Page 9 - August 2019 - Truth & Tidings
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is no soundness in it; but wounds, and   and the exercise of faith are the grounds
        bruises, and putrifying sores: they have   upon which it is made attainable. Chapter
        not been closed, neither bound up, neither   4 illustrates the truth that justification
        mollified with ointment” (Isa 1:6 KJV). As   comes “by faith” alone, and Romans
        far as this world is concerned, no one has   5:1-11 outlines the tremendous results of
        been able to keep God’s law nor escape   justification “by faith,” “by His blood,”
        sin’s reigning power (cf. Ecc 7:20).  and “by His grace.”
          Powerless  to  sin’s  dominion  over   From Romans 5:12-7:25, the Spirit of
        humanity, the whole world is found guilty   God takes up a new thought. Here, we
        before a holy and righteous God (Rom   are taught how God enables all believers
        3:19). Whilst the present dispensation is   in Christ to share in His conquest over
        yet to run its course, the sharp, death-  sin  and  its  reigning  power.  Whereas
        dooming strike of God’s gavel has already   Romans 1:19-3:20 dealt with sins and
        sounded. No jury is called in for this   guilt (i.e., what we have done through the
        case, for an impartial verdict would be   flesh), Romans 5:12-7:25 deals with sin and
        worthless. No defence lawyers can help,   death (i.e., what we have in the flesh). In
        and there will be no court of appeal. The   other words, the acts of sin and the fact of
        law has spoken to all and “every mouth”   sin; the symptoms of sin and the disease
        is  silent. All  mankind,  both  Jew  and   of sin; the fruit and its root. Inasmuch as
        Gentile, according to their own conviction   provision has been made for acquitting
        is “under judgment to God” (3:19 JND). To   the guilty sinner from “sins” (3:25) and
        seal the solemn verdict of God, it is added   “offences” (4:25) against God, Romans
        that “by works of law no flesh shall be   5:12-7:25 will show how provision has
        justified before him” (3:20 JND). In other   been made for liberating believers from
        words, it is impossible for mankind to   sin as a reigning monarch – a cruel and
        justify himself by personal righteousness,   despotic oppressor that has relentlessly
        self-effort or obedience to the law. All have   spoiled the lives of all mankind.
        fallen prey to sin’s reigning power and are   The resounding blast of sin reigning over
        therefore found worthy of sin’s judicial   Adam and every subsequent generation is
        consequence – death (cf. Gen 2:17; Eze   summed up in three words: “and he died”
        18:20; Rom 1:32; 3:23; 6:23).         (Gen 5:5). Or, “as by one man sin entered
          At this point in the epistle, it is both   into the world, and death by sin; and so
        fitting and right that we ask: “How then   death passed upon all men” (Rom 5:12
        can  man  be  justified  with  God?”  (Job   KJV). Apart from Enoch and Elijah who
        25:4). Thanks be to God, the section from   were caught up, none has been able to
        Romans 3:21-5:21 teaches that the answer   escape the reign of sin “unto [or in] death.”
        is to be found in the gospel of the grace   Unless the Lord comes to take the Church
        of God. In responding to the “how,” this   home to be with Himself, the date of our
        section will provide a threefold answer:   death is inscribed in indelible ink upon
        all may be “justified freely by his grace”   the calendar of God, for “it is appointed
        (3:24), “justified by faith” (3:28; 5:1) and   unto men once to die” (Heb 9:27). “For we
        “justified by his blood” (5:9). Grace is the   must needs die, and are as water spilt on
        means by which the righteousness of God   the ground” (2Sa 14:14 KJV). Hence, sin
        is made available. The shedding of blood   reigns in death.
                                                                  -Continued p. 243
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