For Their Salvation Romans 10:1-4 NASB Brethren, my heart’s desire and my prayer to God for them is for their salvation. For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. My heart’s desire and my prayer to God for my unsaved loved ones is for their salvation, too, but not just for them, but for the people of the whole world, but not just for those who make no profession of faith in Jesus Christ at all, but for those who profess faith in the Lord, but by their lifestyles they deny him. For many confess Christ as Savior and Lord, but not all submit themselves to his righteousness. There are many people in this world who profess faith in Jesus Christ, and who make an appearance of living righteously, but what they have, in practice, is not in accord with the truth of God’s Word. They do not submit to the Lord’s righteousness. They have not turned from their sins, but they are still being controlled by their sinful passions and desires. They do not walk according to the Spirit, but they still walk according to the flesh. They want to live their lives their way, according to their own man-made religion or rules or theologies or gospel, which permit them to keep on in their sin while claiming heaven as their eternal destiny. So, they decide what they will or will not do for God, instead of letting the Lord guide and direct their lives. They set the boundaries for themselves, not the Lord. If the Lord directs them in a way they do not want to go, they put up their hand, as if to say “Stop!” And, they refuse to submit to his Lordship over their lives. What we Practice Romans 10:5-13 NASB For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness. But the righteousness based on faith speaks as follows: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ (that is, to bring Christ down), or ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).” But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”—that is, the word of faith which we are preaching, that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation. For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him; for “Whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” If we try to gain God’s approval in our own flesh, doing only what we are willing to do, while withholding from the Lord what is rightfully his, which he gave his blood up for on that cross, we will live by that standard, which is of the flesh, not of the Spirit, for it does not submit to God’s righteousness. So, what should our faith in Jesus Christ look like, i.e. the kind of faith which saves us from our sins? If we truly believe in Jesus Christ, with divinely persuaded faith, it should result in God’s righteousness being lived out in and through our lives. Our outward confessions should be accompanied by lifestyles which are being lived to Christ’s righteousness, and no longer to the flesh, to do what the flesh desires. And, this results in our salvation. For, in Romans 8 we read that if we walk according to the flesh, we will die in our sins, but if by the Spirit we are putting sin to death, we will live with our Lord for eternity. If we sow to please the flesh, from that flesh we will reap corruption, but if we sow to please the Spirit, from the Spirit we will reap eternal life (Gal. 6:8). If we make a practice of such things as sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, hatred, selfish ambition, etc., we will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:19-21). If our confession of Christ as Savior and Lord of our lives is not lip service only, then it should result in us being delivered from our slavery (addictions) to sin so that we no longer are under the control of sin, but we now walk according to the Spirit, to please our Lord in all that we do. This does not mean we will never sin (1 Jn. 2:1-2), but that it should no longer be our practice or the way in which we conduct our lives day in and day out. Stubborn and Rebellious Romans 10:14-21 NASB How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our report?” So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ. But I say, surely they have never heard, have they? Indeed they have; “Their voice has gone out into all the earth, And their words to the ends of the world.” But I say, surely Israel did not know, did they? First Moses says, “I will make you jealous by that which is not a nation, By a nation without understanding will I anger you.” And Isaiah is very bold and says, “I was found by those who did not seek Me, I became manifest to those who did not ask for Me.” But as for Israel He says, “All the day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and obstinate people.” The Lord uses human beings to give out his gospel message, the Light of Christ, to the world, and to the worldly church who are professing Christ with their lips, but their hearts are far from him, for they do not submit to his righteousness, but they make up their own gospel to suit their lifestyles. Those whom he uses to shine the Light of his truth he honors for their obedience, even if those who hear the message do not respond in obedience. We have to keep speaking, if they listen, or if they fail to listen. He gave me a picture this morning of what his worldly people look like, who are trying to live by the flesh and a man-made gospel which consoles them in their sin, and which gives them free license to keep on sinning without guilt. But, this is not speaking just of those who are his, by faith in him, but who have fallen away from their pure devotion to Christ, but this is speaking of those who confess him as Savior, but by their lives they deny him, for the gospel they believed was created of humans, not of God. The Lord gave me a picture of those who tell others not to walk in sin while they spend their lives living in sin and misery “in the house, they call, the Rising Sun,” i.e. a brothel, a house of sexual immorality, lust, and impurity. In other words, this is where they live, where they dwell, in lust and lewdness, living to please their sinful flesh, rather than live to please the Spirit of God. So, even though they know the truth, and the Light of the gospel has been shined on them, so they know the right way to go, they choose to go back “to wear that ball and chain.” They return to their vomit, to their sinful addictions, and they choose them over God’s righteousness. They are gambling with their lives, assuming that heaven is still their eternal destiny, and that God will do nothing, because he has not yet done anything. But, they assume wrong. They prefer their sin, for they have a false sense of security and happiness living in it. They are miserable serving and walking in fellowship with the Lord. Their happiness is all wrapped up in them pleasing their sinful flesh. So, they choose to spend the rest of their days living for themselves and for their sinful pleasures, because the way of the cross they find too hard (See: John 6:35-66). So, it is not as though they have not heard the truth. They have. Some have even preached the truth, and maybe still are. But they refuse to listen, and to heed the truth, because they want their sinful pleasures more. Yet, God keeps stretching out his hands to them, and those hands and feet are those of his servants and messengers who are willing to say whatever the Lord wants them to say, even if they are hated, mistreated, persecuted, falsely accused and abandoned in return, even by those who are supposed to love and protect them and support and encourage them in their walks of faith. Yet, for those of you who think God will do nothing, and that you will still go to heaven when you die, because of some confession of faith you made in him, think again. If you live to the flesh, you will die in your sins. Seven Woes An Original Work / May 31, 2012 Based off Matthew 23 Woe to you, teachers of the law; Hypocrites, you keep men from God. You refuse to obey the truth, Nor will you permit others to. You travel o’er land and sea To win a single convert to you. When he becomes one You make him twice as much A “son of hell” as you are. Woe to you, blind guides of mankind. You distort the words of your God. By your practices you declare Your oaths mean nothing, though you swear. You give a tenth of your spices, But you neglect justice, mercy. When you focus your Time and talents on What is external, you miss out. Woe to you, who appear so clean, When inside you are crass and mean. You work hard to look so upright, While you hide all your sins inside. You deceive yourselves when you think You would not have done what others Did to God’s messengers And prophets of old, For you will do much the same. You’re to blame. Wednesday, April 18, 2018, 6:30 a.m. – Thank you, Jesus, for this teaching from Your Word. Bring it home to our hearts, I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen!