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Into Thy Word Ministries Presents:

Into Thy Word Romans Bible Study


© 1989, 2000, 2002 Richard J. Krejcir Pasadena Ca, Into Thy Word

This is a complete 42-part+ study into the book of Romans with notes, outlines
and all the questions you could need. This study comes from years of careful
inductive analyses, research and word studies. At the bottom of this
document is an article on the background of Romans to further help you! This
series will help you understand Biblical theology and help prime you to
produce your own Bible Studies and sermons!

Introduction on how to use the Into Thy Word Bible Studies:

These Bible studies are designed so that you can role out of bed and lead a Bible
study; all the hard work is done for you! They can in turn teach you how to
understand theology and His Word. This series can also be used to develop
your own studies, how to better prepare your outlining and teaching and of
course to glorify Him. They are for the beginner and for the seasoned pastor.
They can also be easily converted into a sermon series, thus you can use
them for your Bible study, sermons in personal devotions, church and group
use. See our online resources for more Bible studies and articles on “How to
lead Bible Studies” and sermon preparations.

Romans is very deep and meaty book, so you may find that each of these Bible
studies can easily be broken down further into more studies. If you desire to do
this, please follow the outline and break it up in its main parts. The main parts are
in alphabetical order, and each study as at least three main points that start off
with: a or A. Then b. B. c. C. Then each of these main categories have sub
points that are numbered 1. 2. 3…. and then have further sub points in Roman
numerals i. ii. ii.. So you keep each main point a. b. c. together .

All you need to do is carefully read the passage, study all you can and use our
outlines as your teaching notes. Then you can chose the questions that best
pertain to your group. For most hour-long Bible Studies, 10 questions would
be enough, so chose the 10 questions best suited for your group and make
sure you use one of the application questions at the end. You can also use
these studies for preaching! You will find many online commentaries and
numerous resources free on our Bible Study Aids channel. You can also use
the questions to further your sermon by asking the questions, our answering
them in your sermon.
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conservative and Biblical. We add nothing to the Word that is not there, nor do
we read into it what is not there! We are Conservative Reformed Evangelicals
who hold to the inerrancy of the Bible!

This is copyrighted © 1998, 2001 to Richard Joseph Krejcir and Into Thy Word
Ministries however; you may use it for teaching the Word publicly and privately.
More resources are available on our Website www.intothyword.org!
Romans 1:1-7 Into Thy Word Romans Bible Study 1

I. Introduction: (1:1-1:15)

Our primary call is not to be perfect "church goers," being good and holy, but to
be models of His character and to proclaim His Word. We do this because of our
gratitude for redemption without hesitation or embarrassment!

A: Greeting: Who is the Lord? Not us, but Christ (1:1-7)!


General Idea: The greatest most incredible news in the history of the universe is
revealed to us! Our salvation is purchased and secured by Christ! God’s promise
from the Old Testament is fulfilled by Christ. He came to us as a man, one of us
to live a perfect life on our behalf and as God to take God’s wrath for our sin. He
takes our place, the punishment we deserved. He does this by love and by
grace. Then He offers His grace to all of us who are willing to accept it by trusting
in Him. Paul is overjoyed by this to the point he considers himself the lowest of
the lowest salves unworthy to receive Christ, yet he has Christ’s grace anyway.
Paul fully realizes that this grace is totally undeserved and he cannot wait to tell
the world about it no matter what may happen to him!

1. A reminder of who we are in sin, our heritage through David.


a. Paul sets up his letter with a statement of honest, humble credibility as
a representative of God (Acts 9:2).
b. Paul connects with his Jewish readers by referring to the prophets.
c. Our purpose and reality is what Christ did for me, my redemption, thus
what is my response?
d. Our growth and maturity will mean the removal of our aspirations with
His purpose replacing them.
e. Our faith cannot be from our good nature because we do not have
one.
f. Our ability to be good and holy is only because of the "effect" of
redemption not the "cause," never confuse the two or you will have
pride and arrogance.
g. Beware not to hear the call of our Lord because of the noise of
our will. Being set apart for the Gospel is to be totally at the disposal
of our Lord and master. Paul goes out of his way to make sure Jesus
is not confused as just another god or an emperor.

2. Paul calls himself a "bondservant" (Rom. 9:3) the lowest form of a slave in
Greek times totally at the master’s disposal and even expendable; they rowed
the boats of war with a whip at their back. This means total surrendered
devotion that the slave/disciple of the Lord has a will that has been sacrificed
to God's will and thus is totally at the disposal of our Lord! Paul's slavery is his
freedom (Gal. 1:15; 2:20)!
a. Apostle means one who is sent with authority, in Paul's case, by the
Holy Spirit.
i. Paul's apostleship was unique; thus he needed to give an
explanation of who he was.
ii. There are NO apostles today in the Biblical since!
b. Paul's driving force was not his character, but being separated to be in
Christ’s service. If we focus only upon ourselves we will fail badly.
Apostle and disciple are not synonyms!
c. Disciple means one who learns and applies what they learn.

3. The promise is that Christ was announced at the fall and then throughout the
Old Testament. In the OT, the nation’s salvation looked forward to the cross;
ours by the NT looks back to what has been completed on the cross. (16:25-
27)
a. This calls for our trust and obedience through faith.
b. The name Jesus in Hebrew means, "Jehovah is Salvation, the
Anointed One;" this is His distinction and title.
c. "Lord" refers to how our relationship to Him should be.
d. Spirit of Holiness was a common Jewish name referring to the Holy
Spirit. It was also a prayer referring to the promise of the resurrection
of the soul and the restoration of Israel.

4. Christ has two natures, fully God and fully man (1 Cor. 15:45; 2 Cor. 13:4).
a. If Christ was not God, or of the seed of David, He could not have paid
our debt of sin.
b. The seed of David refers to His being fully a person, as well as in the
linage of David to be the righteous and proper King (II Sam. 7:14;
Psalm 2:7; 89:27).
c. If Christ had not risen He could have not been God.
i. Through Christ we have grace.
ii. A requirement of obedience and faith.
iii. Grace is for all nations.

5. The promise has arrived. Isaiah prophesizes that remnant from among the
nations would return to God (Isa. 42:6; 49:6; 52:15).
a. Rome being the great metropolitan city with people from all over the
world, the Roman church contained both Jews and gentiles!
b. Saints, Paul does not state that gentiles are inferior as most Jews
would.
c. Grace to you refers that Paul sends his blessings.

(For a deeper engaging study it is best to do your own outline of the Bible
passage. You should do this first before any outside influence, such as
commentaries that may stray your objectivity. See ‘How to Outline’ on our
website or better yet order our book “Into Thy Word” Order the book, 'Into Thy
Word' with a 15-week curriculum! )
Paul realized the reality of the Gospel. Even though he was a highly
educated and influential leader with a high position politically as a Roman citizen
and in his Jewish sect of a Pharisee, he knew he was lost. He knew he did not
deserve God’s grace. We are never to take His grace for granted. We are not to
see it as cheap, but realize its cost to our Lord, its power and impact upon our
lives so we have a response that is real and valid to what Christ has done for us!
Do you hear the call of God? Has the reality of Christ impacted you? If so how
have you responded? Have you responded with passion and conviction? Do you
proclaim His name with impact and clarity no mater what you do or where you
are at?

Questions

1. How far back have you tracked your family tree?


2. What is your purpose in life?
3. How did the Holy Spirit call you to Christ?
4. When you came to Christ, did your new life also change your goals in the
‘earthly’ (daily) life?
5. Whether you grew up in the church or received the Lord later in life, there
is a point where you take ‘ownership’ of your faith so that it is yours and it is
real, not your parents, and not for social reasons. Did you do this, if so when
and why?
6. Have you struggled with surrendering your priorities in life so you are
centered upon the Lord and not yourself?
7. Most people have a ‘me first’ identity, does this match up with the rest of
Scripture and this passage?
8. What does trust and obedience mean to you? How are they different, does
one precede the other?
9. Do you think there are different levels of commitment in Christianity? Such
is there a difference between a person who just goes to church on Sunday
compared to the person who also has daily devotions, prayer and Bible
reading? If so, why do most Christian’s neglect their ‘work’ at the faith?
10. Have you experienced maturity in the Christian faith?
11. How do you define maturity?
12. “Our growth and maturity will mean the removal of our aspirations with His
purpose replacing them.” Do you agree with this statement?
13. Do you believe that our faith cannot be from our good nature? Most
Protestant theologians believe that humanity does not have a good nature, do
you agree?
14. Do you believe that the only good in humanity is what Christ did? If so
what about non-Christians good acts?
15. We may not hear our Lord like a parent or friend, nevertheless He does
communicate with us. How do you think He does this with you?
16. What gets in the way of you hearing from God?
17. Why does Paul call himself a "bondservant" (1:1; 9:3)? (A bondservant is
the lowest form of a slave in Greek times; they rowed the boats of war with a
whip at their back.)
18. This bondservant means total surrendered devotion; Paul gave up his
career, status, family and all of his material positions to serve Christ. How
does this make you feel? Appreciation, jealously, he was an idiot, or who
cares?
19. Is there something that needs to be removed from your life so you can
grow closer in your relationship with Christ? (Sin is anything that gets in the
way with our relationship and growth in Christ. The word sin literally means
missing the mark/target; it is an ancient archery term.)
20. A real committed disciple of the Lord has a will that has been sacrificed to
God's will and thus is totally at the disposal of our Lord! Paul's slavery was his
freedom. Do you agree or disagree with this statement and why?
21. Read Gal. 1:15; 2:20 How does this relate to the Roman’s passage?
22. How can you ‘redirect’ your life to be more like Paul? (You do not need to
leave your family, and in most case he calls you to stay in your career to
make a difference there, there is nothing wrong with material positions as
long as it does not get in the way of our Lord.)
23. What commitments can you make with your new ‘redirections’?

Theological Thoughts:

Our ability to be good and holy is only because of the "effect" of


redemption (what Christ did for me on the cross, which we did not deserve) not
the "cause," (the cause is how we are, receiving grace and forgiveness) never
confuse the two or you will have pride and arrogance because you will think you
deserved it.

The word Righteousness appears 35 times in this book. It is defined in


Romans as conformity to God's Law, both from our heart and deeds, inside and
outside. No one can attain it apart from perfect adherence to the law; Christ was
the only one in all of human history to do it. No one can attain it without Divine
intervention; righteousness to please God must come from God Himself.
Because we all are corrupted by sin, and unable to live according to God's
perfect standards. Thus it must be a gift from God! Even though some people are
better than others, your neighbor versus Stalin, both are guilty in view of God's
perspective. (vs. 1: 10; 17). Our only hope is in the Person and Work of our Lord.

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  1998, 2003) www.intothyword.com
Please spread the word about the Word! And let people know about
the online Bible study!
Romans 1:8-15 Study 2

Teaching outline:

B. Introduction of Paul's Ministry: (1:8-15)


General Idea: It has been said by many people over the years, “Religion is
man's search for God; the Gospel is God's search for man. There are many
religions, but only one Gospel!" Because we receive Christ Grace and we are
free from the debt of sin it should, it must invoke a response from us. And the
principle response is our thankfulness as in this hallmark theological word:
Gratitude, which is being thankful. Paul lived a life of always being thankful to
and for others, even though he suffered greatly by the hands of others. The
Greek culture as with ours was a very ‘me first’ centered, selfish, never giving a
thought for others society. Sound familiar? Not much has changed with human
behavior! Paul lived as an example of faith and seeing the promise and best in
others, even when it went against his culture, and his experiences. The question
is, are we as Christians focused on Christ and what He did for us, then showing
that thankfulness back to Him and to those around us? Or are we self focused,
only caring about ourselves and giving God maybe a thought on Sunday? This
focus will create our determination and purpose for our lives! Based on God’s or
our wrong doings!

a. Thanksgiving of faith and who Christ is and what He has done.


1. Paul was a missionary and servant for the Lord.
2. Paul is a prayer warrior for the Romans.
3. Paul was a missionary to the Gentiles.

b. He was planning a trip to Spain, and was seeking support from the
Roman Church and Rome was his embarkation. (Acts 16:6f; 19:21f;
23:11f).
1. Paul probably never went to Spain as a testimony to God's will.
(In Spain there are legends that Paul did in fact make his trip there,
and was not martyred until much later in life. However there is no
real evidence for this, only speculation.)
i. We have our plans, He has His; guess what, His will win
out!

c. Paul desired to be with the Romans personally and encouraged them


too. He had no fear of what might happen to him. We must not be afraid of
our future or danger either!
1. Thus, Paul’s foremost call and passion was to preach the gospel.
i. Be thankful. Be encouraged by each other’s faith,
practicing prayer and using our gifts.
ii. Remember: Guilt (sin, our sinful nature).
iii. Grace (salvation, what Christ did).
iv. Gratitude (service, how we are then to live)! (These are
some of the themes for the Reformation and the 3 main
themes of the Heidelberg Catechism, and the Reformed
faith.)

d. Paul's prayerfulness is an expression of his devotion and zeal (Eph


1:15; Phil. 1:6-9).
1. Paul's will was conquered with a sense of gratitude and
indebtedness to Christ. Are you totally submitted to God's
ways, do you feel indebted, or do you feel owed (1 Cor. 6:19-
20)?
2. Being "poured out" is to take the focus off yourself and place it
on others, as Christ did for us. Paul spent his life to express it!

e. "Mutual faith" means encouragement, support, using spiritual gifts, all


working as a team. (Eph. 4:15-16) This is the strength of the church,
without it we will fail.

Questions:

1. What are you thankful in life for?


2. Do you struggle with gratitude? That is when people go out of their way for
you; do you genuinely feel thankfulness or resentment because you have
to be thankful?
3. What is your passion in life?
4. Do you think that sports, TV, work, school, self-image, cars, wealth,
political stances, etc. get in the way of our Lord working in you? If so
How? If not why?
5. How can you make a healthy balance to include the above stuff so it
benefits our relationship with Christ our Lord?
6. Have you ever made plans and they fell through? What about extensive
plans such as getting married and after all the courtship, telling everyone,
booking the church, all of the planning, invitations, place for the reception,
photographer, flowers, dress, and such, the wedding is called off?
7. How do you feel when God interrupts your plans?
8. Do you think you will be better off His way or yours?
9. Do you struggle with fear for your future?
10. He had no fear of what might happen to him. What fears do you struggle
with?
11. How do fears get in the way of God’s call and plans for your life?
12. Do you have to have everything well planed out or do you live one day at
a time? Are you 50 and have not thought of planning for retirement, or 25
and have a building IRA. Thus are you scared of the future or completely
trust in God’s provision for you?
13. What do you think is the healthy balance to looking at the future?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12
Everything planned out thinking about it don’t care
14. Why would Paul a highly educated Jew write verse 14?
15. Do you live around people of different ethnicity, if so how can you take
verse 14 and apply it to your community?
16. How has being a Christian affected your views and behavior towards
others?
17. Have you seen Christians mistreat people, if so why and how do they
rationalize it?
18. Have you seen someone make a dramatic conversion to Christ so that it
affects his or her whole being and personality?
19. Paul personally encourages people even though most have let him down
and did terrible things to him. How can this encourage your faith?
20. How do you encourage others around you?
21. What about the daily places you go such as the grocery store or the shoe
store and they are rude to you, how do you respond?
22. How does our Lord desire us to respond?
23. "Mutual faith" means encouragement, support, using spiritual gifts, all
working as a team. Have you experienced this in the church?
24. Have you personally practiced "Mutual faith" to those around you, such as
working as a team without personality power plays or seeing who gets the
credit? So the focus is on the task and not the people performing it?
25. Paul's will was conquered with a sense of gratitude and indebtedness to
Christ. Are you totally submitted to God's ways, do you feel indebted, or
do you feel owed?
26. Read 1 Cor. 6:19-20; Because of the price that was paid for you and in
conjunction with the fact you are the temple for the Holy Spirit, that God is
living in you, how do you feel about that?
27. What will you do with that information?
28. How can being ‘indebted’ change your focus in life, how you are, how you
treat others, how you behave and so forth?
29. Being "poured out" is to take the focus off yourself and place it on others,
as Christ did for us. In what ways can you express this characteristic in
your life?
30. Do you think this can be done in our society and still command respect in
the secular workplace or school?
31. Does it matter if we have the respect of our peers as long as we are
following our Lord’s precepts?

Theological thoughts:

"BLAME SHIFTING" (Gen 3:12-17) As soon as man sinned, he quickly


commenced to blame others. One of the effects of sin is the refusal to take
responsibility for our actions. This is the favorite manner in which most people
handle guilt, that is they blame others. They do this for two reasons: First they do
not want to live with guilt. Second: they do not want to suffer the consequences
of their actions. Blaming others is an escape mechanism, which helps us avoid
the consequences. This fly’s in the face of the Gospel. It is unjust and serves
only to increase the guilt and the problems we incur with others in our
relationships. This becomes a pattern of dysfunctional behavior that is an
endless loop of a hopeless cycle. We must learn that God does not allow us to
avoid the consequences of our actions by blaming others. In fact we are held
responsible for blaming others! (Romans 14:12-13). On the Day of Judgment,
there will be no opportunities for blame shifting.

Religion is man's search for God; the Gospel is God's search for man.
There are many religions, but only one Gospel"!
Romans 1:16-17 Bible Study 3

Teaching outline:

III. Thesis statement / "Main Theme of Romans"! (1:16-17)


General Idea: This passage is the nuts and bolts of Romans where in one
sentence Paul sums up his Epistle and his life. Paul lived his life not in theory but
in fact, that the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, and shows the only
way of justification! Paul was totally surrendered and poured out to God with
gratitude and indebtedness that infused and permeated all that he was and did.
As our faith and trust in Christ must also infuse us so all that we do too is a
reflection of Christ working in us! If not all we have is a religion and a philosophy
and not righteousness and impacting faith.

1. This is the "Christian Manifesto"; this is the clear statement of God's good
news. The main theme of Romans is commitment to Christ by Faith referred
to as the “propositio” meaning the theses statement. This is where Paul
begins his argument on how we are to live as Christians.
a. Being not ashamed of who we are in Christ, living out our faith with
passion and conviction.
b. Power, refers to the life changing power of the Word of God the
Gospel and the Spirit to totally transform us as He did with Paul. Only
this power can remove our stubborn nature that bonds us to sin that
refuses His grace. We cannot receive His grace without the Power to
intervene and remove our bond of sin. (Rom. 5:6; 8:5-9).
c. Believes refers to our salvation and we do not earn it by any means or
merit, we only receive it by our faith.
d. The Jew first refers to the history of redemption as the missionaries to
the world they had to get it first to spread it abroad (Gen. 12:1-3; Mark
7:24-30; John 4:22; Rom. 2:9).
i. This was Paul’s pattern in spreading the
Gospel too as he went to the Jews first, then the rest (Acts 9:20;
13:5; 14; 14:1; 17:1; 18:4; 19; 26; 19:8; Rom. 3:11-12; 9:4-5).
ii. This is the Great News, the Gospel that is
given to all who are willing to receive it by faith, both Jew and
Gentile!
e. We are not to be embarrassed of who we are as Christians, nor do we
fear to share our faith!
i. Thus, we as Christians must live by faith as
this is the smart thing to do (1 Cor. 1:22-30)!
ii. Faith is based on knowledge given by God.
Faith is not just simple trust; faith is not blind trust either,
because we know the One who is leading!
iii. Our faith is based on historical evidence,
logical reasoning, and valid testimonies.
iv. Faith is still trusting what is not seen and
believing our God (Rom. 1:16-32; 5:1-11; 10:14-17; Gal. 3:1-4;
Eph. 2:8-9; James 2:14-26)!

2. God imputes His righteousness unto us by what Christ has done by declaring
us righteous (Rom. 3:21-26; 5:10-19; 10:3). This declaration means we as the
elect are free from our debt of sin, but we as debtors are to be witnesses to
the lost!
a. This is the verse that helped convert M. Luther from a religion to a
faith!
b. We are not to be embarrassed of who we are as Christians, nor do we
fear to share our faith!
c. Power is Salvation; it is by the work of Christ alone through the Holy
Sprit.
i. This is through God.
ii. It is for all, All people universally with the
only requite is to accept the work of our Lord by faith.
iii. "Salvation" means to be rescued from a
terrible situation. Ultimately it means being delivered from God's
wrath. It is also God's work for us: redemption!
iv. Justification and sometimes righteousness
are synonyms in English Bible translations in Romans.
Justification can be a synonym of salvation, or it can refer to the
future work of redemption. These works are from our Lord Jesus
Christ and from no other!
v. Christ's righteousness is given to us
(imputed, propitiation) by our faith, which we did not earn; hence
grace is the ultimate free gift.

3. The righteousness of God is His character that vindicates His people. His
people are to show their faithfulness back to Him.
a. Justification is God's righteousness covering us! Righteousness is His
character. This is not passive on our part; we are active "in with" faith.
(Rom. 2:5-16; 3:22; 5:10; 9:30)
b. These are the passages that God used to convert Martin Luther the
reformer.
c. Every aspect of faith is built on faith, and nothing else, this is the
corner stone of the gospel (Habk. 2:4). This means we are to trust God
and His promises and provision.
i. In Habakkuk those who survive the
Judgment is because of their faith in God. Faith in the OT was
to pledge your life on the assertions that God gives (Jos. 24:15).
ii. Our response is by godly living, exercising
out our faith with trust and obedience, whatever we face!
iii. In Christ we deal with God as a Man, a
God/Man, and a mediator on our behalf.
This passage starts the second of four parts of Romans “B.” The General theme
for Romans verses 1:18-3:20 is No one is Righteous by the Law! All have sinned,
all are condemned!

The Principle Idea of “B”: "The Gospel is the lightning rod that conducts God's
creative and loving power, because it reveals the justice of God in the justification
of the ungodly"! Our justification rests solely on the mercy of Christ, and not on
the Law, or anything we can do. What Christ did for us, is that He lived a perfect
life in our place and died as a sacrifice in our place, to take away our sins.

1. He took our place in life and in death.

2. He took our place in judgment before God's just wrath, which we could
never attain by ourselves, no matter how good and faithful we are.

3. Our creation and salvation is by His choosing and purpose, that as


Christians we are not our own, but belong solely to our Lord. Thus we
must live our lives as a reflection of His glory, and not of ourselves,
because there is nothing we can do alone that deserves any kind of Merit
to please God for salvation.

4. God desires and deserves our whole-hearted loyalty, allegiance, trust,


obedience, and devotion; so, what is stopping you?

Have you realized that your debt has been cleared, your sin has been
covered, and your dread has been replaced with Wonder and Eternity? Then
how has it effected your life? Do you obey His call and precepts? Does this
transformed life impact others around you? Do you “get it” so all that you are
is because Christ is in you? If not why and what is in the way? Are you willing
to go on your knees to seek His face and His righteousness for your life?
Without it, you have nothing but debt and sin!

Questions:

1. When you here the word ‘Manifesto,’ (guiding principle) what comes to
your mind? Remember the ‘Uni-bomber’ used this term to describe his
hatred for technology in the 80’s and 90’s.
2. Do you have a ‘main theme’ for your life? Such as a saying or slogan, or
perhaps a philosophy?
3. Being not ashamed of who we are in Christ is the key to the necessary
courage that is needed to share your faith, do you agree?
4. How much courage do you need to be able to talk to a stranger about the
faith?
5. What about a family member?
6. How does the Holy Spirit come into play with your courage?
7. What embarrasses you?
8. Have you ever been embarrassed for being a Christian? Or put into an
embarrassing situation by Christian friends?
9. What are your fears regarding the sharing of your faith?
10. As Christians we must ‘live by faith,’ what does that mean to you?
11. Read 1 Cor. 1:22-30, what are your stumbling blocks? What is foolishness
to you? How have these feelings changed as you grew in Christ, or have
they?
12. Faith is based on the knowledge given to us by God. What is that
knowledge to you?
13. Would you agree or disagree with this statement, “Faith is not just simple
trust; faith is not blind trust either, because we know the One who is
leading!”
14. We as the ‘elect’ are free from our debt of sin, but we as ‘debtors’ are to
be witnesses to the lost! Do you feel an obligation to share your faith? If so
why, if not why?
15. Have you ever had to be rescued from a terrible situation? Such as a car
crash? How did it feel to be rescued? Do you feel that Christ has rescued
you? Do you have that same joy that if the ‘jaws of life’ had to be used to
cut you out of a car just before it exploded?
16. Ted Turner has said that “he does not need anyone to save him” why do
you suppose he would think that way? Do you know people who think that
way? What do you think you can do to change their minds?
17. Salvation ultimately means being delivered from God's wrath. Do you see
God as a God of wrath (anger)? Most people see God as pure love, so
how can He be full of wrath? What is the wrath directed at?
18. Does the redemption that Christ gave, cause you to feel relief and
comfort?
19. Christ's righteousness is given to us, this is called “imputed” this means
the pureness, the sinlessness of Christ has been ascribed to you as a
Christian who accepted Him as Lord and Savior. We are not necessarily
made pure (because we still sin), we are declared pure. What do you think
is the difference between being made and being declared?
20. Read Habk. 2:4; how does this passage compare to the Romans
passage?
21. Justification can be a synonym of salvation, or it can refer to the future
work of redemption. These works are from our Lord Jesus Christ and from
no other! What ways have you tried to look for ‘justification’ outside of
Christ? Maybe the approval of a parent, boss, identity in your clothes,
work, education, money, car.
22. How do you live out your faith with passion and conviction?
23. How can you live out your faith better with passion and conviction?
24. What do you grasp about verse 17? Is there something that makes you
think or stutter, such as there is something missing from your life?
25. How can you show your faithfulness back to Him?
26. Our response for what Christ did for us is godly living, exercising our faith
with trust and obedience, whatever we face! How have you done this?
How can you do this better?
27. What about when your life is crashing all around you? Maybe a job loss,
death or divorce of a spouse, cataclysmic sickness or everything all at
once?
28. Have you ever faced a lot of adversity?
29. What was your response? What did you learn?
30. How would you respond now that you have been through it (if you have)?
31. Do you feel better, stronger and more mature and ready to face things,
now that you have gone through adversity?
32. What can you do specifically to give God your whole-hearted loyalty,
allegiance, trust, obedience, and devotion?
33. What are the things that stop you?
34. How would you explain verse 17 to someone turned off to Christianity?

Learning Outcomes: a. What does it mean to live by faith and express it, and to
look for it in others for finding a mentor for yourself. A life that is dictated and
expressed by what Christ has done for you. b. Be confidant to share your faith. c.
Christianity is not just fire insurance from Hell. d. Be able to identify false
judgments in others and how you interact with God’s children (we are all God’s
children, elect or not).e. learn to be patient and be a listener. f. Be committed not
to bear or bring false judgments on others.

Theological thoughts:

Justification by Faith Alone: (Acts 13:38-39; Rom.1:17; 3:31- 5:21; II Cor. 5:13-
21; Gal. 2:15- 5:1; Phil. 3:4-14; I John 1:9)This was the rallying cry of the
Reformation. The main point that caused Luther and Calvin to challenge the
Catholic Church and it’s teachings. This is also the cornerstone of protestant
theology that Christ through His work gave us a ‘pardon’. This pardon is from the
penalty of death through sin, and there is nothing we could ever do to earn this
pardon. It is purely by His acceptance of us that we are saved (Eph. 2:8-9).
There is nothing that we can add to it, such as good works or clean living.
Justification means that God's righteousness is covering us from His wrath and
punishment as a blanket! It is like getting a speeding ticket; going to court and
having the judge declare you innocent, even though you were speeding. To God
you are clean, covered by what Christ has done for you. This creates our
Reconciliation to God, that we were in perfect relationship to Him before the fall,
and now we are again in harmony.

God has a righteous basis for our justification through the sacrifice of His
Son, for our sins. Grace was not cheap for God. Christ paid a great debt by
pleasing God's wrath, both in metaphysical pain and human pain of the
crucifixion (Lev. 16; Psalm 103:12). Our independence is a slap in His face, and
He can do nothing in us until it is removed (John 3:5)! Let us pray to be cleansed
by the atoning death of our Savior, who bore our punishment and lived out the
law on our behalf.

Some Jews take issue with this saying it is umbilical that God cannot over
rule His own law sighting Duet. 25:1 and Prov. 17:15; however they do not
realize that Jesus Himself is the righteous One and He lived a perfect life in our
place, as a designated hitter.

The Catholic Church taught that justification was a process through the
sacraments and church, and that faith contributed to it as well as works. The
reformers said this act was done at once at our acceptance of His gift of grace.
The Catholic Church at the time of the reformation was even ‘selling indulgences’
granting people a spot in Heaven for money regardless of faith or even the
church. They did this to pay for the cathedrals they were building, and you
thought bingo was bad! Although Catholic apologist say this was never an ‘official
act’ of the church. Nevertheless history clearly states this was a wide problem.

Faith is the instrument and not the cause, Christ is the cause. It is based on
the faithfulness of our Lord, and not of our goodness. Just as animal sacrifice in
the O.T. was a means of forgiveness and surrendered attitude because of a loss
of something precious, but not the cause (Gal 2:15-16; 3:24; Heb. 9:11-15; 10:1-
4). The reformers called this ‘meritorious ground for our justification, explaining it
as the soil that the seed of justification is planted into. And that Christ was that
soil too. As we give our lives to Christ in faith, He in turn gives us His
righteousness.
Romans 1:18-32 Bible Study 4

Teaching outline:

IV. Gentiles are without excuse: (1:18-32)


General Idea: The wrath of God is to be taken seriously, especially by those who
reject Him. We need to understand God’s Righteousness, as in He is absolutely
Pure and Holy; while we are full of heinous sin, no matter how good we try to be.
God is also a God of judgment; He has the right, authority and power to judge us
as His creation. And we have no excuse because God has placed this
knowledge we are to have within our conscience. Thus, when we reject God and
follow our own needs and ideas we are in fact inviting His wrath and judgment
upon us. We cannot think or say, “Hey, I did not know,” because we do know!

1. There is No Righteousness by the Law! All have sinned, all are condemned!
If all we do is live for ourselves we miss out on what life is all about, God and
relationships that honor God (1:18-3:20).
a. Heaven here refers to a Jewish circumlocution for God: As in God is
very angry!
b. The wicked suppress God’s truth and His character and that is what
makes them wicked!

2. We have no excuse, God reveals Himself through His creation.


a. Beware of making idols that take you away from knowing Him.
b. If you know God you must also glorify Him.
c. Greek Stoic Philosophers including “Cicero” also taught that God is
reveled in creation.
d. Jewish Evangelistic Rabbi’s who converted pagans to Judaism used
this argument.
e. Idolatry was considered the last straw that “broke the camels back”
which led Israel into sin and then captivity (Duet. 4:16-20; Psalm
106:20; Jer. 2:11).

3. When Adam fell, the Spirit left him immediately, not gradually! The wrath of
God is to be taken seriously, especially by those who reject Him!
a. Beware not to ignore God; there will be an accounting for us all -
judgment!! Beware not to live for the creatures and the created while
ignoring the Creator!
b. Intellectual arrogance will lead to destruction; it is an extreme insult to
God (1 Cor. 2:14).
c. We cannot know God unless we know ourselves, and we cannot know
ourselves without first knowing God: hence why the cause is the Holy
Spirit (Gen. 1:27; Psalm 51: Acts 14:8-18; 17:22-31; Rom. 1:18-23)!
4. Self-awareness leads to knowledge of God, which in turn leads to a higher
understanding of ourselves. This is understanding our depravity and state in
Christ.
a. When the focus is just ourselves we are lost, if it is just God, we
become meaningless and worthless for Him to use, as the saying
goes, "so heavenly minded, no earthly good."
b. This is the ultimate reversal of fortune to rely on our frail imperfect
reasoning over God's pure perfection. God is righteous and He is
revealed through His creation (Gen 3:4-5).

5. We have no excuse (Psalm 19:1)!


a. Man desires to seek the tangible; God is revealed in intangible ways,
hence the making of the golden calf.
b. The Patriarchs all had dramatic face to face encounters with God,
except Joseph, yet Joseph was the recipient of more divine interaction
than all the other Patriarchs put together.

6. Theological decay turns into moral decay as an excuse to rationalize the sin.
a. If our view of God becomes distorted, so will our behaviors. That is to
trade a truth for a lie, to rationalize our behaviors by attacking our very
Creator and Savior!
b. “Ungodly” means not being in the right relationship with God.
c. “Unrighteousness” means not being in the right relationship with those
around you.
d. We cannot have a good relationship with God and not with each other,
or vice versa (Psalm 37:23; 1 Thess. 5:18).

7. God reveals Himself through creation (General Revelation), thus we have no


excuse. His moral character and duty is in all human kind, it is encoded upon
our heart, mind and soul, even without knowing Scripture.
a. All people have a natural desire to believe in religion, thus every
culture of every time had a system of beliefs. However, our sinful
desire is to seek fulfillment elsewhere including worshiping the creation
over the creator (Isa. 44:9-20; Col. 3:5).
b. The idols that we create often turn out to be the ones we become.
Thus, we corrupt the truth of God to please our desires, this is what
idolatry is.
c. When we reject God we are destined to live life unfulfilled and
frustrated.
d. Every human has a conscience to know what is good or bad, but not
all know God!
i. Do not give into sin, especially sexual
immorality (Lev. 18:22; 21:13; Gal. 5:19-21; 2 Tim. 3:1-7)!
ii. Do not exchange the truth for a lie.
iii. Do not worship the creation and forsake the
Creator. Including slandering others and being arrogant!
e. Arrogance and Pride is a sin "on par" with homosexuality!
f. The media likes to glorify sin, such as fornication, stealing, lying to
name a few, beware; garbage in is garbage out!
g. He may give us up to our sins, so we destroy ourselves (Gal. 6:7-8)!

8. The greatest judgment God can give and inflect upon us is for us to have our
way (Jer. 17:9-11)!
a. God gave them over refers to “Penal Blindness” by some theologians,
it is God’s wrath to let us stew in our own decisions and sin and let the
natural consequences play out that we set up for ourselves (Psalm
81:12; Isa. 6:9-11; 29:9-12; Jer. 44:25-27).
b. A laundry list of sin (see study Online Bible Study 42 for more on
this). If you persist in sin, you will be given up to it.
i. This was a common Greek philosophical
construct to have a vise list of wrong actions and behaviors to
avoid at all costs.
ii. The Jewish list is in Leviticus 18 and Amos
1-2.
c. Remember pride is in the same sin category as homosexuality, it is
also one of the seven things God detests (Job 41:34; Psalm 10:5;
18:27; 101:5; 131:1; 6:17; Prov. 16:18; 21:4; 30:13)!
d. The barrier that sin should be becomes the ignition for continuing in
sin, as synergy, as an out of control fire.
e. Woe to those who know and turn their backs!
f. The same God of judgment gave us His Son and delivers us (8:32),
so are you living your life in response to your undeserved salvation
with gratitude? Are you sharing it with others?

Sin is serious, it is something we are not to just glance over thinking I am


OK. Sin is something we need to do all we can to purge it from our life. In a pure
sense you will never completely remove it; nevertheless, we are still called to try
with all of our will and might. Even though Christ covers us, we are still
responsible for allowing the Spirit and the disciplines of the faith to cleanse
ourselves and in so doing we can be our best for His glory. Do not allow yourself
or your friends and loved ones to fall into sin and trap themselves in its heinous
clutches as it distorts and destroys! As a Christian who is coved by Christ’s
righteousness, we must be wiling to let go before we can hold on. Let go of Sin
and Hold on to our Lord! Ask Him what you need to do and He will revel it to you,
make sure you are in His Word and listening!

Questions: (because of time constraints not all of the questions will be used,
these are also for you devotion, edification and spiritual growth, or to use in the
study you give.)
1. What is the best excuse you gave when you were caught doing something
wrong?
2. Have you ever met someone you considered righteous (besides the
brothers i.e. The Righteous Brothers?) Have you ever considered yourself
righteous?
3. Have you ever seen something of sheer beauty that you felt you saw God
through His creation?
4. How would you answer someone that says, “what about the tribes people
in South America who have never seen a white person let alone a
missionary?
5. What is the main problem in the world today?
6. What is the solution to that problem?
7. What can you do about that solution?
8. What are some idols that take you away from knowing Him? Maybe it is
not a totem pole, what about money, career, car, sports, hobbies, home…
9. How can intellectual arrogance lead to destruction, why would it be an
extreme insult to God (1 Cor. 2:14)?
10. “We cannot know God unless we know ourselves” what do you think of
this statement? “We cannot know ourselves without first knowing God.”
What about this statement? Are they contradictory or complementary?
11. What role does the Holy Spirit play in the day-to-day aspects of your life?
12. “Self-awareness leads to knowledge of God, which in turn leads to a
higher understanding of ourselves. This is understanding our depravity
and state in Christ.” How can you do this?
13. How can you take the focus off yourself?
14. As the saying goes, "so heavenly minded, no earthly good." Do you know
people like this? What do you think of them?
15. Have you relayed on your frail imperfect reasoning over God's pure
perfection? Maybe you did not see it that way, but have you or do you
make decisions on a regular basis without consulting our Lord?
16. How do you seek the tangible in life? That is things you can see, feel and
bite into, verses Christianity’s philosophy that we do not always see or
work out to our likening?
17. The Patriarchs all had dramatic face to face encounters with God, except
Joseph, yet Joseph was the recipient of more divine interaction than all
the other Patriarchs put together. Why do you suppose Joseph fared so
well?
18. Theological decay turns into moral decay as an excuse to rationalize the
sin. Thus if you are not grounded in sound doctrine you will not have a
solid foundation in life and in the decisions you make. Do you agree or not
and why?
19. If your view of God becomes distorted, so will your behavior. How have
you seen this take place?
20. Do you know people or perhaps seen this in the media and in
entertainment people who trade a truth for a lie, to rationalize their
behaviors by attacking our very Creator and Savior?
21. Why do you suppose we cannot have a good relationship with God if we
are not treating each other with respect and love? What about vice versa?
22. How have you seen or experienced a desire to seek fulfillment elsewhere
away from God?
23. How do you feel when you are on the way to church and you see the jet
skis and ski boats and stuff on their way for a good time?
24. What are the popular ways to seek fun on Sundays instead of going to
church?
25. Do you think those people are destined to live life unfulfilled and
frustrated?
26. Have you experienced frustration in chasing everything except God?
27. If every human has a conscience to know what is good or bad, why do we
have 1 out of 128 people in Prison in the US?
28. What steps can you start to take so you will not give into sin, especially
sexual immorality?
29. Can you think of an example of changing a truth for a lie? Have you done
this recently?
30. What about slandering others and being arrogant?
31. What do you think about Romans listing Arrogance and Pride as a sin "on
par" with homosexuality?
32. A lot of environmentalists will worship the creation and forsake the
Creator. We also need to take care of the planet God gave us. So what
would be a healthy Christian environmental policy and outlook?
33. The media likes to glorify sin, such as fornication, stealing, lying to name a
few. How can you guard yourself so you do not have ‘garbage in is
garbage out’?
34. Have you ever seen an example of God giving someone up to their sins,
so they literally destroy themselves? Such as homosexuality,
drunkenness… What do you think about that the greatest judgment God
can inflict upon us is for us to have our way?
35. In the laundry list of sin, how do you feel when you see yours? Remember
we all have sinned…
36. What can you do to help yourself or a friend to not persist in sin?
37. Remember Pride is in the same sin category as homosexuality, it is also
one of the seven things God detests! Prov. 16:18-19 says, “There are six
things the LORD hates, seven that are detestable to him: haughty eyes, a
lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked
schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours
out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.” Why do
some Christians condemn homosexuality, which is not specifically listed
here while they themselves parade around with ‘haughty eyes
(arrogance)’? What does God think about that? (I’m not condoning
homosexuality, I’m merely pointing out hypocrisy!)
38. The same God of judgment gave us His Son and delivers us (8:32), so are
you living your life in response to your undeserved salvation with
gratitude? Are you sharing it with others?
Theological thoughts:

“The Fall”: Up until the Fall, humanity drew their support and substance directly
from God, in perfect relation, and when they fell it was all gone. Paul reaffirms
that all of human kind is separated from God due to the act of sin, by the first
created humans; Adam & Eve. Thus we are all under the curse, or "guilt" of sin
and are incapable of rejoining God in our once perfect state on our own (vs. 1:18-
19; 3:9; 19; 5:12-17; 21; Gen 3; Acts 17:26; I Cor. 15:22). God's judgment and
wrath are now with us. So, this is not fair, right? Adam and Eve represented all of
humanity, the decisions they made, you and I would have made too! Thus we are
all to blame! We as humans have a perversity to go our own way, which is the
wrong way paved with undeserving pride and arrogance!

So, was it fair for one Man/God who was guiltless to pay our penalty that He did
not deserve? Not fair indeed (vs. 5:15-19; 8:29-30; 9:22-26)! God gave Adam
and Eve true happiness and perfection, with only one rule, "do not eat the fruit of
the tree of knowledge.."(Gen 2:17). Adam and Eve had to decide who makes the
rules and determine what is good or bad, so they sought themselves over God,
to be their own god. They also decided to be swayed and mislead, when they
already had the correct knowledge; first by Satan, then by each other (Gen 3; II
Cor. 11:3; 14; Rev. 12:9). Thus, the selfish, self-centered mindset entered
humanity and sin was birthed. Sin then corrupted everything, people, animals,
the Earth, and all of creation (Gen. 6:5; Rom. 3:9-20). As a result we inherited the
guilt and shame of being apart from our Creator, and either we try to seek Him in
vain attempts, or push our self-interests to the exclusion of God and His glory.
God was not without mercy, for His first act was to cover them with garments!
And then promise a Savior!

“General Revelation” means we have no excuse. That God's influence, glory


and presence is all around us, "mediated revelation". This is not pantheism,
which teaches that everything is God, that creation itself is God. G.R. means that
God is all present, "omnipresent", and we have no escape from Him, and His
presence is reveled to us in His creation. G.R. also means that we as humans
are religious by nature and seek a higher purpose and order. And God uses that
nature to make himself known, "immediate revelation", that God plants an innate
sense of who He is, even without the Word or missions. (Psalm 19; Isa. 44:9-20;
Acts 14:8-19; 17: 16:34; Rom. 1:18-23; 2:14-15; Col. 3:5) Special Revelation is
the Bible. That God directly inspired and is the ultimate source and
superintendent of the original manuscripts without any error. He used humans as
the author and as a tool, a word processor. S.R. is His will for our faith and
practice of life and duty, law and grace, His plan and our purpose. (Psalm 119;
John 17:17; I Thess. 2:13; II Tim. 3:15-17; II Pet. 1:20-21)
Romans 2:1-16 Bible Study 5

Teaching outline:

Romans Chapter II: Overview: Those who judge others, and disobey God
themselves, are inexcusable, and will not escape the judgment of God. The
measure of God’s dealings with Jews and Gentiles will be the same, as there is
no difference in ethnicity. It is what is in the heart not the skin that matters to
God, even in the OT! All will appear on the day of judgment. Paul solemnly
admonishes the Jews, who only trusted in the law and their relationship to
Moses, and yet they still broke it.

Being judgmental will not work; it will only backfire on you. And shows that
our external works will not gain us anything, without a renewed heart through
grace. God will accept even in the uncircumcised, that which the Jew finds
offensive. God looks at the trust in His work, the Jew looks to the comfort of their
work. The Jews felt they where outside of God’s wrath and judgment, just as
some Christians feel today. Who take comfort in their church membership and
not who they are in Christ.

A. All have sinned, no one is immune therefore we have no right to judge!


General Idea: Paul jumps from all the root cause of sin and their various
manifestations to how we as Christians can get caught up in a heinous sin too:
Being Judgmental. Our guilt and sin is personal and individual, thus our evil
desires to judge come from our self-seeking and not Christ seeking (8:1). God
does not care about our pedigree, and no one is immune! It is ONLY by what
Christ has done that we can be saved. Our sins have been neutered on the cross
and covered by His righteousness, thus we have been judged by God’s
standards of holiness with Christ taking our place in judgment (John 5:24). So we
have no right or basis to judge others. This transpires to how we treat others.
Even when we are saved we cannot say it is by what we did. And this transpires
to how we judge, because we should know better so we do not sin. The Roman
church was a mix of Jews and Gentiles, thus disagreements and prejudice arose
and Paul had to address them.

1. Beware of judging others (Psalm 18:25-26; 62:12; Matt. 7:1-5)! Because all we
end up doing is covering ourselves with the critique of others failings or our
misperceptions of others. When we need to be covered by Christ’s
righteousness!
a. No one is justified by their work and righteousness, or moral standards
or deeds. Thus we have no balance to weigh a judgment on someone
else!
i. In the OT only by God’s grace was repentance possible yet
people still were responsible to act on it (Duet. 5:29; 10:16; 30:6).
ii. Indignation and wrath, our Judgment from God is based on
our relationship with God. How is your relationship (Isa. 2:11-12; 13:6-13; Ezek.
30:2-3; Joel 1:15; 2:1-2; 31; 3:14; Amos 5:18-21; Obad. 15; Zeph. 1:7; 1:14-2:2)?
iii. Some Jewish teachers taught and still do that you can store
up your good deeds as a defense against The Judgment. Scripture disagrees
and tells us it is our sin that is stored up (Duet. 32:34-35; Hos. 13:12)!
b. The chapter starts out with a ‘therefore’, which is a conclusion to the previous
chapter (Rom. 1:18-32). Thus because of our uncleanness and our deserving
of death we are saved anyway, therefore why are you being judgmental?
c. Do you judge yourself or others? If so, all you do is judge yourself!
d. Despise (NKJV)’ / contempt (NIV) vs. 4, refers to the refusal to yield to the
knowledge and trust of God’s goodness and His right of judgment. That we
refuse to use His goodness as a guide to see the sorrow for our miss-actions
and compassion towards others for theirs (within reason, there is no license
to keep sinning) (Psalm 136). That God is generous with His grace, so we
should be generous toward each other and be thankful. And finally to refuse
to see His goodness and turn from sin, is the ultimate contempt to our loving
Lord!
e. Treasuring up (NKJV) / storing up (NIV) vs. 5 is referring to ultimate in
stubbornness. The flat-out refusal to yield to Christ our Lord. He is there
offering His grace, do you accept it, or harbor resentment and then perish in
your sin. Then thinking you are innocent and deserve Heaven and good
things on this earth. Therefore we are storing up His wrath to be unleashed in
hell, or having it pleased by accepting Christ.
i. It is imperative that we live what we preach; being a
hypocrite is a disgusting obsession in the face of our loving and gracious Lord as
well as our witness to others!
ii. The Jewish leaders in Jesus’ time felt it was an insult to God
to live one way and teach another, yet few of them obeyed this precept, saying
“since everyone else does, why I shouldn’t do as I please regardless of what I
teach!” Sound familiar? Hopefully this is not your mindset too!

2. God will not just judge your actions, but also your motivations!
a. The law is written upon our hearts vs.15, therefore we have no excuse
to avoid judgment or refuse grace (Gen, 1:26-27).
b. God judges people accordingly to what they know. Even if you never
heard of the 10 commandments, or the name Jesus, God and His
standards are already the operating system written into your soul. He
is your source code!
c. God judges us by the knowledge of what we have learned. Staying
ignorant, thinking ”I will not study His Word so I will not be held
accountable” is an even a greater offence. It is not the amount of the
revelation we have, it is our response to it that matters vs. 16.
i. He knows the truth about each of us, there is nothing to hide,
so confess and repent!
ii. There is no escape from God’s judgment (1:18)!
iii. Salvation is a gift NOT a reward (5:15-17; 6:23)!!!
iv. God has pure intentions, pure uncorrupted love, mercy and
omniscience knowledge, so He knows all things and how everything and
everyone is intertwined into each other relationally in the past, present and
future. We have no such knowledge. We see the bark of a single tree, while He
sees the entire forest. Thus we cannot judge based on our blind imprudence.
d. We will also be judged according to the knowledge we have. The
more you know the more responsibility you have!
i. That is why Moses was not let into the Promised Land; he
disobeyed God in a minor matter as we see. As God sees the matter as not
important, because Moses knew better! Thus the offence of striking the rock was
bad enough for him to be excluded from entering the Promised Land. Because of
all the people who ever lived, Moses knew better. Moses had been face to face
with God and knew his duty and call. His anger broke the trust he had with God,
resulting in grave consequences. Fortunately for us we have grace to further
protect us (Ex.17: 6; Num. 20:8-11)!
e. Being judgmental is extreme foolishness, because what you are in fact
doing is throwing a boomerang of condemnation that comes back to hit
you harder than you had thrown it.
i. God judges according to truth, we judge according to greed
and misunderstanding.
ii. Do you value others in the same way you do yourself, is the
scale balanced?
iii. Do you cover-up your frailties by attacking and criticizing
others, to throw the dogs off your scent (Matt.7:1-5;21-23; 25:31-33; John 5:22)?
f. When we are focused on seeing the corruption and deceit in others, it
is because we are filled with it ourselves, and we do not take the Word
of God seriously. What if God judged us as we do others?
g. So the answer is, Don't! Yet Christians can be the most critical and
arrogant people on earth! Let God remove your pride!

3. Salvation is by His grace, condemnation is by our works.


a. Are you grateful for what Christ has done or do you take it for granted
(Luke 15:17-19)?
b. To despise God is to refuse to acknowledge His sovereignty and work,
as well as His generous gift of grace. Refusing to yield your life over to
God's will, will cost you greatly in judgment and in life; as God's ways
are better than ours!
c. Do you base your comfort on what you do, your works?
i. Works do not earn, they only prove. Do you obey God and
pursue righteousness? Never forget that salvation is a gift not a reward (II Cor.
5:10)! As driving a car is a privilege, not a right!
ii. Is your heart hard or soft?
iii. Do you hide in the comfort of your parent's faith, or in the
activity of the church? External worship and faith does not guarantee what is
inside! God searches our heart, what will He find in yours?
d. God is more concerned with our obedience than our knowledge!
i. The law comes before grace, for without the law and the
righteousness of God we have nothing to be saved from.
ii. The bad news of judgment is shadowed by the good news of
grace!
iii. The just will find honor.

Do you struggle with self-centeredness? If so you should take careful note


of this, this mindset is one of the best ways to find the wrath of God! This is
something you may not want to experience! We have to know there is only One
God and you are not it! A Christian must practice what we preach. We cannot be
“two faced” doing one thing and saying another. If you like to do this or find
comfort in it you need to know that this is a great way to bring up dysfunctional
children! This is a great way to destroy the work of God in your church. It is also
a great way to keep the neighborhood away from your church. But of course this
should not be you goal. Self-centeredness only makes you lose out on life’s
precious opportunities. Now we need to ask ourselves do I do this, am I self-
centered? Do I condemn others for what I do in secret? If so, what are you going
to do about it? Paul’s point is this, everyone should know better than to sin!

Note: This is Paul’s first discussion of law and its implications. This will be
expanded upon in the next lesson.

Questions:

1. Have you ever had a pet that had a pedigree? If so what purpose did it
have such as to show or stud?
2. Do you or do you know people who take a passionate comfort in their
heritage with pride?
3. There is nothing wrong with being glad with your heritage, but when does
it get to the point that it turns into pride and sin against our Lord?
4. How does God see the different ethnicities all over the world? Does He
have His favorites?
5. Many Americans feel that God favors Americans and we are His special
people today instead of the Jews, what do you think of that?
6. Why do people put others down when they are different such as skin color
or social status?
7. What are the factors that cause prejudice, from not being friends and
associating with people who are different than you to being a Hitler or
Stalin who kill millions they feel are “human weeds”? What does Christ
think about that?
8. Have you ever experienced prejudice against you? If so how did that
make you feel?
9. Do you obey God and pursue righteousness?
10. How can you be on guard from judging others yourself?
11. What can you do to gain more favor with God?
12. What ways can we judge others?
13. Why would someone ‘despise (NKJV)’ or show ‘contempt (NIV)’ vs. 4, to
God?
14. Have you ever refused to yield to the knowledge and trust of God’s
goodness?
15. How do you feel about God’s right of judgment?
16. Because God is generous with His grace toward us, so we should be
generous toward each other and be thankful. What do you think of that
statement?
17. Do you think that people, who refuse to see God’s goodness and turn from
sin, are the ultimate sinners who are living in contempt to our loving Lord?
Many Christian theologians say this is the unpardonable sin!
18. Why would people think they are special and will go to Heaven and
receive no judgment when they reject Christ?
19. How and Why do we store up wrath?
20. How and Why can we get rid of the wrath?
21. Most people think Judgment is about our actions and behaviors. So what
about our motivations?
22. Have you ever considered that the law is written upon our hearts, if so
how does that make a difference to your behaviors?
23. God judges people accordingly to what they know and have learned. So
how do you feel knowing that the more you learn the more you are
responsible for?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
Eager to learn? Indifferent? Scared?
24. Knowing that we are indeed responsible for our learning and knowledge,
what gives you the motivation and comfort and confidence to be persistent
in your Sanctification that is spiritual growth?
25. Staying ignorant, thinking “I will not study His Word so I will not be held
accountable” is even a greater offence. Why is this true?
26. Do not ever think damned if we do and damned if we don’t! We have
grace! We also are on this planet for such a short time we are to make the
most of it, our true life is still to come, and that is eternity! Does knowing
that this life is just a mere rehearsal and preparation to what is to come in
eternity, give you great comfort? Or do you just want to live for this life
now and today and are not concerned with what is to come, the reason for
our existence?
27. Do you base your comfort on what you do, on your works?
28. How can you live your life with more integrity knowing that God knows the
truth about each of us, so there is nothing to hide?
29. How is it that being judgmental is extreme foolishness? Is it like throwing a
boomerang of condemnation that comes back to hit you back harder than
you had thrown it?
30. Because God is all knowing (omniknowledge / omniessence) with pure
intentions, pure uncorrupted love, and mercy so He knows all things and
how everything and everyone is intertwined into each other relationally in
the past, present and future. How can we then judge fairly?
31. Why do we do it anyway when we have no such knowledge?
32. How can you prevent greed and misunderstanding from clogging your
judgments and decisions?
33. Why do people cover-up their own sins and frailties by attacking and
criticizing others?
34. What if God judged us as we do others?
35. Have you taken Christ’s love for granted? Or has His love pulled you
closer? How?
36. Do you hide in the comfort of your parent's faith, or in the activity of the
church? External worship and faith does not guarantee what is inside! God
searches our heart, what will He find in yours?
37. It is said by many ex-church goers that Christians can be the most critical
and arrogant people on earth! So how then can we make our churches the
place that Christ died for and called us too?
38. How can you prevent yourself and others close to you from despising God
and His generous gift of grace?
39. How does refusing to yield your life over to God's will cost you greatly in
judgment and in life; as God's ways are better than ours?
40. Do you practice what you preach, that is, do you condemn others for what
you do in secret?

Theological thoughts:

Here is the answer to the question, Are the pagans lost? Paul (vs. 2:12)
intelligibly states that those without the law will yet "perish" without the law. So
how can a person be justly condemned if he has never heard the gospel? Paul
answers, every man has a conscience, and no one has ever lived up to what he
knows to be right (General Revaluation). Every person knows they shall do
certain "moral" things, and not do certain "wrong" things. This is tested to be true
every time people pass judgment on the actions of others (Rom. 2:1). Yet, no
one can honestly claim that they have lived up to what they believe they should!
Because of this, God can judge all of humanity, and find them lacking, because
none has ever lived up to the light of their own conscience. So is God being fair?

Scripture teaches that God is absolutely "just" (Gen. 18:25; Luke 12:47-
48; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Rom. 2:6), and will reward everyone according to their
works, and there will be degrees of punishment. So a question will arise in
mission and evangelism committees in most churches, “would it be safer not to
preach the gospel to the lost in fear if they who reject the gospel, they would be
lost forever.” (This is "Hyper Calvinism") If a person could be saved without
hearing the gospel, simply because he has not heard, then it would logically be
safer not to preach the gospel, so that no one would hear, and all would be
saved! The church for centuries did little to no evangelism for this reason! But
what did our Lord teach? Even today with the modern mission movements
behind us leading the way a lot of churches still do not participate in evangelism
and missions. They reason there is no rationale for any evangelism or missionary
endeavors. The point is that Christ commands every Christian to preach the
gospel to every creature (Matt. 28), because only through faith in Christ can one
have salvation. The Bible does not teach that most people will be saved; rather,
Jesus Himself said most will be lost, and only a few saved (Matt.7:14)

“The Human Conscience”: The conscience is our moral center that monitors
our actions from preset values instilled by God (Luke 11:39-44; Rom. 2:12-16;
14:23; Titus 1:15). It is the microprocessor that monitors and controls our
thoughts into actions. That gives us the awareness of right and wrong. It keeps
us in moral check and also monitors those around us (where our judgments and
judgmentalism comes into play). It tells us what we deserve and what others
need to do. Who needs to be punished, and who needs to be praised. And how
we are to apply rules and procedures to events and life. This sets our values and
standards for life. Jiminy Cricket almost had it right, "let your conscience be your
guide". However, since we are sinful, this is not always a good idea. Our
conscience gets corrupted when we combine our limited knowledge and
experience to right over God’s source code of values. So what is good becomes
bad and what is bad becomes good (I Tim. 4:2).

We rationalize our values so they are relative to societies precepts and not
God’s. Then an out of control conscience can produce shame and guilt, which is
designed for conviction of sin. But take sin out of the equation and you have
neurosis. Only the power of our Lord and what He did for us on the cross can
free our guilt and empower our conscience in the right way. Scripture must be
our guide and all of our experience, thinking, feelings, and emotions must yield to
it. Thus our conscience only works well when we are governed by our Lord. Why
the first step in AA is to let God help you, because we cannot!

