written by Lester Roloff
'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 ail, 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!” And I said, “Yes 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!” And 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 with 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.'
Now we will go into Romans 7/8.