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 9, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 27)

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 27

In case anyone missed the point I was making in my opening illustration in lesson 26, permit me to enlighten.  The truth about fast food consumption and its negative effects on a person’s health have been widely made known.  The people who frequent these establishments on a regular basis have been educated on the negative effects of this type of diet but they “choose” to ignore the truth, as they rush through their daily routine.

You could stand outside the business with a sign warning them – “Hey, this food is unhealthy!  It will make you fat, clog your arteries, and stop your heart from beating.”

But that wouldn’t turn them away.  The business offers food that is priced low, and it comes though the car window in less than 5 minutes on average.  The consumer is back out on the street, on their way to work or to school, and eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner on the way.  Simply put – they offer what the people want. 

In comparison, the Truth about sin and its negative effects on the sinner have been recorded for humanity in God’s Word.  The Tyndale Bible the first Bible printed in English was in the 1500’s. 

God fearing men and women have been preaching and teaching on the subject of sin for centuries.   Countless books and magazine articles have also been written on the subject.  In addition, parents have taught their children the difference between right and wrong and raised them accordingly; this is in keeping with Bible Truths because this is how they were raised by their parents, and so on…

Therefore, I believe it’s safe to say people are aware of the word “sin” and of its meaning.  I will go a step further and say that the majority of people have heard of or are aware of the fact that God holds sinners responsible for their actions.

It doesn’t matter if people believe in God or not.  This doesn’t alter the Truth.

I will add that people have heard or are aware of Jesus Christ and of His sacrifice on the cross and why.    In some form or fashion they are aware that He is “Key” to their salvation.

So, people have been educated about the deadly effects of sin and the eternal consequences should the individual choose to ignore the One and only remedy. 

But evidence shows the majority will “choose” to ignore the Truth, as they rush through their daily routine. 

You could stand on a busy street corner in your city holding up a sign that says, “Repent, Jesus is coming!” 

But I don’t think you’d attract much attention, honestly. 
You’re up against some stiff competition.  Satan is the god of this world. 
The world is the devil’s playground and it offers all the delights imaginable.

Genesis 6:5
Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.

The booze, the drugs, the strip joints, the gambling, the wanton sex, the pornography, the child sex slave trade, fast food, movies, Hollywood, Las Vegas, video games, the music, abortion, genocide, racism, slavery in this age, the list is apparently endless.   

You take all these things, add the fact that we all have an Adamic Nature and you get total depravity on a world-wide scale by choice. 

Simply put the “world” (Satan) gives the people what they want NOW; doesn’t matter that they can only have it for thirty or forty years (give or take) and then they’re gone. 

Hollywood and the entertainment industry are perfect examples of this type life-style.  They rise to stardom and they’re on top for a time, then they drop like a falling star until they hit rock bottom, eventually they disappear from the entertainment scene altogether.  The fast living, the booze, the sex, the drugs, it takes its toll on their bodies and their minds.  If they’re lucky, they’re claim to fame last 30-40 years and that’s all. 

40 years!  Are you kidding me? 
You’d take 40 years when Jesus Christ is offering you eternity in Heaven?
Please reconsider your options.

I pray this helps someone understand that you have an important decision to make.
Your decision will determine where you spend eternity.  No one can make this decision for you.  It’s your decision to make. 

This is why this Home Bible study exists.
Here we open up God’s Word and study what the book says and in some cases what it does not say.  Here we look at the Truth and study it so you can understand it. 
After all this, the choice is up to you.  I pray you choose wisely.

Please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 3, at verse 23.

Let’s review Scripture.

Romans 3

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;

Starting at verse 23, we’re going to look at these verses.   You’re going to notice phrases and words being used here that you’ll never find anywhere in the four gospels.
Words like justified, works, law of faith, faith in His blood, etc.  There is one big word we need to look at in verse 25, but other than that Paul’s message is pretty clear.

Verse 23:
“for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

I don’t think you need a college degree to decipher the meaning of this verse.
Everyone from Adam until the last person is born on this earth when Jesus returns arrives on this earth a sinner.  God says, “all have sinned.”  And that’s it! 
No arguments accepted. 

What does need an explanation is …”the glory of God.”
What is the glory of God?  The best answer I can come up with is this.
God’s glory is the perfection of His attributes and we picture the perfection of His attributes in His Son, Jesus Christ.  Let’s see what the book says.

Hebrews 1

3: And He (Jesus Christ) is the radiance of His (God the Father) glory and the exact representation of His nature,

If you apply this teaching to Romans 3:23, how does your life measure up when it is compared to Jesus Christ?  He lived for 33 years and never sinned.

Verse 24:
“being justified as a gift by His grace…”

Verse 24 tells us how God begins the salvation process.
The Greek word “justify” is “dikaioo” (pronounced dik-ah-yo’-o) and means literally to render righteous.  The word “justified” is a legal term.  It means to be acquitted; to declare NOT GUILTY.  But it means more than that.  It means to wipe away the record of sin and then declare the individual sinner “righteous” in God’s eyes.

Please note that salvation is a “free” gift from God to the human race.
There is nothing in us that causes God to want to save us.  No good works, we’re not all that beautiful, we’re not moral people, and we’re not all that intelligent.  Let’s face facts, we don’t deserve the gift.  That’s what God’s Grace is all about!

“…through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus;”
The Greek word for “redemption” is Apolutrosis (pronounced:  ap-ol-oo’tro-sis) and means:   a releasing effected by payment of ransom; deliverance.  This word comes right from the Roman slave market.  To redeem means to set free by the payment of a price.  The Bible teaches that we’re all slaves to sin.  God the Father “sent” His One and only Son, Jesus Christ, to redeem mankind from their sins.  Jesus paid the sin debt God demanded; the price was the blood of His sinless Son.    

 Verse 25:
“whom God displayed publicly as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”

“whom God displayed publicly…”
What do we have here and why does Paul mention this?
Asking questions is what Bible students do, my friends.
Bible readers pass right on over items like this without so much as a pause.
In doing so, they miss things that God wants them to know.

We know Jesus was crucified.   But why did He die this way? 
Jesus was crucified by the Roman authorities at a place outside the city called Golgotha (meaning the place of the skull).  The Romans used Golgotha for several purposes: 

  • They used it for a garbage dump and took refuse there for disposal. 

  • The second purpose of Golgotha it was an open grave.  The Romans disposed of the bodies of homeless or executed criminals there.  There would have been a large number of skulls lying around in the open, which was one of the main reasons for its name. 

  • The third purpose for Golgotha it was a place of execution.

“whom God displayed publicly…”

Now let’s look at this section of the verse.  …”God displayed “publicly
There’s no doubt about it.  Jesus’ death was a public event. 
For 3 hours our Savior hung on that cross of agony until He died. 
I’ve been to Golgotha.  It’s a prominent hill top outside the city of Jerusalem, west of the Gennath (Garden) Gate.  Anyone entering or exiting that part of the city can easily see it.  
I stood at that gate and easily took in the entire road leading out of the city and the hill known as Golgotha.  If someone had been crucified up there, there’s no way you’d miss seeing it. 

But here’s the question of the moment.  Why did Jesus die by crucifixion?
Why was Jesus’ death a “public” event?  Scripture holds the answer. 
Please go to the book of Numbers, chapter 21.

We need some background information before jumping to these Bible verses.
This event takes place after the Israelites won a great victory over the Canaanites; thanks to the LORD God.  They went the long way around Edom to avoid a fight and the people became inpatient because of the long journey and complained against God and Moses, saying there is no food or water - why have you brought us here to die…

The LORD God punished the Jews by sending fiery serpents among them.  One bite from a serpent brought death.  (Suggested reading:  Numbers 21:1-10).

The Bronze Serpent
Numbers 21

8: Then the LORD said to Moses, “Make a fiery serpent, and set it on a standard; and it shall come about, that everyone who is bitten, when he looks at it, he will live.

9: And Moses made a bronze serpent and set it on the standard; and it came about, that if a serpent bit any man, when he looked to the bronze serpent, he lived.

Now please turn to the book of John in the gospels at chapter 3.
This is Jesus speaking.

John 3

14: “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up;

15: so that whoever believes will in Him have eternal life.”

Look closely, Jesus is telling his listeners (and us) the manner in which He will die.

This wasn’t an accidental occurrence in the dessert near Mt. Hor.  The fiery serpents which brought death with one bite, the disobedient Jews, and God’s plan of salvation based on faith, offered to anyone who looked up and believed.  Sound familiar? 

“…as a propitiation in His blood through faith.”

The word “propitiation” means to appease.  This word comes right out of the sacrificial system of the Old Testament.  The word literally means, “To turn away wrath by the offering of a gift.”  In the Old Testament, the Jewish High Priest would enter the Holy of Holies on the Day of Atonement and sprinkle blood on the Ark of the Covenant.

No other person was allowed in this area except the High Priest.  In fact, they would tie a rope around the waist of the High Priest before he entered the Holy of Holies – just in case he did something God disapproved of and struck him dead.  Without that rope around his waist they had no way of retrieving the body. 

When the Jewish High Priest sprinkled the blood on the Ark of the Covenant, the sins of the people (the Jews) were covered or “atoned” for.  When the LORD God looked down from heaven, He no longer saw the people’s sins.  He saw the sprinkled blood and then His wrath was “appeased.”

Why is this important?  God’s justice demands death as the punishment for sin. 
To call the death of Jesus Christ a “propitiation” means that God is satisfied with the death of His Son as the substitutionary (means Jesus stepped in the gap for mankind) punishment for the sins of humanity.  When a sinner trusts Jesus Christ, accepts the gospel on faith, God the Father accepts him on the basis of the blood His Son shed on the cross when He died! 

Only the Apostle Paul writes of and speaks of the shed blood of Jesus Christ and the importance of believing in this fact as part of the salvation process. 

You’re not going to find this information in the four gospels and that is significant. 
Here is one of the two absolutes in Scripture.
The first one is, without faith it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).

The second one is:
The Bible teaches that without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sin.

Hebrews 9
22b: and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (of sin).

(To be continued)

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GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
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