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"Yes, I am coming quickly." Amen.
Revelation 22:20

This is a Home Bible study. It exists to promote the Word of God as it's written, which means nothing added or taken away, and minus opinions.

The Bible is the only source of Divine Truth in the world today. Although it is both helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible often doesn't tell us everything we want to know but the Bible does tell us everything we need to know.

My role is to guide you through the Scriptures; to explain what this book says and in some cases what it does not say because this is just as important.

Ultimately, you have a decision to make concerning your salvation - no one can make it for you. The Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator God, has given everyone the ability to make choices - this is is called "Free Will." I pray you consider your choice wisely.

II Timothy 2:15

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.


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Friday, June 21, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 14)


Home Bible Study©  
Established November 2003

Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)


This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1Timothy 2:3-4


Romans by the Book                                                Lesson 14

Hello and welcome back.  I pray you’re all getting comfortable with the idea of participating in a Bible study.  Once you know some of the basics you are off and running, as they say.  One of the first and foremost things you must learn is to Rightly Divide the Word of Truth (2 Timothy 2:15).

What’s that?  I’m glad you asked.  When you separate those things that were written to the Jews under the Law from those things that were written to the church of God in the Age of Grace, you are Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth.

For example many people have been taught, incorrectly, that the New Testament the Christian Age or the Church Age begins at Matthew 1:1 and that is incorrect.  You see, Scripture says Jesus Christ came to His own, under the Law, to fulfill the promises made to the fathers (see Romans 15:8).  Therefore, the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and most of the book of Acts are actually a continuation of God’s Old Testament Prophetic Program.  Others contend that the Church Age begins at Pentecost (Acts 2) and this is the majority and traditional view. 

Here’s the problem with the traditional view.  The Church, the Body of Christ, was a new creation, a secret (a mystery) known only by God from the foundations of the earth, and revealed to only to Paul.  As such, it did not exist before Paul (Ephesians 3:1-10; Galatians 2:6-9; Colossians 1:24-27; Romans 16:25-27).

What was Pentecost?  Pentecost was one of 7 Jewish feast days.  It occurred 50 days after Passover.  It was the time Jesus instructed His disciples to wait and remain in Jerusalem to receive the promised Holy Spirit (Luke 24:29; John 14:16-17).  The coming of the Holy Spirit was a key component of God’s prophetic program to Israel (Isaiah 44:3, 59:21).  It was not the birth to the Church, the Body of Christ, for there is nothing in the Old Testament that spoke of this Church.  Rather, the baptism of the Holy Spirit was an essential part of the fulfillment of the New Covenant which Jesus had initiated at the Last Supper (Jeremiah 31:33; Ezekiel 16, 37; Matthew 26:27-28).

I pray you find this information useful as you continue to study your Bible.

Please open your Bible to Romans chapter 1.  We’ll start today’s lesson at verse 24.
 
What is the judgment of God when mankind turns away from Him? 
God gives them up.  But be careful.  This is not saying God gives up on them!

We learned that with each step man takes away from God the further and further into depravity he or she sinks.  This is the message of verses 25-27.  They reveal the progressive nature of sin specifically idolatry and then sexual sin.

*Suggested reading: Isaiah 44:9-20 – The Folly of Idolatry

Romans 1

25: For they (Paul is specifically addressing gentiles of old in these passages.  No Law was ever given to the gentiles as it was given to the Jews.  The Law was under no command from God to be spread as the Gospel of Grace is today) exchanged the (what) truth of God for (what) a lie, (what lie?  They can be like God.  So who is behind this deception– the god of this world is working this of course.  The father of lies, Satan, is against anything God is for) and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  Amen.

26: For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural,

27: and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Verse 25: even though they knew God existed, they chose to reject Him; and they are without excuse (verse 20).  They “made” or fashioned objects of iron, wood, and stone to worship instead of the one true God.  You see, it’s man’s nature to worship something – God put that instinct in us. 

For those who are thinking they will be able to stand before their Creator at the Great White Throne Judgment and claim ignorance of His existence I have news.  That won’t work.  Scripture says everyone was born with the knowledge of their Creator.
John 1

9: There was the true Light (the word Light is capitalized so it is referring to deity. 
This passage refers to the Lord Jesus Christ who is the Light of the world.  Now read carefully), which coming into the world, enlightens every man (you may add the word woman here without doing any harm to the text or changing its meaning).

I prefer the KJV translation myself.

John 1

9: That was the true Light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world.
(KJV) – it’s saying the same thing; I just prefer the way it’s said.

These passages indicate that we are “born” with the innate knowledge of our Creator.  Which means: coming directly from the mind rather than being acquired by experience or from external sources. 

Verses 26-27: the Gentiles next step away from their Creator God took them from idolatry to sexual immorality. 

God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts…

Note the process.  Idolatry always leads to immorality and this is usually sexual in nature.  This is why the worship of the false god Baal in the Old Testament was accompanied by temple prostitution. 

Once men invent gods of their own making, they can then rewrite the rules of human conduct.  Rules like the Ten Commandments no longer apply to them.

Want to sleep around.  Why not? 
Want to commit adultery.  Why not?
Want to have pre-marital sex?  Why not everyone else is?  Why not go with the flow?
Want to download pornography?  Why not?

Without God and His Commandments, anything goes, all things are on the table.

But why is illicit sex so destructive to the Believer in particular and why does Scripture command us to flee from it?  Yes, this is a command from Head Quarters!  To find one of the answers we must return to the book of beginnings (Genesis).

The Lord God created Adam in the Garden of Eden and then said, “It is not good for man to be alone.  I will make him a helper (help meet) suitable for him.” (Genesis 2:18)

The LORD God caused Adam to fall into a deep sleep; then He took one of his ribs and closed up that place.  The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man.  (See Genesis 2:21-22)

Adam named her “Woman.” 
Which means: taken out of Man.  (See Genesis 2:23)

Genesis 2

24: For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

25: And the man and his (what’s the next word) wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

With this act the LORD God established the institutions of marriage and the family.

These two “Bedrock” institutions are critical to the LORD God’s plans to populate the planet earth with God-fearing children.

Let’s back up just a bit; when the LORD God created Adam he gave them a command.
Did you catch that? 

Now most people miss the point I’m about to make because when they read their Bible they read it but they don’t see it.   So pay close attention.  I guarantee you that most of Christendom has no idea this verse is even in their Bible…but it is.

Genesis 1

27: God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created Him;
(Pay attention – read carefully) male and female He created them

That’s not a typo.  The LORD God created Adam bisexual = describes something such as a flower that has both male and female reproductive organs.

The woman was already in Adam when he was created.

Now read verse 28.

Genesis 1

28: God blessed (who) them; and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it; and rule the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

In other words, the LORD God gave them dominion over all the earth and told them to be fruitful and multiply (fill the earth with your offspring in other words).

Only the woman wasn’t “on the scene” just yet.  Are you still with me? 
When the LORD God created man and then brought him the woman to be his “help meet” He established the institutions of marriage and the family.

What happened next? 
If you know the Old Testament, then you know the garden was invaded by the serpent (Satan – the destroyer).   The LORD God created something that was “very good” so Satan set his mind to destroy it.  Satan deceived the woman by lying, causing the woman to doubt what God had said; Adam then chose to eat the forbidden fruit, and sin entered the world by Adam’s willful disobedience and not the woman’s for she was deceived.   

As I’ve often said, anything God is for Satan is against; this includes you if you’re a Believer.  It certainly includes the institutions of marriage and the family which have been ordained by God.

Soon after Adam and the woman were joined together as “one flesh” Satan found a way to destroy their joy and bring the world they lived in to an end.

Believers it is not a matter of “if” your marriage and your family will come under attack; it is a matter of “when.”

The Christian marriage is the KEY battleground in Spiritual warfare.

Can we deny that this is the age where divorces, adultery, homosexual unions, are becoming acceptable even among the churched?

Can we deny the statistics which show young people in the church are skipping marriage altogether and choosing to live together instead?

The Christian divorce rate is perched right around 50% today; the same as the rest of the unbelieving world.  The rippling effect this has had on the family unit has impacted our homes, our schools, our communities, and our nation. 
According to the U.S. Census Bureau in November, 2009, there are approximately 13.7 million single parents in the United States today, and those parents are responsible for raising 21.8 million children (approximately 26% of children under 21 in the U.S. today).

The U.S. Census Bureau does not break these stats down as to Believers and non-believers, but they are still remarkable.

Of the mothers who are custodial parents:
45% are currently divorced or separated
34.2% have never been married
19% are married (In most cases, these numbers represent women who have remarried.)
1.7% was widowed

Of the fathers who are custodial parents:
57.8% are divorced or separated
20.9% have never married
20% are currently married (In most cases, these numbers represent men who have remarried.)
Less than 1% was widowed

According to the Single Parent Success Foundation

63 % of teen-age suicides nationwide are individuals from single-parent families.

75 % of children in chemical dependency hospitals are from single-parent families.

More than 1/2 of all youths incarcerated in the U.S. lived in one-parent families as a child.

7.7 % of all out-of-wedlock births in the country in 2008 were to girls under the age of 18.

I could continue giving you stats like these but for the sake of time we’ll move on…

We’ve taken the pledge of allegiance, God, and prayer out of our schools.
We teach evolution as fact and refuse to even introduce Creationism into the classroom.
What’s the end result when people choose to reject God?  There’s no mystery here.
History has shown us and yet as a nation we continue to move down this dark road.

Today we have children bullying children, guns in school, drugs in school, a lack of respect for authority figures, no respect for rules or the law, de-sensitized children committing mass murders without remorse, and little self-esteem.

Children are without a moral compass to guide them, they are without goals; children lack respect for their parent(s), and they have little if any self-control. 

Children engage in fist fights and film these on You-Tube for the world to see. 
Children are sexting sexually explicit and suggestive pictures of themselves via cell phones.  Skype has allowed the sharing of nude and semi-nude images over the internet and much worse.  51% of teen girls cite pressure from guys as a reason to send these explicit messages and images while only 18% of the teen boys say so.  But I’m not convinced of these statistics.  Immorality is a slippery slope.  I don’t buy the excuses.

I will ask the question, “Where are the parent(s)?”
Parents, these are not society’s ills these are your concerns.  50% of the Christian families are now mirroring the world and the god of this world (Satan) couldn’t be more pleased.

I pray you can see why Scripture commands a Believer to flee from “all sexual immorality.”  It’s the second step an individual takes, after Idolatry, in their “turning away” from God. 

1 Corinthians 6

18: Flee immorality.  Every other sin that a man (or woman) commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body.

19: Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?
  

(To be continued)

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