Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace (Part 29) - Rom 5:1-2; Rom 9:30-33; Rom 10:4,6,9-10,13Submitted by Pastor Chad Wagner on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.
For a paperback book in outline form which addresses over 150 difficult verses that Arminians use against Sovereign Grace, check out: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace: Rooting Arminianism Out of Every Verse. For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace 68. Rom 5:1-2 A. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2) By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God." (Rom 5:1-2) B. Is Rom 5:1 teaching that we are justified, in the sense of being made righteous, by our personal faith which brings eternal peace between us and God? i. There are two ways in which a person can be justified: being made righteous by God (Rom 3:24), or being accounted (considered) righteous by their faith and works (Jam 2:21-24). a. Justified - ppl., adj. - Made just or right; made or accounted righteous; warranted; supported by evidence; b. In that justification, in the sense of being made righteous by God, is a pure act of grace and is not conditioned on anything a person does (See Section II,9,B on Justification), Rom 5:1 cannot be teaching that we are justified (made righteous) by our faith. ii. There are two ways in which we are justified by faith and therefore have peace with God, both of which concepts are supported by Rom 5:1. a. By Jesus' faith 1. We are justified (made righteous) by the faith of Jesus Christ (His faith) (Gal 2:16). 2. By Jesus faithfully going to the cross and dying for our sins, he made peace between us and God (Col 1:20 c/w Rom 5:9-10). 3. This is the primary sense in which the verse should taken since the immediate context is Christ justifying us by His death and resurrection (Rom 4:25). 4. God hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ eternally (2Co 5:18). 5. Reconcile v. - 1. a. trans. To bring (a person) again into friendly relations to or with (oneself or another) after an estrangement. 6. This act of reconciliation is a completed work (hath reconciled) which was according to the sovereign act of God (God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself) and which was accomplished by Christ's work on the cross (2Co 5:18-19,21). b. By our faith 1. We are justified (accounted or considered righteous) by our faith (Rom 4:3,22-24). 2. By believing in Jesus Christ, we have peace with God as an obedient son does with his father (Rom 15:13). 3. Whereas God hath reconciled us to Himself eternally, we can be reconciled to Him temporally and practically by believing and obeying the gospel (2Co 5:20), as was Abraham (Jam 2:23). C. Is Rom 5:2 teaching that we acquire the saving grace of God by our faith? i. No; notice what the verse says: "...we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand..." (Rom 5:2). ii. The grace that we have access into is the grace in which we are already standing. a. Jesus our High Priest entered into the holiest having obtained eternal redemption (grace) for us (Heb 9:11-12). b. Positionally, we are already seated together in heavenly places with Christ because we are in Him (Eph 1:4; Eph 2:5-6). iii. Ultimately, we have boldness and access to God though Christ's faith (Eph 3:12) which made us to stand in His grace (Rom 3:24 c/w Gal 2:16). iv. Since Jesus our High Priest is passed into the heavens and is seated on the throne of grace, and we are in Him, we can therefore come to Him in prayer by faith and find grace to help in time of need (Heb 4:14-16). 69. Rom 9:30-33 A. "What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith. 31) But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. 32) Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;" (Rom 9:30-33) B. Does this passage teach that righteousness is obtained by a person's faith? C. See Rom 4:13,16 - Section III,67. 70. Rom 10:4,6,9-10,13 A. "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth...6) But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)...9) 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. 10) For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation....13) For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Rom 10:4,6,9-10,13) B. Are these verses teaching that if a person confesses and believes in the Lord Jesus he will be saved eternally and become righteous? C. Rom 10:4 i. Here Paul is writing about his prayer and desire to God that Israel might be saved (Rom 10:1). a. He explained at length in Romans 9 that within national Israel (the descendants of Abraham), there is a remnant (also called Israel - Rom 9:6) which are the children of God and the children of promise (Rom 9:6-13; 9:27-29). b. Natural Israel (the non-remnant, the children of the flesh - Rom 9:7) have the same fate as Sodom and Gomorrah (Rom 9:27-29) and are therefore eternally damned and will never be saved (Jud 1:7). c. Therefore the Israel which Paul desires to be saved is spiritual Israel (the remnant). ii. These Jews had a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge: in other words they are ignorant of how God wants to be served and worshiped (Rom 10:2). iii. They were ignorant of the God's righteousness, were going about to establish their own righteousness, and had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God (Rom 10:3). a. They failed to understand that the righteousness of God is without (outside of) the law (Rom 3:21). b. They failed to understand that the righteousness of God was by the faith of Jesus Christ (His faith) (Rom 3:22). c. They failed to understand that justification (righteousness) comes by the righteousness of Christ (Rom 5:18). d. They failed to understand that sinners are made the righteousness of God by Jesus Christ being made sin for them (2Co 5:21). e. Because of this ignorance of the righteousness of God in Jesus Christ, they were trying to establish their own righteousness by keeping the law of Moses. f. They didn't understand that a man cannot be justified (made righteous) by the works of the law (Gal 2:16). g. They didn't understand that they were under a curse because they could never keep the whole law (Gal 3:10). h. Because of their ignorance, they had not submitted themselves to the righteousness of God. iv. If they were to believe that Christ alone kept the law perfectly and was made a curse for them, thereby redeeming them from the curse of the law (Gal 3:13) and justifying them by His blood and grace (Rom 5:9; Rom 3:24), that would be the end of the law for righteousness for them (Rom 10:4). D. Rom 10:6 i. The righteousness of the law is that if you do the things in the law (every single one of them without ever missing - Gal 3:10), you shall live (Rom 10:5). ii. Conversely, the righteousness of faith is simply believing that Christ did it all for you and freely justified you (Gal 2:16; Rom 3:24). (See Rom 4:13,16 - Section III, 67) iii. The righteousness of faith believes that Christ's justifying work is finished and you don't need to try to bring Christ down from heaven to do it again (Rom 10:6). iv. The righteousness of faith believes that Christ died once for sins (Heb 9:28; Heb 10:10-14) and He doesn't need to die again and be brought up again from the dead (Rom 10:7). v. The righteousness of faith believes that the word is nigh to God's children, even in their mouth and heart (Rom 10:8). a. The word gets in their heart by the act of God in the new covenant when He writes His laws on their hearts at the same time He forgives their sins (Heb 8:10-12). b. This happens by regeneration when God takes out the dead, stony heart of one of His children and gives them a new heart of flesh, gives them a new spirit, and puts His Spirit within them (Eze 36:25-28). c. This is the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Ghost (Tit 3:5). vi. At this point, having regenerated them by giving them a new heart and a new spirit, and having written His word on their hearts, God has worked in them to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phi 2:13). vii. They now need to work out the salvation which God has worked in them (Phi 2:12). viii. The righteousness of faith says to stop trying to keep the works of the law and start believing that Christ already did it all for them and there is nothing left for them to do. ix. Hence the next verse. E. Rom 10:9-10 i. These verses are commonly used by Arminians who attempt to use them to prove that one must only believe the gospel to get eternal life; but there are major problems with that teaching. a. First of all, the verse say nothing about eternal life or eternal salvation. 1. It is not a proof text, but rather a reference text as it only refers to being "saved", but doesn't define what the person is saved from. 2. It therefore needs to be compared with other verses to define what type of salvation is under consideration. b. Secondly, the verses give TWO conditions which have to be met for one to be saved, not only one (belief) as is commonly taught. 1. The verses state that confessing the Lord Jesus with one's mouth AND believing in one's heart that God raised Him from the dead are BOTH conditions which one must fulfill to be saved. 2. The Arminian will respond that belief and confession are the same thing. 3. Not true; confession and belief are most certainly NOT the same thing (Joh 12:42). c. Thirdly, belief and confession are both something one does, which is work by definition. 1. Belief is something one does (Act 16:30-31; Mat 23:23), and therefore it is a work (Joh 6:28-29). 2. Work n. - I. 1. Something that is or was done; what a person does or did; an act, deed, proceeding, business 3. Confess v. - 1. trans. To declare or disclose (something which one has kept or allowed to remain secret as being prejudicial or inconvenient to oneself); to acknowledge, own, or admit (a crime, charge, fault, weakness, or the like). 4. Confessing is doing something, which means it's a work. 5. Therefore, Rom 10:9-10 cannot refer to eternal salvation because eternal salvation is not of works (2Ti 1:9; Tit 3:5). (See Section II,7,A on Eternal Salvation) d. Therefore, if the salvation under consideration is not eternal, it must then be temporal salvation. (See Section II,7,B on Temporal Salvation) ii. Since the salvation under consideration is temporal salvation, what then are those who confess and believe in the Lord Jesus saved from? a. Remember the context. b. Paul is writing about regenerate, unbelieving Jews who are ignorant of God's righteousness and are trying to establish their own righteousness by keeping the works of the law (Rom 10:1-3) (see previous sections C and D). c. As was just proved, it is impossible to attain unto righteousness by keeping the law. d. Righteousness only comes by Christ keeping the law and becoming a curse for us. e. These Jews needed to believe and confess that Christ died for their sins and that God raised Him from the dead, proving that their sins were put away (Rom 4:25 c/w Rom 6:9 c/w Act 2:24). f. If they would do that, Jesus would be the end of the law for righteousness to them (Rom 10:4). g. They would be saved from their ignorance of God's righteousness and from trying to establish their own righteousness. h. Those who believe that Christ did it all for them cease from their own works and enter into rest (Heb 4:10). iii. They would believe unto righteousness and their confession would be made unto salvation (Rom 10:10). a. Unto prep. - 1. Expressing or denoting motion directed towards and reaching (a place, point, or goal); b. Instead of establishing their own righteousness, they would be believing and confessing towards Christ and His righteousness and His salvation. F. Rom 10:13 i. This promise of being saved from ignorance of God's righteousness and from trying to establish their own righteousness was not just to the Jews, but to all who call upon Him, whether they be Jews or Gentiles (Rom 10:12). ii. "For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved." (Rom 10:13) For a master copy of the outline, click here: Problem Texts for Sovereign Grace