Many teach that the Old Testament was done away with at the cross. That Jesus introduced a “New” Testament since the “Old” was a failed experiment. God learned His lesson and started over with something “new”. And yet, upon closer examination of the New Testament, we find three very important facts. 1. The “New” Testament, as we know it today, did not exist until 300 years after Christ. It was compiled by the Catholic Church. 2. All the writers of the “New” Testament, and early Christians, used the Old Testament for their instruction and teaching for eternal life. 2 Timothy 3:15. 3. The “New” Testament tells us God doesn’t change. The Old and New Testaments are not two different and distinct methods of salvation. They are one and the same. The Old Testament pointed to the Messiah who would come to pay the penalty for past sins, while the New Testament pointed back to the Messiah who came to pay that penalty. But the salvation has always been the same since Adam: looking to the “Lamb of God” in faith to pay that penalty for our past sins: Justification. As we continue with Romans, we will find Paul taking us back to the Old Testament for our instruction in righteousness, holiness and salvation (Sanctification). He had no “new” Testament to point people to. There was no “new” Testament for the people to read for their salvation. All they had was the “Word of God”, “Scriptures”, the Old Testament, for their instruction in salvation. Jesus taught from it, as did all the disciples, for our eternal salvation. Let us follow in their example. Luke 16:31. Romans 4:1 to Romans 5:21 What, then, are we to say about Abraham, our human ancestor? Did you see what Paul is doing? He is taking people back to the Old Testament as their example in righteousness. Abraham did not build a church. Abraham did not involve himself in church rituals or the traditions of the pagans. Which, by the way, is where our church rituals, systems and traditions come from. No! How did Abraham find his justification before God? For if Abraham was justified by actions, he would have had something to boast about—though not before God. Even though God had called Abraham, he was not “justified” by what He did. All his works, no matter how “righteous”, could never “justify” Abraham before God to cover his past sins. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Abraham believed that God was his Savior. He believed that God would pay the penalty for his sins by offering Himself in place of the “Lamb” Abraham had been offering morning and evening on the altar of sacrifice. It was his “faith”, his “belief” in the blood of God to cover his past sins that gave Abraham the “robe” of righteousness before God through JUSTIFICATION. This was also demonstrated when he offered up his son Isaac. Now to someone who works, wages are not considered a gift but an obligation. If it were possible to “work off” our death obligation to the law in order to earn our justification, so be it. We could all work and work and work, toiling day and night to pay off our deserved death penalty. However, that would put some at a disadvantage. Some could do more work than others. What would be just? If a man killed another man with intent, how much “work” should he do to pay for that sinful act? Would it be so much that a child could not do it? Would it be so hard that a woman could not do it? What would be the right amount of “work” to “justify” and pay that penalty? Now you see why we can never work off our death-penalty. It goes to the state of character. We all deserve death. Not one of us has what it takes to give back the life we have taken. That is why the murderer was to be put to death. Today, with all this soft, liberal insanity, wickedness is kept alive to breed and spread more wickedness. And so it is. And since one sin requires death, we all deserve nothing but death. However, to someone who does not work, but simply believes in the one who justifies the ungodly, his faith is credited as righteousness. We are, or were, “ungodly”. All have sinned. We cannot work off our death-penalty. We have all broken the law. However, the grace of God provided a way of escape. Instead of initiating the death penalty the moment we sinned, God provided a grace period to allow us to continue living in order to give us the opportunity to develop faith in Jesus as our substitute. Once we recognize we deserve nothing but death, we humble ourselves and accept the death of Jesus as our substitute in justification. Then the righteousness of Christ begins the sanctification process within us. Now we live in obedience to the Law and never want to break it again. We do not want to “crucify the Son of God” again. Now we walk, not as we want to walk, but as Jesus commands us to walk in order to keep the righteousness He gave us at justification and earn our eternal life through sanctification. Justification and sanctification are two very distinct and separate types of “work” in the Christian life. The first work will do us no good. We can’t work off the fact that we have sinned. We can’t turn back the clock on the sins we have committed. Therefore, only by faith in the “Lamb of God” can we be forgiven for our past sins and attain justification. Justification is when God looks at us as if we had never sinned. He sees us in the perfection of Jesus. By looking to the “Lamb of God” to pay our penalty for past sins, we now have an obligation to Jesus to live the perfect, righteous and holy life by never sinning again. Now we are to “work out our salvation” by living