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Book of Romans, Part One    Listen to .mp3 propecy podcasts.

Lyn Mize

This Epistle of Paul to the Romans contains three distinct parts. The first eight chapters consist of the gospel of God pertaining to salvation, including justification, sanctification and glorification. Justification pertains to the spirit; sanctification pertains to the soul; and glorification pertains to the body. In spirit salvation a Christian is delivered from the guilt of sin. In soul salvation a Christian is delivered from the power of sin. In the salvation of the body, a Christian is delivered from the presence of sin. Every Christian is delivered from the guilt of sin and placed in the family of God when the Holy Spirit spiritually regenerates him. The spiritually regenerated person hears and believes the gospel of grace that Jesus Christ died for him. The gospel of grace pertains to the substitutionary atonement of Jesus Christ in his death on the Cross of Calvary. The faith for believing this simple message comes from God and not the Christian. When the person hears and believes this message of the substitutionary death of Jesus on the cross, that person receives the imputed righteousness of Christ, and he is placed in the family of God. This aspect of the Christian’s salvation can never be altered or remanded by the actions of the believer. The Christian did not work to receive this salvation, and he can do no work to nullify it.

Once a person has been spiritually regenerated, and becomes a believer in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, he is commanded by God to repent and be baptized. Repentance and baptism is a work and comes after spirit salvation. Repentance and baptism is the first act of obedience for the Christian and pertains to the salvation of the soul. The Christian can then be delivered from the power of sin in his life by putting away sin and receiving with meekness the engrafted Word of God (James 1:21). This is simply reading and studying the Word of God and becoming obedient to it by making it a part of his life. The Christian who decides to do this is delivered from the power of sin in this life, and he will realize the salvation of his soul or his life at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
Unfortunately, many Christians are satisfied in this life to be delivered from the guilt of sin, and they are never delivered from the power of sin while in their present bodies. Their souls or their lives will be lost or wasted when they are judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ. They will still be saved spiritually, and they will still be in heaven, but they will lose their reward of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ. Spirit salvation is necessary for entrance into heaven. Soul salvation is necessary for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is a place. The kingdom of heaven is a position of authority in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ. The following Scripture passage describes the loss of the soul or the life at the Judgment Seat of Christ:
 
(1 Cor 3:11 KJV)  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
(1 Cor 3:12 KJV)  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
(1 Cor 3:13 KJV)  Every man's work shall be made manifest: 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.
(1 Cor 3:14 KJV)  If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
(1 Cor 3:15 KJV)  If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
 
The soul is a man’s life. It is his work while on earth. If a man’s soul or work abides coming through the fire, then he shall receive a reward. If his soul or work is burned, then he will suffer loss, but he will still be saved. If the Christian is not delivered from the power of sin in this life, then his life or soul will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and he will be delivered from the power of sin at that time. However, his inheritance in the kingdom of heaven will be lost. Please read my dissertations To Perish or not to Perish and Heaven vs the Kingdom of Heaven for an in-depth description of the difference between spirit and soul salvation.
 
NOTE: THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SPIRIT SALVATION AND SOUL SALVATION IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN GRACE AND WORKS.
 
Glorification is the redemption of the body and pertains to the deliverance from the presence of sin. The salvation or redemption of the body is future. In brief, spirit salvation is a past salvation; soul salvation is a present salvation and body salvation is a future salvation. The great majority of Scripture pertains to the salvation of the soul. Numerous Scriptures used in evangelistic messages are actually addressing the salvation of the soul, and not the salvation of the spirit. This is why there is so much confusion and disagreement over whether a Christian can lose his salvation. The truth is that a Christian can lose his soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but he cannot lose his spirit salvation.
 
NOTE: EVERY CHRISTIAN IS GUARANTEED A NEW SPIRIT, A NEW SOUL/LIFE AND A NEW BODY. SOME CHRISTIANS WILL RECEIVE THEIR NEW SOUL/LIFE IN THIS LIFE AND WILL BE REWARDED FOR THEIR WORK. OTHERS WILL RECEIVE THEIR NEW SOUL AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST AND WILL LOSE THEIR REWARD BECAUSE OF SIN AND DISOBEDIENCE.
 
The second part of Romans is chapters 9-11 and describes the sovereign dealings of God with Israel. These three chapters have a parenthetical character, and they describe the election, rejection and coming restoration of Israel.
 
Chapters 12-16 make up the third part of this epistle, and we find exhortations for the justified believer to realize sanctification in this life and watch for the coming glorification. All Christians will eventually realize justification, sanctification and glorification, but it may require the destruction of the soul/life at the Judgment Seat of Christ for many Christians. Soul salvation or the loss of soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ is a primary topic in the Scriptures. The basic fact is that the soul or life of every Christian must perish—either in this life or at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The old man must die in order for the new man to be manifested. Some additional facts about soul salvation follow:
 
1. Soul salvation can be lost at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Christian still goes to heaven, but he loses his position in the kingdom of heaven. It is the reward or the inheritance that is lost. Spirit salvation cannot be lost.
2. Eternal life throughout the Scriptures pertains to the soul and not the spirit. The Biblical definition of eternal life is given in Romans 2:4-11.
3. The “sin unto death” pertains to the soul and not the spirit (Romans 6:16; 1 John 5:16). It is the Christian who commits the sin unto death, but the death is the death of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Please see my exegesis of Book of First John for an in-depth understanding of soul salvation..
4. The unpardonable sin, which is blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, pertains to the soul and not the spirit (Matt. 12:31; Lk. 12:10). The sin unto death and blaspheme against the Holy Spirit are the same. Please see my article Impossible to Bring to Repentance  (Hebrews 6:1-12).
5. The Five Points of Calvinism are true, and they pertain to the spirit of man.  The Five Points of Arminianism are also true—when they are applied to the soul and not the spirit.
6. Spirit salvation is the free gift of God and requires no works—including repentance, which is a work. Soul salvation requires repentance from dead works and obedience to the Word of God. (James 1:21)
7. Phrases in Scripture that pertain to soul salvation are “enter into life” (Matt. 18:8-9, 19:17, Mark 9:43), “unto salvation” (Rom. 1:16, 10:10, 1 Tim. 3:15, Heb. 9:28, 1 Peter 1:5) and “hope of salvation” (1 Thess. 5:8).
8. The use of the term “salvation” in the Scriptures can apply to the spirit, the soul or the body. It is used most often in the Scriptures in connection with the soul.
9. A Christian will not be able to understand the Scriptures until he has a grasp of the difference between spirit salvation and soul salvation. The failure of Christians to understand the difference between spirit salvation and soul salvation is the reason for the numerous rifts in the Church. Examples of such rifts are a) Arminians vs. Calvinists, b) Free Will Baptists vs. Hard Shell or Primitive Baptists, c) Lordship Salvation vs. Salvation by Grace, d) the argument over Eternal Security, and e) the argument over whether repentance is a condition for salvation.
 
Jesus described soul salvation in the following passage of Scripture:
 
(Mat 16:24 KJV)  Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
(Mat 16:25 KJV)  For whosoever will save his life (i.e., psuche or soul) shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life (i.e., psuche or soul) for my sake shall find it.
(Mat 16:26 KJV)  For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul (i.e., psuche or life)? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul (i.e., psuche or life)?
(Mat 16:27 KJV)  For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.
 
NOTE: Please note the summation in verse 27 that soul salvation pertains to the reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ—and not the issue of entrance into heaven.

Spirit
Soul
Body
Spirit Salvation. A free gift of God
Soul Salvation.  A works salvation.
We are promised a New Body.
Once Saved, Always Saved.
Backsliding is a reality.
On Resurrection Day.  No Conditions.
A work of the Holy Spirit.
Works yield rewards. Saves your soul.
A Flesh and Bone body.
Justification.
Sanctification.
Glorification.
I have been saved.
I am being saved.
I shall be saved.
Escapes the penalty of sin.
Escapes the power of sin.
Escapes the presence of sin.

Part I
 
We will now begin our verse-by-verse exegesis of the book of Romans. This book cannot be understood without a proper understanding of spirit, soul and body, and the potential for a Christian to lose his soul/life (i.e., perish or be destroyed) at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 1:1 KJV)  Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,
 
The Epistle of Romans was written by Paul who was appointed an apostle and separated unto the good news of God, which pertains to the redemption provided by Jesus Christ unto his elect.
 
(Rom 1:2 KJV)  (Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)
 
The coming redemption was promised in the Old Testament by the prophets of God. The primary theme of the Bible is the coming of the Messiah to provide redemption for His people. This is the thin red line that runs through the whole Bible from Genesis to Revelation. This is clarified in the following verses.
 
(Rom 1:3 KJV)  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
 
This verse speaks of the human nature of God the Son—Jesus Christ our Lord. The Greek word for “made” means to come into existence. The human nature of Jesus Christ came into existence at the miraculous conception and the birth of Jesus, which is the name for his human nature. His human nature had a beginning but his God nature is co-eternal with the Father. The name of his God nature is Christ. The combining of his God nature with his human nature is described as hypostasis or the hypostatic union of Jesus Christ. His human nature is in the genetic line of David through the genes of Mary. The blood of Jesus Christ contains 24 chromosomes, 23 from his mother Mary and the Y-chromosome from the Holy Spirit. The Y-chromosome made him male and kept him from having the sin nature, which is passed through the blood. The virgin birth of Jesus is not only true, but necessary for Jesus to avoid the sin nature passed down through the male. The blood of Jesus Christ is the pure and untainted blood from the Y-chromosome provided by God the Holy Spirit. The flesh nature of Jesus was pure and undefiled until He took upon himself the penalty for our sin on the Cross of Calvary.
 
(Rom 1:4 KJV)  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:
 
The Greek word for “declared” means that Jesus was ordained, decreed or appointed to be the Son of God. This means that the undefiled human nature of Jesus was combined with the God nature of Christ to be the “Only Begotten Son of God”. Jesus Christ is unique! He is God in a body! He is God Incarnate! He is One in essence with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit. Even though his human nature had a beginning two thousand years ago, his God nature has existed forever along with God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.
 
Jesus Christ became the “Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead”. “According to the spirit of holiness” means that the defilement of Jesus Christ that He experienced on the cross by becoming sin for us was nullified by his own blood, which was the evidence of his death. This occurred when Jesus Christ was resurrected on the Feast of Firstfruits three days after his death on Passover. Simply stated, Jesus Christ was the First-Born from the dead in that He was the First One saved by his own death on the Cross.
 
Skeptics have stated that if Jesus Christ really was the substitute for us and took our penalty for us, then why did He not go to hell for all eternity. This verse answers this question. After Jesus Christ took our defilement upon himself, he was made pure and holy again (i.e., according to the spirit of holiness) at the time that He was resurrected from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus Christ was absolutely necessary for him to be granted total and complete power and authority in the coming kingdom of God the Son. The death of Jesus Christ on the cross was physical, soulical and spiritual, but his resurrection was also physical, soulical and spiritual. As Head of the Church, He was the First to experience the total and complete salvation provided by his own life and death. His resurrection is the guarantee that we all shall also be resurrected with a new spirit, soul and body. Christians that have already been born again have already realized a new spirit, and some have already realized a new soul or life. All Christians will eventually realize a new soul or life at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but the souls of many must perish at this judgment in order to have this new soul or life. All Christians will also realize new bodies at the time of the Judgment Seat of Christ. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is confirmation of the promise that we shall also be resurrected with a new spirit, soul and body. All Christians will be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many will lose their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven just as the nation of Israel lost it by disobedience.
 
(Rom 1:5 KJV)  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
 
It was through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we received the free gift of spirit salvation and the command from Jesus for us to be apostles (i.e., sent ones), so that we can be obedient to the faith among the Gentiles. When Jesus came He came to the “lost sheep of the house of Israel.” After the Jews rejected Jesus Christ, Paul was called as an Apostle to the Gentiles. The kingdom of heaven was taken away from the Jews, and it was being offered to another nation (i.e., the Church).
 
(Rom 1:6 KJV)  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:
 
Paul was an Apostle or “sent one” to the Gentiles, but the Roman Christians were also “apostles” to the Gentiles under the name (i.e., power & authority) of Jesus Christ.
 
NOTE: I used a capital “A” for Paul as an Apostle, since he became the 12th Apostle who was sent by Jesus Christ in Person. I use a little “a” for all other Christians who are also “sent ones” to the Gentiles. Jesus did not send us in person as He did the original 12 Apostles, but we are nevertheless sent ones to the Gentiles to preach and teach salvation by grace and the Word of the Kingdom.
 
The term “called” is a term for all born-again Christians regenerated by the Holy Spirit to a living hope. The “living hope” is for the salvation of our souls at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and that we will reign and rule with Jesus Christ in the coming kingdom. The “prize of the high calling” is to be the bride of Christ. Not all Christians will qualify for the living hope and only a small percentage of Christians will realize the “prize of the high calling”. There are definitely levels of reward in the coming kingdom, and many Christians refuse to see this in the Scriptures.
 
(Rom 1:7 KJV)  To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
 
This epistle to the Romans is clearly a message to born-again believers who are “beloved of God, called to be saints.” All of the warnings and exhortations in this epistle are to Christians and not to the unsaved. It is grave error for Christians to apply all of these warnings and exhortations to the unsaved, since these Christians miss the primary purpose and intent of the message, which are soul salvation and the realization of our inheritance in the kingdom of God. For example, the following verse applies to Christians:
 
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
The majority of pastors and teachers apply this verse to the unsaved, but it is a warning to Christians. This will be explained in detail when we get to these verses.
 
The salutation in verse 7 above actually begins the message of Paul to the Roman Christians.
 
(Rom 1:8 KJV)  First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world.
 
Paul first thanks God that the faith of the Roman Christians is known throughout the Roman world. Rome was the center of the Roman Empire and the faith of the Roman Christians had reached to all parts of the empire. Paul was thankful to God for this spread of the faith throughout the Roman world.
 
(Rom 1:9 KJV)  For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;
 
Paul declares that God is his witness in his service with his spirit in the good news of his Son, and that Paul prays for the Romans regularly and without ceasing.  The gospel or good news of “his Son” is more than just getting saved spiritually. It is the realization of the inheritance in the kingdom of heaven. The “gospel of God” in verse 1 above refers to the whole plan of salvation, but the “gospel of his Son” refers to entrance into the kingdom of heaven, which is not the same as entrance into heaven. The kingdom of heaven refers to a position of authority in the coming millennial kingdom, while heaven refers to a place. All Christians enter heaven, but only the faithful ones enter the kingdom of heaven. Works do count and are very important!
 
(Rom 1:10 KJV)  Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you.
 
Paul prays that God will allow him to make a journey to see the Roman Christians. He states his desire for the Romans in the following verse:
 
(Rom 1:11 KJV)  For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;
 
Paul desires to make a trip to see the Roman Christians, so that he can “impart some spiritual gift” to them, and the purpose of this spiritual gift is for them to be established. Paul wants to help the Roman Christians be firmly established in the faith. This means that he wants them to be unwavering and firmly set on the right path. Many Christians walk on the path for a period of time, but they never become firmly grounded or established in the faith. It takes time and effort and a deep knowledge of the Bible to become firmly established in the faith. Many Christians walk unsteadily in the faith and are tossed about by every wind of doctrine.
 
It is very important to note here that Paul is writing to Christians and he wants to impart a “spiritual gift” to them so that they “may be established”. This is conditional and not a certainty. The Greek word for gift is charisma. The “ma” means it is the result of grace (i.e., charis). Even though being established in the faith is the gift of God and the result of grace, it does not apply to every Christian, simply because not every Christian receives or lays hold onto this gift. Eternal life is also the gift of God, but it is a gift that must be attained to by fighting the good fight of faith and laying hold on it. This is confirmed in the following verses:
 
(1 Tim 6:12 KJV)  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
 
(1 Tim 6:19 KJV)  Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
 
We will discuss this gift of eternal life more in detail later in this dissertation on Romans when we get to the definition of eternal life in Romans 2:7. It is a sad truth that very few pastors and Bible teachers know the definition of “eternal life” as given in this verse.
 
(Rom 1:12 KJV)  That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.
 
Paul desires that he and the Romans would be strengthened (i.e., comforted) or exhorted together by their mutual faith. Faith in the Christian is something that should grow and get stronger as we study and abide by the Word of God. If a Christian’s faith does not grow and get stronger or established, then the likelihood is greater that the Christian will be overcome at some point in time, and will fail to lay hold onto eternal life. Eternal life pertains to the soul and the reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It has nothing to do with entering heaven, but it has everything to do with entering the kingdom of heaven.
 
(Rom 1:13 KJV)  Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles.
 
Paul desires to visit the Romans for the purpose of increasing their fruit bearing. This is his desire for the Roman Christians and other Gentile Christians. Fruit bearing pertains to the fruit of the Spirit, which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. This fruit of the Spirit comes as a result of being established and well grounded in the faith. It comes to the Christian who grows in grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ and lays hold onto eternal life.
 
(Rom 1:14 KJV)  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.
 
As the Apostle to the Gentiles, Paul felt a strong sense of obligation to them. He describes himself as a “debtor to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians”. The word “Greeks” refers to the Greek-speaking Gentiles or the cultured Gentiles, and the word “Barbarians” refers to all other Gentiles, and signifies those Gentiles who are uncultured. Thus, Paul felt obligated to the cultured, uncultured, wise and unwise Gentiles in his apostleship.
 
(Rom 1:15 KJV)  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.
 
As fulfillment of his obligation to the Gentiles, Paul was ready to “preach the gospel” to the saints in Rome. The next verse specifies this gospel as “the gospel of Christ.” The gospel of Christ is a special aspect of the gospel of God mentioned in verse 1. The gospel of God (vs. 1) pertains to our justification, sanctification and glorification, while the gospel of Christ refers to our sanctification. The gospel of Christ is a message to the saints. It is a message to believers and specifically refers to the salvation of the soul. This is clearly stated in the following verse, but the verse is greatly misunderstood as a message to the unregenerate. Paul desires to preach the “gospel of Christ” to the saints in Rome, and he states the purpose of this gospel in the following verse.
 
(Rom 1:16 KJV)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
 
Paul states that he is not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, and then states that it is the “power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth”.  The Greek word for “unto” means into, unto or toward salvation and the salvation is soul salvation. This salvation is for Christians or “everyone that believeth”. The Christian who believes is the one who entrusts his spiritual well-being unto Christ. Soul salvation pertains to growing in grace and knowledge of Christ, and it manifests the righteousness of God in a progressive manner, as confirmed in the following verse:
 
(Rom 1:17 KJV)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
 
The power of God unto salvation pertains to the “righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith”. This is stating that the “power of God unto salvation” is a progressive salvation that manifests itself in one act of faithfulness unto another act of faithfulness and so forth. Paul then nails down the message as pertaining to Christians by the statement “The just shall live by faith.” These acts of fidelity or faithfulness are specifically for the justified (i.e., just) believer.
 
