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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 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.

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Thursday, July 4, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 17)

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 17

Welcome back one and all.  I’m glad that you’re here.

We’re going to start right where we left off in the last Bible lesson.
Please open your Bible to Romans 2:3.

If you’ll recall, we were looking at the “moral” man and woman who are not saved.

They “judge” themselves to be better than other people, and due to this false assumption they are blind to their own sins and the guilt. 

These self-righteous individuals are unable to grasp the concept of God’s unmerited patience, mercy, and kindness being offered to them.  Therefore, they are also blind to the Truth that the goodness of God is meant to lead them to repentance and not to judgment.

Romans 2

3: But do you suppose this, O man, when you pass judgment on those who practice such things (sins) and do the same (things) yourself, that you will escape the judgment of God?

There appears to be some confusion in the Body of Christ today about the definition of sin is and this stems from a lack of proper Bible teaching.  Therefore, I’m going to take a minute to discuss this topic with you.  This is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the Body today, but it doesn’t have to be.  If you apply the principle, “What did God say,” and then Rightly Divide Scripture.  

First, the Bible describes sin as the breaking, or transgression, of God's law (1 John 3:4).
It is also defined as disobedience or rebellion against God (Deuteronomy 9:7), as well as independence from God. 

We’re no longer under God’s Law we’re in the Age of Grace, but this doesn’t mean you throw the Ten Commandments under the bus.  His rules still apply to all of society.   Is it wrong to murder someone - yes!  Is it wrong to commit adultery - yes!  Should children honor their parents always and respect them – yes!  God said do these things.

The essence of the problem stemmed from the human desire to be like God.  All sin, therefore, has its roots in idolatry—the attempt to put something or someone in the place of the Creator God.

The Bible indicates that there are degrees to sin; some are more detestable to God than others (Deuteronomy 25:16; Proverbs 6:16-19).  However, when it comes to the eternal consequences of sin, all things are equal.  Every sin, every act of rebellion, leads to condemnation and eternal death (Romans 6:23). 

Scripture gives us a list of sins that God will judge on the Day of Judgment see:  Mark 7:21-22; Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:9-19; 1 Timothy 1: 9-10; Revelation 22:15.

Now when you run into something that is not covered in Scripture ask yourself:

Is this activity good enough for me and my friends?  
Will this activity honor God and draw me closer to Him? 
Will this activity strengthen my faith and my witness (1 Corinthians 10:23-24)? 
Will God bless this activity (1Corinthians 6:19-20; 1 Corinthians 10:31)?
Will this activity cause a weaker brother or sister to stumble (Romans 14:21; Romans 15:1)?

Let’s get back to Romans, chapter 2. 

Do you suppose the moral (but unsaved) self-righteous person who is pointing the finger of blame at others is “hoping” that they will somehow get lost in the crowd and go unnoticed by God on the Day of Judgment?  Is this their plan B?

I suppose it is.  Hope is all they have – they have no faith.

In a way, that’s similar to the “religious” individual who also lives his life on “hope.”
He or she hopes they can perform enough good WORKs while they’re here on earth, so that God will take notice, and allow them into His heaven.  I know a few of these folks.

There is no assurance with the “Work Hard and Hope Plan.” 
#3 Hypocrites misuse the mercy of God (verses 4-5)

In these next two verses we have the Apostle Paul’s final condemnation of the moral hypocrites:  they misuse the mercy of God.

Romans 2

4: Or do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?

5: But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart you are storing up (what’s the next word) wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

What’s another word for “stubbornness?”  Pride is the answer.

Remember what we learned earlier?  The moral hypocrite believed themselves to be “better” than those “other” people.  They were BLIND to the Truth.  What kept them from seeing the Truth?  Their pride!  Scripture has something to say about man and his pride?

Proverbs 8

13: "The fear of the LORD is to hate evil; Pride and arrogance and the evil way And the perverted mouth, I hate.

Pride has kept the majority of people from accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Admitting our sinful nature and acknowledging that we our powerless to save ourselves from God’s righteous anger are a source of stumbling for prideful people.

Getting back to the moral hypocrite, who take God’s grace for granted.
They wrongly assume, since God hasn’t punished them yet, they must be pretty good.

But they miss the point, as verse 5 points out quite clearly; they should not interpret God’s patience as meaning He is pleased with their progress.   To the contrary, God is simply giving them, as well as the rest of the human race, more time to come to their senses!

God waits because he knows how blind we are to the Truth.
God waits because he knows how obstinate and foolish we are.
God waits because he knows we need more time.
God waits because he wants us to repent and turn to him.

1 Timothy 2

3: This is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior,

4:  who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.

One of God’s most encouraging attributes is His longsuffering.  Immediately following a reminder to the Christians in Rome that the Old Testament was “written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope,” Paul referred to God as “the God of patience and comfort” (Romans 15:4-5). 

Throughout the Old Testament, Bible writers portrayed God as longsuffering (meaning= “to suffer long with”), especially in His dealings with the Israelites, who constantly rejected His guidance (Numbers 13-14; 16; 21:4-9). 

Unfortunately, people living in the 21st century seem to think, if they think about such things at all, have wrongly assumed that God’s patience will go on forever.  To compound the problem some churches never speak of God’s wrath.  They only speak of God’s love.  Such a concept, however, stands in stark contrast to God’s revealed will.

The fact is, God will judge the world one day (Acts 17:30-31), and He will take “retribution to those who do not know God, and to those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus” (2 Thessalonians 1:8-9).  These unbelievers will be punished in the Lake of Fire for eternity and with eternal separation from the presence of the Lord.  
His longsuffering is not an “eternal” suffering.

The ungodly people of Noah’s day learned this Truth.  
God delayed His destruction of the world by water for approximately 120 years (Genesis 6:3) while Noah preached righteousness to them (2 Peter 2:5).  
Eventually, however, God’s longsuffering came to an end, as He said it would.

Centuries later, God again revealed His mercy and longsuffering when He spoke with Abraham about Sodom and Gomorrah.  Six times Abraham pleaded with God not to destroy Sodom (Genesis 18:23-33), and six times God agreed to spare the city from His punishment, even if as few as ten righteous people were found there.  Even atheists know how the story of Sodom ended.

God most certainly is longsuffering, but His tendency towards mercy with unbelieving sinners will end one day.  

Matthew 25

13: “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming”

(To be continued)

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