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"...The church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."
I Timothy 3:15
Evangelist Lester Roloff
"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works." Titus 2:11-14
If I could use the Empire State Building for my pulpit and somebody would build for me a public address system that would reach around the world so that I could have nearly three billion people for my audience and God would grant me the wisdom or sufficient interpreters to speak every language and dialect and I could only bring one message, it would be this message of "Dr. Law and Dr. Grace," the greatest doctors that ever lived. Satan has done a good job confusing the people about the plan of salvation. Salvation is not a foot race between man and the devil, but it is the gift of God through the Lord Jesus Christ.
Let's make just a brief visit now to these two doctors-Dr. Law and Dr. Grace- the most unusual doctors the world has ever known, in the first place, because they have never lost a case and never made a charge. They are unusual in that they never have a consultation with any other doctor. They are unusual because they never recommend an external treatment. They are unusual because they never ask the patient for his advice or about any signs or symptoms in his case. They speak with authority. They are unusual in the fact that though they have recorded one hundred percent success with every patient, most people have refused to go to them for help.
Now let us come to the Scripture. Romans 5:13, "For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law." Verses 20 and 21, "Moreover the law entered, that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."
Romans 7, beginning at verse 5:
"For when we were in the flesh, the motions of sin, which were by the law, did work in our members to bring forth fruit unto death. But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead. For I was alive without the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died."
That's the death we need to die as a sinner.
"And the commandment, which was ordained to life, I found to be unto death. For sin, taking occasion by the commandment, deceived me, and by it slew me. Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. Was then that which is good made death unto me? God forbid. But sin, that it might appear sin, working death in me by that which is good; that sin by the commandment might become exceeding sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not."
Verse 24, "O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin."
Then in chapter 8:
"There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit. For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace. Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God. But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of His. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness."
Galatians 2, beginning at verse 16:
"Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified. But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid. For if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor. For I through the law am dead to the law, that I might live unto God. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave Himself for me. I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain."
Then in chapter 3, beginning at verse 10:
"For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree."
"But the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster t bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus."
Ephesians 2:8-10, "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."
The greatest message in the Bible and the theme of the whole Bible is grace. Now grace is the free and unmerited favor of God and there is an unbreakable relationship between law and grace. With that in mind, let me be the sinner because all have sinned and come short of the glory of God- "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way" there is none that doeth good, no, not one."
"There is none righteous, no, not one."
Therefore, I know I'm having some serious internal trouble and so I head for Dr. Law and Dr. Law is always in his office and ready to see the sinner. The secretary told me that he was waiting for me. I stepped inside his office and started to relate my signs and symptoms.
To which he said, "I will not need your help,"
To which I said, "Do you think you can find out what is wrong with me?"
And he said, "No, sir, I don't have to think-I KNOW what is wrong with you-you have heart trouble. You're just like all the rest of my patients."
My old flesh rebelled and it didn't make sense to me that every one of his patients would have the same disease. But after all, dear friend, the law doesn't make sense to the sinner because "The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."
So the flesh gets ready to argue the issue and I say, "Dr. Law, you just don't understand. I'm having trouble with my hands. I spend a lot of time dealing a deck of cards and I've even used them to fight with. My hands are giving me trouble."
And Dr. Law said, "No, it's your heart."
I said, "Doc, I'm going to have to argue with you-you may be a doctor, but still you don't understand me. I'm having trouble with my eyes. It's nothing for me to sit two or three hours in one night and watch Hollywood and another hour reading magazines and newspapers and my eyes are never satisfied so I must be having eye trouble."
The old doctor said, "No, my friend, it's heart trouble-just plain heart trouble."
I said, "Dr. Law, be reasonable about this thing. I'm having trouble with my tongue. It says things that are sharp and ugly and even smutty jokes have come unrehearsed and unplanned and I believe there is something rotten about my tongue. Please examine my tongue."
Dr. Law says, "No, it's heart trouble."
By this time, my rebellion had mounted and I tried to tell Dr. Law it was my ears that would listen to ungodly gossip. It was my feet that would dance and carry me to places I ought not to go to which he answered, "You have a bad case of heart trouble."
Once more, in desperation, I said, "Dr. Law, surely there is something wrong with my taste. I've even cultivated a like for intoxicating beverage and even dope and there must be some way you can help my taste."
And Dr. Law said, "That will be taken care of when your heart is fixed."
In rebellion and desperation I said, "Dr. Law, I'm going to another doctor."
