Book of Romans Chapter 2

Chapter 2     Part 1
Scripture taken from the NRSV translation

So Paul finishes his introduction on unrighteousness, now he will add fuel to the fire. Does being a Gentile or being a Jew give either one an advantage in the question of who is righteous?

Romans 2: 1-4
1 Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.
2 You say, ‘We know that God’s judgement on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.’
3 Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgement of God?
4 Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance?

Man has no excuse for their sin before God. And Paul says that we who pass judgment on others condemn ourselves, so when we point fingers at who deserves God’s punishment for the things that they have done, we are also pointing fingers at ourselves. What might a person say if someone tells them that they might face God’s wrath for their sin. Some would say, as Paul repeats verse 3, that somehow it won’t apply to me, that I have improved a lot plus I know people who are a lot worse than me. God will understand, He will see me for who I tried to be and He will overlook my failures. As Paul says, do you suppose that we will escape God’s judgment? Maybe we assume that everything will work out because we think “so far, so good.” Paul says that we are thinking lightly of God’s kindness, tolerance and patience. Are we taking something for granted? We have an opportunity to repent of our sin.

2 Peter 3: 8-10
8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.
9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.
10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Peter repeats Paul’s words. As the world waits for God’s judgment to happen as promised it hasn’t minimized God’s plan to carry it through. Judgment day hasn’t arrived yet, plus we shouldn’t take some comfort in the fact the we haven’t faced our own personal reckoning, both are coming. You could say that God’s delay is his patience and kindness towards sinners.

Romans 2: 5-8
5 But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgement will be revealed.
6 For he will repay according to each one’s deeds:
7 to those who by patiently doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life;
8 while for those who are self-seeking and who obey not the truth but wickedness, there will be wrath and fury.

The time God has given us to repent of our disobedience and rebellion actually becomes our opportunity to increase God’s wrath, His anger against us. God renders to each according to their deeds (Psalm 62:12). God doesn’t show favoritism, and He doesn’t change the rules, you could say we each will get what we deserve. For those who seek to do good and glory and honor, they will receive eternal life. For those who seek for themselves, those who obey unrighteousness will receive God’s wrath. This moment is described in the book of Revelation.

Revelation 20: 11-15
11 Then I saw a great white throne and the one who sat on it; the earth and the heaven fled from his presence, and no place was found for them.
12 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Also another book was opened, the book of life. And the dead were judged according to their works, as recorded in the books.
13 And the sea gave up the dead that were in it, Death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and all were judged according to what they had done.
14 Then Death and Hades were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death, the lake of fire;
15 and anyone whose name was not found written in the book of life was thrown into the lake of fire.

On one hand in verse 8 Paul says all men are guilty and are under the same sentence of condemnation. But then Paul just said that God deals with people according to their deeds. Well the answer is found in those verses in Revelation. So in Revelation for those who were not found in the book of life were thrown into the lake of fire, in other words eternal punishment, and all those who are in the book of life, survive. So Paul says God is fair to judge men according to their deeds, and so He does.

Now Paul is ready to deal with the issue of Gentile vs Jew.

Romans 2: 9-13
9 There will be anguish and distress for everyone who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek,
10 but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek.
11 For God shows no partiality.
12 All who have sinned apart from the law will also perish apart from the law, and all who have sinned under the law will be judged by the law.
13 For it is not the hearers of the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but the doers of the law who will be justified.

Paul says that judgment falls equally for the Jews as to the Gentiles, God does not play favorites. We want to see this from a positive perspective of God being an equal opportunity savior. But Paul is speaking from a negative perspective of God being an equal opportunity punisher. Whether reward or punishment it does not matter if you are Jew or Gentile, Gentile or Jew.

