Category Archives: Romans

Acts 24-26

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Paul may be in prison but good golly God uses that.  Think about how large the crowds are each and every time he tells his testimony as well as sharing the Gospel.  It is amazing isn’t it.  Well, I think the read is pretty self-explanatory so I will just point out a few facts behind the scenes that might interest you. (Before I do that take the beginning of 24 to heart, Paul looks and sounds like the Jesus Freak that he is.  Vs 14 says The Way (christianity is a sect). Ummm I was told my Chirstianity was  Jonestown recently.  I should now understand it was biblical to be mocked.  Anyway:

  • Felix came with his wife Drusilla (24:24)  Drusilla is the sister of King Agrippa/  Felix had taken another man’s wife, so it explains why when Paul talks about righteousness, self-control and judgement Felix says “Ohhh look at the time…gotta go”.
  • King Agrippa II, isn’t it amazing that EVERY generation of the Herod family free is somehow personally presented with the Gospel face to face.  Here is the family tree on them.
  • Bernice was King Agrippa’s sister and wife. 
  • Apippas’ father was the one who killed James, his great-uncle was the one who beheaded John the Baptist and his great grandfather was Herod the Great who ordered the children dead in Bethlehem.

What was your favorite part of this read?  Mine was a Scripture reaffirming the great commission,  the way to salvation and the purpose of deeds all rolled up in one.

First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and to the Gentiles also, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds. (Acts 26:20)

But another good one is

Then Agrippa said to Paul, “Do you think that in such a short time you can persuade me to be a Christian?” Paul replied, “Short time or long—I pray God that not only you but all who are listening to me today may become what I am, except for these chains.” (Acts26:28-29)

Romans 14-16

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Yeah! You made it through Romans! 

I am praying right now that this is a WORD to all of us today.  The Word of God will never be different but Churches will.  Paul clearly states that some churches will regard certain days “holier” than others.  Certain foods, customs, traditions….etc.   These differences SHOULD NOT cause division among the Body of Believers  (Ohhh but they do).  I will insert that we are not talking about DOCTRINE but on practices of worship and traditions.  Each of us will sit on the seat of judgement and the standard will be the Bible.   Not only should we not judge the differences but we should respect them  (AS LONG AS they are not contrary to the Bible) . 

Paul restates the purpose of the Letter and takes no comment for his effort since it was written truly from God himself through Paul through the power of the Holy Spirit.  This book may have been tough but you must spend some time next year digging in it because as you see it is written TO THE GENTILE, so we need to read it again.

Question: if God is writing a Bible right now and we are the people in it now (I often think that) where would you be? The ones that are divisive? The ones that are preaching? Serving? Lazy?…ok ok ok let’s do it like the end of Romans….

Romans 16:10 Greet Insert your name, who……

What would be written?

Romans 11-13

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All of a sudden the reading changes completely.  There is no point in reading all the theology in the past 11 Chapters if we are not willing to now see how that should look.  We read about the indwelling Spirit living in us to help us to live less sinfully and more according to what God wants for us.   OK, let me put this another way, I hear people all the time say “I am not sure what God wants for me…I mean like what should I be doing? Serve? Teach? Preach? Cook? Mentor?”  What God wants is for us to live personally responsible AND to use the gift God has given you for His purposes.  However, many of us know what we are good at,  such as praying, singing, counseling, art…whatever our talent we should use it to Glorify Him (not us).Romans lists prophecy, serving, teaching, exhortation, giving, leading and mercy.  (other books list more gifts like wisdom, knowledge, faith, healing, discernment, tongues, interpretation, apostleship, administrative, evangelism, pastoral and speaking)

Chapter 12,WOW the whole thing is underlined.  If we offer ourselves to God to be used what will it look loke.  Start at verse 9.   I am not going to list them but maybe you want to take out a piece of paper and write down the ones you need to pray about.  Ummmmm my list was pretty long.  But that is ok,  because I am going to seriously dig into the Spirit and work on these to please the Lord.

Chapter 13, ok Submission to the authority.  I am not going to rehash the whole story but over two years ago I wrote an article about how God will put in the President seat who He needs in the President seat to fulfill His plan (Always keep in mind the End Times are near…what is near? Nearer than yesterday for sure).  So the title of the article was “Does it really matter” meaning God is in control regardless of who is in the seat.  I also encouraged people to love and pray for all and any authority of our government.  Let me tell you the slack I got was INCREDIBLE.  People had so much to say that I got e-mail after e-mail and then voicemail after voicemail.  Seriously (I almost closed up my writing world…and look what would have happened I wouldn’t know half of you).  I was even told by a woman at my church that I was not fit to lead a study to represent our church.  (Never let one apple be the whole church…all churches have a few…and they seem to always find me)

Submission to Authority.  God through Paul NEVER says to ever disobey God, However, God established the authorities that exist and although we don’t always see the Big Picture we should respect and submit under that authority. 

Last, Love for the Day is Near.  I KNOW you all reread verse 9-10.    But notice that Paul grouped “acts” with “attitudes”.  What is in the Well, comes up in the Bucket.  So let’s get the inside right so we can get the outside right because Jesus just might return tomorrow. :)

Romans 11

I wish Chapter 11 was a standalone read so we can really get this.  I have said in the past, move on if you are stuck but not this time.  God needs you to understand Chapter 11 because it is the true History of your Church.  And not just that,  but what is your feeling, heart, or Judgment on the Jewish people today who do not believe in Christ?  Ok Ok. let me put it bluntly would you say “I don’t get it!!! How can they possibly NOT see that Jesus is the Messiah?”  In our arrogance,  we may think that.  This chapter is written directly to the Gentiles.  God wants us to know not only that we were a plan from the beginning but THROUGH the Jewish nation we were brought to Salvation.  God was able to use the foreknowledge of the hearts of some to be hardened,  to allow us to be grafted into the Plan from the very beginning. 

What does that mean? I want to remind the ones that have read the Old Testament to recall the genealogy of the 12 Tribes.  Two of the Tribes were from Joseph right? Joseph married an Egyptian princess. Soooo 2 of the Tribes were the sons that were half Jew half Gentile.  If I take that one step forward, Joshua was from this tribe line.  Joshua, in Hebrew means “Saves” and the Hebrew word for Joshua is “Jesus”.  See we have always been a larger part of the Plan than people think about.  Now what is Chapter 11 about?

Paul is talking to the Gentiles, explaining to them that there was always a remnant of Jews that were kept to the Lord by Grace. (this goes back to the exile).  These are called the elect.  Now the others that were following Baal (false god) and trying to please the Lord through deed,  well God closed their eyes and shut their ears to the coming Messiah.

Go to verse 17.  Some of the branches were broken off (they were dead, the hardened hearts of the Jews), a wild olive shoot (Gentiles) have been grafted in to share in the same nourishing sap (Jesus) from the ROOT (God).  Why were they broken off? Read the whole paragraph again:

  • If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in.” Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either. (Romans 11:17-21)

Jewish people are the natural branches, his Chosen people.  We should never be so arrogant in our Faith to forget that.  Why don’t many of them believe in the Messiah? because their forefathers were blinded to seeing it SO THAT the branch could be cut off and we, the gentiles,  could be grafted in to the plan.  Paul also warns us that if He is willing to cut a branch off of His Children, what will he do to us Gentiles that do not believe.  Let me put it this way: every hear someone say “Ohhh God wouldn’t do that, He is a God of Love”.  Well first, God LOVES us so much he was willing to blind a few to allow us access to Him HOWEVER, if He can take his hand off His own children clearly He will do that to a Gentile.  So be careful.

The last thing I am going to talk about is Romans 11:9.  A verse many of you may have glazed over, I did for years until God revealed it to me in an argument.  I was arguing on the side of “legalistic” churches, ones that also rely on ‘deed’ on top of faith.  My argument was “what is the big deal if they also require such acts…if they too believe then they are already covered”.  Example: If someone believes in Christ BUT also believes that you have to be baptized, what is the big deal…they are already saved”.  Well, God brought me to Romans 11:8, a day I will never forget.

“So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace. And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace.”

Is grace enough?  Is faith enough?  If you have to ADD to grace then you do not understand the gift of grace, the fulfillment of the Cross, the covering of the blood.  In other words, grace is no longer grace.

With that I had to end arguing on the side of “does it matter if they also require…” because Grace is Grace and it does take Jesus off the Cross to require ANYTHING other than faith for Salvation purposes.

Romans 8-10

Well Hello.  Let me encourage you to take your time.  If one scripture perplexes you move on a little and see of the whole paragraph instead makes sense.  Don’t concentrate on the big words or ideas but the contrast words between them, for example: because, in order, but, nor, and the big one is IF.

I remember when I first “conceded” to the fact that there was a God.  Some weeks later I knew there was a Christ but I remember the EXACT day I was aware of a Holy Spirit.  It was about 2 years into being a Christian when I read a scripture about the Spirit being a deposit of what was to come.  I remember suddenly knowing that inside me was Christ this whole time (2 years) and yet I never really got that.  Chapter 8 starts with probably one of the MOST important scriptures in the whole bible and that is “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death”. Read is again.  Don’t concentrate on the “no condemnation” (well,  feel free to Amen it of course) but look at the rest, because we have the Spirit we are no longer a slave to sin.  Meaning, we now have something inside us that can help us fight  such desires.

Stop right here and read Romans 8:1-17 and look at all the key words I mentioned earlier. (click here)

Chapter 9: Did God’s plan fail?  Think about this.  After sin entered the world (I am not necessarily blaming Adam BUT please note that when Eve bit the apple nothing happened, it was when Adam did….I am just sayin…LOL) Anyway, Did God’s plan fail for the Jewish people?  DId he know they were going to not live up to the law and then eventually reject the Messiah? Yes, HE ELECTED IT!  Chapter 9 is (for me) a really difficult read to pull apart but knowing the genealogy helps a little.:

  Abraham had 2 sons, one through man’s idea (Ishmael)  and the other through God’s promise (Isaac).  Through God’s promise we were guaranteed the Messiah. “Through Isaac your offspring will be reckoned” (that is The Christ).   If the Jewish people had lived according to the law there would be no need for a Messiah (thus the reason for the law…it was UN attainable) and if they had not been purposely blinded by God to see that Jesus was the Messiah the door would not have been opened for the Gentiles to enter”.  SO did the plan fail? Nope, it was the most perfectly orchestrated Plan ever put in motion, we just need all 66 pieces to put it together.

CH 9 continues with a proclamation of His sovereignty.  He has mercy on who He chooses and will not on the ones He will not.  SO then it says, well if that is the case then why are we being blamed if God is the maestro of all this??  That is not the question.  The question is “If God gives Mercy to who he chooses, is there anything I can do get it?”  No.  It is all part of the plan of Salvation…you see?  Our Faith guarantees His Mercy because he DESIRES to save us.

 Chapter 10.  In conclusion what we read was the past, present and future of the Law, The Christ, The Plan, The Jewish Nation and the Gentiles.  I really feel like a lot of my questions have been answered this week.  Not all, but a lot.  He reveals when he reveals.  I am sorry this is long but one last Scripture I have to post.  It is the Gospel and the way to Salvation, when you read this you are no longer without excuse, as the Scripture says, to accept the Gospel

 That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. Romans 10:9-10

Romans 4-7

That seriously was so hard.  I am going to go back and actually re-read it in a few hours.  I am sure after digesting all that,  the last thing you want to read is a blog from me.  But here is what I am asking from you.  Write me 1 Scripture that grabbed you wonderfully and one scripture that maybe confused you.    Maybe we can help each other out.

Here were the topics we just read

  • Proof that even Abraham was Righteous WITHOUT circumcision.  He was circumcised BECAUSE he was righteous.
  • Through Adam we all have death upon us, but through the new Adam, Christ, we can have eternal life.
  • When we are with Christ it is not that we won’t Sin, it is that Sin does not have a grip on us.  It is that pretty word called sanctification.
  • We are not a slave to the Law, for we all are a sinner according to it, we now can use the power of Christ to start a transformation.

Real quick I want to define a few words from this reading.  To me this is like reading  adult stuff after coming off Dr. Seuss.

  • Righteousness: means Right, Upright, (according to God’s Standard)
  • Justified (Justification): GOD’S act of declaring us “not guilty” of sin in our life.
  • trespass: Cross the line with God, sin, go against what is right.
  • Sanctify (sanctification): the change that continues in us that makes us more like Christ. 

 I remember sitting through a Sermon and writing down all the Words or Phrases I knew or heard but truly did not understand.  I handed them to my woman’s minister later that week and said can we go over these.  Humble yourself and ask questions, the end result is not looking stupid but knowing the character of God better.  So that we can adjust our lives according to His standards.

Acts 20:1-3 and Romans 1-3

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience vthat comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

Through the Jewish nation will come the Gospel to the Gentiles.  That is why the opening of this book declares Jesus as the Messiah the Scriptures spoke of: Promised through the Prophets and Scriptures, a descendant of the throne of Davis, and the SOn of God so that the Jews would open their hearts to The Christ.  This book is fully intended for both Jews and Gentiles for Obedience FROM Faith.

OK…are you ready, this is AMAZING.  Let’s start with 1:18 forward.  God’s Wrath Against Mankind”.  OK, let me rephrase the statement “Why would God send people to Hell?”  If you are ever going to push the Gospel forward this may be the first obstacle you face by a unbeliever.  Get your pen out and look at 1:24, 1:26, 1:28…what do you see in common? “gave them over”. God does not put anybody into the path of Wrath, he simply takes his hand off of them and lets them have their own choices.  If you read the Old Testament with us one of the most important moments in the Old Testament was when God lifted his hand off his people, the ultimate protection, allowing them to be taken by the hands of the enemy.

God does not send anyone to Hell, He gives them over to themselves.  They choose.  There is so much to Chapter 1 we could park here for weeks (trust me we could). But let’s move on to Chapter 2 BECAUSE  you all stopped at verse 7 and thought, “will Trish write about this” lol  right? Well, let’s break this down both in NIV and NLT.

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11For God does not show favoritism. (NIV)

He will give eternal life to those who keep on doing good, seeking after the glory and honor and immortality that God offers. 8 But he will pour out his anger and wrath on those who live for themselves, who refuse to obey the truth and instead live lives of wickedness. 9 There will be trouble and calamity for everyone who keeps on doing what is evil—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 10 But there will be glory and honor and peace from God for all who do good—for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism. (NLT)

What are we seeking? Glory Honor and immortality.  Seeking God.  Seeking a life with Christ. How? By Persistence.  We seek a relationship like no other, by loyalty, obedience and behavior.  Out eternity is not given on the doing “good” but by the seeking of the relationship.  When we seek the Lord what does he do? He gives us Grace. That Grace flows through us and what does it look like? It comes out the other end in doing Good.  Not By Doing Good.  Look at the NLT, you are either living for others or you are living for yourself.  The evidence in your seeking relationship with the Lord is acceptance or rejection.  And last, the answer to a question we asked weeks ago…do Jews go to Hell? God says in verse 11 He shows no favoritism.  The Gospel had been brought to both the Jew and the Gentile and He will not treat them any differently according to Salvation.

OK, this blog is long enough…the rest is soooooooooooooooooooooooooo good though.  If anyone has any discussion or comments, I would love to hear them.  This is a deep deep book and if when you read it your forehead hurts from concentrating it is ok.   Peel off another layer when God reveals more to you.  Walk away with the most important part of the read today though:

This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood. He did this to demonstrate his justice, because in his forbearance he had left the sins committed beforehand unpunished— he did it to demonstrate his justice at the present time, so as to be just and the one who justifies those who have faith in Jesus.  (Romans 3:22-26)

Romans Overview

If there was one book to read: It is Romans.  How do you know what Doctrine is God made and which ones are not.  This is the Book to read.  I do not care if you fell off this “read through” at the Garden of Eden, God penned this book through Paul SO THAT we can filter what we are taught through God’s Word.  Are you ready??  Open your Bible and read Romans this week.  go to www.biblegateway.com and read it on your lunch hour if you have to.

Romans Overview. This may be the first Epistle you come to in your Bible, but as you can see it is far from the first one written.  We just got done reading about some of what Paul is going through in 2 Corinthians:

I have worked much harder, been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all the churches.

Paul is in Corinth on his third Mission trip there and he is taking the collection, not to his pocket, but to Jerusalem, where people need it more.  He writes this letter to the Romans before he ever gets there.  He intends to go there but maybe  (I wonder why) he is afraid he may never make it there.  So he feels compelled to write this letter so that the Churches in Rome would have a record on his account.  While he was in Corinth, a woman named Phoebe (not from Friends) was headed to Rome, so he took that opportunity to have her carry that letter.

Rome was a HUGE city, the capital of the entire Roman  empire.  There were however many churches there since there were  “visiting” Romans at the time of Pentecost that were able to go back to Rome and start churches after Peter’s Sermon (Acts 2).  Paul does make it to Rome about 3 years after the letter was written, under not so good circumstances.

The purpose of the letter to Rome was to convey that Faith in the death and Resurrection of Christ is the only ground of acceptance by God.  A God who shows no favoritism between Jew or Gentile.  We will read that we cannot do for ourselves what God has done for us.  Paul does have a sadness and struggles with the fact that Gentiles freely accept and receive the Gospel yet many many Jews will reject it.

The impact this letter will have on the world is incredible.    This book has changed the course of History for the Churches today.  The Book of Romans has influenced such men like Augustine (Catholic Church), Martin Luther (Protestant Reformation), John Bunyan (not Paul the logger but the writer preacher of Pilgrim’s Progress), John Wesley (Methodist foundation) and many others.

What to expect to walk away with is: A person’s justification before the Lord SOLELY rests on the mercy and grace of Christ and NOT on the Law of Moses (10 commandments).  It is not a matter of Law at all, because no person can EVER live up to God’s standards but God himself.  Out of God’s LOVE for every single one of us he forgives our sins.  There is nothing we can do, that could give us Salvation (and this is coming from a man, Paul, who has given GREATLY) but only from God can we receive Salvation.  WITH THAT SAID, since we have been given that gift in spite of ourselves, God deserves our wholehearted attention, love, service, loyalty, boldness, obedience and devotion, not for him to love us, but BECAUSE HE LOVES US.