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Romans 3:22


Darlene

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Heavenly Father,

 

There's been a situation in my life that You've given me direction on.

 

For the past few months, that door has been closed.

 

I've been pretty surprised at myself, and grateful for Your grace because I've done a pretty good job at being patient. Not perfect, mind You...but pretty good if I do say so myself lol. The important thing to me, throughout the whole time, has been a deep and heartfelt desire to be obedient to You.

 

So, a couple of days ago, after thinking about it for quite a while, I began to pray, asking You to release me from this direction You had lead me. What a change that is for me...to even ask Your permission. In the past, I'd probably have started running and dealt with the after effects later, feeling sad, remorse, etc. But somehow, by Your hand alone, You kept me from falling flat on my face. I know You know how important it was to me to honor You with my obedience, so thank You Father for that.

 

So anyway, in a genuine attempt to reason with the mind You've given me...to use Godly wisdom, I had come to the conclusion that it was an appropriate time for this situation to come to an end. I didn't have my normal temper tantrums with You, I just asked.

 

Yesterday, You gave me your answer.

 

That door that You had kept closed all these months, that for a long time, I wanted open, but no longer wanted open, You opened yesterday.

 

What is up with that? lolol

 

I asked You to release me from this situation so I could move on with my life, and You open the door.

 

Your ways are surely not my ways...Your thoughts are surely not mine. Yours really are much higher, but in all honesty Father, You really do confuse me sometimes lol. So, what do I do now that You've opened that door...I no longer desire that direction any longer (I don't think). You know it took me forever to even accept that direction and that dry ground that I had to travel these past few months has placed me back into a position where I don't want it anymore.

 

I'm so confused, but I'm also laughing a little bit at my confusion.

 

Thank goodness You are God cause I'm so confused...and You know exactly what You're doing. So, Your will Father, not mine...just please help me to want this direction again. It sure does help when I don't mind doing something.

 

As we enter into Your presence, through the beautiful gift of Your Word, open our spiritual eyes and ears, that we might hear and see, the truths You've laid therein.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

 

 

 

Now, the rvbv discussion on Romans 3:22 is quite lengthy. Due to some time constraints I have today, I think I'll divide it in two. I had started the study in verse 22 yesterday, but got interrupted by a christian friend who was in trouble and needed a 'cup of cold water', so God sent me on a mission and it was beautiful to see this friend be filled with hope and peace again. I know the torment of being in a very bad place spiritually, so it was important to me that I try to be there for them. Anyway, all that I had written, was lost, so once again, I'm starting from scratch...

 

22. God's righteousness, moreover, through faith concerning Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction.

 

Watchman Nee writes: "Or, faith in Jesus Christ. This faith refers to the faith of Jesus Christ in us, which has become the faith by which we believe in Him, as in verse 26, Gal. 2:16,20, 3:22, Eph. 3:12 and Phil. 3:9.

 

Faith has an object, and it issues from its object. This object is Jesus, who is God incarnate. When man hears Him, knows Him, appreciates Him, treasures him, He causes faith to be generate in man, enabling man to believe in Him. Thus, He becomes the faith in man by which man believes in Him. Hence, this faith becomes the faith in Him, and it is also the faith that belongs to Him.

 

In God's New Testament economy, God desires that man believe in Jesus, who is God incarnate. If man does not believe in Him, he commits the unique sin before God (John 16:9). However, if man believes in Him, he is righteous to the uttermost before God, and God reckons this faith as his righteousness. At the same time, this faith brings its object, that is, this One who is God incarnate, into those who believe in Him. He is God's righteousness, and God has given Him as righteousness to those who are indwelt by Him (Jer. 23:6). All this is out of, and depends on, the faith that is in Him and of Him (Heb. 12:2)."

 

In the rvbv, it states in verse 22: "God's righteousness, moreover, through faith concerning Jesus Christ unto all them that believe - If it were man's righeousness, it would be through something man accomplished. But it is God's righteousness; it is apart from our right-doing - that is, law-keeping altogether; for keeping law would be the only way man could get a righteousness of his own.

 

but the moment we mention righteousness here, people can hardly be restrained from the notion that they are to have a new quality bestowed upon them. Since they have themselves lost this quality of righteousness, they are anxious to get it back, - the consciousness of it. But this is really self-righteousness, - and that at its worst.

 

For we read here the words, "through faith in [or concerning] Jesus Christ." And people rush to talking of Christ's "merits" becoming theirs, being "imputed," or reckoned to them: so that they are, thereby, in a righteous state!

 

But we shall see in Chapter 4:5 that God accounts righteous the believing ungodly as such; not those who are first to be in any wise "changed," and then reckoned righteous; not those to whom certain "merits" of Christ are to be given, so that they are thereby righteous - not at all. But the believing ungodly are to be reckoned righteous - while they are still ungodly: it is that fact that makes the gospel!

 

Justification is God's reckoning a man righteous who has no righteousnes, - because God is operating wholly upon another basis, even the work of Christ. If Christ fully bore sin for man, and has been raised up by God, a believing man has reckoned to him by God, all that infinite work of Christ!

 

Thus, no change in the ungodly man is necessary for justification. He believes, certainly. But faith is not a "meritorious" work. It is simply giving God the credit of speaking the truth in the gospel about Christ. It is Christ's shed blood, and that alone, which is the procuring cause of God's declaring an ungodly man righteous: while God's grace is the reason for it. Our faith is simply the instrumental condition. God counts our faith for righteousness, because by it we give God and Christ the full glory of our salvation. Faith in God also brings the heart into His light; for, when "with the heart man believeth unto righteousness," the heart, in thus believing, is turned to God directly, in the simplicity of a little child. When Adam sinned, he fled from God; when a sinner believes, he comes back!

 

Now concerning this chiefest revelation of Romans, we must go to Scripture only. It will never do to accept men's writings as "authorities" or as "standards," - as men call them. For to do this is not to interpret the Scriptures, but to proceed along romish lines. Nor will it do to rely on men's devotedness to God, however real, as proof of their reliability in statements of Divine truth.

 

Take the Reformers: god brought them back, in principle, to the Scriptures as their only guide. (Would that there were the same devotedness and zeal today!) But, after mounting up to heaven as it were, in personal grasp and use of the truth of justification by faith apart from all works, yet the Reformers put Christians back under Moses as a "rule of life," under law! "What is required? and what is forbidden?" in this Mosaic commandment, or that, is the burden of Christian living, according to this theology.

 

Godly and earnest men have thus held; but the only question is, what are the words of Scripture? We must "prove all things" men write, in light of the Scripture: for God says we are not under law: and that the "rule of life" is, that we are a new creation (Gal. 6:15,16). In the Pauline revelation that we died with Christ from all earthly "religious principles" (Col. 2:20), (such as God declares the Mosaic system now to be: Gal 4:9) - is this glorious fact once set forth in all the reformed "standards"? By no means! Believers were not seen by the Reformers as having had their history ended at the cross, and being now wholly in a new creation. Neither did the Puritans enter into this truth. This Pauline doctrine was not fully recovered until God wrought, - again in a reviving, almost a Reformation power, through godly and devoted servants of His, 300 years after Luther and Calvin. Truth is truth: and those seeking God's truth welcome it wherever they find it! Revealed Truth belongs to the whole Church, to every believer. Those attached to, and entrenched in tradition, will always be found fighting for that. (...Men prefer "belonging" to a system: (1 ) Because where faith is not vigorous it comforts the flesh to find oneself among a party. (2 ) Where direct personal knowledge of Scripture is lacking it is a comfort to the heart to be told "authoritatively" what to believe - what the party to which one belongs, holds. (3 ) It is abhorrent to the flesh to walk by the Spirit. It is infinitely easier to be occupies with the "Christian duties" practiced or prescribed by your sect. (4 ) The flesh cannot bear to be little, despised, but desires to be of those that have the regard of "the Christian world" (an awful phrase!). (5 ) Even among the most earnest Christians the temptation and the tendency have always been to seize upon those truths emphasized by the leaders of the sect they follow and claim those truths and principles as their own! But this in effect denies the unity of the Body of Christ, and that all truth belongs to the whole Church of God...)

 

I totally agree with what he just wrote there. I was raised in many different "Christian" religions, so I had exposure to most of them. The Lord would lead my dad to 'fellowship' (denomination), based on the Godly man that was in the pulpit, for a 'season'. There would inevitably come a time, when the Lord would move him on. Right now, he has attended one church for a few years now, but has never joined, stating that he did not feel the Lord laying that on his heart. Consequently, I've always feel enriched for having participated in different denominations. I've always said that no one denomination has "it" all...it's as if the Lord is a prisim and that each denomination is a facet of that prisim, but none contain it all. That just proves to me that the 'Body of Christ' with Jesus as its head, really IS the only 'true church'.

 

I also liked and agreed with what he said about how people will get caught up with the rituals within a denomination. I remember when I was a member of a Presbyterian church, asking the pastor one time why they just 'sprinkled' water in baptism, instead of full submersion. He quoted some scripture in Ezekiel, so I asked him what God had meant when He wrote in the book of Mark "As Jesus was coming up OUT of the water, he saw heaven being torn open...". I emphasized the "out of the water" part to the pastor...he wasn't real pleased with my question.

 

The cute thing was, the next Sunday, at the end of his sermon, he offered to baptize anyone in a body of water (pool, ocean, etc), if they wanted...even though it wasn't a traditional Presbyterian belief.

 

Yea God! lol

 

If ya'll don't mind, I'll stop here for today, and pick back up where I left up tomorrow morning.

 

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I love You...I just simply and without reservation, love You.

 

I feel happiness in my heart, and a little mischevious laughter too. I think if I were in heaven right now and could give You a hug, I'd never want to let go. You are so much more than I ever dreamed You could be and I am so genuinely grateful that You are growing me in the knowledge of You.

 

Take me further God...take me further into a more deeper and intimate knowledge and relationship with You. I don't know how to get there, I can pretty much count on the fact that it will have alot of obstacles and attacks along the way, but You know how to lead me there so I'm asking You to lead and guide me, through the work of Your precious Holy Spirit, who lives inside my heart.

 

Bless all who read this study today Father...fill them with the loving power of Your presence and peace. Lite a spark of joy in their hearts that they would know it is by Your hand alone, that it's there.

 

I want to live a life that honors You...I just don't always know how to do that, but You do. I want to experience the depth of Your love for me, and us, and while I don't know how to do that either, I know that You do. I want to grow closer to You, and I don't know how to arrive at that, but You do, so I ask Father, that You would do all these things and more, because I believe You, I trust You and most of all, I love You.

 

In Jesus Name I pray,

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The thoughts that I had as I read the commentaries was of 'aplogetics'. Many people, more likely MOST people who do believe, don't have the slightest idea of WHY they believe.

 

As a matter of fact, it is widely considered almost an 'affront' to the concept of faith if you need to know WHY. After all, one might argue, Faith is believing beyond what you understand. I do understand that, BUT, we should also study to show ourselves approved. And be ready with an answer in season and out of season.

 

We'll never 'know' it all or grasp it all. God's entire Truth will never be comprehended fully this side of Glory.

 

For instance, Martin Luther who was instrumental in the hand of God had some errant views, in my opinion concerning the Jewish people. At one time when I read some of his words concerning them, I was so shaken that I couldn't understand how he could have been 'so' right concerning the Reformation issues and still be 'so' wrong concerning what many consider anti-semitic views.

 

It is a wonderful thing to sit under a great pastor, to read commentaries from learned men, to pay attention to the teachings of our chosen denomination within the Christian religion...but we are should be searching out the Scriptures ourselves under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. And then, we must have a PLUMB LINE, an accurate measure for what we're hearing others say or even feeling that the Lord is speaking to us. That standard is the Word of God.

 

We really don't like that as it doesn't often provide much wiggle room. The Word of God says.....(insert truth) and then we start explaining why this doesn't apply or how our circumstances are different or...etc...

 

Traditions and ceremonies can be lovely things when they are used to cause us to grow in our relationship with man. But yes, we need to know the difference between the Traditions of Man and the Word of God.

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