Tag Archives: Romans

First...v. 1-8- an impressive run on sentence.

From the ESV study notes:

One remarkable feature of this section is that many of the themes mentioned here also conclude the letter in the final doxology (16:25–27):

(1) Paul's apostolic authority;
(2) the fulfillment of the OT Scriptures in the gospel;
(3) the gospel that centers on Jesus Christ;
(4) the obedience of faith;
(5) the mission to the Gentiles; and
(6) the glory of Jesus Christ and God the Father.

Also, (R. Kent Hughes).
Paul’s view of himself (v. 1)
Paul’s view of preaching (vv. 2–4)
Paul’s view of his commission (v. 5)
Paul’s view of the Roman believers (and us) (vv. 6, 7)

On to the passage:

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,

"Servant" is doulos - slave. Slave f Christ, appointed to be an ambassador, marked off by God to preach the gospel.

Slavery to Christ is a key theme that Paul chose for Himself...echoing Christ, Mark 19:45

For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Paul elaborates, and confirms his mission to the Gentiles in Galations 1:15-16

But when he who had set me apart before I was born, and who called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles,

2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures,

God's prophets promised this good news long ago.

3 concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh

Fully God, fully man.

4 and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,

It was the Spirit who bore witness to the deity of Christ, through His resurrection.

5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations,

This mission of Paul's is an act of grace.

6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

Election is just all over the place...

7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ

We are called by God,
We are loved by God,
We are saints of God,
We are the recipients of God's grace and peace...

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A Prayer for Friends Struggling with Pornography

Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me.For in my inner being I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. Romans 7:21-8:2

Jesus, my heart goes out today for friends and their spouses whose lives are being assaulted by the ravaging and enslaving grip of pornography.  I know of no other power sufficient for the task but the gospel. This is why I run to you today with grave concern, but also with great hope.

I invite you to read the rest. (HT: Challies)

I'm reading in Hebrews 4...

God's Sabbath rest.

1Therefore, while the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us fear lest any of you should seem to have failed to reach it. 2For good news came to us just as to them, but the message they heard did not benefit them, because they were not united by faith with those who listened.

some manuscripts say because it did not meet with faith in the hearers.

It is not that we lose our salvation, it's that the promise of rest did not join with our faith in the first place.  We are united by faith with those who listened to the gospel and believe.

This is also cross referenced to Romans 3:3

Even though there are those who do not listen and there are those who do not believe, that does not mean that the promises of God are not true.  God is faithful to His promises, even when we are not faithful to Him.

3For we who have believed enter that rest, as he has said,

"As I swore in my wrath,'They shall not enter my rest,'"

That's a direct quote from Psa. 95.  Matthew Henry says, "Let us be aware of the evils of our hearts, which lead us to wander from the Lord. There is a rest ordained for believers, the rest of everlasting refreshment, begun in this life, and perfected in the life to come. This is the rest which God calls his rest."

although his works were finished from the foundation of the world. 4For he has somewhere spoken of the seventh day in this way: "And God rested on the seventh day from all his works."

Exodus31:17, "It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested and was refreshed.'"

We long for that rest.

I long for that rest.

Humans are designed for a Sabbath and I feel as though I have not had one for a long time.

Unconditional election...AKA predestination.  It is my second least TULIP doctrine to try to explain.

Based on the premise that "God is sovereign and He gets to pick - not only how, but who."

This builds on the "T" - total depravity.  Not that each peson is as totally depraved as they could be, but rather every part of each person's will is touched by Adam's nature (original sin).

How many people seek God?

The answer (as well as in other places, is answered in Romans 3:

"None is righteous, no, not one;
no one understands;
no one seeks for God.
All have turned aside; together they have become worthless;
no one does good,
not even one."

If we don't seek God, how do we find Him?

Ephesians 1:3-6. “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love, having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will, to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He has made us accepted in the Beloved.”

Christ told His disciples,

You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide...(John 15:16)

But what about my will?

So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy (Romans 9:16)

But that isn't fair

But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"  Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? (Romans 9:20-24)

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The "L" part of TULIP..."Limited Atonenent".

Also known as "definite atonement" or "particular redemption".

Now...I'm going to take this post in an entirely different and political course.

On another blog, I'm hearing about our "Christian" Bible calling Jews "children of the devil" and I'm hearing about the sinful history of the persecution of Jews by Christians.

Yes.  It happened.  Yes.  It was sin.

The popular epitaph is "Christ-killer".

Who took Christ's life?

John 10:17-18 The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."

My first question:  if Christ had not been crucified, where would we be?  The "religious Jews" were instruments of God, prophecied.   Jesus' death was the necessary sacrifice, ordained by the Father from the beginning of time.  If God had demanded the sacrifice, are the people who brought that sacrifice about to blame?

Now...on to "the L".

From a Reformed perspective, who is responsible for the death of Christ?   When I was an Arminian, my answer would have been "all of us".

But if I buy into the "L", that is not the right answer.

The short definition of "limited atonement" is: Christ's redeeming work was intended to save the elect only and actually secured salvation for them.

If Christ's redeeming work was intended to save only those who would believe on Christ the Saviour, His blood in not on the hands of the Jews, it is not on the hands of unbelievers.

The blood of Christ is on my hands.  My hands...the hands of a believer.

Romans 5:8-11  But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him!  For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

That is the "L".   The "L" lays the blame of Christ's death on me.