(#459) Romans 14 - Christianity is the Spirit of the Law Not the Letter of the Law

ROM-419-190324 - length: 86:19 - taught on Mar, 24 2019

Class Outline:


God wants you to live a life of freedom not bondage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Welcome To 

BARAH MINISTRIES

a Christian Church

Rory Clark

Pastor-Teacher

 

Good Morning!

 

Welcome to Barah Ministries…a small and intimate Christian Church with worldwide impact.  My name is Pastor Rory Clark.  At Barah Ministries, our God is the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We make a difference by teaching the Word of God from God’s perspective, and not from man’s perspective. 

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Christianity is the Spirit of the Law Not the Letter of the Law

 

Matthew, Chapter 23, Verse 24 describes The Weak perfectly as The Lord evaluate the conduct of the Jewish Pharisees…

 

MATTHEW 23:24

You blind guides…who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!

 

There are those who focus so much on the little things that they miss the big picture.  In obsessing about the letter of the law, it is easy to miss the spirit of the law.  In today’s lesson we’ll gain some understanding about the difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law.

 

In the opening of every lesson at Barah Ministries we learn something about God.  In recent weeks we have learned that God is FORGIVING…He is JUST…He is RIGHTEOUS…He is SOVEREIGN…He is OMNISCIENT… He is OMNIPRESENT…He is OMNIPOTENT.  Today we learn that God is IMMUTABLE…Malachi, Chapter 3, Verse 6…

 

MALACHI 3:6a

“For I, the Lord, do not change…”

 

What is immutability?

 

IMMUTABLE

An attribute of God’s essence that says He is unchanging in His character… unchanging in His will…and unchanging concerning His promises.  God’s immutability defines all other parts of His essence as well. God is immutably FORGIVING…He is immutably JUST…He is immutably RIGHTEOUS… He is immutably SOVEREIGN…He is immutably OMNISCIENT…He is immutably OMNIPRESENT…He is immutably OMNIPOTENT...none of God’s assets ever change.

 

God is unlike anyone else we know because God can always be counted on!

He is consistent. God’s nature does not change…nor does His character change…nor do the attributes of His essence change.  God is perfect.  He cannot be made better, nor does He have to develop in any way. There is no need for God to change anything about Himself.  Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse 8 says…

 

HEBREWS 13:8

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!

 

God’s unconditional love for us doesn’t change…and nothing can change it…Romans, Chapter 8, Verses 38 and 39…

 

ROMANS 8:38

For I (Paul) am convinced that neither death nor life…nor angels nor principalities…nor things present nor things to come…nor powers…

 

ROMANS 8:39 

…nor height nor depth…nor any other created thing…will be able to separate us believers in Christ from the unconditional love of God the Father…which comes from being in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Because God does not change, we are secure.  James, Chapter 1, Verse 17…

 

JAMES 1:17

Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above…coming down from the Father of lights…with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.

God does not change His plans…He is not fickle.  One of the great things that He would never consider changing is your salvation…once you are saved you’re saved forever!  John, Chapter 10, Verse 28…

 

JOHN 10:28

“…and I (the Lord Jesus Christ) give eternal life to believers in Christ…and they will never perish… and no one will snatch them out of My hand.”

 

Welcome to a place where you can experience stability by clinging to the promises of an unchangeable God through the study of His Word.

 

In Revelation, Chapter 21, Verse 5 we have a promise from our immutable God…

 

REVELATION 21:5

And the Lord Jesus Christ who sits on the throne (of the universe) said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” And He said (to the apostle John, author of the book of Revelation), “Write…for these words of Mine are faithful and true.”

 

Here’s Lincoln Brewster to remind us that God’s promises aren’t only a future event…they keep on happening day after day…here is his song MADE NEW.

 

MUSIC AND REFLECTION

Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises

 

MADE NEW

Lincoln Brewster

 

OPENING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

We’re grateful, Heavenly Father, for the privilege of studying Your absolute truth...the Word of God…

 

Father, thank you for being someone we can count on…thank you for being the still point in this rapidly changing world…thank you for being our Rock and our refuge and our strength…

 

Teach us how to be the same as a reflection of You…teach us how to say what we mean…how to mean what we say…how to make a decision and stick to it…how to do only the things that advance us and to avoid those things which detract from us…using the marvelous life of freedom You have provided…

 

…we ask this through the power of God the Holy Spirit…in Christ’s

name...Amen.

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Christianity is the Spirit of the Law Not the Letter of the Law

 

We continue our study of the first passage of Romans, Chapter 14…which extends from the first verse to the twelfth verse…

 

ROMANS 14:1

Now accept the one who is weak in faith…but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his opinions.

 

There are differences between believers in Christ.  There is The Strong Believer…the one who is spiritually mature because God has made Him that way through consistent study of the WORD OF GOD…and there is The Weak Believer…one who is immature…which means not fully developed… either because of being new to the faith or because of having as a life theme song…YOU CAN GO YOUR OWN WAY.  Independence has its merits, but not necessarily in the spiritual life…it’s much better to depend on God.

 

Noticing the differences in maturity between us and other believers is not an invitation to elitism…it’s a call to the responsibility of Christian LOVE… that we welcome the immature and treat them with the same unconditional love that God uses with all His creatures…the big and the small.  It is not a Christian’s job to judge…it is our job to LOVE.  The Lord would have us follow Billy Joel’s recommendation…I love you just the way you are!

 

ROMANS 14:2 

One person has faith that he may eat all things…but he who is weak eats vegetables only.

 

Those new to Christianity may be steeped either in legalistic traditions or lascivious traditions.   They may think that Christianity is strictly following and never breaking the rules…or they may think that Christianity is an over focus on sin…all about right and wrong. The enemy of God, Satan deceives us into thinking both of these things.  These false notions guide much of parenting.  It is the thought that we’ll be able to badger our children into never breaking the rules or into never making mistakes.  We bombard our children with these false messages and challenge them to live a lifestyle we’ve never been able to run successfully.  Is there any wonder why they think we are stupid?

 

 

An over focus on the rules through the Mosaic Lam was a teaching aid for the Jews…but it was only a shadow of things to come…when the Lord Jesus Christ came…when God took on the form of man and came to tabernacle among us…everything changed…Mark, Chapter 7, Verses 18 and 19…

 

MARK 7:18

And the Lord Jesus Christ said to His disciples, “Are you too lacking in understanding (like the Pharisees)? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him…”

 

MARK 7:19 

“…because it does not go into his heart…but into his stomach…and is eliminated?” (Thus the Lord declared all foods clean.)”

 

The Weak Believer is slow to make the transition from the Law to the freedom of Grace…slow to adopt the spirit of the law.  Therefore…

 

ROMANS 14:3 

The one who eats (The Weak) is not to regard with contempt the one who does not eat (The Strong)…and the one who does not eat (The Strong) is not to judge the one who eats (The Weak)…for God has accepted both of them.

 

There is to be no judging. God introduced the change concerning food as far back as Genesis, Chapter 9, Verse 3…in the Torah!

 

GENESIS 9:3

Every moving thing that is alive shall be food for you…I (the Lord) give all of this to you…just as I gave you the green plant.

 

The Lord even shares the value of drinking…First Timothy, Chapter 5, Verse 23…

 

FIRST TIMOTHY 5:23

No longer drink water exclusively…but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

 

The Strong Believer knows that Christianity is not a lifestyle of restrictions…it is a lifestyle of freedom.  Yet with freedom comes great responsibility.  To be sure…abstaining from certain foods has value…First Timothy, Chapter 4, Verses 4 and 5…

 

FIRST TIMOTHY 4:4

For everything created by God is good…and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude…

 

FIRST TIMOTHY 4:5 

…for it is sanctified by means of the Word of God and prayer.

 

Abstaining from certain foods, while wise, is not The Christian Way of Living.  Eating or not eating certain foods does not make us spiritual.  It’s hard for many to believe that those of us who understand freedom are living life to a higher principle that those who are over focusing on sin and the Law. Romans, Chapter 6, Verse 14…

 

ROMANS 6:14

For sin shall not be master over you believers in Christ…for you are not under the Law…but you are under the sphere of grace (a lifestyle of freedom).

 

What if as parents you taught your kids how to make great decisions and then let them live with the consequences of their decisions without judging.

 

ROMANS 14:4 

Who are you to keep on judging the servant of another? To his own master a servant stands or falls…and the servant will be made to stand by God…for the Lord is able to make him stand.

 

God does not propose to judge us until the end of our days…we would do well to follow His lead. Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 10…

 

SECOND CORINTHIANS 5:10

For we believers in Christ must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ…so that each one of us may be compensated for his deeds done in the body…to be evaluated according to what he has done…whether good or bad.

 

At the judgment seat of Christ, a believer’s salvation is not in question.  We are saved.  God will review our lives with us and will point out the things that worked because they were done in diving energy…and those things that did not work because they were from the flesh.  The only judge is The Righteous Judge…the Lord Jesus Christ…and we are not to assume His prerogative by judging others.  John, Chapter 5, Verse 22…

 

JOHN 5:22

For not even God the Father judges anyone…but the Father has given all judgment to the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ)…

 

Now the transition from food as an example to another example…the observance of days…

 

ROMANS 14:5 

One person regards one day above another…another person regards every day alike. Each person must be fully convinced in his own mind (he is doing what God would want him to do).

 

In Judaism, the Sabbath day is Saturday.  As it relates to the Mosaic Law, that has not changed.  Why?  An immutable God instituted the Sabbath… and in His plan nothing ever changes.  Of course Satan, the enemy of God, counterfeits everything related to God…so in Satan’s kingdom (planet earth) the Sabbath is shifted to Sunday (he deceives the whole world).  

 

As it relates to the Church Age…the age of freedom…every day is like a Sabbath day and we are to treat each day as such.  When the transition happens to the Tribulation period…and to the Millennium…the Jewish Sabbath will continue to be observed on the seventh day of the week… Saturday.  

 

ROMANS 14:6 

He who observes the day, observes it for the Lord…and he who eats, does so for the Lord…for he gives thanks to God…and he who eats not…it is for the Lord he does not eat…and he gives thanks to God.

 

Those who follow The Christian Way of Living…a lifestyle of freedom and not of bondage…know that every day the Lord gives us is special…and he lives that way…by the spirit of the Law…not by the letter of the Law.

 

When we return from our five-minute break we’ll see what God has made available to us in this life with a spirit of freedom.

 

FIVE MINUTE BREAK

Unconditional Love

Donna Summers

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Christianity is the Spirit of the Law Not the Letter of the Law

 

On November 8, 2015, a man by the name of Calvin R. Calbreath walked in off the street to attend a Barah Ministries lesson.  He gave twenty-five cents.  I still have his gift to remind me that it’s the little things that count.  Giving starts with a little gift.  Begin your giving by giving something.  Don’t let your gift to God be an afterthought. Make giving to God’s ministry a habit. Let’s welcome Deacon Denny Goodall with the offering message.

 

THE OFFERING

Deacon Denny Goodall

 

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

ISAIAH 43:18

“Do not call to mind the former things…or ponder things of the past.”

 

OFFERING VERSE

 

ISAIAH 43:19

 “Behold, I will do something new…now it will spring forth…will you not be aware of it? I will even make a roadway in the wilderness…rivers in the desert.”

 

OFFERING

FLIGHT OF THE EAGLE

Dave McClure, Instrumental

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Christianity is the Spirit of the Law Not the Letter of the Law

 

Perhaps the hardest thing for believers in Christ to believe is the established, immutable and irrevocable facts of The Christian Way of Living…like this fact…in Second Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verse 17…

 

SECOND CORINTHIANS 5:17a

Therefore when anyone is in union with Christ…and all believers in Christ are…there is a new creation...

 

You are not your actions…you are what God has made you at the moment of salvation…the day the Rhett Walker Band is talking about in the song…

WHEN MERCY FOUND ME.

 

MUSIC AND REFLECTION

Be Occupied with the Person of the Lord Jesus Christ

Enjoy the Singing of His Praises

 

WHEN MERCY FOUND ME

Rhett Walker Band

 

 

TODAY’S BIBLE LESSON

Christianity is the Spirit of the Law Not the Letter of the Law

 

Welcome back!  Saint Ignatius Loyola shared his wisdom concerning a life of freedom…

 

IGNATIUS LOYOLA

“Those who were concerned with old things have come to newness of confidence…no longer keeping Sabbaths…but living according to the Lord’s Day (The day of Resurrection) on whom we base our resurrection life…as those who are risen again through Him…depend.”

 

Powerful insight, considered blasphemous from a Roman Catholic…a thought illuminating the lies of his church.  

 

Romans, Chapter 14, Verse 7…

 

ROMANS 14:7 

For not one of us lives for himself…and not one of us dies for himself…

 

ROMANS 14:8 

…for if we believers in Christ live…and we do…we live for the Lord…or if we die…and we do…we die for the Lord…therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (possession).

 

ROMANS 14:9 

For to this end Christ died and lived again…that He might be the Lord… both of the dead and of the living.

 

The amazing day is coming, when all those who reject that Jesus Christ is God will have to admit it…Philippians, Chapter 2, Verses 10 and 11…

 

PHILIPPIANS 2:10

…at the name of Jesus every knee will bow…of those who are in heaven and of those on earth and of those under the earth…

 

PHILIPPIANS 2:11 

…and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord (Deity…God)…to the glory of God the Father.

 

The conclusion of the first passage of Romans, Chapter 14 is summarized in the final three verses of the passage…don’t assume the prerogative of God… don’t judge, whether you are The Weak Believer or The Strong Believer.

 

ROMANS 14:10 

But you…why do you judge your brother? Or you again, why do you regard your brother with contempt? For we will all stand before the judgment seat of God.

 

ROMANS 14:11 

For it is written, “As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me…and every tongue shall give praise to God.”

 

ROMANS 14:12 

So then each one of us will give an account of himself to God.

 

Leave the judging to God…and remember this, believers in Christ…John, Chapter 3, Verse 18…

 

JOHN 3:18

He who believes in the Lord Jesus Christ is not judged…he who does not believe in the Lord Jesus Christ has been judged already…because he has not believed in the Person of the uniquely born Son of God (100% God and 100% man in one person forever).

 

Those who follow the letter of the law…and in this passage that is The Weak believer…are in the process of evolving.  We wouldn’t judge a child for not knowing…for not being mature…we would “cut them some slack,” not evaluating as severely as we might. 

 

The spirit of the law is the maturity of freedom…The Strong Believer is free and understands what it means to be free, including the responsibility to use freedom wisely.  In our next lesson we’ll look at how the spirit of the law guides mature conduct.

 

GOD WANTS YOU!

Make the Most Important Decision of Your Life

 

The closing moments of our study are for the benefit of anyone who does not have a personal relationship with the Sovereign God of the Universe, the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. We want you to know that GOD WANTS YOU. 

 

The Lord Jesus Christ, the Sovereign God of the Universe and the Savior of all mankind says there are two destinations for your eternal future…either heaven (the narrow gate) or the Lake of Fire (the wide gate)…Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 13 and 14…

 

MATTHEW 7:13

“Enter through the narrow gate…for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction…and there are many who enter through the wide gate.”

 

MATTHEW 7:14

“For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to the resurrection life…and there are few who find it.”

 

Which road will you choose for your eternal life?

 

Those who are on the broad way that leads to destruction may think there is strength in numbers. Believing what everyone else believes does not save you.  Placing your confidence in the Lord Jesus Christ saves you. 

 

The Lord Jesus Christ is 100% God…that’s why we call Him Lord…and He is 100% Mankind…true humanity like you and me…that’s why we call Him by His first and last name…Jesus Christ. He says He is the narrow gate… John, Chapter 14, Verse 6…

 

JOHN 14:6

Jesus said to the doubting apostle, Thomas, “I am the way (to salvation), and I am the truth (through the Word of God), and I am the resurrection life…and no one comes to God the Father (in heaven) but through believing in Me.”

 

Acts, Chapter 16, Verse 31 says…

 

ACTS 16:31 

“Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and everyone in your household who also believes.”

 

Those on the broad way that leads to destruction place their confidence in false teachers.  The Lord Jesus Christ warns you to beware of false teachers in Matthew, Chapter 7, Verse 15…

 

MATTHEW 7:15

“Beware of the false prophets (false teachers), who come to you in sheep’s clothing (preaching deception)…who inwardly are ravenous wolves.”

 

As ravenous wolves, false teachers rip your eternity to shreds by deceiving you with a false gospel message.  Proverbs, Chapter 14, Verse 12 illuminates the issue…

 

PROVERBS 14:12

There is a way that seems right to a man (saving yourself by thinking your good deeds will earn your salvation)…but its end is the way of death (in the Lake of Fire).

 

God’s enemy, Satan, is the sponsor of false teachers and false teaching.  You have to be able to discern the difference between the truth and Satan’s lies…

John, Chapter 8, Verses 31 and 32…

 

JOHN 8:31

So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine…”

 

JOHN 8:32 

“…and you will know the truth (the gospel message), and the truth will make you free.”

 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to consider what road you are on!  Mark, Chapter 1, Verse 15 says…

 

MARK 1:15

“The time is fulfilled…and the kingdom of God is at hand…so repent 

 

(change your mind about having a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ) and believe in His gospel message.”

 

The Lord Jesus Christ has a true gospel message… John, Chapter 3, Verse 36…

 

JOHN 3:36

“He who believes in the Son has the resurrection life right at that moment… but he who does not obey the command to believe in the Son will not see the resurrection life…instead the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”

 

Another warning for those who choose the broad road is Matthew, Chapter 7, Verses 21 to 23…

 

MATTHEW 7:21

“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven…but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter heaven.” 

 

MATTHEW 7:22 

“Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name…and in Your name did we not cast out demons…and in Your name did we not perform many miracles?’”

 

MATTHEW 7:23 

“And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you…depart from Me…you who practice (a lifestyle of) lawlessness.’”

 

The will of God the Father is that you believe in His Son…the Lord Jesus Christ.  Those who choose the narrow road have decided that faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone is the ticket to heaven…Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verses 8 and 9…

 

EPHESIANS 2:8

For by God’s grace you have been saved through faith (in Christ for salvation)…and that grace and that faith and that salvation are not from the source of yourselves…it is the gift of God….

 

EPHESIANS 2:9 

…therefore, being saved is not as a result of works (deeds you have done in self-righteousness)…so that no one may boast (about saving himself).

 

Get yourself on the narrow road that leads to an eternal life in heaven right this minute.  Tell God the Father that you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, and that is the moment of eternal life for you.

 

We wonder, quite often, where our plans can take us...ever wonder where the study of the Word of God can take you?  Here’s June Murphy to tell you about it in her song YOUR WORD TAKES ME.

 

CLOSING SONG

 

YOUR WORD TAKES ME  

June Murphy 

 

CLOSING PRAYER

Let us pray...

 

Thanks for coming!

Thanks for watching!

Thanks for listening!

www.barahministries.com

    

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