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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Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 50)



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 50

I want to welcome each one of you to Home Bible study and thank you for being here.
This is the place where you come to study God’s Word without having to deal with someone’s opinion or personal interpretation thrown in.  At HBS we let the Bible do the talking, so to speak.  I am simply offering to guide you through the greatest book ever written without changing one jot or tittle therein.   

Do you need a guide?

I purchased my first Bible many years ago and I knew a few things.  I have to admit that there were many more things that I did not understand.  I read many Bible stories but what was it all about?  I didn’t see any connection.  I felt lost in it.  I knew I would never get this on my own.  I needed help. 

I knew a little about Rome, Italy and some of its history too, but I freely admit there is far more that I am ignorant of and you better believe I’d be lost there on my own.
When I had the opportunity to visit the city I joined a tour group led by a professional guide.  As we drove through the city, he pointed out places of historical interest and gave us the facts about each one.  He colored in the background with details that were not in the history books.  He brought the city and its past into focus for me.

Clearly, a guide is helpful when you’re in unfamiliar territory.

Now we’re going to pick up right where we left off in the previous Bible lesson and move onward from there exploring the depth of God’s Word. 
A little closer walk with Thee, if you will.

Please open your Bible and turn to Romans, chapter 8 at verse four.

Romans 8

4…so that the (righteous) requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit

I mentioned in the last lesson the Law was righteous; it goes without saying from God’s standpoint the Law was perfect.  But it was weak because of our flesh (due to our relationship to Federal Adam from birth). 

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia addresses this issue.

Galatians 4

8: However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.

9: But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be (what) enslaved all over again?

What’s Paul referring to in verse nine?  The Law! 
The entire book (letter) of Galatians was written to prove to those Gentile Believers up there in Galatia that they were not under the Mosaic Law – they are under God’s Grace. 

Paul’s message:  the Law could not give eternal life, it could not sanctify, and it could not make the Believer a saint.  Why would anyone want to leave God’s Grace and return to that “weak” and “beggarly” system of do’s and don’ts that can only condemn and kill?

Please return to the book of Romans.

Romans 8

4…so that the (righteous) requirement of the Law might be fulfilled in us (who are Believers, who now enjoy an inseparable position (relationship) in Christ Jesus; and now here’s the proper place for that little statement in verse 1 that I said the translator, who was not inspired, added to the original manuscript), who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

What does it mean to “walk according to the Spirit?”

This short phrase means to live each moment dependent on the Holy Spirit, sensitive to His voice, and obedient to Him.

Allow me to insert an illustration here.  My siblings and our friends enjoyed playing outdoors for hours and hours.  We made up games like capture the pirate flag and played it sometimes until well after sundown.  The park we played in was more than a block away from my home.
 
Now try to picture about a dozen kids running, jumping, and shouting trying not to be captured or attempting to capture kids from the opposing team and their flag.  It was chaotic fun.   But when my mother stood on the back step of our home and called out my name I heard her voice clearly over all the noise.  You see, I was sensitive to the sound of her voice.  I was “tuned in to her.”  When I heard her call, I came running home.  I obeyed her quickly.  She didn’t have to call me in twice.

Moving this into the Spiritual realm, you know when that “little voice” inside is directing you not to do something or reminding you that there is something you should be doing.  There aren’t any colors involved here either.  This isn’t a black, white, or grey issue.   
This is right vs wrong. 

For instance God said it’s a sin to lie.  There it is!
Therefore, there’s no such thing as a little white lie – this is a man-made notion to circumvent God’s commandment.  Therefore we tell the truth.  It’s always better to express the truth even if it’s painful.  When all is said and done, honesty really is the best policy.

Peter the Apostle wrote, “Prepare your minds for action,” and Paul the Apostle wrote, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” 
The key words in these two verses are “prepare” and “set.” 

First we must prepare.  The Apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and the strength of His might.  Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.”  (Ephesians 6:10-18).

Then we are to set our minds on obedience to God. 

1 Corinthians 10

5: We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ,

Gotta be honest – every sinner who is saved struggles with this (Romans 7:14-24). 
But obedience to God is possible.  As we Believers consent to reject the selfish desires of “the flesh” and choose instead to walk according to the Spirit, the (righteous) requirements of the Law are fulfilled in us and not by us (Romans 8:4). 

Romans 8

5: For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, (set their minds and hearts on) the things of the Spirit.

The word “mind” in the Greek is phronousin (pronounced: fron’-ay-mah). 
As it is used here it does not indicate one’s intellect or understanding, but is referencing instead the interest or occupation of the individual, caused by their natural (Adamic) sinful nature. 

The Apostle Paul identifies two classes of individuals in this verse:  those according to the flesh and those according to the Spirit.

Those who are according to the Spirit these are God’s true children. 
The Holy Spirit indwells each and every one of these folks.

The distinction between these two classes is a genuine as that between the sheep and the goats at Christ’s second coming (Matthew 25:31-46), or between those whose names are written in the Book of Life and those whose names are not written there (Revelation 20:15). 