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  2000)
Romans 2:17-3:8 Bible Study 6

Teaching outline:

B. Jews are condemned as well (2:17-3:8)


General Idea: The same theme is continued that God does not care about our
pedigree, and no one is immune from our responsibility or His judgment! Yet the
Jews thought they were, Paul has some startling news for them! Because of our
fallen reasoning we think we are better than others. Because if we are a Jew or
for us Christians, we think we can rest in our heritage, but this is not the case,
especially for the Jew. The same goes for the person who grew up in the church.
They place their faith in their membership and duty to the church, but has it
affected them deep in their heart of who they are. So the faith is personal and
real, not because what my parents or family is or does, but what Christ did for
me? If not, then church membership is of no value as being a Jew and rejecting
Christ is meaningless. Church membership is good, but the church does not
save, its purpose is to gather, worship, train, teach, preach, and reach. It is not a
place for meaningless meetings of no avail, nor is it a club for perfect people. It is
a gathering of His children called to do His will. The Jews were supposed to be
the teachers of the Lord to make Him known, and they negated their primary call
to each other and the world.

1. The law will not protect us. God judges honestly and rightly, and without
partiality.
a. The Jews placed their comfort in the fact they where children of
Abraham and the Law was their protection. They did not see what was
written by Moses that the Law pointed to their need for a Savior.
i. When we rest on who we are as Christians
and then do nothing with our faith, we are like the Jews who
reject Christ. We may have our salvation, which they do not, but
what good is it.
ii. This is also the theme of James, faith w/o
works is dead. You are saved, but big deal if you do nothing
with it!
b. When you are teaching others, your first primary task is to be
instructed yourself!
i. You cannot teach what you do not know
and have not experienced.
ii. Hypocrisy is heinous before our loving Lord;
teaching one thing and doing the opposite. Hypocrisy is also
one of the main reasons that drive people away from the
church, as it was then as it is now: vs. 24.
iii. The job of the Jews in the OT and of the
church NT is to make known the Lord, not blaspheme Him by
our self righteous inclinations and double standards.
c. The Reformation and the Protestant church were founded on Grace,
and a lot of Christians think the ‘Law’ has been voided. However this is
not the teaching of Scripture (Psalm 19; 119: 9-16; Rom. 7:7-25; 8:3-4;
I Cor. 7:19; Gal. 3:24).
i. We are under the curse of our sin, which the
law points to. Christ removes that curse of sin, but not the law.

2. Having a relationship with Christ has nothing to do with ethnicity or who you
are in the world, yet people still to this day will fight with each other. There are
even denominations that split between race and exclude those they feel are
improper to their church.
a. Having a race exclusive church is a travesty before the grace of our
Lord, a slap in His face. Being a member of a church and not allowing
people to come you are ‘uncomfortable’ with is pure shame. As is
negating the neighborhood where God placed your church.
b. Rituals, baptism, liturgy, church membership, being on a committee or
in leadership will not save you. If we are not walking in/ with God with
trust and obedience and relying on outward expressions, you are in
deep trouble.
c. Circumcision was an ornamental comfort to the Jews, which was not
as God intended. We are to show our faith outwardly from having it
inwardly!
i. Moses and the prophets complained that
the Jews were uncircumcised in their hearts by being
hypocritical (Lev. 26:42; Jer. 4:4; 9:25-26; Isa. 51:7).
ii. The people have the duty to be inwardly
circumcised, that is devoted to God. It is not an external thing, it
has to come from God’s work within us (Duet. 10:16; 30:6; Eze.
36:27; Rom. 8:2)!
iii. The OT theme is to do what God thinks not
what others think!
d. Jewish Sages considered humility essential and you could not boast
about yourself only about the Nation of Israel, the Law and God.
e. Paul’s theme and language comes from the OT (Ex. 20:4-15; Isaiah
42:6-7; 18-20), he shows his mastery of the Scriptures and current
Stoic philosophical thinking who loved to point out inconsistencies.
f. Rob Temples means not necessary the act of thievery but to value
there contents (Acts 19:35-41)!
g. Public sin as a Jew /Christian profanes God’s Name (Eze. 36:20-23)!
Sin to gentiles profaned the community! That is why we have laws and
a penal system to protect the community.
(Romans 3:1-8) (Remember the chapter divisions are not divinely inspired,
the publisher put them in. The KJV was the first Bible to have chapters and
verses. The previous 1600 years Christians had to ‘hunt and peck’.) This is an
example of the passage theme overflowing between chapters.

3. God's Word was given to the Jews for the purpose to evangelize the world,
there responsibility is to reach all the people groups on earth; because all
people and cultures traveled through Israel from up north and east into Egypt
for trading (Gen 12:1-3). Hence why it was the most valuable peace of real
estate in history, and why people today still fight over it.
a. The Jews responsibility, especially the Levites was to be teachers of
God to there fellow Jews and also the gentiles. Hence the gentile court
in the temple, and all the passages in the Bible relating to gentiles.
However the Bible rarely records the Levites adherence to there call.
So the people were not properly instructed and they fell into idolatry
easy, because they did not know better. The Jewish leadership failed
in their responsibility in education.
b. Today a lot of churches fail at truly discipling its members. Most
Christians who go to church on Sunday will only and get a few minutes
of preaching with just a little Biblical instruction. And some churches do
not teach at all. Makes you wonder how God feels about that!
c. Christian education is a priority not just for children, but adults as well.
People who are not grounded in the Word are not prepared to deal
with life and grow in maturity.
d. Profit / Advantage was a philosophical term referring to the value of a
person or idea.
i. What then is a rhetorical question.
ii. May it never be is another rhetorical
expression to refer to the absurdity of the idea or conduct.
iii. Philosophers spent a significant amount of
their time clearing up misunderstandings of their teachings. Paul
seeks to prevent this, but nonetheless needs to root out the
illogical thinking!

4. The Jews, as with many Christians today, place faith in ritual and tradition,
boasting in their privileges and neglecting their responsibility and call.
a. There are no secrets from God, so are you prepared to face Him (Cor.
5:10)?
b. God will not save us until we admit our guilt and shut our mouth!
c. God will be glorified and His justice will be vindicated to all!
i. Never make up stories or testimonies, or
use sin to please God and to reach people, this is dead wrong!

We cannot hide behind our faith thinking; “hey I am a good Christian


because I go to a church” or perform a certain task there. Nor can we think we
are a mature growing Christian if we do some sort of ritual. Such thinking cannot
place us in God’s good graces. We may think we are a real practicing Christian,
but in reality these mindsets bring misunderstanding and confusion about Christ
to the world. Your pedigrees or church status cannot make you a Christian or a
changed person impacting the world. Perhaps you are, perhaps you are not,
God’s grace will save you if you have accepted by faith; however, it does not stop
there. Christ must have impacted your whole being so you are a completely
changed and revitalized person from your old self to Himself! More often than
not, most Christians only think they are, but their faith has not transformed them.
Their faith is only an external showing when it is convenient such as on Sundays
at 10am, but on Monday, the faith is absent and the faith that should be internal
is withered and dry. So their mindset, attitudes and how they relate Christ to the
world tends to be more carnal than Biblical. This was Paul’s message to the
Romans; does it need to be God’s message to you? I know I needed it to be for
me at times. What about you? If so what are you going to do about it?

Questions:

1. When did you first become a member of a church, if you ever did?

2. Were you ever discipled by someone? If not, have you ever taken catechism
classes or been confirmed in your church?

3. Why do you think the ‘Law’ of God will or will not protect us?

4. Knowing that God judges honestly and rightly, and without partiality how
does this affect the way you size up other people?

5. Have you or have you known people who placed their comfort and faith in
the fact that they were a member of a particular church or movement?

6. When did you first realize your need for a Savior?

7. “When we rest on who we are as Christians and then do nothing with our
faith, we are like the Jews who reject Christ.” What do you think of that
statement? (We may have our salvation, which they do not, but what good is
it?)

8. Do you teach others such as in Sunday school? If so, do you realize that
your first priority when you are teaching others is that you need to be
instructed yourself?

9. If so what and how or how will you go about it?

10. A lot of people and Christians think to teach (adults or children) all they have
to do is read out of a book. My experience in leading Sunday school teachers
is a lot of them feel they do not have the time to put into the lesson and
preparation. They want something quick that all they have to do is show up
and spend 10 minutes going over. What do you thing about that?

11. What do you think about this statement: “You cannot teach what you do not
know and have not experienced?”

12. How does your church train its leaders and teachers?

13. Do you realize that most churches place people in leadership that have not
been trained or discipled for their position: what do you think about that?

14. How have you exhibited or experienced Hypocrisy?

15. How is Hypocrisy a heinous activity before our loving Lord?

16. Do you believe that Hypocrisy is one of the main reasons that drive people
away from the church? Why or why not?

17. Can you think an example?

18. A lot of Christians think the ‘Law’ has been voided out by grace, what do you
think? Can you back up your ideas with Scripture?

19. We are under the curse of our sin, which the law points to. Christ removes
that curse of sin, but not the law. So what does the Law do? How would you
explain to someone what the Law is?

20. Having a relationship with Christ has nothing to do with our ethnicity, yet
people still to this day will fight with each other. So why do some Christians
act prejudicially toward others?

21. Have you ever experienced a church that excluded people or have even split
between races?

22. How would they rationalize excluding people they feel are improper to their
church?

23. What about churches that neglect their neighborhood, who do not reach out
where God placed them: how would they rationalize their actions before the
Lord?

24. If we are honest we all feel uncomfortable at some point with others who are
different or that we do not know. So what can we do specifically to be more
reaching and accepting of others?
25. Why do some Christians hide behind their Rituals, baptism, liturgy, and
church membership? These sacraments are important, but what is their
focus, what is your focus?

26. Have you or have you known someone who was on a committee or in
leadership at church thinking that the meeting is the ministry? That is being
on an evangelism committee is doing evangelism? Is this correct Biblical
thinking or not?

27. How would you argue the case that a committee is for planning and
strategizing the ministry or event and is not the ministry in and of itself?

28. Why would just relying on outward expressions of your faith get you in deep
trouble? With God? With your conscious?

29. How can you walk in/ with God with trust and obedience deeper and with
more commitment?

30. What is a modern example of “Circumcision”, a real mark of being His child?

31. The Jews saw Circumcision as an ornamental comfort, which was not as
God intended. What do we Christians do today that is similar?

32. How can you show your faith outwardly from having it inwardly?

33. What happed when the Jews /Levites failed to be teachers of God to their
fellow Jews and also the gentiles? (The Bible rarely records the Levites
adherence to their call. So the people were not properly instructed and they
fell into idolatry easy, because they did not know better.)

34. How do some churches today fail in their responsibility with education and
discipleship?

35. Today a lot of churches fail at truly discipling their members. Most Christians
who go to church on Sunday only will get a few minutes of preaching with just
a little Biblical instruction. And some churches do not teach at all. How do you
think God feels about that?

36. Can you think of any good excuses why we should not be discipled or
disciple others?

37. Then why do so many Christians refuse to be discipled by othersor being


disciples to others?

38. There are no secrets from God, so are you prepared to face Him?
39. What do you think about this statement: “people who are not grounded in the
Word are not prepared to deal with life and grow in maturity?”

40. What are you going to do today, this week to walk closer to Christ and less
with Hypocrisy?

41. What can you do to respect the sacraments of your church and not allow
them to be your comfort so they are not worshiped themselves?

Theological thoughts:

“The Jewish teaching” on Romans 3 is interesting: Rabbi Lipman ("Nizzachon",


Num. 21, p. 19) states, that “faith does not consist in circumcision, but in the
heart. He who has not genuine faith is not a partaker of the Jewish circumcision;
but he who has genuine faith is a Jew, although not circumcised;” and the
"Talmudists", “That the Jews sit in the inmost recesses of the heart” ("Nidda", fol.
20. 2).

In "Mere Christianity", C. S. Lewis has a skillful argument based mostly on this


passage in Romans, proving the existence of God on the basis of man’s sense of
moral absolutes (his sense that he ought to do some things, and ought not do
other things), for only God could be the source of such universal belief and
conviction based upon them."

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  2000)
Romans 3:9-20 Bible Study 7

Teaching outline:

We are all alike under sin, there are no excuses (3:9-20).


General Idea: We humans have the natural tendency to play the blame game
and refuse to accept responsibility for our actions, beliefs and even our life. We
want to do as we please, so we do not see, nor want to see the long-term
consequences for our actions. We live for the here and now with our nose firmly
planted in our desires and expectations. Then we become unable or unwilling to
see the big picture of what life is all about. Thus, when we experience life’s
traumas from our own misdirected decisions, we go to God and blame Him. We
have to learn responsibility; we cannot hide behind the church or the law for the
Jew. We have to come to the realization it is all about what Christ has done for
us; therefore we need to live our life in response to what He has done for us.

This passage is telling us that everyone is condemned because of sin; no


one can ever escape it. No one since Adam and Eve was ever born right, that is
why we have to be born again (John 3). We also have to see God as pure and
just and we are not even close. If you live as you please, be aware that one day
there will be an accounting and all of your excuses that may have worked in the
past will be withered up, before His presence.

1. God is just in His wrath. We cannot go to Him and say, I am a good person
and do not deserve this... We all deserve death and Hell, but by God’s grace
through our faith we can be with Him, saved for eternity!
a. We are all guilty before Him. There are no favorites with God unless you
accept His free gift. No one person is better than another, by religion, race,
creed or what you have contributed to society. No works can help you excel in
His acceptance only by what Christ has done!
b. We cannot stand before God and bargain our way to heaven, we have no
righteousness.
c. When we do accept Christ, we should have to desire to please Him and
excel to benefit society and His glory.
d. We have no reason or basis to complain.
I. We tend to always focus on the "why"; why did God allow
this or that to happen. However, God desires us not to focus on the why, for He
is sovereign.
II. He wants us to focus on the "who" and the "what". That is
who Christ is, and what His will is the "what". When we focus our lives, beliefs,
and will upon Him, then the "whys" fall away.
III. Because it is not a question of why bad things happen to us,
but what we have to learn from them, and to grow to be better in character and
strength for His purpose.
2. There is no value in relying on our heritage and rejecting the truth and practice
of the faith.
a. The law is to point us in the direction that we are all sinners and need a
Savior.
I. Our faith is not a cover over our sin and unrighteousness,
Christ is!
II. Do you argue about your heritage and take pride in what you
have done? Your focus needs t be on Christ! If it is on who you are, then you
have proven Paul’s point. We need to learn to keep our mouth shut and open
your heart to Him!
b. We are totally lost and helpless without Christ!
c. God cannot or will not save you unless you admit your sin and your guilt. If
you do not realize the impact of sin then you have not realized the impact of
Christ!
d. God cannot save us until we yell ‘uncle’, or actually I’m guilty, I’m a sinner
please forgive me! That is why we must confess and realize our guilt before
His holy presence.

3. Paul uses classic “Pearl Stringing” a literary devise that was common for a
Rabbi’s sermon and is heavily in the Dead Sea Scrolls. It is stringing a bunch of
various Scriptures to make your point.
a. The ends do not justify the means.
b. We must not live one lifestyle and believe we are in another.
c. We must not rationalize our behaviors and form excuses to cover our
tracks. Because God will uncover them, since He sees all.
d. Paul uses the OT passages to prove his point that this is not coming from
him but God, so take head (I Kings 8:46; Psalm 5:9; 10:7;14:1-3; 53:1-3;
130:3; 143:2; Proverbs 20:9; Eccles. 7:20)!
I. These passages all use body parts as illustrations, as Paul
does with most of his main illustrious. The Greeks and Romans were very
physically centered and this would have grabbed their attention very well.
II. The Jews counted 248 body parts and believed that the
body ruled the evil impulses of their will and others believed our evil will ruled our
body, so they can claim “my body made me sin” and not take personal
responsibility for sin. Thus, Paul is grabbing their attention too.
III. When you see the phrase, “as it is written” in the Bible it is
usually a quote from the OT in the case of the NT. Or in the OT a quote from
another book, prophet or saying. Some of the OT books that the Bible refers to,
such as “The Anneals of the Kings in I & II Kings and I & II Chronicles is a book
no longer in existence. However this quote is alive and well in Psalm 10:7; 14:1-
3; 36:1; Prov. 1:16;Isa. 59: 7-8; Ecc. 7:20.
IV. This phrase also refers to the authority and importance of
Scripture.

4. We cannot be justified by the law, because it is designed to reveal and show


us our sin, and not to justify it!
a. This means there is nothing we can do to save ourselves, no pious
approach or works to earn merit, no heritage to rely on, and no church to
embrace. Nothing can replace your need for the Gospel of Christ!
b. One of the Law’s purposes is to show our need for a Savior, as we can
never live up to God’s standards!
c. God will reveal your Sin and He will wash it away. The question is, will you
allow Him to proceed?
d. Many Jewish teachers taught even with the law we still needed God grace.
e. By Paul pointing out that Jews needed grace like Gentiles he was also
dispelling the main arguments between the Judaizers and the converted
Roman Christians.
f. It is good to do all we can do to benefit each other, but remember these
woks do not save or help your cause for God’s love and acceptance. He
already loves you, but you have to be willing to claim your guilt of sin so He
can wash you clean. If you do not see that the clothes are dirty, you will not
wash them. We all are dirty and we all need to be washed in His Blood (Eph.
2:8-9!

We must realize the impact of sin in all aspects of society and all aspects
of our lives. If we do not see sin we will not see Christ. Because we will fail to
realize our need for His cleansing. We have to be cleansed before we can help
others understand and undertake Christ cleansing (Matthew 7:1-5). With this
mindset we will realize that we are all under the same tent of offence, all in the
same boat named peccadillo, we are all the same in Christ or outside of Christ.
There are no favorites. We will realize our hypocrisy and pride and how we come
across to others. We have no basis for pride. We will see Christ as who He is
and be so overruled He affects all of us all of the time!

Questions:

1. What is the best excuse you ever came up with?


2. What kind of things have you blamed others for?
3. How do you feel when someone refuses to accept responsibility for
their actions?
4. How do beliefs rule our life?
5. What happens ultimately when we do as we please?
6. What do you see as the long-term consequences for your actions?
(both good or bad)
7. Do you or do you know people who live for the here and now with their
nose firmly planted in their desires and expectations? If so what will be
the result of their life 5, 10 and 20 years from know?
8. What can we do to see the big picture of what life is all about?
9. Why do people blame God when bad things happen because of the
result of their miss directed decisions?
10. How do we learn responsibility?
11. How and why do some Christians hide behind the church and refuse to
grow close to Him?
12. What is the realization that Christ has done for us?
13. How do we live our life in response to what He did for us?
14. Do you see God as pure and just and you are not even close?
15. How is God just in His wrath?
16. Why can we not go to Him and say, I am a good person and do not
deserve this...?
17. How are we are all guilty before Him?
18. What can you say to a person who thinks they live a good life and will
be able to bargain their way to heaven?
19. Why do we have no righteousness?
20. Why do some Christians complain a lot?
21. What can we do to focus ourselves with the correct attitude?
22. When bad things happen we tend to always focus on the "why"; why
did God allow this or that to happen and so forth. Why do we do that?
23. How can we get over our distress by only focusing on the way?
24. What does God want us to focus on?
25. What is the "who" and the "what" we are to focus on?
26. How do we learn when bad things happen to us?
27. How do we grow to be better in character and strength for His
purpose?
28. Can this happen by just reading it out of a book? Or does it require
experience too? Why or why not?
29. Why do we have to confess and realize our guilt before His holy
presence before He can save us?
30. What do we keep our mouth shut from?
31. Why is there no value in relying just on our heritage?
32. Why do some Christians place their confidence in their denomination
or church and reject the truth and practice of the faith?
33. What does the law point us too?
34. How and why do some people and even Christians live one lifestyle
and believe they are living another? Can you think of an example?
35. Why must we not rationalize our behaviors and form excuses to cover
our tracks?
36. What can you do to make sure your attitude is Christ centered in
regards to blame and responsibility?
37. Draw up an argument to defend the Biblical position of ‘original sin’.
38. What can you do to prepare yourself for being a person who takes
responsibility for your actions? Especially when bad decisions come
back to bite you?
39. How does grace come into play with our bad decisions?

Theological thoughts:

"Total depravity" the T in T.U. L I. P. This is a doctrine of grace. It means


all people have been ‘effected’ by sin. It does not mean we are as bad as we
could be, because the Holy Spirit is the great restrainer. Thus nothing good can
come from us to please God. This is also called ‘original sin’. (1 Cor. 15:42-49; 2
Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:24; Phil.. 3:20; Col. 3:10) Growing in faith, education and
commitment will prevent sin's practice, but it is still there. When we reject this
essential doctrine what we are doing is in fact saying we have no need for a
Savior. This is what the Universalist and Unitarian Churches believe.
Calvin speaks a lot on the ‘civil good’, that is our good deeds; however,
this cannot please God, it is by what Christ has done through faith that pleases
Him. We cannot seek God either, thus "seekers" is not a Biblical term, God seeks
us.

“Hyper-Calvinism”, is a false doctrine that emphasizes divine


sovereignty "to the exclusion" of human responsibility (Calvin taught more on our
responsibility than any other subject!). To call it "hyper-Calvinism" is something of
a misnomer. It is actually a rejection of historic Calvinism. Hyper-Calvinism
entails a denial of what is taught in both Scripture and the landmark Calvinistic
creeds. This is minimizing the moral and spiritual responsibility of sinners. It
emphasizes irresistible grace to such an extent that there appears to be no real
need to evangelize; that Christ may be offered only to the elect. It has 5 aspects
associated with it: 1. Denies that the call of the gospel "applies" to all who hear,
OR 2. Denies that faith is the duty of every sinner, OR 3. Denies that the gospel
makes any "offer" of Christ, salvation, or mercy to the non-elect, "denies that the
offer of divine mercy is free and universal", OR 4. Denies that there is such a
thing as "common grace," OR 5. Denies that God has any sort of love for the
non-elect.

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  2000)
Romans 3:21-26 Bible Study 8

Teaching outline:

Primary theme for this section of Romans: Justification is by faith alone,


righteousness is apart from the Law (3:21-4:25) The promises of God will be
of no use to us unless we have the understanding of God and the obedience to
that understanding! We must not have a trace of self-interest in us if we call
ourselves His disciples! Never say you cannot surrender yourself!

Learning Outcomes: a. Know what righteousness means in a deep surrendered


level and be able to apply it with the proper attitude and commitment (Gal. 2:20-
21; James 1:19; I John). b. Know how righteousness makes you feel and
respond to others and yourself. c. Lead a righteous life by the power of the Holy
Spirit, and the guidance from the Word!

The Propitiationary (God takes our place) Sacrifice (3:21-26)


General Idea: Propitiation simply means that God takes our place. We cannot be
saved by our own actions. We cannot rely on our own efforts, skills, personal
connections, family background or our beliefs. Only Christ can wash us clean
and declare us righteous, so we are saved from our sins (Eph. 2:8-9). The law is
a mirror to show us our uncleanness and need for a Savior! The Law was viewed
as a demand in the OT and some see it today as irrelevant and meaningless, but
without the law we have no benchmark to see our need. The Gospel does not
nullify the law, but fulfills it! Imagine if the judges did that in the criminal court! But
Jesus does! So how did God who is holy and pure cleanse us dirty rotten
scoundrels? Would He not be affected by our sin? Jesus led the perfect sinless
life on our behalf; thus He took our place in perfection in life and sin in death. His
Atonement coved us from God’s wrath and covered God (protected) from being
affected by our sin.

The primary theme for this section of Romans is Justification is by faith alone,
righteousness is apart from the Law (3:21-4:25). The promises of God will be of
no use to us unless we have the understanding of God and the obedience to that
understanding! We must not have a trace of self-interest in us if we call ourselves
His disciples! Never say you cannot surrender yourself!

1. Righteousness comes by faith in Christ


a. The reformational slogan that challenged and solidified what the Bible
and the Christian faith was all about. "Sola Fide,” by faith alone. This
act is divinely initiated.
b. Justification is by grace alone! It is grounded in the obedience of
Christ who fulfilled the requirements for us.
c. Faith is the instrument and not the cause, Christ is the cause.
i. It is based on the faithfulness of our Lord,
and not of our goodness. Just as animal sacrifice in the O.T.
was a means of forgiveness and surrendered attitude because
of a loss of something precious, but not the cause (Heb. 9:11-
15; 10:1-4).
ii. Sacrifice pointed to what Christ will do in the
O.T. Sacrifice cannot be a substitute by itself; it was an
instrument, an object lesson.

2. All have fallen short of God's standards; ("whole evil is in man, and whole
man is in evil" (Spurgeon).
a. Sin has affected all of our being and all of the world. Even if we have
not committed any evil it is still our nature to do so.
b. We all have sinned, some more than others, but the smallest sin falls
way short of God's requirements. This is what "total depravity" is all
about (see last weeks theological note) and original sin (1 Cor. 15:42-
49; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 4:24; Phil. 3:20; Col. 3:10).
c. Growing in faith, education and commitment will prevent sin's practice,
but it is still there.
d. God never justifies us outside of Christ!
e. We cannot save ourselves, it is impossible to be saved by merit. God
is uniquely and totally just and fair as a judge.
f. The law is the mirror that shows us our fallen state, which gives the
evidence for our guilt that Christ can only save.
g. The law is used correctly to reveal sin and point us to our Savior, and
can be incorrectly perverted to promote a "works-based" theology.

3. The gospel must wake us up to the plight of other souls with passion and
conviction.
a. If you are not caring for others outside of your circle, then pride is in
the way. And your life is a false dedication to things that are not
centered upon His will. We cannot earn our way, but our way must
reflect His work.
b. It is beneficial to do good works, as it is a reflection of our salvation,
but does not earn any merit toward it.
c. The Gospel is not contrary to the law; it is the historical fulfillment of
the promise from the beginning, as Christ did our work for us:
d. The Gospel is not without the law (Eph. 2:8-8).
e. Redemption is the payment of a price to get something back, such as
reclaiming an item from a pawnshop today or freeing a slave in Paul's
time.
f. Our redemption is freeing us from the bondage of sin, that we cannot
do ourselves (Mark 10:45; 1 Cor. 1:23-25; 1 Tim. 2:6; Heb. 9:15).
g. The sacrifice of Christ does not manipulate and force God to love and
accept us, but God is the one who initiated it (John 3:16). This is the
full expression of love in God's heart.
4. Paul was accused that he was promoting sin, because he was teaching a
Gospel by faith and leaving out works, thus no accountability. However, those
who are saved in faith should have no desire for sin, and if they do, they are
to confess before forgiveness is granted (1 Cor. 10:13; 1 John 1:5-2:1).
a. Those who fall and repent do not stay down (Psalm 32; 37:23-24).
b. Fear of God is respect and reverence, which turns into trust and
obedience. Without faith and trust we turn to atheism which requires
more faith and more trust than what is conceivable and rational.
c. We are Reconciliation to God. God has a righteous basis for our
justification through the sacrifice of His Son, for our sins.
d. Grace was not cheap for God. Christ paid a great debt by pleasing
God's wrath, both in metaphysical pain and human pain of the
crucifixion (Lev. 16; Psalm 103:12).

Pride is our biggest barrier to know Christ and receive His redemption. We by our
fallen nature tend to only seek the pleasure of ourselves and are unable and
unwilling to seek God. We have to be awakened by the Spirit to see Him as
Savior and to receive His redemption. Without being sought we would never
have the faith to see or receive Him. We would just remain in our pride and
blinded to our situation of sin. This means we cannot achieve anything spiritually
on our own efforts. We cannot be saved, we cannot grow, we cannot worship,
and we cannot even serve Him effectively. The great comfort is knowing that He
does the work, we only respond. But if we say we are acceptable just by who we
are, that I am OK, I do not need Christ for my salvation and or growth we have
nothing but pride that leads to our permanent death. Jesus Christ took your place
and absorbed God’s wrath, He paid your debt! So be willing to allow Him to take
you beyond your self, beyond your pride so you remain in Him and not in your
pride (John 3:5; 15:5).

Questions:

1. Have you ever been devoted to a rock star or some other celebrity,
perhaps even joined their fan club?
2. ‘Propitiation’ means what?
3. Why do a lot of people assume that they can be saved by their own
actions. Such as I’m a good person, so I will go to Heaven?
4. Who is the One who washes us clean from sin?
5. What do we need to do to initiate this process?
6. What does the law do?
7. Does the Gospel eliminate the Law?
8. Read Eph. 2:8-9; how does this passage tie into Rom. 3?
9. So how did God who is holy and pure cleanse us dirty rotten
scoundrels?
10. Would He not be affected by our sin?
11. Why do some Christians teach that the OT is not for us today? What
can you say to them to show them the correct reason for the Law?
12. Where does our righteousness come from?
13. What was the church like before the Reformation?
14. Why is justification by grace alone so important to understand the
Christian faith?
15. Is faith the cause of us being saved?
16. Why did people in the OT have to make sacrifices?
17. Who has fallen from God’s standards?
18. How and what has sin affected your life? (Yours and others close to
you)
19. What if you were able to live a perfect sinless life yourself today, would
sin still have an affect on you?
20. Why do you suppose we still have the nature to do evil, even though
Christ died for our sins?
21. Is there a difference in the size of sin in God’s eyes?
22. How will growing in faith, education and commitment will / may prevent
sin's practice in your life?
23. Why is it impossible to be saved by merit?
24. Do you see God as the uniquely and totally just and fair Judge?
25. What can you do to help others see God as fair and loving, a perfect
judge?
26. What is the principle evidence that you are a sinner?
27. How can the law be used to incorrectly pervert truth and promote a
"works-based" theology?
28. What must the gospel do to ‘wake us up’ to the plight of other souls
with passion and conviction?
29. What happens when you and your church are not caring for others
outside of your circle?
30. How can you best reflect His work in your life?
31. What is beneficial about doing good works, if we are not saved by
them?
32. Why is the Gospel not without the law? (Eph. 2:8-8)
33. How would you explain redemption to a friend?
34. The sacrifice of Christ does not manipulate and force God to love and
accept us, even though God is the one who initiated it (John 3:16). So is God
right in doing this because most people will not accept His gift and thus will go
to Hell, even people we like and consider good?
35. The Jews charged Paul as promoting sin and teaching that there is no
accountability. How and why is this not true?
36. Those who are saved in faith should have no desire for sin, but we do
anyway, so what are we to do?
37. What will you do today, this week to confess your sin and seek His
forgiveness? (1 Cor. 10:13; 1 John 1:5-2:1)
38. What will happen if you decide not to repent? (Psalm 32; 37:23-24)
39. The fear of God is respect and reverence, so what can this insight do
for you?
40. Without ‘fear’ in the Biblical sense people will turn to atheism, why?
41. Grace was not cheap for God. Christ paid a great debt by pleasing
God's wrath, so how can you live your life in response to His gift and
sacrifice?

Theological thoughts:

“Sanctification” is the growth we have and do, in Christ, in our trust and
obedience. That He provides this is not saving action, it is a response action
where we become more like Christ's character. True Sanctification (His Part) is
surrendering ourselves entirely to the Holy Spirit, to have His way working in us.
Consecration (our part) is being (Gal. 6:14) dedicated to God’s service! A bold
determination to be interested in only what God is interested in! Usually total
surrender requires a crisis to unbalance our lives because we tend to be
hardheaded and not yield to God’s leading. God will bring us to the point that He
requires of us and if we ignore His subtle nudges, be aware; He will use a more
severe means to get our attention. So, what do we do? Well, it is simple, or so it
seems, to rely on Christ absolutely first and foremost in your life. When Christ
takes hold of your life, the course changes to match His will, or so it should. Our
life is no longer our own for He is LORD. What this means is our will and desires
must be put off and surrendered to Christ! And the biggest and best most
fantastic journey will enfold in your life. I personally cannot imagine living any
other way. (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:1-10; Luke 24:26; John 15; 17:2; Phil. 3:10; 1
Thess. 4:3; Heb. 2:10).

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  2000)
Romans 3:27-31 Bible Study 9

Teaching outline:

Refuse to consider boasting (3:27-31)


General Idea: We are to shut our mouths and renounce our pride and arrogance
so we are able to trust in our Lord. We have no right to boast. Because Christ
lived the perfect life on our behalf, by obeying His own law for us that we were
not able or willing to do. He was both able and willing. Thus the Judge who is
rightly and able to condemn us for our sins, now is our Savior. Since it had
nothing to do with us, we have no reason to be prideful of anything, either by our
accomplishments or our salvation. Just like we had no right to boast before our
salvation because of our condemnation. Because we are saved, all that we are,
and all that we have is from above, by His grace, by no real or true effort of our
own. Christ covered us from the wrath of God that we truly deserved!

a. The Law is still upheld. (See last week’s notes)


1. We are still under sin’s nature.
i. Our salvation only covers us, from God’s view we are white as
snow. (Atonement means covering, not removal) But we still do not
act white as snow! We should, but we do not.
ii. We are capable of acting righteousness, and as we grow in faith
we should also grow in our behavior, this is a part of sanctification.
2. The Law does not protect the Jew and thus will certainty not protect the
Gentile either. (2:17; 23)
i. We cannot hide in our pride as we cannot hide in the church from
God’s wrath.
ii. We cannot boast because of our condemnation. Once we are
saved we still cannot boast because it was not by our effort.
3. Justification is by Faith apart from the Law.
i. Justification is God’s act of pardoning us. Thus we are accepted
by God for what Christ has done on our behalf. (II Cor. 5:21)

b. God's salvation is lawful.


1. He has the full right to condemn and judge humanity.
i. Because we were created by Him and were capable of following
His standards, yet we failed by our lack of effort and the culmination
of sin.

c. Christ obeyed the Law in our place, the judge became the bail; have you heard
God say to you "not guilty"?

d. Our salvation is totally unmerited and unconditional, for no good reason in us.
Since our achievement did not earn squat, then why do we boast in our
achievements (Gal. 3:11)? The surfer does not boast and brag about his deeds
when he is saved from drowning by the life guard. All we did to gain our salvation
is to believe the One who made it possible.

e. Salvation was not intended for the Jews exclusively then in the O.T.(Gen 12:1-
3; Amos 1-2), nor with the cross.
1. The startling statement to the Orthodox Jew, the Pharisee who only
sees themselves as praiseworthy before God.

f. The Law was established to show our sins, and the need for redemption in
Christ.
1. Paul clearly rejects the Law as the path for salvation. (I John 3:7)
2. We must be on guard against ‘Antinomianism”. This is the practice of
straight out rejecting the Law. They belive the Law has no control over us.
(Matt. 5:17; I Cor. 14:37; II Pet. 2; I John 1:8-2:1; 3: 4-10; Jude 4-19)
Scripture clearly teaches us that the Law is important and for us today
under grace. We may not need to adhere to all 619 rules, what to eat and
what not to, etc. But the Holy Spirit gives us the power to adhere to the
Law, its character and concepts and without it, then there is no depravity
and thus no holy God.
i. A modern view of Antinomianism is the rejection of discipleship.
That since we have the Holy Spirit, we do not need to study the
Word or lean on education. This view will cause disaster in the
church as people will do as they see fit, as in Judges 2. There will
be no truth and everything is relative. Wait, that is how our society
is!

Additional thoughts:
1. Our independence is a slap in His face, and He can do nothing in us
until it is removed (John 3:5)!
2. Let us pray to be cleansed by the atoning death of our Savior, who bore
our punishment and lived out the Law on our behalf.
3. Legalism is to elevate our traditions and ideas onto the same level as
God's Law.
i. Thus it blinds us to the fact we have been freed by grace.
ii. Legalism also serves to be a power and control over others!
(See the series of articles on legalism on the Into Thy Word website, Leadership
page under the Discipleship tools channel.)

Beware not to have a trace of self-satisfaction left in you!

Questions:

1. When you receive junk mail that promises that you may already be a
winner, why do you toss it out, if you do?
2. Why should we shut our mouths and renounce our pride and
arrogance?
3. What gets in the way of trusting in our Lord in this passage?
4. Does this surprise you that you are still under sin’s nature?
5. Why do most Christians assume we are washed clean from sin?
6. But if we are washed clean why would we still sin?
7. Is this just semantics, being washed verses being declared?
(Being washed would mean being cleaned from, therefore no sin nature will
remain. Being declared means God sees and judges us from the perspective that
we are clean, because of Christ’s work.)
8. Why do most Christians not act white as snow all of the time?
9. We are capable of acting righteous, and as we grow in faith we should
also grow in our behavior, what gets in your way?
10. What have you learned about sanctification lately (our growth in the
faith)?
11. The law does not protect the Jew and thus will certainty not protect the
Gentile either. So why do people rely on their efforts and not in the
truth of Christ?
12. We cannot hide in our pride as we cannot hide in the church from
God’s wrath. What have you hidden yourself in?
13. Why can we not be boasting?
14. When did you first hear about, justification is by faith apart from the
law? How did this doctrine inspire you if it did?
15. What difference in your faith and walk with Christ does justification
have on you?
16. What did you think of the U.S. presidential power to pardon whoever
he desires? President Ford was not re-elected because he pardoned
Nixon, and the American people were upset. Clinton pardoned a lot of
unrepentive carrier criminals because they give $$ to his campaign
and library just before he left office. How is this different or the same as
God’s pardon of us?
17. How has being accepted by God for what Christ has done on our
behalf changed your life?
18. Read II Cor. 5:21, how does this passage relate to Rom. 3?
19. Why is God's salvation lawful?
20. Why does God have the full right to condemn and judge humanity?
21. Have you heard God say to you "not guilty"? How did it feel?
22. Can you image speeding in your car and the blue and red lights blaze
behind you. Then when you are in court, the judge pronounces you
guilty, but then comes down from the bench to pay your ticket, and
then gives you a check for the increased insurance rates. How would
you feel?
23. Would you ever do something similar to some one else, what about a
stranger?
24. What do you think about the fact that your salvation is totally unmerited
and unconditional, and given to you for no good reason?
25. Do you feel you need to have some kind of achievement to deserve it?
26. So since we did not earn squat, then why do we boast in our
achievements (Gal. 3:11)?
27. A lot of people think that salvation in the OT was for the Jews only, but
that is untrue. How do you feel about that? (Gen 12:1-3; Amos 1-2),
28. Do you know people who are like the Pharisee who only sees
themselves as praiseworthy before God? If so, what can you say, and
do to show them the Light?
29. Paul clearly rejects the law as the path for salvation. (I John 3:7) So
why would some churches teach as it does? Can you think of
examples?
30. While other churches may teach that the law has no control over us,
why would they say that?
31. Since the law is still for us today and we do not need to adhere to all
619 rules, what can we do to learn from it?
32. Who gives us the power to adhere to the law?
33. Have you considered that without the law, its character and concepts
there would be no depravity, no sin? But this would also mean no holy
God. So, why is this?
34. Do you know or perhaps you are/ were a Christian who practiced
‘Antinomianism’ which is the rejection of discipleship. That since we
have the Holy Spirit, we do not need to study the Word or learn in
education. What would happen if you did this?
35. On your own read Judges 2 and ask yourself how did the people get
that way after the exodus and entering the promised land, that after
one generation they forgot God and did evil?
36. How could this view of Antinomianism’ cause disaster in the church as
people will do as they see fit, what would your church be like? What
would the church teach?
37. One of the main problems in our society is that there is no truth and
everything is relative. How did our society get this way?
38. How is our independence a slap in His face?
39. Why can’t Christ do anything significant in us until pride is removed
(John 3:5)?
40. How does Legalism distort the church and its representation in the
community?
41. Why do we like to elevate our traditions and ideas onto the same level
as God's Law?
42. What can you do today, this week, to be living a life that is cleansed by
the atoning death of your Savior, who bore your punishment and lived
out the law on your behalf?

Beware not to have a trace of self-satisfaction left in you!

Theological Thought:
“Sin”: is to miss the mark that our Lord has for us. Sin is a violation
against God and His people. It was a Greek archery term. The mark or target is
God's righteousness, that because of sin we can never achieve/hit the target,
there is no "Robin Hood" that can ever hit God's target. Thus all humans are
sinners, we all have failed His law, either by direct transgression "commission",
deliberately disobeying such as adultery. And failure to conform to His standard
"omission", even if we are not aware of that aspect of law. As with the CHP,
ignorance is no excuse. Every time we sin we incur greater guilt and punishment.
(Gen. 3:1-24; Jer. 17:9; Rom. 2:1-11; 3:10-26; 5:12-19; Titus 1:15; James 1:12-
15; I John 1:8-10) Original Sin is explained in the fall, it was not the first sin, but
the tem refers to the result of sin, that everything has become corrupted.

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  2000)
Romans 4:1-25 Bible Study 10

Romans Chapter IV: Overview: The Jewish Christians were teaching the
Gentile converts they had to be circumcised and follow the law. Paul addressed
them by showing in the OT the promise was by faith and not of works. This is
also the same heresy James addressed. Justification is by faith alone, by grace
alone. This is illustrated and even proved logically by using the example of
Abraham. Abraham was justified before circumcision (which was “the seal of the
righteousness of faith”), so he can be the ‘father’ of all believers, both Jew and
Christian. Thus circumcision is the 'symbol’ not the action that creates and
demonstrates faith. The ‘promise’ was not given to Abraham through the law
either, because the Leviticial law was not established yet. Abraham was an early
example of faith by grace, that of God directly interceding and saving a person,
not because of their worth, because we have none, but for His purpose and love.

Teaching outline:

Abraham's Justifying Faith; (4:1-25)


General Idea: Abraham was saved by faith, not works, a prelude to God's grace
before he was circumcised (Gen 15:6; Gal. 3:11; James 2:21-26).

a. Faith, not works, provides righteousness, faith, not ritual or religion, nor
is it wages we earn that we can brag about (vs 7:18).
1. Paul continues his argument of justification.
I. Faith is not a feeling or an emotion, nor can it be defined
in subjective ways.
II. Faith is not passive, but a response by knowledge and
belief through agreement and trust, demonstrated by
obedience and commitment.
III. Faith involves our will being surrendered to God's will,
involving all of our being, heart, mind and soul; all sealed
by the Holy Spirit (10:14).
2. Abraham, without a Bible and past history to rely on, believed in
God's promises.
I. Faith is directed to a real and personal God who loves us
first.
II. Faith is not just obedience, nor is it in an object or idea. It
is through faith we receive Christ (see chap. 3 notes).
III. Faith excludes all other means of obtaining
righteousness.
3. The world believes that through pious acts a person can earn
their way, because God is love and will not reject the good. The
Bible tells us we have no good. God had Abraham wait for his
child of promise to remove the "human quotation" and strength
so only reliance on God was left.
4. Faith means not knowing where you are being led. What
faith does mean is knowing the one who is leading.
I. The response of faith is developing the fruits of character
(Isa. 40; Gal 5).
II. Faith is not sanctification, for this is a result thereof, not a
cause.

b. The promise of salvation is by what Christ has done through our faith.
1. Christ takes our punishment, God chooses us, the Holy Sprit
convicts us and we receive it all by faith and nothing else added
to it! This all means that our righteousness was imputed to us
from Christ's work, when we believe. If when we go to God by
our works, we try to cheat grace and nullify its purpose and
greatness.

c. David's redemption (2 Sam .11; Psalm 32) was by repentance and


then forgiveness, yet there was the consequence (2 Sam. 12).
1. God is the justifier of the ungodly, not the righteous (Matt. 9:9-
13).
2. The resurrection was the proof that God accepted Christ's
redemption in our place.

d. "Not in circumcision". “Faith was reckoned to Abraham for


righteousness, ” at least 14 years before he was circumcised; having
taken place before Ishmael’s birth, at which time he was 86 years old,
and the other when Ishmael was 13 years of age, and Abraham 99.
(Gen. 15:5, 6; 16; 16:1-3; 17:1; 10, 23-27; Ac 10:47; 1 Co 7:18- 19;
Gal. 5:6; 6:15).
1. Our salvation is by believing by faith as Abraham did. Abraham
looked toward the promise, we look back. Faith and promise go
together as bread and butter, as law and works.
2. When we have a right relationship with God, our natural
response will be to do as He pleases us to do out of our love
and gratitude for what He did (2 Cor. 5:14).
I. Our service must be motivated by our love, not obligation
or some kind of payback, or barter.

e. Abraham is our spiritual father, as he is the father of the Jewish nation


(Matt. 3:7-9).
1. He did not flounder at God's promises (Phil. 4:19).
2. He ignored his abilities and wealth and possible actions, and
trusted God (Isa. 55:8-9).
3. He praised God and believed, before God did anything for him
(Isa. 40:15; Eph. 3:20).

f. Calvary is where our sins were placed on the mercy seat of Christ, on
His account, on His righteousness; God transferred Christ's funds into
our account.
1. What can be greater than the gift we have been given?
I. Since we have been given faith, we must live it out and
not let it fall lifeless (Gal 5:6; Eph. 2:10).
II. James 2 is not expressing works righteousness as
Catholic doctrine teaches; however, it is the expression
of the proof and response of faith that it has been
received. Our works are only accepted by God because
of what Christ has done on our behalf (Gal 5:17)

g. God only accepts His own gracious gifts, that is we reciprocate (Give
back) to our Lord. Giving glory to God is an act of faith and obedience,
and is one of our primary calls.

h. The argument is clear and conclusive that Abraham was justified by


faith, through grace before circumcision (works). Blessings are not just
given for works, but by the covenant of faith and grace.

Questions:

1. Have you ever preferred a designer label for clothing, perhaps a big name like
Armani or Brooks Brothers, did the clothing give you a greater sense of
confidence versus a K-Mart brand? Why or why not?
2. When you receive you paycheck from work, does it give you a satisfaction
that you did your job, that you have purpose and identity?
3. How do we receive Christ?
4. How do we obtain righteousness?
5. Abraham was saved by faith, not works, or circumcision, so why do we still
perform circumcision today as Christians?
6. Can you think of any good reasons for circumcision to be preformed today?
Consider any medical benefit.
7. How would you explain Justification to a non-believing friend?
8. Faith, not works, provides righteousness, so why does the world place the
emphasis on being a good person and doing good works?
9. It is faith, not ritual or religion or ‘wages’, there is nothing we earn or do that
we can or have the right to brag about. So why do some Christians brag
about what they are doing in their church or in their job?
10. Is there a difference between boasting and being glad of your position and
communicating it to others?
11. When do we cross the line from confidence into pride?
12. How would you explain faith to a non-believing person?
13. Faith is not a feeling or emotion, so how can it be defined without using
subjective answers?
14. How can you make faith not passive, how can you demonstrate it?
15. Faith involves our will being surrendered to God's will, so how can you do
this?
16. Abraham, without a Bible and past history to rely on, believed in God's
promises. How does his faith compare to yours? (Remember you have a
track record to look to in the Word and others testimonies!)
17. Why would Abraham a rich and prosperous man feel he needed God and His
promise, why would he bother?
18. Who is faith directed to?
19. How can you make sure faith is a real and personal?
20. “Because God loves us first,” how does this help you in your faith and
decisions of life?
21. Why is faith not just obedience?
22. Why is faith not just an object or idea?
23. The world believes that ‘God is love’ and He will not reject the good people.
How do you explain to a friend those without Christ will parish?
24. Why did God wait so long before fulfilling Abraham’s promise?
25. What is the "human quotation" and ‘strength’ that you have that needs to be
removed, so only reliance on God is left?
26. By what pious acts can a person earn their way into Heaven?
27. By what pious acts can a person earn their way into God’s favor?
28. The Bible tells us we have no good, so what effect does our obedience have?
29. What are the responses of faith that you have been impressed with by
others?
30. What does the effect of church leadership, or parents, or godly friends have
on you when they are developing the fruits of the Spirit and character (Gal 5)?
31. What is the difference between Faith and Sanctification?
32. The promise of salvation is by what Christ has done through our faith.
How does this action keep you focused in your daily pursuits?
33. How does the resurrection come into play in Christ's redemption in our
place?
34. What are we doing to God when we try to live ‘our’ life the way we
want it, then think we deserve salvation by our good works?
35. How does this passage compare with II Cor. 5:14?
36. When we have a right relationship with God, what will be our natural
response be to do as He pleases or ours, why?
37. How can we improve our thinking about doing service and our
motivation for Christ?
38. Abraham did not flounder at God's promises (Phil. 4:19). So what can
you do to take to your heart and mind God’s goodness even when your
world is crashing down?
39. Paul is writing about hope and faith in the mist of horrible persecution,
wars, diseases, church strife and chaos we can barely comprehend.
So how can you capture that passion for your life and ministry?
40. Abraham ignored his abilities and wealth and possible actions, and
trusted God. What do you have to ignore?
41. Abraham praised God and believed, before God did anything for him.
What has God done for you that you can praise Him for?
42. What can be greater than the gift we have been given?

Theological Thoughts:

More on “Sanctification:” Are you willing to reduce yourself down to merely


"ME"? Are you determined enough to strip yourself of all that you are in the
world, in your career, ministry, church, including what your friends think of you,
and what you think of yourself? Are you willing and determined to hand over your
true self, your simple naked self to God? Once you are, then He can begin to
work greater in you and in others through you. Christ will immediately sanctify
you completely, and your life will be free from being distracted from His character
and precepts. To be determined and persistent toward glorifying God, Christ as
our Lord (I Thess. 5:23-24)! You can start by surrendering to Him in prayer (Gal.
2:20-21; Phil. 1:6; 3:10), "Lord, show me what sanctification means for help me
live as my life is yours." He will show you! Sanctification means being made one
with Jesus. Sanctification is not something Jesus puts in you it is Himself in us (II
Cor. 1:39).

“Atonement” means to "cover" and to reconcile two opposing parties with an


offering or gift that is sacrificial in nature. For us to God, which was done through
Christ, who made amends to "cover us" and please God's wrath on our behalf.
Everyone has sinned and everyone needs atonement (Lev. 17:11; Job 15:14-16;
Psalm 5:4-6; Isa. 53:4-6; 64:6; Jer. 44:4; Hab. 1:13; Matt. 27:37; Luke 22:37;
John 2:2; 4:10; Rom.10: 2-3; Gal. 3:13; 4:4; Eph. 1:7; Col. 1:14-22; 2:14; Heb.
2:17; 9:11-15; Rev. 1:5) Thus, our redemption is through Christ's blood and
suffering which was our sacrifice to bind us in good relation back to our Creator
and Lord.

(Condensed from “Walking by Faith: Impressions from the book of Romans,” by


Richard J. Krejcir  2000)
Romans 5:1-11Bible Study 11

This starts ‘Part Two’ of ‘The Fourfold Purpose of Romans’ (see Romans
Background Material: The Gospel as our Induction into the Domain of the Spirit
(5:1-8:39) "The Gospel is the continual functioning of divine power, because it is
the means by which all who place their faith in Jesus Christ are transferred from
the realm of sin and death into the realm of the Spirit and life! The great
fundamental aspect of life is that we have been saved, redeemed, and we
received it when we realized we needed it!

Romans Chapter V: Overview: Christ our Lord is our assurance (5:1-21) We


who are justified by faith now have peace with God. Thus we are to rejoice in our
hope (of what He did for us and Heaven to come), and rejoice and glory in the
midst of troubles. The abundant love of God is shown to us when He reconciled
us to Himself by the death of his Son, while we were still unworthy sinners and
His ‘enemies’. And to top it off God assures us of our salvation, and motivates us
to rejoice and glory in Him, no matter what happens or what we go through.
Because he has gone through more. Then this passage answers the common
objection that sin is not fair. That sin entered into the world by one man that
affected all people by Adam; but the grace of God, which justified us, comes in
the world by One man/God. Adam along with all of us deserved it, Christ did not;
thus, yes it is unfair- to God, but not to us! The law proved the circumstance that
we deserve sin unto death; but the superior abounding love of grace, as
“reigning through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ.”

Learning Outcomes: a. Know what it means to rejoice in suffering (Phil. 3:10f;


Rom. 8:28; I Cor. 10:13) b. Be able to surrender your attitudes and experiences
to Christ, whatever the cost, even if it means suffering. c. Be committed to
surrendered prayer bringing all problems, joys and concerns to the Lord. d. Be
willing to be mentored by a more mature and experienced Christian. e. Surrender
your pride and self-determination. f. Desire to grow and mature in the faith, and
know that Christianity is not a spectator sport.

Teaching outline:

A. Induction into this Grace and Assurance (5:1-11)


General Idea: It is God's abiding love that keeps us attached in grace and
purpose for His glory. Because we alone would quickly fall away into our sin, and
forget who we are in Christ, just as the Israelites did throughout the OT,
especially in Judges 2. The Holy Spirit is the glue who keeps us sticking together.
Justification means that not only has God forgiven and accepted you, He has
covered you with the righteousness of Christ. Therefore you are pleasing to God.

a. The implications of justification are our true riches, our access to God
through the Holy Spirit by what Christ has done.
1. The barrier has been removed that had separated us from God.
i. Our riches, how wonderful it is to be a Christian, are in love,
hope, joy, and grace.
ii. We have access to God anytime, if it was based on our
works, it would be limited to null, depending on what we did.

b. We have assurance and hope, our sin and guilt have been removed;
however it must be accepted and received by faith.
1. Repentance does not save us, repentance is only the realization of
our salvation.
2. We must place our focus on the cause not the effect, because the
effect will flow from a natural desire and create growth and maturity.
i. Our duty is to take care of the chicken and not the eggs, for
the eggs will come anyway.
3. We are right with God because of Christ, not of our faith and
obedience, but faith and obedience is the fruit and proof.
i. Thus, salvation is not logic or knowledge (2 Cor. 5:17-19).
This is not optimism or wishful thinking, but the fact of the
love of God.
4. We need not be frustrated when we have Christ.
5. Our confidence is in Christ and His character, not self-esteem, but
"Christ-esteem"!
6. True service is doing what we do not like to do for others (2 Cor.
12:15).
7. Christ no longer will hold our sins against us.
8. Our identity is who we are in Christ, and nothing else.
i. Justification is not just insurance from Hell, but is lasting and
a source of blessings.
ii. Once we fully realize that the love of Christ has been
poured out in us, then we can identify ourselves in Him.
We will be able to identify Christ's interests in others
over against our own interests (John 15:3; Rom. 9:3; 1
Cor. 9:22).
9. Our service must not be guided by our desires or our needs. When
we think "we are all that"(holy) we are of no use to Him. All we do
is isolate ourselves into a sub-culture when God calls us to be
salt and light.
i. Our goal is not to serve, but to be His children, and that
devotion will lead us to serve. To keep our eyes on Him, to
keep our mind on Him!

c. Trials work in favor for us (8:28) and not against us.


1. They actually promote spiritual growth.
2. Our justification is no escape from bad things happening. It is a
starting point to build and develop character, patience, and
dependence on God's grace, as Abraham by faith; we are
accountable for our choices.
3. Grace was not an after-thought of God, but a part of the plan all
along.
i. This is Irresistible GRACE, the "I" of TULIP.
ii. God has always dealt with people from Adam to the
Patriarchs, prophets and all, with grace.
iii. The O.T. helps us understand the conflict and limit of the
law. We are all in Adam, our first birth we had no control, but
we had to learn (John 16:33).
4. Trials build faith and character, allowing us to be better used to
glorify God. Trials are not a personal attack against us, but rather
they allow God to work in us in a deep way to be of better use to
Him, for others.

d. Love is that Christ died in our place.


1. All this happened in God's timing (John 17:1; Acts: 2:23; Gal. 4:4),
thus we need to trust God in His timing and not ours.
2. Christ will meet us in our deepest need.
3. The love that flows from us is not from us, but from God through
His Spirit (1 Cor. 13).
i. We cannot prove love, we can only respond and obey it.
ii. Love is not from our nature.
iii. The response is to put Jesus first (John 15:12; 21:17; 2 Pet.
1:5-7; 3:9; 3 John 7) and let Him work in our lives.
iv. Thus, God will bring us to people and situations we do not
like for us to learn true love.
v. Love is also disciplined, constant, and spontaneous.
vi. Discipleship is our response to His love, to be passionate
and obedient to our Lord.

e. The created order has been restored in the righteousness of Christ (John
10:15), as we are a totally new creation ("Solus Christus", by Christ
alone).
1. Atonement means covering, that Christ covered us with His
righteousness, so God does not see our sin, and cannot be
contaminated by us.
i. Atonement in the O.T. was done by animal sacrifice which
covered their sins, but did not put them away as Christ does
with us.
ii. Our relationship with God is through Christ.
iii. Christ's redemption is that He took away our sins and
preserved us in faith for God's glory.
2. Since not all are saved, Christ's redemption is not for everyone this
is "Limited Atonement", if it were then there would be universal
salvation, that is, everyone regardless of faith or belief would be
saved. (John 6:35-57; 10:15-18; 27-29; 11:51-52; Eph. 1:3-14;
Gal.2:20; 3:13-14; 4:4; 5:1; 1 Pet. 1:20; 1 John 4:9-10; Rev.1:4-6;
5:9-10; 22:17)
i. Christ was not limited in what He could do with His Godhood
and power, His redemption is for the "elect", those
foreknown for God's purpose.
ii. Our thinking of justice cannot be a factor to an all knowing
and all powerful God.
3. We must be careful that our faith is developed from God's
nature and not ours!

