Through the Bible with Les Feldick
LESSON 1 * PART 4 * BOOK 23
ROMANS 8:1-14 – PART 2
I have been stressing during the five years we have been on television, Paul is the designated apostle of the Gentiles. Consequently, I feel that it’s in the Pauline letters that we have to garner basically the fundamental truths for Salvation, for the Christian walk, for the operation of the local Church. It all has to come from these letters of Paul. Now, that never implies that the rest of The Bible is inappropriate. God forbid! Paul himself writes:
II Timothy 3:16
“All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:”
But here in this Book of Romans, especially, we have so much that is fundamental for us as Gentiles. I don’t do this for any kind of monetary gain, nor we do certainly hope to be famous. That would be the last thing I’d want. We want to reach a multitude of people with the truth of God’s Word. And He is blessing it. I wish I could let especially our class people who have been so instrumental in helping us financially, listen in on our phone calls, and read our letters. It would just thrill your heart, because God is touching a lot of hearts. Now, back to Romans Chapter 8 verse 8.
“So then they that are in the flesh (that are under the control of old Adam) cannot please God.”
I don’t care how good they are, or how much they dress up old Adam (and we can make him look real nice on the outside). But when the Holy Spirit, and the Word of God, the Law of God finally hits old Adam where it hurts, the veneer flies off, and we see him as he really is. That’s what has to happen if we’re going to come out of darkness, and come into the light of the Gospel. Now, verse 9:
“But ye are not in the flesh,…”
Paul always writes only to believers. He doesn’t write to the unsaved world. Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s not appropriate for them, but he’s not writing it to them. So all these things we said in the last lesson concerning those who are under the control of old Adam still comes from the pen of the Apostle Paul, but he’s writing it to us. Why does Paul get into all of these ramifications of how we died with Christ, and how we’ve been raised from the dead with Him, when we’re already saved? Do we have to know all these things for Salvation? No. I don’t expect a new person that has just been totally untaught in the Scriptures to know about these things. Although they are normally the easiest ones to work with. But they don’t have to know all about these deep doctrinal things to be saved. Oh, heaven forbid, but once we’ve become a child of God, now what does God expect? That we learn, and that we grow, and we get a graphic understanding of all that God has done on our behalf. And then that’s what makes us what we are.
This is what’s the problem with so-called mainstream Christianity. They’ve got maybe the elementary things, but they’ve never gone into the deeper things, and, consequently, they have no understanding of these deep doctrines that Paul is now privileged by the work of the Holy Spirit to give to us in his letters.
“But ye are not in the flesh (not under the control of old Adam), but in the Spirit (you’re in Christ, your position has changed, you’re no longer in the flesh and here’s the condition), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you….”
Now, isn’t that plain? The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is the proof that you have eternal life. Let’s go to the Book of Ephesians and look at a verse we’ve used several times on the program. Here is one of the verses I like to use in association with Romans 1:16
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it (the Gospel) is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;” I also like to use it with Romans 10:9-10, and Romans 10:13.
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.”
“For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” I also like to use it with Romans 5:8.
“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” And there are others I like to use for Salvation verses, and I like to use this one in Ephesians as well.
“In whom (Christ) ye also trusted (believed), after that ye heard the word of truth (now there’s the sequence. We have to hear the word of truth first. And the word of truth is the Gospel, the good news of your Salvation, that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again), the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed (and look at all the things that aren’t in there. It’s just the word `believed.’ All the things that are attached to Salvation have been added by so many people, and they are refusing to look at how Paul puts it, and Paul puts it faith plus nothing), ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise.”
I could have used this verse when we were in Romans 8:1. Why are we sealed? Because there is no condemnation on us. Why is there no condemnation on us? Because we’re sealed. It goes both ways. Do you see why I came from Romans 8 to Ephesians 1? It’s the same thing. Let’s come back to Romans 8. And remember, you’re not in the flesh, and under the control of old Adam if the indwelling Holy Spirit is evident. Because if you have believed the Gospel, if you have believed the truth of it, then the Holy Spirit is in you, and if the Holy Spirit is in you then you’re a believer. You can flip back and forth, and they both come to the same conclusion: You’re in Christ. There is now no condemnation, you’ve been forgiven all your trespasses, Paul says, in the Book of Colossians.
“And you, being dead in your sins and the uncircumcision of your flesh, hath he quickened together with him, having (past tense) forgiven you all trespasses;”
We are also a new creation, and we can find that one in II Corinthians, because the Scripture has to speak for itself. Don’t go by what I say, but rather what The Book says. And let’s start reading in verse 14. These verses are just too good to pass over.
II Corinthians 5:14,15
“For the love of Christ constraineth us (it drives us); because we thus judge (or conclude), that if one died for all (for every human being), then were all (every human being was) dead(spiritually): And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.” Now, what is that? The Gospel. There’s the Gospel, it just keeps popping up all the time. Now, verse 16:
II Corinthians 5:16
“Wherefore (Because of the work of the Cross, His death, burial, and Resurrection) henceforth know we no man after the flesh:…”
What’s he talking about? Christ in His earthly ministry. And isn’t that exactly where so much of our preaching is today? Sunday after Sunday they preach about Jesus, and all His miracles, and His signs, and His wonders. But what does Paul say about that? Hey, we’re not following any man in the flesh, we are to now take Christ after the work of the Cross, after His death, burial, and Resurrection. He’s ascended into glory, now that’s the Christ that we’re attached to. Oh, I grant you it’s the same man, the same God, but nevertheless the Christ before the Cross was not the object of our Salvation that He is after the Cross. That stands to reason, because it’s the work of the Cross that makes possible our Salvation experience. So Paul says that he doesn’t know anyone after the flesh. We’re not preaching Jesus in His earthly ministry. Now, continuing on:
II Corinthians 5:16
“Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh (that’s why I know he’s talking about Jesus and His earthly ministry) yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh (Paul lived at the same time that Christ did), yet now henceforth know we him no more.”
So Paul says that since His death, burial, and Resurrection we do not look back and know Him in His earthly ministry as such. There is nothing wrong with studying His earthly ministry, so don’t misunderstand me, but that’s not the basis of our Salvation today. Our Salvation is not based on the earthly ministry of Jesus. That was His ministry to the Nation of Israel. The Name of Jesus was His Name of humiliation, He was going to the Cross, the sin-Bearer, and once He rises from the dead in power and glory, then it’s no longer appropriate to refer to Him as Jesus. But now He is the Lord Jesus, He’s Jesus Christ, He’s the Lord Jesus Christ. All of these things are now more appropriate. The verse I wanted to show you is verse 17.
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore (he is speaking of that which he has just given us. The Christ of the work of the the Cross, the Christ in Resurrection power, the Christ Who is now seated in the Heavenlies at the right hand of the Father) if any man be in Christ,…”
It doesn’t say that if any man is good, or has joined the church, or has done everything that some denomination demands, but if any man be in Christ, that’s the secret. And if he’s in Christ, as we saw in the Book of Ephesians, then he’s been sealed by the Spirit. And as we saw in an earlier lesson, if we’re in Christ, then He’s in us. Oh, this is mind boggling. We’re in Him, and He’s in us. Remember I used the analogy of marriage that as husband and wife become one so you and I in Christ are one. Continuing the verse:
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation…”
You can’t just fix up the old. When we were back in Genesis I gave the illustration that when Adam sinned, immediately his nature, his soul, became a sin nature, and the spirit part of him died, and because it was now dead he lost fellowship with his Creator. I made the analogy that that dead spirit in Adam was like a dead battery in your car. I think it was a good illustration. It would be like you had a dead battery in your car, and instead of just asking someone to bring a jumper cable and give you some energy from an outside source you decided to get a pan of water with some soap and a rag. You start cleaning up that old battery, and you get it shinning like a new dime. You get in your car and turn the key on and what? Nothing. Why? It’s still dead, but when when you bring in some outside energy either from a jump or you generate your battery, what happens? You’ve got power. It’s the same way spiritually. We’ve been dead as a result of Adam’s sin, and it takes an outside source of power. It takes the power of God to energize our spirit, and when He energizes the spirit He makes us a new person. We’re a new creation. It’s that simple. Now, reading verse 17 again:
II Corinthians 5:17
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature (creation): old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”
The evidence of Salvation is a total change in lifestyles, and old things absolutely fall away. We knew a young couple when we were still in Iowa. The man was an insurance executive up in the Twin Cities, and we had a Bible study in the home of his parents. They would drive about 150 miles every Saturday to the study. After about six or seven, during a coffee break, he said, “You know Les, since my wife and I have come to know The Lord a lot of things have changed. We used to keep the refrigerator full of beer, we had the wet bar well-stocked, and then one day my wife Patty said, Listen, this just doesn’t fit.” And so I said, “Well, let’s pitch it away. Then they poured it all down the stool and flushed it away.” And he said, “The amazing thing was as time progressed all of our previous drinking friends disappeared, and we had a new circle of friends that came in.” That’s exactly how it works. When you become a believer the whole circle of your friendships will probably change.
