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.

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Monday, September 2, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 26)

Home Bible Study- Lutz, Florida
Established November 2008

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 26

I want to welcome you back to our study of the book of Romans.

As I was driving to school this morning, I couldn’t help but notice the line of cars circling the McDonald’s Restaurant one block away from my destination.  There must have been fifteen cars in line and more pulling in the parking lot every minute.
I’ve been driving this route for months and I’ve seen a similar sight every morning.

Since I had more than two cups of coffee my brain was alert, so I got to thinking. 
I wondered if those people were aware of “What they were being fed.”

The majority of the food coming through any drive-thru window has very little (if any) nutritional value.  I mean let’s be serious except for a few exceptions it’s basically all junk food = high in fat content, sodium, carbohydrates, and calories… 
Let’s get serious.  It’s not healthy.  It’s actually bad for you.

People, by choice, wind up with fast food but have they weighed the price?

I believe they have.
Much research has been done on this subject.  Many articles have been published and many programs have aired on the dangers of fast food diets and the consumption of pre-packaged meals.  Therefore, it’s hard to believe that people can stand up and claim ignorance on the health risks of obesity.  And yet people continue to ignore the truth.

We have a similar situation occurring in the Body of Christ today. 
It’s called Spiritual Blindness, and you have to wonder, “What’s the root cause?”
The answer comes back to this starting place, “What are they being fed?”

Much has been written from a Believer’s standpoint addressing the state of morality in America today and it is based on the Word of God.

Matthew 24

37: “For the coming of the Son of Man will be just like the days of Noah.

We are seeing immorality tolerated today in our Christian churches.  It goes beyond that really.  It seems that it is being “invited.”  An example of this is welcoming homosexuality and those who practice this lifestyle.

The Word of God speaks clearly on the subject of homosexuality.  It is a sin.
God does not tolerate sin of any kind.  Therefore, we who choose to follow Jesus Christ likewise love or are accepting of the sinner, but we do not approve of or close our eyes to the sin.  And that’s the way it is. 

When pastors, priests, and preachers stand up in the pulpit and tell it like it is, they are more than likely to be ridiculed or worse by the members of their congregation in this age.  There are many liberal minded Christians sitting in the pews these days and they don’t necessarily believe what the Bible says.  Many of these have never visited the Bible, if the truth be known.  They’ve never opened the book once in their life.  But they have multiple opinions about what’s inside it.  If the liberal minded members believe homosexuality is not a sin, then you’d better believe their pastor had better get on board and toe the line.  This begs the question, who’s leading these congregations? 

Who wants to hear the Word of God?  Who will tolerate it today?
Isn’t it much better to stay safe in the pulpit and preach on how to be a good parent?
Isn’t it safer to preach about how to be a good husband or a good wife?
It’s best to stay away from sin topics altogether.  That’s a hornets’ nest...

The Word of God has withstood the test of time and the attacks of Satan.
Jesus has spoken clearly about its Truths.

John 8

31b: “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine;

32: and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

Therefore, I find it hard to believe that people, especially Christians, can stand up and claim ignorance of the harmful effects of unrepentant sin.

As I’ve said before, sometimes the line gets blurred between Bible teaching and preaching.  This is one of those occasions.  I have to call them as I see them…

Let’s get back to the business of Bible study.
Please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 3, at verse 21.

I think you’ll agree that it’s preferable to hear your boss say that you’ve done a good job, or that your work is commendable vs the opposite.  I think that goes without saying, really.  Each one of us has a need for positive reinforcement from time to time.  Even small children feel the need to be hugged and loved on by their parents on a regular basis.  This is basic human nature. 

In light of this fact, we will all want to stand before the Creator God one day future and hear Him say to us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” 
We all want to hear Him declare us “righteous” in His sight.

This Truth explains all the “religious” activity in the world. 
From bowing low in Mecca, to resting on a bed of nails in India, from going to Sunday School, to saying the Lord’s prayer, we do what we do because we WANT TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD, but most folks aren’t sure how to go about this.

How can a person be RIGHT WITH GOD?
The Apostle Paul gives the answer in Romans 3:21-26.
It is the essence of the Gospel and the very heart of the Believer’s message.
Since Paul opened this letter to the Romans at Romans 1:1, he has been painting a realistic picture of the human condition apart from Jesus Christ.  It is one of universal sinfulness – widespread depravity on a worldwide scale. 

Mankind can deny this Truth all day long but it remains the Truth still.
Humanity is infected with the terminal disease of sin. 
Without a miracle, there is no hope for any of us.

Well, after that opening what we all need is some Good News.

And that’s precisely what we have beginning at verse 21 – the Gospel condensed. 
This is God’s plan for saving sinners, or HOW TO BE RIGHT WITH GOD.

Martin Luther called this segment of Scripture “the marrow of theology.”
Let’s review Scripture.

Justification by Faith

Romans 3

21: But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

22: even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

23: for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

24: being justified as a gift by His grace through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;

25: whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith. This was to demonstrate His righteousness, because in the forbearance of God He passed over the sins previously committed;

26: for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

We’re going to break these verses down – this is a Bible study.
Paul discusses 7 aspects of the righteousness of God in the following verses, if we truly want to be RIGHT WITH GOD; we need to pay attention to each one.

Verse 21:
But now apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets,

“But now” What great Truth is contained in these two little words?
The difference between heaven and hell hangs on the meaning of those tiny words.
What is God’s answer to the total depravity of the whole human race?
Does He turn His back on us and condemn us all to hell? 
No!  Thank you God for those two tiny words – they guarantee that God has an answer for the worst that man can do.  His grace is greater than our sins. 

“…apart from the Law the righteousness of God.”

Why do we need the righteousness from God?
Simply put, because we have no righteousness of our own.
We weren’t born righteous.  We certainly didn’t inherit righteousness.

Some would argue, “But what about all my good deeds?”
God says, “Your good works (self-righteousness) are like filthy rags in my sight.”

Since there is no righteousness within you, the only kind of righteousness that will save you is a righteousness that comes from outside yourself.  That’s exactly what Paul means when he says, the righteousness from God has been revealed.

That’s where the Good News begins. 
The righteousness we need comes from God Himself!

Now the second fact about this righteousness is that Paul says it is “apart from the Law.”  To the observant Jew, this would be an “offensive” statement. 
In Paul’s day, the religious Jew believed that their religious devotion would win God’s approval.  They “hoped” by following the Ten Commandments and by following all the other ordinances, offering sacrifices when required, etc. this would satisfy God and their sins would be forgiven.  They were working diligently… 
But Paul says it doesn’t work that way.

When Paul says that righteousness comes “apart from the Law,” he is really saying that it comes apart from…Religious observance, Good works, Baptism, Giving money, Devoted prayer, and Rituals of any kind.  You know - anything we do to try to gain God’s favor.

Since God demands perfection, and since no one is capable of keeping God’s perfect standard, no one can be saved by keeping the Law.  This is why the righteousness we need must come apart from the Law. 

Verse 22:
Even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all those who believe; for there is no distinction;

Not only does the righteousness of God come apart from the Law, it is received by faith.
This point is crucial.  Many people say, “I trust in God,” as if this is enough to carry them into heaven.  But salvation depends on more than a vague confidence in a few chosen words remembered from childhood, or some Sunday program at church.
In fact, it is not faith in God that saves us.  That kind of faith is too general, and too non-specific.  The only faith that saves us is directed at His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.

God is quite specific about what He wants and He will accept no lazy substitutes.
Why shouldn’t He be specific?  He sent His one and only Son to die on a cross for us.
It should come as no surprise that He will accept nothing less than a faith that is 100% focused entirely on the Lord Jesus Christ.  We are to believe in the death, burial, and resurrection, of our Lord and Savior in order to be saved (see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

“for there is no distinction.”
These words inform us that we are all sinners in God’s eyes.
Once again, during this dispensation (Grace Age) God the Father has united all humanity.  There is no longer Jew and Gentile in regard to salvation.
Now “there is no distinction (difference).”

We all need God; every man, woman, boy and girl.
We all need salvation. 
Therefore, we all need God’s righteousness. 

Jesus said,

John 14

6: “I am the way, the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.”

 (To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

[1] When Biblical Becomes Political, posted September 7, 2011, by Erik Stanley – ADF Senior Legal Counsel – Church Project.  http://blog.speakupmovement.org/church/churches-and-politics/when

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