from heaven when still sinning at death. The moral commandments have not been annulled by faith in Jesus or grace. We must strive to obey all the moral commandments until we are under total control of the Spirit of God; then we fulfill the law walking in obedience to the God's promptings. Until you have been freed from all sin; until you have been translated into the Kingdom of God, until you are an entirely new creature, until Christ has been revealed in you so that you behold his face, you must strive to obey the moral laws, all written on the heart of every man.
God judges every man by his words and deeds; every man means no exceptions — every man, even those who believe in Jesus:
You cannot be saved and justified by trying to observe the commandments or by doing works of the law. Salvation and justification come by faith within that purifies your heart and soul through his grace. It is impossible to completely love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, or to love you neighbor equally as you love yourself until the power of God actually circumcises your heart from all selfishness and evil. But trying to observe these moral commandments, turning from evil as best we can, is a prerequisite to sincerely seeking God and his salvation; in the beginning you can't control your mind yet, you can't totally control your mouth yet, but you can control your hands and feet from running to and grasping evil. If you think you are saved, simply because you believe Jesus is the Son of God, was resurrected from the dead, etc., or because you were also baptized in water, then you have a form of godliness without the power of God to cleanse you, purify you, circumcise your heart, and make you holy; which when completed, the love of God is perfected in you and you fulfill the law.
Christendom's ignoring the moral commandments as a works of the law is ridiculous; that makes a work of the law include someone who decides to "cease adultery;" when clearly God looks with favor on someone who repents of evil.
Even worse, since whoever of you tries to be justified by the law has fallen from grace, and Christ has become of no benefit to you, Gal 5:4; then, following the faulty logic, (that observing the moral commandments of the law is works of the law), should you decide not to steal, you have lost your salvation through grace and faith in Jesus. Christendom's twisted logic of just "faith in Jesus," ignoring the moral commandments and classifying their observation as works, makes Jesus the author of lawlessness; it makes the blood of Jesus an unholy thing, an excuse for continuing in sin and ignoring all laws, a license for immorality; and in teaching this doctrine, the blind guides of Christendom have cast the law behind their back and led billions of their "believers" into the pit of destruction. From the Word of the Lord within: "they totter to the slaughter;" drunk with their lusts, passions, pride, and pleasures. This is a doctrinal error of colossal magnitude; it is a breakage of the covenant of God.
Until we can hear the Spirit of God teach us by grace to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, and how to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes the moral laws, is our schoolmaster that that reminds us of our shortcomings and motivates us to go to God for his changing grace.
Before you can hear the Word of the Lord within your heart to guide you, the first works for all are repentance, which John the Baptist told us were the prerequisite to seeking the kingdom of heaven:
Repent: think differently; change your mind, regretting your sins and changing your conduct. Matt 3:2
Share from your excess with those who are without the necessities of life. [This is very key to your success in receiving God's favor.]
Be honest in all your dealings, never exaggerating or overreaching anyone.
Don't oppress people or frighten anyone, don't lie, don't want more, don't complain. Luke 3:10-14
And before you can hear the Word of the Lord within your heart to guide you, the inner law on every man's heart that is still alive, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law), is our schoolmaster.
The moral core of the law is: love your neighbor as you love yourself; and don't steal; and don't commit adultery; and don't lie; and don't covet; and don't murder; and honor your father and mother; do for others as you would have them do for you, etc.
Clearly to observe these moral commandments as best we can, while waiting for the Spirit's direction, is not doing works of the law.
The moral laws remind us of our shortcomings and motivates us to go to God to receive his heart and soul purifying grace,
— to become free of all sin, even the desire to sin,
— to be able to love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might, and
— to be able to love your neighbor as yourself.
Jesus is recorded as telling us that it would be better for us to cut off the hand or foot that sins, or pluck out the eye that sins, than be sent to Hell.
Jesus is recorded as telling us to repent and sin no more many times.
When you can hear the Spirit of God from within your heart, as you wait on the Lord and listen to the Lord, he will command further repentance in your life.
The commands you hear Him speak to you are to be kept, remembered, and obeyed; if he orders you to deny something in your life, you are to keep denying it.
——"Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If any man hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me."
——"Remember therefore what you have received and heard, and hold fast, and repent." Rev 3:20,3.
