Romans — Lesson 7

Romans 2:28 – 3:20

28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

This definition of Jewishness is not new. The Old Testament tells us in Deut. 10:16 that Jews have always been called to have their hearts circumcised.

(Deuteronomy 10:16) “Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer.”

Jesus told the Jews in John 8 that kinship with Abraham did not mean that couldn’t also have kinship with the Devil.

(John 8:44) “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”

John in Revelation 2:9 and 3:9 speaks of Jews who were not really Jews.

(Revelation 2:9) “and I know the blasphemy of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”

(Revelation 3:9) “Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie -- indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you.”

There is disagreement over whether Paul is speaking only of physical Jews or is instead speaking of spiritual Jews. Under the former view, Paul is simply reminding us of what Moses said in Deuteronomy 10:16 – physical Jews have always been called to possess inward qualities, not merely physical qualities. This view seems to fit well with the context of the Old Testament passages to which Paul is alluding.

Under the latter view, Paul is speaking of the church. He is telling us that the real Jew is one who obeys God and who has a circumcised heart – and that group may very well include Gentiles. That is, under this second view Paul is speaking of the church and telling us that Christians are the true spiritual Jews. This view seems to fit well with the context of verse 26.

Barclay: “Jewishness [Paul insists] is not a matter of race at all … It is a matter of conduct. … Many a so-called Jew who is a pure descendent of Abraham and who bears the mark of circumcision in his body is no Jew at all; and equally many a Gentile who never heard of Abraham and who would never dream of being circumcised is a Jew in the real sense of the term. To a Jew this would sound the wildest heresy and leave him angry and aghast.”

“Thus the apostle swept from under the Jew the very foundation upon which he relied for divine approval.” (Moser)

We will have much more to say about these issues when we get to Chapters 9-11.

“Whose praise is not from men but from God.” This phrase contains a pun that is completely untranslatable. The Greek word for praise is epainos. In the Old Testament, we find that the original and traditional meaning of the word “Judah” is praise. (Genesis 29:35; 49:8). Thus, this phrase means two things: The praise of such a man comes from God not from man, and the Jewishness of such a man comes from God not from man.

(Luke 6:26) “Woe to you when all men speak well of you, For so did their fathers to the false prophets.”

(Luke 16:15) "You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is highly esteemed among men is an abomination in the sight of God.”

(John 12:43) “for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.”

The true Jew seeks the praise of God rather than the praise of men.

Comments on Romans 3:1-20

Chapter 3:1-20 has one main point, but it is interrupted by a brief diversion from that main point.

The main point is to present a Biblical indictment of the Jews, which is the logical conclusion to this section of Paul’s letter.

The main point begins in verses 1-2 and ends in verses 9-20. The diversion occurs in verses 3-8, in which Paul acknowledges possible objections to his message. He mentions the objections in these verses, but he will not treat them fully until Chapters 9-11.

Those objections include:

· If the Jews were really given an advantage, then why have most of them failed to receive the promised blessings?

· If the death of Christ was the will of God, then how can the Jews be blamed for carrying out the will of God?

· If the death of Christ was the channel through which blessings would flow to both Jew and Gentile, then why is it that so many Jews have not been blessed even though the cross has been accomplished?

1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God.

Paul has just finished telling the Jews that they are in the same boat as the Gentiles. They are in the same boat despite the Jews having the Mosaic Law and the covenant of circumcision.

They are in the same boat with regard to salvation. They are both lost without Jesus Christ, and they are both saved through faith in Jesus Christ. (This is an important point because many commentators use these verses in Chapter 3 as well as Chapters 9-11 to argue that the Jews and the Gentiles are NOT in the same boat with regard to salvation – yet Paul has plainly told us that they are.)

But is there not any advantage at all to being a Jew? That is the question Paul addresses here, and he gives what might seem like a surprising answer. Despite having just told us that the Jews and the Gentiles are in the same boat, he answers “YES” – there are advantages to being Jew.

