1. STUDY - Romans is the clearest Gospel that explains clearly after Christ's death and resurrection - Written AD57 after Paul being missionary for 20 years - Written while staying with Gaius
- Why did Paul write it down to Rome? > Paul usually had to sent letter via a person and Phoebe was the one > Phoebe was carrying the most important part of the Bible > Imagine she lost it???? > It was most unlike other letters Paul wrote > Only letter that he wrote to a Church he never started and never seen > Clue is that there was great mention of names of personal friends of Paul to establish mutual connection with the Church there > A letter that personal problems were not dealt with. No criticism, no rebuke > It's about subjects and not about people
- No one knows who wrote Romans - The Church started without any seeing any miracles or apostles. So how did the Church in Rome start? - At day of Pentecost, amongst the many were visitors from Rome - 40000 Jews were already living in Rome and these Jews would return to Jerusalem for the festivals - Then they would return back to Rome and were converted at the Pentecost experience probably - So probably a largely a Jewish Church in Rome
- Emperor Claudius said there were many troubles in Rome because of Christus (Christ) and those Christ believing Jews - Claudius was fed up with these Jews and in year 54AD commanded every Jew to leave Rome - They had to leave including these Jewish Christians whom among them is Aquila and Priscilla - And they decided to head to Corinth to set up business - When Paul came to Corinth, he met Aquila and Priscilla and from there Paul heard about Church in Rome - So Church behind largely Gentile and so quite different Church in character
- Claudius died and Nero took over. Once 1st 2years good invited the Jews back again - Jewish Christians came back to a Church run by Gentiles Christians
- Why then did Paul write to the Church of Rome? - Lies in the godly ambition of Paul - Paul was inertly ambitious - His ambition was to go preach the gospel where no one preaches - He wanted to use Rome as the new base from Antioch (original base) to evangelize the far west like Spain - Paul needed to ensure that Rome being the base preach the true Gospel - That's why Paul wrote the letter for 2 practical reasons 1. Help Rome Church to be fine Church 2. To establish Rome as the next mission launching pad
- Paul wrote the letter also just in case he never made it to Rome - Because Paul wrote the letter to help the Roman Church, this letter now helps generations of Christian there on - The Church in Rome may approve what he wrote so that they will preach the Gospel Paul taught to Spain and beyond
What is the letter all about? Subject/Theme/Content? - Law - 70times with 4 different meanings - 1:16-17 sums it up - Gospel of Salvation/Righteousness - Righteousness - It is to be right with God - Gospel is concerned is to be right with God - What it means to be saved and made right with God - There are 2 ways of getting right with God and one of them doesn't work - Faith vs works (Chapter 3-4) - Life vs Death (5-6) - Spirit vs Flesh (7-8) - Gospel (Cross) vs Law (Commandments)
- To tell a person to try to live a good life / keep 10 commandments is to 'kill' them because it cannot work - To live a better life, it starts with faith/life/spirit/Gospel and not works/law - Paul was sharing from his own experience in his search for living a good life through works and obedience to law that left him empty - Paul one day met the Savior and that's when he found pardon from his sin/peace with God/power of the Holy Spirit - The whole letter of Paul is to learn to walk the right way to be with God through faith/life/Spirit/Gospel - The only way to be saved is not only to turn away from your badness but also to turn away from your goodness
- Not the righteousness and goodness of man but God's righteousness - Paul tried all his life to be self-righteous but God can't accept any of it - Only the righteousness of God that He wants to give us through Christ that suffice
Romans Outline - 1-4 Faith / 5-11 Hope / 12-16 Love - Begins with Greetings and ends with greetings - 2 Halves 1 - 8 / 9-16 - Work out your salvation for it's God who works in you (Phil 2) - 1-8 is Salvation that God works in > The Father gives you his righteousness > The Son gives you redemption > The Spirit gives you the power to live this new life When you got that salvation is worked in
- 9-16 shows man works out the salvation 1) 9-11 God describes His plan for the Jews - Their present responsibility here on earth and their future restoration 2) How Christians work out their salvation in Church/Community/Home and families
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 1:1-15
2. STUDY - Paul began his letter to the Rome in a big bang and every word in this letter is a work of Grace - Normally, a letter begins with the name of writer, reader and formal greeting in those times - Paul packs the whole Trinity in the first few sentences - Paul made himself known, his credentials because the Church in Rome didn't know him well
A) PAUL'S INTRODUCTION OF HIMSELF TO THE CHRISTIANS IN ROME - He started off with saying Paul a slave of Christ - 3 miracles inside this phrase 1. Paul was born a Jew. Paul was Saul a Hebrew name. Saul would never have changed his name if he remains who he was 2. Paul was a scholar, high up there and now he called himself slave 3. Every Jew had rejected Jesus as the Christ (Messiah) but Paul put Jesus w Christ. That's a miracle - Because Paul was absolutely sure Jesus wasn't the Christ before
- v1 : Paul has been sent (apostle/missionary) by Christ to bring the Gospel message - He was set apart (Pharisee). One who is different - Paul had been separated from the Gentiles cos he's so high and mighty - Now he's set apart for Christ and the Gospel. It's that kind of pharisee that God wants - Paul was phariseed for the Gospel. Before he was phariseed for the Law
- What's the Gospel? Good News - It's not good advice telling you how to behave - Good news only used in ancient world where something had actually happened that change lives - Paul said 2 things about the Gospel 1. It was promised for a very long time in OT as prophesied 2. It was sent in by a Person. Not a set of teachings alone - So it's God who spoke through His prophets in the Scriptures, and personified through Jesus His Son. v2
- Slave needs another word to complete it. - Lord - Lord = owner of a slave (absolute authority over the slave) - Paul put himself as slave to his Lord Jesus - Paul looked at his Lord Jesus in 2 ways. v3-4 Human and Divine - Mary was the last link tracing back to the line of the King David - Not only was Jesus born son of David but declared to be Son of God when He rose from the dead - And it's the power of the Spirit that raised Him from the dead.
- Now Paul used the word "WE" to refer to his fellow apostles who had a task to do - To bring back obedience to the faith and not to the law - The first act of obedience is to believe in Jesus - that first step of faith - Paul's ambition was to go to the nations to preach this, particularly the Gentiles. v5
Paul began to say a few things about the Jewish Christians. v7 1. Their relationship with God and Paul reminded them 2 things a) God loves them - love means caring (active word) b) Paul reminded them they are saints - We are saint the day we are converted by His Righteousness
2. Their resources from Christ - They had grace/peace - Can only find peace/grace in Christ not only in God - B) PAUL'S INTEREST IN THE CHRISTIANS IN ROME - There are 4 things he said about them 1. His delight in them. v8 - For their faith heard throughout whole Roman empire
2. His decision to come to them. v10 - Paul prayed without ceasing for this decision to go to Rome to see whether it's God's will - Paul didn't realize that he indeed by the will of God landed in Rome but in chains - But the amazing thing was Caesar got the Gospel as a result - Learning Point : Paul probably frustrated with the unanswered prayer of coming to Rome > How many times Paul must have prayed but prayer not answered. v13 > He was frustrated yet he pressed on praying > We got to wait and watch as we prayed
3. His desire to come to them - Paul wanted to give something to the Church in Rome and receive something from them - Paul wanted to impart some spiritual gift to them. v11 - Def of this spiritual gift = 1 Cor 12 gifts that will strengthen the Church - The Church started in Rome without presence of miracles and the apostles - So Paul wanted the Church to be in the realm of the supernatural - And Paul wanted to receive encouragement from them.
4. His duty to come - So that Paul could reap some harvest - Paul owed to the wise and the foolish, Greeks and the barbarians - Principle : The world owes us nothing but we owe the world the duty to share the Gospel as a Christian - Jesus gave me His pardon/grace/mercy/goodness. I owe it to the world to tell this Good News - What if every Christians realise this fact, missions will explode... - So the whole point of Christianity is not becoming better Christians but paying a debt - And Paul was EAGER to pay his 'debt'. v15
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 1:16-17
2. STUDY - These 2 verses are the sum of the letter to Roman Christians - (For) = Because. It explains a statement Paul made before hand - 3 times Paul used 'for' in vs 16-17 explaining sequentially the reason for making this statement - He preached the gospel BECAUSE he's not ashamed of gospel BECAUSE the gospel is the power of salvation BECAUSE of the righteousness of God revealed through faith
1. THE GOSPEL OF GOD - Gospel is interesting word - God's-spel == God's story - Good news proclaimed to someone - Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel - Was he was proud of it? Probably yes - But it would more accurately mean Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel but other people are ashamed of it
Why people are ashamed of the Gospel? a) The Gospel is too incredible to be ashamed of all it's claim about Jesus and its feat b) The Gospel is irrelevant to person's daily living c) The Gospel seems insignificant (So few people accept the Gospel). When you are the minority, you feel weird d) The Gospel is insulting. It says to the finest men who ever lived that you are lost and condemned unless you come to Savior Jesus
- Paul is saying he is not ashamed of the Gospel! - First he was up against the wisdom and the philosophy of the Greeks and he said he had something to offer to these Greeks - 2nd, he was up against the Roman military might and Paul preached a thing that was more powerful than the Roman might - 3rd, he was up against the Jewish morality and those who were dedicated their lives to keeping the 10 commandments and he had to stand up and say that's useless
- There may be a hint from the Roman Church questioning why Paul had not come to Rome to preach to the Church there, and speculated that Paul was too ashamed of the Gospel - See, Paul had been many times wanting to come to Rome to preach the Gospel but had been stuck (mentioned in v1-15) and not because he was ashamed of the Gospel - The test of shame is whether we are eager to preach the Gospel or not.
2. THE POWER OF GOD - Why was Paul not ashamed of the Gospel. Because it is the POWER of God unto salvation - This should make you not ashamed but proud of it - Paul used this word "POWER" whom the Romans worship - the god of power (Roman might) - Paul here said "I got a power that you Romans don't have" - We live in a age of power (Financial/Atomic power, etc) - Pilate said to Jesus, "I have the power to kill you" But Jesus said you had no power. I laid down my life - The Gospel is POWER (Gk : Dynamite) - The Gospel has power to do for people no one else can do - Without this power, the Bible is a dead letter. This power of God can save
Salvation - English meaning - physical salvation. Greek meaning - mental salvation, Hebrew meaning - spiritual salvation - salvage - applies to physical thing. We are thinking of physical bodies being saved - Greeks say to be saved means to be saved from fear, worry, etc - the mental aspects - Hebrews means saved is the total spiritual aspect - When we say man have been saved means he's been saved FROM something FOR something. (Eg: from hell for heaven) - 3 things we are saved from 1) Penalty of Sin 2) Power of Sin 3) One day from the Presence of Sin - Justification, Sanctification, Glorification - There's no other known power that can do that - the power of God - Salvation for our soul
- Salvation is to everyone. Gospel is for anybody - That means there's hope for everyone. That's good news. Everyone has a chance to receive salvation - But that doesn't mean everyone can be saved. People must take this offer - Hearing the Gospel doesn't save. But placing faith in it saves you. (Faith is the hand of the heart - my hand must reach out to grab) - Everyone (Jew and Gentile). God chose Jews to be his channel of salvation to the whole world - The Gospel is to the Jews first.
3. THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD - No amount of good works will save us - Why can the Gospel has power? Because of the righteousness of God - Righteousness is a very difficult word to grasp - Martin Luther struggled to understand the righteousness of God and hated it - This word after understood became the sweetest word to him - Righteousness - rightness, to be in the right. legally and morally right - Jewish understanding - Wont say you are right or wrong but righteous and wicked - Paul was concern getting in right with God. He wanted to be sure that when God meets him that He would say, "You are in the right" - So Paul tried to keep all the 613 commandments. - He tried his best but still fail and then he heard about the righteousness of God - If God is in the right, you will know you'll be condemned
- We must always acknowledge that God is always in the right - That's bad news for me. How could He ever let me off? - The righteousness of God means something more than that. - It means that God is willing to share his rightness with us - Phil 3:9 - Paul mentioned that all his self-righteousness is dung - It doesn't matter we are in the right or wrong anymore, now God's rightness is ours given by His Son by His Grace - Gospel is good news because it puts people in the right with God by His rightness - This is what justify means, to prove to be in the right. God justifies the sinners. God put the bad man in the right - PROBLEM : How can God be right and still say that we are right? This can only be resolved with the Cross - At the Cross, we see that God is right in condemning sin and He is also right in making right the sinners - Rom 3 says in the Cross, God is both just and justify. God cannot do it without the Cross - In the Gospel, the righteousness of God is revealed by punishing a sinless man for sinners sake. What amazing Grace. - Until you have faith, you won't see that God is in the right (righteousness) - This phrase from faith to faith simply means faith only and faith always. v16
4. THE WORD OF GOD - Paul was a Bible preacher - Paul mentioned in v17, as it is written in Hab 2:4 - Habbakuk was writing to the people of God about the invasion of the brutal Chaldean. - Habbakuk was writing," God You won't let our people die, will you?" - You won't destroy the righteous would you? God answered, "The just shall live by faith" - Now what does that mean? - The Jews till this very day still misinterpret this as those who keep the commandment and faithful is just - But Paul now could see that "The just by faith shall live" - Those who put their faith in me are just in my sight and won't be killed in the invasion - Those who are righteous in faith shall live. They will be righteous and just for only 1 reason, that they placed their faith in God
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 1:18-32
2. STUDY - Here Paul began with the Good News by highlight the component of wrath which makes up the Gospel - You will not be able to understand the Good news of God until you understand the Gospel is bad news - You never understand the mercy of God until you understand God's justice. (Love vs Anger)
- Chapter 1 and 2 presents very serious things. It's like going thru a thunder cloud - Emerging through 1-3, then will we see the goodness of the Gospel that is like a shower of blessings from the clouds - The good news of God's anger.
- Why must Paul link the anger of God with the salvation of God for in v18 he used 'because' - He linked fact that Gospel is good news because without which we are all doomed by God's anger - We must understand what Wrath of God means.
- 2 wrong understandings of this phrase in v18 1. The wrath of God is like the wrath of man and partakes in personal reciprocate of 'justice' to those whom make you suffer - God is not a bad tempered God who likes to get even with people by losing his temper
2. The wrath of God is impersonal - Wrath is actually retribution - Built into the system is a moral order. - IE: Cause and Effect / Decision and Consequence - Applying it morally, if I do something that is wrong, I'll pay for it eventually - There's a certain truth to it but this impersonal mechanism is not reflective of who God is - The wrath of God came from HEAVEN v18 and not from earth. It came from personal God - It gives a wrong concept that God is never angry with us but the universe is and so we use an impersonal term like retribution to explain wrath
POINT : we see 2 extreme views of God. 1) Angry old man wanting to get at us 2) God is impersonal. Wrath is a impersonal cause/effect mechanism - If 2nd point was true. Then some people seemed to get away with it. They did many bad but seemed to die peacefully. - But that's not the case at all
WHAT IS WRATH? - God wrath is His personal 1.REACTION. God is a person and He is holy - Because it's God's world, He has a reaction on what's done to His world - (Eg: Supposed your car was seen with a bunch of young kids vandalizing it...)
- God looks down at a place that was meant to have peace and love but now seeing a world filled with people fighting each other - It's the reaction of a holy God who sees evil people spoiling His world with evil - There are 2 things that invoke this wrath - ungodlessness and wickedness
Ungodliness - a man who lives as if God doesn't exist - When God made man, he made them to be godly. To love God and to worship God - A man may have committed no crime but can be terribly ungodly - They were made for Him but never had given a thought - A person who is ungodly very likely will inevitably develop wickedness
Wickedness - Unrighteousness - Paul had just spoken about the righteousness of God - When the righteousness (rightness) of God meets the unrighteousness (wrongness) of man, there's bound to be a reaction
- Do notice that the 10 commandments are link to godliness and righteousness - 1st 5 got to do with r/s living with God in mind. - Love, worship Him etc - 2nd 5 got to do with r/s with others - Don't covet, murder, etc - And therefore, God has a reaction to those who break His law - these 10 commandments - God is reacting to those who broke the first 5 (ungodly) and 2nd 5 (unrighteous) - Illustration (Buyer of car totally ignore owner's instruction from the manual (Bible). Of course, owner will react) - When God sees vandalism and destruction of His world and remain indifferent, then He is an impersonal God - But God is not and He has to react through His wrath
2nd definition of wrath - it's an unveiling. His 2.REVELATION - God got to show His anger. God's wrath is something that He reveals. It's an active thing - It's something that we can see - QUESTION: How do you know when God is angry cos we can't see His face/expression? - The rest of Romans 1 reveals that - It's not very hard to see that God's wrath is on our world today looking at the similar behavior of men today
- The Bible of course is full of the anger and love of God. And we find that alot in the OT - The anger of God in OT sometimes was shown in a long period as a slow process - At other times, the Bible talks about God showing his burst of anger suddenly and catastrophically - Rom 1:18's kind of wrath is shown now and stored up over a long period while God's wrath can also be release in a moment as seen in 2:5 - The latter one we are yet to see until the final judgement but the former we can see it in different parts of the world and different times.
The next 2 questions is "Why is God angry?", "How is God angry?" - v18-23 tells why God is angry and v24-31 tells us how
WHY? - Because man has given God up therefore God gives man up as a result - Result of first is idolatry, the 2nd is immorality - When you change your 'religion', you change your moral/belief/behavior too - When man decided to give God up by worshiping other idols, the morality will go down down down
- The key word in v18-23 is truth - There is a truth abt God that we know to worship Him - Qn: What about those who have never heard the truth (Gospel)? - How can you blame these? - Ans: There is no one in the world who hadn't have the truth
- How have they heard the truth and turn it down? - All men are not innocent to start with, that's why the need to go missions to tell people how to be set free - Why they are not innocent? They suppress the truth. What have they rejected? - God has shown Himself plainly through His creation but man has rejected this truth - They are 2 things in this world that's obvious. v20 1. The power of God (The intelligence behind the creation of things on earth) 2. The deity of God (God is different from humanity - It must be a divine God who made the creation) These 2 facts everybody should know and God had shown plainly to them
- Paul is saying there's no excuse to be an atheist but a theist because of what's reveal through creation. v20 - They may not believe in Jesus but at least they should believe there is a God a creator of everything - Psalms 19 put it like this. If you see the sun, you should see the deity of God
- Therefore everyone has heard the truth that there is a God and should respond in 2 ways regardless of what faith you in 1. Acknowledge the existence of God and honor Him 2. Thank Him for making the world and providing what we need
- Definition of "Suppress" = Hold down in chain - It means to deliberately turn away from truth - And Paul was saying, "They know they ought to do this but they deliberately shut their mind off" - Interestingly this behavior is seen throughout history - Trace of earliest human worship is the worship of one God and not idols/animistic worship - People knew there is a supreme 1 God, which is consistent to the Bible - Only later idolatry crept in. Man knew God, but suppress this knowledge - Therefore the one thing you can't do with God is to plead innocence. - Example in Bible : Cornelius Acts 10 > Cornelius was a God fearer though he doesn't who Jesus is yet > He knew about the existence of a supreme God and worship God even as a Gentile > Peter discovered that God is no respector of persons. But God accepts him from every nation who fears God
- Man knows they ought to worship/honor/thank God for creating this world but never do so - When Man reject/suppress this truth, a void is created - Man got to fill this hole and how does then this human race fill this blank? - When a man pushes God out of his life, what does he put into it instead? - You will do what Paul says here, you will exchange the worship of the Creator for the worship of creation. v23 - That's why man can't remain non-religious but will find something to worship
Then 2 Things man does now 1. So man begins to imagine his own god/religion according to his own image 2. Man begins to craft a visible object of worship (Something man can see) - It's often than man uses animals to represent their religion so that they can have a focus on worship - Even nations use animals as symbols to represent. Egypt uses bulls/calves, America - eagles
- It doesn't matter whether that image is physical or mental, the question is whether that is the truth - Man substituted truth with a lie. v25 - God is angry because man has turn away truth about God and formed their own idea about God - Every other religion in the world is a man-made one and substituted lie that contradicts the truth
- Man has given God up for a substituted image - That's idolatry.
How does God show His anger? How is God angry? - His anger shows itself in God gave man up. v24, 26, 28 - Immorality is the evidence of His anger not a result - Illustration : If a car brake lift off on a hill, the car runs down and gets smashed. A pic of human nature. We are on a hill down and it takes God to lift off the brake lever - God doesn't make man sin, he just take the brake off and something in man's nature will just drag him down because of his nature
WHAT HAPPENS TO A MAN'S BODY WHEN GOD TAKES THE BRAKE OFF? 1. The restrain of the body which is potentially evil comes off 2. The design of man and woman relationship/union is spoilt. (Sex will not work properly apart from God) - First stage : man dress as woman and vice versa - Second stage : man sex with man and vice versa
- Surely you can't blame someone who is born that way? - We have to be blamed when we let the brake off
WHAT HAPPENS TO A MAN'S MIND WHEN GOD TAKES THE BRAKE OFF? - The mind is filled with these things > wickedness - a liking for the wrong thing > evil - desire to do harm to others to drag them down with you > covetousness - to want more > malice - wanting to attack people > envy - desiring something not theirs and bitter about it > murder - > strife - to contend, to push yourself up to the top > deceit - crafty plan > malice - evil plan executed > slander - openly speak and destroy others reputation > insolent - defiantly rude > boastful - to do what you have not and do not > inventors of evil - finding ways to devise new ways of sinning > disobedience to parents - ignore the wisdom of parents > foolish - utterly unable to be talked to > ruthless - to be cruel - If God takes the brake off, that's what happen to our minds. The things inside there comes up and manifest as evil
- These continue to do such things and actually approve of others as well. (That's the end already) - Illustration: They are parents who swear/smoke but disapproves of their children doing so... - When God takes the brake off, man goes to the rock bottom by advocating others to do the same - This is hell on earth described when God takes the brake off
- Finally of what period of society/people Paul is speaking here? - Many periods in OT such things was true. > Eg Gen 19 (Sodom and Gomorrah) > Golden Calf moment : Orgy happened immediately after that > It just shows that idolatry leads to immorality - But the period Paul was referring was the Roman Empire era - Roman history in 2 period - Republic and Empire - In the republican period, very few idolatry - In the Empire period, a lot of idolatry - Interesting to note Roman republic era very low immorality but empire era a lot - Even pagan writers were disgusted with themselves for the level of immorality in the empire period
- That's why the Gospel is sent by God in His Grace to put people right
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 2: 1-16
2. STUDY - 3 noticeable differences from chapter 1 to 2 1. Paul shifted his letter emphasis from man as a whole human race to man as an individual 2. He shifts from them/they to you (A person address that deserves our personal attention) 3. He stops talking things in the present but now in the future - He was describing in chapter 1 what was already happening but now in chapter 2 yet to happen - He was talking about a day God had fixed where God will reveal his final wrath and all will be revealed and God looks at you who you really are
- Most would realize that a day will come where wrong is put right, justice is served, the good vindicated/rewarded, evil is punished - But most wont realized the principle of which God will judge 3 Questions we have to ask ourselves 1. Who will God judge? - Those who have done wrong and done in secret - Those who judge others the things they themselves do 1. There's no escape from God's judgement - God knows everything - You can't escape his jurisdiction - There's no loophole in his law
2. What will He judge? - Deeds/Seeds. Sow in this world, reap in the next - How much good does one have to do to be considered good? - When God say doing good, he meant something very different - v7 : It's to 'patiently' ie: continuously do good all the time. IE: 100% all the time - Meaning all will fail this test
- What about evil? Do you have to do 100% evil to be considered evil? - v8 says as long as you do 1 evil you are considered evil
POINT: We all stand condemned and recipient of God's wrath. That's our starting point That's what makes the Gospel necessary. We all need a Savior - All have fallen short of His glory. - Your bad has condemned you, your good isn't good enough either
3. How will He judge? - By what standard? - Is it fair to judge those for things they never knew? Like Christ and eternal damnation - How can God judge a person when he doesn't know what's right if God is fair and just? - You can only be condemned based on the known law - The law has to be known and you can get away with it if you didn't know the law
JEW - With the Jews, they had the 613 commandments. They will be judged by how far he lived up to the law he had knew it
GENTILE - For the Gentiles, they never had the Law, but God wrote the law on their hearts - Gentiles had no excuse cos they can see God in creation and know Him in their conscience. - Even Charles Darwin Evolution guy said even the most evil person has a moral conscience that is higher than an animal - The reason why missions exist is that people are desperately needing a Savior because they stand condemned first
- Abraham said to God, "Shall He not the God of the earth do right?" - God is so just that He will be absolutely fair! - No one will be able to accuse God of unfairness - Lets' see how fair/just God is thru the 3 questions
- "Do" : This key word appears many times in this chapter - The only thing God is interested in at the judgement day is what you have done here on earth (Not what you have said/thought...) - Illustration: Man ordered 500 fountain pens. When almost ordered, owner stopped the order cos buyer was using a pencil to take down order. Man was not practising what he preached. He never use the pen - First 5 verses, Paul was addressing firmly that the Christians were not practising what they preached
Conclusion - All man stand condemned no matter how many good deeds he has done because no man is perfect for sin inside has condemned him - Only one man Jesus who ever lived a perfect life qualifies to be accepted in God's eyes - And He took our place of condemnation and gave us His place of righteousness. That's the good news because in Him there's hope - There is a way that we can become right in God's eyes and that's only true Jesus
1. SCRIPTURE: Rom 2:17-3:20
2. STUDY - Illustration : Diplomatic Immunity (We think we have this when it comes to committing bad things) - Certainly the Jews thought that they had such immunity and going heaven as a people of God with the law - One Rabbi thought circumcision gets you into heaven
- 2 personal pronouns - They, We - Chapter 1 : Talks about men, they - Chapter 2 : Talks about we cos Paul was a Jew.
- We Jews are no better off than they or you - He had 3 groups of people in mind as he wrote Romans 1. The pagan world - accuse them for giving God up for religion (We have no problem that they deserve God's punishment) 2. But the 2nd group of people - are people inside the Church and Paul got very personal. - We condemn those outside the Church, but do we in the Church have similar sin? - Paul was addressing this and established we stand equally condemned - The Jews had this sense of superiority complex because they always had this "I believe to God and not man" mentality - Jews were given privileges because of their peculiar race and so they became a proud people - Paul had been awfully proud - Why were they proud of? What did they boast? - 2 things they were proud of 1. They had the law 2. They had a physical mark that distinguished them (Circumcision)
1. God spoke to them personally. So we are in the position to teach others how to live. v21 - So they give themselves some titles : Every Jew is a guide to the blind, a light in darkness. v19 - Every Jew is a teacher to the children. The Jews think they have all the answer because they have God and God tells them - Only one thing wrong with that: That they don't practise the truth - If you have the truth and don't live it, the people will hate you even more - People are expecting a higher standard on the Jews - The Jews had a notorious reputation for not practising what they preach - Historian Josephus confirmed that by his observation that the Jews were thieves and adulterers in the capital city of Rome - Historian Josephus also recorded that 4 Jews went to wealthy Roman widow, ask for money to rebuild temple but absconded the money - When Emperor Tiberius heard that he expel every Jew in Rome in AD19 - So Paul was rebuking the Jews that the world outside will look at their conduct to see whether it matches what they preached - People would despise the non-doers of the Word
2. A Jew circumcised 8th day after birth - Circumcision distinguishes a Jew - Circumcision is no use to use unless you keep the law, Paul said - Wearing a badge of circumcision is useless - Apply that to us, we have to do certain physical thing - Baptized in water and partake bread/wine - By doing this doesn't mean you really belong to God or not unless you are following God truly in your heart - Therefore it's the spiritual (heart) that makes you a people of God - Mental/Physical observance of ceremonies and rituals does nothing unless the heart is circumcised - vs29 : It's more beneficial for God to praise man than man praise man - Praise (Heb:Judah (Jew) - one who will be praised - Paul was saying if God praises you, you are a real Jew
- Paul would often argue theology with the Jew - Chapter 3:1-8 filled with questions for the Jews to rebuke them - What's the value of being a Jew at all? - Paul said no value. The first thing to begin with to the Jew first God gave this work - God entrusted to the Jews the word of God. v2 - It came from the Jews - the word of God - Jesus came as the Son of God was a circumcised Jew - If not for the Jew, we won't be here today - That's the first advantage of being a Jew. They had the Gospel before anyone else. - But not all of them are faithful to what was entrusted to them - And similarly, we 'condemned' each other based on the standard of one another - Eg: Look at so and so, call himself a Christian - But our standard should be Christ, we are all helpless needing a Savior in our lives - So we are a bunch of needy people running to Christ
- v3:3, Paul mentioned the Jew's national hero King David - King David acknowledged his sin lusting for Bathseba in Psalms 51 and confessed that God is absolutely right that all have sinned - And have every right to judge us 2 kinds of people 1. They are in the right and God is in the wrong - People like that always look at others and criticized why God did this and why did that - I can think better than God
2. I'm in the wrong, God's right - That should be the attitude
- Further the Jews not only supposed to keep God's word but to demonstrate God's ways - To be example for others - To demonstrate God's power/mercy - God took a small group of people and sustained them - He took them because He loved them - When the Jews go wrong, God used them as a demonstration of His justice - When they had the privilege of being with God and have chosen chosen otherwise, would suffer more than others - This is consistent with God's justice and righteousness - If you want to know more about God's character, then study the history of the Jews and how God deal with them - This becomes a revelation for us of God's nature and guide us in our r/s with Him
- Then a very interesting argument surfaced - If my wrong helped God bring up His righteousness, why should I be punished for it? - Paul's answer "Wrong is still wrong" - To argue that it was good to be evil so that God gets more glory out of it is perverted - And the Jews should not justify themselves out of their wrong in such a way
v9 : We've look at the 1. pride of the Jew as the chosen people - And the 2. privilege they have in God - Now let's look at the 3. practise of the Jews - The conclusion is that they are no better off than the Gentiles for non is accepted as righteous in their own ways - The whole world is under the power of evil - The Jew reverences the Bible, the word as the final authority - Paul took 7-8 references in the Bible to convince the Jews that they are no better - He used the Psalms (songs) that the Jews are very familiar to convince them. Example Psalms 14. v3:10-19 - Songs are already memorized in the heart/mind through constant singing - Noticed this. Paul was choosing their hymns. He chose hymns about their great king david, about the Jews - Paul used their own content to establish that no one is righteous - No one is doing good ie no one doing good continuously
- Then Paul began to be specific. Look at their speech - Out of the mouth, the heart speaks... - When prophet Isaiah met God, he said I'm man of unclean lips - James said, if you find a man with clean lips, you found a perfect man - Paul finished up with this - Worse thing of all, there's no fear of God - The law just shows us how sinful we are and there's no way out. v20 - The Gospel talks about sin before it talks about salvation - The Gospel talks about bad news first before the Good news - People need to know for sure they are in the wrong before they will come to a Savior who can get them out of their wrong
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 3:21-26
2. STUDY - This portion is the hinge/pivot where the whole story swings - Chapter 1-3 talked about sin, chapter 4-16 talks how about salvation - Must tell people they are sick first before telling them about the cure - We now reached the peak that gives the answer to the cure
RECAP - 2 major facts 1. God is our Creator (Chapter 1) - Everybody ought to be a theist - one who believe God exists because His trace is everywhere - But man don't worship God and worship other things instead - Man had given God up and so God gave man up (Remove the lid) - Idolatry up, morality down... (Especially in sexual ones)
2. God is our Judge (Chapter 2) - Once again, everyone knows that - They either know it when they read His law in the 10 commandments or in their conscience - Everyone knows between right and wrong. And one day right will be right, wrong will be wrong - And we'll be judged whether we live up to that law or not according to what we knew - If we ALWAYS live up to what is right. But fact is such a person doesn't exist. - NON is righteous and will be judged - That creates a problem. Every single man is guilty before God
NOW THE GOOD NEWS 3. God is our Savior!!! - Good news is coming - Paul began by saying, "But now..."v21 - It means everything before it gets cancelled out - All the dreadful end is cancelled out. It's a swing - If God is my creator/judge, I don't stand a chance if that's all the truth - But there's more. But now... - Now means something new has broken in that alters the whole picture - The difference is now Rom 3 starts talking about Jesus Christ. That's the change - Jesus came to die and resurrected on the Cross - But now I need not fear God/need not receive judgement... - Since Jesus came and die. The whole pic is altered and the whole thing became good news
3 SENTENCES HOW GOD REVERSE THE CURSE through the Cross at his death and resurrection 1. But now His Righteousness is revealed 2. But now His Grace is given 3. But now His Perfection is proved
- Each of 3 sentences divided into 2 halves - something about the past and present - The past refers to the Day of Law : God the Judge / present : Gospel - God the Savior - 3 times Paul drew the contrast between what happened in the past and present under law and grace - 1. But now His Righteousness is revealed - Not true in the past. Man in a legal r/s with God - But God now found a new way dealing with us apart from the law - Some people think to make people a Christian, you have to teach the 10 commandments - Not true now. You need not teach the 10 commandments to get a person to be saved - You can be righteous before God w/o having heard of the law - Some people think Christianity is 10 commandments + , but the gospel is something totally new - God going to make us righteous apart from the Law - And yet if you go back to the old law/prophet, you'll find the new thing was there, witnessed by the prophets
- So now what's the new basis that God will accept you? - It's not that you lived a good life/kept the 10 commandments - It's through faith in Jesus - Look at the preposition THROUGH, IN, FOR. v22 - Notice we are never saved BY faith but THROUGH faith. What's the difference? - Illustration > Fire truck and Engine. The truck moves when it's coupled up with a chain to the engine > Faith is that chain. By that chain it doesn't save you. By faith it doesn't save you > It's THROUGH that chain coupling itself onto the engine that moves the truck > IE: It's THROUGH middle agent call faith IN Jesus that we are righteous in God's eyes > Now who do we coupled up to? A church? A way of life? NO. Coupled up to Jesus
2. But now His Grace is given - We need that grace desperately - Man regardless of backgrounds distinct themselves as either good or bad - But God has no such distinction fall all have fallen short - 2 Things are true of each one > Everyone has sinned - Illustration: Criminals put in prison. Doesn't make what crime, how big or small, all are prisoners because of the crime - Illustration: Even a great Olympic jumper isn't good enough. Even you are 99% good, you are not good enough. We still fall short - That's why we need a Savior
- 3 things that sins have produced in our lives 1. The Penalty 2. The Power 3. The Pollution (What it has done to our character)
- Paul now says looking at the 3 things of sins, let's see how the Gospel reverse things
PENALTY - We are justified by His grace which is a gift - Justification is a term taken from court (Everyday language) - Justified means case dismissed. Now God says you are righteous. - It means God says, "I'm going to acquit you NOW, so that you will never be judged later" - God the JUDGE of the universe, both righteousness and just says "I'm prepared to take your case now and pronounce you innocent" - That will deal with the penalty
POWER - God will redeem us - Redemption is a term taken from the slave market (Everyday language) - Definition : buy somebody and set them free - Not only he spared us from being judged, he frees us from sin. No longer slaves
POLLUTION - Pollution is a term taken from the Temple worship (Everyday language) 3 meanings to explain this a) expiation - Wiping away dirt, wiping it clean. v25 b) propitiation - To turn away someone's anger. (Best way to explain) v25 - The only problem is God may been seen as an angry God. Negative protrayal. But in a certain extent, it's true that it's to avert anger c) mercy seat (Most appropriate translation) v25 - In the Holies of Holies, is the ark of covenant covered with a mercy seat (Square slab of pure gold) - Once a year the High priest brings sacrificial blood and sprinkled on the mercy seat to wipe away the sins of his nation Israel - When Christ died, He provided the ultimate sacrifice of blood that's forever accepted, poured on the mercy seat to wipe away our sins forever - The only contrast is that the golden slab is put in secret but the Cross is put in public view to let people see that's our mercy seat - Justification: Penalty of sin is dealt with / Redemption : Power of sin is broken / Propitiation: Pollution of sin is washed clean when we go to Cross - Be very clear that everyone of these 3 things God had to provide. Note one of us are a part of that - Therefore it is entirely a gift called GRACE - God's riches at Christ's expense - Now God says I offer you this grace freely - But man wants to offer something from themselves too when it comes to salvation
2 Things that a judge is deemed unjust 1. To condemn the innocent 2. To acquit the guilty - How can a judge forgive those who are unrighteousness? - Through the Cross where he condemned the innocent (Jesus) for the sake of acquitting the guilty (us) - He is perfectly just in this as at the Cross He punishes sin - Only one place at the Cross where you see God being just and merciful at the same time
Illustration (Woman being fined but judge gave the fine amt for her to pay up) - God's salvation plan is that simple - Man has done wrong. God must judge. But he provided the payment to satisfy the judgement - God says "I offer you" but we got to take it up - We can reject the "money" God gives us to pay up - If so, then we must face the judgement - That's justice and mercy at work at the same time. - We have fallen short and God will summon us to His courts for judgement but In Christ, we are spared - God will take our case and justify us - God will break the slavery of sin and redeem us - God will give us the mercy seat where all our sins can be cleansed away by His blood - God could never have forgiven us if not for the blood of Christ being shed - God is proved to be perfect for being just and merciful
- But sadly, many refused such an offer and one day they will stand before their Creator and be judged
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 3:27 - 4:25
2. STUDY - Job asked a question, "How can man be justified with God?", How can man get into God's good books? - How to get into Heaven? - Most people would say, "Be good or be religious or do both" - These answers are wrong. Because we are not sure enough we will get into Heaven even by doing these 2 - Because these are not the right way to God - The answer to Job's question is "Faith". IE: You can have faith without being good/religious
- Faith = 16 times, Reckon = 11 times, Righteousness = 8 times - Faith is reckoned as righteousness - Reckoned means to place credit to your account (A commercial banking word) - God has an account book for all. God will settle accounts with all of us. Settle it now with Faith - Faith cancels off the bad and credit God's good in us - The moment I have faith 1. God put on our credit side - A perfect good righteous life through faith 2. God doesn't reckon our sin (Wiped it all out!)
- 3:27 : The PRINCIPLES OF FAITH - There is no boasting in this journey as we have no part in this - However People like to boast how "holy" or "righteous" they are - This principe of faith cuts this boasting out - All we have done was simply to believe God accepts us just like that. Therefore there is nothing on our part to boast on the grounds of works - What cuts out the boasting is these good things we done are never good enough and have any use at all to their getting right with God - Martin Luther emphasized that it's justified by faith ALONE in v28 - Therefore it doesn't really matter your race/nationality
- Now Jews accused Paul for throwing away the law of Moses. Paul said no - The principle of faith in fact upheld the law 1. Christ was born under the law and perfectly kept it and our faith is in someone who upheld the law 2. Christ died to pay for the penalty of the law therefore my faith in Him is faith in the penalty of the law 3. When I have faith, I am brought into the relationship to Christ that he filled my heart with love which I will then keep the law though I'm not under obligation to.
- The law is brought back in by Christ fulfilling the law. - Purpose of law = 1) Used for punishment when we break it 2) When written in our hearts, it guides us morally with love imputed to us and we are motivated by our loving for God. Rom 5:5 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chapter 4 Why Abraham mentioned here to the Jews 1. Faith is an abstract truth and easier to understand it when seen in someone's life 2. Abraham was held in deep respect by all Jews 3. To show that nothing new about faith. Abraham demonstrated it all along 4. This ties together the OT and NT in a consistent way explaining faith Heb 11 - All the OT heros displayed "by faith". It's consistent. Nothing new about faith
- Abraham was a man who was absolutely right with God - Abraham was called a friend of God - Jesus said to his disciples, "You are my friends". The best way to describe our r/s - Why Abraham was called a friend? > Was he truthful? He lied about wife Sarah > Was he a man of good works? Not in the beginning > Gen 12: He saw the stars and BELIEVED God by faith that he would become the father of many nations despite his childless circumstance > Cos of Abraham's faith and belief, righteousness was credited to him - There was no right standing, right living but simply faith
- The concept of the grace of righteousness freely credited and sin graciously erased emphasized again in v7 where Psalms 32 (David) mentioned - God forgave King David who broke the law terribly. God didn't count his sin against him when David repented and seek forgiveness
- 14 years before, Abraham already believed the Lord's promise long before the circumcision. Circumcision was a seal of that display of faith - All this comes after our first step of faith. (Application : Things like the sacrament or ordinances) - Faith is the most important element - Forgiveness is the other side of faith
- Abraham became the father of the world and the world bless through Abraham. How? - Abram changed to Abraham. Significance: AM = nations - v13-15: This promise had nothing to do with the Law - And the promise came by Abraham having many sons, both physically and spiritually and all came to share in his blessings not by blood but by sharing in his faith. v16-17 - Some of his physical children shared his faith and belong to the Lord. Some of his spiritual children like wise. The world comes to the Lord by faith
- Abraham's faith in God is amazing. He believed God can create and recreate - He believed in a God who can go against natural laws. v18 That's simply faith in a BIG GOD - He also believed that God can raise the dead. (From God's move to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham's action showed he believed God that God can raised the dead even as he obeyed God in that sacrifice) - Chapter ends by drawing parallel of the sacrifice of Isaac vs Jesus' death - God's character has never changed from OT to NT. - And the currency to our acceptance by God is still the same throughout ==> Faith - v21 is the best def of faith = Fully convinced that God can do what He promised.
- This chapter is written for us so that our response to Him is still the same - By faith - Our faith must be rooted in this.... Faith in what?
1. Not faith in our race (Jews or Gentile) 2. Not faith in religious rites (Baptism, coming to church) 3. But faith and believe in this Jesus who born a virgin birth, suffered on the cross, died for us and resurrected again (From the womb to the tomb) so that we can be justified (Put right with God.)
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 5:1 - 5
2. STUDY - Illustration: A man went through all the trouble to change his name. He is still the same after all. Why change? A legal change of name led to his tremendous benefit to a huge inheritance. The change in legal status made this man accepted and access to the legal right to the inheritance - The day you believed in God, a legal change happened (God put His righteousness in credit side. Debit side is clear. Credit side is full) - Question: What difference does it make to my life? I'm still the same person with the same character, name, etc... - Explanation: Justification makes possible a change in STATE as well as a change in STATUS (child of God) - It's not just a legal acquittal. It's not only a cancellation of the negative but also the giving of the positive. We are accepted by God - IE: God's blessing are on those who are legally part of His family. By that status change, we inherited it
What are some of the blessings? - Basically connected to what we now have as a Christian - Faith, Hope and Love - v1 starts with THEREFORE. Means what follows is because of what has already been said. - What has already been said? - All have sinned but justified by faith in Christ. Because they are right with God throught faith, therefore.... Let's see what happens - 1A. WE HAVE PEACE - Book Store with personal peace theme - 15 new books - Sadly, until a man gets right with God, he can't get peace - Not necessarily peace with others or even himself - Once you have peace with God, you can have peace with yourself and circumstances
- Peace here brings out both the negative and positive 1) An absence of fear for being punished by God therefore I have peace 2) A presence of God taking care of us for He is our Heavenly Father now. (No need to feel pressured in rat race)
1B. WE HAVE ACCESS - Paul use another word to illustrate peace - gain access to peace Meaning of Access 1) Came from sailors language. When ship come into the harbor from the peril of the waves, it entered 'peace' (Parallel: We found access to peace from the storms of life) 2) To have a ticket for the palace - to have entry to the King (How wonderful when you have access to what you can't had before. It's better than going to any queen or king) (I don't need the priest, no protocol. I go right to the King of kings)
- Prayers that work are prayers that get accessed to God. (Only a justified child gains this access) - Prayers don't work just because you got on your knees or you are the most devout person... Unfortunately - But because we have access, we have confidence, our prayers reach God - We have peace when we know we are getting through to God - And peace and access are only through Jesus Christ and a justified child of God has that - Some may come to Church but still no peace. Perhaps they have not really been justified by placing their faith in Christ
2. WE HAVE HOPE - Now that I'm right with God, I got something to look forward to - HOPE = (English) Wish - Biblical HOPE = Absolutely confident that something in future is going to happen, something promised will be fulfilled - v2: Paul is certain therefore he rejoices in this hope - Our being right with God produces something very positive - We can rejoice in troubles. v3 - Why? Because troubles help us and not hinder us. Ultimately troubles lead you to more hope - How? Firstly, Christians are expected to go through persecution/troubles because you are a Christian. John 16:33 - As soon you are a friend of God, you are an enemy to the world - Tribulation - Tribulum : Farming tool that separates kernel from the wheat by pressure - Christians will have more trouble than anyone else in the world but yet they can rejoice
WHY? 1. Troubles produces endurance v3 - Endurance is the ability to get on top (Eg: athlete)
2. Endurance produces character - Character = Fruit has come to maturity (Ripen) OR Refine: To have gone through fire like gold that is pure - Hudson Taylor's wife end of life began to go blind but instead said, "God must be putting the final touch to my life"
3. Character produces hope - What justification can do to a person is when he gets to the point where sufferings are productive! - Where you can bring more confidence than before - And this hope DOESN'T disappoint us! v5 (People do)
3. WE HAVE LOVE - Love is related to our hope (Looking forward eagerly to Heaven) - We have a taste of Heaven by having the Holy Spirit in us that gave us this love - The Holy Spirit is a downpayment from God here on earth a taste of heaven with the confidence for much more to come in Heaven - As soon as we are justified, we begin to divinely love for the first time - Human love will die for a good man. Divinely love will die for a bad man, ungodly, sinners. v7-8 - Human love is dependent on attractiveness. - Human love for a good cause will lay down his life. Divine love for enemies, strangers
Summary - Love, peace and hope lies in a justified believers only - Qn: What relevance is Christianity now? Not just distant future when we escape the wrath of God... What can Christianity help me now? - First, one day, we all will face the Judge. Secondly, the blessings are ours when we are right with God - Now, we are able to live through promised troubles/sufferings because of the blessings that produce endurance/character/hope (ie: Fruitfulness)
1. SCRIPTURES: Rom 5:6-21
2. STUDY - Christianity is a matter of life and death (death and life actually) - Christ's death and His life afterwards and our death and life afterwards - v1-5: Largely concern with our feelings, things that are within us - v6-21: concerned with facts outside ourselves. - feelings must be based on facts. Faith must be built on facts not feelings
CHRIST'S DEATH AND LIFE - We talk abt the life and death of famous people but for JC, it's death and life - For everybody else life is the beginning but for JC, death is the beginning of His work 1) DEATH - v6-8: Shows 2 things. Our attitude to Him when He died for us and His attitude towards us - Our attitude : Enemies/Sinners/Ungodly. Christ died for such - In spite of the fact of our attitude to Him, He still died for us - Humans in some rare occasions will die for others but divine love cause Christ to die for us who are so bad 2) LIFE - v9-11: Christ died for me and now also lived for me - Once a mortal man die for another, that's all he can do. He no longer can live for him anymore - But Christ is different. We are saved by Christ living for me too - As we live here on earth, we have a living Christ who is now here to help/intercede/guide us
- v6 : HELPLESS/POWERLESS = Used to describe babies, crippled, corpse - While we are totally helpless, Christ died and living for us now
- v12-21 : Jesus's life after death is the focal point here - How can the death of Jesus' death 2000 years ago save me here and now? - ANS: By the sin of 1 man Adam, sin came. By the act of 1 man Jesus, sin erased
- To think that we are affected by others, is very offensive. But we are living in a community - Truth: 1 man's action will affect others somehow... Our actions have a profound effect on others
OUR DEATH - We all will physically die - However God never intended for anyone to die - But death came into the world because of 1 man by 1 thing he did - v12 1) Sin CAME into the world. Evil started outside the world, a invasion from outside 2) Sin came into the world through 1 man. (Therefore we first have to believe Adam (mankind) exist) - Description of the EVIL that 1 man Adam did > Trespass = Illegally crossing over to forbidden territories of others > Transgression - To break a known command > Disobedience = Disobey someone else > Sin 3) Death through sin - That's the point when man begins to die when the trespass happened - Those who trespass, transgress, disobey don't deserve to live forever because they will spoil God's perfect world - Through that, death spread to the whole human race - That's why death is universal throughout the whole human race 4) Because all man sinned (What's the meaning?) > Man repeated Adam's folly - by touching those that which they aren't supposesd to? No > Man inherited Adam's nature - by receiving the sin nature? True but not this verse meant. No > In Adam, in fact we all did sin.
- Obviously true that all of us were physically in Adam because we are all his seeds. True physically and spiritually - That's why death spread to everybody - v13-13: The law given to Adam to not eat of the tree was broken once and cannot be broken again. - The law of Moses was given much later. There's a gap - Technically, there's no law of God to break between Adam and Moses' time and yet during that time people still die - Because the sentence has been passed because of Adam, all man sinned and face the consequence of death even without breaking the law - That's the fact even though it looks unfair. Innocent people, babies will die. All because of 1 man
- Conversely, because human race is all linked together, the same truth of through 1 man Jesus, everybody is righteous - So equally, it's not fair for God to do that if you want to argue fairness - Unless we believe that through 1 man's act of disobedience, all die, we cannot believe that through 1 man's obedience, we can all live - It cannot be argument 1 where we copy Adam's folly because there's no way we can copy Christ's righteousness. It's impossible - We are in Adam, therefore we die. Now for those who are in Christ, we are righteous
- If you are in Christ, then on that hill of Calvary, you die - If you are in Adam, then on that day of Gen3, I ate that fruit - Therefore Paul created a comparison of pattern here. - Just like Adam being the 1st man connected to the human race that brings the whole humanity to death, a 2nd Adam connected to the human race to bring a new humanity to life
- v15-21 reveals the contrast of the life in Adam and in Christ 1) Contrast no 1 - Adam's sin robs you of life. Christ's righteousness gives you life - v15: Free gift (Common gimmick in shopping ctr). Cost is built back to customer - v16: There's only 1 free gift in life that came through Christ
2) Contrast no 2 - Adam's 1 act led to the condemnation of all man. Christ's 1 act led to the justification of all man - v16-17 Adam's act led to slavery. Death becomes our king. It reigns in Adam - But in Christ, you reign over life. v17, 18-19
- When the law came, sin increases - Where sin increases, grace abounds much more - God is a God of the how much more - If Adam brought death to me, how much more Christ brings life - There are only 2 man in God's sight - In Adam or In Christ where all Man hangs
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 6: 1-14
2. STUDY - The only exercise some people do is only jumping to conclusion - Unfortunately when the Gospel is preached, people jumped to the wrong conclusion - WRONG CONCLUSION: If good works before conversion don't count, then bad works after your conversion don't count either. If it's all by faith, then it doesn't matter how I live - It's true that our sin doesn't bring us to condemnation now in Christ - But it is not logical and true to say it doesn't matter how you live. It matters greatly!
- 2 false conclusion being said about God accepts you not because of what you do but because of your faith - Paul started by quoting what others had misquoted him (By using 'what then' and then he said I never meant that...Then he said, "Don't you know v3, 15) - A Christian who thinks that it doesn't matter how you live after you get converted doesn't know certain things - If you know those things, you will know it matters how you live!
1) The first group of people thinks this way. - We must keep on sinning because the more I sin, the more I will be forgiven more. I'm helping God to forgive more - ILL: I wish I can be that drunkard so that I experience the grace of God for deliverance - It's true that where sin abound, the grace of God abounds even more. v1 - But that doesn't justify sin, it only justify the sinner - It's not continuing in sin that produces more grace. There's no reason we continue sinning after being a Christian - Paul was teaching this by explaining this truth and then showing the application of the principles - Principle : God put you in Christ and you like a cube of sugar melts completely dissolved in Him - Particularly putting you in His death and resurrection - When Christ died on Calvary you die, when He came up of the tomb, you came out - When Adam died you die. Similarly in Christ, what He experienced, these happened to us
First step : Christ died, and we die. When we die, our sins are broken. There's nothing else can be done to a dead man - Christ died to sin and to the law. He was absolutely finished with the law, sin and everything else - When Christ died, every believer in Christ is finished with everything in sin - Satan can't touch you because you are dead. Sin can't do a thing to you - ILL: Alcohol kills a man. Once man die, alcohol has no effect/grip over this dead man anymore. - When Christ died, He died once over sin and sin has no sting anymore
- Water Baptism - Paul assumed that every Christian is baptized in those days - Wasn't essential for salvation but essential for obedience - Paul said, "Don't you know when all of you were baptized...." - When we were baptized, we were buried in death. We buried people only when we believe people are already dead - Baptism baptizes us into Christ's death. Our own life is dead and put away (Buried)
- Christ didn't stay there in the tomb. He rose again - Death in Christ is instantaneous and ends instantly, Life in Christ is continuous. It goes on - I identify BOTH in Christ's death and also in His life. My life has no more connection with the old self. v5-7 - Satan has no right to talk to you because you are dead and no longer belong to Him - Sin is still alive but you are not alive to sin but dead to sin - Your new life has nothing to do with Satan - ILL: Did bad in school. Got into trouble with the schoolmaster. But after I left school, he has no right over my life now..." - You are no longer under law anymore. You are dead and a corpse can't respond to Satan
- Many asked, "How can I overcome sin in my life? Tell yourself you already have. Christ conquered it for you. You are dead already" - Next time you are tempted by Satan, tell him he has no hold on you. You are already dead to sin. Satan has no authority over you anymore - You are not under law anymore by you still choose to live by it because the law of love filled your heart now - How can we who already died to sin continue in sin anymore. It's not possible.
HOW CAN YOU WORK THIS OUT IN PRACTICE? (By doing something with your mind and body) MIND - v11 : Reckon (Count yourself) dead to sin in Christ - Judge this truth by fact and not feeling and settle this in your mind once and for all that your mind accepts this
BODY - Spiritually, you are dead to your sin (The pic of baptism about burial) - Your spirit is new and alive - Let this happen to you mentally as well - Then also do something to your body too. 1 Thess 5:23 - v12: Before, you gave your body parts to Satan and he used your body. Imagine how much sin is done through that - Paul says don't let sin tell your body what to do anymore - v13 : Our body described as instruments (weapons/surgical instrument) to be put into the hands of the Operator (Satan or God) - This world is a big operation theatre for Satan to operate and his operation kills every time - Give your body to be instruments for God to use instead! - Our bodies are the instruments (weapons) that Satan use to hurt other people. Don't give this body to Satan
- If you realise that you are spiritually alive, accepts this in your mind and yield your body to God, sin will have NO (not less, not fewer) dominion over you! v14 - The next time you are tempted, or sinful nature surface - Reckon yourself as dead and give your body to God (Try it!) - Such is the answer Paul gave to those who think that to sin more is so that God will give more grace. Paul says never
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 6:15-7:6
2. STUDY - Paul dealing with wrong conclusion of Christians that led them to lead wrong lives - 6:14 : the law can never touch the man who is justified ever again - God justifies the sinner but will NEVER justify the SIN (He wont say sin is alright) - God will take a murderer/thief/adulterer and say they are alright (justified) but we can't assume the act of sin is alright
- The more man sin, the more grace is available to him (Paul addressed the wrong application of this truth) - v14 - The Christian is finished with the 10 commandment (We may be thinking that's dangerous thing to say cos it may lead to licentiousness) - You are not under the punishment and prohibition of the 10 commandment - Some people think since they are not under the law, they can go on sinning... (They have miss the point) - Paul emphasized again by no means we go on sinning because we are under grace - Paul used 2 human examples to illustrate the concept of under grace and law - Paul started by saying, "Don't you know..." v6:16, 7:1 - Ignorance is the roadblock to growth. We need to be equipped with the knowledge of the Word
Our relationship with the Lord is described in these 2 earthly terms 1) SLAVE to his master in slavery - You have absolutely no right yourself. Your master Lord has absolutely right to every part of your life - Slave completely belong to the master - (Lest you think this is a bad thing) Our God is a good master. He looks after us
How to become a slave? - You can be born into slavery, forced into it or you can sell yourself into slavery for money - Once sold, they relinquish their complete rights
How to get out of slavery - Once slave dies, he freed himself from that slavery - The master sells slave away
- v16: When we chose to offer ourselves to Him, we belong to Him completely, everything - v18: We are set free from the slavery of our old life. He gave us freedom to do good while we are still slaves to Him (Irony) - We are just not free to do evil anymore as now we are enslaved to Christ my righteousness - v23: Wages/Free Gift - Military Term. Soldier gets wages and at times get bonuses from royalty for something they didn't work for - When you are slaves of sin, your master Satan worked you to death. That's what you got paid. - When you become a slave to God, he welcomed you in by giving you a door gift - Eternal life - When you have this understanding, you will not even think of going on sinning. Don't misunderstand this relationship with our Lord
2) WIFE to her husband in marriage - When you choose a Husband, it is a total commitment - Tilll death do us part - Marriage commitment is bound by time. Starts on wedding day and ends on death - Paul's illustration is that we are married to an irritating husband and now we have found a nicer husband. We can't switch!
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 7:7-25
2. STUDY - Here we see a man desiring to lead a better life but couldn't do it - But it's not that simple. There are 3 questions that people ask about this chapter that itself has stirred up debate
1. Is Paul speaking about his own personal experience or is he speaking generally about other people? 2. Is Paul talking about the struggles he knew before he got converted or struggles after he became a Christian? 3. Is the struggle/tension of wanting to do the right thing but can't do it an occasional thing or a continuous thing till you die? ANS: Both
1. Is Paul speaking about his own personal experience or is he speaking generally about other people?
- Paul used the prefix "I". But "I" is used to refer to general audience. - Paul used "I" 30 times. Paul is being very personal at this point - This is the first time Paul is using "I" in his letter - v24 Here's a display of deep personal feeling. You don't talk like this if you are only describing a general person - This passage tally with what we know of Paul of his life struggles - But this is also consistent with how many of us are feeling or experiencing too - It brings the general person to be able to identify with Paul that they too have a similar problem
- The emphasis of this chapter is on "LAW". What can law do to you? Only 2 things - A dead soul and divided self - The law (613 commandments) is what Paul lived his life around. - The centre of the Jew's religion is the law - hearing it and keeping it - It was every Jew's way of being saved by keeping the law - But Paul is saying something nasty about the law in every chapter > Chapter 2 - condemns you > Chapter 3 - can't justify you > Chapter 4 - brings wrath to your life > Chapter 5 - makes people sin worse. It increases trespasses > Chapter 6 - you are finished with the law and not under it anymore > Chapter 7 - you are dead to the law and thereby discharged from it
- The proposition seems that Paul may be saying the law is bad and does all these bad to me - So Paul began to address "Is the law sin?" - No! - The law is good and just. There's nothing wrong with the law. Only something wrong with me. - The law exposes the bad in me - Illustration : Sun is the law, when it shines on the soil (Me) with seeds of sin, the seeds grow and surface. Is the sun then bad? No!
- v7-13 describes Paul before his conversion - Paul once didn't know the law. He was alive. (When he was a little boy) - Chapter 5:13, where there is no law, sin is not counted - He was also in a state of impenitence (not feeling shame or regret about one's actions) because he has no sense of sin and punishment - Yet all that time, there was sin in him but it was dormant. He had no idea he was a sinner. He was happy, carefree and live a conscience free life. - When Paul became 13, he went through Bar Mitvah ceremony - a rite of adulthood - A boy at 12 year brought into the synagogue to be made a son of the law. Because hes' old enough. He comes then under the law - The boy is now very proud because he is an adult now. Rabbi will tell them, God will save you if you keep the law - What happened when the law came into Paul's life? It killed him - Paul said he made 3 discoveries 1. He discovered the identity of sin. He knew at last what is sin because the law describes what's sinful (ie: what's greed, pride, etc) 2. He discovered the importunity (persistent, esp. to the point of annoyance or intrusion) of sin It keeps pounding in until you do what you didn't want to do) - If God knew that the law has such a bad effect on me, why did he give it then? - The answer is in the 3rd thing. 3. He discovered the immensity of sin (How dreadful sin is) - But this discovery is a good thing. Because until you see the immensity of sin, how could you see the wonder of the Savior? - Until you see how bad you really are, how will you come to the Savior? - Until you are able to see how horrible sin is, how can you be awaken to want to be set free from it? (Illustration : Pic on cigarette pack, & other horrible advertisement like drink driving, etc)
- As long as I'm carefree and ignorant of the horrible sinful state I'm in, I will not come to the Savior. So God got to do something to show it - So God gave the law. It's for our own good - Shocker Statement : "God didn't give us the law to keep but to break it!!!" - vs14 pinpoints the heart of the problem : the law is good and I'm bad - Now comes a description of an awful conflict in him - Conflict is between Paul's inside and outside (Inner self/Outer self, Mind and Members of his body) - My mind inside wants to go this way, my member wants to do other wise - My mind loves to do good, but my member likes to do evil (Awful position) - Paul isn't a split personality but a spastic > His mind is one - that is to do good. His mind is not split like a split personality > His mind however can't control his body ==> Spastic (You can't tell a spastic to walk straight cos his mind can't control his body)
- It's a mystery to Paul on this condition. Why is it that I want to walk right with God but I can't control my body to do it? - Paul wasn't struggling with circumstances or people but himself within!
ILLUSTRATION: A murderer in Paul's time was punished by carrying the dead body of his victim for life on him to remind him of what he has done. - v24: Paul feels like that when he says that "Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? I got this dead burden on my body that can't do good" - He can't shake free this dead body that's attached to him who is prone and full capable of sinning - Is there deliverance? Thank God there is!
2. Is Paul talking about the struggles he knew before he got converted (unbeliever) or struggles after he became a Christian (believer)? - The answer is BOTH
A) Why Paul is talking about an unsaved person? - Certain verses seemed to be talking about an unsaved person (v14, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25) - Some people say how can a converted Christian talked like that? Surely unconverted - Paul was obviously speaking about his life as a growing up boy, so surely he continued speaking abt his unconverted life in this progression - Paul stopped trying to keep the law at the point of his conversion. So he was describing his unconverted state
- Basically Paul was describing a sinner who knew what it takes to get right with God and desperately trying hard enough to achieve that on his own - In other words, there were 3 stages of Paul's life Stage 1 : He didn't know there's the law and so led a free happy life Stage 2 : He knew the law, broke them and sinned Stage 3 : He knew how wrong he was and desperately tried to keep the law and failed
- So it's argued that Paul in this chapter was struggling with the 3rd stage before he knew Christ the One who redeems - And when one comes to Christ, the struggles ends when we look to Christ's goodness rather than ours - Is it really a struggle of an unbeliever? Then why Christians are also struggling too???
B) Why Paul is talking about a saved person? - Certain verses seemed to be talking about a saved person (v18, 19, 21) - From v14 onwards, verses in present tense. Before that v7-13 past tense. Strong reason to believe Paul was talking about his present Christian life - From chapter 4 onwards, Paul primarily speaking to believers. So if this portion is not talking to believers as well, it will be inconsistent - They are scriptures in other places where Paul talks abt this kind of struggles as a Christian (Gal 5:16-17, 1 Pet 2:11)
- This struggle is though our spirit is new. But our body is still the old self struggling - Though I got a new life, I still got problem with my old habits - We still got a mortal body but Paul instructed that we don't let sin reign - In principle I'm dead to sin but in practice we are not
- But we have a way out in Chapter 8
3. Is the struggle/tension of wanting to do the right thing but can't do it an occasional thing or a continuous thing till you die? - The complete redemption of our body is in the future. - One day we will have a perfect body with no bad habits, and no lust for the flesh - But there is also a present deliverance from this power of sin - The struggle between flesh and spirit will always be with you in this life but the POSSIBILITY of conquest is also real - We can go on conquering in this life. We are not sinless but we can go on sinning less....
- Vs 25 tells us how we got into this struggle. - If we know how we go into it, we know how to get out of it - How then did anyone get into this struggle. The answer is this simple phrase, "I of myself..." - Whenever you try to do something BY YOURSELF, you will land up in this situation - A non-believer who tries to gain salvation by himself ==> He fails... - A believer who tries to please God by himself ==> He fails... - The Christian is saved from faith to faith. It's not from faith to trying - When I tried to do it with my own strength, you will find yourself having the mind to want to do it but the flesh says otherwise - What we need is the power of the Holy Spirit - That's why in Chapter 8 - The law of the spirit of life. In Christ Jesus sets me free from the law of sin and death - There is a way of deliverance for the believers which is in the power of the Holy Spirit
1. SCRIPTURES: Rom 8:1-13
2. STUDY - Chapter 7 portrays a wretched unhappy man but Chapter 8 portrays a man of victory - How to live as a man of victory free from the struggles in Chapter 7 - Words "I" and "law" (by vs 4) are all gone in chapter 8 - Words "spirit" that appears once in chatper 7 appears 12 times in chapter 8 - POINT: Get the "I" out and get into the "Spirit" - Key to your victory
- Chapter 5,6,7 = negative (Dead to sin, law) - Chapter 8 = positive (Alive in Spirit of life) - Life is what you are alive to... - Secret of the christian life is to realise what you are dead to and alive to
- 2 pairs of words which go together - Flesh vs Spirit, Death vs Life - "IN" also appears 15 times. This is also a Key word (IN Christ)
v1-4 - Conquest over sin Paul enjoys - Paul describes the relief that came because he was in Christ What 2 relief? 1. Now there is no condemnation from sin 2. Now there is no compulsion to sin
1. Now there is no condemnation from sin - v1 gives the assurance when a Christian sin, it doesn't put him back under the wrath of God - Tremendous comfort for those Christian who falls - Condemnation = punishment to face, judgment day is in the past
2. Now there is no compulsion to sin - There is now no compulsion to sin because the Spirit of life has set you free - Illustration : Iron ball pull down by law of gravity but law of magnetism more powerful and pull ball up - POINT: The law of Spirit of life v2 more powerful than law of sin
v3-4 tells you why there is no condemnation and compulsion
- v3 contains 4 great statements about Christ and why we are not condemned 1. His Existence- He existed before and was sent 2. His Divinity - He is the Son of God 3. His Incarnation in the LIKENESS of sinful flesh 4. His Atonement - As a sin offering He did these 4 things that He might condemned sin. Our sin already condemned so that we don't have to be condemned
- v4 tells us why we have no compulsion - The law is still to be met. - God's purpose to fulfill the law in me still stand but instead of requiring me to fulfill, Christ fulfilled it on our behalf - Instead of requiring us to live it out, He put His Spirit in us to enable us to do so - God doesn't demand things from us from now on. He enables us now. He provides the means to do so - To conquer chapter 7, we need the POWER of the Spirit
v5-8 : Paul drew a contrast between those who walk in the Spirit (spiritual) and those in the flesh (carnal) - How do we know whether a personal is carnal or spiritual > By the conduct of their bodies outside church (Their walk) > By the content of the mind (Their thoughts) - 2 Result of walking in the flesh 1. Death. v6 - A mind in the flesh finds spiritual things dull like prayer, etc. It will get you further and further away from God 2. Hostility v7 - just can't please God.
v9-13 : It is not automatic that a Christian walks in the Spirit. There's a condition - Word "If" appears 5 times. There are 2 significant IFs 1. If you have a right relationship with Christ - Are you a real Christian at all? v9 - Measurement : He who has the Spirit of Christ. - 2 Things happen when we have the Spirit of Christ A) Your spirit comes alive. You are interested in the things of God. v10 B) Your bodies will be made alive. v11
2. If you have a right response to this relationship - Are we following Him? - If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit, Paul says.... Gal 5:25 - We now as believers got a debt to pay (v12), that is we owe to the Holy Spirit to follow Him - There is a discipline to practise - Thought there is now no condemnation but it doesn't say there is now no temptation/sin - The discipline is to put to death the misdeeds of your body. v13
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 14-27
2. STUDY Paul talks about 3 things that are stringed together. 1. Our relationship with God as sons 2. Paul talks about the universe we live in 3. Paul talks about the Christian difficulty with prayer But what's the connection of these 3?
- 1 word keeps appearing before but now it's no longer mentioned now from v14 onwardsd - Flesh - Now we walk in the Spirit. (The emphasis in this portion) - 2 things happens when we really live in the Spirit 1. Our relationship with God as our Father 2. Our attitude towards the future is very different that is filled with joy, hope, confidence and groans and cries. (IE: Tremendous tension)
- This portion of living in the Spirit is applicable only for real Christian - If we don't understand all these, then we got to contemplate whether we are believers yet
1. OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD AS SONS - We are heirs of God. v17 (Share illustration here) - The estate we inherit now is very powerful - Romans people took sonship/adoption very seriously - In Romans' culture this is how sonship works > Biological sons don't automatically become sons or heirs > father has to deliberate choose who he wants to be the heir > Can be 1 or more than 1 (Joint-heirs) > Can be own or outside biological family > Elaborate ceremony done with many witness > Those adopted in take on the new family's name > That means, he relinquishes his links with the previous family and all the connections with it and take on the new family's > Only then, the adopted son (bio or not) address father Father. Even bio sons will not address father unless he is legally rightfully chosen
- So Paul here used this as an illustration of our relationship with God. - God has chosen us to be His sons
1) He gives us the Holy Spirit to lead us from within - He gives us His Holy Spirit living inside us to guide us - We are no longer slaves. Slaves are pushed to obey 10 commandments. Sons are led - Sons are led from the inside but not the outside
- In Rom culture, every boy before coming of age has a paedagogus (schoolmaster/tutor) who's a slave in the house - He has duty to punish him if he breaks the house rules - Now the boy who is adopted, the schoolmaster is dismissed and led from within and not without - A son has Holy Spirit within leading him. A slave has a master outside telling him what to do - I don't obey God now because I fear His punishment, forces me to from outside. I obey because His Spirit within me leads me to do so
2) We are sure we are His sons - Every child desires this assurance from their parents - When a child is adopted/chosen as Son in the presence of many witness, he is given right to call his father, Father - The Holy Spirit was the witness of the adoption. And my spirit is another witness. v16 - "Cry out" - It means to shout out involuntarily. It's instinctive! (Illustration here) - When HS lives in you, you shout out your r/s with God and claim the rights that comes with it
1. SCRIPTURES : Rom 8:28-39
2. STUDY - v28, 39 most quoted yet often quoted out of context - It concerns your security but rest on God's sovereignty and must be read in context - This passage concerns predestination - Our protection in God depends on the sovereignty of God and HIs predestination - v28, 39 shows that our security is totally dependent on Him and not on us - God is absolutely in control - Therefore because God is sovereign, we can trust that everything will work for my good and nothing for my evil
v28-30 - Positive verses that God is absolutely in control of all things and all people - God brings the good. The evil can't touch us
1) GOD IS SOVEREIGN - First thing, God is on the throne reigning, in absolute authority - He is able to exercise providential care to his children. He can arrange things to work out for the good for his children - Like a chess game, He can use anything in His sovereignty. He can take the worse and turn it into good (Good Friday and death of Jesus)
- It doesn't say all things are good because somethings are evil. It works out FOR good - It doesn't say all things work out for our happiness (wealth/popularity/fame) - Few vs down, we see a Christian can suffer famine, danger, distress, tribulation, etc. Becoming a Christian doesn't make you immune from that - Even these things got can make for your good. He can make famine work for your good. For your good. For your holiness not happiness - He can use anything to make you a better person
v28 - To those who love him (Human side) - Called according to His Purpose (Divine side) - These 2 conditions must come together - However our love for God rest on the fact that He calls us. We can't love God unless He initiate his calling us to Him. We are incapable of loving him - You will be able to live your life trusting that all things are within God's control for my good even the evil things - Life will reach a harmony where we will not struggle with unpleasant things but knowing we become better in going through bad things because we love Him
- What's the basis of this promise? - The providence of God which is the controlling of all things for good and only for those who are called according to His purpose rest upon His predestination - Teaching of predestination is for our comfort and not for controversy, not logic but life, not explanation but experience - FOREKNEW (Armininian and Calvinism view) - The tension : Is my faith the cause of God's foreknowledge or the result of it? - Is the foreknowledge of God due to my choice or His? - Arminian : God's foreknowledge means that He knew you are going to believe by YOUR choice and therefore He's able to predestine your destiny - However that's not this meaning. Foreknew means it's God's choice that led to my faith and not my faith that led to His choice - Long before I could make the decision, God had already set His life upon me (based upon scriptures). He decided not me - You did not choose me but I chose you - Jesus - Foreknew means He knew me already
2 Important Questions to ask 1. Why did He choose us? - When He decided to foreknew you, he then plan (predestine) a destiny for you that's from the beginning - We were predestined to become like Jesus, a plan of holiness and not happiness - Why did He want more to be like Christ? Cos God wants a bigger family to love. v29
2. How did He choose us? - Who God foreknew, He calls. That's the point when God's predestination plan turn into an action. Before that you were 'dormant' - It's all what He did. He sees things through till the end. - v30 : Glorified is in the past tense. It's God's authority that He can say that a future event is complete. That's the certainty of God's power - And when God foreknew you, he will see it through that 1 day you will be glorified like Jesus Christ - That's the security we have. It's all God's work - foreknew, predestine, called, justified, glorified... - The more we realized it's all God's, the more we are assured because we can't make it. He can because God is sovereign.
2) WE ARE SECURE - God is on our side, we are on the winning side. v31 - If all depends on Him, then we are surely ok - There will be 2 things that will happened to you
1. What people say to you - v33 : There'll be people who will say nasty things about you, accusing, condemning you - Who can bring a charge against you? Only God and He won't because He already has made us right in Christ - If God has already given His Son to you, what else doesn't God give you? - If He didn't hesitate to do that, wouldn't He give you everything else? - Because of the gift of His Son, God acquitted us. So who else can charge us now? No one! - If anyone accuses us that we are evil, we have a counsel as the defense - Jesus Christ - Jesus Christ presenting the nail-pierced hands to God defending us - The Christian cannot never be prosecuted now.
2. What people do to you - Persecution, suffering. People can do anything to you because of Christ - "IN" (v37) all these things.... famines, persecutions, etc... Right in the middle of the battle, you are MORE than a victor - You are a victor when you overcome all these. You are MORE than a victor, when these things are actually used for your good - And that's what they are used to accomplish
- 1 more thing. - Not only are we undefeated, but we are undivided from the love of God - If Satan can create a wedge between us and God, he can destroy us - Paul began to list all the possibilities of things or enemies of man that can separate... v38 - But nothing separates us from the love of GOD. - v38 Paul was ABSOLUTELY convinced for Paul for 20 years was battling with these things by his own personal experience - And He was completely sure nothing can drive away the love of God from him
SUMMARY - Believer is absolutely secure but rested in the sovereignty of God - So when we have doubts, we come back to this truth - Chapter 8 started with no condemnation and ended with no separation but it's IN CHRIST JESUS - Conversely it's true.... Outside Christ... Condemned, Separate - He that has the Son has life, he that has not the Son doesn't have life. 1 John 5:12
SCRIPTURES : Roms 9:1-29
STUDY - How does the Jews fit in? They are chosen by God yet like being forgotten by God. - What's their future and is that any plans for them? - Chapter 9 is a continuation of Chapter 8. - 8 says nothing will separate us from love of God but 9 presents a seemingly abandoned Jews by God
- For Paul, it's a personal problem because he himself is a Christian Jew - He sees his own relatives lost. (He was agonized) - Paul dealt with so far the sins of the gentiles (Ch1) and Jews (Ch2-3) and then the salvation of the gentiles. (Ch4-8) - So at this point, he has to address the salvation of the Jews. (Ch9-11)
Paul's Sorrow - Chapter 8 you see Paul happy about the unseparable love of God but in Chapter 9 he is in sorrow for his people - You should be first concerned for your own people - Paul wished he could be separate from Christ if that would save his fellow countrymen (And expression of his love and sorrow) - It's a love like this that would make a chance for people's loved ones come to Jesus higher. What a compassion Paul has - The right response of understanding sovereign election should not be one of "hell to you and thank God I'm saved" but in humility say, "I would wish I could change place with you. I wish I can get you to accept this gift of salvation."
- Now the agony of Paul was not just for his people but the fact that Israel was in a better position than any other nation. v4 (Look at the list even Christ) - Illustration : A mother with much love prepared lots of goodies for child in his party. Child completely dislike it. Mother gave all the food to dog. Jesus said it's not right that this for Israel is given to the dog when the Gentile woman wanted. - That's how Paul was feeling here. The Gentiles like a dog lapped up all the goodness that was for the Jews first. He was grieved
- Did God's Word fail? No. It was His people who failed. v6 - Now Paul gave 3 objections to that
1. God never gave this promise to all Jews but only some - Jew think because they were descendants of Abraham, they were ok but not true. Promise not to whole Israel. - Promise not to those who share Abraham's blood but to those who share his faith. Promise is to spiritual sons not physical sons - Likewise, just because we are born into a Christian family doesn't make us auto recipients of God's promise. - Paul illustrated this through the life of Abraham and his sons - Abraham had 7 children, Ismael, Isaac and 5 others - Mothers - Hagah, Sarah, Ketura - Only 1 inherited the promise. Why? Only that one had been born according to God's will - Next Gen : Isaac/Rebecca bore 2 sons. Only 1 Jacob inherited the promise though by rule Esau the older one should inherited - God planned it entirely by His choice. - And down through the Jewish nation, God's chose who inherited the promise - God had a chosen remnant from the Jews - This raised the issue of fairness predestination. Is it not fair of God to choose certain people over others?
- A person who accuses God as unfair/unjust doesn't know God. - God is fair/just. In fact God is not fair to even choose any to start with. IE: None of us deserves to be chosen - Therefore you cannot say God is unfair when He chooses some - Illustration: Jesus' parables - The one who was paid the same at the 11th hr. ==> Not fair right? - God's sovereignty gave him to right to have mercy on who He wants to give mercy. v14 - It's His choice to choose who He expressed His mercy upon (Moses) and wrath upon (Pharoah who deserved it) and it's totally just/fair of Him - We have a wrong thinking that it's human right to receive mercy. - Bible Teaching - It's God's free will and not man's free will. God is absolutely free to choose anyone for mercy or for power
- Now there's an objection.... v19 - If it's God's will or choosing, he can't blame me and make me be responsible for my sin - MUST MAKE A POINT HERE: We are absolutely responsible for our sin not God. - How did Paul answer this objection? - The problem is not with such a question "Then why does God still blame us v19" but with the questioner who is not rightly relating with God - Paul used an illustration of the potter/clay. The clay has no right to resist/question how the potter would fashion it... - We have to realize God is God and man is man. We need to be put in our rightful place - If it takes God to choose 1 person to demonstrate his wrath and another to demonstrate his mercy, who are we to answer back? - Man has to be humbled to be able to cry out for mercy!
- Another illustration: Jesus decides to wash Peter's feet. Peter wants to tell God what to do to wash all his feet - God has a purpose behind all the reason of choosing some Jews and not others - To use the Jews to give a double demonstration of His justice/mercy to the people outside the Jewish race - Look at the Jewish race, you see God's surety in His justice and His mercy. - So that the Gentile race is drawn to God through the example of the Jews - Paul emphasized this point by quoting Hosea that God will call Gentiles my people too - Paul emphasized again through Isaiah that not all Jews will be saved. - If indeed God is just, not a Jew would be walking on earth today. It's His mercy that some will be saved. - God chose a remnant. If God exercise His justice only, Israel will be just like Sodom/Gomorrah
Conclusion - There must be a balance understanding of God's nature of just/rightness/fair/grace/mercy/purposeful - Treat God with the right reverence
SCRIPTURES - Rom 9:30 - 10:21
STUDY - Most ironic thing in 9-11 is Israel trying so hard to find Him missed Him. While others not looking for Him found Him. Agony to Paul - So many promises made to the Jews, yet it was the Gentiles who also inherited these promises. How do we answer this irony? - Chapter 9 - Divine Sovereignty - God chooses - Chapter 10 - Human Responsibility - Both must happen together. Our human mind is too small to comprehend both. But Bible teaches both. - The reason why the Jews are not getting their blessings is both due to God's choice and their choice together
- Paul tried to argue/convince by quoting scriptures familiar to the Jews - Law/Prophets/Psalms - Why Gentile who weren't even seeking God found Him and Jews who desperately finding Him miss Him
- What went wrong with the Jews?
1. Jews are most religious people. But they sought God the wrong way - By their works v6 - Unfortunately, no one can fulfill the Law - Paul at this point says, they have stumbled upon a stumbling rock. Isa 8:14 - Rock = Christ. Illustration : Flood of Judgement is coming. Those who are on the Rock will be saved. - A stumbling rock for the Jews because it overturns the Jew's idea of getting salvation
- Chap 10:1 : Paul prayed for Israel to be saved. Predestination doesn't knock prayer out. We still pray - v2 : Zeal/Enthusiasm/Sincerity is not enough. It doesn't save. - Illustration : Using wrong method to try to heal foot. But make it worse... - Other faiths sincerely wrong how they try to get to God - Jews were the most religious people but they were still lost - In other words, any thing that we do doesn't save.
- v5 : Moses say not just know the Law but to live by it. (It's doomed to fail) - v 7-8 : Paul told Jews that they don't have to by their effort go up heaven, go down hell but know that Christ had done it all for them. Just believe - Don't try to do anything. He's near us. Just believe and accept Him - v9-10 : How to accept Him? 2 things - Outside and Inside - Heart inside to believe. Mouth outside publicly proclaim. Real faith will come out. - Faith is in the resurrection too besides the death of Christ. Faith in an alive Christ now. - v11-13 : So Paul quotes OT again - no one will be put to shame, everyone who calls will be saved regardless of Jews/Gentiles. - It's a human response by faith for anyone
2. Jews and the communication of the Gospel - Calling depends on believing, believing depends on hearing, hearing depends on sending - Which one has gone wrong with the Jews? - Calling stems from sending at the beginning. ==> Preaching is still important. We got to be sent to preach - The Jews didn't believe, therefore didn't respond to the call - Paul mentioned OT, exalting those who bring the Gospel to the lost. God uses people with 'feet', people who would go... v15 - v16 - But Jews still didn't believe the report. (v16 is from Isa 53 whom Jews refused to read cos it's Christian chapter) - Jews knew perfectly well what the Gospel is but never heeded it - Paul now quote Psa 19 - Just like the sun that is so visible, the Gospel is like that to the Jews. The Jews have heard but never heed
- v19 : God said I make you jealous by making 'foolish' nations understand. Simple people can understand the Gospel while intellectual people find such difficulty - You make me jealous by going after other gods, I make you jealous by going after other people. - v20 : Isa bold to say that those who didn't seek God found Him while those Jews who are seeking yet didn't find Him - v21 : God reaching out to His people yet they were disobedient and wouldn't come by faith. It's their fault
- APPLICATION : Those who hear, to heed. And go so that others may hear...
SCRIPTURES : Rom 11
STUDY - Paul is a Jewish jew and now he is a christian jew - Chapter 9-11 shows Paul intense love for His own people Jews - Why as a Christian Gentile be bothered with this chapters 9-11? - The question we have to ask ourselves : Has God finished with the Jews?" v1 NEVER! Psa 94 - v2 : His People means (Church - Replacement Theology? No!) the Jews - Paul made 3 pts to answer this question more fully - God's rejection of the Jews was never total in the past, not fatal in the present, not final for the future
1. GOD'S REJECTION OF THE JEWS WAS NEVER TOTAL IN THE PAST 1. Paul say look at me. God didn't reject a Israelite like me 2. Paul say God didn't forsake His people in the example of Elijah by keeping 7000. He held on to us not we hold on to Him 3. Paul say even in the present, God held on to a remnant of converted Jews. v5 - Not due to merit but due to grace not works
- v8 the rest God blinded/harden because they will not heed the Gospel (v8-10)
2) GOD'S REJECTION OF THE JEWS WERE NEVER FATAL IN THE PRESENT - Therefore they are stumbling till today - But v11 they stumble only but yet not fall. - Now at this point Paul switched to the present - It may seemed that Paul made a mistake in choosing the Jews and made them to stumble - It's all God's doing so that through that brings the Gentiles to salvation also - It was the Jewish persecution of the church that spread them out to spread the Gospel - Paul would first preach the Gospel to the Jews. They rejected. Because of that, Paul switched to the Gentiles. - Imagine, the Jews were more receptive, the Gospel may be just kept to the Jews! - God's purpose isn't thwarted but fulfilled - However what will happen if every Jew in the world believe in Christ?
- So God made Jew jealous to provoke them desiring the Gospel - I magnify my ministry how many Gentile converts there are so to save some Jews. v13 - But then Paul switched to address the Gentiles to tell them don't be proud because they got the Gospel - He reminded them with a illustration on dough and root that if the remnant is special, how much more the nation of Israel - God sees Israel special
- Then Paul gives them a horticulture lesson - Paul seemed amateur in horticulture to put a wild olive into a cultured one - But experts tells us you take a wild olive branch and grafted into a cultivated one to invigorate it (To make it bear more fruit) - God's tree of Israel failed Him. No fruit. So God cut out the branch and grafted wild olive tree into it - So don't boast about this Gentiles because they are still supported by the Jewish roots - Got to learn Jewish/Hebrew culture to understand this Jewish God better (Example the Psalms) - And Gentiles are reminded the continual kindness to them is activated by faith and their treatment will be the same as the unbelieving Jews - The kindness and severity of God put into perspective in the element of faith - Paul reminded them 1 day the Jews will come back in
- v25 - Mystery is not because no one understand. But because no one knew and God will help us to understand - The mystery (Secret) is 1 day God will bring the whole Israel back in. We need to think of the Jews - Gentiles and Jews is bound up with each other
- OT revealed this (Isa, Jer, Eze). That one day God will restore the whole Israel - God has fixed a number of Gentiles that He planned to save. And when the number is complete, the Gospel goes back to the Jewish nation - How can God accomplish this for the Jews? How would the Jews believe? - Ans : Just like Paul at road to Damascus. When the Jews faced Christ their deliverer as their own Christ (v26), they'll accept - They will be grafted back in
- 2 attitudes toward the Jews now 1. They are enemies to the Gospel now and therefore the presence of the enmity. They were enemies for Gentiles sake. v28 2. In the future, they are the beloved. And so beloved overcomes the enmity
- God's call and gift are irrevocable. v29 - God will keep His promise - When we become disobedient, He allowed us, He didn't restrain us so to fulfill His purpose/plan of MERCY for the Jews or the Gentiles. v32
- Predestination may be far too deep for ours to understand fully but it's there. - Paul ends with acknowledging the depths of His riches, wisdom of His knowledge in His redemption plans for the Jews/Gentiles - Everything is from Him and through Him that we give glory to God forever
- History Recap > Roman Church started with a few Jews. Because most Jews rejected the Gospel > Jewish Christians banished by Nero and Gentile Christians flourish > 14 years later Jew came back and we see a Jew/Gentile Church > God has His ways of bring all man to Him
SCRIPTURES : Rom 12
STUDY: - This chapter is full of practical advice, easy to understand - The difficulty is not on understanding it but doing what it is saying - Rom 1st half is doctrine. 2nd half duty. Principle + Practices. Conversion + Consecration. Believe + Behaviour - Notice the order. We don't begin with behavior but belief first. Belief produces Behavior - But the 2 things must go together with this particular order
- Paul now started by appealing/begging the Gentiles on only 1 ground - on the ground of gratitude - He's appealing to them not because Paul had brought the Gospel to them or others but only by the MERCIES of God. v1 - Meaning purely by God's part and not by any thing we do.
- He's appealing to Christians (brethren) and cannot be non believers for non believers has nothing to give thanks to for they are not recipients of his mercy - If you do know the mercies of God, you will respond to this appeal - Chapters divide into 3 parts. 1) To have right attitude to God 2) to yourself 3) to others
1) RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARDS GOD - Ch 1 -11 largely deals with the soul/spirit. But Ch12 starts dealing with body/mind - Salvation begins with your soul. Now God works on your body and mind because He wants all of you - However He desires that we voluntary present our bodies. v1 and not force us to - In the OT, if you want to worship God, you got to present a dead body to God as a sacrifice - In the NT, you don't need to bring a dead body of sacrifice to God any more. Jesus is the last Lamb of sacrifice. - But now we bring our own bodies as a living sacrifice to worship Him
- That means that wherever we are, we can worship God - It makes all the difference to our daily work as work becomes worship - Now we turn from the body to the mind - v2 Don't be a chameleon but be a caterpillar - Don't be pressed into a mold by the world. - Don't copy people. Ironically, Paul speaking in Rome. In Rome, do what the Romans do - Paul lamented Demas has forsaked him because he loved the world too much
HOW TO AVOID THIS? - Not to get away like a monastery monk - By being a caterpillar. Transformed (Metamorphosis) by mind renewing - The person who is changed from the inside is always more attractive than the person who is influenced by the world from without - One other time transformed used is on Jesus at the Mt of Transfiguration - Another time 2 Cor 3:18 - The colors of transformation is Christ and not copied from others. It comes from inside out when your mind is renewed
How can I know the will of God? 1. Present your bodies 2. Renew your mind - That's exactly why so many Christians don't know the will of God yet - We are of no use to God and His will when we don't submit to these 2 things
2) RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARDS YOURSELF - v3-8 - First God commands us to love Him completely and love others
- That's the attitude to adopt as we live in community with each other - But first, we got to accept that we are not create equal - The only equality is that we are all sinners and we all need His grace - God is a God of diversity and created us all different for different purposes
Paul mentioned some wrong attitudes 1. To not think of yourself more highly than others 2. To think too modestly of yourself (Not mentioned by Paul) - To have both attitudes, you will hinder the advance of the Church - So Paul said, "think soberly". Assess yourselves and use your gifts as God gives you - v6: According to the grace God has given to different one of us - And the whole church with all the gifts for the glory of God - v7-8 : some list of gifts mentioned here. Use them cheerfully v8 as the Lord gives and the Church will be built up 3) RIGHT ATTITUDE TOWARDS OTHERS - v9-20 : From Prov and Sermon of the mount - Love is genuine, glued to what is good - If outdo, outdo one another in honor - Give family love - Be zealous. Don't be lukewarm - Show hospitality - v15 Share with each other joy and sorrow - You will have enemies within and outside the Church - To deal with our enemies, love them. Overcome evil with good. - To return good for good it's man-like - To return evil for evil is beast-like - To return evil for good is devil-like - To return good for evil is Christ-like
If we know how much God has done for you from 8-11, then by the mercies of God I appeal to you to have the right attitudes towards God, yourself and others
SCRIPTURES : Rom 13
STUDY : - Christians set in the state as citizens - 3 attitudes lay out - Right attitude towards rulers / neighbors / dangers within us - We bring a discredit to Christ when we live not a honoring life as a citizen - Paul begins with our duty for the authority put above us
- In history, Christians suffer 3 forms of handicap under the Roman empire
1. Christians seen as criminals - Pontius Pilate the Roman Governor place Christ as a criminal under roman law. Therefore Christians are seen as lawless ones - We know Christ was never a criminal. He was innocent
2. Christians were associated with the Jews - Jews claimed exception from military service/taxes/work on Sabbath - They were notorious bad citizens. Jesus was engaged in a debate about paying taxes to Caesar with the Jews - The early Christians were from the Jews. So Romans view Christians as one of the Jewish sects - They were constantly under suspicion because they refused to be put under the Gentile law but run on their own Judaic law - So they ran into trouble like being banished from Rome - Acts 18 - So a Christian must go out of his way to show himself as a good citizen so that he won't be under such suspicious in the state
- Should a Christian ever be a soldier/MP/PM/police (Application of force especially in war time)? - How to reconcile Jesus telling as to turn another cheek - 2 kinds of Christians that are out of balance - 1. Don't deal with politics at all 2. Thinks Christianity is politics
- 5 things that passage tells us about the government
1. Govt appointed by God - It doesn't tell us what is the best Christian form of governance (Some people think democracy is the best... Bible doesn't say) - It rather teaches us to accept the form of governance the Christian is in. It just tells us that the government is ordained by God - Roman empire wasn't governed by democracy. Citizenship was limited and those in power was even more exclusive - Yet Bible said God appointed them. The power of governance is from God. - What's the authority behind police/govt/queen? Leads back to God - Therefore to resist the government is to resist God. So a Christian is to obey - v4 says that the Govt leader is a minister of God appointed by Him
2. Govt suppress evil - The primary role of the Govt is to control, restrain evil, punish evil doers and maintain justice - And not to provide WELFARE. But how we have switched this - Their role is to neutralise the wickedness and enforce justice. (Imagine a nation without this? Unsafe!)
3. Govt has to use force v4 - The use of force is ultimately meting out death v5: Using sword - You don't use sword to spank people but to kill - Justice symbol has a sword. She must use the sword to mitigate justice but must do it in fairness. (She's not blindfolded. She has to see) - God has therefore ordained authority to suppress evil by using force even with death as outcome - But does a Christian be involved in this?
- So while God specifically commanded that individual mustn't kill/murder, it is the communal responsibility to mete out capital punishment to maintain order in society - In this, the State is the ministers of God's wrath and the representative of the State the Ministers administer it - Therefore the State restrain evil by force - The Christian individual doesn't restrain evil by force but he's a minister of love. - These are 2 very different ministers. - Confusion often arises when the State and the Church mix - Ministers of Church and minister of State shouldn't mix
- Therefore the authority is the terror to the evil doers and must be strong enough to do that to instill fear to maintain order v3 - Paul said you Christians subject yourself under the authorities for 3 reasons 1. So that you don't have to fear them as the state law won't be executed on you (Nothing to fear when you are not doing wrong) For wrath sake 2. For conscience sake. Not just because it's safe but it's right. 3. In fact those laws come from God's minister. For God's sake.
- The Christian is a loyal citizen. He doesn't do bad deeds in the sight of the law. - This covers 3 things needed from us by the Govt 1. Obedience, Subjection, Patriotism - Bear in mind when Jesus said render to Caesar what is due to him, He was living in a hostile Roman environment - And yet Jesus accept the responsibility to yield to the authority even to a hostile alien political power 2. Money - You can't run a Govt with nothing - We have a duty as Christians to pay the ministers of God that runs the State - Romans tax = 1% poll (head) tax (Mary and Joseph was taxed) 3. Respect - Some Govt don't deserve respect - However we should give the respect which is for the office not the person - The Govt can be so silly in her governance that the citizens lose respect. Conversely, the attitude of the citizens can be so bad that they lost respect - The respect for Govt begins from the respect within the Home
Neighbor - Neighbor is anyone whom we are in contact with - Negative duty = Never have any bad debts with our neighbors - The Bible never teaches you cannot borrow but we must repay when we borrow - Bad debts can be in terms of money/time - Positive duty - Debt to love your neighbor 3 steps in the argument here - You have the duty to respect your neighbor's sex/life/property - Covet - stealing in the mind - Solution: Love will cover all these crimes against your neighbor. Love will fulfill all these obligations to your neighbor - Christian is in a position to pay their debt because the Holy Spirit has given us love. Rom 5:5
Dangers within us - Anti social behaviors spring from bad desires within our hearts - Paul now list some anti social behaviors - revelry = so consumed with your own happiness that you make so much noise that you are disturbing others (Eg: People at party shouting) - drunkardness = condemned by the Bible - debauchery = preoccupied with sex and sexual behaviours - forbidden bed - licentious = the man who lost all sense of shame - quarreling/gossiping that will equally lead to antisocial behaviors too - These are dangers lurking in our flesh - Therefore Paul said cast it off the gratification of the desires of the flesh and clothe on Christ
SCRIPTURES : Rom 14
STUDY - The end of chapter 13 says cast off works of darkness - adultery, revelry, etc... - These are obvious but many are quite grey which different Christians have different opinions (movies, cards, etc...) - Church in Rome has this problem because of Jewish and Gentile Christians - Subject : Meat that was probably used for pagan worship.Jews was very particular about meat. Kosher - Paul was particular in the matters of diet and dairy. > Diet : Meat must be of certain choice and certain way of handling > Diary : Sabbath is rest - Some of these were in their laws of God but many are man-made traditions Example 1. Diet - Total abstinence from alchoholic drinks - Bible certain to condemn drunkardness - However there is no prohibition of drinking in the Bible - So the principle? Drink moderately??? 2. Diary - Day of Christian worship (Fri evening to Sat evening?) Unless we can grasp the essence of Chapter 14 well, we will have problems with each other
- We must look at this issue from the weaker brothers and from the stronger brothers. They must consider both their views
WEAKER BROTHERS The person who abstains from this and that is the weaker brother in THE faith not IN faith - In faith we are all the same before God, accepted by Him. - But in THE faith, we may still display behavior that reveals our lack of understanding of the Word - It means in the teaching. That man is not taught properly the teachings. If rightly taught, you will have fewer issues - In Colossians, Paul taught that you are already free from the rules/laws - Christ is our Master and He welcomes any man who is IN faith. There's no distinction - So we welcome the weaker brother with no contention, and welcome him as a brother - Usually it's those who has the broader view who will despise the one with the narrower view - Conversely, the weaker brother shouldn't judge those who are behaving liberally - Practical Application : When you see another brother go to watch movies/drink, remember to ask WHY they think this way instead of just finding out what they think.
- v5-8 - A Christian has every right to think for himself and come to his own conviction not customs/convention - In order words, a Christian must consult, think through carefully before he comes to his conclusion/conviction - And we must respect each other's conviction and not impose on each other - But the underlining principle is that whatever we are convicted about must be God-honoring and Man-considering - If we can live like this way, we will not have any split with one another concerning secondary behaviours
STRONGER BROTHERS - He enjoys Christian liberty, liberated from festivals, dietary rules, He's not under law but under grace - He knows all things are clean - All things are clean. It's the mind of people that makes it unclean. (Eg: Sex) - So instead of going with a mind that dictate what is clean and unclean. He goes with a mind to look at things in a clean way (That's revolutionary) - Now the issue we are separating is that how we look at that thing not from a moral distinction but from a ceremonial distinction - Eg: Gardening on Sunday is no less unclean as compared to doing it on Saturday - Principle : Christ said it's not what goes into your mouth that makes you unclean but what comes out from your mind - If we understand this Christian principle, we walk in true liberty with one another - It's not so much a matter of THINGS than it is in THINKING. - Eg: A Christian who may never club/gamble/movies but may be just as worldly if not even more - So it's a matter of attitude/thinking and not so much of a matter of things
APPLICATION - I mustn't get conceited. I must not hold another brother accountable for what he has done. He is responsible for his own actions before God not you - A Christian will not appear before God to be judged for his sin but for his service/sanctification - He won't go to hell but rewards/responsibilities in heaven will be apportioned according to his faithfulness here on earth
- I mustn't be complacent. The only person responsible for is myself to answer to God myself - Our motive is must be love for my fellow brother in Christ. If my love is real for my brother, 2 things will happen 1. I will be considerate for him - Some very strong words in v20-21 stumbling block, injured, ruin, destroy... - You can do that to your fellow Christian - You can do all these by exercising your liberty without love for him - Point: Iove limits liberty - Peter in Acts 10 trance seeing unclean animals and God said eat for God made them clean - Peter/Paul were brought up strictly on this law - But Paul instructed for love sake, we have to adapt here. (We must be all things for all men to reach some. However he's not talking abt sinning here) - So the basic ethic here is love - For example : I will not drink alcohol in your presence for your sake - The heart of the matter is to seek righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit and not eating/drinking that divide each other
- v23, whatever that was not done with consideration for the other brother may create guilt in his conscience and that is the 'sin'
- A Christian is free to do anything but will exercise self control in the presence of those who will find a certain behavior offensive - v22 Paul said "Keep it to yourself" - The whole chapter is aim at the strong brother. It is the strong who must be sensitive to the weak and walk in love for the sake of the weak - Starting verse of Chapter 15 emphasizes that again!
SCRIPTURES : Rom 15
STUDY: - Theme : Christian Unity - Reveal's Paul's concern for the fellowship, no unnecessary division - There instances where division is necessary. - To divide from people who preach a different Gospel, from people who are willfully living a scandalous life
- And Paul is here dealing with 3 kinds of divisions that are unnecessary 1. Spiritual Division 2. Racial Division 3. Geographical Division
1. SPIRITUAL DIVISION - Wrong to divide between spiritually strong and weak Christian - The responsibility is on the strong to help the weak and consider (pleasing the other weaker brother) - It flows out of chapter 14 - Pleasing the other brother is not doing what he wants but seeking to do what is good for him or what he needs. What will strengthen him in his faith
- Secondly Paul said if you do this, you will get into trouble because it won't be a popular thing to do - Following Christ's example, he came to do what the people needed (Spiritual salvation), that's why he got persecuted. - So are we going to give up helping our neighbor? (For eg: Preaching the Gospel to them that they don't like to hear). - We must continue to persevere to give them what they need despite the unpopularity - So where do you constantly draw out encouragement from when we do what really pleases/benefits our neighbor? From scriptures. v4
- Thirdly, what is the objective of it all, to consider the weak? - Because God wants to hear praise in harmony. v6 - Some people has a private view of worship. IE worship at home, I don't want to be in church, interacting with one another - But this is not what God wants but a community coming together in 1 voice giving praise to God with one heart for God and for one another in love
SCRIPTURES : Rom 16
STUDY : - Does this chapter has anything to say. History revealed this chapter was taken out because it seems of no value - Apostles Creed Statement - I believe in the Communion of saints. This chapter is about the communion of saints - At this point, the letter moved from preaching to people. The church is about people, even the unknown ones not just the known Paul - 4 kinds of people mentioned 1. Commend someone even now traveling to Rome and how we should receive them 2. To those who are already in Rome 3. To those who should be avoided and not welcomed 4. To those who would love to come but can't because of duties elsewhere
1) - Paul started his greeting with a woman - Woman has been regarded as degraded in different society/religious establishment - Woman is lifted in the Christian faith instead - In these greetings, a third is attributed to women - It doesn't mean she's given the same function as men - Phoebe : Pagan name, meaning worship of the moon. Greek. That was her history and background - Now she's a deaconess in the Church at Cenchrea - Cenchrea - Dock area of Corinth, heavy with sexual immoral activities - 3 facts about her 1. She is a sister in Christ, relationship in faith 2. She is a server. Deaconess - serve to meet practical needs of the church 3. She is a helper - a champion of the oppressed when no one else wants to do it
2) - Paul mentioned many names whom he is very familiar - The best way to remember names is to pray for them - Married couple Priscilla (old fashioned Roman Jewish proselyte)/Aquila (Jew) - Paul met them who also wanted to do tentmaking with Aquila - Priscilla always mentioned first but never mentioned separately as a couple (Powerful) - They opened their home as a church. They risked for Paul's life. Everywhere they went, people were grateful to them. What a testimony and model - Epaenetus first convert of Paul in Asia. (Remember the joy of first convert through you) - In Asia, virgin ground. That's even more exciting - Mary was a Martha. She worked hard too for the Lord - 3 persons mentioned here who worked hard for the Lord are women. Work hard means work to the point of exhaustion for the Lord - Andronicus and Junia. 4 things said about them - kinsmen with Paul = Jews - Been with prisons with Paul as missionaries - They were apostles themselves. Apostles = sent one ==> Missionaries - Christians before Paul. Could be among the 500 - Amplias - tomb found. Meaning : Belonging to the city - Aristobulus Grandson of Herod the great, the brother of Herod Aggripa - Herodian, a relative - Tryphena and Tryphosa twin sisters. (Dainty and Delicate) yet work till exhaustion for the Lord. Lovely picture - Some don't want to dirty their hands but not them - Persis, Persian woman therefore a slave girl - Rufus means red hair. Her father an African Simon of Cyrene who carried the cross for Jesus. Brother Alexander - Simon (Acts 13) became a leader in the early church
- We see a Church here without division. Different race together - These people are actual people who followed the Lord together in sweet harmony - And they are alive in the Lord today - Greet one another one holy kiss. Significant statement of Paul - Kiss shows the intimate display of affection as brothers/sisters in Christ. Holy mentioned as this must be done with a holy heart.
3) - Paul said some people are divisive. Take note of them and turn away. Avoid them - Be wise in what is good and simple in evil - If you do this, God will crush Satan under His feet