The Human Condition

The Human Condition

Scripture: Romans 3:23, Romans 2:1-10, Romans 1:16-32
Date: 10/21/2017  Lesson: 3
"How often do you, even if only in your own mind, condemn others for things that you, yourself, are guilty of? Think about the untold numbers of Protestants who chose to die rather than give up the faith. How strong are we in the faith? Strong enough to die for it?"

Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning (PB) by Joe Crews

Is It Possible to Live Without Sinning (PB) by Joe Crews
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Good morning, friends. Welcome to Sabbath school study hour coming to you here from the Granite Bay seventh-day adventist church in Sacramento, California. I'd like to welcome our online members and also those joining us across the country and around the world - part of our Sabbath school study hour - also to the members and the visitors right here in Granite Bay, welcome. We're glad you are here to study God's Word. Now, a few weeks ago, we started a new lesson quarterly entitled salvation by faith: the book of Romans.

Today we're on lesson #3 of our study of this very important subject. It's actually entitled - today's lesson is entitled the human condition - so we'll be getting into that here in just a few moments and studying what the book of Romans has to say about the human condition. Before we do, though, for those who are joining us across the country, we do have a free offer. It's a book entitled hidden eyes and closed ears - this is our free offer for today. So, if you're in North America and you'd like to receive our book, just give us a call.

Our resource phone number is -788-3966 and you can ask for offer #726. We'll be happy to send this to anybody here in North America. If you're outside of north American you also can read the book. Just go to the Amazing Facts website - just amazingfacts.org. You can read the book right there and you can also download a copy of today's lesson.

If you don't have one, you can study along with us. Well, before we get to our study, we always like to begin by lifting our voices in song. I'd like to invite our song leaders to come join me on stage and we'll be singing together and then we'll have prayer and get to our study. Thank you, Pastor Ross. We are excited that you're joining with us and it's time to sing your favorite songs and ours.

So our first one today is #100 - great is thy faithfulness - and we're going - there's only three stanzas, so we're going to sing all three of them. Join with us - #100. Thank you so much for singing along with us. At this time, Pastor Ross is going to have our opening prayer. Let's bow our heads for prayer.

Dear Father in Heaven, what a privilege to be able to come before you on this beautiful Sabbath morning, and open up Your Word - and study this very important book - the book of Romans. And, Lord, as the Bible reveals to us our need of a Savior, I pray that we would reach up in faith and receive everything that heaven wishes to give. We are so grateful for the gift that you have provided through Christ - through his sacrifice on our behalf, that we can be forgiven, we can be cleansed, we can be adopted into your family. So, this morning, Lord, as we talk about this very important theme and our recognition of our need of your grace, we do ask the Holy Spirit to come and guide our hearts and our minds. Lead us.

Lord, into a clear understanding of your love and your goodness to each of us, for we ask this in Jesus' Name, amen. Our lesson this morning is going to be brought to us by pastor marshall mckenzie, our publishing director at Amazing Facts. He has taught Sabbath school several times before. Marshall, thank you so much. Thank you, Pastor Ross.

Wow, big topic that we're going to cover in this lesson - the human condition. You know, in our world today, most people like to, at some point, talk about themselves. I'm sure, at some point, we've shared our personal experiences with others that we've come in contact with, but the one thing that we often don't really like to talk about is our human condition. Much of our world really wants to avoid this subject, and we do a lot of different things to avoid this subject. But when you study Scripture, from Genesis to Revelation, and here, specifically, in the book of Romans, Paul starts to kind of help us understand our human condition, and there's a reason for that.

If we want to understand salvation, and we want to have the salvation that Christ offers by faith alone, we need to begin, really, with our human condition. And so, this morning we're going to be studying lesson #3 - the human condition - and we're going to take a look at some Bible passages that relate to our human condition, as God helps us to rightly understand it. I've found, as I've studied through this lesson, I've found it to be, not only appropriate for the times in which we live, but I've also found it to be challenging and encouraging, all at the same time. This biblical truth about our human condition helps us to understand our greatest need. Now we, living life, find that we need certain things on a day-to-day basis, but the greatest need that we have really can only be understood when we begin from the basis of our human condition.

And so, Paul, in the book of Romans, brings this to our attention when he says, in Romans chapter 3, verse 12 - he says, "there is none who does good, there is not even one." Now that's an interesting and inspired statement by the apostle, Paul. There is how many? How many that does good? He says none. Now, I've heard it in my years of canvassing - you know, taking Christian books from door to door - over the thousands of doors that I've gone to, oftentimes you get to the door and they open the door and they're kind of like, 'what are you doing here?' And you share a biblical book with them and many times I've heard people say, 'I don't need that, I'm a good person.' And that's their basis, which is interesting, for rejecting biblical truth. And yet, Paul, in the book of Romans, helps us grasp this understanding - "there is none who does good, there is not even one." I've walked away from those doors many times wondering, 'Lord, how did we get to this point?' - Where, you know, we kind of deny biblical truth because, we feel in some sort of way, we're above it. We're good enough.

We don't need to be any better, we're good enough. 'I'm a good person.' And the lesson brought forth a point, that really kind of answered, in some ways, my wondering, thinking about those situations. And it talked about comparing ourselves among ourselves is easy. We do that all the time. We tend to look at somebody else and we compare ourselves with that other person and, in doing that very thing, we tend to kind of put ourselves above the other person.

So, over time, we start to think of ourselves, what? Better than we ought to think of ourselves. You know, it's interesting, there was a statement in the lesson, it said, "after all, we can always find someone worse than ourselves to compare ourselves with." That true? If you look long enough, if you look hard enough, I'm sure you're going to find someone worse than yourself. And, in that process, you're going to make yourself better than you really are. And so, I believe that God consistently brings us back to this point of our human condition. Now, it's interesting, turn with me to Romans chapter 12 for a minute.

I'm kind of going back in Romans here - Romans chapter 12 - we're going to kind of hang around Romans 1, 2, and 3, but notice what the apostle Paul has to say - Romans chapter 12 and verse 3 - he says, "for I say, through the grace given unto me," - now this is interesting, Paul is an individual who came face to face with who? Jesus Christ, himself. And Paul, in coming face to face with Jesus Christ, himself, understood his what? His true human condition. He was on his way - remember? - To damascus and he was going to persecute the Christians and he comes face to face with God, himself, and he realizes his human condition. So Paul begins - an individual, who understood his human condition - says, "through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith." Paul says - Paul had received the grace that God was offering and he received it when he saw who he really was. And so, he turns, then, to the Christians in Romans, he says, 'listen, you ought not to think of yourself more highly than you ought' - because you lose your human condition.

You lose the understanding of who we really are without God. You know, Paul said, in Romans chapter 7, he says, "o wretched man that I am!" Romans chapter 7, verse 24, "who shall deliver me from the body of this death?" Paul, again, is expressing his human condition. Isn't it any wonder that Paul talks about grace so often? Because Paul understood his human condition. So, to receive the salvation that God wants to offer us by faith, we need to understand our what? Our true human condition - our true human condition. Building on this, Monday's lesson - I'm going to skip Sunday for a second, but I will come back to it.

Monday's lesson points this out and there's a point that's made in Monday's lesson contrasting us with God. In other words, we can look among ourselves and we can think of ourselves better than we are, but when you actually take a look at yourself in the context of who God is, all of a sudden the picture changes and you find yourself about, oh, that big, in light of how big God really is, and it's brought out. And the apostle Paul and others in Scripture bear this fact out. Notice, with me, Isaiah - I'm actually going to go back to the old testament for a second, notice what happens to the prophet Isaiah when he comes into the presence of God, himself. Okay? Isaiah chapter 6 - and I'll just read to you verses 1 through 5 - Isaiah chapter 6, verses 1 through 5 - notice what Isaiah says, "in the year that king uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up," - who does he see? He sees the Lord, okay? He's in the presence of God.

He says, "and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said: 'holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!' And the posts of the door were shaken by the voice of him who cried out, and the house was filled with smoke. So I said, 'woe is me, for I am undone!'" - Notice his testimony, now - "woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen" - whom? - 'I've seen the King.' And when he came face to face with the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, when he came face to face with God himself, in his holy temple, he saw his what? His human condition. And he expresses his human condition and, believe me, in the presence of God, this is our condition.

All of us can relate here, with the prophet Isaiah - and we need to acknowledge this. "Woe is me! For I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;" - Isaiah realizes who he is, and he realizes the condition of what? Everybody that surrounds him. "For" - he says - "my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts." And this is important. This is a valuable lesson for Isaiah because just after this revealing of his human condition, God says to Isaiah, 'who will go for us?' 'Who will I send?' And Isaiah says, 'Lord, send me.' Just because Isaiah saw his human condition didn't mean that God couldn't use him but, because he saw his human condition, that meant God could use him. Because who was going to get the glory in that situation? See, before, we see our human condition, we're always going to get the glory - we're always going to have something to boast about.

But when we keep our condition in mind, there's only one thing we can boast about - there's only one God that we can boast about. And so, when we see this in Isaiah - notice, with me, job chapter 42 - here's another example of this in job chapter - job chapter 42 - and leading up to job's testimony, there's an interesting situation that takes place. You know, many times we all desire to ask God questions. 'God, why this?' 'God, why that?' And we go on and we question and we question and we question. In this situation, in the book of job, from job 38 to 42, guess who's asking the questions? The script has been switched and now God is asking job the questions.

How would you like it if God approached you and said, 'let me ask you some questions.' We'd all be like, 'uh, that's a little different than we thought of it before.' I don't know, really, if I want God to ask me some questions. But, you know, when you study Scripture, God is always asking questions. Jesus asked a lot of questions to make us reflect - to think about who we are in light of who God is. And this is what God does with job and he talks about creation - all the things that he had created. Now job has no answer, like 'were you there when I did this?' 'No, I wasn't.

' And he kept asking him these questions. And when you read this, you get smaller - if you put yourself in job's shoes, you start to think of yourself less and less and less - okay? That's very good, okay? Notice, with me, job 42 - so when you get to the end of this, notice job's confession or his testimony, just like that of Isaiah's. It says, "then job answered the Lord and said: 'I know that you can do everything," - what are - what would our lives be like if we lived that way? 'Lord, I know that you can do everything. Nothing is impossible with you.' He says, "and that no purpose of yours can be withheld from you. You asked, 'who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?' Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.

Listen, please, and let me speak; you said, 'I will question you, and you shall answer me.' I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear, but now my eye sees you. Therefore I abhor" - what? - "Myself, and repent in dust and ashes." The script has been flipped and now job sees God for who he really is. Job needed to be reminded, in this situation, of who God is. But, to be reminded of who God is, job, ultimately, had to come to the place, again, of seeing what? His human condition. His human condition without God.

This is his testimony. He says, "therefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." What would the world be like if we acknowledged our human condition? Rather than run from it, rather than avoid it, rather than try to pass it off on somebody else, what would the difference be if we all acknowledge our true human condition? Now, in just a minute I have someone who is going to read a verse for us from the lesson, but before I do, I want to give you one other example in Scripture - Psalms 51, verses 3 through 5 - I'm just going to - I typed it out so that I could read it to you, but it's about David. As David comes face to face with God, through the prophet nathan, about his sleeping with bathsheba and David, again, is reminded of his human condition. And, friends, we are all in the same boat as job, as Isaiah, as David - and the list can go on - even as Paul - we're all in the same boat. It says - David writes, "for I acknowledge my transgressions" - verses 3 through 5 of Psalms - "I acknowledge my transgressions and my sin is always before me.

" His sin is what? Always before him. Isn't this the case, the closer we draw to God, the more we see our sinfulness and, yet, the more we see how great our Savior is in that process. He says, "my sins are always before me, against you, you only have I sinned and done this evil in your sight, that you may be found just when you speak and blameless when you judge. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me." Speaking of this sin, which truly is our condition. We're all - without God, we're in sin and we face its weaknesses on a day-to-day basis.

And Monday's lesson - there's a verse and I've asked someone to read Romans chapter 3, verse 23, and Paul, in Romans, starts to bring this out - Romans 3, verse 23. "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," how many have sinned? All have sinned. There is no one that is excluded from this passage. There is no human that is excluded from this condition. By the way, we've all, at some point or another, chosen to follow sin, rather than a Savior.

And the Bible continually brings this out. In Romans chapter 3, verse 10 - notice, with me, Romans chapter - Paul, speaking of our human condition - Romans chapter 3, verse 10 - Romans chapter 3, verse 10 - he says, "as it is written: 'there is none" - what? - "Righteous, no, not one;" - he says there's not one good and there is not one righteous. What is the opposite of righteousness? Sin. What is sin, as it is defined in Scripture? Sin is the transgression of God's moral law. When we break God's law, that is sin.

But the opposite of sin is righteousness. Righteousness is the keeping, by the grace of God, the very law of God. Psalms 119:172 - and, in just a minute, I'll have someone else read another verse for us, but just before that, notice Psalms 119, verse 172 says, "my tongue shall speak of Your Word, for all your commandments are righteousness." I love that passage from the psalmist - "all your commandments are righteousness." But Paul says, 'all have' - what? 'Sinned and come short of the glory of God.' You know, Jesus, when he walked on the earth, he said to his disciples, 'your righteousness must exceed that of the righteousness of the scribes and pharisees.' In other words, what the pharisees thought they were doing was righteous when, in reality, it was sin. You know, Isaiah said there would come a time when people would call good evil and evil good. Friends, we're living in that time.

The message out there is so mixed up. People are looking for a clear answer. A clarion call for truth - and here it is. We all are in need of a Savior because we all have sinned and no one is better than anybody else. We all have this human condition - this human condition.

We've all committed sin. We've all broken the law of God, and yet, God still longs for us to live righteously and Godly. But we do that in Christ Jesus. But, to do that, we need to acknowledge our human condition. Here's another verse I've asked someone to read.

It's Jeremiah chapter 17, verse 9. Notice how Jeremiah, looking at the human condition, describes it. Jeremiah 17:9, "the heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?" How many of you like that fact? But it's a fact, whether we like it or not, our hearts are desperately wicked and we can't even know them. This is our condition. We're in need, are we not? We're all in great need.

So, have things changed? When we look at the human condition, have things changed? Tuesday's lesson talks about progress. Have we - from the first century to the twenty-first century - have we evolved to be better? Right? I want to read, actually, from the lesson - right from the top, here, in Tuesday's lesson. It says, "at the turn of the twentieth century people lived with the idea that humanity was improving." Are we improving? "That morality would increase and that science and technology would help usher in a utopia." We're definitely not there. "Human beings, it was believed, were essentially on the path towards perfection. Through the right kind of education and moral training, it was thought that humans could greatly improve themselves and their societies.

" And yet, we fight over so many things and the divisions just continue to grow. It's kind of like the roman empire, how, over time, it destroyed itself from the inside out. Friends, left to our human condition, that's what we will ultimately do to each other. Left to our human condition, we'll destroy ourselves. It goes on: "all of this was supposed to start happening en masse as we entered into the brave new world of the twentieth century.

Now we're in the twenty-first century. Has it changed from the first century until now? Have we progressed? Very interesting. No we haven't. Matter of fact, the twentieth century is recorded as the most violent and barbaric in all of history. And it's not getting any better.

Notice, with me, Romans chapter - I want to read a few verses to you. Paul, describing the situation in the first century, and you tell me if we've improved on this, okay? Romans chapter 1 - I'll just start with verse 25 - or 22 - and then I'll read through 32, okay? Romans chapter 1 - notice, Paul says, concerning - okay - verse - I'll jump back one - "therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator, who is blessed forever. Amen." And notice, he goes on, "for this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge," - not a good choice, is it? When you look at this picture - to not retain God in their knowledge - "God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; fully of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, hater of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who" - what? - "Who practice them." Looking at this picture as Paul writes in the first century, is it any different in the twenty-first century? No, in many cases it just keeps getting worse and worse and worse. Left to our human condition we'll destroy ourselves. It's just a matter of time. And satan would love for that to happen. Satan would love for that to happen.

And, notice, verse 32 - at the very end, Paul says - right here he says, 'listen' - he says, "not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them." In other words, not only do you have people practicing these things on a regular basis, but you have people walking around - what? Approving of it. 'Let's just be tolerant of all things,' - right? But this is to help us understand what? Our need. This helps us understand we need a Savior. We need someone bigger than ourselves to help us with ourselves because we're about this big and we're not really capable of doing anything good or anything righteous - at all. And, to think any differently, is a deception.

To think of yourself greater than you ought, you're deceiving yourself. And the salvation that Christ offers to us will just pass us by. How many of you want to be saved from yourself? (Laughter) right? From yourself - that's what Jesus offers. He offers salvation from yourself so that you don't have to be destroyed and you don't have to destroy yourself, but that you can have eternal life and live with your creator forever. This is why we need to understand our human condition.

In Wednesday's lesson, Paul starts talking about the jews and the gentiles. You know, the jews always thought they were what? Better than the gentiles, right? They had a high and lofty view of themselves. So they missed their human condition. Isn't it any wonder they missed the Savior when he came? It says, 'he came unto his own, but his own received him not.' If you have such a high view of yourself, you're going to miss the Savior when he comes to you. But, if you see yourself as you truly are, you're looking for the Savior - you're desiring the Savior - you want the Savior because you're at the end of your rope.

And, by the way, when you've hit rock bottom, there's no other place to look than up. There's no other place. You know, God wanted Nebuchadnezzar to see the Savior so he gave him a dream. And in that dream he destroyed his world view and Nebuchadnezzar was left with nothing to cling to. And then God sent his prophet to give him a message and he was ready.

We, too, can be ready. The jews and the gentiles - the jews thought themselves to be greater than the gentiles. So, in Romans chapter 1, as we just read, what God ultimately does is he says, 'okay, this is - here's the gentiles - here's the pagans - here are those who have lost sight of God a long time ago and they have fallen into degrading practices.' And then, in Romans chapter 2, what Paul begins to do is he starts to speak about the impartiality of God and then he starts describing the Jewish condition. By the way, in reality, they're no different. They're no different.

And the jews needed to understand this. And, in Romans chapter 3, Paul speaks about the whole world being guilty before God. Notice, with me, Romans chapter , verse 19 - Romans chapter 3, verse 19 - he says, "now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law," - under the condemnation of the law - the law of God - "that every mouth may be" - what? - "Stopped, and all the world may become" - what? - "Guilty before God." Guilty - God wants to acknowledge - Paul's saying, 'listen, acknowledge your guilt - acknowledge your true condition - don't run from it, don't throw it away - whether you are jew or gentile, realize you're all at the same place. There is not one group higher than another group. There is not one group more superior than another group.

We all have this condition. We're all on the same footing. We're all at the same place. We're all starting from the same place. To Paul, understanding our human condition came first.

The jew and gentile were standing together. Whether they knew it or not, they were truly together in their human condition. Jeremiah says it best - and I've asked someone else to read another verse, here, in just a minute. Before that, I'm going to read to you Jeremiah 13, verse 23. Jeremiah says - in relationship to this condition - he says, "can the Ethiopian change his skin or the leopard its spots? Then may you also do good who are accustomed to do evil.

" Can you do good if you're accustomed to doing evil? Can you change your skin color? Can a leopard change his spots? Think about it. We can't. The jew couldn't and the gentile couldn't. The jew couldn't. The Greek couldn't do it.

And so, this is where, now, Paul starts to speak about the hope that there is in Christ Jesus - where the change really comes. I've asked someone to read Romans chapter 5, verse 6 - Romans chapter 5, verse 6. "For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the unGodly." Isn't that incredible? When we were without what? When we were without strength. In our human condition - when we see ourselves as we really are, we see we have no strength. There's nothing I can do.

I can make a choice, but only because Jesus gave me that ability. But really, there's nothing for me to do. And so, it says, 'Christ died for who? The unGodly. Think about it. If you don't see yourself as unGodly, as we begin, then how is it that we're going to ever accept the death that Christ died for us? It says he died for the unGodly.

If I don't see myself, at some point, as unGodly, how can I truly accept the sacrifice that Christ has given on my behalf - his work on my behalf? By the way, Paul says, in Corinthians, he says, you know, that Christ's strength - he says, 'my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.' And then Paul goes on, saying, 'because of this, I will gladly boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.' When we see our human condition, we see our need for the power of Christ. And the Gospel changes everything - the Gospel changes everything. Notice, with me, Romans chapter 5, verse 20. We just got done talking about how all are under the law. Later, notice what Paul writes - he says, "moreover, the law entered that the offense might" - what? - "Abound.

" So we have the moral law and it enters and we see our human condition and the law drives us more and more to see our human condition without a Savior. So the offense might abound, "but where sin abounded," - he says - "grace abounded much more," - just - just think about that for a minute. If I live my life understanding who I really am without God - consistently - where sin abounds, he says, grace does much more abound. I'm going to look up to the Savior and I'm going to see that his grace is sufficient for me at every single turn in my life, because I realize my human condition. I cannot do it without him.

You know, this fact was brought to me in my - especially in my senior year of high school, you know? And I've said this before, I didn't have a very good grade point average - 1.6 - I didn't think I was going to finish high school. I thought, 'Lord, this is impossible.' And yet, you know something? I realized my condition and I'm not the greatest student in the world. I'm just not that academic type, really. I enjoy reading now - the Lord's given that to me, but the thing was is that I saw my condition and I saw my need and it was amazing. As I saw God's grace and his ability to work in my life, I thought, 'Lord, you're going to get me through this.

I see my insufficiencies, but I see your grace. I see your power. Paul talks about this - Romans chapter 1, verses 16 and 17 - Romans chapter 1, verses 16 and - I love the words of Paul, here. He says, 'for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ for it is the power of God to salvation. Friends, when we see our human condition and we turn to God and we look to the Gospel and his good news and his power to work in our lives, we won't be ashamed either.

I won't be ashamed to share it with anybody I come in contact with because I know what I am without it - because I know what I am truly without it. And so, Paul understood what he was without it. He was a murderer without it. He was a liar without it. He was a thief without it.

But he knew what he was with it - and what it could do in the lives of those that he would come in contact with. He said, 'I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ - the good news of God's salvation - the fact that God was willing to send his only begotten son into this world to live the life - a true life of obedience to The Father in all his commandments. And then he takes upon himself our sin and he dies our death so that we may have life and have it more abundantly - so that we may have the power to choose that which is proper to God. And John says, 'as to as many as have received him' - in John chapter 1 - 'to as many as received him, to them gave he power to become The Sons of God.' That word 'power' or 'right' is actually the ability to choose that which is proper to God. How many of you want that ability? Knowing your human condition - how many of you really desire that - that ability to choose, at each step, that which is proper to God? In your struggles, in your challenges, in your tight situations, how many of you want the ability to make sure you're choosing that which is proper to God? That's what Christ gives to us - consistently.

And so Paul says, 'I'm not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation. For everyone' - notice - 'everyone' - remember, our human condition puts us all on what? The same ground. So, therefore, the salvation and the Gospel is given to everyone. We're all at the same place. Now, we need to see ourselves at the same place, but in reality, we all are there.

He says, 'for everyone who believes - for the jew first and also for the Greek - for in it' - for in the Gospel, he says - 'the righteousness of God is revealed.' How many of you desire to have the righteousness of God shining forth from your life? That should be our greatest desire. The righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith. As it is written, the just shall live by faith. We can't truly live by faith unless we see our true human condition. To receive him - the lesson talks about this in Thursday - to receive him is to repent.

To repent is to confess one's true condition and direction, knowing that another direction in life must be taken. In other words, we come to that place, understanding our human condition, understanding the direction we're going, and we reach out to the goodness of God and we turn from that way. And, by faith, as we reach up to the Savior, he gives us the ability and the power to make the right decisions so that we can turn and walk another direction - the direction, by the way, that is heaven-ward, not earth-ward. By faith this is to be done. Those who come to him must believe that he is and that he's a rewarder of those who diligently seek him.

I want to go back to one passage in Romans chapter 1 - I want you to notice this for just a minute. This really struck me last night as I was going back through this - this one verse - verse 25 - and I thought, 'this is an incredible verse' - and I read it several times. Think about it, just for a minute. It says, 'who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and who worshiped and served the creature rather than the creator who was blessed forever.' Now let me ask you a question: who in this passage is blessed forever? The creator. God, Paul is saying, is blessed forever.

Why would you want to serve the creature when you could be blessed forever? Think about it. Because if we serve God and not man, this is where all the blessings come from, because God, himself, Paul says, is blessed forever. And then he says, 'amen.' In other words, 'so be it.' So when we see our human condition, which really is trusting the creation - ourselves and others more than the creator. But when we see our human condition and we reach out to the creator, God says there are blessings that come with that - tremendous amounts of blessing. Why? Because the creator is blessed forever.

Wouldn't we want to be blessed forever? We need to see ourselves for who we really are without a Savior. And, in that condition, we need to reach up and out to the Savior and, by the way, he's walking right next to us. the Spirit of God is walking with us on a daily basis - desiring for us, each, to reach out. And so, by the grace of God, may we reach out. In closing, there's one other passage - may we have this mindset - Luke chapter 18, verse says, ".

..'God, be merciful to me a sinner!'" If we could live our lives with that prayer on our lips - with that prayer in our hearts, how different life would be, because in that prayer, that sinner receives salvation. He received the grace of God and he was enabled by that grace to do great things for God. Our human condition, don't just let it pass you by, but acknowledge it - understand it - but then understand that where sin abounds, grace does much more abound. Let's pray together as we close this lesson. Father in Heaven, we thank you so much for your many blessings, Lord, because you are blessed forever.

And, Lord, we're sinful - we're sinners, Lord, in great need of a Savior. Our hearts are desperately wicked above all things and we don't even know the depths of that wickedness in our hearts but, Lord, we ask that you cleanse them - you clean them - so that we, truly, by faith can exemplify in our lives the righteousness of Christ. We thank you so much for your many blessings. We thank you for this study in Romans and this time we can study Your Word together. In Jesus' precious and holy name we pray, amen.

I'd like to remind those that are viewing of our free offer. Our free offer - only sent to North America - you can go online outside of north America and you can go to the amazingfacts.org website to receive this but, within North America, it's offer #726. All you need to do is call -866-788-3966 to receive this free offer - hidden eyes and closed ears. May God bless you. Five hundred years ago, God used martin luther to inspire a great reformation; however, in the centuries that followed, the church has slipped off the bedrock of truth into the valley of Lukewarm worldliness.

That's why, this fall, I'll be presenting a brand-new nine-part series called foundations of faith. Please plan, now, to join me in person, online, or on television and be sure to invite others to join you as well. The reformation continues. Hi friends, you know, the modern flags that we see flying from the top of capital buildings, or out in front of patriotic homes, really stem back from the times of battles being fought between warring nations. These beautifully designed and intricately colored banners were flown high above the battlefields so the warring forces were able to identify, amid the chaos and the smoke and the fog of war, where their forces were rallied and where they were fighting the battle.

And, if you could capture your enemy's flag, it was considered the highest honor. I wonder if that's where we got the game 'capture the flag'. With the changes in war, now these flags also represent a little more of a demarcation and identification of different nationalities. Today, the flags that represent the different nations of the world are very colorful and diverse and all of the colors and the shapes have a specific meaning. They're easy to distinguish and recognize from one another.

Perhaps one of the most interesting flags in the world is the flag of the Philippines. This is unique because it is flown differently in times of peace than it is in times of war. During times of peace, the filipino flag, that's composed of red, white, blue, and yellow, is flown with the blue side up. But, in times of war, they flip it around and the red side is up because there they're willing to make sacrifices of their blood to defend the freedom of their country. In the same way that an embassy that is situated in a foreign country flies their flag while still surrounded by another nation, Christians are supposed to have the flag of God's love flying in this fallen world.

You can read in the book Song of Solomon chapter 2, verse , "his banner over me is love." Love is the flag that identifies Christians as a unique kingdom even here in the world. So, friend, the big question is: how are you flying your flag? For life-changing Christian resources, visit afbookstore.com or call 1-800-538-7275.

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