Romans


Part 2 of Contentious Wife Equals Terrible Life

The way I see it there are four basic categories of men:

Category 1:  Losers. These are the guys who have always been fascinated with themselves yet generally have low self-esteem.  If he thinks there is something better elsewhere then he is ready to walk. Basically this has been in the back of his mind since the beginning.  His marriage proposal could have gone like this, “Baby, I love you, I really do.  How about we spend an undetermined number of years together? Maybe we will even have some kids followed by a terrible stretch at which point I’ll upgrade to a younger better looking model and you can go look for an old sugar daddy.”

Well if you are in category 1, then there isn’t that much anyone can do for you until you realize what a pathetic loser you are and repent of your sin and selfishness and turn to Jesus.  (If you think that is harsh then you don’t understand that without being in Jesus and then living in the Spirit – we are ALL spiritual losers and that there is also no hope for the proud).   At that point you can leave Loserville, and work hard to put your marriage on the right track…since it never was on the right track.  If you’ve already passed the point of no return (divorced and at least one has remarried), then Jesus still offers forgiveness to you and you can take comfort in Romans 8:1, “There is therefore no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus.” Of course there are harsh realities that cannot be undone but with God there is comfort and a new day…think King David.

Category 2:  Passives.  If wife is happy than it is all good, and I’ll put up with whatever.  These guys are the guys where all but the few Category 4 guys and the wives who have it together think, “He’s a nice guy.  Look at all the nice things he does for his wife.”  But if you look a little closer you will notice that is about all he is.  He is a yes man.  Or should I say a, “yes maam” boy.  He will do anything to make his wife happy regardless of how wrong she is or how bad of an idea it is or how much debt there is or who else has to get stepped on in the process – as long as she is happy.  He really does care about her so he will cajole and console, but rarely if ever will he say, “No, honey. I hate to tell you this, but you are wrong.”  When he does it usually isn’t over anything that matters – just little stuff – so he can maintain his illusion of being more than a little boy in an adult body.  Most Christian men fall into this category so please think a little more before you just pass over it with, “Hey that’s kinda funny,” and “I’m glad it isn’t me thoughts.”  I hardly know any good men who will say they’ve never had a stay in Passiveville.  The decision you have to make is whether to be a reluctant visitor in moments of failure or a willing long-term resident.

If you are a category 2 guy, then man you really need to go to Jesus and ask for forgiveness and help.  Then you need to go to your wife and apologize at which point you will need to tell her that things are going to change and she might not like what some of that process looks like.  She may look at you like your crazy because she is going to need to SEE IT in your life.  Rhetoric is not going to save the day.  You will need to be humble.  We are not looking to trade pansies for brutes.  At this point you really need to find a category 4 guy to hang out with – SOMEBODY WHO IN LOVE WILL PUT THEIR FINGER IN YOUR CHEST AND TELL YOU WHAT IS UP!  A category 4 guy can be your best earthly ally in this deal – hey he knows what it takes and you can ask his wife to verify the results.

“Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded.  Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up” (James 4:7-10).

Next up – Category 3: Brutes and Category 4: godly men

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Unfortunately this series did not begin getting recorded until Romans chapter 2 verse 17.  Below are all the audio messages from that point to Romans 4:8.  If you only have the time to listen to one I would recommend Romans 3:21-26.  I also recognize that listening to me speak can be brutal at times (some parts just aren’t very good)….so I won’t be offended if you skip through parts.  But God in His grace can still use some of the content here for His glory and that is my hope.
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The failure of those who were given the law to keep the law Romans 2:17-3:8 dcf-podcast-romans-2-verse-17-3-verse-8 (31 minutes)
All are under sin Romans 3:9-22 dcf-podcast-romans-3-verses-9-22 (41 minutes)


God’s salvation for humans is by grace through faith Romans 3:21-26 dcf-podcast-romans-3-verses-21-26 (24 minutes)


What do we have to brag about Romans 3:27-4:8 dcf-podcast-romans-3-verse-27-4-verse-8 (40 minutes)

The following message was recorded by downtown community fellowship of Athens, GA.
The text is Romans 3:27-4:8
What do we have to brag about?  Abraham and David tell us the answer.

Audio Message – approx. 40 minutes.  dcf-podcast-romans-3-part-3

Below are the notes for Romans 3:9-12.  It is Part 1 of our notes on Romans 3:9-22.

I.  All are under sin (3:9)
Paul reminds his audience that regardless of what special exemption a person thinks he may have all are under sin because all have sinned.  Neither your race nor your self-righteousness can help you.

A.  Proof from OT Scriptures (Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Eccl 7:20)

  1. There is none righteous, no, not one (3:10)
    No person can say that he is the exemption to the rule.  Of course Paul is not including Jesus here.  Jesus is the God-Man and is not in this class of all sinners as we are.
  2. There is none who seeks after God (3:10)
    What does this mean?  Do not some seek after God? In fact multiple times in Scripture people are instructed to seek God.  See the following references, (Deut. 4:29, I Chron. 22:19, I Chron. 28:8-9, 7x in the book of II Chronicles, 4 times in Ezra, at least 4 times in the Psalms, Isaiah 58:2, Hebrews 11:6; Seek the Kingdom of God – Matthew 6:33, Luke 12:31,).  Yet this verse which is also repeated in the Scriptures states that, “there is none who seeks after God.”

    There are three basic approaches people have when they come to an apparent contradiction in the Bible such as this one. The first is to throw one’s hands in the air and say, “This is beyond me and something I am not supposed to know.”  The second is to just pick which concept you like better, focus on those verses and ignore the others.  The third option is to dig deeper, and it is by far the best way to go.

    I believe here the Apostle Paul is using this phrase in the sense that people do not initiate love for the True and Living God on their own.  God has to reveal at least a base understanding to them through revelation: nature, their conscience, and/or Scripture.  Then the individual can seek God by faith.  We see this time and again in the Scriptures with Abraham as the primary example we will be studying in Romans.  He was called out by God and then responded in faith.  Our understanding of this concept is set in stone by I John 4:19, “We love Him because He first loved us.” So the Apostle Paul is setting out the truth that the Good News about God and salvation are from God.  We did not come up with the idea – God did!

  3. They have all turned aside and become unprofitable (3:12)
    We all are self-centered when we are apart from God, when we are not walking in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Even the religious who appear pious are full of pride, and before God their religion becomes unprofitable.
  4. There is no one who does good, no not one (3:12)
    Not one person is self-sufficient for their own righteousness.  Because there are not scales before God to weigh a person’s good versus bad, one act of sin negates any good a person has done.  We all stand before God as guilty people.

romans-3-part-2 click for sermon audio.  Recorded Sunday Feb. 15, 2009 during downtown community fellowship worship service.

Outline of Romans 3:9-22 (Conclusion of Section One: All have sinned and are accountable to God, Transition to God’s Salvation made available through faith.)

I.   All are under sin (3:9)

A.  Proof from OT Scriptures (Psalm 14:1-3, Psalm 53:1-3, Eccl. 7:20)

  1. There is none righteous, no, not one (3:10)
  2. There is none who seeks after God? (3:10)
  3. They have all turned aside and become unprofitable (3:12)
  4. There is no one who does good, no not one (3:12)

B.   Proof from OT Scriptures Continued

  1. Poisoned Lips (3:13) Psalm 5:9
  2. Mouth full of cursing and bitterness (3:14) Psalm 10:7
  3. Quick to kill, destruction and misery are in their ways (3:15-17) Isaiah 59:7-8
  4. Way of peace they have not known
  5. There is no fear of God before their eyes (3:18) Psalm 36:1

II.  What the law does (3:19-20)

  1. Condemns those under the law
  2. By it every mouth is stopped
  3. Gives guilt to the whole world before God
  4. The law cannot justify man before God
  5. The law gives knowledge of sin (informs man he is lost)

III.  The Righteousness of God is available (3:19-22)

A.  Apart from the Law

B.  Witnessed by:

  1. The Law
  2. Prophets

C.  Through Jesus Christ

Romans 2:17-3:8 – Part 4

Romans 3:1-8, “What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written:

‘That You may be justified in Your words,
And may overcome when You are judged.’

5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?
7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, ‘Let us do evil that good may come?—as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.”

Romans 2:17-3:8 – Part 4

The Apostle Paul has laid out the guilt of his own people as part of his theme that all people are guilty before a Holy God.  Here he wants to make clear that though all people are guilty before God and in danger of God’ wrath, that there is an advantage to being a Jew.

I find it fascinating that he states, “Much in every way!” And then he states only one thing, “To them were committed the oracles of God.”  All other blessings were summed up in the fact that God spoke to them.  What a privilege they had, and we should all be so thankful because regardless of whether you are a Jew or Gentile you now have access to the Word of God because of them.

Paul then goes on to state that though some Jews did not believe it did not negate the faithfulness of God but rather amplified it.  Some twisted people in their minds then wanted to use this fact as an excuse and a way to call God unfair for judging them.  “For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner?”  Paul is rightfully angry that others have claimed he has taught this heresy.  Later in the book Paul will handle this way of thinking in more detail, but for now he just wants to lay this out as perverse thinking and that those who think this way deserve the condemnation they will receive.

The primary lesson here is that people are always looking for excuses for why they should not be judged.  However, the only correct response is to admit our guilt and seek forgiveness from a Loving, Holy, and Just God, through Jesus Christ who paid for our sins at the cross.

We should also note that anyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus and has anti-semitic tendencies or is blatantly anti-semitic needs to seriously reevaluate what they believe.  For they are in serious error on many levels.

Romans 2:17-3:8 – Part 3

Romans 2:25-29, “For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised, if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law? 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.”

Circumcision in the Bible is something many people do not understand the importance of.  Since it is spoken of frequently in the Old and New Testaments it is necessary to come to working knowledge of its importance and implications. Circumcision was the sign of a covenant between God and His people.  God first gave this sign of covenant promise to Abraham.  You can read about it in Genesis 17.  It is something that has been generally kept through history by the Jewish people as a sign of the covenant and gives them comfort of having a special relationship with God.

The Apostle Paul was a circumcised Jew.  In this passage, he brings an accusation against his people.  The accusation is that many were only Jews physically by circumcision, but they were not Jews inwardly.  The reason is that they did not keep the law’s requirements.  He goes even farther by stating that Gentiles who kept the law were more Jewish than Jews who did not keep the law.  God is more concerned about what is inside of a human than his outward appearance.  Paul’s language here is much stronger in the Greek than it comes across in English.  When he says “your circumcision has become uncircumcision” it really reads, “your circumcision has become “foreskin”.  You can imagine the shock this would have been to some of his readers who assumed they were acceptable to God based in large part on their circumcision.

Verse 29 is very important.  Unfortunately most translations give the word “spirit” a capital “S”.  The Greek word is the same for “Spirit” or “spirit”.  I believe Paul is talking about the “spirit of the law” here not the Holy Spirit. Instead of being focused on the minor details and man-made additions to the law, the people should have been focused on the heart of the law (See Mark 7:1-23). Paul is stating that regardless of whether a person is by birth and circumcision a Jew or Gentile, that by having a circumcised heart a person is a “Jew”.  The word “Jew” comes from the word “Judah”, which means, “praise”.   So we observe Paul is using a play on words in the last phrase, “Such a man’s praise is not from men, but from God.”

This passage should cause us to ask two important questions:

How can I have a circumcised heart before God? We will answer this fully in coming posts.
Am I concerned about receiving man’s praise or God’s praise?

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