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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Saturday, December 7, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 34)



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 34


I want to begin by welcoming you to our Home Bible study.  I pray you all enjoyed a memorable and safe Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. 

The Thanksgiving holiday offers many traditions from the Macy’s parade in NYC to the nationally aired football contests on television.  Let’s not leave out the turkey which is the center of attention on many a dinner table this Thanksgiving.  Each family has their own traditions to add to this short list, but my question is this:  did you remember to include God our Father in your Thanksgiving plans? 

In other words, did you pause in your joyous celebration to recall your blessings throughout the year, and give God thanks and praise for all He has accomplished?

The Bible instructs us “be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with “thanksgiving” let your requests be made known to God.” 
(Philippians 4:6)

When I was serving in BSF many years ago, I learned to make a list of all the things I was grateful for and then during my prayer time I would give thanks to God for each one individually naming them as I went along.  This activity allowed me to see the blessings God had presented to me and my loved ones; I was able to count my blessings.  This exercise helped me realize that the list of things I am thankful for is lengthy and I also realized my list is growing. 

If you’ll pause and make a list of all your blessings at the end of the day; not just at Thanksgiving, but each and every day of the week you too will soon realize how “rich in Christ Jesus” you truly are. 

Chief on that list:  thanks be to God for His indescribable gift of grace!
****************************************************************************************************

If you’ll recall from the opening of this chapter, Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles, writes concerning:  The results of “Justification by Faith” (alone):  Peace with God, a Standing in Grace, a Sure Hope of His Glorious Coming, Present Patience, and Joy in God the Father, in verses 1-11.
 
If you’re ready I’m prepared to resume our study, so please open your Bibles to Romans chapter 5.   We took a good long look at verses 3 and 4 so let’s move on to verse 6.

Beginning at verse 6, we see a three-fold view of God’s love for us sinners, and 3 stages of our sinfulness each connected in a peculiar way with God’s love.

Romans 5

6: For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.

When I read this verse I picture a solitary swimmer caught in a rip current off the shore line of Florida.  A “rip” is a strong channel of water traveling seaward from near the shore; the flow is at 1-2 feet per second which is faster than any human can swim. 
Rip currents can travel up to 8 feet per second; and you can’t see them.  If a swimmer is caught in one of these strong currents, he or she is dragged away from the beach at an alarming rate of speed.  The person is helpless while in this situation.  Unless rescue is timely, death by drowning comes following exhaustion while trying to fight the current.

The Apostle Paul is saying in our sinful Adamic state we are all “helpless.
As Paul has already stated in earlier chapters, mankind is unable to alter this terminal condition by their own good works and it’s repeated here for our learning.    

Without Jesus Christ, all sinners are caught in this evil riptide and are helpless. 

Romans 5:
6b: …at the right time

Here the Apostle Paul is clarifying his previous statement and it would read like this, At the right time, while we (all) were still helpless…”

Paul wants us to understand there is absolutely nothing we can do to save ourselves.
We are (all) “helpless.”   

Romans 5

6b: …Christ died for the ungodly.

Into this world of sin and “helplessness” God sends His Son, Jesus, - for what exactly?
Scripture says, “Christ died for the ungodly.”

Here’s the thing I want you to place in your memory bank:  no return or response from God the Father is demanded for this sacrifice.  It is an act of grace – “for the ungodly.”

What is meant by “the ungodly?”
What does the Scripture say?

…as it is written, “THERE IS NONE RIGHTEOUS, NOT EVEN ONE; THERE IS NONE WHO UNDERSTANDS, THERE IS NONE WHO SEEKS FOR GOD; ALL HAVE TURNED ASIDE, TOGETHER THEY HAVE BECOME USELESS; THERE IS NONE WHO DOES GOOD, THERE IS NOT EVEN ONE.” 
Romans 3:10-11

Romans 3:10-11 describe the entire human race without Jesus Christ.
These are “the ungodly.”  These are the very souls that Jesus suffered and died for. Furthermore, God the Father committed His Son to die on a Roman cross without asking or demanding any kind of a response from us in return. 

It wasn’t like God said, I’m going to send my Son to die for you so you’d better believe it or else!  It’s not like that at all. 

Never forget that when God created man (Adam) he was created with free will.
That is the ability to make choices, to do as you please, in other words.

We’re not going to get into the whole creation story and why God created man and woman, but suffice to say God created them for relationship purposes.  God wanted a creature that would “choose” to love Him unconditionally.
 
Let’s return to Romans.

Romans 5

7: For one will hardly die for a righteous man; though perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die.

Paul wants us to know that in some circumstances a good person may trade their life for another.  On a battlefield for example, a soldier may throw himself on top of a grenade to cover the explosion thereby saving his buddies from death or harm. 

Many Medal-of-Honor winners ignored the danger and put themselves in harm’s way to retrieve fallen comrades, etc., but they all displayed extraordinary heroism under enemy fire and many gave their lives to save others. 


Let’s go to the next verse.

Romans 5

8: But God demonstrates His own love own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for (all of) us.

In the Greek, the word “sinners” in hamartolos (pronounced:  ham-ar-to-los’) and means – devoted to sin or especially wicked. 

Paul is saying, “…while we were yet enthusiastically active in sinning.” 

