Tuesday, March 31 2009
Paul writes in chapter 9 that he is very sorrowful for the Israelites. He states is verse 2 and 3 (Amplified)...
2 That I have bitter grief and incessant anguish in my heart.
3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off and banished from Christ for the sake of my brethren and instead of them, my natural kinsmen and my fellow countrymen. [Exod. 32:32.]
He continues speaking of his "countrymen" and in verse 6 states (Amplified)...
6 However, it is not as though God's Word had failed [coming to nothing]. For it is not everybody who is a descendant of Jacob (Israel) who belongs to [the true] Israel.
Paul writes that it is not the "children of the flesh but of the promise are counted for the seed" further explaining that in verse 25 and 25 who receives the promise....
24 Even including ourselves whom He has called, not only from among the Jews but also from among the Gentiles (heathen)?
25 Just as He says in Hosea, Those who were not My people I will call My people, and her who was not beloved [I will call] My beloved. [Hos. 2:23.]
It is exciting to understand that despite your lineage that you can be a child of the promise. This is direct connection with the sermon preached by Peter on the Day of Pentecost in Acts 2:39...
For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
Friday, March 27 2009
Romans chapter 8 is a chapter of hope. It starts with...
1 THEREFORE, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit. [John 3:18.]
And ends with....
37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Although, Paul writes extensively in Romans about the traps of sin, he always gives those reading his letters (now scripture) hope. The hope of Jesus Christ is what can drag a drug user from his needle, an alcoholic from his bottle and the lonely from their depression. It is truly the "cure all" for the world. It is the "light at the end of the tunnel" for all those that wallow in the "miry clay" of the sinful nature of man. When we have Jesus in our lives through the Holy Spirit we are set free from sin. Paul wrote in Romans 8:15....
God's Spirit doesn't make us slaves who are afraid of him. Instead, we become his children and call him our Father. (CEV)
That same scripture in the King James Version is...
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.
Although, there is some dispute about an exact translation, the word "Abba" can be loosely translated as "daddy". Daddy is an affectionate term and it is exciting to think that God adopts us into His family. When we are living our life for Jesus, we are part of the family of God. When we are part of the family of God, we can stand by what Paul wrote in Romans 8:31...
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
Thursday, March 26 2009
In the 7th chapter of Romans, Paul writes in detail that we no longer live under the law, but through Jesus Christ. Romans 7:6 states...
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
In his writings concerning the Mosaic law, Paul does not completely dismiss the law, but states very clearly that it served a purpose in teaching him right from wrong. Romans 7:6 states...
What should we say, then? Are Moses' laws sinful? That's unthinkable! In fact, I wouldn't have recognized sin if those laws hadn't shown it to me. For example, I wouldn't have known that some desires are sinful if Moses' Teachings hadn't said, "Never have wrong desires." (God's Word Version)
Perhaps, you are thinking how does this apply to us today. We never followed the Mosaic law, but all of us were taught morals and ethics. We were taught right from wrong, by someone in our lives whether it be by the church or our parents. We understood that we should not break laws and be mean to others. You would have the ability to call yourself "a good person". Is that enough?
Paul writes in Romans 7:14 - 18...
14 We know that the Law is spiritual; but I am a creature of the flesh [carnal, unspiritual], having been sold into slavery under [the control of] sin.
15 For I do not understand my own actions [I am baffled, bewildered]. I do not practice or accomplish what I wish, but I do the very thing that I loathe [which my moral instinct condemns].
16 Now if I do [habitually] what is contrary to my desire, [that means that] I acknowledge and agree that the Law is good (morally excellent) and that I take sides with it.
17 However, it is no longer I who do the deed, but the sin [principle] which is at home in me and has possession of me.
18 For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot perform it. [I have the intention and urge to do what is right, but no power to carry it out.] (Amplified)
Paul admits that the law taught him morality, but his flesh was sinful and therefore he failed. Romans 7:21 states...
So I find it to be a law (rule of action of my being) that when I want to do what is right and good, evil is ever present with me and I am subject to its insistent demands. (Amplified)
Paul closes the chapter with the hope of Jesus Christ. As he stated in chapter 5, "...where sin abounded, grace did much more abound", we can always find hope in the love of Jesus Christ. Jesus is our deliverer and it is through Him that we are delivered from the chains of sin. Paul writes in Romans 7:24 - 25...
24 O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from [the shackles of] this body of death?
25 O thank God! [He will!] through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One) our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin. (Amplified)
Tuesday, March 24 2009
In the 6th chapter of Romans, Paul writes on sin. It is in this chapter that we understand that the "wages of sin" is death (v23) and that we should not sin simply because we live under grace and not the law (v15). Today, I want to write on the 3rd and 4th verses. They state the following...
3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?
4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.
How are we baptized into Jesus Christ? How are we "buried with Him"? This question goes to the heart of sound doctrine. The Bible gives very specific instructions on how we should be baptized. The word "baptized" comes from the word "baptizo" which means to make whelmed (that is, fully wet). We can see through the scripture that the first church practiced submersion. Acts 8 states...
The Amplified Version reads as follows...
