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"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, November 10, 2014

Romans by the Book (Lesson 70)

Home Bible Study ©
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 70

I want to welcome everyone who has elected to join us today for Bible study and then I want to encourage you to continue in this good work (Ephesians 2:10).

Food For Thought

Albert Einstein was once asked by a student, “Dr. Einstein, how many feet are there in a mile?”  This student was amazed when Einstein replied, “I don’t know.”

The student was sure the great professor was joking.  Surely Einstein would know a simple fact that every schoolchild is required to memorize.  But Einstein wasn’t joking. When the student pressed for an explanation Einstein declared, “I make it a rule not to clutter my mind with simple information that I can find in a book in five minutes.”  

Einstein was not interested in trivial data.  His passion was to explore the deep things of the universe.  His passion for mathematical and physical truth made him an essential figure in modern world history.

We are called to similar passion, i.e. a passion to know God.  A thirst for the knowledge of God should drive us to drink deeply at the fountain of Scripture (John 4:13-14).  We are equipped with more than enough unholy passions (empty pursuits).  Our appetite for lesser things at times threatens to consume us.  Yet few of us these days are in danger of being consumed by a passion for God.  The Scriptures says of Jesus that zeal for His Father’s house consumed Him (John 2:17). 

The things we are passionate about consume our time, and our resources. 
What are you passionate about?  Is God on your list? 

Please open your Bible to Romans, chapter 8, at verse 32.

From No Condemnation to No Separation (Part II)

I closed last week’s lesson with this thought; since Paul has informed us that the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us,” our heavenly Father wants us to know and appreciate this Truth, regardless of what happens to us in this life we may live each day courageously and encouraged knowing no one or nothing will succeed against us because “God for us, who against us!”

I also commented that this was an uplifting statement from our apostle Paul directed to Believers only.  We all need encouragement on a regular basis because it’s human nature to “drift” off course.  In other words, we all have a tendency to take our eyes off of Jesus and focus on our circumstances instead.  This is exactly what the enemy hopes to accomplish.  He wants us to “feel” defeated, discouraged, and distant from our God but do you not know that we are more than conquerors, in Christ Jesus?

We all struggle with sin, we have family members who resist God’s salvation call through the gospel, the bills keep coming in and there is just so much money, work is physically and mentally exhausting, if you are counted among the blessed who are gainfully employed that is.  Otherwise the unemployed are facing problems unique to their situation on a daily basis.  Your may be struggling with health related issues, you have loved ones who are harassed with similar concerns and you carry these burdens as well day after day…  I could keep going but I think you understand where I’m coming from.  These cares can cause a person to become discouraged and disillusioned.  If this should happen, discouragement can steal your contentment, your joy, and your vitality.  By the way, the medical profession calls this condition “Clinical Depression.”  An estimated 38 million people in the U.S. suffer from this malady and have sought medical treatment.

If you start to “feel” the least bit disenchanted, or out of balance, remember Romans chapter 8.  It’s the Believer’s “safe harbor” when life’s storms blow in your direction.  Notice I said “when” and not if.  There will be storms.  God never promised you serenity here on earth.  But there is both comfort and security here, starting at verse one where God informs every true Believer they are “not guilty” for there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.  Put another way when our heavenly Father looks at a Believer He sees a reflection of His Son, Jesus Christ.  There is now “no difference.”  I find this encouraging as I’m sure you do and as I said it’s only the first verse.  The good news continues to build throughout this great chapter.

After beginning with such a tremendous declaration, it’s only fitting that Paul end it with one equally as remarkable – no separation from Christ Jesus.

Let’s read Scripture together.

Romans 8

32: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

33: Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;

34: who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

35: Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Starting with verse 31 our apostle Paul asks five questions to highlight the incredible privilege of being in Christ Jesus where you’re safe, sound, and eternally secure:

(31) If God is for us, who is against us?
(32) How will He not also with Him freely give us all things?
(33) Who will bring a charge against God’s elect?
(34) Who is the one who condemns?
(35) Who will separate us from the love of Christ?

And Paul answers each of these questions for us:

(31) No one can be successful against us.
(32) God will supply everything we “need” even though the situation appears bleak.
(33) No accuser can make a charge stick against us in the courtroom of heaven.
(34) No one can condemn us.
(35) No one and nothing can separate us from the love of Christ Jesus.

