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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, November 14, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 71)



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 71

Right off the bat - I want to ensure the “welcome mat” is out and visible to everyone who passes by HBS and greet all those who choose to stop in to visit. 

Then before I continue with today’s Bible lesson I want to build on this important message re: encouragement from last week because some of you may be unaware Scripture teaches that every Believer is to be an encourager in God’s family.

Our apostle Paul writes, Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful; and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds... (Hebrews 10:23-24).

Most of us are familiar with the words that follow this Bible text:  …not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging (comforting) one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near. 

Obviously we’re not gathering together in a church building for these Bible studies, but since we are meeting on the WWW there is an assembling in a sense.  Our apostle Paul wants us to know that the Body of Christ does not assemble primarily to worship God, although some may think so.  This may be the reason why you come to church but this isn’t the real reason why God commands His children to meet frequently. 

Paul gives us the real reasons in verses 23-24:  stimulate one another to love and good deeds…and all the more as you see the day drawing near (2 Timothy 3:1-7). 

We are to urge one another to obedience to God’s commands in Scripture (1 Thessalonians 5:12-22) and Believers have been commanded by God to encourage one another.  God didn’t design us to go through this life alone.  Often times the thing that makes the difference between someone overcoming a hardship or giving up is a simple word of encouragement.   

Another word for encourage is “comfort.”  Paul writes, “…so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God (2 Corinthians 1:4). This means we are to give “relief” to those who are in distress.  And these are stressful times are they not?  We are to demonstrate compassion towards one another; to come along side and help bear the load, if at all possible.  Therefore, our primary reason for meeting regularly is:   for our good, the good of others, and for our spiritual growth.

Thanks for being here today.

Please open your Bible to 8:35.  After we read through section, we’ll examine a couple of these statements by Paul. 

Romans 8

35: Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

36: Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."


Digging Deeper

When Paul says, “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” in verse 35 and then begins to lists “things” in no specific order I want you to remember the “Who” he is referring to is our great enemy; the one who opposes God and His saints. 

I choose to spend some extra time talking about our chief foe because #1 Scripture does and #2 people have a tendency to NOT think much about the devil if they consider him at all.  Let’s be clear.  If you don’t think Satan is a negative force in this world that must be dealt with or that he even exists, I suggest you read (better yet; study) the book of Revelation. 

Scripture refers to Satan as “the prince of the power of the air” (Ephesians 2:2) and the “god of this world” (2 Corinthians 4:4).  This truth our apostle Paul kept before him at all times, as we should, so – that no advantage may be gained over us by the devil; for we are not ignorant of his devices (2 Corinthians 2:11).
 
The word “advantage” in this text literally means, that Satan should “gain more control” of you.   My friends, this is what Satan is trying to do.  He desires to control you.  Ever hear the expression, “Give the devil an inch and he’ll take a mile?”  It’s true and it’s also the reason you must be “alert” (1 Peter 5:8) because he is “crafty” and a “liar.”  He will do all he can to gain the advantage – over you. 

So, you may be wondering, how can Satan have power over of you and me?  Easily…he has the majority of the population in the palm of his hand at this very moment.  Let’s go back to the beginning.  The woman in the Garden of Eden certainly wasn’t “alert” to the danger of the devil for whatever reason.  Perhaps God chose not to warn the man and his mate about the influence of evil which already existed in God’s creation.  The Bible doesn’t answer this question for us.  But the presence of Satan in the garden, in the serpent, is proof enough that evil existed.  However, the woman was told not to eat from this tree specifically and we know this from her response to Satan’s deception.  How did Satan gain control of the woman though?  He lied.

The devil told the woman that if she ate of the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil that – she would not die… and that she would be like God… (Genesis 3:5).  This statement from Satan contradicted God’s expressed command and created doubt in the mind of the woman.  She was deceived by the serpent’s lie (2 Corinthians 11:3; 1 Timothy 2:14).  Then when the woman “saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that it was (what) desirable to make one wise, she took fruit and ate;” in so doing she broke God’s one and only commandment (a test) by determining for herself what is good.

Paul states “…we are not ignorant of his devicesand you shouldn’t be for they are well documented in God’s Word.  The word “devices” comes from the original Greek word “Noema” (pronounced: no’-ay-mah) that elsewhere in the New Testament is translated “mind.”  Literally, it is related to the thought processes of the devil, “We are not ignorant of how the devil thinks (devices).”  This is what Paul actually said. 

If you’ll read through 2 Corinthians 3:14-15, we can compare Scripture with Scripture.
The word “mind” in verse 14 is the same Greek word as is the word “device” in our text above and means, “thought processes.”  This is true also for 2 Corinthians 4:4.  The word “mind” as it’s used here also translates to “thought processes.”

Ephesians 5

6: Let no one (do what) deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 

Here Paul warns us to be wary of those who seek to deceive us for this is how the devil thinks and always remember Satan can promote good things as well as bad things.  He’s not only into drugs, liquor joints, strip clubs, and gaming rooms.  The devil can promote libraries, schools, and churches too (2 Corinthians 11:14).  There isn’t a world-system that has not been infected by his evil influence…much like a cancer for he is the god of this world until Jesus Comes again (Revelation 19:11-21).
Let’s return to Romans 8 at verse 35.

Romans 8

35: Who will separate us from the love of Christ?  Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Paul goes on to say, will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword – separate us from the love of Christ? 

The word “separate” in the Greek is chorizo (pronounced:  Kho-rid’-zo).  It is used only 13 times in Scripture and comes from the noun “chora” which means “space” or “room.”  When used as a verb, it has the idea of “putting space between two things” – or putting “room” between them in other words.  No one can put “room” between you and our Lord!  No one can distance you from His love!

The noun love is “agape” and means God’s sacrificial, giving, unselfish love.
The kind of love we saw on display on Calvary to save sinners like you and me.
The term “love” here does not mean my love for God but God’s love for me.

The word “tribulation” (Thlipsis in the Greek) means “pressure” – to squeeze tightly.
Pressure from on top.

The word “distress” had the same kind of idea.  (Stenochoria in the Greek) means literally “narrow” (stenos) + “room” (choros).  Pressure from the sides. 
A stenographer’s pad is one which has a narrow space for writing, for example.

The word “persecution” (dioko in the Greek) comes from the verb that means “to pursue, to chase.  When one is being persecuted (in this sense) an enemy is chasing them to do them harm.

The word “famine” (limos in the Greek) derived from the verb which means “to be absent or to leave.”  It suggests that “food” left you.  There’s nothing to eat is another way of saying this.

The word “nakedness” (gumnotes in the Greek) if you change the “u” to a “y” and bring it into the English language you have the word gymnasium or gym.  It literally means “naked.”  The name comes from the Greek and Roman practice of exercising sans clothing.  Gyms were places where the participants literally exercised in the buff.  This is why Believers did not participate.

The word “peril” (kindunos in the Greek) means “danger.”  The word is only found 9 times in the KJV Bible and is translated “peril” all of those times, meaning:  a condition of threatening circumstances.

The word “sword” (machaira in the Greek) means “a sharp knife” - now called a sword.  It comes from the root word for battle.  Our English word “machete” comes from this noun.

All of these items are what we might refer to as “barriers” or “obstacles” and the fact that Paul would list them proves how very difficult his life and his ministry had become.  But not one single thing on this list or all of them combined could separate him (or you) from the love of Christ! 

Let’s go to verse 36.

Romans 8

36: Just as it is written, "FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED."

Here Paul quotes Psalm 44:22.  Some contend that this quotation describes that terrible hunting down by the Antichrist of the godly remnant of Israel in the days of the Great Tribulation.  But it also serves to sum up Paul’s teachings from Romans 5-8.  Paul is using this Psalm citation to show that “suffering” has long characterized God’s people. 

It describes the days of the early church, quite well; the persecutions, the martyrs, and much later when Truth stood up against the only recognized church in the land in the Reformation Believers were being put to death routinely.  Skip ahead and look hard at Russia and Nazi Germany and give witness to their hatred of God’s saints.  Be not surprised; Jesus warned us (Matthew 10:22; John 15:18).  This same hatred exists today and is practiced worldwide

Paul begins with, “it is written” in verse 36 and he does this in describing the Scriptures.  The two words “is written” is a perfect passive verb (so I’m being informed) and in the indicative mood.  In English this means, the “action” was begun in the past and finished in the past…but has ongoing (up to the very minute) power and influence associated with it.  This describes Bible insight (completed “in the past” once for all -  no more Scripture is being written) and illumination (still going on – every time a Spirit filled Believer reads the Word) ideally. 

FOR YOUR SAKE means on account of or in the place of.  Translated this means:  He (Jesus) died in my place.  Now, some may die for His sake (for the gospel), but there
is nothing redemptive about such a death.  But it is quite a “testimony.”  In fact, the Greek word for testimony/witness is “martyr.”

Killed in the Greek is “thanatoo” a verb and means put to death.  It indicates a present action.  The persecution of Believers never stops according to these verses.

CONSIDERD (accounted in the KJV) in the Greek is “logizomai” which is a mathematical term.  It means numbered or calculated.  Just one more Believer slain today (to take inventory, so to speak)!  The world (with Satan’s assistance) has slain so many Believers that history seems to have “lost” count.  But God knows the count and their names.  He will reward each of them with a “crown” on the great day of the Judgment Seat of Christ …Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
(Revelation 2:10).

SHEEP FOR THE SLAUGHTER is the Biblical way of saying many deaths…unending deaths and to the world unimportant/insignificant deaths.  To the world a Believer’s life is meaningless and the media accounts give witness to this.  I could continue speaking of these who have lost their lives simply because they were people of faith, but I choose to give voice to those who have no voice in this space.  America slaughters about a million and a half unborn babies annually and these lives are considered unimportant by the Supreme Court and the electorate of this nation.  They say the true test of any society can be found in how it treats their young and their old.  Would you give America a pass or fail grade?  While you’re thinking about that remember this, the only Righteous Judge waits…for now.

Time for some good news, if you should draw your last breath today you will not be separated from the love of Christ Jesus and the God who gave us that love. 

Believers can’t lose!  God for us, who against us?

(To be continued)


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