Romans – Chapter 16

Paul’s Praise and Greetings

Verse 1 – I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant of the church in Cenchrea,

Verse 2 – that you may receive her in the Lord in a manner worthy of the saints, and assist her in whatever business she has need of you; for indeed she has been a helper of many and of myself also.

Phoebe was known as a servant (the Greek word here translated is “deaconess”) and a helper. Apparently she was a wealthy woman who helped support Paul’s ministry. She was highly regarded in the church and may have been the one who delivered this letter to Rome from Corinth. (Cenchrea was about six miles from Corinth.

Verse 3 – Greet Priscilla and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ,

Verse 4 – who risked their own necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.

Priscilla and Aquila were a married couple who had become close friends with Paul. They, along with other Jews had been expelled from Rome by the emperor (Acts 18:2, 3) and moved to Corinth.

Verse 5 – Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia to Christ.

verse 6 – Greet Mary, who labored much for us.

Verse 7 – Greet Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.

Verse 8 – Greet Amplias, my beloved in the Lord.

Verse 9 – Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and Stachys, my beloved.

Verse 10 – Greet Apelles, approved in Christ. Greet those who are of the household of Aristobulus.

Verse 11 – Greet Herodion, my kinsman. Greet those who are of the household of Narcissus who are in the Lord.

Verse 12 – Greet Tryphena and Tryphosa, who have labored in the Lord. Greet the beloved Persis, who labored much in the Lord.

These names “who labored” are in the feminine gender, and they were probably holy women, who ministered to the sick, who performed the function of deaconess.

Verse 13 – Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

Rufus’ mother literally and Paul’s figuratively.

Verse 14 – Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren who are with them.

Verse 15 – Greet Philologus and Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them.

Verse 16 – Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.

Verse 17 – Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them.

Verse 18 – For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple.

There are preachers, still today, who are only after their own lusts and private interests. They will deceive the ones who don’t know Scripture. Avoid them.

Verse 19 – For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil.

Verse 20 – And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

Verse 21 – Timothy, my fellow worker, and Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, greet you.

Verse 22 – I, Tertius, who wrote this epistle, greet you in the Lord.

(Wrote Romans as dictated by Paul.)

Verse 23 – Gaius, my host and the host of the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the treasurer of the city, greets you, and Quartus, a brother.

Verse 24 – The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Verse 25 – 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 was kept secret since the world began

Verse 26 – but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scripture has been made know to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith –

Verse 27 – to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.

My question is this: Why do we not hear Paul’s teaching from the Book of Romans, preached a lot more in the church today? I think because we have too many leaders in churches today who think it is too narrow of a teaching. Well, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is narrow, but wants to include everyone that is willing to believe. Matthew 7:13, 14 – “Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it.” (go into destruction, that is.) (Verse 14) “Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.”

 

 

Advertisements

Romans – Chapter 15

Practices of Christian Liberty

Verse 1 – We then who are strong ought to bear with the scruples of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Verse 2 – Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification.

Are you a person of strong faith? If yes, then you need to help lift up another Christian in their faith. Tell them what God has done for you and that God is able to do it for them.

Verse 3 – For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, “The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me.”

Christ was willing to suffer contempt in order to do good to others, those who reproached their Maker.

Verse 4 – For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.

The Old Testament adapted to express Christian duties and doctrine. The knowledge of the Scriptures affects our attitudes toward the present and the future. The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater our confidence becomes for what He will do in the future.

Verse 5 – Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus,

Verse 6 – that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Verse 7 – Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God.

As we grow in faith and come to know Jesus better, so will our hearts grow in love towards others. If that is not happening, then a self-examination of priorities are in order.

Verse 8 – Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers,

Verse 9 – and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written; “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name.”

Verse 10 – And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!”

Verse 11 – And again: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you people!”

Paul uses these quotes to confirm that Jews and Gentiles were prophesied about in the Old Testament of a time when they would come together to praise God as one.

Verse 12 – And again, Isaiah says: “There shall be a root of Jesse; and He who shall rise to reign over the Gentiles, in Him the Gentiles shall hope.”

The root of Jesse refers to Christ as the heir from the family line of Jesse, King David’s father (1 Samuel 16:1).

Verse 13 – Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

The effect of believing is to produce this joy and peace. It is by the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit that the Christian has the hope of eternal life.

Verse 14 – Now I myself am confident concerning you, my brethren, that you also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to abonish one another.

Verse 15 – Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God,

Verse 16 – that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Verse 17 – Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.

Paul gloried in the things God did through him. Are you just as proud and glorify God in what He does through other people?

Verse 18 – For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ has not accomplished through me, in word and deed, to make the Gentiles obedient –

I do not exaggerate my own success, or claim what others have accomplished to make the Gentiles obedient – to bring them to obey God in the gospel.

Verse 19 – in mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God, so that from Jerusalem and round about to Illyricum I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

Verse 20 – And so I have made it my aim to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build on anther man’s foundation,

Verse 21 – but as it is written: “To whom He was not announced, they shall see; and those who have not heard shall understand.”

Verse 22 – For this reason I also  have been much hindered from coming to you.

Verse 23 – But now no longer having a place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come to you,

Verse 24 – whenever I journey to Spain, I shall come to you. For I hope to see you on my journey, and to be helped on my way there by you, if first I may enjoy your company for a while.

Paul was referring to his completion of his work in Corinth, where he most likely wrote this letter. When Paul evidently went to Rome though, it was as a prisoner.

Verse 25 – But now I am going to Jerusalem to minister to the saints.

Verse 26 – For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.

Little did Paul know that in Jerusalem he would be arrested, kept there for two years in custody, and then travel to Rome still a prisoner.

Verse 27 – It pleased them indeed, and they are their debtors. For if the Gentiles have been partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is able to minister to them in material things.

Verse 28 – Therefore, when I have performed this and have sealed them this fruit, I shall go by way of you to Spain.

Verse 29 – But I know that when I come to you, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.

Verse 30 – Now I beg you, brethren, through the Spirit, that you strive together with me in your prayers to God for me,

Verse 31 – that I may be delivered from those in Judea who do not believe, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,

Verse 32 – that I may come to you with joy by the will of God, and may be refreshed together with you.

Verse 33 – Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen.

Isn’t it funny sometimes, when you know you are on the right track and in God’s will, going where the Holy Spirit leads, and all of a sudden something unexpected happens? Paul was doing God’s will. He was taking gifts to those saints in need in Jerusalem. He’s preaching the gospel of Christ and gets arrested and then is stuck in custody for two years. And then he requests to go before Caesar, whom is in Rome, and that’s how he gets to Rome to see the saints there. Paul had written this letter ten years before.

God is perfect in His plans for us. Don’t despair when things look like, for a moment, that what God has promised, is not going to work out. Here is what I can count on and know for sure: God always accomplishes His purpose. He cannot lie and is able to do the impossible!

 

 

Romans – Chapter 14

Principles of Christian Liberty

Verse 1 – Receive one who is weak in faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things.

Who are the weak in faith? Usually it’s the new believers. They haven’t really went through enough trials in order to increase their faith in God and what He’s capable of. Older Christians who are strong are not to correct them harshly, but with patience and love.

Verse 2 – For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables.

Verse 3 – Let not him who eats despise him who does not eat, and let not him who does not eat judge him who eats; for God has received him.

Some Jewish converts were aware that some of the meat sold in the markets had been used and killed in idol worship and what was left sold in the markets. In order to avoid this type of meat they refrained from all meat and only ate vegetables. Some Gentiles on the other hand had not known of any law forbidding the eating of meat that had been in idol worship, so they ate what they wanted. Paul was telling them not to criticize each other, to each his own. Eat what you want without judging another.

Verse 4 – Who are you to judge anthers servant? To his own master he stands or falls. Indeed, he will be made to stand, for God is able to make him stand.

Paul is talking about a person becoming a busy-body in another person’s affairs. What right do we have to stick our nose in anther’s home life?

Verse 5 – One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind.

Verse 6 – He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observer the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. He who eats, eats to the Lord, for he gives God thanks; and he who does not eat, to the Lord he does not eat, and gives God thanks.

If you live for Christ, every day should be for the Lord. Whether you go to the house of the Lord on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday, do it unto God and don’t criticize those who go on a different day.

Verse 7 – For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself.

Verse 8 – For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

Verse 9 – For to this end Christ died and rose and lived again, that He might be Lord of both the dead and the living.

We, as Christians, live unto Christ, to do His will, and promote His glory. Those without Christ live unto self-ratification. In all circumstances, the Christian belongs to the Lord Jesus.

Verse 10 – But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Each person is accountable to Christ, not to others. Many times Christians place their own convictions on other Christians, as if it is scriptural. The do’s and don’ts; for instance, dresses only for women and men, no long hair. When a leader of a body of believers does this, they show their own faith is weak. When we stand before Christ to give an account one day, we won’t be concerned about what another has done.

Verse 11 – For it is written: “As I live, says the LORD, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” (Isaiah 45:23)

Verse 12 – So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

Verse 13 – Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

Both the strong and weak Christian can become a stumbling block to other Christians. Sometimes the one who is strong in some areas, has no patience with those who are weak and is condescending in their behavior. On the other hand, the weak Christian constantly is using their own opinion of how others should behave. Paul says, “Stop it!”

Verse 14 – I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself; but to him who considers anything to be unclean to him it is unclean.

Verse 15 – Yet if your brother is grieved because of your food, you are no longer walking in love. Do not destroy with your food the one for whom Christ died.

If you noticed, Paul is referring to the “brethren,” which is another way of saying, a believer in Christ.” He is not talking about or to people of false religions that do not worship Jehovah. This applies to Christians. A Christian lives in love for the weaker believer. We are not to cause a person’s spiritual ruin by teaching them to ignore or violate their conscience.

Verse 16 – Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil;

Verse 17 – for the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Verse 18 – For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Verse 19 – Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another.

Verse 20 – Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All things indeed are pure, but it is evil for the man who eats with offense.

Meaning what Paul said before; we are not rude and disrespectful concerning others.

Verse 21 – It is good neither to eat meat nor drink wine nor do anything by which your brother stumbles or is offended or is made weak.

Why do you think Paul mentions wine? We are talking about Christians here. Not everyone believes to abstain from all alcohol and still others do. When a weaker Christian that may have had a problem at one time with alcohol abuse, it would not only be rude but dangerous to drink in their presence. Some will see nothing wrong with it; some will think if it as alright for these Christians, so why can’t I? Don’t flaunt your freedom in this area that might cause another to stumble backwards.

Verse 22 – Do you have faith? Have it to yourself before God. Happy is he who does not condemn himself in what he approves.

Paul tells us to be careful in certain liberties that we approve of and doing them in front of those it might offend.

Verse 23 – But he who doubts is condemned if he eats, because he does not eat from faith; for whatever is not from faith is sin.

Some actions are very clear in Scripture that we are to avoid, but sometimes the Scripture is silent. Everything that does not come from faith, meaning, to go against a conviction, will leave a person with a guilty or uneasy conscience. When God shows us that something is wrong for us, we should avoid it. But we should not look down on other Christians who exercise their freedom in those areas.

 

 

Romans – Chapter 13

Responsibilities Toward Those in Authority

Verse 1 – Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.

God is sovereign and over human affairs. When we revel against the government, we are really rebelling against God. Paul is not speaking here of going against God’s laws which we never do.

Verse 2 – Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

Those who rise up against the government itself, who seek anarchy and confusion, and who opposes the regular execution of the laws of the land is what Paul is talking about. However, those laws shall not be such as to violate the rights of conscience, or oppose the laws of God.

Think about how blessed we are that live in the USA; how we have a constitution that governs us; voting rights; and choice of religion. If we don’t like the laws, we can change them by whom we elect to be our leaders.

Verse 3 – For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.

Paul is speaking in general. It may not be universally true, which we know it’s not, that they are not a terror to good works, for many persecute those for trying to do good, but it is generally true that those who obey the law, have no fear of those in authority, unless the rulers are corrupt.

Verse 4 – For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he who does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil.

Are there people in authority who are unjust and evil, yes, but Paul is talking about obey those who are just in their ruling, and those under them have nothing to fear, if they do what is right.

Verse 5 – Therefore you must be subject, not only because of wrath but also for conscience sake.

A good citizen yields obedience because it is the will of God and a Christian makes it a part of life to obey the laws of the land.

Verse 6 – For because of this you also pay taxes, for they are God’s ministers attending continually to this very things.

Verse 7 – Render therefore to all their due; taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

If those in government and leadership are corrupt, because God appointed them, He will give them what they deserve. Our obligation as Christians is to pay our taxes so the government can run.

Responsible Towards Our Neighbors

Verse 8 – Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law.

Verse 9 – For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment; are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

People who focus on the welfare of others, rarely suffer low self-esteem or depression. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and you won’t be stealing, lying, or committing adultery to your neighbors. Plain and simple. Do good to those in need.

Verse 10 – Love does no harm to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.

How easy it is to excuse our indifference to others merely because we have no legal obligation to help them. But Jesus doesn’t leave loopholes in the law of love. When we go that extra mile to help someone, you just might have been what they were praying for.

Verse 11 – And do this, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now our salvation is nearer than when we first believed.

All the requirements of the law toward our neighbor may be met by two things; one is by love; the other is by remembering that we are nearer to eternity than we have ever been. This will prompt us to honesty, truth, and peace.

Verse 12 – The night is far spent, the day is at hand. Therefore let us cast of the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light.

Verse 13 – Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in licentiousness and lewdness, not in strife and envy.

Verse 14 – But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lust.

As Christians, we walk in the “light.” We put on the attributes that Christ has commanded for His followers. Self-gratification leads to all kinds of lust to the flesh; envy, strife, lewdness, licentiousness, and drunkenness. We are told to “Awake” and pay attention to what we are doing, because Jesus is coming back for a church without spot or wrinkle!

Romans – Chapter 12

Responsibility Towards God

Verse 1 – I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your responsible service.

Paul is talking to all Christians, then, and now. A Christian should dedicate the whole person to God’s honor. We are to be different from non-Christians. We should experience a progressive transformation of life by the renewing of our minds.

Verse 2 – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Do you see the difference in people who “call” themselves Christians and never open God’s word, let alone never go to church, and those who know God’s word and don’t have to tell you that they are Christian’s because you know it? No one will ever be transformed to prove what is God’s will if they don’t read the Scriptures!

Verse 3 – For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one the measure of faith.

Keep in mind, Paul is talking to Christians, not the lost. Here’s what happens sometimes when a believer starts to get a little Bible knowledge without understanding and think their ways are always right – they become arrogant, thinking they are better than others.

Verse 4 – For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function,

Verse 5 – so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.

Just as parts of the body function under the brain, all Christians work together under Christ.

Verse 6 – Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith;

Verse 7 – or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching;

Verse 8 – he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberty; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.

Look at these gifts and understand that these are the characteristics of those who have these gifts. Those who prophesy are often bold and articulate. Those in ministry are faithful and loyal. Teachers are clear thinkers. Those who exhort, encourages and know how to motivate others. Givers are generous and trusting. Leaders are good organizers and managers. Those who show mercy are willing to give their time to help others.

All these gifts are used together to build God’s family. No one person can do them all by their self. We should let our strength in certain gifts, balance the weakness in another. This is why we are called “one body in Christ.”

Verse 9 – Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Love without hypocrisy – love that is manifested in acts of kindness and deeds of charity, not simply mouthing words. Love will have evidence of treating people with kindness. Abhor – means to hate; to turn from; to avoid. The word evil here has reference to malice, or unkindness, rather to evil in general. Cling to that which is good – gluing, uniting firmly by glue. Christians should be attached to what is good, and not separate or part from it. This does not mean “on occasion,” it means constantly.

Verse 10 – Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;

God calls us to go beyond pretense, just being polite. Sincere love requires an effort, giving our time and money to benefit others. And don’t expect anything in return when you help someone. That would be holding it over their head in order to manipulate.

Verse 11 – not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;

We should watch our motives when we serve.

Verse 12 – rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer;

Verse 13 – distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.

Christian hospitality focuses on the guests. Their needs, whether for a place to stay, nourishing food, a listening ear, or concern – are the primary concern. Christian hospitality can happen in a messy home, around a dinner table without fancy food. It can even happen while doing chores together. Unlike social entertaining’s where everything is perfect.

Verse 14 – Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. (mock)

Verse 15 – Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.

Verse 16 – Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Verse 17 – Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men.

Verse 18 – If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.

Verse 19 – Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

Verse 20 – “Therefore if your enemy hungers, feed him; if he thirsts, give him drink; for in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.

What Paul commands sounds impossible for Christians to do. Some relationships will never be mended. However, as we were given grace and forgiveness, we do the same for others, because we received the same from God when we didn’t deserve it. Paul says that by being kind to those that have despised us will cause them to become ashamed and turn from sin. This does not always happen though, often it causes that person to just continue taking advantage of the one who is supposed to forgive.

Verse 21 – Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 11

Verse 1 – I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am a Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.

Paul points out that not all Jews have rejected God’s message of salvation. There is still a faithful remnant. Paul himself, and all of Jesus’ disciples were Jews and nearly all the early Christian missionaries.

Verse 2 – God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel saying,

Verse 3 – “LORD, they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.”

Verse 4 – But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.”

Elijah supposed he was alone, and yet God let him know that there were seven thousand who were the true friends of God, still alive. Paul was proving to them that even when the Jews seemed to all reject God, there was a remnant of true followers. This is a fascinating story of how the prophets of Baal were destroyed. God showed up and Elijah was proven to be the true prophet of God (1 Kings, chapter 19).

Verse 5 – Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Paul refers here to that part of the Jewish nation which embraced the Messiah.

Verse 6 – And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

Too many think because of the way they have been taught by leaders and other Christians that, we are saved by grace and works. It is by grace alone! Good works are the result of being saved.

Verse 7 – What then? Israel has not obtained what it seeks; but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were hardened.

Meaning: The Jews that sought to obtain salvation through the works of the Law have been rejected. They sought God’s favor by their own merit, which was impossible to obtain. However, the elect, the reserved, the chosen, have obtained grace through faith in the Savior Jesus Christ.

Verse 8 – Just as it is written: “God has given them a spirit of stupor, eyes that they should not see and ears that they should not hear, to this very day.”

At the end of verse seven, it says, “and the rest were hardened.” Unbelief causes a hardening of the heart against God. They more or less had eyes that wouldn’t accept the transformation that takes place when one is saved, and they had closed their ears to the gospel. (A spirit of stupor is, “not awake,” sleeping, no understanding.)

Verse 9 – And David says: “Let their table become a snare and a trap, a stumbling block and a recompense to them;

Verse 10 – Let their eyes be darkened, that they may not see and bow down their backs always.”

The petition is: That while they were seeking refreshment and joy, and anticipating while at the table no danger , it might just be their ruin. Their temporal enjoyments would lead them away from God, and produce stupidity and indifference to their spiritual interests. This is often the result of seeking sinful pleasures.

Verse 11 – I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has come to the Gentiles.

The Jews stumbling had a purpose – to bring salvation to the Gentiles. Salvation to the Gentiles will eventually provoke the Jews to envy.

Verse 12 – Now if their fall is riches of the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness!

If the Jews unbelief brought riches to the Gentiles, their future faith in Jesus the Messiah will enrich the world.

Verse 13 – For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry,

Verse 14 – if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those who are my flesh and save some of them.

Should we not as Christians, provoke the lost to want this blessed life? Would others that don’t know Jesus want to know Him by watching our lives? Do others see the hand of God on our lives in order to draw them to Him? The lost constantly watch our behavior and they watch how we respond to hardships and to others. We all need to ask ourselves this question: Does my attitude and behavior make others jealous of my relationship with the Savior? If not, change it!

Verse 15 – For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?

Paul refers to the recovery of the nations from the death of sin which shall take place when the Jews shall be converted to Christian faith.

Verse 16 – For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

Verse 17 – And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them become a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree,

Verse 18 – do not boast against the branches. But if you boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.

Paul is speaking to the Gentile Christians. Paul warns them not to boast because God rejected some of the Jews. Abraham’s faith is like the root of a productive tree, and the Jews are the tree’s natural branches. Because of faithlessness, the Jews were the broken branches. Gentiles believers have been grafted in. Jews and Gentiles share the tree’s nourishment based on faith in God.

Spiritual pride has no place in salvation by grace.

Verse 19 – You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.”

Verse 20 – Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear.

Paul plainly tells the Gentile Christians not to get arrogant because of their position. Fear does not mean terror or horror, but it denotes humility, to abide in faith.

Verse 21 – For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either.

Verse 22 – Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God; on those who fell severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you will also be cut off.

Did you catch the little word “if?” Unbelief and disobedience were the reasons for the Jews to be rejected. Will God not treat the Gentiles the same?

Verse 23 – And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.

When the Jews believe in the Messiah, they will once again be grafted in and become part of the main tree.

Verse 24 – For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a good olive tree, how much more will these, who are the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree?

Both Jews and Gentiles have to be born-again. The Gentiles, non-Jew, are grafted into the olive tree, Israel, God’s chosen, when they are born-again. The Jews were part of the original olive tree, but with their unbelief of the Messiah, they were cut off. However, God is able to graft them in again when they believe.

Promise of Israel’s Restoration

Verse 25 – For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that hardening in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.

A mystery means that this was concealed or hidden until now. Being wise in their own opinion – trying to reason why God had rejected the Jews in their own speculation. “In part” – they are not completely blinded –  not all the nation was blinded, some were enlighten and had become Christians, and many more would be.

The word “fullness” in relation to the Jews in Romans 11:12, means until the abundance of the great multitude of the Gentiles shall be converted. This doubtless refers to the spread of the gospel among the nations.

Verse 26 – And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written:”The Deliverer will come out of Zion, and He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob;

Verse 27 – for this is My covenant with them, when I take away their sins.”

The word “all” in verse 26 means what it says, “all.” Some like to argue that these verses do not mean that every individual Jew will  be saved, but the Scripture says “all.” We don’t know when, but there is coming a time when all of Israel will realize that Jesus Christ is the Deliverer that the Scriptures spoke of, and will believe on God’s Son. Argue if you will, but the word all still means all of Israel.

Verse 28 – Concerning the gospel they are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they are beloved for the sake of the fathers.

Verse 29 – For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

The enemies of God denote all who are not His friends; Colossians 1:21, Romans 5:10. The word here is applied to the Jews because they had rejected the Messiah, and had become opposed to God. By the Jews rejecting the Messiah, the gospel had come to the Gentiles. God still has purpose of mercy toward them and still intends to do good to them. This does not mean that He approved of their conduct.

For the gifts and calling – favors or benefits which God bestows on men He will not take back.

Verse 30 – For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience,

Verse 31 – even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy.

Paul is talking to the Gentiles and tells them, through the disobedience of the Jews, mercy came to them, but because they received mercy, the Jews could also obtain mercy.

Verse 32 – For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Israel’s Restoration

Verse 33 – Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Verse 34 – “For who has know the mind of the LORD? Or who has become His counselor?”

Verse 35 – “Or who has first given to Him and it shall be repaid to Him?”

Verse 36 – For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen.

God governs the universe and our lives with wisdom and judgment beyond our comprehension. God alone is the possessor of absolute power and wisdom. Who are we to question His plans?

 

 

 

 

Romans – Chapter 10

Verse 1 – Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved.

The expression seems intended particularly for the Jews. His earnest and sincere desire was for all of Israel to be saved.

Verse 2 – For I hear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge.

Verse 3 – For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God.

Both Jews and Gentiles that are confident in their own righteousness, Paul says, are ignorant without knowledge. They are as lost as they can be. The greatest obstacle to salvation is a self-righteous sinner.

Verse 4 – For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Verse 5 – For Moses writes about the “The man who does those things shall live by them.”

Christ is the end of the Law in being both its fulfillment and its termination. Any system based on performance is excluded. If a person chose to live by the Law to gain righteousness, they had to do so perfectly.

Verse 6 – But the righteousness of faith speaks in this way, “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down from above)

Verse 7 – or, ” ‘Who will descend into the abyss?’ ”

I always thought these two verse meant not to say, “Well, I think they went to heaven and another went to hell.” That’s not what Paul was talking about at all. He’s simply saying one doesn’t have to go to heaven to have access to Christ. One only needs to believe in their heart to make Christ accessible and that is the righteousness of faith.

Verse 8 – But what does it say? “The word is near you, even in your mouth and in your heart,” (that is, the word of faith which we preach):

Verse 9 – that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Verse 10 – For with the heart one believes to righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made to salvation.

Paul hasn’t changed the subject of understanding salvation, he is telling them its a matter of believing and confessing. With the mouth a person confesses that God raised Jesus from the dead and believes in the heart Jesus is who He says He is and thou shall be saved! By faith we confess!

Verse 11 – For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

Verse 12 – For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him.

Verse 13 – For whoever calls upon the name of the LORD shall be saved.”

We call on Him with a repentant heart, a humble sense of our sinfulness and our need of a pardon, and with a willingness to receive eternal life as it is offered us in the gospel. And as this passage teaches, all may be saved who will do it. He will cast none away who comes in this manner. This invitation extends to all nations and to all people of all times.

Verse 14 – How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?

Verse 15 – And how shall they preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who brings glad tidings of good things!”

To preach means to proclaim in a public manner, the gospel to people. They are sent, divinely commissioned, and sent forth by God. Being a preacher is a special calling on one’s life. To preach the Good News of the gospel proclaiming reconciliation with God by the gospel.

Verse 16 – But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Israel says, “Lord, who has believed our report?”

That is, Isaiah complains that his declarations respecting the Messiah had been rejected by his countrymen.

Verse 17 – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

This does not mean that all that hear will believe, but that faith cannot come without the gospel message. People are converted by the gospel of grace when they hear it and how can they hear it unless a preacher be sent?

Verse 18 – But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

Verse 19 – But I say, did Israel not know? First Moses says:  “I will provoke you to jealousy by those who are not a nation, I will anger you by a foolish nation.”

Verse 20 – But Isaiah is very bold and says:  “I was found by those who did not seek Me; I was made manifest to those who did not ask Me.’

Verse 21 – But to Israel he says: “All day long I have stretched out My hands to a disobedient and contrary people.

The gospel message was preached throughout the Roman Empire. The Jews listened and simply did not believe. Even knowing the Old Testament prophets, they didn’t believe Jesus was the Messiah when He came. The Gentiles heard this too, and many believed Paul’s citations and this shows that the Gentile conversion was predicted in the Old Testament.

There are too many preachers and churches in the world today for a person not to have heard the gospel. It’s available all across the world. It is the individuals responsibility to respond.