CMF eZine The online magazine of the Christian Military Fellowship. 23 August Romans 1:23 - American Idol Rewind By Bob Flynn Romans 0 Comment Romans 1:23 "and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." (NASB) "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (KJV) "And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles." (NLT) Here is a place in Holy Scripture that gives exacting refutation to the idea that man climbed out of the tree and began worshiping a stick and then worked his way up to worshiping God. We did not evolve but rather declined or degenerated. What kind of "Sonlight" do we seek? Do we wish to bask in the glorious glow of the incorruptible God or would we rather recline in the tanning booth? According to this writ we are prone to the latter. Is this really our "free will" choice or rather the choice of the depraved? Father in Heaven thank you for the Amazing Grace that transforms slave traders into pastors. Thanks that you found me in the midst of depravity where I chose not to worship the only true God but rather the things of this world. Romans 1:23 "and exchanged the glory of the incorruptible God for an image in the form of corruptible man and of birds and four-footed animals and crawling creatures." (NASB) "And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things." (KJV) "And instead of worshiping the glorious, ever-living God, they worshiped idols made to look like mere people and birds and animals and reptiles." (NLT) Here is a place in Holy Scripture that gives exacting refutation to the idea that man climbed out of the tree and began worshiping a stick and then worked his way up to worshiping God. We did not evolve but rather declined or degenerated. What kind of "Sonlight" do we seek? Do we wish to bask in the glorious glow of the incorruptible God or would we rather recline in the tanning booth? According to this writ we are prone to the latter. Is this really our "free will" choice or rather the choice of the depraved? Father in Heaven thank you for the Amazing Grace that transforms slave traders into pastors. Thanks that you found me in the midst of depravity where I chose not to worship the only true God but rather the things of this world. Related Romans 1:25 - The Day Trader Romans 1:25 "For they exchanged3337 the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." (NASB) "Who changed3337 the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen." (KJV) "They traded3337 the truth about God for a lie. So they worshiped and served the things God created instead of the Creator Himself, who is worthy of eternal praise! Amen." (NLT) Exchanged (mete?llaxan). First aorist active indicative of metallasso?, old word for exchanging trade, used only here and Romans 1:26 in N.T. What a bargain they made, “the truth of God for (en) the (to?i) lie.” “The price of mythology” (Bengel). A.T. Robertson, Word Pictures in the New Testament "We shall the less wonder at the inefficacy of these natural discoveries to prevent the idolatry of the Gentiles if we remember how prone even the Jews, who had scripture light to guide them, were to idolatry; so miserably are the degenerate sons of men plunged in the mire of sense." Matthew Henry (1662 - 1714) "The poor, deluded fool feeds on ashes. He trusts something that can't help him at all. Yet he cannot bring himself to ask, "Is this idol that I'm holding in my hand a lie?" Isaiah 44:20 NLT "The whole human race is foolish and has no knowledge! The craftsmen are disgraced by the idols they make, for their carefully shaped works are a fraud. These idols have no breath or power." Jeremiah 10:14 NLT "This is your allotment, the portion I have assigned to you," says the LORD, "for you have forgotten Me, putting your trust in false gods." Jeremiah 13:25 We live in a day where technology has transformed the way we live in ways that we could not imagine. My father was born in 1899 and lived to see the Wright Brothers fly and watch man land on the moon while sitting in front of his own television set. I am sure that even then he could not have foreseen a time when people would be walking down the street talking on cell phones and sending electronic messages from their personal digital assistants. Yet we have an admonition from Matthew Henry to help us keep on track. It is not hard to see how the gentiles (that's us) could so easily turn from the "One True God" and worship things created when the Jews, who had the light of God's Word to guide them turned away as well. What about us in this twenty-first century? Do our lives reflect the object of our worship? Do our leaders manifest the integrity resident in our forefathers? Or are we, like the gentiles and Jews of then, "plunged in the mire of sense?" Thank you God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ for your longsuffering toward me and the sinful heart that beats within