252 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 21 - The Imputed Righteousness of God

252: The Imputed Righteousness of God: Romans 4-5:5 – Part 4 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 21

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



ROMANS 4 – 5:5

We will begin with Romans Chapter 5, but before we do it’s always so good to be able to share with you in each lesson. Sometimes we have as many as ten different denominations that will attend our study. But our main goal is to help everyone learn how to read their Bible and read it with understanding, and of course through the process we like to see folks come to a saving knowledge, and be sure of their eternal destiny.

We have with us today two very special guests. Keith Decker of Decker & Sons Publishing who does the final proofing and gets each of these books ready for the printer. Also, with Keith today is his mother Marjorie Ainsborough Decker who, of course, is world-renowned as Christian Mother Goose. We have such a sweet relationship with this family and it’s such a joy doing business with people like these. We just absolutely love the Decker family, and think Keith is doing a fantastic job getting these books printed.

Let’s begin our study for this lesson, and we’ll begin with verse 1: And the first word in Chapter 5 throws you right back into Chapter 4. We won’t do that, but the Therefore means everything we have just studied in Chapter 4. Abraham as a perfect example of having entered into a Salvation experience by faith and faith alone, and how that even though it seemed impossible yet he never wavered in his faith. Except through the eyes of faith, I can’t comprehend that the Creator God Himself, the God who controls everything, took on human flesh. He walked the streets of Palestine, He went to that Cross, and died for me. I can’t comprehend that, except through the eyes of faith. I can’t explain it, and there’s no way you can explain it. But this is exactly were God wants us, and that is to simply say, “Lord I can’t understand it, but I believe it.” There’s not a shadow of doubt in my mine that this is all true.

Romans 5:1a

“THEREFORE being justified by faith,..”

Paul has said that over and over in the past couple of chapters. Why? Because it’s got to be driven home that you’re not justified in what you do. When I say you’re not justified by works as the Scriptures say, what are we referring to? Well the best generalized answer is, works according to Scripture, and its work in salvation is anything you can do in the energy of the flesh. Anything that you can say, “Hey, I think I’d better do this so I can merit heaven.” That’s works. Now you can just start numbering them.

I’ll never forget years and years ago, Iris and I read a little book that was in the location of Southern Missouri, and it was about a teenage boy and his dog. There came a point in his life when he thought he had to keep peace in the family, and he wanted to set his mom’s mind at ease so he came to the conclusion that he had better go to church and join up. Very typical. So he joined the church (that’s a work), but joining the church never saved anybody. A lot of people got the idea by walking the aisle, that that’s how you’re saved. Hey that never saved anybody. I’ve got nothing against people making a genuine profession of faith, by walking the aisle. But the walking of the aisle is a work, and it won’t bring Salvation. Giving, tithing, can become a work; lot’s of people think that if they can give enough then they can buy their way into Heaven. No you can’t! Keep your money, because God can’t use it anyway. So any of these things that you can do in the energy of the flesh is works.

Baptism is something that if one pastor won’t do it, then another one will. All you have to do is say, “Hey I want to be baptized and join the Church.” They’ll do it, but what is it? It’s a work. It’s something that you have decided to do. And you can just go on and on and on. You can go visit the sick, give to the poor, but remember that’s all works. Which in their own respective places after believing The Gospel for your Salvation, then that’s fine. That’s what God expects, but you see the world out there is trying to do that for Salvation, and it won’t work, God won’t recognize it. So here we have to come back to scriptural premise, “The just live by faith.”

Romans 5:1

“THEREFORE being justified by faith (+ nothing), we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Remember the account of the gentlemen we discussed earlier. Remember he called me just two hours after he asked God to save him, and when he called me he had total peace. A total load taken off his shoulders. And that’s what Salvation does. We have seen it over and over and over. And I guess I’ve been privileged to have some of the most ungodly people. I mean the very worst. The kind you would think would never have a drop of spiritual interest in them, and then they come to the tremendous realization that their sins are gone. They’re forgiven, they’re justified, they’re cleansed. And in verse 1 once we have this justification by faith, now we have peace with God.

Now peace, of course, is something that the world is looking for tonight, but the world understands peace in a whole different light than Scripture does. When the world speaks of peace what are they talking about? Absence of war; and my that’s noble. I hate to read about the ravages of Yugoslavia and other areas, it’s awful. And, oh, it would be great if we could outlaw war, but there will be no peace until the Prince of Peace comes at His second coming. And the world politicians can’t seem to understand that. Now of course I recognize that they have to work for peace. You can’t just let the thing fall completely apart, in fact I’ve said before that I’m not alarmed at the population increase, because we are so close to the end that this is all part of the end scenario. Yes, there’s a population explosion. Egypt, one of the poorest nations on earth is a good example. If it weren’t for the billions from Uncle Sam, they would all starve. Oh, but this population explosion is all part and parcel of getting the world ready for the return of Christ.

I told my Sunday School class way back in the 60’s that I wasn’t worried about an atomic bomb destroying the world, and I never have been. You might say, “Les, you’re crazy!” No I’m not, because I know this world is not going to end until it ends God’s way in God’s own time. And so why get all shook up about it. Now, if you really look back at the time of the dropping of the first bomb 50 years ago, how many times political things happened that before that time, the world would have been in war. But it didn’t happen. Why? Because of the nuclear energy that was sitting back there in the closet someplace, and God wasn’t about to let it be used. So what did He do? He kept the thing from igniting. I’m thinking right now for example the time we shot down an Iranian plane in the Gulf. Ordinarily that would have precipitated war, but it didn’t, and why? Because God’s in control.

The men of this world are not going to bring the end of the world. They are not going to bring in a nuclear holocaust until God says it’s time. I’m sure that during the Tribulation there will be nuclear warheads exploded. I’m positive of that, but it’s not going to happen until that time. Man is not going to destroy this planet. God is! So I don’t worry about these things that so many people are shook up about. Now hear what I’m saying. I’m against pollution, I’m against trashing the planet, my heart weeps when I drive along my beautiful valley road, and see trash on it. I hate it, but I’m not going to say that if we don’t clean it up that we’re going to destroy the planet. These are just signs that we are getting so close to the end.

And as I mentioned just a few lessons ago, as we look at the Nation of Israel, and how close they are coming to being assimilated, losing their identity, well all that tells me is that we’re just that much closer than what most of us realize. All right, so as believers we have peace with God, not just the absence of war, but a relationship. Several Scriptures just came to mind, let’s turn to the Book of Colossians Chapter 2 for a moment. This is a verse that is so precious to me, because of what I see in it. A lot of people may not see it as I do. Verse 14 is the verse we are looking for, but let’s begin with verse 13. And remember that Paul always writes to the believer. Colossi was in Gentile territory so it was probably a congregation of mostly Gentiles. I feel that almost all these congregations had some believing Jews. But predominately Gentiles, so now look what Paul says even to you and I, the Church, tonight.

Colossians 2:13

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh (old Adam), hath he quickened (made alive, He has done something in the area of the Spiritual) together with him (that is when Christ was raised from the dead we also were raised from the dead), having (now that word `having’ is a past tense participle) forgiven you (how many?) all trespasses(do you believe that? Well you had better, because that’s what God has said);”

Colossians 2:14

“Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us (the Law! All the ramifications that were against mankind. His inability to keep it, it’s severity. If someone was caught picking up sticks on the Sabbath, what was the sentence? Death! The same for adultery. Boy if that still applied today there wouldn’t be many left would there? It was severe, and drastic, but now what has happened to it?), which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross;”

Now how graphic can you get? When He hung there on the Cross the laws and ordinances that were against us were nailed there as well. That ended it. And that’s why He was the fulfilling of the Law. What put Him on the Cross? His laws, and remember how you fulfill the Law? LOVE! (Romans 13:8) How did Christ fulfill the Law? His love, the ultimate by being nailed to that Cross. All right let’s look at another one in Colossians Chapter 1:24. Where Paul speaks of being a minister in verse 23:

Colossians 1:24,25

“Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions (his suffering) of Christ in my flesh for his body’s sake, which is the church: Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;” Oh everything was fulfilled when He went to that Cross. Another one that comes to mind is in Ephesians Chapter 3; let’s look at it.

Ephesians 3:10,11

“To the intent that now (after the finished work of the Cross and the revelation of this great Gospel of Grace) unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be know by the church (the true believers) the manifold wisdom of God, According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:”

Why did God do it all? You know I’ve had questions come in over the phone such as, “Well if God knew that the world was going to end up in such a mess, and that men would rebel so, then why did He ever make them in the first place.” Well it all boils down to that question we’ve had since we were kids. Who am I, where did I come from, and why am I here. Why are we here? We’re objects of God love. Now to be an object of love, what does the giver expect in return. Love, and that’s why He made the human race. Angels couldn’t respond, and so He made the human race with that indwelling attribute of will to either respond to His love or to reject it. And so that’s why He had to bring Satan on the scene so we could exercise that choice, otherwise there would be no will exercised. So the whole program of the human race was that God could have prepared people to fellowship with. And to return or extend His love to them that had responded of their own free will to His love. And that’s why we are here, and that’s why the vast majority of mankind are given the free option to reject it if they want to. Remember, God doesn’t want someone in His Heaven if they can’t respond to His love. But to those who respond to His love, He’s prepared things like what Paul says:

I Corinthians 2:9

“But as it is written, `Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.'”

Oh listen, the world out there I know thinks that we’re a bunch of kooks, and fanatic nuts, and I know they do. And I just tell them, “Hey, live it for 70 or 80 years.” So what. But I’ve got an eternity of the things that will make the best this earth can offer seem like an old pig pen by comparison. But you see they can’t understand that we have simply responded to an extended love, and that’s why He went to the Cross; it was love. Now what was the final eternal purpose? Paul doesn’t really tell us here in Ephesians Chapter 3, but if you will come on over to II Timothy Chapter 1 we will find out.

II Timothy 1:7,8

“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind (the world may think we’re nuts, but God knows better). Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;”

Now listen what kind of power are we talking about? We’re talking about the kind of power that can fling the stars, planets, sun and the moon into orbit without the benefit of a rocket or computers, and they never bump into one another, they’re all out there in perfect synchronization. That’s the kind of power we’re talking about. I mean it’s mind boggling. Now reading on.

II Timothy 1:9

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works (see how The Bible put down works for Salvation?), but according to his own purpose…”

You know back in the Book of Acts, Peter makes it so evident that before anything was ever created the Triune God had a meeting in eternity past, not that they had to sit around the table and banter it back and forth, but nevertheless the Trinity got together and agreed on creation, on mankind, knowing that he would sin, and they set up the plan of Salvation out of which the Son would come down and die, and be raised from the dead. That’s all part of this eternal purpose that God implemented before anything was ever created. Now finishing that verse.

II Timothy 1:9

“Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,”

Isn’t that glorious? I mean this is past human understanding, you and I are here today as recipients of His grace, but God knew about us way way back before anything was created. We’re not an accident in time, we are according to His divine and eternal purpose. Now let’s return to Romans Chapter 5 again for a few moments. Remember verse 1 says, we have this peace that passeth all understanding. Peace with God. How many people have to lay their head on the pillow at night and toss and turn until their guilt complex runs rough shod over them. They know they’re not at peace with maybe fellow men or maybe with government and certainly not with God. But the believer can put his head on the pillow and be at perfect peace with his Maker. Know that the work of the Cross has settled everything. Know that all these promises are true if we believe them. We rest on them. Now verse 2:

Romans 5:2

“By whom also we have access (how?) by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God..”

In other words God’s unmerited favour has just opened the windows of Heaven, and made it accessible to every human being anywhere and everywhere. But there has to be a door of access, and what is it? “FAITH!” Remember when we first started our series of lessons on Romans. I gave many of the things that God did the moment we believed. He sanctified us, He forgave us, He justified us, He glorified us, He baptized us into the Body, and on and on we went. And I said about everyone of them – “did you feel it when it happened? Could you see it when it happened? Could your neighbors see it when it happened?” So how do we know these things happened? The Book says so! And that’s faith! Everything becomes a reality then by faith.

So we have access into this grace when we stand and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. But we’re not just pie in the sky people. I’ve said over and over through the years, “Listen, just because you become a believer, you’re not going to have a rose feathered pathway. You’re not going to live in a Garden of Eden.” We’re still in this old world. We’re still in a body of flesh. We’re still living in a time of trials and tribulations. That’s part of it and God isn’t removing us from that. He is simply saying, “I’ll see you through it.” We can go through valleys but God will always escort us. He will never forsake us. And so that’s what He’s saying here – that now we’re going to have tribulations. Now when I read of the potential of persecution coming on believers, even in America, the potential is there. The world is getting adamant, it is getting as one lady told me in her own church environment. She said, “Les, they’re getting aggressively in opposition to me.” Just because of her stand on the Gospel. Even within her own church circle. And so we can recognize the creeping tremors of persecution that are coming up. And so we may have to face some tribulation. Not The Tribulation, but tribulation. We may go through some times of trials and sufferings. But if we go through tribulation then we know that we’re going to gain something from it and what is it? Patience. Whenever I see this verse, I think of another little almost amusing anecdote.

One of our friends when we were still living in Iowa, had a large family. Seven or eight kids, just boom, boom, boom. And when you`ve got that many kids, you’re going to have some things that try your patience. And so that mother, one day, said, “Oh Les, some days I get so impatient. Will you pray with me that the Lord will give me patience with these kids?” I said, “Now wait a minute. Do you realize what you’re asking for?” And she said, “What do you mean?” I said, “There’s only one way God will give you patience and that’s tribulation.” She said, “Forget it!!” But you see, that’s exactly how God works. When we go through tribulation it’s going to teach us patience. And I’ve experienced it and I imagine many of you have. You go through a workplace situation, or whatever it may be, and it’s a trying experience. What’s the end result? Patience.

Romans 5:3

“And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;”

251 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 21 - The Imputed Righteousness of God

251: The Imputed Righteousness of God: Romans 4-5:5 – Part 3 – Lesson 3 – Part 3 Book 21

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



ROMANS 4 – 5:5

I’ve had people ask me what qualifications I have. Well, I’m just a layman, and a rancher, but I’ve spent a lot of time in The Book. People also ask me how I got the ability to teach. When I was in the service I was working in a operating room and they were doing kidney surgery on a fellow. We were all around that operating table and the tubes were going in and out of this guy from every body opening. The doctor was flushing those kidneys, and we were oooing and aaahing, and the Colonel stopped what he was doing and said, “Wait a moment folks, anyone who has done this procedure as often as I have can do the same thing.” And you know that’s the way I have to look at my teaching experience. If you teach 5, 6 or 7 nights a week for over twenty years then you could also do what I’m doing. That’s just where it comes from. When you’re in The Book that often, and you’ve got people bombarding you with questions, if I didn’t learn, then there would be something drastically wrong. But anyway that’s where I have gotten my education. Questions over the years from our students have made me study.

Now back to our study. We are still dealing with Abraham as the epitome of a man of faith who was justified by doing nothing, he merited nothing. He was raised in, and living in abject idolatry, he had no knowledge of the One true God, and yet God saw in that man the potential to believe what He said, and so he spoke to him, and as I have said before, I think God appeared to him in a physical form, and more than once. He came down and communicated with this man, and so now Paul, by inspiration, again goes back to Abraham as the perfect example of what it is to be justified, made totally righteous by faith and faith alone. Let’s start with Romans 4:13, and we’ll come on down to where we left off in the last lesson.

Romans 4:13-15a

“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith, For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect: Because the law worketh wrath:…”

Now that’s hard for people to swallow, if only they knew that’s what this Book says they wouldn’t be so glib, and say, “Well I think I’ll make it because I’m keeping the commandments.” Hey the commandments can only bring them one thing, and that’s the wrath of God, it’s not going to bring them to Heaven. I had a lady call the other day and ask,“Now that we are under Grace does that mean we don’t have to keep the commandments, and don’t have to pay any attention to the Law.” Oh listen, I’ve never said anything like that. In fact I’m always saying that Grace is not a license. Let’s turn for a moment to Chapter 13. Nowhere do I or the Scripture teach that just because we are saved by Grace that we are now free to do as we please. Those Ten Commandants are still the perfect Law of a Holy God, there’s no denying that. And so Paul makes reference to them throughout his letters, but here in Romans he refers to them more than anyplace else.

Romans 13:8

“Owe (or defraud, that’s what the word `owe’ really means) no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another (and remember my definition of love which is seeking the other person’s highest good) hath fulfilled the law.”

And that’s the only way you can fulfill the Law, Israel certainly couldn’t fulfill it, they couldn’t keep it, they were constantly breaking it. But you see when love is operating, then you can’t break the Law. If you really love someone you can’t talk about them behind their back. If you really love someone you’re not going to steal what is theirs. If you really love someone you’re not going to enter into an immoral relationship, not if you really love them, and I’ve tried to stress this to young people. And when some young fellow says, “Oh, if you love me!” Bologna! That’s not love, that’s instant gratification. Always remember, true love seeks the other person’s highest good, whatever that may be. Now verse 9, and with this as the backdrop, under Grace what does it say?

Romans 13:9

“For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet;…”

Plain enough? Absolutely that becomes the guideline for Christian life. We’re not free to break the Law, but it’s just that we are not under the demands of the Law. In fact several years ago I would use this illustration in my classes here in Oklahoma of two kinds of marriages. Let’s just say we have an arranged marriage by the parents of a young man and young lady that have been brought together without any love involved, no romance, no courtship. I can visualize in order for that couple to get along even for twenty four hours, that you will find that she’s going to put a list of rules and regulations on the refrigerator door that lets the old boy know what she will stand for and what she won’t. You will do this, and not do that. So what does he do? Well, he looks at those rules like a bull at a new gate, and says, “Huh, I can do better than that,” and he puts his list up right beside it. And his list says to her you will and you will not, now what is that? That’s legalism. That’s law.

But let the two people come together by virtue of a courtship, romance, love, and marriage, do they need those lists? No, because love is going to accomplish it without having it written and demanded. It’s the same way in the spiritual. Yes, under the law God had to say “Thou shalt and Thou shalt not.” In fact I’ve made the point in my teachings, go through the Old Testament, and see how much love there is. You will find very little, and the reason is love wasn’t the key. It was commandments, but as soon as you get into Grace what is it? Love, love, love. Do you see the difference?

Romans 4:15,16a

“Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression. Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace;…”

Now Grace is the next word that we must stop and define. Again I’m afraid that most of Christendom has no comprehension of this word. They just don’t understand the Grace of God. It’s His unmerited favor, that here the Holy, Sinless, Righteous Creator; Sovereign, Powerful, Infinite God, can reach down and become flesh, and walk those filthy dirty streets of Palestine and Jerusalem. He heard all the foul language of that day, just like it would be today, and He walked in the midst of all that. He went and suffered and died on a Roman Cross. We’re talking about the God of Creation remember. Why? Because He loved mankind, and that’s the only reason, and what’s most of mankind doing with it? They’re walking it underfoot, they couldn’t care less.

And you know I’m amazed that we get as much response as we do, because most people are just totally ignorant of an eternity to come. Some folks were telling me the other day that they had asked someone what was going to happen to them after they died? They responded with, “Going to Hell I guess.” They don’t know what they’re saying; most will say, “Well I never thought about it.” They never consider that after this life ends, whether it be ten years, eighty, or a hundred that there’s an eternity. We’re going to live in eternity someplace, it’s either going to be in God’s presence or the Lake of Fire out of His presence. But whatever, the Scripture says, “That if it’s going to be of Grace, then we have to keep our hands off of it, we have to let it be totally the unmerited favor of God on our behalf.” Now that’s Grace! Reading on in verse 16:

Romans 4:16,17

“Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,” In what realm? In the Spiritual. And the reason is that Abraham was the first that walked by faith without Law, without circumcision. Abraham came out of abject idolatry, and walked by faith, and that’s where we have to come from. Verse 17:

“(As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) (and of course that’s back in the Old Testament) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.” I think that goes back even to the work of Creation where the Scripture tells us that God created everything out of nothing. And that’s God’s prerogative. He can take that which is nothing, and He can make it something, and only God can do that. I think it’s the same way in the spiritual realm on our behalf. We’re nothing, but God makes us something. See? Now reading on.

Romans 4:18

“Who (speaking of Abraham again) against hope believed in hope (in other words against common sense. Why? He’s a hundred years old. His wife is ninety, and God keeps telling them that they’re going to have a son. You’re going to have a nation of people come from your body. Now that’s against hope, yet against hope what did he do? He had genuine hope, and he knew how ridiculous it may have seem to the human intellect, to the physical understanding of reproduction, he knew that much, yet somehow or other God was going to bring it to pass, and of course we know He did), that he might become the father of many nations; according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.” In other words, out of Abraham and Sarah came Isaac, Jacob, Esau and Ishmael of course. We have all these nations of people that came on the earth. Now verse 19.

Romans 4:19

“And being not weak in faith,…”

You know even ourselves, we’re living in a fast paced culture, and it’s awful easy to lose faith. Things begin to overwhelm us, and it’s so easy for any of us to suddenly think, “Where is God? I just can’t sense His presence. Why are these things falling in on me, where is He?” I imagine that people ask that everyday. Calamity, and accidents strike, and the first thing the human mind says is, “Well where’s God.” And it’s so easy then for faith to literally get crushed under the circumstances. But always come back to this man Abraham. I think Abraham was about fifty years old when God made all those promises to him while he was in Ur. And Abraham didn’t leave Haran until he was seventy-five years old. He didn’t father Ishmael until he was near eighty. And then finally, when he was a hundred and Sarah ninety, God performs and the promises become fulfilled. But you see he had almost fifty years with just the promises and nothing had happened.

I look at the circumstances and I can’t blame old Abraham a bit for listening to Sara, and having have a child by a slave girl. Can you? My, after all, God wasn’t doing anything. And you see this is where we come from so often. But God you’re not doing anything. Hey, we must sit back and and remember this is how God works. His wheels grind slowly, but surely. And finally after fifty years of promises here comes the child. Unbelievable? Yeah, from the human element. But you see it becomes a New Testament illustration. Oh I sometimes think all these things happened on purpose so that we could have it in our New Testament. Now finish verse 19:

Romans 4:19,20a

“And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb (remember she’s ninety): He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief;…”

How many times have you gone back and looked at Israel when she stood at the gates of the promised land at Kadesh Barnea. They had just came from Sinai and they now have the tabernacle, the priesthood, and everything is now in place and God has promised that He would drive out the Canaanites by using hornets, and whatever needs to be done so that they will leave everything for you. Their gardens, their vineyards, and orchards, and fields and houses; everything is going to be ready for you. He would drive them out, and all they had to do was walk in and take it. And poor old Israel stood there. What was their problem? UNBELIEF!

They couldn’t believe what God said, and so their step of unbelief was, “Well, Moses send in spies. If the spies come back and tell us that we can do it then we’ll go in.” That wasn’t God’s idea. God never instructed those twelve spies. He finally condescended, and said, “Yes, go ahead.” But you see they were gone forty days and then they came back with that horrible report, “Oh we can’t take it, because they’re like giants and we are like grasshoppers in their sight.” And they moaned and groaned all that night. What was their problem? Unbelief, and to show you that in Scripture, let’s go for a moment to the Book of Hebrews Chapter 3. Let’s jump in at verse 16. I feel the Apostle Paul wrote this great book.

Hebrews 3:16,17

“For some, when they had heard, did provoke: howbeit not all that came out of Egypt by Moses, But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness?…”

Usually when I teach this verse we have to remember that we need to back up just a few weeks, and around Mount Sinai. Moses had been up on the mountain for thirty or forty days, and the children of Israel said, “Oh we don’t know what’s happened to Moses.” So they go to Aaron and what do they ask for? An idol, and Aaron goes along with the idea, and comes up with the craziest story you ever heard. He said, “He had thrown this gold in the fire and out came this golden calf.” We know that’s ridiculous, but that’s what it says. Nevertheless, not only did they make the golden calf, but what was their behavior around it? Abject immorality as was always part and parcel of idolatry. Here they were in their stark nakedness and abject immorality. And of course God judged them for those sins, and a few thousand died because of it.

But nevertheless when they get up here to Kadesh Barnea, and the land is in front of them, it wasn’t the unbelief that they practiced around that old golden calf that brought in the wrath of God. Oh that was easy for Him to forgive, but it was their unbelief that they could not take the land that God said they could. And that was His controversy, that was it, it wasn’t anything else, but the fact that they couldn’t take Him at His Word. Now it’s going to be the same way with millions of people that will come before the Great White Throne. We’re talking about good people, but what was their sin? Unbelief! They could not believe what God said concerning the work of the Cross. And I grant you that it is hard from the human element to comprehend that the Creator God took on flesh and was crucified, was buried and rose from the dead. And by that act of death and suffering, and then being raised from the dead, then God can pass out Salvation to the whole human race (Reference I Corinthians 15:1-4). It’s hard to comprehend. I explained pardon several lessons ago. I maintain that every human being that has ever lived has already been pardoned by virtue of the work of the Cross. Their pardon is accomplished, the only reason they’re not going to receive it is they will not appropriate it by faith. And you see that’s what’s going to make their eternal doom so horrible. For jillions of years they are going to say, “I rejected my pardon.” And this is what we have to understand; and this is where it becomes our responsibility to let people know that they don’t have to go to that awful place, they don’t have to be separated from God. Their pardon is already done, just believe it. Now read on in Hebrews Chapter 3.

Hebrews 3:18,19

“And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that (were immoral? No, but to them that) believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.”

And we have the same problems today. Oh if I can clean up my act, and change my ways, then I’ll become a Christian. But that’s not the way you do it. You do it when you are yet ungodly, and we’ll come to that when we get to Romans Chapter 5. Now continuing on in Romans Chapter 4 for a few more minutes.

Romans 4:20-22

“He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; And being fully persuaded (there wasn’t an ounce of doubt in Abraham’s mind that God was going to do what He said He was going to do) that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. And therefore it (his believing + nothing) was imputed to him for righteousness.”

I mentioned a few lessons back that `imputed’ was a bookkeeping term in the Greek. It was just like putting it on the account. And so Abraham’s believing was literally placed to his account on the ledgers of Heaven that he is now a righteous man. Now verse 23.

Romans 4:23,24

“Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;” It’s not going to stop with Abraham. But now it leaps almost four thousand years to your time and mine, and here we are almost four thousand years after the fact, and it’s still appropriate.

“But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed (we can get the same put to the account as Abraham did. And how do we do it?), if we believe (oh listen, how many different groups have put everything else in there except that? If we do this and if we do that, but beloved that’s not what it says. If we believe) on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;” There’s your Gospel again. Do you see it? That Christ died for you, was buried, and rose from the dead. And that’s all you must believe for your Salvation. (Reference I Corinthians 15:1-4 another good one is Romans 10:9-10) Now let’s finish the chapter with verse 25:

Romans 4:25

“Who was delivered for our offenses, and was raised again for our justification.”

Oh, if Christ had not been raised from the dead, then the Apostle Paul couldn’t have written about justification. Then the plan of redemption would have never been complete. But He did. He arose victorious over sin, the old Devil, the old flesh, and the world around us, and we take it by faith. Another verse came to mind in II Corinthians that we need to use right here.

II Corinthians 5:21

“For he (God) hath made him (The Christ) to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”

What does that mean? We know Christ was God, we know He was sinless, we know He never committed a single sin, not even in the thought processes. So what has He done with that? He has imputed it to our account. And now God looks on you and looks on me, and He doesn’t see Les Feldick or any of you by name, He sees Christ! Because everything that Christ was and is has now been placed on you. How? By Faith! But you see it doesn’t stop there. Of course we’re going to get busy, of course we’re going to be a testimony, of course we’re going to have a concern for lost people. There is nothing that thrills me more than to have a new convert be suddenly overwhelmed with the lost condition of their family, or loved ones, their neighbors, or the people they’re working with. And they get consumed with the fact that these people are lost, and that’s as it should be. That’s how God intended it to be. That’s why He’s left us here, that we can constantly remind lost people that it isn’t what you do, or what you think you can become, but rather it’s what you do in the area of faith. Do you believe it? Have you appropriated it? Have you genuinely considered Who Jesus was?

I had a gentlemen several years ago come into my kitchen, and his first question was, “Who in the world is Jesus Christ?” And it was a legitimate question, because he didn’t know. But listen, when the Holy Spirit begins to reveal to our understanding who He is then we know that He’s the God of glory who died for us.

250 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 2 - Book 21 - The Imputed Righteousness of God

250: The Imputed Righteousness of God: Romans 4-5:5 – Part 2 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 21

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



ROMANS 4 – 5:5

Let’s pick up again in Romans Chapter 4, and we will still be dealing with justification by faith + nothing. As I said in the last lesson, we will be taking our time because few people have a real understanding of what Paul is trying to teach in these chapters. Now of course justification goes all the way into Chapter 5, and then when we get into Chapter 6, we’ll be taking a good hard look at old Adam. And again, that’s a part of our Salvation experience I think very few people are aware of. Remember as I have told you before, “We’re not sinners because we have broken the Law, but rather we break the Law because we’re sinners.” And we’re sinners by virtue of being born from Adam, but we’ll deal with that in Chapter 6.

Now let’s begin with verse 5 of Chapter 4. Every time I read verse 5, I think of a situation when we were still teaching up north. A gentlemen came to our class one night; he was the last man I would have ever dreamed would have come to a Bible class, and especially to one of mine. In fact I was so unbelieving that when he rang the door bell, and we were just about ready to begin our teaching, I didn’t even think about inviting him in, I thought he had come for some other reason. So we talked on the front porch for a minute or two, and he finally said, “Well, don’t you have a class here tonight?” And I said, “Yeah, you mean you came for the Bible class?” And he said, “That’s why I’m here.” I just felt like two cents, but anyway we happened to be in verse 5 in our study, and that’s why I always think of that incident every time I teach Romans 4:5.

That evening is just as vivid as if it were last night. There was only one chair left in our living room and it was right next to my right. So we began our study and I asked the gentlemen to read verse 5. Now I have never done that, never in all my teachings have I asked somebody to read a verse. And here I ask a poor guy that I had heard was down at the very bottom, he had hit the skids, and was running with the totally wrong crowd, to read this verse. You talk about stupid – in fact that night I lost sleep over that. How could I have done that? But you see God overrules, and so the poor guy read the verse for us, and then I made another big stupid error. I asked him to comment further on the verse. Now let’s read the verse, and I’ll show you how stupid I really was.

Romans 4:5

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

So after he read the verse I asked him, “What kind of people does God justify?” Imagine asking someone who had never been approached with these things before, and put him on the spot. But the gentlemen answered right, he said, “The ungodly.” And of course he knew that was what he was. The reason it left such an impact on me was that he came back for the next three Saturday nights. And I think it was after the third Saturday night in the middle of the week that he called early one morning. He called so early that he was afraid he may have gotten me out of bed. He hadn’t as I was already drinking my first cup of coffee. He said, “Les, you had to be the first to know because at three o’clock this morning I woke up and realized I’m losing everything, so I just cried out, “God, my life is a mess.” So I slipped out on my knees and asked God to save me, and now it’s just like a load has been taken off my shoulders.”

Now that Salvation was genuine because that young man just immediately made a complete turn-around in his life. He became concerned about other lost people so much that he even had us move our class to his home for three or four Saturday nights and he went to every length including baking pies and making homemade ice cream for refreshments, because these ungodly friends had promised him that they would attend our Bible study if we would meet in his home. And the poor guy even asked us to delay starting the class that evening to give his friends extra time to get there. He would walk to the window and I almost cried with him as he said, “Les, they promised that they’d be here tonight.” But they didn’t come, so he asked if he could have it again next week. And for the next several Saturday nights it was the same story. He went to every extreme to get the refreshments ready and his house ready, and our class people cooperated, but he would look down the road in vain. And it just broke his heart. Simply because he wanted them to have his new found faith.

As I was thinking about sharing this incident with you last night the thought came to mind that just one verse of Scripture was what impacted the man. The Holy Spirit used my stupidity to do something that I’ve never done before or since; to not only ask him to read the verse but to also make a comment on it. But you know he told me, “Les, that verse just plagued me day after day after day.”

Romans 4:5

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly,…” And he told me that there was no doubt that was exactly what he was.

Many things we just can’t figure out. It wasn’t too long after that, that we moved to Oklahoma, and then we heard that The Lord had taken him home as he had been involved in a terrible automobile accident. But he had left his testimony, because everyone that called to tell us about his going home told us, “Les, he’s in glory!” And I have no doubt, because he had such a confirmed faith that this verse meant what it says. That God justifies the ungodly the moment we believe the Gospel. He didn’t join something, nor did he go through a prescribed ritual. He just simply believed for his Salvation that Christ died for him, and rose from the dead.

And then the Apostle Paul, by inspiration as I pointed out in our last lesson, goes back again to the Old Testament and even goes as far as King David. How even David was a man of faith, and we know that he wasn’t exactly a perfect man was he? He had his failures, and downfalls, but still God could count him righteous because of his faith. Then you come down to verse 9 and Paul is going to pick up again with Abraham.

Romans 4:9

“Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only (Jews), or upon the uncircumcision (Gentiles) also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.”

And now verse 10. Oh, I love the way the Scripture does this. In fact, I’ve always told people that when they start talking to others, use The Lord’s format. How did The Lord invariably open a conversation? With a question. And if they would ask Him a question then He would return with a question. Now the Scripture does the same thing. The Holy Spirit says:

Romans 4:10

“How was it then reckoned (how did the man receive this righteousness?)? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.”

Now don’t forget, back for the first 2000 years there was no hint of circumcision. There’s been no hint of the Mosaic Law. And so Abraham comes out of Ur of the Chaldees, he’s a Syrian by birth, and so he comes out of it as a non-Jew, because the Nation of Israel isn’t on the scene. So this is what the Holy Spirit us pointing out, Abraham didn’t come into this faith by virtue of his Covenant relationship, but rather God dealt with him when he was still in Ur of the Chaldees. He was in the midst of idolatry, and it was on that basis that God said, “Leave and go to a place that I will show you.” And by faith, what did Abraham do? He left. Not after circumcision was implemented, but before. Now why? Because you see that’s where we fit into the picture. We’re not part of the circumcision covenant, we are uncircumcised so far as relationship in Scripture is concerned. Now verse 11:

Romans 4:11,12

“And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised (so Abraham came into this justification position before circumcision was even mentioned to him): that he might be the father of all them that believed, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also (oh, so now in verse 11 God has just tied Abraham to us. Can you see that?): And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.”

Now turn with me to Galatians Chapter 3, and maybe I can bring the point home. I hope so, because I’ve had so many people come into my class over the years that say, “Well our preacher preached that we become Jews when we become a Christian.” Horrors! Salvation is a miracle, but it doesn’t make a Jew out of us. I mean after all, that’s based on genetics, chromosomes and what have you; that’s a blood line, and God does not change our blood. He does not make a Gentile a Jew! But the Scripture teaches that there is a relationship between us as Gentiles and the man Abraham.

Galatians 3:6a

“Even as Abraham believed God,…

Do you see how the Scripture keeps repeating. Remember when I first started these lessons, I told you that I tried to teach on the same format as a famous mathematics teacher here in Oklahoma. I think he was written up in Readers Digest several years ago, because his system of teaching mathematics was raising the grade level of all of his students. It was just so obvious that he had a system that surpassed anyone else in the country. And do you know what it was? Repetition. In other words, instead of just simply teaching one part of mathematics and then when he thought the students had it, moving on to the next one, he would always review from the beginning. Just keep repeating and repeating, he would add something new but kept on repeating. Well, that’s the way I like to teach Scripture and that’s what Scripture does. It’s a constant matter of repetition to get it to soak in. These things don’t come overnight. It takes time and many of you know that. This is one of the reasons that many times I have to slow down. I know I unload so much, and then I have to remind myself that there’s no way you can remember all of that. Now verse 6 again:

Galatians 3:6,7

“Even as Abraham, believed God, and it (the believing) was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith (or the faith way, as opposed to some other way), the same are the children of Abraham.”

Well, that’s where some people get the idea that when we are saved we become Jews. No we don’t become a Jew, but we have a spiritual connection to the man like we have with no other character in history other than The Lord Jesus Himself. So how and why are we connected to Abraham?

Galatians 3:8

“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen (or non-Jew) through (or by) faith, preached before the gospel (before there was any inkling of the great plan of redemption as we know it) unto Abraham, saying, `In thee shall all nations be blessed.'”

I’ve had people tell me they feel that Abraham understood The Gospel according to the way we know it, that Christ would die, would be buried and be raised from the dead. But I disagree with that completely. Abraham had no idea of a Roman Crucifixion; nobody back here knew what a crucifixion was. So it’s all a matter of where you place your emphasis, onjustify or The Gospel. If you put the emphasis on the Gospel, then you get the idea that Christ preached the Gospel unto Abraham. He couldn’t have, because then I would have to feel that somewhere between Abraham and Paul, The Gospel would have popped up. There would have been some sort of a reference to the death, burial, and Resurrection as a means of Salvation way back there somewhere. But it isn’t, and as I have pointed out in these lessons, you search the Four Gospels and you can’t find that they would be saved by believing that Jesus died for the sins of the world, that he was buried, and rose the third day, because it’s not in there. And we have no right to put it in there. Just leave everything exactly where it is. But now Paul will say, for example in Ephesians Chapter 2:

Ephesians 2:13

“But now (things have changed) in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.” That tells us that it hasn’t always been that way. Now looking at Galatians 3:8 again:

Galatians 3:8

“And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, `In thee shall all nations be blessed.'”

We also saw that back in Genesis 12:3 didn’t we? That it would be through the Covenant promises to Abraham that the whole human race would enter into a Salvation experience. Why? Because through the promise to Abraham came the Christ. And even though the Covenant people, Israel, rejected Him and nailed Him by virtue of the Roman army, to a Cross, what did He become? He became the Saviour of not Israel alone, but the whole human race. And this is what we’re trying to show here, that Abraham entered in by faith and faith alone based on what God said to him, and that was what? Leave Ur. It’s just that simple. “Leave Ur, and I’ll show you a place that I want you to go.” Now that’s faith. Now there’s a lot of people that will say, “Yeah but it was his works that saved him when he left Ur.” Oh no, because Abraham was a believer before he even got out of town. He was already declared righteous before he left the city wall. Why? Because he believed God.

Now it’s the same way with us, a lot of things follow our Salvation experience, absolutely they do. Most of you who know me know that I will not just run and tell someone that I led so and so to The Lord until I see that changed life. Then I’ll gladly share it, but you see when there’s a genuine Salvation, there’s going to be a change in lifestyle, there’s going to be a change in heart attitude. And Abraham experienced that the moment he believed just like others that we have dealt with. The moment they believe, it’s just like the one I just shared with you. At three o’clock in the morning he asked The Lord to save him, and by five o’clock he was able to tell me what had happened. Why? It was instantaneous, he didn’t have to grow into it. It wasn’t a evolutionary process.

All right, why and how are we tied to Abraham. Well maybe I can clarify it. Abraham entered in by faith + nothing. Now as soon as Abraham goes beyond the rite of circumcision, 500 years later here comes Moses and the Law. Now even these good Jews back here are going to be saved based on their faith, but by faith alone? In other words could a Jew during the Temple period say, “Now Lord I know I’ve sinned, I know that I’ve broken the Law, but I’m not going to bring a sacrifice.” Would that have worked? Never! He was now tied to a faith + works. You get to Christ’s earthly ministry, now they are still under the Law, and I can prove that very easy. The one that came to Jesus in the Book of Matthew:

Matthew 19:16-19

“And behold one came and said unto him, `Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?’ and he said unto him, `Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.’ He said unto him, `Which?’ Jesus said, `Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shall not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.'”

So Jesus told him to keep the law, but as John the Baptist began to preach along with the keeping of Law, and with the bringing of the prescribed sacrifices for Salvation experience, now what did they have to do? Repent and be baptized. That was John’s message. But remember that was for the Nation of Israel, and their national sins, they were to repent of them, and they were to show their repentance with water baptism, absolutely they were. But that was part of faith + sacrifice, works, and whatever you want to add in there.

But then here comes the Apostle Paul and he says it’s faith + nothing so what does that tie us to? To the only other man that God dealt with on that basis. Do you see it? That’s how we’re tied to Abraham, he was saved by faith + nothing, and we’re saved the same way, but everybody in between were saved with faith + works. Oh don’t lose that, and once you can separate the two, then it’s easy to understand. Yes, Abraham had the promises of a spiritual seed in the heavenlies, because they were going to come in by faith + nothing. But his physical relationship was with the Nation of Israel, the earthly people of God, the dust of the earth. Now come back to Romans Chapter 4, but we are still going to be dealing with Abraham, he is the epitome of an example of faith.

Romans 4:13

“For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law (that came first, and the whole nation of Israel was put under it at Mount Sinai, and remember the Law was severe, a burden, a yoke of bondage that Israel couldn’t bear), but through the righteousness of faith.”

Romans 4:14

“For if they which are of the law be heirs (in other words just the children of Israel through their law-keeping then), faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:”

We cancel it. Another scripture comes to mind along these lines. Turn to Galatians Chapter 4, and remember this little letter was written specifically to the Churches of Galatia, that they were not under Law, but rather Grace. Remember the Judaisers were trying to put them under Law. So this is why this letter was written, to prove to these Gentile believers that they were not under Law, but under Grace. Here Paul has used the analogy of Isaac and Ishmael. Ishmael was of the flesh, he was earthly, and not of the spiritual seed, not of the promises that Isaac was. Let’s begin with verse 30:

Galatians 4:30,31

“Nevertheless what saith the scripture? Cast out the bondwoman and her son (Hagar and Ishmael, they stood for the Law, the flesh): for the son of the bondwoman shall not be heir with the son of the freewoman (they could have no interrelationship). So then, brethren, we are not children of the bondwoman, but of the free.”

Galatians 5:1

“STAND fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage. Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised(and you can put in there anything that man can do to merit Salvation. If you have to add anything, and in this case Paul is naming circumcision then), Christ shall profit you nothing.”

Now that’s scary. The first time I saw that verse it just shook me to my boots. To think that any person who tries to add something to the Gospel of Grace, faith + nothing, he then cancels the work of the Cross for himself. Now that’s enough to scare anybody, because multitudes of church people are doing that. Yeah, they say but I can’t be saved unless I do this or do that. We have to believe that when Christ died and rose from the dead that He did every thing that a Holy God could demand of us. And all that Holy God asks is believe it, and if we won’t believe it then we stand under the anathema of a Holy God who is angered by the simple fact that we will not believe Him. And that’s what faith is all about, that we can honestly look at the Scripture, and recognize the fact that God has said it, and I with all my heart say, “God, I believe it.”

249 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 21 - The Imputed Righteousness of God

249: The Imputed Righteousness of God: Romans 4-5:5 – Part 1 – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 21

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick


ROMANS 4 – 5:5

I might tell you that these little books that are transcribed from the videotapes are now even being used in foreign countries by foreign missionaries. We also had a gentlemen call this week and order some for a prison in Ohio. So the Lord is using every means to get The Word out. We’re just here to teach The Word and let the chips fall where they may, and you would be surprised how people’s eyes get opened to what The Book really says, and what it doesn’t say.

Turn to Paul’s writings in the Book of Romans Chapter 4 and we’ll review just a little. When I speak of the writings of Paul, I am not elevating the man. Don’t forget, he was merely a human instrument that God used and spoke through as He wrote. It was the same way with the other writers of Scripture. I read famous men who will make a statement like this. “Well you know Luke must have been a tremendous researcher. Luke must have been a tremendous note taker,” They insinuate that these men wrote on the basis of information they were able to collect. But no Word of Scripture came to pass that way; every writer of this Book wrote as he was moved by the Holy Spirit. So when I speak of the writings of Paul, I’m not talking about the man and his intellect, but rather I’m talking about the man God used to put these things in print. I was looking at a verse last night in II Corinthians Chapter 10 and it was so applicable where they said his speech was contemptible.

II Corinthians 10:10

“For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.”

We know Paul was not a very handsome orator, but his letters were weighty. Even though the Apostle Paul addressed many many people face to face, what he says here on the printed page is different than what he probably said verbally, because this is The Word of God. Paul may have been able to preach and teach these basic things, but it still didn’t have the weight and impact of his written letters, because these have become The Word of God. And I’m quite sure even as Paul was writing these various letters to the various Churches that he did not know that one day these would become part of the written Word. But God knew better. So always remember these writers, when they wrote, were moved by the Holy Spirit to pen The Word, and did not have to rely on 1st or second hand information from someone else.

We begin our review here in the Book of Romans. And the first thing the writer does here is take us back to Abraham. Now that’s Old Testament isn’t it? So it would behoove us to go back to Genesis Chapter 12 and review a little bit about this great man Abraham who is referred to quite often in Paul’s epistles, and certainly has been established as a great man of faith all through Scripture. Why does Paul, by inspiration, refer back to Abraham when he is teaching a lesson on justification by faith and faith alone? Let’s begin with verse 1.

Genesis 12:1-3

“NOW the LORD had said (back in Chapter 11 how they left Ur of the Chaldees) unto Abram, `Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee (future tense, a promise): And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing; And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee (and in this next statement is the very epitome of this whole Covenant promise), and in thee (through the man Abraham) shall all families of the earth be blessed.'”

Not just Israel, but the human family would benefit from the promises and Covenants that God is making with this man. Look for a moment at the timeline we use occasionally. In our mind’s eye, flash all the way back to Adam, and we know that about half- way between Adam and the Cross we have the appearance of this man Abram who later of course becomes Abraham. Now we know that 400 years before Abraham came on the scene we had the flood. And about half-way between the flood and Abraham we have the Tower of Babel. And so we saw that for the first 2000 years there was complete failure on the part of the human race.

Then God in so many words said, “I’m going to do something totally different.” God had given the opportunity for Salvation to the whole human race, all they had to do was be prompted by conscience that they had sinned, and they rebelled against the laws of conscience that God had placed there. Then all they had to do was bring a blood sacrifice, confess their sin, and God would accept them; it was that simple. But what did they do with that plan? They rejected it totally, until finally it had gotten so bad that God had to destroy the generations with the flood, and started over with Noah and his three sons. And then within two hundred years the offspring of those three sons are again in total rebellion, they were in total ignorance of God’s offer of Salvation, and tried to make their own way. They tried to approach heaven through their own false worship leading to the Tower of Babel.

Try to put yourself in God’s position, and I know that’s an extreme statement. Here He has offered a restoration and reconciliation. If they would just do what He had asked them to do by bringing a blood sacrifice, He would accept them. And we have that typified with Abel. Remember Abel was accepted because he did what God had told him to do. Cain of course rejected those instructions; he rationalized and thought he could go his own way, but nevertheless after 2000 years of God dealing patiently with those early people, He finally came to the point where we will see Him do something completely different with the man Abraham. He took that one man in whom He found a particle of faith, who would be obedient to what God told him. So in so many words God said, “I will make him a whole group of promises in Covenants, and out of him I’m going to bring a special race of people who will be different than all the other nations on the planet, and I’m going to work a plan of Salvation through that race of people.”

Now just as soon as God revealed even the embryonic part of that plan of redemption you can rest assured that the Devil kicked into high gear. I’ve had people ask me over the years,“Why have the Jews suffered so much.” Well that’s the basic reason. Just as soon as God revealed that this special nation of people would bring about the plan of redemption, the Devil turned everything loose on them. And if you’ll read your Old Testament you will see the evidence of how Satan has tried to thwart God’s plan of redemption by destroying the people through whom the Redeemer must come. Don’t forget that, if Satan could some how disrupt the plan of God for the Nation of Israel, then he would disrupt God’s whole plan of Salvation, and so they have been under constant attack.

Now of course they didn’t keep Israel from producing The Messiah, so now you see Satan has yet another goal and that is to interrupt God’s prophetic program. Think for a moment. If the Nation of Israel should suddenly disappear from view then prophecy would be left hanging on a string, and The Book would be a lie. Do you see that? So the whole Satanic thrust against the Nation of Israel is to destroy them, wipe them off the scene so God’s prophetic Word cannot be fulfilled. Then all of a sudden you can see why a man like Hitler would turn against them. Why do the nations of the world even today constantly bombard that little nation with all their accusations. Now on the other hand I always try to make people aware of the fact that that doesn’t make Israel’s government perfect. The Jew today is not perfect; he is just as much the son of Adam as the rest of us. Their government is just as corrupt as any other government. I still get the Jerusalem Post and constantly they are rooting out corrupt individuals in their government. That part isn’t any different. But in the big picture we have to understand that everything that is going to happen prophetically to this planet is centered on that little nation of Israel. And so Satan is still trying to disrupt God’s total program by getting rid of that little nation.

Now a most sinister thing I think is happening and if it weren’t that I know the Scriptures has guaranteed this nation will never fade off the scene I would have to wonder if this nation will survive, because I read recently in the Jerusalem Post that 52% of all Jewish marriages are now mixed marriages. They are marrying Gentiles. Let’s go for a moment to the Book of Matthew Chapter 24, and I’m still talking about the man Abraham. Here in this chapter The Lord Jesus made a graphic statement. Lets start in verse 32.

Matthew 24:32-34

“Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh (in other words it’s a prophetic picture): So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it (the second coming of Christ) is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, `This generation (now that doesn’t mean a generation in time like 40 or 50 years, but rather the Greek word here is `genea’ which means the race, the breed of the Nation of Israel) shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.'”

Now that’s a promise from the Creator Himself, and if it weren’t for that I think we would have reason to think that, yes, the Nation of Israel will yet disappear. Remember the whole world is against them, and they are intermarrying at an alarming rate. How long would it take for them to lose their identity if they keep on intermarrying at the rate of over 52%? Not long. I feel this is just another sign that points to the fact we are so close to the end, because in spite of everything that is going against this little Nation of Israel, we know they will not disappear until everything is fulfilled.

Now coming back to Genesis Chapter 12, we find God has promised this man Abraham a nation of people that would bring about the Redeemer and King, and the nation, and their geographical area and through it all God’s purposes would be fulfilled. Now when we teach about Abraham, I always like to point out that all the things concerning Abraham and his earthly people the Nation of Israel are always “earthly.” There is nothing heavenly connected to this little nation. But when we get to the New Testament and we come to the Body of Christ, the Church, there everything that is promised is “heavenly.” This is why, Paul by inspiration, uses Abraham as an example of faith, and it is still appropriate for you and I as New Testament believers, even though Abraham is part of the Old Testament program. We have no problem with Abraham being the father of the Jewish people, we know that came about genetically through Isaac, Jacob, and the 12 Sons. But we get a curve thrown at us when we as believers of the Church Age, are connected to Abraham to the place where the Scriptures say that we are children of Abraham. I hope I can show you. Now after the Abrahamic Covenant in Genesis 12 where God promises him a nation of people in a geographical area of land, and one day they will have a government and a King. Turn to Chapter 13 where God enlarges on this Covenant promise of Chapter 12.

Genesis 13:16

“And I will make thy seed (or offspring) as the dust of the earth: so that if a man can number the dust of the earth, then shall thy seed also be numbered.”

In other words, there would be a great offspring of Abraham through Isaac, Jacob, and the Nation of Israel. You want to remember that we are dealing now with over 4000 years of time. Even though they have been a small nation, yet there have been tremendous numbers of people that have come out of this Covenant promise. But now as you turn to Chapter 15, God does something totally different. He gives this man a promise that ties him to us in the Church age today, and we find that in verse 5.

Genesis 15:5

“And he brought him forth…”

I think the Lord dealt with Abraham on a face to face, eyeball to eyeball basis. I think God came down and took on human form like He did at the calling out of Ur, because the word in the Greek in Acts Chapter 7 is `optomai’ which deals with the sight and Stephen rehearsed that The Lord appeared `optomai’ to the man Abram, and of course the word also appeared back in the Hebrew, so I’m sure that’s how God dealt with the man. And of course it’s very evident in Genesis Chapter 18. So I believe that God and Abraham are standing there on the mountains of Central Israel, looking out in all four directions. Now let’s finish the verse.

Genesis 15:5

“And he brought him forth abroad, and said, `Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars (not the particles of the dust as we saw in Chapter 13), if thou be able to number them:’ and he said unto him, `So shall thy seed be.'” What’s He talking about? A spiritual relationship of people. Abraham is not only getting the view of the earthly promises that are going to come through the Nation of Israel, but he is also getting a view of the heavenly people that will also be part and parcel of His promises. Remember the last part of Chapter 12 and verse 3:

Genesis 12:3

“…and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.” Not just the Jews, but all the families of the earth would be blessed. Now let’s come back to Romans Chapter 4. I want you to keep what we just looked at in your mind for at least the next two or three lessons. We are going to be looking at Chapter 4 which is constantly referring back to Abraham in detail. I’m not going to rush through this because I think these are things that very few believers comprehend, and hopefully we can open some eyes. Let’s read.

Romans 4:1,2

“WHAT shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.” If Abraham could have merited favor with God by his works then what would he have naturally done? He would have gotten puffed up and proud. And he would have been able to tell his people around him, “Look what I have done to inherit eternal life.” But you see he couldn’t because he did not work for his Salvation. He did nothing but believe God. Now verse 3:

Romans 4:3

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.”

Abraham didn’t repent, he didn’t get baptized, he didn’t join something, he just simply believed God. That’s what The Book says. Now Abraham wasn’t any better morally than anyone else. It wasn’t that he was such a holy man, he was very ordinary, because we saw that in later chapters where he had his failures like everyone else. But yet this whole premise of faith – remember Hebrews 11:6 says:

Hebrews 11:6

“But without faith it is impossible to please him:…”

And by that faith then Abraham so pleased God that God called him a righteous man. It was just that simple. What’s the lesson? That’s also exactly where we are. That when we believe what God has said, and stand on it by faith, then God does the same for us. He declares us righteous. He declares us justified from all things.

Romans 4:4

“Now to him that worketh (that’s 99% of Christendom, they think they’ve got to do something, they can’t just rest on what God has said; they’ve got to do something, but that’s human nature) is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.

We were in Colorado last week holding a seminar, and while there we had a chance to do some trout fishing, and for the first time in all of our trips there we literally got skunked. But something compensated for that, as there was a gentleman just down a little ways from us and we had been tossing comments back and forth for a little while, and finally we got close enough together to introduce ourselves, and he looked at me again and said, “You’re the guy on television.” Anyway, he was a pastor of a small Church there in the Denver area. He said, “I appreciate your teaching because you get so down to earth and to the truth of it all.” He said that people were missing it. He went on to say that he had a lady come to him in his ministry recently. Previously, she had been in two other organizations, had been baptized, and had joined three churches of his denomination. Then she came and wanted to join his church. When he asked her if she had ever had a Salvation experience, and had she ever believed The Gospel (Ref: I Corinthians 15:1-4), she looked at him with a blank look and said, “I don’t know what you’re talking about.” He asked her about all the other places she had joined, and she said that none of them had ever asked her. Well, this is exactly where the Church is in trouble. They are not pointing these people to the fact that there has to be a personal Salvation. So when he led her through the plan of Salvation she was gloriously saved and he said she went away a happy woman. Here again it’s not what we do, or who we join up with, but rather what do we do with The Gospel. Now looking at verse 4 again.

Romans 4:4

“Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.” That person can never have grace if they have worked for their Salvation, because now they’ve earned it. But we will never put God in debt for a dime. He will never find Himself in debt to any human being. So the whole admonition is this. “We have to come God’s way, and that way is by God’s Grace through faith + nothing.”

248 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 21 - Redemption and Justification

248: Redemption and Justification – Romans 3:25 – 4:8 – Part 4 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 21

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Through the Bible with Les Feldick



ROMANS 3:25-4:8

Now to return to our study in the Book of Romans, and that would be in Romans Chapter 4. We have been talking about Abraham of course who had been steeped in idolatry as a young man in the city of Ur, and where upon God reached down in Grace, and told him to leave the city, his family, and go to place that He would show him. And Abraham believed God! Now we’ll look at verse 5 again, where Paul again is building his case that Abraham was declared righteous only because he believed God. Now we’re going to carry that a little further in these succeeding verses.

Romans 4:5

“But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.”

So when you believe on the one that can justify ungodly people, then that faith or that kind of believing is counted. Now that word counted here comes from a Greek word that was a bookkeeping term, and is used in many other places in Romans as imputed or put to the account. In fact let me show you the same word in a setting that will be easy to understand. Let’s come back to the Book of Philemon and it’s the same identical word, and yet here it is used in a way that we can readily understand the setting. Now if you remember Onesimus had been a slave and had run away from his owner Philemon, and while he was away Onesimus had come across Paul’s Gospel and had become a believer. And now Paul says to be an obedient believer that he should go back to his master Philemon, but he doesn’t want Philemon to come down hard on Onesimus as a disobedient slave, and so Paul is pleading with Philemon to accept the man back as a Christian brother without any punishment. Now as we come into verse 18, we will find this such a beautiful illustration of the word `imputed’ as we see it in the Book of Romans. But let’s begin with verse 15:

Philemon 1:15-18

“For perhaps he (Onesimus) therefore departed for a season, that thou shouldest receive him for ever; Not now as a servant, but above a servant, a brother beloved, specially to me, but how much more unto thee, both in the flesh, and in the Lord (now Philemon now has a real servant in Onesimus, not only for his physical need but Onesimus is now a believer, and that would give him a fellowship)? If thou count me therefore a partner, receive him as myself (Paul is saying to Philemon, when Onesimus comes back to you open the door to him like you would if it were me). If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee ought, put that on mine account;”

Now what’s Paul talking about? Impute it to me. Paul says if Onesimus owes you anything of monetary value then don’t take it from him because after all he was still just a common slave, but rather Paul says, “Put it to my account and I’ll pay it when I come.” Now it’s the same Greek word that we see back here in the Book of Romans as counted in verse 5. In other words here as an unbeliever we have this long list of debts that there is no way we can pay. It’s just a burden, and there is no way we could ever pay it off. But by virtue of our believing the Gospel for our Salvation, what has God done with that debt? Canceled it! And on the other side of the ledger God puts the whole bank roll of heaven to our account. Now again that’s beyond our comprehension. But that’s what Salvation does. It cancels our sin debt and never again will God confront any believer with his sins.

I remember years ago I was asked to call on a couple who had been going through some trying times, and the husband had a debilitating disease, and I didn’t know them that well. I had never met them but I stopped by at the insistence of some of their friends just to encourage them a little bit. And as the lady of the house escorted me to the door as I was leaving she said, “Les isn’t this all because of some horrible sin in our past?” I said, “Now wait a minute. Are you believers, do you know the Lord as your Savior?” She said “Oh, yeah.” I said, “Then don’t you know what the Scripture teaches that all your sins have been forgiven?”

Colossians 2:13

“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having forgiven you all trespasses (past, present, and future):”

It’s been wiped off the slate and never will you be confronted with sin when we stand before God. If The Lord should come this very moment and you and I had done something this day before noon that was wrong, and we hadn’t had time to confess it, do you think we are going to come up in The Lord’s presence and have Him say, “Now wait a minute that Wednesday before noon you sinned and haven’t taken care of it.” Why of course not. We’re forgiven the moment we sin, and that’s so hard for people to comprehend. They say, well, then that’s license. No it isn’t. That’s just simply the Grace of God that says that God will never come back at us and accuse of still having sin on our ledger. It’s been wiped completely clean, and the whole bank roll of Heaven has been put to our account. And what am I talking about? God’s righteousness! All of God’s righteousness has been imputed to our account, and that’s what it said concerning Abraham. Now let’s read on.

Romans 4:6a

“Even as David…”

Now the Old Testament economy, when it comes to forgiveness and Salvation as I have said so often, is hard to put your thumb on it. It’s hard to reckon some of these things. They had Salvation, no doubt about it. But it wasn’t as delineated as we see it now in Paul’s teachings. For us, I mean the whole thing is just laid out so beautifully. It’s explained and we can understand it. But nevertheless there was still a Salvation in the Old Testament that Paul could go back and relate to, and he even uses David, and we don’t ordinarily think of David as the man of faith that Abraham was, but here’s what it says.

Romans 4:6

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth (puts to the account) righteousness without works,”

God imputes righteousness without our doing a thing. Now let’s not confuse that with Christian good works. Turn with me for a moment to the Book of Ephesians, Chapter 2.

Ephesians 2:8

“For by grace (the unmerited favor of God) are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves (there isn’t anything you and I can do for Salvation except believe): it is the gift of God:” Just ask yourself this question, Do you work for a gift? Do you merit a gift? Never! If so then it would no longer be a gift.

Ephesians 2:9

“Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Now look at verse 10. As a result of our faith in the finished work of Christ being accomplished on our behalf, and it is now appropriated by our faith, God has imputed His righteousness to our account, but what does He expect?

Ephesians 2:10a

“For we are his workmanship,…”

In other words when God saves us He doesn’t leave us like a wreck, but rather He makes us a new person. He gives us a whole new personality, we’re not the old person we used to be, so we are a new creation. Now I stand to be corrected but I believe the word “workmanship” has the same Greek connection as our word “symphony.” And I like that. There are a lot of people who don’t care for symphony music, but I still like a beautiful symphony orchestra. I think it just has sounds that are unbelievable. Now in that symphonic music are all these various types of instruments, and they all melt together for that beautiful sound. Now what brought all that together? The composer. As he sat and was able to put all the scores of all these various instruments together and when they all play the song, out comes this beautiful music. Now that takes something. All right, now that’s where we are, when God transforms us and makes us His child we become a symphonic work of art. We become a thing of beauty. That’s what we should be, we’re His workmanship. We are the result of the work of the eternal God because we believe.

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are his workmanship, created (what does that imply? Just as big a miracle as when God created the universe, and I want people to know that. that when God saves a son of Adam and makes him a new person, it’s as great a work of creation as when He created the universe in the first place. That’s what people need to comprehend, that as a believer we are a unique creation of the only Creator in the universe, and that’s God Himself) in Christ Jesus unto good works (absolutely!),….”

God expects the believer to perform the good works, but not for Salvation. Good works are a result of Salvation. Remember when we were studying in the Book of Matthew, Chapter 25 at the end of the Tribulation. Christ will bring all the survivors before Him in Jerusalem. There won’t be many of them, but the ones that survive He is going to separate them. The believers from the unbelievers, sheep and goats, and He’s going to say to the sheep the following:

Matthew 25:31-34

“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels (that’s us as believers) with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats; And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, `Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:'”

It wasn’t their good works that performed their Salvation, but rather their Salvation that caused them to perform the works. And then when He comes to the goats, the unbelievers He said:

Matthew 25:41-45

“Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, `Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels; For I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat; I was thirsty, and ye gave me no drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me not in: naked. and ye clothed me not; sick, and in prison and ye visited me not.’ Then shall they also answer him, saying, `Lord, when saw we thee an hungred or athirst, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not minister unto thee?’ Then shall he answer them saying, `Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye did it not to one of the least of these, ye did it not to me:'”

What’s Christ saying? You didn’t receive, and believe their message of Salvation, but on the contrary you rejected it and you had no concern for their physical needs. So Depart: Well what was their problem? They didn’t believe. And why had the ones on the right, the sheep, met their need? Because they were believers. Their good works followed their Salvation. And it’s the same way here in this verse in Ephesians. I think anyone can understand that our society today would not be in the mess that it’s in, our welfare system wouldn’t be the gross mismanaged mess that it is if the Christian community would have done their good works from day one. But we failed. See, in reality all these welfare programs should have been carried on by the believing element. But you see, too many Christian good works have gone by the board, as well as everything else, but here the Scripture says:

Ephesians 2:10

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained (what does that mean? This is the way He set it up, and this is the way He planned it that the Christian community should be the practitioner of good works) that we should walk in them.”

Now go to I Corinthians Chapter 3. We’ve touched on these things before, but we need to repeat some of these things from time to time. Now here Paul is dealing with this other side of our Christian experience. He’s not dealing with the Salvation end of it, but rather the works/reward part of it. And let’s look what he says:

I Corinthians 3:9-11

“For we are laborers together with God (we can’t do anything alone): 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 (Paul says), I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man (believer) take heed (be careful) how he buildeth thereupon. For other foundation can no man lay that that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”

In other words, He’s the foundation of our Salvation experience. He’s the foundation of our Christian life, and by virtue of our Christian life and works we become builders. We are building onto this building that we are constructing with God, and God gives us six materials to build with. Three of these materials will withstand the heat and fire, and three of them will go up in a puff of smoke. Now let’s look what the Scriptures say:

I Corinthians 3:12,13

“Now if any man build upon this foundation (as believers) gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; Every man’s (believers only) works shall be made manifest (put in the spotlight): for the day shall declare it (the day when we come before the righteous Judge in Heaven), because it shall be revealed by fire;…” This is not hell fire. One of the descriptions of Christ is that He has eyes of fire as we find in Revelation Chapter 19.

Revelation 19:12

“His (Christ) eyes were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns: and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself.”

So as we come up before Him, and I think it will be at the judgment seat of Christ in II Corinthians Chapter 5, it will not be for Salvation, never to answer for sin, but we’ll have to answer for rewards. What, as a believer, have we done to further the Kingdom. And so those fiery eyes will penetrate our whole Christian record. What did we build with? Was it wood, hay, and stubble, or gold, silver, and precious stones or maybe a mixture of both. Now when those fiery eyes are finished, what’s going to be left? Only the three elements that won’t melt in heat. So that means only the gold, silver, and precious stones. And on that basis God is going to give us rewards then for eternity. Responsibilities is what I think the rewards will be. This has nothing to do with the crown, but responsibilities that will be given to us in the Kingdom.

Now then, believers have a lot of wood, hay, and stubble, and it will count for nothing. Others are going to have a little gold, silver, and a few precious stones symbolically, and they’re going to receive rewards. Others are going to have a lot of those, and they will receive a lot of rewards. So what’s the whole lesson? Yes, we’re saved by faith + nothing, but what are we immediately to do? Work and serve, and do everything to God’s glory because the rewards are piling up. I heard many years ago someone put it just that way. “Everything that you do for God’s glory, you’re sending ahead.” It’s waiting for us. It’s going to be there when we get there, and then we’re going to be able to cash in on these rewards. While we’re here let’s clear up a few false impressions as we read verses 13-15.

I Corinthians 3:13-15

“Every man’s work shall be made manifest (not a single believer will escape these fiery eyes of the Lord as He judges our works): for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon he shall receive a reward. If any man’s work shall be burned (he’s got nothing but hay, wood, and stubble. He never worked for the gold, silver, and precious stones), he shall suffer loss (not of his Salvation, but rather of rewards, he’ll have none): but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.”

Now that’s what The Book says. You and I might think that they won’t deserve being saved, but your Salvation is not based on works. Their Salvation was based on their faith and nothing else. We should always strive for rewards and live a fruitful life for our Lord. And listen, those rewards are going to be enjoyed for all eternity. What’s seventy or eighty years in this life by comparison? It’s absolutely nothing. You know Paul used so often the analogy of the Olympic athletic, Why do you suppose they trained? Why did they strive to win? Because of that silly little wreath that they could take home, and it would be dried up even before they got home. So Paul’s analogy is this: “If those men did all of that just to get a silly little wreath for their rewards, then how much more we should strive for rewards when we have something that’s not going to shrivel up and die, but is eternal.” Now back to Romans.

Romans 4:6-8

“Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputed righteousness without works, Saying, `Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.'”

Why? Because they are all forgiven!

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