Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 2 * PART 2 * BOOK 20
MANIFOLD RESULTS OF SALVATION
We are still dealing with the word `salvation’ coming out of Romans 1:16. So when we are through with the word `salvation’ we will go back and pick up in Romans 1:18. I probably have 12 or 13 aspects on my mind that we need to cover. The “imputed righteousness” of God is involved in the plan of salvation. In other words the moment we believe, God, by an act of imputation, covered us, or gave to our account his righteousness. It’s none of ours, but rather all of His. We can pick this up in Romans Chapter 3 and let’s start at 19:
“Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law (now who was under the law? The Jew, Israel, Judaism, Temple worship): that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.”
How far out does the Law reach? Everybody. It was given to the Jew, he practiced it, it was his religion, and his approach to God. But the Law as we understand the Law, primarily the Ten Commandments, didn’t stop with the Jew; it reached out to every last human being, not to save them, because the Law couldn’t save a Jew either. But only to condemn! This is where people have totally misconstrued the role of the Law. It was never intended to save a Jew, all it was ever to do was show him his guilt. The Law was on cold tables of stone. It wasn’t anything that you would like to embrace and hold to your breast. It just sat there, and could do nothing to help that person keep it, and it could do nothing to help someone keep from stealing or anything that it names. All it could do is condemn, guilty, guilty, guilty. And it didn’t just stop with the Jew, but it convicts the Gentiles just as thoroughly as it does the Jew. Reading on:
“Therefore by the deeds of the law (in other words, by doing what the law commanded, by doing good) there shall no flesh be justified in his sight (the law can’t do anything to justify a person): for by the law is the knowledge of sin.” Jesus took the law even further. He took it where no one could wiggle out from under it. He said even if you think a wrong, then you’ve broken the Law.
“But (here comes the flip side, remember we are under a whole difference set of circumstances. Christ has died and paid the sin debt. He’s been buried, and raised from the dead, and ascended to the Father’s right hand, and He’s interceding for us) now the righteousness of God (not the individual) without the law is (do you see that? That just puts legalism out in the cold) manifested (being put under the spot light), being witnessed by the law and the prophets (the Old Testament).”
I remember years ago a group of men approached me, and they wanted me to help them start a work in the ministry, and the first thing they told me as we began to visit about some of the things, was that they didn’t want any Old Testament taught. I just stopped that conversation, and said I was going home, because I had nothing to teach if I couldn’t use the Old Testament. You’ve got to use the whole Bible because the Scripture all dovetails together. Paul says it so beautifully here. That even though the law has nothing to do with our salvation with the imputing of righteousness from God to us, yet everything that you and I enjoy in this Age of Grace rests on what took place back there in the Old Testament. Now verse 22:
“Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe (do you see that? People don’t like that, they want to add something else to that little word. They will always say they’ve got to do this or that. No you don’t – you believe. Now when I talk about believing I’m talking about really believing. I’m not talking about a head knowledge. I’m talking about when you get to the place that you can rest on these things, and can say, “I believe it with all my heart, I have no doubt. I may not understand it, but I believe it for my salvation”): for there is no difference:”
Paul again is referring to Jew and Gentile. What does it mean to have imputed righteousness? Let’s go all the way back to the first man that experienced it. We find that in Genesis Chapter 3. The man who plunged the whole human race under the curse and made everyone of us a sinner by birth. He was also the first one to experience imputed righteousness, that God alone could impute. Now remember, that word `imputed’ was a bookkeeping term in Paul’s day. And it was like putting it to the account.
“Unto Adam also and to his wife did the LORD God make coats of skins (that implies a sacrificial animal. He had to kill an animal to get their skins, and that of course satisfied the requirement of a blood sacrifice which we know that He demanded. This we will see later in Chapter 4 with Abel. So He kills the sacrificial animals, uses their skins to provide Adam and Eve’s clothing, to take the place of the fig leaves that were their idea), and clothed them.”
Now many people read that and think that it was just the physical clothing that he put on them. We are dealing with the spiritual phenomena here, and it’s the restoration of Adam and Eve back into a relationship with their Creator. And it had to be the bloodbought way, and that’s why he had to kill the animal. The only way God can receive lost persons is by the shedding of blood.
“And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.” Never has been, nor will be. We don’t hear much about the blood anymore, but that doesn’t take it away. So Adam and Eve have an imputed righteousness that clothed them. You may say, “How do you get that?” It is explained so beautifully in Isaiah Chapter 61. This is exactly what Adam and Eve experienced even as Isaiah did. An imputed covering clothing of God’s righteousness.
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he (God) hath clothed me with the garments of salvation (Salvation is always used the same way. For example, someone is about to go bankrupt, but a rich uncle dies, and leaves him a lot of money. What’s the death of that uncle? It’s the salvation of this old boy that’s about to go broke. All of a sudden he’s made whole. That’s what salvation has always meant, it’s bringing someone out of a destitute place), he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness,…”
And isn’t that what we read in verse 22 of Romans 3? He covers us. You and I can’t look at each other and see our own righteousness. It’s impossible. But when God looks at us He doesn’t see my righteousness or yours, but God sees His own righteousness. The imputed righteousness that He has provided. That just leaves us out of the picture all together. There is nothing we can do for our salvation but believe it. We must keep our hands off, and that’s hard for a lot of us to do. Now reading that verse again:
“I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.”
Even the plainest of girls is always beautiful when? At her wedding! We’ve been to a lot of weddings, and I have never seen a bride that wasn’t beautiful. And I think that’s why the Scripture uses that analogy. When God looks at us He sees something beautiful, but remember he doesn’t see us but rather Himself. Now back to Romans Chapter 3. The same thing that happened to Adam and Isaiah, has happened to us if we are believers. And that is that He has covered us with an “imputed righteousness.” His righteousness and not our own. The Scriptures tell us that our righteousness is as filthy rags. And you and I don’t even want to think what a filthy rag was in the Scriptural account. But God sees His own righteousness. Now after we have imputed righteousness as part of our salvation we are `justified.’ And we find justified in verse 24.