in sanctification. Why? Because we have to change our sinful characters to mirror the character Jesus sees us in JUSTIFICATION. Likewise, David also speaks of the blessedness of the person whom God regards as righteous apart from actions: “How blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven and whose sins are covered! How blessed is the person whose sins the Lord will never charge against him!” Again, Paul is referring back to the Old Testament for our instruction in righteousness. We deserve nothing but death. How blessed we are to have a God who loves us so much that He is willing to dismiss the charges against us if we believe in His work to pay the penalty for our past sins. All the churchgoing you do won’t pay off your death-penalty. You must surrender your life to Jesus and accept His death as your substitute. Now does this blessedness come to the circumcised alone, or also to the uncircumcised? For we say, “Abraham’s faith was credited to him as righteousness.” All the baptisms in the world will never pay for your debt to the Law. Belonging to a church, denomination or religion will never pay that debt. You can’t buy your justification. No amount of work, money, tithes or offerings will pay the debt you owe. Abraham did not belong to the Jewish church. He wasn’t a Jew. Under what circumstances was it credited? Was he circumcised or uncircumcised? He had not yet been circumcised, but was uncircumcised. Abraham had already proved his loyalty to God and His Law. He had obeyed God in everything God had commanded him. Abraham had faith in God to pay the debt he had accumulated in his life by his disobedience to the Law. Therefore, he believed God and turned his life around and lived in obedience to the Law to show his love to God. Circumcision was simply a physical sign of that commitment to keep and live the Ten Commandments. Sin brings pain to the heart of God. Abraham did not want to bring any more pain to the One who was going to take that pain to the cross. Afterward he received the mark of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. Therefore, he is the ancestor of all who believe while uncircumcised, in order that righteousness may be credited to them. Righteousness was “credited” to him. He wasn’t righteous until he began living the righteous life. But God’s righteousness was “credited” to him through justification when he accept Jesus as the substitute for his own death. Then he “worked out” his own salvation by living the sanctified life through obedience to the Law of God. “Abraham obeyed My voice and kept My charge, My commandments, My statutes, and My laws.” Genesis 26:5. He is also the ancestor of the circumcised—those who are not only circumcised, but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. We are to believe as Abraham believed. We are to walk and work as Abraham did. He humbly repented of his past sins, looked to Jesus as the “Lamb” to take the penalty for his sins and then walked and worked as God required him to walk: no more sin. But none of that had anything to do with an organized religion, church or denomination. For the promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants through the Law, but through the righteousness produced by faith. Because we were born into sin, none of us have been able keep the law. Our natures have been defiled by sin. The promise of eternal life, and the world to come, are beyond our human natures. No amount of keeping the Law of God will get us into Heaven. Why? Because we HAVE sinned and sinners can’t go to Heaven. Therefore, the PROMISE of eternal life, the world to come, can only be achieved by faith in God to change our human natures into the divine nature. “His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness.” 2 Peter 1:3. Once we have that understanding, and faith in God, we then go to work changing our lives through the power and promise of God by living as He has commanded us: obedience to His laws. That is why Paul stated that we are to “bring about the obedience of faith”. Romans 1:5. For if those who were given the Law are the heirs, then faith is useless and the promise is worthless, for the Law produces wrath. We have to keep in mind that Paul is talking to people who were still coming to terms with the fact that the lamb was no longer needed and that Jesus was the Lamb. The Jews had the temple laws and the Ten Commandment laws. But they had rejected the “Lamb of God”. “Having” the temple laws, church, circumcision, rituals, traditions, ceremonies, ordinances and even the Ten Commandments, does nothing for our eternal life without faith in the one who paid the penalty for the breaking of the Ten Commandments. No matter how much church-going you do, you are still a sinner and need to accept the “Lamb of God” as your Savior. Otherwise, your pride and ego will try to “work” your own way into heaven without recognizing that only God can pardon your past sins. Once you have humbled yourself before God and make the commitment to live in obedience to His Ten Commandment law, then He will provide your commitment with the power to live the perfect, sinless and commandment keeping life. Now where there is no Law, neither can there be any violation of it. That is correct. The Jews were still thinking you had to belong to their church to be saved. That if you violated their church laws, rules, ceremonies, traditions and rituals, you would be in violation of God and have no eternal life. But Abraham was used as an example that he had the promise of eternal life even though the temple laws had not yet been given. However, Abraham was under God’s Law, the Ten Commandments. Paul is showing that there has to be a Law, because if there was no Law, there would be no violation of it, and hence, no need for a Savior. Therefore, the promise is based on faith, so that it may be a matter of grace and may be guaranteed for all of Abraham’s descendants—not only for those who were given the Law, but also for those who share the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all. Paul wants to make it very plain that just because the Jewish nation, the church, was given the temple laws, that did not guarantee them the right to belong to God. Just because they were Abraham’s descendants, that did not guarantee them the right to belong to God. Just because they were given the Ten Commandments, that did not guarantee them the right to belong to God. Only faith in the “Lamb” to take away their sins, living as Abraham had in obedience to that “Lamb” would they be children of God. All were included who had that faith in the “Lamb”. You didn’t have to belong to the Jewish religion or church. You didn’t have to go through any special services, rituals or traditions. All you had to do was have faith in the “Lamb of God” and live in obedience to Him as Abraham had. “So that it may be a matter of grace”. Grace is unmerited. It is given to everyone. That is why grace does not save anyone eternally. It only saves us from immediate death so we can develop faith in the Lamb of God for our eternal life. Praise God for His grace. As it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations.” Abraham acted in faith when he stood in the presence of God, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that don’t yet exist. God, Jesus Christ, gave His life for us and will then give “life to the dead” when He comes again. The Jews thought this was only for them. Paul is trying to make it very plain that the salvation God offers is for everyone who is obedient as Abraham was. His obedience made him the “father of many nations” who would obey the Ten Commandments as Abraham did. Not only that, but because God “calls into existence things that don’t yet exist”, therefore, He can call into existence a righteous life that did not exist from your old sinful life. Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed that he would become “the father of many nations,” just as he had been told: “This is how many descendants you will have.” As Abraham hoped for Isaac when it was humanly impossible for him to have children, so we are able to hope for our eternal life in our hopeless circumstances as dead humans. We deserve nothing but death. Our only hope is our faith in Jesus. That hope, that faith, will move us to change our lives from living a life of death in sin to a life of righteousness in obedience to the Law. God can call out of our wretched, sinful bodies a pure, holy and righteous life. His faith did not weaken when he thought about his own body (which was already as good as dead now that he was about a hundred years old) or about Sarah’s inability to have children, nor did he doubt God’s promise out of a lack of faith. When we surrender our lives to Jesus and live as He lived, perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping, we too, as Abraham, can live in hope of the promise of God that we can have eternal life. We thank Jesus for His gift, and therefore, we will now show our thankfulness by obedience. In order to live that eternal life we must live by the rules of that eternal life. We must believe that we are able, through the power of Jesus, to live His righteous life. That is our hope. Instead, his faith became stronger and he gave glory to God, being absolutely convinced that God would do what he had promised. Absolutely! We must be convinced that God will do what He has promised us. He has promised us eternal life if we live in obedience to His Law. The “Law” can’t save us, but obedience to the Law will. Once we have accepted the blood of Jesus, His sacrifice for our past sins, we now live in obedience to the Law because Jesus has asked us too and we believe Him. We want the righteousness that comes from obedience to the Ten Commandments. If we show our faith in Jesus, He will “credit” to us His righteousness for our past sinful life. But now, we must continue in His righteousness to gain the promise of eternal life. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” Because our past sins have made us sinners and “un” righteous, we need to have “righteousness” credited to our past sinful lives. Once our past sinful lives have been obliterated in the sight of God by faith and hope in the sacrifice of Jesus, we now want to keep our present and future lives righteous through obedience to the Law. It is all about changing the character. That is why we can’t keep on sinning after justification. “For if we choose to go on sinning after we have learned the full truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” Hebrews 10:26. Now the words “it was credited to him” were written not only for him but also for us. Our faith will be regarded in the same way, if we believe in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. If we have faith in Jesus to pay our penalty, then we will believe in Him and obey what He has commanded: to stop sinning, be perfect and keep the Ten Commandments to get our eternal life. Jesus must be our Lord. If we accept Him as our Savior in His death, we must now accept Him as our Lord in His resurrection and live as He commands us. Matthew 5:48, John 5:14, Matthew 19:17. He was sentenced to death because of our sins and raised to life to justify us. Our sins put Jesus on the cross. He loved us so much He was willing to die for us. If we believe in Him, and have faith in His promises, then His resurrection will justify us before God and God can allow us to live eternally. Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah. Now that we have faith in Jesus to do away with the penalty for our past sins, we have peace with God. Our past sins no longer exist. Stop worrying about them and the penalty of eternal death. We now strive to work at living as Jesus commands us, perfect and sinless by keeping His Ten Commandments so we don’t abuse the death of Jesus in our lives. He now becomes our Lord and we live in obedience to Him. Our past has been JUSTIFIED. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace by which we have been established, and we boast because of our hope in God’s glory. God did not have to give us eternal life. We lost it on our own. We disobeyed the Law of God and deserve nothing but death. Only by the grace of God was a door opened for our salvation. But we have to advantage this grace by our faith. That faith leads us to put away our sins and to live in obedience to the Law so we can achieve the hope that God has for us: eternal life. As we live the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life, we are now “established” in the hope of “God’s glory” of eternal life. Not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope. By living the righteous, holy, sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life, we will encounter sufferings. The world is under the control of Lucifer. The world hates those of us who defend and live by the Ten Commandments no different than it hated Jesus. But so what? Eternal life is far more important that what this world thinks of us or does to us. We must produce characters fit for Heaven. We must live as those in Heaven live: perfect. We must live as Jesus lived: perfect. We must live as our Heavenly Father lives: perfect. John 5:48. The other aspect of that is, there will be lots of suffering in our lives because of the work it will take to undo years of sinful habits and practices. But that “suffering produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” Now this hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. Since we believe and have faith in the blood of Jesus to cleans our past sinful lives, we live by the Spirit of God in perfect, sinless obedience to the Ten Commandments. God’s love for us is now to flood our hearts with the desire to live perfectly. That is how we know we have the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God is perfect, and we who have Him in our lives want to be perfect. Those who do not want to be perfect, do not have God. 2 John 1: 8-11. For at just the right time, while we were still powerless, the Messiah died for the ungodly. We were powerless to attain eternal life. We had sinned and deserved death. But Jesus took our penalty. For it is rare for anyone to die for a righteous person, though somebody might be brave enough to die for a good person. But God demonstrates his love for us by the fact that the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners. What love! What love! We did not deserve His love. He could have wiped us out of existence. Be Jesus demonstrated His love for us by sending Himself on a very expensive errand to make a way for us to come back into oneness with the family of Heaven. He paid the price for our past sins so that if we live in obedience to the Law of Heaven we can join them in eternal living. But that love can’t save us. Now that we have been justified by his blood, how much more will we be saved from wrath through him! We no longer have to fear death. We no longer have to fear His wrath. He has shown His love for us by JUSTIFYING us by His own blood. All we have to do now is live in obedience to that blood. Live as Jesus lived and we will “be saved from wrath through Him!”. For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life! As we accept the life of Jesus as our own, we have the assurance that we too may live eternally. Jesus showed us how it is done. He lived the perfect, sinless and Commandment keeping life in order to demonstrate how we can make it to Heaven. His life points the way. That is how His life saved us. We live as He lived. Not only that, but we also continue to boast about God through our Lord Jesus the Messiah, through whom we have now been reconciled. Now instead of fear, we can “boast” about what God has done through Jesus for us. The old, sinful life has been reconciled to God by the death of Jesus. Now we can stand up in His righteousness and live His righteous Law through His power. Our will - His power. Just as sin entered the world through one man, and death resulted from sin, therefore everyone dies, because everyone has sinned. Paul is hitting this theme over and over again. It doesn’t matter what church, denomination or religion you belong to. It doesn’t matter what rituals, services or traditions you perform. It is only “through one Man” that you have hope of eternal life. Look only to Him. Paul is telling the new Gentile converts that they do not have to belong to the Jewish church to get eternal life. All they have to do is have faith in the sacrifice of Jesus and live in obedience to Him. Certainly sin was in the world before the Law was given, Paul is using the word “Law” to represent the Jewish nation. Even before God handed the Ten Commandments to Moses on the mountain of Sinai, or gave the Temple “laws” to Israel as a nation, sin was in the world. Why? but no record of sin is kept when there is no Law. Because the Ten Commandments have always been. Just because they were handed to Moses doesn’t make them “new” at that time. The Law of God has always been. Without Law, there can be no sin. Just because God handed the Ten Commandments to the Jewish nation, it didn’t make them any better off than the rest of the world. Nevertheless, death ruled from the time of Adam to Moses, even over those who did not sin in the same way Adam did when he disobeyed. He is a foreshadowing of the one who would come. It is not about the “way” Adam sinned that counts, it is the fact that he “disobeyed” that counts. Any disobedience of the Ten Commandments results in sin and death. That is why death rules. We have all sinned. We have all broken the Ten Commandments. None can claim to be “righteous” on their own. But God’s free gift is not like Adam’s offense. For if many people died as the result of one man’s offense, how much more have God’s grace and the free gift given through the kindness of one man, Jesus the Messiah, been showered on many people! God’s free gift is not like Adam’s offense. That is correct. When Adam sinned, it effected every person who would ever be born in the future. There was nothing anyone could do about that. All would die eternally if no way of escape could be found. All the church-going, all the temple rites, ceremonies, services, ordinance and sacrifices could not give you eternal life. On the other hand, the free gift of God, unlike Adams offense, does not save everyone. It only saves those who believe. Grace does not save us eternally. Grace saves us from the immediate effect of sin, which is death, that we may learn faith in order to earn our eternal life. Nor can the free gift be compared to what came through the man who sinned. For the sentence that followed one man’s offense resulted in condemnation, but the free gift brought justification, even after many offenses. Adam’s sin brought condemnation to all. God’s free gift has brought justification to all who will accept it; no matter how many offenses were committed before you accepted God’s free gift. For if, through one man, death ruled because of that man’s offense, how much more will those who receive such overflowing grace and the gift of righteousness rule in life because of one man, Jesus the Messiah! Correct! For “those who receive” the overflowing grace of the gift of righteousness, the Ten Commandments of God into their lives, they will have life in Jesus Christ. Those who continue in sin will not go to Heaven. We must believe that Jesus paid the penalty for our past sins, and in that belief, change our lives to live as Jesus commands for eternal life. Since Jesus has cleansed us, now we must keep ourselves from getting dirty. Consequently, just as one offense resulted in condemnation for everyone, so one act of righteousness results in justification and life for everyone. Every single person who will accept the free gift God offers, may have the life He offers. All can be “justified” by the death of Jesus. It doesn’t matter what church, organization or denomination you belong to. It doesn’t matter if you are baptized or circumcised. All that counts is faith that produces obedience to Jesus. For just as through one man’s disobedience many people were made sinners, so also through one man’s obedience many people will be made righteous. How true that is. Not “all”, but “many” will be made righteous. We are “made” righteous through: 1) Our accepting Jesus as the Lamb of God - Justification, and 2) our hard work of living in obedience to the commands of Jesus to live the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life - Sanctification. As Jesus lived in obedience to the Ten Commandments, so those who accept Him as their Savior and Lord will now live in obedience to the Law. 1. Savior: He saved us from the penalty of death. He died in our place. Justification 2. Lord: Now we are to obey Him in obedience to the very Law that destined us to eternal death. Through obedience, that Law now destines us to eternal life. Now the Law crept in so that the offense would increase. But where sin increased, grace increased even more, . . . In our everyday lives, we can be driving down the road enjoying the music or conversation with a passenger. But, in our distraction, we might break the law. And then the “Law crept in” when we see the blue and red lights behind us. Oops, now we are caught as lawbreakers. After the ticket, we become more attentive to our driving. In our spiritual lives, we also can be distracted and find ourselves as lawbreakers. We deserve death. But once again, the grace of God keeps us alive so we can turn our face to Jesus, have faith in His sacrifice, turn from our sinful lives and return to the Ten Commandments and live the sinless, perfect and commandment keeping life. . . . so that, just as sin ruled by bringing death, so also grace might rule by bringing justification that results in eternal life through Jesus the Messiah, our Lord. We are justified by the death of Christ. But to attain to the “results” of that justification, we must live the sanctified life in order to get our eternal life. All of that could only have happened because of the love and grace of Jesus. Let us love Him and live as He commands and demonstrated in His life: perfect, sinless and commandment keeping.