The commands you obey and keep are then written in your heart and mind, supplementing the inner law already on every man's heart;
thus the scripture is fulfilled: I will put my laws into their hearts, and I will write them in their minds [inward understanding]. Heb 10:16
As you continue to obey His commands to you, you are eventually purified by his grace that teaches you how to live righteously, soberly and godly in this present world, until you are redeemed from all sins and purified for Himself a people of His very own with a zeal for good works. Tit 2:11-14
From the Word of the Lord within: "We go to him, and he rains help on us; well does this exercise of God purify those who do."
We seek by waiting on the Lord in silent humility as we listen, watch, hear, and obey God's voice. The words we hear him speak to us impart the life of God to us, John 6:63.
From the Word of the Lord within: "Everybody who believes the son, shall be made perfect." To believe him speaking to you is true faith. True faith purifies.
Doing this repetitively over time is how we are able to comply with the Bible's stated requirements that Christendom ignores to protect their false doctrines:
——be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect, Mat 5:48
——be merciful as He is merciful, Luke 6:36
——become pure as He is pure. 1 John 3:2-3
——as He who has called you is holy, so you be holy in all manner of conduct, 1 Pet 1:15
——so that we walk as He walked, 1 John 2:6, and
——as He is, so are we in this present world. 1 John 4:17
This is how we rid ourselves of the fruits of the flesh that disqualify us from any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ.
This is how to mortify the sins in your body and become totally free of sin, even the desire to sin.
This is how to carry your cross and follow Jesus, by denial of your own will and obeying the commands he speaks to you.
This is how to witness passing from death to life (of God), to experience Jesus bring to you your salvation and the eternal life of God.
After purification, then God prompts you to do good works to his glory and your joy.
Faith, which does not motivate, energize, and produce works, is dead.
Works of love, energized and prompted by God are essential.
James said, "faith without works is dead." James 2:17.
James further said, "You see then that a man is justified by works, and not by faith only." James 2:24.
Many people think Paul conflicts with James; but of course James and Paul don't conflict, and never would conflict.
In the below scriptures, Paul is speaking in context of works of the law: sacrifices, tithing, washings, Sabbaths, feasts, restrictions of foods, circumcision, etc.
——Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, Gal 2:16, (hearing him, believing him, and obeying him)
——A man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. Rom 3:28.
Paul has disdain for works of the law, but he is grossly misunderstood to include all the law, including the moral commands.
——No man is justified by the law in the sight of God. Gal 3:11. This verse alone, without looking at its context with the previous verse, is part of the error.
——For all who rely on works of the law are under the curse Gal 3:10.
But Paul makes it very clear that the consequences of sin still apply to every man, and works of love energized by obedient faith are required and esteemed.
Paul says obedience to the moral commands of the law is required until you are totally led by the Spirit of God:
But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. Gal 5:18
The law is your schoolmaster, until faith has come, Gal 3:24-25, which comes with the receipt of the fruit of the Spirit, Gal 5:22-23.
A mature Christian is filled with love and fulfills, even exceeds, the the law, continually walking in obedience to God's commands that he hears.
From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh." Faith that frees from the law comes with the receipt of the fruit of the Spirit, against which is no law. Gal 5:22-23.
Up to this time, as you are hearing the Spirit of Grace within convict you of sin and teach you about righteous living, you are in the Ministry of Condemnation, yet to receive the ministry of righteousness, yet to receive the end of grace, still subject to the Law of Sin and Death, still walking after the flesh and carnal mind, yet to receive the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, yet to be in Christ, yet to be dead to the law through the law, and yet to walk after the Spirit's prompting of your thoughts, words, and deeds.
The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. Gal 5:6. (works activated and energized through loving obedience to what God directs you to do)
And let us consider how to encourage one another to love and good works. Heb 10:24
Paul is not saying that you can ignore the moral laws — to be unloving, immoral, covetous, given to pleasures, angry, etc.
Paul said: I declared.. that they should repent and turn to God, and do works consistent with repentance. Acts 26:20
Paul said, "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." Philippians 2:12
Again Paul said, grace, results in a people zealous for good works. Titus 2:14
Paul said: Charge those who are rich in this world not to be high minded,
nor to trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God who gives us richly all things to enjoy;
[Charge] that they do good, to become rich in good works, to be generous, sharing with others. 1 Tim 6:17-18
If you live in a prosperous, industrialized nation, you are rich, compared to the rest of the world. So be rich in good works.
Paul said: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Rom 2:10.
Paul said: To those who by perseverance in good works, seek for glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life. Rom 2:7
Peter said: whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. Acts 10:35
Peter again: make every effort to add to your faith virtue.. knowledge.. self control.. perseverance .. godliness. 2 Pet 1:5-6
Jesus said, Unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Luke 13:3. Repentance requires effort on your part.
And, As many as I love, I chastise [rebuke, discipline]. Be zealous therefore, and repent. Rev 3:19 (Zealous means filled with ardent desire, enthusiastic).
Jesus further said, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. Mat 11:29
Jesus said, If any man desire to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
In His messages to the seven churches, Jesus mentions to every church how their works are key.
Jesus said, I have not found your works perfect before God. Rev 3:2-3. He wants perfect works, energized by faith.
Hear! Jesus said: Strive to enter in at the strait gate: for many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13:24
The doctrine of no works would have you believe striving is unnecessary, yet Jesus ordered us to strive, (to make every effort),
Jesus further says, the gate is narrow and compressed which leads to life, which few will find,
and many I say to you will seek to enter and will not be able to. Mat 7:14, Luke 13:24. (Don't Jesus' warnings seriously conflict with just believing in Jesus?)
Gentle reader — heed what Jesus is saying. Your having said a sinner's prayer and gotten wet is not hard to find or do.
But he who practices truth comes to the light, so that his deeds may be shown to have been produced [effected, formed, prompted, energized] through God." John 3:21.
Those who have been experiencing the Spirit's removal of sin from their hearts, love the light and eagerly come to the light for further destruction of sin.
Those who have been freed from sin, eagerly come to the light to be directed by God to do works of love, to their joy and God's glory:
for we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works. Eph 2:10.
A man comes to the light by waiting on God in silence, watching and listening in hope of change by Jesus.
Those who come to the light, love Christ, as evidenced by their obedience to the truth.
God judges every man by his words and deeds; every man means no exceptions — every man, even those who believe in Jesus:
You cannot be justified without faith in Christ, who enlightens all men in the world. However faith without resulting works, starting with repentance, counts for nothing. You cannot just say "I believe" and live in your sinful nature without obedience. Works of love energized by faith, are esteemed and required by God. As Paul said in Rom 2:10: glory, honor, and peace, are to every man who works good. Works of love, works of obedience to the voice of the Lord, cessation of lying, cessation of stealing, cessation of adultery, etc., are not works of the law. Works of the law are special foods, cleansings, sacrifices, ceremonies, rituals, tithing, sabbaths, etc.; and such works are dead works done by the will of man, (man deciding which ones to do), while works of loving obedience to the commands heard spoken to a man by God are works of obedient faith — that is how to do God's will on earth as it is done in heaven, your prayer of a thousand times.
Yes, we are justified by faith within, just like our hearts are purified by faith within, just like our souls are purified by obedience to the truth. But true faith has to be operational, producing works of repentance, including the carrying of our cross; operational faith that Paul speaks of as being the process of obedience to the leading of the Spirit. A true Christian is his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, Eph 2:10; created by Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity [lawless deeds, sin], and purify for himself a people who are his very own, zealous for good works. Tit 2:14. What works does Christ create us to do? Not works of the law, but rather works of obedience at his direction: 1) works of repentance, and 2) works that are prompted, directed, and energized by God. Obedient works are the only works of your life that are not burned up at judgment, when every man is judged by his works. God wants sons who do his will on earth, as it is done in heaven. God wants sons of love to show the love of God to the whole world that lies in wickedness — by works of love to his glory.
To become a son of God, we must receive the grace of God by seeking Him: waiting on God in silence, listening, hearing, believing what he says or shows us, and obeying — repetitively until we see the face of Jesus appear in our hearts to bring our salvation.
Faith is the process of following the listened-to and heard commands of Jesus from within your heart (believing Jesus); by obedience a person is cleansed, purified, justified, and saved. Paul speaks of faith coming to free us from the law as our schoolmaster. In Gal 5:18, he says: if (and when) you are led (prompted, ordered, commanded) by the Spirit, you are not under the law. So he has defined faith to being in obedience to the Spirit's leading. So faith is to follow the commands heard from the Spirit of God, from the Lord. This is a major clarification of the definition of faith, as Paul further tells us that he preaches the word of faith which is in our hearts and mouths, and faith comes by hearing the word; and Jesus says, Blessed are those who hear the word of God and "keep" it. So faith is to hear the word within, and believe it to be the Son of God speaking to you, and then to keep it [obey it, practice it], repeatedly.
Note! Galatians 2:17 But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ.. As believers, we must seek to be justified. Just by believing in Jesus, we are not automatically justified. Likewise by faith one is purified; but obviously by just believing in Jesus, one does not become instantly pure.
We are not instantly justified, cleansed, purified, or saved. As Paul said we seek to be justified by Christ and he said we must continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, Phil 2:12; and now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed. Rom 13:11. Paul is speaking of not being justified by the ordinances, sacrifices, and washings of the law; but he is not saying that we can steal, lie, murder, covet, and commit adultery as long as we believe in Jesus.
Martin Luther, the principal founder of Protestantism in the Reformation, found this verse to be the cornerstone of his new definition of salvation and justification. He was so intent that he translated this verse to read: "man is justified by faith alone and not by works of the law." He called the Epistle of James "an epistle of straw" because James said that "faith without works is dead, " works being obedience to commands heard from the Voice of the Lord. Luther did not understand faith to be hearing the Word of God from within one's heart; neither did he understand that works of obedient love to the spoken commands heard from God differ from works of the law, which are done in man's will and are typically sacrifices, ceremonies, observation of days, tithes, circumcision, etc. So Luther, failing to understand that works of the law differed from works of faith, concluded that anyone who believed in Jesus was justified and saved. Luther obviously could not hear the voice of the Lord, and so concluded in error that Paul and James were in conflict. The reason that Luther could not hear the voice of the Lord is because he was preaching and teaching errors, and so he was leading people into captivity — the continued captivity of slavery to sin. Luther's false faith, false salvation, and false justification then became the cornerstone of Protestant doctrine; but alas, the Protestant cornerstone is only sand, and when the storm comes, great will be the destruction of those Protestants who built on it.
When Luther published his Bible in Germany, it was a sensation. Depraved people listened to his teaching on faith and justification and concluded they were saints; some concluded they were prophets; some concluded they were apostles. They began to grossly misinterpret other passages in the Bible, (after all, they were saints — right), including "the meek shall inherit the earth" to mean that the upper classes' property was theirs by divine right; and so they organized the Lord's Army of 300,000 men, and began to rape, plunder, and kill 100,000 Catholics and the nobility in The Peasants' War.
When Luther reached this false conclusion, he was a Catholic priest; and the Catholics then and now believe that a man is saved by a good life; and a good life to the Catholics consists of good works done, not in obedience to the voice of the Lord, but in the will of man; because the Catholic priests and hierarchy could not hear the voice of the Lord either, the only way they could interpret Matthew 25:31-48, Jesus' parable of the separation of sheep and the goats based on works, were works done in the will of men. And so neither have the Catholics ever understood faith or salvation.
Because similar pernicious doctrines were already creeping into Christendom during the time of the early church in Jerusalem, James ridiculed such doctrines with his statements of: 1) faith without works is dead, and 2) You say you believe that there is one God; you do well. Even the demons believe that, and tremble. Although James was an Apostle, a natural brother of Jesus, and a pillar of the church in Jerusalem, and the successor to Peter as head of the Apostle's Council, (all of which made him much greater in Christ than Luther), Luther considered his opinions superior to James. Luther also had disdain for the books of Esther, Hebrews, Jude, and Revelation.
In his arrogance, Luther had harsh words for the book of Revelation, saying that he could "in no way detect that the Holy Spirit produced it." He justified his rejection of the apostolicity of Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation because the early Roman Catholic church categorized these books as antilegomena, meaning that they were not accepted without reservation as canonical. Luther failed to understand what the word "faith" actually meant; faith is hearing the word of God, which is in your heart and mouth to obey, Rom 10:8,17; he thought it was just believing in Jesus being the Son of God based on belief in the Bible's record, the common misinterpretation of John 3:16. To believe in the Son is to believe what you hear the Son tell you to do: that his words are true, and so you obey him. Those who have received him in the light, while believing in his name, have the power to become a Son of God, not be a son of God; we must exercise and grow our faith by seeking God: waiting on God in silence, listening, hearing, believing what he says or shows us, and obeying — repetitively until we see the face of Jesus appear in our hearts to bring our salvation.