Then Paul begins a comparison between what the Jews knew and received from God in terms of knowledge, as compared to the Gentiles and what they received and knew. For example, the Jews received instructions from God called the Law. But the Gentiles received no such instructions. Because of this Law does this make the Jews more guilty and the Gentiles less guilty? Or maybe it works the opposite way. Paul explores those possibilities and he begins with the Gentiles. Paul says that all who have sinned without the Law also perish without the Law, so those without the Law are Gentiles. Those under the Law, Jews, will find themselves judged by the Law, they will be held accountable for their inability to keep the Law. What about if the Gentiles play the “claim of ignorance” card?

Romans 2: 14-16
14 When Gentiles, who do not possess the law, do instinctively what the law requires, these, though not having the law, are a law to themselves.
15 They show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, to which their own conscience also bears witness; and their conflicting thoughts will accuse or perhaps excuse them
16 on the day when, according to my gospel, God, through Jesus Christ, will judge the secret thoughts of all.

Our conscience betrays us. As Gentiles, we still have a sense of right and wrong. Paul suggest that when the Gentile is doing the work of the Law, then they show evidence that God’s expectations have been revealed to them, and that the Gentile are showing obedience to God in their action. Paul’s saying that God reveals Himself to men apart from the Law given through Moses. So when the Gentiles feel a sense of guilt over their mistakes, they are bearing witness to the fact that they knew better.

To be continued

 

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Book of Romans Chapter 1

Chapter 1

Scripture taken from the NRSV translation

Now we return to the beginning of Paul’s letter on righteousness, beginning with his theme statement
Romans 1: 16-17
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, ‘The one who is righteous will live by faith.’

Paul was saying he was not ashamed to preach the gospel anywhere because it was the power of God for salvation. Then Paul gives his theme statement which is referred to in Habakkuk 2:4
4 Look at the proud!
Their spirit is not right in them,
but the righteous live by their faith.

The righteous live by faith, the righteousness of God. But what does Paul mean by this phrase? It’s meaning in the New Testament comes mostly from the Old Testament Hebrew understanding of the word:
1. It means being declared innocent in a law of court – justified
2. It describes an attribute of God
3. It means God’s faithfulness to His promise.
So salvation is found in the righteousness of God. So Paul says he preaches the gospel because it was the means of revealing God’s righteousness through the faith of men.

Are we a good person?
Luke 18: 18-19
18 A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’
19 Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.

Here Paul is ready to give us his best explanation of men reaching for heaven, how the righteousness of God is revealed in them. Man is not always good and they are not 100% bad, only God alone is good. So Paul sets about proving that God’s righteousness is revealed through the gospel by pointing out our needs first.
Romans 1: 18-23
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them.
20 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse;
21 for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened.
22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools;
23 and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

Paul is now talking about how wrath is revealed, rather than righteousness. Paul isn’t speaking to just one section of society but is speaking to all men, God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all unrighteousness in men. God’s wrath is revealed against them because mankind can generally understand God is evident yet nevertheless reject him. His invisible attributes are visible in the creation itself.
Psalm 19: 1-4
1 The heavens are telling the glory of God;
and the firmament proclaims his handiwork.
2 Day to day pours forth speech,
and night to night declares knowledge.
3 There is no speech, nor are there words;
their voice is not heard;
4 yet their voice goes out through all the earth,
and their words to the end of the world.
In the heavens he has set a tent for the sun,

We can understand a lot about God by examining what has been made, Paul says in verse 20. A God of power, a God of order not chaos, a God of mercy, a God of purpose, and a God of wrath against rebellion. Not only did God reveal Himself in the creation but to certain men once knew God personally verse 21. That verse further tells us that they knew God, they didn’t honor Him as God or give-thanks, they rebelled, their hearts were darkened.

The second step in rebellion was idolatry.
Genesis 4:25-26
25 Adam knew his wife again, and she bore a son and named him Seth, for she said, ‘God has appointed for me another child instead of Abel, because Cain killed him.’
26 To Seth also a son was born, and he named him Enosh. At that time people began to invoke the name of the Lord.

Genesis 6: 5-8
5 The Lord saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in the earth, and that every inclination of the thoughts of their hearts was only evil continually.
6 And the Lord was sorry that he had made humankind on the earth, and it grieved him to his heart.
7 So the Lord said, ‘I will blot out from the earth the human beings I have created—people together with animals and creeping things and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.’
8 But Noah found favor in the sight of the Lord.

