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

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 10)

Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Established November 2003

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 10

I want to take the time to welcome back our regular visitors and then commend you for your dedication to this Home Bible Study.  I keep you in my daily prayers and thank the Lord often for each one of you.   With all the other activities on your schedules I count it no small thing that you set aside time to study your Bible. 

I also ask the Holy Spirit to help you mature in your faith so that you when the occasion arises will be able to help someone else who is struggling in their faith.

You see, it’s essential to believe the gospel for salvation but that’s only a starting point.
We Believers have a “race” to run after that.  That race is a marathon – not a sprint.
For us to complete the race it is vital that we understand what it is we profess to believe. 

If you are visiting us for the first time, I want to welcome you to our Home Bible study.
I pray that you too will return and visit us often.

Please open your Bible to the book of Romans at chapter 1.
We’ll begin at verse 16.

Romans 1

16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

17: For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.”

Here the Apostle Paul outlines for us the entire book of Romans in just two verses.’

  • First Paul speaks of “the gospel” for which he has been “set apart” to preach to all men.

  • Paul then asserts the “saving power” of the gospel for one’s salvation.

  • Then we find the secret of the gospel’s power:  the revelation of God’s righteousness on the principle of faith alone.  As it is written in the Old Testament, “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Salvation based upon “faith alone” in the Gospel of Grace is a new revelation from the Creator God (Jehovah –in the O.T.) and stands in stark contrast to the outgoing dispensation of salvation based upon one’s keeping all 613 mitzvot (commandments) found in the Torah.    

Please take note of the four “For’s” in the Apostle’s statement in verses 16-18.

1.      For I am not ashamed of the gospel
2.      for it is the power of God for salvation
3.      For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
4.      And then in verse 18 the next “For” which makes the gospel necessary: 
For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness…

Number 1:
For I am not ashamed of the gospel

Here we have the Apostle’s Paul’s willingness to go to Rome, the capital of the world in its day, to preach Jesus Christ of Nazareth crucified.  A man whom the Jews despised and the Romans executed (see Psalms 2:1-3)

The Roman Emperor at this time was Nero, who later became infamous for his manner of persecuting the Christians.  Nero ruled the world from A.D. 54-68. 
He was good during the first five years of his reign because he had excellent advisors like stoic philosopher Seneca and Burrus, general in the imperial palace guard. 
But later he fired his good advisors and killed his mother and wife and became a violent and mad emperor who indulged in excessive drinking and unlimited pleasures. 
He intentionally burned the slum sections of Rome and blamed Christians for the fire and started state-sponsored persecutions against Christians. 

This is the setting Paul “prayed” to go to.  Therefore, Paul’s appeal to Caesar involved a much greater risk. 

Paul’s appeal to Caesar was a fulfillment of prophecy (see Acts 25:1-27).

Acts 9
15: But the Lord said to him, “God, for he (Saul) is a chosen instrument of Mine, to bear My name before the Gentiles and (who) kings (Nero is one) and the sons of Israel;

The Apostle Paul didn’t invent Christianity and he isn’t the reason it exists today.

Saul (Paul) is simply God’s “chosen instrument” to “preach” the gospel of Jesus Christ crucified to the “gentiles” and to the “sons of Israel.” 

The Greek word in your Bible for “preached” is kerusso which when used properly means: to proclaim as a herald, or to publish. 

If you consider this information and read I Corinthians 1:21 in this light the verse should read,

1 Corinthians 1

21b: “God was pleased through the foolishness of the proclaiming to save them that believe.”

Number 2:
for it is the power of God for salvation

The pure and simple Truth of it all is this.  It doesn’t matter how large or affluent your church is.  It doesn’t matter that your church leader speaks eloquently, dresses well, or draws a large crowd every week. 

What matters is the “preaching” of the gospel or the “good news” of Jesus Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection on the 3d day, according to the Scriptures, and His appearing. 

It is the POWER OF GOD for salvation for everyone that believes.
This is the reason for the Apostle Paul’s boldness. 

1 Corinthians 1

18: For the word of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved (read carefully – this is the same language we saw back there in the book of Romans) it is the power of God.

The word gospel (in the Greek = evaggelion) means good news, or glad tidings.
This good news is about:  God’s love and grace, in Jesus Christ’s finished and blessed work for the sinner on the cross, in putting away sin and death for all who believe its message.
There is no other “good news” for a sinner! 

If someone were drowning in a swimming pool, they may expect to see a floatation device being tossed their way or a life-guard race to their rescue.

In this God-forsaken world, sinners need to be rescued too. 
The Bible uses the word “saved.”  The gospel “is the power of God for salvation.”
This is the medium God has chosen to save lost mankind from their “sin of unbelief.”

Jesus Christ has already paid the sin debt for all mankind, when He died on the cross.
Now all you have to do is believe it and own it! 

Here are a couple of Bible verses that highlight this teaching point.

Romans 5

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

Note: now some would argue that Paul is only writing about Believers in general when he wrote this verse above.  But the Bible does not support this opinion. 

Only God knows the heart of every man, woman, and child on this planet. 
Therefore, only God knows the names of those who will choose to believe the Gospel of Grace.  This invitation is open to all. 

Everyone’s sin debt has been pain in full.  That’s done.  Now all God asks of us (mankind) is that we believe in the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

When you do that, when you take a stand for that, then you are “justified” in God’s eyes, you are saved at that very second, baptized into the Body of Christ, and your name is entered into the Book of Life.

Here’s one more Bible verse to support this teaching.

Hebrews 9

28: so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.

Salvation is a word for a lost man or woman and none other.
Whether you are aware of it or not you are involved either in salvation or its opposite, perdition.  If you’re thinking I can do just fine without Jesus, I have a Bible verse for you too.   Jesus is speaking,  

Matthew 10

28: “Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” 

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Thursday, May 23, 2013

How Low Will We Go By Grant Phillips

I read this article today and decided to reproduce it here for your edification.  It parallels the teaching materials I've been producing and the Word of Truth regarding the times in which we are now living.

How low will we go before Jesus returns for His Church to finish the remaining seven years of the 490 promised Israel?

Three NFL players have chosen to "come out of the closet," but prior to their announcement an NBA player has already done so.
Isn't it nice that he received the full support of our President and his wife? I feel a tingle going up my leg as I type!

I was reading an "advice" column, and in it a father stated that his son told him he is "gay." The father is in complete support, but thinks his son should tell the rest of his family, especially his fiancée (female). The son doesn't want to do that however. How's that for "fatherly" advice?

A few years ago a very well known Hollywood actor was chosen to play the part of a guy who pretends he is "gay."
To get himself into the role he decided to participate in sex with another male.  What dedication.

When reading the Bible it becomes very clear that we are to love the sinner but hate the sin.  However, in our society, if we hate the sin but love the sinner, we are still portrayed as hatemongers.  Go figure.  We can't win.

I do feel empathy for these misguided souls.  They are in over their heads in retaliation against a Holy God, and either don't know it or just don't care.

It has gotten so bad in the military that a soldier, even a Chaplin that mentions the name of Jesus could be dishonorably discharged and/or jailed.

Our President and Congress, as a whole, spit in the face of God.  Hollywood continues to push the envelope with its trash.

Abortion, in my opinion, is nothing more than a "politically correct" name for murder, and continues to sling the red blood of babies on a black canvass.  Reading the murderous exploits of Dr. Kermit Gosnell and then hearing our President and his wife ask God's blessings upon Planned Parenthood, turns ones stomach.

Most of the churches in this country are feel-good-gatherings promoting a lifestyle of sin that is being directed from the pulpit and joyously received in the pews.

The sports world is primarily composed of over paid spoiled brats, and the music industry has just simply gone to hell.

Each year I ask myself, "How much lower can we go?" and each year I am surprised to find that we still haven't hit bottom.  Why do I say we haven't hit bottom?
The answer is our blatancy.  More and more all shame is being removed and the conscience of man is disappearing.

"1Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron [emphasis mine];" (1 Timothy 4:1-2)

More and more, acts against God, which we call sin, are being shoved in the face of righteous people, and the righteous are being attacked for not accepting these acts of perversion with open arms.

Are those who are really and truly a child of God righteous? Yes they are, because they have been clothed with the righteousness of Jesus Christ.  Are they perfect and without sin?  In God's eyes they are, because they rest their eternal soul upon Jesus Christ.  Are they without sin in their earthly body?  No they are not, but they know what sin is.                 They recognize it, and they turn to God for forgiveness and forsake it.

One of the most alarming factors however is the direction the church is headed.  If this isn't the Laodicean church age, I'll eat my Stetson.

In my opinion, sin is taking over a nation that once called itself a Christian nation because the churches have failed.   We have done as Israel did so many times.  We have turned our eyes away from God and gone our own way … in the churches no less!

Regardless what some may say, there was a time that we were considered a Christian nation.  That doesn't mean we have always followed God as Israel did when they were obedient to Him.  It doesn't mean that most of our society were Christians and read the Bible every day.  It does mean that many of our forefathers and leaders since then have often turned to the one true God.  It does mean that as a society God's laws were honored, and He was given respect even by many of those who were not His own.

