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2005 Issue 2

The Apostle Paul sets before us in Romans the 3rd chapter the hope that we have because God has set forth now a righteousness that's apart from the law. That's how vs. 21 begins in our text. "But now apart from the law a righteousness of God has been manifested being witnessed by the law and the prophets." You see, if you consider nothing other than your effort and the justice of God, there is no hope for you. But Paul introduces this "but now." This is a turning point in the epistle. Paul has set forth the righteousness of God. He has shown the wrath of God because of that righteousness being revealed from heaven; He has shown that all mankind is under God's wrath because of their sinfulness, Gentiles because they suppressed the truth in unrighteousness, Jews because they had been given the oracles of God and are hypocrites, and will not live up to that great favor. All mankind comes under the judgment of God. And so if your righteousness is that which is geared to the law, you are lost. But now another kind of rightousness has been manifested. What a glorious mercy. "But now apart from the law God has manifested a righteousness being witnessed by the law and the prophets."

Most Christians are antichristians when it comes to politics. Their political opinions and preference of candidates are rarely different from those of the humanists around them. Some are conservative. Some are liberal. Some are Republican. Some are Democrat. Some are third party people. Some are Christian Coalition. But most are antichristian in the way they vote and think politically. Some think a Christian must be religiously neutral when he enters the political arena in this pluralistic society, failing to understand that religious neutrality is impossible in any field of thought and endeavor, and that a religiously pluralistic society is a myth which our adversaries have duped us into believing. Others of our brothers and sisters think that the goal of Christian politics is prayer in public schools, failing to realize that state-supported education is itself destructive to Christianity and that public schools are unsalvageable. Still others think the goal of Christian politics is the stopping of abortion by a constitutional amendment, which reveals a naivete about the value this evil culture places on the U.S. Constitution and which makes the mistake of Christians in other eras that the basic solutions for today's crises are ultimately political. And still others believe that the ultimate purpose of Christian politics is the establishment of the Ten Commandments as the moral foundation of all civil laws and jurisprudence, failing to realize that that was the goal of the Phariseeism that crucified Jesus. The Pharisees offered the people a Torah without a Messiah; denying the fact that God's Law cannot save a people from their guilt and the judgment their guilt deserves. The Ten Commandments, as essential as they are to law and justice, cannot save America from the judgment of God.

Each week the TV show Touched By An Angel solves a problem and has a happy ending for the characters on the TV screen. What's more, the show does amazing things for some of the real-life people who watch it. They say so in their letters.

A man on the verge of killing himself watched an episode of Touched by an Angel where the angel Monica tells a doctor: "Only God can decide when it's time for someone to die." "I felt as if Monica were talking to me," the man wrote. "I've been suffering from severe depression for more than two years. Gradually I had begun to accept the consequences of my choice to end my life. That all changed after I watched Touched by an Angel. It drastically changed my perspective. I can honestly say that for the first time in nearly three years I have no thoughts or feelings of committing suicide."