Justified Without Works - Romans 3:19-31, Episode 4

By Michael Pearl

Scripture: Topics: Romans Bible Study

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Justified Without Works

Romans 3:19-31

The Book of Romans, Chapter 3:19 - 31. This is episode four, and this is put on by No Greater Joy Ministries, which is nogreaterjoy.org, if you want to find us online. I am Michael Pearl and we are at The Door tonight. Now, The Door is located in Lobelville, Tennessee. This is a Thursday night at the present. So if you want to come by sometime in Lobelville in Tennessee to The Door, drop in, you give us a call at No Greater Joy and we'll make a special seat for you. See if we can save one. We got such a big crowd here. I think we can find some place for you to sit.

And so, we're going to be teaching the Bible, not something else. Not theology, just the Bible, word for word, verse by verse.

We read in Psalm 138:2, "I will worship toward thy holy temple and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth; for that has magnified thy word above all thy name."

Nonreligious Bible study

So, think about it. God's name is high and it's holy, but there's one thing God exalts above His name and that's His word. And so, His word is made up of words, and it's those words we're going to look at tonight. Now, I have a sign, or I did have, on the door out here that said, "Unreligious Bible study." Guy across the street at the store asked me, "What in the world is an unreligious Bible study?" I said, "It's one where we just study the words of God and there's no religion involved." He said, "Well, I've never heard of that." I said, "Well, you'll have to come in and give it a try." So, this is an unreligious Bible study, nothing for you to join and nothing to sell. And just a place to hear what God's got to say.


So, Paul wrote the Book of Romans in about AD 57 or 58, and he wrote from Corinth to Rome. Now, we're in that section that talks about the gift of righteousness. We already talked about universal sin. This is going to be universal provision. So, last time was not a lot of fun, having to deal with all the sin and the crud, and what you and I are all the time, and other people, and the stuff that God has to put up with. But universal provision in the cross is what we're going to be looking at tonight. So, we're going to get a running start on Verse 24, where we're going to, but starting in Verse 19. "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law; that every mouth may be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God."

So, Paul has been talking a lot about the law versus those who don't have the law. He's compared them and he's shown us that people who don't have the mosaic law, nonetheless, have a law under themselves, their thoughts, the meanwhile bearing witness, their conscience, accusing or else excusing one another. That through nature, the things that are created, the things that are seen, men universally understand the Godhead, even his eternal power, and Godhead so that there without excuse. So, Paul has given us this long list of sins starting in Chapter 1 and going on down through Chapter 3, up to Verse 23. And he says there that we know that the law cannot save you, but it's written so that your mouth will be stopped and all the world may become guilty before God.

Natural Revelation

Now, we talked about in Chapter 1 and the early part of Chapter 2, how that there's natural revelation, which the American Indians, South American Indians, the Aztec, the people in Papua, New Guinea, in the Amazon, in Africa, people who are never exposed to Western thought or to the Bible, to the words of God, those people nonetheless had a revelation of God, which they got from nature and from their own religion. And so, that law that they got became a mandate for them to live. Even if their own witch doctor or shaman taught them truth, they were responsible for that truth they received. So, God judges each man according to the truth he holds. And then there's written revelation, which comes from the words of God, which the Western world has been exposed to for a long time. It says they show the work of the law written in their hearts.

Can you be justified by the Law?

Romans 3:20 "Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight." Why? Because he's shown that we're all under sin. We've all failed to live up to the laws of God. So, religion fails to reach the heights. Now, I know some of you will look at that and say, "Well, you know what I could do, is lean that ladder up against that rock right there and reach. And then I could crawl up on it and then work my way around there. I see a ledge I could stand on, and I could move over farther to the right side there. And there's a place I believe I could work my way up and get back up there." That's cause you're religious. That's the way all religious people think. They think of some kind of way that they can finagle it, impress God, and make it to heaven on their own good works. He says, "For by the law is the knowledge of sin." So, that law causes us to know what we should do and proves to us that we've not done it. The end result being condemnation.

Romans 7:7 He said, "I had not known sin, but by the law; for I had not known lust, except the law had said, 'Thou shall not covet.'"  So, Paul said through the law that he had, even though it didn't say anything about lust, he said, "Because it said thou shall not covet, I surmised that my lust was sin.

Romans 7:9 “For I was alive without the law once."  We're going to see in Romans Chapter 7. "But when the commandment came, sin revived and I died." So Paul is describing the emotions that he experienced, his spiritual understanding in reality, that before he was exposed to the law, he was okay. He was alive. But once he was exposed to the law and tried to live it, something happened. He said, "I died." The law, which was ordained to life, he said, "I found to be unto death."

“Do the best you can, and you'll go to heaven”?

So, men go through several steps to try to obtain righteousness. First, you need to know that righteousness is required in order to get to heaven. It takes righteousness. When people say to me, "I believe if you just do good, do the best you can, and you're sincere, you'll go to heaven." I've had thousands of people say that to me.

Vietnam Military Men

We used to have a ministry on the side of the road with military guys. Some of them during Vietnam days, they were on the way to Vietnam. And then for years after that, for about 20 years, we had a ministry with military men.

