Part 4 - God’s Work & Our Cooperation
If something is going to be done then God is going to have to be the one to do it. There is good news, however, and this is where the “good news” finally does come in. God DID do something and He did it in the Lord Jesus Christ. Your situation is hopeless, but…
“For the wages of sin is death BUT the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. BUT NOW the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; Even the righteousness of God whis is by faith of Jesus Christ UNTO all and UPON all THEM THAT BELIEVE: for there is no difference: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; BEING JUSTIFIED freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood…” (Romans 3:19-25).
“For when we were yet WITHOUT STRENGTH, in due time, Christ died FOR THE UNGODLY. For scarecely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. BUT GOD commendeth his love toward us, in that, WHILE WE WERE YET SINNERS, Christ died FOR US” (Romans 5:6-8).
“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:11,12).
God offers you “reconciliation” and a position “in Christ” as a “free gift.” Will you receive it? Or will you reject God’s word to you, tell Him He is a liar and bring your own offering?
“Seest thou a man wise in his own conceit? there is more hope of a fool than of him” (Proverbs 26:12).
“To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2Corinthians 5:19-21).
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).
When you believe God’s word to you concerning “Paul’s gospel” and your identity “in Christ” you should be able to confidently say with Paul, “Therefore BEING justified by faith, we HAVE peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1). This is the offer that God makes. However, accepting that offer will put you in a very peculiar situation in this world as it is God’s enemy.
“BE NOT CONFORMED to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2).
I don’t want the approval of this world. If I do it means I am not “approved unto God.” This world does not like being told they are sinners and “guilty before God.” When confronted they will offer all the “self-defense” tactics that Paul reviews in the first chapters of Romans. But of course, as the old adage goes, “A man who has himself for an attorney has a fool for a client.”
“For I am NOT ASHAMED of the gospel of Christ: for IT IS THE POWER OF GOD unto salvation TO EVERYONE THAT BELIEVETH; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. FOR THEREIN IS THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD REVEALED from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith. FOR THE WRATH of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness; Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse. Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became VAIN in their IMAGINATIONS, and their FOOLISH heart was DARKENED. PROFESSING themselves to be WISE, they became FOOLS, And CHANGED the glory of the uncorruptible God…Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleaness through the lusts of their own heart, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who CHANGED the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator…For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections…” (Romans 1:18-26).
It is the desire of the world to “conform” you into a certain “image.” If I want the approval of God then it means I had better be prepared to be an enemy of this world, for they are His enemy. If they “love” me then it means I have been something less than “faithful.” If they love me then it must mean I have been manifesting and perpetuating “darkness” for if I were being “light” then they would hate me. They “love” sin and their sole desire is to see it triumph.
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be LOVERS of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, DESPISERS of those that are good, Traitors, heady, highminded, LOVERS of pleasures more than lovers of God; having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away” (2Tim 3:1-5).
They seek any way possible to remove any “truth” that might stand in their way. This is where the battle is: Light vs. Darkness; the Truth vs. the Lie. Be careful, because “light rejected becomes lightning.”
“And even as they DID NOT LIKE TO RETAIN God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness…Who KNOWING THE JUDGEMENT of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, NOT ONLY DO THE SAME, but HAVE PLEASURE IN THEM THAT DO THEM” (Romans 1:16-32).