In simple language the gospel of Christ pertains to the Christian’s deliverance from the power of sin in his life by crucifying the old nature and allowing the new nature to reign in his life. This is accomplished by the power of God operating in the believer who dies to self and allows the life of Christ (i.e., righteousness of God) to be manifested. Thus, the faithful Christian who operates in the power of the Holy Spirit reveals the righteousness of God in his life when he lives by faith.
 
Note: It is crucial that the Christian understands that the gospel of Christ is for Christians, and that the following warnings about the wrath of God coming down on ungodliness and unrighteousness are for Christians.
 
(Rom 1:18 KJV)  For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
 
This verse addresses the Judgment Seat of Christ when the punishment of God will be revealed against ungodliness and unrighteousness of men (i.e., Christians) “who hold the truth in unrighteousness.” The Greek word for “hold” means that they possess the truth (i.e., Jesus Christ) securely, but they possess it while living unrighteously. Only spiritually regenerated believers possess the truth. The “unrighteousness” is the unrighteousness of heart and life and refers to deeds of unrighteousness. These “men” are Christians that possess the imputed righteousness of Christ, but they are not living in practical righteousness. Strong’s Concordance refers to the imputed righteousness of God as absolute righteousness, and the practical righteousness of Christians as relative righteousness. Relative righteousness refers to equity of character and deeds of righteousness. For example, giving a cup of cold water to someone in the name (i.e., power and authority) of Jesus Christ is an act of practical or relative righteousness.
 
Jesus was addressing relative righteousness pertaining to soul salvation in the following passage of Scripture:
 
(Mark 10:17 KJV)  And when he was gone forth into the way, there came one running, and kneeled to him, and asked him, Good Master, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?
(Mark 10:18 KJV)  And Jesus said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God.
(Mark 10:19 KJV)  Thou knowest the commandments, Do not commit adultery, Do not kill, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Defraud not, Honour thy father and mother.
(Mark 10:20 KJV)  And he answered and said unto him, Master, all these have I observed from my youth.
(Mark 10:21 KJV)  Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
(Mark 10:22 KJV)  And he was sad at that saying, and went away grieved: for he had great possessions.
(Mark 10:23 KJV)  And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!
(Mark 10:24 KJV)  And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God!
(Mark 10:25 KJV)  It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.
(Mark 10:26 KJV)  And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved?
(Mark 10:27 KJV)  And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.
(Mark 10:28 KJV)  Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
(Mark 10:29 KJV)  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
(Mark 10:30 KJV)  But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
(Mark 10:31 KJV)  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
 
NOTE: The above passage is not addressing entrance into heaven but entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Heaven is a place. The kingdom of heaven is a position of authority. Verse 26 is addressing the salvation of the soul and not the spirit. The whole context of this passage is being a disciple and inheriting eternal life. Eternal life pertains to soul salvation and not spirit salvation. The Christian who receives his inheritance of eternal life receives the Crown of Life. Thus eternal life pertains to our reward and NOT entrance into heaven. Many Christians will fail to receive the crown of life, but they will still be in heaven. Jesus warns Christians about the possibility of losing the Crown of Life in the following verse:
 
(Rev 3:11 KJV)  Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
 
(Rom 1:19 KJV)  Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath showed it unto them.
 
The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:
 
(Rom 1:19 NIV) since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
 
No unregenerate person has the knowledge of God made plain to him. The unregenerate person is spiritually dead, and does not understand the things of the spirit, in accordance with the following Scripture:
 
(1 Cor 2:14 KJV)  But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
 
(Rom 1:20 KJV)  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:
 
The invisible things are spiritual things and they have been revealed to those who have been spiritually regenerated. The Christian looks at creation and understands that God made all the things that exist. It has been made clear to him. The Christian understands the everlasting power and the divine nature of God, and he is without excuse for not glorifying God.
 
(Rom 1:21 KJV)  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.
 
Paul is speaking of believers who know God but do not glorify him. They are unthankful and vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart has been darkened. The heart pertains to the soul, as it refers to the mind, will, emotions and intellect. The heart is the fountain and seat of the thoughts, passions, desires, appetites, affections, purposes and endeavors. The heart has special reference to the soul and determines whether a Christian is wise or foolish.
 
Note: It is very important for the reader to see that nothing in this passage of Scripture assigns these people to the ranks of the unregenerate, but several statements confirm that they are definitely regenerated or born again believers.
 
(Rom 1:22 KJV)  Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
 
These Christians profess to be wise but they have become foolish in their hearts. At the time of this writing by Paul, many Christians in Rome had been caught up in the decadence and immorality of Rome. Homosexuality and sexual orgies were commonplace. Older men having sex with younger men was an accepted practice and was not even considered perverted. Many born-again believers were caught up in the profligacy of Rome as described in the following verses. It is no doubt that they touted the grace of God as many Christians are doing today, but they overlooked the accountability for their lifestyles at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The following chapters in Romans address these actions by the Roman Christians and the consequences for this behavior. A Christian can be a wise one or he can be a foolish one.  The Parable of the Ten Virgins  in Matthew 25 divides Christians into the wise and the foolish, just as shown in this verse.
 
The Greek word for foolish refers to salt that has lost its strength or flavor. Christians who have lost their saltiness or savor will be cut asunder or separated at the Firstfruits Rapture, and thrown out to be trampled down (i.e., underfoot) during the first half of the tribulation period. Salty Christians serve as the restrainer of evil in the Church. When the firstfruits Christians are removed from the earth in the Firstfruits Rapture, evil will run rampant and the unsalty Christians will be trampled underfoot by Antichrist and his minions. This is addressed in the following Scripture, which speaks of the Separation, or the Firstfruits Rapture of the faithful Christians:
 
(Mat 5:12 KJV)  Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
(Mat 5:13 KJV)  Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men.
 
(Rom 1:23 KJV)  And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
 
Idolatry in Rome was rampant and Christians were caught up in this practice. The worship of many gods was acceptable in Rome, as long as a person was also open to worshipping Caesar. The refusal to include Caesar in the cadre of gods was unacceptable. The use of the dove to symbolize the Holy Spirit is part of this exchanging the “glory of the uncorruptible God into an image…and to birds….” The dove is still used today to represent the Holy Spirit—contrary to The Ten Commandments. Idolatry in the Church has remained and is rampant at this time. Numerous churches hang so-called pictures of Jesus in classrooms, and the dove is conspicuously hung over many baptisteries out of ignorance.
 
Idolatry using images of God is most prevalent today in the church of Thyatira, which is the Catholic Church, but the church of Sardis (i.e., Protestant churches) and the church of Laodicea (Pentecostal & Charismatic churches) are also guilty of this practice. I once attended a Southern Baptist church that had a stained glass image of Jesus over the baptistery. Another Southern Baptist church that I attended had a large dove hung over the baptistery. In addition, there is one very popular “picture” of Jesus that is found in the classrooms of many churches. It is God’s elect who are guilty of idolatry.
 
(Rom 1:24 KJV)  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
 
In addition to idolatry being rampant in the Church, immorality became commonplace because of the lusts of the heart. Therefore, God gave them up to uncleanness and the impurity of lustful, luxurious and profligate living. These Christians dishonored their own bodies in their sexual immorality. Sexual immorality is rampant in the Church today with numerous pastors having affairs with their secretaries and other members of the church. Sexual activity among young Christians is epidemic in the Church today. The reason for this is the failure of pastors and Christians to understand their accountability at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Pastors and other Christians have failed to understand the importance of practical righteousness, as well as imputed righteousness. Christians have exchanged the truth of God about the Judgment Seat of Christ into a lie. This is addressed in the following verse:
 
(Rom 1:25 KJV)  Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
 
Christians at this time in Rome were caught up in Gnosticism, which separated the spiritual from the physical. It was thought that spiritual things were separate from the body, so it was okay to live promiscuously in the body and there was no accountability. This was actually worshipping and serving the creature more than the Creator. This same practice abounds today as Christians are more concerned about the desires and wants of the old nature than they are of living holy and separated lives. We see how far this immorality had progressed in the Church at Rome in the following verses:
 
(Rom 1:26 KJV)  For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
 
The behavior and actions of these Christians caused God to give them over to their vile affections. It got to the point that even the women began to practice lesbianism. It was acceptable in Rome for men to commit homosexual acts with slaves, but it was unacceptable, and even got to the point where women committed indecent acts with each other.
 
Note: Part of the lie mentioned in verse 25 above is that a Christian cannot commit homosexual acts, if he is truly a Christian. This is absurd as a Christian can commit any sin common to man, including homosexual acts and even blaspheme against the Holy Spirit. This whole section of Scripture is addressing Christians who have defiled themselves—grieving and quenching the Holy Spirit.
 
(Rom 1:27 KJV)  And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.
 
Homosexuality among men got so bad among the Romans that they abandoned heterosexual acts with women and chose homosexual acts with men over the natural use of the women. Up until this point many men were bisexual, and this was acceptable behavior and did not detract from one’s masculinity. Being exclusively homosexual was even considered perverse among the decadent Romans.
 
Doing those things that are “unseemly” is doing those things that are shameful. Please remember that these are Christians doing shameful things. This is why they will shrink back in shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The recompense of their error will be meted out at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christians who live like this are foolish to think that they will escape the judgment of God. This is seen in the following verse that will be addressed later in this study:
 
(Rom 2:3 KJV)  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
 
(Rom 1:28 KJV)  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;
 
This verse confirms that Paul is addressing Christians who are committing these lewd and perverse acts. They knew God but did not wish to retain God in their knowledge. They preferred to live their lives in decadence without being convicted by the Holy Spirit in regard to their sins. Therefore, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, so they could do the things that were inappropriate for Christians. God will deal with them at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Greek word for “reprobate” means to be disapproved, rejected or to become a castaway. Paul uses the very same Greek word in regard to himself in the following passage of Scripture:
 
(1 Cor 9:24 KJV)  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
(1 Cor 9:25 KJV)  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
(1 Cor 9:26 KJV)  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
(1 Cor 9:27 KJV)  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.
 
The Greek word for “mind” in verse 28 above refers to the intellect, the understanding, the feelings and the will. These are terms for the soul or mind and not the spirit of man. A Christian can be born again spiritually and not have his mind renewed in accordance with the following exhortation that we will discuss later in Romans:
 
(Rom 12:1 KJV)  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
(Rom 12:2 KJV)  And 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.
 
The renewing of the mind is necessary for soul salvation, or the Christian will become disapproved and become a castaway, as Paul feared in the Corinthian passage shown above. Paul was very clear that even he could become a castaway—even though he had preached this message to others.
 
(Rom 1:29 KJV)  Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
 
Paul continues to describe Christians that have been turned over to a disapproved, rejected or reprobate mind. He describes them as being filled or controlled by the following:
 
1) Unrighteousness—This is being controlled by moral wrongfulness in character, life or action. Righteousness is lacking, and this is necessary for soul salvation. Paul is talking about the practical righteousness that many Christians lack even though they possess the imputed righteousness of Christ. Imputed righteousness comes with spirit salvation. Practical righteousness is necessary for soul salvation. Please read my verse by verse exegetical discourse of The Sermon on the Mount for an in-depth look at practical righteousness.
2) Fornication—Literally, the Greek word for fornication means adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, bestiality, incest or any illicit sexual intercourse. Figuratively, it means the worship of idols. We know from the previous verses in this context that Paul is using the term literally.
3) Wickedness—The Greek word for wickedness means depravity in general and malice specifically. Since the other words in this series are all depravity in general, Paul is clearly using the specific meaning of the word. Malice is a desire to harm others or see others suffer. It includes extreme ill will or spite towards our fellow Christians. Malice is a common sin among Christians. We must all guard against having ill will or spite in our hearts toward other Christians.
4) Covetousness—The Greek for covetousness means avarice or greed. Paul is referring to the excessive or immoderate desire for wealth. This is probably the most common sin for Christians in America. Many churches actually substitute Biblical teachings with teachings on how to manage money and acquire wealth. If Christians spent as much time on studying the Bible and seeking practical righteousness as they do on getting wealthy, then the Church would be in great shape, instead of being wretched, miserable, poor, naked and blind. The end time church of Laodicea emphasizes the accumulation of wealth as a sign of faithfulness. In truth, the accumulation of wealth will be a testimony against Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
5) Maliciousness—The Greek word for maliciousness means malice carried to the intense form of being active hatred. It is malice put into action, which entails actual injury to another person or persons. This injury may be mental, emotional or physical. It is one thing to feel malice toward our fellow Christians, but it becomes more serious when we actually do things to cause mental, emotional or physical harm to our fellow Christians. The tongue and the pen can inflict great mental and emotional harm to our fellow Christians. All Christians should strive to control not only maliciousness, which is malice in action, but all thoughts or feelings of malice toward other Christians. Feelings of malice can become a bitter root that results in active hatred with malicious activity.
6) Full of envy—There are two Greek words that define this sin. The two words together refer to Christians whose thoughts and emotions are filled with envy. Envy entails the feelings of discontent and resentment aroused by and in conjunction with the desire for the possessions or qualities of another. The Ten Commandments expressly forbid us from coveting anything that belongs to our neighbor.
7) Murder—The Greek word for full also applies to this sin. This means the thoughts and emotions of these Christians pertain to murder or hatred for Christian brethren. The Christian whose thoughts and emotions are filled with murder or hatred for the brethren is guilty of the same, even if actual murder has not been committed.
8) Debate—This Greek word means that the thoughts and emotions of these Christians are filled with contention and strife. Contention is the act of striving in controversy or debate. It is the desire to prove oneself right out of pride and arrogance. It is okay to strive for the faith to produce faithfulness in other Christians, as long as it is done in love with the right motives. It is an entirely separate matter to strive in controversy for the purpose of “being right”. The difference between striving for the faith correctly and simply being contentious is in the motive.
9) Deceit—The Greek word for deceit means craft, guile or deceit. It is the opposite of truth, honesty and sincerity. These Christians had their thoughts and emotions filled with deception, dishonesty and craftiness.
10) Malignity—The Greek word for malignity means their thoughts and emotions were filled with worthlessness. Their manners and habits were blameworthy instead of praiseworthy.
11) Whisperers—The Greek word for whisperers refers to Christians who communicate false or slanderous statements about other Christians in secret.
 
(Rom 1:30 KJV)  Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
 
12) Backbiters—The Greek word for backbiters refers to Christians who slander other Christians openly. I know of one web site that is devoted to the open slander of other Christians. The difference between a “whisperer” and a “backbiter” is the manner is which the slander is communicated. The whisperer slanders secretly while the backbiter slanders publicly.
13) Haters of God—The Greek word for this is used only once in Scripture. It means being hateful to God. It refers to Christians who turn against God after some heavy calamity has befallen them. It has been stated that a terrible tragedy in a Christian’s life can turn him toward God or against God. These Christians are those who have turned against God. A modern day term for these Christians who have turned against God is atheists. Most atheists today are Christians who have turned against God. Ask any loud and obnoxious atheist if he ever believed in Jesus Christ, and most—if pressed for the truth—will confess that they once believed in Jesus, but they have now “been enlightened”. Ted Turner is a prime example of this. He was saved at a Billy Graham crusade as a teenager, and he turned away from God when his mother died. I offer as evidence of this the fact that atheists frequently curse God, take God’s name in vain, and even take the name of Jesus Christ in vain. Why would someone who denies the existence of God curse him and take his name in vain. Most—if not all—atheists are simply Christians running away from God. Something has happened in their lives to turn them against God and they have become hateful to God. This is why they curse God and take his name in vain. God will deal with them at the Judgment Seat of Christ. True unbelievers have no desire to go into Christian chat rooms and slander and put down the beliefs of Christians. True unbelievers have no knowledge of God, so they do not hate him or act hatefully toward him. They are indifferent to him.
14) Despiteful—The Greek word for despiteful means to abuse, insult or entreat shamefully. This is exactly the attitude and behavior of Christians who have turned against God. It is the evil servant who mistreats (i.e., smites) his fellow Christians.
15) Proud—The Greek word for proud refers to Christians who act haughtily or treat other Christians with contempt. The atheist who has turned against God looks down on his fellow Christians and treats them with contempt. He sees himself as being above Christians and considers himself as the enlightened one.
16) Boasters—The Greek word for boasters means a braggart or one who boasts. It refers to arrogant Christians. It is the opposite of humility.
17) Inventors of evil things—The two Greek words here mean that these Christians contrive, improvise or invent ways of performing evil. Since they are Christians who have turned against God, they go to great efforts to treat God and his people despitefully.
18) Disobedient to parents—The two Greek words here mean that these Christians are obstinately rebellious toward their parents.
 
(Rom 1:31 KJV)  Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

19) Without understanding—The Greek word here means that these Christians are foolish and without understanding. They have been born again spiritually, but their minds have not been renewed with wisdom and understanding.
20)  Covenantbreakers—This Greek word refers to someone in covenant but he does not live up to the agreement. These Christians have been born again spiritually, but they do not live up to the inheritance to which they have been called. This one word nails it down that Paul is referring to Christians who have been untrustworthy in their commitment to God. They are Christians who have turned against God.
21) Without natural affection—This Greek word refers to those who are hard-hearted toward their kindred. These are Christians who treat their brothers and sisters in Christ with contempt and disrespect. When someone treats me disrespectfully and contemptuously, I immediately suspect that this person is a brother or sister in Christ who has turned against God. This is usually the case.
22)  Implacable—This Greek word is not in the earliest manuscripts. Therefore, it is not in the ASV-1901, NASB or the NIV. It means they cannot be persuaded to enter into a covenant. It cannot refer to the Covenant of Grace, since all that the Holy Spirit regenerates have or will enter into the Covenant of Grace. Also, number 20 above has already confirmed that these people are in covenant relationship with God. Therefore, this refusal to enter into covenant means that these Christians refuse to enter into the Covenant of Works, as given in Ephesians 2:10. The Covenant of Grace is given in Ephesians 2:8-9. Please read The Judgment Seat of Christ  for an understanding of the relationship between the Covenant of Grace and the Covenant of Works. These Roman Christians obstinately clung to the Covenant of Grace, but refused to acknowledge and abide by the Covenant of Works so clearly addressed throughout the Bible. Many Christians today are “implacable” in that they refuse to distinguish between imputed righteousness (Covenant of Grace) and practical righteousness (Covenant of Works).
23)  Unmerciful—This Greek word refers to Christians void of compassion and mercy for their fellow Christians. The Christian who has received mercy but refuses to show mercy to his fellow Christians will be judged severely at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 1:32 KJV)  Who knowing the judgment 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.
 
These Roman Christians were aware of the Judgment Seat of Christ, and this verse indicates that they were even aware of the fact that the wages of sin is death, and this refers to Christians who sin without confession of these sins. Even knowing the righteous judgment of God, these Roman Christians continued to commit sins worthy of the death of the soul, and even had pleasure in doing them. It boggles my mind that Christians knowledgeable of the Judgment Seat of Christ and the sin unto death would continue in sin that leads to death. However, in the last few months I have personally witnessed an individual knowledgeable of these things, but still chose the sin of being a drunkard. His final parting words were “I am going to party until I die.” I cannot imagine the terror this individual will face at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The same will be true for many Christians who commit sins worthy of death, and even take pleasure in other Christians committing these same sins. The old adage “misery loves company” is appropriate for these Christians.
 
(Rom 2:1 KJV)  Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
 
This verse warns those Christians who judge these Christians as unsaved reprobates. The same situation exists in many churches today where Christians assign drunkards, homosexuals, promiscuous Christians and the like to hell as being unsaved. One of the biggest errors in churches is to believe that a Christian cannot be an alcoholic, a homosexual or a promiscuous person. Church leaders and church-going Christians with false piety routinely assign these Christians to hell as unsaved reprobates. I have seen and heard 300-pound gluttonous pastors say that a drunkard and a homosexual cannot possibly be saved. I have seen and heard gossipy women in churches (i.e., backbiters & whisperers) consign fellow Christians to hell because of their immodest dress. I even heard one of these gluttonous pastors say in his sermon, “If you are not interested in what I am saying, then you are probably not saved.” It is common in Sardis and Laodicean churches for Christians to judge other Christians as “unsaved” based on the sins that they commit, while the Christians making this judgment are committing the same or similar sins worthy of death at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The following verses after the NOTE confirm that both will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
NOTE: IT IS OKAY TO JUDGE THAT DRUNKENESS, HOMOSEXUALITY, GLUTTONY, GOSSIP AND ADULTERY ARE SINS, BUT IT IS NOT OKAY TO JUDGE THE PEOPLE COMMITTING THESE SINS AS UNSAVED REPROBATES BECAUSE OF THESE SINS. THIS JUDGMENT IS RESERVED FOR GOD, AND THE CHRISTIANS WHO MAKE THIS JUDGEMENT ARE USURPING GOD’S AUTHORITY, AND WILL BE SEVERELY JUDGED FOR IT AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST.
 
(Rom 2:2 KJV)  But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
 
Christians who are drunkards, homosexuals and promiscuous will certainly be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ, as stated in this verse.
 
(Rom 2:3 KJV)  And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
 
This verse clarifies that the Christians who judge the drunkard, the homosexual and the promiscuous as unsaved are in fact condemning them to hell. The Christians making these judgments about their fellow Christians are committing the same sins, and they shall also be judged. We must all stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ to be judged for the things that we have done in the body. The prideful, arrogant Christian who judges his fellow Christian as unsaved because of actual sins or some legalistic, manmade doctrine is going to be greatly surprised at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
It is very easy to see other Christians committing the same sins that we commit. I have often looked scornfully at a fellow Christian committing a sin, and the Holy Spirit immediately convicted me that I have committed the same sin. The only correct response at this point was to confess my sin of judging (i.e., condemning) my fellow Christian. It is very important for a Christian to be extremely merciful in making judgments of the sins of other Christians. The reason for this is seen in the following Scripture verses:
 
(Mat 5:7 KJV)  Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
 
(James 2:13 NASB)  For judgment will be merciless to one who has shown no mercy; mercy triumphs over judgment.
 
It is very important for Christians to be compassionate, kind and merciful toward our fellow Christians. It is okay to make a judgment that a particular behavior is sin, but it is totally inappropriate for us to make judgments about a person’s salvation because of his behavior. This includes spirit and soul salvation, as only God has the necessary knowledge of all the facts to make this judgment. I believe it is a certainty that all Christians commit sins on a daily basis. The important point is whether we confess these sins to God and get cleansed of them. This is the only way that we will be able to stand blameless and worthy at the Judgment Seat of Christ. All Christians should remember and heed the following lesson from Jesus:
 
(Luke 18:9 KJV)  And he (i.e., Jesus) spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others:
(Luke 18:10 KJV)  Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
(Luke 18:11 KJV)  The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
(Luke 18:12 KJV)  I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
(Luke 18:13 KJV)  And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
(Luke 18:14 KJV)  I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
 
(Rom 2:4 KJV)  Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
 
This verse also confirms that Paul is addressing regenerate Christians. Only believers have “the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering”. It is the Holy Spirit who provides us with “the riches of his goodness”, which is the practical or relative righteousness described earlier in this exegetical discourse. The Greek word for riches refers to “an abundance” and the Greek word for “goodness” refers to moral excellence in character or demeanor. The Christian who “despises the riches of his goodness” is the Christian who regards it as unworthy of his interest or concern to seek after the relative righteousness of God. These are Christians who tout the imputed righteousness of Christ and denigrate the relative or practical righteous of God. These Christians frequently quote the following verse:
 
(Isa 64:6 KJV)  But we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; and we all do fade as a leaf; and our iniquities, like the wind, have taken us away.
 
This verse is definitely addressing relative righteousness (i.e., righteous acts or righteousnesses), but it is addressing righteous deeds in the power of our own flesh nature. It is true that the acts we do in the power of our flesh nature are as filthy rags, but the things we do in the power and authority (i.e., in the name) of Jesus Christ are righteous and worthy of reward. The following verse addresses righteous acts in the power and authority of Jesus Christ:
 
(Rev 19:8 NIV)  Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear." (Fine linen stands for the righteous acts of the saints.)
 
Christians can and do perform righteous acts and deeds in the power of the Holy Spirit, and it is these righteous acts that will qualify Christians for the Firstfruits Rapture and to be the bride of Christ. The Christian who denigrates works of righteousness by Christians is the Christian who “despises the riches of his goodness”. He regards works of righteousness as unworthy of his attention. A Southern Baptist pastor made the following comment to my mother: “I am saved and that is all that matters!” In essence, he was stating that spirit salvation is all that matters, and that seeking after the righteousness of God and soul salvation was unimportant. This pastor “despises the riches of his goodness.”
 
The great majority of pastors today have no idea that soul salvation and entrance into the kingdom of God are things the Christian must seek after in seeking after the righteousness of God. Jesus commanded us to seek after the kingdom and this practical righteousness in the following verse:
 
(Mat 6:33 KJV)  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
 
Please note that seeking after the kingdom of God and his righteousness (i.e., moral excellence of character) should be the first priority in the life of the Christian. Unfortunately, most Christians today see spirit salvation (i.e., imputed righteousness) as the end rather than the beginning of a life devoted to achieving moral excellence. This is why we have so few Christians today that reflect the life of Christ. Many Christians are going to be greatly shocked when they experience the “terror of the Lord” and the wrath of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ, as seen in the following verse. But first, the last clause in verse 4 above, “not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance”, means that the things furnished by God (i.e., the goodness of God) is what leads the Christian to repentance and a life that reflects the life of Christ. God has made all the necessary provisions for us to live godly lives, as we crucify the old flesh nature, and are filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. When we do fail and commit sin, we can “be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thess. 5:23) by confessing our sin in accordance with 1 John 1:9. The Christian can live a life of moral excellence and be preserved blameless until the return of Jesus Christ, but it is something the Christian must seek after with all of his heart, mind and soul. He must keep his lamp trimmed (i.e., confess his sins) and have the extra measure of oil (i.e., be filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit). The Christian who does this is among the five wise virgins who will be taken in the Firstfruits Rapture when the Separation occurs. Please read The Coming Rapture and The Separation for a detailed explanation of these events.
 
(Rom 2:5 KJV)  But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
 
Christians who are hard-hearted and unrepentant toward God are the ones who are storing up or heaping together for themselves the anger and punishment of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christians will be punished at the Judgment Seat of Christ for their unrighteous deeds, as stated in the following verse:
 
(Rom 2:6 KJV)  Who will render to every man according to his deeds:
 
Every Christian will receive a just recompense of reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ, whether his deeds are good or evil. This is seen in the following Scripture:
 
(2 Cor 5:9 KJV)  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
(2 Cor 5:10 KJV)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
(2 Cor 5:11 KJV)  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
 
NOTE: ONLY CHRISTIANS WILL BE AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST, AND ONLY CHRISTIANS WILL EXPERIENCE THIS TERROR OF THE LORD.
 
(Rom 2:7 KJV)  To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:
 
The Christian who is patient and steadfast in performing acts of righteousness will receive “glory and honor and immortality” at the Judgment Seat of Christ.  “Glory and honor and immortality” are the REWARD for faithfulness. Glory and honor is the result of entrance into the kingdom of God, and immortality is soul salvation. The Christian who lives a life of moral excellence in the power and authority of Jesus Christ will have this life preserved to carry over into the kingdom of God. This Christian who attains to “glory and honor and immortality” is the Christian who receives “eternal life” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. “Eternal life” is in apposition to “glory and honor and immortality.” In simple words, “eternal life” is an explanatory equivalent to “glory and honor and immortality” as a result of patient endurance in living righteously. “Eternal life” is the same as soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Please read my dissertation “To Perish or not to Perish” for a detailed explanation of eternal life.
 
NOTE: CONTRARY TO POPULAR BELIEF, NOT ALL CHRISTIANS WILL ATTAIN TO ETERNAL LIFE AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. ALSO, ETERNAL LIFE IS NOT THE SAME AS GOING TO HEAVEN. ALL CHRISTIANS GO TO HEAVEN, EVEN IF THEY DO NOT ATTAIN TO ETERNAL LIFE. ETERNAL LIFE IS A REWARD FOR FAITHFULNESS. THE CHRISTIAN WHO RECEIVES ETERNAL LIFE IS THE CHRISTIAN WHO RECEIVES THE CROWN OF LIFE. THE CHRISTIAN WHO RECEIVES THE CROWN OF LIFE WILL NOT HAVE HIS NAME BLOTTED OUT OF THE BOOK OF LIFE. THE BOOK OF LIFE PERTAINS TO SALVATION OF THE SOUL/LIFE AND NOT TO SALVATION OF THE SPIRIT. PLEASE READ VERSES 6-11 TOGETHER A FEW TIMES.
 
(Rom 2:8 KJV)  But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,
 
Christians who are contentious and disobedient to the Word of God live unrighteous lives, and they will suffer the indignation and wrath of God. The Greek word for contentious means that these Christians are inclined to self-seeking, and they have a fractious, selfish and self-promoting heart. The Greek word for “obey” in “obey the truth” means that they refuse to be persuaded of the truth. These are Christians who are willingly ignorant concerning the Judgment Seat of Christ, the salvation of the soul, and other deeper truths in the Word of God. The Greek word for “indignation” refers to the anger of God that boils up but soon subsides. The Greek word for “wrath” linked with the word for God’s anger refers to the punishment that will be meted out at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The word is used for punishments inflicted by magistrates. Jesus is the magistrate at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and He will be angry and punish Christians. His anger will then subside and all Christians will be completely and totally redeemed in spirit, soul and body. These Christians will still lose their inheritance in the kingdom of God as a result of their unfaithfulness. This loss is permanent.
 
Note: Part of the refusal to believe the truth of the Word of God is the refusal to believe that these Scriptures apply to Christians. Pastors who love to tickle the ears of their congregations commonly teach that these verses refer to unsaved reprobates.
 
(Rom 2:9 KJV)  Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;
 
The Greek word for tribulation refers to afflictions or punishments at the Judgment Seat of Christ for disobedience, and the Greek word for anguish refers to extreme afflictions or dire calamity at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Some Christians will receive mild punishment at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but some will be punished severely at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 2:10 KJV)  But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:
 
On the contrary, those Christians who perform good works during their Christian life will receive “glory, honour and peace” as their reward at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 2:11 KJV)  For there is no respect of persons with God.
 
Jesus will be perfectly just in meting out rewards and punishments at the Judgment Seat of Christ. He will not favor the Jews or the Gentiles at this judgment of Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
Note: The use of the statement “to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile” twice in consecutive verses about punishment and reward was done to emphasize the fact that he is referring to members of the Church, which is made up of both Jews and Gentiles. Only Church members will be judged at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 2:12 KJV)  For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;
 
Those “without law” in this verse refers to saved Gentiles in the Church, and those “in the law” refers to saved Jews in the Church. This is confirmed in verse 14 below. Both Gentiles and Jews in the Church will be judged by the Lord Jesus Christ in accordance with the lives they have lived. Those in the Church who never experience power over sin in their lives will receive an adverse judgment at the Judgment Seat of Christ, whether they are Gentiles or Jews.
 
(Rom 2:13 KJV)  (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
 
It is not the “hearers of the law” that are justified by works, but it is the “doers of the law” that are justified by works. Please read my exegesis on James for a detailed explanation of the difference between hearers and doers. The hearers have been justified by faith, and the doers have been justified by works. The hearers have received spirit salvation, but the doers have realized soul salvation.
 
(Rom 2:14 KJV)  For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:
 
Even though the saved Gentiles in the Church have not technically received “the law”, they follow the things given in the law because of the new spirit nature within them. The phrase “by nature” refers to the new spiritual birth of these Gentiles. These Gentiles have crucified the old flesh nature and abide by the new spirit nature within them—even without knowledge of the law.
 
(Rom 2:15 KJV)  Which show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)
 
These born-again Gentiles have the requirements of the law written on their hearts, and their consciences function as their witness. Their own thoughts serve to convict them when they sin and acquit them when they have power over sin. The Christian who is filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit knows the difference between that which is righteous and that which is evil.
 
(Rom 2:16 KJV)  In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.
 
Now Paul refers to the Judgment Seat of Christ and he provides a stern warning to the Jews, who apparently see themselves as being “better” than the Gentiles, since they were the recipients of the law of God. “According to my gospel” has special reference to the good news message that Gentiles are now the recipients of the offer of the kingdom of heaven. However, just as the Jews as a nation forfeited this inheritance, Gentiles in the Church can also fail to qualify for this inheritance. This is seen in the following passage of Scripture, which will be addressed in detail later in this study:
 
(Rom 11:17 KJV)  And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;
(Rom 11:18 KJV)  Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.
(Rom 11:19 KJV)  Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.
(Rom 11:20 KJV)  Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:
(Rom 11:21 KJV)  For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.
 
Paul is warning the Roman Christians against being proud and arrogant about the Jews losing their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, with the inheritance now belonging to Christians. It is possible that these Christians can also lose their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is a common, mistaken belief in the Church that all Christians will realize their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven, but THIS IS NOT TRUE. It is also a mistaken belief that all Christians will be in the group known as the bride of Christ, but THIS IS ALSO NOT TRUE. All Christians are part of the body of Christ, but not all Christians will be part of the bride of Christ. Just as Adam’s bride was a small portion of his body (i.e., small portion of bone & flesh from his side), the bride of Christ will be a small portion of the Church, which is the body of Christ.
 
(Rom 2:17 KJV)  Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God,
 
Paul is rebuking Jewish Christians for their attitudes of thinking of themselves as being better than the Gentile Christians. They were depending on their status as Jews to carry them through at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and Paul is about to set them straight on this matter.
 
(Rom 2:18 KJV)  And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law;
 
Paul tells them that they boast that they know God’s will and are able to judge the more important spiritual matters, since they were taught out of the law. These Jewish Christians had apparently studied the Old Testament, especially the Torah—the first five books of the Bible—before they became Christians. They now felt that they were somehow better than the Gentile Christians, and they were qualified as teachers since they knew about the law. In the next several verses, Paul upbraids these Jewish Christians by clearly establishing that a mere knowledge of the commandments of God does not qualify one as a teacher. Paul clearly explains that the teacher should be one who practices the commandments of God, rather than one who merely knows the commandments of God.
 
(Rom 2:19 KJV)  And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness,
 
Paul continues to state to these Jewish Christians that they were confident that they were guides or teachers of the Gentile Christians who were spiritually blind and walking in darkness. Apparently, based on the following verses, these Jewish Christians were also spiritually blind and walking in darkness—in spite of their knowledge of the Torah (i.e., the Pentateuch).
 
(Rom 2:20 KJV)  An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
 
The Jewish Christians felt they were qualified as instructors to the foolish Gentile Christians, and teachers of these immature Christians, because they had been instructed in truth and the law. We have the same situation today in Christian pastors and teachers who have attended certain prestigious seminaries. It is commonly thought among these pastors and teachers that Christians who have not attended seminary cannot possibly understand the Scriptures well enough to be a teacher or a pastor. Paul confirms in the following verses that the teacher is one who is a doer of the Word of God, and not one who is merely a hearer of the Word of God. These are not Paul’s words in explaining this, but this is the meaning that Paul is attempting to convey to these Jewish Christians.
 
(Rom 2:21 KJV)  Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal?
 
Paul continues to upbraid these Jews by asking them rhetorical questions. Paraphrased, Paul is asking those who teach others if they have taught themselves. Do you who teach against stealing steal?
 
(Rom 2:22 KJV)  Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege?
 
Do you who teach against adultery commit adultery? Do you who detest idolatry defile your own bodies?
 
(Rom 2:23 KJV)  Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God?
 
Do you who brag about your knowledge of the law dishonour God by breaking the law?
 
(Rom 2:24 KJV)  For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
 
Paul sums up his rebuke by stating that the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles, and the blame is against these Jews. These Jewish Christians are the reason that the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles. It must be remembered that the majority of the early Church was Jewish, and they were the ones preaching the gospel of God to the Gentiles. Paul is now blaming them for the unfaithfulness of the Gentiles in the church at Rome.
 
(Rom 2:25 KJV)  For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.
 
Paul now sums up the matter by stating that physical circumcision does have meaning—if the circumcised Jews keep the law, but if they do not abide by the law, then their physical circumcision is meaningless. Paul is talking about keeping the Ten Commandments and not the Mosaic Law. This is the same as a Christian who is baptized, but continues to sin against God and live a life that is dishonoring to God. Just as the physical act of circumcision is meaningless without a change of heart, baptism is also meaningless without a change of heart. The change of heart is the conversion that takes place in the Christian who is realizing the salvation of his soul.
 
