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Romans 1.17

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For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Three books of the New Testament quote Habukkuk 2.4, the just shall live by faith. Romans, Galatians and Hebrews. Romans tells us what the just are, Galatians tells us how to live, and Hebrews explains what faith is. It is clear that the just shall live by faith are the single most important six words in the whole Bible.

Six words all one syllable long and they have changed the world. Without those six words, we would be living in hell on earth right now. It is those words that took the gospel to the world in Paul’s generation and established a church that changed the world, that released us from the world of legalism and wickedness.

Then when the church had fallen for the lies of the devil and was bound in politics, in powerless legalism and useless tradition, these six words grabbed the heart of Martin Luther and brought revival to a generation that is still flooding the church today. Without the Reformation, there would be no Methodists, no Pentecostals, no charismatics and no Word of Faith! These six words have changed your life!

Now it is time for these six words to change your life on a personal level. You are the just. Now the word just is a totally redundant word in the Bible. The word righteous means exactly the same thing. The righteous shall live by faith. You are righteous because of what Jesus has done.

This is what Paul is saying: the gospel is the power of God for salvation because in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.

Righteousness is no longer something we have to achieve by works, it is something we have to receive by faith.

The gospel is this: Jesus Christ lived a perfectly righteous life. He then offered that righteous life up as an offering for you, taking your sin so you could be made righteous (2 Cor. 5.21). The moment you put your faith in Jesus, you were made righteous. The righteous are bold, the righteous abound in blessings, the righteous enjoy fullness of joy, the righteous pray and their prayers are answered and heard by the Lord. And you are righteous the moment you put your faith in the gospel!

The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. The Greek says ek pistis eis pistis, which is best translated out of faith into faith.

The gospel reveals the righteousness of God out of faith into faith. What does this mean?

A lot of people have a lot of theories, but my opinion is this: the righteousness of God comes out of the faith of God and into our faith.

God believed that we would be righteousness, and His faith sent Jesus into our world, living a righteous perfect life and offering that life as a sacrifice. Then as we believe the gospel, the righteousness goes into our faith. The moment we believe the gospel righteousness goes into our faith and transforms our spirit. We are transformed so remarkably and totally the only correct term is that we are born again.

To be born again means the same as to be made righteous. We were spiritually dead and spiritually sinful. Then we are born again to spiritual life and spiritual righteousness.

Before Jesus walked the earth, there was no one righteous, no not one.

Then, out of faith the righteousness of God moved from heaven into earth through the conception and birth of Jesus Christ. Jesus lived a perfect life, a righteous life, and offered that life up for us on a cross, becoming sin so we could become righteous.

Then, when anyone at all puts their faith in Jesus Christ that righteousness comes into that faith and transforms that person so that they are born again as a righteous man.

Wow! Now you are righteous, how do you live? You live by the same faith that made you righteous.

Stop living by works. Stop living by circumstances. Stop living by experience. Stop living by gifting. Live by faith. Live by the Word of God and confidence that Jesus Christ has redeemed you.

If sickness comes into your body, don’t live by sickness. Live by faith in your redemption by Christ. Live well.

If you are bound by sin, don’t live by experience and how you lived today. Live by faith – faith in the fact that Jesus became that sin and you became righteous with His righteousness.

If you are in debt, don’t live by debt. Live by faith that Jesus became poor so you could be rich.

You are the righteous – so live by faith.

Run Through Romans (Intro)

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I want to work my way through some books of the Bible, just giving a brief overview of each chapter and any highlights. The church is suffering from a lack of knowledge from the Bible. We know a Scripture here and a Scripture there, but we need to be able to know the context of a Scripture and the context of a book so we can study to show ourselves approved of God.

I am going to start with the book of Romans for two reasons. One, it has been divided into chapters exceptionally well. You may or may not know that the Bible was only divided into chapters in the 12th century and the verses were only added in the 16th century. Sometimes the chapter divides are arbitrary and do not match the topics of the chapters. Sometimes they cut up a train of thought.

But in Romans for the most part, the chapter breaks match the content of the book well.

Secondly, Romans deals with what is in my opinion the most important question for mankind to know the answer to: how can a human be righteous? So many religions – and so many churches – give an answer to this question which is unbiblical, unpractical and will leave you in hell on earth and in hell when you die. Studying Romans will give us the Bible answer to the question.

So before we examine Romans 1, I want to just give you a little information about when, how and why the book was penned.

Paul, the apostle of Christ Jesus, wrote Romans about 57AD. Most scholars consider Paul was in Corinth when he wrote Romans (cf. Romans 15.25-26 where Paul says he is keen to visit Jerusalem and Acts 19.21 and 20.1-3 where Paul is going to visit Jerusalem. If these two visits are the same then Paul wrote Romans from Corinth).

Romans is a letter that Paul wrote to a church that he did not visit. Paul intended to visit and use the church as a base for taking missionary journeys west into Spain and beyond. To those ends Paul wanted the church to know the answer to the foundational question: how can a person be righteous. The church in Rome had Jewish and Gentile Christians and there was often conflict between them about how someone can be righteous. Some people were suggesting that there were different ways of being righteous for the Jew and the Gentile, and Paul is determined to show that there is only way to achieve righteousness.

The letter was taken to Rome by Phoebe. Just as an aside – Paul was more than happy to send possibly the most important letter every written in all of history via a woman. He was not the misogynist some people claim he was!

The book of Romans has changed the world. Without this book, the entire Protestant Reformation would never have happened. It is unlikely that the charismatic move would ever have happened. Luther said “it is the chief part of the New Testament”, and I agree with him. I hope as we run through this book giving you an overview of each chapter that it inspires you to study it for yourself and to learn how the just shall live by faith.

I shall put the overview of the 1st chapter live either this evening or tomorrow evening.

Every blessing,
Ben

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