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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Saturday, February 22, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 39)

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 39

Greetings and welcome to Home Bible study. 

One of the goals of HBS is to get people interested in their Bible and I pray it is having that affect.  A recent survey revealed that people are interested in learning about end time events and the Bible certainly has something to say regarding this subject.  But the Word of God has so much more to offer and this is why it’s to be studied. 

Once again for the sake of our new visitors please balance what you read here with Scripture because this is my intention.  Let’s let God have the last word and not yours truly. 

You’ve heard me say this, you’ve seen it in print here, and if you’ve read the Bible then you’re aware that we’re living in troubled times (see 1 Timothy 3:1-9).  Morality in America continues to wane and as a result of this determining between fact and fiction is becoming increasingly difficult.  

What is truth and where will you find it? 
These are genuine concerns today.

The younger generation does not read a newspaper, they aren’t watching the evening news, and they rarely read non-fiction books.  But even if these things were true are these reliable sources of truth?  I think not. 

The youth today utilize the internet to read up on what’s happening in the world. 
They use the internet to get advice about things that concern them, who to vote for, and who to date.  The information accessed and gathered on the internet is central to forming their attitudes, their beliefs, their political views, and it aids them in formulating a sense of who they are within the world.  

A vast amount of information is available to the individual via the internet through e-books, journalism, articles, blogs, chat rooms, and other various on-line sources at the click of a mouse.  What power…what a sense of control!

But one should consider the unprecedented amount of mistakes, half-truths, mistruths, propaganda, misinformation, disinformation, and then there’s the general nonsense that’s out there on the internet.  Truth is, many do not.

Research shows that the majority of young people are not careful, discerning users of the internet.  They do not apply fact checks to the information they uncover.  They are unable to recognize bias and propaganda and will not compare other sources of data. 

As a result they will accept information that they should probably discard.  This makes them vulnerable to:  ignorance, falsehoods, cons, scams, etc.   In other words, they permit themselves to be manipulated by those with a personal agenda who think nothing of exploiting those who fall into the above mentioned category.  I’m not just picking on the youth of America.  Older folks need to pay attention to this message as well.

So, what is truth and where will you find it? 
Make no mistake - the only source of reliable truth in this world today is the Bible. 
I know this because its author is the living God.

George Washington said, “It is impossible to govern the world without God and the Bible.”

The more you learn about Scripture, the more you’ll realize that you can believe the Bible, because it has been inspired and preserved by God.  The Bible is firmly based on the facts of history; not on myth or fiction.

The truth is incontrovertible.  Malice may attack it, ignorance may deride it, but in the end, there it is.   Winston Churchill

Please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 6.

We have arrived at the second part of Christ’s work for us – this is our identification with His death.  We died with Jesus Christ, our Spirit baptism into the Body of Christ giving witness to this (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-13); therefore, we Believers are to consider ourselves dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus Christ.  (Verses 1-11)

The Apostle Paul is now going to address our “holy” walk under God’s abounding grace in the answers to two questions: 

  • First, shall we keep on sinning that God’s grace may keep abounding?

  • Second, since we are no longer under Law, but under that of grace, shall we use this liberty to commit sin?  That is, shall we use our freedom from the law- principle for self-centered purposes?

Believers Are Dead to Sin,
Alive to God

Romans 6

1: What shall we say then?  Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?

Paul originally defended himself against this same argument back at Romans 3:8; 3:31.
In short, Paul is saying, God’s grace does not give the Believer liberty to sin freely!

This question probably came from a newly saved gentile.  Coming out of that heathen culture, that world of sin and darkness, and as yet having received little instruction about the faith; he might imagine that if just believing on Jesus Christ can save me from all that then the more I sin the more God’s grace I receive.  Isn’t more grace better?

2:  May it never be!  How shall we who died to sin still live in it?

Paul’s response, in the Greek, is a strong expression of surprise and condemnation.
To die to a thing or person is to have nothing more to do with them. 

And why would you?  Death is finality.
And then there’s this truth to consider:

2 Corinthians 5

17: Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he (or she) is a new creature; the (what) old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

Meaning:  since God has reconciled you to Himself through Jesus Christ, you have received the baptism of Holy Spirit into the Body of Christ, and you are a saved, new creature in Christ Jesus living a new life; how can you spend any of your time living as you once did in your old life?   To be succinct shall the spiritual live as the carnal live?
How can you who were once slaves to sin but now have been made free by the precious blood of Jesus Christ go back into the world of slavery? 

The opposite of this truth is to live to a person or thing; to be wholly given up to them, to experience an intimate connection or relationship with them.  Let’s go to the book.