Today, not only is disrespect shown Almighty God, but downright hatred for His name and anything He stands for.

The old saying, "give them an inch and they'll take a mile" seems to be the norm today.

Obviously, when an outrageous act is performed and there is no retribution, the next act will be even more "in your face."

Not only is there no retribution of sinful deeds, but barely a whisper of opposition, and guess where the opposition should be coming from?  God's people should be speaking up, but since Madeline Murray O'Hare, the churches have been silent, except for a very few lone voices from the Church.

Instead of the following warning, there is silence from God's people.

"Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:19)

This verse in the New Testament is a referral to God's decree in the Old Testament and is as follows.
"To me belongeth vengeance, and recompence; their foot shall slide in due time: for the day of their calamity is at hand, and the things that shall come upon them make haste." (Deuteronomy 32:35)

How many local churches speak out against sin?  How many speak out as a unit against abortion, shacking up, homosexuality, lying, stealing, cheating, and so much more that has engulfed our society?  How many churches are holding their members accountable to righteous living?

I guess it's difficult to address sin when you're doing the same thing.

"24: Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
25: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26: For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
27: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
28: And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
29: Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
30: Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31: Without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
32: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them [emphasis mine]." (Romans 1:27-32)

Could this be the problem; i.e. "not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them?"

I think we're on to something here.

In my humble opinion, so goes the pulpit, so goes the pews AND so goes the Church, so goes the community.
How low will we go before the stench of our sinful society brings us to judgment?  Judgment is coming.

The question is how much judgment will we endure before it really gets bad during a time commonly called the Tribulation?  You say, "I'm not worried about the Tribulation, I'm a Christian and will be raptured away before that happens.

Maybe I need to repeat what I previously said.  It is true, if we really are a Christian, we will meet God either by death or the Rapture, but while we are living on this earth, are we standing up for the One Who died for us and rose again or are we just playing church?  Are we warning those around us of the judgment to come?

Once something starts rolling downhill, there is a very small window of time that it can possibly be stopped, but once it builds up momentum, there is no stopping it.  It's like a car slowly starting to roll away because the gear shift was not set in park.  There is a very brief instant that it may possibly be stopped by jumping in and applying the brake, but after that, one could get seriously injured or killed. The further it goes, the faster it moves and greater the crash when it lands.  In my opinion, the sinfulness of our society has passed the point of no return.

How low will we go?  Think about this.
The depth of filth we can attain is only limited by the imagination and inspiration of Satan's hatred toward God, and it will run its course until God says it's over.                    

When that time comes, and I believe it is long over-due, it will be a dreadful time to have to face God as Judge instead of Savior.

We are witnessing public acts today that were not even in a decent person's thoughts just a few years ago.                          

Even more appalling than this however, are the attitude of acceptance by society in general and the indifference of those who say they are Christians.

Grant Phillips

Friday, May 17, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 9)

Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Established November 2003

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 9

Welcome back to our study of the book of Romans.
There are no announcements so we’ll get right to business.

Please open your Bible to the book of Romans at chapter one, verse six.

Romans 1

6: among whom (insert your name here if you are a Believer) you also are the (what’s the next word) called of Jesus Christ;

7: to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints:

Let’s stop here for a minute.  The Apostle Paul has used the word “called” twice in a short span of time.  When you see a word or a phrase that is repeated within a few verses Bible students, take notice.  The writer is drawing your attention to something meaningful and important. 

Paul is teaching us Believers that we are “connected” to the Lord Jesus Christ in a special way.  Although John 3:16 informs us that God loved the whole world, it is the “saints” or the “Believers” who are the BELOVED OF GOD. 

Sinners should understand that God loves them, in fact God sent His only Son to die on the cross for them, but only the “saints” are the “beloved of God.” 

Sinners are never named God’s beloved. 

I believe Scripture always says it best.

Romans 8

38: For I am convinced that that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

39: nor height, nor depth, nor any created thing, will be able to separate us from (what) the love of God, which is (where) in Christ Jesus our Lord.

This Bible verse mentions EVERYTHING imaginable on earth, in the heavens, and beyond.  Therefore, there is absolutely NOTHING that can separate US Believers from the love of God, which is IN Christ Jesus our Lord!

Let’s finish up verse seven.

Romans 1

7: …Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

8: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world.

The Apostle Paul commends their faith.  Here’s a Bible Truth. 
Faith comes from God.  It is a “gift” from God.
But don’t take my word for it.  Check the book to see if what I’m saying is true.

Ephesians 2

8: For by (what) grace you have been saved through faith; (now read carefully) and that not of yourselves, it is a (what’s the next word) gift of God;

9: not as a result of works, so that no one may boast.
Thanksgiving is an acknowledgment of this gift of faith.  And since we find that the Apostle begins his congratulations to these Believers in Rome with thanksgiving, let us know that we are hereby reminded, that all our blessings are God’s free gifts.

Romans 1

9: For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you,

Paul “served” God the Father by “preaching the gospel of His Son” in his “spirit.”

What do we have here?

Everything the Apostle Paul did after His “calling” was “For” the Lord Jesus Christ. 
In the December 1956 issue of the National Geographic Magazine, there appeared an article under the title, “In the Steps of Paul.”  The author or authors, who had done considerable research on Paul’s travels, estimated that his missionary endeavors consumed some twelve thousand miles, some by ship on the mighty Mediterranean Sea, and also across its “arms”—the Aegean and Adriatic Seas.  In addition, hundreds of miles were traversed by land.  He visited approximately fifty cities in his evangelistic endeavors (McRay 2003, 11).

Yet within the thirteen epistles known to have been written by Paul, and penned over an period of maybe just under twenty years, there is no complaint of fatigue, no whimpering at the hardships, no disappointment expressed of having been “crucified with Christ,” or of wasted years, or lack of family, wealth, or fame—just adoration.

There was the simple joy in serving his Lord and Savior and for the blessed hope of life to come.  Paul could not be budged from his determined course of serving the Lord.

In light of this Truth, the word “For” here at the beginning of verse 9 introduces the reason for his thankfulness.   He feels so deep an interest in the cause of Christ that he prays for the faithful in Rome on a daily basis. 

I pray for my family on a daily basis and for my friends in Christ Jesus our Lord on occasion, but if I’m being honest rarely do I pray for the faithful in Tampa, Florida.

But the Apostle Paul was so thankful for the "gift of faith" that each one of these Believers had received from God, having acknowledged it for what it was he gave thanks daily.

This begs the question.  Just how thankful are we Believers for our faith?
Do we truly recognize faith as a gift from God? 

Or do we treat Faith as we would last year’s Father’s Day gift; whatever that was?

Let’s continue examining verse 9.

Serve with my spirit” is not an outward service, but of the whole heart, soul and life, “In the gospel” to which he is “set apart.”  The spirit is the highest part of a man's nature and service with the spirit is the highest service.   

The Apostle Paul was “set apart” to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ Crucified, Buried, and Resurrected on the 3rd day, according to the Scriptures (see 1 Corinthians 15-1:4).

Paul did not depend on (or need) cathedrals, choirs, music, or oratory to stimulate his listeners.  The Apostle Paul didn’t hold “inspirational meetings” to stir the emotions of his audience.  He served God directly “in his spirit.  Paul ministered with the Truth of the Word of God and that’s all. 

What was the result of his ministry?
The Holy Spirit opened the hearts of those who heard his message and they received the gift of faith. 

How many of you actually get “emotional” when the Word of Truth is read?

I know for certain music in a church setting can arouse the emotions of an individual.

But how many Believers get emotional or respectful (stand up during the reading, pay attention, write notes, open their Bible, bring a Bible to church, etc.) when their church leader opens his Bible and begins to read from it?
How many look forward with expectation to that portion of the worship service?

Please take the time to visit the book of Nehemiah chapter 8.
This is the historical and Biblical account of the wall around Jerusalem being rebuilt which was prophesied by the LORD God a century before it occurred.  Jerusalem’s walls had to be rebuilt before work could begin on the Jewish Temple.

In about 700 BC, Isaiah names Cyrus as the king who will allow the Israelites to return to Jerusalem and rebuild its Temple.  In about 539 BC, the Babylonian Empire was conquered by the Persians.  Shortly thereafter, a Persian king named Cyrus issued a formal decree that the Jews could return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.  This decree is confirmed by secular archaeology in the form of a stone cylinder that details many events of Cyrus' reign, including the decree to rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. 

Remarkably, Isaiah predicted that a man named Cyrus, who would not be born for about a hundred years, would give a decree to rebuild a city and a temple, which were still standing and fully active at the time.

For those who argue the Bible is written by man and can’t be trusted.
Archeology proves its authenticity over and over again as it does here.

But the reason I bring you to Nehemiah 8 is to show you the Jews reverent reaction to the reading of God’s Word or The LAW, as it’s known in the O.T. as compared to the almost apathetic reaction it receives in our churches today.

Of course, we are seeing this so called “Christian” nation treat God “indifferently on a daily basis when it comes to believing in what He has said. 

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved