The Freshness of God’s Word

September 28, 2022
4 min read

I’ve had the privilege of helping in the Bible Quizzing ministry as a coach for the past several years. As a servant of young people, part of my role is to read and memorize the Bible. Not only does this increase my own personal relationship with God, but it helps encourage and motivate my quizzing team.

It is an amazing thing to see young people place such a high value on memorizing the Bible, and through the years I’ve been greatly encouraged to see growing relationships with the Living God and with the quizzers, each toward the other. It brings a sense of solidarity to the church.

Seeing a Familiar Passage in a New Light

As I was reading the book of Romans, something struck me about one of the verses. I would not have realized the profundity of it if I hadn’t spent so much time reading Romans with the Bible quizzers last year. It was Romans 8:3 (NIV):

For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh.”

This verse expounds on the promised freedom from sin spoken of in the New Covenant (see Jeremiah 31:29-34; Ezekiel 36:22-28; 37:24-28). The means of God’s forgiveness is none other than the glorious Son of David (Ezekiel 37:24, NKJV), Jesus Christ.

The phrase ‘sin offering’ delves into the Old Testament sacrificial system of animals, which leads to what really grabbed me: “And so he condemned sin in the flesh.”

The Courtroom of Condemnation

If this phrase could be reduced, it might sound something like ‘Jesus condemned condemnation in the flesh.’

‘Condemnation’ imagines a courtroom setting, with the presiding judge God (the Father), the defendant the human being, and the opponent/prosecutor the Law.

The Law brings forth each and every deed the defendant has done, and the defendant is utterly unable to give an account because the evidence against him is irrefutable. Just as it is written in the prophets, “You are indeed angry, for we have sinned—in these ways we continue and we need to be saved (Isaiah 64:5, NKJV).”

In other words, sin brings condemnation upon people through the Law because the Law requires perfect obedience to its “every jot and tittle” (see Matthew 5:18; Romans 3:20). If this were not so, there would be no condemnation.

Hope for the Condemned

The truth of Romans 8:3 reveals a gloriously different reality.

First, there is no question that God never miscarries justice in His courtroom (see Deuteronomy 32:4), so God is a God of perfect justice. No matter how compelling the defendant’s desire is to escape, God does not fail to hold “Our secret sins in the light of [His] countenance (Psalm 90:8b, NKJV).” To do otherwise would be to go against His very nature.

The situation seems hopeless for the defendant, having been exposed as a hypocrite through the Law (see Leviticus 18:5). But God Himself provides hope. Just as the verdict is about to be handed down, God sends His own Son, Jesus Christ into the courtroom to declare in defiance to the prosecutor, “There is now no condemnation for those who are in [Me] (Romans 8:1, NIV).”

This claim is justified by the unimpeachable testimony of Jesus’ own life (see Luke 23:47; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 2:22; 1 John 3:5). Therefore He was an offering “without spot to God (Hebrews 9:14, NKJV).”

Since Jesus’ testimony is supremely valid, the condemnation of the prosecution itself is ‘condemned’ and summarily thrown out, allowing the defendant to escape condemnation.

Fruitful Seeds of God’s Word

In this one verse – Romans 8:3 – the richness of God’s plan of salvation is beautifully exposited, and even though I had read it many times in Bible quizzing, it felt like it was totally new from God. This inspired me to give thanks to Him for opening my eyes to see how significant Bible quizzing is for my relationship with God.

Through this ministry, seeds are sown mightily in young peoples’ lives and in the lives of us coaches. So, if you are convinced by the “effective working of [God’s] power (Ephesians 1:7, NKJV),” please pray for the RMCC Bible quizzing team this year as we delve into the book of Acts.

So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it (Isaiah 55:11, NKJV).”

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