Breaking this down even further:  all those who are according to the flesh cherish, desire, are occupied with, absorbed in, talk of, think about, and pursue the things of the flesh.  Such as:  physical lusts, gluttony, slothfulness, mental delights, pride, envy, malice, violence and greed.  In other words, they are involved with every impure thing imaginable and then some (Genesis 6:5). 

Those who are according to the Spirit discerns, values, loves, and is absorbed in the things of the Spirit.  Things such as:  salvation, the person of Jesus Christ, the Word of God, fellowship with Believers, prayer, praise, worship, and the blessed hope of Christ’s coming (Galatians 5:22-26). 

The reason for this Paul writes immediately:

6: For the mind (phronema – noun form of the verb) set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace. 

Here’s where we all started.  Each of us Believers, at one time, had a “mind” purposed for “death.”  We were controlled (enslaved) by our sinful natures and we surrendered to the desires of the flesh without a minutes thought.  Put another way, we never thought about sin or connected our wrongful activities to sin.  The only thing waiting for us at the end of that road was the second death and ultimately the Lake of Fire.

but the mind set on the Spirit is life (eternal) and peace. 

In Paul’s letters he writes about “the peace of God” and “peace with God.”
They are not the same thing but if you’re a Believer you possess both of these.

Colossians 1

21: And although you were formerly alienated and hostile in mind, engaged in evil deeds,

22: yet He has now reconciled you in His fleshly body through death, in order to present you before Him holy and blameless and beyond reproach –

Once we became saved, we became children of God; this is our position. 
We are no longer viewed as “enemies” of God we’ve been reconciled.  Now Jesus can present us holy and blameless before the holy God.  That’s a big difference. 

We obtain “peace with God” the moment we confess belief in the gospel. 
It’s time for a fact check.

Romans 5

1: Therefore, having been justified by (what) faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.

2: through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we (do what) stand; and we exult in the hope of the glory of God.

All those who are not under the Blood of Jesus Christ do not have peace with God.
They are alienated, hostile, and spiritually dead to Him. 

As for “the peace of God,” whether or not you feel it at this very moment, no matter what is going on in your life, you possess the “the peace of God.” 

You may be stressed to the max but this is true.  God the Father has given you and me everything we need to live a peaceful life.  However, most of us don’t realize it, understand it, or were never taught this truth. 

First the basics:  God told 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).

God said do not be anxious about anything!  If this were not possible, He would not have said it…  This is also a command.  It is not a suggestion.  I know I’ve written this many times and for many years.  Perhaps it’s time to go to the book so you can see where I get this.  Please turn to 1 Corinthians, chapter 15.

1 Corinthians 15

37: If anyone thinks he (or she) is a prophet or spiritual, let him (or her) recognize that the things which I write to you (please read carefully) are the Lord’s commandment.

38: But if anyone does not recognize this, he (or she) is not recognized.

Since we’re going to be obedient to God’s commandments, we must learn how we can cease all anxiety and worry.  In case you missed it, the antidote for this problem is here in this Bible verse.  We go to God in prayer and ask Him to meet our needs, and we do this with a positive attitude of thanksgiving. 

God says to make our requests known – to Him.

Some would argue, “Why pray when God already knows what I’m going to ask for?”  Please consider this.  Prayer is one of our greatest privileges as a Believer’s but — we may as well admit — one of our greatest failures. 

It's good to know this: we are inviting God into our lives when we pray. 

We are family!  When we pray, we experience -

Fellowship

We become "workers together with Him."

2 Corinthians 6:      

1: And working together with Him, we also urge you not to receive the grace of God in vain…

When we pray, God gives us the joy and privilege of administrating His affair on earth - working together with Him.  He could do it without us.  We could not do it without Him.  But what a wonderful privilege of doing it together with Him!

Progressing

When we pray, God is maturing us.

Colossians 1

9: For this reason also, since the day we heard of it,  we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding,

10: so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in knowledge of God;

11: strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience;

Have you ever prayed and didn't receive immediately what you asked for?  
What did you do?  Did you cease praying or did you persist in your prayers? 
Did you also begin to search your heart and your life to see if something there was hindering God's answer to your prayer(s)? Many times this is the reason.  There is something negative going on in our lives.  God uses prayer to mature us.

Dependency

We all are independent and stubborn to some degree.  Let’s be honest.
Knowing this, God never wants us to live lives independent of Him.

If God answered every one of our prayers, soon we would begin to take God for granted.  That’s the way we’re put together.  It’s in our nature to do so. 
We would cease to depend upon God. 

Depending on God requires faith.  God wants us to live by faith.  The fruits of the Spirit can only be produced through faith, in cooperation with God, locked onto His will, and His purpose. 

But first and foremost, God commands us to pray!
That's why we tell God what He already knows.  Of course He knows what we have need of before we ask, but we're specifically told to pray so that we might enjoy that fellowship with Him, so that we might mature as Believers, and then as we “walk with Him” day by day we learn to depend upon Him especially during difficult times.

When we do this, the peace of God will guard our hearts and minds, if you are a Believer.  And this peace goes beyond our comprehension, as the book says.

Philippians 4

7: And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your (what) minds in Christ Jesus.


(To be continued)


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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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