Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Established November 2008
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
We finished studying chapter 2 of Romans in the last lesson.
I won’t go over any of that material today. But all of the previous lessons have been archived and are available for you to review at your convenience.
I’ve been researching and writing these Bible lessons for quite some time.
There are 120 Bible Lessons in the library dating all the way back to JAN 2010.
We started in the book of Genesis at verse 1; and that was in November 2008, so I know there are many more lessons. I wonder where I put them…
I’ll have to put my detective hat on and go searching for clues…
Before we get started I want to welcome all those who are visiting our Home Bible study for the first time. Kick your shoes off; grab your favorite refreshment, and your Bible, before you begin your Bible study. We do.
As for you regulars, I pray and I thank the Lord for you continually.
“Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might…” (Ephesians 6:10-18)
Thank you all for being here.
Are you ready for Romans, chapter 3? Let’s get started.
Paul anticipated the Jews response to his comments about being a Jew and being circumcised not really mattering to God: what really mattered to God was their heart or the relational aspect of their coming together.
ALL the WORLD GUILTY
1: Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision?
2: Great in every respect. First of all, that they (The Israelites) were entrusted with the oracles (books of the Bible) of God.
Although Paul proved that circumcision by itself brought nothing to the Jew, for circumcision is only a physical mark on the body, Paul had to admit there were some major differences between Jew and Gentile which the Lord had sealed to them.
Now I want you to try and picture yourself in Paul’s shoes as the teacher.
He’s surrounded by Jewish objectors who stand firm in their religious traditions.
This sets the stage for Romans chapter 3.
3: What then? If some (Jews) did not believe, their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?
4: May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man (both Jew and Gentile) be found a liar, as it is written, “THAT YOU MAY BE JUSTIFIED IN YOUR WORDS, AND PREVAIL WHEN YOU ARE JUDGED (King David wrote PSALM 51:4; the Jews dearly loved their King David).
5: But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? The God who inflicts wrath is not unrighteous, is He? (I am speaking in human terms.)
Verse 5 put another way is saying - If our sin glorifies God’s righteousness in judgment, then isn’t God unrighteous to punish us for it? Paul apologizes for even stating such an ungodly thought in verse 6 – not that he believes it for a second.
6: May it never be! For otherwise, how will God judge the world?
7: (Here the Jewish objector argues with Paul) But if through my lie the truth of God abounded to His glory, why am I also still being judged as a sinner?
Here is the thought behind the objector’s comment in verse 7 - if my sin brings God glory, when He judges me, then He should thank me, not judge me!
Paul responds to this objector’s comment in verse 8.
8: And why not say (as we are slanderously reported and as some claim that we say), “Let us do evil that good may come”? Their (what) condemnation is just.
Although Paul’s argument is not easy to follow, his bottom line is pretty clear: if you argue with God, He will win and you will be condemned.
Conclusion: religious privileges do not give you an advantage with God; if you do not respond in faith and obedience they only increase your accountability to God.
Israel as a nation was given amazing spiritual privileges. They were the only nation on earth entrusted with the very words of God. But rather than responding in faith and with hearths filled with love, thankfulness, and obedience to God, most of the Jews rebelled against Him and worshiped the idols of the pagan nations around them.
If you grew up in a Christian home, you have an amazing spiritual privilege.
Your parents taught you about God and the way of salvation that He provides in Jesus Christ. They probably took you to a church where you could hear God’s Word and then explained how you apply those words of Truth to your life.
But, have you responded with faith in Jesus Christ as your Savior?
Do you seek to walk in obedience to God’s Word?
Do you believe in what God has said, in other words?
If not, on judgment day growing up in a Christian home will prove not to have been a blessing, but a curse, because it increased your accountability to God.
In order to walk in obedience to God's Word, you need to understand your Bible.
Then you need to understand that the Bible is addressed to faith and not to reason.
In other words, the Bible may not tell us everything that we want to know.
But the Bible does tell us everything that we NEED TO KNOW.
When I was a child, my brothers, sisters, and I used to play all kinds of outdoor games.
Cowboys and Indians was a favorite of ours. We had a lot of fun playing pirates too.
In this game, I would draw a treasure map on a piece of paper which looked amazingly like our neighborhood. I then placed an X at the site of the buried treasure.
The treasure itself would vary. Most often it was store bought candy or a piece of my mother’s jewelry that I placed inside a cigar box. After I gathered the treasure, I buried it. We usually found a few extra players in the neighborhood; we chose sides (there had to be good guys and bad guys) and the game got started.
The goal was to steal the pirate’s flag without being tagged by a pirate.
If you were tagged, you became their prisoner and went below decks.
The game continued until either all the good guys were tagged and taken prisoner or until one of the good guys captured the pirate flag, sunk their ship, and won the treasure map.
Once the pirate flag was in hand, all the good guys who were held prisoner were released, and then the game changed into a treasure hunt. Of course I knew where the treasure was located so I didn’t participate in this part of the game.
If the pirates succeeded in taking all of the good guys prisoner, then they participated in the treasure hunt.
Now I know some of you are thinking he’s gone off the deep end.
But there’s a reason for this trip down memory lane.
We played a game that included a fake treasure and a map.
But inside my home, on the coffee table, was a real treasure.
It was big, brown, and I remember my mother used to dust it at least once a week.
It was our family Bible.
I never gave that book a single thought because our family never used it.
I always considered it a “decoration;” you know, like a vase, or a table clock.
I know now inside that book is the wisdom of God, the Truth about His Son Jesus Christ, salvation, and eternal life. It’s the real treasure.
The Bible is a great treasure that God has entrusted to us.
Therefore, we should study it and seek to obey it as the only wise way to live.
John Wesley, the great 18th century evangelist, wrote about the Bible (cited by James Boice, Romans: Justification by Faith [Baker], pp. 279-280):
I am a creature of a day, passing through life as an arrow through the air.
I am a spirit come from God and returning to God, just hovering over the great gulf ’till, a few moments hence, I am no more seen; I drop into an unchangeable eternity!
I want to know one thing—the way to heaven, how to land safe on that happy shore. God himself has condescended to teach me the way. For this very end he came from heaven. He hath written it down in a book. O give me that book!
At any price, give me the book of God!
God has entrusted us with His very word, then surely it must be the foundation of our life and the light for our path in this dark world! Do not neglect your Bible!
(To be continued)
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