What are those advantages? He says “much in every way” and he gives a single example -- they were entrusted with the oracles of God.

In 9:4-5 Paul lists other advantages: “who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises; 5 of whom are the fathers and from whom, according to the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, the eternally blessed God.”

The word for “entrusted” or “committed” used here suggests both privilege and responsibility. The Jews were the custodians of the divine revelation.

(Amos 3:2) “You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.”

Remember what Jesus told the woman at the well in John 4:22? “salvation is of the Jews.” That was a privilege, but it was also a responsibility.

(Acts 7:52-53) “Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute? And they killed those who foretold the coming of the Just One, of whom you now have become the betrayers and murderers, 53 who have received the law by the direction of angels and have not kept it.”

The “oracles of God” no doubt speak generally of the entirety of the Old Testament Scriptures – but the particular context here suggests that Paul was referring to the Messianic promises. Why?

First, Paul is given a single example of the many advantages that were given to the Jews. What greater advantage was there than the promised Messiah? This advantage is introduced with the word “chiefly” – Paul is giving the most important advantage – and that is NOT the Old Law that was powerless to save!

Second, the following verses discuss the Jewish failure to obtain the promised Messianic blessings – so it would make sense from the context that the oracles to which Paul is referring are the oracles about the Messiah.

It is at this point that Paul begins to deal with objections to his message. This diversion from his main point continues through verse 8. If you skip down now to verse 9, you will get his unbroken thought on his main point.

Verses 1-2: The Jews have advantages.

Verse 9: But are the Jews better than the Gentiles? Not at all. All are under the same curse of sin. All are in the same boat.

We discover in Romans 16:22 that Paul dictated this epistle. You can imagine him pacing back and forth, making his arguments, while pausing a few times to give a brief sermon on another related topic. If we could travel back through history, there are no doubts many historical events that we would want to see – but Paul dictating the book of Romans would have to be on that list somewhere!

3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: "That You may be justified in Your words, And may overcome when You are judged."

Paul begins here to consider an objection to his message and particularly to the God of Paul’s gospel – wasn’t Paul proclaiming a God who promised the Jews blessings, yet failed to deliver those blessings? Not at all! Or as the KJV states, “God forbid!” “The very suggestion that God might become unfaithful causes the apostle to shudder.”

“For what if some did not believe?” Paul is implying something here that he elsewhere states explicitly. Faithfulness was a condition for a Jew to receiving the promised blessings. The blessings were not unconditional – no Jew could simply come before God and demand his promised blessings.

But is faithfulness some kind of a hook or loophole created by God to keep people from getting the blessings? Hardly! The blessings were not conditioned on faith to keep people from getting them – they were conditioned on faith to enable people to receive them!

So the Jews were promised blessings, yet most of them failed to receive those blessings. Is that God’s fault? It would be if God had intentionally acted to prevent the Jews from being blessings – that is, if God had been faithless. But, of course, God was doing just the opposite – he was working to bring blessings to all of the Jews. It was they who were faithless – not God.

God had blessed some of the Jews. Verse 3 says that “some” – not all – did not believe. Those who did believe were blessed through their obedience to the gospel. That some received the blessings proves that God was not being faithless at all. He wanted ALL to receive those blessings, and he made it possible for that to happen.

But what if ALL of the Jews had failed to receive the blessings? What if ALL of them had been faithless, and NONE of them had received the promised blessings. Even that would not prove that God was faithless. “Let God be true but every man a liar!”

In verse 4, Paul quotes Psalm 51:4. (“Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight -- That You may be found just when You speak, And blameless when You judge.”) David had just confessed a horrible sin, and he made that confession so that all would know that God was just and blameless in his punishment of David. Whatever decision God made, it would be a righteous decision.

Man’s sin does not change the nature of God! God is just and blameless no matter what we do. We have only ourselves to blame if we fail to receive the wonderful blessings that he has made available to all the world.

Can we change the nature of God by popular vote? Can we change the gospel by popular vote? Let God be true but every man a liar! If there is one verse in the Bible that demolishes relativism, this is it. The truth is absolute and objective; it is not relative or subjective.