Questions:

1. Do you know people who are very optimistic? How do they make you feel
when you are down and feeling upset?
2. Have you considered that the implications of our justification are our true
riches, not what we make or earn or do?
3. How can ‘our riches’, be translated into being a wonderful Christian filled and
overflowing with love, hope, joy, and grace.
4. What is/ was the barrier that has been removed that had separated us from
God?
5. We have assurance and hope, our sin and guilt have been removed; however
it must be accepted and received by what?
6. What is the role of repentance?
7. How do you keep repentance in your cue, that is on top of your mind?
8. What must you do to allow the desire to create growth and maturity in your
life?
9. “Our duty is to take care of the chicken and not the eggs, for the eggs will
come anyway”, so what are the chicken and eggs?
10. Do you know Christians who think they are right with God because of their
faith and obedience?
11. How can you show them that faith and obedience is a fruit and proof, not the
instigator of the Christian life?
12. What frustrates you in life?
13. What do you need to do to remove those frustrations?
14. Our confidence is in Christ and His character, not in self-esteem. So how do
you apply this "Christ-esteem"?
15. ‘True service is doing what we do not like to do for others’, so what do you not
like to do?
16. Because Christ will no longer hold our sins against us (when we repent) does
this help you cut down sin or step it up thinking, “Oh He will just forgive me
anyway”?
17. How do you identify yourself?
18. What can you do to reaffirm that your identity is who you are in Christ, and
nothing else?
19. How do you suppose God feels when Christians believe and even teach that
justification is just ‘insurance from Hell’, and being a Christian is to be a
source of blessings only?
20. How can you identify Christ's interests in others over against our own
interests?
21. Why is it that a lot of evangelism and mission efforts fail besides people’s
objections, and the regular excuses that they use to turn away from our Lord?
22. What is the factor that makes people not respond because we as the church
are sometimes guided by our desires and needs?
23. When we think "we are all that"(holy) we are of no use to Him. Why?
24. Why do some Christian groups such as some Dutch denominations (Such as
------) isolate themselves into a sub-culture when God calls us to be salt and
light?
25. What is the prime goal or prime directive (for our Star Trek fans) for the
Christian faith?
26. How can, and why do trials work in favor of us (8:28) and not against us?
27. How can trials promote spiritual growth?
28. A lot of Christian’s think bad things happen only to those in sin or those that
have little faith. That if you have enough faith you will be blessed only. Is this
Biblical, if so why, if not why?
29. Can you think of an example of grace in the OT?
30. We may not have had any direct control over our original sin condition since
we were not there (Adam & Eve represented all humanity, and if anyone else
in all of human history were there in their place the same choices would
eventually have been made) what do we have control of?
31. When you have gone (or will) through trials, do you blame God? Do you think
they are a personal attack against you?
32. How can you see trials and problems as a means to allow God to work in you
in a deep way to be of better use to Him, and for others?
33. What do you gain when you have gone through a trial?
34. Why does God need to use suffering to build us up?
35. When is a time that Christ has met you in your deepest need?
36. The response of love is to put Jesus first, so how can you do this?
37. How can you lean to be better ad have more character by acknowledging and
learning when God brings you people and situations you do not like?
38. As a totally new creation, how can you live your life so it reflects that it has
been restored in the righteousness of Christ
39. How can you explain ‘Atonement’ to an unbeliever?
40. A lot of evangelical Christians have big problems with "Limited Atonement",
as I once did, why?
41. We must be careful that our faith is developed from God's nature and not
ours! So how can you do this?

Theological Thoughts:
"Limited Atonement", the "L" in T.U.L.I.P. Christ's atonement in no way was or
is restrictive, or has a limited value, or only powerful enough for just a few
people. Hence, there is a lot of misleading theology by a misunderstanding of this
term. Christ's sacrifice was, and continues to be, limitless in it's scope and value
and power. It is fully enough to save all who ever lived. But the focus is not the
power and ability, but the purpose. Traditional reformed thinking is that Christ's
sacrifice was for only those who the father has selected (Election). And that He
bore our place in suffering and wrath and in taking God's judgment upon Himself
for us. Thus this term "Limited Atonement" should be "Specific Redemption".
Note that all Christian faith’s teach this doctrine! Even Arminianism. The
difference is Arminiaus taught that, because of God's "fore-knowledge", Calvin
said because of God's "Purpose". Romans says the latter.

“Irresistible Grace”: the "I" in T.U.L.I.P. Greek, "charis" meaning undeserving


act of kindness. This is one of the most enduring actions of love that could ever
be conceived (Gen. 6:8; Psalm 45:2; 84:11; Zech. 12:10; Luke 2:40; John 1:17;
Acts 4:33; Rom. 1:7; 5:17; 11:6; 16:20; II Cor. 8:9; 13:14; Gal. 5:4; Eph. 1:7; 3:2;
4:7; 6:24; Heb. 12:28; James 4:6; ! This means that our salvation is a gift, that
can not be earned or purchased (Hos. 14:4; John 1:16; 10:4; Gal. 1:3; Eph. 2:8-
9; I Pet. 1:2; 5:12 II Pet. 3:18). "Sola Gratia", by Grace Alone, the sounding
proclamation of the reformation. What this means in reformed theology is that
Jesus knows His sheep, that He reveals Himself in such a way that we will
respond. He does not force us, nor coerce us to follow Him. He creates the work
to allow us to be willing to be lead and purchased by His blood. The "irresistible"
part means we will put up a fight against Him naturally, being resistant! If we are
left out on our own, we would never accept His precious gift. Thus, it is by
Christ's work first, then we respond, that He creates the "irresistible" aspect. We
do not respond first, because we are unable to do so. God is the one who
regenerates us, creating a new will to allow the work of the Spirit. His Grace is
sufficient, "effectual", meaning it will overcome our sin, to accomplish God's
purpose.
Romans: 5:12-21 Bible Study 12

(also please read II Sam. 11:1-27; and Psalm 51)

Teaching outline:

B. Two Adams, Two Results (5:12-21)


General Idea: Universal/ original sin is totally unfair! The world and frustrated
Christians will object to our fallen nature. This is liberal thinking that sin is an idea
and/or is unfair. And this passage agrees! But not in the liberal sense or by the
objection of the world. Sin is more than an idea and yes it is unfair. That sin
entered in the world by one man that affected all people by Adam; but the grace
of God, which justified us, comes in the world by one man/God. All of humanity
deserved it, Christ did not; thus, yes it is unfair- to God, but not to us!

a. Adam by nature passes sin that leads to death to us all, all of his posterity,
but Christ by grace communicates His righteousness unto His people for life.
1. Adam's offense is contrasted to Christ's free gift and obedience.
i. One man brought sin in, One took it away.
ii. One brought condemnation, One brought justification.
2. When we belonged to sin and death (Gen. 2:17) we were part of the
old creation under Adam (Psalm 51:5).
3. Adam was the first man who represented all of humanity, and was the
one who brought sin into the world.
i. Thus, everyone who was ever born is born into/ with sin.
ii. Sin is the right and the claim to myself, that I am my own boss;
our self-realization that resulted from Adam. And one man took
it away, the last Adam (Heb. 9:26).
4. We cannot escape our sin from birth, no baptism can wash it
away.
i. Only through redemption does our sin nature go away.
ii. Self-realization is the enemy of the cross, and what keeps
Christ away with the explanation that I am my own God
(John 2:25; 3:19).
b. Now we belong to Christ, the new Adam and new creation (2 Cor. 5:17), we
are reigning in new life.
1. Christ takes on Adam's role as the representative of all humanity (1
Cor. 15:45-49; Eph. 2:1-7; Heb. 2:14-18 1 Pet 1:3).
2. Christ is our head spiritual leader, Lord and God, where our hope and
life come from.
i. We are kings and queens by the grace of God.
ii. Beware that condemnation and justification results from our
actions; first by sin, second experience a second birth that will
put us in Christ and away from death (John 3:7).
c. Regeneration happens by Christ's work and through the Holy Sprit, and hits
us when we have a sense of our need and futility (Gal. 4:19).
1. The miracle of redemption is that the Spirit places in us a new nature,
and our reward and response is a new life.
i. Redemption is that we are delivered from the heredity of sin.

Questions:

1. Have you ever been caught with your hand in the cookie jar so to speak? If so
how did you react as a child? As an adult? Before being a Christian? After
being a Christian? How would you react now?
2. Has covering up sin ever backfired in your life, if so how and why?
3. Have you ever been told that Adam’s sin was unfair to us?
4. How does this passage answer the objection that original sin is unfair?
5. Have you ever wished that you would be free from sin?
6. What would your life be like if it was?
7. Do you believe that the world is getting worse as far as ‘depravity’ and
people’s general bad behavior, or is it worse because there are more people?
8. Some liberal Christian churches teach that there was/ is no original sin. Why
do you suppose they do that when Scripture such as this passage is so clear?
9. Is there such a thing as a victimless crime/ sin?
10. How can a baby who has not even opened it’s eyes yet, be a sinner?
11. How does it make you feel that Christ entered the world to pay your price of
punishment when He did not have to or deserve it?
12. People accuse God of being unfair, such as if a relative was killed by a bandit
or by an accident by someone else’s fault. Why do we do that?
13. How is it unfair to God, if a loved one is injured or killed by someone else’s
sin?
14. How can you explain the contrast from Adam's offense is to Christ's free gift?
List what is similar and what is different?
15. How can you take comfort in what Christ has done for you?
16. Do you have a grasp on the magnitude of God’s sacrifice on our behalf, if so
how, if not what is blocking you?
17. What can you say to a person who is upset over original sin and says that
God is unfair?
18. What does justification mean to your daily life and walk? At work, at school, at
the grocery store…?
19. Read II Sam. 11:1-27; Psalm 51 How many times and ways did David sin?
20. What was David’s reaction?
21. David was full of arrogance and contempt at this time, what did God do to put
him back in his place?
22. What does God do now when we sin?
23. How did David approach God after his sin?
24. How do you approach God after your sin?
25. What does God feel in David’s situation versus yours?
26. Psalm 51:4 seems to be saying sin is an act against God only, even though
David’s sin affected a lot of people around him. Why does the Bible say this
then? (Keep in mind the other verses that deal with sin’s relationship to
others, see theological note on sin from Bible study 9)
27. How did David escape God’s total wrath (that is God did punish, but not as
the law required. Death was the penalty of adultery and murder, Duet 22:22)?
28. How do we escape His wrath today?
29. Since we have grace, does that give us opportunities to sin, since He will
forgive anyway?
30. How and why did God restore David?
31. How would you define sin?
32. What does baptism do? What does it wash?
33. How do we remove sin from our lives?
34. What keeps Christ away from people, from you?
35. What can you take away from this passage to help you better understand
grace?
36. If you are having difficulties trusting God, or know people who do, what can
you/ they do to build their trust?
37. How does it excite you that you belong to Christ?
38. What are you doing in your life right now (this week) to reflect what the new
Adam has done for you, how are you reigning in new life?
39. How does your life reflect that Christ is our head spiritual leader, Lord and
God, where our hope and life come from?
40. On your own write a thank-you letter to Jesus and list all that you can
remember that He has done for you. Keep this letter in a safe place and add
to it when new things come up. Then use this letter to help build your
relationship by reflecting on what He has done, answered prayers, salvation,
maturity, opportunities and your growth, especially when you are feeling
down.

Theological Thought:

“Baptism” means a ceremonial cleansing and purification: a sign that tells God
that we repent and seek His forgiveness and desire to accept a new life (Acts
22:16; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; l5: 25-27; Col. 2:11-12; Titus 3:5). It is a
symbol of our union and covenant with our Lord (1 John 5:11-12). It is a sign of
our commitment to be His disciple (Matt. 28:19). Baptism is not a magic "get into
Heaven card" or to receive His blessings and riches, nor is it even mandatory;
hence why some Christian groups do not practice it (Salvation Army for
example). Baptism does not have a specific mode, such as to immerse, dunk,
sprinkle, or to hose off in the parking lot (or hold you down until you really
repent!). Baptism means to be cleansed, and Christians have no basis to fight
over which mode, since no specific mode is required or even taught in Scripture.
We are just called to do it, to show our faith publicly and identify ourselves in
Him!

© 1998, 2001 R.J. Krejcir intothyword.com


Romans 6:1-14 Bible Study 13

We have freedom from the bondage of Sin through Christ. (This theme flows
from 6:1 to 8:39) Because of what Christ did for us, we no longer need to fear His
punishment and wrath. Our significance (self-image) in Life is through Christ our
Lord, and not in what others or the media say. Thus, we now live as free and
saved people that requires us to think right about God, with a correct
understanding what He did for me, so that, we can experience His best plan for
His purpose. We do this through His Word, His Spirit, and His people. Thus, we
live a life dedicated to His purpose and not ours, which will benefit us
monumentally, even in suffering: Because our world is yet to come. In which, we
make healthy choices with our obedience and perseverance, rather than follow
the deceptions of this world. Because of this, our image of God, will be the
foundation how we see ourselves and treat each other; our image of Him will be
the motivation for all that we do. If we are unhealthy with our relationship with
Christ, then we will be unhealthy and miserable in life.

Romans Chapter VI: Overview: Christians who claim Jesus as their Lord and
Savior cannot, and must not continue in sin so that grace may abound. So that
we can receive more forgiveness and attention from our Lord! We in our new life
are “dead to sin,” this is represented in the meaning of baptism, which
symbolizes our conformity to Christ in His death, burial, resurrection. This turns
into living unto/ for our God. Thus we are supposed to consider sin dead, and our
life is based in who we are in Christ, “alive to God”. Therefore we are no longer
“under law, but under grace,” we must not experience sin and rationalize it as
normal or even beneficial. We are to yield to our Lord, as “instruments of
righteousness,” as solders ready to serve, because what He has done for us.
Being “made free from sin, and become servants to righteousness,” this means
we are to serve virtue, morality, justice, decency, uprightness, and honesty
completely. Not once in a while or when it is convenient, as the cross was not
convenient to our Lord! The rite of sin is unfruitful, shameful, and destructive, so
we should be able to see that clearly and conform to the “fruit unto holiness, and
the end eternal life,” The free gift of God in Christ is removing sin; and when we
refuse it we earn the is the wages of death.

Learning Outcomes: a. Know the desires that feed sin, be able to confront
others in love to bring them back. b. Be committed to wisdom and seek
discernment, do not rely on feelings, innuendos, and half-truths, go to more
mature Christians and to Prayer. c. Be committed not to allow sin to reign in your
life.

A. Is Union with Christ a License for Sin (6:1-14)?


General idea: Paul lays out an argument that if we think grace is a license to sin,
we are out to lunch! Paul says this is unthinkable! Being a Christian is leading a
life being thankful for what Christ has done for us, there for we should be seeking
His face not seeking loop holes for sin, or to rationalize our bad deeds. We have
grace and not law, so we have been freed from the shackles of sin!

a. If we are no longer under the law should we keep on sinning, because


Christ will forgive us anyway?
1. Paul says this is unthinkable.
i. Being a Christian is a life or death matter; since under
Christ we have grace and not law.
ii. To think that an increase of sin will get us more grace is
foolish. Yes, grace is free, so should be our response,
without conditions. This idea is a contradiction, since a
Christian would not desire to do so, and would not be
yielding to the Lord's authority.
2. "God forbid" means by no means or no way.
i. As Christians we have control of our mind, body, and
emotions, unless there is some kind of physical or mental
problem, we have no excuse.
ii. To desire more grace by sinning is not to desire grace at
all; but to desire sin and its rationalizations.
iii. This is the way of the devil, not the way of Christ.
b. The old way of sin must be buried, and new life in Christ takes it's
place (3:8; 31; 6:15; 7:7; 8: 1-5; 9:14; 11:1-11).
1. Since sin has it effects still in us, and the world, we will struggle
with sin and desire and godliness (Gal 5).
i. Thus, we must daily go before our Lord to repent and ask
for strength to persevere. The choice is ours, to yield or
continue in sin.
ii. "Destroyed" or "done away with" means to put out of
business!
iii. Our being united with Christ has emasculated us
completely, thus to keep sinning is a sign that a person
has not been regenerated. We cannot serve sin and
Christ together.
2. Baptism is the sign, the label on the package, to signify faith and
every element of our salvation from death to life.
i. The person has been cleaned inside and out (Matt: 28-
19; 1 Cor. 6:11; 12:13; Eph. 1:13-14; 5:25-27; Col. 2:11-
12; 1 John 5:11-12).
ii. Thus there must be an outward sign too.
3. Justification is a living relationship (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:1-10)!
i. Christ's forgiveness has the purpose for us to be able to
hate our sins.
ii. Sanctification is the result, which is the burial of our will
and the birth of His: "this is the walk of new life".
iii. The cross is the door to a new life. (Luke 24:26; John
17:2; Phil. 3:10; 1 Thess. 4:3; Heb. 2:10). So that our
personal lives have been rearranged to eternal values.
iv. Our lives have been given over to Him and He holds the
keys to our soul as well as mind and body, every
piece/peace of our beings must be His!

c. This is an illustration of Lazarus (John 11) . As Jesus raised him from


death, he too raises us. For Lazarus to get on with his life, he had to
get rid of his dead smelly clothes and except his new life. We too must
get rid of our old self and embrace the new life that is available to us
(Col. 3). We are to reject sin, period: And give ourselves totally to Him.
We cannot chose to serve sin and Christ. When we are in Christ we
are both dead and risen with Him, therefore our response is to live for
Him and embrace the new life with joy and perseverance, and pray for
the grace to carry us through.

d. Being a Christian is freedom in the Bondage of Christ. Bondage means


we do not have freedom to do whatever we desire, thus sin and break
God's moral law. We must surrender, and yield ourselves to Him for
true freedom. Sin must be dead (Gal. 2:20; 3:20). There is only one
kind of people- sinners, and one kind of Holiness- Jesus! God places
His Holiness in us. We are not to be copies, but real, as Christ exhibits
in us, to be filled with His fullness (Eph. 3:19), and not ours. We may
not be able to overcome all of our sins, but our desire is to go in the
right direction. ("Instruments" in v. 13 refers to a weapon, as soldiers
presenting arms to their Sergeant!)
e. There is only the way of Christ and the way of sin. This does not mean
we can totally overcome all of our sin's, if we could then we have no
need for His mercy. In our hearts and minds we either belong to Christ
or to the bondage of continual sin.

Questions:

1. Have you ever been freed from something, such as debt, or jail,
or completing High School or college so you are free from
homework? How did it feel to be free?
2. What are some of your biggest fears?
3. How does/ has fear griped your life, and what does it keep you
from?
4. We have freedom from the bondage of Sin through Christ. So,
what does this mean to you?
5. Because of what Christ did for us, we no longer need to fear His
punishment and wrath. By knowing this how can it affect you
life, and those around you?
6. What are some things, beliefs, or behaviors that keep you from
being your best for our Lord?
7. How do you base (What gives you self confidence, job, school,
friends..) your self esteem?
8. What gives you the motivation to do what you do in life, from
getting out of bed to going to school or work, to build
relationships….?
9. How can you make healthy choices with obedience and
perseverance?
10. How and why do some Christians continue in sin so that grace
may abound?
11. What are some of the desires that you struggle with that feed
sin (It is not necessary to share this publicly if you are
uncomfortable; however, you should have a mentor to whom
you can)?
12. How can you confront others in love to bring them back from
sin?
13. Why and how do some people experience and rationalize sin it
as normal or even beneficial?
14. What does “dead to sin,” mean to you?
15. What does “alive to God” mean to you?
16. What can you do to be “instruments of righteousness” in you
personal life?
17. What can you do to be “instruments of righteousness” in your
church as a body of believers?
18. Immature Christians, those who refuse to learn, grow, read the
Word and be discipled will complain that those things are
inconvenient. What can you do to point them unto the path of
Christ over the path of the selfish will?
19. How was the cross convenient to our Lord?
20. So why do we expect it to be convenient for us?
21. Have you ever experienced or observed Christians using their
union with Christ as a License for Sin, thinking “I will just be
forgiven anyway so why not!”?
22. To think that an increase of sin will get us more grace is foolish.
What is Paul’s response to this favored activity then and now?
23. What conditions do we put on the Lord with grace?
24. How is this still bondage when we place conditions upon our
Lord?
25. How can we not desire to seek sin?
26. Since sin has it effects still in us, and the world, we will struggle
with sin and desire and godliness, how do we reconcile our
bondage to our will and the life that Christ gives us? Read Gal 5
27. If a Christian refuses to stop engaging in sin, what can we to do
as the church?
28. What or who has cleaned us inside and out?
29. How can Justification be a living relationship in your life? Read
Gal. 2:20; Eph. 2:1-10
30. Have you experienced hatred to your sin, if so what does that
mean?
31. How do you give your life over to the Lord?
32. What does it mean to you, the word-Lord?
33. What in our life must be Christ’s?
34. What can we do to make it so?
35. What can you do to embrace the new life with joy and
perseverance?
36. Do you ever pray for the grace to carry you through difficult
times?
37. What does Bondage mean to you? See Gal 2:20
38. Why does the world hate Bondage so much? (Keep in mind the
difference between slavery in the US and the Gal. 2:20
definition.)
39. What do you do when you hear the call of sin from your former
life?
40. What can you do when you here the call of sin from your former
life?
41. What sin will you burry once and for all this week?

Theological Thoughts:

“So what is your direction and source of inspiration”? Most of us will look to
our creeds and confessions for that answer and for good reason. But I want to go
deeper in our personal responsibility. That is, how do I take my faith so seriously
that it becomes more personal, so it becomes more real, so all my thoughts,
ideas, directions, goals, and inspirations are in the direction of serving our Lord?
To take your faith to a deeper level, so it is yours and personal and not just
because this is what your family is and does, not just because you are part of a
good church and school or work. That your faith is solely because of what Christ
has done for you and nothing else. This is the work of the Holy Spirit! But we
have a responsibility to respond and to grow and build on what we are given! It
takes trust, faith and surrender of your will, surrender of your dreams, surrender
of your ideas to the LORDSHIP of Christ. That you acknowledge He is Lord over
you by His love for you and that His ways are better then ours: (Heb. 2:14-18;
Titus 2:11-14). Christ is our King, so let us live our lives in response to what He
did for us!

“Reconciliation”: We are at peace with God because of “Reconciliation”, we are


not enemies of God, thus we need not fear His wrath and punishment. Since we
are at peace, we are no longer at war with God if we are believers; the world is
still at war (2 Cor.5:18-21; Eph.2:16; Col. 1:20-22).
Romans 6:15-23 Bible Study 14

Learning Outcomes: a. Know the desires that feed sin, be able to confront
others in love to bring them back. b. Be committed to wisdom and seek
discernment, do not rely on feelings, innuendos, and half-truths, go to more
mature Christians and to prayer.
c. Be committed not to allow sin to reign in your life.

A. We are freed from our slavery to sin into our freedom with Christ (6:15-
23)
General idea: Paul continues his argument that if we think grace is a license to
sin, we are out to lunch! Because we are no longer under the law, but under
grace. Because of our gift we will not seek sin and rationalize it as normal or
even beneficial. We may still have struggles and setbacks, but the general
underpinning and drive is to seek Christ and yield to Him as our Lord. Then we
respond to Him and others because of what He has done for us. We do this with
seeking righteousness, this will translate into virtue, morality, justice, decency,
uprightness, and honesty, which we will do completely. Not once in a while or
when it is convenient, as the cross was not convenient to our Lord! Then we will
see sin as unproductive and reprehensible and be able to see its destructive
nature to us and those around us. When we refuse to yield to Christ we will earn
the wages of death!

a. If we do continue in sin our regeneration is in question. Because the


control of the Christian life is grace not sin!
1. Since we are under Christ we are ‘slaves to Him”
i. This slavery of obedience is ultimate freedom
ii. In our conversion we are set free. In this process we are
not contributing in the cause of us accepting Christ,
because that is the work of the Holy Spirit. We are still an
active, (present yourselves) participant in that we provide
the faith, but the ‘work’ is God alone.
iii. The freedom that Paul is speaking against is the license
to keep sinning, because this is still being a slave to sin
and not freedom. This means we still have free will, it has
not been nurtured.
iv. God’s sovereignty remains pure and unmovable,
because our free choices are his preordained decrees
(don’t bother to try to understand it!).
v. “God be thanked” (NKJV) or “thanks be to God” (NIV)
refers to the grace of God, so we cannot be full of
ourselves when we are full of Him!
2. We cannot save our self or others, we cannot redeem or atone,
or purify, for this is the Holy Spirit’s job. This means that God
saved us for liberty, and gives us assurance. We enter His
presence through a new birth (John 3; 8:32-36; Gal. 5:1). We
have our freedom, yet we owe Him for what He did for us. (The
heresy of ‘liberation theology’ got its roots from a gross
misinterpretation of this passage. The liberal theologians read
into the text that God saves people for social reform. But our
reform is from sin and the life to come.)
i. Our job is faith.
ii. He is Wonderful, Counselor and Mighty God!
iii. The atonement of Christ must be exhibited in us!
b. Slavery is a prominent theme with Paul.
1. Slavery was much more brutal in his day than in our American
history. But Paul is not referring to the brutality, but to the zeal
and devotion of a slave to it’s master. Especially when a good
master, which was probably rare, would receive a slave who
gave extra because they had a liberation that the other slaves
did not have.
2. This is what we have in Christ: Love. His loving devotion to us,
and our response to His love is to be obedient. We do this out of
love from His love.
3. Jesus said His yoke is light (Matt. 11: 28-30)
c. The liberty of the Christian life is by surrender, as it gives us:
1. Freedom from law. (Rom. 3:19; 6:14; -15; Gal. 3:23-25)
2. Forgiveness, acceptance and access to His presence. (Rom.
5:1-2)
3. We do not have to base our acceptance on our performance.
(Rom. 7: 7-11; 10:3)
4. We have been freed from sin, and declared cleaned! (John
8:34-36; Rom 3:19; 6: 3-23; I Cor.15: 16; Gal. 3:10-20; 4:21-31)
5. We have been set free from our own faulty thinking and
superstitions. (I Cor. 6:12-13; 8:7-13; I Tim. 4:1-5)
i. Because of the 5 reasons we respond with obedience not
out of obligation (as a slave does) but gratitude and love.
ii. This new obedience is because of a changed heart and
will.
iii. We are enabled to respond and continue in our new life
by the Holy Spirit.
d. What are you surrendered to?
i. What are the dominate forces in your life?
ii. If they are not His, expel them!
iii. Beware that we want it now, God works through
patience.

e. Being a Christian has it's rewards and blessings.


1. Being in sin is like working for a bad boss for terrible wages, so
why do it?
2. Christ and the Holy Spirit gives us the power to overcome and
the motive to go in the right direction.

f. We must allow gratitude be our motivator in trust and obedience


through prayer and the Word. If not, we run into the danger of
becoming lazy Christians who just rely on grace and do nothing with it,
which is the reason for the book of James.
1. Always remember we are not obligated to do anything with our
faith, but what good would it be?
i. Self-interest only serves to place us on the wrong path
with the bad boss and bad wages.
2. The fruit of sin is death, the fruit of obedience is eternal life.
i. We are to know and yield to these truths!
ii. God's purpose is to get us into His kingdom, to be
identified in Him and not in ourselves or the world (John
15:5; Gal. 6:14).
iii. The gift of eternal life is not the reward or great prize,
rather it is Christ Himself!
3. v. 23 is the classic witness verse to the lost, but it is really
meant for believers over non-believers. Since the consequences
of sin may remain even after forgiveness. Thus, sin is not worth
the effort.
i. Nevertheless this is still a good witness verse! Sin does
not remain level; it accumulates and grows like rolling a
snowball on fresh snow! God rarely demands of us, He
allows us to choose, what choice are you making?

Questions:

1. Have you ever been the victim of a ‘slave driver’, such as an over
demanding boss or an out of touch teacher?
2. How and why do people of the world seek out sin and rationalize it
as normal or even beneficial? Consider gay activists promoting the
homosexual life style as normal, or is it? (A pastor friend of mine
shared a thought with me that if the homosexual life style is so
normal and healthy, why then is every other ad in their magazines
for a drug related disease you get for being gay?) (I’m not saying
God is striking them down, rather sin has its own consequences)
3. When you are facing struggles and setbacks, how do you or how
can you seek Christ and yield to Him as your Lord, and not your
problem?
4. What is seeking righteousness mean for you?
5. How and why would responding to Christ, by what He has done for
us translate into virtue?
6. What is virtue? What does virtue do?
7. Being in sin is like working for a bad boss for terrible wages, so why
do it?
8. What does it take for us to see sin as unproductive and
reprehensible and be able to see its destructive nature to
ourselves, our relationship with Christ and those around us?
9. How and why would our regeneration be in question if we continue
to sin?
10. What does “slaves to Him,” mean to you?
11. How can slavery of obedience be the ultimate freedom? Does this
compute to you?
12. How can we be free and be slaves?
13. God’s sovereignty remains pure and unmovable, so how do our
free choices intermix?
14. What do you say to this, “our free choices are his preordained
decrees”?
15. Does God’s sovereignty mean we do not have free will?
16. What do you think of this; “we cannot be full of ourselves when we
are full of Him”?
17. What does that statement mean to you?
18. What do we owe God?
19. Because God saved us for ‘liberty,’ what does this mean and how
do you apply that meaning?
20. Some people look to God to save them for social reform. Just as
the 1st century Jews wanted Jesus to kick out the Roman
oppression. So what do you say to such people?
21. How can you exhibit the atonement of Christ in your daily
schedule?
22. How can being a ‘slave’ to Christ give you zeal and passion for
Him?
23. What experience have you had, or have seen that demonstrates
that just holding to a set of values without the Lord is hollow and
leads nowhere?
24. How and what is or has given you the feeling that you are in prison
in your life? Before becoming a Christian verses being a Christian?
25. Read Gal. 3:23-25, what has Christ changed in you?
26. Freedom from law, means what?
27. What fuels you to be a person who forgives?
28. What do you need to do to be a person who is forgiving?
29. Our acceptance by Christ gives us access to His presence. What
does that mean when your day is busy and filled with stress?
30. What does it mean when you are having fun and are carefree?
31. We have been set free from our own faulty thinking and
superstitions. So what were some of your superstitions and bad
thinking?
32. We need to be employed in a job so we have so we can earn a
paycheck. This requires us to respond to our boss. If we respond
negatively we may be fired, if we do our job well we may get
promoted. In Christ we need to be obedient too, but not out of
obligation (as a slave does) but out of gratitude and love. So what
is the difference to you between a slaves obedience and a servant
of Christ?
33. How do you receive this new obedience so it changes your heart
and will?
34. What are the dominant forces in your life? Things, ideas, people,
job, school, etc?
35. Being a Christian has it’s rewards and blessings. So what are they,
and how can you hang on to them in times of turmoil?
36. How and why do we run into the danger of becoming lazy
Christians?
37. What are you surrendered to?
38. How can you not only see yourselves as God’s willing bondservant,
but also devote yourself to Him. How would your life and behaviors
change? If they are not His, expel them!
39. How is sin not worth the effort?
40. God allows us to choose, what choices are you making? What
choices do you need to make?

Remember when we refuse to yield to Christ we will earn the wages of death!

Theological Thoughts:

“The bondage of the will” Perhaps it was Jonathan Edwards who coined this
phrase, but it’s grasp is clearly taught in Scripture. In a nutshell we have free will
to choose, this in reformed theology is called “free agency”. (The degree of our
freedom is debated by theologians in the reformed camp and outside in
Dispensationalism and Arminianism. The reasons are too long and complicated;
however virtually all agree that we do have it, and the Bible clearly teaches it.
And Calvin himself spent more time on our responsibility than any other subject
except prayer.) This means we make our own decisions and reap our own
consequences. We have the ability to see the all the options of a decision or
situation and the virtue that can come from them or the destruction they can
cause. Because of the fall we no longer have the desire to seek God first, thus
the need for the Holy Spirit to intercede on our behalf through what Christ did.
We have a conscience which knows who God is as reveled in our hearts even
without the Word (Rom. 1; Psalm 15; Isa. 40). And this will is at war with the
desires of our freedom, our sinful nature to rebel as Adam first did. The bondage
is that our hearts are captured by sin, thus our choices are bent toward sin and
rebellion. The only way to gain true freedom is by accepting what Christ has
done. It is He that sets the will free. And once free we will chose to be
surrendered to Him as His bondservant. Which is the ultimate freedom! Then we
will have the will that will be inclined to seek His face and live a life pleasing to
our Lord. (John 8:34-36; Rom. 6:16-23; 2:20; Gal. 5:1-13)

"Perseverance of the Saints" The "P" in TULIP: That we are preserved in faith
by the strength of Christ, our salvation is secure and cannot be lost. God is the
one who perseveres, we are its recipients. Faith is our entire being in a right
relationship with Christ, through the power of the Holy Spirit (Heb. 11:6). We can
continue in the faith for the long run because of His work and not our
sanctification or growth. This is the proof of our election (Gal. 5). Our growth is a
result, and effect and not the cause. Those who truly are regenerative are
secure, and if they fall into sin there is forgiveness and consequence. Those who
are not regenerative have no hope. (John 6:37-40; 10:28-29; 17:2-24; Phil. 1:6; 1
Cor. 1:8; 9:1; 1 Thess. 5:23-24; 2 Thess. 3:32 Tim. 1:12; 4:18) However, our
desire and response to regeneration is to be humble, knowledgeable and
repentive, and always seeking God.
Romans 7:1- 6 Bible Study 15

Romans Chapter VII: Overview: The Christian’s relationship to the law is still in
an active state, “the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives”. This
means we are united to Christ so that we may serve and glorify God “in newness
of Spirit”. The law as Paul continues to express has not gone away! The law has
purpose to show us His holiness and our depravity, our standard and why we
need our Savior. Paul then uses the illustration of marriage, to show that the
contact of a marriage is like the contract of the law; we will not be free from it until
we die (1-6). Through the depravity of our sin, the moral law, though “spiritual,
holy, just, and good,” The law is good. It gives us the ultimate benchmark to
holiness and virtue. It tells us who we are and why we are, and why we do as we
do. So we know what is sin and how we can please the Father to which is our
main purpose in life (7-13). The agonizing conflict of our sinful nature and what
we are saved to do. So when we “delight in the law of God,” we need to know we
cannot keep it, but Christ through the power of the Holy Spirit will give us the
means to persevere and overcome through our deliverance by Christ, (14-25)."

Learning Outcomes: a. Know what it means to be released from the law. b. Be


committed to a life that bears fruit (Gal 5).

The Believer's Relationship to the Law: (7:1-6)


General idea: Paul continues in his discourse of our relationship to the law. This
time Paul goes from a negative stance into a positive and compares the law with
marriage. His point is that death is the transition that ends the relationship of
marriage, when a spouse dies the other is free from that contact, and when the
Christian dies they are finally free from the law. Then our resurrection will give us
a new relationship, and only then will the law be void.

a. The Jews believed they were chosen for salvation on the basis of
being Abraham's children and not because of the law.
1. Although they made converts memorize and hold the law as if
they had it all their lives. The law was not a means for salvation,
but a preparatory means to educate us on our need for Christ
and point to the cross.
2. The law was to inform right from wrong. Until we acknowledge
our helpless state, we will have no desire for the Lord's work.
3. "Death" means freedom from the law.
i. We must be praising God for His grace, that we are
under Him, and not left to ourselves.

b. The Jewish converts thought they still had to keep the law. Paul
explains to them, no, the law died, and they were freed from it.
1. We are to serve God from the motivation of love, not law.
2. Being a Christian is not a license to sin, because we are not
under the law.
3. We have a new life with a new Master and a new purpose and
love.
ii. Christ is our husband and we, the church, are the bride.
4. His grace is the foundational principle and covenant in our
marriage.
i. Righteousness is the children and fruit of the marriage.
ii. If we base our life in Christ as a marriage by law and not
by love, we will be unfulfilled and unhappy.
5. The law caused human motivation to rebel, grace causes
human nature to obey. The purpose of law is not to motivate or
change us, but rather to reveal sin and our need for Christ.

Questions:

1. Do you remember your first big relationship, such as a best friend or a boy
friend or girl friend, what was special about it?
2. Have you viewed something real negative, until you realized it was positive?
Such as discipline when we were children we hated it, then we became adults
and now see how necessary it was. What is an example from your life?
3. Have you ever saw the ‘Law’ as a relationship?
4. How can the ‘Law’ be a relationship?
5. Why would Paul use the illustration of marriage, when at that time livestock
had more value than a wife, and you could divorce for any reason (not unlike
today)?
6. What has been your view of marriage? Such as it positive or negative?
7. If you are married did your view change after marriage?
8. If you are not married, do you think your view will change?
9. The Jews believed they were chosen for salvation on the basis of being
Abraham's children. What are some false beliefs that modern church goers
can have regarding their salvation?
10. What did the law produce for the Romans and those who tried to live it?
11. How did Jesus change the Law?
12. Because of the law your life is_____________________?
13. How can you know what it means to be released from the law?
14. How will the Law be voided in the future?
15. The Law was not a means for salvation in the OT, so what was?
16. Have you known people who memorize Scripture?
17. If so, what impact did it have on their life and those around them?
18. Can our need for Christ and the cross be pointed too without the law?
19. What can the Law do for you today in your life?
20. We must be praising God for His grace, so how can you do this?
21. What do you need to do so your will is under Him, and not left to yourself?
22. The Jewish converts thought they still had to keep the law. So if the Law is
still in effect, what do we need to do about it?
23. What aspects of the Law are we freed from?
24. We are to serve God from the motivation of love, so how does the Law come
in to play?
25. Being a Christian is not a license to sin, because we are not under the law, so
why do some Christians live their life without regards to it? Such as the
Christian divorce rate is 50%, just 1% less then the secular rate.
26. We have a new life with a new Master, what is your new life?
27. What and where is you primary purpose and love directed too? To find this
answer check your checkbook register and date book!
28. Have you ever considered that as a church, Christ is our husband and we, the
church, are the bride?
29. If so what difference would it make in the daily operations of your church from
the committees to the pulpit to the neighbors if we had the view of being His
bride?
30. If you are married what is the foundational principle and covenant in your
marriage? If you are not married what will it be?
31. His grace plays what (or what will it) role in you marriage? Conceder all
possibilities.
32. In you ‘marriage’ to Christ (union) would you feel closer to Him by a ‘code’ or
by a ‘relationship’?
33. Have you experienced a difference between the law and the relationship?
34. How can righteousness be the fruit in your marriage? (Fruit = result)
35. If we base our life in Christ as a marriage by law and not by love, we will be
unfulfilled and unhappy, why?
36. Why did the Law cause human motivation to rebel?
37. How can grace cause you and the people in your church to be people who
obey?
38. How can the Law reveal sin and our need for Christ in your daily life?
39. How can you be a person who is committed to a life that bears fruit (Gal 5)?
40. What would that fruit be like?

Theological Thought:

The “Sovereignty of God is clearly spelled out in Romans”; yet, Paul is


poured out and sorrowful, and in (10:1) is worshiping and in (11:33-36) is
praying. Calvin spends more time speaking on the responsibility of men and
prayer than anything else in the acronym of TULIP! The big picture is God is
totally Sovereign, and we have free will and responsibility! God's sovereignty
does not nullify our responsibility and calls! Free will and sovereignty go together
like roots and leaves, they may not need each other from God's perspective, but
they do from ours. Spurgeon says they are friends; Augustine says, "we must
work and do as it all depends on us, and pray and trust as it all depended on
God". The God who ordains the ends (from creation to salvation) and numbers
our hairs, also ordains the means to the ends: That our prayers, witness and free
will is God's foreordained decree which is far beyond our feeble understanding
and choices we make.
Romans 7: 7- 25 Bible Study 16

Our Conflict with the Flesh: (7:7-25)


General idea: Paul is excited and is agonizing with the conflict of our sinful nature
and what we are saved to do. In so much in the English we feel he is sounding
more like Dr. Seuss than the Apostle of God. But in fact Paul’s argument is
logical and sound. That we can “delight in the law of God,” even though we
cannot keep it. Even though we will have conflicts with our sinful nature and His
Holiness, in our faith and the ways of the world, nevertheless verse 25 lays to
waste that conflict in the ultimate and final sense. We will prevail through our
Lord Jesus Christ. That we can take our comfort and that through Christ the
power of the Holy Spirit will give us the means to persevere and overcome all
things: If not in this temporary life, then in the life to come. So our hope and trust
is purely through our deliverance by Christ, (14-25)."

a. The law is perfect and not at fault, it is human nature and our depraved
hearts that caused the divorce.
1. The law reflects God's character, His holiness. It shows us our
sins and inadequacies.
i. The law not only defines sin but provokes us to react to
God by either running to or away from Him.
2. The law is spiritual, we are carnal.
i. The Pharisees manipulated and misrepresented it (Matt.
5-7).
ii. The law depended on our righteousness, grace depends
on Christ's righteousness that covers us.

b. Vs. 7 "Lust" or “Covet”, (Gr. epithumia), is desire, craving, longing,


and desire for what is forbidden; the active side of a vice, this is a word
comprehensive in meaning, not limited to sexual desire! "Young" gives
it as, “over desire.” “I had not known lust (to be sin) except the law had
said...”
1. Paul even said the law can motivate us to sin, thus what
offensive sinners we are. He realized that he could not live
under law and be free from lust and the evil desires of the
human heart. He knew he was breaking the law but could not
stop it. Thus why people want to escape the law, but without
Christ we escape only to find ourselves in Hell!
i. Sin is the great deceiver (Gen 3:13; 2 Cor. 11:3; 1 Tim.
2:4).
2. People tend to like extremes, and to live as they please, but
they cannot ignore the law. The law brings out the worst in us,
while the love of Christ brings out the best (Lev. 18:5; Deut.
30:15-19).
3. The law cannot change us, only reveal what is already there.
i. Sin deceives, the law revels truth, and Christ brings us
the hope.
4. The law cannot enable us to do good, because by nature we are
bad.
5. The law is absurd to those who see their hope in themselves or
in pleasure, and have closed themselves off from Christ's work.
6. The law cannot set us free from sin, it only shows the chains of
our bondage.
7. The law does not take into account our failings or
weaknesses, it is absolute.
i. Once we realize who we are to the law, that we have no
hope in ourselves, then the Spirit will convict us. I am a
guilty sinner and have no right, is our start for hope
(James 2:10).

c. What causes despair (vs. 18)?


1. There is nothing we can do until we realize who Christ is
and who we are!
2. We cannot turn a sin into a right (Ezek. 37:3-12).
3. We cannot live with just common sense and our religion.
i. Our struggle is complex, we are new creatures, yet we
still have our fallen nature. Thus the struggle is between
the dominance of the two, and God's purpose and our
growth and maturity is found here (I Cor. 4:4; Gal 2:20;
Phil.. 2:12-18; 3:20). We desire to have our cake and eat
it to, to have sin and Christ. We struggle to
compartmentalize and rationalize, but the key is
"struggle". Christians have this "flesh" struggle only, the
people of the world can live in comfort and harmony with
sin, and rationalize it; just watch the day time talk shows!
4. One aspect of our being is agony as Christ bore it, the other is
triumph as Christ did after the cross, and we are in total
identification from suffering to freedom in Christ. We are then to
loath sin and embrace Christ.
i. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to bring us to do
what the Lord desires us to do, away from our desires
(Gal. 5:22-23).
ii. Our relief and joy is in Christ; unspeakable gratitude for
our deliverance must flow from within us.
iii. We cannot struggle in vain to ourselves for what Christ
did for free.

d. The Holy Spirit keeps our love relationship with Christ alive and
exciting, that we desire Him and not our ambitions and sin.
1. His Spirit will continue to reveal our nature and His Holiness, we
are to work it out (Phil. 2:1-18).
2. We are not to live a separated life (Rom. 6:15-23), we are to be
true and surrendered to Christ, as a good marriage; where the
spouses are in love and supportive and not there as an
arrangement for convenience. Our role is being a fighter of sin
and being the ones who embrace Christ.

e. In summary the only thing we can do is fall at His feet dead to


ourselves (Duet. 33:27; Rev. 1:17).
1. When we are "ourselves", we are just planning our own funeral,
thus, we need to carry it to the end so we are dead to ourselves,
then we can let God be God!
2. Righteousness cannot be achieved by any human effort, we
can do nothing outside of Christ. God's will is in complete
control, we must remove whatever is blocking us to realize
this; pleasure and choices that are deliberately contrary to
His character.

Questions:

1. Have you read Dr. Seuss as a child or read it to your children? If so how did
you like his use of words? Did you feel like Dr. Seuss got his inspiration from
this passage, as it seems Paul is so excited he cannot describe what the Lord
is having him say?

2. Have you ever been so excited that your words came stumbling out like
nonsense?

3. What has been the greatest conflict in your life?

4. What is your delight in? That is, what gives you the greatest pleasure in life?

5. Is there any doubt that Christ has control in your life? If not, what is in the
way?

6. What will it take for your trust in our Lord be 110%?

7. What are some of the biggest causes of divorce in your opinion? How are
they similar to our ‘breakups’ with our Lord?

8. What reflects by your character?

9. When coworkers and fellow students see you as a Christian, they may get
their perceptions and ideas on God from you. Such as if a Christian is a jerk,
then they may see God as uncaring. What do you think of this?
10. How do you think people see God through your character and interrelations
with others?

11. What do you see as your inadequacy?

12. What ideas of God get manipulated and misrepresented today by misguided
Christian’s and/ or by the media?

13. Have you struggled with lust? If so what steps do you take to prevents its ugly
head from affecting your relationships?

14. What brings out the worst in you?

15. What brings out the best in you?

16. How has sin deceived you?

17. What indicators do you use to determine right from wrong?

18. What are the ideas and things that the average person on the street uses to
determine right from wrong?

19. What circumstances have revealed truth in your life? (personal and / or
observed)

20. If you say, “Christ brings us the hope”, and then someone said back to you
“so what!” How would you respond?

21. What enables you to do good, vs. bad?

22. Have you or have you known someone who has closed themselves off from
Christ's work (either letting Christ work in you or working for Christ)? If so
what were the factors that caused it to fail and what would have or will
rekindle that relationship?

23. When people put their hope in themselves or in pleasure, such as the MTV
generation what do they expect to get out of it in the long run?

24. “The law does not take into account our failings or weakness, it is absolute.”
So what does?

25. If you or someone you know has not been convicted by the Holy Spirit, what
needs to happen for the Spirit to convict?

26. What causes despair (vs. 18)?


27. There is nothing we can do until we realize who Christ is and who we are! So
what did you, or do you need to do to make this happen?

28. We cannot turn a sin into a right, so why do so many people try?

29. What can happen if we just use ‘common sense’ and our ‘religion’ to make
decisions?

30. We as Christians still struggle between the dominance of our fallen nature
and new life. So how can this struggle help you know God, yourself and grow
in maturity?

31. Think of your favorite sport. What would your spiritual life be like if it was
converted into a score; you and God as your coach vs. Satan and the world,
how is the game going?

32. What do you think of the daytime talk shows or news that show people (of
the world) who live in comfort and harmony with their sin, who fight for it and
even rationalize it?

33. What was the key that unlocked your will to loathe sin and embrace Christ?

34. What steps would a Christian need to do to live a separated life from Christ?

35. How can the church be a fighter of sin while being the ones who show the
world how to embrace Christ?

36. What needs to be removed from you or someone you know whose faulty
thinking is blocking you/ them from realizing that misplaced overabundance of
pleasure and bad choices are deliberately contrary to His character and call
for our life?

37. Read Duet. 33:27; Rev. 1:17, What do you need to do in your life and in the
life of your church to fall at His feet dead to ourselves?

38. When we are "ourselves", we are just planning our own funeral, thus, we
need to ____________________________?

39. Righteousness cannot be achieved by any human effort; we can do nothing


outside of Christ. So why do we Christians worry so much?

40. God's will is in complete control, so what can you do to live your Christian life
with complete trust and faith?

Theological Thought:
“The Law:” The Reformation and the Protestant church were founded on grace,
and a lot of Christians think the law has been voided. However this is not the
teaching of Scripture (Psalm 19; 119: 9-16; Rom. 7:7-25; 8:3-4; I Cor. 7:19; Gal.
3:24). The law has three purposes according to Calvin. 1. To be a mirror, to show
us our depravity and need for a Savior. While at the same to show us His
holiness. 2. The law is the restraint to protect good people from evil by the "dread
of punishment", "to be the schoolmaster", and show God's justice to people. 3.
To show us what pleases God, and what is offensive. So we know how to
worship and respond to Him.
We as Christians are to love, obey, and serve Him, and the law reveals
the way (John 14:15). Our freedom is redemption, which means we do not have
to fear the curse or God's wrath and punishment from our mistakes. So that
through our justification we can obey Him, and His moral law (Duet. 5:1-22;
10:1214; 11:1).
Romans 8:1-17 Bible Study 17

Romans Chapter VIII: Overview: This chapter is the answer to Paul's question
in chapter 7, "Who will deliver me...". The answer is the Holy Spirit, who compels
us to be more than conquerors (vs 37). This passage gives us the great comfort
and assurance, “Those who are in Christ, and walk after the Spirit, are free from
condemnation”. Paul lays out the argument on the conflict between the carnal
mind and vanity, versus the spiritual mind and holiness, and how we can
distinguish them. That way we who are believers who have the Holy Spirit and
turn from our fallen desires can be, “adopted”. Thus we are able to persevere
even through suffering by being “heirs of God”. We are saved and thus have
hope beyond we can comprehend, because we will be delivered, if not know in a
time to come. Paul’s tells us that the Holy Spirit is supporting our prayers, and
thus rendering them acceptable to God! And then the great verse of comfort, “All
things work together for the good of those who love God, as called according to
his purpose,” which tells us our great hope and a glimpse on how God works by
predestination. That we are secured by who and what Christ did on our behalf.
His life, death, resurrection, and now His intercession on our behalf. Then the
chapter closes with a statement that cannot be match in power and scope, how
much He loves us, that, “Nothing shall separate them from the love of God
through Christ."

Learning Outcomes: a. Know what it means and be able to apply a servant


attitude to your life in all that you do.

Romans 8:1-17

The New Life by the Spirit of Sonship: ( 8:1-17)


General idea: We have no condemnation as His child. Because of this great
comfort why would we desire to live away from His presence? So we must be on
guard against our lust and evil desires so our mind is on Christ and not on our
selfish desires. We cannot do this on our own, that is why we must also rely on
the Holy Spirit to lead us. Do we want the peace of Christ to be His joint heirs or
the turmoil and death of our sins by being His enemy?

a. "In Christ". Means, ‘To be in Christ" this does not just mean in Paul’s writings
to be dependent on Christ, or merely to be His disciple, since Judas was His
disciple! It implies a living union/relationship which Christ Himself first made
known (John 14:19- 20).
1. This applies in a higher sense in the spiritual union of believers with
Christ. In Galatians (Gal. 3:26-28), we see both the inward and
outward means of this relationship, in faith.
2. We who are in Christ cannot be condemned either in punishment or
judgment! Not only do we have our sins forgiven, but God saved us
with a new life not a new law.
i. The law did not produce holiness or salvation; Christ produces
holiness and our salvation at a tremendous cost (Gen 22).
ii. Christ does not condemn us when we fail, when we desire to
serve Him..
b. Christ was our replacement without blemish (Lev. 4:3).
1. The law is still in effect, but Christ's grace supercedes it.
i. We may not be aware or be conscience of this new life;
nevertheless, it is there.
ii. Our response is to yield to Him out of our new life and then obey
Him, not because of insistence or feeling, but of gratitude and
fact.
iii. Our character must reflect this new nature, and the leading of
the Spirit, both publicly and privately.
2. The world desires war with God, we must not reflect this attitude (Rom.
3:9-18). As we allow the Spirit to govern us, we will conform to the will
of God, and please Him.
3. When we remain in sin, we cannot expect to please God, and fulfill the
meaning of life.
i. We are to keep our eyes centered upon the Lord, and please
Him as our chief ambition in life (Gal. 5:1; Col. 3:1-4), and not
be distracted from His purpose.
ii. We cannot please God ourselves, nor can we ever be
acceptable.
iii. We cannot bargain with God, we cannot have His Spirit and
blessing without trust and obedience.
iv. We must not be in the way of God's plan with our selfish
inclinations and disrespect (Luke 11:9-13).
c. God's goal is to renew and transform us from our feeble ways and endless
trivial purpose to His purpose and plan.
1. Our earthy bodies are still corrupt containing our saved soul.
i. This corruption cannot be an excuse for bad actions.
ii. This is the new life that will be raised in immortal glory and
receive it's crown and new body.
2. The Holy Spirit is living in us, so what do we do with Him (1 Cor. 15:45;
2 Cor. 3:17)?
3. Our obligation is implicit dependence in Him, our struggle is in the
releasing of our will, plans, and ideas, and then cry "Abba Father"
(Mark 7:18-23).
i. Through the power of the Spirit, we can stop sins incursion into
us, and those around us, the effort belongs to us (Matt. 25:34; 2
Cor. 4:17).
ii. Even with the new life we do not have the power to live right,
that is why we need the Spirit.
iii. We are to walk in the Spirit and walk away from our desires.
iv. We are to be careful not to confuse our common sense for the
witness of the Spirit!
d. God saved us for liberty, and gives us assurance.
1. We enter His presence through a new birth (John 3).
2. We have our freedom, yet we owe Him for what He did for us.
i. We are His adopted children (Gal. 4:5) but not to be childlike in
our activities and responsibilities, we are fully adults in Him.
3. We must be careful to live our lives focused on our Lord lest we fall
astray.
4. We must be careful not to confuse natural desire as the Lord's leading.
5. This is the start of the classic Reformed "Golden Chain of Salvation".

Questions:

1. Have you ever inherited anything? If so how did it feel to get something that
you did not earn?
2. What things cause you to lose your concentration when studying the Bible,
such as thoughts, stress, TV, radio….?
3. What would you do and how would you react if you found out you were
adopted (if you are, how did you react?)?
4. Who governs your decisions? Really, be honest, who does? Who should?
5. How are you (if you are) confident that you are in Christ?
6. If you feel that you do not have confidence that you are Christ’s ‘joint heirs’,
what is in the way?
7. What does it mean to you that as God’s child you have no condemnation?
8. What gives you great comfort so you can sleep well at night?
9. Why would someone not like a great comfort, why would someone desire to
live away from His presence?
10. What does being dependent upon Christ mean to you?
11. Is there more than just dependence?
12. What would a living union/relationship which Christ Himself look like in your
life?
13. How would a living relationship with Christ be made known to those around
you?
14. Our earthy bodies are still corrupt containing our saved soul. If you drew a
picture of this what would it look like?
15. How can you be on guard against your lust and evil desires so your mind is
on Christ and not on our selfish desires?
16. We cannot be on guard against our lust and evil desires just by ourselves. So
what must we also do?
17. What happens when we ‘just’ rely on the Holy Spirit for protection and not use
our noggin (mind)?
18. What happens when we just rely on our sound reasoning and forget about the
Holy Spirit?
19. Where and how does faith come into play in this union?
20. What can you do to gain a better relationship in your union with other
believers in Christ?
21. What and how produces holiness for you (and your salvation) at a
tremendous cost?
22. What happens when we fail?
23. Because of what Christ did our response is ______________________?
24. Our character must ______________________________?
25. Why does the world desire war with God?
26. What must we do to not reflect this attitude of war?
27. When we allow the Spirit to govern us, we will conform to the will of God, and
please Him. So what gets in your way?
28. We cannot please God ourselves, nor can we ever be acceptable. Does this
statement discourage or encourage you and why?
29. Why would some Christians feel that they could bargain with God, and have
His Spirit and blessing without trust and obedience?
30. Read Luke 11:9-13. How do we seek God's plan without our selfish
inclinations and disrespect getting in the way?
31. The Holy Spirit is living in us, so what do you do with Him?
32. Our obligation is implicit dependence in Him, our struggle is in the releasing of
our will, plans, and ideas, so how can you cry "Abba Father", that is release
yourself in His total care?
33. How can you make a distinction between your common sense and the
witness of the Spirit?
34. What gives you the most assurance in you life?
35. What does it means to have a servant attitude in your life in all that you do?
36. How can you apply a servant attitude to your life in all that you do?
37. Do we as the church want the peace of Christ to be His joint heirs? Then why
does such conflict and turmoil exists in many churches, and why do we
sometimes act more like being His enemy, than His bride?
38. We are to keep our eyes centered upon the Lord, and please Him as our chief
ambition in life (Gal. 5:1; Col. 3:1-4). What steps do you need to take to make
this more of a reality in your life?
39. What steps do you need to take not to be distracted from His purpose?
40. What needs to be put to death in your life (not the cat or the neighbor, or
some political leader), such as a bad thought, behavior….?

Theological Thought:

“The role and Person and work of the Holy Spirit: He is a person. (John
14:16-17); He is our advocate (John 14:16, I John 2:1); He imparts new life (John
3:3-6); He pleads our case before God the Father (Romans 8:26-27); He bears
witness and glorifies Christ (Romans 8:14, Galatians 4:6); He pours God’s love in
our hearts (Romans 5:4-5, Galatians 5:22-23); He is always with us (Matthew
28:20, Hebrews 13:5-6); He indwells within us (John 14:17, Ephesians 3:16-17);
He is powerful and able to do the will of the Father through us (Acts 1:8, 4:31,
10:45); He is essential for our salvation (John 3:5, I Corinthians 12:3); He is
essential for our sanctification (Romans 7:21-25, II Corinthians 3:18); He is
essential for our service and sharing of faith (Acts1:8); He is Lord, loving, and
available to us (I Corinthians 6:19-20); It is our duty as Christians to recognize
the role of the Holy Spirit to find out our gifts that all have been given. Then we
must be discipled in those gifts and use our gifts to glorify His Kingdom. In doing
this, we become obedient and we receive and we rely and trust in his role. (Acts
19:1-2, Romans 12:1-2, Galatians 5:13-26, Revelations 3:20, Ephesians 3:17,
and Luke 11:13).
Romans 8: 18 – 30 Bible Study 18

Learning Outcomes: a. Know what sin is. b. Know what is meant and apply
"being an offering". c. Know what it is to be a conqueror. d. Do not just know that
God is sovereign, but believe and live it. e. See what God is trying to accomplish
in our lives and through us for others.

The Hope we have: (8:18-30)


General idea: Hope and guidance! Even in the mist of dire circumstances as with
Paul in II Cor 11: 23-29 we can have hope beyond hope. We can have God
Himself direct our path. Because this life is a small wrinkle in time, a mere
rehearsal to what is to come in the vastness of eternity. We are made for Heaven
and our life here is a classroom experience to learn and grow closer to God and
those around us, to be our best for His glory. So our true life is what we have not
experienced yet, what is still to come. Thus, we should not get frustrated or lose
faith. God has given us His Spirit to be our comforter and guide. In doing so we
can have greater trust and perseverance through good times and bad, as long as
our eyes are upon the Lord!

a. We are to see the world by what it's potential is, not just by the
suffering we experience and see. This is where we apply our salvation.
Since we are His heirs we should accept the responsibility and the
inheritance (Matt. 19:28; Acts 3:21; 2 Cor. 4:17; Rev. 21:1).
1. The world may live in sin and desire its evil, but there is a
longing for order and a better existence; hence the "felt" need to
receive order, and the Holy Spirit's role to reveal Christ that can
fill that need.
2. The evil is revealed by the law, and creation seeks redemption
wherever it can find it. Hence all the false religions, cults and
searching for meaning away from Christ.
3. The grand plan of God is that the fallen state of the universe is
not permanent (Heb. 6:18-20).
i. We will not be in perfect harmony until we receive our
"New Bodies". We are not to be frustrated and
pessimistic, because God was not that way with us.
ii. We must not remain in our ignorance and infirmity, by
receiving mercy yet, never giving it.
iii. When we lose hope we lose desire to serve Him, and
receive His blessings.
4. One of the Holy Spirit's roles is to reveal the deeper things of
God. He wants not only to live through us, but work through us.
i. He gives us the tasks and the strength, will we just
accept it (John 14:16-26; 15:26; 16:7-15; 1 Cor. 12:4-13;
2 Cor. 3:18; Gal. 4:6;5:16-23)?
ii. He will carry us through all that we could ever face, from
sufferings and sorrow to joy and jubilation (Luke 11:2-4).
5. This is where predestination comes from, (Gen. 4:1; Psalm 90;
Amos 3:2; Mal. 1:2; Matt 1:25; 1 Cor. 1:9;) that God's plan is
sovereign and eternal. We have a personal plan and agenda to
follow, and a purpose that is God's.
6. This is the "P" in TULIP, the "Perseverance of the Saints".
The destiny of all believers is in a personal intimate relationship
which flows from His divine foreknowledge and purpose, for His
glory. (Some theology is not always "either/ or"; such as it is
either free will or God's sovereignty period, no in-between. This
is human thinking with extreme limitations in place. God does
not work in our reasoning and thinking ability, but He does
reveal Himself so we can understand what we need to know.
Sometimes it is "both/and"; in that since the Bible teaches both
free will and the sovereignty of God, it must be both. Yet we
tend to focus on one over the other; Calvin, by the way, did
teach both!)
7. God turns our faith into reality (Matt. 6:33; John 14:9).
i. The goal of faith is not the work we do, but to allow
Him to do His will in us!
b. There is no such thing as chance, this is God's providence. We may
not understand, all we can do is hang tight and trust Him.
1. Beware not to try to run ahead with your desires or distractions
ahead, or behind, of God's timing.
c. We are made for prayer, and not just for our needs.
1. Prayer is not a tool to get our way and will.
2. Prayer is to bring us closer to Christ.
i. Never waste time with God seeking what you cannot
have. Just as the role of the Holy Spirit is to intercede for
us, we are called to do the same with each other (Mark
11:16-17; 1 Cor. 6:19; Heb. 7:25). So, do we?
ii. The Holy Spirit will "turbo boost" our prayers. He will fill in
the areas that we do not understand and fill in the
information we do not have. This is no excuse to be lazy
in our prayers! We always need to know as much as we
can and pray as specifically as we can!
iii. “Groaning” in vs. 22-25 is like that of a mother giving
birth. In vs. 26 it is a prayer language that we cannot
understand between God the Spirit and God the Father.
Some Bible teachers make reference to this verse to
make an argument for group speaking in tongues as a
form of prayer. However there is no indication in
Scripture this is true. If it were it would contradict I Cor.
14!
iv. God will continually place people in our lives that we do
not like. Our desire is to put them down or avoid them.
Unless we are truly worshiping God we will miss crucial
learning and growth opportunities, if we persist He may
allow us to fall apart! When we are callous to one another
it is a slap in the face of God! Let us keep His temple
undefiled!
v. We must continue to fight against our pride and
selfishness that gets in the way (Eph. 6:13-18). That is,
we are to wrestle before God against our nature and
never wrestle against God (Gen. 32:24-25), unless you
desire to be crippled!
d. God's purpose and plan is to make us His children (1 John). He is the
good parent who guides His children and protects them, at the same
time does not over protect them so they lose out on life's opportunities
to please Him, to the ultimate good.
1. One of the roles of the Holy Spirit is to be our advocate before
the Father. To make everything that happens all work to the
glory and purpose of God, no matter what we face in pain,
suffering, and hardships, because the big picture is we are
meant for eternity and not for this world.
2. Here we are temporarily looking to the hope we have now and
to come. Christ will see us through, if we trust and obey to be on
His way.

Questions:

1. When someone says the word “HOPE’ what comes to your mind?
2. How have you experienced hope?
3. Do you have a problem receiving suggestions from others regarding your
decisions?
4. How do you feel that God has a specific purpose and plan for you life? Does it
make you scared thinking you will miss out on all of the fun? Or does it
reassure you and give you comfort?
5. During times of hardship what do you tend to do with your relationship with
Christ?
6. During times of hardship what do you do with your relationships with those
around you?
7. What is it that Scripture calls us to do in those times of hardship?
8. How can verse 18 give you comfort?
9. “We are made for Heaven and our life here is a classroom experience to learn
and grow closer to God and those around us, to be our best for His glory.”
How do you feel about this statement?
10. What is it that you need to do so you can have greater trust and
perseverance?
11. How can your church as a community of believers demonstrate a greater trust
and perseverance to each other?
12. If they did, what difference would it make?
13. Have you ever considered that God has given us His Spirit to be our
comforter and guide?
14. How can you accept the responsibility and the inheritance of being His joint
heirs?
15. Have you ever noticed that there is a longing for civil order and a better
existence by the World? (Hence why as humans we build communities, cities,
governing structures…)?
16. Because there is a "felt" need to receive order by society, why then do we
have lawlessness in society?
17. What cause Christians to be frustrated and pessimistic?
18. What can you do for Christians who feel that way since God was not that way
with us?
19. What reasoning would a Christian use to receive mercy yet, never give it?
20. What reason does Scripture give to point out that we must not remain in our
ignorance and infirmity by refusing mercy?
21. When we lose hope we lose our desire to serve Him, and receive His
blessings. Do you think this is true? Have you seen this demonstrated by your
life or others?
22. One of the Holy Spirit's roles is to reveal the deeper things of God. So what
are the deeper things of God?
23. How would a non-Christian you know react to the fact God wants not only to
live through them, but work through them?
24. How would you explain to them the above principle as hope and opportunity,
and not losing out on fun?
25. What are the tasks God has give you? Has He also given you the strength
too? Did you have trouble accepting it?
26. Does the fact that God will carry you through all that you could ever face, from
sufferings and sorrow to joy and jubilation give you hope and perseverance?
27. If not, what is in the way?
28. God's plan is sovereign and eternal. Thus we have a personal plan and
agenda to follow, and a purpose that is God's. How much time have you
spent on seeking God’s will for your life?
29. What does perseverance mean to you?
30. What is it you need to do to have Perseverance?
31. How can God turn your faith into reality to allow Him to do His will in us?
32. What does providence mean to you?
33. We may not understand providence, so how can you hang tight and trust
Him?
34. What happens when we try to run with our desires or distractions ahead, or
behind, of God's timing?
35. Why do some Christian’s think that prayer is a tool to get our way and will?
36. What is prayer’s true purpose?
37. The Holy Spirit is to intercede for us, we are called to do the same with each
other. So how do we do this?
38. God will continually place people in our lives that we do not like. Our desire is
to put them down or avoid them. Unless we are truly worshiping God we will
miss crucial learning and growth opportunities, if we persist He may allow us
to fall apart! When we are callous to one another it is a slap in the face of
God. So what will you do with this information?
39. What is it that you need to do to have hope beyond hope?
40. We should not get frustrated or lose faith, so what do you need to do to listen
for God Himself to direct your path?

Theological Thought:

“What about suffering”? As we look at church history, especially in the lives of


many Christian saints throughout time, one key theme runs through it all. From
the first century Christians to modern China, that theme is suffering. Oswald
Chambers wrote, “You cannot help suffering; it is a true and needful training for
the soul that dares to be true to God.” Suffering is an essential aspect of our
Christian growth, whether it is mental, physical, financial, or spiritual. It is the
main connection that enables the batteries to power us to be the best Christian
possible. It is the link between the Holy Spirit and God’s perfect plan working in
us. Without this vital connection, the power source of our Lord will not be able to
prime us for His service. We may have the ability and the power of the Spirit, but
the vital link between them is missing. A spark of truth and service may pass
between them so we think we are working and doing fine. But there can be so
much more! So when that connection is firmly in place, the power will flow the
most, so our walk in Him becomes our best. That is why we are encouraged in
the Word to hold on tight and be tough to the end. In other words perseverance
is knowing that our future is in His Hands, in His control and whatever the
consequences we may face, we are to look to the rewards to come. Our hope
and purpose is to be with Christ in eternity everlasting.

The path into following God’s will is not always an easy path; it is a path
filled with potholes and highwaymen. Yet the modern church considers suffering
negative, because it does not line up with happiness, peace, and joy. Some even
teach that suffering is a sign that you are out of God's will and have unredeemed
sin. However, this is not Biblical. It is a difficult journey but take heart; our
sufferings are very temporary in the scheme of our eternal existence. Check out
John 16;33; Romans 8:18 and I Peter 4:19.

Why, why, why we ask! Yet, it is not so much a question of how we


answer the problem of suffering, the why it has happened to me. It is not
about how we can get an answer, seeking the ‘why’ from God, the why this has
happened to me. The why is not important as Job found out. Rather it is about
how we live our lives regardless of our circumstances. God understands that
even though we may have buried a loved one, we cannot bury our feelings. We
need time to morn and vent—and even inventing ways of coping with the loss in
our lives. (Hence why there are so many conflicting theories in psychology!) God
records in His Word that people in biblical days were in no hurry to rush through
the process of grief. But, they did eventually get on with their lives! "a time to kill
and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build",(Ecc. 3:3). The ‘why’
is not the solo quest we are to seek. ‘Why’ is not the place we are to live our lives
and concentrate our devotions too. By dwelling on the ‘Why’ will keep us away
from learning, takes our eyes of Him, it even interferes in His healing grace,
because we are so full of ‘whys’ there is no room for Christ!

Remain faithful and enjoy the ride of life even when you hit a pothole and
bump your head. Suffering has 5 main themes to it: 1. Our God is good, thus our
pain allows us to identify with our Lord who suffered for our sin's in our place
without fault or being deserving of the suffering. So why should we expect better?
It draws us closer and more intimate. God will actually enter into the pain with us,
so if there is no healing, He is just working harder in us! 2. God will use our
suffering for the greater good, that is His purpose. Consider it fertilizer to the
garden of life. It will allow us to grow in greater depth spiritually, when we give it
to God through prayer, as Paul did. 3. Remember God is working even when we
do not feel it! The chief purpose of God's will for us is to grow us closer to Him!
Not our bodies, or work, or anything else! This will perfect our charter to be more
Christ like. 4. Suffering is not being a martyr; rather it is value for our living as we
lean to surrender all to Him. Never force suffering on yourself for attention, this
does not glorify God, only yourself! 5. When we are filled with joy, even in the
mist of suffering, we show the world the mirror and character of and to Christ.
The main theme of suffering is not how we answer the way's and why's, but how
we live our lives to still give God the glory! How do we allow Him to use us and
then take our experiences for the benefit of others, such as people like "Joni
Erickson Tada"! Some comforting verses: Psalm 31:9; Psalm 119:50; Isaiah
41:10; Rom 8:18; 28-29; 35-37; James 1:2-3;12; John 14:1; I Pet 4:12-19 ; Rev.
21:4!
© 1998, 2001 R.J. Krejcir, Into Thy Word Ministries

“The Holy Spirit longs to reveal to you the deeper things of God. He longs
love through you. He longs to work through you. Through the blessed Holy Spirit
you may have: strength for every duty, wisdom for every problem, comfort in
every sorrow, joy in His overflowing service.” T.J. Bach
Romans 8:31-39 Bible Study 19

Learning Outcomes: a. Know what it means to live a righteous life, by modeling


the character of Christ. b. Be aware that God is more dethroned by Christians
than by the world. Because we confess our faithfulness on Sunday, but on
Monday our confession is gone! We desire God to be a blessing machine, while
we are impatient and disrespectful to what He wants us to learn. c. Know that
nothing can separate you from Christ, thus live a life of response in gratitude with
trust and obedience. d. Know what it is to receive no condemnation. e. Are we in
battle for Jesus or for ourselves, if so, what does God require? Are we
maintaining a cause or Christ? f. Am I willing to allow God to be God, to sanctify
me beyond my comfort zone and experience and expectations?

Concluding Crescendo of Assurance: (8:31-39)


General idea: Ultimate LOVE! We have incredible assurance that nothing can
separate us from God’s love. Thus, if God is for us, then we need not fear
anything such as trials, troubles, highs, lows, the devil or even death! There
should be no reason in your life to keep you from growing in His love and living
the triumph full Christian life, full of passion and conviction serving for the glory of
our Lord! This is the passage President George W. Bush quoted and used as the
basis for his sermon on the ‘National Day of Prayer’ a few days after the terrorist
attacks on America. This passage is special to me because this is the verse God
gave me when I proposed to my wife and the verse that we both look to as the
theme for our marriage and walk with Christ.

a. What may thwart us from Christ? NOTHING!


1. God chose us, justified us, glorified us, redeemed us; thus, He
is for us and not against us.
2. The world and Satan are no match to who we are in Christ.
b. The Holy Spirit makes love true, real and impacting (John 14:23-27;
Rom. 5:5). True love made real.
1. When we have a grasp on our relationship to Christ, then we
shall not be afraid to ask too much in prayer.
i. Thus with the Father, the Son and the Spirit all for us, we
are not alone, and nothing can separate us from that love
and connection.
ii. He died for us, He has forgiven us, He has the power and
authority for us.
iii. We have no opposition or frustration, even the devil
cannot stop God's plan for us. No challenge too small, no
mountain too tall. So we should not worry or fear, but be
bold to make the most of life's opportunities, in worship
and in deed. Because if God is for us, who can be
against us (Psalm 110:1; 1 John 2:1)?
2. This chapter began with "no condemnation" and ends with "no
separation". The space between is the filling of the Holy Spirit in
you, it is the filling of the blessing we may have if only we
receive them.
3. The difference between Satan's condemnation and God's
conviction is, that condemnation takes us away from God,
literally pulls us away, making us feel unworthy and rejecting
God! Conviction makes us desire to get closer to God, and
recant our bad deeds, to make us right.
i. Jesus pleads our case before the Father, so we are
convicted and not condemned!
c. Our prayer must be, "Lord grant me and let me enjoy your blessings,
reveal to me the opportunities I must seek to model your character,
because my confidence and trust is in you".
d. God did not say He will keep us immune from trouble, only that He will
carry us through it (Psalm 91:15; Matt. 13:22; 2 Cor. 7:4)!
1. The best is still to come, the life we have in eternity. We are not
made for this world, thus our focus needs to be towards eternity.
We are here for such a minuscule time in the grand scope of
time, thus we are to fully embrace what we are to experience
and learn, and see God's big picture as He has revealed it
(Matt. 22:37-38).
2. Our joy must be built on nothing else but what Christ did
for me; not because of joy or sufferings, but in spite of it (1
Cor. 1:30; 2 Cor. 2:14-15; 10:5; 1 Thess. 4:3)! No power on
earth or in the universe can conquer God in us!

Questions:

1. What has been the most exciting event in your life?


2. Have you ever been called a pessimist or an optimist? If so why?
3. How would you characterize yourself hopeful and cheerful or cynical and
negative?
4. Martin Luther said that ‘predestination’ is the heart of the church, so why
do you suppose predestination has caused so much controversy in
theological circles when Romans is pretty clear on it?
5. What can separate you from the love of God?
6. If God chose us, justified us, glorified us, redeemed us, is for us and not
against us; then why do we worry?
7. How can God’s perseverance of us give you assurance, in comfort and
hope?
8. Last week the greatest disaster inflicted on US soil occurred. If you were
one of the people running from the World Trade Center as it was
collapsing, how would you have handled it; emotionally, what would you
be thinking, and what would your prayers have been?
9. If you are in a major disaster or a personal crisis, how could this verse be
real to you?
10. Would you rather be convicted and not condemned, or condemned and
not convicted (think carefully)?
11. What does it mean to you to receive no condemnation?
12. What causes you to feel unworthy and rejected by God?
13. What helps your desire to get closer to God?
14. How can you live a life of response to God’s incredible love with gratitude
along with trust and obedience?
15. What can the world and Satan do to us and who we are in Christ? Even
when disaster befalls us, our ultimate reality is Heaven to come, not our
work or life that we have now. How can this give you hope to be a person
with stronger trust and perseverance in Christ?
16. Even when disaster befalls upon us, our ultimate reality is Heaven to
come, not our work or life we have now. How can this give you hope to be
a person with stronger trust and perseverance in Christ?
17. Read John 14:23-27 and Rom. 5:5. How can this ‘True Love’ be made
real?
18. When we have a grasp on our relationship to Christ, then we shall not be
afraid to ask too much in prayer. Why or why not is this true?
19. We are not alone, and nothing can separate us from that love and
connection we have with God. How can this be applied with more passion
and conviction to the church boardroom?
20. How can you apply this to your personal decisions?
21. Christ has forgiven us, you will ___________________?
22. He has the power and authority for us, you will ___________________?
23. What are the things that frustrate you?
24. Because we have no opposition or frustration, how can you remove your
frustrations?
25. No challenge too small, no mountain too tall. So what can you as a person
saved by grace do with this knowledge?
26. So what can we as a church do with this knowledge?
27. So we should not worry or fear, but be bold to make the most of life's
opportunities, in worship and in deed. Because if God is for us, who can
be against us (Psalm 110:1; 1 John 2:1)?
28. Even the devil cannot stop God's plan for us. So how does this passage
affect spiritual warfare?
29. This chapter began with "no condemnation" and ends with "no
separation". What things have you done that you should be condemned
for? (you do not have to respond to this question openly)
30. Are you grateful that you are not condemned?
31. What is conviction?
32. What is condemnation?
33. What is the difference between Satan's condemnation and God's
conviction?
34. Who is on your side?
35. How can this prayer help give you hope and confidence: "Lord grant me
and let me enjoy your blessings, reveal to me the opportunities I must
seek to model your character, because my confidence and trust is in you"?
(Remember the prayer is not the cause of our confidence, He is!)
36. Read Psalm 91:15. God did not say He will keep us immune from trouble,
only that He will carry us through it. So does this reassure you with hope,
or get you mad that God is not as involved as you would like?
37. Now carefully consider your attitude toward God when bad things happen.
Do you first blame Him or go to Him for comfort?
38. As the newscasts were first broadcasting the World Trade Center
Disaster, you can hear people shouting the Lord’s name in vain. Why does
the world seek to blame God?
39. The best is still to come, the life we have in eternity. Does this give you
hope, why or why not?
40. Our joy must be built on nothing else but what Christ did for me; not
because of joy or sufferings, but in spite of it! So how can you make this
happen in your daily life?

No power on earth or in the universe can conquer God in us!

Theological Thoughts:

"Election" means to select or to chose, that God chose us by His purpose,


period, by nothing else, either by our means or His foreknowledge (Eph. 1:3-14;
2 Thess. 2:13-14; 2 Tim. 1:9-10;) We cannot fathom this true implication,
meaning or reasoning, we have to trust that God is God and we are not, thus we
have no idea of His plan or purpose.

This doctrine is God’s love and grace shed out for us. Because without
this essential doctrine we would have a works based salvation that we could
never achieve. People who deny this doctrine generally fall into two categories.
1. They do not understand it, as I once did. Or 2. They are full of pride thinking
they must have had something to do with God saving them! Friends we have
NOTHING to do with God saving us. He does not just look down the corridor of
time to see if we would accept Him. If He did (of course God is omniscience and
does indeed see our choosing, but the emphases in The Epistles is His purpose
not our future choosing) it would mean we somehow earned it, and thus grace
was not sufficient or not needed for our salvation. God’s grace is greatly needed
and sufficient as Scripture so clearly articulates. Our salvation is because of His
choosing for His glory, because of His love and His grace!

All Christian groups who use the Bible teach election, the division is in its
meaning and purpose, which God has not fully revealed to us, we can only
speculate. We only know what He has revealed, that He does elect, our call is to
trust and obey (1 Cor. 1:8-9; Phil.1:6; 1 Thess. 1:3-6; 5:23-24; II Tim. 1-12; 4:18;
II Pet. 1:10) We know He elects for His purpose and plan which is perfect,
beyond our feeble understanding of justice. We do not earn it or deserve it! Our
purpose is not to argue over this, but to accept His amazing grace.

"Unconditional Election", For more information on what ‘TUPLIP’ is


please visit our new Doctrine page. The "U" in TULIP: Puts the emphasis on our
depravity. People do not want to think of themselves as worthless, and
unredeemable by their own merit, this is un-American, yet it is very Biblical. We
are unable and unwilling to seek God on our own, thus we need divine
intervention. This is the role of the Holy Spirit. This is God's choosing for God's
purpose, in His incredible love, He seeks us!!! Election is no excuse to sit and do
nothing in service and witness to others!

The term "Reprobation" refers to His decision "to elect and to others He
choose not to elect". Also God allows us to stay in our sin as a form of judgment
(vs. 1:24-26; 9:14-24; 11:25) God in His reasoning, which is perfect and holy,
does not select some, and/or allow them to stay in sin. This does not mean He
chose them to go to hell. This is "Hyper Calvinism" or "Double Predestination"
and this is not Biblical doctrine (Psalm 81:12; 1 Pet 2:8)!
Romans 9:1-5 Bible Study 20

Part Three: (see the introduction, “Romans: Background Material” in our


Online Bible study page) The Gospel as the Resurrection of the Israel of God
(9:1-11:36)

The Gospel is the powerful demonstration of God's saving grace, because


it is through faith in Christ that a New, Eschatological Israel, composed of Jew
and Gentile, is established in fulfillment of the promises made to the fathers!"
This is the magnification of God's grace and the exaltation of His sovereignty.

Romans Chapter IX: Overview: Paul gives a compelling argument of God’s


sovereignty and he demonstrates his trust by his sorrow (vs. 9: 1-3 and further
with his prayers (vs. 10:1; and worship (11:33-36). Paul clearly states that God is
in control of all things, yet that does not mean we sit and do nothing; we have
responsibility. We are to trust in Christ regardless of our circumstances. He
deeply grieves the unbelief of his fellow Jews, and demonstrates his willingness
to endure anything for their salvation, 1-3. He reminds his people their awesome
privilege of being a Jew and the responsibility that goes with it, 4, 5. Then Paul
gives us the argument that the Jews rejection of God’s call does not thwart His
plans, as He grafted in the gentiles in as His ambassadors to the world and as
His chosen people too. There is a difference between Israelites living in the flesh
with pride and arrogance, and the true Israel whose hearts are poured out to
Him, 6-8. Paul illustrates his theme by O.T. examples such as Isaac and Jacob,
and then Esau, and Pharaoh. He shows the incredible undeserving mercy of
God, and his pure and absolute sovereignty in the universe, 9-18. He answers
the Romans objections to his teaching by using the prophet’s own words, 24-29;
and lets them lay out the evidence. His point is the Jews did not receive the
blessing because they, “they sought it by the works of the law,” and rejected
Christ, 30-33.

A. The Existential Problem of Apostate Judaism: (9:1-5)


General Idea: Paul is deeply grieved and disturbed emotionally to the point it cuts
to his soul because of the stupidity of his fellow Jews. They rejected God and
replaced Him with meaningless trivialities and pride. At the same time, Paul lets
us know of God’s obligation to not do anything! We are not owed, nor do we
deserve His grace, yet by God’s grace we receive blessings even though we may
not see them.
a. The Jews rejected Christ, their long awaited Messiah. The Jew's
rejection was not, nor is not a stumbling block to God's plan (Ex. 32:30-
32;) God Himself chose to redeem man through Israel (John 1:14).
1. Israel is very much still in the shadow of God's plan! Paul
gives a lawful oath to his sincerity, and his sorrow. Moral
awareness must come from the Word and Spirit, and never
just from our will: Otherwise you get pro-choice!
2. The Jews relied upon the law. God's glory filled the temple
and God, gave them many promises, many of which are still in
effect today. His covenant is that He is their God, and they are
His people, God gave them Law and order for them to serve
each other, and the world as evangelists, and their God.
3. The main Biblical (and Reformed) perspective of who God is in
our lives is based on the “Sovereignty of God,” especially
here in Romans.
b. Paul's sorrow was a painstakingly intimate expression of his heart and
will poured out to God. An example for us to follow.
1. Does your heart become sorrowful for others? If not, what is
blocking you from God's call?
2. Paul was willing to give up his own soul (Phil. 1:22-24)!
3. Passion, conviction and emotion all are part of the Christian
experience as long as it is Biblically in line, but beware not to
quench the Spirit! Or your passion!
c. Christians fail because they place their desires over God's direction
and plan.
1. We must abandon ourselves to Him, and never hold back with
reasoning and logic, nor hide in our theology.
2. Our drive must be to follow His character and not our own or
our cultures.
3. My interests must be surrendered to His, His interests
must be mine (vs. 1:1; Gal. 1:5)! So that doing what we do
not want to do is sheer pleasure because it is serving Him
(John 15:13; 1 Cor. 9:22; 2 Cor. 12:15).
4. Vs. 5. This is a clear and unequivocal instance of Christ being
called God, “the eternally blessed God”.

B. The Israel within Israel: (9:6-13)

a. Israel is an illustration and major theme of God's redemptive


work. God's plan was not thwarted (Acts 10; 15:14).
1. Israel is still a part of the plan (Gen. 17:7-8). He did not
fail to work out His purpose with the Jews, nor will He
fail to work out our purpose!
b. God's purpose is not thwarted by our actions, we may have dire
consequences and judgment, but His plan prevails (vs. 8:28;
Acts 1f; 15:14).
1. We have no right to fight against God, or to complain
and ask why.
2. We cannot fit God in our extremely limited knowledge
and reasoning ability and pass judgment on Him!
3. God is righteous in all of His decisions, and we must
trust Him in them, even when we do not like them or
understand them.
4. We must see our sin and weakness, and be humble
before the Holiness of God.
c. Paul demonstrates that not all of the Jews were God's people.
God chose Jacob, because He knew that Esau would be
wicked, His purpose is in all that happens.
1. Our election is not based on any action by us that God
foreknows; hence Jacob rules Esau. It is all based on
His Grace and sovereignty (Mal. 1:2-3). Yes God, of
course, knows the future, but if our receiving of grace
were based on God’s foreknowledge alone, it would
mean we earned it! And thus grace was not needed or
sufficient for our salvation (Eph. 2:8-9)!
2. Our church affiliation as well as being a descended Jew
does not guarantee the promise of inheritance;
salvation (Gen. 17:7-8)!
d. Israel itself was an adopted people (Ex. 4:22-23; 40: 34-38; 1
Kings 8:10-11).
1. The result is we have no right to ever be bitter, so
dig out the root of bitterness so it does not bear the
rotten fruits of the self!

Questions:

1. When have you been deeply grieved by something other than a


tragedy or death?
2. Have you ever wanted to be adopted by another family as a kid?
3. What is something you or someone else did that was really stupid in
the name of the church, such as a bad decision on a committee, or
blowing it while witnessing?
4. Why do you suppose the Jews rejected God and His Messiah?
5. What are some of the meaningless trivialities and pride the Jews put
ahead of their God?
6. Why would some Jews or Christians feel they are owed, and deserve
His grace?
7. By God’s grace, we receive many blessings even though we may not
see them. What do you think they are?
8. How can you be better at seeing His blessings, even in times of
chaos?
9. Why was the rejection of Jesus by the Jews not a stumbling block to
God's plan?
10. What happens when moral awareness comes from our ideas and not
from the Word and Spirit?
11. God gave the Jews many promises. Which ones do you think are still
in effect today?
12. What does the “Sovereignty of God” mean to you?
13. How can Paul’s passion and sorrow be an example for us to follow
today?
14. Does your heart become sorrowful for others?
15. If not, what is blocking you from God's call?
16. Paul was willing to give up his own soul (This is something we cannot
do, even if we wanted to. As children belonging to the Lord, He owns
our soul. What a great comfort!) What are you willing to give up?
17. Read Phil. 1:22-24, where does Paul’s passion come from?
18. In the above passage, how can you be like Timothy?
19. Passion, conviction and emotion all are part of the Christian
experience, so why do so many Christians seem to lack it today?
20. In what ways have you quenched the Spirit? Or your passion?
21. How and why do Christians fail when they place their desires over
God's direction and plan?
22. How can you abandon yourselves to Christ?
23. We must never hold back with only reasoning and logic, nor hide in our
theology. So why would a Christian decorate their home with all kinds
of Christian paraphernalia and be a gossip or slander? Why do we do
one thing and believe in another?
24. How can we follow His character with passion and not our own will or
our cultures?
25. How can we place our interests as surrendered to His, how can His
interests be ours?
26. How can we, as His child, find it sheer pleasure to serve Him?
27. Christ is called God, “the eternally blessed God.” So how is this
manifested in your daily life?
28. Why would God's plan not be thwarted?
29. God did not fail to work out His purpose with the Jews, nor will He fail
to work out our purpose! How can this fact give you greater assurance
in your faith and trust?
30. Why would some teach that Israel is not a part of God’s plan?
31. We have no right to fight against God, or to complain and ask why. So
why is this true, or why would you disagree?
32. So when tragedy strikes, such as the World Trade Center attack, how
is God's purpose not thwarted by our or someone else’s actions?
33. Why cannot we, as Christians (although we try our darnest to), fit God
in our extremely limited knowledge and reasoning ability and pass
judgment on Him?
34. How can we see that God is righteous in all of His decisions, and we
must trust Him in them, even when we do not like them or understand
them?
35. How can we see our sin and weakness, and be humble before the
Holiness of God?
36. What is your opinion of ‘election?’
37. The reformed perspective on Election is it is all based on His Grace
and sovereignty and not His foreknowledge. Thus, if we would receive
grace based on God’s foreknowledge alone, it would mean we
somehow earned it! And thus grace was not needed or sufficient for
our salvation. Do you believe this argument? Why or why not?
38. Why does our church affiliation or being a descended Jew not
guarantee the promise of inheritance or salvation?
39. The result of grace is that we have no right to ever be bitter, so why?
40. How can you dig out the root of bitterness so that you do not bear the
rotten fruits of the self?

Theology Thought:

“Replacement Theology”: There is a popular teaching snaking its way into


Internet and churches. This new teaching is propagating that the church has
replaced Israel as the sole blessing of God. That the church of the Christian has
inherited every promise of God that the Jews once had and the Jews now have
been set aside as irrelevant waist. This may sound good and logical at the
surface, but a closer look will reveal its fallacy. They believe that every promise
found in Scripture that has been given to the nation and people of Israel has now
been given to the church. They replace the word ‘Israel’ in the Bible with ‘church,’
even in the Old Testament. God’s blessing and redemption has been taken away
from the Jews. To believe in this teaching you would have to throw not only the
Jews out of God’s redemptive plan, but also a good part of the New Testament.
You cannot believe in “replacement theology” and an honest interpretation of the
Bible, they greatly contradict and are opposed to each other!

They teach this doctrine because Israel rejected the Messiah and as a
result, God turned His grace to the Gentiles, this is partly true; the gentiles have
been grated in. But they do not take into account of what God says in Romans
and Revelation. That God has promised a full reconciliation for an earthly
kingdom for Israel. Scripture tells us that the nation of Israel will realize their
mistake, and that Jesus was and is their Messiah. We see this today in small
tastes such as ”Jews for Jesus”. They will call on Christ to forgive and return to
their promise and our Lord will allow forgiveness and redemption to come to
pass. We do not know who, how many and so forth, as we do not know who
really is saved in the church today, except maybe what is shown from Galatians
5 (because evil people with smiles and good works as wolves in sheep’s clothing
can disguise themselves to infiltrate the church and its leadership for evil gain,
and we may not realize it!).

Satan’s motivation is to destroy the nation of Israel, which is why the world
is against them and all of the problems in the Middle East. But we as Christians
are not to buy into that lie, yet many do! Another aspect of this teaching is that
the church will rule in the Millennium rein in place of Christ, or in the authority of
Christ; “The lion will lie down with the lamb, they will hammer their swords into
plowshares, and Christ (Not the church in His place!!!) will rule on earth for 1,000
years. ”Our God is a truthful and faithful God. He will complete His plan for His
people, Israel and the grafted church. In His timing! We cannot rush this or force
it to happen just because we cannot wait, just because we want to see the
''Kingdom Now.'' “We have been ''grafted into the vine'' (Rom. 11), but that does
not mean we can extort from Israel the kingdom which God promised them, nor
seize their place in God's plan. It will happen only in God's timing. The idea that
the church can perform actions that will ''bring back the King,'' is incompatible
with the Word of God!

This teaching is also full of Anti-Semitism. The Catholic Church teaches,


as do some Protestants, they have replaced the Jews as God's chosen people.
The land of Israel, promised by God to the descendants of Abraham now belongs
to the church (Hence the Crusades). We can avoid such confusion over doctrine
and its anguish, and the temptation to seek unbiblical solutions if we would just
understand that Israel is Israel, and the church is the church. If we can just read
the Bible in its context and quit reading into it what is not there, or reading beside
today’s newspaper and again reading into it what is not there. Then we will have
a church built upon solid doctrine. The people who proclaim replacement
theology need to read Zechariah 2:8.

We do not want to be in the position to oppose God and His redemptive


plan and replace it with whimsical ideas and pride. (Dut. 4:30-31; Isa. 2:2-4, 11:1-
9, 65:17-25, Micah 4:1-5, Ps 72, Jer 31:31-34; Zec 12:10; Hosea 3:5,:15- 6:3;
14:45; Matt 23:37-39; Acts 3:12, 19-21; Rom 11:25-26; Rev 20:1-6; 11:15)
Romans 9:14-19 Bible Study 21

Is God unfair?

Learning Outcomes: a. Know why God’s mercy is required and we cannot be


just before Him. b. Know that our knowledge and experience does not compare
to God’s. c. Be able to be God’s clay, for Him to mold and shape us that you are
aware of and surrendered to the Holy Spirit in all that you do.

Is there Unrighteousness with God? (9:14-29)


General Idea: Is God unfair? This is the question we come to in times of distress
and confusion, and here Paul so eloquently answers our hurts and questions.
God has no obligation to save us or to show mercy, yet He does. Our plight of
doubt should not focus on the whys of life, but on the how do we respond and
grow. We have no right to criticize and question God, for He is pure and just and
we do not even have a small glimpse of what He sees and the real truth. Then
Paul draws upon Old Testament Prophets to make his point.

a. God is not obligated to save anybody. For we all deserve to be


condemned.
1. Israel was chosen by God's grace and purpose (Duet. 7:6-8), as
the elect. Therefore we have no right to question God and say
He is unfair.
i. Since God is not obligated, then we must be filled with
joy, because He chose us sinners (Gratitude), so that it
flows onto others (evangelism).
2. The choices that God makes in election have not closed the
doors to those individuals who were not elected (If it did, we
would have "Double Predestination", those who are elected to
Hell, this is not found in Scripture).
3. We trust God because He makes the right decisions, we do not
make the right decisions. His ways are far beyond our
understanding; He is God and chooses as He pleases, period.
i. How dreadful is a Christian who is self-righteous and
critical of others (Ex. 9:16; 33:19).
ii. God is righteous even when He shows mercy to some
and not to others.
4. This verse points to "Unconditional Election": from the
Reformed Theology principles of TULIP (see website channel
on Doctrines).

b. God has a remnant among the Jews (Eph. 2:11-22).


1. Election is no excuse to sit and do nothing in service and
witness to others!

c. God is sovereign and we have free will, the Bible teaches both, we
may not fully understand it, but there it is. We are the elect and
chosen, which we must know we have no right to it. Thus, our
responsibility and call must be directive and purpose driven, His
purpose! To sit and hide behind theology is a coward's and reprobate's
way out!
i. Spurgeon said, "We have a chosen people, and yet His
gospel is to be preached to every creature..."
ii. In Acts 27 Paul is told by God during an impending
shipwreck that they will be saved from the storm. Yet
Paul does not take God’s sovereign decree and just lie in
his hammock, no! Paul makes sure the sailors do not
escape, reassures the crew and passengers and forms a
plan to go to shore and they were saved. God’s
sovereignty does not mean we sit and do nothing; we are
formed and called for action to exercise our free will, yet
He controls every stray molecule in the universe.

d. If God elected us on the basis of our ability and righteousness Heaven


would be empty, well maybe Enoch will be there all alone.
1. God is a Holy God and punishes sinners, yet He is a merciful
God who desires to save us.
2. If we tried to explain election we would lose our mind, if we try to
just explain it away, we may lose our soul! Most theologians
either exclude human reasonability and God’s total control, or
explain God as passive and we are to take charge of our
destiny.
i. God choose Israel and condemned Egypt, because He is
in control in His purpose.

e. 15 times in the O.T. Pharaoh harden his heart (Ex. 7-18). Sometimes it
was Pharaoh (Ex. 8:15; 18; 32); sometimes it was God (Ex. 9:12; 10:1;
20; 27). We may see it as God was being unfair, however, God did
give Pharaoh every opportunity to repent (2 Pet. 3:9), and when
Pharaoh did recant and let the Jews go, he changed his mind! Pharaoh
is the one who resisted, not God! God did not create the evil in
Pharaoh, nor did He create it in us.

f. God is the potter and we are the clay (Isa. 45:9; 64:8). Unlike clay we
have the will to resist, feelings to rely on, plans to make, knowledge to
hide in, experience to base our judgments on, and determination to do
our own thing (Jer. 18). Yet, we have a God who makes the final
determination that is not flawed with limited experience and
knowledge, along with flawed reasoning and prejudice. Potters have
every right to do to the clay as they see fit, the clay does not argue
back.
1. The same sunlight that will harden clay will melt ice. Are
you ice or clay?
2. Thank God! Only a remnant of Israel will be saved, being a Jew
will not save you, nor will being a member of a church!
3. NEVER LET THEOLOGY EXCUSE YOU FROM
RESPONSIBILITY! If it does your theology is dead wrong!

g. God has called the church, the people of God, out from the Jews, to
fulfill their responsibility to make (God) Christ known throughout the
world. God has not forsaken the Jews or taken their blessing and
purpose away and given it to the church. We both have a call and
purpose.
1. He chose us to display His glory, grace and mercy to all, in
which the Jews failed, just as many churches do today; they
become clubs for members only, and fail at their call, replacing it
with excuses from limited human reasoning.

h. God knows our cries and dilemmas (Ex. 3:7; Eph. 2:11-22). His plan is
to form His Church from sons and daughters all adopted in His
righteousness as "Vessels of Mercy". We Jews and Gentiles came
together for His glory and purpose (Isa. 1:9; 10: 22-23; Hos. 2:23).
God's character is just and fair!

Questions:

1. When you were a child what did you think as was totally unfair?
2. Have you ever felt that God is unfair?
3. In times of distress and confusion, do you call God uncaring, unconcerned or
callous?
4. Do you or do you know someone who might think they have a right to be
saved?
5. Do you trust God because He makes the right decisions?
6. How can you answer yours or others hurts and questions concerning the
perception that God is unfair?
7. Why does God have no obligation to save us or to show mercy?
8. Why does He show mercy?
9. Our plight of doubt should not focus on the whys of life, but on the how do we
respond and grow. So how can we do this?
10. Why do we have no right to criticize and question God?
11. How do you feel knowing that you, no matter how good you are or think you
are deserve to be condemned?
12. How do you feel knowing that sense you are condemned, He saved you
anyway?
13. Since God chose you, what flows onto others because of your gratitude?
14. Why would some Reformed Groups not believe in doing evangelism?
15. Do you believe some Christians use theology as an excuse to cover their call
and responsibility?
16. If so what can you do as part of the church to prevent or turn away from such
thinking?
17. Why would the choices that God makes in election, would not close the doors
to those individuals who were not elected?
18. His ways are far beyond our understanding; He is God and chooses as He
pleases, period. Does this statement comfort you or scare you and why?
19. Why do you suppose is it a dreadful for a Christian to be self-righteous and
critical of others?
20. Why do some Christians only consider themselves and not others?
21. How can God be righteous when He shows mercy to some and not to others?
22. Have you ever been apart of a church that used Election as an excuse to sit
and do nothing in service and witness to others?
23. Here is an easy Question, how can God be sovereign and we still have free
will?
24. How can we direct our responsibility and call to being ‘purpose driven’ (not
the church growth catch phrase) that is being driven by His purpose?
25. Why would believing and admiring in God’s pure sovereignty while we sit and
do nothing or just hide behind misplaced theology be a coward's and
reprobate's way out?
26. Read Acts 27. How can this passage be used to explain God’s sovereignty
and our free will?
27. God’s sovereignty also means we are formed and called for action to
exercise our free will, even though He controls every stray molecule in the
universe. So how can you mold your ‘worldview’ (how you see the world and
your role in it) to take this theology into practice?
28. If God elected us on the basis of our ability and righteousness why would
Heaven be empty?
29. Winston Churchill said that Hitler and Stalin were proof of God’s existence.
Because humanity is evil and there is a need for hell. What are your thoughts
on humanities tendency to be evil? Or do you believe we are more good then
evil?
30. What and why do you think that Calvin (the founder of the reformed faith and
the Reformation) saw a danger in the Reformed faith? (Tendencies to just
place God as sovereign and us as the elect to do nothing with our faith and
call.)
31. 15 times in the O.T. Pharaoh harden his heart (Ex. 7-18). Sometimes it was
Pharaoh (Ex. 8:15; 18; 32), sometimes it was God. So was God unfair with
him?
32. Do you see God as the potter and you as the clay (Isa. 45:9; 64:8)? If so,
what is He forming in and with you?
33. The same sunlight that will harden clay will melt ice. Are you ice or clay?
34. We have a God who makes the final Judgment who is not flawed with limited
experience and knowledge, or with flawed reasoning and prejudice. How
does this give you comfort?
35. How can this prevent you from being a judgmental person?
36. Why would your theology be dead wrong if you allowed your reasoning and
theology to excuse you from exercising your gifts and abilities?
37. God chose us to display His glory, grace and mercy to all. How does your
church do that?
38. How can your church be better at it?
39. Many churches today fail at their call and become clubs for members only
replacing it with excuses from limited human reasoning, why would they do
that? What will they say to God in the final judgment?
40. What area in your spiritual journey are you growing in lately? And what can
you do to grow even deeper and richer?

Remember God's character is just and fair!

Theology Thought:
Calvin saw a danger in the Reformed faith, which a tendency could crop
up to just place God as sovereign and us as the elect to do nothing with our faith
and call. Thus Calvin spent most of his writing to promote our responsibility in life
and duty, as well as prayer. Calvin knew that our human faulty thinking would
lead to theologians to misuse the reformed principles to cover their laziness or
fear to work and exercise their will for God’s glory. Such as to do no evangelism,
thinking that is purely the role of the Holy Spirit, yes it is, but we are still
commanded to do it!
Romans 9:30-10:4 Bible Study 22

Romans Chapter X: Overview: Israel stumbles again and rejects Christ as they
did the prophets. They trade works for grace; they do not nor will not understand
righteousness. Yet, Paul once again shows his intense longing for Israel's
salvation! He shows they have "zeal", but it is in the wrong place, in their Law,
not in their faith. Paul also confirms what he said before, that Jews and Gentiles
are on the same terms (but with different calls and purposes). The gospel must
be preached to the world, including the Gentiles so they can believe in Christ as
Lord and Savior. Then Paul concludes with statements from the prophets who
predicted the rejection of the Savior by Jews, and the call, but not the
replacement of the Gentiles.

Learning Outcomes: a. Identify with God and what He had to do with His Son.
b. Be aware of your witness and how you are characterized by others.

Why Israel Stumbled: (9:30-10:4)


General Idea: Oops. They did it again! The Jews messed up their call, they
rejected their Lord, and they did not see the good news God had for them.
The Jews had righteousness handed to them on a platter, whereas the Gentiles
had to seek it by faith. Both were the works of the Spirit, and both have
purpose in God's will.

a. God's mercy endures forever.


1. The Jews could not see what real righteousness was. Thus, their
unbelief was rooted on their faulty thinking on how they saw
righteousness. The Jews saw it through works only, but their very own
Torah said it only pointed to their depravity. And, the point even then
was to love the Lord your God with all of your heart, which was not
only a glimpse in a window to the Savior to come, but a governing
principle of what faith is.
2. The Jews were indulging in self-righteousness; do not some Christians
today do the same (1 Pet. 2:8)?
3. They were trying to earn their way to Heaven.
i. The problem was not what they were pursuing, but how
they were going about it.
ii. Pride is one of the biggest barriers for us to hurdle (Phil.
3:1-11).

b. It is God who seeks us! We do not seek God!


1. Many Churches are into the "seeker movement", as a way to
evangelize. This is mostly about semantics and terminology, and not
about theology. However, if it is taught that we seek after God and not
God who seeks us, then it is wrong Biblical teaching!
c. We must pursue our relationship with God with passion and zeal as Paul
preached (Acts 26:1-11; Gal. 1:13-14; Phil. 3:4-6).
1. We must beware of our intentions and attitude toward God and others
in His Name, that Christ's character is our goal (Gal. 3:24), not our
righteousness, because we have none!
2. The Gentiles gained the Jew's place of salvation by faith, and not by
law. Christ fulfilled the law for us, so we are not to seek any purpose or
plan elsewhere.
i. Here, the Jews had a hard time with the concept of justification
by faith because the generations of law and tradition clouded
their thinking, just as it does today with some denominations.
3. Paul was frustrated, but not bitter. His heart longed for them, even
though they rejected him personally. He wanted them released from
their bondage, But they refused.
i. How do you handle rejection? Like the princess who rejected
the knight after he rescued her from the evil warlord?! That is
do you reject what is good and right for you for selfish or
pride driven reasons?

d. A true test of our election is the amount of love and sympathy we have for
each other and the lost. This is what leads us to prayer, even for those we do
not like.
1. We are not to turn away from each other when we find fault, as
Christ did not do with us!
i. If you feel stale and dry of love and sympathy in your life,
especially with God, you have a big problem! Drop to your
knees in surrendered prayer and seek His face! (Keep in mind
emotional levels differ with each person's personality, God does
not care about our emotional level, but our faith and trust and
response for what He has done.)
ii. When you have faith in God, then you must have faith in His
Word and be against everything that stands against it!

Questions:

1. What mistakes have you made in life?

2. Have these 'mistakes' been a hindrance to your growth in Christ, or did


the Lord use them to your advantage?

3. What have you rejected in your life that you should not have, such as a
stock tip, a car deal, a job offer?

4. Have you been rejected; if so how did it feel?

5. How do you handle rejection?


6. Have you ever been handed something good 'on a platter'; what did you do?

7. What is faith? What does it mean in your daily life and walk?

8. How does faith provide the "substance" of your relationship with our
Lord?

9. What is the stone the Jew's stumbled over?

10. Why would God's mercy endure forever?

11. What is real righteousness?

12. What kind of faulty thinking goes on in some churches today or in the
minds of Christians?

13. Why did the Jews reject Christ?

14. If you were a Jew in the 1st century, how would you react to the
Gospels? (Be honest and keep in mind that the Law is all you would have
known and been taught, and your family for numerous generations have been
faithful Jews.)

15. What is the barrier(s) to witnessing to Jews today?

16. What is self-righteousness? Can you give an example of others self-


righteousness impacting you and how it effected the events in your life?

17. Read 1 Pet. 2:4-8. How does self-righteousness cause the rejection of
Christ in your church and/or in your life?

18. What can you do to guard against self-righteousness?

19. Why would some people today try to earn their way to Heaven instead of
accepting the Gospel of Christ?

20. Read Phil. 3:1-11. How is pride one of the biggest barriers for us to
hurdle?

21. Have you ever pursued something good, but have gone about it in the
wrong way?

22. How and why does God seek us?

23. Why can we not seek God?


24. How can you pursue your relationship with God with passion and zeal?

25. What should you do to keep in check your real intentions and attitude
toward God and others?

26. How and where does Christ's character show up in your daily life?

27. Why do so many people try to seek a purpose or plan for their life
elsewhere when Christ fulfilled it?

28. Why did (and do today) the Jews have a hard time with the concept of
justification by faith? (That Christ paid our dept of sin, that our
justification is only by what He has done, and that we receive it by faith
alone.)

29. The Catholic Church as well as some other denominations do not accept
that Christ paid it all. They add 'works of? righteousness' to their beliefs,
that we have to add our effort into it for a place in eternity. So why
would they teach this?

30. Why would Paul have such a passionate heart for the Jews, even though
they rejected him personally?

31. If you ever have wondered if you have been saved? A true test of this
(our 'election') is the amount of love and sympathy you have for others
and the lost. So how much do you have?

32. How much prayer do you do for those you do not like?

33. Why would this above question be a gauge to see your spiritual
commitment level?

34. What would praying and loving your enemies lead too?

35. Why would a church or Christians turn away from others when they find
fault in someone or something (of course, there are times we are to turn
away, such as unrepentant sin), as Christ did not do with us!

36. What governing principles can help you with living out what faith is on a daily
basis?

37. If you feel stale and dry of love and sympathy in your life, especially
with God, you have a big problem! So what can you do about it?
38. When you have faith in God, then you must have faith in His Word and be
against everything that stands against it! How can you do this?

39. Faith is a two way street. We receive it from God, and reciprocate it
back as trust, like a lake which has a source and an outlet. If we only have
an outlet, we will dry up. If we just have a source, we become like the Dead
Sea, lifeless and void. How can your faith be a flowing stream in your life
with the Source (God) empowering you and an outlet (ministry) to serve?

40. How can you keep God's will and sovereignty in balance with your
responsibility?

Theology Thought:

“Faith”: We are committed to Christ by faith. Thus, we as Christians must


live by faith (1 Cor. 1:22-30)! Christianity is not based on fairy tales or
superstition. Faith is based on knowledge given by God. Our faith is based
on historical evidence, logical reasoning, and valid testimonies. We have a
wide body of knowledge, 66 books written over a 2000-year period of time by
dozens of authors all inspired by the Holy Spirit. There are millions of personal
testimonies and thousands of volumes of works by gifted authors and
teachers. Faith is not just simple trust, and faith is not blind trust because
we know the One who is leading! Faith is still trusting what is not seen and
believing our God (1 Cor. 1:16-32; 5:1-11; 10:14-17; Gal. 3:1-4; Eph. 2:8-9;
James 2:14-26)! Faith provides the "substance" of our relationship with our
Lord, looks to our future and is our hope. Faith is a two way street. We
receive it from God and reciprocate it back as trust. It is like a lake, which has
a source and an outlet. If we only have an outlet, we will dry up. If we
just have a source, we become like the Dead Sea, lifeless and void.
© 1998, 2001
Romans 10:5-21 Bible Study 23

Learning Outcomes: a. Identify with God and what He had to do with His Son.
b. Be aware of your witness and how you are characterized by others.

Israel's Rejection and Inexcusability (10:5-21).


General Idea: This is a great passage for all those who do evangelism! (Actually
we all are called to do it, yet so few do because so few respond!!!) Paul with all of
his passion, love, and zeal bats a near zero with witnessing to the Jews. So
when you are discouraged and find so few people responding to your efforts to
witness, remember Paul himself did not do so well at times, especially with his
own people. So be encouraged and continue in obedience, keep your feet
beautiful!
a. Jews over the years have not only turned their back on the gospel, but on
their own faith as well.
1. They have become agnostic, antagonistic, and bitter, holding onto their
culture while rejecting truth and faith.
2. They hide behind their ancestor's faith and persecution as an excuse
to "pew-sit" and do nothing.
i. Just as some Christians do today who grew up in the
church and think they know it all; but never let their
knowledge fall 18 inches to their heart, and another yard or
so to their feet.
3. The true believer is the one who bases all their life,” IT ALL", upon
Christ, with full trust and assurance by faith and obedience.
i. There is a big difference between "self-imposed" righteousness
and obedience to righteousness (Ex. 20:1-17; Duet. 30:1-6; Lev.
18:2).
4. The righteousness of the law is what we do; righteousness through
faith is what Christ does.
i. So who has the better way?
ii. So why do we reject Him?
iii. Some Jews, as well as people in general, do not feel they have
the need for Christ (Luke 15:11-32; 18:9-14).
iv. The O.T. righteousness has been fulfilled in Christ (Jer. 31:31-
34; 2 Cor. 3:7-18).
b. A restatement on the importance of justification by faith alone, even for the
Jews, who thought they were immune.
1. Their faith was the law, but the law's goal was Christ (Ex. 32:16).
2. Confession and belief are the acknowledgment of justification.
i. All we do is accept what Christ has done, speak the word that I
believe!
ii. Christians receive the gift of grace, but do not purchase the gift.
c. There is no distinction of ethnicity in Christ, yet Christians tend to be the most
prejudiced lot, who stick to their own race and subculture. Hence all the
various ethnic churches, all ignoring each other, yet all a part of the body of
Christ. How this must cause our Lord to weep!
1. God delights in showing us His mercy, and gives no greater delight to
a Jew or Gentile, for we are all His children.
d. God desires us to have "Beautiful Feet" to bring the good news (Isa. 52:7).
1. This is why (vs. 14-15) we send our missionaries and evangelists from
our churches.
2. These are the further marching orders from Matt. 28, to evangelize and
disciple, yet so few Christians ever do it, so few churches do it!
i. What an extreme insult we must be to ignore His call!
3. Here is further testimony to "General Revelation" (Psalm 19:1-4;
Rom. 1) That God reveals Himself through creation (General
Revelation), thus we have no excuse.
i. His moral character and duty is in all human kind, even without
knowing Scripture. ("Special Revelation" is the Word of God.)
ii. Thus we are truly blessed to have such an abundance of both
revelations!
e. Despite Paul's passion, and the willingness of God to gather His chicks, Israel
rejected God anyway (Isa. 65:2).
1. Remember it is not our efforts that save, but it is our responsibility to
preach and witness, regardless of results.
2. Christ Himself is the true preacher and witness (John 10:16; 2 Cor.
5:18-20; Eph. 2:15-7).
3. We are not responsible for results, we are only responsible for
obedience.
i. If you ever feel discouraged in praying and witnessing with no
results, remember Paul and Jesus. Keep it up, keep your feet
beautiful!
f. People reject God because of misunderstandings about righteousness (vs.
6:14; 8:4; Gal. 3:24; Col.2:14), as did Israel.
1. They did not understand what God really required (Joel 2:32; Acts
2:21).
2. Be aware we have no excuse (Duet. 32:21; Isa. 65:1), we will be
judged regardless of understanding or beliefs.
i. Misunderstandings are the fault of the hearer; the one who
receives has the responsibility.
g. Never just rest your faith in a simple sinner's prayer and nothing else.
1. Christ's grace gets us the admission to the club, but what good is the
club if we never use it.
2. Our faith and practice must be real, so use the club, but do not just rely
on its privileges!

Questions:
1. Tell us a story of one of your witnessing efforts.

2. Have you felt discouraged by telling others about Jesus and received little
response?

3. Has your passion and zeal for witnessing grown or diminished over the
years?

4. What were the reasons?

5. What can you do to re-ignite your passion for the lost?

6. Why would someone who is a Christian refuse to share their gift of salvation
by telling others?

7. Why did the Jews over the years turned their back on the gospel and even on
their own faith as well?

8. What causes bitterness in people?

9. How does bitterness come into play when you witness?

10. When some one is antagonistic to you because of your faith, how do you:
Feel? React and respond?

11. Let say you live in a country that is non-Christian, and even against the law to
be a Christian, how would you hold onto your faith and reliance upon the
Lord?

12. How would you witness?

13. If you ever ventured into a church, you will find people who claim to be
Christians, (perhaps they are, perhaps they are not, we cannot judge another
persons salvation) maybe they even grew up in the church and think they
know it all; but they never let their knowledge of Him fall 18 inches to their
heart, and another yard or so to their feet. Why are they like that?

14. Are you like that, if so what can you do about it?

15. What are the distinctions, character and personality of a Christian who bases
all their life,” IT ALL," upon Christ, with full trust and assurance by faith and
obedience?

16. How would you define "self-imposed" righteousness?

17. How would you define obedience to righteousness?


18. How do we get to be righteous? What is the key ingredient?

19. Some Jews, as well as people in general, do not feel they have the need for
Christ So what can you do to show them the Light?

20. If you and your family have been a Jew all of your lives for many generations,
how do you think you would respond to Christ?

21. Why is justification by faith alone important (that Christ paid our debt of sin,
which we receive by faith, nothing more, nothing less is added to be a
Christian)?

22. Have you ever believed that you were immune from God’s plan or judgment?

23. If so why, and what changed your mind?

24. If you were able to change, and Paul the “chief sinner” was able to change,
how can this give you hope for others and perseverance to be a good
witness?

25. What was the goal of the Old Testament law?

26. How do we acknowledge our justification?

27. Have you ever purchased a gift for yourself? If so, what is more exciting to
you; to give your own gift to yourself, or receive it from another person?

28. Christians receive the gift of grace, but do not give the gift to ourselves. How
does this make you feel that you cannot earn or buy God’s most precious
gift?

29. There is no distinction of ethnicity in Christ, yet Christians tend to be the most
prejudiced lot, we tend to stick to our own race and subculture. What steps
can you and your churches do to rectify that problem?

30. What has your church done or could do to cause our Lord to weep?

31. God desires us to have "Beautiful Feet" to bring the good news! What can
you do to keep your feet beautiful?

32. Evangelizing and discipleing are the main goals (Matt. 28) of the church and
what Christ has called us to do and be. In what ways do you and your church
do this?

33. How can you do it better?


34. From your experience what are some of the misunderstandings about
righteousness people reject God?

35. Despite Paul's passion, and the willingness of God to gather His chicks, Israel
rejected God anyway. Why did Paul keep it up?

36. Remember it is not our efforts that save, but it is our responsibility to preach
and witness, regardless of results. We are not responsible for the results; we
are only responsible for obedience. Why or why not is this true?

37. Given the fact we are not responsible for the results of evangelism, how can
this keep the fire lit under you with perseverance and zeal?

38. How can you keep yourself and others from being discouraged from
witnessing or obeying Christ when it is hard to do?

39. Take a close look at verses 9-13, what can you do with them? That is who in
your life, at work, school, at the shoe store or wherever has not confessed
these words; how can you bring these most precious words to them?

40. Make a commitment to memorize verses 9 – 10!

If you ever feel discouraged in praying and witnessing with no results,


remember Paul and Jesus. So be encouraged and continue in obedience,
keep it up; keep your feet beautiful!

Theology Thought:

"Repent and be saved?!" A phrase we hear so often, but have you considered
its organs? Is this in the Bible? Surprise….NO it is not! We may say it with
genuine good intentions and both ends of this phrase are very biblical and
essential. We need to repent and we need to be saved. But this phrase is
backwards! It should read, “be saved and then repent!”

Repentance is the result of the acknowledgment of what Christ has done


for us, and not the cause of Christ giving you grace. That is we do not have
anything to do with our salvation other than to accept and live it by faith. We do
not initiate or cause it or just receive it in some way alone. Something else
happened to cause it and that is what Christ did on our behalf on the cross. His
righteousness transferred unto us. We then receive His salvation then the proof
of that receiving is our repentance. Our receipt of His purchase of our soul is in
our repentance. Thus, repentance does not save us, it is the proof that we have
been saved, and only Christ saves us.
Repentance in Scripture (Psalm 51: Jer. 23:22; 25:4-5; Zech. 1:3-6; Mark
6:12; Matt. 4:17; Luke 13:1-8; 3:8; 24:47; Acts 2:38; 17:30; 26:20; Rev. 2: 5-22)
means to under go a complete and great change, a 180 degree turn, that
changes our heart and mind: Such as turning from sin to Christ. Grace is the gift
He gives by His choosing (Election) because God is pure and His decisions are
just, way beyond our understanding. Most Christians misunderstand this and say,
because I have repented and prayed a special prayer, I am saved. Maybe they
are, maybe not. It is God who judges; however, this quick prayer is ‘cheap grace’
and is not found in Scripture (this was started by a evangelist named Finey in the
late 19th century, who had good intentions but very bad theology). Yes
repentance is necessary for salvation, and will entail full confession, restitution,
and the will to turn and not burn! But again repentance does not cause our
salvation! Know that people do respond to evangelism with prayer, with
repentance that is genuine. But remember it is not of our doing or our repentance
or even prayer; it is of Him.

Yet we are still to witness, prayer, evangelize, do missions and put every
effort we can to expedite His Word. And as a Christian saved by His grace we
have to remember we still need to repent, even though He paid it all, because we
love Him and want to obey His decree.

© 1998, 2001
Romans 11:1-10 Bible Study 24

God perseveres us with His love!

Romans Chapter XI: Overview: Paul answers the critic who says the Jew’s
have been tossed aside, and the Christian now has the sole promise, the Jew’s
once held. But this would be denouncing God’s love and provision as well as well
as His perseverance and grace, “as foretold by the prophets.” Yes the Jew’s
failed just as many of us Christians do, but this does not mean we lose our
salvation, or that we will not recover. If it did it would mean Christ’s death was for
nothing, and the Holy Spirit is asleep. Thus, Paul tells us the Jew’s will recover,
and God still has them in His hands. Even in the darkest days of Israel’s past,
there always was a remnant who Loved and trusted God. Then Paul gives us a
firm warning not to be prideful in our faith, thinking we deserved it or think we are
better than others. We are not! We are saved because of His grace and choosing
only, nothing of what we earned, so we have no reason to boast or brag. Being
prideful and arrogant is a slap in the face of our good and great God! We are to
exercise humbleness and reset ourselves to the example of our Lord Jesus
Christ, to His example of goodness. We my not understand God’s plans and
purposes, but we can rest assured in His love, that He is there loving us even
when we do not feel it or see it; He is there! Glorious times will come if not in this
life, then in the life to come. Paul even in his sufferings adores the depths of
God’s wisdom, and the glory of His persevering love. God’s judgments are pure
and perfect, He is sovereign, so we have firm reason to trust Christ and cast
away our anxieties and fears.

A Remnant Chosen by Grace (11:1-10)


General idea: Even when we mess up, God is there with His grace and His
persevering love. If you ever have thought that God has left you out, then you
have thought wrong! When we do fall astray and mess up, we will have
consequences to our actions, but our salvation is secure in Him, when we are
genuine in receiving His grace through faith. Thus, we should respond with a life
where fear and anxiety are extinguished by the trust and fear we have of Him.
Fear as in respect and reverence; trust in times of uncertainty and confusion.
Because we are deeply loved and pursued by the only eternal and wise God!

a. Never lose sight of who you are in Christ, and the magnitude and
wonder of the gift of your salvation!
1. Never lose the promises of God, and that He is God and you
are not! That God is omniscient, omnipotent, that is all knowing
and all powerful; His incredible greatness. This applies to us.
i. No matter what we are going through, God is there
through the valleys and the mountain tops, and the roads
between.
ii. When we have a healthy grasp on God's power and
authority, it gives us a correct confidence to persevere
through battles and difficulties, as well as to stay firm in
Him when things are going great.
2. God is our strength, and heartbeat, and vision for life,
regardless of our understanding.
i. This all translates into our testimonies, always know of
their incredible impact, as Paul used, as non-Christians
need. Personal evidence is what ways jurors use the
most in court, as what Paul used, as what God uses in
each other's lives.
ii. Testimonies are the proof text to God's power
working in people!

b. Israel has a future, God has not rejected them, even though they
rejected Christ, and Paul uses himself as the proof.
1. God defended Israel when Isaiah complained to Him.
i. In Elijah's time there was extreme apostasy, almost total
rejection of God, yet He did not reject them (1 Cor. 5:8;
Phil. 3:5-6; 1 Tim. 1:16).
2. God will accept us by works or by faith, not by both!. However;
no one has or ever will be able to do it by works. Try if you must,
but it will fail!
i. We reject God, He does not reject us. He elects us, we
do not elect Him; and these two seemingly contradictory
philosophies go together like peanut butter and jelly.
ii. Remember God transcends the universe and time, our
extremely limited intellect cannot fathom God, we only
know what He has reveled.
iii. God has blinded people who have rejected His grace, not
visa versa.
iv. Paul uses the Jew's argument of lineage to Abraham.
3. God always had Israel in His plan, even in their darkest hour of
rejecting Him (Duet. 29:3; 32:21; Isa. 1:9; 6:9-13; 7:3; 10:20-22;
11:11-16; 42:6).

c. It is never as bad as it seems!


1. It is always better in the church, even with the hypocritical
nature, and legalism; than it is in the world.
2. We tend to want to give up, but God does not give up (Zech.
12:10-13:1; 14:4; Acts 1:11; 9; Rev.1:7).
i. God always has His remnant. When you go through
distressing times, by your own wrong choice, or not, God
is there (1 Kings 19).
ii. Our greatest comfort is that God does not reject us, even
when we reject Him.
iii. Israel has always rejected God, just as we Christians do
today; yet, God perseveres with His love for us.
3. God is active in us, even we are not active in Him; this is a
classic human sociological pattern through our entire history
(Duet. 29:4; Isa.29: 10-13; Psalm 69:22-23).
d. Spurgeon said of vs. 5-6; "This is the gospel in a nut shell. He who
remembers these distinctions is on the right road to sound theology".
1. When we just know things about God and do nothing with them,
is like having eyes, but being unwilling to see, having ears, but
refusing to listen, while Satan uses you for his glory.
e. Grace is once again contrasted with works (vs. 3:20; 27-28; 4:2-6;
9:12-32).

Questions:

1. When and what did you do to mess up in life?


2. Have you ever had the thought that God has left you out?
3. If so what did it take to shake you out of it? If not what keeps you
focused?
4. As a Christian what fears do you or have you had?
5. How do you feel that you have been deeply loved and pursued by the
only eternal and wise God?
6. How does God’s pursuing love affect your daily activities?
7. Who are you in Christ?
8. What are the promises of God that you take to heart?
9. How can you take comfort in that no matter what you are going
through, God is there through the valleys and the mountaintops, and
the roads between?
10. Why would a healthy grasp on God's power and authority, gives us
confidence to persevere through battles and difficulties, as well as to
stay firm in Him when things are going great?
11. What is your understanding of God’s strength?
12. Why would God’s strength be important for our spiritual growth?
13. How can God’s strength give you the heartbeat, and vision for life,
regardless of your circumstances?
14. Are people in your church relying on their good works, their
performance and what they or their family has done or by grace, their
trust and faith in Christ?
15. Is it possible for someone to try so hard to please God by their good
works that they end up rejecting Him and His grace?
16. Have you given your testimony in public? If so how did you feel?
17. Why are testimonies a ‘proof text’ to God's power working in people?
18. Israel has a future; God has not rejected them, even though they
rejected Christ. So what impact does this have on you?
19. God defended Israel when Isaiah complained to Him. So does God
defend other Christians when people complain about them?
20. What if the Christian is in the wrong and it is another Christian
complaining?
21. In Elijah's time there was extreme apostasy, almost total rejection of
God, yet He did not reject them; why?
22. Have you or have you known someone who has tried to earn their
salvation by works (maybe a Mormon or some Catholics)?
23. Since no one has or ever will be able to earn their way to God by
works. How can you communicate to them that they will fail?
24. When we reject God, and we all do, why does He not reject us?
25. God transcends the universe and time; our extremely limited intellect
cannot fathom God, so how can you know Him?
26. God always had Israel in His plan, even in their darkest hour of
rejecting Him. How can God’s perseverance affect you?
27. How can God’s perseverance affect the way you treat others?
28. Life is never as bad as it seems! So how can you live your life knowing
all things will work out (Rom. 8:28)?
29. Why would God blind people who have rejected His grace?
30. Why is always better in the church, even with the hypocritical nature,
and legalism; than it is in the world?
31. We tend to give up to easy in life and our spiritual pursuits, but God
does not give up on us. What do you need to do to make sure you and
your family pursue in your spiritual growth?
32. When you go through distressing times, by your own wrong choice, or
not, God is there. Do you know this to be true? If not what do you
need?
33. How can your greatest comfort be in the fact that God does not reject
you, even when you reject Him?
34. Israel has always rejected God, just as we Christians do today; yet,
God perseveres with His love for us. Why does he when God has the
right to turn His back on us or destroy His entire creation?
35. God is active in us; even we are not active in Him! What do you need
to do to remain active in your faith and trust?
36. Why would a person have knowledge about God and do nothing with
it?
37. God is omniscient, omnipotent, that is all knowing and all-powerful; His
incredible greatness is proclaimed throughout the universe, just look at
the pictures from the Hubble Space telescope. How does this apply to
you?
38. How can you never lose sight of, and the magnitude and wonder of the
gift of your salvation?
39. How should respond with a life where fear and anxiety are
extinguished by the trust and fear we have of Him?
40. When we say the fear of God, it is not what is under a child’s bed;
rather this fear is respect and reverence. So how can you trust Christ
in times of uncertainty and confusion?
Theological thought:
“Fate & Philosophy vs. Doctrine” Fate is looking at what must be, what has
been decreed by whoever is in charge. But doctrine is what God has revealed for
us to understand, not because it must be, but because this is what is best for us
on our behalf! And since it is the best, then it should and must be. Philosophy
tells us that faith is blind; however, doctrine has the eyes of love. Fate is without
care and love and understanding. Doctrine is the care and the love and the
kindness that abounds. Because He first loved us!

Faith and predestination are also the voluntary choices by the sanctified
Christian, because God is working and foreordained it. This is not contradiction,
as it transcends normal thinking!

The old devil has many Tricks.


He says, “Don’t believe in God.”
But the Bible says, “The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God’”
Psalms 14:1.

He says, “Wait until later to become a Christian.”


Bur the Bible says, “Behold, now is the accepted time, now is the day of
salvation” 2 Corinthians 6:2.

He says, “Christians can’t have any fun.”


But the Bible says, “I (Christ) have come that they might have life, and that they
might have it more abundantly” John 10:10

He says, ”All good roads lead to Heaven.”


But the Bible says, “I (Christ) am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh
unto the Father, but by me” John 14:6

He says, “God is too good to send anyone to hell.”


But the Bible says, “He that believeth not is condemned already, because he has
not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” John 3:18

He says, “you are good enough without being a Christian.”

But, has he pulled a trick on you?

The Lord God has many Treats.

God gives faith. The Bible says, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and
that not of yourselves: it is the gift of god” Ephesians 2:8.
God gives peace. The Bible says, “Therefore being justified by faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” Romans 5:1.

God gives joy. The Bible says, “Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy
presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures forever more”
Psalm 16:11.

God gives love. The Bible says, “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of
God; and everyone that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God” 1John 4:7.

God gives gifts. The Bible says, “Every good gift and ever perfect gift is from
above, and cometh down from the father of lights, with whom is no variableness,
neither shadow of turning” James 1:17.

God gives eternal life.


The Bible says, “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become
the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” John 1:12.

Will you take God’s free gift?


Romans 11:11-36 Bible Study 25

A. The Mystery of the Olive Tree (Gentiles) (11:11-32)


General idea: Paul crafts an image from the workings of a tree, its roots, and
branches then equates it to the role of the Gentile and Jew. Both have a future,
hope and purpose. If you are ever discouraged and feel left out in life, you are
not! We can have ultimate hope and peace in Christ with no fear of rejection,
because He will not reject us, even when we reject Him. We will undergo the
harsh reality of consequences due to our wrong decisions to flee from Him. Not
because God is a killjoy, but because of the natural laws of the universe that is to
sustain us. The sharp knife that is designed to be a tool can cut a hand by our
misdirection. But His love is always there waiting on our faith to embrace Him, so
we can feel and know His embrace already upon us! We may not be able to
always explain or understand God, but we can have faith and trust, to praise Him
because of His love for us.

a. Israel rejected Christ, and the Gentiles became fully adopted children
of God with full status and blessings, not just as an "I told you so" or
out of spite; rather because this was God's plan all along.
1. As the branch of "Jew" was cut, new sprouts rose up in its
place. Never think you are indispensable, God can always raise
people up better than you, but He desires you! Through this, He
will work in their hearts and minds.
2. The Jews rejected Christ, and then the Gentiles received the
blessing, resulting in the Jews becoming envious. This concept
will go back in a full circle as the Jews will eventually recant and
accept Christ as Lord, through the Gentiles. Yet remember both
are still apart of the plan, as they both always were (Gen. 12).
3. God saves all the elect, including Israel, and will bring total
restoration (Isa. 27:9; 59:20-21; Jer. 31:33-34; kingdom of God
as in Mark 9:47). We see a taste of this happening today in
groups like, "Jews for Jesus."

b. Israel will be saved; this is one of the signs that Christ is coming back.
1. How this will come to pass is not revealed to us (Cor. 15:12;-12;
42; Eph. 3:1; Gal. 2:8).
2. A lot of commentators make a lot out of what Israel does and
carry it to an extreme. The fact remains that we just do not
know the details, only that it will be.
3. It is for us to learn trust, perseverance, and reliance on our Lord;
so that we are resting on Him and not on our abilities and
knowledge.

c. "A wild olive tree" (Jer. 11:16; Hos. 14:6) refers to Gentiles who have
been let in the club contrary to logic or nature.
1. We are grafted in by faith, the Jews were cut off because of
unbelief, not to make room, God has plenty of room!
2. God never regrets His choices, or changes His position,
because He is God: beyond space, time, thought, and our
control; He is all-knowing and all-powerful.

d. Vs. 19-f Again a testament to the fact that we have no right to ever be
arrogant or prideful.
1. God took the Jew's blessing away and gave it to the Gentiles,
not because they were better, rather because of belief and faith
(vs. 1:16-17; 2:4-17).
2. We are in danger of rejecting God by elevating ourselves in
pride just as the Jews did.
3. So many Jews today are agnostic (believe in a God, but do not
believe that He is active or cares about our day to day activities
or choices).
4. Many scholars debate the understanding of "Fullness" vs. 25"
its possible meaning refers to a number of Gentiles who will be
saved, after God has turned His back on Israel (Mark 9:47). This
may also refer to the specific number of individuals who are to
be saved before Christ returns. But this view is not strictly
supportable by any other Scripture (maybe Rev. 6:11). Paul
may also be referring to specific prophecies already given in the
Old Testament. Elsewhere in the NT "fullness" means wealth, or
as predicted.

e. If we want God to be kind to us, we need to do something about it


ourselves; be kind back, and to each other (Gal.5).
1. One day the disobedience of our will and heart will end.
2. As Israel will turn, so will the Gentiles and disobedient
Christians.
3. Repentance will be to our Lord's glory, as we turn away from our
wicked ways to His best (vs 1:16; 3:19-23)!

B. Concluding Doxology of Wonder (11:33-36)


a. We may not be in the loop with God's plans and purpose, but we can
take comfort that He is in control.
1. God does not need us to reconcile all the truths and reasoning
of theology, or His dealings with humankind: He only desires our
simple faith.
2. We can praise Him for His glory, even when we are being
persecuted, and are suffering.
3. We are to keep our focus on who He is and not on our
circumstances.

b. The goal of Bible study and worship is to develop His character, and
follow His will. It is not just about the gaining of knowledge, but the
indwelling of His love. Everything about life, thought, deed, and
meaning is all about God, God is everything (not pantheism). Our
service is because He first loved us, and our love back to Him.

Learning Outcomes: a. Know how to build and apply a value system to last a
lifetime. b. Know the value of God’s love and allow it to effect us and flow to
those around us. That we are living in response to His love, in the value of love.

Questions:

1. What is a craft project you did that you were proud of?
2. If you were a tree, what kind would you be and why?
3. As a tree what do you need for nourishment? Now equate this to your
Christian walk, what do you need from God for nourishment?
4. What do you think your future, hope and purpose is?
5. How often do you feel discouraged, inadequate or feel left out in life?
6. When you have such thoughts, how can the knowledge that Christ will
not reject us, even when we reject Him, help you?
7. What do you suppose is the ultimate hope and peace in Christ you
have?
8. What is in the way of your thinking and walk in Christ to fully
acknowledge that God’s love is always there? That His love is waiting
on our faith to embrace Him, so we can feel and know His embrace
already upon us?
9. What are some consequences due to wrong decisions you have
observed in others or yourself?
10. Has it ever frustrated you because you may not have been able to
explain or understand God?
11. Even if you have been frustrated, do you have true faith and trust, to
praise Him because of His love for you?
12. If you were a Jew and you know that Israel rejected Christ, and the
Gentiles became fully adopted children of God with full status and
blessings as adopted Jews, how would you feel?
13. We are to never think we are indispensable, God can always raise
people up better than us, but He desires you anyway! So does your
attitude reflect the humbleness and privilege to serve Him? Or do you
serve Him out of obligation or some other reason?
14. What is the difference between serving God from a privileged and
humbleness attitude to serving Him because you feel you must, out of
obligation?
15. A lot of preachers and commentators make a lot out of what Israel
does and carry it to an extreme, the fact remains that we just do not
know the details, only that it will be. What would be a Biblical balanced
approach to the nation of Israel?
16. It is for us to learn trust, perseverance, and reliance on our Lord; so
how do you do that?
17. How can you be a Christian who rests on Him and not on your abilities
and knowledge?
18. God is all-knowing and all-powerful. He never regrets His choices, or
changes His position, because He is God: beyond space, time,
thought, and our control. How can this knowledge of God be a light to
your spiritual growth?
19. God is a gracious and accommodating God, as He reaches out to us,
all people in all time. How can these aspects of His character effect the
way you see and treat others who are different from you?
20. Paul was perhaps a very prideful and arrogant Pharisee before His
conversion. Why does he spend so much time writing and speaking
against being arrogant and prideful?
21. Do you feel the church in America is in danger of rejecting God by
elevating ourselves in pride just as the Jews did?
22. Do you think that God (who took the Jew's blessing away and gave it
to the Gentiles, not because they were better, rather because of belief
and faith) will take our blessing away?
23. So many Jews today are agnostic (believe in a God, but do not believe
that He is active or cares about our day to day activities or choices.) So
what things keep the Jews close and tight as a people?
24. What is your understanding of "Fullness?”
25. If we want God to be kind to us, we need to do something about it.
What do we need to do?
26. What needs to happen for the disobedience of our will and heart to
end?
27. What can the church do to change the ways of disobedient Christians?
28. Why would repentance give glory to our Lord?
29. What would it take for a hardened criminal or a really bad person to
turn away from their wicked ways to God (remember Paul was a
persecutor of the church before he became an apostle)?
30. Do you see God with wonder?
31. If not, why? If so, why?
32. If we do not always know God's plans and purpose, how can we take
comfort that He is in control?
33. What is simple faith mean to you?
34. What time in your life did you have the deepest trust and faith? What
were the circumstances?
35. What needs to happen for you now to deepen your walk with Christ,
with stronger faith?
36. Why should we praise Him for His glory, when we are being
persecuted, and are suffering?
37. How can you keep your focus on who He is and not on your
circumstances?
38. The goal of Bible study and worship is to develop His character, and
follow His will. So what can you do to better facilitate this in your
personal life? With your family? In your church?
39. How can you build and apply a value system to last a lifetime?
40. Are you living in response to His love, in the value of love? If not, what
do you need to do to root yourself firmer in love to God and then to
those around you?

It is not just about the gaining of knowledge, but the indwelling of His love.
Everything about life, thought, deed, and meaning is all about God, God is
everything (not pantheism). Our service is because He first loved us, and our
love back to Him.

Theological Thoughts

“Providence” in Scripture means that God is in total control, and thus we can
trust our Lord completely, whatever unfolds before us. The ultimate love of God
is that He laid down His life for His enemies!

“God's Will”: Finding God’s will is not about programs or methods, it is about a
person who is God, who wants us! A loving relationship! Asking the question,
what does God want me to do, is the starting point, and the focus of the will of
God. Matt 6:33-34 “Seek first the kingdom of God.” The will of God has more to
do with controlling our hearts, than what we do in our planning and ideas (I PET
5)!! We must be a servant of Christ, to let Him mold and shape us to His Glory
and purpose, and remain in this relationship! To know the will of God more
intimately, He will reveal it, as we grow close in our experience with Him! The
three types of God's will: 1. REVEALED WILL: God’s laws concerning lifestyle
and righteous living for all Christians (it is not God’s will to ever leave your
spouse or start a cult). 2. DETERMINED WILL: That cannot be thwarted or
stopped by anything (predestination, it will happen!!!) 3. SPECIFIC WILL: God’s
special plan for each believer (whom we marry, career, and education, etc.).
Romans 12 “Spiritual Gifts” Bible Study 26

Q: Did you ever wonder why you are given a gift? A: To build the
body!

We are diverging from our normal verse-by-verse inductive study into Romans to
give general overview of Spiritual Gifts. It is our intention to give an honest
Biblical teaching of this topic without adding into any theological agenda. This is
a tough task as there are so many views on Spiritual Gifts and it is an emotional
charged subject. But there are also a lot of bad and false teachings of this
subject, where people read into their perceptions and agenda without concern to
what God is communicating to us.

Romans 12 and Spiritual Gifts


General idea: Spiritual Gifts, ("Charisma" or “Pneumakitos” in the Greek, is
mostly used by Paul except in I Pet. 4:10) meaning, “abilities characterized or
controlled by the Spirit, given by grace." This subject almost always brings out a
response from Christian’s from all walks of life and denominations. Some are
passionate with excitement desiring to discover and use their gifts, while others
hide in the fear of being convicted. So what does Spiritual Gifts mean? The term
means "a gift of grace." It refers specifically to a favor or a special gift given to a
believer (Rom. 5:15; 6:23) in the Lord to empower them with a special talent and
or an ability to serve the church and glorify Him better (Rom. 12:6-8; I Cor.
7:7;12:4-7; 13: 8-13; 28-30; Eph. 4:7-12; 1 Pet. 4:10). These gifts are to edify
the church, serve the community, and build personal character and maturity.

These gifts are also a responsibility, as they direct us to sacrificially serve


others as He has served us. Yet so often we fight over them, nullifying their true
purpose and intent. These gifts also have a supernatural source, the Holy Spirit.
And they can be miraculous or normative; however each gift whether it is
miraculous or not are all essential to the Body of Christ. Some have a greater
need and importance as stated in I Corinthians 12-14. Spiritual Gifts cannot be
earned or bought by us in any way shape or form. The Holy Spirit purely and
graciously gives them to us for His clearly defined purpose. Thus, they are to
serve the body of Christ, His church, not our whims, ideas, plans or greed. They
are to be used, they are practical and a church cannot function without them
effectively!

A. Spiritual Gifts have one of two areas of ministry in the church.


a. First are the "assigned offices" such as ministers, elders, and deacons,
etc. These are the “offices” of (Acts 6:1-6; Phil. 1:1; Titus 1:5-7; 1 Tim.3: 8;
5:17; James 2:15-16), leadership roles.
1. They must have the appropriate gifts of leadership, as well the gift
in their area of ministry (I Cor. 14: 3-40; Eph. 4:7-16; 1 Pet. 4:10-11;
Heb 13:17).
2. They must be all working together in love and cooperative unity.
b. Second are the Spiritual Gifts that are assigned to each believer, we
have at least one.
1. Spiritual Gifts are the abilities given and characterized by the Holy
Spirit. “Charisma” means that they are gifts of God's grace. This is
imperative to know, because they are not something we earn or
even deserve! They are gifts of grace. Regardless of what you have
been taught or what you think the term "charismatic" means. (It
means being led by the Spirit, and if you are a Christian, then the
Spirit leads you. The Question is, are you obeying Him?) On
another note, there actually are no non-charismatic gifts, since they
are all gifts of Grace by the Spirit.
2. These are the abilities to do a specific function in ministry to glorify
Christ with the display of attributes of Christ’s character in a specific
function that strengthens the church. Such as "pastor/teacher" for
the minister, or "mercy" to those who visit the sick.
3. It is the believer’s responsibility to find and develop and exercise
the gifts given.
i. Some of the gifts include leadership, teaching, pastoral care,
mercy, giving... (See Gift Definitions)
ii. Spiritual Gifts guide us on how we are to behave and interact
with each other.
iii. We must acknowledge our role in the body of Christ; His
church, there are no lone wolfs in Christ! We have a duty to
fulfill, and a role to play. We have a duty to find our gifts and
then use our gifts for the edification of those in the church
and those around us outside of the church. When we refuse
to yield to His truths and call we not only hurt ourselves, but
each other too, and we hurt our Lord!
4. Spiritual gifts are alive and well in the world, to deny their existence
is to deny the work of the Holy Spirit! It is comforting to deny gifts,
because then we do not have to respond to His call and duty, we
can be lazy and conceited in our outlook to others instead; of
course this thinking is straight from another source other than the
Bible and God's call (Matt 28; John 7:38-39; 14:16-18, 26; 15:26;
16:7)!
5. Fruits and Gifts are not the same. We must not confuse the “gifts of
the Spirit” with “fruit of the Spirit.” Gifts are services to be performed
for others to benefit the church. “Fruit" speaks of the graces and
character traits of Christ we all are to emulate as a believer to
cultivate holiness (Gal. 5:22-23). Both the fruit and the gifts are
essential. Both are manifestations of the indwelling Spirit within us.
6. What is the difference between a gift and a talent? Most Bible
teachers say that we are born with certain talents or natural
abilities, but when we are “born again” we are given spiritual gifts.
This may be true, but I find it interesting that talents being ‘natural’
and gifts being ‘supernatural’ are not a separate distinction in
Scripture! So the difference between your pastor and secular
professor is that the teaching may be from the same talent/gift thus
can be used in a church or a secular classroom. But the purpose
and glory is completely different. And as we grow in maturity the
Spirit empowers us further, beyond just the ‘natural’ ‘talent’ (I Cor.
2:14-15; Gal. 1:15-16).
7. What gifts are more important? A: I Corinthians12:28 “And God
hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets,
thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps,
governments, diversities of tongues.”
i. All the gifts are needed and essential because they all are
designed to edify the Church and glorify God. The church is
a body, where all parts of the body are important, some are
more essential, like the brain verses a foot. The Corinthians
had trouble distinguishing the importance of the Gifts, hence
Paul’s letter to them. (I Cor. 12:31; 14).
ii. Thus, leaders and teachers are the most important who
clearly present the truths of the Christian faith, which the
apostles (church leaders) give from the Word. A prophet is
some one who keeps the church on God’s path and truth
and makes sure we do not slip into false teaching. This is not
the same as an OT prophet!
iii. Tongues and miracles may seem great! But they do not
meet the basic and eternal needs of the Body of Christ as
teaching. To think they are is putting the cart in front of the
horse! The Bible does not make the case that they have
ceased, although they are not considered important, like milk
for a baby; verses the meat of teaching for maturity.
iv. The most important and needed gifts are those that focus is
on the Word of God, and discipling the believers because
without them the church would fall down (Matt. 28). The
teaching and preaching of the Word of God must be more
valuable to you than any material or emotional things!
8. Satan does not want you to discover your gifts; he wants you to
ignore your responsibility and nurture of one another.

"God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ.”

Questions:
HOW TO DETERMINE YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFT(S)
This procedure is much more accurate and honest than just using an ‘inventory.’
Because we have a tendency to read into these ‘tests’ our desires and not listen
to our Lord’s leading. Use an inventory like the one attached as another source
of information, but not your only source!

MY SPIRITUAL GIFTS___________________________________
(In this place write down what you think they are, and what others have told you)

• Read: Rom. 5:15; 6:23; 12:6-8; I Cor. 7:7; 10:31; 12:4-7; 14-31 ; 13: 8-13; 14:
1-40; 28-30; Eph. 4:7-12; and 1 Pet. 4:10.

• Study the Biblical teaching on gifts, put the emphases on what the Bible says
not your experience or presumptions! Go over the Gift Descriptions below,
and see which one(s) interest and excite you.

Do the following PRAYERFULLY and PRIVATELY.

• List those you are pretty sure you have.


• List those you think you might have.
• Examine Your DESIRES. (Be careful! You must examine your motives as
well)
• Examine the EVIDENCE (what you have done or can do, what has been
confirmed by others)
• Examine the OPPORTUNITIES (what are the needs?)

Share this list with someone who knows you such as a mentor or parent
who knows the ’real you’ for confirmation, prayer and encouragement.

• List where and how can you exercise your gift(s)?

Answer these questions.

1. What needs exist in your life and community or world that is a need that
requires attention, i.e., in your family, local Church, city, etc.)?

• God will give someone, perhaps you, the spiritual gifts


necessary to help meet those needs. Ask God what part you
should take in helping to minister and serve.
• Be on the lookout for needs that God can meet through you!

2. What do you think the Holy Spirit is telling you to do?

• The Holy Spirit has given each Christian at least one


spiritual gift.
• The Holy Spirit wants you to exercise that spiritual gift.
• You are to be open and sensitive to the leading of the Holy
Spirit in your life.
• After you determine your gift(s) and the Spirit’s direction in
the use of the gift(s), you must obey Him!

3. Ask yourself honestly, would you naturally choose what the Holy Spirit is
telling you to do or your desires? Usually your desires are a good starting
indication, as long as you are honest and grounded in the Word.

• Usually the Holy Spirit will not cause you to do what you
have no inclination to do, no liking and no sensitivity. Thus,
He will not call you to Outer Mongolia to be a missionary
unless you also have the desire and ability to go!

4. What natural talents, interests, abilities, inclinations, etc., do you have


already that God would normally use to begin with?

• Usually the Lord starts with us where we are, not with trying
to revamp our whole personality and gifts. He starts with
natural talents and interests, and then adds supernatural
abilities as we grow in maturity, and as He wills/leads for His
purpose.
• Are the gift(s) that you are using giving you wonder and
excitement or a feeling of stale obligation?
• If you are stuck, read through the description and Scriptures
of the gifts below and then try to experiment with as many
gifts as you can (such as teaching, helping…) and see if you
feel comfortable with one or more!
• Examine your feelings; what do you want to do more than
anything else? But do not rely on just your feelings!
• Is the gift you have just the gift you want? Make sure it is
God’s call not just your own desires.

4. What do you do well already?


• What we do well already is probably an indication of some
sort of gift from God. The Spirit may grant us additional
gift(s), but that is His decision, not ours.

5. What gifts do others in the Body of Christ, the Church, see in you?

• The Holy Spirit does not work with us in isolation from the
other members of the Body of Christ. The others are given
insight into our giftedness and we into theirs as means of
checks and balances. We help each other to be honest to
God! So, make sure you ask others!
• After discovering your gifts, evaluate your effectiveness with
them, as a check and balance to make sure you are
exercising the right one(s). But do not give up, like sports or
music, exercising your gifts take time and practice!

7. Based on the above, what gifts do I seem to have?


8. Am I willing to check this out with the Lord through heartfelt surrendered
prayer (Gal. 2:20)?
9. Am I willing to check this out with others who know me, e.g., my spouse,
parents, children, pastors, elders, etc.?

10. How can I begin to use these spiritual gift(s)?

11. How can you now start to be discipled in these gifts, to get to know them and
use them to glorify our Lord?

12. How can you now best use the gifts God gave you in a team effort with
others?

Additional discussion Questions:

1. What comes to your mind when someone says Spiritual Gifts?


2. Do you have passionate excitement desiring to discover and use your gifts, or
do you hide in the fear of being convicted?
3. Why do some Christians deny their existence?
4. What do Spiritual Gifts mean to you and your church?
5. If you had the choice of any special talent and or ability to serve Him better
with what would it be?
6. Spiritual Gifts guide us on how we are to behave and interact with each other.
So what happens when we refuse to exercise them?
7. What is your church’s position on gifts?
8. How are Spiritual Gifts determined and used in your church?
9. For you to build personal character and maturity, how would Spiritual Gifts
help?
10. How would Spiritual Gifts help serve the community?
11. How are gifts a responsibility?
12. Why do Christians fight over Spiritual Gifts when the fighting nullifies their true
purpose and intent?
13. Why is the function in ministry to glorify Christ?
14. With the above question in mind, how can you display of attributes of Christ’s
character fruit and gifts in a specific function that strengthens the church?
15. What can you do if you are a leader or pastor to motivate the congregation
from the pulpit and boardroom to find and use their gifts?
16. How can you help others discover their gifts?
17. What can you do to find a mentor who has the same gifts as you with more
experience to show you the ropes?
18. How can you set a schedule for accountability with your mentor?
19. What can you do to continue the exercise and growth of your gifts
indefinitely?
20. What can you do to explore the possibilities of what you can do with your
gifts of grace?
21. What can you and your church do to experiment with as many gifts as you
can?
22. What can you do as a church to make sure you all are working together in
love and cooperative unity with the gifts?
23. How can the fruits make the gifts work better?
24. What will you do now with your knowledge of your gift(s)?

Remember: Satan does not want you to discover your gifts; he wants you
to ignore your responsibility and nurture of one another.

SPIRITUAL GIFT DEFINITIONS AND SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

The following contains suggested definitions of the spiritual gifts as defined by


the Bible in no particular order. This is not meant to be dogmatic or final, these
definitions and supporting Scriptures do correspond to the characteristics of the
gifts as expressed in most evangelical and reformed thinking.

1. HELPS: The ability to invest the talents one has in the life and ministry of
other members of the body, thus enabling those others to increase the
effectiveness of their own spiritual gifts. Mark 15:4041 Acts 9:36 Romans
16:1-2 I Corinthians 12:28

2. LEADERSHIP: The ability to set goals in accordance with God’s purpose for
the future and to communicate those goals to others in such a way that they
voluntarily and harmoniously work together to accomplish those goals for the
glory of God. Acts 15:7-11 Romans 12:8 I Timothy 5:17 Hebrews 13:17

3. HOSPITALITY: The ability to provide an open house and a warm welcome


to those in need of food and lodging. Acts 16:14-15 Romans 12:9-13 Romans
16:23 Hebrews 13:1-2 I Peter 4:9

4. SERVICE: The ability to identify the unmet needs involved in a task related
to God’s work, and to make use of available resources to meet those needs
and help accomplish the desired results. Acts 6:1-7 Romans 12:7 Galatians
6:2 II Timothy 1:16-18 Titus 3:14

5. ADMINISTRATION: The ability to understand clearly the immediate and


long-range goals of a particular unit of the body of Christ and to devise and
execute effective plans for the accomplishment of those goals. Luke 14:28-30
Acts 6:1-7 I Corinthians 12:28

6. DISCERNMENT: The ability to know with assurance whether certain


behavior purported to be of God is in reality divine, human or satanic.
The purpose of this gift is to prevent confusion and false teaching from
infiltrating the church. Matthew 16:21-23 Acts 5:1-11 Acts 16:16-18 I
Corinthians 12:10 I John 4:1-6

7. FAITH: The ability to discern with extraordinary confidence the will and
purpose of God, and to propel the body of believers into actively claiming
the promises of God. Acts 11:22-24 Romans 4: 18-21 I Corinthians 12:9
Hebrews 11

8. MUSIC: The ability to use one’s voice in the singing of praises to the
Lord for the benefit of others, or to play a musical instrument to praise
the Lord and for the benefit of others. Remember God is always the
audience in worship! Deuteronomy 3 1:22 I Samuel 16:16 I Chronicles
16:4142 II Chronicles 5: 12-13 II Chronicles 34:12 Psalm 150

9. LANGUAGES/TONGUES: The ability to speak a divinely anointed


message in a language one has never learned, but one that is known to
the hearers. Its purpose is an evangelistic tool for spreading the gospel.
Mark 16:17 Acts 2:1-13 Acts 10:44-46 Acts 19:1-7 (Make sure you follow
the precepts of I Cor.14!)

10. MIRACLES - The ability to serve as a human intermediary through whom


it pleases God to perform powerful acts that are perceived by observers
to have altered the ordinary course of nature. Acts 9:36-42 Acts 19:11-20
Acts 20:7-12 Romans 15:18-19 I Corinthians 12:10, 28

11. CRAFTSMANSHIP: The ability to use one’s hands, thoughts and mind to
further the kingdom of God through artistic, creative means. People with this
gift may also serve to lead others in forming their abilities in this area. The gift
may also be used in the areas of maintenance, care and upkeep for the
benefit and beautification of God’s kingdom here on earth. Exodus 30:22-25
Exodus 31:3-11 II Chronicles 34:9-13 Acts 18:2-3

12. HEALING: The ability to serve as a human intermediary through whom God’s
healing power is applied to another person’s physical or emotional need. Acts
3:1-10 Acts 5:12-16 Acts 9:32-35 Acts 28:7-10 I Corinthians 12:9, 28

13. GIVING: The ability to contribute material resources to the work of the Lord
with liberality and cheerfulness. Mark 12:41-44 Romans 12:8 II Corinthians
8:1-7 II Corinthians 9:2-8

14. MERCY: The ability to feel genuine empathy and compassion for individuals
who suffer distressing physical, mental or emotional problems, and to
translate that compassion into cheerfully-done deeds which reflect Christ’s
love and alleviate the sufferings as well as motivate others to help. Matthew
9:35,36 Mark 9:41 I Thess. 5:14

15. WISDOM: The ability to apply spiritual truth to a specific issue in a specifically
relevant fashion, and to make proper choices in difficult situations, based on
sufficient information. Acts 6:3,10 I Corinthians 2:1-13 I Corinthians 12:8
James 1:5 II Peter 3:15

16. KNOWLEDGE: The ability to discover, accumulate, analyze and clarify


information which is pertinent to the growth and well-being of the body. Acts
5:1-11 I Corinthians 12:8 II Corinthians 11:6 Colossians 2:2-3

17. EXORTATION: The ability to minister words of encouragement, consolation,


comfort and motivation from God’s Word to help others complete their tasks
and be all that God want them to be. Acts 4:32-37 Acts 14:22 Romans 12:8 I
Timothy 4:13 Hebrews 10:24.25

18. TEACHINIG: The ability to employ a logical, systematic approach to Biblical


study and to communicate information relevant to the health and ministry of
the body and its members in such a way that others will learn. Acts 18:24.28
Acts 20:20-21 I Corinthians 12:28 Ephesians 4:11-14

19. PASTOR/SHEPHERD: The ability to assume a long-term personal


responsibility for the spiritual welfare of a group of believers. John 10:1-18
Ephesians 4:11-14 I Timothy 3:1-7 I Peter 5:1-3

20. APOSTLESHIP: The ability to assume and exercise general leadership over a
number of churches, with an extraordinary authority in spiritual matters, which
is spontaneously recognized and appreciated by those churches. Such as a
bishop. This is not the same as the original 12 Apostles or Paul! Acts 15:1-2 I
Corinthians 12:28 II Corinthians 12:12 Galatians 2:7-10 Ephesians 3:1-9
Ephesians 4:11-14

21. MISSIONARY: The ability to minister with whatever other spiritual gifts one
has in another land or culture. Acts 8:4 Acts 13:2-3 Acts 22:21 Romans 10:15
I Corinthians 9:19-23

22. PROPHECY: The ability to proclaim the Word of God with divine anointing,
which brings conviction to the hearers so they recognize that it is truly the
Word of God and they must do something about it. A prophet is also someone
who keeps the church on God’s path and truth and makes sure we do not slip
into false teaching. This is not the same as an OT prophet, which existed
before the Word was completed! Acts 2:37-40; Mat ‘7:54 Acts 26:24-29 I
Corinthians 14:1,3 I Thessalonians 1:5

23. EVANGELISM: The ability to share the gospel with unbelievers in such a way
that men and women become Jesus’ disciples and responsible members of
the body of Christ. Acts 8:5-6 Acts 8:26-40 Acts 14:21 Acts 21:8 Ephesians
4:11-14 II Timothy 4:5

24. PRAYER/INTERCESSION: The ability to pray for extended periods of time on


a regular basis and see frequent and specific answers to prayer, to a degree
much greater than that, which is experienced by most Christians. All
Christians are to exercise this, but the gifted person will go beyond. Luke
22:41-u Acts 12:12 Colossians 1:9-12 Colossians 4:12-13 I Timothy 2:1-2
James 5:14-16

 1983, 1987, revised 2001 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries

Try this helpful site!


www.assess-yourself.org
Measure your Christian character, and identify your God-given gifts!

www.intothyword.com
Romans and Gratitude Bible Study 27

Texts: Luke 17: 11-19; Romans 1:18-21; and 12:1-3

We are diverging once again from our normal verse-by-verse inductive study into
Romans to give general overview of why we should give thanks. It is our intention
to give an honest Biblical teaching of this topic without adding into it any
theological agenda.

Q: When you cut into your turkey this Thanksgiving, is it the prayer of thanks that
is motivating you, or the greed of the feast?

Have you ever gone into your refrigerator and were overwhelmed with
disgust by seeing and smelling a sordid brown goo in the vegetable crisper?
Perhaps a crisp green broccoli florets and an eggplant meant for a scrumptious
meal was forgotten, so it turned into a hideous mess that needed a pair of tongs,
heavy gloves and a clothespin on your nose to remove it. Then there was the
repulsive duty to wash the refrigerator and get rid of that smell. Have you ever
thought that could be you? Not literally, but perhaps as God sees you when our
arrogance has turned our fruits of the Spirit into rotten smelly disgusting rot. Yet
there is a hope, a cure to the mess in the refrigerator, it is to use the vegetables
while they are fresh, and replenish them regularly. The same is with us; we need
to be refreshed, cleansed, so we do not turn into rotten brown smelly goo.

One of the foundational doctrines from the Reformation is Gratitude.


Because we are saved by grace, by no effort or work by our means, we should
have a response to it. This response is our gratitude toward God, and what He
did for us. Although this gratitude is not required or even needed for our
redemption, it is an honest sign that we have been bought by His shed blood and
that we are His child. Because if we received such an incredible gift, it should
invoke an incredible response, at the very least, that response is our thanks. And
that thanks should transition to all that we do in life, and how we are to treat
others around us! This gratitude will help govern us with a sense of who we are
in Christ, and see our call and purpose as to give Him glory. Not to be full of
ourselves, when we are to be full of Him! Gratitude will allow us to see our pride
and arrogance as evil, clouding the Spirits work within us. It will be a beacon on
how ingratitude hinders our work to share Christ’s character and the salvation
message to those around us. Gratitude is the proof text that we are indeed
believers and living the Christ-like life, so that the fruits of the Spirit are flowing
through us, and not the rotten vegetables of our sinful nature.

A. The problem of ingratitude!


a. Romans starts off with the universal condemnation of all humanity (Rom.1:
18-21). There can be no good news, no grace without there first being bad
news. The bad is our sin and separation, and the good is the Grace to
redeem. If it were not for our sinful nature and rebellion, our separation from
God, then the sacrifice of Christ would not have been needed (Matt. 5:17-20).
Then vs. 21, “For although they new God, they neither gloried him nor gave
thanks to him…” gives us the message that knowledge was not the problem;
it was because they refused to accept and obey the message. They refused
to give thanks for their most gracious Lord. Perhaps even despising the very
nature of God. Then this attitude transitioned into the rest of their lives as
well.
1. The Christian can grow into a state of ingratitude, refusing to yield to
God. This results in bitterness, selfishness and hatred toward God,
ourselves and those around us (Isa. 14:12-15).
2. Our foolish hearts become black with pride producing a barren heart
devoid of seeking our true purpose in life. When a fertile heart
produces a lifestyle of gratitude and glory.
i. Sin begets more sin; ingratitude produces strife, gossip, slander,
malice, and conflict that destroys His work within us and in
those around us.
ii. The church then becomes a club, a place of unhappiness
because of the rotten vegetables of ingratitude have taken over
versus the church of joy filled with an outpouring of gratitude
toward God for His grace, spilling out to each other and the
community. What is spilling out from your church?
iii. Ingratitude is a common entity in our society and even the
church. It no longer condemns the person as a social misfit, now
they are cool!
iv. The prideful people confuse God with themselves, thinking we
are naturally good, when only He is good. God provides the
escape from sin, yet we keep letting the sin in and keep Him
out.
v. God still outpours His grace upon us, even when we keep
demonstrating our contempt to His goodness.

b. When we are truly acting like His children, there should be no outpouring of
ingratitude, not in the church, and not in our lives. Because we know who we
are in Christ, what He did, so that incredible act of redemption will permeate
our lives with gratitude, or so it should (John 13:17)!
1. The duty of the Christian is to glorify God (Rom. 12:1; Col. 3:17),
because the source of all we have and all of our potential is in and
from God!
2. The duty of pride is to glorify the self. When this happens we nullify our
first commandment, because we are to have no other God’s before us,
including ourselves!
i. One results in Christian character, the other produces strife.
When the heart and the church are filled with Adoration to God
(Eph. 5:19-20), Trust to God, and Thanksgiving to God and
others that is not a turkey (pun intended), we will be fulfilling the
Kingdom of God, His perfect and pleasing plan.
ii. When you cut into your turkey this Thanksgiving is it the prayer
of thanks that motivates you, or the greed of the feast (Luke
16:10; Phil. 2:14; 4:8)?
iii. We have to be aware of our human nature that seeks the easy
way out. That seeks rebellion with our Lord. It is easy to be
ungrateful; it is hard to give thanks.

What can we do to infuse ourselves with gratitude?


True Thanksgiving is based in Scripture, giving thanks to God. That is
what the pilgrims did, as they fled religious persecution to a harsh land to
exercise their faith (Matt. 5:17-20; I Thess. 5:18). True Thanksgiving looks to
what Christ did on our behalf. It is His supremacy that matters and should drive
us with gratitude! Remember when we turn our lives over to Him, the Holy Spirit
enters and starts to change our character. But God (although He can) will not
overpower or force you, so you must be willing to allow His gracious intrusion.
We must cooperate with the grace we received so He can change us, so we can
be a change agent to others around us (Luke 16:10; John 13:17; Phil. 2:12-13;
4:8; Col. 3:17).

Questions:

1. What comes to your mind when someone says thanksgiving?


2. What does your family do for thanksgiving?
3. What are your favorite Thanksgiving foods?
4. What motivates you in life: Is it the turkey feast (any form of greed or wonder
lust for power, money, manipulation…) or the feast (grace) He gave?
5. When someone thanks you, how do you feel?
6. Read Luke17: 11-19 and pay attention to the feelings of our Lord Jesus!
Remember He was also fully human!
7. What do you suppose it was like to have leprosy? They were totally inflicted
with the most hideous disease imaginable, that makes Aids look like a
common cold! If you had it, then all of your friends, relatives and people in
society must shun you. You have to go live in a cave and hope someone
brings you stale scraps to eat. It was feared more than death.
8. So they were healed! How do you think they felt to regain all of their life and
health?
9. Why did the 9 choose not to return and give thanks?
10. What might be some of the excuses the lepers might have had?
11. What excuses do you give for not thanking people?
12. Why do you think the one who came back was feeling?
13. What do you suppose Jesus’ feelings were that only one came back?
14. Who in the story do you find yourself most like?
15. Do you give thanks regularly?
16. How much of your praise time with God is saying thank-you to what He did for
you?
17. What is one thing that you are most thankful for?
18. How has Christ healed you (consider more than just health, such as
spiritually, emotionally…)?
19. What things in your life do you have trouble seeking thanks for?
20. What do you need to thank God for?
21. What people are in your life that you need to thank?
22. Make a commitment to thank the people in your life, by writing them a letter,
or telling them in person, please no email for this one.
23. Write a list of all that you are thankful for. Then read that list daily, post it on
the refrigerator to keep ‘your’ fruits and vegetables from rotting!
24. Make a commitment to spend at least two minutes a day to thank God and
what you have, even in times of trouble and tribulation (I Thess. 5:18).
25. Make a commitment to thank people, especially those who go out of their way
for you and others, such as a parent, teacher, or friend!
26. Use these Scriptures to count your blessings (start off by taking two a day):
Psalm 30:4-5; 12; 75:1; 97:10-12; 105:1; I Chron. 29:6-13; Dan. 2:23; Mark
1:15; John 14:26; 16:13; Acts 27:34-35; Rom. 1:8; 6:17-18; 8:26-27; I Cor.
1:4; 15:55-57; II Cor. 2:14; 9:15; 12:9; Eph. 1:18; 5:20; Phil. 1:3-5; 2:9-11; 4:6;
Col. 1:12; II Thess. 1:2-3; 5:18; I Tim. 4:3-5; Heb. 2:3; 12:28; James 1:2-4;
Rev. 11:16-17. Now consider what it is like in a 3rd world country, or 100 years
ago, and all we have, all the conveniences today!
a. What are you thankful in your relationship, family, friends, and
fellowship?
b. What are you thankful in your material blessings, such as your stuff,
comfort, and entertainment…?
c. What are you thankful in your health?
d. What are you thankful in your job / school (stuck, then thing about all
of the choices we have that most people in the world do not have)?
e. What are you thankful in your knowledge, such as education access to
information…?
f. What are you thankful in your transportation (sound strange to you, not
to the people I visited in Russia!)?
g. What are you thankful in your communication (sound strange to you,
not to the people I visit and minister to in Mexico!)?
h. What are you thankful in your Technology? (Remember how convent
everything is today)?
i. What are you thankful for that are not in the above categories?
27. So according to the above list, are you rich or poor?
28. What can you do to be a person who lives a life of gratitude?

If you need Scriptures on what to be thankful for, get a “Bible Promise Book,” that
lists Scriptures in various categories, such as: “The golden Treasury of Bible
Wisdom” by Barbour Press.
There is nothing wrong with enjoying the holiday of Thanksgiving,
spending time with the family, watching the game, eating all of the turkey and
trimmings. So enjoy it! But if you are a Christian, remember what our Lord has
done for you. Our purpose is to glorify Him, and respond to the gift of grace we
have received, and one of the ways we do this by thanking Him (Col. 3:15; I
Thess. 5:18). And keep in mind all that you have, even if it is not much, be a
person who gives thanks, who is motivated by gratitude and not by greed!
Romans 12: 1-2 Bible Study 28

Part Four: (see the introduction, “Romans: Background Material” in our Online
Bible study page: “D. Romans has four main sections,” and The Fourfold
Purpose of Romans) The Gospel as the Transformation of Social
Relationships (12:1-15:13) "This is how then we must live, because the Gospel
is the transforming and converting power of God, because it transforms fallen
social relationships by virtue of the dynamics of love, which is the fulfillment of
the law"! In the previous chapters Paul lays out the truth of what Christ has done,
now He turns to how this must affect our lives and attitudes, and the people
around us. Christianity is an offering to others in gratitude, by what Christ has
done. Pleasing ourselves is not the goal of the Christian life as so many pursue.
We are to follow Christ and be imitators of His character, so it transforms our
character. We are to do this through love and acceptance of others as Christ did
with us, that we did not deserve.

Romans Chapter XII: Overview: Paul now switches his argument from our
freedom from the bondage of Sin through Christ (6:1-8:39), and the Resurrection
of the Israel (9:1-11:36). From the presentation of the Gospel to how shall we live
in faith, from doctrine to duty, but Paul never separates the two. This becomes
the practical aspect of the Gospel. We have been saved, not of any effort or
reason on our part except by faith, so now what do we do with it? We are to take
it to the streets in how we live to ourselves, others and even our enemies. Yet,
most Christians respond with a rear end firmly planted in a pew that goes
nowhere in service or glory to Christ. They hold on to a will that will not allow
conviction or change to their routine or life. Thus, church is just a club for comfort
and not a huddle to play the game and receive orders from the Coach. We need
to know that Christ calls us to change our minds like we change the oil in the car.
To be a, “devote themselves to him; and avoiding conformity to the world”
Christian. In other words to be changed person so we can be a change agent to
others. Not to be infected by the word, but to help it along to His purpose. We
cannot do that when we are poured out to our will and desires only and not to our
Lord. So that we can be: “to be conformed to his holy will”… “to think humbly”… “
to exercise faithfully”… “ to mutual love, diligence, patience, hope, prayer,
hospitality, compassion, and condescension” …. “and becoming conduct towards
all men”! Our devotion to Christ must be rooted in the mind and then let the
doctrine translate it to the feet and the rest of our bodies in between, the body of
us as a human being and a body of believers in relation to all those around us,
our duty.

Remember we are never to separate theology from practice. Theology is


the ‘who’ and ‘why’ that translates in to the ‘do’ and ‘be’ of life.

Exhortation to the Renewal of the Mind (12:1-2)


General idea: When we become a Christian either by birth in a Christian family
or through evangelism as an adult, a time must come when the reality of who we
are in Christ hits home in power and conviction. To completely change the black
dirty oil of the mind with the new golden anointing oil of His love. As a Christian
the Spirit transforms us completely, all we are and then all that we do, our will,
plans and our opportunities (II Cor. 3:18). And we cannot do this unless we give
up our selfish will over to His (Gal. 2:20-21)! And the incentive for us to surrender
to Christ is that His way is better than ours!

a. Paul's main concern was whether his teaching would be applied, or


just studied, or ignored.
1. Paul's concern was that Christians would turn out like
Pharisees, having the knowledge, but ignoring the application.
2. Being a living sacrifice is a key aspect into maturity, and growth
in the faith.
3. The purpose of doctrine and study of His Word is not just the
knowledge, (which is very important), but it is what we do with
that knowledge that is our supreme goal.
i. Theology is our boot camp and the army is our duty in
application. Yet, it is the least thing considered by the
average Christian's pursuit, especially those who never
take ownership of their faith, who grew up in a church
and see it as cultural and duty, and not devotion and
lifestyle.
ii. The danger is for the Christian to sit in a pew, learn all
that they can, and take comfort in that knowledge, but
never do anything with it.
iii. It is the church that refuses to evangelize, the Christian
that refuses to share their faith, or model Christ on
Mondays, as well as Sundays: Be aware you will be
harshly judged, you are no better than that of the
Pharisees (Hos.6:6; Mica. 6:6-8; Matt. 12 9-14)! The
proof test is if you use people, or serve them? Do you
just gather information, or do you apply it?
4. Our relationship with the Lord must be transparent, and not
secretive (unless you live in a closed Muslim country)!

b. "Mercies of God", flows from our obedience and trust and gratitude
for what our Lord has done and for who He is (Luke 10:36-37; Eph.
4:23); they are the compassion for the needy, and the lost. Our lives
must be motivated by who we are in Christ and nothing else!

c. "Living Sacrifice" refers to the fact that we belong solely to God, not
to ourselves or anything else (vs. 3:25; 6:12-17; 8:13; John 15:13-
15;37-38; I John 3:16), His shed blood paid for us!
1. That you are truly have dedicated your right to yourself to Christ!
2. That we give Him are all. It is easy to die for a cause, but are
you willing to live for Him? In perfect obedience, so your life is
poured out, that your strength is gone and you rely on His?

d. The term, "reasonable service” or "Spiritual act of worship" refers


to being a sacrifice and extending mercy to others are part of our
worship to Christ, part of who we are and must be.
1. As the Jews placed a lamb on the alter, as Christ was our
Lamb, we should place ourselves on the alter too.
2. Not because we have too, or to earn something, but because
we are dedicated to live for our Lord.

e. "Do not be conformed..." refers to that our mind and thinking must be
based on Christ and Scripture, that the Spirit guides us in (2 Cor. 4:18;
1 John 2:17).
1. If not, the culture and pleasures of life will sweep us away from
God's best for us.
2. This is our Christian life and purpose!
3. Our standing before our Lord is solely upon His mercy, thus we
are to reciprocate it; such as since God forgave us we need to
forgive others.... Thus, do not just ask God to use you, but
rather give yourself to Him to use!

f. "Renewing of your mind" is changing our pagan or even Christian


mindset away from our selfish nature to His character. Until we do, the
deeper things of God's will, will not be available to us. We do this by
reshaping our mind to God's Word (vs. 8:5-9; 13:11-14; II Cor. 4:18; I
John 2:17).

g. The opposite of obedience is not just selfishness or laziness but rather,


creating your own opportunities with zeal instead of the Lord's. That is,
misplacing your passion on the wrong things (I Sam. 15:22; John 7:17;
13:17).
1. We are to cling to His highest standard, not compromise to the
flow of the group we hang out with (peer pressure). Will you
obey?
2. When we allow God's standard to be our "carrot on a stick",
then our paths will be straight. So that every aspect of our life is
governed by our Lord, in perfect harmony.
3. When we debate with God and refuse His guidance we lose
sight of His path, and fall in rocky terrain, stop, drop to your
knees, and wake up to Him (Eph. 4:30). The question is well
we be dedicated to our Lord or to ourselves (I Cor. 6:19;
9:27; Gal. 2:21; Phil. 2:12)?
4. Being freed from sin must show a response and a responsibility,
so what is yours?
h. "God's will", see theological note.

Questions:

1. How were you (or are you) affected by peer pressure in school
(clothes, job, car, friends, etc)?
2. How is your church affected by new theories and ideas of doing
church?
3. When you worship Christ (in church or at home in your devotions),
what is going on in your mind?
4. Is the word doctrine a friend or a foe?
5. If you have ever seen or done an oil change for a car. Have you
noticed the dirty blackness of the old oil verses the golden color of the
new oil? How is this like renewing your mind?
6. Does this word doctrine cause you to wonder the power and majesty of
God or fill you with fear that you will not understand or that it does not
matter?
7. Is duty something that comes to your mind when you leave church on
Sunday?
8. How important is duty to you and your faith?
9. Why do you think Paul never separates duty from doctrine?
10. If a non-Christian asked you what you do with your faith, how would
you respond?
11. What life style do you think Christ has called you too?
12. How have you responded to His call?
13. Why would you conceder not responding?
14. Have you considered that Christianity is like a football game? Thus, the
church is the dugout, Christ is the coach and the flied of play is the
community and world around the church. So when the
players/believers have a huddle/committee meeting do you go back to
the dugout after or play the game?
15. What would it take for the committees of your church to see the
ministry is what you do after the meeting and not the meeting itself?
Just as for the ball player does not go home after the national anthem.
16. Every aspect of our life is to be governed by our Lord, in perfect
harmony. So does this scare you?
17. How can being ‘governed’ by Christ be your greatest comfort?
18. As a Christian a time must come when the reality of who you are in
Christ must hit home in power and conviction. Has this happen to you?
If so how, if not what would it take?
19. Why would the Holy Spirit be hindered to transform you if your will is in
the way?
20. The incentive for us to surrender our will to Christ is that His way is
better than ours! Is this incentive exciting to you or a put off?
21. Pharisees have a bad reputation in the church for good reason. Paul's
concern was that Christians would turn out like them having the
knowledge, but ignoring the application. Why did he have that fear?
22. Has Paul’s fear become a reality in your church or life?
23. If so what can be done about it?
24. Why would being a living sacrifice be a key aspect into maturity, and
growth in the faith?
25. The purpose of doctrine and study of His Word is not just the
knowledge but it is what we do with that knowledge that is our supreme
goal. Why would this be true?
26. What is the difference between cultural and duty verses devotion and
lifestyle?
27. The proof test to being a mature Christian is do you use people, or
serve them? Do you just gather information, or do you apply it? So
what does this proof text say about you?
28. Why is it so hard for so many of us Christians to have a relationship
with the Lord that is transparent (out going, honest and real), and not
secretive?
29. What does the word "Mercies of God" mean to you?
30. What does the word "Living Sacrifice" mean to you? Does this word
scare you, why? How can you get over it?
31. Has the reality that you belong solely to God, not to yourself or
anything else hit you?
32. If you have not, what would it take for you to dedicate the right to
yourself over to Christ?
33. It is easy to die for a cause, but are you willing to live for Him?
34. How can you live the life of faith in perfect obedience (as much as you
can), so your life is poured out, that your strength is gone and you rely
on His?
35. Do you give Him your all?
36. What does "reasonable service” mean to your daily life?
37. Service is something we do because we are dedicated to live for our
Lord out of our gratitude. But we all have different definitions of
dedication. We do not earn points by our service nor need it for our
salvation. So what level and time commitment should you serve Him?
38. "Do not be conformed..." to what, what entices you away from our
Lord?
39. What can you do to make a commitment to have a Christian mindset
away from our selfish nature and or the world over to His character?
40. When you do that the deeper things of God's will be available to you.
We do this by reshaping our mind to God's Word. How can you put this
in to practice?

The question is well we be dedicated to our Lord or to ourselves?

Theology Thought:
“God's Will”: Finding God’s will is not about programs or methods, it is about a
person who is God, who wants us! A living and loving relationship! Finding God’s
will is not just about whom I will marry, or what career, or what decision I need to
make, but how we are to live to please Him. Our heart and lifestyle are
paramount over what we do, so it can change what we do! Asking the question,
what does God want me to do, is the starting point, and the focus of the will of
God. Matt 6:33-34 “Seek first the kingdom of God” The will of God has more to
do with controlling our hearts, than what we do in our planning and ideas (I Pet.
5)!! We must be a servant of Christ, to let Him mold and shape us to His Glory
and purpose, and remain in this relationship! To know the will of God more
intimately takes trust and patience, He will reveal it, as we grow close in our
experience with Him! So relax, as long as you are living for Him and your will is
controlled by the Word and Spirit, you are in His will. So enjoy the ride of life,
make the most of your opportunities, relationships: to live, learn, pass on the
Truth and have fun doing it too!
The three types of God's will: 1. REVEALED WILL: God’s laws concerning
lifestyle and righteous living for all Christians (it is not God’s will to ever leave
your spouse or start a cult). 2. DETERMINED WILL: That cannot be thwarted or
stopped by anything (predestination, it will happen!!!) 3. SPECIFIC WILL: God’s
special plan for each believer (whom we marry, career, and education, etc.).

Remember we are never to separate theology from practice. Theology is


the ‘who’ and ‘why’ that translates in to the ‘do’ and ‘be’ of life.
Romans 12: 3-13 Bible Study 29

Exercising your Gifts in the Body (12:3-13)


General Idea: Spiritual gifts are much more than the talents and abilities we
have. They are the means for the Body of Christ to function, in health and in
distinction. They separate us from the evil ways of the world, yet if they are
misused thy will inflict the very things they are meant to prevent. They are to
empower us for the service of our King, and to cooperate and build relationships
with other believers for a synergetic reaction for good and service, the building of
the Kingdom. Unfortunately what normally happens in the church is strife,
dysfunction, gossip and slander, because our pride gets in the way of His call.
Thus, the gifts are neutralized or tuned into weapons of dysfunction, where we
are meant to reach out and disciple we instead fight amongst ourselves, or
develop false doctrines. The Body cannot do things well nor function when we
are puffed-up with ourselves. We cannot function by pretending or out of hate, for
us to be used by Christ effectively we must be infused with love and doing out
part with joy.

a. This passage is about how we are to treat each other and ourselves,
not a normal topic in today's Christianity, however a necessary one,
because we have to have a correct self-image of ourselves. Not just
"self esteem" of who we are to ourselves and people around us, but
who we are in relationship to our Lord: What He has done for us, must
perambulate us!
1. When we have a healthy grasp of our redemption, then our self-
esteem should be boiling over with Christ esteem.
2. Who we are to Christ is the most significant thing in the
universe for the Christian! Thus we should never feel insecure
or have the "poor me" attitude when we have Christ in our lives
(Gal. 3 6: 3-5). We need to be over comers, this is a tough task,
but we can do it with our Lord at the helm!
3. The opposite is true too; we are not to think we are “little god's”,
and rulers of our domain.
i. We are never to go beyond our self-image at others
expense, and especially the Lord’s. He is God, we are
not!
ii. Being a depressed Christian is shameful (unless there
are times of loss and brokenness, and chemical in-
balance in the brain… If so, seek godly help from
qualified pastors and counselors). To continue in a life
style of depression (without seeking help) and poor self-
image is unnecessary shame that Christ died to get rid
of!
4. Paul, people, Christian's and ministry all exist because of
Christ’s work of grace, never forget who you are!
i. We are never to let our leadership position, or who we
are in Christ to "puff us up"!
ii. A condescending Christian is an "oxymoron" (with the
emphases on being a moron!), like jumbo shrimp! They
just do not go together.
b. Unity is the responsibility of the believer to the church body. We all
have unity and diversity, these all are necessary to function together,
we cannot all be the same, we are to see our differences as filling each
other's gaps and deficiencies (I Cor. 12-14; Eph. 4:7-15).
1. We are never to pretend with Spiritual Gifts, or in ministry in
general, but use them to encourage and build up, never tear
down; authenticity is extremely important (1 Tim 3:15), God
does not need us to wear masks and pretend.
2. Kindness is the proof text to authenticity.
c. “Prophecy” is not fully defined in the N.T., thus is often debated (Acts
13:1; 21:10-11; I Cor. 12:29; Eph. 4:11). It generally refers to teaching
the Word of our Lord, especially before the compilation of the cannon
of Scripture in the 4th century.
1. Some people refer to it as “word of knowledge;” that they
receive special wisdom and knowledge directly from the Holy
Spirit. This can be supported from Scripture, but these "words of
wisdom" will never countermand Scripture! We may get them
in the form of a hunch, insights from the Word, or more directly,
so we have more information in what God has given us to do,
thus to interact more effectively. Most churches that practice this
(words of knowledge) do not use them discerningly, and elevate
their wisdom over Scripture! Hence why there are so much false
teachings in America.
2. People are more concerned for their own needs and agendas
over God’s clear doctrine and purpose (Titus 2).
d. We must practice the Christian faith with a since of urgency. There can
be no hesitation to serve the Lord, or we miss vital opportunities.
e. “Hospitality” is visiting one another (Heb. 13:2-3; 3 John 5-8). Vs 14-
21 in this section we are reminded of the Sermon on the Mount, the
basic teachings of Jesus (Luke 6).
1. Being humble is to share with one another over our agenda and
needs. To cooperate creates an environment of trust and
encouragement, so that people will want to join and belong;
where there is no pride or arrogance (Prov. 3:7; Phil. 1:2-8).
2. When we are selfish and stingy with our sharing, it creates an
atmosphere of distrust, and who wants to be a part of that!
3. How we react to the non-Christian environment will distinguish
us as Christ-like or hypocrites; whom do you think our God
desires?

Questions:
1. How do you repay people who tease or joke at your expense?
2. How do you and your church practice “Hospitality”?
3. What does the “Body of Christ” mean to you?
4. Why are Spiritual Gifts more than the talents and abilities?
5. How can Spiritual Gifts be misused to cause strife instead of unity?
6. What causes Spiritual Gifts to be misused?
7. What happens when Spiritual Gifts are being exercised effectively?
8. Why would Christians fight amongst ourselves instead of exercising unity as
Christ calls?
9. To serve Christ effectively we must be infused with what? Why is that so hard
to do for some?
10. What is a correct self-image of ourselves as Christians?
11. What can you do to develop healthy image of who you are in Christ?
12. Christ esteem means what to you?
13. Who are you in Christ?
14. Why is this the most significant thing in the universe for the Christian?
15. Why would some Christians feel insecure or have the "poor me" attitude when
we have Christ in our lives?
16. Read Gal. 6: 2-5: How can you test your own actions?
17. What do you need to get rid of so you can carry your own load?
18. Thus, we should never?
19. Why should we not think of ourselves as “little god's”, and rulers of our
domain?
20. Why would being a depressed Christian who does not seek help be
shameful?
21. What causes a leader in Christ to puff themselves up?
22. Why is a condescending Christian an "oxymoron"?
23. Unity is a responsibility, so what are the responsibilities?
24. For unity to function, what do we need to see in each other?
25. For unity to function, why is diversity so important?
26. What is the danger to pretend with Spiritual Gifts, to say you have one that
you do not have?
27. Why is authenticity so extremely important with Christian leadership?
28. What is Kindness to you?
29. How can Kindness be used as the proof text to authenticity?
30. How do you view “Prophecy?”
31. Why is “Prophecy” so often debated and misused in the church?
32. How can “Prophecy” be used today in the church?
33. What comes to your mind when the subject of “word of knowledge” comes
up?
34. How can “word of knowledge” be used today in the church?
35. How and why are some Christians more concerned with their own needs and
agendas over God’s clear doctrine and purpose?
36. What can the church do to guard itself against pride from its leaders?
37. What are the vital opportunities we miss when we do not practice the
Christian faith with a since of urgency?
38. What do you need to do to be humble and share with one another over your
agenda and needs?
39. We are never to go beyond our self-image (will and pride) at others expense,
and especially the Lord’s. So how can you set up a check and balance
system for yourself and or your church (to guard against it)?
40. What do you need to do to be an over comer? (To not be bogged down in
depression and a “poor me “ attitude. This is a tough task, but we can do it
with our Lord at the helm)

When we are selfish and stingy with our sharing, it creates an atmosphere of
distrust, and who wants to be a part of that! How we react to the non-Christian
environment will distinguish us as Christ-like or hypocrites; whom do you think
our God desires?

Theological Thoughts:

See Online Bible Study 27 on Spiritual Gifts

“The final Judgment:” refers to the righteous judgment of God, that is still to
come at the end of human history as we know it (Duet. 30:19; Luke 13:24; Phil.
2:10-11). This is not to judge our salvation as believers, it has already been
done. It will be to judge our works and motivations! And then we will receive our
place in eternity, our reward. For the non-Christian this is God's justice, His
anger and fury to sin (John 3:36; Rom. 2:5; 5:9; Eph. 5:6; Col. 3:6; Rev. 6:17;
19:15), will prevail, that all people in all times will be judged, and all will give an
account to God for there actions in life on earth (Psalm 62:12; Matt. 16:27; Rom.
2:6; II Cor. 5:10; Rev. 22:12). As believers, Christ will save us from the anger of
God (Matt. 12:33-37; I Thess. 1:10), and allow us to reveal our works, the fruits
and gratitude for our salvation. Beware you the "reprobate", the carnal Christian,
your hypocrisy will be revealed (Matt. 7:21-23; 18:23-35; 25:34-46; I Cor. 4:5;
James 2:14-26). Christ is both judge, jury, prosecutor, and defense attorney, and
the only one who can pardon (Matt. 13:40-43; 25:41-46; John 5:22-30; Acts
10:42; II Cor. 5:10; II Tim. 4:1; Heb. 9:27; 10:25-31; 12:23; II Pet. 3:7; Jude 6-7;
Rev. 20:11-15). This final judgment will answer and reveal His plan and reasons
to all (Psalm 50:16-21; Acts 14:16; Rev. 6:10; 16:5-7; 19:1-5).
© 1998, 2001 Into Thy Word Ministries R. J. Krejcir
Romans 12: 14-21 Bible Study 30

Learning Outcomes:
a. To know what it means to overcome evil for good.
b. To be committed to God’s justice and not our own, thus, not to retaliate evil for
evil, but to trust in God’s justice to prevail.

Loving your Enemies (Romans 12:14-21)


General Idea: The theme of the Sermon on the Mount is clearly echoed here in
this passage. If we follow Christ, we will gain enemies who will want to destroy
us. We are called to do a difficult thing, one that is completely opposed to our
fallen human thinking and culture--not to pay back evil for evil. Yet, this is our first
thought when something bad happens. It was my first thought to hurl a few
thermo nukes at Afghanistan after 9/11. But, clear thinking prevailed--that there
are millions of people there, and it is God’s position and authority to exercise
revenge, not mine. God even calls us to bless people who hate us! So, we have
to find a way to retune our thinking to these challenging precepts of Scripture.

a. When you earnestly serve the Lord, people will rise up against you!
(Matt.5:10-12; 2 Tim. 3:12)
1. Satan will attack us, which we should expect!
2. Christians will attack like the TV show, “when animals attack” (I
could not resist this pun!) This is the one thing we do not expect
to happen, but it does. It is one of the sorriest and pathetic
things under the sun. It is also one of the most hurtful things on
par with having a family member attack us. These attacks are
rarely physical in nature, although I have observed many a fist
fight in a church. The attacks are usually in the form of gossip,
slander, legalism, and such. As many child psychologists
suggest, verbal abuse is tougher to overcome than physical
abuse. So it is when churches fight and people leave, never to
venture into another church again!
i. We must know that other Christians who are "apostate,"
(not living according to the Word, but according to their
own desires, such as gossipers, and hypocrites), who are
refusing to serve in their call, will come and attack you
the hardest when you honestly and faithfully serve the
Lord!
ii. Because they are out of God’s will, in order to make
themselves feel good and satisfied, and to elevate
themselves, they must bring Godly Christians down.
iii. The Pharisees were the equivalent of apostate Christians
in Jesus time.
b. Our response to Satan is found in Eph. 6 and 1 Pet 5:8.
1. Our response to our enemy, both secular and apostate
Christian, is to love them (we are not to love Satan!). If you are
in a role of hate, the thing that hurts the most is someone
coming to you in love! Conviction is very painful when we do not
yield.
2. Your revenge is to be love, for this has the greatest sting! And, it
has the greatest positive effect. When we turn an enemy into a
friend, we have won an incredible battle, and prevented future
war. We are to turn strife into an incredible blessing!
3. God will allow your enemies to teach you, as an enemy may
know you better than you know yourself. Thus, go to school by
their attacks. Learn, and grow in Christ.
c. Let God be the judge! He is God and knows the true motivation and
circumstances of people, which we do not have access to. Thus, He
will judge with the right amount of vengeance. Our vengeance is
insignificant, and unnecessary, and unlawful before God! Let God be
God.
d. We are to be "peace makers," and not hide in protest, or fight in
ignorance.
1. There are times when Christians must take a stand to defend
morality, such as the anti-abortion movement. This must always
be done in love and listening, and in kindness, while never
compromising integrity or values. There are also times when we
must go to war, either for defense or to defend others. This is
not a rejection of the sixth commandment of, “you shall not
murder.” Rather it is the protection and responsibility to the
government, which is moral and just if followed biblically.
2. Truth will divide, but also will unite. We are to have "Heavenly
Qualities" of brotherly love, hatred of evil, joyfulness, diligence,
sympathy for others, honor, and peacefulness. These are not
“Spiritual Gifts.” They are the character we are ALL to emulate.
We cannot say, “I do not have the gift of mercy,” because we
are all to have it in its character form. The person who actually
has the gift will be able to rally people around it, and take more
direct action.
e. We must not have a desire to use revenge in order to “get even.”
(Duet. 32:35; Prov. 25: 21-22) As our Chinese friends say, "You better
first dig two graves before seeking revenge. "

Questions:

1. Have you ever been in a fight? If so, how did you feel in the heat of battle?
How would you feel as a Christian? Would the character of Christ come out or
the emotion of retribution?
2. Jesus calls us to love our enemies. How do you feel about this? Is it
something you practice?
3. Have you ever prayed for an enemy? If so, how did you feel?
4. If you follow Christ, you will gain enemies who want to destroy you. So, have
you personally experienced this?
5. How did if effect your faith? Did it build you stronger or cause you to flee?
6. Why is Christ’s call to love our enemies completely opposed to our fallen
human thinking and culture?
7. Do you desire to pay back evil for evil?
8. How did you feel about September 11, 2001, or December 7, 1941?
9. What is your first thought when something bad happens?
10. How and what does God desire your thoughts to be?**********
11. God even calls us to bless people who hate us! So what have you done to
exercise this call?
12. What would happen in your society if all Christians did as Jesus called in this
passage?
13. When you earnestly serve the Lord, people will rise up against you. Have you
experienced this? If so how?
14. Read II Tim. 3:12: Why would we endure hardships for being godly? Does
this frustrate you or give you perseverance (remember Christ suffered for you,
and you live in a fallen and corrupt world from sin)?
15. Satan will attack us, which we should expect! So why would some Christians
believe they do not have to worry about persecution or hardships?
16. How do you feel knowing that Christian brothers and sisters are suffering and
dieing by the thousands in counties such as Sudan, or being severely
persecuted in North Korea?
17. Sometimes misguided Christians (if that’s what they are, remember wolves
infest the sheep) will attack other Christians who are doing a good work. Why
is this something we should not expect to happen? Or should we expect it?
18. In your experience what has happened when people leave the church
because of slander, do they come back or go to another church?
19. Should they leave, why or why not?
20. What would be the best way to handle misguided Christians attacking you or
someone else when you honestly and faithfully serve the Lord?
21. What are some possible reasons why misguided Christians would attack
others?
22. Read Eph. 6 and I Pet 5:8: What can you do to develop a response to
Satan’s attacks?
23. We have to love our enemies or at least try, so why are we not allowed to
love Satan?
24. If you ever were filled with hate for someone, how would it feel to receive love
by the person you hated or was hating you?
25. Knowing that for people filled with hate, the best way to hurt them back is to
love them! How will this effect or empower you the next time you have to deal
with a hateful person or an enemy?
26. Have you ever struggled with hate yourself?
27. If so how did you deal with it? If not how can you prevent it?
28. How can it be very painful when we do not yield to the character of Christ?
29. What causes conviction in you?
30. Have you, or have you known someone who was able to turn an enemy into a
friend?
31. What can your church do to turn strife into an incredible blessing?
32. God will allow your enemies to teach you, so what can they teach you?
33. How and why could an enemy know you better than you can know yourself?
34. When the next time an enemy strikes you, how will you handle it?
35. We must not have a desire to get even with revenge as our Chinese friends
say, "you better first dig two graves before seeking revenge". Why?
36. What do you have to remove from yourself to allow God to be the judge?
37. What is the role of a “peace maker”? How can you and your church develop
this skill?
38. What does it mean to overcome evil for good?
39. What can you do to be committed to God’s justice and not our own? (We are
not to retaliate evil for evil, trust in God’s justice to prevail.)
40. What are "Heavenly Qualities" to you? What can you do to further develop
them?

Truth will divide, but also will unite, so we have to find away to retune our
thinking to these challenging precepts of Scripture.

Theological Thoughts:

“Kingdom of God”: Refers to the exercise of our God's "Lordship", that


He is our King, hence the name Kingdom of God. He is sovereign. His rule is
absolute. This theme is found throughout Scripture, and links the two Testaments
(Psalm 10:16:-18; Dan. 2:44; 4:34; Isa. 9:6-7; Matt 3:1-12; 4:23; 24:14; 28:18-20;
Luke 11:20; 16:16; 17:21; 22:16-30; John 18:36; Acts :20:25; 28:23-31; Col. 1:13;
28-29; Gal. 3:16; 26-29; Eph. 2:11-18; 3:6-15; Heb. 1:8-14; Rev. 5:9-10; 7:9;
17:14; 19:16). The Kingdom now is in its beginning and will be fulfilled as Jesus
said in the future. Our task in the church is to proclaim Christ as Lord, His
character, righteousness, peace, and joy, all by the Holy Spirit. The coming of the
Kingdom in the O.T. means that a new stage in God's redemptive plan was
coming: CHRIST. The meaning for us is our identification/relationship that is
personal to our Lord and Savior!

© 1998, 2001 Into Thy Word Ministries R. J. Krejcir


Romans 13:1-7 Bible Study 31

Romans Chapter XIII: Overview: Paul strongly argues for us to be in


subjection to people in political leadership, and paying what we are obligated to
do with taxes, without complaint. Because our principle home is not here, our
ownership is not here; it is in eternity to come. So we are to model His character
here, regardless of the cost. Since God has established the rulers, we cannot
minimize our duty and responsibility and even respect to others in authority on
earth. So do not dwell on rules and laws, but lift up our Lord as our primary
concern, 1-7. Then Paul transitions to the love of each other, as the fulfillment of
the law, this is our highest response of obedience to what He gave us. This goes
against our nature, but we can do it with the Spirit’s help, 8-10. Wake up! Clean
yourselves up! We are to put aside our wrong thinking and actions and cloth
ourselves in Christ’s character, not fallen character, put away all the works of
darkness, and seek in all things to be conformed to the Lord Jesus Christ as your
Lord as well as Savior, 11-14.

Learning Outcomes: a. Know why we need to submit to authorities. b. Be aware


of your blessings, especially living in a free country verses what the early church
went through. c. Be in prayer for your leaders whether you like them or not.

Submitting to Authorities (13:1-7)


General Idea: It is God who established the human government, the systems
and the people. Paul is extolling us to take seriously our responsibility to
governing officials, even if we do not like them. Keep in Mind Paul was an
extreme victim of a government’s injustice and lived and worked in one of
histories most oppressive governments ever, yet he says we still have
responsibility and respect to them! Even though our true home is still to come in
eternity; we are still to participate with our best in our temporary home here.

a. God established governments and even brought those in power for His
purpose and glory (I Pet. 2:11-17).
1. Their role is the welfare of the society, and it is to our benefit.
Just as He brought our parents and pastors for us to honor and
respect, to learn from and support.
2. What God ordains, people will corrupt and ruin for their gain.
Since God brought in governments and their representatives,
and we respect and honor God, then we will respect and honor
government (Prov. 8:15; Dan. 2:21).
3. We are to respect the office, even if you do not like who's in
power.
4. Sometimes evil governments are for judgment or chastisement.
As Christians, our citizenship is in Heaven; however, this does
not negate our responsibility to the land and governments in
which we live.
5. We must respect and keep those in power in prayer!
i. We may not agree with the politics of the day, or even the
evil and persecution, we are still to model Christ in love.
ii. We glorify Christ by being model citizens on earth, which
prepares us to be model citizens of Heaven (Matt. 22:15-
21; I Pet. 2:1-17).
6. It is the unworthiness of our nature that does not bow down
to Godly authority!
i. We are to respect the police and other authorities, as well
as pray and support them.
ii. Sword refers to the power of the government to call for
arms for defense and the punishment of its lawbreakers:
Hence capital punishment is Biblical (Acts 25:11).)
iii. Taxes can be a form of devotion to God, because
submission to rule is divinely ordered. So be a good
citizen and pay your just amount without complaining
(Matt:22:21)!)
b. Because we are all sinners we must be bridled and controlled, hence
the need for government, when we reject government we reject our
sinful nature, and violate God's order, thus we are rejecting God.
1. The church must never exercise the role of governor, it is
to comment on its moral level and policies by God's Word
in love, but never set those policies. Calvin's Geneva failed
miserably, as did the Holy Roman Empire. Both of these
governments started out right, but became corrupted, and that
corruption reached into the church. Calvin himself had to flee
with his life from his own government he helped (most historians
say he was forced into it) set up (in principal)!
2. Political action committees from church and par-church
organizations must never represent the church, only
themselves as their governments citizens!
3. The ingredients that make us a good Christian, should make us
a good citizen!
c. Does this mean we bury our head and ignore government? Absolutely
not, we are to vote, make our values known, and model Christ, all in
love. If the government is exercising laws against God's precepts, we
cannot submit. Thus fight for the rights of the un-born, etc: Hence; get
involved, if government is of the people and you are a "people", then
you are the government (Acts 4:18-31; 5:17-29)!
1. We are not to fear the police, jail and civil punishment, or see
traffic tickets and increased insurance as our motivation, we are
to fear God, and then His decrees, including our authorities.
2. Christians are to make sure governments are fulfilling their
proper role and values with involvement, prayer, respect, by
being considerate with obedience, and being informed (1 Tim
2:1-4).
Questions:

1. When you are driving down the freeway and you see a CHP/State Trouper
what goes through your mind? Fear? Comfort? Or?
2. During the 60’s in the US a lot of people were saying to reject authority, tune
out, drop out…etc. You may not remember or have been around, but how do
you feel about that philosophy?
3. Did the drop out philosophy of the 60’s make the US better as a nation?
4. Do you take seriously your responsibility to governing officials?
5. Why do we need a government? Would we if everyone was a Christian?
6. Paul strongly argues for us to be in subjection to people in political leadership,
how do you feel about it?
7. Because our principle home is not here on earth, nor is our real ownership is
not here, so why should we bother with society that has nothing to do with the
Church?
8. Why we need to submit to authorities?
9. Since God has established the rulers, we cannot minimize our duty and
responsibility. Why?
10. Should we also respect to others in authority?
11. What do you need to wake up to!
12. What are your blessings, (especially if you are living in a free country verses
what the early church went through)?
13. Paul was an extreme victim of a government’s injustice and lived and worked
in one of histories most oppressive governments ever. So why does he ask
us to have responsibility and respect to them?
14. How does I Pet. 2:11-17 tie into this passage?
15. Do you honor your parents and pastor and honor, respect, support, and learn
from them?
16. If you do, how hard is it a transition to do the same for strangers in power?
17. A civic or government leader is responsible for the welfare of the society,
what are we to do when they do not follow that mandate?
18. How can a civic leader be to our benefit?
19. What God ordains, people will corrupt and ruin for their gain. So with this in
mind, do you feel your local, regional and national government is corrupt and
if so to what degree?
20. How would you define the word corrupt?
21. Read Prov. 8:15; Dan. 2:21; to what degree is your government following
these two passages?
22. How so are we respecting and honoring God, when we do the same with our
government?
23. When is the time to fight for change in a corrupt government, and how far
should the fighting go?
24. The US was founded through rebellion to the British Empire. Did our founding
fathers ignore and disobey God’s Word here, why or why not? (Did you know
the taxes they were rebelling about are a fraction of what we pay today?)
25. How do we factor in the abortion movement, such as Operation Rescue, are
they in compliant or in disrespect to this passage?
26. Sometimes evil governments are for judgment or chastisement. As Christians,
our citizenship is in Heaven; however, this does not negate our responsibility
to the land and governments in which we live. How would you have reacted
and responded with this passage in mind if you lived in Nazi German?
27. We may not agree with the politics of the day, or even the evil and
persecution, we are still to model Christ in love. With this in mind how can you
let this passage effect the way you vote and chose a political party?
28. Is one political party in the US more Christian than the other? If so why?
29. We glorify Christ by being model citizens on earth, which prepares us to be
model citizens of Heaven. How and why can this be true?
30. It is the unworthiness of our nature that does not bow down to Godly
authority! Is this statement true? Why or why not?
31. What can you do to respect the police and other types of police authorities?
32. Have you or have you known someone who served in the armed forces? If so
what were the feelings when the World Trade Center was terrorized?
33. Why should the government have the right to take up a Sword? (Refers to the
power of the government to call for arms for defense and the punishment of
its lawbreakers: Acts 25:11)
34. Is capital punishment Biblical?
35. Why must the church never exercise the role of governor?
36. How can Taxes be a form of devotion to God (Matt:22:21)?
37. How can you model His character take seriously our responsibility in regards
to honoring and respecting authorities?
38. How can you respect the office of civic leadership, even if you do not like
who's in power?
39. Even though our true home is still to come in eternity; we are still to
participate with our best in our temporary home here. So how can you and
your church do this effectively?
40. What can you do specially to be in prayer for your leaders whether you like
them or not?

The ingredients that make us a good Christian should also make us a good
citizen! As Christians we are to make sure governments are fulfilling their proper
role and values with involvement, prayer, respect, by being considerate with
obedience, and being informed (I Tim 2:1-4).

Theological Thought:

“The Human Conscience”: The conscience is our moral center that


monitors our actions from preset values instilled by God (Luke 11:39-44; Rom.
2:12-16; 14:23; Titus 1:15). Jiminy the Cricket almost had it right, "let your
conscience be your guide". However, since we are sinful, this is not always a
good idea. Scripture must be our guide and all of our experience, thinking,
feelings, and emotions must yield to it. Thus our conscience only works well
when we are governed by our Lord. Why the first step in AA is to let God help
you! Because we cannot.
Romans 13:8-10 and I Corinthians 13:1-8 Bible Study 32

Fulfilling the Law through Love (13:8-10)


General Idea: The theme of the Christian life and the reason for us to keep
obedient is nothing less than love. Our use of real genuine love is the fulfillment
of the law and our highest response of obedience to what He gave us. This goes
against our culture and nature, but we can do it with the Spirit’s help! In society,
our performance gets the attention and respect of others. Most commentators
during the Clinton scandals said what he did on his off time did not matter. In
other words, if you are an actor or a president and have illegitimate children,
cannot not manage your personal life and have a string of affairs it does not
matter. But, in Christianity, performance is secondary. Our love is what matters,
and our character and behavior will flow from it so we can manage our lives
effectively and godly.

a. God’s love is amazing when we consider how we are and who He is!
We do not deserve His love, yet we receive it anyway. We do not earn
it or achieve it in any way or merit whatsoever, yet it is there for our
taking because of what Christ has done in our behalf.
1. Love for our Lord and then for our neighbor (Mark 12:30-
31). Love always seeks the best "in" and "for" others (I Cor.
13:13). Love cannot exist when the opposite traits are ruling us,
so love cannot be in the same program parameters as love. If
we are envious we cannot love.
i. When we operate in love, in genuine love and not just out
of obligation, we are fulfilling the law. If we operate out of
duty while harboring malice in our heart and mind, all we
are fulfilling is our un-repentant and un-redemptive sinful
nature.
ii. The Ten Commandments are laws of love. Just think it
through. If you have love for your neighbor, you will not
steal from him, kill him, devise ways to get even, seek to
acquire his possessions, or cheat on your spouse with
him/her... and, in turn, you will live in peace and harmony
by receiving the same from your neighbor!
iii. Love your neighbor as yourself takes for granted one
thing. You have to have a degree of self-respect and love
for yourself. This goes against some traditional
evangelical and reformed thinking, but logically following
Scriptural precepts, we are not called to hate ourselves.
We are called to see ourselves as sinners in the light of
what Christ has done. You have to see yourself as Christ
sees you. You are a person of worth and one who is
deeply loved. We cannot have a poor me attitude-a view
that we are worthless. Yes, we have fallen way short of
God and need a Savior, and we do not deserve His
Salvation. Nevertheless, God accepts us and so we
must accept ourselves. As a result, we can respect and
accept those around us. Warning: do not allow self-love
and self-respect to turn into pride! Pride goes before
destruction!
2. As fallen beings, we do not have this kind of love flowing
from us naturally. Therefore, we need to be in Christ (Rom.
5:5; I Cor. 13: 1-8; Titus 3:3; I John 4: 7-12)!
3. Being a person of honor and Christ-like character is the
greatest witness and the greatest impact we can make for
His kingdom!
b. Our chief obligation in life is.... love, (“to love and glorify God and enjoy
Him forever": Westminster Catechism 1). Everything that flows out
from us in duty and behavior must be from this foundation (Gen. 1:26-
27; Lev. 19:18; Luke 6:31).
1. God’s characteristics all have love flowing from them, so when
He judges us in His sovereignty, He is doing it in love. We may
not fully understand this until we are called home. Nevertheless,
all of God’s actions and motivations are based on love. God’s
love is holy, which means it is set apart and is different from
everything else in the universe. His majesty rises above all
things. This keeps Him pure and separated from sin and evil.
God cannot be contaminated by sin or by fallen humanity or by
any other thing. Christ was needed to take His purity and impute
it (place it) on us, so God sees us as pure. That is the work of
the cross.
2. In the Hebrew language, God is described as love throughout
the Old Testament Scriptures. This was especially true when He
led His people from bondage into the Promised Land.
3. In the book of Hosea, the basic theme is loving mercy (Hos. 4:
1-19). The prophet is giving us a subpoena from God that we
have committed a crime, which is spiritual adultery. The
Hebrews flat out rejected His truth, His priests, His prophets,
and everything else that was godly. This was not a “pep talk,”
but rather was a walk with God the Father to behind the
woodshed for a beating they deserved. The Hebrews forgot
truth, mercy, and love were left as waste, and waste was used
as their spiritual food. “My people are destroyed for a lack of
knowledge”--not because of a lack of food or military might, but
because they forgot God and failed to follow His decrees. They
forgot to be the light to the world, they forgot who they were in
God and what He did for them. Therefore, God asked Hosea to
take a wife who was a harlot as an example of what God had
gone through. The names of the son and daughter they had
illustrated the example of how Israel behaved to God and how
God would and would retaliate using the same behaviors
against them as they used to God and others. Yet in Israel’s
extreme disobedience God remains hopeful and still operates to
His problem children in Love! God rejects the people for their
sins and remains hopeful (this type of hope does not negate
God’s sovereignty) they will come back to Him. He even states
that they will come back to Him.
4. In Micah 6:8 we are asked, “What does the Lord require of us?”
The essence of the passage is love, as it is in the operational
parameters of all of the work and function in life that we are to
do.
5. In I Corinthians 13 God tells us that what love is not is as
important as what love is.
6. To sun up this passage: Jesus said, "...There is no other
commandment greater..." This sums up the law as a positive
command instead of a list of negatives.

Questions:
1. What is the theme for your life, such as, do you have a slogan or a life verse
that motivates you that you try to live by?
2. What are some of the reasons we are to keep obedient in the faith?
3. What does this statement mean to you, to be in Christ?
4. Why does obedience go against our nature?
5. How would you express God’s amazing love to a friend? To a stranger?
6. Read Mark 12:30-31. What would happen if your church did the exact
opposite?
7. Why must we first love the Lord and then our neighbor?
8. What would you say to someone who objects to the need for loving God first?
9. Love always seeks the best "in" and "for" others. So, think of someone who
has been nasty to you. Can you think of their best?
10. If you have trouble doing so, what lies in the way?
11. What does genuine love mean to you? Can you think of a specific example?
12. What would happen in your life if you operated in love just out of obligation?
13. How would it affect your relationships?
14. How and why does harboring malice in our hearts and mind mute the
effectiveness of love?
15. Have you ever considered that the Ten Commandments are laws of love?
Why or why not?
16. What would your neighborhood be like if everyone lived by the Ten
Commandments (Exodus 20)? What would your church be like?
17. For you to be able to love others, do you think you need to have self-respect
and love for yourself?
18. Why does this go against some traditional evangelical/reformed thinking?
19. How should we see ourselves?
20. Are you someone who is deeply loved? If not, what is in the way? If so, how
does it feel?
21. What would happen in your live if you had a poor me attitude--a view that you
are worthless? Consider job, school, and relationships in your answer.
22. What do you need to do so your self-love and self-respect do not turn into
pride?
23. What does it mean to you that “pride goes before the fall/destruction?”
24. As fallen beings, we naturally do not have love flowing from us. Do you
agree? Why or why not?
25. Consider the love of non-Christians. Is it real love? Some Christians believe it
is not real love. What do you think? Keep in mind there are 4 main and
different kinds of love in the Bible; friendship (philos), sexual (eros, which is
not in the Bible, but its concept is i.e. temple prostitutes, and its human
authors knew full well of it), family (storge’), loving kindness--the Lord's self-
revelation of His attitude toward His people (hesedh, Heb) and self-giving/
sacrificial love without merit (agape) which is grace.
26. Why would being a person of honor and Christ-like character be the greatest
witness and the greatest impact we could make for His kingdom?
27. Can you give an example from your experience? If not, can you brainstorm
what it would be like if your church did this 100%.
28. Read 1 John 4: 7-12. How does this passage tie into Romans 13?
29. How would 1 John 4: 7-12 tie into your personal life outside Sundays?
30. Our chief obligation in life is__________?
31. Why is this so hard?
32. When God judges us in His sovereignty, do you have confidence that His
judgment is pure and just? Will you feel His love even in Judgment?
33. God’s holiness and majesty rises above all things. So, does knowing this give
you confidence and comfort, or something else? Why?
34. How does it feel to know that you cannot earn God’s love?
35. Does this motivate you to obey and serve Him out of gratitude even though
you will not earn any more of His love? You will be rewarded in heaven for the
good things you did, but His love will not increase since it is already on full
blast.
36. God is described as love throughout the Old Testament Scriptures. Yet, most
people see God as warlike and vengeful. What do you see when you read the
Old Testament passages?
37. Hosea speaks about spiritual adultery (Hos. 4: 1-19). Can you think of
examples of this today?
38. In Micah 6:8 we are asked, what does the Lord require of us? So, what does
He require? What do you need to do to make it real in your life?
39. As Jesus said, "...There is no other commandment greater...” How would your
life be different if you really followed Jesus’ command, without the “but, but,
but,” or the “I do not understand,” or more “but, but, but…?”
40. What can you do to implement more of an attitude of love in your daily
dealings with others, from the clerk in the store, to the hated coworker or
boss, to the distant spouse or family member?
Remember is the chief test of Christian discipleship is love! (Luke
14:26; John 13:35; 1 John 3:14)

Theological Thought:

“Liberation”: Is liberation freedom or bondage? If you truly gave up your will to


God, will you be liberated or would you be obligated as a servant/slave with no
real life as you would see it?
Like driving a car in a strange unfamiliar area, with Christ as a passenger,
we, as human beings, spend most of the time arguing, complaining, and debating
the destination. Yet, we do not have a clue of where we are going. If we would
allow Christ to get into the driver’s seat, He would be able to take us where we
could never have gone before. In addition, if we sign over the Pink Slip to our
Lord Jesus Christ, then He will take us to places that our most wild imaginations
could never fathom. Then, perhaps the love we are to receive and exhibit will
flow ever so much more freely!

© 1998, 2002 R. J Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries


Romans 13:11-14 Bible Study 33

Putting on Christ (13:11-14)


General Idea: One main factor has to and must come into play for us to live the
Christian life, as we should with obedience and love. We are to put on Christ and
take off ourselves. To remove our selfish will and pride and mimic His character
to the best of our abilities. And for this to happen we need to: Wake up! Clean
yourselves up! We are to put aside our wrong thinking and actions and cloth
ourselves in Christ’s character, not fallen character, put away all the works of
darkness, and seek in all things to be conformed to the Lord Jesus Christ as your
Lord as well as Savior

a. We are to live our lives as if Christ is coming back next Tuesday, at the
same time plan ahead as He may not come back for hundreds of
years!
1. We must live with excitement and anticipation of the Lord's
return!
2. Most of the Epistles especially John’s has Christ coming back
now, yet they wrote nearly 2000 years ago. Were they wrong?
No! Because we do not know the day and time. The apostles
and early Christians did not give away all they had and wait on a
hill for His return. They lived their lives fully and did all they
could to fulfill the kingdom of God.
3. Our life on earth may just be a dress rehearsal, but we need to
strive to get it right- thus "wake up"! All that we are and do here
is a mere shadow to what is to come, and all that we do and are
will echo throughout eternity. So be diligent and be your best for
His highest!
i. So do we get what the Christian life is about?
ii. If so, what are we doing about it? "Understanding the
present time. The hour has come to wake up" (NIV):
Refers to Christians who have been with Christ for some
time, and have negated their responsibility, thus we are
to get with it! To receive the call of our Lord and its
urgency!
b. Paul again stresses the role of discernment; we are to be sharp and
informed people of God.
1. "Light of the World" is a continual theme in John and his
epistles, that Paul possibly draws from (John 8:10-23).
2. An undiscerning Christian will cause massive destruction to the
mission and role of the church. They will allow false truths to be
taught and sin to go on without repentance or reverence to God.
3. When we are not discerning as a body of believers, a vacuum
will form and suck in all kinds of stuff that is filth and dirt like a
regular vacuum cleaner, with the exception no cleaning will
occur because the bag will be the church. Then the character
and role the church is to the community will be dirt!
c. We are to act and respond gracefully whatever the role or situation we
are in.
1. The "Armor of Light" (Isa. 54:17; John 11:25-26; 14:6; II Cor.
10:4; 11:3; 14-15; Eph. 4:1; 6:18; I Tim. 4:1-3; II Tim. 3:16; I Pet.
5:8) is what we do to protect ourselves from sin, this is Christ
Himself. Such as, do not get into compromising situations,
guarding our lust.
2. The most important aspect is to keep our eyes focused on
Christ, with racehorse blinders on to block off the rest.
3. Following these precepts will keep the church healthy from
the disease of strife, gossip, arrogance, apathy, and envy!
4. If we are claiming Christ as Lord, we need to be living the
life, not just talking about it, or just showing up for the club
meetings (church)!

Questions:

1. Is there one place or location that you feel the most at home at, where
you are most comfortable?
2. How do you feel when you leave that comfort zone?
3. Write a list of the things that give you comfort in the Christian life or
church?
4. Then go over that list and honesty look at it through prayer. Is there
anything on that list that may seem great, but is keeping you from
putting on Christ?
5. Such as is your role in the church giving you the comfort or is it Christ
living in you?
6. Do you have presumptions and thinking that keeps you comfortable
and stable?
7. Can these presumptions get in the way of your spiritual growth?
8. Is there a main factor or theme for you that must come into play for you
to live the Christian life?
9. What does putting on Christ and taking off yourself mean to you?
10. What does the theme of light and darkness mean to you?
11. Have you ever considered that Christians and the church can produce
darkness? Can you think of examples? (Remember Paul is addressing
Christians!)
12. What does mimicking His character to the best of our abilities mean?
13. What might you need to wake up and clean up to?
14. How can clothing ourselves in Christ’s character make a difference in
the church and community?
15. What do you think are the clothes of Christ’s character?
16. What are some ways of wrong thinking and actions that keep you from
your best before Christ?
17. What about wrong thinking in others that you have observed (do not
name names!)?
18. We are to live our lives as if Christ is coming back next Tuesday, at the
same time plan ahead as He may not come back for hundreds of
years. How can we do this and Why should we do this?
19. Does the Lord's return give you excitement? Why or why not?
20. Have you or have you known someone who thought Christ was coming
back at a certain day and He did not? If so how did they feel before
and after?
21. Are you able to discern and live with anticipation for Christ return, and
not be disappointed if He does not come back in your lifetime?
22. If He does not comeback for a hundred or more yours will you be
disappointed and would it affect your faith?
23. Do you think John, Paul and the early church were disappointed that
Christ did not come back in their lifetime?
24. Have you ever considered that your life on earth may just be a mere
rehearsal for what is to come in eternity?
25. Does this give you hope? Or does it cause you to grieve because you
may have not lived the life as you should have? (Remember it is never
to late to change your ways and thinking and behaviors and live the life
as Christ taught, unless you are dead of course!)
26. What have you done that you are hopeful about, and what have you
done in this life that you may be ashamed of, that will echo throughout
eternity?
27. Remember Christ forgives!!! But do not let forgiveness be the excuse
to get you out of your growth and responsibility with Christ! So may I
ask again, can you think of anything else you need to wake up too?
28. So do we “get” what the Christian life is about? If not what is in the
way? If so how can you communicate that to others?
29. Do you see the call of our Lord and its urgency? Or are you
comfortable as you are and do not want to be bothered?
30. If so what needs to take place to get you or someone else out of their
comfort zone into Christ’s zone?
31. What would that mean to get into Christ’s zone? (The keyword here is
character!)
32. Why would some Christians negate their responsibility with their
growth and or role in the church?
33. What is the role of discernment, and how can it be used in the church?
34. How can we be sharp and informed people of God?
35. What is the Armor of Light?
36. How would light counteract that darkness?
37. How and why would an undiscerning Christian cause massive
destruction to the mission and role of the church?
38. What are some of the dirt that can build up in the church from not
being discerning?
39. How can you put on Christ and take off yourself?
40. What can you do to mimic His character to the best of your abilities?
What do you need to do to make Christ’s clothes fit better on you?

If we are claiming Christ as Lord, we need to be living the life, not just
talking about it, or just showing up for the club meetings (church)! Be
diligent and be your best for His highest!

Theological Thought: See our article on the DANGERS OF PRIDE!


© 1998, 2002 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy word Ministries
Romans 14 Themes of Hypocrisy Bible Study 34

Not Judging One Another (14:1-15:4) Main Thought: Many times, Christians
will test our faith more than non-Christians!

Most Christians have not yet discovered who they are in Christ. They will
elevate their desires, goals, and aspirations over anyone else's, even the Lord's.
These immature Christians will not allow themselves to be convicted or grow in
the faith. They eat of their works and not of their faith. Thus, they rationalize and
theologize their way through life, making all kinds of excuses for demanding their
own Will and way. (Many Reformed people believe that the reason Armenianism
was developed, and so adhered to over the centuries, was that it gives false
comfort in our choices and Will. It leads one to believe that we make the
decisions in what matters in life and God merely provides us with options and
choices. In a way that may be true, but Armenianism places the focus on the
responsibility of man, not the purpose of God. The Bible clearly teaches, as in
reformed thinking, that the focus is on God’s sovereignty, glory, and purpose. We
cannot choose our own Will and claim it as His!)

Therefore, because all these various visions for our life and Will are
volleying for power, the focus tends to not be God's Will in most churches and
Christian’s lives. Thus, when you do take a stand, even though it is Biblical and
true, Christians will persecute you more than heathens will! Look at church
history for this evidence. Because Christians fear change and conviction more
than anything else, they do not want to see their hypocrisy. Jesus said for us to
remove the plank from our own eye first. They do not want to remove it, because
that plank is their source of comfort and rationale for all they do.

Remember, it takes a diamond to cut another diamond, so allow other


Christians to hone and challenge you, but never let anyone sway you from what
is clearly revealed in Scripture! Count your afflictions as joy and service to Him,
as long as you are true to Christ and His Word.

The Roman Christians had a tough time adjusting to the New Life in
Christ, and in wrestling their Jewish law and tradition over the alien concepts of
freedom and grace. They were not willing to act by faith and trust in Christ, just
as most Christians today are! It takes time to be discipled and to adjust to our
new Life. Faith is given to us "overnight," but we still have to receive, process,
and act on it. We tend to create our own bureaucratic obstacles, and then blame
God and others. Paul is calling us to be patient and to understand each other.
When we do, life goes much more smoothly, and things are not taken so
personally.
I. Being and living as an honest Christian should just be a natural endeavor. We
have been filled with the Holy Spirit. We know the Scriptures. Therefore, there
should be no problems with honest living, yet there is!
a. Hypocritical conduct is from our fallen nature, as demonstrated by our
history, actions, interpersonal relationships, divorce court and
testimonies by behavioral scientists. Christians don not seem to be
immune from this infection.
b. Hypocritical conduct causes us to behave in one way, while desiring or
even believing we are acting in a total different way. It may be
intentional or it may be just the slip of the tongue. However, it is all the
same to the hearer of the words--damaging, destructive, awful,
addictive, and most of all, devoid of Christian love.
c. A contradictory witness comes out of our behavior. We may desire to
earnestly live the life of Christian maturity, and instead we drive people
away from the Lord! We end up doing the opposite of Christian Living!
d. The opposite of godlessness is godliness. This is the act of honoring
God with our best. Then we live out our faith in obedience, with love
and trust in Christ.
e. The reason the Pharisees were so despised throughout church history
is due to the charge that Christ made. Jesus charged the Pharisees
directly with godlessness. This charge was the worst thing a Hebrew
person could receive. This is also the reason that the Pharisees
wanted so desperately to kill Christ.
f. Jesus saw that “the emperor wore no clothes!” Sometimes, someone
may call us a hypocrite and we get angry even though the charge may
be true.

II. Why do Christians make two contradictory actions? Psychologists call it


“cognitive dissonance.” This is when a person harbors two completely different
views. While acting on one behavior, they believe they are doing something quite
different. This can be caused by a stressful situation, by being uncomfortable,
and by being unable to modify our beliefs to fit our situation. So, we develop
rationalizations by believing we must be right in our actions because our beliefs
are right, regardless of our actions.
a. The early church struggled with this and called it Gnosticism.
b. Do we try to keep our image intact only to Christians around us, and let
our true nature slip to people at work or when we go shopping? The
problem is that most people, especially non-Christians, will see right
through our hypocrisy, even though we may not see or admit it!
c. Most Christians just flat out do not want to change their behavior,
regardless of what anyone thinks or what Scripture teaches.
d. The hypocrisy that most people experience happens in the workplace.
For example, when someone acts unkindly towards a co-worker by
spreading rumors or being abrupt to their fellow employees, to later find
out that the person is active in a church only compounds the issue and
places the focus on Christianity!
e. The Pharisees were experts on seeing hypocrisy in others, but they
failed to see it in themselves. They could look down the corridor of time
and see all the errors and mistakes their ancestors made in the past, but
now look at themselves as more accomplished and incapable of doing the
ungodly acts of years past. However, the Pharisees could not see the
damage, hurt, and oppression that they were causing. They were causing
the very same problems for which they were criticizing their ancestors.
They were actually leading people away from God! They were performing
the very opposite of their job description, the very opposite of their call
from the Lord (Matthew 23:23-33)
f. When you ask someone, “Would you like to be a Christian?” you are in
fact saying, “Would you like to be like me?” Therefore, we must be careful
in our daily actions, words, and deeds and how we tell someone about the
Lord. Remember, in Matthew 23 Jesus is warning us about misleading
people.
g. Do not ever believe that our performances are realities. People will see
right through us. We have bad days. We make mistakes. After all, we
are human, and we cannot be perfect all the time. Our culture does not
want us to be perfect, just genuine.

III. Pride is the destroyer of humbleness. Pride is the fruit of hypocrisy (or,
should I say, the rotten vegetable?), and humbleness is the destroyer of
hypocrisy. Hypocrisy cannot exist in an environment filled with humbleness. This
is because in our humbleness, we are glued to our Lord and not to ourselves.
Godliness cannot exist in an atmosphere of pride!
a. Pride is perhaps the first sin that entered God's universe. It is also
perhaps the last sin that can be conquered. This sin is so enticing it
corrupts our innermost being. It gives us the illusion to think overly highly
of ourselves. As a result, self-esteem and self-love become the priority for
our lives rather than the Lord!
b. Pride causes inordinate amounts of mistreatment, rudeness, and hurt.
c. Pride is the sin that made Satan stumble and fall from grace, resulting
in one-third of the heavenly host to fall into the self-destruction of pride
and arrogance that then turned them into demons, the devil and hell.
d. Pride is what killed the Jews under Hitler, and causes the ethnic
cleansing that goes on today in so many countries.
e. Pride is the over zealousness of our self-love, where we place
ourselves as the center of the universe and not Christ.

Questions:

1. What would you think if diplomats from the United States went to foreign
countries and conducted themselves anyway they pleased, and made up U.S.
policy on a whim?
2. Do you think that foreign countries would have a false impression of the
United States because of this behavior?
3. Would our government have control over its diplomatic core, or the policies it
was trying to convey to the rest of the world?
4. How does this question compare with how we relate to others both inside and
outside the church as we serve as ambassadors for Christ?
5. How do you think the Lord feels when we misrepresent Him in the world?
6. Read Matthew 23:23-33; How would you define hypocrisy?
7. Living as an honest Christian should be a natural endeavor. So, why does this
sometimes not happen?
8. Have you ever experienced having your faith tested more by Christians than
by non-Christians?
9. Have you ever taken a Biblical stand and been persecuted by other Christians
for standing in the faith?
10. Do you think that Christians realize what they are doing to one another when
they are not living honestly with one another?
11. Why would Christians elevate their desires, goals, and aspirations over
anyone else's, even the Lord's?
12. Do you believe or have you had experience where some Christians fear
change and conviction more than anything else?
13. When we Christians sit in the pews with our nice suits and dresses, and big
smiles on our faces, do we really realize how we are mirroring Christ to the
world, or to the person sitting right next to us?
14. Are we doing life and church as Christ would, or are we mirroring how we feel
and desire, regardless of our mandate from our Lord?
15. Do you believe that hypocrisy is a destroyer of the church?
16. If Satan were to sit down in a counsel of demons to implant a strategy to tear
down the church, all he would need to do would be to place a few key
individuals in each church to spread gossip and rumors. Do you agree with
this statement? Why or why not?
17. Do you believe that as Christians, we have the responsibility to act as the
Disciples of Christ wherever we are and whatever we do?
18. How do you influence others?
19. We can get in the habit of playing the role of the Christian, and yet not take a
deeper ownership of faith. This results in our sending mixed messages to
those around us. How can we prepare ourselves as well as our church to
behave more like Christ?
20. How can we realize the danger we portray by living a double life? How do we
stop it before it happens?
21. If we are all friendly and loving at church, genuinely seeking after each other
with encouragement and care, and then go to work on Monday with a
contemptuous and condescending attitude toward our coworkers, then what
are we doing?
22. What are we expecting people to think when we live a double life, be a “secret
agent” Christian?
23. Are you putting on a performance or are you genuinely focused on the
Lordship of Christ so that He flows to those around you?
24. How can you let other Christians hone and challenge you without getting
discouraged?
25. After reading though this study and wresting with the above questions, come
up with an encouraging and Biblical action plan to model and inspire your
church to live the Christ filled life without hypocrisy.

Pride is the destroyer of humbleness. Pride is the fruit of hypocrisy (or should I
say rotten vegetable?), and humbleness is the destroyer of hypocrisy. Hypocrisy
cannot exist in an environment filled with humbleness because when we are
humble we are glued to our Lord and not to ourselves.

Do you eat from your faith or from what you have done?

Theological Thought:

Pride and Propitiation! The world may see pride as a sign of respect and
dignity, a sign that our worth as human beings is supreme, that we deserve
respect and even worship for ourselves. The world may take pleasure and
satisfaction with pride as it represents achievements that we have accomplished.
But, our conceit is the source of pride. When we are filled with conceit, we have a
vastly exaggerated opinion of ourselves. Pride is a delusion!

Our self-esteem must come from who we are in Christ and what Christ
has done for us. This should give us an enormous satisfaction and sense of
worth. The King and Creator of the universe cares for us and loves us. He is
living within, guiding, loving, and holding us! There is no adequate substitution for
that! But, it is sad that we try so hard to substitute the wonders of the truth of
what Christ did for us with stupid insignificant lies. It would be like giving up living
on the Queen Mary to live on a rowboat. We think our pride, not Christ, is the
answer. Christ is calling us from an over-exaggerated opinion of ourselves,
calling us from our vanity and from our delusions of conceit. Christ calls us out of
conceit, which is faith in ourselves, and into Himself.

The practical application of pride is if, when we go to church, we see


someone strut around the place like a rooster in a hen house, full of themselves
and swimming in their delusions. When a non-Christian visits the church, or even
when a Christian has a confrontation with Mr. & Mrs. “Puff Up,” the result is hurt
and disillusionment with the church. This Mr. & Mrs. “Puff Up” are full of
themselves and not full of Christ, so the comments of arrogance and the attitude
of condescension flows from their words and actions. I cannot count how many
times I've seen this played out in churches and it hurts me so much. Imagine how
it must hurt our Lord!

God’s Covering Protects: God is not in the business of gossip,


hypocrisy, or legalism. Neither are the angels and hosts of heaven. They look
down at us from heaven and know all of our deepest innermost secrets. The
angels see them in plain view, but do they act on this knowledge? Are they
talking among themselves on how bad and wicked we can be now? NO! God
creates a blanket that covers us, nurtures, and protects us from ourselves. This
covering also protects God from our wicked nature. God is Holy and cannot be
corrupted by our sin, so His grace covers us. In theology, this is called
propitiation. God's wrath is pleased by the sacrifice that Christ made on our
behalf. Our response for this covering must be the response of modeling God's
character. We model Him when we look and respond to each other, Christian or
non-Christian, with love, care and respect. The question is, do we go around and
uncover each other's blankets, reviewing the wickedness into…well, we do! But,
God’s desire is for us to model His character. When we are modeling His
character, we do not go around slandering one another with hypocrisy or
legislating rules to make ourselves feel good.

Let us not fall into the trap of putting on a performance, of acting out the
Christian life. Let us not play a Christian, but let us be a Christian. Let our
actions be in response to the transformation of Christ's grace by living honest
lives. We must allow Christ’s amazing grace to root out all the evil within us,
especially the hypocrisy that causes so much destruction.
Romans 14:1-13a Bible Study 35

Romans Chapter XIV: Overview:


Verses 1-6: As Christians we should gladly accept people who are “weak in
faith.” The Bible is clear that we are not to despise or judge them, put them down,
or belittle them! The call is to love one another and treat others with respect,
even when they are doubtful or indifferent to Christianity and us.
Verses 7-12: Christians who are new to or who are not mature in the faith
are forming their relationship with Christ and others, and they are accountable to
Christ. Christ is the judge, not us. We are the feet of the good news to bring love
and discipleship to them!
Verses 13-23: Scripture exhorts us to pursue peace and harmony and not
to be divided on the silly things of life, such as food. We are not to cause people
to stumble either by our action or inaction. Our faith and actions will be closely
monitored and will either lift them up or bring them down! Hypocrisy is perhaps
the most deadly threat to the new or weak Christians who are victims of it, and is
a heinous sin against Christ and His children by those who cause it! We as a
body of Christ must seek to show right actions to each other, to be cautious, and
to act with charity, humility, and self-denial within our Christian liberty.

Acceptance (14:1-13a)
General idea: We have to understand that Christians who are new in the faith or
who are not mature in the faith will not have a well-grounded understanding of
the things we take for granted in Christianity. They will be easily swayed to sin
and false doctrines. In addition, they will not understand terminologies or our
social customs and way of doing things. Therefore, we are called to be
understanding and patient. We are to mentor and guide them in love and truth.
We are not to put them down but help lift them up. Hypocrisy will be the spiritual
death of us all if we do not act and react with wisdom!

A. Maturity and growth in Christ is by the work of the Holy Spirit. It is also a
choice we receive (Phil. 2). This is called sanctification, or the Holy Spirit working
in us. Consecration is the work we do to tear down the barriers of our self-will
and pride that block the work of His sanctification!
1. We must respect and work with one another to further His
Kingdom, to keep our eyes focused on Him and not on our
feelings, focuses, or disagreements and differences. When we
do, our attitude will be based on Christ and not on our self-
delusions.
2. The attitude of acceptance is being welcoming to others
outside our perceived parameters of acceptance.
3. We are definitely outside of Christ's parameters of acceptance,
yet He accepted us.
4. Being charitable (positive relationships of patience I Cor. 13
& Gal. 5) is a "MUST" part of the Christian experience and
duty!
a. The eating of vegetables as being weak is a metaphor and
illustration and not from the Law, (Dan. 1:12) or a dietary
recommendation of Paul.
b. A lot of inner conflict was over superficial food or the correct
day to worship. Today, Christians will fight more viciously over the
color of the carpet in the sanctuary.
c. Unity is more important than resolving trivial disagreements (1
Cor. 8; Gal. 1:6-7; 3:1-5; Phil. 3:2,18-19).
5. We have no right to dictate to others how they are to act in
minor affairs such as eating. We are to model righteousness,
not legislate it. We are not to drag new and weak Christians
into our doctrinal conflicts. This throws the focus off discipleship
and is not important to them.

B. We must allow love to be the foundation of our relationships--the love of our


Lord, the love He gives us.
1. Acceptance is not a suggestion for an easier life. It is a command from
our Lord God!
2. We are all answerable to Christ. We are His servants, and we are all to
honor Him.

C. We do not live to ourselves. Since we belong to Him, we are in community


with one other.
1. There are no “Lone Rangers” in the Christian life!
2. Do you realize that you are responsible for the growth of others in
Christ (Acts 1:8; 1 Cor. 9:27; 12:26; Eph. 2:6)?
3. Remember, others have their eyes on you. If you stumble, others will
too. If you succeed, others will too!

C. We must allow our pride to yield to the necessity of being accountable to one
other. The more mature ones must disciple the immature.
1. All of us are equal in the Lord. Never allow your maturity and growth to
be a source of pride or use it to put others down!
2. Never let your immaturity make you jealous of those who are mature.
Do not seek an easy way to maturity. It takes years of discipline. Even
Paul was discipled for three years by Barnabas before he went on his
missionary journeys, and Christ Himself directly interdicted Paul!

D. We have no right to judge one another!


1. The only true judge is God. When we attempt it, we usurp His authority
and make a mess of it, since we are not God and have extremely little
information to go on!
2. Our focus must be in keeping our own accounts straight and not
worrying and interfering with others.
3. We are not to live to ourselves, but rather live for God!
a. When a true Christian is living in God's Will, we have no barring
to judge them or where God leads them!
b. When we make disciples, we make them in Christ's character,
not in ours!
c. We have no right to make servants of our opinions and
ourselves. Keep the horse in front of the cart!

Questions:

1. What is your favorite vegetable? What is the one vegetable you will not eat
and why?
2. Knowing that vegetables are very important to our health, and people who eat
lots of them live longer, are more active, have more energy, feel better, get
sick less and so forth, why do so many people refuse to eat them? How is this
like growing in Christ?
3. Do you show understanding to Christians who are new in the faith or who are
not mature in the faith? Why, or why not?
4. Why would Christians who are new in the faith be easily swayed to sin and
believe false doctrines?
5. Have you considered that Hypocrisy will be the spiritual death of us all if we
do not act and react with wisdom? If so why? If not, why?
6. Have you experienced maturity and growth in Christ by the work of the Holy
Spirit?
7. If so, what are the main factors that inspired you to grow? If not, what are the
barriers that held you back?
8. How can we respect and work with one another to further His Kingdom?
9. What were the main reasons for disagreements and differences in your
church over the years?
10. Looking back on the disagreements of years gone by, are they important
now? Why, or why not?
11. Will the controversies we have today be important to you ten years from now?
12. What is the key factor(s) in order to prevent hypocrisy from flowing from you?
13. Is the attitude of acceptance of others important to you and your church?
14. How can you be more welcoming to others outside your perceived
parameters of acceptance (such as cultural, race, income, social.)?
15. With the above question in mind, do you realize that we are all definitely
outside of Christ's parameters of acceptance, yet He accepted us anyway?
16. Why is being charitable (positive relationships of patience) a "MUST" part of
the Christian experience and duty?
17. What happens when we do the opposite in our personal relationships?
18. What happens when we do the opposite in our church?
19. The eating of vegetables by one weak in faith is a metaphor and illustration.
In your experience, what do Christians today viciously fight over?
20. Are they important?
21. How can you determine when is necessary to take a stand and fight or when
you should let it go?
22. Read Gal. 1:6-7. Is our fighting anything new?
23. How can unity be used in resolving trivial disagreements?
24. Read Phil. 3:2; 18-19. How can you and your church determine between
those who are just new and confused to those who are willfully seeking the
destruction of the church?
25. Legalism is the setting up of rules to control others in the church. Sometimes
these are good rules. Sometimes they are silly. Why then do we not have the
right to dictate to others how they are to act in minor affairs such as eating?
26. Why do some churches still practice legalism?
27. We are to model righteousness, not______________?
28. What happens when we drag new and weak Christians into our church fights?
29. What needs to be the foundation of our relationships, the love of our Lord,
and the love He gives us?
30. Acceptance is not a suggestion for an easier life; it is a command from our
Lord God! Why does He give us such a command?
31. We are all answerable to Christ. We are His servants and we are all to honor
Him. So, how can we do this when we are fighting?
32. How does Christ see our fights and disagreements?
33. Are we then just to gloss over them and ignore one other?
34. Why can there be no “Lone Rangers” (people being alone and not needing
others) in the Christian life?
35. Do you realize that you are responsible for the growth of others in Christ?
36. Our focus must be in keeping our own accounts straight and not worrying and
interfering with others. How can you do this?
37. What can your church do to develop a system of accepting the new and weak
Christians? What are the factors to consider?
38. Remember, others have their eye on you. So, if you stumble, others will too. If
you succeed, others will too. How does this make you feel? Does it inspire
you to do better?
39. How can you prepare yourself to prevent your maturity and growth from being
a prideful thing, or from using it to put others down?
40. How can you prepare yourself to prevent your being jealous of those who are
more mature, or to seek an easy way to maturity?

Theological Thought:
“The Trinity”: A dangerous trend is creeping its way into the church, and that is
the devaluing of solid Biblical doctrine. Some say all we need is Jesus, and we
do not need doctrine. Jesus is love and doctrine divides.

These statements are ridiculous. Just think it through. The Gospels clearly
record that Jesus divides! Once you answer the question, “Who is Jesus,” you
have doctrine. You cannot have Jesus without a definition of who He is, and that
is the realm of doctrine! The Trinity is one of the doctrines people try to get rid of,
saying it is not in the Bible, and so we do not need to believe in it. See for
yourself if the Trinity is not in the Bible.
The word comes from the Latin, "trinitas” which means three or three
ness. The word is not found in Scripture. However, the Bible, from Genesis to
Revelation, depicts God as being triune in nature. He has three forms or three
ways of revealing Himself! We find proof of this ranging from the third person
case in Gen. 1 and 2 to a more exacting form such as in Romans 15:17-20! Yet,
the Old Testament proclaims One God only (Duet 6:3-5; Ex. 20; Isa. 40; 44-45),
and so does the New Testament (Mark 12:29-30; I Cor. 8:4; Eph. 4:6; 1 Tim. 2:5)
and we read of grave consequences for not adhering to it!

A lot of argumentation over the centuries from the first early church
counsel to present day TV preachers has occurred from misrepresenting God.
Why? Because, God is beyond the confides of our limited knowledge of the
universe, beyond space and time, and definitely beyond our comprehension!
Thus, God reveals Himself to us, as we are able to understand and comprehend
Him. We tend to throw our own spin and sin into the works and create the
arguments ourselves, when God's Word clearly spells out His nature! This
doctrine may be hard for most people to understand. Nevertheless, it is true and
essential if we are to know the One True God.

One God reveals Himself in three personalities. In theology, they are


called "Substances."

God the Father (Gen 1-2; 6:5-7; Ex. 20; 32:9-14; 1 Kings 8:27; Psalm 90;
102:25-27; 145:18; Isa. 40:12-31; 66:1; Mal. 3:6; Matt. 10:29-30; John 4:24; 5:26;
Acts 4:34-35; 17:23-25; Eph. 1:11; 2 Pet. 3:8; Rev. 4:10).

God the Son (John 1:18; 20:28-31; Acts 7:59; Rom. 9:5; 10:9-13; 2 Cor. 12:7-9;
Phil. 2:5-6; Col. 1:15-17; 2:9; Heb. 1:1-12; 1 Pet. 3:15).

God the Spirit (John 14:16,26; 15:26-27; 16:7-15; Acts 5:3-4).

All three are proclaimed together in Matt. 28:19; Rom. 8; 15:17-29; 2 Cor. 13:14;
Eph. 1:3-14; 2 Thess. 2:13-14; 1 Pet. 1:2; Rev. 1:4-5). They are not separate
Gods, for this would be "Tritheism." They are not one God acting out three roles,
for this would be "Modalism." Even though the word "Trinity" is not found in the
Bible, the concept and essence is clearly stated. Furthermore, the concept is of
one God with three conversing distinct ways to reveal Himself --"Personalities,”
or "Substances," if you will. They are co-equal, co-eternal, and possessing full
divinity, yet each is a distinct Person requiring equal devotion and worship. They
are not three, but One in purpose and unity.

© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries


Romans 14: 13b-23 Bible Study 36

Accountability verses Ambition (14:13b-23)


General idea: This passage urges us to pursue peace and harmony and not let
the childish and petty things of life divide us. This passage uses the illustration of
food as a point of division in the early church to drive home this position! We are
not to cause people to stumble by our actions or inactions. Our faith and actions
are monitored closely by God as well as by other people, and we must realize
that our actions are more influential than our words. We will either lift people up
or bring them down! Hypocrisy is perhaps the most deadly threat to new or weak
Christians who fall victim to it, and is a heinous sin against Christ and His
children by those who cause it! We, as a body of Christ, must seek to show right
actions to each other, to be cautious, and to act with charity, humility, and self-
denial within our Christian liberty.

a. Paul was overcome by his liberation in and by Christ (Mark 7:18-19). He


stressed that we must behave and be responsible in the correct manner. We
many enjoy our freedom, but freedom does not entitle one to do anything one
wants, just as living in a “free” county like the US does not.

1. Our human tendency is to persuade others to agree with our views.


God's purpose is to get us in line with His views. Yet so many
Christians spend all of their time as pursuers of argumentation and not
pursuers of holiness! There are times when we need to take a stand
for correct doctrine and virtue with His Word, and there are times we
need to separate childish, petty things from real things. For example,
thinking that the KJV is the only true version is just plain stupid and
goes against Hebrews 4:11-16, yet so many fight for this belief and do
not pursue what we are called to do!
2. Vs. 15: Do not destroy NKJV/ Do not Allow NIV is a reverence to the
OT (Duet. 28:21-63) meaning we are cut off from the community
(Church) or in the OT Jewish covenant community, and Paul uses it as
the serious nature of our disobedience verses the blessings we can
have Duet. 28:1-20): Do not let petty things destroy you! We must
pursue peace with one other in Christ, and be unified. Nothing is
accomplished in the Kingdom of God by our fighting.
i. It distorts us from the true missions of the church--Discipleship,
Worship, Unity, Exercising Gifts, Evangelism, Missions, and
Outreach to the needs of others.
ii. All this leads to immaturity in Christ.
iii. Our grievances (v.15) become offenses (v. 21) that turn into
making others weak (v. 21), thus causing them to fall away from
the faith (vs. 13, 21)!
iv. The Kingdom of God means the reign of God—past, present,
and future! He is in charge of all things, sovereign in Heaven
and in our will (Phil. 2- working out our salvation is the struggle
to allow His will to envelop ours) as His child, and our future
hope!
3. We must not allow our freedom in Christ to be a detriment to others.
4. We are to be in fellowship with one other regardless of the level of our
maturity and faith.
b. A true Christian will never destroy another person's faith so he can have
his own way! Our freedom must not bring dishonor, division, or disrepute to
the church. Our freedom must not be a matter of shallow things such as our
food, or what we do on Sunday afternoon, or if we dance or if we drink wine.
(I am not condoning the consumption of alcohol, but remember both Calvin
and Luther were heavy drinkers! Moreover, the Bible does not condemn its
use. In fact, it promotes it. (See Gen.14:18; Ex. 29:40; Lev. 23:13; Ruth 2:14;
Psalm 104:15; Prov. 3:10; Luke 10:34; John 2:3; 1 Tim 5:23). Wine in the
Bible had an alcohol content of 5% to 12%+, just as wine today has. That is
basic fermentation science. To say Biblical wine had no alcohol is being very
unknowledgeable about how fermentation takes place. By the way, the
orange juice in your refrigerator has up to 5%+ alcohol in it! The Bible is
against the misuse of wine and drunkenness (Gen. 9; 19:32; 1 Sam. 1:24; 2
Sam 16:1; 2 Kings 18:32; Prov. 4:17; 20:1; 23:20; 1 Tim. 3:8)! There is no
Scripture in the Bible that says that games are wrong such as playing cards,
yet this was a line that separated a true Christian from a false Christian for
many years in America, which was purely childish and silly. We must not
argue with people out of our petty presumptions and feelings. Rather, we are
to let Biblical convictions and the core truths of our faith infuse us so we can
maintain and model them!
1. Conviction is the role of the Holy Spirit (John 14:17; Acts 1:8; 4:31;
10:45; 2 Cor. 3:18; Eph. 3:16-17; Heb. 13:5-6).
2. We must never we allow ourselves to be swayed from our convictions
(ones that are Biblically based) by peer pressure!

c. If you are not sure if something is right or wrong, butt out! Seek wise council.
Do not allow yourself to parrot others around you. Check out the facts. Do not
buy into rumors, and do not spread rumors even if they are true. Rather,
follow the precepts of Matthew 18!

d. We must realize that both the non-Christian and the weak Christian will
scrutinize our actions. Thus, it is paramount that we behave in a manner
devoid of hypocrisy, pride, envy, deceit, anger, malice, legalism, etc (1 Pet
2:1-10).
1. Our focus must be on edifying and encouraging, things rare in the
church today!
2. God approves when we are walking in Him! God does not approve
when we are walking by ourselves, comforted in our own petty
presumptions and ignoring His love and truth!
Questions:

1. How did you handle disputes as a child, such as having a friend play with
your favorite toy when you did not want them to?
2. Have you ever offended anyone by eating or drinking the wrong thing?
3. Have you ever been overcome by something?
4. How do you determine what is right and wrong?
5. How would you describe this passage to a new Christian?
6. What do you consider as childish and petty in life, at work, or at school?
7. What do you consider as childish and petty in the church?
8. What do you think it means to behave and be responsible?
9. What views does your church stress for people to agree with?
10. Are they Biblical and just? If so, how do people handle them? If not, what
does the church need to do?
11. God's purpose is to get us in line with_______________________? Why?
12. Why do so many Christians spend all of their time and efforts as pursuers of
argumentation and not pursuers of holiness? What do you suppose is their
rationalization?
13. There are times we need to take a stand for correct doctrine or virtue. What
are examples of this?
14. There are times we are to separate childish and petty things from real things.
What is an example?
15. Are there issues that are your pet peeves, things that you hate and wish you
could attack?
16. How do you decide if they are right or wrong?
17. How should the church leadership decide when an issue is worth the fight or
not?
18. When the Bible is not explicit with an issue, such as card playing or work
ethics, how should we decide if it is right or wrong?
19. How do we respond to others doing something we think is wrong?
20. What issues have you observed people in the church fighting over, rather
than pursuing what we are called to do?
21. Why is nothing positive accomplished in the Kingdom of God by our fighting?
22. Then why do we fight so much?
23. How does fighting distort us from the true mission of the church?
24. Why would this lead to immaturity in Christ?
25. Why is fellowshipping with one other regardless of the level of maturity and
faith important?
26. Why would a true Christian destroy another one's faith so that he could have
his own way?
27. What does freedom in Christ mean to you?
28. When do we cross the line from dishonor, division, and disrepute in the
church to exercising our liberty and freedom?
29. Our freedom must not be a matter of shallow things. What do you consider as
shallow things?
30. Why do some Christians make such a big deal about drinking wine?
31. What is your belief about wine for communion (Matthew 26:27-29)?
32. What have been some of the petty presumptions and feelings you have
observed among some Christians?
33. How could your doing something that another person thinks of as wrong
cause them to sin?
34. How do you feel that your actions are scrutinized by the non-Christian, and
the weak/new in faith?
35. Why should we bow to someone else’s sense of right and wrong, even if they
are silly?
36. How can you not allow your freedom in Christ to be a detriment to others?
37. What can you do so you will never allow yourself to be swayed from your
convictions (that are Biblically based) by peer pressure?
38. How can you let Biblical convictions, the core truths of our faith, infuse you so
you can maintain and model them?
39. How can your church pursue peace with one other in Christ?
40. Our focus must be on edifying and encouraging. So, what can your church do
to make this a priority?

God approves us when we are walking in Him!

Theological Thought:

“Hope” is our forward outlook to be in Christ forever. This produces Joy. Heb.
11:1, "the substance of things hoped for." Hope is our future in Christ in glory, in
Heaven. When we keep focused on our circumstances, we will see little or no
hope. We can only attain hope by being in Christ, and having our eyes focused
upon Him. Christ is to be our anchor, our hope (Luke 12:15-21; John 16:33; Acts
14:22; 1 Cor. 4:8-13; 2 Cor. 4:7-18; 5:6-8; Rom. 15:13; Phil. 1:21-24; 1 Tim. 1:1;
2 Tim. 4:7-8; Heb. 6:18-19). Hope calls us to patience and confidence for service
in adversity, to endure suffering, and to continue in His call (Rom. 5:1-5; 8: 18,
25). Hope must be our focus to us, and to others. It must never be faked or
depressed (1 John 3:3; 4:18)! Hope is the effect of obedience and trust in our
Lord (Heb. 6:18.) If you have no hope, then you have no vision and purpose, no
trust in the One who loves. Hope allows you to live with the perspective of
eternity, so you are not bogged down in your dire circumstances.

© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries


Romans 15:1- 13 Bible Study 37

Conclusion: 15:4-16:27 (see Romans Background Material) With Paul's


manifesto now complete, he finishes with a personal note. Paul may have been
apprehensive on how this letter would be received; therefore, he uses many
personal pronouns to reassure them of his love for them. Paul also opens his
heart to them, and becomes very vulnerable and candid. He seeks their prayers
and support. And, in his final closing, he is still overflowing with the magnitude of
the greatness of God's grace! Emperor Nero may have martyred him, but his
voice prevails today, nearly 2000 years later, by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Romans Chapter XV: Overview:


1-3. Condescension of the weak and the lost is an extreme assault both
on the character of our Lord and on His instruction to us! A Christian must never,
ever be so filled with pride that he is arrogant and callous toward others! The
mature Believer should be able to give up his selfish desires and inclinations for
the good of others, so to be an example of Christ.
4. The Bible was written for our benefit and instruction, filled with hope,
purpose, and meaning to enable us to live the Christian life.
5-7. Paul prays for love and concord among the Believers for the worship
of God, the chief reason to be a church.
8-13. The Scriptures prophesy the coming together of Jew and Gentile in
the service and glory of God.
14-16. Paul passionately urges the Christians in Rome (and us, too) that
who we are in Christ must be demonstrated in our relating to others.
17-21. We are called to glorify Christ in all that we do! This includes Paul,
the Apostle, as well as us as Believers.
22-33. Paul then tells us of his experience and passion as a missionary
raising support, that his Call needs to be supported. Paul in modeling, speaking,
and writing directs us to the urgency of the gospel and the need of the world to
hear it. He desires prayers and respect. We must give the same to one another.

Learning Outcomes:
a. Be careful not to put down others whose faith is not strong.
b. Be willing and able to disciple others in the faith with guidance, support, and in
prayer.
c. Live your life as an encourager to others.

A. We have a Debt to the Weak (15:1-6)


General Idea: The more experienced and mature Christian is called to walk
along side new and less mature Christians to help them grow so they can glorify
Christ. In addition, Christians are to remove all aspects of pride and arrogance
from their thinking and actions!
a. The mature Christian has the obligation, the imperative command, to disciple
others with time, love, and patience.
1. The Jewish Christians were trying to force unneeded commands and
procedures on the new Gentile converts. They were exercising their
own version of lordship, to the exclusion of Christ.
2. Thus, we cannot flaunt ourselves because of our maturity or lack of it.
3. We are to be dedicated to unity rather than to strife and envy.
4. Envy is one of the most destructive forces on earth, and will bring
down leaders and ministries faster than imagination can allow!
5. Christ's focus was pleasing God and helping others. What is yours?
b. In verse three, which is one of the most quoted passages in the New
Testament, Paul is quoting Psalm 69:9. Since God was able to deny Himself,
it is ludicrous to think that our pride is bigger than Him, so we do not need to
be humble!
1. Many Christians act as though this were true!
2. Our Lord suffered for the benefit of others, to the exclusion of Himself.
3. This must be our model and pattern in service to others, and the
reason for the importance of being humble (1 Pet. 5).
c. The Scriptures were written for us, for our benefit, for our learning, for our
growth (1 Cor. 10:11; 2 Tim. 3:15-17; 1 Pet. 1:10-12), all by divine inspiration!
1. Do we acknowledge God's Word the way we do money? Do we
trust others to handle our money, but do not trust them to
disciple our soul? All this must transpire by our unity (vs. 1:21-23;
3:23; 5:2, 11; 8:17-30; 10:8-10).
2. From our studying, to our mentoring, to our governing, to our
hospitality, to our public encounters, all must be done by one mind and
mouth. We must work as a body, maintaining our individual
personalities, but having unified vision and purpose to glorify God. If
this is not so, the result is chaos and strife, Satan's favorite playground!
3. We cannot glorify God in the midst of envy and strife, or in the
presence of anger and bitterness.
4. We cannot be known for our negatives, for they will accomplish
nothing. Our focus must be on the positive.

B. Glorifying God as a Benediction of Unity (15:7-13)


General Idea: We as Christians have a debt to pay out of our gratitude for what
Christ has done. We must consider reaching the lost as an opportunity to obey
our call. The whole purpose of the Jewish nation was to model God’s redemptive
plan to all of humanity. Now the baton has been passed to the Christian (Gen.
12).

a. We are to be rooted in humility, as our Lord was (Mark 10:45). This


means mutual acceptance of others, even those whose culture and
beliefs are different. Yet, it is amazing how we Christians exclude one
another over trivial items, causing many church splits and schisms!
1. We have created a poor reputation in the world. We often are
the butt of jokes that we have well earned.
2. God accepted you. You, in turn, must accept others!
I. A wild animal will tear at another animal's weakness and
frailty. Do we do the same with others, and still praise the
Lord?
II. Christ bears our stupidities, and has patience with us when
we are totally undeserving!
III. We are to seek the good in others, as our Lord did, and be
a blessing to others. We are not to seek self-gratification at
the expense of others.
IV. It is impossible to be a Christian hypocrite, as it is
impossible to be half pregnant. Either you are or you are
not. The fruit will show your true colors.
b. The Jews were not selected to be the only ones saved. On the
contrary, their responsibility was to proclaim God to the Gentile world.
1. Jesus modeled and preached this. In doing so, He fulfilled
prophecy.
2. In the ancient world, all the people groups from northern
Europe, to the southern most part of Africa, to the farthest part
of China traveled through Israel for trade to Egypt. Israel was a
giant “bed and breakfast nook,” and the most viable real estate
in the world. This is why nations still fight over it today.
3. The responsibility of the Jew was to be Holy and set apart for
God, and to evangelize the world. When they did it, they were
blessed. When they refused, they went into apostasy and
captivity (Gen. 12:1-3; 17:7; 26:2-4; 28:14; 46:3; Ex. 29:45-46; 2
Sam. 7:9; Isa. 40:10; Mal. 3:1; John 1:14; 4:22; Gal. 3:8-16; 26-
29; Phil. 2:9-11; Heb. 7-10; 13:20; Rev. 7:9; 21:1-3).
4. The primary goal of our Lord has always been to sanctify all (all
people groups, tribes, nations, etc.) people from sin (Rev. 7:9).
5. God saved us not to be self-centered; He saved us to be
His ambassadors wherever we are and whenever we go!
Paul uses the Scriptures to prove this point.
c. The people of Babel sought their own strength (Gen 11). God wants us
to seek Him, Who is the greater strength and purpose!
d. Hope is the effect of obedience and trust in our Lord (Heb. 6:18). If you
have no hope, then you have no vision and purpose, no trust in the
One who loves.

Questions:

1. As you were growing up, did your family or any of your friend’s families have
stern rules on what could or could not be done on a Sunday? If so, how did
that make you feel about God?
2. Why would and should a more experienced and mature Christian walk along
side new and less mature Christians?
3. What have been your thoughts about our discussions of pride and arrogance?
Have you been challenged, or do you feel we are barking up the wrong tree in
our emphases?
4. Why does a Christian have the obligation, the imperative command, to
disciple others in growth with time, love, and patience?
5. What would be some excuses not to do it?
6. How would Christ receive these excuses?
7. In what ways do Christians present their own version(s) of lordship, to the
exclusion of Christ (How do we see Jesus--as lord, or Lord)?
8. Why would dedication to unity rather than strife and envy benefit your church?
9. How could you present an argument to your leadership that discipleship is
paramount for the church?
10. Have you, or have you known Christians who flaunt themselves or are
condescending to new Christians?
11. What would be their motivations for doing so and how would Christ receive
that?
12. Why is envy one of the most destructive forces on earth? How can it bring
down leaders as well as ministries?
13. Christ's focus was pleasing God and helping others. What is yours?
14. Since God was able to deny Himself, can your pride be bigger than Him? If
so, what do you need to do to be humble?
15. How does it make you feel that our Lord suffered for the benefit of you and
others, to the exclusion of Himself?
16. Does this give you hope and encouragement? What about motivation?
17. What are the patterns that you and your church take in serving others?
18. The Scriptures were written for you, for your benefit, for your learning, and
growth, all by divine inspiration. How does this or how can this motivate you
to get in the Word daily?
19. Do you acknowledge God's Word the way you do money?
20. Do you trust others to handle your money, but do not trust them to disciple
your soul?
21. Why can’t you glorify God in the midst of envy and strife, or in anger and
bitterness?
22. Are you and your church known for your negatives or positives? If so, what
will you accomplish, or what will be your focus?
23. In verse seven, we are asked to accept others. How can you do this and what
barriers do you need to get over in order to do so?
24. Are there certain types of people that you just cannot stand? If so, what do
you need to do in light of this passage?
25. How can you and your church realize a depth of gratitude for what Christ has
done so you can see the lost as opportunities and recognize the call to reach
them?
26. How do we as Christians cause church splits and schisms when we exclude
one another over trivial items?
27. What do you think is our honest reputation in the world as a Church?
28. If God accepted you, why should you in turn accept others?
29. A wild animal will tear at another animal's weakness and frailties. Do you or
your church do the same to others and still praise the Lord?
30. Christ bears our stupidities. What are those for you and your church?
31. What do you think it means for Christ to bear our stupidities?
32. How do you feel knowing that Christ has love, patience, and grace with us
even though we are totally undeserving?
33. Is it impossible to be a Christian hypocrite? Why, or why not?
34. Most Christians have a poor understanding of Judaism. The responsibility of
the Jew was to be holy and set apart to God, and to evangelize the world.
When they did this, they were blessed. When they refused, they went into
apostasy and captivity. How does this statement as well as other passages in
the outline help you better understand Judaism?
35. What have you or your church done in the past six months to promote or
model peace and unity?
36. Read Genesis 11. Why do you think the people of Babel sought fame in their
own strength? How does this relate to this passage in Romans? How does
this relate to your culture?
37. Why would having no hope cause you and your church to have no vision and
purpose, or not to trust the One who loves?
38. Have you been able to remove all aspects of pride and arrogance from your
thinking and actions? If not, what do you still need to work on?
39. How can you and your church seek the good in others, be a blessing, and not
seek self-gratification over the expense of others?
40. How can your church function collectively, with all of its individual
personalities, in unified vision and purpose to glorify God?

God saved us, not to be self-centered, but to be His ambassadors wherever


we are and whenever we can!

Theological Thought:
1Liberation and Free Will: Like driving a car in a strange, unfamiliar area, with
Christ as a passenger, we, as human beings, spend most of our time arguing,
complaining, and debating the destination. Therefore, we end up going nowhere
and we end up hating the journey. In addition, we do not have a clue to our
destination. If we allow Christ to get into the driver’s seat, He will be able to take
us where we could never have gone on our own. The journey of argumentation
becomes the road trip of a lifetime, filled with wonder and excitement. Even when
we hit those potholes, the ride is a joy. Moreover, if we will sign over the “pink
slip” of our will to our Lord Jesus Christ, He will take us to places that our wildest
imaginations could never fathom. Our ultimate freedom is found in His service
and glorification. There is no better way of life!

As far as “free will” goes, of course we have “free will!” Calvin spent most
of his writings discussing this fact. He taught that we have responsibility, and
duty to faith and prayer, three areas that require free Will. The doctrine of “faith
alone” is a demonstration of our Will to choose, and we do choose to accept His
amazing gift of grace (to what extent is a matter of debate in Reformed circles).
However, we cannot choose it if we do not know about it, and that is the point of
this doctrine. Sin, by the way of our false presumptions and pride, or what we
think is fun and inviting, is in the way of our choosing. Yet, if we allow His work to
continue in us, the Holy Spirit will lift our sin and our Will out of the way.
Therefore, we can be saved by God’s predestined decree (Grace Alone), and by
what Christ has done (Christ Alone). We accept Salvation (Faith Alone), which is
revealed by the Word (The Scriptures Alone), for God’s glory (Glory to God
Alone). (Slogans from the Reformation adhered by Calvinist and Lutherans.)

As Spurgeon said, free will and God’s sovereignty are friends. His
preordained decrees are also our free choices working out. Hard to understand?
Well, remember, God is beyond the confines of time and space, and is infinitely
beyond our understanding. He is beyond how He revealed Himself to us, so
accept His precepts and trust Him for the joy ride of life!

© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word


1
Romans 15:14-33 Bible Study 38

Paul's Missionary Plans (15:14-33)


General Idea: We are called to glorify Christ in all that we do! Paul fervently
urges the in Roman Christians (and us, too) that when we worship (as a life style
as opposed to just a gathering for a service) and are obedient to Christ, we must
also demonstrate His love in how we relate to others. Paul seeks missionary
support for his journeys because of the urgent need of the world to hear the
Gospel. He desires prayers and respect. We must give the same to one another.

A. Paul reassures the Roman church of his intentions.


1. He does not want to create division or doubt, but merely states
how the Christian life is to be practical and outgoing, not
sedentary and inclusive (Col. 3:16).
2. Paul continues in his theme of our debt to the lost, his vision to
evangelism. Since God saved us, we are in turn obligated to
work in Christ's behalf, to be His agent, powered by the Holy
Spirit to proclaim the Gospel message.
a. The theme within this theme is to go beyond our comfort zone to
those outside our perceived culture and social status.
b. The Jews were challenged to go to the Gentiles; we are
therefore challenged to go to our neighbors too, regardless of
whom they are!
c. The biggest barrier to evangelism today is Christians who
refuse their call (Matt. 28), and forsake their gratitude.
d. It takes the power of the Spirit to keep us motivated,
especially in the common places of life!

B. Paul's passion was to make Christ known, especially to those who did not
have the normal avenue, which back then was the Synagogue. (Rom. 1:13;
7:1-4; 11:25; 12:1) The house church came next, then the underground
church, then 300 years later the national, and then the institutional "catholic"
church.
1. We have many denominations and avenues today, yet so few will
actually hear the Gospel!
2. The Jews will hear of it for certain, due to family traditions. Even the
ones who claim atheism still know their roots and reasons for the faith.
Nevertheless, Paul preached, what of the Gentiles?

C. Paul did not go directly to Rome after his conversion. Logic dictated that he,
as an apostle to the Gentiles, go to their capital city, Rome.
However, he stayed in Jerusalem three years being discipled, and sought the
will of God until he was called to go. Perhaps it was the effect of Pentecost,
(Acts 2:10) and that another apostle went, perhaps Phillip. We do not know
for sure. What we do know is what is most important, and that is to follow
God, and not ourselves.
1. It took Paul over 25 years from His conversion until he finally was able
to go to the Gentile capital; that was three years after he wrote this epistle!
2. God may direct us against our common sense and thinking. So, be in
tune to Him, and His timing and not yourself.
3. As Paul was passionate to the Gentiles, where is your passion?
4. Do we give our highest attention to the work our Lord has given us?
a. With the pure motive, that God will be glorified!
b. That we will be filled with the same zeal!
c. That we never comprise or water down the Word of God!

D. The Trinity is fully expressed in this passage (vs. 17-20); God the Father
(vs. 17-18); God the Son (vs. 17-20); and God the Spirit (vs. 16, 19).

E. "Signs and wonders" refers to the miracles produced by the Holy Spirit
through the apostles, especially Paul, as a testimony to God's power and
glory (Ex. 7:3; Duet. 4:34; 6:22; 7:19; Isa. 8:18; Dan. 6:27; book of Acts).
1. The Bible gives no indication that the Signs and Wonders have
stopped! They may be rare, but nonetheless they are here and working.
a. When we do see them, we are to be discerning and seek
scientific and psychological reasons before we jump to conclusions. If
we do not, we get ourselves in trouble by falling prey to shysters and
manipulators using cheep magician tricks to distract us away from
God’s truth.
b. Remember the purpose of Signs and Wonders was to glorify
Christ, not put on a show! When the manifestations become center
stage, we miss the point of them, placing the focus on the delivery of
the message, and ignoring the message!
2. It is often debated as to the normative aspect and whether or not it
continues today. Some scholars propose that miracles are no longer a
function of the church, and were just a part of "redemptive history.”
However, there is no Scriptural support for that position! Miracles may be
rare, but to say they do not happen puts a limit on God's sovereignty. God
has no limits; hence, why "process theology" (God is evolving, such as
evolution) or "dispensationalism"(God is limited by time periods and
contracts) is not rooted in Scripture, only in the minds of men.
3. God had different covenants and periods in which he chose to work in
"redemptive history,” such as the O.T. period of law, our N.T. period of
grace, the covenant of creation with Adam, and the Great Commission of
our Lord. The problem with dispensationalism is when we say God is
constrictive or limited, we are violating one of the most dearest and
precious and truest doctrines, that of the sovereignty of God.

F. Paul's missionary journeys stretch from Jerusalem to Asia Minor to Greece, all
over the Mediterranean, for a period of nearly 30 years. Paul established
churches, discipled, and preached the Word. There is some debate whether
he reached Illyricum, (present-day Shkodër, Albania). Maybe a letter of his
accompanied some of his students who represented him. The point is that the
Gospel reached far off places to the extent that early Roman solders found
Christians as far as England within a hundred years after Paul. Paul's main
argument for his mission was that he was ordained for it by the Holy Spirit.
G. Paul is seeking support for his trip to Spain, one of the main reasons for his
letter. It is fascinating to speculate if Paul ever went to Spain or died right after
his house arrest in Rome. The fact is, we just do not know (Acts 28). Most
scholars assume that Paul was released after the house arrest in Rome and
then was martyred, so he never made it to Spain. However, Spanish legend
says he did (see "Paul's Situation" of section B of the Romans Background
article). As Paul preached to the Jews to accept the Gentiles, now he turns the
table to expound them to help their fellow troubled Christians who are Jewish
(Rom. 11:17; 1 Cor. 9:3-14; Gal. 6:6)! Paul seeks their support in prayer, and
perhaps money, in three areas--that he will be safe to travel to Judea to bear
the Gospel, that the Jerusalem church accept their gifts, and that he can visit
them personally in Rome.
H. "The God of Peace" (2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 4:9; 1 Thess. 5:23; 2 Thess. 3:16)
Even in Paul’s struggles and hardships, he refers to God as comfort! If we
just live our lives with the attitude of how things affect "me" and not
“others,” then we are living with the devil, and not with God!

Questions:

1. If you could be a missionary, to what county would you want to go?


2. If you could choose any place on earth to live, where would it be?
3. How do you feel when missionaries seek support for their journeys?
4. Have you ever sought support in prayer, and perhaps money, for a ministry
project?
5. What do you think it means to glorify Christ in all that we do?
6. Read Col. 3:16. Have you ever considered that worship is more of a life style
than just a gathering for a service?
7. How have you supported missionaries, in prayer, financially, other ways?
8. In what ways have you been sedentary and inclusive in your faith?
9. What about the churches in which you have participated?
10. How can the Christian life be practical as well as outgoing?
11. How can our debt to the lost empower us to do better at evangelism?
12. Have you ever gone beyond your comfort zone; if so what happened and did
it change your perceptions and views afterwards?
13. Do you and your church associate personally with people outside your
perceived culture and social status?
14. How do you relate to neighbors and other people who are different from you?
15. How do your relationships stack up against what Christ has called you to do
and be?
16. How can you convince Christians who refuse their call (Matt. 28), and forsake
their gratitude to consider that they are the biggest barriers to evangelism?
17. Paul's passion was to make Christ known. How can his passion influence and
fuel yours in the right direction?
18. Why do you suppose that although we have so many avenues to proclaim the
Gospel, fewer and fewer people are coming to the church?
19. What do you need to do to make sure you are following God, and not
yourself?
20. It took Paul over 25 years from His conversion until he finally went to the
Gentile capital. What have you had to wait on in your life?
21. God may direct us against our common sense and thinking. If so, how can
you discern if it is God and not your own aspirations?
22. Paul was passionate to witness to the Gentiles even though he grew up in a
cultural religious system that despised them. Where is your passion?
23. Do you give your highest attention to the work our Lord has given you?
24. Do you do it with the pure motive of glorifying God?
25. How would you define being filled with zeal?
26. How have you seen the Word of God comprised or watered down?
27. Do you or do you know people who claim that the Signs and Wonders have
stopped? If so, what is the argument?
28. Have you ever experienced Signs and Wonders, such as tongues, or
healing?
29. How important a role did Signs and Wonders have in the spread of the early
church?
30. How important are Signs and Wonders in the church today?
31. What do you think is the main purpose for Signs and Wonders?
32. Do you or your church believe in dispensationalism? If so, after reading our
theological thought on this issue, what do you think now?
33. What is your impression of Paul’s mobility all over the Mediterranean for a
period of nearly 30 years, remembering he was on foot?
34. Did you know that Christianity reached England within 100 years after Jesus
gave the Great Commission?
35. So, in comparison, how effective do you think our mission efforts are today?
36. Can you imagine the interpersonal dynamics of Paul, who, preaching to the
Jews to accept the Gentiles, now turns the tables and expounds them to help
their fellow troubled Christians who are Jewish?
37. Have you been in similar interpersonal dynamics in your church, such as a
new convert, after joining your church, becoming the key person to help a
seasoned member, and then visa versa?
38. How can this phrase, The God of Peace, give you hope in your struggles and
hardships?
39. How can you live your life with the attitude of how things affect others? How
would that improve your relationship to God and others?
40. How can you be in tune to Him, and His timing rather than to yourself?

If we just live our lives with the attitude of how things affect "me" rather
than “others,” then we are living with the devil, and not with God!

Theological Thought:
Dispensationalism A dispensation is "a period of time during which man is
tested in respect of obedience to some specific revelation of the will of God"
(Darby). Another view of Dispensationalism says that God uses different means
of administering His Will and Grace to His people in different times and people
groups in the area of Conscience, Law, and Grace (Scofield). C.I. Scofield (1843-
1921) said there are seven dispensations: innocence, conscience, civil
government, promise, law, grace, and the coming kingdom. They claim that the
'Dispensations' are not ages, but stewardships. No matter what label you give it,
they are rooted in specific periods. Dispensationalists interpret the Bible using
these periods as their primary template and filter. Thus, they tend to skew Biblical
principles and make their views by taking those principles out of context.

Dispensationalism is not necessarily heretical, nor does it move a


Christian outside excepted Biblical Christianity or the “scope of orthodoxy.” In
addition, it is not essential for us to know or deny. It will, however, give
misleading and wrong interpretations and promote a limited sovereignty view of
God, such as He can only do certain things in certain times with only certain
people. Of course, any Bible student must realize God is not limited and is totally
sovereign! Sometimes Dispensationalism is compared to “Covenant Theology”
and is divided by semantics. Other times it is divided by bad hermeneutics (bad
interpretations).

Dispensationalism finds its popularity and modern roots in the Scofield


Reference Bible of the late 19th century, which has been revised and is still very
popular. There is an online version on our Bible Tools channel. This reference
Bible has influenced the doctrinal beliefs of many churches, including the Baptist
church, Fundamentalists, the Bible churches, and many non-denominational
evangelical churches and seminaries including Dallas Seminary. Although
Scofield did not come up with it, he built on what was founded, developed, and
propagated by John Nelson Darby (1800-1882) in his writings and commentary
of the Bible. There is an online version of this on our Bible Tools channel also.

Dispensationalism also believes in a big distinction between God's plan for


Israel and God's plan for the Church. Thus, the church did not start until
Pentecost. And some say that the Jews have no role today. An honest reading of
Hebrews and Revelation would clear that up! They also see and interpret any
Scripture that would otherwise refute their view, as referring to another "division"
of Scripture. As a result, Scripture is not interpreted in its context or as a whole,
but as fragmented divisions that applied only to certain times and places. It is
difficult to argue with them since their premise of Biblical interpretation is flawed,
and they rule out any passage that disagrees with their position, stating that it
does not apply.

A more proper Biblical understanding on what Dispensationalism is trying


to communicate can be found in Covenant Theology. This is a system of
theology that views God's dealings with man in reverence and reference to
Covenants (contacts) rather than dispensations (periods of time). The two main
covenants are between God and Adam (the start of the law, fully realized under
Moses), and the “Covenant of Grace” between the Father and the Son (Heb.
13:20), where the Father gives to the Son the elect, and the Son must redeem
us. Both of these covenants were made before the world and humanity began. A
covenant is an agreement between two parties. Covenants, according to the
earliest Middle Eastern traditions, had five parts to them:

1. Stating and recognizing the parties involved.


2. A chronological introduction on why the contact was established.
3. The circumstances and principles of the contract.
4. The rewards and punishments in keeping or breaking the contract.
Distribution of the contract where each party receives a copy of the agreement
(much the same as we have today).

The quintessential covenant in Scripture is the two stone tablets of the


Ten Commandments! The purpose of the covenants that God has made with us
through time is to establish who He is, our responsibility toward Him and others
around us, and to convey His promises, of which we are the ultimate
beneficiaries. We receive eternal promises and blessings through His covenants
of grace. (Gen. 2:16-17; 9:1-17; 15:18; 26:3-5; Gal. 3:16-18; Luke 1:68-79; Heb.
13:20) Other covenants can be found in Scripture between God and Noah, God
and Abraham, and God and Moses.

All Biblical theologians will recognize that God works differently through
the Law than through Grace. That is how Dispensationalism came in. Even
Jonathan Edwards makes these distinctions. Many Dispensationalists see him as
their father, but Edwards spoke of covenants, not Dispensationalism. The
responsibilities given to humanity by God were different during the periods of
Adam and Eve, the Law, and the Cross. The Jews were to show their faith by
doing what God had commanded (Duet. 6). When they could not keep the Law,
God allowed the sacrificial system for atonement. Salvation came to the Jews,
not by keeping the law, because none of them could do it. Salvation came
because they understood its true purpose of revealing sin, pointing toward the
Cross to come, and their turning to God.

Unfortunately, many good Bible teachers, seminaries, and churches


adhere to Dispensationalism out of ignorance, tradition, or bad mentoring. Most
are just confused over the semantics of covenant verses dispensation, while
others go overboard to the point of saying Spiritual Gifts are not for modern
Christians and some even deny the role of Baptism, saying it was for the early
church only. Again, as this is not essential salvation-based theological stuff, we
can agree to disagree. Just make sure you base your theology on what the
Scriptures actually say, and not what you think they should say!

© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word


Romans 16:1-16 Bible Study 39

Romans Chapter XVI: Overview:


1-16: Paul consigns and hands over Phoebe to the Roman church; and then
singles out people by name, giving his acknowledgments and sincere, loving
greetings.
17-20: He then sternly warns them of what will destroy their church; the Romans
are to be against those who have caused divisions and confusion with other’s
faith and relationship to God.
21-23: He again names several of his spiritual brothers and sisters, gives his
blessings and further acknowledgments of them.
24-27: Paul then wraps up his greetings and warnings with prayers for them, and
extols them for God’s glory.

Commendations and Greetings (16:1-16)


General Idea: This passage in Romans is often just glanced over. You may
never see a sermon or Bible study on it, because it is seen as just a list of
names. But, is that all it is? Many people, especially we pastors, often forget
those who contribute to the ministry, not necessarily out of callous disregard, but
out of our hurriedness of the moment, our focusing on ourselves and our needs
over those of others. Paul cuts across cultural barriers and arrogance, and
commends publicly, acknowledging many. We should be careful to always be
people who honor and acknowledge others!
A. No one in the Lord is unimportant! There are 27 names listed who
were Paul’s friends and who helped him. Many of them, nine, in fact,
were women. (Spurgeon said in the Victorian period, "Sex is no
hindrance to service!”)
1. This is a testimony to the importance of personal
relationships, of cooperation, (working together for a
unified vision and purpose,) and the value of
encouragement, and why Paul takes the time to list them with
a little explanation!
2. It has been said that the service we give to others is the rent we
give to live on this earth!
3. The word servant in verse one means a servant who waits on
tables versus a slave, who is usually called a bondservant. This
is where we get our word for Deacon (Acts 6:1-6; Rom. 12:7;
Phil. 1:1; 1 Tim. 2:8-3:13; 4:6). 1 Timothy does not restrict
women from serving in the church or being in ministry. The
distinction is what is called in military terms, the “line
relationship.” One is not to have higher rights over another, but
is higher in rank to produce order and efficiency. The Bible only
prohibits women from being a senior pastor, or teaching men!
4. "Cenchrea," a port city near Corinth, was one of the greatest
man made achievements in antiquity; a huge canal dug out by
slave labor. This would indicate where Paul was when he sent
the letter to the Romans. However, it possibly took him months
to compose it.

B. The Holy Spirit was the author of Romans, Paul was His messenger,
Tertius wrote it down on the scroll, Gaius let Paul work in his home,
and Phoebe (who was possibly a businessman going to Rome) was
the one who traveled a great distance to deliver the epistle.
1. We Christians are called to help one another in our "personal
business", especially strangers, to glorify God and because
we do not know what help we may need ourselves. This is not
being intrusive or nosey, but helpful when needed, in community
and cooperation.
2. Our human tendencies are to focus on the big names, those in
the limelight, and not realize the scores of people who do the
tough work. Just watch movie credits and the hundreds of
people it takes to make one, yet only the stars get the credit.

C. The saints at work, Priscilla and Aquila, were tent makers, as was
Paul, in Corinth and Ephesus. They actually made tents as a career.
Today, we use this term to describe a “bi-vocational” pastor or
missionary who serves God and has to make their livelihood
elsewhere. (Acts 18:1–3;18:26) This married couple is never
mentioned separately, perhaps because they ministered together as
with Andronicus and Junia (2 Cor. 11:23.)
1. The New Testament does not record how, or where Priscilla and
Aquila risked their own necks (NKJV) for Paul, but it probably
happened at Ephesus.
2. Vs. 7: of among the apostles is a phrase that can mean that
they were well known to the apostles, but not that they were
distinguished as apostles! (Many people take this passage out
of context and meaning to proclaim that they, or someone else
is an Apostle!)
3. Vs. 8-10: "Amplias, Urbanus, Stachys, and Apelles" were
common slave names. (The same names have been found in
lists of slaves who served in imperial households.) "Aristobulus"
was a familiar Greek name. (The family of Herod the Great used
the name often. Scholars have suggested that this Aristobulus
was the grandson of Herod the Great and the brother of Agrippa
I.)
4. Vs. 11: "My countryman," indicates that Herodion must have
been a Jew, like Paul. Scholars have suggested that Narcissus
was a famous "freedman" of that name, who was put to death
by Agrippa shortly after Nero came to power. (See, introduction
A of the Romans Background Material)
5. Vs. 12: Tryphena and Tryphosa are generally considered
sisters.
6. Vs. 13: Rufus is often identified as an adopted mother to Paul.
7. Chosen in the Lord is true of all believers, so this phrase means
“outstanding” or “eminent," “a deep affection with Paul.”
8. So, if someone wrote a one-sentence summary of your life,
what would it say?

D. Vs. 16: Holy kiss refers to a kiss on the cheek that was practiced in the
East and by the early church as a symbol of the love and unity among
the early believers (1 Cor. 16:20; 2 Cor. 13:12; 1 Thess. 5:26; 1 Pet.
5:14).

Questions:

1. How do you feel when someone calls your name to say thank-you?
2. Is there someone of whom you have taken advantage, intentionally or
unintentionally, to whom you need to say thank-you to or give some kind of
special appreciation?
3. When was the last time you singled out someone by name and acknowledged
him/her?
4. Have you ever been forgotten or ignored in what you have contributed to the
ministry of your church? If so, how did you feel?
5. How would you feel if a stranger warned you that what was happening in your
church would destroy your church?
6. How do you handle having to serve others in what you may consider a menial
task?
7. If you received a letter from a dear friend or relative asking you to house or
take care of a stranger, how would you respond?
8. What does your church do with people who have caused divisions and
confusion to the faith and relationship to God for others?
9. What are some things that cause us to ignore and be rude to others because
we are so hurried in the moments of life and stress?
10. How would you feel to be publicly thanked and acknowledged?
11. Do you practice your Christianity with the attitude that everyone in the Lord is
important?
12. How does your church practice that no one in the Lord is unimportant?
13. Spurgeon said in the Victorian period, "sex is no hindrance to service,” and
we see Paul use women in ministry in the first century when women were
considered property and even less important than farm animals in some
cultures. So, how does your church and denomination view women in
ministry?
14. Should women be ordained to serve as a senior pastor? If so, or if not, what
are the Biblical grounds?
15. How would you respond if your church hired a woman as a senior pastor?
16. How important are cooperation, working together for a unified vision and
purpose, and the value of encouragement in your church?
17. How important are personal relationships in your life and in your church?
18. Paul takes the time to list 27 people, nine who were women, for personal
gratitude. Considering Paul’s culture and position, this is very humbling and
astonishing. How can Paul’s example inspire you not to take people for
granted and to give proper appreciation?
19. What do you think of this statement, “It's been said that the service we give to
others is the rent we give to live on this earth?”
20. How much cooperation is there at your place of work?
21. How much of a difference would it make in your work performance if
cooperation and team efforts were practiced versus competition and
backstabbing?
22. What about in your church?
23. What difference does it make that we as Christians are called to help one
another in our personal business?
24. How would you benefit?
25. How would your church benefit?
26. How would your community benefit?
27. Have you ever considered that when you glorify God you may not know what
that will mean to you or others on down the road?
28. How could you see that happening?
29. Cooperation and helping others are not being intrusive or nosey, but helpful
when needed, in community and cooperation. How is this so?
30. How do you relate to strangers?
31. How do you feel about pastors and missionaries who have to have another
career to make ends meet, to have to make their livelihood elsewhere?
32. Have you ever risked you own neck for the sake of the gospel?
33. What do you think about people who proclaim that they or someone else is
an Apostle?
34. If Aristobulus were the grandson of Herod the Great and the brother of
Agrippa, what possible problems would he have faced in his family and
culture in order to embrace Christ?
35. How would Aristobulus have been an encouragement to the other new
Christians who had to face similar oppositions from their peers and family?
36. Given the names and various positions they may have been from, how does
that assist us in measuring success today?
37. What would be a good example of a holy kiss today?
38. How can you be better at honoring and acknowledge others?
39. What would be the proper Biblical response to strangers, considering
outreach and evangelism along with discernment and protection?
40. What can you improve in your church’s cooperation, working together for a
unified vision and purpose, and the value of encouragement?

So, if someone wrote a sentence summary of your life, what would it


say?
Theological Thought: “The Paradox”: Scripture is filled with wonders and
insights that seem to contradict one another, and sometimes they blow our
minds. We need to know that theological concepts are glimpses of God’s
character and power revealed to us so we can understand Him and worship Him
better. For us to understand God would be like a one cell amoeba trying to
understand us. All God can do is to bring His truths down to us on our level of
understanding while remaining true. Augustine once saw a small boy gathering
water with a seashell from the ocean to put on a sandcastle. The boy said he
was going to empty the ocean on his sandcastle. This caused Augustine to
wonder about that boy’s understanding and his understating of what God has
revealed about Himself. Such reasoning causes us to strain our brain with such
concepts as the Trinity and the Virgin Birth. They seem so far off to so many, yet
they are true. This brings us to thinking beyond our capability. One way to see
these truths is what is called the paradox.

Paradox is from the Greek, "to seem to appear." For example, Matt. 10:39
says, Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will
find it. On the surface, it seems to be a contradiction, but careful study reveals
that it means, in one sense, you will lose your will. In another sense, it means
you will gain freedom. Logically, finding and losing are two different senses, thus
are not a contradiction. A paradox is an apparent contradiction that under careful
study reveals a deeper truth. The theologian Gordon Clark said, "It is a charley
horse between the ears." A true paradox will be logically true on some level and
not be nonsense, even though we may not always be able to understand it.

A paradox differs from mysticism, as mysticism will attempt to draw a


deeper truth from something simple and declare it to be profound; such as taking
every day occurrences and draw out what is not there. Consider an example
from “Eastern Mysticism,” such as the sound of one hand clapping. It sounds
profound, but under careful study, there is no real deep truth there. Thus, you
have to read in what you want it to mean, whereas a paradox already has the
truth in it, we just have to find a way to understand it. In Scripture, the paradox or
"Mystery" is the deeper insight. Found under careful study, it does not contradict
other Scriptures (Matt. 13:11; 16:25; Rom.16:25-27; 1 Cor. 2:7; 14:33).

Alternatively, it can mean something we just do not know now, but will be
revealed to us in time, such as the timing of the "Second Coming." You can
understand a mystery, but not a contradiction. A contradiction is two opposing
views that cannot be resolved with careful study. Solid Reformed Christianity can
be vulnerable to such thinking. As irrational ideas creep into the church that
seem good on the surface, but under scrutiny are nonsense, a thin line divides a
paradox and a contradiction. We must be well versed in Scripture and study it
diligently to determine the truth, or we will have TV preacher theology in the
church!
Romans 16:17-24 Bible Study 40

Learning Outcomes:
a. Be aware of how false doctrine causes problems and destruction as it
misleads people away from the truth in Christ.
b. Be committed to confront false doctrine in a loving and constructive way.

B. Concluding remarks (16:17-24)


General Idea: Paul wholeheartedly and passionately warns that divisions will
destroy the church! The Romans were a people who liked order above all else.
The government quickly put down divisions in the provinces, yet this young
church was having problems getting along with those who were socially and
culturally different. Paul admonishes us to discern between standing for truth and
causing unrighteous divisions, confusing people’s faith, and relationship to God.
He again acknowledges several others as a testimony on the importance of
encouraging and giving our blessings to others.

a. Nothing will destroy a church or ministry quicker than strife,


competition, dissension, and gossip, all of which eventually lead
to divisions in a church (Rom.13: 13; Gal. 5:19-20).
1. Such dissension causes "offenses,” that is, it becomes a snare
or stumbling block to others (v.14: 13).
2. "Cause divisions" means “to stand apart” or “to cause
dissension.” It occurs only here and in Gal. 5:20. It indicates
causing what is good and holy to separate into factions, which is
neither good nor holy.
3. Many people call Christ, "Master and Lord," but they are far
from serving Him. They serve only their carnal, sensual, worldly
interests. That is, a “what is in it for me” attitude and mindset!
They corrupt the church by deceiving its heart and the people
with misdirected and corrupted passion.
i. Those who seed strife and make divisions in the
Church are not doing Christ’s work, but are
attempting to gratify their own selves. They cause
people to follow a person and not the Person of Christ!
Contentious, divisive people will cause others to
stumble, so they must be avoided, and disciplined,
which means removing them from fellowship if they
persist (1 Cor. 5:9–13; 2 Thess. 3:6; 2 Tim. 3:5; Titus
3:10)!
ii. This is a stern warning against false teachers, including
those in and out of the church. Paul says to "turn away
from them!" They must not be tolerated in the church, or
on TV, or anywhere else!
iii. Divisive people destroy the peace and unity of the
church, but God, who is the source of peace, will crush
this work of Satan through the wisdom and obedience of
believers. (v. 8:28).
4. "Hearts of the simple,"” or “weakness of faith" sometimes refers
to consistent loyalty to Christ, but not in this passage. Here it
rather means simple and innocent, new to the faith, or not yet
understanding it. Whoever or whatever disagrees with sound
doctrine opens a door to divisions and offences. If truth is
abandoned, unity and peace will not last long.
i. Be aware! God has promised to destroy the works of the
enemy. Make sure you are not the enemy!
ii. We must keep our hearts open to the Spirit with
passion, and guard against that which is contrary to
God's Word and plan with all diligence. This is so you
are not deceived. Pledge yourself defiantly not to be
deceivers.
b. The blessing the apostle gives from God is victory over Satan, which
defiles, disturbs, and destroys (Gen. 3:12-19; Job. 1:6), and keeps us
from God's best.

c. Paul closes with his customary prayer that the grace of the Lord Jesus
Christ would be with them. Vs. 20 & 24 are suspected extra endings to
this letter. Most of Paul’s letters were copied and sent to other
churches in the area and he would tack on an extra note to them.

d. In conclusion, Paul turns away from the subject of strife and confusion
and talks about the God who is the author of peace, encouraging
words with which to close this magnificent manifesto! How
wholehearted and endearing are these exhortations (Gal. 6:18; 1
Thess. 5:28), especially considering how diverse they are, far more,
even, than we would have in a modern metropolis! Here were
aristocrats, slaves, trades people, artists, political officials, people from
all walks of life, cultures, and skin colors, all coming tighter together in
Christ!!

1. V.21: "Timothy" worked with Paul and received two letters from
him.
2. Some scholars think "Lucius" is the Gentile Luke who wrote the
books of Luke and Acts, but Paul includes this Luke among his
countrymen, meaning he was a Jew.
3. "Jason" is mentioned in Acts as Paul’s host on his first journey
to Thessalonica (Acts 17:5, 7, 9).
4. "Sosipater" is likely the same person referred to in Acts 20:4.
5. V. 22: Paul, the "human" author of Romans, dictated the letter to
a "secretary" named Tertius, who actually “wrote” as a secretary
the words of Paul as directed by the Spirit (1 Cor. 16:21; Gal.
6:11; Col. 4:18; 2 Thess. 3:17). Tertius here sends his greetings
to the Romans.
6. V. 23: Gaius of Corinth (1 Cor. 1:14) was a wealthy
businessman who gave Paul lodging, and offered his house as
a meeting place for the church.
7. "Erastus," (Acts 19:22), was sent by Paul to Macedonia. This
may have been the same man who was an aristocrat and a
public official in Corinth and was what we would call a “Director
of Public Works.”

e. As with anything in the Christian walk, that which has power and
meaning is from a directed effort by the Spirit to many in the Body;
team work!
1. Paul was concerned about how the Romans would threat his
messenger Phoebe. The old adage, "don't shoot the
messenger" has grave consequences.
2. Paul was unsure how they would react to receiving some
"chastising" as well as encouragement.

f. Paul normally ends his letters with personal mentions and


encouragement, yet Romans stands out to the point that some
scholars say v. 16 is also an ending to the original epistle to the
Romans. Thus, the rest of Romans were "add-ons" from other letters
Paul wrote that contained the same previous 15 chapters, but he
personalized the endings for a particular church. This is subjective and
irrelevant to the true purpose of Romans. Since there were many
startup churches, Paul's letters were recopied and personalized, and
sent off to neighboring Christian communities. Others have suggested
that letter writing was so serious and Paul so enthused, he just could
not stop! The power and meaning remain true and unhindered.

Questions:

1. Do you like to send out thank-you cards? If so, or if not, why?


2. Have you ever passionately warned someone about something? If so,
how did they take it?
3. How would you react to someone giving you "chastising" as well as
encouragement?
4. How would you feel if the church leadership came to you and told you
that what you had said or done could destroy the church?
5. Do you like things that are neat and in order? Why, or why not?
6. How does order apply to running a church?
7. What happens when we run a government or a business without any
rules or guidelines?
8. What happens when we run a church without any rules or guidelines?
9. Would you feel secure and more comfortable in a church that quickly
put down division? Why?
10. Can you imagine living in a society that was almost obsessive
compulsive in how it viewed order and discipline? (This was only in
organizations, of course. In private, the Romans were very depraved,
decadent, and sinful) Would this be better than to have chaos in a
church?
11. Have you experienced problems with getting along with others in a
church? If so, what were the circumstances and results?
12. Looking back on past problems in getting along, do you see what you
could have done to help things be better or prevent the problems?
13. How do you decide when to cause problems for the sake of truth and
righteousness? Can you think of examples and possible scenarios?
14. What do you think the offenses were to which Paul was referring?
15. What are offenses with which the church of today would have to deal?
16. Have you personally experienced a snare or stumbling block for
yourself or others resulting from strife, competition, dissension, or
gossip?
17. How did you feel about it? How do those feelings compare when the
same things are happening in your family?
18. How would you explain, “cause divisions,” to a new Christian?
19. How does the “me first” attitude and mindset affect the church?
20. What do those who seed strife and make divisions in the Church do to
others?
21. What do those who seed strife and make divisions in the Church do to
our Lord?
22. Have you ever observed or known someone who needed to be
removed from fellowship? If so, without giving names, what spurred
you to think that way?
23. Has your church or a church you know had to dis-fellowship someone?
If so, do you know how they reacted, and what happened to them?
24. Do you think false teachers are a problem? Why, or why not?
25. What happens to the people when a false teacher gets in a church or a
ministry?
26. Why was Paul so passionate about removing false teachers?
27. Is the church today as a whole as concerned as Paul was? Why, or
why not?
28. How can your church destroy—crush--this work of Satan?
29. How would you define a person who is hearts of the simple, and how
should the church care for them? What benefit can they bring to others
in the church?
30. How can someone who disagrees with sound doctrine open the door to
divisions and offences?
31. If Romans had (it probably does) a bunch of different endings that
were meant for other churches in the area, does that cause confusion
or support to your faith? Does it make a difference?
32. What does this phrase mean to you, “God who is the author of peace?”
33. What do you think about a church filled with people of all kinds of
diverse backgrounds, cultures and races? Would you feel comfortable
worshiping there? Why, or why not?
34. One of the big heresies in the church growth movement in the 80’s was
calling the church to just reach out and care for only the people in their
ethnicity and background (“Homogeneous Unit Principle”). Why would
this be against the call of Christ? How and why would the church
leadership rationalize that this would be a good thing?
35. How can your church be more open to people of different
backgrounds?
36. What can your church do to avoid the carnal, sensual, worldly interests
of others from influencing the decisions of the church leadership?
37. What can you do to avoid the “me first” attitude and mindset?
38. What can your church do to have wisdom and obedience in its
believers to root out false teachers?
39. How can you find hope and encouragement in phrases such as,
approved in Christ, chosen in the Lord, the God of Hope (v. 15:13) and
the God of Peace (v.15: 33)?
40. How can you and your church keep your hearts open to the Spirit with
passion, and guard with all diligence that which is contrary to God's
Word and plan?

Theological Thought: 1Why do we cause divisions? Why are there so


many disagreements within the Christian faith?

Is not the Holy Spirit giving all Christians the same truth? Yes, the Holy
Spirit is giving us the same truth, so, He is not the problem. We are! I once
believed that the many different beliefs in the Christian faith demonstrated that it
was not true. After all, how could there be so many disagreements about
something that was supposed to be true? Over the years, I have found that the
cause is although we have more in common than not, we tend to focus on the
negative distinctions and not our unity. According to the late Dr. Walter Martin of
the Christian Research Institute, who spent a lifetime in research, even radically
different denominations such as Catholics and Seventh Day Adventists have
over 90% of their theologies in agreement and 99% of what is essential.

For example, Christians agree that all are sinful. Thus, as long as sin
remains, it is going to influence how we handle knowledge and truth, even the
truth of God’s Word. Additionally, nearly all of the divisions among Christians are
the result of pride. Furthermore, all Christians believe that we humans are limited
in our abilities to understand what God has told us, and in effectively, clearly
communicating what God is teaching. This is demonstrated by the people who
are against the Reformed teachings (T.U.L.I.P.), mainly because they were not
explained logically or clearly. All through Seminary, I denied “Limited Atonement”
because my professors never clearly explained it. Since I did not understand it, I
denied it. This is the same reasoning as Christians use when they disagree over
such things as the method of baptism; who should be baptized, Believers or
infants; what is taking place during this sacrament; Consubstantiation versus
Transubstantiation, versus Substantial, etc.

We contradict each other because Scripture teaches us to baptize and


gives some examples, but it does not actually provide any kind of specific
formula. Thus, we come to different conclusions based on our limited insight and
our own determination (what we like over what God desires us to do). These
differences are going to multiply if no control is enforced on individuals and
churches, which is exactly what has happened. That is why your Church Order
Manual and or “Articles" are so important. The Reformation encouraged all
people to read the Bible. Prior to that movement, the common person was not
allowed to do so. Thus, many interpretations have arisen over the centuries, both
minor and cultic. All these various reasonings have combined with traditions and
expectations. These all focus on what we do versus what God calls us to do.
What is important is the agreement that remains over the basics of
Christianity by those who believe that the Bible is true. (There are individuals and
churches that claim to be Christian and reject what the Bible says. I'm not talking
about them, just look up the word “reprobate”, and read Romans 1). Most
committed Christians, regardless of denomination, who believe that the Bible is
the inspired Word of God have more in common than not. There is a great deal
of unity in the midst of our diversity.

We all believe that God is our Creator; that He created us without sin, but
that we have all fallen into sin; that our sin separates us from God and we cannot
make up this gap; that Jesus Christ is God's Son who died for us that we may
receive forgiveness for sin; that He rose from the dead and ascended into
Heaven; that we embrace salvation only by our faith in Jesus Christ; that the Holy
Spirit is the One who gives us understanding about Jesus and salvation; that
Jesus will return some day in glory. We also all agree concerning the virgin birth,
the Trinity, Christ’s Atonement and Deity, the nature and attributes of God, and
the Fall, to name a few. These chief beliefs are the essentials that have
withstood the test of time and the misinterpretations of sinful people. For me, the
many different denominations have increased my appreciation for the gospel,
and at the same time have given me a passion to teach correct theology, and to
reach the lost.

What are the primary reasons Christians disagree on many points?

First, we may make many “LOGICAL” errors, misinterpret and/or take a


passage(s) out of context, or rush through it. We look at one ambiguous text and
ignore scores of others that are clear. Christians are not perfect and are subject
to fallacies in reasoning and judgment. Even the greatest scientific minds
disagree for these same reasons! This is why there are so many theories in
science, and why they are always changing.
Second, we are limited by the education and knowledge we process, by the
information at our disposal, and by knowing how to use that information! Our
perspectives are limited and we do not always see the big picture, thus our
interpretations are sometimes flawed, or else adequate work and effort was not
put into it.

Third, one of the biggest causes of errors is our prejudices. These are our
preconceived ideas and biases that cloud our thinking, such as believing in a
particular mode of baptism or end time theory. We may grow up in a church that
practices “believers baptism” or “infant baptism” only, thus, we are unwilling to
look deeper into other theological views.

People tend to rationalize their faulty beliefs instead of researching and


discovering the facts for themselves. Either they do not want to know or grow
beyond their limited experience, or they base decisions on emotions and do not
seriously see the logic.

Fourth, we are still full of sin and fall way short, thus we are susceptible to
the influences of Satan and are unable to reason with true perfection!

For example in John 1:1 the Jehovah’s Witnesses believe Jesus is not God,
but “a god,” as Lucifer too is a god in their theology. In 1 Corinthians 15:29, the
Mormons believe it is OK to baptize people who have already died. In Mark
16:18, some American Appalachian sects handle poisonous snakes to prove
their faith. Some Bible teachers on TV use 3 John 2 as an excuse to teach the
“health and wealth” gospel. Yet, when you examine these texts, they do not
teach any of those things! These are classic cases of bad interpretation for the
reasons fore mentioned.

 The Bible does not teach what we please.


 The Bible cannot mean something else from what it does say.
 The Bible cannot mean what it never meant!

Consider your neighbor, the person you work with, a close friend, a
relative, or acquaintance that does not know Him. Will your attitude of “my way or
no way” keep you from being a witness or friend? Scripture is clear on what we
are called to do, are you clear in your understanding, purpose, and response?
From the Episcopal Church practice of burning incense in worship to the
fundamentalist church that renounces any form of liturgy, we all still bow the knee
to our Lord (John 14:6).

© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com


Romans 16: 25-27 Bible Study 41

This is our last exegetical study of Romans. Next week we conclude the
series with a study on the “Romans 1: Definition of Sins.” Then, starting May 6,
2002, we will begin our venture into the book of Matthew. With each study, we
will have a sub section study on Character, just as we had a sub section on
Biblical Doctrines with our popular Romans study. We hope you will find this both
challenging and insightful in your walk with our Lord!

Doxological Epilogue (16:25-27)


General Idea: The Benediction; Paul then wraps up his greetings and warnings
by praying for the Church, as he extols them to honor God’s glory. This is a
beautiful poetic discourse of blessings to his fellow laborers in Christ with
gratitude and praise to God!

A. This passage is a Benediction, which means a pronouncement of a blessing.


This was a very important act in Biblical times; a blessing is a powerful event that
people look forward to, and that has deep meanings and implications associated
with it. This passage is an especially long one, which causes a stir among
scholars who debate over its authenticity. (That I believe is silly. They apparently
just do not have anything better to do!)
1. V. 25: The word "establish" is only used twice in Romans, the other
being at the beginning (1:11). Paul expresses a desire to visit the
Romans that he might impart some "spiritual gift" to them so that they
would be “established.”
2. Now he praises God who is able to do it! God used the gospel, which
is the preaching of Jesus Christ, to establish the Roman believers.
a. My gospel is not a different gospel from Paul or anyone else,
but refers to how Paul received it by direct revelation (Gal 1:12).
b. Paul speaks of his message as a "mystery" (11:25; Eph. 3:2-
12) because God’s complete plan of salvation was at first hidden
but now is being revealed; all are united in the one body of Christ
(Eph. 3:1–13). This also was an answer for the Jewish Romans
who debated whether the Gentiles should receive the Gospel.
This would thereby unite the Jew with the Gentile and fulfill the
Abrahamic blessing in Gen. 12.
c. V. 27. to God be glory is the ultimate purpose and meaning of
all things we do!

B. One of our chief goals in the Christian faith is to find our Gifts and Call, and
then do it in faith and obedience, all with joy and passion!

C. What more could be said? “Now to Him who is able to establish you
according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the
revelation of the mystery, which we have kept secret since the world began, but
now is made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures, according to the
commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the
obedience of faith. To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever.
Amen.”

To Know Christ and make Him Known!

Questions:

1. Do you like mysteries? What about the mystery in the Word?


2. Have you ever received a formal blessing from someone such as a Priest or a
Father? If so, how did you feel?
3. What did you think about the Gospel of Romans? Was it a “mystery” to you
before this study? (Many people fear it, thinking it is too complicated or too
hard to understand)
4. Do you feel you have learned enough to better understand God, His truth,
and who you are in Christ?
5. Do you feel confident enough to explain His truth to people who ask you?
6. Do you think theology is important? Why, or why not?
7. How can you establish your faith better and deeper?
8. Is the Gospel your Gospel?
9. Why is to God be the glory the ultimate purpose and meaning for all things we
do?
10. When you are going through either good times or bad, are you able to praise
God who is able to do it?
11. Now that you have studied Romans, what is your chief goal in your Christian
faith? Has it changed from before? Solidified? Or…?
12. For your final application, reread the entire book in an easy to understand
translation such as the New Living Translation. If you can, try to read it in one
setting or at least in one day. Does it read better now for you since you have
studied it? Do you see truth that you had missed? Has God spoken to you
through His Word? If so, what are you going to do about it now?

What could we do to improve our Online Bible Study? Please let us know!

To Know Christ and Make Him Known!

Theological Thought: Why is Theology Important? Many Christians today


are proclaiming that theology is not important or needed; all we need to do is to
love Jesus. We have a big problem in the church today as doctrine disappears
from the pulpit and the airways, and is replaced by what “feels good” or what we
feel is needed. When theology disappears from the church and its leaders, we
will have a “free for all” of what we think is truth. All that will accomplish is
dishonesty, and an erosion of His conviction. The situation will be created where
God takes a backseat to the god of the self as the central focus of our faith, and
that will carve a road to hell. We as a church, or as a single practicing Christian,
will be unable to think wisely about our culture, who we are in Christ, or who He
is and what He did. Instead, we will take in what feels good, leaving God and His
ways behind us. We will be reveling in the irrational, while Christ stands at the
door and knocks Because of the noise of our Will, we will not open the door!

So, is it true all we have to do is love Jesus? Who is Jesus? Once you ask
the question, “who is God,” you have ventured into theology. As Christians, we
are not to start our faith as theologians, nor replace faith with theology. We do
not start out as Calvinists or Armenians, whatever theological system of the day
or of your church. We must start with accepting God as Lord and Savior. In so
doing, we accept God’s Word. Through His Word, we divine His truth and means.
This is what theology is! It is not the necessary, the starting, or the ending. It is
the understanding and the application of His truth. If you say theology is not
important, then God is not important, because theology is studying and knowing
and understanding God, who He is, His attributes, and such. To deny theology
necessitates denying God too!

Remember, Paul wrote the Gospel of Romans under the interspersion and
directive of God to proclaim the truth of who Christ was and is. In so doing, he
explained the plan of salvation, the role of the church, the inclusion of the Gentile
world, and the importance of sharing our faith. Thus, our study of this book is
very important as the foundation for our knowledge of doctrine and truth. This is
theology! Understanding the Bible is theology!

A church without theology is a church without God, as theology is about


knowing who God is and what He has done for us! A theology without a
sovereign God is simply not an option for the church or our daily faith, because
we will replace Him with idols, (anything that takes the place of God, from a
totem pole to money, is an idol) or ourselves!

Therefore, theology, good theology, is a logical system of truth that is


rationally defused from what the Scriptures clearly teach. We are never to read in
what is not there or just believe in something because that is how we grew up or
have been taught. We begin as Bible believing Christians who crave to put the
Bible first and above all desires, feelings, or schemes of thought.

Over the years, through many years of learning and struggle, I have slowly
accepted the Calvinistic teachings on the five points of T.U.L.I.P as Biblical and
therefore true. I did not start out that way. I was firmly an Armenian and Holiness
for many years, even through seminary. Only after years of study, especially in
the book of Romans, have I yielded to the Reformed Method of understanding.
Not because I grew up in it, which I did, not because I went to a Reformed
seminary, which I did, but because of coming face to face with truth by
deepening my conviction, and by careful study of God’s Word. This quest has not
been without fellow truth seekers, others of diverse backgrounds who sought the
truth and came to the same conclusion. These include Augustine, Luther,
Tyndale, Latimer, Knox, Wishart, Perkins, Rutherford, Bunyan, Owen, Charnock,
Goodwin, Flavel, Watson, Henry, Watts, Edwards, Whitefield, Newton, Spurgeon,
and of course Calvin. For more information, see my article on “Calvinism from the
Critics.”

© 1998, 2002 R.J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com


Romans 1: Definition of Sins Bible Study 42

Welcome to our final study in the book of Romans. Final? Yes. Last? We
hope not. The book of Romans has so much in it we cannot help but to
revisit it now and then!

Romans 1:18-32

What is sin and what does it do?


General Idea: The laundry list of sins is found in Romans 1:28-31. The passage
starts off with the reason we get into sin, the reprobate mind that chooses to
rebel and exchange God’s wonderful truth for the cheap lies of our mind and
flesh. Thus, God burns with anger, just as a loving parent gets angry when his
child disobeys. This is especially evident when the child is in danger, the parent
knows it, and the child refuses to acknowledge, listen, or change his mind and
ways. If God did not care or love, why would He be angry?

God is not some kind of killjoy who has a perverse since of humor,
desiring to see us suffer. He does not just come up with a list of rules and
regulations that we could not possibly follow just to amuse Himself. No, God is
pure, just, and loving. We, as humans, chose to fall away from God and His
perfection. God desires us to live the best way possible, and experience the most
out of life with happiness and joy.

Yet, we live in a world corrupted by sin, so everything is degraded from


what it was meant to do. Man, the land, animals, plants, the air, everything is
touched. Thus, the consequences of that fallen nature impact everything. Even in
this corrupted, tainted world, including our sinful selves, we have a God who is
offering His love and grace, if only we will reach out and respond. However, we
cannot, so His Son, the Christ lived, as we should have. In our place, He took our
sins to the grave, and arose to give us eternal hope and life. Even with the grace
option offered to us, which is written upon our hearts, we still choose to rebel. We
choose to take His wonder, love, and truth, and trade it in for lies. We desire to
suppress His truth and love, and when it all falls apart, we blame God and others,
refusing to take the responsibility for ourselves! We have no excuse! His
revelation is clear; it is filled with our best in mind, and powered by His desire to
see us saved. Let us turn from our evil ways, less we end up given up to our
desires that will be fun for a short while, but will lead to everlasting regret and
torment. It is like a parent letting his kid eat all he wants in a candy store until it
makes him sick, times a thousand. With sin, we have the choice to realize it
makes us sick, thus, it is meaningless. Therefore, we can stop, or keep at it until
it kills us. Remember, we do not deserve His love and grace, yet He gives it to us
anyway.
The laundry list of sins: (words are from the KJV, NKJV and NIV)
Verse 28

Reprobate, debased, or depraved mind: This means being a degenerate,


which is just “plain ole’ good-for-nothing” to God or to those around them. It is the
direct opposite of being pure and holy. The “heathen” is a term from the Greek to
exchange a truth for a lie and means people who are vile and so corrupted they
have no hope. It means people who refuse to believe or bow to God, even
though they do, in fact, know who God is. It is written in their hearts and revealed
by creation, but they do not wish to uphold that knowledge of who God is, and
who they are NOT, which is, God. Consequently, God also gave them up to sin.
It represents a mind that is blinded by pride and arrogance, so they choose not to
recognize the difference between their will and what God reveals, or between
their presumptions and the facts. This is why there are so many opinions by
individuals and even in science, which is supposed to be fact! This is the effect of
the separation from God because of the Fall, and their punishment is to “let them
be.” This passage clearly demonstrates that all that remains of morality and
virtue between God and humanity is the Holy Spirit, who restrains and sets
boundaries. Still, our choices prevailing will produce consequences, and will
accumulate with us as well as all those around us. When God gives people up,
the Holy Spirit will even force their perversity, just as God did with Pharaoh, to
make a point for others as a sign post: Do not sin!

Not convenient, not fitting, or ought not to be done: This is the “my will or
else” mentality! This word means what is suitable to the nature of humanity as a
rational and moral being (secular humanism). “I will not move my will!” “Do not
bother me with the facts, for I have already made up my mind,” or “I will not
summit to man or God!” To do things that are not convenient is not allowing
anyone or anything to upset my comfort zone, such as anything contrary and
opposite to my thinking, even in the light of logic and reason.

Verse 29

Being filled: This means that the sin(s) are uncontrolled and are dwelling in the
heart and mind so there is no room for anything else, such as “good.” This
mentality then overflows to everyone else (peer pressure, dares, thinking solely
what’s good for me, extreme excess and my pleasures, and how can I infect
others).

Unrighteousness, or every kind of wickedness: This word in the original


Greek implies injustice, but not just injustice. It is often used for general
wickedness and disorder (1:18). This is a general word, which sets a tone to
include all the various sins that follow in this laundry list such as evil, greed,
envy, depravity, strife, deceit, and malice (NIV). However, in the context of
this passage, it indicates judicial injustice. This was the popular crime of the
Roman government, who built their empire on jealously and pride.

Fornication, or sexual immorality: (this is one of the few places that the NIV
translation messes up and omits this word Fornication - a key sin! The
publisher’s response to why it is omitted is because it is interned (assumed) to be
tied with the term every kind of wickedness.) This is any kind of sexual function
outside of a husband and wife. The world sees this as “un-blamable,” an
obsession to be freely and universally allowed and practiced. Today we make
excuses saying it is genetics and in the ancient world creative excuses were
fathomed too, “I was made that way.” I guess the genetics excuse is nothing
new! This is the violation of the seventh commandment.

Wickedness: This refers to the general inclination to do evil and be happy and
glad in it. This person will take enjoyment from the cruel and nasty actions they
do to others. They seek to destroy what is good and what would last, from
buildings, to people, to God Himself if they were able.

Covetousness: The Greek word strictly signifies taking advantage of a situation


is the motive for evil’s sake. It can be going too far in bargaining in a market to
having more than what is just in any dealings with others. This is common from
rich to poor, taking advantage, not seeking to get a good deal. Taken too far, it
hurts and takes advantage of the weaker, less fortunate person.

Maliciousness, or Malice represents the character of malice, which is to injure


others out of spite, meanness, or revenge.

Full of envy is the usual vice of the villages, towns, and cities of the ancient
world and is alive and well today. It is jealousy in action and the desire to take
what is not ours from others (the 10th commandment!).

Murder is nothing new. In this context, it mainly refers not just to murder in
general, but how slave owners treated their slaves, as they were put to death for
the slightest of offenses. Now it is how we treat others. Murder is the viperous
offence in our treatment to others!

Debate, or strife: This is not the debate of a good challenge of logic or rhetoric,
but how we use words for vainglory, to deliberately slander, malign, and not to
seek the truth.

Deceit is dishonest treachery that embodies our conduct and conversations


(Romans 3:13).

Malignity, or evil-minded means slander, as custom or disposition. It is the


desire to hurt others without any other reason other than to get pleasure from
doing evil to others, and causing their sufferings in the worst sense.
Whisperer or gossiper signifies people who secretly speak evil of others when
they are present: GOSSIP! This evil is in the same category as murder and
sexual immorality, so take heed of this! It is called whispering, not because of
the tone of the voice, but from the secrecy that gossip breeds. It refers to sowing
divisions, injury, calamity, and slander. The whisperer thinks because their voice
is low and the person cannot defend himself, they escape prosecution and harm.
Wrong!

Verse 30

Backbiters/ slanderers (revilers): The original word is improperly translated in


the NKJV into backbiters. Its proper translation, according to Greek dictionaries
and in context is “revilers,” distinguishing it from whisperers/gossipers, as these
people speak evil of others to their face (not their back). Backbiters also meant
open slandering in the 16th century at the time of the KJV, whereas today it
means in secret. It means making slanderous remarks publicly with opprobrious
language and name-calling. The word can include evil speaking in general. This
also means people who take pleasure in scandalizing others and seeking to
cause divisions and chaos as speakers of evil, speaking nothing but lies. The
word “whisperers” refers to a secret, and the word backbiters or slanderers, to an
open slander.

Haters of God: People seeking to blame their self-made problems on God, and
deny any kind of personal responsibility or accepting the providence of God.
Superstition can also play a big role here, as with refusing to acknowledge God’s
sovereignty. This also applies to a carnal mind that is hostile against God, His
holiness, His justice, His sovereignty, and even His mercy and grace. This was
quickly put into practice by governing offices under the influence of the
philosophers and the whole body of the Roman and Jewish people. It included
rich and poor, educated and uneducated to produce the persecutions of the early
Christians. The Christian character of goodness is the direct opposite of a world
of God haters.

Despiteful, violent, or insolent: These terms do not express the full meaning of
the Greek. We can translate them as injurious, as being so prideful, so filled with
contempt, and so judgmental they are causing injury to others with extreme
impertinence and insult. It is tearing others down by slanderous, abusive,
passionate statements.

Proud, or arrogant refers to feeling they are better than anyone else to an
extreme, such as the Nazis’ persecution of anyone different from them. This
happens when people are so puffed up with a high opinion of themselves they
become consumed with arrogance, insolence, haughtiness, and regarding others
with contempt, as if they were unworthy of any contact with them.
Boasters, or arrogant designates pretentious and flamboyant people who
extend their self-image and self-determination over and against anyone or
anything.

Inventors of evil things is the creative thinking and inventing of evil, then
conspiring to do it with accomplices and causing others not with them to stumble
into such illicit pleasures.

Disobedient to parents may seem benign, but when we forsake good


instruction, we embark upon a path of self-destruction. In OT times, obedience to
parents was considered a duty, taught by the Torah, and is the fifth
commandment. Thus, is very important. Too many people take it too lightly then
they fall into sin and other harm. When people disregarded this responsibility,
they will leave the God induced love of children for their parents, and follow lies
and malice.

Verse 31

Without understanding, undiscerning, or senseless refers to the reckless


management of our life and affairs. This will cause long-term consequences to us
as well as those around us! It does not mean people are stupid or have some
kind of developmental disorder, but is refusing to yield to logic, reason, and what
is best for our situation and for us. It also applies to the highly educated who are
the most intelligent and enlightened in society; yet, reject the things and
character of God or anything that respects the things of God.

Covenant–breakers or untrustworthy or faithless refers to breaking of


agreements and covenants. It applies to every agreement or bargain one makes,
from business, to individual relationships, to contracts between nations.

Without natural attention, or unloving, or heartless: It seems Paul has the


Stoic philosophy in mind. This applies to parents neglecting their children,
causing them to be in harm or the potential of harm. The Stoics were famous for
being unconcerned and uncaring, letting people find their own ways, doing as
they pleased and having no regrets or emotions to others. If you see a child that
is hungry, let him starve. This of course is the opposite of Biblical instruction, yet
the practice of many people.

Implacable, unforgiving, or ruthless signify people who are callous and are
relentlessly savage and hardhearted in their dealing with others, and who break
solemn engagements. These people will breach the most sacred of
engagements, such as oaths and religious rites, including marriage. In Paul’s
time, this applied to mostly to the rudest and most uncivilized barbaric nations
who violated treaties.
Unmerciful usually refers to those who are unmerciful to the poor. However, it
also means people, who are without compassion, who do not feel for the
distresses of others and those who cause these distresses.

Verse 32

Knowing the judgment or righteousness of God: This chapter already tells us


that God’s ordinances are written in our hearts and in creation; thus, we have no
excuse to reject Him, even if the gospel is never told to us! The heathens already
knew, yet they chose to subdue themselves from God’s most precious love and
grace. This also implies that God’s dictates are written in our conscience, from
how to know Him to how to conduct our lives. At the same time, we have to be
careful. If you are not a Christian, your conscience will not be reliable as your will
forces and overpowers its way and noise over God’s righteousness unless you
listen. In addition, your conscience, your sense of right and wrong, is like a
computer. God installs its operating system. Yet, you can still send in corrupt
programming and get corrupt thinking. Only prayer and the Word will install good
programming. Garbage in will equal garbage out!

Worthy or deserving of death is what most scholars say is literal or figurative


death because it is referring to future punishment and whether Paul is accusing
all heathens, or if they are actually committing the sin, or just capable of
committing the sin. This gets complicated in the Greek, but, nonetheless, if one
persists in sinning, the sin itself can kill. Just look at all of the deadly
communicable diseases, not to mention other perils sin causes. In addition, there
is the final death of our separation from God in eternity, which is Hell, for
rejecting Him.

Not only do the same, but have pleasure or approve in them that do means
that their corruption has become so entrenched, so entirely abandoned to sin,
that they will conspire to push others into it also. They will approve and support
others in their sin. Just look at all of the special interest groups propagating sin,
such as Planned Parenthood, ACLU, NOW, and pro-gay groups, to name a few.
They group tightly together, and rationalize and approve such things as abortion
or homosexual sin as good and beneficial! They hate those who are just and
righteous!

In summary Paul substantiates his charge in Romans 1:18 of immorality


in the world that Jew, Gentile, nor anyone else is immune from. He starts out with
ungodliness as the beginning and cause of sin, after which it turns into
unrighteousness, which becomes the consequence that causes the evil against
others. Theological decay will turn into moral decay. When we lose sight of God,
we venture into all kinds of heinous actions and corruptions. This is what brings
on the wrath of God, because it hurts too many of His children, whom He loves
(Titus 2:12).
As we can see from this passage, nothing can be more horrifying than
what happens when we venture into unrepentant continual sin and conspire
others into it. This is clearly given to us by the Holy Spirit, who is very familiar
with our sinful nature, our superficial actions, and our covert motives. We cannot
see this as an exaggeration nor conclude these are just things that are caused by
genetics or our environment. They do contribute, but we still have the final say
with our actions! We may not be able to control our environment, but we can
control our attitudes, behaviors, and choices! Rather, we choose these things
freely and first, before we choose God. Thus, justification by works is impossible.
Our only means to God is by His grace alone, by what Christ did for us!

Did you notice that sin is disorderly, reckless, seeks to destroy, and is
hard to point out because people do not want to be reminded they have it. They
are too busy using it!

God’s revelation is clear; it is filled with our best in mind, powered by His Love
and desire to see us saved. Let us turn from our evil ways, lest we end up given
up to our desires that may be ”fun” for a short while, but then brings everlasting
regret and torment. (More lists of sin: Mark 7:20-23; Gal. 5:19-21; 1 Tim. 1:9-10;
2 Tim. 3:2-5)

Questions:

1. When you do your laundry, you take your dirty clothes and wash them clean.
How well do you like to wear dirty clothes? How much more do you prefer
your clothes clean? How is this like sin?
2. Did you ever have a period in your life where you went wild, like college youth
on spring break? If so, did you ever see God as a “killjoy” to your fun? Why?
3. Can you think of any good excuses to sin? Why, or why not?
4. Why do some people see God as one who gives us rules because He has a
perverse since of humor and desires to see us suffer?
5. Did you see any of your faults/sins listed? If so, how did you feel?
6. Were there any surprise sins that you never considered heinous?
7. What is the reason we get into sin?
8. Have you ever considered that God’s wrath is a form of love? If God did not
care, or did not love us, why would He be angry?
9. We live in a world totally corrupted by sin. Why then are most people unable
to see it?
10. What is Christ’s role in dealing with our sin?
11. Why would people choose to take His wonder, love, and truth and trade it for
lies?
12. Go through each of this laundry list of sins and ask yourself:
1. Have I done this? If so, how, and why?
2. Can I see myself doing this? If so, what would cause me to?
3. What can I do to prevent such thoughts and actions from encroaching
upon me?
Remember we do not deserve His love and grace, yet it is given to us
anyway.

© 2002 R. J. Krejcir Into Thy Word Ministries www.intothyword.com


Romans: Background Material

Date of writing 57-58AD

Introduction:

Romans is more of a treatise than a letter, as it is Paul's greatest work.


Not only is this our theology defined, but it is one of the greatest, if not the
greatest piece of literature ever conceived! Unpacking Romans is like removing
the cover of an old box spring mattress that all the springs will jump up at you!

The Gospel is good news! It is the promise of fulfillment from the Old
Testament and centered upon what Christ did on our behalf. That all of humanity
is guilty before God and in danger of His judgment. Christ came to earth as a
man (Jew), lived a perfect life on our behalf and died in God's wrath and
punishment, which He did not deserve, on our behalf (which we do deserve).
Then He arose again to purchase our salvation, "the power of God to salvation"
(vs 16). He made us righteous before God, thus we need not fear God's
judgment when we have faith in our Lord.

Paul was a chief persecutor of Christians, and then was converted directly
by the risen Christ and was gripped by the Gospel, thus his whole life was
surrendered and controlled by the gospel. After we have been "saved" we have
peace with God, and gratitude for what He did. So our focus is to please Him and
not ourselves. The question is, has the gospel gripped you?

Do you ever feel unprepared to give a logical presentation of the gospel to


a friend or neighbor, or not quite sure about it yourself? Then look no further than
Romans for a clear organized presentation of the Gospel!

A Brief History of the Christian Church in Rome

(Most of this information in this section (A) was inspired in part from F. F.
Bruce, "The Romans Debate Continued,” Revised and Expanded Edition, ed.
by Karl P. Donfried, 1977, 1991)

First of all, a significant Jewish population existed in Rome as early as 61


BC, when Jewish captives were taken to Rome by Pompey to celebrate the
conquest of Judea. Most of the descendants of these slaves, "Freedmen"
became liberated through various ways. It was these freed slaves who formed
Synagogues in the Roman Empire (Acts 6:9).

Next, Christianity probably reached Rome within a few years of its


inception, probably in the mid 30s. F.F. Bruce reminds us of the quickness of
Christianity's spread and influence, and its contrast with the social and political
culture that characterized the Roman Empire in those days. In all likelihood it was
Hellenistic Jewish Christians who first took the Gospel to Rome. It is considered
possible that the circle of Stephen and Philip (Acts 6-8) was responsible. They
had debated with the "Freedmen" (Acts 6:9-10), and it is possible that Stephen's
circle had a relationship with the Synagogue in Jerusalem. This association may
have led them to Rome, where the Freedmen originated.

Nevertheless, however this spread originally accrued by man, it was by


the means of the Spirit of God and not man; we are His tools, means, and
instruments; but, we are not the architects, nor are we the designers. It was this
"Christianity", which came to Rome, that introduced Christ into the Jewish
community, which led to the same disputes and disruptions that effected other
cities with Jewish communities and Christians worshiping in the same
Synagogues (e.g., Acts 13:42-14:7; 17:1-9). The Roman historian Suetonius
reports that during the reign of Claudius, "Because the Jews in Rome caused
continuous disturbances at the instigation of Chrestus, he (Claudius) expelled
them from the city." This refers to the Edict of Claudius, dated 49 AD, in which
Jews, both non-Christian and Christian, were expelled, leaving the Gentile
Christians to fend for themselves. The lack of discrimination between Christian
and non-Christian Jews is in keeping with the Roman policy reflected in Acts
which tended to view the often violent conflicts between Jews, who believed that
Jesus was the Messiah, and Jews who did not as an "inside quarrel" on the
interpretation of Jewish law (Acts 23:29; 25:18-19).

It was during this time that Aquila moved to Corinth, "having recently come
from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews
to leave Rome" (Acts 18:2). It was in Corinth that Paul met this couple in 50 AD,
less than a year after the Edict. Paul's arrival in Corinth has been dated to 50 AD
by the reference in Acts 18:12 to Gallio as proconsul of Achaia. It is likely that
Priscilla and Aquila were already Christians when Paul met them. (Luke makes
no mention of their conversion but simply states that the couple taught Apollos
"the way of God more accurately" (Acts 18:26)). If so, they had probably been
founding members of the church of Rome prior to the Edict of Claudius.

In 54 AD, Nero succeeded Claudius, canceling the Edict of 49. Nero's


accession to the throne was hailed by many at the time as the dawn of a new era
of peace for the empire. History shows a different outcome from their original
expectations! It was at this time that many Jews began to return to Rome.
Priscilla and Aquila also returned to Rome at the end of Paul's missionary
journey to the Ephesians (AD 55). The church met in their home at Corinth (1
Cor. 16:19), and they also began to open their doors to the church of Rome
(Rom.16:3-5).

Even though the Roman church was originally founded by Hellenistic


Jews, as a result of the fighting, the Jewish population from Rome in 49 was now
predominantly Gentile! A fact that is stated in Paul's Epistle, three years after the
death of Claudius. This conclusion is based on the fact that only 4 out of 26 of
the greetings in Rom.16 are to Jews, since 3 of them are greeted as "my
kinsmen," and we know that Aquila was a most likely a Jew; we cannot be sure
about the ethnicity of his wife Priscilla (Acts 18:2).

Paul addresses the believers at Rome as if they were completely Gentile


and gives no hint of the presence of Jewish believers in the congregation until
chap. 16. Thus, the greetings of Rom. 16 are probably a sociological sign, most
commentators estimate that the church of Rome at the time of the writing of
Romans was about 80+% Gentile! And some commentators think this figure may
be too low. For example, "for the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles …
among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ" (Rom. 1:5-6). Paul states in
his salutation that he has received the "grace of apostleship", he goes on to say
that he has longed to visit Rome "in order that I may obtain some fruit among you
also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles" (v. 11). Romans 11 is clearly
addressed to Gentiles, for "I am speaking to you who are Gentiles … inasmuch
as I am the apostle of the Gentiles" (11:13). He warns, "the wild olive" branches,
that have been grafted into the olive tree, to beware of becoming arrogant toward
"the natural" branches. The figurative strategy of Rom. 11 supposes an almost
entire Gentile congregation, and if there were Jews in the congregation, Paul
appears to ignore them, which is unlike Paul's strategy, being a Hellenistic Jew
himself.

Why is this important? Because it gives us a better picture of the original


situation. And when we have a better picture we can see more clearly. And when
we can see more clearly, we do more earnestly!

C. Paul's Situation:

Paul was, "the apostle of the Gentiles" (11:13). Antioch, Corinth, and
Ephesus had been previous missionary bases, and he desired now to complete
"the circle" (15:19, 23) by adding Rome (just look at a Bible map!) Now Paul is
setting up camp in Rome and moving north and west (Spain - 15:24). However,
Paul's desire is to finish the collection and bring it to Jerusalem. But what if the
Jews attack him? (15:31). He had better get the Gospel down in writing. When
Paul wrote Romans, he was arrested in Jerusalem, then was transported to
Rome where he remained under house arrest for three years.

Although many assume Paul was released after his house arrest at Rome
(Acts 28:30), the Acts passage implies that, at the end of the period, Paul sealed
his witness to the Gospel with his life. This theme begins from the very moment
of Paul's conversion, when he is told "how many things he must suffer for My
name's sake" (9:16). Immediately afterwards, Paul preaches Christ in the
synagogues of Damascus and the Jews plot to kill him, but he is let down
through a wall in a large basket by the disciples (9:23-25). From this point on, the
Jews are constantly following Paul and seeking to kill him, even at one point
stoning him and leaving him for dead (9:29; 13:50; 14:2, 5, 19; 15:26; 17:5-9, 13;
18:12; 20:3).

The threat on Paul's life starts from the very beginning of his ministry, with
constant warnings from the prophets that he is going to suffer greatly in
Jerusalem, Paul's own willingness to die for the name of Christ, the promise of
Christ that he would be preserved just long enough to testify in Rome … How
can all these themes that stretch from Acts chapter 8 consistently to chapter 28
be left hanging with no statement of the outcome? Because, "the outcome has
already been revealed by the narrator's skillful use of dramatic technique", says
one commentator. In other words, Paul was martyred.

Thus, there are two views on the death of Paul. Now this is not critical to
the understanding of Romans, but it is fascinating to speculate if he went to
Spain or died right after his house arrest in Rome. The fact is we just do not
know. Most scholars assume that Paul was released after the house arrest in
Rome and then was martyred, but he never made it to Spain. However, Spanish
legend says he did.
.
C. The Fourfold Purpose of Romans:

One: To convince the Roman Church that they should support and
become partners of the mission to the Gentiles, thus effectively establishing
Rome, "the eternal city", as Paul's next missionary base. Rome was considered
the chief Gentile city, in contrast with Jerusalem as the chief Jewish city.
Two: To invite the Roman Church into the Pauline circle of churches since
they had not had apostolic foundation. This is speculative since Philip may have
been their Apostle.
Three: To present the "Pauline Manifesto", theology in a comprehensive
and systematic and logical way, especially since Paul was well aware of his own
mortality and the possibility that he might not survive the journey to Jerusalem;
thus the urgency to get the Gospel down in writing!
Four: To defend his Gospel against the attacks of the Jews, "Justification
by faith alone makes God unrighteous," "It leads to antinomianism," "It implies
that God is finished with Israel." This is why Paul says he "is not ashamed of the
Gospel" and spends a significant amount of time dealing with Israel.

D. CONCEPTUAL OUT LINE OF ROMANS


(This is not totally comprehensive, or it would be 100's of pages long, it is the
main concepts, from the main sections. The "Learning Outcomes" are for you
to know the main areas to be in prayer and challenged about.)

Romans has four main sections:


ONE: "The Gospel as the Revelation of the Righteousness of God" (chaps.
1-4): The Gospel is the lightning rod that conducts God's creative power,
because it reveals the justice of God in the justification of the ungodly.

TWO: "The Gospel as our Induction into the Domain of the Spirit" (chaps.
5-8): The Gospel is the operation of divine power, because it is the means by
which those who place all their faith in Jesus Christ are transferred from the
realm of sin and death into the realm of the Spirit and life.

THREE: "The Gospel as the Resurrection of the Israel of God" (chaps. 9-


11): The Gospel is a powerful demonstration of God's saving action, because it is
through faith in Christ that a New, Eschatological Israel, composed of Jew and
Gentile, is constituted in fulfillment of the promises made to the fathers.

FOUR: "The Gospel as the Transformation of Social Relationships" (chaps.


12-15): The Gospel is the life-changing power of God, because it transforms
social relationships by virtue of the dynamic of love, which is the fulfillment of the
law.

To Know Christ and make Him Known!

E. Comment on dividing Romans in two halves as theology, then practice:

Many outlines of Romans incorrectly divide the epistle into two major
sections: (1) Theological (chaps. 1-11), and (2) Practical (chaps. 12-16).
However this way of thinking can bring the themes out of the context, and would
be rather misleading.

A. First, it is based on an unbiblical separation between theology and


practice - as if theology were the theory, and practical exhortation the applied
theory. But this is a modern construct that has little to do with putting doctrine into
practice. (Eph. 1:9-10; Rom. 16:25-27). Yet I don't know how to … I simply
believe it, love it, and enjoy it. Salvation is impossible, knowledge of God is
unattainable, eternal life is unthinkable, and covenant fellowship is indefinable.

B. Second, if you make this distinction between theology and practice the
underlying structure of Romans, then you lose much of Paul's argument. All
sixteen chapters are theology, and all sixteen chapters show how that theology
effects our lives. You would be in trouble to find any statement in Romans (or the
Bible for that matter) that is just a dry theological proposition devoid of life and
power. The thesis statement of Romans is that Paul is not ashamed of the
Gospel, "for it is the power of God unto salvation" (1:16). No speculative
systematizing here! What follows from 1:17 on is the unfolding and unpacking of
that power.
We cannot separate doctrine from life. Just look at the four main sections
from the outline, in each of these four sections there is theology and practice! All
four sections are the theological reflection of the profoundest kind designed to
show us how God works to our ability to understand and comprehend. Then it
begs a response in our life. And all four sections involve those who have faith in
Jesus in an existential exploration of the meaning of life (the Gospel) as God's
power in our lives, that we too may join Paul in proclaiming, "I am not ashamed of
"theology", for this theology is the power of God unto salvation to all who
believe!"

So be aware not to distinguish theology from practical application! It is a


common complaint amongst Christians that theology is boring and dry and
speculative; thus has no real meaning. To continue to prevail the distinction in life
as well as to outline Romans would be to say that we are ashamed of the Gospel
of Christ!

F. "Why are there so many disagreements within the Christian faith?"

Is not the Holy Spirit giving all Christians the same truth? The Holy Spirit is
giving the same truth; the problem is not Him; but us! I had once believed that the
many different beliefs in the Christian faith demonstrated that it was not true.
After all, how could there be so many disagreements about something that was
supposed to be true? I found over the years this is easily; the case is that we
have more in common than not, but we tend to focus on the negative distinctions
and not our unity.

For example, all Christians agree that we are all sinful. Thus as long as sin
remains, it is going to influence how we handle knowledge and truth, even the
truth of God’s Word. Additionally, nearly all of the divisions among Christians are
the result of pride. Furthermore all Christians believe that we humans are limited
in our abilities to understand what God has told us and even effectively
communicate clearly what God is teaching. This is demonstrated by people who
are against the Reformed teachings, mainly because it was not explained
logically or clearly. All through Seminary I denied “Limited Atonement” because
my professors never clearly explained it; since I did not understand it, I denied it.
This is the same reasoning as to why Christians disagree over such things as the
method of baptism: Who should be baptized, believers or infants...and what is
taking place during this sacrament.

We contradict each other because scripture teaches us to baptize and gives


some examples; but it does not actually provide any kind of specific formula.
Thus, we come to different conclusions based on our limited insight and our own
determination, (what we like over what God desires us to do). These differences
are going to multiply if no control is enforced on individuals and churches, which
is exactly what has happened. That is why our Church Order Manual and
“Articles" are so important. The Reformation encouraged all people to read the
Bible, before the common person was not allowed to. Thus many interpretations
have risen, both minor and cultic over the centuries, and all these various
reasoning have combined with traditions and expectations. These all focus on
what we do versus what God calls us to do.

What is important is the agreement that remains over the basics of


Christianity by those who believe that the Bible is true. (There are individuals and
churches that claim to be Christian and reject what the Bible says. I'm not talking
about them, just look up the word “reprobate”, and read Romans 1). Most
committed Christians, regardless of denomination, who believe that the Bible is
the inspired Word of God have more in common than not; there is a great deal of
unity in the midst of our diversity.

We all believe that God is our Creator; that He created us without sin, but that
we have all fallen into sin; that our sin separates us from God and we cannot
make up this gap; that Jesus Christ is God's Son who died for us that we may
receive forgiveness for sin; that He rose from the dead and ascended into
heaven: and we embrace salvation only by our faith in Jesus Christ; that the Holy
Spirit is the one who gives us understanding about Jesus and salvation; that
Jesus will return some day in glory. These chief beliefs are our essence that
have withstood the test of time and the misinterpretations from sinful people. For
myself, the many different denominations have increased my appreciation for the
gospel, at the same time given me a passion to teach correct theology. and to
reach the lost.

Consider your neighbor, the person you work with, a close friend, a relative, or
acquaintance who does not know Him. Will your attitude of “my way or no way”
keep you from being a witness or friend? Scripture is clear on what we are called
to do, are you clear in your understanding and purpose and response? From the
Episcopal church practice of burning incense in worship to the fundamentalist
church that renounces any form of liturgy, we all still bow the knee to our Lord
(John 14:6).

G. The Timeline - Historical Context of Romans

28 John the Baptist - 15th year of reign of Tiberius (Luke 3:1-2)

30 Crucifixion/resurrection of Christ

31 Martyrdom of Stephen (Acts 7)

32 Paul's conversion on road to Damascus (Acts 9), and in Arabia & Damascus
for 3 years (Gal 1:17; Acts 9:19-25)

34 Paul's first Jerusalem visit with apostles (Gal 1:18-19; Acts 9:26-27). Departs
for native Tarsus (Gal 1:21; Acts 9:30)
44-45 Martyrdom of James, son of Zebedee, by Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:1-2).
Barnabas finds Paul in Tarsus, takes him to church at Antioch. Famine-relief
delivered to Jerusalem (Acts 11:27-30; 12:25)

47-48 First missionary journey (Acts 13-14)

49 Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15; Gal 2:1-10). Jews expelled from Rome (Acts
18:2)

49-52 Second missionary journey (Acts 15:36-18:22)

50-52 Paul spent 18 months in Corinth (Acts 18:11). Thessalonian's and


Galatians

52-57 Third missionary journey (Acts 18:23-21:17)

52-55 Paul's 3-year stay in Ephesus - base for Asia mission (Acts 19:10; 20:31)

56 Paul in Corinth; Paul decides to go to Jerusalem (Acts 19:21) Corinthian


letters written ( I Cor 16:8, 19).

57 Macedonia and 3-month stay in Greece (Acts 20:1-3) Romans, Titus, 1


Timothy written. Departure for Jerusalem with the Collection (Acts 20:16, 22;
21:4, 10-15)

57 Paul's arrest in Jerusalem (Acts 21:33)

57-59 Caesarean imprisonment (Acts 23:23-26:32) "Prison epistles" written,


Ephesians, Colossians, Philemon, Philippians (?)

59 Paul before Festus

59-60 Paul's voyage to Rome (Acts 27:1-28:16)

60-62 Roman imprisonment (Acts 28:17-31) 2 Timothy written (some scholars


say the Prison epistles be placed here?)

62 Paul's Martyrdom at Rome under Nero (2 Tim 4:6-8)*

64 Fire breaks out in Rome - Christians blamed

68 Nero's death

70 Destruction of Jerusalem by Titus under Vespasian


Resources used:

1. Sturgeon's Devotional Bible; 1964, Baker Books


2. With the Word by Warren Wiersbe; 1991, Oliver Nelson
3. Halley's Bible handbook; 1927, Regency
4. New Geneva Study Bible; 1995, Thomas Nelson
5. The Romans Debate - Continued; by F. F. Bruce, 1991
6. The "New Treasury of SCRIPTURE Knowledge" Edited by Jerome H. Smith, 1992,
Thomas Nelson, (footnote #1)
7. Essential Truths of the Christian Faith; R.C. Sproul 1992; Tyndale
8. Years of study & teaching notes, Seminary notes, & Prayer
9. Into Thy Word, 2000; Richard Joseph Krejcir, Writers Club Press
10. Walking by Faith, 2000; Richard Joseph Krejcir, Writers Club Press

Richard Joseph Krejcir, is the Director of ‘Into Thy Word Ministries, ’a discipleing
ministry. He is also a pastor, teacher, speaker is a graduate of Fuller Theological
Seminary in Pasadena California and has amounted over 20 years of pastoral
ministry experience mostly in youth ministry, including serving as a church
growth consultant.

Into Thy Word Ministries


www.intothyword.org

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