Contrast Luther's disdain for selected books of the Bible with the early Quakers, who never breathed a word of doubt or criticism of the books in the Bible. To the contrary, they embraced them all and quoted from them all, finding them all wholly compatible with their understandings. (George Fox pointed out a few errors in translation, but never questioned the validity of any book in the Bible.)
Luther and the Protestant founders fell into the exact error that Peter warned about in reading Paul's letters: There are some things in his letters which are hard to understand, which those who are unlearned and unstable wrest [twist] to their own destruction, as they also do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you know these things beforehand, beware lest you also, being led away by the error of the wicked, 2 Pet 3:16-17, which is to presume instant salvation, still immersed in sin, just by believing that Jesus is the son of God. The error of the wicked is to think wickedness (sin) is excused by grace, which Jude also denounced.
If you want to more detail on this same subject, Margaret Fox has an outstanding writing on this site available for further understanding.
4 Do we then render inoperative the law through faith? Absolutely not, instead we establish the law. So the law has not been made void. You must obey the moral parts of the Law, which is not works of law. The other word-for-word Bible translations also make it clear: (click to see)
New King James reads: Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.
New International reads: Not at all! Rather, we uphold the law.
Amplified reads: Certainly not! On the contrary, we confirm and establish and uphold the Law.
New American Standard reads: On the contrary, we establish the law.
Paul's letters have been misunderstood to eliminate all the law, and nothing could be further from the truth, unless you have progressed so far as to be under complete control of the Spirit of God. Jesus was asked, What must I do to inherit eternal life? Jesus replied: keep the commandments. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness. Honor your father and your mother; and you shall love your neighbor as yourself. He listed the moral core of the law that is on every man's heart. Then he told him he must sell his possessions, give to the poor, take up the cross, and follow him. To follow him is to wait, listen in silence, hear, and obey, thus to receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls. James 1:21.
While our selfish spirit is still alive, not yet completely crucified on the inward cross of self denial, we must still do for others, what we would have them do to us; we must still love our neighbor as ourselves; we must not steal, lie, murder, commit adultery, covet, etc. Your righteousness must exceed that of the Pharisees. As you advance spiritually by keeping his commands that you hear him speak to you, the love of God is finally perfected within you, 1 John 2:5. Then love fulfills the law, and we establish the law. To fulfill the law is to completely comply with it, making it even more valid and stronger. You go past the law, walking under complete control of the Spirit. From the Word of the Lord within: "There are no laws when you are under complete control of the spirit; you walk in love in obedience as prompted — you don't walk in restricted flesh." The Law was applied to fallen man, who lost the life and guidance of God; no law applies to a man who has been restored to the spiritual image of God.
And until we can hear the Lord and follow his counsel to become changed, the inner law on every man's heart, (which inner law includes the moral core of the Mosaic law), is our schoolmaster, a reminder to us of our problems, and a motivator to repent from our old ways and to seek divine help to be even more different, and thus to become pleasing to God. While the inner law on the heart of every man, which includes moral core of the outward law, is our schoolmaster, we know the state Paul described he once was in: "For I understood not what I did, for not what I intended to have practiced, instead I did what I hated." Rom 7:15, and then "Now if what was intended not, I did, it is no more me that did it, but the sin that dwelled in me. Rom 7:17." Paul passed through both of these states, and everyone must pass through these stages before they arrive at the liberty of the sons of God to enjoy Christian freedom. (Paul's final state was: it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.)
Without obedience, you cannot know Jesus: By this we know that we know him: if we keep [obey] his commands. 1 John 2:3
Without obedience, you cannot love Jesus: If a man loves me, he will keep my words [obey me, practice my teachings]. John 14:23
Without obedience you are not a friend of Jesus: You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. John 15:14
Without obedience, you cannot have been born again while still sinning: Whoever has been born of God does not sin. 1 John 3:9.
Previous Chapter | Next Chapter