Your whole desire begins to change, and that is as it should be because it’s two totally different worlds. That doesn’t mean that we get so heavenly minded we’re no earthly good. We still function, we still work, we still plan, there’s nothing wrong with that. In fact I always tell people, especially if they have accumulated some wealth, that there is nothing wrong with that. Paul tells us that:
II Corinthians 12:14
“….Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.”
Children shouldn’t have to lay up for the parent. There is nothing wrong with accumulating some wealth, or accumulating an estate. There is nothing wrong with that as long as it’s in God’s timetable and His plan for your life. Absolutely. Now, let’s turn back to Romans Chapter 8, and read verse 9 again.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit (you’re under His control instead of old Adam), if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man (anyone) have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”
That person does not belong to Christ, it’s that simple. Here is the criteria; if you have the indwelling Holy Spirit, you’re in Christ, and how do you get the Holy Spirit? By believing the Gospel (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4) And when you believe the Gospel for your Salvation then God does it all. He puts Himself in us, He put us in Him, and we have this assurance. Let’s go to the little Book of I John Chapter 3, starting with verse 1: How beautifully this fits with what Paul is writing in Romans and Ephesians. This is written sometime after Paul’s letters so this is why it fits so beautifully.
I John 3:1
“Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us (believers), that we (believers) should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.”
Have you experienced it? I know you have. I`ve had so many of my class people tell me, even their own church people will begin to sense that you’re different. You’ve somehow gained the knowledge of the Word that they don’t have and so consequently they feel you’re kind of odd. Well, the truth of the matter is, they’re the ones that are a little odd because they don’t know what The Book says. But here it is, the world knoweth us not, because it knew Him not, that is The Lord Jesus. Now, verse 2:
I John 3:2
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, (It doesn’t say we hope to be, we think we might be. It says now we are the sons, or the children, of God) and it doth not appear what we shall be(we can’t comprehend that eternal future but this much we know): but we know that, when he (The Lord Jesus Christ) shall appear (what does that mean? He’s coming! The world may think that they’re going to keep going forever, and the United Nations is going to solve all the world’s problems. No, it’s not. There’ll be no peace on this earth until the Prince of Peace comes. I’ve said for years, the Psalms say pray for the peace of Jerusalem. That means you pray for The Lord’s coming! Because Jerusalem will have no peace until the Prince of Peace is back in Jerusalem. So when you pray for the peace of Jerusalem, you’re praying, Lord come quickly, as John does in Revelation ), we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.”
Someone asked me the question again about our eternal state concerning our body. And they said, “Now, wait a minute. Are we going to have a body in eternity?” Absolutely! Never in all of Scripture does the human being operate without a body. The soul and spirit by itself does not operate as an entity. It has to have a body. Let’s turn to Philippians, Chapter 3. You see how one Scripture leads you to another? When John says that we’re going to see Him as He is, how are we going to see Him? What’s He going to be like?
“For our conversation (our citizenship) is in heaven (as a believer we’re already citizens up there); from whence (that same heaven) also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ; Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”