When Noah’s father was alive, Adam was still alive. In other words, the wickedness of earth was great, and yet the first man was still alive on earth. That’s why Paul can say that men knew God.

Now let’s look at what did God do?
Romans 1: 24-32
24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves,
25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever! Amen.
26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural,
27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.
28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done.
29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips,
30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious towards parents,
31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.

Third and final stage of rebellion: impurity. God gave them over to their lust. Looking again at verse 17-18, God’s righteousness is revealed in the gospel being received in faith. The negative is also true, God reveals His wrath for unrighteousness by giving men over to their lust. Verse 28, as they disapproved of God in their minds, so He also gave them over to depraved minds. Their minds led them to all manner of greed, envy, murder, strife, and malice. All the sin we see in the world today, all the bad things that mark our world is the result of disobedient men and women.

What conclusion can we make from Paul’s opening?
Romans 2: 1-2
1 Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.
2 You say, ‘We know that God’s judgement on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.’

All men are guilty and we are all under the same sentence of condemnation.

Prophets Daniel

Daniel (part 1)

Daniel means “God is my Judge”, and was probably born in Jerusalem. Daniel the prophet begins as he and other men from Judah were taken captive by king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, Daniel 1: 1-4. This captivity of citizens of Judah in Babylon lasted 70 years, as God foretold through the prophet Jeremiah, Jeremiah 25:11. During this time, Daniel served in superior positions in the governments of several Babylonian and Medo-Persian rulers including Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus. In the first reign of Darius, Daniel came to understand the prophecy of Jeremiah that predicted a 70 year captivity of his people, Daniel 9: 1-2.

Daniel, a faithful man of God

King Nebuchadnezzar threatened to destroy all the wise men if one of them didn’t interpret and tell him his dream. In Daniel 2: 18. Daniel and his friends requested more time so they could ask God in prayers to reveal the information about the dreams to them. God answered the prayer, and Daniel remembered to praise and thank God for giving them the answers, verse 20-23.

Daniel 6: 10, Daniel again demonstrates his faith by praying to God even though he knows that his life could be endanger doing so. Daniel knew that a document had been signed that no one could address any god or man for 30 days. But it was Daniel’s custom since the early days to pray and give thanks to God, and he just wasn’t going to change that, not even for 30 days. Daniel wasn’t going to hide his prayers and his faithfulness to God and it landed him in the lion’s den, where his critics were sure he would be eaten alive. God sent an angel that shut the lions’ mouths and Daniel was spared. Daniel 9 continues to show us of Daniel’s faithfulness with prayer and fasting for his people’s sin and asking for God’s mercy on himself and all of Jerusalem.

Understand, skill and knowledge from God

God saw the good in Daniel and his friends and gave them knowledge in all literature and wisdom. God also gave understanding in all vision and dreams to Daniel, Daniel 1:17. Because of God’s blessing on Daniel and his three friends, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah. The king “found them ten times better than all the magicians and enchanters in his whole kingdom” Daniel 1:20. In his second year of reign king Nebuchadnezzar had a troubling dream. God revealed the meaning of the dream to Daniel, Daniel 2:19. “Then the king promoted Daniel, gave him great gifts, and made him ruler over the whole province of Babylon and chief official over all the wise men of Babylon,” Daniel 2:48. There were times that God had sent an angel to Daniel with the prophetic message and Daniel would write it down.

Prophecies

Daniel was beloved and chosen by God to foretell future events. Daniel’s prophecies were through God given dreams and visions about what was going to happen throughout history, and what would happen to Daniel’s people in the latter days, Daniel 10: 4, and to the whole world.

These are a few of the prophecies given by God through Daniel.

Four world-ruling empires. In a dream given to king Nebuchadnezzar, God revealed through Daniel that there would be four world-ruling empires, Daniel 2: 1-43. These were proven to be the Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greco-Macedonian and Roman Empires. God also gave to Daniel a vision in which these empires were represented by four great beast, Daniel 7: 1-3.

