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September 24, 2017

"PATIENT CONTINUANCE"

TEXT: Romans 2: 6-11
READING:  Psalm 17: 1-15

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SUBJ: The issue of divine rendering according to one’s deeds wherein we would see the implication of that manner of life that comes from a work of grace in the heart and so making one acceptable with God.

AIM: That we would look to and be found fully trusting in Christ our Lord for all things and would in the process endeavor to live after the example He set before us.

INTR: We continue in this section that at times seems harsh and less desirable than other portions of Scripture and yet we receive it as the inspired Word of God and bow thereto.
1. We would be reminded that the holiness of God demands no less to be compatible with God – “Be ye holy for I am holy!”
2. It is to the degree that we understand the awfulness of the offence against God that we fully appreciated and understand the extent of His mercy towards us.
3. But, while we marvel at and rejoice in what we have received because of mercy and grace, we have before us just as surely the demand for a life that reflects that work of grace in us.

THESIS: God will render to every man according to his deeds and those deeds, which characterize us as acceptable with God, are as much the work of Grace as anything and so are necessary.

I. According to His deeds (v. 6)
1. This thought is often the cause of consternation among many grace believers in that they cannot accept the idea of salvation by works or any other form of human contribution.
2. Nevertheless, we often find those thoughts elsewhere: For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. 2 Corinthians 5:10.
3. And we see further: And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. Revelation 20:12 AND And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. Revelation 22:12.
4. It is at this point that many would try to ascertain what constitutes good works and good deeds and it is difficult to do so without thinking in a legalistic manner.
5. WE are simply told to do all in the name of Christ and with Him as our objective all else comes into proper view.

II. The life and its result (v. 7)
1. It is here that we were drawn to express it all under the title of Patient Continuance.
1) But it is not merely “hanging in there.” It is rather a continuance in well doing.
2) We are reminded of If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: James 2:8 AND And this is love, that we walk after his commandments. This is the commandment, That, as ye have heard from the beginning, ye should walk in it. 2 John 1:6.
3) And many other indicators from the Word.
2. The over-arching truth here is witnessed in their character and desire for Christ:
1) They seek for glory – not that of this world; it is rather that of Christ in which we are made partakers.
2) They seek for honor – again, it is not which men might bestow but rather to be fully identified before God as men as the redeemed of the Lord – The end of a work of grace!
3) Immortality – That is the sense of eternal identity with Christ and in the power of His resurrection.
3. The result – eternal life being the life they have sought after with Christ and not merely to live forever. ---The deeds do not earn it – they indicate it

III. The counterpart to eternal life (vv. 8-9)
1. It is again the manner of life that is brought to bear as being in opposition to Son of God
1) They are contentious – Gill: they contend for victory and not truth; they strive about words to no profit are quarrelsome and sow discord…
2) They are disobedient with regard to the truth and
3) They are in fact the servants of unrighteousness
2. Their payday (Romans 6:23) is “indignation and wrath.”
3. So it is in verse 9 that a summary thought is brought to bear – tribulation and anguish upon all who practice evil and we note the form “to the Jew first and, also to the Gentile.

IV. No respect of Persons (v. 11)
1. At the day of judgment there will be no consider of national origin or any other thing that men use to categorize.
2. The issue is resolved in the verse preceding – see verses 7 and 8.
3. Remember the conclusion of Peter: 34 Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: 35 But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. Acts 10:34-35