To which he said, "The woods are full of them, but you'll never get well until your heart is made right."
I said to Dr. Law, "Would you recommend any other doctor for a consultation?"
He said, "There is only one doctor I would recommend and if you won't listen to me, you'll never go to him and I'll never recommend another."
So I beat it down the street and knock on Dr. Religion's door and it seems like he's a real scout, he's a regular fellow, and he said, "Come on in here, Lester Roloff, I'm glad to see you. I've been up to see old Dr. Law."
To which Dr. Religion said, "Oh, he's ancient-he's an antique. Modern folks don't go to him. He hasn't had the proper training. He doesn't know anything about the latest modes of medicine."
Well, that sounded good to me and I said, "I don't like him myself. Dr. Religion, would you just kind of run over me and see what's wrong?"
He said, "Sure!"
After his examination, he said, "Why, there's nothing seriously wrong with you. I recommend that you start going to church."
And I said, "Which one?" "Oh", he said, "just any of them will be all right."
So the next Sunday, I was in church and the next-but I didn't get any better. I went back to Dr. Religion and I said, "Dr. Religion, I don't believe I'm any better."
He said, "Well, did you start going to church?"
I said, "Sure. I've been going every Sunday."
Then he said, "Did you join and get baptized?"
"Why", I said "no."
He said, "Do that-that will make you feel better."
I said, "I'll sure do it and get my wife to also."
So I went down to the church and joined it and got baptized, but I didn't feel any better for very long and I went back to Dr. Religion and I said, "Dr. Religion, there's something wrong-I'm not really any better."
"Well," he said, "are you really working at it? Take a job in the church and start helping others."
And so I did.
But I got weary in the struggle and somebody recommended a couple of brothers who were doctors-Dr. Be Good and Dr. Do Good-and I went to them, but to no avail. There was no certainty and no assurance of salvation. And then somebody recommended Dr. Hope So. After which I went to Dr. Think So and neither one of them was able to help me and now-weary, tired exhausted, in despair and at the end of self-I decided I'd go back to Dr. Law.
Dr. Law was waiting for me- the same stern, obstinate old doctor-with the same diagnosis, "It's your heart."
To which I said, "What do you recommend?"
He said, "Only one thing will do and that's an operation. Your heart will have to come out and a new one put in."
I said, "Dr. Law, when will you operate?"
And he said, "I don't operate."
To which I said, "You mean I'm going to have to die even though you know what's wrong with me?" "I didn't say."
Returned Dr. Law, "that you had to die. So far as I'm concerned, you've got to die-I only make the diagnosis. But if you really want to live, I'll tell you what to do."
And so this trembling, perspiring sinner looked into the face of this unrelenting doctor and said, "Please help me!"
He took me by the hand and led me across the hall and knocked on an office door and a handsome, loving, smiling doctor came to the door and Dr. Law said, "Dr. Grace, this is Lester Roloff, and he's got the same trouble all my other patients that I've brought to you have had. He's coming to you for an operation."
By that time, Dr. Law had slipped away and gone back into his office and left me standing alone in the presence of Dr. Grace and fear and trembling, the questions began to come.
First, "Dr. Grace, will you let Dr. Law or some other doctor help you operate?"
And he said, "No, I've never had any help."
I said, "Dr. Grace, have you some good nurses?"
He said, "No sir. I've never had a nurse-I do it all."
I said, "Dr. Grace, will you give me a good anesthetic and put me into a deep sleep?"
He said, "No, sir. I never give anesthetics because I want you to know what I did for you so you can tell the world about it."
I said, "Dr. Grace, will you let me call my wife and let her come and stand by me?"
And Dr. Grace smiled and said, "No, son, this is a personal matter just between me and you. You can tell her after it's all over."
I said, "Dr. Grace, I'm scared," and he said, as he placed his big hand on my trembling shoulder,
"You don't have to be afraid-I've never lost a case. This will be a successful operation."
I said, "Dr. Grace, what about the charges and the expense of this tremendous operation?"
He said, "It's already paid for."
I said, "Who paid for it?"
He said, "A Friend of yours."
"Oh," I said, "I'd like to meet Him."
He said, "After the operation, I'll let you meet Him, I'll introduce you to Him."
I said, "Dr. Grace, is it true that you are going to take my old heart out and put in a new one?"
He said, "Yes."
I said, "Where are you going to get the new heart?"
He said, "You'll find out after the operation."
And so just by faith, I lay down on the operating table and the great surgeon, Dr. Grace, took the knife and sliced open my heart section and out came the blackest heart with the most terrible odor-oh, it was so sickening! And for the first time, I realized that Dr. Law was right-it was heart trouble.
In a moment, Dr. Grace had thrown that old heart away and brought a new one- so pure and clean-and put it in and closed the incision, not even leaving a scar. I felt the flow of new life, color came to my spiritual cheeks and my tongue began to say, "Now I feel better-fact is, I feel wonderful." In a moment, with a smile on my face and tears of gratitude coursing down my cheeks, I said, "Dr. Grace, when shall I come back for the check-up?"
He said, "Son, no check-up will be necessary, the operation is a success and this is permanent."
I said, "What do you recommend?"
He said, "Just take some good exercise each day."
And I said, "Do you have any particular exercises?"
To which he said, "Yes, kneeling and even raising your hands and praising God and at times, especially in privacy, stretch out on your face. Take some good walks through the community, knocking on doors. Exercise your vocal chords in praise."
I started out at the door and something inside said, "Go back." I said, "Dr. Grace, you told me you'd introduce me to the Friend who paid my bill."
And he said, "I thought you'd come back."
And stepping through a door came the loveliest Friend I've ever met. When He raised His hands, I saw nail prints. On His brow were thorn scars. When His lovely robe fell apart, I saw the spear print in His side.
Dr. Grace said, "Jesus, I want you to meet Lester Roloff."
And as I looked at that scar in His side, I said, "Dr. Grace, I now understand where my new heart came from. He gave me His."
And I fell on my face and said, "It's time to start my exercises."
After a season of praise and thanksgiving and adoring the One who died for me, I walked joyfully and victoriously down the sidewalk of life, but was reminded once again to go back to the old doctor that I first hated. When I walked inside, he met me with a smile. I extended my hand and his big strong hand gripped mine and I said, "Thank you, Dr. Law, for telling me what was wrong with me." I was amazed that
Dr. Law looked so handsome and seemed so different and I had sweet fellowship with him and I'll always love him for leading me to Dr. Grace.
Sinner friend, I can now recommend these two great doctors. Dr. Law will show you where you're wrong and Dr. Grace will make you right. Commit your case to Dr. Law and Dr. Grace, dismiss all other hopes of being saved and come God's way.
Here's a poem the Lord gave me:
I've tried my best to run the race,
But darkness was all that I saw,
The world led me a merry chase
And I ran from Dr. Law.
Religion failed to meet my need,
My life was just one black lie.
Sin caused my heart to daily bleed,
Dr. Law said, "You must die."
The flesh cried for another way.
Dr. Law said, "There is none."
The world said, "You'll see a better day."
Old Dr. Law said, "You're done."
To medicine I went 'til my money I spent,
The psychiatrist even examined my head.
But I would not repent-neither relent,
And again Dr. Law said, "You're dead."
I became weary and walked in despair
Even though I tried to do my part.
The darkness of night was everywhere,
Dr. Law said, "You need a new heart."
I replied, "It's my feet that lead me astray,
My hands make me do what I do."
After Dr. Law let me have my say,
He replied, "Without a new heart, you're through."
But I trudged on down the rebellious road,
I thought I needed reformation.
Heavier daily became my load,
Again Dr. Law said, "A major operation."
My heart would not do-I knew this was true,
It was plain I had lost the race.
Dr. Law said, "It's sin, you'll never win
Until you go to Dr. Grace."
So I counted the cost if my soul should be lost,
My soul cried, "What must be done?"
There stood Dr. Grace with a smile on his face
Saying, "It's not DO-it's DONE."
For Christ on the cross suffered our loss
Saying, "Come through Me, I am the Door."
I cried with loud voice, "I make Thee my choice."
He said, "Go and sin no more."
So I praise His sweet Name-He took all my blame,
For of sin there's not left even a trace
Since that day I saw blessed Dr. Law
And he led me to Dr. Grace.
So the war is over-Now I'm walking in clover
Honeydew is all over my soul.
He lifted my load-I'm on the glory road
Since Dr. Law and Dr. Grace made me whole.
So sinner, please bow-come to Jesus now-
He'll save you from eternal hell,
He'll take your case and even your place
Saying, "Now all is well!"
Now friend, if you really want to be saved, down in your heart cry out to the Lord, "God be merciful to me, a sinner, and save me. Wash me in the blood of Jesus. Cone into my heart. In Jesus' Name, Amen."