Romans

Acts 24-26

If you recapped yesterday, Paul brought an offering to Jerusalem.  He was accused of being unclean (not true) but took part in a ceremonial cleansing anyway to keep the Peace.  He was then accused of bringing Gentiles into the Temple (not true he had not even met them).   When Paul is being beaten and flogged he lets them know he is a Roman-they stop immediately!

 

He now stands before Felix in Caesarea, the governor of Judea and Samaria.  He was formerly a slave but was promoted by Caesar to be a governor. Even though he was known for hating the Jews, his beautiful wife Druscilla was Jewish. (see above) (12 & 13)

Souvenir Chronicles: ISRAEL: CAESAREA

Five days later, Ananias the high priest, some Jewish elders, and a hired lawyer named Tertullus showed up. Once the proceedings had begun, Tertullus and the Jewish leaders accused Paul of being a troublemaker who had attempted to desecrate the temple.Good Liars: Their Characteristics and Why They are So Hard to Detect | Workplace Psychology

Given his turn to speak, Paul politely denied the charges against him. He also pointed out that his actual accusers, Jews from Asia, were not present and that he had not been found guilty of any crime before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem.  Paul sat in prison for 2 years…2 years! waiting for Paul to offer him a bribe!


Paul defends himself in Ceasrea and says:

Then Paul made his defense: “I have done nothing wrong against the Jewish law or against the temple or against Caesar.”

Festus, wishing to do the Jews a favor, said to Paul, “Are you willing to go up to Jerusalem and stand trial before me there on these charges?”

And then in verse 11 he says:

“I appeal to Caesar!”

12 After Festus had conferred with his council, he declared: “You have appealed to Caesar. To Caesar you will go!

(Keep in the back of your head, the Caesar in Rome at this time was the one and only Ceasrar NERO!


NO one wants to look like an idiot.  If Fetus brought Paul all the way to Rome before Caesar without a charge he would have looked incompetent.  So let’s have another trial…clearly I am missing something, right?  Let’s bring him before King Agrippa!  Look at his genealogy!

His Father has James Killed

His Grandfather filled John the Baptist.  CLEARLY, if anyone can find fault in “the way” it will be Agrippa!

Now ANOTHER trial.  Attempting to handle matters locally King Agrippa hears Paul’s defense.  Look at the chart again.  Who is  King Agrippa rumored to be in love with??

🤮

24 Festus said: “King Agrippa, and all who are present with us, you see this man! The whole Jewish community has petitioned me about him in Jerusalem and here in Caesarea, shouting that he ought not to live any longer. 25 I found he had done nothing deserving of death, but because he made his appeal to the Emperor I decided to send him to Rome.

Paul had already played his hand.  He had a legal right as a Roman citizen to be tried in Rome.

Paul continues with the BEST possible defense one can give for proving Truth:

YOUR TESTIMOMNY!

24 At this point Festus interrupted Paul’s defense. “You are out of your mind, Paul!” he shouted. “Your great learning is driving you insane.”

and Agrippa says:28 Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?”


29 Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray to God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.”

30 The king rose, and with him the governor and Bernice and those sitting with them. 31 After they left the room, they began saying to one another, “This man is not doing anything that deserves death or imprisonment.”

32 Agrippa said to Festus, “This man could have been set free if he had not appealed to Caesar.”

To be continued…

Airline Boarding Pass Tickets To Rome Isolated On White - The.. Stock Photo, Picture And Royalty Free Image. Image 92598263.

Romans

Romans 14-16

Paul ends his letters to the Romans.  I am amazed at how applicable this is to us today. (I know it is all applicable, but this chapter stood out)

In Rome, many were struggling with the food restrictions Moses put before the Hebrews to keep them separate from the Canaanites.  Many were also still commemorating feasts and festivals, while others did not.  They were “adding to grace”.  They did not fully understand the full measure of our freedom in Christ. Remember Romans 11:

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

As we now live in a world of denominations, we are quick to judge what other believers hold to as a practice.  This is not salvation doctrine, but the traditions, beliefs, and practices others do or not do (because they are Christian, not to be a Christian)

10 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:

“‘As surely as I live,’ says the Lord,
‘every knee will bow before me;
    every tongue will acknowledge God.’”

12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.


Chapter 15

Paul's Greeting of “Grace and Peace” | United Church of God

Paul wraps up how those strong in their faith in Christ should live in a relationship to those who are weaker. From Romans 14, we know that Paul equates strong faith with a sense of freedom to participate in things formerly forbidden by the law of Moses or Jewish tradition.

Now, though, Paul insists that those strong in faith should trust God enough to please others above themselves.   Christ lived both as a servant to the Jews and the fulfillment of all of God’s promises to them. Those promises included God’s plan to one day include the Gentiles in His family.

Paul ends with ‘his plan’ to visit Rome as he passes through.

23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while.

His plan and God’s plan are not the same.

Before he comes there, Paul will stop in Jerusalem (a dangerous task right now for him) and leave an offering to build up the church in Jerusalem.

The other day I posted the wrong reading.  Seeing now Paul’s love for Rome and his desire to go there on good terms breaks my heart.

31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed. 33 The God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Sometimes our prays are not God’s plans.  


Romans 16 is the final passage in Paul’s long letter to the Christians in Rome.

It contains four sections:

  1. his greetings to specific people in Rome,
  2. a quick and urgent warning about the danger of false teachers,
  3. greetings from those who are with him in Corinth
  4. final hymn of praise to God called a doxology.Athens, Berea, Cenchrea - New Testament Churches

Phoebe is a servant of the church a Cenchreae, a town not far from Corinth. She is described as a patron or benefactor to Paul and many others.  She will carry this letter to the Romans: a very dangerous task!

Priscilla and Aquila, a married couple Paul had spent much time within the ministry. Aquila was forced to leave Rome when Jews were banned from the city. Apparently, the couple returned after, perhaps accompanied by a man named Epaenetus, described as the first convert to Christ in the region where Priscilla and Aquila ministered.

Greet also the church that meets at their house.

Stop and think about that.  They are leading Bible studies.  Something you and I totally take for granted.  Think about the post I wrote about Nero and the persecution of the Christians.  Perspective: if that were today, and you were caught on your phone seeing what “today’s reading is”, do you look over your shoulder to see if someone will capture you, tie you to a stake in his garden, and then during a party light you on fire (alive) so that the party guests can look around at all the pretty flowers?

I divert.

The rest of Paul’s greetings include people we know little or nothing about outside of this list, though some seem to have been slaves, members of royal households, close friends, and groups that met together in several different house churches in Rome.

Before putting his quill down, Paul offers a quick warning about false teachers who might show up among the Christians in Rome.

Last, he sends greetings from those who are with him in Corinth, including his longtime partner and student in ministry Timothy ❤️.

Something new for me this year is seeing the “teamwork makes the dream work” approach.  For some reason, I pictured Paul traveling alone.  Paul seems to have always worked with a team. Which NOW makes all the scriptures about “gifts” and “being one body of believers” so much more important.

The Body of Christ (Book: I Am a Church Member) | First Baptist Church | Body, Christ, Books


STOP 🛑

Take a moment to be thankful for all those who have paved the way for us.2

Now to him who is able to establish you in accordance with my gospel, the message I proclaim about Jesus Christ, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26 but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all the Gentiles might come to the obedience that comes from faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

 

Romans

Romans 11-13

So in 2020 where do the Jewish people fit into the equation?  I am asked all the time.  If they are the “chosen” people (and they are) what happens to them?

Paul confirms that Israel has, for the most part, rejected faith in Christ. So has God totally rejected them? We need to be very careful that we do not boast and assume God has written them off.  Or as Paul states it “By no means”!  After all, Paul himself is an Israelite who has come to faith in Christ and has been saved, showing that it is possible for all Jewish people.  Paul refers to Jewish people who have turned to Christ as a “remnant”, comparing them to the “remnant” of those in Israel who had not bowed to Baal in Elijah’s day.

As I was reading today, I came across one of my all-time favorite scriptures in the whole Bible.  Because of my legalistic upbringing (which was so theologically polluted), this is now  a scripture I cling to:

And if by grace, then it cannot be based on works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.

Grace is grace.   We don’t get God’s grace and mix in “a little” works.  Believe and….

If you add anything to those 3 dots…then Grace wasn’t enough??  Grace IS Enough.


So why did God:

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    eyes that could not see
    and ears that could not hear,
to this very day.”

For the same reason, He hardened Pharoah’s heart.  To open the door.  If the Jewish people had accepted Christ, He would be the Savior to the Jews.  Instead, making Jesus a stumbling block, it opened the door for both JEWS and GENTILES.

So we can confidently say, Gentiles were grafted into God’s plan of Salvation.  Here is a visual of “grafting”.

How To Grafting Fruit Trees | Graft Meaning (Urdu/Hindi) | Grafting fruit trees, Fruit trees, Grafting

The Difference Between Seedling, Grafted and Cutting Grown Fruit Trees | Deep Green Permaculture

The main branch may be cut off, but the roots remain alive.  The new branch is attached to it, and it grows and produces fruit.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, 18 do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. 19 You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” 20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but tremble. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

❤️❤️❤️

So what is the plan for the Jews if they were cut off and we were grafted in??

23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

God has a plan to bring back the nation, the natural branches. 😁. The door is open right now for the Gentiles.  BUT there is a number of people that will be saved, and when we hit that number (it could be today), He will reveal Himself to the nation again.

Is that crystal clear or clear as mud?


Your Bible might say “Doxology” this means it was either chanted or sang 🎶🎵🎶

Doxology

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.



Romans 1—11 focused on the doctrine of salvation by God’s grace and through our faith in Jesus. Knowing this, HOW then should those saved by God’s grace live today? Many people live a life because they assume “We are not under the law, God forgives us”….as if that is a hall pass to live any way we want.  Ummm, no.  Romans 12 begins to answer that question of how we are to live.

  • offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—(die to self)
  • Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  (Rachel’s favorite scripture I think…she said it me all the time trying to break me free)
  • Humble yourself and serve in the body of believers according to the gifts he has given you. (Yes, serve!)
  • Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 
  • Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another ABOVE yourselves. 
  • Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 
  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. (Look around)
  • Practice hospitality. (But I don’t like people in my house?)
  • Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (Ummm that’s hard!)
  • Live in harmony with one another. 
  • Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. (we need to teach this to teens)
  • Do not be conceited. 
  • Do not repay anyone evil for evil. (what?  I called it sibling rivalry growing up 😂)
  • Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. (Christians live in glass houses) 
  • Do not take revenge
  • Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Doesn’t look like a “hall pass” to me.


Chapter 13…a topic we have had great discussions about this year.

I literally just deleted my whole paragraph on purpose.  I am going to just let chapter 13 fall on you without a word from me.  It is that good!

Romans

Romans 8-10

Underline how many times the word Spirit is used in this chapter.

Romans 8 is one of the most loved chapters in all of Scripture. Paul begins and ends this passage with statements about the absolute security of those who are in Christ. First, there is no condemnation, at all, for those in Christ. Last, nothing will ever be able to separate us from God’s love for us in Christ. By this, he refers to those who have been saved by their faith in Jesus (Romans 3:23–26). As Scripture makes clear, the promise of salvation is only given to those who believe in Christ. Those who reject Jesus reject God, and will not be saved. For those who come to faith, their salvation is absolutely secure. Hardships may test their faith and strengthen it, but they never imply that God has abandoned His children.

We also share in Christ’s suffering, including the everyday suffering of living on this fallen planet. Paul is quick to say that our suffering here and now is not worth comparing to the glories of eternity, but he doesn’t say that this suffering doesn’t hurt.  Until then, we wait and we suffer. But we don’t do it alone. God is with us spiritually in the form of His Holy Spirit, who helps us many different ways. For one, he helps to take our prayers, even our unformed ones, to God’s ears. The Spirit intercedes for us to a God who is searching our hearts (Romans 8:26–27).

While we wait, we can also be absolutely sure of one thing: Our God is for us. He is working out every circumstance for our ultimate good.

That brings us back to where we started. Nothing, no matter how terrible, no matter how powerful, can ever separate us in any way from God’s love for us in Christ (Romans 8:37–39).


Chapter 9 (Difficult chapter for sure!)

Paul begins by declaring how heartbroken he is about the state of his people Israel. Paul was both Jewish and a Roman citizen. He and his father both served as Pharisees. Paul was truly a child of Israel. He was in such anguish for his people because they had, as a nation, rejected Christ. A few had believed, but Paul knew the majority of Jewish people were trusting the law to save them from God’s wrath. Paul has gone to great lengths in Romans to show that the law cannot save. Shockingly, Paul says that he could wish that he would be cut off from Christ if, presumably, his people would come to Him (Romans 9:1–3).

Paul finds Israel’s rejection of the Messiah all the sadder because God has given to her so many privileges as His chosen people. These include:

  • national adoption,
  • showing them His glory,
  • the covenants,
  • the law of Moses,
  • the worship at the temple,
  • the promises,
  • the patriarchs,
  • and the ancestry of Christ.

Paul insists that God will keep all His promises to Israel, but that not everyone physically born an Israelite will be saved from God’s wrath (Romans 9:4–7).

To show that God can give His mercy to whomever He likes, Paul gives three examples from Israel’s history in Scripture.

  1. God chose to give His promises to Abraham’s son by Sarah and not by any of his other wives.
  2. God chose to give the promises to one of Rebekah’s twin sons and not the other before they were even born.
  3. God hardened Pharaoh’s heart while He was raining down plagues upon Egypt in order to increase His own glory.

Finally, Paul quotes from Scriptures in Hosea and Isaiah to show that God has called out some Gentiles to be His people, while also calling out a remnant—but not all—of Israel. He has called all of these out through faith in Christ. The Jewish people have stumbled over the stumbling block of Christ because they have sought to reach righteousness by their works instead of faith (Romans 9:25–33).


Chapter 10
Israelites continue to try to be declared righteous by God for their religious law-keeping, despite how they continue to break that law.   Then we read one of the most quoted scriptures in the church probably:

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.

BUT THEN hits them with the whole point: God shows NO favoritism:

11 As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12 For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

For me it is not about Jew or Gentile,  it is about not having a single thought that God shows favoritism for the Deacon and not to the person on death row at a prison.


16 But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed our message?” 17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ. 18 But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did:

“Their voice has gone out into all the earth,
    their words to the ends of the world.”

19 Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says,

“I will make you envious by those who are not a nation;
    I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding.”

20 And Isaiah boldly says,

“I was found by those who did not seek me;
    I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me.”

21 But concerning Israel he says,

“All day long I have held out my hands
    to a disobedient and obstinate people.”

😢

 

Romans

Romans 4-7

(I am going to make this a brief post to let people catch up)

In Genesis 11:27 we are introduced to a man named Abram (Abraham).  He was from Ur of the Chaldeans.  There was not such thing as a Hebrew.  On the basis of his faith he was “credited righteous” by God.  Think about that phrase.  He was given “credit”.  He didn’t give himself credit, pay for it, or earn it.  It was a gift: like a gift card.

Now to the one who works, wages are not credited as a gift but as an obligation. However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness. 

Is forgiveness like a debit card? – Escape to Reality

Was he given this gift because he was circumcised?? No!

10 Under what circumstances was it credited? Was it after he was circumcised, or before? It was not after, but before! 

Here is something new to me this year: I have always thought of Abraham as being important to the Jews (not me, a Gentile) The Patriarch to the Hebrews. BUT I have faith in Abraham’s righteousness, so he is also a Patriarch to the Gentiles.

16 Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. 


Chapter 5

PEACE: what is Peace?  How can we have Peace in this evil world?

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.

Peace is not a current feeling, it is that we now have Hope that wrath has been removed from His wrath by Grace (an undeserved gift). So then Paul says if our human nature is to boast: boast on these:

  1. Boast about God’s glory
  2. Boast about your suffering. Our suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.
  3. Boast that we have been reconciled.  He paid the debt.  The books are wiped clean of anything owed.  Free.

Did God watch and wait to see of you are a “good person” and then decide if you were worthy of his death?  Does he have a scale in his hand and when you do enough “good” things does he then say “Ok, now I will give you the gift of Salvation? Nope.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.


The wages of sin is death, right?  Have you ever stopped to think that people could be measured as “sinners” before the law?  Paul proves that even before the law was given, people were considered sinners.

Through Adam man began to sin.  As Sin increased, so did God’s Grace. 18 Consequently, just as one trespass resulted in condemnation for all people, so also one righteous act resulted in justification and life for all people. 19 For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.

Amazon.com : Private Property NO TRESPASSING Sign - 10"X 7"-Heavy Duty 040 Gauge Aluminum. Bright White and Red Lettering. Keep Intruders Out- Warns Persons not to Enter! Violators Will be Prosecuted :


Chapter 6

Ch. 5 if someone just reads chapter 5 they would read: 20 The law was brought in so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, 21 so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

“We can live how we want, God says He forgives us.  He knows we live in a sinful world”.  BUT we know there is a Chapter 6

  • 6:1 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! 
  • 6:15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under the law but under grace? By no means!

(Am I the only one that laughter at verse 19?  What does your version say??  Mine says:19 I am using an example from everyday life because of your human limitations. 😂)


Chapter 71

  • Did that which is good, then, become death to me? By no means!

Is the Law bad for us?  NO.  It allows us to recognize our sin.

21 So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. 22 For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; 23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. 24 What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? 25 Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!

 

 

Romans

Romans 1-3

The first 7 verses is an overview and summary of the entire book of Romans.  (You could literally stop here).  But I say we read it anyway!

Paul tells them that they have heard about their Faith : First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 

Then he assures them that he wants to visit them:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you

He has a desire to preach the Gospel!

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (the verse that began the Protestant Reformation through Martin Luther)


In the book of Matthew (22), Jesus was asked:

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

All of the 10 commandments fall into 2 categories: the first 4 are about loving God, the last 6 are about loving others.

So Paul opens the Letter to the Romans about “wrath”. (What a way to start a letter!).

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

“Godlessness” means a lack of reverence for God. Man’s neglect of God and rebellion against God are evidence of ungodliness. “Unrighteousness” or “wickedness” means injustice toward other human beings. Together these two words show human’s failure to love God and other people as we should, which are the two greatest commandments. (the 10 commandments)

18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Four things characterize this passage.

  1. it is a clear testimony; everyone is aware of it
  2. everyone can understand it
  3. this revelation has gone out “since the creation of the world” in every generation.
  4. it is a limited revelation, in that it does not reveal everything about God, but only some things (but speaks to everyone)

As finish Chapter 1 it is VERY important to keep the scriptures together and in context.  The last 4 paragraphs go together.  Look at the transition words: For, Therefore, Because, and  Furthermore.

(Cause) God’s reaction to the suppression of Truth and their choice worship idols of the world and not the Lord-(effect) God handed them over to their own desires.  We suffer the consequences of being “on our own”.

Therefore, collectively as a world:

28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

Yup, that about summarizes Earth.


Chapter 2

11 For God does not show favoritism.

Many have become “soil inspectors” and “fruit inspectors” looking at others rather than ourselves.    We mistaken God’s “forbearance” (delaying judgment) and patience as a means of being Self Righteous.

Paul directly speaks to the Jewish people.  They believe their status as Jews places them above Gentiles. (Security)

17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”


We know how important circumcision is for the Jews.  And it is.  BUT Paul said it best:

28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.


Chapter 3- In short, Paul is telling us that no one has an advantage.  The Jews do not have an advantage because they were given the law, Gentiles do not have an advantage because they can’t say they weren’t given the law.

What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written:

As it was written…well let me tell you how well Paul knows his scriptures: notice that the scriptures are many individual “quotes”. He connects Psalm 14, Psalm 9, Psalm 140, Psalm 10, Isaiah 59, Proverbs 1, Isaiah 59, and Psalm 36.  WOW!


You can skip this part but it was just too beautiful not to post:
21 But now apart from the law the righteousness of God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— 26 he did it to demonstrate his righteousness at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus. ❤️

 

Book Overviews · Romans

Romans Overview for tomorrow

Young Adult Bible Study – Romans – New Life Assembly

We know very little about the founding of the church in Rome.  It is believed that a group of Jewish Christians did. It is possible that these Jews became believers in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:10), or at some other time quite early in the church’s history.  By the time Paul wrote Romans, the church in Rome was famous throughout the Roman Empire for its faith.

Twenty-one of the 27 New Testament books are letters, and they make up about 35 percent of the New Testament. Paul wrote 13 of these letters.   Paul’s letters make up about one-quarter of the New Testament. He wrote more of the New Testament than anyone except Luke.  (Luke and Acts is longer believe it or not). Romans is the longest of Paul’s letters with 7,114 words. It may have been placed first in the collection of Epistles in the New Testament because of its length or because of its importance.  (The letters seemed to appear in size order)

Paul quoted more often from the Old Testament in this epistle than in all the other epistles combined. Romans has 61 direct quotations. Paul draws from at least 14 different books of the Old Testament. Isaiah and Psalms are the most frequently quoted.

Who should read Romans?  Well, this is not a book I would read to an unbeliever.  The mere fact that they are “veiled” would make this book read like a Japanese Manuscript.  This is a book for believers that want to understand and appreciate their salvation.  It is also a book of DOCTRINE.  “What we believe”.


Paul is in Corinth on his third Mission trip there and he is taking the collection, not to his pocket, but to Jerusalem.  He writes this letter to the Romans before he ever gets there.  He intends to go there but is afraid he may never make it there.  So he feels compelled to write this letter so that the Churches in Rome would have a record on his account.  While he was in Corinth, a woman named Phoebe (not from Friends) was headed to Rome, so he took that opportunity to have her carry that letter.Story of cities #2: Rome wasn't planned in a day … in fact it wasn't planned at all | Cities | The Guardian

Rome was a HUGE city, the capital of the entire Roman empire.  There were however many churches there since there were  “visiting” Romans at the time of Pentecost that were able to go back to Rome and start churches after Peter’s Sermon (Acts 2).  Paul does make it to Rome about 3 years after the letter was written, under not so good circumstances.

The purpose of the letter to Rome was to convey that Faith in the death and Resurrection of Christ is the only ground of acceptance by God.  A God who shows no favoritism between Jew or Gentile.  We will read that we cannot do for ourselves what God has done for us.  Paul does have a sense of sadness and struggles with the fact that Gentiles freely accept and receive the Gospel yet many many Jews will reject it.

The impact this letter will have on the world is incredible.    This book has changed the course of History for the Churches today.  The Book of Romans has influenced such men like Augustine (Catholic Church), Martin Luther (Protestant Reformation), John Bunyan (not Paul the logger but the writer preacher of Pilgrim’s Progress), John Wesley (Methodist foundation), and many others.

What to expect to walk away with is: A person’s justification before the Lord SOLELY rests on the mercy and grace of Christ and NOT on the Law of Moses (10 commandments).  It is not a matter of Law at all, because no person can EVER live up to God’s standards but God himself.  Out of God’s LOVE for every single one of us, he forgives our sins.  There is nothing we can do, that could give us Salvation (and this is coming from a man, Paul, who has given GREATLY) but only from God can we receive Salvation.  WITH THAT SAID, since we have been given that gift in spite of ourselves, God deserves our wholehearted attention, love, service, loyalty, boldness, obedience, and devotion, not for him to love us, but BECAUSE HE LOVES US.

Words to look for:

  • Righteousness (66 times)
    • Law (78 times)
    • Faith (62 times)