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
“A prudent educator never lets a teaching moment escape.”
“There’s a fine line that separates a Bible teacher from being a preacher.”
I am committed to teaching the Truth of God’s Word. This is the reason I started this Home Bible Study and this is why it continues to be a thriving body today.
Since I took on the mantle of a Bible teacher, my prayer has been (and still is) that I never post a Bible lesson that contains a false statement. I mention this to enlighten the new visitors but I want to remind our regular members and guests of this truth as well.
Here at HBS we simply open up the Bible and let it “Do the talking,” so to speak.
We operate on the principle that the Bible may not tell us everything we WANT to know but it does tell us everything that we NEED to know.
There will be occasions when the Bible is not clear on many subjects, or it does not explain a particular topic at all. When this happens, you leave these “mysteries” right where you find them and you move on. You don’t try to interpret the mind of the Creator God, and you don’t offer your opinion, and then teach it as biblical truth.
You simply accept what God has revealed up to that point on faith (see Deuteronomy 29:29).
When I accepted the responsibility of a Bible teacher, I knew disagreements would arise.
It goes with the territory, as they say. And that’s alright to a certain degree.
There’s nothing wrong with a healthy discussion on Bible topics.
I’ve always said if you can show me where I’m going wrong Scripturally, I welcome your constructive comments. But keep in mind, I teach the Bible in accordance with 2 Timothy 2:15 (see rightly divided).
Several weeks ago, I received negative comments because of something I wrote in Lesson #29, which I’m going to take the time to address.
I mentioned in my opening remarks that the Apostle Paul brought up a name from the past to prove to his Jewish objectors that Justification by Faith was indeed a scriptural fact and not his opinion.
I asked a question to stimulate the reader’s thinking; this is a Bible study.
I wrote: if you were asked who was the most honored or respected person in history, who’s name would pop into your head?
I then wrote: if you’re thinking about selecting Jesus Christ, that’s true for some but there are billions of people who do not honor Jesus Christ on this planet today. I would keep looking.
This is the paragraph that outraged some and irritated others.
Please note: I did not say I personally didn’t honor and respect the Lord Jesus Christ.
But some people chose to assume this is what I meant by this statement, so they grumbled. Worse yet some have written me off completely because of their misinterpretation of my opening remark.
I wonder what would have happened had they chosen to search the Scriptures.
When Paul and Silas traveled to Berea they went right to the synagogue and began preaching Jesus Christ crucified to the Jews assembled there. These Jews were more “noble-minded than those in Thessalonica, for they received the word with great eagerness, (and afterward with all due diligence they could be found) examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” (see Acts 17:10-12).
Christians need to be found examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things spoken or written (are) so…
I’ve taught my classes from the beginning not to go by what I say but to open their Bibles to see if what I’m teaching lines up with Scripture. I’m your guide; I am not the last word.
In addition, Believers should love, honor, and respect the Lord Jesus Christ.
But we don’t do that with words. We do that by loving one another.
As they say, “Love is a verb.”
34: “A new commandment (note the word commandment – this is not a request. It’s a commandment) I give to you, love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
35: “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”
The Apostle to the Gentiles wrote in kind:
1 Corinthians 13
1: If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging symbol.
2: If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.
For all those who believe Jesus is the most respected individual in history please know I respect your opinion. But you are mistaken if you think the majority of the people throughout history (and in our day) believe as you do.
The Bible teaches this Truth. We’re a minority.
13: Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are (what does the Scripture say) many who enter through it.
14: “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are (what does the Scripture say) few who find it.”
Believers (Christians) are the few; we’re the minority; we are not the majority.
The Apostle Paul writes concerning the nation of Israel,
27: Isaiah cries out concerning Israel, THOUGH THE NUMBER OF THE SONS OF ISRAEL BE LIKE THE SAND OF THE SEA, IT IS THE (what’s the next word) REMNANT THAT WILL BE SAVED;
A remnant = a small (few) isolated group of people surviving from a culture or group.
This thread of biblical truth runs throughout Scripture from Genesis to Revelation.
I wrote a Bible study titled: “The Gospel of the Remnant.” It’s in the archives.
This Bible study covers this subject in more detail.
Let’s get down to the business of studying the Bible.
Please open your Bible to Romans chapter 4.
Abraham was declared “justified” by the LORD God before he was circumcised.
What does the Scripture say?
11: and he (Abraham) received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while (what’s the next word) uncircumcised, (and here is God’s cause for this action), so that he might be the father of all who (do their best to obey all of God’s commandments, join the correct church group, get baptized correctly, tithe regularly, no! What does the Scripture say) believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them,
12: and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision (the Israelites), but who also follow in the steps of the (what) faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.
When the Bible repeats a word or phrase within a few verses or paragraphs it’s there for emphasis; it’s there for your learning.
Taking God at His Word (faith) has been part and parcel of every dispensational era. This was the case with Adam and Eve and so it was with Abraham.
8: By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed by going out to a place which he was to receive for an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was going.
9: By faith he lived as an alien in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, fellow heirs of the same promise.
