Class Notes: 11/10/2021

The book of Romans part 13 Doctrine of the Gospel

We are in a verse-by-verse study of the book of Romans and got through verse 1 with the expanded translation: "Paul, a slave of Christ Jesus, called an apostle, through having been appointed because of the Gospel from God."

In the verse we found 3 doctrines to explore: the doctrine of adjustment to God's justice that Paul had done, the doctrine of apostle that was Paul's office, and the doctrine of the Gospel that was Paul's message.

We are presently in a study of the doctrine of the Gospel and before we stopped last time we were noting Rom 9:30, "Therefore, to what conclusion are we forced? The Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness (the perfect righteousness of God) have attained righteousness; moreover, the righteousness which is by faith."

The Jews were using the Mosaic Law to try to be saved. Both during the Old Testament and during the dispensation of the Hypostatic Union, the Jews rejected Jesus Christ as Savior because they were trying to be saved by being righteous on the basis of keeping the Law.

The Greek preposition "ek" plus the ablative of means of "pistis" means "by means of faith." This phrase alone indicates that salvation throughout all human history only occurred through personal faith in Jesus Christ as He was revealed in that period of time.

In the Jewish dispensations Jesus Christ was revealed as described in Deut 6:4; Net note 7

Rom 9:31, "But Israel, who strived for a righteousness with reference to the Law, has not attained that Law."

The Jews were trying to get salvation by "eis" plus the accusative of reference of "nomos", "with reference to the Law."

In other words, Israel did not accomplish the true purpose of the Mosaic Law, which was to be a pedagogue or school bus to bring us to Christ to be justified on the basis of faith, per Gal 3:24;

Rom 9:32, "Why? Because they did not pursue it by means of faith, but by means of works. (Isa 8:14) `They stumbled over the Stumbling Stone.'"

The Greek preposition "ek" plus the ablative from "pistis" is the opposite of "ek" plus the ablative from "ergon". Salvation is always by faith, never by means of works. This is true in every dispensation in history.

The stumbling stone is Jesus Christ, and specifically as stated in this passage, Jesus Christ as He presented Himself as Messiah in the Hypostatic Union.

Rom 9:33, "Just as it stands written (Isa 8:14; KJV), `Behold I lay in Zion a stone of stumbling, a rock of offense (Christ in Hypostatic Union); nevertheless, he who believes in Him will not be humiliated (disappointed).'" (Isa 28:16;)

The possession of eternal life is neither humiliation nor disappointment. In the devil's world there may be ridicule from those who do not understand and reject God's grace and there may be persecution, but when God's judgment eventually occurs there will never be humiliation or disappointment.

God's Word cannot be properly interpreted apart from its context. The Old Testament quotations in this passage demonstrate that salvation in every dispensation is always the same, because God is consistent. God's immutability demands consistency.

Rom 10:1; "Brethren, my heart's desire and prayer to (face to face with) God on behalf of them (Israel) is for their salvation." The word translated "to" is "pros" that means face to face.

Paul's "heart's desire" refers to his motivation from thinking God's Word that was circulating in his stream of consciousness.

The phrase "on behalf of them" that is translated from the Greek preposition "huper" plus the genitive of advantage of "autos" is substitutionary.

We see here that Paul prays for the unsaved Jews. He was the apostle to the Gentiles but that didn't stop Paul from praying for Israel. He never lost his burden for his people even though forty of them were still trying to kill him for becoming a Christian. Acts 23:12-13;

Rom 10:2; "For I testify about them (the Jews), that they have a zeal for God, but not on the basis of epignosis knowledge (metabolized doctrine)." In other words, the Jewish doctrine was inaccurate.

Rom 10:3,"For not knowing about the righteousness of God and by seeking to establish their own righteousness, they have not been obedient to the righteousness of God."

Every person who adds something to faith in Jesus Christ is arrogant because they are trying to help God. Salvation is a gift from God, and we cannot earn or deserve it; it's grace.

The quintessence of human arrogance is rejecting God's righteousness and setting up your own righteousness as the way of salvation. The Jews were producing a morality righteousness from keeping the Law, that was an attempt at salvation by works.

Not being "obedient to the righteousness of God" means they had not believed in Jesus Christ.

Rom 10:4; "For Christ is the end of the Law for the purpose of righteousness to anyone who believes. "Christ is the "end of the Law" because He fulfilled the Law by living inside the prototype spiritual power system, remaining impeccable even while bearing our sins on the cross.