my chest. Thanks for the salvation that is in Christ Jesus to everyone who believes (even me!). Thanks that I am somehow inexplicably yoked with the Son of God in everyday life that I might grow in Him. Help me today to see the world through the eyes of your Son. Romans 3:28 - The Liberty of the Yoke Romans 3:28 Therefore we conclude, etc. - Seeing these things cannot be denied, viz., that all have sinned: that all are guilty, that all are helpless: that none can deliver his own soul, and that God, in his endless mercy, has opened a new and living way to the holiest by the blood of Jesus, Hebrews 10:19-20, etc: therefore we, apostles and Christian teachers, conclude, λογιζομεθα, prove by fair, rational consequence, that a man - any man, is justified - has his sins blotted out, and is received into the Divine favor, by faith in Christ’s blood, without the deeds of the law, which never could afford, either to Jew or Gentile, a ground for justification, because both have sinned against the law which God has given them, and, consequently, forfeited all right and title to the blessings which the obedient might claim. Dr. Adam Clarke Romans 3:28 Justification: Justification and righteousness are inseparably united in Scripture by the fact that the same word (Greek, "dikaios", means "righteous"; Greek, "dikaioo", means "to justify") is used for both. The believing sinner is justified because Christ, having borne his sins on the cross, has been "made unto him righteousness" (1Corinthians 1:30). Justification originates in grace; (Romans 3:24); (Titus 3:4); (Titus 3:5) is through the redemptive and propitiatory work of Christ, who has vindicated the law; (Romans 3:24); (Romans 3:25); (Romans 5:9) is by faith, not works; (Romans 3:28-30); (Romans 4:5); (Romans 5:1); (Galatians 2:16); (Galatians 3:8); (Galatians 3:24) and may be defined as the judicial act of God whereby He justly declares righteous one who believes on Jesus Christ. It is the Judge Himself (Romans 8:31-34) who thus declares. The justified believer has been in court, only to learn that nothing is laid to his charge. (Romans 8:1); (Romans 8:33); (Romans 8:34). C. I. Scofield "For we maintain that a man is justified by faith apart from works of the Law." (NASB) "Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law." (KJV) "So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law." (NLT) "For we consider that a person is declared righteous by faith apart from the works of the law." (NET) Nothing is more maligned today than the meaning of these few words! All manner of confusion, deception, error and even heresy have been born from wrongly dividing these words of truth. Let us consider that the reason this is so is because there is a dynamic tension present in the very concept of Grace. Jesus invites us to find rest by taking on His yoke. Lewis Sperry Chafer, in Grace, over emphasized the concept of liberty to the point of entertaining unintentionally antinomian thought. Liberty by definition is deliverance from oppression and not necessarily the freedom to do what we please. Yet if you preach Grace hard enough that is the very thought that comes to mind (thus the warning from the Apostle Paul in Romans 6:1 — should we sin more so that Grace might abound?). Grace, recorded in Titus, says that we should deny the realities of our fleshly nature and rather live according to our new nature: For the grace of God has been revealed, bringing salvation to all people. And we are instructed to turn from godless living and sinful pleasures. We should live in this evil world with wisdom, righteousness, and devotion to God, while we look forward with hope to that wonderful day when the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will be revealed. (Titus 2:11-13 NLT) The idea that salvation is a wonderful gift and yet cost us everything that we are remains a paradox but like God and country are not mutually exclusive concepts. Today we suffer because iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold (Matthew 24:12). But we my also abound in hope because the comforter has been given and lives within those who call Christ Savior and Lord. We are not free to follow the carnal desires of the flesh but rather are empowered to live abounding in the Spirit (2 Corinthians 8:7). I read in the newspaper this morning of a new church where you can believe whatever you want. People come there because the did not like the message elsewhere. We do not want to hear the real truth but instead search for a truth we like! One that will allow us to cling to the vile creatures we are and thus begin the slow downward spiral of self-deception that leads to eternal separation. We are saved because we were surrounded by the fullness of Christ's love for the lost. His love is providential and brings us to that place where we can say yes to His wondrous forgiveness and say no to the