Ephesians 2

1: And you were (what) dead (to God) in your trespasses and sins.

2: in which you formerly walked according to the course of (where) this world, according to the prince (Satan) of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience. 

3: Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were (read carefully) by nature (that old Adamic Nature) children of wrath, even as the rest.

4: But God (I love those two words), being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5: even when we were dead in our transgressions, (now watch this – this is why we’re here) made us alive together with Christ [by grace you have been saved],

6: and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,

As you read through these verses above this truth rings out. 
God made us alive in Christ. 

We who were once “children of wrath” because of our trespasses and sins have been “made alive” together with Christ.  God moved us from death to being spiritually alive with Christ; we were raised up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places. 

When I speak of a relationship or an intimate connection, this is what I mean.
A Believer isn’t just a saved individual.  A saved Believer becomes a “child of God,”
Please turn to Romans chapter 8.

Romans 8

14: For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are (who) sons of God.

15: For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again (that old life –you left), but you have received a spirit of (what) adoption as sons (and daughters) by which we cry out, “Abba!  Father!”

16: The Spirit Himself testifies with our spirit that we are (now read carefully) children of God.

17: and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him.

Paul uses the term, ‘adopted as sons’ to write to the Believers in Rome, where they would have understood the meaning of his words.  Under Roman law, if you were an adopted son, you had identical rights to a naturally born son in the family.  An adopted son had the right to the family name of the person who adopted him and the right to an inheritance of the father’s property.  Under Roman law, the adopted son also had the right to the father’s citizenship of the Empire. 

For Believers, this means you have been given the name of Christ and have the right to be called Christians.  Our inheritance is nothing less that the property of our heavenly Father and all the spiritual riches that are in Christ Jesus in this life and the life to come.
And we have obtained a new citizenship.  Our citizenship is in heaven with God, our Father.

When I speak of a Believer’s relationship or an intimate connection, this is what I mean.

Please turn to Romans chapter 6.

Romans 6

3: Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death?

4:  Therefore, we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life. 

Our Lord Jesus Christ not only bore our sins on that Roman cross but He was made to be sin itself.  There He died.  Then He was buried.  God then raised Him from the dead.  
The resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead was the greatest display of divine power ever witnessed.  Jesus Christ became the first-born from the dead who walked in “newness of life.” 

Note:  Resurrection life was not known until Christ was raised from the dead. 
Lazarus whom Jesus raised from the dead was brought back into this life but he would experience death yet again.  In Christ’s resurrection, He was the first-born from the dead.  He was not brought back into the old flesh and blood earthly existence as before.  It’s true He had a body, He could eat, and we know this from the Scripture accounts.
But He could also pass through closed doors and transport Himself from one place to another – He was now a heavenly Man.

When a Believer “walks in newness of life,” they demonstrate their oneness or union with Jesus Christ. 

5:  For if we have become united with Him in the likeness of His death, certainly we shall also be in the likeness of His resurrection,

6: knowing this, that our old self was crucified with Him, in order that our body of sin might be done away with, so that we would no longer be slaves to sin;

7: for he who has died is freed from sin.

You are either driven by the lusts of the flesh or you are not. 
Put another way – sin either steers your course or it does not. 

Those who are “alive in Christ” steer another course, if you will.
Instead of seeking to gratify the desires of the flesh or chase after momentary pleasures, they have another guide.  They are led by the Spirit.  They seek those things that are “good” and “acceptable” in the eyes of God.  Their daily prayer is, “Lord Jesus, show me what you would have me do.” 

In addition, Believers are alive to the teachings of the Spirit of God who will lead you in all truth. 

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved

Friday, February 7, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 38)

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 38

Hello and welcome back to HBS or Bible study-lite or user-friendly, as I like to call it. 
There are reasons why I refer to it in this way.  I never quiz or test those who participate in these Bible lessons.  I won’t ask you to memorize Bible verses and there are no homework or reading assignments.  Yet this is a Bible study.  I try to keep this program “down-to-earth” so that anyone (with a mind to) can follow along with us. 

I also omit cumbersome words from my Bible lessons intentionally.  You know the ones.  You need a dictionary to decipher their meaning and then half the time you’re still left wondering, “’what in the world… there’s no need for any of that.  In case you haven’t noticed, Scripture isn’t written in that manner.  The Bible was penned so that an average person with an average reading ability can understand it.  Unfortunately, the majority of people have been taught directly or indirectly that they do not possess the ability to interpret Scripture without the aid of a seminary college education or the assistance of someone with such a degree.   This is not true.

Here are a few basic tools for interpreting Scripture.  These will help your Bible study.

