Home Bible Study

"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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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 22)



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

Romans by the Book
Lesson 22

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  But all of the previous lessons have been archived and are available for you to review at your convenience.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

Romans 3
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)


© Copyright 211
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved



Monday, July 29, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 18)



Home Bible Study©
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

Romans by the Book                                                                Lesson 18

Greetings one and all and welcome to Home Bible study.  I want you to know that even though I don’t know you personally I pray for you regularly.  I do this because the Lord Jesus Christ commands us to be “on the alert” and to “pray for all the saints?”
Why are we to be “on the alert” and what are we to pray for?

If you are a Believer, then you are a co-heir with Jesus Christ (Romans 8:16-17).  Therefore, you are an enemy of Satan and you are involved in Spiritual warfare. Hence, Scripture teaches us to “Put on the full armor of God” each and every day.  No Roman solider ever went into battle partially equipped for battle; this is what our Apostle Paul is teaching us.  (Ephesians 6: 10-17)

Ephesians 6

18: With all (what’s the next word) prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view (what Paul just covered in verse 1-17), be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints.    

I have said this many times.  All Scripture fits together like a piece of well-made tongue- and-groove furniture.  I have no doubt this book was put together supernaturally.   Let’s read what the Apostle Peter had to say about this same subject.

I Peter 5

8: Be of sober spirit, (watch this) be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

No, Peter wasn’t peeking over Paul’s shoulder when he wrote his letter to the Ephesians or vice versa.  This is evidence of the Holy Spirit working through these men of faith.

Put on the full armor of God is a command from the risen Lord Jesus Christ to every Believer; it’s not a suggestion.  Food for thought!


Please open your Bible at Romans chapter 2.  We’ll begin with verse 5.

Romans 2

5: But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart you are storing up (what’s the next word) wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation (or the revealing) of the righteous judgment of God,

6: who WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS:

At first glance this appears to be a contradiction to what Paul was saying in chapter 1 where he wrote, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” 

In chapter 1 Paul wrote salvation comes from believing the Gospel.  Here in verse 6 it says, “God will “RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS (or works):”   

There are no contradictions in Scripture and I’ll explain why that is.  The Creator God (Jehovah in the Old Testament; Jesus Christ in the New Testament) used human writers in the composition of the Bible, but nevertheless He is the ultimate Author of His Word.
Since the perfect God cannot be the source of disorganization or confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) or contradiction (Hebrews 6:18), we must acknowledge that the Bible is in sync or “harmonious” from verse to verse, chapter to chapter, and book to book.
 
Therefore, considering Paul’s statements starting at verse 1 thru verse 5, Paul is not talking about God judging the “works” of the moral man or woman - for God only judge’s sin.  

Please turn to Mark chapter 7.

Mark 7

20: And He (Jesus) was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, (or woman) that is what defiles the man.

Remember, Paul is still addressing the moral, self-righteous individuals who believe they are better than “all those other people.”   These folks are blind to their sinful activity, and to God’s unmerited love, patience, mercy, and kindness.  They also fail to understand that these Godly attributes are meant to lead them to repentance and not to judgment.

So, what about Romans 2:6?  Let’s simplify it.  Instead of:  (God) WILL RENDER TO EACH PERSON ACCORDING TO HIS DEEDS, let’s put it this way:  God will judge each person according to what they have done, which leads me into the 2nd principle.

Principle #2              God Judges According to Works

Not only is God’s judgment “according to reality;” it is “according to works.”

Justification and salvation come by faith; therefore, Paul is not flip-flopping.
What Paul is addressing here is Truth verses hypocrisy.

It goes without saying moral people are hypocrites.  They believe they are better than others but their “deeds” reveal who they are in life and their works reveal the darkness in their heart.  

Jesus said: “That which proceeds out of a man (or woman), that is what defiles the man.  For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting, and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.  All these evil things proceed from within and defile a man (or woman).  (Mark 7:20-23).

The prophet Jeremiah said:  The heart is deceitful above all things, And desperately wicked; Who can know it?  (Jeremiah 17:9)  KJV translation.

For instance: 
If you are angry, that anger will burst to the surface.
If you are a bigoted person, then your bigotry will be noticeable. 
If you’re a deceitful person, it won’t be long before trust becomes an issue.
If you’re the type of person who can’t keep a secret or who appreciates listening to or spreading gossip, then this too will be made known one day.

But the opposite is also true.
If you are merciful, mercy will be revealed.
If you are a gentle person, then gentleness will be your trademark.
If you are a peacemaker, then a peacemaker you will be.

But this does not mean your “goodness” trumps your sinful nature or the evil in your heart.  If you think it does, and you’re counting yourself as one of the self-righteous, moral people, who are attempting to “build their own stairway to heaven,” then I suggest you keep reading. 
 
Romans 2

8: but to those (self righteous moral folks) who are selfishly ambitious and do not obey the (what) truth, (the Truth is whatever God says it is) but obey unrighteousness, (your gain is) wrath and indignation.

This is why God judges by “works” (deeds).  It isn’t to establish a way to salvation but the basis of judgment.

You are saved by faith (alone) and judged by your works.  There’s no contradiction!
Your works reveal what is in your heart – this will be faith leading you to salvation or unbelief leading you to judgment and God’s wrath.

These verses reinforce the first principle:

God judges not what you intend to do; God judges what you actually do.


(To be continued)


© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved





























Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 21)



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

Romans by the Book

Lesson 21

For those who are new to this Home Bible study, please know that the information you find here is based on many years of my own personal Bible study and relevant research.  Not one word of it is my opinion. 

I’ve informed all my classes over the years that I don’t teach opinion.

I’ve been a Bible teacher for seventeen years.  This is my role in the Body of Christ (see I Corinthians 12: 27-31) and I take the responsibilities seriously.  Why - because God judges teachers sternly.

James 3

1: Let not many of you become (what) teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment.

In James’ day, people desired to become “teachers,’ but they were not qualified.
This is what James is saying.

Consider the Pharisees for example who were the Jewish religious leaders. 
They had taken the Laws of God and twisted them all out of proportion. 
Furthermore, they had turned the Temple of God into a money making enterprise.

Does that resemble the religious system of today? 

Therefore, while teaching rarely will I offer an opinion.
I’m concerned someone will assume I’m teaching it as fact.
 
If I offer an opinion in a teaching series, I will preface my statement with this remark.
Otherwise, the material you are reading is truthful and comes straight from Scripture.
Please turn now to Romans chapter 2, at verse 17.

In social circles it is often understood there are two subjects one never discusses while making “small talk.” These subjects are politics, and religion. 

Discussing either of these topics tend to get people emotional or upset. 
Instead of a starting a conversation, you may start an argument. 

The Apostle Paul had been labeled “a raging bull” in his persecution of the Messianic Jews.  After he was saved, by grace, his personality and character remained the same but for a different reason.  Now Paul had no misgivings about approaching people in large groups and speaking to them about the “Good News” of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and His resurrection; and that included his brethren, the Jews.

The Jew Is Condemned by the Law

The Jews were the toughest group Paul had to deal with because they were so deeply devoted to their RELIGIOUS TRADITIONS. 

As I’ve mentioned before, the Jews “expected” to be treated by their God on Judgment Day with special favor because, after all, weren’t they “God’s chosen people?” 

No nation but Israel had been blessed with the oracles of God, and the Temple worship.
Only the nation of Israel could claim a unique relationship existed between them and Jehovah based on the covenants.  But they missed the most essential point.

It wasn’t that the nation of Israel possessed the Law, the temple sacrifices, etc.
God was interested in their “heart” (see 1 Samuel 16:7).

This is Paul’s argument to his brethren, the Jews, as we close out chapter 2.

The thing is – the Jews believed they were right and Paul, this blasphemer, was wrong!
(Blasphemer = to insult religion, to treat God or sacred things disrespectfully through words or action.)

Paul offers flattery, to gain their attention, but it also emphasizes the truth.  From their childhood onward the Jews were instructed in the Law of Moses (see Deuteronomy 6:7-9).

In addition, the Jews boasted of their unique position over the gentiles whenever the opportunity arose.  The Jews referred to the gentiles as heathens, pagans, and dogs.

Dogs in the days of Jesus were unclean animals and considered for the most part to be scavengers, often living in packs.  They were seldom kept as household pets as they are today.  

The Jews of Jesus day considered the Gentiles to be "dogs,” little more than scavengers and wild beasts.”  Even Jesus implied a gentile (Canaanite) woman was a “dog” (see Matthew 15:24-26).

Romans 2

17: But if you bear the name “Jew” and rely upon the Law and (do what) boast (this speaks of pride and stubbornness on the part of the Israelites) in God,

18: and know (this is the critical part) His will and approve the things that are essential being instructed out of the Law,

19: and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness (this speaks of anyone who is not tuned into the knowledge that Israel possesses about God’s will; the Mosaic Law.  We’re talking about the Gentiles),

20: a corrector of the foolish, a teacher of the immature, having in the Law the embodiment of knowledge and of the truth,

Paul lists four things the Jews claimed to be: 
a)      a guide to the blind,
b)     a light to those who are in darkness,
c)      a corrector of the foolish,
d)     and a teacher of the immature (infants).

But here’s the thing.  All of these labors are “outward” gestures.
These actions don’t necessarily “affect” the heart of the individual.

And that is the heart of the matter according to Paul – even though these are good works the ATTITUDE behind the ACTION can be FAKED. 

Now the conversation shifts with this last statement; the flattery ends.

21: you (Jews), therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself?  You who preach that one shall not steal, do you steal?

22: You who say that one should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery?  You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?

23: You who boast in the Law, through your breaking the Law, do you dishonor God?

The Apostle Paul fires several salvos at these Jewish men in these verses above.
What’s Paul actually saying?

Religious people are good at telling other people how to live they’re lives.

Unfortunately, religious people don’t often practice what they preach.
They often get caught up in doing the very things they condemn in others. 
That was the Jewish disadvantage. 

What do you call people who say one thing and do another - HYPOCRITES.

Paul sums up his argument in verse 24.

24: For “THE NAME OF GOD IS BLASPHEMED AMONG THE GENTILES BECAUSE OF YOU,” just as it is written (see Isaiah 52:5).

You could shorten that verse with this: “People believe what they see.”

Few people trust only in words nowadays.  People believe what they see. 
If the two match up, well then o.k.; but if they don’t …well isn’t that SOP.

Once upon a time, before contracts, lawyers, and boardrooms agreements between parties were made and agreed upon with a word and a handshake.  A man’s word was his bond.  For a man to break his word was unthinkable!  Gone are the days…

Now people say, “Show me!”

The Jews boasted of having God on their side, but they forgot the greatest commandment. 

Matthew 23

36: “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?

37: And He (Jesus) said to him, YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOU GOD WITH ALL YOUR (what’s the next work people) HEART, AND WITH YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.”

38: “This is the great and foremost commandment.”

The LORD God intended to have a “relationship” with His chosen people and this is a heart related matter.  But for many of the Jews, it never was a matter of the heart.
It really became a matter of money in many ways; among other things.

Micah 3

11: Her (Jewish) leaders pronounce judgment for a bribe, Her priests instruct for a price And her prophets divine for money.  Yet they lean on the LORD saying, “Is not the LORD in our midst?  Calamity will not come upon us.”

What did Jesus find in the temple during the Passover? 
Moneychangers cheating people… that are why Jesus became angry and overturned tables and chased all the disruptive people out of there… right?

What were Jesus’ words – “It is written, ‘AND MY HOUSE SHALL BE A HOUSE OF PRAYER,’ but you have made it a ROBBER’S DEN.”  Luke 20:46

And who received a “kickback” from all the sales in the temple? 
Did you say the Chief Priests?  You’d be correct.  (See Mark 11:15-18).

Point of Truth: people believe what they see.
The Jews talked a good game but their actions did not back it up.
This is what Paul is saying in verse 24.

Now Paul fires another salvo at the Jews to highlight the point he just made.

Romans 2

25: For indeed circumcision is of value if you practice the Law; but if you are a transgressor of the Law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision.

26: So if the uncircumcised man keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision? 

God gave circumcision to Abraham and to his descendants as a sign and a seal of the sacred relationship that existed between God and the Jewish people.
Note the word relationship.

Circumcision was never meant to be an end unto itself.  The physical mark was meant to be accompanied by a deep spiritual commitment to God. 

But circumcision soon degenerated into RITUALISM.  By the first century many rabbis spoke of circumcision as if it were an automatic ticket to heaven.  

One writer said, “Circumcision saves from hell.”  
Another said, “All the circumcised have part in the world to come.”

So the Jews had it “wrong” in Paul’s day concerning the ceremony of circumcision and as time passed it worsen until it no longer resembled God’s original program.  

In verses 26-27, Paul addresses this wrongful understanding of circumcision.

Romans 2

26: So if the uncircumcised man (a gentile) keeps the requirements of the Law, will not his uncircumcision be regarded as circumcision?  

27: And he who is physically uncircumcised (a gentile), if he keeps the Law, will he not judge you (the Jews) who though having the letter of the Law and circumcision are a transgressor of the Law? 

Paul is saying, circumcision is useful if accompanied by a changed life.
It is better to be uncircumcised and truly obey God than to be circumcised and continue to break God’s law.

 A relationship with God, is a matter of the heart (see Romans 28-29).

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved