Friday, July 15, 2016

WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday July 17, 2016

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GOD SETS THINGS RIGHT
(JESUS is our sacrifice of atonement)
(Romans 3:21-31)

   The Law of GOD is designed to show man his own weaknesses and sinfulness. Once we learn what GOD wants us to do as human beings, and try to satisfy the law, we just as quickly learn how far we are from being able to do it. Either we feel that we can never completely obey GOD, or, that we have no desire to try to obey HIM. Fortunately for us, the way to GOD is not through obedience to the Law, but rather, it is through faith in CHRIST, and then, it is our faith in CHRIST JESUS, that fuels our desire to do those things that are pleasing to GOD.
    In Romans chapter 3, verses 21-31, the Apostle Paul teaches us how JESUS took our punishment for sin unto HIMSELF and personally delivered us from the permanency of the grave, or “death”, or, “permanent separation from GOD”. Through the vicarious sacrifice of CHRIST JESUS, GOD shows us a different way to righteousness than had been taught by the earlier leaders of Judaism in Jerusalem in the first century, prior to JESUS’ coming.
    Obeying the Law, in itself, is not the way that Scripture teaches us how we can arrive at the “righteous state” that will qualify us to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven. In fact, we can’t even acquire righteousness on our own, at all. Christians are granted an “imputed righteousness” through their belief and faith in CHRIST, the only proven RIGHTEOUS ONE. We are made right in GOD’s sight when we trust in JESUS to take away our sins (Vs.21-22).
    We all come to CHRIST as “sinners”, or with “sin experience”, and were already at a deficit, falling far short of GOD’s OWN glorious standards (v.23). Our original nature (GOD’s Nature) that we were born with (made in GOD’s OWN spiritual image) had been damaged, or defiled from the moment we accepted satan’s “sin nature” the first time we disobeyed GOD, after we reached an age of accountability.
    Through CHRIST, a gracious GOD in Heaven is giving us an opportunity at redemption through “no work” of our own. JESUS volunteered to accept GOD’s request that HE come to earth to “take the sting out of death”, which was our punishment for sin. This satisfied GOD’s anger because of our iniquities, and restored us back into a personal relationship of friendship with GOD (Vs.24-25).     
    When, we as human beings sin, we sometimes display “what we think is” amazing “human ingenuity”, as we try to justify that sin. And even through our excuses may sound good, and make perfect sense to us, GOD, is not buying our foolishness. In verse 26 of this third chapter of Romans, we see a good and gracious paradox. Here Paul tells us that GOD is “just” and “fair”, and that, in that incredible, miraculous “grace” that, JESUS came to bring us, GOD accepts the sinner, not as a criminal, but as a son whom HE still loves. Thank YOU GOD!
    Remember, obedience to the laws of GOD is what we can do for ourselves; however, “grace” is concerned with what GOD can do, and, is doing, for us. The Laws of GOD serve to show us, just how far we are from HIS high and glorious standards. It exposes things to us, some of which, we didn’t even know were sins.
    The law shows us, very vividly, our need for grace, and, a SAVIOR. GOD’s grace gives us a chance to escape the bondage of sin, as there is nothing good in our own flesh. The only way for us to be reconciled to GOD is through grace received as a result of our belief in our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
    All of our human acts are tainted by our own sin nature, and thereby, less than perfect, and not acceptable to GOD. GOD’s Law serves to show us our imperfections, and when we are measured by HIS glorious standard, we all come up short.
    Everyone has already been judged by GOD’s Law, and the verdict has been announced by GOD, as guilty. Our “righteousness”, or, “justification”, can never come from our own acts, but rather, it can only come from the distinctive acts of an Almighty gracious GOD in Heaven.

A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander





                                 
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