Truth today is decided by opinion polls. If a majority of Americans supports abortion, then abortion is okay. If a majority supports cloning, then closing is okay. But is that really the way it works?

If every person who ever lived raised his hand to vote against God and the truth of His word, it would make no difference at all. The world does not determine the truth. The church does not determine the truth. The elders do not determine the truth. God’s word is truth – and man cannot change that truth.

But “my church” has voted to permit women to take leadership roles in worship. “My church” has voted to permit homosexuals to have “clerical roles.” “My church” has voted to have worship services on Saturday. In “my church” the elders decided that divorce and remarriage is okay for any reason. In “my church” the elders decided that instrumental music is okay. “My church” voted to join forces with denominational organizations. “My church” voted and decided that baptism is not essential to salvation. Let God be true but every man a liar! These votes may decide how things go on in “my church” – but that is not the way it works in the Lord’s church!

There are any wonderful descriptions of the church found in the Bible, but “democracy” is not on the list! The church is a kingdom, and we in the church are all servants of the King! We are part of a monarchy, with Jesus Christ as our king.

5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world?

Next Question: If man’s unrighteousness gives God’s righteousness a chance to be manifested, then isn’t man’s unrighteousness a good thing? And if it is a good thing, then how can God punish us for it?

We mentioned earlier the possibility that we are reading here the text of a sermon that Paul preached many times in the Jewish synagogues. If that is so, then we are probably seeing here actual objections that had been raised by his listeners.

(That makes sense because Paul would probably not have included this silly objection in his letter unless it had actually been raised by one of his listeners! This view is further supported by Paul’s statement in verse 5 that he is here speaking after the manner of men. He was not giving his own views, but the views of those men who objected to his message.)

Paul is telling the Jews that Jesus had to die in order for the promised blessings to be made available to all the world. It was God’s will that Jesus would be a sacrifice for sin. The Jews therefore did the will of God in delivering up his son – and yet God is punishing them for it. Is that fair? “Is God unjust who inflicts wrath?”

Paul’s answer is that God can turn any man’s sin into his glory. (Paul develops this theme more fully in Chapters 9-11.) If the Jewish objector can use God’s ability to turn man’s sin into his own glory as a shield from God’s wrath, then any man can do that. And if any man can do that, then how can God judge the world?

Each time someone came up to be judged, he would simply argue that without his sin, Jesus would not have needed to come and die, and without Jesus coming and dying, God would not have been able to bless the world. God would not be able to judge anyone if these Jewish objectors were correct. (We will deal with this more fully in Romans 9-11.)

Of course, this whole objection is ridiculous. That God can use our sin to bring about something good in no way absolves us from that sin.

7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, "Let us do evil that good may come"? -- as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

The next objection by Paul’s listeners is similar to the previous one, but it goes in a little different direction.

All right, let’s assume with Paul that God can use sin to bring glory to himself and simultaneously condemn the sinner for that sin. But doesn’t that mean we should go ahead and keep sinning? Aren’t we doing God a favor when we sin? (Paul will pick this point up again in Romans 6:1.)

If the truth and faithfulness of God can be seen in the death of Christ, then surely that act should be praised and the people who perpetrated it should be honored instead of rejected. Right?

Paul properly dismisses this argument as ridiculous as well. In fact, he labels as slanderous those who have put these words into his mouth. Their condemnation (at least!) is just.

The argument here is that the logical outcome of Paul’s message is that we should keep on sinning. Paul shows them in Chapter 6 why that is not the logical outcome of the gospel at all. (Another lesson here is not to get in a “logic argument” with the Apostle Paul – that is a fight you just can’t win!)

Some commentators argue that Paul is here turning the Jewish objection back on the objectors. They said that they should not be held sinful if their sin brought glory to God. Paul then asks how they can call him a sinner if his “lie” has increased the truth of God. That “lie” in the minds of the objectors was the gospel of Jesus Christ, which the Jews regarded as a lie.

“You arraign me before the bar of Jewish opinion even as you yourselves are arraigned before the bar of God; yet you would not permit me to use the very same argument that you are seeking to use before God.”

This view finds some support in the change from first person plural in verse 5 (“our unrighteousness”) to first person singular in verse 7 (“my lie”).

With the next verse we pick up the main argument that started in verses 1-2. Paul has finished (for the moment) his treatment of the objections raised in verses 3-8. He will treat each objection more fully later in the book.

These verses are “something of a bridge between earlier and later parts of the letter, or like a railway junction though which many of the key ideas and themes of the epistles pass.”

9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin.

In Chapter 2 Paul showed that the Jews and Gentiles were in the same boat with regard to condemnation and salvation.

Are we better than they? If the Jews were certain of anything it was that they were better than the Gentiles. But Paul answers “not at all!”

“Paul’s argument was well calculated to astonish the Jews. If some notable Christian should argue conclusively that the Christian and the infidel stood on equal footing before God, his argument would not be more startling to the church that was that of Paul to the Jews of his day.”

In 3:1-2, Paul agreed that the Jews had certain advantages – with the chief advantage being the oracles of God about the promised Messiah.

Now in verse 9 he makes it clear that these advantages don’t make the Jews “better” than the Gentiles. The Greek word “better” used here can mean protected or sheltered, which seems to fit well with the context here. Do these advantages mean that the Jews are sheltered? The answer is no!

Why? Because both Jew and Gentile are under sin. The advantages of the Jews are not saving advantages. They may have a head start in the race, but they still must finish the race. In fact, if they fail to finish the race after having a head start then they may end up in an even worse position than if they had never had these advantages at all! The advantages are privileges and responsibilities! To whom much is given, much is required.

10 As it is written: "There is none righteous, no, not one; 11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one."

What begins in verse 10 and continues through verse 19 is an indictment of the Jews right out of their own law.

Paul linked the Jews and the Gentiles together in verse 9, and so it might appear that the indictment in verses 10-19 is directed to both Jew and Gentile.

Verse 19, however, will make it clear that this indictment is directed only to the Jews – those under the law from which these verses are taken. Paul has already shown that the Gentiles are under sin – his goal here is to similarly indict the Jews.

Verses 10-12 are from Psalm 14. (Psalm 14:1-3 “The fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ They are corrupt, They have done abominable works, There is none who does good. 2 The LORD looks down from heaven upon the children of men, To see if there are any who understand, who seek God. 3 They have all turned aside, They have together become corrupt; There is none who does good, No, not one.”)

What was David saying? That no one at all in the entire nation was righteous? No. Indeed, in verse 5 of Psalm 14 David wrote that God was the protector of the generation of the righteous.

What then was David saying? That sin was so rampant among the people that it was hardly an exaggeration to say that ALL of the people were wicked and had turned aside.

The atheist in Psalm 14:1 is a pragmatic atheist. (Psalm 10:4 “The wicked in his proud countenance does not seek God; God is in none of his thoughts.”)

The word for “unprofitable” in verse 12 in Greek can refer to milk that has gone sour. “They have together become unprofitable.”

Paul thus begins his indictment by showing that the Jews had a history of wickedness rather than righteousness. David, who they all revered, had been able to write that none were righteous; that all had turned aside.

13 "Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit"; "The poison of asps is under their lips"; 14 "Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known." 18 "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

He continues in verses 13-18 with more specific indictments. He says that the Jews are utterly contaminated with sin – their throats, their tongues, their lips, their mouths, their feet, and their eyes.

Paul’s point is to show that the Jewish nation stands guilty before God. It has been completely penetrated with sin.

His point here is NOT to show that there is no faithful people anywhere among the Jews. (Indeed, Paul was a Jew and he was faithful to God.)

Indeed, that was not David’s point either. The passages cited here speak of two groups of people – those filled with sin and those that were faithful to God.

