This song is my wife’s favourite worship song. Enjoy!
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This is some beautiful teaching here from the apostle of grace, Paul:
9Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
Paul is taking here about the blessedness of not having your sin held against you. As I said in the last post, the is the most remarkable blessing. Because of what Jesus did on the cross in becoming your sin, if you put your faith in him then you will never have your sin held against you. God will treat you as if you never sinned. I have heard people say it like this: justified means just-if-i’d never sinned, and that is 100% correct. If you have your faith in Jesus, you can relate to God as if you never sinned.
Now Paul is asking the question: does a person have to be circumcised to have this blessing? Some people, often called the Judaizers by scholars, were visiting the new churches that Paul was planting and telling people that they could never be right with God, never enter heaven and never enjoy heaven on earth until they were circumcised.
Now I have never in the 21st century heard someone make such a claim: that unless someone is circumcised that they cannot enter heaven when they die or enjoy heaven on earth. However, I have heard many equivalent claims and so have you.
How about: “if you quit going to this church you will never succeed on earth”. Anyone heard that? It is a lie. You are righteous by faith and you will succeed on earth because of what Jesus has done. I was in a church once where people were told they were going to hell because they were wearing sleeveless tops.
What about you have to speak in tongues to go to heaven? What about you have to not have a certain amount of money? You have to wear certain clothes to fit into the church? You have to do certain things on a Sunday, or not do other things? I remember back when I was a brand new Christian, I went into a B&Q with a friend to buy a screwdriver for a model I was building. I was only about 17, and it was a Sunday after church.
We were walking in the store chatting away when my friend suddenly grabbed my shoulder and pulled me behind the shelving and into the next aisle. I was a little shocked to say the least. When I demanded an explanation, he told me that he had just seen a deacon from our church walking down the aisle we were in. We were absolutely not allowed to let him see us in the shop!
Even my teenage mind was lightning fast to realize that for him to tell the pastor we were in the shop that he would have had a very obvious question to answer himself, so I really wasn’t concerned! But that is the attitude of very many churches. The fact is that being right with God, being accepted has nothing to do with our actions.
There is actually in several churches a movement to go back to the “Hebrew” roots of the church. People are dressing in Jewish clothes, celebrating the passover, and adopting Jewish customs and practices. This is absolutely unnecessary and can be spiritually very dangerous.
If all you are doing is keeping a passover to examine the typology of Jesus and marvel at how the Lord accurately portrayed the death of Jesus to the Jewish people hundreds of years before it happened, then that is fine and may actually be beneficial. But the second you start to judge people on the days they keep, the festivals they are involved in, the second you think that these things contribute to your righteousness, you are stepping away from the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone.
10How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
Paul is pointing out that circumcision cannot possibly be necessary to be righteous because Abraham was declared righteous BEFORE he was circumcised. This principle is an excellent principle if you want to know if I have to do something to be accepted by God. All you have to do any time someone says you have to do A, B or C before you are right with God is ask yourself if Abraham did it before he was declared righteous. If the answer is no, then you do not need to do it before God declares you righteous.
I was in one church that said if you did not read your Bible EVERY DAY, God would not accept you. In other words, your righteousness was not dependant on the complete work of Jesus but on your ability to read.
Ask yourself the question: did Abraham read his Bible every day before he was declared righteous. The answer is an obvious no because there was no Bible in Abraham’s day.
The fact is this: Abraham was declared righteous before he was circumcised, hundreds of years before there was a Bible, hundreds of years before the first church service (yes! you don’t have to go to church to be right with God!), before he tithed, before he saw a manifestation of God’s goodness, before he did anything. All he did was believe. It is that simple. We overcomplicate it, and there are always people who will tell you that you have to pray this long, fast this long, read the Bible this much and go to church this many times to be right with God.
It is the same error Paul is dealing with in Romans. You do not have to do anything to be right with God. It is only by faith alone in grace alone.
11And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
Abraham’s circumcision only happened after he was declared righteous. We like to put the cart before the horse. We like to tell people: quit smoking and you will be right with God. It’s nonsense – quitting smoking cannot make you right with God. You will just smell a bit nicer and have a bit more money, but you won’t be righteous.
What we should tell people is: you are right with God. They will then quit smoking. They were only smoking because of fear and anxiety. Now they know that they have peace with God and they are enjoying heaven on earth, they forget about the cigarettes.
(Obviously cigarettes is just an example, this works with every situation!)
12And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.