sin that so easily entangles us. The liberty of the yoke! Romans 3:26 - The Wonder of the Gospel Romans 3:21-26 Must guilty man remain under wrath? Is the wound for ever incurable? No; blessed be God, there is another way laid open for us. This is the righteousness of God; righteousness of his ordaining, and providing, and accepting. It is by that faith which has Jesus Christ for its object; an anointed Savior, so Jesus Christ signifies. Justifying faith respects Christ as a Savior, in all his three anointed offices, as Prophet, Priest, and King; trusting in him, accepting him, and cleaving to him: in all these, Jews and Gentiles are alike welcome to God through Christ. There is no difference, his righteousness is upon all that believe; not only offered to them, but put upon them as a crown, as a robe. It is free grace, mere mercy; there is nothing in us to deserve such favors. It comes freely unto us, but Christ bought it, and paid the price. And faith has special regard to the blood of Christ, as that which made the atonement. God, in all this, declares his righteousness. It is plain that he hates sin, when nothing less than the blood of Christ would satisfy for it. And it would not agree with his justice to demand the debt, when the Surety has paid it, and he has accepted that payment in full satisfaction. Matthew Henry Concise Commentary Romans 3:26 For a demonstration of his righteousness - Both of his justice and mercy. That he might be just - Showing his justice on his own Son. And yet the merciful justifier of every one that believeth in Jesus. That he might be just - Might evidence himself to be strictly and inviolably righteous in the administration of his government, even while he is the merciful justifier of the sinner that believeth in Jesus. The attribute of justice must be preserved inviolate; and inviolate it is preserved, if there was a real infliction of punishment on our Savior. On this plan all the attributes harmonize; every attribute is glorified, and not one superseded no, nor so much as clouded. John Wesley "for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus." (NASB) "To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus." (KJV) "for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus." (NLT) "This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus' faithfulness." (NET) It is a hard thing for me to understand even after all these years how Christ could look from eternity past to beyond the cross and make a way for lost sinners like me. This is a good place to reflect upon our own lives and to take ownership for our inner emotions! Is this the way we look at our neighbors and even the people we love? Or do you find, like I do, that sometimes and even oftentimes that I fall way short of this attitude that was in Christ Jesus (Philippians Chapter 2). This is not something that the human heart can conjure up via intestinal fortitude or sheer power of the will. All we can do is confess our sin (the absence of His Grace) in this area of our life. Why has Christ bestowed such favor upon fallen man? For "no reason" (the same way Christ was persecuted). Because of Christ we are justified! It is the same each day of our life! In now way can we repay by our actions, "not as a result of works." We cannot take credit for His Grace in any way! (Ephesians 2:8-9) This should give way to thankfulness that grows each day as we begin to see the length and breadth of this amazing pardon. Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time - To manifest now, by the dispensation of the Gospel, his righteousness, his infinite mercy; and to manifest it in such a way, that he might still appear to be the just God, and yet the justifier, the pardoner, of him who believeth in Jesus. Here we learn that God designed to give the most evident displays both of his justice and mercy. Of his justice, in requiring a sacrifice, and absolutely refusing to give salvation to a lost world in any other way; and of his mercy, in providing The sacrifice which his justice required. Thus, because Jesus was an atonement, a ransom price, for the sin of the world, therefore God can, consistently with his justice, pardon every soul that believeth in Jesus. This is the full discovery of God’s righteousness, of his wonderful method of magnifying his law and making it honorable; of showing the infinite purity of his justice, and of saving a lost world. (Dr. Adam Clarke) Romans 3:26 To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness,.... This end is further explained, it being to declare the righteousness of God "at this time", under the Gospel dispensation; in which there was such a display of the grace, mercy, and goodness of God: that he might be just; that is, appear to be so: God is naturally and essentially just in himself; and he is evidentially so in all his works, particularly in redemption by Christ; and when and while he is the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus: Jesus, the Savour, is the object of faith, as he is the Lord our righteousness; the believer in Jesus is a real, and not a nominal one; God is the justifier of such in a declarative way, and God only, though not to the exclusion of the Son and Spirit; and which sentence of justification is pronounced by him on the foot of a perfect righteousness, which neither law nor justice can find fault with, but entirely approve of; and so he appears just and righteous, even though he justifies the sinner and the ungodly. (Dr. John Gill) Romans 3:26 To declare ... at this time — now for the first time, under the Gospel. his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus — Glorious paradox! “Just in punishing,” and “merciful in pardoning,” men can understand; but “just in justifying the guilty,” startles them. But the propitiation through faith in Christ’s blood resolves the paradox and harmonizes the discordant elements. For in that “God hath made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin,” justice has full satisfaction; and in that “we are made the righteousness of God in Him,” mercy has her heart’s delight! Note, (1). One way of a sinner’s justification is taught in the Old Testament and in the New alike: only more dimly during the twilight of Revelation; in unclouded light under “its perfect day” (Romans 3:21). (2). As there is no difference in the need, so is there none in the liberty to appropriate the provided salvation. The best need to be saved by faith in Jesus Christ; and the worst only need that. On this common ground all saved sinners meet here, and will stand for ever (Romans 3:22-24). (3). It is on the atoning blood of Christ, as the one propitiatory sacrifice which God hath set forth to the eye of the guilty, that the faith of the convinced and trembling sinner fastens for deliverance from wrath. Though he knows that he is “justified freely, by God’s grace,” it is only because it is “through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” that he is able to find peace and rest even in this (Romans 3:25). (4). The strictly accurate view of believers under the Old Testament is not that of a company of pardoned men, but of men whose sins, put up with and passed by in the meantime, awaited a future expiation in the fullness of time (Romans 3:25, Romans 3:26; see on Luke 9:31; see on Hebrews 9:15; see on Hebrews 11:39, Hebrews 11:40). (A Commentary on the Old and New Testaments by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown) Romans 1:17 - God's Righteousness Revealed Romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 'BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.'" (NASB) "For therein is the G1343 righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The G1342 just shall live by faith." (KJV) "This Good News tells us how God makes us right in His sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, 'It is through faith that a righteous person has life.'" (NLT) G1343 (Strong) δικαιοσυ?νη dikaiosune? dik-ah-yos-oo'-nay From G1342; equity (of character or act); specifically (Christian) justification: - righteousness. G1342 (Strong) δι?καιος dikaios dik'-ah-yos From G1349; equitable (in character or act); by implication innocent, holy (absolutely or relatively): - just, meet, right (-eous). Righteousness (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia) ri?´chus-nes (?????, caddi?k?, adjective, “righteous,” or occasionally “just” ???, cedhek?, noun, occasionally = “riahteousness,” occasionally = “justice”; δικαιος, di?kaios, adjective, δικαιοσυ?νη, dikaiosu?ne?, noun, from δι?κη, di?ke?, whose first meaning seems to have been “custom”; the general use suggested conformity to a standard: righteousness, “the state of him who is such as he ought to be” Righteousness (Noah Webster) RIGHTEOUSNESS, n. ri'chusness. 1. Purity of heart and rectitude of life; conformity of heart and life to the divine law. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it is chiefly used, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law. It includes all we call justice, honesty and virtue, with holy affections; in short, it is true religion. 2. Applied to God, the perfection or holiness of his nature; exact rectitude; faithfulness. 3. The active and passive obedience of Christ, by which the law of God is fulfilled. Dan 9. 4. Justice; equity between man and man. Luke 1. 5. The cause of our justification. The Lord our righteousness. Jer 23. Our misery and ruin being the product and consequent of our iniquity, that which will show us the way of salvation must needs show us the way of justification, and this the gospel does. The gospel makes known a righteousness. While God is a just and holy God, and we are guilty sinners, it is necessary we should have a righteousness wherein to appear before him; and, blessed be God, there is such a righteousness brought in by Messiah the prince (Dan_9:24) and revealed in the gospel; a righteousness, that is, a gracious method of reconciliation and acceptance, notwithstanding the guilt of our sins. Mathew Henry (1662 - 1714) Righteousness by Faith Orville J. Nave (1841-1917), A.M., D.D., LL.D. (Army Chaplain) Go Army! Genesis 15:6 "And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith." (NLT) Romans 4:3 "For the Scriptures tell us, 'Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.'" (NLT) Romans 4:5 "But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners." (NLT) Romans 4:9 "Now, is this blessing only for the Jews, or is it also for uncircumcised Gentiles? Well, we have been saying that Abraham was counted as righteous by God because of his faith." (NLT) Romans 4:11 "Circumcision was a sign that Abraham already had faith and that God had already accepted him and declared him to be righteous—even before he was circumcised. So Abraham is the spiritual father of those who have faith but have not been circumcised. They are counted as righteous because of their faith." (NLT) Romans 4:13 "For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith." (NASB) Romans 4:22 "And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous. (NLT) Romans 4:24 "for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in Him, the One who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead." (NLT) In Christ we have all that we require. His Gospel reveals His righteousness whose purpose is our redemption, transformation, and adoption. The concept that began the reformation, that we are saved by faith alone in Christ alone. Dear Heavenly Father how amazing is your love. It is like the words of the song: The love of God has been extended to a fallen race, Through Christ the savior of all men, there's hope in saving grace The Love of God is greater far, than gold or silver ever could afford, It reaches past the highest star and covers all the world! His power is eternal..eternal, His glory is supernal..supernal! When all this earth shall pass away, there'll always be the Love of God! It goes beneath the deepest stain that sin could ever leave, Redeeming souls to live again, who will, on Christ believe- will believe! The love of God is greater far, than gold or silver, ever could afford, It reaches past the highest star, and covers all the world! His power is eternal...eternal! His glory is supernal...supernal! When all this earth shall pass away, there'll always be, the Love Of God! (Bill Gaither) From faith to faith; that is, as say some, from the faith of God to the faith of men; from the faith of preachers to the faith of hearers; from the faith of the Old to the faith of the New Testament saints; or rather from one degree of faith to another; for faith, as it grows and increases, has clearer sights of this righteousness, as held forth in the Gospel. For the proof of this, a passage of Scripture is cited, Habakkuk 2:4 Dr. John Gill (1690-1771) Romans 1:18 - The Wrath of God Revealed Romans 1:18 "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness," (NASB) "For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;" (KJV) "But God shows His anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who suppress the truth by their wickedness." (NLT) John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (NASB) Luke 3:7 "So he began saying to the crowds who were going out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers, who warned you to flee from the wrath to come?" (NASB) Luke 21:23 "Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing babies in those days; for there will be great distress upon the land and wrath to this people;" (NASB) Romans 2:5 "But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God," (NASB) "The Word of God continues to stand in the World. The cross of Christ, although it occurred nineteen hundred years ago, continues to stand as the great witness to the wrath of God. Similarly, the wrath of God is being revealed continuously upon those who break the laws of God in nature. It is a standing revelation" Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace. "Notice the object of God's wrath. Paul, in two words, has summed up all of human sin, placing it in two great divisions: ungodliness and unrighteousness. 'Ungodliness' is a sin against the being of God. Man is not only a moral sinner (he is unrighteous), but man is a religious sinner (he is ungodly). The unrighteous man live as if there were no will of God revealed; the ungodly man lives as if there were no God." Dr. Alva J. McClain, Romans: The Gospel of God's Grace. 1. Divine Wrath: Wrath is used with reference to both God and man. When used of God it is to be understood that there is the complete absence of that caprice and unethical quality so prominent in the anger attributed to the gods of the heathen and to man. The divine wrath is to be regarded as the natural expression of the divine nature, which is absolute holiness, manifesting itself against the willful, high-handed, deliberate, inexcusable sin and iniquity of mankind. God's wrath is always regarded in the Scripture as the just, proper, and natural expression of His holiness and righteousness which must always, under all circumstances, and at all costs be maintained. It is therefore a righteous indignation and compatible with the holy and righteous nature of God (Num 11:1-10; Deu 29:27; 2Sa 6:7; Isa 5:25; Isa 42:25; Jer 44:6; Psa 79:6). The element of love and compassion is always closely connected with God's anger; if we rightly estimate the divine anger we must unhesitatingly pronounce it to be but the expression and measure of that love (compare Jer 10:24; Ezek 23; Amo 3:2). International Standard Bible Encyclopedia When I see that I have been delivered from an abandonment in hell, the exhortation of Paul, "So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling;", becomes more sobering in the midst of this chaotic world. Grace becomes larger still when I consider that my very presence is, in the flesh, an offense against God's perfect holiness and righteousness. I am blessed beyond an ability to express in words the thankfulness in a heart redeemed. Heavenly Father let my mind ponder these thoughts throughout the day that I might in some small way comprehend, in some small way, the length and breadth of your love. Romans 2:22 - Adulterers All Romans 2:22 "You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" (NASB) "Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?" (KJV) "You say it is wrong to commit adultery, but do you commit adultery? You condemn idolatry, but do you use items stolen from pagan temples?" (NLT) "You who tell others not to commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?" (NET) "'Only an evil, adulterous generation would demand a miraculous sign, but the only sign I will give them is the sign of the prophet Jonah.' Then Jesus left them and went away." (Mathew 16:4 NLT) "You adulterers! Don't you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God." (James 4:4) If we look toward history we will find that Adultery was a most common crime in Israel. The Jewish Historian, Josephus, give us a firm account of the widespread sin of this nation (Josephus, Ant. IV. 8, 10). Even the Jewish Talmud accuses, by name, the most celebrated Rabbis of adultery. (Dr. Albert Barnes) "The greatest obstructers of the success of the word are those whose bad lives contradict their good doctrine, who in the pulpit preach so well that it is a pity they should ever come out, and out of the pulpit live so ill that it is a pity they should ever come in." Mathew Henry "The apostle directs his discourse to the Jews, and shows of what sins they were guilty, notwithstanding their profession and vain pretensions. A believing, humble, thankful glorying in God, is the root and sum of all religion. But proud, vain-glorious boasting in God, and in the outward profession of his name, is the root and sum of all hypocrisy. Spiritual pride is the most dangerous of all kinds of pride. A great evil of the sins professors is, the dishonor done to God and religion, by their not living according to their profession. Many despise their more ignorant neighbors who rest in a dead form of godliness; yet themselves trust in a form of knowledge, equally void of life and power, while some glory in the gospel, whose unholy lives dishonor God, and cause his name to be blasphemed." Mathew Henry Mathew Henry could not have said it better. As we look into the mirror each morning, ought we not to consider that Grace is the reason that we have breath. It is God's longsuffering that stayed the day of our destruction against that day when we would believe. Saint Augustine said: "Love God, do as you please." For if we truly love God, then our actions are already pleasing. Then why is it that we instead take license of this Grace and live abhorrent lives. The original Greek meaning is to turn away from a horrible stench. God abhors sin! What then is our true witness as believers? Is it the words proceeding from our mouths as we tell others how to live? Or is it the way we live our lives the grandest of all witnesses. If, because of Grace within us, we live a life worthy of our calling then we are a witness unto life. If, because of our sin nature, we live a life that looks like the world around us we are a witness unto death. Let us begin each day with a joyous thanksgiving in our hearts knowing that our sins are no longer counted against us! Rather our lives have been covered by the blood of the Lamb. "The faithful love of the LORD never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning." (Lamentations 3:22-23 NLT) Comments are closed.