“No one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” (1 Corinthians 2:11b NIV)

Have you ever heard someone say, “Well, that’s just your interpretation of the Bible?”
It’s as if that comment disproves everything that’s been said.  But it really doesn’t disprove anything.   There are right ways and wrong ways to interpret Scripture obviously.   There are some methods for interpreting the Bible that will always give you the wrong interpretation every time.

Here are six principles of interpretation that are accepted just about everywhere.

  •    You need faith and the Holy Spirit to interpret Scripture.
The Bible doesn’t make sense to non-believers.  It is God’s love letter to believers. When an unbeliever reads the Word, he is reading someone else’s mail.  The Bible is a spiritual book that must be understood by spiritual people.  

  •     The Bible is its own best commentary.
Scripture interprets Scripture.  Practice this principle by getting a Bible with cross-references in the margin.  By looking up other cross references, you’ll get a much bigger and clearer picture of what God has said in all of his Word, not just that one context. 

  •    Read the Old Testament with the New Testament in mind,
and read the New Testament with the Old Testament in mind.  The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament.  The Old Testament is revealed in the New Testament.

  •    Always interpret unclear passages in the light of clear passages.
Look at the full counsel of God in Scripture to get a clear understanding when you find a passage that seems contradictory or confusing.  For example, 1 Corinthians 15:29 has a very obscure reference to baptism for the dead.  It's the only time the idea is mentioned in Scripture.  Paul isn’t condoning this.  Nothing in Scripture condones it.  Let clear passages about salvation and baptism interpret this unclear one, not visa versa.

  •     Don't form a doctrine based solely on an historical event.
Take historical passages of the Bible for what they’re meant to be: good lessons. Don’t build your doctrine upon them.  For example, in Mark 1:35, the Bible says Jesus got up very early, went into a place of solitude, and prayed.  Does that mean you must get up every morning at 4 a.m., leave your house, and go somewhere and pray?  Of course not!  God may convince you that’s a good idea, but it’s not a command.  Use doctrinal passages to base doctrine on.  Use narratives to teach lessons.

  •     Never interpret Scripture based on your own experiences.
The point of Bible study is not to shape Scripture to agree with your subjective opinions or your experiences.  Feelings lie.  Emotions lie.  Instead, discover God's timeless truth and let it shape your life.  Study the Bible with an open heart and invite God to conform you to his will.

God doesn’t want to leave you in the dark when you study Scripture.  Following these basic rules of Bible study can help to ensure you read the Word from God’s perspective.

We owe a debt of gratitude to people like William Tyndale (1494-1536).  Tyndale holds the distinction of being the first man to ever print the New Testament in the English language.  He is frequently referred to as the “architect of the English language.” 

I would be doing a great disservice to Mr. William Tyndale if I did not mention that he gave his life so that we could have a copy of the Bible in our home today.

William Tyndale had become a trained priest, and was fluent in 8 languages.
He believed a direct translation from Greek and Hebrew into English would be more accurate and readable than Wycliffe’s translation from Latin (and he was correct). 

So, Mr. Tyndale, enlightened by the Holy Spirit, translated the New Testament and some of the Old Testament.  Some of his friends warned him that he would be killed for doing so, but he continued his work. 

Once while disputing with a learned man, Mr. Tyndale said, “If God spare my life, ere many years I will cause a boy that driveth the plough shall know more of Scripture than thou dost.” 

Now how much education do you suppose a poor English plough boy possessed at that time in history?  Precious little, I assure you, but enough according to Mr. Tyndale to read and understand Scripture once it was translated properly.  Mr. Tyndale, like others, was killed for his efforts – he was strangled and then burned at the stake near Brussels. 

But the belief he carried in his heart – that which he gave his life for was not lost.  Millions of people have come to experience for themselves what Tyndale taught throughout his life:  The nature of God’s word is, that whosoever reads it…it will begin immediately to make him every day better and better, till he be grown into a perfect man.”

About 52 countries ban the Bible today – meaning it’s against the law to own one.
A few of these are: Afghanistan, China, Cuba, Iran, Kuwait, and North Korea. 

When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.   Author: G.K. Chesterton

I pray you find this information on and about the Bible useful.  Please remember people like Mr. Tyndale in your prayers.  We owe him and others like him a great deal.

Please open your Bible to Romans at chapter 5.  We’ll drop in at verse 15.

The Apostle Paul has been drawing a comparison of sorts (since verse 12) between the transgression of the one man (Adam) and how his offense affected the entire human
race thereafter, and the opposite gift of God, through the righteous act of the One Man, Jesus Christ; His substitionary death on the cross affects the life of the Believer.   

I say “a comparison of sorts” because it’s not a true comparison because the “free gift” from God the Father bestows blessings far beyond the consequences of Adam’s single offense.    Paul continues this parallel or comparison through Romans 5:15-18.

Romans 5

15: But (But = Behold the Underlying Truth) the free gift is not like the transgression.  For if by the transgression of the one (Adam – the Federal Head of the Human Race) the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many (who believe the gospel).

God’s gift of grace is freely given to all, but what must you do?
You have to accept it on faith.  It doesn’t work any other way.

16: The gift is not like that which came through the one who sinned; for on the one hand the judgment arose from one transgression resulting in condemnation, but on the other hand the free gift arose from many transgressions resulting in justification.

Paul is saying it only took one wrong act through Adam to bring about judgment and death for all of humanity, but that out of many transgressions (every sin ever committed; past, present, and future) came the opposite of judgment – a righteous act, that is Jesus Christ died for every man, woman, and child; salvation is God’s free gift to all. 

It’s a funny thing but when people see the word “free” they suddenly stop reading the rest of the copy.  We know God’s grace came at a high cost.  Jesus gave up His life so that we could have the gift of eternal life, through faith alone; therefore God’s grace didn’t come freely by any means.  But God extends the gift of His grace to us freely in this era (dispensation) and the Bible is clear on this point.  There’s nothing we can do on our own to “earn” it.

Be very careful.  This verse does not say that God’s gift of grace is free to everyone therefore, everyone is already saved.  Meaning, the individual need do nothing more and it doesn’t matter how they live their life.  All of Scripture must be taken into account.  You never build doctrine from one or two lines of Bible text.

What does this book say?

Ephesians 2

8: For by grace you have been saved (how) through faith; (not by tithing, not by joining the “right” church group, not by climbing the steepest mountain, not by swimming the strongest river, not by praying a certain prayer.  You are saved through faith plus nothing else that’s what this book says) and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God.  (See 1 Corinthians 15:1-4).

This verse usually brings an old church hymn to mind and it does now.

Grace Greater Than Our Sin

Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary’s mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Sin and despair, like the sea waves cold,
Threaten the soul with infinite loss;
Grace that is greater, yes, grace untold,
Points to the refuge, the mighty cross.


Dark is the stain that we cannot hide,
What can avail to wash it away?
Look!  There is flowing a crimson tide,
Brighter than snow you may be today.


Marvelous, infinite, matchless grace,
Freely bestowed on all who believe!
You that are longing to see His face,
Will you this moment His grace receive?

Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that will pardon our sin and our guilt!
Grace, grace, God’s grace,
Grace that is greater than all our sin.

Words by: Julia H. Johnston, in Hymns Tried and True (Chicago, IL)
Music: Daniel B. Towner, 1910

There’s a powerful message in this old church hymn. 
It says what it means and means what it says.

Let’s return to Romans.

Romans 5

17: For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, (now watch this) much more those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness will (do what exactly) reign in life (the opposite of death) through the One, Jesus Christ.

What does Death do?  It destroys right?  Therefore, Death is known as reigning by the destruction of his subjects – that’s you and me.

Those who receive the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness shall be redeemed from the sentence of the second death and instead exalted to the throne room of God to live and reign with Jesus Christ forever without end.  (See 1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Timothy 2:12; Revelation 2:7; Revelation 2:10-11; Revelation 3:21)

Let’s return to Romans and wrap up this Bible lesson.

Romans 5

18: So then as through one transgression there resulted condemnation to (how many) all men (and women), even so through one act of righteousness there resulted justification of life to (how many) all men (and women).

Through the one transgression of Adam a sentence of death passed to all mankind without hope or reprieve.  Mankind would experience death twice, once in this life, and then the second death, which is the eternal separation from God in the Lake of Fire.

But by the obedience of Jesus Christ, unto death, His one righteous act reversed that death sentence for all mankind.  Jesus Christ’s resurrection defeated death and gave Him the victory.  Justified Believers will follow His lead.

19: For as through the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous.
There are quite a few people who shy away from the term “sinner.”  They don’t like being referred to or labeled as such but this is what the book says.  This is who we are per the Creator God. 

I said “we” because even saved individuals are going to continue to sin.  The Apostle Paul wrote: “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am of flesh, (that old Adamic Nature) sold into bondage to sin” (see Romans 7: 14-25). 

Paul is saying he struggled with sin in his own life and we will struggle with sin in our lives but what else is true?  We will be victorious one day!

(To be continued)

© Copyright 2011
GJ Heitzman’s Ministry
All Rights Reserved