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 helpful and informative in many ways, the Bible might not 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.

Search HBS Bible Lessons

Friday, March 8, 2013

Romans Chapter 1

Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
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

Today we begin our study of the book of Romans.  So grab your Bible and a snack or refreshment and set aside a block of time for Bible study. 

For those of you who are new to Bible study, when I commence a new study, whether that is a topic such as salvation or a complete Bible book, I like to start by performing some “prep” work.

It’s good to know something about the writer of the book or the subject your about to study.
·         What's his purpose in writing it.
·         Who makes up the writer's audience?  (This is very important.)
·         And then look into the history of that particular era.

And you don’t need to overdo it.  Here we go.

While Romans 1:1 identifies the author of Romans as the Apostle Paul, the transcriber of his words was a man named Tertius (Romans 16:22). 

The letter to the Romans was written from Corinth, Greece just prior to Paul’s trip to Jerusalem to deliver the alms that had been given for the poor there.  He had intended to go to Rome and then on to Spain but his plans were interrupted when he was arrested in Jerusalem (Romans 15:24).

Paul would eventually go to Rome as a prisoner.  Phoebe, who was a member of the church at Cenchrea near Corinth, most likely carried the letter to Rome (Romans 16:1).

The Chain of Events that Led to Rome

The apostle’s third missionary campaign ended in Jerusalem, as he, in the company of other brethren (Acts 20:4) brought to the holy city a contribution for the poor of that
region (Acts 24:17).  Paul was happily embraced by the brothers in Jerusalem, but they presented him with a problem.  His reputation had preceded him!

The report had spread abroad that the apostle was antagonistic to the Jewish system. Accordingly, in order to disarm a volatile situation, Paul, having been in recent days among the Gentiles, agreed to submit to a ceremonial “cleansing” in the temple (Acts 21:26).

This act of benevolence hardly appeased the Jews.  Paul had been seen in the city with Trophimus, a Gentile from Ephesus, and so the rumor quickly spread that the apostle had taken “Greeks” into the temple and “defiled this holy place” (Acts 21:28)—which was a capital offense.  Before long, the city was aflame with the “lynch-him” mentality. Paul’s life was saved only when Roman officials intervened and took him to a place of safety.

Eventually, under heavy guard (470 soldiers; Acts 23:23) the apostle was taken to Caesarea over on the coast, where he was confined in Herod’s palace.

Over some period of time, Paul was subjected to a series of interrogations.  
Finally, after two years had lapsed, and it appeared that “justice delayed is justice denied,” the noble preacher concluded that he would never receive a fair hearing under the present circumstances.  And so, exercising his right as a Roman citizen, he appealed his case to Caesar (25:11-12).  Nero was emperor of Rome from AD 54-68.

The book of Romans was likely written AD 56-58.

Romans Chapter 1

The Gospel Exalted

Romans 1

1: Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

Bible students ask questions.  But they don’t stop there.  They search for Truth.
So, we’re going to examine this opening verse closely.

The difference between reading your Bible and studying it is vast.
Most Bible readers skim right over this verse and keep right on going and by doing this miss so much.  But as I’ve said, we’re going to slow down and look at it.

Here at the very beginning of his letter to the Believers in Rome Paul first reveals his humility in servitude to Jesus Christ.  And then Paul cites his credentials.

We’ll look at these individually.

First, what is a bond servant? 
The word bond servant comes from the Greek word “doulos,” meaning “one who is subservient to, and entirely at the disposal of, his master; a slave.”

In Roman times, the term bond servant or slave could refer to someone who voluntarily served others.  But it usually referred to one who was held in a permanent position of servitude.  Under Roman law, a bond servant was considered the owner’s personal property.  Slaves essentially had no rights and could even be killed with impunity by their owners.

The Hebrew word for “bond servant,” “‘ebed,” had a similar connotation.  However, the Mosaic Law allowed an indentured servant to become a bond servant voluntarily: “If the servant declares, ‘I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ then his master must take him before the judges.  He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl.  Then he will be his servant for life.”  (Exodus  21:56).        

What does it mean to be a bond-servant of Jesus Christ?

Throughout the New Testament, the word bond servant, slave, or servant is applied metaphorically to someone absolutely devoted to Jesus.  Paul, Timothy, James, Peter, and Jude all describe themselves as “bond servants of Christ”
(Romans 1:1; Philippians 1:1; James 1:1; Peter 1:1; Jude 1:1)

Believers today should still consider themselves bond servants or slaves of Christ.
He is our Lord, and our Redeemer.  Our allegiance is due to Him alone.  
(I Corinthians 7:22; Ephesians 6:6; 2 Timothy 2:24)

I think you all know what the word “redemption” refers to: losing something and buying it back.

When did God lose the human race; when Adam sinned!
We're all in Adam, remember?  It was there God lost us.  

So now, what does He have to do?  God has to buy us back with a price.
Satan is a hard task master; he won't let go of us easily.

And this is the whole idea of redemption -- God has to buy us back for Himself because He lost us in Adam. The word redemption here, especially in Romans, goes back to the Roman slave market in particular, for a beautiful illustration.  

The Greek word is Agorazo.  We're not going to be concerned with that word so much, but we're talking about a slave market.

Just like in today's stock market, there were certain terms back then that applied only to the slave market.  And these were the three that were usually exercised by wealthy Romans who would go down to the slave market and just spend the day.                              

It was a good past-time for them to go down and buy a slave and leave it in the market. And, when they left that slave in the market (much like a stock trader today can buy stocks in the morning on the board of trade or stock exchange and, if at one o'clock in the afternoon, the market has jumped a couple of points, he can resell that same stock), if the price went up, they could sell the same slave that same day.

Well, the Romans could actually do that with slaves.  But, the one we're most concerned with here in Scripture is the term Exagorazo.  Now the term 'ex' always means out.            

So, in this case, they could buy a slave, take it out of the market and take it home, thereby becoming that slave's owner.  Then, they could exercise the third part with regard to slaves -- they could 'Lutroo' him, or set him free.                                                           

So, with that background, let's look at this verse.  Here, the Roman legions have just come down from barbarian Gaul in Northern Europe.  And they've got this teenage lad who has probably been beaten and dragged several hundred miles - and here he is in the slave market.  But this rich, benevolent Roman sees this young man and sees something in him of worth.  So, what does he do?  He buys him; and instead of leaving him in the market to trade again, he takes him home, cleans him up and gives him light duty.
This young man has never lived so sumptuously, although he is a slave.                                     
And then, one day, this Roman master calls this young man into his office and says, "You've been an ideal slave and I'm going to now give you your freedom.  I have paid for your citizenship.  You are free to go wherever you want to go.  You are a Roman citizen."             What do you suppose that young man would say considering the fact that slaves who were not fortunate enough to be bought, were thrown to the lions in the coliseum?  He would probably say, "Master, there's no way that I could do that after all that you have done for me.  You bought me out of that awful slave market.  You've put me in new clothes, you've cleaned me up and you've given me the best of duty.  Master, I love you, and I will never leave you.  I'm going to serve you all the rest of my life."
Now, doesn't that say it all?                                                                                                                

That is what God rightfully expects from every person He has saved.  

He has taken us out of the slave market of Satan; He has broken the bonds of sin.
He has cleaned us up and given us a whole new outlook on life.
He has given us the Holy Spirit and all the promises of eternity to come.

So, what should be our logical response to this display of love and grace?

"Lord, You've done so much for me.  The least I can do for You is to serve You and be Your faithful bond slave."                                      

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

No comments: