Archive for the ‘Romans’ Category

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Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

August 15, 2011

Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?

I rarely allow my critics to guide me in what I write these days. Most of what they say has been said as what they say contradicts itself and then end up agreeing with me—only to say I am still “not saved”. I see them as sad little people who do not know how to love others and have a warped understanding of the Gospel. 
Now that is out of the way…
Romans 6:1.  What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase?
I was reading in Romans six and it hit me how so many people read this and miss the point completely. Why? They read this verse out of context of the others and not within the overall teaching of Scripture.
Yes, if you just take this verse it seems to say, “You cannot keep on sinning and expect grace to cover you.” But think about that…. If we can out sin grace, then grace means nothing. 
So, if we look at what Paul taught in chapter five we see that Paul just unpacked a teaching about grace in a profound and deep way. He stated things like:
Romans 5: 16 Again, the gift of God is not like the result of the one man’s sin: The judgment followed one sin and brought condemnation, but the gift followed many trespasses and brought justification.
To summarize chapter five is to say that Jesus is our:
Reconciliation
Justification
Obedience
Salvation from death (as we died with Jesus on the cross) 
We also find that this is all by Grace. 
Then we hit chapter six. If we read it out of context we find that, yes, grace is not sufficient to cover all those things, but we just saw it did. So what is Paul saying?
Romans 6: 1. What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2. By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3. Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4. We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  5. If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection.  6.  For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with,  that we should no longer be slaves to sin– 7. because anyone who has died has been freed from sin. 8.  Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him.  9.  For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. 10.  The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. 11.  In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
We died to sin. How? When we were “Baptized” (Immersed) into Christ. If you believe in Jesus, this already happened! We were buried with Jesus for a reason—to be raised again to New Life! You are united with Jesus in His death and then united with Jesus in His resurrection.  Your old self is dead (contrary to some who teach it still lives and you struggle with your old self). The process is then about the renewal of the mind and not dealing with sin. We are no longer slaves to sin because we died to sin and now live in Christ Jesus. Your old self is dead… buried… never to be dug up again… your old self is dead as sin…
Let me show another scripture out of Romans that shows more clearly what I’m, saying. We skip over to Romans chapter eight: 
Romans 8: 1.  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2.  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.  3.  For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature,  God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering.  And so he condemned sin in sinful man, 4.  in order that the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit. 
I guarantee that people will say I am soft selling sin. Not at all, I am agreeing with the bible as to what happened to sin. Here we read that God sent His own Son in the likeness of sinful man to die for us or in place of us. When Jesus was on the Cross, He condemned sin IN sinful man. Man was never condemned, but SIN WAS!  In fact, what God did was make you His very righteousness. You are all that is right about God by His Grace! 
2 Corinthians 5: 21.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
So  when I read how some misuse this passage I am saddened that  in one breath they claim grace, then in another misuse a passage to abuse and condemn others and miss that it states the opposite of their intentions. So like Paul states in Galatians 3:
Galatians 3: 1.  You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. 2.  I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by observing the law, or by believing what you heard? 3.  Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? 
So do not let some legalist twist the bible to take away Grace from you. Live as the rightness of God through Jesus by His very Resurrected Life.
 My only (slight) disclaimer as I know some idiots out there will ask this is, no, I am not saying go out and live however you want. You are no longer “slaves to sin”, but the rightness of God. However, unlike many who would even suggest that (as I see it a lack of trust and faith in God), I trust that the Grace of God is sufficient to save as well as the Holy Spirit greatly qualified to change a person how God sees fit and not by my own agenda and understanding. When it comes to a person’s “sin”, I believe God has dealt with it and deals with us on a much deeper basis than outward “sin”. I see God as going to the core of our being and working in the renewal of our minds. Some people are more messed up than others and need patience and kindness. I wonder at those who judge and condemn others, when Jesus himself never did so. In fact, I see that those who act such a way toward others as to it to Jesus himself.
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Sideshow 0003 Webcast

March 10, 2011

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UeBrF2xzkPY&tracker=False

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Re-post: My Values and Beliefs

July 13, 2009

Due to some that have decided to lie about me and what I believe I am doing this “re-post” of what I value and believe. Also note that below are some links to a couple of commentaries I have done as well as a great rebuttal by Nathan Rich concerning accusations against Vineyard.