And every other one of them, I believe, would tell me, "I believe if you're just sincere and do the best you can, you'll go to heaven." And every one of them that said that to me, "I said, you're absolutely right. All you've got to do is just be good. You don't need any religion. You don't need what I'm giving you. You just need to be good and righteous." He says, "That's what I believe." "You just need to keep the commandments." "Yeah, that's right." "And do the best you can." "That's right." And then I say to him, "Have you lied this week?" "Well, yeah, I guess I did one time." I said, "Is that the best you can do?"

"Well, I know I could do better." "No, wait a minute. You told me if you do the best you can, you can go to heaven. Now you're telling me you could do better and you didn't do it." He said, "Oh, well, if you ask God to forgive you, he'll forgive you." So, I said, "Okay, you're telling me then that you have to be righteous, but if you're not righteous, God will forgive you." He said, "Yeah, that's it." I said, "What do you have to do to go to get forgiveness?" He said, "You have to go to confession." I said, "Confession. When do you do that?" And he said, "Well, it's been a while." I said, "Well, have you got a list of sins right now that piled up against you?" "Well, I guess I do." And it's not too long, a little conversation like that. Every single one of them realized they're sinners without God, without hope. That the method they have got for getting to heaven, which is righteousness, doing good, they failed in it. So, righteousness is right doing. It's not anything other than doing right.

Righteousness is Required

  • Religious law and natural revelation dictate righteousness. Every religion dictates righteousness.
  • And the law must be obeyed. This is something universally people would agree upon. It must be obeyed.
  • And obedience must be consistent. That is, you can't obey sometime and not obey other times. Otherwise, you become a law breaker.

If you're hanging over a chasm of fire on a chain with 10 links, as in the 10 commandments, and one link breaks, how far do you fall? All the way to the bottom. You see, the chain is 10 links, but you only have to break one of them to break the chain. Yes, there's 10 commandments, but you only have to break one of them to be a commandment breaker. And you only have to commit one sin to be a sinner. I've said to people, "Look, if I lied to you tonight and you found out that I lied to you, what would you say about me next week?" He said, "Well, I'd say that guy's a liar." I said, "Just one lie and you'd call me a liar?" "Yeah." "If I were to steal from you tonight, just take $10 from you, sneak it out of your billfold, what would you say about me?" He said, "Well, I'd say you were a thief." I'd say, "What does God say about you if you've lied one time, stolen one time, lusted one time? He says, You're a sinner. You're undone. You're without God."

Religions of men are all Failures

So, religions of men, as hard as men work, as diligent as they are to achieve righteousness, getting together, it feels good. It feels good to be part of a group working your way to heaven. It could be Scientology, Mormons, Jehovah's Witness, Catholic, Baptist, Shinto, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, anything. People get together and they feel good because they compliment one another and they work. Amish work together, all seeking to please God. "For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh." The only thing wrong with our homemade systems is we're the one trying to pull it off. Only thing wrong with all these different religions is that human beings are the ones trying to live up to it. And the flesh is weak. The flesh is unable to achieve.

No flesh justified in His sight

Romans 3:19-31

So, we open our Bibles to start tonight in a new section of scripture, Romans Chapter 3, Verse 20. "Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight."

You see, the issue is not do you live up to the dictates of your church? The issue is not have you lived up to your conscience, even? The issue is are you justified in the sight of God? It's not how I view it, or how you view it. It's how God views it. It's His heaven. He owns it. He built it. He's the gatekeeper. And He's the one that's going to let you in or shut you out. So, no flesh will be justified in his sight by the law, for the law is the knowledge you of sin." What's that I hear? I hear someone going quoting James, "Faith without works is dead." That's a bobsled many people have ridden to hell because they don't read the whole book and don't understand it. I've got a book on that if you want to get it, on justification of the book of James.

So, no flesh justified in His sight. Here's where it gets good. But now all that's behind us. This is where Romans changes.

But now the righteousness of God

Romans 3:21 "But now the righteousness of God,"  wait a minute. He's not talked about the righteousness of God yet. He's been talking about the righteousness of men by the law, which they failed to achieve. But he said, "Now the righteousness of God without the law,"  you mean there's such a thing as God's righteousness without law? Sure. God was righteous before there was an earth. God was righteous before He created man. God has always been righteous and always will be. You see, God's righteousness is God doing right. God's righteousness is God being good. God righteousness is him being what we should be, but all have failed to be. That's God's righteousness. And God's righteousness will never be lived by you and I. We'll never do it.

If I do something righteous, that's my righteousness, not God's. If God helps me do something righteous, that's still my righteousness. That's not God's. But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested. That means it is revealed. It's seen. It's known by the world. It's manifested. Being witnessed by the law and the prophets. So, he says, "The law and the prophets,"  that is the Old Testament, "Has manifested,” has opened up to us “and witnessed to us of the righteousness of God." What he's offering here is a glimpse into a different way of getting to heaven. Actually, it's the same way, but it's a provision made. It's a provision of righteousness. Not a righteousness that you live, but a righteousness that God has lived on your behalf. But now the righteousness of God, without the law is manifested being witnessed by the law and the prophets.

What is the Righteousness of God?