Our Savior lives and is presently at the right hand of God interceding for us daily (Job 16:19; Psalms 110:1; Romans 8:27, 34; 1 John 2:1).  Jesus’ love for humanity didn’t end at the cross.  He loves us every moment of every day!

Please turn to Ephesians chapter 2.

Ephesians 2

4: But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,

5: even when we were dead in our transgressions, 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,

7: so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus (Romans 5:8, 8:32).

At one time we didn’t know God.  In fact we were all enemies of God! 
But God demonstrated His love toward us while we were yet sinners!
Flip over to chapter 5.

Ephesians 5

25: Husbands, love your wives, (this is a command from the Lord, men) just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her,

Initially we were hostile towards God and His Son and that’s quite a distance from love.  We love God because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)! 

Here we clearly have a command from the risen Lord to every believing husband to love their wife, just as Christ also loved the church…   How much did Jesus love His church?  He gave up His life for His bride (the church).

Jesus set the standard.  This means that every believing husband, if the situation should present itself, should willingly lay down his life for his wife out of love and respect for her, as Christ gave Himself up for the church.  That’s what this verse is saying. 

Hang onto that thought and consider this verse:   “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son…” 

We read the words but seldom contemplate the depth of their meaning. 

The love of the Father is expressed and witnessed in giving us Jesus:  …who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.  Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross (Philippians 2:7-8).

The child, lying in the manger in Bethlehem, was the Creator God (Colossians 1:15-20).
How many people know or even stop to consider that the Creator of “all things” willingly submitted Himself to be spit upon, scourged, and then nailed to that Roman cross by His creation? 

Some people think this is a crazy notion.  Why in the world would Jesus go to the cross?
If God is sovereign, couldn’t He come up with a better plan?

But these folks don’t understand Scripture or know our God.  If you try to explain to them that God is holy, righteous, and all-knowing, they haven’t a clue as to what you’re talking about for these things are spiritually discerned.  But God has principles and He doesn’t change.  God planned to reconcile sinful man back to Himself and He knew the only way this could be done was by shedding His own blood for us (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah 7:14; Galatians 4:4; John 1:14; Colossians 1:20; 1 Timothy 3:16; Romans 5:12, 17, 19; Hebrews 2:14-17; Hebrews 9:22). 

Romans 8

32: He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things?

The God of all grace has already given us His best in Christ Jesus and while we were counted as amongst His enemies.  Now that we’re Believers, by faith alone, do you think our God is going hold back on any of His promises?  Everything God has done from day one has been for us, His elect!  I pray you can see this.  Let’s move on.

Romans 8

33: Who will bring a charge against God's elect? God is the one who justifies;

We’ve already spent some time examining the word “elect” as used in Scripture, so I’m not going to revisit the topic again at this point in time.  If you’re a new visitor, there is a lesson (not so old) in the archives that covers this issue. 

As the verse says, God justifies.  We don’t have to answer to anyone else.  God has forgiven us our trespasses and will not bring them up again.  Let’s look at verse 34.

34: who is the one who condemns?  Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us.

There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus – your salvation is eternally secure.  The One who obtained this gift for you is Christ Jesus and your faith in His finished work of the cross “seals” the deal, if you’ll permit.  He is at the right hand of God interceding for the saints and it was Jesus who said, God for us, who against us?  Now this doesn’t mean that bad stuff can’t happen to Believers or their loved ones.  So, don’t misread the message.  Believers are under attack physically and spiritually regularly per the Scriptures.  Satan and his demons are quite busy and as I’ve said before if you are a Believer you have a target on your back.  But take heart, we have the promises of God and you may rest in them – God is in total control of the situation.  

Remember Jesus has already won the war; Satan just hasn’t gotten the message yet.
The devil and sinful people can sow seeds of strife in your life, but God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose (the elect).  The deeds of the enemy will not succeed against you, in other words. 

Colossians 2

2: that their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself,

We may never know how many times Jesus, our Advocate, has interceded for us.  He could be, at this very moment, speaking to the Father in your defense (Romans 8:27). 
How awesome is that?

(To be continued)

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