My Values and Beliefs

I believe… in one God, Creator of all things, eternally existing in three persons: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and that these three are co-eternal and are equal. Colossians 1:16

I believe… Jesus Christ is the Son of God. That He is the Creator and that all things were created through Him. He is coequal with the Father. Jesus lived a sinless human life and offered Himself as the perfect sacrifice for the sins of all men by dying on a cross. He rose from the dead after three days to demonstrate His power over sin and death. He ascended to Heaven’s glory and will return again to earth to reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Matthew 1:22, 23; Isaiah 9:6; John 1:1-5, 14:10-30; Hebrews 4:14,15; l Corinthians 15:3,4; Roman 1:3,4; Acts 1:9-11; I Timothy 6:14,15; Titus 2:13

I believe… that the Bible is the verbally inspired Word of God and without mistakes as originally written. It is the complete revelation of His will for salvation and the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life. It is God’s revelation of Who He is. ll Timothy 3:16; ll Peter 1:20,21; ll Timothy 1:13; Psalm 119:105, 160

I believe… that man was created by and for God; that by man’s disobeying God, every person incurred spiritual death, which is separation from God, and physical death as a consequence; and that all people are sinners by nature and practice. Genesis 1:27; Psalm 8:3-6; Isaiah 53:6a, Romans 3:23; Isaiah 59:1, 2

I believe… in the present ministry of the Holy Spirit indwelling all believers and thus enabling and empowering the life and ministry of the believer. II Corinthians 3:17; John 16:7-13, 4:16,17; Acts 1:8; I Corinthians 2:12, 3:16; Ephesians 1:13; Galatians 5:25; Ephesians 5:1

I believe… in the Old Testament it was understood that the way to God was through a priest. People went to the temple to give their sacrifice and had access to God through the priest. In the New Testament we are taught that Jesus Christ is our access to the Father and none of us needs to go through anyone – not a priest, a rabbi or a pastor – to reach God. John 14:6; I Timothy 2:5

I believe… Because God gives man eternal life through, Jesus Christ; the believer is secure in salvation for eternity. Salvation is maintained by the grace and power of God, not by the self effort of the Christian. It is the grace and keeping power of God that gives this security. John 10:29; II Timothy 1:12; Hebrews 7:25, 10:10, 14; I Peter 1:3-5

I believe… God is sovereign ruler of the universe, and He is owner of all things. He has made us stewards of His possessions, and therefore man is accountable to God for that which God has entrusted to him. We are called to give ourselves as believers living sacrifices. That means all our resources are to go to God’s glory. Giving can be in many forms, from ones time to money. Leviticus 27:30; Malachi 3:10; Exodus 34:26; I Corinthians 16:2 Romans 12:1

I believe… God has redeemed and is giving man dominion through Jesus Christ over the earth making all things on earth as it is in heaven. John 17:4; Matthew 6:10

My Values are…

To be Missional… (from Friends of Missional one of the best sites I have seen on being missional)

Description of a Missional Church

A missional church is one where people are exploring and rediscovering what it means to be Jesus’ sent people as their identity and vocation.

A missional church will be made up of individuals willing and ready to be Christ’s people in their own situation and place.

A missional church knows that they must be a cross-cultural missionary (contextual) people in their own community.

A missional church will be engaged with the culture (in the world) without being absorbed by the culture (not of the world). They will become intentionally indigenous.

A missional church understands that God is already present in the culture where it finds itself. Therefore, a missional church doesn’t view its purpose as bringing God into the culture or taking individuals out of the culture to a sacred space.

A missional church is about more than just being contextual; it is also about the nature of the church and how it relates to God.

A missional church will seek to plant all types of missional communities to extend the Kingdom of God.

A missional church faithfully proclaims the gospel through word and deed; how the gospel is embodied in our community and service is as important as what we say.

A missional church will align all their activities around the missio dei — the mission of God.

A missional church seeks to put the good of their neighbor over their own.

A missional church will give integrity, morality, good character and conduct, compassion, love and a resurrection life filled with hope preeminence to give credence to their reasoned verbal witness.

A missional church practices hospitality by welcoming the stranger into the midst of the community.

A missional church will see themselves as a community or family on a mission together. There are no “Lone Ranger” Christians in a missional church.

A missional church will see themselves as representatives of Jesus and will do nothing to dishonor his name.

A missional church will be totally reliant on God in all it does. It will move beyond superficial faith to a life of supernatural living.

A missional church will be desperately dependent on prayer.

A missional church gathered will be for the purpose of worship, encouragement, supplemental teaching, training, and to seek God’s presence and to be realigned with God’s missionary purpose.

A missional church is orthodox in its view of the gospel and scripture, but culturally relevant in its methods and practice so that it can engage the worldview of the hearers.

A missional church will feed deeply on the scriptures throughout the week.

A missional church will be a community where all members are involved in learning to be disciples of Jesus. Growth is an expectation.

A missional church will help people discover and develop their spiritual gifts and will rely on gifted people for ministry instead of talented people.

A missional church is a healing community where people carry each other’s burdens and help restore gently.

Blessings,
iggy

Walking through Romans Download

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walking-through-romans PDF

These are the unedited versions. New edited versions will be available soon.

This is free to download, but help a fellow out ok?

Free resource: Response to John MacArthur’s book Charismatic Chaos by Rich Nathan

To Donate look for Paypal link to the right —–>

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The wages of sin…

March 10, 2009
The wages of sin…

I was doing some thinking about the relationship of sin, death, the cross and what is the eternal punishment.

To some this may be obvious, and I agree, yet to many I believe they have a mixed up view of sin, death the Cross and the eternal life or punishment some will face. If you ask most Christians what will happen when they die, they will say, “I will go to heaven.” If you were to ask, “How long?” I guarantee that you will receive some funny looks! If you were to ask why someone will go to hell there will usually be two answers.

1. They were sinners.
2. They did not accept Jesus.

Now granted all people are sinners. Even the redeemed are “redeemed sinners”. Yet, is it because of our “sin” we go to hell? I know some who are reading are already going, “Yes! Why even ask such a stupid question!” Yet, if you really look at what the bibles states I do not believe people go to hell for their “sin”… at least not since the Cross.

First off the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Death was the result of the sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden. Death was part of the curse that came not only on mankind, but on all creation due to Adams disobedience. So the wages of sin is death.

So?

Meaning, that when we sin we will die. Wages are the payment for our sins. If you go to work at a job, then most likely you earn wages of some kind. You are getting payment for the work you do. The payment comes from the result of your work… so also death comes from the result of sin. We are paid in our debt to sin by our own life being taken by death.

So how does that effect things if you grasp what I am saying here.

From death to life not from sinful to life.

Since the death of Jesus, who had no sin and became sin for us, sin also died with Jesus on the Cross.

2 Cor 5:21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There really is no other meaning to this verse other than Jesus became sin for us and in that the balance of sin and death was set to right. So now the result is that it is not our sin that we should be worried about but that we will be dead. Forgiveness for sins came on the cross. I am amazed how many people argue this with me. They claim that forgiveness did not come on the cross as that would mean all people are then forgiven! Imagine that! How could Jesus’ death not forgive us yet also forgive us. I see this as a bit of double speak. Some like Calvin ran into this and realized (and confused), if all are forgiven then all are saved! Of course forgiveness does not equate salvation. You did not know that? The Christian life is not about us getting saved… yes that is part, but it is mostly about the resurrected Christ who now imparts His Life to us. Calvin simply confused forgiveness and salvation as the same thing… Forgiveness at the Cross justified us so that forgiveness could come and the resurrection gave us Life in Christ.

Romans 5: 9. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10. For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

First off, noticed when we were justified… by His blood! When did Jesus spill His blood? At the Cross! So we were justified by Jesus’ blood at the Cross

Romans 3:22-24 states this justification was given “freely by grace”.

22. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Yes, redemption came at the Cross, but life comes with the Resurrection! Again Romans 5: 10 . For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Again, notice that we have already been reconciled… when? At the Cross! Praise God! Yet, it clearly states we are not saved just by the death of Jesus, but we are saved through his Life!

Calvin missed this idea that the Cross was only part of salvation. When he saw that all would be forgiven at the Cross and realized this would me Universal Salvation, he created Limited Atonement. Now I would get into the difference between OT atonement and NT propitiation, though I believe this teaching has become mostly lost in churches today. But since Calvin confused forgiveness and salvation, he missed that we receive the Life of Christ through the Resurrection. Or if he realized that we received life, he missed that we needed the death of Jesus to set the scales to right… to justify or reconcile the debt of sin which lead to death by taking away sin in His own death… and we needed the Resurrection so that we could have the Life of Jesus which is eternal.

Sin and Death are no longer the enemy. They are subject to Jesus and sin was already dealt with at the Cross and soon death will be tossed into the Lake of Fire. Now it is not about “sins” but about dead men needing Life! We are given the ministry of reconciliation to bring others from death to Life! What a glorious calling…

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The wages of sin…

March 10, 2009
The wages of sin…

I was doing some thinking about the relationship of sin, death, the cross and what is the eternal punishment.

To some this may be obvious, and I agree, yet to many I believe they have a mixed up view of sin, death the Cross and the eternal life or punishment some will face. If you ask most Christians what will happen when they die, they will say, “I will go to heaven.” If you were to ask, “How long?” I guarantee that you will receive some funny looks! If you were to ask why someone will go to hell there will usually be two answers.

1. They were sinners.
2. They did not accept Jesus.

Now granted all people are sinners. Even the redeemed are “redeemed sinners”. Yet, is it because of our “sin” we go to hell? I know some who are reading are already going, “Yes! Why even ask such a stupid question!” Yet, if you really look at what the bibles states I do not believe people go to hell for their “sin”… at least not since the Cross.

First off the wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23) Death was the result of the sin that Adam and Eve committed in the Garden. Death was part of the curse that came not only on mankind, but on all creation due to Adams disobedience. So the wages of sin is death.

So?

Meaning, that when we sin we will die. Wages are the payment for our sins. If you go to work at a job, then most likely you earn wages of some kind. You are getting payment for the work you do. The payment comes from the result of your work… so also death comes from the result of sin. We are paid in our debt to sin by our own life being taken by death.

So how does that effect things if you grasp what I am saying here.

From death to life not from sinful to life.

Since the death of Jesus, who had no sin and became sin for us, sin also died with Jesus on the Cross.

2 Cor 5:21. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.

There really is no other meaning to this verse other than Jesus became sin for us and in that the balance of sin and death was set to right. So now the result is that it is not our sin that we should be worried about but that we will be dead. Forgiveness for sins came on the cross. I am amazed how many people argue this with me. They claim that forgiveness did not come on the cross as that would mean all people are then forgiven! Imagine that! How could Jesus’ death not forgive us yet also forgive us. I see this as a bit of double speak. Some like Calvin ran into this and realized (and confused), if all are forgiven then all are saved! Of course forgiveness does not equate salvation. You did not know that? The Christian life is not about us getting saved… yes that is part, but it is mostly about the resurrected Christ who now imparts His Life to us. Calvin simply confused forgiveness and salvation as the same thing… Forgiveness at the Cross justified us so that forgiveness could come and the resurrection gave us Life in Christ.

Romans 5: 9. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! 10. For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

First off, noticed when we were justified… by His blood! When did Jesus spill His blood? At the Cross! So we were justified by Jesus’ blood at the Cross

Romans 3:22-24 states this justification was given “freely by grace”.

22. This righteousness from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, 23. for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24. and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

Yes, redemption came at the Cross, but life comes with the Resurrection! Again Romans 5: 10 . For if, when we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

Again, notice that we have already been reconciled… when? At the Cross! Praise God! Yet, it clearly states we are not saved just by the death of Jesus, but we are saved through his Life!

Calvin missed this idea that the Cross was only part of salvation. When he saw that all would be forgiven at the Cross and realized this would me Universal Salvation, he created Limited Atonement. Now I would get into the difference between OT atonement and NT propitiation, though I believe this teaching has become mostly lost in churches today. But since Calvin confused forgiveness and salvation, he missed that we receive the Life of Christ through the Resurrection. Or if he realized that we received life, he missed that we needed the death of Jesus to set the scales to right… to justify or reconcile the debt of sin which lead to death by taking away sin in His own death… and we needed the Resurrection so that we could have the Life of Jesus which is eternal.

Sin and Death are no longer the enemy. They are subject to Jesus and sin was already dealt with at the Cross and soon death will be tossed into the Lake of Fire. Now it is not about “sins” but about dead men needing Life! We are given the ministry of reconciliation to bring others from death to Life! What a glorious calling…

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Walking Through Romans Download

July 25, 2008

Walking through Romans Download

walking-through-romans WordDoc.
walking-through-romans PDF

These are the unedited versions. New edited versions will be available soon.

This is free to download, but help a fellow out ok?

Free resource: Response to John MacArthur’s book Charismatic Chaos by Rich Nathan

To Donate look for Paypal link to the right —–>

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Walking Through Romans Download

July 25, 2008

Walking through Romans Download

walking-through-romans WordDoc.
walking-through-romans PDF

These are the unedited versions. New edited versions will be available soon.

This is free to download, but help a fellow out ok?

Free resource: Response to John MacArthur’s book Charismatic Chaos by Rich Nathan

To Donate look for Paypal link to the right —–>
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Walking through Romans pt 17 chapter 16

July 15, 2008

Walking through Romans pt 17 chapter 16

Romans 16
1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3Greet Priscilla[b] and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 15Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
20The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.
22I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.
23Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.
Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.[c]
25Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— 27to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Romans is a fantastic book. One can be carried away by the doctrines Paul teaches… and one can be carried away with knowledge Paul and forget that we must apply this book to our own life.

Some scholars seem to think that this chapter is either a second letter or a separate letter from the rest of the book. Yet, I see that it is part of the Book as the ones delivering would pass through Ephesus on their way to Rome. Here we see Paul greet many in Ephesus. Maybe, Paul had two motives here in doing this. One could be to greet and love on the people in Ephesus. The other would be to show the love of the churches outside of Rome to further encourage those in Rome toward unity in Christ.

Paul greets his “family”. Some may be blood relatives and others “Blood” relatives. It is heart warming to read the different greetings. Of interest for all the “doctrine” we have Phoebe who is referred to as a “Servant” but the word is the feminine form of “deacon”. This sets some who believe women should not be in leadership in the church on their heads. But it is worthy to notice for all the arguments, that Paul addresses this woman this way without issue.

Aquila and Priscilla, or the eagle and the woman as Aquila means eagle had eagle eyes that could find great men of God like Apollos (Acts 18) as well as Paul himself (Acts 18). These mighty workers of God were very important to Paul as they come up in a few other letters he writes. They seemed to be mentioned as equals and as a team. Man and wife who work side by side with each other and with Paul. They also placed themselves in danger to protect Paul.
Paul addresses Epainetus, whose name means “praised”, was his first convert in Achaia which is part of Greece.
Mariam, could possibly be the Mother of Jesus, who was with John. This is speculation as there are at least 6 Mary’s in the scripture. Yet, we do know Jesus told John to watch over His mother.
Noting that some names are gentiles and some are Jew should be a clue to this being a call for unity. Andronicus who name means “man of victory” was a Jew.
Junias which is a woman’s name is called an “apostle” in reading one way, yet it could also be read she was known by the apostles. It is not clear, be she notable as one or know by again a woman is held in high esteem by Paul.
Amplias which means “enlarged” is a Roman Christian meanin he was from Rome and also a gentile.
Skipping a few we find Herodion, a relative of paul and this phrase, “Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.” This seems to be a Roman official who had were believers.

I do not mean to not mention some. I wish I could write more on each person. Maybe someday I could.

One though that has an interesting story is Rufus. He was a disciple of Paul as thought in tradition, was Bishop of Avignon (though there is no hard evidence of this) though he was bishop to a few other churches. He later was living in Rome when Paul sent this greeting. During the persecution of Trajan, Polycarp speaks of Rufus and Ignatius of Antioch who were put to death in Rome, in his letter to the Philippians.
“17. I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18. for such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

This is some of the greatest advice. It seems futile to engage those who are divisive as they cannot see the harm they do others. As I have engaged these types of people I find that their own ambition clouds their ability to see that this does nothing for the Kingdom. It is best to avoid and ignore them. If only I would take my own advise! These people try to persuade the naïve with smooth talk and flattery and spread lies, rumors and slander others, so they can have personal gain be that monetary or the attention of others. The great danger is that they desire the accolades of men exchange it for the works of God. It is best to be ignorant of the evil of these people and leave them to God who will crush Satan under His feet. Giving room for God to work is the best advice I could give. Paul states that a blessing of Grace to those who encounter such people.
“I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.”

This can be confusing to the casual reader. Did not Paul write this book? Then why is this Tertius saying he did? Often one would dictate a letter and another would literally write the words down. This happens even today in business as a secretary will “take a letter” yet the letter is from the one who dictated the letter. So, there is no issue as to the authorship of Romans. Yet, even Tertius sends greeting also.
“25. Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26. but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him– 27. to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

This salutation could take a whole chapter to unpack in and of it’s self.
Paul showed us a great mystery. This mystery was Christ Jesus Himself. It was revealed in the Gospel and proclamation of Jesus. Without Jesus the prophetic writings make little sense, yet with Jesus we can not only change on a personal level; we can also have power to reach the nations with the message of Jesus Christ. To this I agree with Paul that we give glory forever through Jesus Christ for God’s great wisdom.

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Walking through Romans pt 17 chapter 16

July 15, 2008

Walking through Romans pt 17 chapter 16

Romans 16
1I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea. 2I ask you to receive her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints and to give her any help she may need from you, for she has been a great help to many people, including me. 3Greet Priscilla[b] and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus. 4They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them. 5Greet also the church that meets at their house. Greet my dear friend Epenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in the province of Asia. 6Greet Mary, who worked very hard for you. 7Greet Andronicus and Junias, my relatives who have been in prison with me. They are outstanding among the apostles, and they were in Christ before I was. 8Greet Ampliatus, whom I love in the Lord. 9Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my dear friend Stachys. 10Greet Apelles, tested and approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the household of Aristobulus. 11Greet Herodion, my relative. Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord. 12Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, those women who work hard in the Lord. Greet my dear friend Persis, another woman who has worked very hard in the Lord. 13Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. 14Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas and the brothers with them. 15Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas and all the saints with them. 16Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ send greetings.
17I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.
20The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.
The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.
21Timothy, my fellow worker, sends his greetings to you, as do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, my relatives.
22I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.
23Gaius, whose hospitality I and the whole church here enjoy, sends you his greetings.
Erastus, who is the city’s director of public works, and our brother Quartus send you their greetings.[c]
25Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him— 27to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.