3 Are you ignorant of the fact that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?
4 We were buried therefore with Him by the baptism into death, so that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious [power] of the Father, so we too might [habitually] live and behave in newness of life.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
What is done to ensure that we are "baptized into Jesus Christ"? This has caused much debate within the Christian community, but let us look at what Paul did at baptism. Acts 19 states....
1 And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples,
2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost.
3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John's baptism.
4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus.
5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Paul baptized in the name of Jesus. That is the only method of baptism within the New Testament church and it continues to be the method for which we are to be baptized today.
Monday, March 23 2009
The 5th chapter of Romans is full of "nuggets" of knowledge, but today I want to focus on the very first scripture. Romans 5:1 states...
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:
I have heard the word "justified" used many times and I want to ensure that it is used properly. What does it mean to be justified? Strong's Concordance defines justified from the original language as...
To render (that is, show or regard as) just or innocent: - free, justify (-ier), be righteous.
The Amplified Version translates Romans 5:1 as....
THEREFORE, SINCE we are justified (acquitted, declared righteous, and given a right standing with God) through faith, let us [grasp the fact that we] have [the peace of reconciliation to hold and to enjoy] peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One).
Paul is writing a fact concerning faith. He writes that through our faith we will be acquitted or set free. What a promise! Although, we are set free through our faith this does not state that we "just have to believe" in Jesus to be saved. This is not a plan of salvation because Jesus stated in Mark 16...
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
We are set free through our faith in Jesus Christ. The chains of sin cannot take hold of those that love Jesus with all their heart, soul, mind and strength.
Friday, March 20 2009
In the 4th chapter of Romans, Paul is writing of Abraham. It is within this chapter that Paul writes the following (Amplified)...
19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah's [deadened] womb. [Gen. 17:17; 18:11.]
20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,
21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.
Despite Abraham's situation or circumstances he never wavered at the promise that was given to him. It seems that Abraham's faith was made stronger through praise. I preached a sermon recently that I titled "The Cure for all that Ails you". I preached that praise can work miracles in your life. Throughout the Bible the principle exists that when we praise God that our faith is lifted and the chains that bind us break. 2 Corinthians 3 states...
17 Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.
Like Abraham, we need to praise God in the worst of situations understanding that God's promises are still true. Paul wrote in the King James Version that Abraham "staggered not at the promise of God". That is a testimony to every Christian that looks at their circumstances, but knows the promise that God gave them. Just keep walking forward and you will grab hold of your promise.
Thursday, March 19 2009
In Romans chapter 3, Paul is speaking of the law and how it applies to the Jews and Gentiles. It was apparent that the Jews had the "advantage" when it came to salvation because of the "leap" from Judaism to Christianity was not quite as great as the transition from heathen to Christianity. The Jews had the "upper hand" because they were the keepers of God's Word, but Paul wrote...
22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
It is our faith that maintains us and not the circumcision of the foreskin (or the law) because Jesus said...
Matthew 5:17 Do not think that I have come to do away with or undo the Law or the Prophets; I have come not to do away with or undo but to complete and fulfill them. (AMP)
Paul summarized this chapter in one verse. I find that he did this very interesting because it is not something that I noticed within the scriptural writings. He wrote...
28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.
Wednesday, March 18 2009
There is a scripture in Romans the 2nd chapter that is quoted often and for very good reasons. It speaks to the nature of God and it simply says...
11 For there is no respect of persons with God. (KJV)
Although, this is easily understood, I want to use other verisons in speaking of this verse. They state the following...
11 For God shows no partiality [undue favor or unfairness; with Him one man is not different from another]. [Deut. 10:17; II Chron. 19:7.] (AMP)
11 God does not play favorites. (GW)
As a Christian, I must follow the example that Jesus has set before us. He does not favor one race or class of people over another. It is His desire to have a relationship with all people. Peter may not have believed his own sermon, but he preached on the day of Pentecost the message of hope for ALL PEOPLE...
Acts 2:39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.
It is essential for the church to reach their community not just a portion of the community. We must condemn racism and the separation of classes and worship as the body of Christ because Jesus expects it.
Pastor Robert P. Eaby, Jr.
Monday, March 16 2009
Over the next few weeks, I will be "highlighting" one or two scriptures from each chapter of Romans. I wish that I could blog on the whole book, but that would have to be published in book form. It is my desire to write a book, but that is a long term goal. If you have any comments on this blog, please email me at email@example.com. Thank you for reading.
The scripture that I have chosen to write about today is one that probably does not register as significant to many people. It is simply an opening greeting to those that the author, the Apostle Paul, is writing. It is Romans 1:7...
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Unlike our typical opening of "Dear .....", we get a clear understanding of whom the letter is intended. We can glean from Paul's opening some very pertinent biographical information that tells us that the readers were...
Why is this important? It is important because it places the whole book in context. The book of Romans is not written to those on the outside of the church or even those making their way to Jesus, but to the saints that are beloved of God.
- Beloved of God
The word "saint" from the Greek is defined in Strong's Concordance as sacred (physically pure, morally blameless or religious. The book of Romans must be read from a saint's perspective. If I were to read my neighbor's mail, I would not comprehend the true intentions of the writer, but I could only apply the letter to my life. Therefore, I would not truly understand the meaning of the letter.
Romans 1:7 must be remembered as we make our way through the book of Romans. It will help put the scriptures that I write about into proper context.
Have a great Monday.