For example, Psalm 5:9-10 (quoted in verse 13) says “For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; Their inward part is destruction; Their throat is an open tomb; They flatter with their tongue. 10 Pronounce them guilty, O God! Let them fall by their own counsels; Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions, For they have rebelled against You.”

But Psalm 5:11-12 speaks of a different group – “But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You; Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them; Let those also who love Your name Be joyful in You. 12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; With favor You will surround him as with a shield.”

Why is this distinction important? Calvinists use these passages support their doctrine of total depravity – that men are born condemned by the sin of Adam. There are at least two problems with using these verses for that purpose: First, these verses are an indictment of the Jews rather than the entire world. Second, these verses in the Old Testament are followed by descriptions of the righteous – those who are faithful and obedient to God, a group that although few in number nevertheless exists.

We are not denying that all have sinned. Paul makes it very clear that all have sinned. But that does not mean that all men are faithless rebels. There is an important difference here that was not lost on Paul or David, but apparently was lost on John Calvin.

Paul demolishes the doctrine of total depravity later in this very epistle. Turn to Romans 5:12 – “Therefore, just as through one man [Adam] sin entered the world, and death through sin, and thus death spread to all men, because all sinned.” Death spread to all men because ALL sinned – NOT BECAUSE ADAM SINNED!

Verse 12 of this chapter makes the same point – they have all TURNED ASIDE. They were not born that way. They made the decision to turn aside and go that way.

The other verses cited here are from Psalms and Isaiah.

Psalm 140:3 (They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips.)

Psalm 10:7 (His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; Under his tongue is trouble and iniquity.)

Isaiah 59:7-8 (Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they have not known, And there is no justice in their ways; They have made themselves crooked paths; Whoever takes that way shall not know peace.)

Psalm 36:1 (An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes.)

The way of peace they have not known. See Luke 19:41-44. (Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, "If you had known, even you, especially in this your day, the things that make for your peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 "For days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, 44 and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another, because you did not know the time of your visitation.")

If this book was written around 57 AD, then the fall of Jerusalem was only 13 years away. The Jewish system was about to come to a complete and final end as the judgments of Matthew 24 were visited upon the city of Jerusalem by the Romans armies.

19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God.

Paul’s claim here is that no reasonable Jew could argue that these passages were not directed to the Jews. The law speaks to those under the law – and the Jews were the people under this law.

Paul is telling the Jews to read it for themselves! It is right there in their own law for all to see.

He had already stopped the Gentile mouths. Now he has also stopped the Jewish mouths. Every mouth is now stopped. There is nothing left to argue; nothing left to say.

He had previously indicted the Gentiles. He has now indicted the Jews. ALL the world stands guilty before God.

20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

There is no definite article before the word “law” in verse 20. Paul had told us that both Jew and Gentile are under law – he tells us here that neither will be justified by law.

“For by the law is the knowledge of sin.” A law against a certain action makes you aware that that action is forbidden. In that sense we become knowledgeable of what is sinful.

But the word for “knowledge” used here is epi-gnosis. The prefix “epi” magnifies the knowledge – it is a deeper knowledge; a more intimate knowledge; a precise and correct knowledge.

Thus, Paul is telling us more than simply that the law makes us aware of what is sinful. He speaks of a deeper knowledge than that. Man obtains a deeper understanding than simply knowing what is right and what is wrong.

Law tells man what sin is. When man breaks that law and sins, he understands what sin means. He knows that he now stands condemned; he understands the consequence of that sin.

When you tell a child not to use bad language, that child has knowledge (gnosis) of what is wrong. When the child gets his mouth washed out with soap, he has epignosis.

At the end of verse 20, all of mankind stands condemned before God. All men are under law, and all men have violated that law. No one can be justified by law. The Jews and Gentiles are in the same boat – and that boat is sinking.

The first word in verse 21 is the most beautiful word that could be imagined at this point – “But!” Without Jesus Christ, the book of Romans would have ended at verse 20. We should thank God every day for the word “But” in verse 21!

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)