Romans is a fantastic book. One can be carried away by the doctrines Paul teaches… and one can be carried away with knowledge Paul and forget that we must apply this book to our own life.

Some scholars seem to think that this chapter is either a second letter or a separate letter from the rest of the book. Yet, I see that it is part of the Book as the ones delivering would pass through Ephesus on their way to Rome. Here we see Paul greet many in Ephesus. Maybe, Paul had two motives here in doing this. One could be to greet and love on the people in Ephesus. The other would be to show the love of the churches outside of Rome to further encourage those in Rome toward unity in Christ.

Paul greets his “family”. Some may be blood relatives and others “Blood” relatives. It is heart warming to read the different greetings. Of interest for all the “doctrine” we have Phoebe who is referred to as a “Servant” but the word is the feminine form of “deacon”. This sets some who believe women should not be in leadership in the church on their heads. But it is worthy to notice for all the arguments, that Paul addresses this woman this way without issue.

Aquila and Priscilla, or the eagle and the woman as Aquila means eagle had eagle eyes that could find great men of God like Apollos (Acts 18) as well as Paul himself (Acts 18). These mighty workers of God were very important to Paul as they come up in a few other letters he writes. They seemed to be mentioned as equals and as a team. Man and wife who work side by side with each other and with Paul. They also placed themselves in danger to protect Paul.
Paul addresses Epainetus, whose name means “praised”, was his first convert in Achaia which is part of Greece.
Mariam, could possibly be the Mother of Jesus, who was with John. This is speculation as there are at least 6 Mary’s in the scripture. Yet, we do know Jesus told John to watch over His mother.
Noting that some names are gentiles and some are Jew should be a clue to this being a call for unity. Andronicus who name means “man of victory” was a Jew.
Junias which is a woman’s name is called an “apostle” in reading one way, yet it could also be read she was known by the apostles. It is not clear, be she notable as one or know by again a woman is held in high esteem by Paul.
Amplias which means “enlarged” is a Roman Christian meanin he was from Rome and also a gentile.
Skipping a few we find Herodion, a relative of paul and this phrase, “Greet those in the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.” This seems to be a Roman official who had were believers.

I do not mean to not mention some. I wish I could write more on each person. Maybe someday I could.

One though that has an interesting story is Rufus. He was a disciple of Paul as thought in tradition, was Bishop of Avignon (though there is no hard evidence of this) though he was bishop to a few other churches. He later was living in Rome when Paul sent this greeting. During the persecution of Trajan, Polycarp speaks of Rufus and Ignatius of Antioch who were put to death in Rome, in his letter to the Philippians.
“17. I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18. for such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people. 19. Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil. 20. The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”

This is some of the greatest advice. It seems futile to engage those who are divisive as they cannot see the harm they do others. As I have engaged these types of people I find that their own ambition clouds their ability to see that this does nothing for the Kingdom. It is best to avoid and ignore them. If only I would take my own advise! These people try to persuade the naïve with smooth talk and flattery and spread lies, rumors and slander others, so they can have personal gain be that monetary or the attention of others. The great danger is that they desire the accolades of men exchange it for the works of God. It is best to be ignorant of the evil of these people and leave them to God who will crush Satan under His feet. Giving room for God to work is the best advice I could give. Paul states that a blessing of Grace to those who encounter such people.
“I, Tertius, who wrote down this letter, greet you in the Lord.”

This can be confusing to the casual reader. Did not Paul write this book? Then why is this Tertius saying he did? Often one would dictate a letter and another would literally write the words down. This happens even today in business as a secretary will “take a letter” yet the letter is from the one who dictated the letter. So, there is no issue as to the authorship of Romans. Yet, even Tertius sends greeting also.
“25. Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, 26. but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him– 27. to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

This salutation could take a whole chapter to unpack in and of it’s self.
Paul showed us a great mystery. This mystery was Christ Jesus Himself. It was revealed in the Gospel and proclamation of Jesus. Without Jesus the prophetic writings make little sense, yet with Jesus we can not only change on a personal level; we can also have power to reach the nations with the message of Jesus Christ. To this I agree with Paul that we give glory forever through Jesus Christ for God’s great wisdom.

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Walking Through Romans pt 16 chapter 15

July 11, 2008

Walking Through Romans pt 16 chapter 15

Romans 15

1We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. 2Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. 3For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: “The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.” 4For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

5May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, 6so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

7Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. 8For I tell you that Christ has become a servant of the Jews n behalf of God’s truth, to confirm the promises made to the patriarchs 9so that the Gentiles may glorify God for his mercy, as it is written: “Therefore I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing hymns to your name.” 10Again, it says,

“Rejoice, O Gentiles, with his people.”

11And again, “Praise the Lord, all you Gentiles,

and sing praises to him, all you peoples.”

12And again, Isaiah says,

“The Root of Jesse will spring up,

one who will arise to rule over the nations;

the Gentiles will hope in him.”

13May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

14I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another. 15I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me 16to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles with the priestly duty of proclaiming the gospel of God, so that the Gentiles might become an offering acceptable to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

17Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about him will see,

and those who have not heard will understand.”

22This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you. 23But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to see you, 24I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to visit you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the saints there. 26For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the saints in Jerusalem. 27They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this fruit, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ.

30I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, 32so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. 33The God of peace be with you all. Amen.
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In part this chapter need be connected with Romans 14 and if one is true to the author one should read it in one continuous read. Paul builds from honoring the weaker brother concerning meat, and build further that we need also treat our neighbor who may or may not know Christ in ways that may build them up. It is in doing good to others that one may lead or even earn the privilege to talk to someone about Jesus.

It is a privilege that we get to share the Gospel with anyone about Jesus our King! How great an honor it is sharing with someone the truth that is Jesus. Paul states it rather curiously though in that Jesus never sought His own pleasure that even the insults heaped upon us are on Him. Everything in the Bible that was already writing was for us to show us that Jesus is the Messiah and King. This news was so we could endure sufferings and to be encouraged that we are His and suffering is not in vain.

The Jews and Gentile have come down a long road with Paul. He has shown them that they are one in Christ and exhorts them to seek unity and stop the strife between them. This unity was not based on doctrines, though important, but on Christ Jesus. It should humble us that Jesus, King of all creation, humbly became a servant to the Jew so that a Gentile could be saved. In that this is true, as a Gentile we should rejoice in the loving kindness of God that He did not forsake us but also added the Gentile to the plan of salvation that was Jesus.

Paul speaks bold then and now. His words remind us of the urgency that we should have in keeping the truth of Christ Jesus and the Grace that comes through Him as central to our thoughts as a people of faith.

I believe Paul had confidence in the Roman believers to teach and instruct each other because Paul knew the Holy Spirit was the one teaching. Paul speaks of what God has done by the power of the Holy Spirit and boasts in that and not his own works and teachings. This should be as it is with one of faith. We need to not only boast of the working of the Holy Spirit, but depend on Him as we walk daily.

Paul must have had stories. In a way I wish he would have written the accounts of what God had done. Now, many stories are recorded in the Book of Acts, yet I suspect that there are so many more that Paul had to tell. His desire was to go where Christ Jesus had not yet been preached. This was a good plan as to build on a fresh foundation is much easier than trying to tear down old buildings to build afresh. Paul had worked hard in the regions he had already been and was still looking toward Spain. We do not know if he ever made it, but as one teacher I heard pointed out, God gives us the vision and the drive, and even if it is not we who make it to Spain thought that be our goal, the path was made ready to Spain to receive the Gospel and Jesus.