The Law was never a way of salvation except in the sense that believing what the ritual represented revealed the Gospel that the Jews were supposed to believe for salvation. Christ fulfilled all of the principles that the ritual presented.

An example of this is the reference to the Passover where the ritual is fulfilled as "Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us." 1Cor 5:7;

Rather than realizing that Christ fulfilled the ritual, the Jews chose to follow the establishment and morality codes of the 10 commandments, as the means of salvation in an attempt to be saved by their own self-righteousness.

The Law was never a means of salvation, although the ritual did reveal the Gospel. Keeping the Law never could provide salvation for the Jews or anyone else.

Keeping the Law produces moral self-righteousness that is parlayed into a system of arrogant legalism.

Rom 3:20; "Therefore, by the works of the Law no flesh shall be justified in His sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin."

Rom 3:28; "We conclude, therefore, that a man is justified by faith totally apart from the works of the Law."

Matt 5:17; our Lord Jesus Christ said that He came not to abolish the Law but to fulfill it.

Gal 3:24; "The Law has become a school bus (pedagogue) to lead us to Christ, that we might be justified by faith."

We can learn about our sinfulness from the Law. We can also learn the Gospel and how Christ was judged for our sins from the Law. But we cannot keep the Law in order to become morally "good", and expect to be saved by that morality.

So as far as righteousness is concerned, Christ is the termination of any system of human self-righteousness because faith in Jesus Christ results in the imputation of God's righteousness at the moment of salvation. 2Cor 5:21;

No system of relative human self-righteousness can compete with God's absolute perfect righteousness. This is why, as described in Matt 6:33, we "seek first God's kingdom and God's righteousness then all these additional things shall be added to you."

Law righteousness is no substitute for faith righteousness. Law righteousness is an attempt at acquiring salvation by keeping the Law. Faith righteousness results from the imputation of God's perfect righteousness by believing in Jesus Christ for salvation.

Gal 2:16, "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the Law. For by the works of the Law no human being will be justified."

Human ignorance or arrogance erroneously presumes that righteousness from keeping the Law will provide salvation. As always a false premise always results in a wrong conclusion.

In the Theocentric dispensations of the Old Testament, no one was ever saved by works righteousness or by keeping the Law. That means that God's policy of grace excludes human self- righteousness for salvation in every dispensation.

While God's grace plan provides His own perfect righteousness for anyone who will believe in Christ, human self- righteousness from law keeping was never the way of salvation in any dispensation. Salvation is always the same: faith in Jesus Christ as He is revealed in any given dispensation.

The unbelievers in the dispensation of Israel were blinded by their arrogance of self-achievement and self-righteousness by keeping the Law. To this day this is a problem with many Jews. They are great in self-achievement and keeping the Law. But this does not save them. It actually blinds their minds under scar tissue of the soul.

As we have noted God is not impressed with any human righteousness, because as Isaiah taught in Isa 64:6, "Our righteousnesses are as filthy rags in His sight."

God is only impressed only with the salvation work of Jesus Christ on the cross. This is the doctrine of Propitiation. God the Father is satisfied with the work of Christ on the cross and imputes His own righteousness to anyone who simply believes in Jesus Christ.

Faith in Jesus Christ is the end of self-righteousness because human self-righteousness cannot improve on the perfect imputed righteousness of God that we receive at the moment we believe in Jesus Christ.

After salvation, only God the Holy Spirit controlling the life of the believer can produce the virtue-righteousness of God's protocol plan.

This means that the mandates of spirituality: "Be filled with the Spirit," Eph 5:18; "Walk by means of the Spirit," Gal 5:16. After salvation, it is the ministry of the Spirit to produce a virtue-righteousness far superior to any human righteousness.

The imputation of God's righteousness at the moment of salvation through faith in Christ is superior to any system of human self- righteousness, pseudo-spirituality, or the arrogance of legalism.

The imputed righteousness of God is the foundation for building a system of virtue based on grace that is far different from self-righteousness. Self-righteous people are always stuck on themselves because they have to try to be perfect.

Virtuous people are always in a perfect relationship with God on the basis of grace so they can be relaxed about all of the failure, sinfulness, and evil around them, because it does not in any way jeopardize their relationship with God.

No unbeliever can establish two conflicting systems of righteousness in his life. Either he will accept his own self-righteousness and morality for salvation, or he will accept the righteousness of God by believing in Jesus Christ that is the basis for the imputation of God's righteous.

After salvation a conflict the believer engages is between the legalism of spirituality by works versus spirituality by grace.

© Copyright 2024, Michael Lemmon Bible Ministries. World Rights Reserved.