So, let's see what the Bible says about the righteousness of God. It cannot be imparted. An illustration that I actually used when I was a young preacher, because the other preachers used it. And so, when I was 16, 17 years old, it sounded good to me. And so, you take a pair of surgical gloves. Now, surgical gloves have done some wonderful things. They've gone into the brains of people and taken out little tumors. They've gone into hearts, lungs, done some wonderful things. So, if you take a pair of surgical gloves and say, "Here, operate," they just lay there. What's wrong with those gloves? Well, they don't have a hand in them. So, the illustration that has been used is this, that the gloves, that's me, that's you, and without God. So, here is this shell now devoid of God. And so, when it comes to doing God's righteousness, I can't do it because God's not inside of me.

So, what I need is God to come inside of me and work through me. And with Him in me, then I become a surgeon. With Him in me, then these gloves can do wonderful and marvelous things that are just supernatural, because now God has empowered me. Another illustration I used to use is that even though I'm 6'4 and 1\2", or was before I got old and shrunk, I've never been able to play basketball. I always hit my foot. Somehow my feet just got right under when I tried to dribble. And I'm getting old enough now I'm starting to dribble again. But back then, I could not dribble a ball for anything. My wife shaking her head. I could not dribble a ball for anything. And so, I used to use this illustration. If I were going to be a great basketball player, I'd have to have, and that Harlem Globetrotter, Meadowlark something, I've forgotten his name, but he was incredible.

What he'd have to do, he'd have to come and get inside this body. If he came and got inside this body, then I could do all that amazing stuff. So, I would say to the sinners out there, "I know you can't live righteous. What you need is God to come inside of you and give you power, and then you can do it." By the time I was 18 years old, I realized that wasn't the gospel, and old preachers kept right on preaching that. But I came to understand when I got to study in the Bible that that's not the gospel. It won't work that way. Because if God moves into me, he's still got to work through this old flesh. It'd be like a surgeon trying to operate with boxing gloves on. He wouldn't get much done. It wouldn't happen.

Romans 3:20-21 "Therefore, by the deeds of the law, there shall no flesh be justified in his sight; for by the law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without the laws is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets." So, the righteousness of God is foretold in the Old Testament.

The Righteousness of God in the OT

Isaiah 45:24"Surely shall one say,"  this is from Isaiah, "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength." So, there was an anticipation of righteousness coming from God.

"They shall come and shall declare His righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he has done this."  That's Psalm 22:31. It is a Psalm of Jesus on the cross praying as he died. So, he predicted that these people who crucified him and the rest of the world will come and declare his righteousness, God's righteousness, onto a people that shall be born, yet to come into the world.

Jeremiah 33:16 "In those days, shall Judah be saved and Jerusalem shall dwell safely; and this is the name wherewith the Lord shall be called the Lord our righteousness."  So, it's anticipation of a day when Christ would be our righteousness.

Romans 3:22 "Even the righteousness of God, which is by faith of Jesus Christ."  So, now he's introduced the concept of faith unto all and upon all them that believe, for there's no difference.

Faith and Belief

Now, I looked up the word faith and belief to count the number of times. My computer does that for me. And I found out that it appears 528 times in the New Testament. There are very few words that appear over 500 times in the entire Bible, but in the New Testament alone, faith or belief appears 528 times. So, he said, "This righteousness of God is unto all, and upon all them that believe." Now, the word unto is something coming in my presence, coming alongside of me. It's unto me. Upon me is something descending and coming to be encompass me, come upon me. So, the righteous of God through Jesus Christ has come unto everyone.

That is it's available. It's there. It's a gift to be offered. But it's come upon those that believe. So, you could be exposed to something and not catch it. You got to catch the faith, the righteousness. It's got to become in you, part of you, in order to be saved. He said, "The word is nigh thee. Even in thy heart and in thy mouth, the word of faith which we speak." So, that word of faith is there waiting for you to believe, waiting to enter into you. Unto all and upon all that believe. Now, Paul is emphasizing here that it's not just for the Jew, but it's for the Gentile also that's the emphasis he's giving.

No difference between Jew and Gentile

So, there is no difference between the Jew and the Gentile. It is available to all people in all religions.

Romans 3:23 "For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God."  Now, this verse seems to belong higher up in the passage where he was talking about sin. So, he interjects this after having introduced the subject of God's righteousness. Why does he do that? He's dropping back to a point he's already proven, to say that this gift of righteousness is available to all who believe for, because, all have sinned. In other words, if we all commonly share sin, then we all commonly share the cure.

Fallen Short of the Glory of God

All have sinned and come short of the glory of God. We talked about that already. Let's mention it again. You see, it's not just rules we've come short of. We've actually come short of God's glory. Now, I thought the other day, and I believe I'll put something together. I've looked at the glory of God throughout the Bible, and I'm thinking about creating a gospel message, starting with the glory of God from before the creation and going all the way through, a very positive message in the presentation of the gospel.

Created for glory and honor

You see, God created us for glory and honor. And he crowned Adam with glory and honor, and the human race with glory and honor, and God's goal for us is that we glory in the glorious. And he created breastplates and garments for the priest for glory, it said. He created the tabernacle for glory. Jesus came and they beheld his glory. The glory as the only begotten of the father full of grace and truth. And that's God's goal for humanity is to ascend in the glorious state. The problem is, you and I have come short of arriving at that glory. We are ugly, spiritually. We are retarded, spiritually. We are backward. We shame the very glory of God. The Bible says we glory in our shame.

And so, that's the thing we've fallen short. Just not some arbitrary dead rules, not some religious mandate, but you and I have fallen short of that glory that God created for the human race. That's what the tragedy is. So, we come to this part where he talks about the gift of righteousness, a free gift.

Free Gift

Now, I've often said to sinners, "Look, if I reach in my pocket here," And I've taken out a dollar bill, I dare not use more than that. And I said, "Now, look here. If I want to give this to you." Say I give this to you. So I said, "I'm giving it to you. Here's a dollar bill." I said, "Now, it's yours." He said, "Well, I don't want to take your dollar." I said, "Well, it's a free gift. If I give it to you, then it's a free gift."  Now, most of the service men are already spent out by Saturday night and they were glad to get my dollar. I said, "Let me give you this dollar. I'm going to give you this dollar. It's free." I said, "Now, that is called a gift. Have you worked for me?" I mean, I just met the guy 10 minutes ago. "No." "You ever done anything with me?" "No." "Probably never see me again." "No." "And I gave you a gift, right?" "Yeah." I said, "It's just that easy to get enough righteousness to go to heaven. It's just a free gift. All you got to do is just reach out and take it by faith." And I described to them what God has done and how to receive the gift of faith. Simple illustrations.

How are we Justified?

So, we open our Bible again. "For all have sinned come short of the glory of God. Being," present tense, ongoing, "Being justified freely."

Now that's never been mentioned in the Bible. "Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that's in Christ Jesus."  So, God freely, joyously, not just free, but freely. Do you understand the difference? If something's free, that's one thing. But when it's freely, that means it's abundantly, readily available and free. That means it is given without hesitation, without, as James says, upbrading. It's freely given.

Free Offer

Now, I've had people offer stuff free. One time we got a free offer to get a camera, if we would just come and receive it. Well, we had to take three hours and drive around with this guy showing us some property that no one would want to buy, wanted us to buy it. So, it was not freely given. It was free, but it was not freely given. And so, I told him before he started, I said, "Look, Mr. I don't have any money. I'm poor. I don't want this piece of property. If I had it, I'd give it away. I don't have the money to buy it. You can take three hours or just give the camera." He said, "Here's the camera." You remember that? So, we got the camera, it was a ratty camera too. Wasn't worth, I don't think we ever put any film in the thing. And so, it was not freely given.

Freely Given

When God gives you salvation, it's freely given and it's easy to get. I've seen prostitutes get it sitting on the side of the road. I've seen lesbians get it on the side of the road. I've seen queers. I've even seen preachers get this gift of salvation. This is available for any kind of sinner, anywhere, anytime. I've seen Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, Seventh Day Adventists freely take this. Baptist a lot of Baptists, because there more of them around than anybody else.

Take the gift of salvation freely, through the redemption that's in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 45:25"In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified,"  he said. So, to be justified is for the court to hear your case, examine the evidence, and rule that you are just, and that there's no charge against you now, nor can be brought against you in this matter. You are justified. That's better than having not been accused. Because like somebody we know right now in the political circle, if accused, and then examined, and then exonerated, but not yet gone to court, that person is still subject to being examined further and eventually coming to trial. So, you and I have had all the evidence presented in a court, all of it examined, and the jury has ruled that we are just in all things. Now, how in the world could a sinner get just before God? It has to be a gift of righteousness to be justified.

He will remember your sin no more

Psalm 32:2 "Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity." That means he doesn't blame you for it, doesn't accuse you of it, doesn't mention it. Doesn't put it to your charge. He forgets it, puts it behind his back in the depths of the sea, far as the east is from the west, and remembers it no more. That's what God will do.

Set Forth

Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood."  We're going to tarry on this passage, "Whom God hath set forth."  When you come to my house, you will see a couple long rattlesnake skins tacked to the wall. I set those forth, so you'll ask about them and I can tell you the story of them. I also have some carvings I did, and those are where you can see them, so you can ask about that.

I have a whole lot of trophies I got for world championship knife and tomahawk throws. And those are set there so you'll ask about those and I can tell you about that. And so, my house has a lot of things set forth, some paintings on the wall that I used to sell. There's a copper sculpture on the wall. My wife has two little paintings over to the side. And so, all you have to do is just ask and you're going to get a long story about it, because that's my glory, you see, and her glory. And of course, she's my best glory. I have to add that after what I said.

Romans 3:25 "Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation."  So, God has framed Jesus and put him in a place of prominence for the world to see and said, "This is your righteousness set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood."


This word propitiation is a very unique word that you find in your King James Bible and in the Greek Bibles.

Hebrews 1:1"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his son."  He set forth.

Matthew 17:5 "While he yet spake, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them: and behold a voice out of the cloud, which said, this is my beloved son in whom I'm well pleased; hear ye him."  He was set forth.

Isaiah 53:10 "Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; who hath put him to grief; when thou shalt make his soul and offering for sin."  Not just his body, but his soul was involved in that death. So, a propitiation is an appeasement of an offended party. It is to cause the offended party to turn away wrath. So, propitiation must be made by the offending party, and received by the offended party.

Illustration of Propitiation

In other words, if I were to run into your nice new car with my old 35 year old truck, and bang it up, I would be the offending party. And you said, "You messed my nice new car up." And I said, "Well, I don't have any insurance on my old truck." And you said, "Well, what are you going to do about it?" Well, now you have been offended and I'm the offender. So, I say to you, "Well, I'll tell you what I'll do." I've got a nice Kubota tractor and a little Kubota four Wheeler that I'll give you, and it's worth more than your car." You said, "No, that's not enough." I said, "Well, I got $400 stuck away in a shoe somewhere. I'll get that out." "Okay. Well, that's still not enough." "Well, let's see. I've got two shotguns, a rifle, and a pistol. I'll give you those."

Well, what kind are they? I'll tell you, well, that might be enough." And I said, well, you fully satisfied? "Yeah, if you give me all that, I'll be satisfied." So, I made a propitiation. You receive the propitiation. And so, that has justified me in regard to, so I have you sign a piece of paper that said I have been indemnified. That's a nice word, indemnified. That means that I cannot be charged or brought back on this in any way, that I've been absolved of any blame, that this thing has been settled, and both parties are now satisfied. So, that's what a propitiation is.

The Judge Pays the Debt

1 John 4:10 "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but he loved us, and sent his son to be the propitiation for our sins."  You see that? Now, normally the one making the offering is the offending party.

But in this case, the offended party propitiates himself. I hit his car, messed it up. And he happens to be the judge. He takes me into the courtroom, finds me guilty and orders me to pay $65,000. And I say, "But, sir, my wife and 14 kids will go hungry if I have to pay that money." And he said, "Well, that's what you owe," and he puts it in the court records. And then I get home and his secretary shows up and says, "The judge wants me to tell you that he's paid the $65,000 himself to the court. And you're now free from any indebtedness." Now that's unheard of.

For the Sins of the Whole World

And yet God finds me guilty, damns me, and then propitiates himself with his own blood. That's an amazing story. 1 John 2:2 "For he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world."  Sorry, Calvinists. The whole world.

Satisfaction of the Atonement

Isaiah 53:11"He shall see of the travail of his soul and shall be satisfied."  When I studied theology in college, I found out that there was an old Bible doctrine called the Satisfaction of the Atonement. And I was just sitting in class and heard the word and got excited and almost started shouting. I was peculiar in school, because I was already preaching 10 or 15 times a week and excited about the Lord. Some of those guys were just learning. So, he just said, "We're going to study the Satisfaction of Atonement. Told him, I said, "Wow, man, that's good. I want to know that one," because it sounded good to me. And it turns out that it's not me being satisfied. It's God being satisfied. It's not about God satisfying us. It's about God satisfying his own justice through the blood of his son.

Isaiah 53:11b"By his knowledge, shall my righteous servant justify many."  By his own knowledge, not by what I do. "For he shall bear their iniquities." That's God justifying.

Jacob propitiates Esau

All right. Now, Jacob propitiates Esau. You remember the story of Jacob offending Esau(Genesis 32) by stealing his birthright and then slipping off and staying away for 20 years, and then finally deciding to come back home thinking maybe Esau had forgotten about it? In the meantime, Jacob has gotten rich and Esau has multiplied his herds too. And so, Jacob is coming back with thousands of animals and hundreds of people, servants and family and stuff. And so, he's afraid that he is going to be killed by his brother. So, he divides his herds up, and his family up, and all of his people up into two groups. And then he moves into the background and goes to sleep on a rock at night time across the other side of the creek to stay away. And an angel wrestles with him and he has an experience of faith there and has a conversion.

400 men prepared for war

And then the next day he finds, I think it was 400 men prepared to war, of Esau coming out to him, prepared to kill and take everything he had. But he'd already divided up his flocks into groups of hundreds and set them ahead one at a time. So, within many, many miles before Esau got there, up comes a herd of several hundred sheep. This is a gift from Jacob. He travels a little further and here's another four or 500 animals, a little further, here's some more animals. Well, by that time, it tied up a whole lot of those 400 men trying to herd all these animals.

And it gave the brother time to think, "Well, maybe he's not coming back to try to claim part of my herd. And this is wealth. He's making me wealthy. Hey, he took away my birthright, but look at everything he's giving back.”  So, finally, when Jacob and Esau meet, here's what he says in anticipation. He said "For I will appease him."

I will appease him

Now, that word appease is the same word in Hebrew for our Greek word for propitiate. So, if it had been in Greek, he would be saying, "I will propitiate him with a present that goeth before me, and afterward, I will see his face; peradventure he will accept of me." So, he sent those animals ahead as a propitiation to appease his brother. What Jesus did was appease the wrath of God. So, Esau accepts the gift and is propitiated. That's a Bible example of propitiation.

The Destroyer passes through Egypt

Exodus 12:23 "For the Lord will pass through and smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth blood upon the lintel, and upon the two sides, the Lord will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come into your houses to smite you."

So, this was an anticipation of the first born dying. Everyone, including the Egyptians, were invited to kill a sheep out of the flock, a lamb, and to put the blood on the doorpost, on each side, over it and in the basin at the bottom, and the destroyer would pass over their house and not kill their first born child.

Exodus 12:13 "And the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you when I smite the land of Egypt." So, God says that this blood would prevent the wrath of God from taking their firstborn. The wrath was going to come. The destruction was going to come, but God would be appeased by the blood on the doorpost. God was propitiated by that shed blood. "Through faith in his blood," propitiation, through faith in his blood.