You see, God confirmed His own love toward us, even though we were yet robustly sinning, and despite the fact that we (humanity) didn’t know God.  The Jews certainly had knowledge of the LORD God but the Gentiles did not.  The Gentiles were steeped in idolatry and practiced wickedness of every sort.  Gentiles were outside the covenant promises of Israel and aliens to God (see Ephesians 2:12).  

God demonstrated His love for us by sending His Son to die on a cross for every sinner past, present, and future; even though mankind demonstrated no love towards God.   
This is what grace means.  It’s unmerited favor. 

Romans 5

9: Much more then, having now been (what’s the next word) justified by His blood, we shall be saved from the (what) wrath of God through (faith in) Him.

People love to talk about God’s love but there’s a flipside to that.
The day is coming when this earth will experience the “wrath” of God and it’s really hard to find anyone who wants to preach on this subject nowadays.  This world could stand to hear some good “Fire and Brimstone Preaching.” 

Next verse please.

Romans 5

10: For if while we were (what’s the next word my friends) enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled (by faith), we shall be saved by His life. 

Before you were saved did you know you were God’s enemy? 
The word “enemies” as it’s used here denotes hostility or a spirit of resentment towards God.   But what does this book say? 

I’m going to use the King James Translation for teaching purposes.

Romans 8

7: Because the carnal mind is (what) enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.  (KJV)

In the Greek, the word “enmity” translated is Echthra (pronounced:  ekh’-thrah) and means hatred, or hostility.  This is where we get the English word enemy.

Again, I prefer that you see these things in Scripture for yourself.
This is why I take the long-way around with these Bible studies.

Alright then, let’s get back to Romans and we’ll try to finish up.

Romans 5

10: For if while we were (what’s the next word my friends) enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled   (by faith), we shall be saved by His life. 

I want to look at this section of this verse: we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son,

In the Greek, the word “reconciled” translates to katallasso (pronounced:  kat-al-las’-so) and means – to change or to return to favor with.

Paul is saying, that even though we were yet “enemies” of God we were “reconciled” to God through the death of His Son.  This, even before we became a Believer!

Wow!  I know.  Again, that’s God’s grace.
Allow me to illustrate.

Let’s pretend that I’m a teacher and there is a standing rule which reads:  No cursing allowed.  The entire class is aware of this rule, of course.  This rule is written on the blackboard in the classroom just in case a child should wake up one morning with amnesia.  The penalty for cursing is a paddling in front of the class by me.
 
One day I released the children for recess and during that period Adam cursed on the basketball court.  He swore loud enough for everyone to hear him including me.
When the children returned to the classroom, all their eyes were upon me to see what I would do.  They know the rule has been broken.  I also know the rule has been broken.
They also know that I care about all my students.

I also have a son of my own in this class, his name is William.  I gave the class an assignment and asked William to follow me outside the classroom.  I said, “William I am going to ask you to step up and take the paddling for Adam today.  Right now Adam assumes that I do not like him because he has broken the rule.  But there must be a paddling.  I must be true to my word, so I’m asking you to do this.  You know how much I care for Adam.”  My son replied, “Father, you know I will do anything for you, and you know I love Adam too.”

My son and I return to the classroom and take a stand at the head of the classroom.
I then announce to the entire class, “The rule on cursing has been broken.  Adam is guilty. This is is Adam’s paddling.  I am giving it to my son William.”

The law of the classroom was broken and the sentence is being carried out.
I am putting the penalty on my son.  He agreed to accept the penalty for Adam.
I then proceed to paddle my son William and I do not spare him.
I whip him as if he were Adam; just as if he had broken the rule.

After the paddling, I dismiss William to his seat and call Adam to the head of the class.
I take Adam by the hand and say, “I have nothing against you – nothing at all.  All is forgiven.”  This breaks Adam up and he begins to cry.  He says, “I didn’t know you loved me that much.  I thank you with all my heart.”

Now Adam is reconciled from his side to me – the teacher.
But you see I reconciled Adam to me – first! 

Putting this back in God’s realm, God dealt with our disobedience, our ugliness, and the fact that we were His enemies first – He reconciled everyone of us through the death of His Son.  If you’ll look at it this way, it wasn’t the punishment for our sins that Jesus bore on that cross but God’s wrath. 

Once again, not my opinion I’m going by what the book says.

I Thessalonians 1

10: and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the (what) wrath to come.  

Back to Romans at verse 11.
Romans 5

11: And not only this, but we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. 

Do you see the change?  I pray you do!
Three chapters ago were in God’s courtroom declared guilty, and all our good works tossed in the trashcan; we were all morally bankrupt.  But now through our Lord Jesus Christ and His good works we are rejoicing, exulting, in Him who sat as our Judge!
This is what Grace is and does for those who choose to accept it.

In other words, the reconciliation process has already been accomplished through our Lord Jesus Christ.  God has reconciled the world unto Himself.  
(2 Corinthians 5:18-19)


Everything that needed to be done has been accomplished.
Jesus said, “It is finished.”  And that’s what He meant.

We don’t twist arms here we just present the truth of God's Word.
Now the ball is in your court; you have a decision to make. 
NO fence sitting allowed.

Your choice has eternal consequences, make no mistake about that.
Examine all the evidence.  Talk to people you know and trust that walk with the Lord.
I pray you choose wisely.

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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