Sunday School w/ M. N. Jackson
Series: The Last Conversation, part 4 - The Son of Man
30 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; 33 as it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 1 Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. 2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. 3 For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. 4 For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. 5 For Moses describeth the righteousness which is of the law, That the man which doeth those things shall live by them. 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:) 7 or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.) 8 But what saith it? 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. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
The Gentiles have seized righteousness that they never even searched for; whereas Israel has not achieved righteousness even though they have pursued it obsessively. That’s because they didn’t pursue it by faith. They pursued it as if it could be achieved by good works. And the reason they didn’t pursue it by faith is because they stumbled over Christ, the only possible and legitimate object of faith.
Nevertheless, the desire of my heart is that Israel might still be saved, because otherwise their great passion for God is such a waste because they are in rebellion against God’s true righteousness, of which they have absolutely no comprehension. And instead of sitting at the feet of God, they preoccupy themselves with erecting a facade of self-righteousness. And all because they cannot accept that Christ is the absolute, universal, indispensable, exclusive, sufficient, and unique object of faith and conduit of true righteousness; which ultimately precludes the law and all their efforts.
The covenant of law, by its own admission, precludes itself when it affirms that its payout is granted completely and solely contingent on the obedience of the beneficiary. However, the testament of righteousness that is bequeathed on the basis of faith underwrites an entirely different proclamation. Like the law of works, the proclamation of righteousness is straightforward and sincere; but unlike the law of works, whose purview is inherently limited to the earth and to the living, the proclamation of righteousness ecompasses both eternity and mortality — because Christ inhabits the one and conquered the other. And this is the proclamation of righteousness:
“If you will confess with your mouth ‘Lord Jesus’ and you will believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
The promise of this proclamation is contingent on three truths: First, that sincere faith is the only and sufficient claim to true righteousness, just as Isaiah promised: “Whosoever believes in him shall not be ashamed.” And second, that no more and no less than an unabashed, unconditional, capitulating oath of allegiance to Jesus is acceptable, as Joel prophesied: “Whosoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” And third, that this promise is offered to everyone indiscriminately, because it is grounded on the universal and absolute Lordship of Jesus.
17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, 18 and knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; 19 and art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law.
21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Isa 52.5 Now therefore, what have I here, saith the Lord, that my people is taken away for nought? they that rule over them make them to howl, saith the Lord; and my name continually every day is blasphemed. 6 Therefore my people shall know my name: therefore they shall know in that day that I am he that doth speak: behold, it is I. 7 How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!
13 Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high. 14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:
In the sense that the 9th inning is the end of the game, or
In the sense that a thunderstorm is the end of the game.
In the sense that seeing is the end of sight, or
In the sense that blindness is the end of sight.
In the sense that marriage is the end of love, or
In the sense that marriage is the end of love.
In the sense that wages are the end of work, or
In the sense that the Sabbath is the end of work.
11 For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off. 12 It is not in heaven, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go up for us to heaven, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 13 Neither is it beyond the sea, that thou shouldest say, Who shall go over the sea for us, and bring it unto us, that we may hear it, and do it? 14 But the word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it.
Once I was an empty man
My destiny in my own hand
Not knowing what my life was reaping
Sometimes I smiled but inside weeping
And this emptiness inside still remained
No peace I gained
Just emptiness inside me
Even though I knew no way
To help myself or even pray
Something deep within was seeking
To know if life on earth had meaning
and then I found the answer in a name
I’m not the same
Since I have called on Jesus.
This Jesus lives inside of me
My Lord, my life, my all to be
This life and peace inside increases
By calling on the name of Jesus
There’s nothing for my soul on earth to seek
I have no need
I’m satisfied in Jesus!
Come, thou Fount of every blessing,
tune my heart to sing thy grace;
streams of mercy, never ceasing,
call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount I’m fixed upon it
mount of Thy redeeming love.
Here I raise mine Ebenezer,
hither by thy help I’m come;
and I hope, by thy good pleasure,
safely to arrive at home.
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
wandering from the fold of God;
he to rescue me from danger,
Interposed his precious blood.
Oh, to grace how great a debtor
daily I’m constrained to be!
Let thy goodness, like a fetter,
bind my wandering heart to thee:
prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
prone to leave the God I love;
here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it;
seal it for thy courts above.
How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
is laid for your faith in his excellent Word!
What more can he say than to you he hath said,
to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?
“Fear not, I am with thee; O be not dismayed,
for I am thy God, and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
upheld by my gracious, omnipotent hand.
“When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
the rivers of woe shall not thee overflow,
for I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
and sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.
“When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,
my grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flames shall not hurt thee, I only design
thy dross to consume, and thy gold to refine.
“The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to his foes.
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake!”