And to be like Abraham it is not the outward thing you need to do to be like Abraham, but the inward thing. You don’t need to look like Abraham, be circumcised like Abraham, but you need to believe like Abraham.
We still copy the externals of people not their heart. We miss it by so much. Years ago I loved Derek Prince more than any other Bible teacher. I listened to him every day. I started to try and be like him in the pulpit, I would lecture and adopt his mannerisms and his phrases. I even bought myself a three piece suit because that is what he always wore.
Now I realize I should have followed his faith: the fact that he always simply accepted the Word of God over any tradition and any circumstance, the fact that he was a man of humility and integrity. I should still preach like me (if you have ever heard me preach, I am not like him in the pulpit at all… well, not in style, I hope in substance I am like him), should still dress like me, and still be me.
If you have spiritual heroes, and there is not a problem with that, we were designed to have heroes, don’t emulate their external behaviours but emulate their faith and their spirit.
13For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.
Abraham was told by God that he would inherit the world! If you believe in Jesus, you are going to inherit the world. Blessed are the meek, because they will inherit the earth.
If you realize that because of Jesus that you are going to inherit the earth, you are going to be promoted, you are going to prosper, you are going to be wealthy, and that your actions will not change your righteousness, that your sin is not and will never be held against you, then you will be a happy person!
Blessed are you forever,
So far Romans 1 has shown us that immoral people are unrighteous, and that God must punish all unrighteousness. These people have no excuse because they have a conscience and can see creation.
Romans 2 has shown us that moral people are unrighteous as well – they do not keep the laws they have been given.
Romans 3 starts by emphasizing that by works and actions there is no one righteous. When we finally realize that even our most righteous work is worth nothing to the Lord due to our impure motives, the sins we have committed and our inability to change, then Paul lets us know that there is another way to be righteous: by placing our faith in the work of the Lord Jesus.
This is the great truth of the Protestant Reformation: salvation is by grace alone through faith alone in Jesus alone.
Ephesians 2.8-9 say it like this:
8For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
9Not of works, lest any man should boast.
You are saved and made righteous only because Jesus Christ bore all your sin and iniquity on the cross. 2 Cor. 5.21 says:
21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
Jesus, who never sinned – never did anything to make himself unrighteous, became unrighteous on the cross. He literally became sin on the cross with your sin. All of the sin you have ever committed and ever will commit was laid on the Lord Jesus. All of the righteousness He committed was laid on you.
He became sin with your sin so that you can be righteous with His righteousness. This is the central truth of Romans and the central truth of the entire New Testament. Yet there are still so many Christians trying to work for their salvation, to earn God’s merit, to strive hard enough that they can be healed, be assure of heaven, be this that and the other.
But the gospel message is this: you will never be good enough for God. But that is ok – He is good. And in His goodness sent a man to die on the cross and take the punishment for all of your sin. If you put your faith in Him, that completes the exchange and you will be made the righteousness of God.
Do you realize this: believing in Jesus makes you the righteousness of God. You are as right with God as Jesus is. You can stand before God without fear, without inferiority, without shame. Not because of anything you have done – not that you can boast (Eph. 2.9), but because of what Jesus has done.
If you are a Christian, you are righteous. You do not have to go to hell when you die and you do not have to endure hell on earth. You can go to heaven when you die and you can enjoy heaven on earth. If you are not a Christian all you have to do to become righteous is believe – Romans 10.9-11 says:
9That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
All you have to do is believe that Jesus rose from the dead and say out loud that Jesus is Lord. Then you are saved and you are righteous. Then you shall never be ashamed. You might feel ashamed – but that is because you are trying to approach God on the basis of your actions and your actions are not enough to be righteous. If you approach God on the basis of Jesus’ actions, you will not feel ashamed because you never have to be ashamed because the work of Jesus is complete.
Let’s look at the first few verses of Romans 4. Here Paul is writing to the Jewish people, but the principles apply just as much to people from any religion. You can only be righteous by faith, not by what you do or don’t do. Stop thinking about what you have done and what you have not done – and start thinking about God’s grace and what He has done.
1What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
Paul here brings the Jewish people back to Abraham. He is making the clear point that Abraham lived before God as a righteous man, but that contrary to what some people might have thought, Abraham was not considered righteous because of his actions. He was righteous because He believed God.
2For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
3For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
Paul is saying that Abraham was not good enough to be righteous by his actions. You must realize that even the most moral people are not good enough to be righteous by their actions. They have to believe God and that He makes people righteous by faith.
4Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
If you are still working and doing good works to make God impressed with you, then you are saying God owes you something. That you deserve every blessing you have.
This is nonsense – it is pure pride. Yet so many Christians talk and act like this. Even word of faith people act like this. It is not true. You cannot work for any blessing. Every blessing you have – righteousness, peace, joy, health, wealth – came because Jesus Christ took the curse on the cross, bore your sin on the cross, and made the blessing freely available. All you have to do is believe and receive.
God makes the ungodly righteous by faith. Say it out loud. Write it on a piece of paper, learn it, meditate on it. Get it into your heart – you are righteous because of Jesus Christ, not any good works you have done. When you look at your works and feel righteous, you are not righteous because of your works, you cannot boast. You are righteous because of Jesus.
When you feel unrighteous because of your works, you are not unrighteous. You are righteous because of Jesus. Your righteousness never changes because what Jesus did never changes. You can always approach God by fiath in His grace.
6Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
8Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
Even King David sinned, as any student of the Old Testament is aware. David did not say that you were blessed because you never sinned. He said you were blessed because the Lord will not impute sin. Impute is an accounting term which means not put into the account.
Because Jesus took all of your sin, then every sin you commit if you put your faith in Jesus is not put into your account. No matter what you have done wrong, no matter what you ever will do wrong, no matter what sins you have committed, no matter what you have done. It doesn’t matter because it will not be put against your account.
It was put against Jesus’ account. He was punished for you. He died your death because of your sin so you could live His life.
Many Christians do not accept this powerful Scripture because they think it is too good to be true, but it is true. If you are a Christian, then no sin you have ever committed and no sin you ever commit will EVER be laid at your account. You will never have to be stand before God on the basis of your sin, because Jesus Christ has completely dealt with the sin issue.
You can stand before God right now as if you have never sinned, with no sense of fear, no shame.
That indeed is a place of blessing and there is nothing you can do to earn it, you cannot boast about it. God has given it to you freely. That is what grace is: you have been given what you do not deserve: complete forgiveness of sins.
You are the righteousness of God in Christ.
A few months ago I was talking with a Muslim man. He has committed a number of sins that are disturbing his conscience. He feels guilty – and he should he is guilty. He has broken the commandments of God and is unrighteous.
He told me that he prays, that he fasts, that he goes to mosque, but feels no relief. I told him he wouldn’t, that makes sense to me. That surprised him because he felt that religious rituals and prayer would assuage his guilt.
I told him it couldn’t deal with his guilt. I said if he was in a court of law he couldn’t claim innocence of the crimes he had committed because he has prayed or done other rituals. Rituals cannot make you innocent. I understood his anguish as I showed him that there is none righteous not one.
It is important to show people the futility of having any faith in their ability to do right and be righteous, because they are then open to the good news that there is another way to be righteous.
I then said that what he needed was someone to live a perfect life and then offer up that perfect live as a sacrifice for him, then – and only then – could God count him as righteous. Only then could he have peace with God.
He said that no one would ever do that for him, so I told him all about what Jesus did.
He did not became a Christian that night – the peer pressure of his family being part of the issue – but he knows the gospel now. And one day he will receive the love and mercy of Jesus and put His faith in the work of Jesus.
But, although this was a Muslim man, there are many in the churches that are not Christians or are Christians but because they do not know why they are righteous, are condemned, lacking peace, feeling defeated and unloved because they know that according to their actions they are unrighteous.
Listen – according to your actions you are. But you are blessed – every sin you have ever committed or ever will commit is not being put against your account. You can approach God as if you have never sinned. You can stand before God as a righteous man.
You can pray and have your prayers answered. You can lay hands on the sick and have them healed. You can do the works Jesus did. You can be a force of life on the world.
Bless God forever!
This challenge from E W Kenyon stands today and is more relevant than it has ever been. Every charismatic Christian should read this!
She said, “I know it is true for I experienced it.” It isn’t a problem of whether the Word declared it or not. It isn’t what the Word says, but what our experience says.
Faith in our experiences is not always faith in the Word. Faith in what I have seen or heard is not always faith in the Word.
Practically all religious experiences are products of the physical senses. It is something felt or heard or seen.
Sense experience always leaves one empty when the experience grows old.
Seeking experiences is always dangerous for it is trusting in the arm of the flesh rather than in the Word, because experiences are always connected with the senses.
Sense experiences are fascinating to a soul-hungry man. They attract the curious. They are always in the realm where most folks live. One of the unfortunate things about seeking experiences is that those who are seeking are in the realm that is governed by evil spirits, for Satan rules most people’s bodies, the home of practically all of our experiences.
That is the reason so many have lost their minds; for when people seek experiences for a long time, demons often take advantage and become their helpers.
They are not wrestling with God. It is not with the Word. They struggle with themselves to get their senses to function.
Sense experiences are always based on sense knowledge faith.
We should remember that sense knowledge always fails us in a crisis; and you will notice that the people who are depending on experiences are ever seeking to have the experience repeated. They believe in experiences because they live in the realm of the senses.
They never believe the Word. They assent to it, or they hope in it.
Experience-seekers are always unstable in their faith.
The Word of God does not carry as much authority as the word of the person who has the experience.
These people are ever seeking faith.
They have continual war with doubts and fears and discouragements.
They will tell you that they are having a hard battle with the Adversary.
Most of these people have rented a place at the altar.
They are perpetual seekers who long for experiences and power.
They are seeking their healing, not knowing that the Father laid their diseases on Jesus.
They are honest, but they are walking in the realm of the senses.
Their teachers are sense knowledge taught people.
They believe much about the Word, but they do not believe the Word Itself.
They act on the word of man and it breaks under them.
They read much about the Bible and about experiences, but they do not study the Word systematically.
Consequently they are unstable and double-minded.
They are like people who take dope or liquor. They are drunken with the senses.
If they could only know the sure Word, the unbroken Word, the Living Word, the life-giving Word, the all satisfying Word, they would give up their quest for experiences and let the Word satisfy them.
What kind of manifestations are they seeking? Something connected with their physical body.
They wish to speak in tongues.
They desire to go under the power.
They wish to have their body vibrate and shake.
They wish to seek some physical demonstration of the Spirit’s power.
The Holy Spirit never gratifies them.
The only spirit that will gratify them is dangerous to play with.
But you ask, “Do you believe in speaking with tongues?”
Yes, when the Holy Spirit speaks through you it is beautiful.
But no one needs to wait and tarry for Him to do it, for the tarrying gives the Adversary an opportunity to deceive them, and the people who are seeking this are not spiritually minded.
They will not know a demon from the Holy Spirit.
But you say, “Didn’t the disciples tarry ten days?”
Yes, they waited until the fullness of time came for the Holy Spirit to come. From that day to this there has been no need to tarry.
The Holy Spirit is here, and He will enter the body of any man or woman who invites Him in.
Luke 11:13, “How much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him.”
You don’t receive Eternal Life by tarrying and struggling for it.
You receive Eternal Life by acting on the Word.
Tarrying means that the Word isn’t true and you have to do something to add to its truthfulness, to its veracity.
Waiting before the Lord for power and for some special blessing that you have heard about is unnecessary because you have in you, if you have received the Holy Spirit, the fountain of all experiences.
Core Scripture: Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. (Galatians 3.13-14)
Jesus redeemed us from the curse of the law, by being made a curse. As soon as the curse is removed from us, the blessings come upon us 7 Questions that must be answered:
1. What does redeem mean?
2. What is the curse of the law?
3. How did Christ become a curse?
4. How can I be free from the curse of the law?
5. What is the blessing of Abraham?
6. What is the promise of the Spirit?
7. How can I receive the promise of the Spirit through faith
1. What does redeem mean?
The Greek is exagorazo, which means: 1) to redeem a) by payment of a price to recover from the power of another, to ransom, buy off b) metaphorical of Christ freeing the elect from the dominion of the Mosaic Law at the price of his vicarious death 2) to buy up, to buy up for one’s self, for one’s use a) to make wise and sacred use of every opportunity for doing good, so that zeal and well doing are as it were the purchase money by which we make the time our own (Strong’s Concordance, G1805)
To redeem means to buy something from another person or to pay off a ransom. Our redemption is not from the devil or the world, but from the curse of the law. We were owned by the law: it demands a price we cannot pay. The law captures us by demanding we fulfil it completely (James 2.13) and we cannot (Romans 3.20). The law shows us we cannot build a bridge to God by our own goodness. Christ did not come to give us a method to build a better bridge of our righteousness, but to show us to a new bridge. (Romans 3.20-27)
2. What is the curse of the law?
Adam was blessed when he was created (Genesis 1.28) When Adam committed treason against God’ Word, the world was then under a curse. This curse is the “curse of the law”. It is the curse that the law requires a completely perfect life to impress God. Adam only sinned once and the curse came. The effect of the curse was death, and a process of death in every area. The clearest description of the effects of the curse of the law is found in Deut. 28.15-68. It includes poverty, sickness, humiliation, confusion, barrenness. I believe the best work to sum up the effects of the curse of the law is unfruitfulness.
Regarding sickness and disease, the key verses are vv. 58-61: If thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this glorious and fearful name, THE LORD THY GOD; Then the LORD will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance. Moreover he will bring upon thee all the diseases of Egypt, which thou wast afraid of; and they shall cleave unto thee. Also every sickness, and every plague, which is not written in the book of this law, them will the LORD bring upon thee, until thou be destroyed.(Deuteronomy 28.58-61) The curse of the law includes: plagues, plagues on your seed (children), great plagues, long continuing plagues, sore sicknesses of long continuance (i.e. that do not go away), diseases, every sickness and every disease. This is our inheritance in an earth where people have gone their own way and have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God
3. How did Christ become a curse?
Not by failing to fulfil the law (Matthew 5.17, 2 Cor. 5.21) – we know Christ fulfilled the law perfectly. He had a perfect bridge to God. He was righteous – he could stand before God without fear, without shame, without a sense of inferiority. Christ lived healthy and wealthy and happy in the world. The “tree” clause (Deut. 21.23): by being nailed to the cross, Jesus took on the curse of the law for all of humanity.
Isaiah 53.3-10 describes Jesus taking the sin of mankind on himself in a graphic way o Specific to healing and sickness is verse 4: Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
Griefs = choliy = sickness (one word definition in Strong’s!) o Sorrows = makob = pain, mental or physical. Jesus went to the cross by faith o Hebrews 12.2 says he did it for the joy set before him – he knew it would be a success before he did it. This is a faith action
On the cross, Jesus is quoting Scripture (Psalm 22) about his own crucifixion. (Matthew 27.46)
4. How Can I Be Free From the Curse of the Law?
There is a gap between our experiences and our inheritance. In terms of healing, people are still sick. It is foolish to deny this. People get sick, sicknesses come on people. The key to freedom from the curse of the law is to cross the correct bridge to God.
There are two bridges, but only one leads to God. The first bridge is righteousness via the law; the second bridge is righteousness via faith. Many Christians are still on the wrong bridge – trying to impress God with their righteousness and assuming any lack of healing is because they are not righteous enough. Change bridges – believe and receive.
Four steps to crossing the bridge (Galatians 5):
1. Stand firm (verse 1) Realise you are already healed (1 Peter 2.24) Command sickness and disease to leave your body because of what Jesus has done, not because of what you have done.
2. Do not attempt to obey the externals of the law (verse 2-4) Reject any teaching that says “you must” – Look for teaching that says “you can”
3. Look for righteousness (verse 5) – use your imagination. See yourself healed. Abraham had to see the stars before he could see his child. Greek = apekdechomai = look for actively and certainly
4. Walk in love (verse 6) Not our love – but His love
5. What is the Blessing of Abraham?
The Greek is eulogia, which comes from good and word. It literally means good word. The best translation in concrete terms would be: benefit. A blessing is a good word that leads to a benefit. Every benefit is accessed through words. If you want to know the benefits of Abraham, it is best to look at the life of Abraham. Especially look at how Abraham received the blessing – what bridge did he cross (Romans 4.20)
The blessings are also listed in Deut. 28.1-14. Notice carefully sickness is on the curse side! (Psalm 103.2)
6. What is the Promise of the Spirit?
It is the key to faith. Every promise of God is the key to faith. There are two bridges to God: righteousness via the law, and righteousness via faith. If you choose righteousness via the law the strength of the bridge is your obedience to the law, which means the bridge will collapse. If you choose righteousness via faith, the strength of the bridge is the promises of God. Which means the bridge will never fail.
You must find the specific promises that refer to your case, from the Word with the help of the Spirit. For healing: Psalm 103.2, 1 Peter 2.24, Psalm 107.20, Isaiah 53.4, Matthew 8.17. 7. How Can I Receive the Promise of the Spirit by Faith? (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be. And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb: He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. (Romans 4.17-21)
1. Call those things which be not as though they were (command sickness to leave, speak health over your body)
2. Against hope, believe in hope (imagine yourself in the promises of God)
3. Based it on what was spoken (find your promises)
4. Do not consider your circumstances
5. Stagger not at the promises of God – meditate on them and reach to them.
6. Give glory to God (thank Him in advance)
7. Be fully persuaded (continue in the Word, realize how stable the bridge is because it is built on the promise of God)