Paul has already dealt with two great doctrines in the preceding two chapters of this great epistle to the Romans, the doctrine of justification by faith and the doctrine of redemption. Now Paul comes to another great doctrine and pillar of the Christian faith, namely the doctrine of reconciliation which results from the other two. Can it be, that we who were formerly at enmity with God have been brought into a state of friendship? This is the great clarion call of the Gospel; be ye reconciled to God!!
This sermon lays out this wonderful truth and encourages believes who are enduring trials of affliction to lift up their heads heavenward and to fix their hope on the eternal prize laid up for them in Christ!!
For 1500 years, Israel had been under the heavy yoke of the law. This had been their rule of life since the time of their coming out of Egypt when God entered into covenant with them at Mt. Sinai. Paul was clear of one thing (himself being a Pharisee for many years), by the works of the law shall no man be justified in the sight of God! If any man was going to stand a chance of gaining right-standing with God, it was to be by faith alone that the reward might be of grace!
In this fourth chapter of Romans, Paul seeks to address this seismic shift in religious worldview by pointing out that such a concept of imputed righteousness on the grounds of faith is nothing new! Abraham, the father of the Jewish nation predated Moses by some nearly 1500 years, yet Abraham had this testimony before God, that he was counted righteous on the grounds of his faith and not by the works of law. Paul lays hold on this truth and expounds this great doctrine of justification by faith by demonstrating that righteousness must come by means of imputation alone and can never come by the works of the law!
Words such as expiation, propitiation and atonement are words that have generally lost their meaning in today’s society; yet, these words are key to understanding the great transaction that took place on the cross!! Theological concepts such as 'substitutionary atonement' has become repulsive to a Church that generally has no stomach for justice and righteousness. God is holy and as such He must punish the guilty. How can a holy God remain just and at the same time punish the guilty?
In this sermon, the glorious truth of justification by faith through the redemption that is in Jesus Christ on account of God’s grace toward us is brought out for all to see. Our being brought into right standing with God came at a great price. May we ever rejoice in this truth!!
When one surveys the Old Testament, the Law and the Prophets, one cannot escape the sheer volume of passages and verses that speak of a future blessing for Israel. They cry forth from every page...God has not cast off His covenanted people Israel!! In answer to the scathing indictment against him in chapter 2, the Jew sought to exploit this truth in an attempt to hold God to account by insisting that whatever wrong they did on their part, God would remain integral to His Word in keeping covenant with them.
In this fifth teaching part we see how Paul blasts this faulty reasoning out of the water bringing the Jews back to the fundamental truth of his argument, namely that both Jew and Gentile are fully deserving of the righteous judgment of God!!
The Papacy and Primacy of Peter Refuted
The Roman Catholic Church believes itself to be the only true Church instituted by Jesus Christ. It believes that its pope is the sole successor of Peter who the Church maintains is the Vicar of Christ appointed by Christ to exercise supreme and full authority over His Church. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the pope is not simply a spiritual leader, nor is he a pastor among equals or even ‘primus inter pares’ – first among equals. Rather, the Roman Catholic Church views the pope as chief, foremost and supreme among all the bishops. To understand the place to which Rome elevates the pope, we must first understand the place to which it elevates Peter, whom they maintain was the first Pope of the first Church.
In this third part of a teaching series looking at the core teachings of Roman Catholicism, we examine the claims of Rome to be the true Church of Jesus Christ and the place to which it elevates Peter.
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