All posts by Disciples Church

Romans 7

Romans 7

7:1 Or do you not know, brothers—for I am speaking to those who know the law—that the law is binding on a person only as long as he lives? For a married woman is bound by law to her husband while he lives, but if her husband dies she is released from the law of marriage. Accordingly, she will be called an adulteress if she lives with another man while her husband is alive. But if her husband dies, she is free from that law, and if she marries another man she is not an adulteress.

Likewise, my brothers, you also have died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you may belong to another, to him who has been raised from the dead, in order that we may bear fruit for God. For while we were living in the flesh, our sinful passions, aroused by the law, were at work in our members to bear fruit for death. But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. For I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, “You shall not covet.” But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness. For apart from the law, sin lies dead. I was once alive apart from the law, but when the commandment came, sin came alive and I died. 10 The very commandment that promised life proved to be death to me. 11 For sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, deceived me and through it killed me. 12 So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and righteous and good.

13 Did that which is good, then, bring death to me? By no means! It was sin, producing death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure. 14 For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15 For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16 Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17 So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18 For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20 Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me.

21 So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22 For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23 but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24 Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25 Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.


Saturday Study

Saturday Study

Romans 2-6 (3-16-19)

Grab your Bible, and let’s go deeper into Romans 2-6.

The Book of Romans is so good and so necessary for us to study! It is so necessary because our current society is drowning in a love affair with a semi-Pelagianism view of sin. Semi-Pelagianism teaches man is not so totally depraved that he cannot take the initiative in faith to seek God. This heresy is rampant in our culture that all too often has a low a view of sin that emboldens man and robs God of His sovereignty.

Charles Spurgeon rightly said, “He that thinks lightly of sin, thinks lightly of the savior.”

So, today we must look back over the text that we have lived in this week, Romans 2-6, in an effort to grab hold of a biblical view of our sin, its deserving judgment, and therefore the power of God’s amazing, saving grace. It is only when the bad news of our sin is seen clearly that the good news of Jesus is trusted in as our only saving grace.

When we look at Romans 3:10-12, we see Paul quote Psalm 14 and Psalm 53 and say, “as it is written: ‘None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.’”

From this small sample, we are given clear view of what God’s word says about the state of mankind!

Let’s look into this further.

  1. No one is righteous

We have NO righteousness of our own that is satisfactory in light of God’s utter holiness! The Bible says everything we do apart from Christ is evil (Genesis 6:5; Romans 14:23), that our best efforts at good deeds or righteous living are like fifthly menstrual rags apart from Christ (Isaiah 64:6), and that every one of us fall short of the glory of God apart from Christ’s atoning work on our behalf (Romans 3:23).

  1. No one seeks God

Someone might reply, “But I do seek Him,” or “I have been seeking Him all my life.”

Our culture has taught us that for mankind “all things are possible.” Mankind falsely believes that it will always be possible for us to mend our relationship with the Almighty. If it is necessary, we will take care of it ourselves in due time. The problem with this view is it is not what the Bible says.

Romans 3:11 “… no one seeks for God”

Romans 8:7-8 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannotThose who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The Bible-revealed reality is what man seeks on his own is not God, but a man-made self-salvation based on self-merit. Essentially, it’s a pursuit of a lifestyle that attempts to put God in debt to man.

In this, the good deeds of man are ultimately not true worship or honor to God but are self-glorifying or self-satisfying.

  1. No one understands

This is not in regards to our ability to think or reason or understand many things in this life; it is in regard to our spiritual blindness—our utter lack of spiritual perception.

Ephesians 4:17b-18 in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart.

This doesn’t mean we don’t know about Him. The Bible says that even the demons understand who God is and can talk about Him (James 2:19; Matthew 8:29). But the spiritual discernment required to know Him personally is not in them or us in our sin.

1 Corinthians 1:18 (NIV) The message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:14 The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

So, what does this mean for mankind who remains in sin apart from God’s saving grace?

The Bible proclaims the sentence for sinners in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death …”

Jesus declared it in Matthew 7:13: “… For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction …” (NIV).

Hebrews 10:26-27 tells us that if we keep on sinning there is only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.

It is imperative that we note that none of our excuses will have any weight before God.

As we read Matthew 25, we find that the people who were confronted by the Lord’s return made manifold excuses for themselves, just as people make excuses for their wickedness today.

You might be able to get away with giving excuses to other people—your boss, your spouse, your pastor. But you cannot excuse yourself before God. The apostle Paul wrote in Romans 3:19 that in the day of judgment “every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world may be held accountable to God.”  When the Judge takes the bench, there will not be a single protest.

In our current day, man is in love with human “rights.” Most people wrongly assume that God owes us something—salvation or at least a chance at salvation. But if we have a right view of our sin and God’s perfect and righteous judgment, we will see that what we are truly owed is eternal wrath.

What we must understand is if God were obliged to be gracious, grace would no longer be grace, and salvation would be based on human merit rather than God’s grace alone to the glory of God alone. To add anything we do to grace is to misapply grace.  

All this said, how is it possible that any be saved?

Turn with me to John 11. When Jesus returned to Bethany at the request of the dead man’s sisters, he was told that Lazarus had been dead for four days and that he was already putrefying:

John 11:39 (NIV) … “But, Lord,” said Martha, the sister of the dead man, “by this time there is a bad odor, for he has been there four days.”

What a graphic description of the state of our moral and spiritual decay because of sin!

Dead, decaying, stinking, hopeless. There was nothing anyone could do for Lazarus in this dead condition. His situation was not merely serious or grim; it was hopeless for man—but not for God!

The good news is Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

The good news is Matthew 19:26: “… with God all things are possible.”

Therefore, having prayed, Jesus called, “Lazarus, come out!” (John 11:43), and the call of Jesus brought life to the dead man.

Simply stated, if the Scriptures are clear that men and women are sinful by nature and cannot do anything to save themselves or even prepare themselves to be saved, the Scriptures are equally clear that it is God who saves by grace alone through faith alone on account of Christ alone.

This means that it is God who acts first, upon the sinner, while the sinner is dead in sin. But the good news is that while sinners do not seek God, God in His grace saves sinners (Ephesians 2:1-10).

Grace defined: Grace is an undeserved gift from an unobligated giver.

Today, large numbers of evangelicals undermine and effectively destroy the doctrine of grace by supposing or speaking that human beings are basically good and capable of pursuing God apart from God’s gracious intervention.

As soon as we introduce the doctrine of fairness, we introduce a standard of right by which God has to save all or at least give everyone an equal chance of being saved. And this is simply not grace!

We must understand the only thing that is fair, the only thing we deserve, is judgment and condemnation for sin.

This is what is so amazing about grace. This is why we need not make light of sin or our position in sin or God’s attitude towards those in sin. Oh, how desperate man is for God’s saving grace.

So, what is the gospel of grace? 

-It is the truth that God reigns supreme over all created things—everything that is from Him, through Him, and to Him.  It is for His glory forever and ever. – That’s Romans 11

– It is the truth that man has turned away from God’s glory in sin to make their lives about their own glory—to worship the idol of creation instead of God. – That’s Romans 1 and 3

– It’s the truth that because of our sin, we deserve the righteous eternal wrath of God. — That’s Romans 6

– But in God’s amazing grace, He saves sinners by the perfect shed blood of His Son. — That’s Romans 3

– Those whom God gives ears to hear and eyes to see, who repent of sin and self and trust completely in Jesus Christ alone for salvation and lordship, He justifies, adopts, and secures as His own for eternity. — That’s  Romans 8

Romans 8:30 those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

The problem is we want to respond to this amazing grace with the question, “Why didn’t He call everybody?”

When we truly begin to understand our SIN, we should humbly ask, “Why did He call ANYBODY?”

As Charles Spurgeon put it, “There is no reason to be given for grace, but grace.”

God is the Creator and we the creation. It is not ours to ask why.

But for those who He has given grace, we have much to praise Him for. AMEN!

This weekend, may we meditate on the depth of our depravity in sin, thereby fueling our celebration and worship of His glorious grace that has set us free when all we deserved was wrath. As we gather with the redeemed in the church house, may these truths cause us to lift on high His worthy and holy name!

Go back and really meditate on Romans 6 again. Let if define you. Embrace the joyful truth and privilege it is to no longer be slaves to sin but slaves to Jesus in righteousness. Then, may we set out this week, unto purposeful, devoted, sacrificial, obedient living and bold testimony of the gospel of Jesus. All the while, may we be trusting that our sovereign God will open dead hearts with His saving grace as He purposes and wills, for His eternal glory and their eternal good.

By His grace and for His glory,

Pastor Joshua Kirstine

Disciples Church

Romans 6

Romans 6

6:1 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

15 What then? Are we to sin because we are not under law but under grace? By no means! 16 Do you not know that if you present yourselves to anyone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin, which leads to death, or of obedience, which leads to righteousness? 17 But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart to the standard of teaching to which you were committed, 18 and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness. 19 I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to righteousness leading to sanctification.

20 For when you were slaves of sin, you were free in regard to righteousness. 21 But what fruit were you getting at that time from the things of which you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. 22 But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the fruit you get leads to sanctification and its end, eternal life. 23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.


Romans 5

Romans 5

5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Romans 4

Romans 4

4:1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

  “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
    and whose sins are covered;
  blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.