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
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.
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…
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).
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.”
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.
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.
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,
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
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