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
We are justified freely without paying anything for it. And my definition of justification is a judicial act of God as the judge sitting on the bench, and that act of God looked down on you and I, the believing sinner, now entering into this great plan of salvation, and He says, “That because you have believed the Gospel, I now declare you just as if you have never sinned.” Now that’s justification! Oh that’s hard for people to swallow. We will come to another one just a little later, `Forgiven.’ Why can God justify us? Because we are forgiven. How can He forgive us? Because we’re justified. And it is all rolled together, and is all involved in that one word `Salvation.’ Which, of course, is prompted by The power of God.Nothing that man can do. Let’s read the verse again:
“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption…”
We have also been `redeemed,’ and what does that mean? We are bought with a price that has been paid by Someone. Redemption still holds that same definition even today. If you have hocked something at the pawn shop, and all of a sudden you come along with enough bucks to go back to get it, what do you have to do? You have to redeem it. You have to buy it back, and that’s the picture of the human race all through Scripture. Adam fell, and God lost the human race, so what did He have to do? He had to redeem it. And the only way He could redeem it was to pay the price. And Peter says at the close of his life in his little Epistle that you haven’t been redeemed with silver and gold, but rather by the precious Blood of Christ. That’s the price of redemption. If you don’t like the blood, then don’t expect to be redeemed. Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission.
God isn’t some Santa Clause up there that we can manipulate, and there are a lot of people who think He is. He isn’t! God is absolute, He’s Sovereign, He’s Holy, He’s just, and it’s going to be done His way, or no way at all. So He has laid down some of the basic truths, and I don’t care if the liberals do throw it out. Let them. They are the ones that are going to suffer the loss. But we had better hang on to the fundamentals. There are some things that have to be fundamental. You go into the professionals, and we have plenty of professional people here, if they digress away from the fundamentals of their profession, and I don’t care what it is, where are they going to end up? Probably in court with a liability cause. You have to stay with the fundamentals in whatever you’re doing or you’re in trouble. And it’s the same way with this Book. We have to rest on these basic fundamentals, and one of them is, “Without faith it’s impossible to please God” and the second one is, “Without the shedding of blood there can be no remission.” Those are fundamentals and so now we are redeemed, we’re bought back with the precious Blood of Christ.
Let’s look at a couple of other verses so that we don’t just depend on one. Let’s go back to the Book of Ephesians Chapter 1. And this is what The Book says. Remember, here in Ephesians the phrase “in Christ” is used over 90 times.
“In whom (speaking of Christ) we have redemption through his blood (there is no other way), the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;
Notice how these words all fit together to fill that word `salvation.’ And every one of these words we have discussed and will be discussing, can you take them and handle them? Can you lay them out on a table, or put them under a microscope? No, not one of them. They are all intangible, they are all invisible, so how do we know they happen? By faith, and faith alone. That’s the only way I know I have been forgiven. I don’t have any great plaque on my wall at home from God that tells me I’m forgiven. Or any decree that says, “Hey, Les, you’re justified, you’re redeemed.” None of us have any thing like that. What do we have? The promises of this Book. It says it and because The Book says it, then I know that it’s happened. You just claim these verses. You just say, “Now God, this is what You said, and I believe it.” And God increases that faith, and the more faith we have the more we can believe it, and that’s how we grow in Grace and knowledge. Now let’s look at another one in Colossians Chapter 1. We’re still dealing with the aspect of redemption.
“In whom we have (past tense, it’s an absolute, this is it!) redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”
So we are a forgiven people. You know I’m always warning people that when we talk about believers coming before the judgment seat of Christ, I imagine there are a lot of believers that think that somehow sin is going to be dealt with at the judgment seat of Christ. No way. You will never face your sin when you come up into glory. Your sins have been judged already, they were judged there at the Cross. They are under the Blood. We will come before His judgment seat only to see what rewards we have, for how we have behaved as a believer down here. The judgment seat is never intended to determine your eternal destiny. My, if you haven’t gotten it by that time you never will have, and you won’t be in heaven in the first place.
Now the Great White Throne Judgment is a different story. That’s going to be only for the lost of all ages. Cain and everyone else who has been rebellious, and has had no faith. No believer will be at that judgment, and no lost person will be at the judgment seat of Christ. We are going to be there because we have been redeemed and we have been bought with a price.
Now let’s touch on `forgiven.’ What does it mean to be forgiven? Well it means that God has wiped the slate clean. He no longer has a controversy with you and I as a sin problem between us and Him. It’s done! Now granted, in our Christian walk we are going to fail, we’re going to sin, and fall, but that isn’t what God is dealing with in salvation. That’s something else. After we are a child of God, He will deal with our daily sins, and failures by the matter of confession. And He’s going to recognize, “Yes, you are forgiven” all sins. You mean what I commit tomorrow has already been forgiven? That’s what the Scriptures say. Does that give me license? Absolutely not. You know that. I have never advocated that. I read a great theologian’s book out of London, and he said in that book, “If you really teach and preach the Gospel of Grace as Paul did, then you are going to be accused from time to time of teaching that people who are saved have licenses to sin.” That is just part of the criticism. Paul said the same thing. “I’ve been slanderously reported” But we must understand that God’s Grace was so great that He forgave past, present, and future based on His Grace, but that’s not license. We still have to walk, and work, pleasing in His sight. Don’t tell me you can go out and commit gross sins and still be pleasing in His sight. That’s absolutely not Scriptural.