Salvation By Faith Not Works, Romans 4:1-25

This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post (see Small Blogger Group // New Entries Post Here to post your link) on Romans Chapter 4. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidelines). Right now we are several weeks into the group, which started in James, and this week I am hosting the group, so to post your entry just follow the link above called “new entries post here”.

No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

This week we continue in the justification by faith but through the Old Testament. Always a fun and exciting topic, one that we as Christians love to bounce around and argue about over various topics and pieces, so I am looking forward to reading the other members posts here today as well.

A Little Background on Romans 4

Here in Chapter 4 Paul is talking to us again about being justified by faith, not by works. Paul uses two illistrations here from the Old Testament, Abraham and David. He also quotes the OT several times and is leading us into the results of justification starting in Chapter 5.

We can break down this chapter into 4 smaller sections. (1) By Faith Not Works v1-8, (2) By Faith Not Rite v9-12, (3) By Faith Not the Law v13-17, and finally (4) By Faith in Gods Promise v18-25. I am going to very briefly touch on each of these.

By Faith Not Works (4:1-8)

Paul starts off by introducing Abraham and talks about how if anyone is justified by works, it would be Abraham. In these times, the Rabbis taught that Abraham has an over abundance of righteousness that would be passed down to his decedents (David being one of them).

Paul agrees here that he did great works, but says that it was only for men, not for God. Paul quotes Genesis 15:6 here:

Genesis 15:6 Abram believed the LORD, and he credited it to him as righteousness.

Paul again quotes the OT and then explains to us that Abraham was justified through God not because of his works, but because he believed in and trusted God. This is still something I think many of us struggle with today. We did this good work, so now we are justified.

I think our society today embraces this quality. I was amazed at a study of how many people believed that if you were a “good person” you would go to heaven. It is something that has been passed down from unbelieving generation to generation. Be a “good person” and you will be rewarded.

The problem with that is who determines what a good person is or does? I certainly don’t want to be compared against Billy Graham, do you? I always loved when a pastor of mine use to say. Works doesn’t get us into heaven, but I still don’t want to be standing in line behind Billy Graham. We can not have faith and trust in our own works, it is worthless.

By Faith Not Rite (4:9-12)

This next section once again brings up the topic of who is included. It is the Jews or the Gentiles? Paul starts to talk about how and when Abraham was justified. Was it before or after he was circumcised? Paul answers his own question, it was before.

Abraham was to perform this on all male decedents as a covenant with God, and this was done when Abraham was 99 years old (Genesis 17:24). It is generally stated that Abraham was 86 when Hagar bore him Ishmael, he was told after that point to circumcise the family.

24 Abraham was ninety-nine years old when he was circumcised,

Many jews who rely on the rite circumcision for salvation. We see here, it has nothing to do with actual salvation since it occurred before in Abraham’s life. Once again we are shown that we must have faith. Nothing we do on our own can make us righteous.

By Faith Not the Law (4:13-17)

Here again we can see that the promise God made to Abraham that his decendents would be the heirs to the world, is preceeded by the law by quite a few centuries.

Genesis 12:1 The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you. 2 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”

We can look at Galatians 3:17 and see it was over 400 years before the law was to be given out.

17 What I mean is this: The Law, introduced 430 years later, does not set aside the covenant previously established by God and thus do away with the promise.

Paul is going step by step here and it may not be the most common thing in our day, it was clear to his readers that he was telling them, you are not going to be justified by the Law, and neither are we.

We can still look at the Law today, it guides us in just about everything we do. Even if we are unaware of God’s Law, we are still governed under its rules today. We don’t run a red light because we are told, do not kill. We pay for things instead of steal them, and so on. None of this will get us right with God, only faith in Jesus Christ will do that.

By Faith in God’s Promise (4:18-25)

In the final section we see how much faith Abraham had in God. He had so much faith in God that he believed in an impossible situation, and Paul says this is why he was credited with righteousness.

There are so many things in our lives that we can decide we don’t want God to handle. We can give God control over part of our life in this situation, but not in that one. We (I include myself) waver back and forth between trusting ourselves, in our works, in our rites, and in the fact that we uphold the Law, that we loose site of God.

I really love seeing the faith of Abraham. It is not that he was a perfect person, or had some kind of super natural powers, he was an old man that put in trust and faith in one thing, God. I know people who have given up in faith. They felt that because their faith wavered that they were not worthy of God’s call, or hypocrites.

I wish one person in particular would understand we all do this. That is why we have a Savior to come back to when we stumble. We are not required to be perfect, all we need is faith the size of a mustard seed.

Visit the Other Bloggers in the Group

There are several other bloggers who participate each week. Be sure to read their posts and comment. Don’t forget to come back and leave a link to your post as well.

Blogger Small Group on Romans and You're Invited

If you are looking for the Small Blogger Group on Romans you found the right place. I am hosting the group this week while a few are away tending to other duties, so please be in prayer for Kyle, Brian, and Heath, as they take a break this week.

This Week with Consuming Worship, Romans 4

This weeks Small Group in partnership with Consuming Worship we start Romans chapter four [4] all verses. (Side Note: If you haven’t read Romans chapter four [4], but want to participate. Read it now and write about it. Any input is better than no input. Everyone is welcome.) [Mr. Linky is at the bottom]

If you’re new and not sure what to do, below I have posted the instructions to the group. Take the time to read them, it will help make this group much easier for you. INSTRUCTIONS

Small Blogger Group – Damascus Style

This week I am going to do the Mr Linky slightly different than Vagabondrunn. I have posted it right here on the page, so all you need to do is post the link to your study entry right here, and we should all be able to see the links for the other entries as well.

If you have any questions at all please just send me a quick email or twitter and I will get right back with you. I am going to post my own entry on a different blog post, so go ahead and leave your links here.

Righteousness Being Revealed by God, Romans 3:21-31

This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 3:21-31. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidelines). Right now we are several weeks into the group, which started in James.

No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

This week we dive into the theological rich area of justification by faith. Always a fun and exciting topic, one that we as Christians love to bounce around and argue about over various topics and pieces, so I am looking forward to reading the other members posts here today as well.

A Little Background on Romans 3:21-31

This section of scripture can be a little confusing or complicated, at least to me, but Paul is talking about righteousness being revealed by God. We do learn here, if we didn’t know already, that there is not one single human being (Jesus being the one single exception) that has ever, or ever will be able to meet the standards of God on his or her own merit.

I do have a few favorite verses and Romans 3:23 is one of them.

23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God

To me, this is the key verse in this section. There is no difference that exists between human beings because all have sinned.

A Little Run Through the Bible Dictionary

Sometimes there are big words in the Bible that we don’t understand fully, but there are some that I would deem as “religious” words that we turn off for one reason or another. I wanted to touch on a few that I have trouble with from time to time, just to remind myself of their meaning here in Romans 3.

I know I am not addressing the exact scriptures word by word or verse by verse, but I think these two terms below are important parts of this scripture, so today I just decided to focus on what they meant as a part of these passages in Romans (sorry for the deviation).


This word in the NT context is mainly used by Paul and one Bible dictionary talks about the Greek family of words that goes in to providing a proper definition of the word righteousness.

A single family of words expresses the concept. Dikaiosyne, which means “uprightness”, Dikaios is “just” and dikaioo means to “pronounce or treat a person as righteous or to vindicate or acquit”.

This was someone who met obligations to others in their community and to the “gods”, or in Jesus day it was viewed as behavioral conformity to the written or oral law. Here are a few other definitions I came across when looking this up.

  • adhering to moral principles
  • Righteousness (also called rectitude) in this article refers to the important theological concept in Islam, Judaism and Christianity. …
  • The quality or state of being righteous; holiness; purity; uprightness; rectitude. Righteousness, as used in Scripture and theology, in which it chiefly occurs, is nearly equivalent to holiness, comprehending holy principles and affections of heart, and conformity of life to the divine law; A …
  • Righteousness is an attribute of moral purity belonging to God alone (John 17:25 ). It is He alone who is truly righteous. …
  • The righteousness of faith is the gift of righteousness which the believer receives through the abundance of the Father’s grace. …
  • Righteousness is the moral perfection of God that is the standard of what is right. God’s righteousness is expressed in the Ten Commandments. …
  • Living in truth, acting in justices. Life itself can be understood or viewed as motion or movement. It began at birth, and ends at death. One cannot reach the end without a means or vehicle. Thus, righteousness is the vehicle of life with truth as the guide and justice as the steerimg wheel.
  • Justification

    These two terms in the Bible are very similar. Sometimes Justification and Righteousness are used for the same meaning. In the NT terminology the word is dikaioo (same as used above) which means “to acquite” or “to vindicate”, or “to pronounce righteous”.

    Some other definitions are:

  • something (such as a fact or circumstance) that shows an action to be reasonable or necessary; “he considered misrule a justification for …
  • a statement in explanation of some action or belief
  • the act of defending or explaining or making excuses for by reasoning; “the justification of barbarous means by holy ends”- H.J.Muller
  • In Christian theology, justification is God’s act of declaring or making a sinner righteous before God. … (theology)
  • The early church said to rejoice in the fact that God had pronounced them righteous (or justified) for all those believing in Jesus (Acts 13:39).

    39 Through him everyone who believes is justified from everything you could not be justified from by the law of Moses.

    Back to Romans 3:21-31

    So that is all fine and good but where does that leave us with today’s passage. We started off in Romans chapters 1-3 with Paul starting what would be his argument that none of us are “righteous” in God’s sight, until he hits today’s verses.

    Paul has now moved into an argument that righteousness is from God, given freely, and received by those of us who believe in his son Jesus Christ. This is the basis of all we are as Christians and something that we should all cling to.

    We can not be justified or righteous on our own account, none of us can.

    Do We Nullify the Law?

    This is something we/I struggle with. So do we follow the law or not. Is the law applicable today or not. Well, Paul answers that question right here. Paul says here in the greek“me genoito!” Meaning, may it not be or God forbid, or basically, not at all.

    I read a section in my study that put it like this:

    The purpose of the Mosaic Law is fulfilled and its place in God’s total plan is confirmed when it leads an individual to faith in Jesus Christ. Paul repeatedly affirmed that faith, not works of the Law, is the way of salvation. He wrote the word “faith” eight times in Romans 3:22-31 (and twice in v31).

    I think that says and shows the Law’s importance in our lives today. I know this was a little off topic but that is where I was led to go today, hope someone got something out of the information above, if not, I know I did.

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    Condemnation Against All Mankind, Romans 3:9-20

    We are all under sin

    This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 3:1-8. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidelines). Right now we are several weeks into the group, which started in James.

    No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

    This week we are studying the second part a smaller section of the third chapter of Romans. We left off last week with a discussion on a guilty world (see my post Blogger Small Group, Romans 3:1-8) and Paul picks up where he left off.

    A Little Background on Romans 3:9-20

    In this next section, Paul is talking about the condemnation against all mankind. He includes the Greeks and the Jews in this conversation saying we are all under sin, and shows how God’s righteousness is revealed to us through our sin.

    We Are All Under Sin [v9-18]

    Paul starts off this discussion with an exclamation that all are under sin, Jews and Greeks alike. Paul talks about how the Jews have advantages over the Gentiles (2:17-20; 3:1-2) but then explains here that God does not give them preferential treatment when it comes to the righteousness of God and judgment of sin.

    Psalm 14:3 All have turned aside, they have together become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one.

    To show his point, Paul references the Old Testament in verses 10-18. This passage was taken from Psalm 14:1-3, and although not quoted word for word, emphasizes that there is not one member of the human race that has not done good.

    The phrase there is not one, or there is none is said several times to show how important it is that we see, there is only one who has done good, and that is Jesus.

    White Board for All Under Sin

    Ok, so here is my whiteboard for this week. I have been going back and forth about this one and I am not totally in agreement with myself on this one, but I wanted to put it up as it came out and let the discussion handle it.

    I think accountability can be in both places, but the idea is we are either counting on ourself, or we are counting on Jesus. There is no in between to me.

    So there it is, feel free to pick it apart. It isn’t perfect, but, I just read the scriptures and it says I’m on the left side of this chart.

    Become Conscience of Sin Through the Law [v19-20]

    Paul concludes by talking about how the Jews are under the Law. The Law is not a way for all of us to be declared righteous (justified) in God’s sight (3:28 coming up), that was not the purpose. Instead the Law was given to us so through it, we would become conscience of sin.

    Conclusion and Other Bloggers

    This was a real interesting part of Romans for me. I go back and forth constantly with the Law, personal conviction, justification, and God’s grace through Jesus. The upcoming verses will only continue the discussion and I look forward to those too.

    Be sure to check out the other bloggers below that also post for the Romans small blogger group, and if you can, leave your comments below.

    All Things Work for God's Good, Romans 3:1-8

    Glorify God Whiteboard
    This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 3:1-8. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidlelines). Right now we are several weeks into the group, which started in James.

    No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

    This week we are studying a smaller section of the third chapter of Romans. We left off last week with a discussion on sin and judgment (see my post Blogger Small Group, Romans 2) and Paul picks up where he left off.

    A Little Background on Romans 3:1-8

    In this section Paul is focusing on the Condemnation Because of their Unbelief or also referred to as All the World Guilty. Paul goes through and asks and answers an obvious question left over from Chapter 2.

    3:1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision?

    This would have been the obvious question in his reader’s mind up to this point. Why bother then. His answer of course was that the Jews were given a huge responsibility with being entrusted (past tense) with the very words of God.

    This can mean the entire Old Testament scripture or more likely means the Jews were given the promises and commands of God (which they did not stand up to).

    Sin Enhances the Kingdom of God, Romans 3:5-8

    This is a very interesting section to me. Paul goes through the argument that some people question that Paul is actually arguing that the more sin in ones life, the more glory is given to God. Paul was accused of teaching this falsehood and he clearly states this is wrong in verse 8.

    8 And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their condemnation is just.

    Paul is saying that we are sinners and God is going to judge sin. If God judges sin, why would we “enhance” our lives with more judgment?

    All Things Work for God’s Good

    When researching this study today one scripture came up that speaks to verse 8 and that is 2 Corinthians 5:10 (below). It is true that all things work for the good of God’s kingdom, as shown in Romans 8:28, (something to look forward to in this study), so does that mean that God uses sin for his “good”? Yes.

    2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.

    So what makes Paul correct here when his readers accusing him of teaching more sin = more glory and the end doesn’t actually justify the means. It has to do with how God gets us from one place to another. We can end up in the same place, the Glory of God, but road is different. legend consequences

    The Glorify God White Board

    Well, since it worked to help me understand last week, I am going to do it again this week, lets go to the white board and see if I can’t figure it out. I have found out that by doing this I actually learn something in the process just trying to figure it out in a simple way, so indulge me with a sketch.

    A little more complicated than last week and if you have to explain a white board it is probably a bad one, but here there are two roads or routes we can take, by choice. Both lead to glorifying God. One takes a lot longer and is a lot more painful.

    This is actually how I look at how sin has effected my life. The road sin takes us down is not a fun one, but God will correct us and bring us back to Him, at some point.

    I might mention we can also find ourselves on both roads at the same time with different issues going on in our lives. If (according to the white board) we just focus on looking “up” and not over to the side where sin lays in wait, we will probably find ourselves in a much better place.

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    Sins No Longer Remembered for Judgment, Romans 2

    judgment of sin

    This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 2. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidlelines). Right now we are a few weeks into the group, which started in James.

    No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

    A Little Background on Romans 2

    This time I am going to do something a little different and instead of going verse by verse I am going to take the chapter as a whole and discuss one or two points. Romans is so packed full it is hard to even discuss a small section of it at a time and cover the details it deserves.

    Romans 2 is broken up into two sections (in the NASB), The Impartiality of God, and The Jew Is condemned by the Law. Two parts of this stand out to me that I will discuss below. Judgment of our sins, and passing judgment on others.

    Theme For Chapter 2

    God will judge us all, the self-righteous, the religious, the un-Godly, and the Godly. This is always key for me to remember. Paul is not talking about salvation here. He is talking about sin. When it comes to the judgment of God I try to remember a basic thing, found right here in Romans 2:11-12

    11For there is no partiality with God. 12 For all who have sinned without the Law will also perish without the Law, and all who have sinned under the Law will be judged by the Law;

    Sins No Longer Remembered for Judgment

    If you notice, there is impartiality, but with a distinction. Both the righteous and un-righteous (Believers and non-Believers) will be judged by their sins.

    But, the Believers sins are washed away from the redemption of Christ. So, to me, negative judgment of sins is reserved for the unrepentant, positive judgment of your life is reserved for the repentant soul. How’s that you say?

    To try and better understand it myself, I sketched this out while working through these verses. It is very simplistic, but it is what represented the ideas here, to me.

    1. Repentant Believers sin is not seen in God’s eyes, so therefore we are not judged on life’s sins, but on what positive things we have done in our lives for Christ. How did we use our life Christ gave us for His purposes AND any un-confessed sin.
    2. Non-repentant Unbelievers, those still trapped by sin, are judged by their sins.

    This may be a little off topic of the impartiality of God, but I do believe that scripture tells us that we, as repentant Believers in Christ, will not be judged by our sins, but by our life as a follower of Christ. The first is from Psalms 103:12 when are are told that our sins are remembered no more.

    Psalms 103: 12 As far as the east is from the west,
    So far has He (A)removed our transgressions from us.

    and the second is from Isaiah 1:18-19 where we are told our sins will be made white as snow

    Isaiah 1:18-19 – 18 “Come now, and (C)let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “(D)Though your sins are as scarlet, They will be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They will be like wool. 19 (E)If you consent and obey, You will (F)eat the best of the land;

    The key of course in those two verses is that you have to ask for your sins to be forgiven. Once we do this, our sins are remembered no more and they are white as snow. This means even though WE remember our own sins, God does not. If He does not remember our sins, we will not be judged by the sins unknown.

    We do have to keep in mind what the repentant sinner is in us. It isn’t saying grace before dinner. We are given examples to follow all throughout scripture in how to pray, ask for forgiveness, and repent. When researching Romans 2, one thing that came to mind was Matthew 6:14-15.

    14 For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 15 But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

    There is more to God no longer remembering our sins than us just asking and moving on, when it comes to forgiveness of others. There is action involved in confessing our sins, yes, but there is a specific action involved here, for us to forgive others as well. Often times, something extremely difficult for us to do.

    Passing Judgment on Others

    I think with many of us this is a favorite pastime. I just recently watched a video of Loswhit (a worship leader and pastor) who did a post on the tatooe he got on the show LA Ink called YouTube Chatter where he posted some comments left for him by his viewers. These are… say it all together… judgments.

    Romans 2:1 just about says it all.

    1 Therefore you have (A)no excuse, (B)everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which (C)you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 And we know that the judgment of God rightly falls upon those who practice such things.

    Why do we find it so necessary to judge others in this manner? We all do it in one form or another, right? Lets see.

    • that dress is to short to wear to church
    • he is a Christian, he should hang on in those places
    • he shouldn’t get that tattoo
    • he shouldn’t drink, smoke, curse, cut his hair, have long hair
    • that person is stupid, look at how he drives
    • they shouldn’t do this, they should do that

    It can go on and on, but we make instantaneous judgments all the time, or at least I think I do. Paul is saying, we are going to be judged by the same standard we judge others, BUT, there is one other thing. Paul is condemning people here for not living up to God’s standard, not the standard of man we set for each other.

    Summary of This Week

    For me, I am glad God is an impartial God. No other human court or government can have the impartiality that God can have, and I am glad for that. I am also thankful that once we confess our sins to God, he does not remember them any more.

    I know I also have to continually remind myself NOT to judge others. That is not up to me, it is up to God. By me looking upon others in judgment is to elevate myself to a God status, and I certainly don’t want that.

    Other Blogs of Note

    This is a powerful book, and chapter. Almost impossible to go into any great depth but I am looking forward to reading the other posts as well. See the blogs participating in the study below and make sure to leave a comment for them.

    Exploring Paul's Letter to the Romans, Romans 1

    This is my installment for the Blogger Small Group post on Romans chapter 1. There is always time for anyone to join in if they like (see Blogger Small Group Rules/Guidlelines). Right now we are a few weeks into the group, which started in James. No need to try and catch up, just start in the same place we are and post your opinions.

    A Little Background on Romans

    The book of Romans is of course a letter that Paul of Tarsus, or the Apostle Paul wrote to the Romans. It was written from Corinth, Cenchrea (16:1) at the end of Paul’s third missionary journey during the time he was in Greece for three months (Acts 20:3).

    Paul was writing this letter for a few reasons.

    1. He wanted to let the Romans know he was planning a visit
    2. He wanted to give a detailed explanation of the Gospel message
    3. To address a conflict between Jewish and Gentile segments

    It is believed that the letter was written somewhere around the Spring of A.D. 57 or 58, according to several verses in Acts 20.

    From Paul’s Letter to the Romans, Chapter 1

    In the first chapter, the NASB version has the text separated into two sections. The Gospel Exalted and the Unbelief and Its Consequences. I will touch on a few points in each section. When I went to look at this chapter, it was well written over in my Bible.

    I think last time I seriously looked at Romans 1 it took months, but that was by my design so don’t let that discourage you from reading.

    The Gospel Exalted

    This section is very much like an opening salutation in a letter, which is basically what Paul is doing here. He greets and identifies his readers, establishes a connection with them, and then talks about the theme for Romans by talking about him impending visit.

    The part that stands out to me is v15-17. Something Paul did even before he became a Christian, he was passionate about what he did. Statement like, “for I am eager to preach” and “I am not ashamed of the gospel” show how strong he feels about what he believes and I love how he quotes the old testament at the end of verse 17.

    15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

    Sometimes I think we loose that passion over time. As we mature in our Christian walk or faith, to ride the roller coaster of passion. Some days we are, some we aren’t, but look at the words Paul uses here, wow.

    Part of it I think is a comfort level we have in this country (for those who live in the U.S.). Basically we need for nothing, and get excited about our baseball or football team (which I do). Do we get as excited about the Gospel as we do Auburn or Alabama football, or the race on Sunday afternoon?

    Unbelief and Its Consequences

    This is an extremely powerful section in the book of Romans and speaks about righteousness, one of those “religious” words. It is an examination of our faith and sinful natures that shows the human race is condemned before God, helpless and hopeless apart for God’s grace and the sacrifice of Jesus.

    Paul talks about several lifestyles and sins that condemn us as a people. Since the fourth is one that is a “hot topic” in our society today, I will make a few comments about that one in particular.

    1. Suppressing Gods Truth
    2. Ignoring God’s revelation (v19-20)
    3. Perverting God’s glory (v21-23)
    4. A call to abandon sexual perversions and other lifestyles

    A Call To Abandon Sexual Perversions

    Things are not so different today than when Paul wrote this chapter. We as a society still deal with all these same issues as they did back then. I think one difference is that we have become accepting of anything and everything. We are trying to see where we stand with verse 27 here in the U.S., so I felt it appropriate to at least mention the topic.

    27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    Those who know me well know that I try my hardest not to judge or condemn. What I try to do is read and educate myself on the topics and issues in an attempt to try and better understand them. To me, ignorance is king, and the best way to quickly move out of God’s will. On the topic of sexual relations and scripture, one commentary puts it like this:

    The words translated women and men in these verses are the sexual words “females” and “males”. Contemporary homosexuals insist that these verses mean that it is perverse for a heterosexual male or female to engage in homosexual relations but it is not perverse for a homosexual male or female to do so since homosexuality is such a person’s natural preference.

    This is strained exegesis unsupported by the Bible. The only natural sexual relationship the Bible recognizes is a heterosexual one (Gen. 2:21-24; Matt. 19:4-6) within marriage.

    I think the most revealing thing about that statement is the very last part, within marriage. That makes no distinction between homosexual acts, premarital acts, and adultery, they are all in the same boat. There is basically no difference.

    Let the Person Without Sin Cast the First Stone

    So, what about those who rail about homosexuality and are active in adultery or sex outside of marriage? For me, the planks in my eye are far to big to worry about someone else. For those holding up the signs in protest, I hope self examination is part of their process as well.

    I think Christ’s focus was on love and compassion. I have had this discussion with friends over the years and one thing I have always try to point out is verse 29-31 of this chapter. This is not a one verse gotcha on homosexuality. Anyone who has a problem with verse 27 should also have a problem with verses 29-31

    29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

    Look at that list, wow. Sin is sin. I find no difference or distinction in God’s word between being a liar, a homosexual, or a gossip. All are departures from God’s ultimate perfect plan for our lives. We all fall short.

    I try to keep in mind, let the person who has no sin in their lives cast the first stone. Although we love to judge, it isn’t up to us to do so. I have enough to worry about with my own life and my walk with God to try and decide what is best for another person, I’ll let God do that.

    Other Blogs of Note

    Well, that should be enough keywords on all the above to keep my blog banned on Google for all sorts of things for a while. Other posts that have been released so far are below, be sure to check them out and leave a comment. Please leave a comment for this post as well, I would love to hear your comments.

    If you haven’t joined the Small Blogger group and would like to, now is a great time. Jump in on Romans Chapter 2 and let us know what you think.