God’s Grace and Goodness

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

The Epistle of Romans is an Epistle of doctrine, a setting forth of things to believe in and trust. Romans chapters 1 through 8 expose the sin nature of man, and its motions (or sins) in man, and how Christ delivered us from that horrible nature. One impression you may have when reading the first 8 chapters of Romans is similar to having a feeling of yuck, followed by an over-abundance of joy (read the first 8 chapters of Romans and you will see what I mean).

Romans chapters 9 through 11 are the business end of the Epistle, showing us how God dealt with the Jews (Israel) and Gentiles (unbelievers) in times past, and present. Wrapping it all up, Romans chapters 12 through 16 is the prACTical side (of doctrine), showing what to do with the knowledge of the doctrine contained in the first 8 chapters of Romans; this combines the entire Epistle of Romans into a complete whole, revealing the threefold goodness of God.

Romans 1:5 – By whom {Jesus Christ} we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations {all people}, for his name:

The words grace and apostleship represent all seven of the Epistles given to God’s Church (us), we also know this as “apostolic grace,” and the apostolic grace (all the Epistles) combined promote the “how to” enjoy God’s grace upon our lives. The Epistles energize and give genuine life to the Christian faith and the Christian lifestyle, based not on our works, but on the believing faith of Jesus Chris, who is our substitute for sin and all its consequences. As we believe the Word of God, His divine grace will follow without restraint, confusion, or compulsion.

Romans 5:1-2:
-1:  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.

The Epistles, commencing with Romans, reveal to men and women the goodness of God (Romans 2:4). For it is the goodness of God (rather than His wrath) that leads us to true repentance, and then on to the throne of God and into eternity, to “rejoice in hope of the glory of God”! When we begin relying on the grace of God we will further discover God’s goodness on our lives. God has given to us peace with Him and He gave us total and personal access to stand upon His grace.  This is an exciting daily journey in our walks before the Father as He continues to reveal His loving heart of goodness to us throughout the Epistles.

The Word of Faith (The Longer Version)

 Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

In this study, we will take a closer look at the word “faith” from a biblical perspective. The words “faith” and “believing” are the same Greek word pistis and always mean believing or believing faith. We are born with the innate ability to believe, however, there is another kind of believing faith that the Bible reveals called, “the faith of Jesus Christ” and this faith is something new and introduced to believers when they become saved. With salvation, the believing Christian receives Christ in them (Colossians 1:27), and thus we become endowed with the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself which is purely perfect.

Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus {who is} the author and finisher of our {believing} faith,” and since he is the author and finisher of our faith, we can look to him in the Scriptures for our example of how to grow our believing faith to maturity. Another way we could look at this is that without Jesus, we will have a lack of Christian faith. So then, how do we learn more about this faith of Christ that we now have? We go straight to the Word of God!

Romans 10:17:   So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The faith of Christ comes to us by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. This verse carries a double meaning. First, the word hearing is repeated doubly to emphasize how the faith of Christ comes to us, and that is by hearing, and hearing to the point of our believing – and believing one thing and one thing only – and that is the word of God! The second meaning of the word hearing here is that the more of the Word of God we hear, the greater our own believing can rise to believe in the promises that are laid out for us in God’s faithful Word to receive and to enjoy. There are promises such as, “Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart” (Psalms 37:4), and “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father” (John 14:12), and “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).

Since Jesus ascended unto his Father after his resurrection (Acts 1:9–11), just as he said he would in John 14:12 above, the “greater works” that Jesus promised can become something we can now accomplish. One of the major works Jesus did was to completely believe what God’s Word said about him. Jesus’ believing faith was perfectly complete; he had believed to do more than anyone on earth had ever done, and then (because of the resurrection) God gave men and women who will believe on and accept his resurrection, the actual faith of Jesus Christ. His believing faith is similar to our believing faith, but Jesus never doubted the Word of God, which caused his faith to be immensely precious and extremely powerful. We find in Mark 9:24 that a man came to Jesus Christ in need, imploring with tears in his eyes ― “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.” Well, today Jesus still helps our unbelief mature to faith equaling his own, for he is “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.”

The Epistle of Galatians 3:23–26 sheds some interesting light on Jesus’ faith:

Galatians 3:23:  But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

Before faith came means that there was a time when there was no faith. Many people believe that faith, all faith, has always been around, but the faith that Galatians is referring to in verse 23 is the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself. Before faith came, refers to before Jesus was on earth, and therefore his believing faith was not available. Thus, the Scripture says, we were kept under the law until Christ and his faith came; for the Law was designed to protect the believers up until Jesus would come and give men and women his faith, the faith that would be from “the author and finisher of our {believing} faith.” But what confuses people sometimes about the word faith, is that it is used for our believing faith (pistis), and this word is also used for Jesus’ believing faith (pistis). In both usages throughout the Bible, faith is the same Greek word pistis. Only when we observe the context where pistis is used will the difference be apparent of which faith the Text refers.

For an example of the confusion of one word with more than one meaning, I could say, “I am at the bank,” and it could mean I am near a river, or it could mean I am depositing money at the bank, or I could be in a bank of snow for that matter. We need to view the broader context to know where I am and we can use the same logical deduction with the word faith, pistis. Only as we see the context in which the word faith is set will we understand whether the Scripture implies Jesus’ faith, or ours. At the conclusion of this study, you will be able to recognize many more of the passages where the word faith is used, and more verses will open up for you and become much clearer.

Galatians 3:24:  Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto {or until} Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

The Scripture says we are justified by faith but by whose faith were we justified? When we see the context of this verse, we find we are justified by Christ’s faith! As Romans 4:25 declares, “Who {Jesus Christ} was delivered {unto death} for our offences {our sins}, and was raised again for our justification.” We are justified because of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus, not because of our faith, thus, Ephesians 2:8–9 reveals, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Our justification into salvation is a gift from God through faith, and since salvation is not based on our works, then our salvation is given and received because of the faith of Jesus Christ who had done all the work so that we could receive by grace. The Epistle of Romans celebrates this blessed truth of our gift of God which is our salvation, “but the gift of God is eternal life through {by the work and faith of} Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 6:23).

 Galatians 2:16:   Knowing that a man {or woman} is not justified by the works of the law, but {a man or woman is justified} by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.

See how not only the immediate context fits together with Christ’s faith, but all the related passages work towards a wonderful enlightenment that we are justified because of his faith! With the believing faith of Jesus Christ, we have received our justification, being made completely justified from the dictates that the Law demands. It took the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself to give his life on our behalf to redeem us; his own faith now sets us free from the Law, giving each of us an equal justification, affording us a perfect standing before God, as we simply believe in the completeness of Jesus’ faith. This is the perfection of the faith of him who is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

Romans 5:1:  Therefore being justified by faith {i.e., Jesus’ faith}, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

Acts 26:18:  To open their eyes, and to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God {this is literally the mission of the Pauline Epistles}, that they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me {Christ Jesus}.

Today in grace, we are not only justified by Christ’s faith, but we have peace with God, and we are also sanctified, and we have “the righteousness of God which is by {the} faith of Jesus Christ” (Romans 3:22). We also have access into God’s grace by the faith of Jesus Christ.

Romans 5:2:  By whom {Jesus Christ} also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

Any faith that we read about in the Old Testament and in the Gospels is man’s own believing faith or that perfect faith of Jesus Christ. However, in the New Testament, faith could be man’s own faith, Jesus’ own faith, or believers utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ as in these verses, Acts 3:16; 6:5, 8; 15:9; Romans 1:16; I Corinthians 2:5; II Corinthians 4:13; Ephesians 1:19; 6:16; and I Thessalonians 2:13. Today, in grace, “the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). We are able to live in a Christ-like lifestyle because we have received the faith of Jesus Christ, which is, the faith of the Son of God.

Recall that Galatians 3:23–24 above talked about before faith came, but now the Epistle continues with “after that faith is come:”

Galatians 3:25–26:
-25: But after that faith is come {again, Jesus’ own faith}, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.
-26: For ye are all the children of God by faith in {of or by} Christ Jesus.

Now that the faith of Jesus Christ has come, we are no longer under the rules and regulations of the schoolmaster, i.e., the Law. Believing faith was always around since the beginning of time, but a new and enhanced, spiritual faith came with Christ, and with Christ came spiritual freedom to experience a much greater life than what the written Law offered in the Old Testament times (see Ephesians 2:15; Hebrews 7:16–19).

Galatians 5:1:  Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage {i.e., the schoolmaster — the law}.

The main difference between man’s faith and the faith of Jesus is that human faith can only rise up to believe in that which is seen, like the phrase says, “seeing is believing.” As Jesus said to Thomas, “because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed” (John 20:29). In stark contrast to seeing before we believe; the faith of Jesus Christ is given so men and women can rise all the way up to believe in that which is not physically seen, yet is spiritually real ― such as salvation, love, peace, grace, joy, and the faith of Jesus Christ.

 II Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7:
-18: While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.
-7: For we walk by faith {Christ’s believing faith}, not by sight:

In truth, man needs Jesus’ faith to fulfill his own faith, as we read in Hebrews 12:2 “Jesus {is} the author and finisher of our faith,” and this is how Christians can become fully satisfied, feeling complete within their hearts (Colossians 2:10). The faith of Jesus Christ is only available to the Christian believer, as II Thessalonians 3:2 emphatically states, “for all men have not faith.” This cannot be one’s personal believing faith, for anyone can believe, but not all men have the faith of Christ to apply towards believing God’s Word and to enjoy and believe for help in times of great need. This is also why spiritual truths in the Bible make perfect sense to the believer, whereas the same truths make absolutely no sense to the unbeliever (I Corinthians 1:18–31, 2:14).

Living by the faith of the Son of God works like this: If someone was to tell you that you are going to hell or if you once thought so yourself, now being equipped with your upgrade of the faith of Jesus Christ, you can say and believe in your innermost being that is not true. Instead, you can say to yourself ― I am heaven bound, and you can think and say this with believing conviction because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say you are unrighteousness or if you ever assumed this of yourself, now with faith, you can know in your heart that you are as righteous as God Himself is because it is true according to the Bible. If someone was to say to you that you are destined to failure or if you believed in your heart that success was not for you ― with faith, you can rise above that negative perception of yourself because faith has made you more than a conqueror through all situations. Faith believes the Word of yourself, faith delivers to you the promises of God; faith is the power of Christ manifested in your life! This is why I Corinthians 2:5 boldly proclaims, “That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” We Christians have “the same spirit of faith” (II Corinthians 4:13) to believe that we are “filled with all the fulness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Talk about ease of believing ― Jesus is “the author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2), and all we have to do is follow Jesus’ instructions to “come unto him.”

Matthew 11:28–30:
-28: Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
-29: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
-30: For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light {nothing brings peace and rest into our souls like coming unto and accepting and enjoying the uplifting faith of Christ}.

There was a time that I believed that I was so far removed from God that hell was to be my ultimate destiny, for I believed I was a sinner and had no rights to heavenly blessings, and I believed this with all my heart, and obviously I feared the end of my life. But with the believing faith of my Savior, who is my hero and everything to me, I can boldly say with believing conviction, “I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” What made the transformation in my thinking and in my inner heart? The faith of Jesus Christ; his faith now flows through my heart and assures me that God loves me completely! I now know effortlessly that I am justified and sanctified and that I have peace with God through the faith of the Son of God. Christ’s faith gives the Christian believer the feeling of flying high because God has, “raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus” (Ephesians 2:6), and “ye are risen with him {Christ} through the faith of the operation of God, who hath raised him from the dead” (Colossians 2:12).

We only need to believe in the work that our Savior has done for humanity (and what he has accomplished for you personally), to experience completeness and fullness. For with Christ’s faith we collectively, “come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:13). Our Savior’s faith is now so pleasantly real that it causes one to simply accept the grace of God with humbleness. Rather than searching for “more faith in yourself,” you will find faith to be real – to be palatable – to be in you – and to be enjoyable.

Romans 10:8–10:
-8: But what saith it {the Scriptures}? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach.
-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.

The word of faith when preached (as well as when heard, when read, when understood, and when believed), will be as close as in your mouth and in your heart. Because the Word of God is that close to you ― you can spiritually taste its divine presence (and presents), as it settles deep within your soul, giving you tangible impressions of God in meaningful revelations of divine truths, so that your believing the Word continuously becomes an exciting daily adventure. You will increase your own believing by tapping into all the believing faith that comes with having Christ within your heart (Colossians 1:27), and his faith accompanies your salvation with your belief and confession of Romans 10:9–10.

We have shown the simplicity of receiving and utilizing the faith of Jesus Christ is as it is succinctly stated in Romans 10:17: “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”

Today, I invite you to think about the word of faith that God has placed within your mouth and heart, for the word of faith delivers to you the salvation of God (Romans 10:8–10). When you begin believing the Word of God within the depths of your soul, you will come to experience the realities of the Word effectually working in your heart and life and surroundings, as the word of faith Christ’s faith – continues blessing you and all that you have and all that you do.

I Thessalonians 2:13 (The Amplified Bible):**  And we also [especially] thank God continually for this, that when you received the message of God [which you heard] from us, you welcomed it not as the word of [mere] men, but as it truly is, the Word of God, which is effectually at work in you who believe [exercising its superhuman power in those who adhere to and trust in and rely on it].

**Scripture taken from THE AMPLIFIED BIBLE.
The Amplified New Testament copyright (c) 1958, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation.
Used by permission.

Being at Peace with God

THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ– Romans 5:1. We are not at war with God, and contrary to some schools of thought, God is not at war with us, rather we are at peace with Him. Peace with God is something that we have received because we are justified by the faith of Jesus Christ. Peace is not something that we need to hope for but rather it is something received, something spiritually enjoyed, and something God believes we deserve because Jesus gave his life so that we will forever be justified and have continuous peace with our heavenly Father.” ~LMJ~

The Peace of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

 John 14:27:
Peace I {Jesus Christ} leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

Christ’s peace is a precious gift that we have, his peace will guard our hearts from being troubled, and his peace comforts our hearts to relieve us from fear. As we know, there have been peace treaties written for thousands of years, yet they never seem to last and most people have an extreme distrust in them. But the peace of Christ is written deep within our very hearts. We are not instructed to pray for peace, but rather we are to let (allow) Christ’s peace to rest at home in our hearts. Christ has established permanent peace between you and God (Ephesians 2:12-22).

Ephesians 2:14b:
For he {Jesus Christ} is our peace. . .

Could the Word of God be more precise? Jesus Christ is our peace, because he is our inner souls’ comfort. The more that we understand whom Jesus Christ is, the more we will be able to let the actual peace of Christ into our hearts.

Colossians 3:15a:
And let {allow} the peace of God rule in your hearts. . .

The word “God” in Colossians 3:15 from the Greek Text is the word for Christ, not God. Oh, definitely we have the peace of God, but if we leave God’s name in this verse, then spiritual truths become left out, the first truth being that Christ’s peace is also in our hearts. The word “rule” means to umpire. Christians are to allow Christ to be the umpire of our hearts, and in order for us to allow him to umpire, we need to acknowledge him as being alive and at home in our hearts. This is why the next verse, Colossians 3:16 states “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; . . .”

Romans 5:1:
THEREFORE being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through {or, by means of} our Lord Jesus Christ:

We have peace with God because of our Lord Jesus Christ. Henceforth, God’s Word encourages us to “let the word of Christ dwell in you richly.” For starters, Christ said, “Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” These are some of the words of Christ that believers may dwell on richly. Peace of mind and peace of heart is the will of God for His children. Keeping the words of Christ alive (in your heart) will bring the written (and once spoken) words of Christ into a peaceful reality with the assurance that your heart will cease from fear and troublesome agitations.

So today, please allow the words spoken by Jesus Christ to delight and comfort your heart, realizing that you have already obtained the peace of Christ who continues introducing you into the genuine peace and presence of God in and around your life.

The Faith of Christ

Written by Larry M. Jaynes:

Galatians 3:23 – But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed.

“Before faith came” means that there was a time when there was no faith. Many people believe that faith has always been around, but the faith that Galatians is referring to in this verse 23 is a spiritual faith, it is the spiritual believing faith of Christ himself. Before Christ came, his believing faith was simply not available. Thus “we were kept under the law” until Christ came.

Galatians 3:24 – Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto {until} Christ, that we might be justified by faith.

We are justified by whose faith? By Christ’s faith! With the believing faith of Jesus Christ we have received our justification, being made completely justified from the dictates that the Law demands. It took the believing faith of Jesus Christ himself to give his life on our behalf to redeem us from the Law and his own faith now makes us free, giving each of us justification and affording us a perfect standing before God.

Galatians 3:25 – But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster.

Now that the faith of Jesus Christ has come, we are no longer under the rules and regulations of the schoolmaster, i.e., the Law. Believing faith was always around since the beginning of time, but a new, enhanced, spiritual faith came with Christ, and with Christ came spiritual freedom in an even greater law than the written Law of the Old Testament, “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; . . .” (Hebrews 12:2a).

Romans 8:2 – For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

The human race has been under the law of sin and death since the fall of Adam; however, today, because of the believing faith of Jesus Christ we are now under a new law, “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus.” This new law has given us freedom in Christ and has presented us with the actual faith of Christ himself in order that we may believe God’s Word regarding our current standing with Him as those who have been made free, and as those who have received the spiritual faith of Christ.

The Old Testament Law was given to protect God’s people from the greater law of sin and death, but now that the faith of Christ has come to men and women, they are no longer under the schoolmaster. We also have been made free from the law of sin and death by even a greater law, “the law of the spirit of life.” Our own believing can now rest assured in the faith of Christ (whose own believing faith never failed), and his faith has made us free indeed. With the faith of Christ, we may gratefully obtain genuine spiritual freedom out of the abundance of God’s goodness.