Through faith in his blood

Now, this term has fallen into ill repute in latter days. I want to tell you something. The church is as infected with godlessness and unbelief as is our political world, as are the mainstream media, the professors at the universities. The professors in Bible colleges are infected with the same disease of unbelief. "It creeps like the destroyer creeped across Egypt into the churches one after another, and is destroying faith in the words of God." That has been a great passage through faith in his blood down through the centuries in many languages, starting off in the Greek originally, and translated perfectly accurate in the King James Bible.

Modern Bibles

"But your modern Bibles have trouble with it, because it's crude, archaic, and primitive to speak of having faith in the blood." We sing the song, there is power, power, wonder, that's where I'd sing if I could, wonder working power in the precious blood of the lamb. What can wash away my sins? Nothing but the blood of Jesus. What they like to say today is the death of Jesus does it. I've even read in print some preachers saying, "He could have died by strangling. It didn't necessarily take blood, just that he died." Yet the Bible says it's through faith in his blood.

Blood on the doorpost

So, in Egypt, those who placed blood on the doorpost and went inside, if the son or the wife began to tremble and say I'm afraid, hearing the shrieks down the street where the destroyer was passing through and people were dying, children were just dropping over dead at the table, if they feared and they said, "Father, I'm afraid I'll die," the Father said, "Look, the blood is on the door post. That's all we have to do." And if the son had said, "But Father, I don't know if I have enough faith." He'd say, "It doesn't matter whether you got faith or not. The blood's on the doorpost." But Father, what if I have fear?" "Well, the blood is on the doorpost." And if it depended on our perfect faith or unbroken confidence, none of us would be saved. You see, what I do is I objectively point to the blood on the doorpost. And that's where I trust. I don't trust on what's in my heart. I trust on the blood that's been applied, because God's been propitiated.

Without the shedding of blood

Plague sweeps across Israel

2 Samuel 24:24-25 "The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So, the Lord was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel."  Plague sweeping across Israel. David got ahead of the plague, took some animals, tore up a wagon, built a fire, cut their throats, and started burning their carcasses. The plague came right up to where he offered the sacrifice, and the plague stopped. God was making a point. Without the shedding of blood, there is no remission. What would you do with that in Hebrews? Without being strangled there's no remission? Without some other form of slow death? It said without shedding of blood.

For he said, "For the life of the flesh is in the blood." (Leviticus 17:14)  Now, when Abraham offered sacrifices, he had faith in the blood.

The Lamb of God

John 1:36 "And next day, John the Baptist seeth Jesus coming into him and sayeth, 'Behold, the lamb of God, which take it away the sin of the world.'" A lamb because the Jews knew of the purpose of a lamb was to shed its blood as a sacrifice. And John called Jesus God's lamb. So, the lamb had to be without spot and blemish because it was a representation of the Lord Jesus Christ. It had to be the best of the flock. And they brought it before the priest to be approved. And then it was slain. The blood was sprinkled on the altar. And its flesh was consumed. An atonement was made for the soul through the blood of that dead lamb.  But the Bible says it's not possible that the blood of bulls and goats should take away sins. It said, it's going to take a better blood, and it tells us that Jesus has gone into a better tabernacle with better blood to offer a sacrifice, creating a better covenant, one that puts away sins forever, not just year to year. So, they had faith in the blood.

Hebrews 10:8 "Wherefore when you cometh into the world, he saith sacrifice and offerings thou wouldest not."  That's the sheep sacrifices, lamb sacrifices. "But a body has thou prepared me." Jesus came to the world to have a human body so he could be a sacrifice, be a lamb to pay for sin. "And he is the propitiation for our sins and not for our sins only, but for the sins of the whole world." Once again.

What can Pay for my Sin?

Hebrews 9:22 “And almost all things are by the law purged with blood: and without shedding of blood, is no remission."  If you are a Bible reader, you've read how that when the temple was built and dedicated, there were thousands of animals slain, blood shed. And blood was sprinkled on all the implements, all the objects in the temple. It was sprinkled on the priest, and it was sprinkled on the people. Everywhere you look, there was drops of blood. Why? God was making the point, every one of you deserve to die. You deserve to have your throat cut, blood drained out. And without that death, there's no payment for sin. He was preparing them for the day when blood stained the hill outside Jerusalem, and people saw the lamb of God die to pay for the sin of the world. "And the blood of Jesus Christ his son cleanses us from all sin."  I will go on singing what can wash away my sin? It even makes the devil upset.

By the blood of the lamb

In Revelation 12:9 says, "And they overcame him," the devil, "by the blood of the lamb." How could you take the word blood out and substitute it for something else and still have a Bible left?

What do other Versions say?

Now, here's what your revised version says on this passage. "He's an expiation by his blood to be received by faith." An expiation by his blood? Now, what is an expiation by his blood? And it doesn't say through faith in his blood. It says by his blood to be received by faith. You receive the expiation, but you don't have faith in the blood that bothers them. The New International Version 1984 says, "God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement," takes out the word expiation or the word propitiation, "Through faith in his blood." So, they keep through faith in his blood there.

Now, if they're both great scholars giving us a correct translation to scriptures, how does one of them get it so different from the other. The New King James version which so many people hail says, "Whom God set forth as a propitiation by his blood, through faith." So, they take out through faith in his blood too. Why? Because it's the New king James version, like the new age, like the new world order, like the new morality, New King James version. They're lying to you. It's not the King James version, and it's not really new.

What does it say in the Greek?

Authorized version says propitiation through faith in his blood. And you say, well, how do we know which one's right? I'm going to show you. You're looking at Greek right there. "Whom God set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood." Now, look at that. I've put the English words under the Greek words. That's the exact order in your Greek Bible. And so, what you're seeing is a word for word translation from Greek to English. The first word, whom set forth he, God, Theos, God, propitiation through that faith in this, his blood. Now, the reason you've got those articles in there like that and this, thats the Greek read that way. And the English, it used to. They've taken that out. It doesn't read that way now, but look at it. "Whom set forth he, God." You know how sometimes like in Spanish they get the subjects and the verb backwards? Well, there too.

So, it says, Romans 3:25  "God set forth for propitiation through that faith in this, his blood."  So, notice the order is faith in his blood. See the last of it? Faith in his blood. That's the order of the words. By the way, there's exactly 12 words in the Greek and 12 words in the King James Bible. If you take out the to be. Do you notice up in the top of that whom God set forth, to be is in parenthesis? Your Bible has sometimes words in parenthesis. You know why they're there? Because they're letting you know that those two words, to be, were not exactly in the Greek text, as they added them so it would flow right in English.

Notice the Greek again, "Whom God set forth." There's no to be there, "to be a propitiation." Because in Greek it was an understood bridge, "And God set forth propitiation through that faith in this, his blood." So, "to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are passed through the forbearance of God."

Different from what God said?

Now, if you've got one of these other Bibles that have changed the order of the Greek words and taken out through faith in his blood, then you've got one that has not translated the Greek, but disagreed with what it says, and given you a different Bible saying something different from what God said 2000 years ago. Do you see that? Now, I can show you this hundreds of times over, verse after verse, where they differ. It's not a better higher translation. It's Not because they found better manuscripts, because even your worse manuscripts read the same way here. This is because they're reading into it their unbelief and their dissatisfaction with the concept of faith in the blood of Christ.

Sins that are Passed

Romans 3:25 "To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are passed," remission of sins that are passed. I've had lots of people tell me that when Jesus died, he only died for past sins, and now then you and I have to live and obey God now, to take care of our present sins. That sure, my past sins are forgiven according to the Bible, but not my future ones. I've got to deal with those. That's not what he's saying. Here's what he's telling us. "To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are passed through the forbearance of God."  Adam and Eve sinned. Then Cain and Abel sinned. All the way down to Noah, they sinned.

What Happened to Enoch?

Then you remember Enoch was taken to heaven? I mean, just taken right out, gone like that.

Now, how could these people be saved with no shedding of blood, no payment for sin. This is even before the law. And then Moses comes along and Moses went to heaven, and David went to heaven after the law, all the way up to the time of Christ.

Saved on Credit

So, the Bible has a list of all those Old Testament saints in Hebrews Chapter 11, telling us how that they died in faith, having not received the promise, and looked for something better and they obtained it. So they were saved, but you know what? They were saved on credit. God remitted past sins without justice being served. God dishonored his law, which says the wages of sin is death. The soul that sinneth, it shall die. And saved these people when no eternal sacrifice had been made for their sins. So, God was in an unjust state for a period of time. You understand what I'm saying? He was in an unjust state. He did that to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that have passed through the forbearance of God. God had forbear, that is like one has a note, carries a note, waiting for the payment at the end of the month. God carried the note of sin. He bore it on his back before, He forbear it. And it was all the past sins God carried, and he was not righteous in doing it. But in dying, in shedding his blood, he declared that in fact, he was righteous in what he'd done.

Once upon a Time

Now, I've given that illustration. I got to give it to you again. A king many, many years ago, a king was benevolent and had a great and wonderful kingdom, but there was a discontented element in the kingdom that wanted to overthrow the kingdom and set up a more liberal kingdom that didn't have such stringent rules, where they could gamble, and cheat, and lie, and fornicate, and have prostitution, get away with all kinds of things.

And so, there was an uprising where things were being destroyed and people being killed and robbed, trying to overthrow the king. And the king passed a law that anyone caught committing treason against the kingdom would have his eyes put out. Normally, the penalty would be death, but he was a benevolent king. So, just have their eyes put out. And over the next couple years, a dozen young men were caught in this act of treason, had their day in court, and their eyes were plucked out. The king was honoring his law and the people knew that he was a just king who lived up to his laws.

Charged with Treason

So, then one day the police brought in a young man with his head covered. And the king said, "Why is his head covered?" And they said, "Well, we believe that this person is known to the king and we don't want you to be prejudiced in your judgment." So, what's the evidence?

And they said, "We have evidence that this is the ring leader." And they gave all the evidence. And the king said, "It's pretty clear. Before I pass sentence, though, I want to see who it is and hear what he's got to say for himself." So, they pulled the hood off and it was the King's son. The King's son wanted to overthrow his own father's kingdom.  So, the king said, "I'll defer judgment for 24 hours."

Will the King just forgive his Son?

