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"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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Friday, July 31, 2015

Romans by the Book (Lesson 104)



Home Bible Study ©
Established November 2008
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)
www.2Tim215.Net

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 104

I want to take the time to welcome you to HBS and to express my appreciation for your attentiveness and your faithfulness.  I’m especially thankful for all those individuals who have elected to stop by our Bible study for the first time.

I usually review the previous lesson to some degree before starting anew.  However, considering the amount of information I hope to go over and explain I’m going to forego the custom this week.

Not everyone has been with us for the “long-haul,” going on 2.5 years now just for the book of Romans, so FYI every single Bible lesson is available on this website for your scrutiny so please look these over when you have time. 


Please open your Bible at Romans 12:9

Romans 12

9: Let (your) love (Agape in the Greek language) be without hypocrisy.  Abhor (be repulsed by) what is evil; cling (hold tightly) to what is good.

I’m going to divide this verse into two parts.  After explaining the first half, I’ll move on to the last section:  Let (your Agape) love be without hypocrisy

The Greeks had several words for love:

Eros – a passionate love – we get our English word erotic from this word. 
Eros is the Greek god of physical desire, the Romans called him Cupid.
Storge – a pride love - for the tribe or family; or for their nation
Phileo – a fondness or affection – as one family member towards another
Agape – non-emotional – self-sacrificial love; without any expectation in return

Once again, the type of love Paul’s referring to in verse 9 is Agape love.  Agape love is God’s kind of love.  It is of God and from God, whose very nature is love itself.  The essence of Agape love is self-sacrifice.  It is seeking the betterment and welfare of another regardless of how they feel.  The Lord Jesus Christ is the epitome of Agape love on display.  He voluntarily went to the cross and died for all regardless of how they feel.  (John 3:16; Romans 5:8; 1 John 4:8) 

Sacrificial love has nothing to do with one’s “feelings.”  It is a determined act of will, a joyful resolve to put the needs and welfare of others above one’s own.  To be sure, this type of love does not come naturally to humans.  Because of our fallen nature we are incapable of producing Agape love towards others.  Therefore, this type of love can only come from its true source.  This is the love of God which has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given (imparted) to us – when we became children of God by faith (Romans 5:5).

Agape love is best described as the absence of bitterness, envy, hate, jealousy, strife, etc.  To be succinct it is the same attitude as our Savior’s.  But what does this book say? 

But the fruit of the Spirit is (what’s #1 on the list -Agape) love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, (Galatians 5:22-23).  Paul gives us a word picture of the Lord Jesus Christ in this passage the very Person we are to imitate (Ephesians 5:1). 

Back in verse 6 Paul started his list of spiritual gifts by saying, “if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith,” “if service, in his serving,” “he who teaches, in his teaching,” “he who exhorts, in his exhortations,” “he who gives, with liberality,” “he who leads, with diligence,he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.”  Now in verse 9 he simply says, Let love be without hypocrisy. 

I ask questions; this is what makes me a Bible student.  Why didn’t Paul say, Let love be:  earnest, joyful, or patient?  Why did he say, “Let (your) love be without hypocrisy?” 

Let’s start by breaking down the word.  A hypocrite is a pretender.  They pretend to have admirable beliefs, principles, or a certain way of thinking but they actually behave otherwise.  Hypocrisy - presenting oneself as something they are not is one of the most subtle and dangerous of sins.  Pride is the root cause of hypocrisy while humility lays it to rest.  Hypocrisy cannot exist in an environment filled with humility; this is because folks are focused on the Lord Jesus Christ and serving Him and not on themselves. 


Eight times Jesus reproached the religious leaders of His day, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!  (Matthew 23:13, 14, 15, 16, 23, 25, 27, 29).

Jesus Christ warned His disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”  (Luke 12:1b)  It is the nature of leaven to spread subtly and pervasively, until the whole lump of dough is affected; so too with hypocrisy. 

Using a more modern illustration, a parent standing in their living room holding a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other while scolding their child for drinking alcohol and smoking might be viewed as a hypocrite.  It’s not a good idea to moralize on the evils of drinking and smoking to your child while you’re indulging in those practices. 

To better understand what Paul is saying in verse 9a, I believe we need to remember both his statements from Romans 12:1-2 and Romans 12:3.    These passages instruct the individual to consider faith over “feelings” and “intellect;” and not to think more highly of himself (or herself) than he (or she) ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment 

Paul, who speaks for the risen Lord Jesus Christ, is informing us that each Believer must view themselves as God views them – soberly; with sound judgment.  In other words, egos and self-pride need to be “checked” at the door!  Apart from the Lord Jesus Christ we begin as nothing and end up the same way. 

We should remember these words from Paul as well:  “What do you have that you did not receive?”  We don’t own our next breath or our next heartbeat and yet people walk about believing themselves to be masters of their domain, or thinking more highly of themselves then they ought. 

The world accepts one’s pride as a sign of dignity and respect and it’s infectious.  But the source of pride is ourselves the Creator God isn’t present; it is conceit.  A person filled with conceit has an exaggerated opinion of themselves.  They become the “main show,” filled with self-righteousness, which is self-destructive:  Do not be excessively righteous and do not be overly wise.  Why should you ruin yourself?  (Ecclesiastes 7:16)

And: 

The wicked, through the pride of his (or her) countenance, will not seek after God:  God is not in all his (or her) thoughts.  (Psalms 10:4)

In Paul’s day, the church was growing rapidly and its members were being instructed to mature in the faith or as Paul put it:  be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

People from every walk of life were coming into the body demonstrating that God loves all people.  God invites together young and old, male and female, rich and poor, and people from every nation, tribe, and tongue.  Groups like this don’t naturally come together or stay together; there are too many forces working to keep them apart: beliefs, ethnicity, geography, language, personal preferences, and values to name but a few.  On top of all this, as a fallen human race, we are predisposed to alienation, division, dissension, mistrust, and name-calling.  History teaches us that humanity, left to itself, divides.  But Jesus Christ unites us!  The Lord Jesus Christ reconciled Believers to God and to one another – His death, burial, and resurrection made this possible. 

God has called His church to share this (Agape) love.  Church unity isn’t something we create; it’s something we enter into.  It’s a behavior we adopt and we are called to guard it and to treasure it by the way we treat one another:  Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in the manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in (what) love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  (Ephesians 4:1-3)

The hypocrite’s prideful behavior and lifestyle conflicts with Christ’s command for unity within the Body of Christ and this is why Paul said, Let love be without hypocrisy. 

Our Apostle Paul is saying sacrificial love doesn’t act this way.  Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 13:6:  love does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices in truth.

Hypocrisy is all about, concealment, deceit, and falsehood.  Hypocrisy only serves the hypocrite; it won’t bring honor and glory to our risen Savior. 

Let’s look at verse 9b.

Romans 12

9b:  Abhor (detest) what is evil (note that Paul did not say, abhor or detest evil people only those things which are evil); cling (hold tightly) to what is good.  (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22)

This is the only instance in the N.T. where Paul tells Believers to hate evil; no other writer does.  This is impossible for those who do not have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, of course.  To be honest, it’s only intermittently possible for those who are in Christ Jesus – see Romans 7.  However, for those who have obeyed Romans 12:1-2 and surrendered to God, it becomes instinctive.
 
I once was a sailor, so I used to curse like one.  I enjoyed a night out on the town with the guys and used to smoke and drink to excess.  I played 9-ball and I used to gamble frequently too.  Note the emphasis I placed on used to.  After I acquired a relationship with my Lord and Savior, I learned to eliminate these things and other evil influences from my life over time:  When I was a child, I used to speak like a child, think like a child, reason like a child; when I became a man, I did away with childish things.  (1 Corinthians 13:11)

The definition of evil in the Bible falls into two categories:  evil against one another (adultery, lying, murder, theft, etc.) and evil against God (blasphemy, idolatry, unbelief).  For those who would argue that God created evil I would answer back that evil is not a thing; it is a lack of goodness or goodness spoiled.  You can have goodness without evil but you cannot have evil without goodness 

God indirectly created the possibility of evil, in creating Adam with the ability to make his own decisions.  When Adam disobeyed God, this possibility became a reality.  While evil is real, it is important to recognize that evil does not exist in and of itself.  It’s not a living thing, running around looking for someone to pounce on!  Evil is like a parasite on the good.  It exists in the same way that rust exists on your car.  The rust cannot exist on its own any more then cold can exist without the existence of heat or darkness can exist without the existence of light.  

Now let’s examine the back section of this verse.     
 
…cling (hold tightly) to what is good. 

Scripture teaches us to examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.  (1 Thessalonians 5:21-22) 

How do we know what is good?

Our Apostle Paul writes:  Finally brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.  The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.  (Philippians 4:8-9)

In other words, look to and trust the study of God’s Word, to teach you what is good and acceptable and perfect.  In the book of Genesis, you’ll find the LORD God placing Adam in the Garden of Eden and giving him specific instructions:  “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”  (Genesis 2:16-17)  There were other instructions given to Adam as well, but my point is this; the Bible is filled with instructions as to how God wants His people to live and He has given us the Holy Spirit for the purpose of enabling us to obey His Word.   

Let’s move on to verse 10 where Paul says that love expresses itself in the church by devotion to one another.  It holds the other in honor and gives to the other the place of preference.  True agape love seeks the good of our brother and sister in Christ Jesus, even at our own expense.

Romans 12

10:  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor;

The English word devoted is from the Greek work Philostorgos (pronounced:  fil-os’-tor-gos) which is a combination of two Greek words:  Phileo and Storge. This is the only place in the N.T. where it’s used.  It means:  tender affection; particularly family affection.  So, Paul is calling for all Believers to have “tender affection toward one another as in family love.”

Then he adds, brotherly love – this is the word Philadelphia, which comes from two words:  Philos, which means:  tender affection, fondness, devotion, and Adelphos, which is usually translated:  brother, but literally means:  one born of the same womb.  So, Philadelphia means:  tender affection owed to those born from the same womb.

Paul has used two words that express kindred love in the same phrase, which makes a very strong statement.  He didn’t use this language for biological families, but for the Body of Christ – the church.  This is the kind of devotedness that is called for within this body of Believers - Be devoted to one another in brotherly love.  The basis of concern for one another is not that we know each other well or that we enjoy one another’s company on occasion, but it is that we are related to one another!

Let’s go to the book.  Please turn to Matthew 12:46 where Jesus addresses relationships.
While He was still speaking to the crowds, behold, His mother and brothers were standing outside, seeking to speak to Him.  Someone said to Him, “Behold, Your mother and Your brothers are standing outside seeking to speak to You.”  But Jesus answered the one who was telling Him and said, “Who is My mother and who are My brothers?”  And stretching out His hand toward His disciples, He said, Behold My mother and My brothers, For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

The Lord Jesus Christ has changed the order of relationships showing that true kinship is not just a matter of flesh and blood.  Those relationships still exist to be sure, but there’s a superior relationship.  Our adoption as sons and daughters of Abba God the Father transforms all our relationships and requires a renewing of our mind – a new order of loyalty to God and to one another within the Body of Christ. 

 (To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved



Friday, July 24, 2015

Romans by the Book (Lesson 103)



Home Bible Study ©
Established November 2008
Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth
(2 Timothy 2:15)
www.2Tim215.Net

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 103

If you’re a regular attendee here at HBS I’m more than pleased to welcome you back and if you’re a first-time visitor I’m especially thankful to have you here.

Our Apostle Paul has compared the human body to the Body of Christ; the body has many members, they form one body, each member is a member of all the others, yet has a separate function (1 Corinthians 12:12-14).  Most of us attend our church of choice regularly and to some degree we’re aware of the goings-on there but if we’re honest we’re disconnected and unconcerned with the church down the street, across town, or in our neighboring state for that matter, even though Scripture says we’re all connected.

If a church up the road or an individual from your assembly “messes” up this affects the entire body negatively and the opposite is true.  If a church group or an individual does something remarkable this has a positive affect on the whole body.  I liken this to an individual sitting down and eating a gallon of chocolate ice cream along with a large bag of Wavy Lays Potato Chips and then washing all that down with a liter bottle of Pepsi Cola.  This episode will not have a positive effect on one’s body.  However, a proper diet combined with exercise and 7-8 hours sleep per night will.  My point is you and I need to manage our bodies properly and so it goes with the Body of Christ; it too must be maintained properly in accordance with God’s instructions.

The character and effectiveness of any church is directly related to the quality of its leadership.  That’s why the Bible stresses the importance of qualified church leadership and cites specific standards for evaluating those who would serve the Body of Christ.  Failure to adhere to those standards has caused many of the problems that churches throughout the world currently face.  That was the problem young Timothy faced in Ephesus, so Paul gave him a detailed explanation of the qualifications for elders (1 Timothy 3:1-7).

I provided recent church statistics in my lesson last week both to “enlighten” you and to demonstrate that the Body of Christ is in a crisis.  Church attendance continues to decline steadily across all age brackets, 75% of young adults from Christian families admit being without a “firm spiritual foundation” and walked away from Jesus Christ, and according to a new report by the Pew Research Center, Americans who identify themselves as Christian has dropped significantly over the past 8 years, in part because one-third of millennials now say they are unaffiliated with any faith-based organization.  One of the specific criticisms cited by this generation about Christianity is that is does not offer “deep, thoughtful, or challenging answers to life in a complex culture.”

The single common thread running throughout this church crisis is a glaring lack of Bible teaching in the home and churches have opted not to teach the Scriptures and Church Doctrine to their congregations.

If you’re truly a born again Believer, then there is nothing more important in the entire universe than the Words which come from God.  When the Creator God speaks, the universe, the earth, and every living creature upon it should be still; and listen:  Be still, and know that I am God:  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.  (Psalms 46:10)


Please open your Bible at Romans 12:8a

Romans 12

8: or he who exhorts (encourage), in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Picking up where we left off last week, Paul mentions the spiritual gift of giving next and he goes on to say, with liberality or generously. 

The literal meaning of the word “giving taken from this verse means:  that of imparting, of sharing our substance (materials or our stuff and not just one’s money) with others.  Paul adds in his letter to the church in Corinth that this should be done cheerfully:  Each person must do just has he (or she) has purposed in his (or her) heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion (means:  pressure or obligation), for God loves a cheerful giver.  (2 Corinthians 9:7) 

An objective Bible student must understand that Paul was referring to the distribution of money specifically to the poor Believers outside church walls in the passage above (Romans 15:22-29; 1 Corinthians 16:1-4; 2 Corinthians 8-9). 

In this instance, it was in the context of Gentile churches in the region (for they were one body) taking up a collection to give to the poor Jewish Believers living in Jerusalem for the need was great.  They had become destitute having sold all their personal belongings.  Believing the Jesus Christ’s return was imminent they pooled all their wealth and lived off it as a community of Believers.  When Jesus Christ did not return, as expected, their money ran out and they were left penniless.  (Acts 4:32 – 5:11)  So, James, Peter, and John asked Paul to remember the poor (Galatians 2).

Truth is Paul wrote more about giving money to the poor than he did on the Doctrine of Justification by faith.  However, Believers are not commanded to give.  Giving or sharing our substance is voluntary as Paul stated above.   

However, many church leaders will command you to tithe.  A few years ago a prominent evangelical Baptist preacher, author, teacher, and T.V. celebrity gave a sermon on tithing.  In it he said, and I quote:  How dare you come to the house of God without bringing your tithe into His storehouse… don’t you know you’re robbing God?” (Malachi 3:8-10). 

He’s not the only pastor or minister who’s “borrowed” this passage.  It’s been used multiple times by multiple church leaders, but it’s a half-truth, which is the same as a lie.  Satan told the woman in the Garden of Eden a half-truth too when he said, “You surely will not die!”  That was a lie.  But Satan also said “For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”  This part was the truth, which made his lie more deceptive.  When a person mixes a bit of truth with an untruth, they’ve created a believable lie. 

Malachi 3:8-10 is in the Bible, however, an objective Bible student will come to understand that the book of Malachi is written to the nation of Israel and not to gentile Believers.  This is understood from reading verse1:  The oracle of the word of the LORD to Israel through Malachi.  (Malachi 1:1)

That portion of his statement which is untruthful exists in what he’s not telling us. Tithing is an Old Testament command to the Jew only and in reality it was their “taxation” system.  The Jewish tithe consisted of the Temple Tax, the Land Sabbath Tax, and the Special Profit-Sharing Tax (leaving the corners of their fields unharvested for the poor). 

The required taxation for the Jew was around 25% per year.  In addition to all this taxation, there was also voluntary giving in the O.T. which included first-fruit giving and freewill offerings.  Tithing in the O.T. was required giving!  The LORD God commanded the Israelites to tithe on agricultural products and on every tenth animal of their flocks and herds and not once in the O.T. does God command the Jews to give money.  (Leviticus 27:30-32)

In addition, the Bible clearly states who was authorized to receive the tithes of the people:  (This is the LORD God speaking:  “To the sons of Levi, behold I have given (how much) all the tithe in Israel for an inheritance, (why) in return for their service which they perform, the service of the tent of meeting (the sons of Levi didn’t keep it all they gave a tenth of their tithe to the priests who attended the altar (Numbers 18:25-32).  The priests didn’t tithe at all). 

Nowhere in the New Testament is a Believer commanded to tithe or to give money to God.  Paul only instructs us to give in the sense that it is a freewill offering from one’s heart (2 Corinthians 8).  The N.T. says Believers are to give in response to “need,” (Acts 11:27-29); and in a “purposeful” manner, (2 Corinthians 9:7).

Now if you want to give 10% or more of your income to your church of choice, you may do so if you choose, but you are under no compulsion to tithe.  (Galatians 5:1-7).


Paul mentions he who leads as the next spiritual gift in verse 8 and follows it by saying with diligence.  The word leads in the Greek language is translated Proistemi and means:  to care for; to preside over; to be a protector or guardian.  

Leading in the church is a gift first and foremost and then an office, like that of an elder or a deacon:  He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity.  (1 Timothy 3:4, 12)

Prophesying, teaching, and exhortation are gifts by the Spirit of God, and giving is a grace given of God to each Believer (2 Corinthians 8:1, 4, 7); but elders and deacons perform the work of management and care in the N.T. church.  (Acts 20:17, 28)

According to the N.T., elders are responsible for the primary leadership and oversight of a church group.  “Elders lead the church” (1 Timothy 3:1-7, Titus1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-2), teach and preach the word (1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 4:2; Titus 1:9), protect the church from false teachers (Acts 20:17, 28-31), exhort and admonish the saints in sound doctrine (2 Timothy 3:13-17; Titus 1:9).  

John Piper, theologian, suggests that elders and pastors are not two different offices they are simply two different words for the same office and this isn’t his opinion it’s supported by Scripture (Acts 20:28; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-2;); and I agree. 

It may surprise you to learn the word “pastor” doesn’t appear in the N.T. at all.  The plural form “pastors” is used but once in Paul’s letter to the Ephesians (Ephesians 4:11-12).  In the Greek language, the word pastors is translated Poimen (pronounced:  poy-mane’) and means – a herdsman, a shepherd. 

What we will find in the N.T. is that Paul, after he planted a church in an area, would appoint elders a.s.a.p.  These men were selected from the area and never imported from outside the area and the individual(s) had to meet the qualifications.   (1 Timothy 3:1-10)

The Bible often uses different “terms” to refer to the same thing such is the case here.
The office of bishop/overseer is the same office of elder in the N.T.  It is listed beside the office of deacon (Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:1-13) to show us that these two were the main offices by which the ongoing life of the church was to be managed.

The N.T. only refers to the office of pastor once (Ephesians 4:11).  It is a “functional” description of the role of elder stressing the care and feeding of the planted church, just as “bishop/overseer” is a functional description of the role of elder stressing the management of the church. 


Last but not least Paul names the gift of mercy, with cheerfulness next.  The word mercy in the Greek language is Eleeo (pronounced:  el-eh-eh’o) and means:  to help the afflicted – those suffering mental or physical distress.

The person who has received the gift of mercy desires to make others feel better.
They are optimistic by nature, good spirited and pleasant people to be around.   They go around promoting cheer, which is the opposite of despair and sorrow.  Sick people get enough of that as it is, what they need is a bright ray of sunshine in their lives and that exemplifies the individual who has been given the gift of mercy.    

The person with the gift of mercy also has the characteristic of Christ’s love; this is their primary motivator; the engine that drives them, if you will.  They see no benefit in pain, suffering, distress, or sorrow.  The people with the gift of mercy desire to see those who are hurting alleviated from their pain.  These are the folks you see running into burning buildings, for instance instead of running away from them – as on 9/11.  These are the combat medics fighting to save our soldiers and the locals while serving on the frontlines in Iraq and Afghanistan, when the hot lead is flying.

Characteristics of Someone with the gift of Mercy

Attentive - watchful over those who are in need, or who are experiencing sorrow
Sensitive - aware of the needs of others, even without a word being spoken by them
Fair - desiring impartiality and fairness – in every circumstance
Compassionate – feeling the pain of others as if it were their own
Gentle – soft-spoken, tender-hearted, and caring
Yielding – willing to give ground so that harmony and peace might prevail
Sacrificial – willing to suffer if it will help another person’s condition

Let’s go to verse 9.

Romans 12

9: Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor (reject) what is evil; cling (hold tightly) to what is good.

Paul has been teaching this assembly in Rome (and us) about Spiritual gifts (verses 4-8) and now shifts his focus to the more general way of the church.  But let’s not lose sight of his primary line of teaching from Romans 12:1-2 which is still unfolding - what it means to have a transformed mind, and what this will look like when we’re not thinking too highly of ourselves than we ought to be, but we are magnifying the Lord Jesus Christ everyday in every way! 

Paul wrote similarly in his first letter to the Corinthians.  Paul writes:  And I show you a still more excellent way, as he begins to teach on “Christian charity” or moral love in 1 Corinthians 13.  If we do not have this love, the gifts of the Holy Spirit are meaningless.  (Matthew 22:37-40)

The church Paul planted at Corinth wasn’t maturing spiritually; they remained carnalistic – these folks weren’t being transformed by the renewing of their mind.    They were hypocrites, impatient, discontented, envious, egotistic, selfish, suspicious, resentful, and they were critical of others.   Paul explained to them the difference between their present condition and Christian (charity) love to show them a better way.   (1 Corinthians 13:1-13) 

You see if someone doesn’t teach you, from Scripture, the better way, God’s way and not the world’s; how can you make an informed decision.  How can you then begin to renew your mind?

We’ll put a bookmark here for now and pick it up from this spot, when next we meet.


(To be continued)


© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved