"There is an alternative to ignorance that is not knowledge, its revelation! that comes down from above, when the heaven is opened." Are you willing to wait on such a revelation. "The Just Shall LIVE by Faith" Trusting God for heavenly revelation. We don't have revelation, because it is costly to wait. There is no price to pay for the "quick fix" the "quick answer."
Friday, January 29, 2010
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
this is becoming the most enjoyable "work" i've ever done
here is our third study which we will do on Feb 2nd
The Letter to the Romans Bible Study #3
Words - Righteous, Righteousness
Romans 1:18-21 The Night, Its Cause
We come to a major turn in the letter. The good news is we are saved. The righteousness that is available from God by faith is the only thing that can save us from the wrath of God. The good news is made even more amazing when we see that, that wrath was deserved. (Putting diamonds in a case with a bright light shining on them and laying them on a totally black background is the best way to bring out their beauty.) This is what Paul is about to do with the gospel. He is going to display it against the blackness of the ungodliness and unrighteousness of mankind.
“Only the prisoner shall be free, only the poor shall be rich, only the weak strong, only the humble exalted, only the empty filled, only nothing shall be something” Martin Luther.
Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,
This time spent studying verses on sin and unrighteousness, will bear good fruit in our lives. First, in order to find a cure for the disease you need to know everything you can about its root and cause. Second, a deeper understanding of human nature, both ours and others will make us more able to resist our own temptations and more able to bless, counsel, and pray for others. Lastly, knowing the nature of sin and wrath will cause you to cherish the gospel. The little word, “For” starts us off here, it connects us back to the gospel of verses 16,17. We can be righteous by faith, and that is a good thing because, “the wrath of God is revealed …against all ungodliness and unrighteousness.” Ungodliness is used here for sins that are specifically against the first 4 commandments, against God. Unrighteousness is used for breaking the last 6 commandments against ‘man.’
Our two words to study in depth are righteous and righteousness. Righteousness is righteous acts. So what is righteous? The simple definition is “conformity to God’s standard of right and wrong.“ Included in it is a sense of being justified in God’s eyes, made right, at peace with God.
The path to righteousness is shown in Isaiah 6:1-12
In 6:1-4 Isaiah meets God
In 6:5 Isaiah sees his true self
In 6:6,7 He finds cleansing from God
In 6:8-12 He is commissioned and empowered to God’s service
The word is used in 3 ways in scripture, only one is what Paul is talking about here in Romans. That one is “absolutely righteous.” This refers only to God and not to any man, aside from Jesus. Two other ways righteous is used are: 1) ‘Relatively righteous‘, so Cornelius and Lot are referred to as righteous, but it is only “compared to” the people surrounding them. 2) ’Self-perceived as righteous’, such as when Jesus answers the Pharisee’s question by saying he did not come to “call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” Luke 5:32
Having seen what righteousness is, we need to stop and contemplate how evil, evil is. It is evil enough that a loving God exiles it to an eternal punishment. It is horrible enough that the perfect Son had to go to the cross to atone for it. (discussion)
I want to read Isaiah 42:1-4
1“Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold;
My chosen one in whom My soul delights.
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the nations.
2 “He will not cry out or raise His voice,
Nor make His voice heard in the street.
3 “A bruised reed He will not break
And a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish;
He will faithfully bring forth justice.
4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed
Until He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands will wait expectantly for His law.” God’s deep desire for us is to ‘press on’ to know the Lord. He will fan to flame any small burning ember in you. He will not crush, but heal us when we are “a bruised reed.” OK back to the lesson.
“because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them.
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.
For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.” Romans 1:19-21
God is manifest in a general way to every human being. Our limitation and His vastness are two truths that every one knows. Our observation of the world, the things we see constantly points out to us our boundaries, our limits, and His everlasting power. God’s creation makes Him to be “clearly seen.” “futile in their speculations” - exalting chance and accidents and man’s wisdom - they elevate themselves and devaluate God. No longer truly observing His power and glory displayed in creation their heart becomes darkened as they try to “see” in this world something that speaks of man’s goodness and rules out the power and glory of God.
For unbelievers, wrath is always mingled with mercy in this age of hope. God warns with His wrath and woo’s with His kindness.
For believers death and futility and suffering and sin are all transformed by faith in Jesus.
This if from John Piper and I could not improve upon it.
Death and Suffering and Sin in the Life of a Believer
And to believers, what is our case? According to Romans 1:17 we have the gift of God's righteousness by faith. God's punishment of us was poured out on Jesus who died in our place (Romans 8:3). Romans 8:1 says, "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus." 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says, "God has not destined us for wrath." What then are our death and our suffering and our sin? Are they still the wrath of God against us? If not what are they?
The answer is that death and suffering and sin are not the wrath and condemnation and punishment of our heavenly Father. Each one is fundamentally altered by the gospel of Christ crucified in our place.
1. Death is a gateway into paradise.
For believers, the sting and victory of death have been removed. "O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING?" The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ" (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). For believers, death is not the wrath of God toward them; it is the last gasp of a defeated enemy who unwittingly opens a door to paradise.
2. Futility and suffering are pathways to holiness.
For believers, futility is removed from suffering. For those who love God and are called according to his purpose "all things work together for our good" (Romans 8:28). Punishment is transformed into purification. Destructive forces become disciplinary forces. And the seeming chaos and futility of life's calamities become the severe, but loving, hand of our Father in heaven.
3. The power of sin is replaced with a love of righteousness.
Finally, not only is the sting of death replaced with hope; and the futility of suffering replaced with meaning; but the dominion and degrading power of sin is replaced with a love of righteousness (the point of Romans 6). God does not give us over to a depraved mind, he gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Therefore let us awaken to the truth of Romans 1:18 that the wrath of God is being revealed now in this age against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of man. We can't understand the world or the gospel without that truth. But let us also awaken to the truth that God is revealing something else at the same time. He is revealing the gift of righteousness for all who will believe on Christ. And with that righteousness there is no wrath or condemnation on us any more. For you (whoever you are!), who believe, death becomes a gateway to paradise; suffering becomes a pathway to holiness; and sin becomes a dethroned enemy that we fight by the power of God's Spirit.
So let us flee the wrath of God, and take refuge in the precious power of the gospel of God. Amen.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Went down to the "march for life" and used the drive time to read pray
Daniel chapter 9 and to memorize this verse.
The Lord did not hestitate to send the disaster upon us, for the Lord our God
is righteous in everything He does, yet we have not obeyed Him. Daniel 9:14 NASB
and if the Lord sending disaster is not in your theology, I recommend you
re-think your theology
Sunday, January 17, 2010
1 Kings 21:1-3 It cost him his life, but Naboth refused the lies of Satan to try to have him give up what God had given him.
Satan, in the words of Ahab, promised him a better vineyard if he would give up what God had given him. NEVER-that is the answer to the question, 'When will satan give you something better than what God has given you?'
Ahab also offered MONEY, cash, a temporary 'windfall' that would do nothing to honor his heritage or provide for his descendants.
So satan has two bullets in his gun. The offer of something that he describes as "better" but it is most definitely NOT, and the offer of something that will provide temporary 'wow' and then be an eternal letdown.
Way to go Naboth, he dodged both bullets and was used by the sacrifice of his life to actually bring repentance to Ahab. Beautiful
Thursday, January 7, 2010
Lesson `1 went well seven attended and got something out of it, thanks to Mike Beachy for his help and all the guys for their input... grace was discussed and understood on a deeper level and that is always good!!
The Letter to the Romans Bible Study #2
Phrase: will of God
Romans 1:8-17 Personal Matters and the Theme of the Epistle
8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. “Faith” is in Rome. Believers are in Rome, the gospel is there. Paul is thankful for that.
9 For God, whom I serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you, 10 always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. In entering in we are part of the Body. A gathering of grace that draws us to people we have never known and knits our hearts with them.
“The will of God” is a phrase we will spend time with. It is the paramount consideration in Jesus’ life, and Paul’s life and it should be in ours. I may desire the come and meet with you but is it “the will of God?” I may have and open door, (2 Cor. 2:12-14) all men may seek me, (Mark 1:7,8) but is it the will of God? “I can do nothing on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.” John 5:30
There are many aspects to the will of God, but this angle on it is handled well by Andrew Murray in his book “God’s Will: our dwelling place”
“When the blessed Son became man to lead us to God, He told us that the whole secret of His life was not doing His own will, but yielding Himself to do the will of the Father. In this way, His will would receive and work out that which the will of the Father worked in him. He had been sent, and was delighted to come, for the sole purpose of doing the will of the Father, with His human will and His human body. He was to be our model of a man, a true man, finding His blessedness and His way to God’s glory in the absolute surrender to God’s will. He thus showed us the destiny which man was created for, and the new life He was to bring His people.
These words reveal the innermost meaning of Christ’s redemption. They teach us about the life which we were created for, and out of which we fell in Paradise. They show us what the sinfulness of that fallen state consists of, and that Christ came to deliver us . He seeks to free us from our self-will. They reveal the true human-life and the true son-life -- perfect oneness of will with God’s will. They open the secret power of Christ’s redeeming work -- atoning for our self-will by His loyalty at all costs to God’s will. They divulge the true nature of the salvation and the life He gives us -- the will and the power to say; I delight to do you will, O God.