The whole town was a buzz with what would the king do? Some would say, "I know he is a hard man, a cruel man. He'll not only pluck his son's eyes out, but he'll have him put on the rack, stretched and disembowed, just to make a point of how tough he is, how strict he is about the law." Others said, "No, he's a loving king. And I know what he'll do. He'll forgive his son." And then some said, "But he can't do that because he's already blinded a dozen others. And so, he's got to be just, he's got to honor his law."

So, the next day, when it was time for a judgment, the young man was brought in there and the king was led out with a hood over his head. And they led him up to the throne and he sat down on the throne and he said, "I'm ready to pass judgment." You remember he had to be just, but he wanted to be a justifier. He wanted to be a justifier of his son, but he had to stay just in doing it. And so, the king said, "I am ready to pass sentence." And he reached up and pulled the hood off of his head, and a servant uncovered a silver tray.

There were two gaping holes in the King's eyes and two eyes laying on the tray. And he said, "I sentenced my son to have his eyes plucked out, according to the law. And I offer the court my eyes in his place. Is the court and the people satisfied?" And with one voice, the people said, "Yes, yes, that's enough." And so, the king remained just while in love being the justifier of his son. And so, after that, the son, out of love and appreciation, no longer was rebellious, but stood by his father's side, aiding him in matters of court, and became a most faithful servant. Just as you and I upon learning that Jesus died for us, that he was crucified in our place, died on our behalf, we love him for that and we stop being his enemy. And he's now our loving father. And we serve him. "To declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are passed through the forbearance of God."

The Cross

That's what the cross did is declared that he was righteous. Romans 3:26"To declare, I say, at this time, his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus."  And all God asks of us is just to believe in him. And that's what the father wanted of the son. Son, just believe in me.

Can you have faith with Works?

Romans 3:27Where is boasting, then? “ Now, who's going to brag about their works after this? Who's going to say, "No, I think I'll just do the best I can." “Where's boasting? It's excluded. But what law? Of works? No, the law of faith.” See, he's comparing two forces, two principles, two realities, one, the law of works, this do and thou shall live, or the law of faith, believe, and you'll live. You can't do both. If you try faith without works, then faith is no more faith. If you try works, then works are no more works. You've got to have one or the other. You can't mix the two.

Justified by Faith Alone

Romans 3:28 “Therefore, we conclude,” he is coming to conclusion having made his point, that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law. You're a complete fool if you think religion, church, rules, obeying God, being humble, getting rid of your pride and trying to get the spirit of God to help you be good is going to get you to heaven. It'll never do it. You've got to be what any sinner is, just a sinner, and come empty handed with nothing and say, "God, I believe." It's so easy to be saved, and yet so many miss it.

Is there more than One God?

Romans 3:29 "Is he the God of the Jews only? “  He's back to that subject of Jews and Gentiles. “Is he not also of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also."  So, he's making the point that this provision is for all.

Romans 3:30 “Seeing is it one God," there's not one God for Gentiles and one for Jews, "which shall justify the circumcision."  That's a Jew. "By faith, and the uncircumcision," that's a Gentile, "through faith."  The word by and through are two different Greek words. And one of them, the first one, by faith, means by. And the second one, through, means through.

By Faith or Through Faith?

Now, what's the difference between by and through? By is a means of doing something. Through is a channel by which it's done. Now, the Jew already had faith. So, he took the faith he already had, and he was justified by that faith. Transferring the faith from the blood of animals, from the law, to Christ. The Gentiles didn't have faith yet in Jehovah. God didn't know him. And so, they were justified through a process of faith. If you want to study that, look in Hebrews Chapter 11, where it uses by faith and through faith. Uses through faith, I think, three times, and by faith all the other times. But the last through faith has a long list of about 15 things behind it that they did through faith, as compared to what they did by faith. And you'll have an amazing study there.

Good News

So, through faith for the Gentile and by faith for the Jew. Now, that's good news for you Gentiles. You say, I don't have faith. That's okay. You don't have to have faith because it's through faith. God will take you through the process of faith. He will bring you into it a little at a time, and bring you through it until he creates faith in your heart. All you have to do is believe, just believe. When you believe, God starts working the faith, and faith becomes a channel, a path, a road by which you come to a full knowledge of God.

What about the Law of God?

Romans 3:31 “Do we then make void the law of God through faith.” In other words, has the law become useless because we've going by faith and not the law? “God forbid, yeah, we establish the law.”  How do you establish the law? Because you make the law do what it's supposed to do.

1 Timothy 1:8 "But we know that the law is good if a man use it lawfully."  What's the lawful use of the law? To cause you to know that you're a sinner.

Peace through the Blood

Colossians 1:14-20 "In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins;... and having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things under himself; by him. I say, whether they be things in earth or things in heaven."  So, he made peace through the blood of his cross to reconcile, bring back to him all things unto himself, whether things in heaven or things in earth.

Only one Door

One door and only one by the way of the cross leads home. If I could sing, I'd sing now, the way the cross leads home. And it's a path that anybody of any age can take. It's just a matter of by belief, come up and believe what God said, and take that step of faith, trusting in the work of Christ, instead of building your own bridge to God and walk by faith. And it's the blood that takes away your sin. Not your blood, but his. It's his blood that cleanses from all sin. All right, we'll stop there. And it's going to get gooder and gooder as we go along, because we're getting into some great doctrines about the Lord Jesus Christ.

Bible teaching with Michael Pearl.
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