(Rom 2:26 KJV)  Therefore if the uncircumcision keep the righteousness of the law, shall not his uncircumcision be counted for circumcision?
 
Paul then turns the tables on them by stating that if the Gentiles who have not been circumcised have a change of heart and keep the law, then they are accounted as being circumcised.  Paul is stating that it is the circumcision of the heart that matters and not the actual physical act of circumcision. The physical act of circumcision simply pictures the cutting off or the crucifying of the old flesh nature. The physical act of circumcision is meaningless, unless the person’s heart and life is replaced by the new man in Christ.
 
(Rom 2:27 KJV)  And shall not uncircumcision which is by nature, if it fulfil the law, judge thee, who by the letter and circumcision dost transgress the law?
 
The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:
 
(Rom 2:27 NIV)  The one who is not circumcised physically and yet obeys the law will condemn you who, even though you have the written code and circumcision, are a lawbreaker.
 
(Rom 2:28 KJV)  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:
 
Paul states that it is the attitude of the heart that determines a person’s relationship to God and not the lineage of birth.
 
Note: It is very important to note the fact that Paul is addressing Jews in the church at Rome who think that their identity as Jews give them special insights and privileges. Paul is debunking this attitude by emphasizing that it is the purity of life that one lives and not his lineage of birth. Keeping the Law is in reference to the Ten Commandments, and not the Mosaic Law. Paul is talking about living righteously and performing righteous acts in the power of the Holy Spirit, and not in the power of the flesh.
 
(Rom 2:29 KJV)  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.
 
It is the inside of a person that counts, and the circumcision of the heart via the spirit that matters. These are the ones who will be praised by God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. I have often heard men talk about how godly some men are, but men cannot look upon the heart and judge rightly. Only God has this ability, so we should not be surprised when we get to the Judgment Seat of Christ and the ones praised by God are not the ones praised by men. Conversely, there will be some Christians that were praised by men who will be destroyed at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The following verse refers to this situation:
 
(Mark 10:29 KJV)  And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel's,
(Mark 10:30 KJV)  But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
(Mark 10:31 KJV)  But many that are first shall be last; and the last first.
 
This passage is referring to the most important leaders in the Church on earth that will be least in the kingdom of heaven, and ones who are completely unknowns in the Church on earth will be the greatest in the kingdom. D. M. Panton stated it as follows:
 
“The Church knows nothing of her brightest stars, for she moves beneath the glory of their heavenly orbits.”
 
(Rom 3:1 KJV)  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
 
Paul asks if there is any advantage to being a Jew and having been physically circumcised. Paul answers this question in the following verse.
 
(Rom 3:2 KJV)  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.
 
Paul answers his rhetorical question by stating that there is much advantage to the Jews, because they were the recipients of the commands and revelations of God.
 
(Rom 3:3 KJV)  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
 
Paul asks if the unbelief of some Jews renders the faith of God as useless. From the text this unbelief is in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Many Jews have not yet believed in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ. Paul is asking if this means that the faith granted by God in the death of his Son is nullified because these Jews do not believe it—even though they were the recipients of the commands and revelations of God
 
(Rom 3:4 KJV)  God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
 
Of course, the answer as to whether the unbelief of some Jews nullifies the “faith of God” is emphatically no. God always speaks the truth—even if every man contradicts what God says. God is still telling the truth even if every man contradicted this truth.
 
The clause “That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged” means that we are to vindicate the righteousness of God regardless of the expense to ourselves. We should do this so that we might be found justified at the Judgment Seat of Christ and be found as an overcomer. The following Scripture explains the meaning of this clause:
 
(Prov 3:5 KJV)  Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.
(Prov 3:6 KJV)  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
 
The Christian should never depend upon his own reasoning when the Scriptures clearly contradict this reasoning. If our ideas conflict with Scripture, then we must abandon our ideas in favor of Scripture. A primary example of this is the un-Scriptural idea that God wants every human being on earth to be saved spiritually. There are numerous Scriptures that contradict this idea, but Christians still lean to their own understanding instead of depending upon God’s Word. Please see my discourse “The Doctrine of Election—Commonly Called Predestination” for the Scriptures that conflict with this idea of universal salvation. Predestination is also explained in more detail in this exegesis of Chapter 8.
 
The Scriptures are not always palatable, but we must always trust in them and believe them, even if their taste is not to our liking.
 
(Rom 3:5 KJV)  But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man)
 
In this verse Paul is stating that when Christians live unrighteously while they have the imputed righteousness of God, they are actually demonstrating, revealing or amplifying the grace of God. Paul then asks a question based on the resulting reasoning of man based on this axiom: Is God unrighteous in punishing us for our unfaithfulness, since our unfaithfulness makes the righteousness of God more illustrious? Paul answers the question in the following verse.
 
We know that Paul is talking about the unrighteousness of believing Christians because he includes himself as one being unrighteous. Please note in verse 3 above that Paul does not include himself in the group of Jews that are unbelievers. Since Paul includes himself in this unrighteousness, he is speaking of practical righteousness and not imputed righteousness. This also confirms that the next verse is addressing the judgment of the Church at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 3:6 KJV)  God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world?
 
Paul states absolutely not, for otherwise how can God judge the Church for its actions and deeds. The Greek word for “world” is kosmos and is speaking of the Church. Paul confirms that he is speaking of Christians who sin by using himself as an example in the following verse.
 
(Rom 3:7 KJV)  For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?
 
Paul gives the example of him lying and this causing the grace of God to abound, and then asks why he would still be judged as a sinner at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 3:8 KJV)  And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just.
 
Paul rebukes this lie that Christians should continue to sin while under grace, so they can reveal the grace of God. Paul then confirms that the “damnation” of these Christians is just. The Greek word for “damnation” is krima and refers to the condemnatory sentence of the destruction of the soul that unfaithful Christians will receive at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christians cannot sin presumptuously in this life without the cleansing through the blood of Jesus, and get off without punishment at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christians will be taken to the woodshed at the Judgment Seat of Christ for corrective punishment. The following Scripture passage addresses Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ:
 
(2 Cor 5:9 KJV)  Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.
(2 Cor 5:10 KJV)  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
(2 Cor 5:11 KJV)  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.
 
Please note that this is at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and Christians will receive a just recompense for the bad things that they do. Thus, unfaithful Christians will experience “terror” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The Scriptures are very clear that Christians will reap what they sow This is confirmed in the following Scripture:
 
(Gal 6:7 KJV)  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
(Gal 6:8 KJV)  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.
(Gal 6:9 KJV)  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.
 
Sowing is working, and verse 8 clearly establishes that Christians that sow to the old flesh nature will reap corruption or destruction of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth at the Judgment Seat of Christ for many Christians who spent their lives sowing to their own flesh natures. In contrast, there will be Christians that sowed to their spirit nature who will reap eternal life. “Life everlasting” and eternal life are translations of the same Greek phrase aiones zoe. “Eternal life” or “life everlasting” always refers to soul salvation in the Scriptures and never to spirit salvation.
 
(Rom 3:9 KJV)  What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin;
 
Paul compares Christians with the Jews who are unbelievers mentioned in verse 3 above. He asks if the Christians (“we”) are better than the Jews. Of course, the answer is “NO”, and Paul continues to iterate that both Jews and Gentiles are “all under sin”. Note that Paul does not include himself in being “under sin” because he is no longer “under sin”, since he has been born again and received the imputed righteousness of God. This verse confirms the three classes of people in the world: Church, Jews and Gentiles. Paul also confirms that those in the Church are no better than the Jews and Gentiles who are still “under sin”. Paul is saying that there is nothing good in him and his fellow Christians that caused God to choose them for salvation.
 
(Rom 3:10 KJV)  As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
 
Paul declares that of both Jews and Gentiles none are righteous—not even one. No person on earth is righteous until he is spiritually regenerated and made a part of the family of God by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. He then receives the imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ and is no longer “under sin”. This Christian has then escaped the penalty of sin, as explained in the introductory section of this discourse. The newly born-again Christian has not yet escaped the power of sin or the presence of sin in his life. He can escape the power of sin in this life by realizing soul salvation, but he cannot escape the presence of sin until he receives his glorified body.
 
(Rom 3:11 KJV)  There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God.
 
Paul continues to declare that neither Jew nor Gentile understands the things of God and not even one Jew or Gentile seeks after God. Of course, Paul is talking about Jews and Gentiles before the new birth experience. Until a Jew or Gentile is regenerated spiritually by the Holy Spirit, he will never understand the things of God or seek after God. A person must be born again in order to be able to understand the Scriptures and seek after the kingdom of God and his righteousness.
 
(Rom 3:12 KJV)  They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.
 
All unsaved Jews and Gentiles are on the wrong path. They are all worthless and useless in character. There is none that can do anything good—not even one. This verse and the following verses describe unsaved reprobates, whether Jew or Gentile. Many times in Scripture Paul describes the actions and behavior of unfaithful Christians, but in these verses he is describing unsaved Jews and Gentiles.
 
(Rom 3:13 KJV)  Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips:
 
Paul is referring to the speech of unsaved individuals in this verse. The throat as an open grave refers to the speech coming out of a spiritually dead person. The speech is deceitful, malicious, and deadly as the poison of asps.
 
(Rom 3:14 KJV)  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:
 
Cursing refers to the speaking of evil about others, and bitterness refers to evil actions against others. The unsaved person can never be trusted in regard to his words or his actions.
 
(Rom 3:15 KJV)  Their feet are swift to shed blood:
 
The unsaved person is quick to shed the blood of others. We have seen this verse played out in our newspapers where depraved, sexually perverted individuals shed the blood of innocent children. We have also seen serial killers murder numerous people simply for the thrill of it.
 
(Rom 3:16 KJV)  Destruction and misery are in their ways:
 
The paths of these unsaved individuals are strewn with calamity, ruin and misery.
 
(Rom 3:17 KJV)  And the way of peace have they not known:
 
These spiritually dead individuals have not known either peace with God nor the peace of God. They have not been reconciled with God.
 
(Rom 3:18 KJV)  There is no fear of God before their eyes.
 
Since they do not know God, they have no fear of him.
 
(Rom 3:19 KJV)  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.
 
Now we know that the things stated in the Scriptures as a law of duty were stated to them under the law, which are the Jews. The law of duty was given to the Jews so that their mouths opened in self-justification would be silenced, and the whole world—all of humanity—would be seen as guilty and deserving of condemnation. Simply stated, the purpose of the Scriptures was to assist all kinds of individuals—Jew and Gentile—in seeing their depravity before God.
 
(Rom 3:20 KJV)  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.
 
Obedience to the commandments of God will not provide for the justification of anyone, but the commandments of God will help individuals come to the knowledge of their sin. Of course, they must be spiritually regenerated first, or they will not have the ability to recognize sin in themselves. The spiritually dead person is unable to see his own depravity.
 
(Rom 3:21 KJV)  But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;
 
The law of God was first revealed in the Old Testament, but the imputed righteousness of God through grace in the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ has been manifested in the New Testament. The prepositional phrase “by the law and the prophets” is a reference to the Old Testament Scriptures. Thus, the imputed righteousness of Christ is presented and fully disclosed in the New Testament, but it was predicted and foreshadowed in the Old Testament. This is true for many of the mysteries of God, and the statement “the New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed” refers to this truth of God in the Scriptures.
 
(Rom 3:22 KJV)  Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
 
The imputed righteousness of God comes through faith or belief in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the Cross of Calvary. This righteousness by faith is not only for the Jew, but it is also for the Gentiles. There is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile in regard to this faith, which puts one into the family of God as a member of the Church. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile in the Church. The Church is one group of the elect of God that will live in the New Jerusalem. Two other groups of the elect of God are saved Jews outside of the Church Age, and saved Gentiles outside of the Church Age. The home of the Church during the millennial age will be the New Jerusalem. The home of saved Jews and Gentiles during the millennial age will be the earth. Those in the Church who realize their inheritance in the kingdom of heaven will be in the heavenly aspect of the kingdom. Those saved Jews and Gentiles saved outside of the Church Age and who are found faithful at the sheep and goat judgment will be in the earthly aspect of the kingdom.
 
(Rom 3:23 KJV)  For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
 
Paul is speaking of the Church Age, and it matters not whether one is a Jew or Gentile, for both are under the penalty of sin, and are incapable of spirit salvation through the works of the law.
 
(Rom 3:24 KJV)  Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
 
Spirit salvation is a free gift of God and comes to the individual, whether Jew or Gentile, by the grace of God through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. Spirit salvation is by grace through faith in the death of Jesus Christ as a substitute for the penalty of sin. The penalty of sin is eternal separation from God because one remains spiritually dead. Every person born is born spiritually dead, and remains so until the Holy Spirit regenerates them and makes them spiritually alive. The person that is spiritually regenerated receives the gift of faith and believes in the death of Jesus Christ. The following Scripture confirms that man has absolutely nothing to do with his spiritual rebirth:
 
(Eph 2:1 KJV)  And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins:
(Eph 2:2 KJV)  Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience:
(Eph 2:3 KJV)  Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
(Eph 2:4 KJV)  But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us,
(Eph 2:5 KJV)  Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)
(Eph 2:6 KJV)  And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus:
(Eph 2:7 KJV)  That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.
(Eph 2:8 KJV)  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
(Eph 2:9 KJV)  Not of works, lest any man should boast.
 
Verses 1 and 5 above confirm that every Christian was dead in sins until God made us spiritually alive (i.e., quickened us). We were made alive and given the faith to believe in Jesus Christ. EVEN THE FAITH WAS A GIFT FROM GOD. This is confirmed by verse 8 above. The phrase “that not of yourselves” refers to the “grace” and the “ faith” that a believer receives. THE WHOLE WORK OF SPIRIT SALVATION COMES FROM GOD AND THIS INCLUDES THE FAITH.
 
The Laodicean church age that began around the beginning of the twentieth century has exchanged the above truth that salvation comes from above and is a work of God, into the lie that man effects his own salvation by working up his faith to believe in Jesus Christ. This lie has now even been ingrained into the Sardis churches, which began with Martin Luther. Even the Southern Baptist denomination has now been leavened with the false idea that one can effect his own spirit salvation by working up the faith to believe in Jesus Christ by his own will. This whole issue is the freedom of the will. The Sardis churches believed—accurately—for hundreds of years that the will was in bondage to spiritual death and a person did not have the power to will himself to be saved. The Arminian belief that one can will himself to be saved has now worked its way into thousands of churches and throughout the Southern Baptist denomination. This false idea is clearly contradicted by the scriptures:
 
(Eph 1:1 KJV)  Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus:
(Eph 1:2 KJV)  Grace be to you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
(Eph 1:3 KJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
(Eph 1:4 KJV)  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:
(Eph 1:5 KJV)  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,
(Eph 1:6 KJV)  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.
(Eph 1:7 KJV)  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
(Eph 1:8 KJV)  Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence;
(Eph 1:9 KJV)  Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself:
(Eph 1:10 KJV)  That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him:
(Eph 1:11 KJV)  In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:
(Eph 1:12 KJV)  That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.
 
Two things should be very clear in the above passage of Scripture.  The first is that God chose us for salvation before the foundation of the world.  The second is that He chose us according to the good pleasure of His will—not ours.  It is stated three times in this brief passage that God chose us on account of His will and good pleasure and not ours.  In addition, the following verses expressly state that we are not saved by our own will or choice:
 
(John 15:16 KJV)  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.
 
We do not choose Christ by exercising our will. He chooses us, regenerates us, and gives us the gift of faith. Our will is released from bondage when we are given this faith. The new birth comes from above—NOT FROM INSIDE US.
 
(John 1:12 KJV)  But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:
(John 1:13 KJV)  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
 
THIS VERSE (JOHN 1:13) COULD NOT GET ANY CLEARER THAT WE ARE SAVED BY THE WILL OF GOD AND NOT OUR WILL.
 
(Rom 9:11 KJV)  (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)
(Rom 9:12 KJV)  It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.
(Rom 9:13 KJV)  As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
(Rom 9:14 KJV)  What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.
(Rom 9:15 KJV)  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.
(Rom 9:16 KJV)  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy.
 
God knew that men would not like the idea that salvation is of the Lord, so He inserted the passage into the Scriptures for those who would argue with God.
 
(Rom 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
(Rom 8:29 KJV)  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
(Rom 8:30 KJV)  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
 
The above passages simply state that God foreknew us as persons and elected us for salvation.  The election is based on knowing us and loving us, and not facts about us.  God chose to love us and save us in spite of our depravity, and not because he saw something good in us.  If God chose us because He saw us exercising our will to believe in Jesus, then we are not saved by grace and grace alone, but by the exercise of our will to believe in Jesus Christ.  This makes salvation a work of man and not God!
 
(Rom 3:25 KJV)  Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God;
 
Referring back to verse 24 and the redemption that is in Jesus Christ, God has set forth the death of Jesus Christ as a propitiation for our sins. Propitiation means that the anger of God against man was appeased, turned back or satisfied through the death of Jesus Christ. It is the death that saves us spiritually, and the blood is the evidence of that death. This is why the Scriptures refer to Christians as being saved by the blood Christ.
 
(Rom 3:26 KJV)  To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
 
This verse is a simple statement of the source of the imputed righteousness that all Christians possess. Jesus Christ was perfectly just in his life, and his death is that which is the justifier of the one who believes in Jesus Christ. We must remember that the Christian believes in Jesus Christ because God the Holy Spirit gave him the faith to believe. Every Christian is saved by grace through faith, and that not of himself. The whole work of spirit salvation is by grace, and the faith is included with the grace. Every Christian is given a measure of faith when he is spiritually generated, and this faith comes from above—NOT FROM THE CHRISTIAN. This is why the new birth is stated to come from above. Christians are said to be born from above. The Christian has just as much to do with his spiritual birth as he did with his physical birth. The following verse excludes boasting because of this very truth.
 
Unregenerate man left to himself would never believe or exercise his faith in Jesus Christ. This is seen in the following Scriptures:
 
(John 6:44 KJV)  No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
 
(John 6:65 KJV)  And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
 
No one can come to Christ unless he is called to Christ, and everyone who is called will come to Christ. All of the elect of God will be saved, and not one will be lost. Our salvation does not depend upon the faithfulness of man, but upon the faithfulness of God. Christians do nothing to obtain spirit salvation, and they can do nothing to lose it.
 
(John 6:37 KJV)  All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
 
(Rom 3:27 KJV)  Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith.
 
The Christian is justified by faith in the blood of Jesus Christ, and this faith is a gift from God. Consequently, all boasting and pride is set aside.
 
(Rom 3:28 KJV)  Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
 
The Christian is justified by faith. He is predestined to be saved by God, called to salvation by God, justified by the free gift of faith by God, and will stand at the Judgment Seat of Christ in a new glorified body by the grace of God. It is all by grace and not of works, lest any man boast.
 
It is the arrogance of man to think that he can convince someone to “get saved” by presenting a good argument for a person to “get born again”.  Spiritual regeneration is a supernatural work of God, and includes the granting of the  “measure of faith” to the spiritually regenerated person.
 
(Rom 3:29 KJV)  Is he the God of the Jews only? is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also:
 
Paul asks the question if God was the God of the Jews only or also the Gentiles. He answers his rhetorical question in the affirmative that God is the God of both Jews and Gentiles.
 
(Rom 3:30 KJV)  Seeing it is one God, which shall justify the circumcision by faith, and uncircumcision through faith.
 
Paul calls the Jews “the circumcision” and the Gentiles “uncircumcision” since circumcision was a Jewish rite. This verse states that the Jews are justified by faith, just as the Gentiles are justified by faith. Paul is going into a great amount of detail about the justification by faith, but we must remember that there is also a justification by works, as explained in detail in the book of James. The justification by faith is the work of God and pertains to the spirit of man. The justification by works is the work of man and pertains to the soul of man. The difference between the two is the difference between grace and works.
 
(Rom 3:31 KJV)  Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.
 
Does the law of faith nullify the law of God? Absolutely not, but instead the law of God is established. Is the Christian required to keep the law now that he has been born again and received the imputed righteousness of Christ. Absolutely, all Christians are commanded to obey the law of God. However, when we fail we now have the cleansing power of the blood of Christ to keep us clean and blameless before God. Before any Christian enters into heaven, he will stand clean and pure before the Lord Jesus Christ. It will be necessary for many Christians to be cleansed and purified at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but all will come through the fire clean and pure. There will not be anything left of the old life for many Christians, yet they will be in heaven spotless and clean.
 
(Rom 4:1 KJV)  What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found?
 
Paul asks the question of what Abraham learned in regarding to his justification by faith.
 
(Rom 4:2 KJV)  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
 
Paul’s answer is that Abraham learned humility in not being able to take credit for his salvation.
 
(Rom 4:3 KJV)  For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
 
Paul quotes the Scripture that Abraham believed God, and the righteousness of God was credited to him.
 
(Rom 4:4 KJV)  Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
 
Paul states the obvious to nail down the fact that Abraham was saved by the grace of God and it was not a debt that God owed Abraham.
 
(Rom 4:5 KJV)  But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.
 
Paul again states the fact that justification is by faith and not out of works to receive the imputed righteousness of Christ.
 
(Rom 4:6 KJV)  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
 
Paul even states that David described this salvation by the grace of God without works.
 
(Rom 4:7 KJV)  Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
 
It is great blessing to be forgiven our wicked deeds and to have our sins atoned for or covered.
 
(Rom 4:8 KJV)  Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.
 
The Christian who is born again spiritually is greatly blessed, since he will not be charged with the fault or penalty of sin. Instead, the righteousness of God is imputed or credited to this individual, and this brings numerous blessings upon this individual as a member of the family of God.
 
(Rom 4:9 KJV)  Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.
 
Paul now asks the question if the blessedness of escaping from the penalty of sin is for Jews only or upon Gentiles also. This question is asked since Abraham was the father of the Jews and faith was credited to Abraham for righteousness. Righteousness was imputed to Abraham because of his faith—a gift from God—and not because he was a Jew.
 
(Rom 4:10 KJV)  How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.
 
Paul then asked the question if the faith of Abraham was credited to him before or after he was circumcised. The answer is he was credited with the righteousness of God by faith before he received the Jewish rite of circumcision.
 
(Rom 4:11 KJV)  And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:
 
After Abraham received the imputed righteousness of God by believing God, he then received the sign of circumcision, a Jewish sign that the person intended to rid himself of the old flesh nature. The sign of circumcision among the Jews was the same as the sign of baptism among the Church. Circumcision depicts cutting away the old flesh nature in the believer, and baptism depicts the dying to the old flesh nature and allowing Christ to live through him. Abraham took the sign of circumcision out of obedience to God, so that he might become the father of all that believe—even the ones who are not Jews. Abraham was literally the father of all the Jews, but his obedience to God in taking the sign of circumcision gained him the title of being called the father of all of God’s children, which includes the Church.
 
Just as the physical act of circumcision does not make one practically righteous, the physical act of baptism does not make one practically righteous. Circumcision for the Jew and baptism for the Christian are only outward signs that a person is to pursue holiness or practical righteousness. Neither of these physical acts makes a person holy and blameless. The acts are meaningless if the person does not actively seek the kingdom of God and his righteousness until the end of one’s life on earth.
 
(Rom 4:12 KJV)  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.
 
Abraham’s obedience to God resulted in him being called the father of Church members who were also justified by faith in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Abraham was justified by faith when he left Ur of the Chaldees. Abraham was justified by works when he offered his only son Isaac upon the altar in obedience to God. The justification by faith pertains to the spirit and the covenant of grace. The justification by works pertains to the soul and the covenant of works.
 
(Rom 4:13 KJV)  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.
 
Abraham is the literal father of the Jews and the spiritual father of the Church. The imputed righteousness that Abraham received is the same imputed righteousness that we have received. The promise to Abraham about being the heir of the world is the same promise to overcoming Christians that the “meek” shall inherit the earth. Please note the conditional word “should” for Abraham to be the heir of the world. Just as there was a justification by works required for Abraham to realize his inheritance, there is also a justification by works for Christians to inherit the earth. We have the promise of inheriting the earth, but we must be faithful to realize this inheritance. This is the reason for the conditional phrase “should be the heir of the world”. The Sermon on the Mount contains the criteria for Christians to realize this inheritance. Please read my exegetical discourse on The Sermon on the Mount  for an understanding of the difference between heaven and the Kingdom of Heaven.
 
(Rom 4:14 KJV)  For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:
 
Paul is using the phrase “of the law” here to refer to those of the “circumcision”, which refers to Jews. Paul is referring to qualifying as an “heir of the world”, which is referred to in the previous verse. He asks if the Jews are automatic heirs of the earth because of their familial relationship as Jews. Paul states that if this is true, then the justification by faith is useless, and the promise of the inheritance of the earth to the faithful ones is inoperative.
 
Please note that Paul separates heirship from actually receiving the inheritance in this verse. All Christians are heirs of God, but not all Christians will actually realize the inheritance of reigning and ruling over the earth. This will be addressed more in detail later in this discourse, but the following passage distinguishes between being a child of God (i.e., heir of God) and being a joint-heir with Christ. Please note in this passage the big “if” and the conditional “may”:
 
(Rom 8:16 KJV)  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
(Rom 8:17 KJV)  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
(Rom 8:18 KJV)  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
 
All Christians are heirs of God, but we will be a joint-heir with Christ, “IF SO BE THAT WE SUFFER WITH HIM, THAT WE MAY BE ALSO GLORIFIED TOGETHER.
 
(Rom 4:15 KJV)  Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.
 
The presentation of the law (i.e., the commands and oracles of God) to the Jews was not capable of making one an heir of God, because no one was able to keep it. The presentation of the law to the Jews simply confirmed that all of the Jews—and the Gentiles—were transgressors of the law. The law simply revealed our depravity and the fact that we were all spiritually dead in trespasses and sins. We—Jews and Gentiles—were all completely helpless to bring about reconciliation to God. God had to take the initiative in bringing us to spiritual life and giving us the gift of faith.
 
(Rom 4:16 KJV)  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,
 
Therefore, being an heir of God comes from faith, which is by grace, and this means that the promise of receiving the earth as an inheritance is to every one of God’s seed—whether Jew or Gentile. It is very important to see that the promise pertains to all of God’s seed, but the promise is that if we suffer with Christ because of our faithfulness THEN WE WILL RECEIVE THE INHERITANCE OF THE EARTH. The promise is very clear in the Scriptures:
 
1.      No suffering!  No reigning!
2.      No faithfulness! No entrance into the kingdom!
3.      No sacrifice! No inheritance!
 
(Gen 22:15 KJV)  And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,
(Gen 22:16 KJV)  And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:
(Gen 22:17 KJV)  That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;
(Gen 22:18 KJV)  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.
 
Please note that it was because of Abraham’s obedience that his “seed shall possess the gate of his enemies”. Possessing the gate refers to reigning and ruling over them. To sit in the gate refers to reigning and ruling over a city.
 
(Rom 4:17 KJV)  (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.
 
Please note that God made Abraham “a father of many nations”. It was God who quickened (i.e., made alive) Abraham and gave Abraham the gift of faith. Salvation is the work of God and not man, in accordance with the following passage of Scripture:
 
(John 1:13 KJV)  Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
 
(Rom 4:18 KJV)  Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.
 
God had told Abraham that he would be the father of many nations, but Abraham was in his nineties and still maintained the hope that he would have a son. Abraham was strong in faith and he believed that God would do what He had promised, even if a long time had elapsed since the promise was made.
 
(Rom 4:19 KJV)  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:
 
Abraham was not weak in faith, so he did not even consider the fact that he was almost a hundred years old and his powers of procreation were dead. He also did not even consider that Sarah was past the age of child bearing. God told Abraham that he would have a son, and Abraham believed God.
 
(Rom 4:20 KJV)  He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;
 
Abraham believed the promise of God and did not waiver in his faith in what God had promised. Abraham gave glory to God for what God was going to do in his life.
 
(Rom 4:21 KJV)  And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.
 
Abraham believed that God was able to perform what he had promised—even though Abraham and Sarah were no longer fruitful for bearing children.
 
(Rom 4:22 KJV)  And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.
 
Abraham received the imputed righteousness of God because he believed God’s promises to him when he left Ur. This is the justification by faith that brings about spirit salvation. We know that later Abraham received the justification by works when he offered his only son Isaac up to God as a sacrifice. We see the two aspects of Abraham’s salvation of spirit and soul in the following two verses:
 
(Rom 4:2 KJV)  For if Abraham were justified by works, he hath whereof to glory; but not before God.
 
Abraham realized spirit salvation when he was justified by faith. We have already seen in the previous verses how spirit salvation is effected by the justification by faith.
 
(James 2:21 KJV)  Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar?
 
Abraham realized soul salvation when he was justified by works. The whole book of James addresses soul salvation and the justification by works.
 
(Rom 4:23 KJV)  Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;
 
The justification by faith was not only for Abraham, but for all Christians elected by God before the foundation of the earth was laid.
 
(Rom 4:24 KJV)  But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
 
The imputed righteousness of God was for all the elect who believe God the Father delivered his only begotten son Jesus Christ unto death for our offences. Also, Jesus was raised to life again to make it possible for us to realize the justification by works—the salvation of our soul. This is seen in the following verses where Paul makes the transition from spirit salvation to soul salvation and the realization of glory in the coming kingdom.
 
(Rom 4:25 KJV)  Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.
 
“Delivered for our offences” addresses the substitutionary death of Jesus Christ to effect our spirit salvation. “Raised again for our justification” addresses the salvation of our souls through the life of Christ. Just as Jesus Christ experienced resurrected life, the Christian is also to realize the resurrected life of Christ. This is what Paul meant in the following Scripture passage:
 
(Phil 3:10 KJV)  That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
 
Paul wanted to experience the resurrected life of Christ in his life. The Christian must first die to self in order to experience the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. In order to realize new life and the salvation of the soul, a Christian must first take up his cross and die to self. If the Christian does this, then he will realize the salvation of his soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. If the Christian does not take up his cross and die to self, then his life or soul will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 5:1 KJV)  Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
 
Paul reiterates that all Christians have “peace with God” as a result of the justification by faith. In the following verse, Paul states that he and his faithful fellow Christians also have access by this same faith to something more than just being saved and going to heaven.
 
(Rom 5:2 KJV)  By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.
 
Since Paul and his fellow faithful Christians were justified by faith, they “also” had ACCESS BY FAITH (i.e., faithfulness) into another special gift (i.e., grace) in which they were standing steadfast and unwavering. They were not merely saved by grace, but they were now in a position to realize the glory of God and share in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ. They were rejoicing in the hope that they would qualify for this glory. The Greek word for “glory” in this verse refers to the kingly majesty that belongs to Jesus as the supreme ruler of the heavens and the earth. Christians who are justified by faith have access to the gift of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ, but the requirement is faithfulness to the Lord. This sharing in the kingdom with Jesus Christ is not automatic for all Christians, but it is reserved for faithful Christians who suffer with Jesus Christ.
 
All Christians will receive glorified bodies but not all will share in the glory that belongs to Jesus Christ as the coming King over the earth. This is why this verse says that they are rejoicing “in HOPE of the glory of God”. A hope is not a certainty, as many pastors and teachers erroneously assert. Paul and his fellow Christians hoped that they would be steadfast in faithfulness, so they would share in the millennial reign of Jesus Christ.
 
This is why Christians are commanded to “seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness”. If the kingdom were already theirs, then there would be no need to seek after it.
 
(Rom 5:3 KJV)  And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;
 
Paul continues to explain the efforts that they are making to enter the kingdom by explaining that they “glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience.” Paul desired to go through tribulations, so that he would grow in patience and remain steadfast in the faith—even unto the saving of the soul and entrance into the kingdom of heaven.
 
(Rom 5:4 KJV)  And patience, experience; and experience, hope:
 
The following Greek word for “patience” shows the goal of Paul in growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, so he would be found faithful at the Judgment Seat of Christ:
 
5281 hupomone-
 
1) steadfastness, constancy, endurance
    a) in the New Testament, the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his        deliberate purpose and his loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings
    b) patiently, and steadfastly
2) a patient, steadfast waiting for
3) a patient enduring, sustaining, perseverance
 
The Greek word for “experience” means an approved, tried character—a specimen of tried worth. It was Paul’s desire and hope to be approved at the Judgment Seat of Christ, so he could share in the glory of Jesus Christ and reign in his kingdom. It was this hope that kept Paul on the right path, and made him steadfast in his faithfulness to Jesus Christ. Paul states in the following verse that it is this hope that will make him “not ashamed” at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This happens because he will be filled with the agape love of God that is spread throughout these Christians, as they are filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit and not their own flesh natures.
 
(Rom 5:5 KJV)  And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.
 
Unfortunately, many Christians will shrink back in shame at the Judgment Seat of Christ, but if they have this hope of reigning and ruling with Jesus Christ, then they will remain steadfast in their faithfulness and be filled with the agape love of God, which comes from the Holy Spirit.
 
(Rom 5:6 KJV)  For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.
 
Paul reiterates the unconditional grace of God demonstrated by Jesus Christ in dying for the elect. Paul emphasizes the helplessness of man in doing anything to earn his own spiritual salvation. “For when we were yet without strength” shows man’s total inability to do anything towards our spirit salvation.
 
(Rom 5:7 KJV)  For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.
 
Paul exalts the fact that Jesus Christ died for us sinners by the comparison with a normal man who would die with great difficulty for a righteous man, and one might even die for a likeable fellow. But it is unthinkable that a normal man would die for a worthless sinner such as we.
 
(Rom 5:8 KJV)  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
 
God showed his love toward us in having his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to die for us. Paul is stating how amazing it is that Jesus Christ would die for the elect, who are unrighteous and not even very good-natured or likeable. Jesus Christ died for people such as Son of Sam, Jeffrey Dahmer, Susan Atkins, Tex Watson and other heinous villains who became Christians after despicable acts of violence and depravity. God unconditionally elected all of these to salvation, and their behavior demonstrates dramatically the unconditional aspect of election.
 
(Rom 5:9 KJV)  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
 
In this verse Paul completes the transition from spirit salvation, which occurred in the past for Paul and these Christians, to soul salvation, which is present and continuing into the future. The “we” in this verse refers to Paul and the Roman Christians being addressed in this epistle. Paul clearly states that they are all “now justified by his blood” and this refers to the justification by faith that they all had experienced. Spirit salvation is effected by the death of Christ, and the blood is the evidence presented to God that Jesus died. The clause “we shall be saved from wrath through him” refers to soul salvation and the escape from the “wrath” of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Just as spirit salvation is effected by the death of Christ, soul salvation is effected by the life of Christ. When we are born again spiritually, we believe that the death of Christ was a substitute for us. At that point our spirits are regenerated and we are made alive spiritually and receive the imputed righteousness of Christ. We are then reconciled to God and have peace with God.
 
The imputed righteousness of Christ is only the beginning of our Christian life. We must then crucify the old flesh nature and allow the life of Christ to be worked out in our lives. This results in soul salvation, which is a salvation from the wrath or anger of God at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Paul clearly states the two salvations by the death of Christ and the life of Christ in the following verse in our study of Romans.
 
(Rom 5:10 KJV)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
 
Paul states that when we were the enemies of God, we received reconciliation or atonement by the death of God’s Son, Jesus Christ. But Paul states that there is “much more” to this than just being reconciled by the death of Jesus Christ. There is another aspect of salvation that can be obtained by the life of Jesus Christ. This second aspect of salvation is something to be sought after now and completed in the future, for Paul states “we shall be saved by his life”. Paul very clearly states in this verse that Christians have been reconciled to God by the death of Jesus Christ, but there is an additional benefit of being “saved by his life”. This additional benefit is clearly soul salvation that is addressed in numerous Scriptures in both the Old and New Testaments. The following is one passage in 1 Peter that addresses soul salvation:
 
(1 Pet 1:3 KJV)  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
(1 Pet 1:4 KJV)  To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you,
(1 Pet 1:5 KJV)  Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.
(1 Pet 1:6 KJV)  Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:
(1 Pet 1:7 KJV)  That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:
(1 Pet 1:8 KJV)  Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory:
(1 Pet 1:9 KJV)  Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.
 
(Rom 5:10 KJV)  For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.
(Rom 5:11 KJV)  And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.
 
Verse 10 is repeated above to keep the context flowing into verse 11. A good paraphrase of verse 11 is as follows:
 
(Rom 5:11 Paraphrase) And not only shall our lives be conformed to the life of Christ in the future, but we can also glorify God now through the power of the Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have already received this reconciliation.
 
These two verses state in order the following:
 
1. We were reconciled to God by the death of his Son. (Escape from the penalty of sin)
2. We shall all receive new lives because of the life of Christ. We shall all be like him. (Escape from the power of sin)
3. Even more than this, we shall all glorify (i.e., praise and worship) God through the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, who made this reconciliation possible.
 
(Rom 5:12 KJV)  Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:
 
Paul explains where sin came from and how sin entered the world through the disobedience of one man, Adam. The sin nature was passed down from Adam through the blood to all of mankind. Since Adam was the father of all living humans—except for One—the sin nature has infected all of humanity. One human being escaped this sin nature, but it required a virgin birth to effect it. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ is not only true, but it was absolutely necessary for Jesus Christ to escape the sin nature of mankind. The virgin birth of Jesus Christ and the fact that his blood contains 24 chromosomes—23 from Mary, and one Y chromosome from the Holy Spirit—was necessary to prevent the tainted blood from Adam being passed down to Jesus Christ. The blood of Jesus Christ was literally the blood from God and not from man. Jesus Christ also received the full measure of the Spirit of God. Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. Jesus is the name of his human nature, and Christ is the name of his God nature.
 
NOTE: It is very important to understand that only two individuals died spiritually from the actual commission of sin—Adam and Eve. Adam and Eve were spiritually alive, and both died spiritually when they disobeyed God and ate of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The rest of humanity—except for Jesus Christ—were born spiritually dead. Jesus Christ also died spiritually, but not from the commission of sin. He died spiritually because of our sin and not his sin. Thus, NO HUMAN CAN EVER DIE A SPIRITUAL DEATH. Christians were born spiritually dead and were quickened or made alive spiritually—never to die again spiritually. All unsaved reprobates were born spiritually dead and will never be quickened or made alive spiritually, so THEY WILL NEVER DIE SPIRITUALLY either. Consequently, all verses in the Bible that speak of persons dying or perishing because of the commission of sin are not addressing spiritual death. A human being can only die a physical death or a soulical death. Physical death occurs in this life and the death of the soul occurs at the Judgment Seat of Christ—unless the Christian crucifies self in this life. Thus, the following verse is addressing the death of the souls of Christians and not the spirits of unsaved reprobates:
 
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
“Wages” is a reward or recompense for behavior. The reward or recompense for living a sinful life on the part of a Christian is the death of the soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. We have seen that “eternal life” pertains to the soul and not the spirit.
 
(Rom 5:13 KJV)  (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.
 
Even though the fall of man into sin took place in the Garden of Eden, the sin of the fall was not imputed or actually credited to humankind until the receipt of the law of God in the Ten Commandments.
 
(Rom 5:14 KJV)  Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.
 
This verse confirms that death reigned from Adam to Moses, even though no one actually died spiritually from his own sin. All were born spiritually dead because of Adam’s sin.
 
Even though sin was not imputed until the giving of the law, death from sin reigned from Adam to Moses. This was true even for those who did not sin knowingly after the manner of Adam. Adam was not tainted with the sin nature until he knowingly sinned against God. Adam had free will to sin or not to sin, but he chose sin. The rest of humankind does not have this free will to sin or to not sin, but sins automatically without the ability to discontinue sinning. It is only after a believer is spiritually regenerated that his will is released from bondage, and he can choose to escape the power of sin in his life.
 
(Rom 5:15 KJV)  But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
 
Just as the sin of Adam brought about spiritual death for everyone, AND MANY ARE STILL SPIRITUALLY DEAD (i.e., many be dead), the grace of God and the gift by grace resulted in many being brought back to spiritual life. This verse is one of the proof texts for limited atonement. Jesus Christ died for many, and not for every single solitary human being. This is also confirmed in the following verse:
 
(Matt 20:28 KJV) Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
 
(Rom 5:16 KJV)  And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.
 
The NIV translates this verse very well as follows:
 
(Rom 5:16 NIV)  Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man's sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
 
This verse refers to the justification by faith. One sin brought about the downfall of all men, but the gift of God atoned for many sins and brought about the justification by faith for many.
 
(Rom 5:17 KJV)  For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)
 
This verse again makes a transition to soul salvation for ones that have the imputed righteousness (i.e., gift of righteousness) of Christ. This verse states that “they which receive abundance of grace” AND “of the gift of righteousness” shall exercise the highest influence and have self-control in their Christian life. “Abundance of grace” means that there is the superabundance of the divine influence upon the heart in the life of this Christian. The Christian that has this abundance of divine influence upon his life—in addition to the “gift of righteousness”—shall have power over sin in his life, and this power comes through the life of Jesus Christ. Please remember from the introduction to this discourse that the “gift of righteousness” (i.e., imputed righteousness) delivers one from the penalty of sin, but the Christian that allows the divine influence upon his heart in abundance is delivered from the power of sin in his life. This Christian will “reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.”
 
(Rom 5:18 KJV)  Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.
 
Paul continues with the transition from spirit salvation to soul salvation by stating that in the same manner that one’s righteousness resulted in spirit salvation (i.e., imputed righteousness), the free gift of God came upon all kinds of men unto justification of life. The Greek word eis translated “unto” means unto or toward the “justification of life.” The justification of life is soul salvation, which comes about through the justification by works explained in James, 1 Peter, Hebrews, 1 John and in hundreds of Scriptures throughout the Bible. The Christian that realizes the “justification of life” is the one that receives the crown of life addressed in Revelation. Jesus warns Christians not to allow their crown of life to be taken away in the following verse of Scripture:
 
(Rev 2:10 KJV)  Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.
 
James, the brother of Jesus, also explains how the crown of life is won by enduring temptation and being an overcomer when one is tried at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(James 1:12 KJV)  Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
 
NOTE: THE CROWN OF LIFE IS THE REWARD FOR FAITHFULNESS, AND IS NOT ACCORDED TO EVERYONE.
 
(Rom 5:19 KJV)  For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.
 
This verse can be paraphrased as follows:
 
(Rom 5:19 Paraphrase) Just as Adam’s disobedience makes many Christians live or exhibit themselves as preeminently sinful, the obedience of Jesus Christ makes many Christians exhibit themselves living righteously.
 
In this verse Paul is addressing the way many Christians continue to sin because they have not been delivered from the power of sin in their lives, but many Christians live righteously because of the obedience of Jesus Christ. This verse must be understood in its context.
 
The following Scripture passage explains eternal life in detail, but it must be read and studied in context, since the summation verse 6:23 is often incorrectly used as a proof text for spiritual rebirth.  The passage is actually addressed to Christians exhorting them to be faithful, so they will attain unto eternal life.  The whole passage will be addressed verse by verse in order to follow through with the purpose of the whole passage, which is to cause the ones being addressed to crucify the old flesh nature and allow Christ to live in them.  If these Christians are able to do this, then the end result will be eternal life.  If they are not able to do this, then they will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 5:20 KJV)  Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
 
When God’s moral precepts were given, transgression increased since man was now violating the law.  He was doing the same thing before the law was given, but there was no law to violate.  Example:  A 15 year-old who drove a car before a license was required was not breaking the law.  When the drivers license law was made, the 15 year-old was then transgressing the law.
 
Grace is the divine influence upon the heart and its reflection in the life.  When sin abounded, God’s divine influence superabounded.
 
(Rom 5:21 KJV)  That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by (i.e., through) Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
The reign of sin in a person’s life leads unto death.  This is the death of the soul and not the body, and it pertains to the Christian.  That is who Paul is addressing, so it would be foolish for him to be warning them about something that could not happen to them.
 
Since sin in the life of the Christian causes death of the soul, Paul states that it is possible for the divine influence of God to change this end result of the death of the soul into righteousness and eternal life.  This comes about through grace or the divine influence of God on our life.  This divine influence causes us to live righteously, and we do this through Jesus Christ who lives His life through us.
 
(Rom 6:1 KJV)  What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?
 
Should we continue in sin so we can receive more divine influence?  Paul is asking a rhetorical question to make a point.  The following verses address the point.
 
(Rom 6:2 KJV)  God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?
 
The answer to Paul’s rhetorical question is absolutely not.  If we have died to our old natures, then how can we continue in sin.  It is the old nature that causes us to sin.  The new spirit nature does not sin and cannot commit sin (1 John 3:9).
 
(Rom 6:3 KJV)  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
 
Paul is addressing Christians, and he makes the point that not all Christians have been baptized into the death of Christ.  Paul is talking about the Christians who have repented, which water baptism is a picture of this repentance or death unto the old nature.  Even though baptism is an act that pictures our death unto the old self, actually dying to the old self is an hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute, continuous action that we must perform.
 
(Rom 6:4 KJV)  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
 
If we have died to our old selves, and we were serious about this death, then we should also walk in newness of life.  This walking in newness of life is the salvation of the soul, and it is the eternal life that this passage of Scripture is addressing.  The Greek word aionios zoe (eternal life) is used twice in this passage in Rom. 5:21 and Rom 6:22.
 
(Rom 6:5 KJV)  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
 
Paul is saying that if we have really died to the old self, then our lives will reflect the life of Jesus Christ.  The “if” is very big, since many Christians do not crucify the old nature.  Crucifying the old nature is a lot of work, and it is very painful.  It requires suffering on the part of the Christian.
 
The above three verses are given in context as follows to make a point about death and its pertinence to the soul.
 
(Rom 6:3 KJV)  Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
(Rom 6:4 KJV)  Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
(Rom 6:5 KJV)  For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:
 
The use of death in each of these three verses pertains to the death of the soul.  This passage of Scripture is referring to the death of self in order for Christ to live His life through us.  The Christian’s soul must perish or die now in order to have his soul saved at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 6:6 KJV)  Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.
 
Paul calls the old nature the “old man” and he states that crucifying the old man is able to destroy the “body of sin.”  The “body of sin” is that which is in us (i.e., the old nature) that causes us to sin.  The Greek word for body here means that which casts the shadow rather than the shadow itself.  In other words, we crucify the old man to destroy that which is in us that causes us to sin.  This is more than just getting cleansed from our sin.  It means that we don’t sin when we have crucified the old man.  Of course, we still sin, since we are never 100% in crucifying the old nature, but it is a progressive spiritual growth where we sin less and less.  The ironic part of this is even though we sin less and less, the more we have Christ living is us, the more we will discern the depravity of the old nature that lives within us, and we are humbled more and more by this spiritual growth.  This is why the Christian who sees himself as being a wonderful Christian is probably not doing so well in his spiritual walk with the Lord, and the Christian who agonizes over his sin is probably very spiritual in his walk with the Lord.
 
(Rom 6:7 KJV)  For he that is dead is freed from sin.
 
The Christian who has died to his old nature is no longer a slave to this old nature, and he is no longer subject to doing what this old nature wants to do.  “He that is dead” would be the Christian who has purposed in his heart to serve the Lord with all of his heart, mind and soul.  He sins less and less as he grows spiritually, and he constantly calls upon the Lord to cleanse him from the sins that he does commit.  It is because of this continuous cleansing action by the Lord that a Christian can walk spotless and blameless before the Lord.  It is the attitude of the heart that matters.
 
(Rom 6:8 KJV)  Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him:
 
Paul states here that if we have died to self, then we can live a new life that is in union with Christ (i.e., “live with him”).  It is the same as the following Scripture:
 
(Col 1:27 KJV)  To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
(Col 1:28 KJV)  Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus:
(Col 1:29 KJV)  Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily.
 
Christ in us is the hope of glory.  This glory is the glory received with the laying hold on eternal life. There are two kinds of glory that will be realized at the Judgment Seat of Christ. All Christians will receive a glorified body. Some Christians will receive glory and honor at the Judgment Seat of Christ because of their faithfulness in serving the Lord.
 
(Rom 6:9 KJV)  Knowing that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over him.
 
Paul is using the analogy of Christ who has been raised from the dead and he will die no more.  If the Christian has died to self and Christ lives in him, then he will not perish or die at the judgment seat of Christ.  The analogy pertains to the soul or life and not the spirit that was regenerated in us when we were born again spiritually.  There is a big “if” in the previous verse. The majority of Christians do not die to the old self even though they have been born again or regenerated spiritually.
 
(Rom 6:10 KJV)  For in that he died, he died unto sin once: but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God.
 
This passage is using Christ as an example to follow for the Christians being addressed.  It states that Christ became sin and died, but now He lives, and He lives as God.
 
(Rom 6:11 KJV)  Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
These Christians are told to do likewise.  They are to reckon, consider or judge themselves as dead to their old sinful nature, and to live as God by allowing Jesus Christ to live His life through them.  This is a work that these Christians must do.  It is not something that happens automatically.
 
(Rom 6:12 KJV)  Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.
 
These Christians are exhorted not to let sin reign in their bodies.  He tells them not to yield to the lusts in their bodies.  Christians are tempted by the same lusts that tempt the unsaved person, but Christians do not have to yield to these lusts.  The unsaved person has no choice.  If sin could not reign in these Christians lives, then Paul would not be exhorting them to prevent it from happening.
 
(Rom 6:13 KJV)  Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God.
 
These Christians are exhorted to not yield the members of their bodies as instruments of unrighteousness.  Instead, they are to yield their bodies unto God as instruments of righteousness.  A Christian has the choice in this matter.  He can either live a life of unrighteousness or he can live a life of righteousness.  As a spiritually alive individual, he can have power over sin, but he must choose to exercise this power by crucifying the old flesh nature, and allowing the new spirit nature to take control.  The person who has not been spiritually regenerated does not have the new spirit nature from God, and it is impossible for him to live in righteousness.
 
(Rom 6:14 KJV)  For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.
 
The Christian who has been spiritually regenerated under grace does not have to be dominated by sin.  The law has been fulfilled by the death of Jesus in atoning for sin, so the law has no control over the Christian.
 
(Rom 6:15 KJV)  What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.
 
Since the law has been fulfilled by Jesus, does this give the Christian the freedom to sin without consequence.  Absolutely not!  The following verse gives the consequence of sinning by those Christians who have been born again under grace.
 
(Rom 6:16 KJV)  Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?
 
Paul is still addressing Christians, and he states that if these Christians yield themselves to sin, then they are the servants of sin, and they will die (i.e., perish).  They may also choose to be obedient unto righteousness, which also has a consequence, which is eternal life or glory, honor, and immortality (i.e., soul salvation). This righteousness is practical righteousness, and not the imputed righteousness that we received when we were born again spiritually.
 
The above verse very clearly warns Christians against the possibility of soul death if they serve sin in their lives. If the Christian obeys the sin nature in his life, he will suffer soul death.  If he is an obedient Christian, he will experience righteousness of character, and his soul will not die.
 
(Rom 6:17 KJV)  But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
 
Paul is thankful to God that these Christians he is addressing were servants of sin, but they have now “obeyed from the heart” the doctrine that they had been taught.  It is important to note that these Christians had not only believed in Jesus Christ, but they had become obedient to Biblical doctrine.  They cannot become obedient to Biblical doctrine until they learn what this doctrine is.  A Christian must study the Bible to become obedient to it.  Most Christians today do not study their Bibles.  They pick and choose certain verses that pertain to faithful Christians, and take them out of context to apply them to all Christians. For example, most Christians take this passage of Romans and say that all Christians have died to self.  This is simply not true.
 
(Rom 6:18 KJV)  Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.
 
By becoming obedient to Biblical doctrine, these Christians had been made free from sin, and had become servants of righteousness.  They had become faithful Christians, by studying the Bible and obeying it.  This is confirmed as being the method to save the soul in the following verse:
 
(James 1:21 KJV)  Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.
 
(Rom 6:19 KJV)  I speak after the manner of men because of the infirmity of your flesh: for as ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness.
 
Paul continues to exhort them to yield themselves as servants to righteousness just as they had yielded themselves as servants to uncleanness and iniquity unto iniquity.  If they do this, they will continue in righteousness unto holiness or sanctification, or soul salvation.  If Christians could not yield themselves to unrighteousness, then Paul would not be warning them against doing it.
 
(Rom 6:20 KJV)  For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness.
 
When they were servants to sin, they had no righteousness.  This is true of numerous Christians today.  They have been born again spiritually, but they are servants to sin.  They have not the righteousness or righteous character that this passage is addressing, and they are not progressing in sanctification or holiness.  They do have the imputed righteousness of Christ, but the practical righteousness in the life of the Christian has not yet been realized.  If they continue without this practical righteousness, they will perish at the judgment seat of Christ, and the practical righteousness will then be established in them by Christ.  Unfortunately, they will have lost the glory, honor and immortality that define eternal life.  This is confirmed in verse 22 below.
 
(Rom 6:21 KJV)  What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is death.
 
Paul says that when they were servants to sin, they did not have any fruit.  The fruit is in reference to the fruit of the spirit.  The end for those Christians who are servants to sin is death.  This is the destruction or the perishing of the soul that the Bible warns Christians about. This verse speaks of soul death as the end of living a life in accordance with the sin nature.  The fruit of such a lifestyle is the death of the soul.
 
(Rom 6:22 KJV)  But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life.
 
This verse confirms that the Christian must not only believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, but he must be made free from sin by becoming servants of God.  This results in fruit bearing unto holiness, and the end result is eternal life (i.e., aiones zoe or everlasting life).
 
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
Paul sums up the discourse by saying that the wages of sin for the Christian is death (i.e., destruction or perishing), but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Thus, eternal life is realized by the life of Jesus Christ living in the Christian, who has yielded himself as a servant of God.  The Christian is spiritually saved when he believes in the atoning death of Jesus Christ.  He attains unto eternal life by the life of Christ.  Our spirits are saved by the death of Christ, but our souls are saved by the life of Christ.  Soul salvation and eternal life are one and the same.  Spirit salvation is the same as the new birth experience.  Spirit salvation depends strictly upon the grace of God.  Soul salvation depends upon the Christian’s life after he is born again spiritually.  Soul salvation is a gift from God through His Son Jesus Christ, but the Christian must lay hold onto it by how he lives his life.
 
Verse 23 is a warning to Christians and not to the unsaved as so many people think.  Eternal life is something that the Christian must lay hold onto, and it does not happen automatically.
 
(Rom 6:23 KJV)  For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
This verse also reiterates that the payment for a life of sin is the death of the soul.  The Christian has a choice to make.  He can live in accordance with the old nature and die, or he can live his life in accordance with the life of Christ, and he will attain unto or lay hold onto eternal life.  Eternal life pertains to the soul and not the spirit.
 
The fruit of death is also shown in the following verses, which describe the Law of Sin and Death.
 
(Rom 7:1 KJV)  Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
 
This verse is addressing the soul of the Christian. The law of sin and death has dominion over a Christian as long as he lives. This is why the Christian must die to self.  If the Christian crucifies himself (i.e., dies to self), then the law of sin and death no longer has dominion over him. He is freed from the law to live his life in accordance with the wishes and desires of his spirit nature.
 
(Rom 7:2 KJV)  For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.
 
Paul uses the example of a woman who has a husband to illustrate the Law of Sin and Death. The woman is bound by the law to her husband as long as he is alive. When her husband dies, she is loosed from the Law of Sin and Death. The Christian is similar in that when his soul dies, he is loosed from the Law of Sin and Death.
 
(Rom 7:3 KJV)  So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

In a similar manner, a Christian cannot be married to Christ until “the old man” dies. The Christian must first crucify the old man in order to release the new man in Christ.
 
(Rom 7:4 KJV)  Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.
 
Paul continues to explain that the Christian who crucifies his flesh nature and dies to self is able to do this by or through the means of the body or the life of Christ. The Christian does this in order to be married to Christ, who was raised from the dead. The Christian does this so he can bear or bring forth fruit unto God. This verse is proof text that not all Christians will be the bride of Christ simply because all Christians do not die to self.
 
(Rom 7:5 KJV)  For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sins, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death.
 
Paul clarifies that when Christians are in the flesh, the motions or afflictions of sin did work in their bodies to bring forth fruit unto death. Please note that these warnings are to Christians about bringing forth fruit unto death, and the death is of the soul, and not the body or the spirit.
 
(Rom 7:6 KJV)  But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
 
Paul states that they are now delivered from the law because they have died to self. Since their souls have died, they are no longer subject to the law of sin and death. Paul emphasizes that this is something that they must continue doing by serving in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. This newness of spirit means the new state of life that results from the death of the old man and allowing the new man to live in accordance with the life of Christ.  This results in eternal life, which pertains to the soul and not the spirit.
 
(1 Tim 6:11-12 KJV)  But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. {12} Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
 
All Christians are called to eternal life but only some of them fight the good fight of faith in order to lay hold on it.
 
(Rom 7:7 KJV)  What shall we say then? is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.
 
Paul asks the rhetorical question if the law of God was sin. Paul answers his question in the emphatic by saying “God forbid”. The purpose of the commandments of God was for us to recognize sin.
 
Note: It is very important to note that the following verses are still addressing the Law of Sin and Death, and the Ten Commandments, as they pertain to the Law of Sin and Death.
 
(Rom 7:8 KJV)  But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
 
When the law came, it awakened or brought about the realization of sin on one’s life. Sin was dead or meaningless, which means that sin was destitute of force or power until the law came to bring our attention to sin.
 
(Rom 7:9 KJV)  For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died.
 
When the law came, sin was brought to the forefront in Paul’s life, and then Paul purposely put to death his old flesh nature. The old flesh nature cannot be reformed, retrained, or changed. It must be killed. THE OLD MAN MUST DIE!
 
(Rom 7:10 KJV)  And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death.
 
The purpose of the law or commandments of God was to bring about life, but Paul found that they first brought death to him. This death was of the old man or the old flesh nature.
 
(Rom 7:11 KJV)  For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me.
 
The commandment of God provided the occasion or opportunity for sin to be magnified in Paul’s life, and helped Paul to see it clearly enough to put his old nature to death.
 
(Rom 7:12 KJV)  Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.
 
The law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good. The law and commandments of God brought about that which was supposed to happen—the death of the self or the soul in Paul’s life and other Christians’ lives.
 
(Rom 7:13 KJV)  Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful.
 
Paul asks the question if that which is good—the law—caused the death of Paul. Paul again emphatically states that it was not the law that caused Paul’s death, but the sinful nature of Paul, which caused his death. The law illuminated the exceedingly sinful nature of Paul, so that Paul could take steps to crucify his old flesh nature.
 
(Rom 7:14 KJV)  For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
 
Paul reiterates that the law is spiritual, but his old man is carnal and subject to sin. He expounds upon the evilness of his fleshly nature in the following verses:
 
(Rom 7:15 KJV)  For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.
 
Paul is referring to his spiritual mindset in Christ. The things he would like to do, his old flesh nature does not do. The things he does not want to do are the things that his old flesh nature does.
 
(Rom 7:16 KJV)  If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.
 
When Paul does the things that he does not want to do, he is in agreement with the law that he should not do them. Paul clarifies in the following verse that his heart is to do that which is in accordance with the law of God, but it is his old flesh nature that causes sin in his life.
 
(Rom 7:17 KJV)  Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 
It is not the new spiritual life in Paul that causes him to sin, but the old flesh nature that he wrestles with continuously.
 
(Rom 7:18 KJV)  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.
 
Paul states that there is nothing good in his old flesh nature. Paul desires to do that which is good, but he does not have the power to do it in himself.
 
(Rom 7:19 KJV)  For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.
 
Paul continues to point out that he does not have the power to do righteous deeds in his own power. He wants to have practical righteousness by doing righteous acts and deeds, but he does not have the power in his own flesh nature to do them. He wants to restrain himself from doing evil deeds, but he does not have the power within himself to not do them.
 
(Rom 7:20 KJV)  Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.
 
The evil that Paul does comes from his flesh nature or the sin nature that is still with him and not from his new spirit nature.
 
(Rom 7:21 KJV)  I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.
 
Paul finds that there is a law that when he wants to do good, evil presents itself. Paul desires to follow his spirit nature, but the flesh nature is always present with him tempting him to do evil. This is true of all Christians, and many give in to the old flesh nature.
 
(Rom 7:22 KJV)  For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:
 
Paul delights or loves the law of God in accordance with his inward man—which is the new man in Christ.
 
(Rom 7:23 KJV)  But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
 
Even though Paul’s inward man wants to do good, there is another law operating in his body that goes contrary to the law of his mind. This law brings him into captivity to sin, which operates in his body.
 
(Rom 7:24 KJV)  O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
 
Paul expresses the frustration with the law of sin and death in his members and asks who will deliver him from the body of death. He answers this rhetorical question in the following verse and in Chapter 8.
 
(Rom 7:25 KJV)  I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.
 
Paul thanks God, who is the one that delivers him through the life of Jesus Christ our Lord. Paul serves the law of God in his mind—even though his flesh nature serves the law of sin. Even though Paul was born again spiritually, he must also appropriate the life of Christ by mentally determining to crucify the old flesh nature on a daily and hourly basis. Paul continues to explain how he is delivered from the body of death in chapter 8.
 
(Rom 8:1 KJV)  There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
Paul continues to answer this question by stating that there is at present no condemnation (i.e., pending adverse judgment) of Christians who walk in accordance with the Spirit nature, and walk not in accordance with the flesh nature. This verse states simply that there is at the present time no adverse judgment pending for those “in Christ Jesus who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” Even though a Christian may not have any adverse judgment pending “now” because he is walking after the Spirit, he may turn away from God and have some adverse judgment at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is the reason for the word “now”. A Christian must be faithful until the end to realize the salvation of his soul. If he becomes unfaithful, his soul will perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
Simply stated, Paul states that there is no adverse judgment pending for the Christian who walks in accordance with his spirit nature. This requires a daily and hourly crucifying of the old flesh nature by choosing to do this. This requires an action by the mind and the will of the Christian, and it requires grit and determination.
 
The transliterated Greek word for “condemnation” is katakrima (kat-ak'-ree-mah) and means an adverse sentence or verdict at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Christians that are currently walking in accordance with the Spirit are pleasing God, and presently have no adverse judgment or sentence pending against them for when they stand before Jesus at the Judgment Seat of Christ. It is possible that a Christian can fall away from the faith and have some adverse judgment at the Judgment Seat of Christ. He would still be saved spiritually, but his reward would  be affected.
 
(Rom 8:2 KJV)  For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
 
This verse provides the operational definition of what it means to be “in Christ” in verse 1 above. Words and phrases always get their definitions or meanings from the context in which they are used. In verse 1, “them which are in Christ Jesus” has reference to those Christians allowing Christ to live his life in them. This is important because the Nestle text does not contain the clause “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” in verse 1. This means that the New American Standard Bible and the New International Version of the Bible do not contain this clause in verse 1. The King James Version and all versions based on the Textus Receptus do contain this clause in verse 1, which helps in the interpretation of the passage. Verse 4 below contains this clause in both the Nestle Text and the Textus Receptus. The meaning is the same in both the Nestle Text and the Textus Receptus, but the Textus Receptus is easier to understand.
 
The “law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus” means that the Christian who crucifies his flesh nature has the life of Christ Jesus living in him, and he is “free from the law of sin and death.” The law of sin and death states that the soul that sins shall die. If the Christian has died to self or killed the “old man”, then he is free from this law. All Christians are not free from the law of sin and death, since many Christians have not crucified the old flesh nature. A Christian only becomes free from the law of sin and death when he has crucified the old man. If the Christian falls away from the faith and ceases to crucify the old flesh nature, then he is again subject to the law of sin and death. Ezekiel 18 provides a detailed explanation of the principles for soul salvation and the law of sin and death:
 
(Ezek 18:4-9 KJV)  Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die. {5} But if a man be just, and do that which is lawful and right, {6} And hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, neither hath defiled his neighbour's wife, neither hath come near to a menstruous woman, {7} And hath not oppressed any, but hath restored to the debtor his pledge, hath spoiled none by violence, hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment; {8} He that hath not given forth upon usury, neither hath taken any increase, that hath withdrawn his hand from iniquity, hath executed true judgment between man and man, {9} Hath walked in live, saith the Lord GOD. my statutes, and hath kept my judgments, to deal truly; he is just, he shall surely
 
The red highlighted sections above provide a condensed version of the law of sin and death. Please read the rest of Chapter 18 in Ezekiel for the principles of soul salvation, and a deeper understanding of the law of sin and death, as it pertains to the soul. This chapter is very important to understand soul salvation. It is as follows:
 
(Ezek 18:10-32 KJV)  If he beget a son that is a robber, a shedder of blood, and that doeth the like to any one of these things, {11} And that doeth not any of those duties, but even hath eaten upon the mountains, and defiled his neighbour's wife, {12} Hath oppressed the poor and needy, hath spoiled by violence, hath not restored the pledge, and hath lifted up his eyes to the idols, hath committed abomination, {13} Hath given forth upon usury, and hath taken increase: shall he then live? he shall not live: he hath done all these abominations; he shall surely die; his blood shall be upon him. {14} Now, lo, if he beget a son, that seeth all his father's sins which he hath done, and considereth, and doeth not such like, {15} That hath not eaten upon the mountains, neither hath lifted up his eyes to the idols of the house of Israel, hath not defiled his neighbour's wife, {16} Neither hath oppressed any, hath not withholden the pledge, neither hath spoiled by violence, but hath given his bread to the hungry, and hath covered the naked with a garment, {17} That hath taken off his hand from the poor, that hath not received usury nor increase, hath executed my judgments, hath walked in my statutes; he shall not die for the iniquity of his father, he shall surely live. {18} As for his father, because he cruelly oppressed, spoiled his brother by violence, and did that which is not good among his people, lo, even he shall die in his iniquity. {19} Yet say ye, Why? doth not the son bear the iniquity of the father? When the son hath done that which is lawful and right, and hath kept all my statutes, and hath done them, he shall surely live. {20} The soul that sinneth, it shall die. The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, neither shall the father bear the iniquity of the son: the righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him. {21} But if the wicked will turn from all his sins that he hath committed, and keep all my statutes, and do that which is lawful and right, he shall surely live, he shall not die. {22} All his transgressions that he hath committed, they shall not be mentioned unto him: in his righteousness that he hath done he shall live. {23} Have I any pleasure at all that the wicked should die? saith the Lord GOD: and not that he should return from his ways, and live? {24} But when the righteous turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and doeth according to all the abominations that the wicked man doeth, shall he live? All his righteousness that he hath done shall not be mentioned: in his trespass that he hath trespassed, and in his sin that he hath sinned, in them shall he die. {25} Yet ye say, The way of the Lord is not equal. Hear now, O house of Israel; Is not my way equal? are not your ways unequal? {26} When a righteous man turneth away from his righteousness, and committeth iniquity, and dieth in them; for his iniquity that he hath done shall he die. {27} Again, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive. {28} Because he considereth, and turneth away from all his transgressions that he hath committed, he shall surely live, he shall not die. {29} Yet saith the house of Israel, The way of the Lord is not equal. O house of Israel, are not my ways equal? are not your ways unequal? {30} Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, every one according to his ways, saith the Lord GOD. Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. {31} Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye have transgressed; and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, O house of Israel? {32} For I have no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord GOD: wherefore turn yourselves, and live ye.
 
God is addressing Israel in the above chapter, but the principles are the same for the judgments of God’s people. There are many Scriptures in the New Testament about the soul of the Christian perishing because of sin and disobedience.
 
(Rom 8:3 KJV)  For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:
 
The law of sin and death was ineffective (i.e., weak) because of the flesh nature of Christians, but Jesus Christ came in the likeness of sinful flesh, took the penalty for sin, and then judged sin in the flesh nature of Christians. The Christian can escape the “law of sin and death” by crucifying the old flesh nature. If the Christian puts to death the old flesh nature, then he has been set free from the law of sin and death. If he does not crucify the old flesh nature, then he is not set free from this law, and his soul will perish or die at the Judgment Seat of Christ. THE OLD MAN MUST EITHER DIE NOW, OR HE WILL DIE AT THE JUDGMENT SEAT OF CHRIST. This is the law of sin and death.
 
NOTE: The law of sin and death does not apply to the spirit. The regenerated spirit of the Christian will never die, and the spirit of the unsaved reprobate is already dead, so it can never die. It is the soul of the Christian that must die now, or it will die at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 8:4 KJV)  That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
 
Pay close attention to the conditional phrase “might be fulfilled”. Jesus judged against the sin in the flesh and made it possible for us to fulfill the righteousness of the law, but we must walk after the Spirit and not after the flesh. If we walk after the Spirit, then we can fulfill the righteousness of the law. We do it by the practical righteousness that we perform by crucifying the old flesh nature, and where we do sin, we confess our sins and are cleansed from all unrighteousness. In order for us to fulfill the righteousness of the law, we must die to self, practice righteousness, and confess our sins regularly.
 
This verse is addressing the practical righteousness of Christians, and not the imputed righteousness that we received at our spiritual birth.
 
(Rom 8:5 KJV)  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
 
Christians who walk after the flesh nature pay attention to fleshly things, but Christians who walk after the Spirit pay attention to the things of the Spirit.
 
(Rom 8:6 KJV)  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
 
Christians who pay attention to fleshly things are referred to as being carnally minded. The Christian who is carnally minded will die at the Judgment Seat of Christ. His life or soul will perish. The Christian who minds things of the Spirit will realize the salvation of his soul at the Judgment Seat of Christ. He will realize eternal life and have the peace of God while still on the earth. All Christians have peace with God, but the Christian walking after the Spirit has the peace of God.
 
Verses 5 & 6 are repeated together for emphasis, and an accurate paraphrase follows these verses.
 
(Rom 8:5 KJV)  For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
(Rom 8:6 KJV)  For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
 
An accurate paraphrase of the above passage is as follows:
 
(Rom 8:5-6 Paraphrase)  For Christians that live according to the flesh nature that is within them do strive after the things that this flesh nature desires, but Christians that live according to the spirit nature that is within them strive after the things that the spirit nature desires.  For to be thinking on things of the flesh nature will result in the death of the soul, but to be thinking on things of the spirit nature will result in the salvation of the soul and a tranquil state of mind.
 
(Rom 8:7 KJV)  Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
 
Because the mind that is set on fleshly things is in opposition to God, for it does not obey the commandments of God, for it is incapable of obeying God.
 
(Rom 8:8 KJV)  So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.
 
So Christians that live according to their flesh nature cannot please God.
 
(Rom 8:9 KJV)  But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.
 
A Christian is walking in the Spirit and not in the flesh, if the Holy Spirit (i.e., the Spirit of God) cohabits (i.e., dwells) in the Christian. The Greek word for “dwells” is oikeo (oy-keh'-o) and means the Holy Spirit is the householder or in charge of the body of the Christian. It means the Holy Spirit is settled, comfortable and cohabits the body of the Christian right along with the spirit and soul of the Christian. Cohabits means the Christian and the Holy Spirit live in harmony with each other. The Christian does not grieve or quench the Holy Spirit, and there is a union of purpose in the believer.
 
The second sentence of this verse is an interjection to point out that if a man does not possess the Spirit of Christ, then the person does not belong to Christ, and cohabitation is out of the question. Following is an accurate paraphrase of this verse:
 
(Rom 8:9 Paraphrase) But ye Christians are not living according to the flesh nature—but the spirit nature—if the Holy Spirit is actively living in your life.  Now if a person does not possess the spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Christ, and cohabitation is impossible.
 
(Rom 8:10 KJV)  And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.
 
(Rom 8:10 Paraphrase) But if Christ is living His life in you, your body is dead because of sin, but your spirit produces life (i.e., soul life) because of practical righteousness.
 
Christ is in us and lives his life in us when we are filled or controlled by the Holy Spirit. This is when the Holy Spirit dwells in us. Many Christians possess the Holy Spirit because they have been born again, but the Holy Spirit does not dwell or cohabit their bodies. The Holy Spirit is confined to the basement closet in many Christians’ lives, and he is constantly grieved and quenched by the lives of these believers.
 
(Rom 8:11 KJV)  But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
 
But if the Spirit of God that raised Jesus from the dead is alive and active in you, then God will also make your mortal bodies alive by this same Spirit that is alive and active in you. (Remember that the body is that which manifests soul life). If the Holy Spirit dwells in the Christian, then that Christian manifests the Fruit of the Spirit.
 
(Rom 8:12 KJV)  Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.
 
Therefore, Christian brothers, we are not obligated to the flesh nature to live according to the flesh nature. (Many Christians do live according to this flesh nature, but they do not have to live according to it.)
 
(Rom 8:13 KJV)  For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.
 
For if you live according to the old flesh nature within you, then your soul will die (i.e., perish), but if you through the power of the Holy Spirit put to death the deeds of the body (i.e., kill the soul or die to self), then your soul will live and not perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This is a restatement of the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus, which sets us free from the law of sin and death (vs. 2).
 
Note: The law of sin and death pertains to the soul and not the spirit. The quickened spirit of the Christian is alive forever and can not die. The spirit of the unsaved reprobate is already dead, so it can never die either.
 
We will look at two additional verses in James that speak of the death or perishing of the souls of Christians.
 
(James 1:15 KJV)  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.
 
This verse is addressing the Christian who allows lust to spring up in his life, and this lust brings forth sin.  If this sin is allowed to grow to maturity in this person, it will in the end cause the soul of this Christian to die or perish at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(James 5:19 KJV)  Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;
(James 5:20 KJV)  Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.
 
Verse 19 above is needed to confirm that this is a Christian that is caught away into sin.  If another Christian brings him back into the correct path, then that Christian who brought him back saved his soul from death.  This one passage establishes without doubt that a Christian can perish or die at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and this death is of the soul or life, and not the spirit.  The spirit nature within the Christian can never die or perish, but the soul or life of a Christian can perish.  If a Christian’s soul perishes at the Judgment Seat of Christ, this results in the loss of reward and glory in the coming kingdom.  The Christian will still be in heaven, but without any authority in the kingdom.
 
(Rom 8:14 KJV)  For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.
 
For those who are guided by the Holy Spirit in their lives, they are the mature sons (huios) of God, and not the immature children (teknon) of God. The Scriptural term son or sons has a much deeper meaning than most Bible students understand. The Greek word is huios and the primary meaning is male offspring of a parent. It is often used metaphorically in Scripture to describe those who manifest a certain character, whether evil or good. Matthew 5:9, 45 use the word huios and it refers to those who reflect the character of God. The Greek word for child or children is teknon. In contrast to huios, it means the fact of birth whereas huios stresses the dignity and character of the relationship. All Christians are children (i.e., teknon) of God, but not all Christians will be sons (i.e., huios) of God. Unfortunately, the King James Version of the Bible does not discriminate between the mature huios and the immature teknon.
 
(Rom 8:15 KJV)  For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
 
All Christians have received the “spirit of adoption” whereby we are able to have an intimate relationship with the Father, which means that we may be qualified for being adopted by the Father. The Roman noble in New Testament times would choose one of his boys thought to be the most suitable to be his son and heir. This child was adopted as distinct from the other children, and he was made head of the house under the father. His relationship to the father was the same as the other children, but his position in the family was superior to the others. All Christians have the spirit of adoption, but not all Christians will exhibit the necessary characteristics that will qualify them for adoption by the Father. Those Christians that will be adopted as sons will have superior positions in the household of the Father. We will see in verse 19 below that all of creation is waiting to see who will be adopted as sons in the Father’s household.
 
 “Abba” is a familiar term similar to the term “Daddy”. It means that we have the ability to have a close and intimate relationship with the Father, so that we do not have to fear him—if we are walking by the spirit.
 
The Greek word for “adoption” is huiothesia, from huios—a son, and thesis—a placing. All Christians are children (i.e., teknon), but only the mature, faithful children who qualify for the inheritance are referred to as “sons”. Those in the Church who qualify to reign and rule with Jesus Christ in the coming kingdom will be manifested as sons of God.
 
All Christians are natural children of God, as they have been born spiritually from above. They are NOT ADOPTED as members of the family of God. Israel was the firstborn child of God, so Israel was in line to receive the inheritance of reigning and ruling over the earth in the heavenly and earthly aspects of the kingdom. Israel was disobedient, so the heavenly aspect of the kingdom was taken away from Israel and given to the Church. However, it is still necessary for Christians to be found faithful in order to receive the inheritance and be “adopted as sons”. Just as Israel was cut out of its inheritance because of unfaithfulness, Christians can be cut out of their inheritance because of disobedience.
 
The following is a quote from The Expanded Vines by W. E. Vines:
 
“God does not adopt believers as children; they are begotten as such by his Holy Spirit through faith. Adoption is a term involving the dignity of the relationship of believers as sons; it is not a putting into the family by spiritual birth, but a putting into the position of sons.”
 
Christians are born as children (i.e., teknon) into the family of God by grace, but they qualify for the kingdom of heaven as sons (i.e., huios) by faithfulness and obedience.
 
(Rom 8:16 KJV)  The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:
 
The Holy Spirit testifies to our spirit that we are the children (i.e., teknon) of God. If we are obedient to the Father and develop a close, intimate relationship with him, then there is no reason to fear him. However, if we are disobedient children with rebellious attitudes, we have every reason to fear him, for we will be severely disciplined at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
The following Scripture reveals the difference between children of God (i.e., heirs of God), and sons of God (i.e., joint-heirs with Christ):
 
(Rom 8:17 KJV)  And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together
 
This verse needs to be split up to understand it properly. All Christians are children (i.e., teknon) of God. Since all Christians are children of God, they are also heirs of God. Unfortunately, there will be many children that will lose their inheritance. The ones who will realize their inheritance are called “joint-heirs with Christ” in this verse. These will be the Christians that will be adopted as sons (i.e., huios) of God. As is clearly stated in this verse, the joint-heirs with Christ are those Christians that have suffered with him. Since they have suffered with Christ, they will be adopted as “sons”, will be glorified with Jesus Christ and will reign and rule in the kingdom of heaven.
 
Those who refuse to distinguish between simple heir-ship to God and joint heir-ship with Christ make the former conditional upon suffering with Christ. This makes works (i.e., suffering with Christ) a condition for salvation. Believers should not fall into this trap. Salvation is by grace, but rewards are according to works.
 
(Rom 8:18 KJV)  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
 
Paul emphasizes that the sufferings of the sons (i.e., huios) of God in the present age will not compare with the glory that will be manifested in them. The glories of the kingdom will make the sufferings of this age pale in comparison.
 
(Rom 8:19 KJV)  For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
 
All of creation is patiently waiting for the presentation of the sons of God in the coming kingdom. This is similar to the Olympics when the victors are presented with their victory medals. The presentation of the sons of God will reveal the overcomers in the Christian life. At present, we do not know who the victors will be, but we patiently wait to see who will be adopted as sons over the household of faith.
 
(Rom 8:20 KJV)  For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,
 
All of creation was subjected—not willingly—to the curse of God when Adam fell in the Garden of Eden. Even though God has subjected all of creation to this inutility, there is still hope because God is also going to redeem the earth. This coming redemption of the earth is only a short time away.
 
(Rom 8:21 KJV)  Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.
 
Creation itself shall be delivered from the slavery of corruption and ruin. There are numerous Scriptures that describe this freedom that Creation will enjoy with the children (i.e., teknon) of God.  Creation will share in the glory and freedom that will be enjoyed by the children of God.
 
(Rom 8:22 KJV)  For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.
 
All of creation groans together and shares the birth pangs that are signaling the soon redemption of the earth into the glorious liberty from the ravages of corruption. One simply has to watch some of the animal programs on “The Discovery Channel” to get a feel for how creation truly groans and suffers under the current curse.
 
(Rom 8:23 KJV)  And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.
 
This verse compares Creation looking for deliverance from the curse with Christians who are looking for deliverance from the curse. Christians who are settled and comfortable in this world are not watching for the Lord to deliver them from the curse, but those Christians who have the Firstfruits of the Spirit, and are groaning for deliverance from their flesh natures are assiduously looking with great expectation to be adopted as sons, and to be delivered from this body that is still under the curse. An accurate paraphrase is as follows:
 
(Romans 8:23 Paraphrase) And not only is creation looking for deliverance from the curse, but we Christians who have high regard for the firstfruits of the Spirit groan within ourselves looking expectantly and longingly for adoption, which will take place at the time of the redemption of the body.
 
It should be noted here that unfaithful Christians are not looking expectantly for adoption as sons by the heavenly Father. Unfaithful Christians are not longing for the Return of Jesus, and they are not beckoning for him to return for them. Indeed, many Sardis Christians will chastise you for expressing a great desire for the Lord to return very soon.
 
(Rom 8:24 KJV)  For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
 
The phrase “For we are saved by hope” is addressing soul salvation. Those Christians who are looking forward expectantly to adoption are hoping for soul salvation at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This hope for soul salvation and being chosen for adoption by the Father as a son is the incentive needed for the Christian to remain faithful to the Lord. As this verse clearly states, soul salvation and being adopted as a son (i.e., huios) by the father is a hope and NOT a certainty. I am not hoping that I am saved spiritually, and I am not hoping that I go to heaven. I know that I am saved spiritually, and I know that I am going to heaven. However, I am hoping that I will realize soul salvation, and that the Father will place me in the position as son.
 
(Rom 8:25 KJV)  But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
 
If we are hoping for something that we are not sure of attaining, then we will patiently endure the trials of this life in hope of attaining to the goal. If we are certain that we already have something, then it detracts from our ability to patiently endure. For example, it is a grave mistake to pay a laborer for a job until he has finished the work. If one goes ahead and pays a laborer before a job is finished, all incentive for doing a good job vanishes. The same is true for soul salvation and the adoption as sons by the Father. If we already knew that we had qualified, then all incentive would be gone for living a faithful Christian life.
 
Unfortunately, the majority of Christians have been given the idea that they have already qualified as the bride of Christ, and for entrance into the kingdom of heaven. Consequently, all incentive is gone for studying the Bible and being a faithful Christian. There are going to be many greatly disappointed Christians at the Firstfruits Rapture of the faithful Philadelphia church, when millions of Christians are left behind to go through the tribulation period. There will also be disappointed Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ when they are rebuked and chastised for a life of unfaithfulness. There will be great shame and the contempt of the Lord Jesus Christ for many Christians at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The majority of Christians are totally disinterested in studying God’s Word or looking for the Return of Jesus in the coming rapture of the Church.
 
A lady that I know had a dream many years ago when she was about 15 years old. In the dream she is dead and appears to Jesus before the appropriate time for her resurrection. He asks her what she is doing there at that time, and she says to him, “I thought that all I had to do was believe.” Jesus looks at her with tremendous compassion and mercy and says “Oh my child! Who told you that?” The point is that not all Christians who believe in the atoning sacrifice will realize their inheritance in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ. Only certain ones identified in the following verses as loving God will be like Christ in this life and share in the glory and honor of the millennial kingdom.
 
(Rom 8:26 KJV)  Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
 
If we are patiently enduring because we are hoping for soul salvation and hoping for adoption as sons, then the Holy Spirit will help us in our weaknesses, for we are not even sure what we should pray for in our prayers. However, the Holy Spirit will intercede on our behalf with inarticulate groans that are unintelligible to our natural minds. This is not speaking in tongues but simply cries for help through the Holy Spirit when we know we need help, but we are not exactly sure what we need from God. I have often uttered unintelligible sounds to God at times of deep distress over the depravity of my own flesh nature, and my weariness in dealing with the “Old Man” inside of me.
 
(Rom 8:27 KJV)  And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
 
The Holy Spirit knows our hearts, which is what we are in our innermost being, and he knows the thoughts and purposes of our minds, which are in tune with the Holy Spirit. Based on this knowledge of what we are in our innermost being, and what we desire to be in our spirit-controlled mind, the Holy Spirit intercedes on our behalf to transform us in accordance with the will of God. This is in reference to our lives in the here and present. God knows what we desire in our hearts.
 
(Rom 8:28 KJV)  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
 
This verse is often read as pertaining to all Christians, but there are two criteria that must be met in this verse for all things to work together for good in the Christian’s life. He must not only be called in accordance with God’s purposes, but he must also love God. The called represent all Christians, but only a minority of Christians love God. This verse is addressing Christians who are saved spiritually and who love God. Their minds desire to be faithful to God and their hearts are set upon pleasing God. For this reason, God has predestinated or foreordained the steps for these Christians to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in this life. This is not talking about the Judgment Seat of Christ, but the Christian’s life in the present age.
 
The key is that these Christians want more than just to go to heaven when they die. They want to know Jesus Christ intimately in this life, and they want to be conformed to the image of Jesus Christ in this life. It is because of this desire that God ordains all things to help these Christians become like Christ.
 
(Rom 8:29 KJV)  For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.
 
This is a continuation of the previous sentence in verse 28 and is referring to Christians who are called and love God. These Christians have the steps ordained by God for them to be conformed to the image of his Son in the here and now. The reason given is so that Jesus Christ would not be the only one who realizes Sonship. God wants many Christians to realize the same inheritance in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ, and to share in the honor and glory afforded Jesus Christ when He establishes his millennial kingdom. Jesus Christ is not the only one who will be placed as a Son during the millennial kingdom. Many Christians will also realize sonship because of their faithfulness to Jesus Christ. The key is the desire and hope of being placed as a son. If the Christian desires and hopes to be placed as a Son, then God will order the events necessary for that outcome, but the Christian must continue in his faithfulness to God.
 
(Rom 8:30 KJV)  Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.
 
This verse continues the theme of being conformed to the image of Jesus Christ, and to being chosen for special honors and recognition. The Greek word for “called” in this verse is not the same as given in verse 28 above. The Greek word here means to be called out or singled out for a special purpose. The Greek word for justified here means the justification by works described in James. It means to receive relative righteousness rather than imputed righteousness. Also, the Greek word for “glorified” means to receive honor and glory in the coming kingdom of Jesus Christ.
 
(Rom 8:31 KJV)  What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us.

The Christian and God are a majority. If the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient God of the universe is on our side, there is none that can stand against us. Nothing can happen to the Christian that God does not allow. If the Christian purposes in his heart to become a son (i.e., huios), then God will order the events in his life to attain to that position. Sonship is a position in the kingdom of God.
 
(Rom 8:32 KJV)  He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
 
Since God sent his Son to die for us for the purpose of justification, then He will certainly give us “all things” necessary for our complete and perfect sanctification, and the realization of soul salvation and our inheritance in the kingdom of God. Since nothing can stand in the way of our justification by faith in the atonement of Jesus Christ, it is also true that nothing can stand in our way for the realization of Sonship in the kingdom of heaven.
 
(Rom 8:33 KJV)  Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth.
 
Who shall accuse or call into question “God’s elect” believer who is walking by faith? Since it is God himself who justifies us for soul salvation through the life of his Son, then no accusation will stand against the Christian to negate this justification by works. This verse is addressing the Christian’s justification by works, which is the Christian’s realization of soul salvation. Justification by faith is a past, completed work of Jesus Christ and happened when we first believed in the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ. There is nothing that we can do in this life to annul this justification, so any current charge by Satan is totally meaningless in regard to this justification by faith. However, our current actions and behavior are important for our justification by works in this life, and Satan is doing everything in his power to cause the destruction of the Christian in regard to this justification. The justification by works is accomplished through the life of Christ being wrought in the life of the Christian. The Christian’s spirit is saved by the death of Christ, but his soul is saved by the life of Christ. This passage is addressing the soul and addresses our current lives with Christ interceding for us to keep us cleansed and blameless. This is seen in the following verse, which first mentions the death of Christ, which was necessary for our justification by faith, but it goes on to address the resurrection of Christ and his interceding on our behalf in this current life.
 
(Rom 8:34 KJV)  Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.
 
This is a rhetorical question, since we know that Satan is the one who condemns or accuses the brethren before the Father. However, it is “Christ that died” for us who currently serves at the right hand of God the Father as our High Priest, making intercession for us, as we are cleansed from our sins. This statement does not negate the fact that we must still confess our sins in accordance with 1 John 1:9 in order to be cleansed from them. The sequence of events is that we sin, Satan accuses us, we confess our sins and Jesus our High Priest cleanses us from these sins and keeps us blameless. In the end every Christian will be totally cleansed from all sins before he will enter into heaven, but soul salvation and the inheritance in the kingdom of God requires that we confess our sins in this life in order to be blameless at the Judgment Seat of Christ. The “old man” must die in this life in order to realize soul salvation and the justification by works. The “old man” must perish, either in this life or at the Judgment Seat of Christ. This perishing of the “old man” must take place in the present life in order to receive our inheritance in the kingdom of God. This can only happen as we crucify the “old man” and allow the life of Christ to be worked out in our current lives. This is called living the resurrected life of Christ or living the exchanged life. This requires works of faith as we confess our sins with Jesus Christ interceding as our High Priest.
 
(Rom 8:35 KJV)  Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?
 
In this verse Paul lists seven literal things that the believer might experience that some would think separated them from the love of Christ. These things are listed in increasing intensity: 1) hardship, 2) extreme affliction, 3) persecution, 4) hunger, 5) nakedness, 6) extreme danger or even 7) death. Even though these things may appear to indicate that Christians are not loved by Christ, these are actually things that bring us into a maturity in the faith. Paul suffered all of these things—even death by beheading—yet he was greatly loved by Christ.
 
(Rom 8:36 KJV)  As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.
 
Paul confirms that believers are to suffer persecution by quoting Psalms 44:22 to show that believers in this life must face much affliction, including martyrdom in some cases.
 
(Rom 8:37 KJV)  Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
 
Paul states that it is in these afflictions that we are overcomers, when we allow Christ to live his life in us (“through him that loved us”). It is the persecutions and sufferings that cause Christians to become spiritually mature in the faith and be overcomers at the Judgment Seat of Christ.
 
(Rom 8:38 KJV)  For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 
Paul ends his discussion on believers’ being overcomers via or through the life of Jesus Christ with a list of ten things that cannot separate believers from the love of Christ. Paul begins with death, which was the last item mentioned in verse 35 above. Physical death or life does not determine whether a Christian is faithful or not. Many faithful Christians have died as martyrs, yet they were still overcomers in the faith. All but one of the twelve disciples died as martyrs, and so did Paul. John lived and was not martyred, but he also was an overcomer. Also, neither the messengers of God (i.e., angels) not the messengers of Satan (i.e., principalities) can separate us from the love of God. This can refer to supernatural messengers from both God and Satan or the normal people in our lives operating in the power of God or Satan. The Christian can be influenced by both, and still be loved by God and be an overcomer. Things present are current events in our life and things to come are future events in our life. Thus, the normal events in our life cannot separate us from the love of God. The Greek word for “powers” is actually at the end of the sentence and refers to all of the powerful influences in our life that affect us in various ways. It refers to the inherent power of our flesh nature and even the power and influence that belong to riches and wealth. These adverse powerful influences on our life cannot separate us from the love of God, and we can still be overcomers by walking in the power and authority of Jesus Christ.
 
(Rom 8:39 KJV)  Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
 
This verse continues the things that cannot separate us from the love of God. The Greek word for “height” is used metaphorically and refers to all the barriers in our lives that can hinder our spiritual growth in the power and authority of Jesus Christ.  The Greek word for “depth” is also used metaphorically and refers to the deep mysteries and uncertainties in life that influence us. The Greek word for “other creature” refers to another person in life who is not like us Christians. Thus, it refers to any unsaved person who might influence us in our Christian walk. In summary, none of the above described beings, events, powers or influences in the Christian life can separate us from the protecting and caring love of God, which brings us into spiritual maturity. This includes the stumbles and setbacks from these life influences that deter or hinder us in our spiritual walk. We can still be overcomers in life through the power and authority of Jesus Christ living his life in us. The key is for us to maintain our focus upon Jesus Christ and the goal set before us.