And how can we enter into this experience of the Father’s nearness, and thus be able to do everything as His will? There is only one way. Jesus Christ must work it in us. And that not as from without, strengthening our faculties or assisting our efforts. No, this blessed doing of the Father’s will is the mark of His life as Son. He can work it in us, as we yield ourselves wholly and receive Him truly to dwell in us. It is right and necessary that we set ourselves with all earnestness and make the attempt. It is only by failure that we really learn how entirely He must and will do all. So inseparably is this “seeking not mine own will, but the will of the Father which has sent me” connected with Jesus Christ, that it is only when He comes in and manifests Himself in the heart and dwells there that He can work this full salvation in us. “Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.” Matt. 5:6”
11 For I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 12 that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other’s faith, both yours and mine. The apostle’s ministry is such that a void, becomes visible. He sees the spiritual gift the local body of believers is missing and is drawn to impart it to them. He himself possesses nothing but in His poverty, the Spirit is free to give grace through him.
13 I do not want you to be unaware, brethren, that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. “I” have planned, but it was not the will of God yet - there was still work to be done in the ‘regions beyond’ the reach of the gospel, with those who had never heard.
14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. His life’s purpose is to proclaim the gospel, he is to be poured out for that, he is not ‘his own.’ He is a debtor to them and to all, to preach the gospel.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “BUT THE RIGHTEOUS man SHALL LIVE BY FAITH.” The theme of the epistle.
Not ashamed of the gospel. “The gospel is the hinge that allows the door to open.” A quote from Barth that speaks of the importance of the gospel, in relation to the work that Christ did. It is over and above all truth, not in competition. The ‘power of God’ - The gospel of the resurrection - a resurrection done by God, with no help, no propaganda from man, it is its own power. The power of God is pure, pre-eminent and beyond all power. This power is a spiritual truth that has to be apprehended in the Spirit. The characteristic marks of Christianity are deprivation and hope.
‘Unto salvation’ God’s saving revelation to us is, that we are imprisoned, we are far from God, we have deserted Him and the consequences for that desertion are more vast and terrible than we can comprehend. Death is our destiny. Into this reality this ‘terrible revelation’ this ‘holy destruction’ comes the revelation (outward from God - not something we work toward or figure out or earn which is religion) that the Creator shall be our Redeemer. The gospel proclaims the restoration of all that has been lost. ‘Who believes’ - we are still in this world - the burden of sin the curse of death is still where we live but in the midst of that we can believe and live and move and have our being in Jesus. The ‘No” of God in this world has a ‘yes’ from God behind it - at the end of it. A resurrection ‘yes’. The prisoner becomes a watchman. 1 I will stand on my guard post
And station myself on the rampart;
And I will keep watch to see what He will speak to me,
And how I may reply when I am reproved.
2 Then the LORD answered me and said,
“Record the vision
And inscribe it on tablets,
That the one who reads it may run.
3 “For the vision is yet for the appointed time;
It hastens toward the goal and it will not fail.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
For it will certainly come, it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:1-3
Faith - belief require a denial of direct immediacy which would be an idol.
Only when that which is believed on is hidden, can it provide an opportunity for faith. The believer puts his trust in God, in God Himself, and in God alone. The gospel can only be believed in; it is a matter of faith only. It demands a choice. The world is bounded by a truth that contradicts it. We are bounded by a will that contradicts us. “Nevertheless” and “in spite of this” become words that get us thru this world. Faith words.
We are given a free choice between trusting only in the material world or faith. A choice that is before us always and everywhere at every moment. The evil voices are easy to recognize, “God doesn’t care” “can’t help” “won’t help” “doesn’t care” “has left us alone.”
The Jew had news of this God first, they were at the frontier of faith but now the “and also” makes it clear the gospel is a universal truth that includes all. All can/must believe in order to see the “righteousness of God” - the gospel is God “affirming Himself by denying us as we are and the world as it is,” a direct quote from the book. In other words, to truly see/believe His righteousness, we must deny any righteousness of our own or any way of attaining righteousness thru the use of or the denial of the things of this world. God displays His mercy by showing us His righteous judgment. “From faith to faith” God’s faithfulness to us is what reveals the righteousness of God to us by faith - and so the words “from faith (His faithfulness) to faith” (our God given belief in what God has revealed.) God has not forgotten men. The Creator has not abandoned creation. We live here but we “look for a new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.” Faith, belief- faith perceives this - “To those who have abandoned direct communication, the communication is made. Those who take upon them the divine “no” of separation, sin, and death shall themselves be carried by the greater divine “yes” redemption salvation., life. Faith says we ought, we must, we can await the faithfulness of God. In faith-filled believers the word of the O.T. are fulfilled , “The righteous man shall live by faith.” Habakkuk 2:4 There is no other righteousness other than the man who sets himself under judgment, the man who is terrified and hopes. He shall live. He recognizes this life is naught but there is true life in this life - this life of going toward corruption, has within it the seed of incorruption.
Where the faithfulness of God encounters the faith of men there is manifested God’s righteousness. When we acknowledge as truth the “no” of God and grab hold of His love displayed in Jesus Christ - by faith: it is by that faith (in contradiction to all the eye can see and the ear can hear) that we live!!