10: for he was looking for the city which has foundations, whose architect and builder is God.
We Believers today parallel the life and faith of Abraham in many ways.
God calls us – we don’t seek after God (Romans 3:11)
God the Spirit opens our hearts to the Gospel of Christ (Acts 16:14)
As Believers, we are neither at enmity with God nor strangers any longer (Ephesians 2:19)
To be specific, the Gentiles are fellow heirs and fellow partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 3:6)
Abraham looked to the future - for the city whose architect and builder is God.
Believers, our citizenship is in heaven. We are merely “Christ’s ambassadors’” here on this earth. (Philippians 3:20; 2 Corinthians 5:20)
I invite you to open your Bible and then explore it to find all the glorious riches that are yours in Christ Jesus, once you are a Believer. For the Apostle Paul writes:
1 Corinthians 2
9: but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.”
10: For to us (Believers) God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.”
We do not have to wait until we’re ushered into heaven proper to know what God “has prepared for those who love him.”
We can, and should, have a certain knowledge of them right now (see 2 Corinthians 2:12). When we do not “quench” or resist the Holy Spirit’s promptings, the Holy Spirit reveals to our spirit the deep things of God. He does this through the written Word.
Unwillingness to follow the Spirit’s prompting to study and apply the Scripture’s teachings to our lives is usually the result of giving oneself over to the desires of the flesh.
This is the age of the Mega-Church with memberships that total in the thousands.
And the people like it. New people are coming in. Things are exciting!
We have exciting music, neat sound equipment, cool lighting, quality dramas, need-oriented preaching, and some wonderful musicals. Morale is up, and attendance is up.
But is Christlikeness up? How about spiritual commitment? Or do we have bigger audiences who come to watch the performance but aren’t really interested or serious about real discipleship?
This mounting problem caused one pastor to comment:
“They come for the show, but refuse to grow.
It’s probably the fastest-growing class of Christians in the last decade or so. The unconverted converted, or the secular Christian. These folks claim to be saved, but don’t let religion cramp they’re style.”
“They are consumers, breezing through churches as they would a salad bar, picking and choosing what appeals to them, leaving the rest alone. They generally select the positive, helpful, pleasant benefits of the gospel and leave behind any painful, sacrificial, cross-bearing, judgment aspects. They are a shallow bunch but they are a happy lot. They appear to have the best of both worlds.”
“We are gradually getting a spiritual river a mile wide and an inch deep.
This new class of Christians is spiritually untransformed. They like church (or at least one hour a week of it) but when it comes to committed discipleship, they pass.”
Do you suppose these are the same folks who get up and walk out of the church in the middle of the pastor’s sermon because they disagree with his statements on where the church stands on divorce, abortion, and same-sex marriage?
I’ll let you think about that.
Let’s return to Romans chapter 4.
13: For the promise to Abraham or to his descendants that he would be heir of the world was not through the Law, but through the righteousness of faith.
This would be a good time to stop and point out one of the two absolutes in Scripture.
The first one is, “without shedding of blood there is no forgiveness (of sin)” (see Hebrews 9:22).
The second absolute in Scripture is this one:
6: And without (what does the Scripture say) faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who (do what) seek Him.
Let’s get back to Romans and finish it up.
14: For if those who are of the Law (who is Paul referring to here? The Israelites, right) are heirs, faith is made void and the promise is nullified;
15: (Paul repeats himself) the Law brings about wrath, where there is no law, there also is no violation.
The Mosaic Law was given to Moses at approximately 1500 BC.
Before that time there were no written laws for the Israelites to follow.
There must be laws to bring about “transgressions” of it, although from God’s standpoint, sin still exists.
Origin of the Judges
The judges were usually heads of families or tribal elders. The system was established during the Wilderness Journey (see Numbers 33:1-50) just before Mt. Sinai, on the advice of Jethro, to relieve Moses of the great burden of doing it all himself – “Delegate.” said Jethro – (see Exodus 18:13-26).
There were many judges. Some of the best-know are:
16: For this reason (see verse 15) it is by faith, in order that it may be in accordance with grace, so that the promise will be guaranteed to all the descendants (Jew or Gentile), not only to those who are of the Law, but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all.
17: (as it is written), “A FATHER OF MANY NATIONS (Jew and Gentile) HAVE I MADE YOU” in the presence of Him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead (we are dead in our sins until the moment we Believe) and calls into being that which does not exist.
Let’s look closely at the great revelation about God which closes out verse 17. The Greek literally is, God making alive dead ones, and calling things not being, being!
It is as when God spoke to the darkness, back in Genesis chapter 1, “Let there be light.”
And there was light. Not a ray from some existing light. His spoken word was a creative “fiat.” And in answer to that order, out of the darkness sprang the now created light!
This is the same God who said, “Behold, I make all things new.”
This is the God Abraham trusted. Abraham believed God’s Word.
This process and progress of Abraham’s life of faith in such a God is set before us as our pattern. We should study it over and over again.
Abraham believed God in view of what He said He would do.
We believe God who raised the Lord Jesus Christ from the dead.
(To be continued)
© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved