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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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 33)

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 33

We paused our last Bible session at Romans chapter 5:3-4, after introducing and briefly studying this important message for Believers. 

“…we also exult in our tribulations, (which beset us) knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

Please remember verses 3 and 4 build upon the two Bible verses preceding them (Romans 5:1-2) which end with this blessing, “…we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

Below is the Apostle Paul’s communication to the Believer’s in Corinth in which he refers to (“Thlipsis) tribulations as “our light affliction.” 

“Therefore we do not lose heart.  Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day.  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.  For the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.”  (II Corinthians 4:16-18)

The Apostle Paul wrote both of these statements (as he was led by the Spirit of God) in part to encourage Believers (“Therefore we do not lose heart”) because Thlipsis or tribulations will be an element of your everyday life.    These pressures are to include anything that burdens the spirit. 

I want to spend a bit more time with this Bible teaching before we move on, and I’ll tell you why that is, of course. 

Everyone suffers on this planet.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a Believer or an atheist.
However, Believers are to become imitators of Jesus Christ (see Ephesians 5:1-21). Therefore, how we act in response to our sufferings matters to God the Father.

When the Lord Jesus Christ found us, not only were we dead in our sins we all had many imperfections.  You may label these character flaws if you wish.  They are the result of being born with an Adamic Nature and living in a darkened world.  God the Father intends for us all to be conformed to the “image” of His Son once we are saved.
But what does the Scripture say?

1 Peter 2

21: For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you (watch this) an example for you to follow in His steps,


23: and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously;

And this one:

Isaiah 45

9: “Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker – An earthenware vessel among vessels of earth!  Will the clay say to the potter, ‘What are you doing?’  Or the thing you are making say, ‘He has no hands’?

Therefore, we too will suffer many things as we are being conformed to Christ’s image.

Precious gems, silver, and gold are all created under extreme pressure.  Some of these take hundreds of years.  Some have to be heated and some have to be hammered, but all have to be put under great stress in order to become what the good Lord intended them to be.  God in His infinite wisdom puts each of us in His furnace of affliction to create His image in us.

One pastor put it this way – “Suffering under trial and the pressures of life, sickness, or any other affliction is to ultimately iron out the wrinkles of the bride’s dress.”
Great heat and pressure is applied to the garment (Believer) and the wrinkles (our imperfections) are ironed out.  It’s a slow, tedious, and often times painful process.

God the Father does not look upon pressure as we do.  Where we see stress He sees opportunities.  Where we view crisis, He sees growth and betterment.  Our trials are intended to “build us up” and when we learn and grow spiritually from them God receives the glory.

I’m going to be honest with you.  I did not enjoy these past two years.
There were plenty of times when I stopped and cried out to God to save the small business my wife and I started, to help me find work, and to stop or ease the 24/7 pain I was suffering after an injury.  These prayers went unanswered but this doesn’t mean God is on vacation or that God isn’t listening.  In the midst of all that and more, I never forgot to give God thanks at the end of the day for all that was in it and with a sincere heart.  For when all is considered, what else can a sinner, saved by grace, offer the Sovereign God? 

If you are truly walking with Jesus Christ in this life, you will experience pressures.  If you’re not suffering some kind of stress at this moment, one’s on the way.

Paul, the Apostle to the Gentiles wrote:  For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen.”

Please remember, Paul wrote of “our light affliction” even when he was heavily afflicted and when he acutely “felt” that affliction. 

Being an ex-sailor I can honestly say you quickly forget the storm at sea once you are safely ashore; just as you might think less of the stomach virus you experienced when your health has been restored. 

But Paul was in the midst of “affliction” when he named it “light.”  To be sure, he also felt the “weight” of it (pressure) upon his spirit, but it was his strong faith put into action that enabled him at that time to call it, “our light affliction.” 

Note the connection between the two phrases.  “…our light affliction, which is but for a moment, “is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,”
The (painful) present is influencing the future. 

It is not for us to question or philosophize about this, but to take God at His Word and believe it.  Here is what we are invited to do:  you place on one scale the present pressure, and on the other scale “the eternal glory.”  Are they worthy to be compared? 
The answer is No.  One minute of coming glory will counterbalance a lifetime of suffering.  What are years of sickness, suffering, poverty, persecution, (pressures) when weighed against the pleasures of being with the Lord Jesus Christ for eternity? 

To sum up:  Our suffering and sickness do not bring God glory. 
It’s the way we “endure it in faith” that brings Him glory.

This thought brings to mind the early Christians who sang hymns in the Roman Coliseum as the lions circled them.   

And the Apostle Paul and his companion Silas who were in the Roman city of Philippi doing the Lord’s work, when a crowd rose up against them, stripped them, beat them with rods, and threw them into prison because Paul ordered an evil spirit out of a woman.  Paul didn’t lament his situation and curse the people of Philippi.  He didn’t blame God or consider that God had abandoned him.  Paul and Silas began praying and singing hymns to God around midnight even as they were shackled to the prison floor (see Acts 16) and good things came about because of their strong faith and witness.

God’s purpose and plan for us is higher than anything we can imagine. 
Scripture informs us His plans for us include “pressures” which we have to endure and suffer through, hopefully in Christ-like fashion.   

“The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” 
Our flesh doesn’t like to endure affliction even as Jesus Himself did not want to suffer on the cross.  Never forget Jesus was both fully God and fully man.  In His humanness, the stress of the coming ordeal caused Him to sweat blood in Gethsemane.  His prayer to the Father at that time was to remove this “cup from Me.”  However, Jesus knew the outcome would ultimately give God the Father glory.

The Apostle Paul who suffered greatly in the service of the Lord Jesus Christ wrote,

Romans 8:

18: For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.

Food for thought…

(To be continued.)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

6 For while we were still helpless, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will hardly die for a righteous man ; dthough perhaps for the good man someone would dare even to die. 8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Much more then, having now been justified eby His blood, we shall be saved from the wrath of God through Him. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved fby His life. 11 And not only this, gbut we also exult in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Romans by the Book (Lesson 32)

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 32

Romans Chapter 5

“The Fruits of Justification”

The results of “Justification by Faith” (alone):  Peace with God, a Standing in Grace, a Sure Hope of His Glorious Coming, Present Patience, Joy in God the Father, Verses 1-11.

The two representative Men:  Adam and Jesus Christ, contrasted; Condemnation and Death by Adam to all in him; Justification and Life by Christ Jesus to All who believe in His death, burial, and resurrection, verses 12-19.

By the Law, Sin Became Trespass; but God’s Grace surpassed all; verse 20.

Grace now reigns, “Through Jesus Christ our Lord” verse 21.

I want to welcome you back to our Home Bible study and then thank you for taking the time to join us as we study God’s Word.    

I like to welcome all the first-timers to this website and offer them a special greeting. 
We pray you’ll hang around awhile to see what we’re about, “kick the tires,” so to speak; and return often. 

All thirty-one Bible lessons covering chapters 1 thru 4 in this teaching series have been published and are now in the archives.   

Let’s begin our study of Romans chapter 5.

Results of Justification

Romans 5

1: Therefore (because of the Apostle Paul’s previous statements in the last two chapters), having been (past tense) justified by faith, we have (present tense) peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ

Once again, we’re going to slow down so that we fully understand the significance of this opening statement.  Therefore, having been justified by faith…”

Having been justified is not the present participle, “being declared righteous,” but rather the aorist participle (type of verb in classical Greek), “having been declared righteous,” or “justified” depending on your Bible’s translation. 

You ask, what is the difference? 
The answer:  “Being declared righteous/justified” looks to the state you are in.
“Having been declared righteous/justified,” looks back to a fact that happened.

The moment you believed, God declared you “righteous/justified” and He’s not going to change His mind.  This Truth brought King David to write:  “BLESSED (Happy) IS THE MAN WHOSE SIN THE LORD WILL NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT.” 
(See Psalm 32:2).

I prefer to compare Scripture with Scripture, so let’s look at this verse too.
Please turn in your Bible to Psalms 104.

Psalms 104

11: For as high as the heavens are above the earth, So great is His lovingkindness toward those who (do what exactly) fear Him.

12: As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions (sins) from us. 

Once you believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, at that instant you are declared Justified.

The Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans took on a new aspect with each new chapter.

  • in chapter three, Jesus Christ was set forth as the propitiation for our sins

  • in chapter four, He was raised from the dead for our Justification

  • in chapter five, we have peace with God the Father through Jesus Christ, a standing in grace, and the hope of the coming glory

To those who studied the previous lesson I remarked on this Biblical truth. 
You don’t have to wait until you leave this world and then are “ushered into heaven proper” to know what God the Father “has prepared for those who love him.” 
Here we have an example of this Biblical teaching.

To those who choose to believe in the Gospel of Jesus Christ, you have (present tense) these three blessings (verses 1-11) the very moment you believe. 

  • Peace with God – in looking back to Calvary where Jesus Christ made peace with God by His divine blood.  The Natural Man lacks peace with God.  Everyone comes into the world fighting against God.  In this state, we’re at war with God.  The moment you believe the gospel you are no longer in the enemy’s camp.  You are now at Peace with God.  Peace means God has nothing against you. 
  •  A Present Standing in Grace – unlimited divine favor.  But grace is not license to sin freely.  You do not walk the sufferings of Jesus Christ and the cross of Calvary underfoot (see Romans 6:1-14).
  •  Hope of the Coming Glory of God – there’s a day coming when we Believers will be glorified with Jesus Christ when He comes (Rapture Event).
 Romans 5

2: through whom also we have (present tense) obtained introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God.   

The word “also” in verse two is a small word but here sets this blessing from God the Father as distinct  from and in addition to that of Peace with God. 

At the very moment you believe, you have access into this Divine Favor, standing in “grace;” the very favor in which Christ Himself stands!

To finish up this second verse and this no small matter:  we exult in hope of the glory of God.”

This blessing points to a unique future event.  Every Believer will enter upon a glorified state with the Lord Jesus Christ (see Colossians 3:4; and 1 Corinthians 15:50-53).       

Now you’re not going to find the word Rapture in your Bibles, but you won’t find the word Trinity in your Bibles either.  The word “Rapture” in Scripture is taken from the Latin “rapio” for the two words “caught up” which are found in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 to refer to the Lord Jesus Christ coming for the Church Saints or the Body of Christ.

Getting back to Paul’s letter and verse 2b specifically, the New American Standard Bible uses the word “exult” in this passage.  Some Bible translators have chosen to use the word “glory” or “boast” instead and these words are poor substitutes because they change the meaning of the Bible text. 

Rather than an outward glorifying or boasting before others, which the terms “glory” and “boast” imply,  the word “exult” suits Paul’s meaning. 

A good example of this follows in verse 3 where he writes, “We exult in our tribulations.”  It’s the same word; therefore it carries the same meaning.    Paul refers to an inner joy; a joyful confidence not only felt by the Believer but outwardly expressed by them in their day-to-day activities as well – there’s quite a difference. 

Let’s review verse 3 and 4 because they’re linked.

Romans 5

3: And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, (which beset us) knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;

4: and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

Let‘s be sure we all understand this teaching before we proceed.
Not only are we Believers to “feel” an inner joy; and a joyful confidence but we are to express this “joy” outwardly daily.

Go back to your earliest memories of when you were a small child on Christmas morning.  Do you remember the sights, the sounds, and the smells of the holiday?
Do you recall the excitement, the expectation, the joy, and the happiness you felt back then? 
Did you have a smile on your face and was there love in your heart?

Hang onto those memories and stay with me for a moment.
Paul is saying, we Believers should “feel” and “outwardly express” those same type emotions as we encounter: 

Broken bones
Broken marriages
Lost jobs
Deaths in the family
The car needs a new engine
A phone call from the ER informing you that your daughter is on life support.
You’re 3 month’s behind in your mortgage;
And you’re 6 month’s behind in your auto payment
A chest x-ray that revealed a black spot on your lung
The U.S. Army reported Adam missing in Iraq
Your sixteen year old daughter is pregnant.
The school principal called.  He found drugs in your son’s gym locker.

…just to mention a few of the “tribulations” a Believer may encounter during his or her lifetime.

The Apostle Paul writes this to us Believers, “…through many tribulations we must enter in the kingdom of God” (see Acts 14:21-22; 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5).

Paul could “talk the talk” because he “walked the walked.”
Paul had tribulations (see 2 Corinthians 11:22-29).  He regarded these as, “Our light affliction” and he rejoiced in them (see 2 Corinthians 12:10).

The Greek word for “tribulation” is Thlipsis. 
It means a pressing together, pressure, or crowding. 

Very few people enjoy being “crowded.”  Have you ever been packed into an elevator?
Do you enjoy sitting in your car parked on a crowded freeway?  Do you enjoy standing in long lines – that don’t move?  How about sitting in that little waiting room at the doctor’s office after you sat in the big waiting room for 45 minutes?  How about waiting for the doctor to call with you lab results?  How about that mysterious phone call from the boss’s secretary who sounded intentionally vague about this unexpected meeting with him?   
How about being served your last meal on earth, while waiting for the stroke of midnight, knowing your time is short, and the gas chamber is waiting.

These and the other tribulations listed earlier in the lesson are all examples of “crowding” or “pressure" and Believers are to "rejoice" in them.

“…we also exult in our tribulations, (which beset us) knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope;

That’s the message and the teaching of Romans 5:3-4. 
To be sure there’s an element of Spiritual maturity required to meet this goal.
But this is a goal all Believers should be striving to meet for the Apostle Paul wrote:

1 Corinthians 9

23: I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.

24: Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.

We exult (take joy) in our tribulations, knowing that these pressures will bring about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope.

In the Greek, the word “perseverance” is Hupomone (pronounced: hoop-om-on-ay’)
It’s a noun-feminine and means:  steadfastness, constancy, endurance.  In the N.T. the characteristic of a man who is not swerved from his deliberate purpose and loyalty to faith and piety by even the greatest trials and sufferings. 

Here’s how the Divine Process works: (Newell, 1945, p. 168)
“God brings us Believers into tribulations, and that of all sorts; graciously supplying therewith a rejoicing expectation of deliverance in due time; and the knowledge that,
as the winds buffeting some great oak tree on the hillside cause the tree to thrust its roots deeper into the ground, so these tribulations will result in steadfastness, in faith and patient endurance; and our consciousness of steadfastness – of having been brought by grace through the trials, - gives us a sense of Divine approval, or appovedness, we did not have before have; and which is only found in those who have been brought through trials, by God’s all-sufficient grace.  This sense of God’s approval arouses within us abounding “hope” – we might almost say, “Hopefulness,” a hopeful, happy state of soul.”

Romans 5

5: and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us (Believers, the moment you believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ; see 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

Many Believing families sit down at the dinner table and offer up a prayer giving thanks to God the Father for the bounty before them with sincere hearts.

Could you, as a Believing family, gather together and pray giving thanks to God the Father for any one of the “tribulations” I’ve listed above with a sincere heart?

Food for thought…

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved