Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 2 * BOOK 21
OLD ADAM CRUCIFIED – ROMANS 3:19-22 – Part 2
Remember in the last lesson we were saying the Law does nothing but condemn a person. The Law can do nothing that helps us get to heaven. You can keep the commandments until you’re blue in the face, and it won’t cut any mustard at the Great White Throne Judgment. And remember Jesus Himself told so many, “And they will say in that day, `But Lord didn’t I do this and didn’t I do that.'” But the Lord will say to them, “Depart from me, I never knew you.” And why didn’t he know them? Because they had never come God’s way. Those of you who have been with me for a long time know that I have two statements that I call absolutes of Scripture. Those two absolutes are in the Book of Hebrews.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him (God):…” And the other one in Hebrews Chapter 9 is just as important.
“… and without shedding of blood is no remission.” So never lose sight of those two precepts. Without faith you cannot please God, and you can get nowhere with God without the shedding of Blood, which of course now goes back to the Cross. Now quickly review Romans 3 verse 20 in order to go into verse 21:
“Therefore by the deeds (or the keeping of the) law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge (or the awareness) of sin.” And I told you that was old Adam. Law could do nothing but condemn, it had no power even to the Jew to help them be a Law-keeper, but rather all it could do was condemn him. But look at the verse 21 and see the flip side.
“But now the righteousness of God (not human righteousness, remember that’s like filthy rags) without the law (can you get it any plainer than that?) is manifested (put in the spot light), being witnessed by the law and the prophets;”
Paul, you see, comes on the scene rather late in the progressive revelation doesn’t he? Here we have come all the way up through the Old Testament even in our study, as we started back there in Genesis and past the flood, the tower of Babel, and to the call of Abraham. Then through the Covenant promises, Isaac and Jacob, and finally here comes the Nation of Israel out of Egypt and into the Sinai, and they receive the Law under Moses. Then along come the prophets all pleading with the Nation of Israel to straighten up their act, because if they don’t this is what is going to happen to them. That’s prophecy. And finally prophecy was fulfilled to a great degree when Christ came the first time, every jot and tittle concerning His first coming. And then Israel, under Peter and the eleven, continued to reject all these offers, and when Israel was just seemingly going further and further away, then God did something totally different that even the Jew couldn’t understand. He saved another little Jew and told him from day one that He was going to send him to the Gentiles.
I know this is hard for some people to swallow. Turn to the Book of Ephesians. I’m so thankful so many of you are writing and calling and telling me that for the first time you are understanding your Bible, and that finally you are understanding the difference between Law and Grace, and the difference between Peter and Paul. God dealing with Israel through Peter (Gal. 2:7-9) and God dealing with the Gentiles through Paul. You have to get that straight if you’re going to understand what God is trying to say. Until you get that straight you’re going to be living in a half-world of confusion. Ephesians Chapter 2, and I know we have looked at these verses many times. Remember, the same Apostle that wrote the Book of Romans, writes now to the Ephesians.
“Wherefore remember (and understand), that ye being in time past Gentiles (not Jews) in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision (Jews) in the flesh made by hands.” The Jew referred to the Gentile as uncircumcised.
“That at that time…” What time? While God was dealing with the Jew under Law. Those 2000 years from Abraham until the Apostle Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles (Rom. 11:13), comes on the scene. This is what Paul is looking back at and he says, “That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”
Remember everything that God was doing for the Jew didn’t apply to the Gentiles because we weren’t a citizen of Israel (Matthew 10:5). The Book says it, I’m not! Gentiles have never had any part of the Covenant promises, nor did they have God in the world as verse 12 says. No wonder they were all pagan. I’ve said before there wasn’t a single person at that time that had the knowledge of the one true God except when God was able to go down and touch Abraham, knowing that he would be a man who would respond. Then beginning with Abraham, God made the promise, “You are going to have a nation of people that are going to be the only people on earth who have a knowledge of the one true God.” At that time the whole then-known world was steeped in paganism.
We have just returned from a glorious trip to Greece, and Ephesus, and Corinth. All we saw in those ancient cities were temples to the gods and goddesses. All that heavy work that went into building those temples for a female goddess. Think about that. The ancient world was steeped in that kind of idolatry and paganism, with no knowledge of the one true God, and that is what the Apostle Paul is reminding us. Now let’s read on and see the flip side of this.
“But now (oh what a difference. God isn’t saying he’s only dealing with the Jew, but now he’s saying based on the finished work of the Cross that God is now dealing with us Gentiles)in Christ Jesus ye (Gentiles) who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” I’ve told you without faith you can’t please God, and without the shedding of Blood there can be no remission of sin.We see that in this verse.
Now back to Romans, and remember the only way you can deal with old Adam is on those two premises. Faith and the shed Blood; you can’t escape them. If you think that you can try your dead level best by making sure you are in Church, remember none of that gains you points for your salvation. There is many a soul in Hell tonight who never missed filling their pew on Sunday morning. They thought they were gaining their salvation by good works, but they never understood they were riding that tremendous horse I told you about in the last lesson. That beautiful horse was just loaded with energy to do evil, but they were able to keep it curried, combed and dressed, and maybe they went through life and had themselves fooled all the way. But if the Law could have really manifested itself then their beautiful horse would have exploded also.
This side of the Cross. My class people tell me all they hear Sunday after Sunday is sermons from the Four Gospels. Many pastors refuse to get into Paul’s doctrines where the meat is. All of Paul’s writings are Holy Spirit breathed, and you have to get into these writings of Paul because in the Four Gospels the Cross hasn’t been accomplished yet. Why can’t people realize that? Christ wasn’t preaching death, burial, and Resurrection during His earthly ministry. How could He, it hadn’t even taken place. Oh He knew it was coming, and you know I have shown you Luke 18:31-34 so often.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, `Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished. For he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on: and they shall scourge him, and put him to death: and the third day he shall rise again.’ And they (the Twelve) understood none of these things: and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken.”
So after all these things have been kept hidden for so long, now after Christ has finished the work of the Cross, and ascended back to glory and has sent the Holy Spirit. Now He reveals to this other apostle (Paul), the one nearly everyone likes to push back in the corner. See, they don’t want to fool with Paul’s writings. But it’s to that apostle that all these great truths of salvation are now revealed. And that’s why Paul can say it here in verse 21: But now as a result of the ascended Lord revealing to him that the finished work of the Cross did something for the human race, it did the things that man can’t do. Reading it again:
“But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;”
That’s the Old Testament, absolutely. When I stress the Apostle Paul, you will never hear me say to ignore the Four Gospels, or the Old Testament. Take the whole Book from cover to cover. But you must begin with some basics, and a verse comes to mind that we need to look at. And if these things aren’t true then Paul is going to have the hottest corner in the lake of fire. That’s right. If what Paul writes is not true then he is the biggest liar that ever walked, then he’s the biggest impostor that ever wrote. But he’s not!
I Corinthians 3:9,10a
“For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation,…”
If Paul didn’t lay the foundation, then Paul’s a liar, and if Paul is a liar then his writings have no business in this Book. But they are in this Book, because he’s not a liar. The Holy Spirit inspired the man to write exactly what he wrote, and so Paul says that he is the masterbuilder. When does the masterbuilder come onto the scene? When the building is half-way up? No, from the ground up. Paul doesn’t come in as a masterbuilder and continue on with something that has been building for years and years. Paul comes in and starts with a brand new foundation which is Jesus Christ crucified, buried and risen again! See the difference? That’s where he starts his building. And that’s what he says in the next verse.
I Corinthians 3:11
“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
We are being confronted today politically and every other way with a consortium of the religions of the world coming together. I had a young man call me from Iowa, and his pastor had made the statement the previous Sunday morning that all the religions of the world that are monotheistic, in other words they worship the one God; they are all in Christ, they’re all believers and they’re all going to heaven. And this young man told me that he didn’t know much, but he had been watching some of our videotapes with a friend and he knew that what his pastor said was not right!
I guess that’s not right! These other religions of the world know nothing of Jesus Christ as their foundation, and here is where we have to be adamant. Yeah that’s very narrow, I grant you it’s narrow, but remember this is a narrow Book, and when people come to me and say, “Now wait a minute the Koran, and the book of this and the book of that, are they all wrong?” I always come back with another question. “Can you name me one other book besides this one that predicted things thousands of years in advance and they happened? Do you know of another religious book that can tell prophecy even five years in advance? The Bible is the only one, and that’s why we don’t have to take a back seat when we defend this Book. Prophecy has secured it’s accuracy. If you can see that what was foretold concerning Christ’s first coming, and it all happened, about 360 individual prophecies all fulfilled completely, and then you say that the rest of this Book and future prophecies may not be true, then there has to be something wrong with your thinking. But it is true. Now back to what Paul has just said.
I Corinthians 3:10
“According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation,…” Jesus Christ is the only Foundation for what we believe. Back to Romans 3:22:
“Even the righteousness of God (man’s righteousness is never brought in here. Not a thing of man’s good works) which is by faith (or faith in) of Jesus Christ (watch how it is appropriated) unto all and upon all them that (what’s the next word?) believe:…”
Here is another one of the places I tell people to analyze how many different things the world’s religions have to put in there. But it doesn’t, it’s not in there. It says all of this has happened to them who believe plus nothing. You must believe the Gospel for your salvation (I Corinthians 15:1-4). And when it’s belief plus nothing I know it riles people up but I can’t help it. I’m not about to say this verse says to them that believe and repent, and are baptized, join a Church, or anything else you want to put in this verse. But remember it doesn’t say it, and we have no right to put it in there.
This is a whole new concept now on this side of the Cross. That because Christ died, shed His Blood, and was able to scream in His final words from that horrible cross, “It is finished!” And what is the human race trying to do? Add to it, because they think our Lord didn’t quite finish it. “I’ve also got to do this or that,” they say, but remember that’s not what The Book says, The Book says it’s finished. It’s complete! God has done everything that needs to be done to take care of old Adam, to give us a new divine nature, to set our feet on a Rock, all the things that you want to put in there, it was all accomplished when He said, “It is finished!” And we just can’t add anything to it. And when we talk about believing, I’m not talking about a simple acknowledgment that “yeah, I guess that’s the way it was.” That’s not what we are talking about, we’re talking about a genuine heart condition, when that old Adam has been convicted by the Law that has condemned him and then we realize that all of God’s mercy has already been poured out, and we merely appropriate it. Thank you Lord I believe it!
I can’t understand or comprehend how the Creator Himself came down and took on human flesh, lived those 33 years on the dusty, dirty road of Israel, went to the most horrible death ever dreamed up by mankind, and did it willingly and obediently simply because He loved the human race; and did all that needed to be done in order to just pour it out if they will just believe it. Believe it, believe it, believe it! And then when we believe it for our salvation then God gives us the power again to live it. How many people have told me over the years,“Well, I’ll get saved when I can live it.” You can’t live it until you’re saved. Until we let God get rid of old Adam we are going to be law-breakers, because it’s our nature. But when we get to the place we can say, “All right Lord, crucify old Adam,” (we’ll look at that in the weeks to come) then we’ll get to the place where you can say, “Here I am Lord, do what you want.”
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