The Kingdom of God. After telling king Nebuchadnezzar that there would be four world-ruling kingdoms, Daniel prophesied: “And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall this kingdom be left to another people. It shall crush all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever;” Daniel 2:44.

In another, “As I watched in the night vision, I saw one like a human being coming with the clouds of heaven. And he came to the Ancient One and was presented before him. To him was given dominion and glory and kingship, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that shall not pass away, and his kingship is one that shall never be destroyed,” Daniel 7: 13-14.

A little horn. In God’s vision to Daniel of the four beast representing the four would-ruling kingdoms, the fourth beast “had ten horns” , Daniel 7:7, which has traditionally understood to represent 10 appearances of this fourth kingdom. To explain this Daniel wrote, “I was considering the horns, when another horn appeared, a little one coming up among them; to make room for it, three of the earlier horns were plucked up by the roots. There were eyes like human eyes in this horn, and a mouth speaking arrogantly”, Daniel 7:8. This little horn that Daniel in the vision saw “making war against the saints, and prevailing against them”, Daniel 7:21, is a religious power that will persecute God’s people at the end of this age, Daniel 7: 24-25. Known by many names – the antichrist, man of sin, and false prophet – this religious power will play a leading role in the deception of mankind prior to Christ’s return. Other references to this horn can be found in Daniel 8: 9-12, 23-25.

Seventy-weeks prophecy. In Daniel 9: 24-27 is the prophecy that predicted the year that Jesus would begin His ministry. The prophecy also predicted that Jesus’ ministry to “confirm the covenant” would be cut off “in the middle” of the 70th prophetic week. Daniel 9: 24-27 is a detailed and complex prophecy that dates the first coming of the Messiah and establishing of the New Covenant and meanings of events that will happen leading up to the time of Christ’s second coming.

To be continued…….

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

The Book of Romans Paul

The Beginning —– part 2
Romans 15: 14-19 (NRSV)

Then in verse 17 Paul delivers his theme for the rest of the letter.

14 I myself feel confident about you, my brothers and sisters,* that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, and able to instruct one another.
15 Nevertheless, on some points I have written to you rather boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God
16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit.
17 In Christ Jesus, then, I have reason to boast of my work for God.
18 For I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished* through me to win obedience from the Gentiles, by word and deed,
19 by the power of signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God,* so that from Jerusalem and as far around as Illyricum I have fully proclaimed the good news* of Christ.

The most brilliant theological essay is complete, and Paul has returned to the reader to explain his motive in writing, but now Paul has their attention and hopefully their appreciation. And in chapters 12-14, Paul spoke of righteousness lived out in the life of a Christian, so now Paul says as far as you are concern, I am convinced you are full of goodness, meaning moral perfection.

In verse 15 Paul returns to his defense for waiting so long to write and come to them. Paul’s only mission was first and foremost an apostle to Gentiles and he must focus on Gentile conversion. The tremendous Gentile conversion and acceptance of the gospel stood as a testimony of God’s work through Paul. Paul preached the gospel.

Romans 15: 20-25

20 Thus I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news,* not where Christ has already been named, so that I do not build on someone else’s foundation,
21 but as it is written, ‘Those who have never been told of him shall see, and those who have never heard of him shall understand.’
22 This is the reason that I have so often been hindered from coming to you.
23 But now, with no further place for me in these regions, I desire, as I have for many years, to come to you
24 when I go to Spain. For I do hope to see you on my journey and to be sent on by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a little while.
25 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem in a ministry to the saints;

Paul’s goal was to preach the gospel where it wasn’t, not where it was already. It was done so that the scripture be fulfilled that the Gentiles would hear and believe the gospel (Isaiah 52). But now the region has been covered and it is time to move on, so now Paul can go to them. Now Paul tells them that he is coming to see them on his way to Spain, plus he needs their help to fund his work in Spain. But before he sees them he needs to go back to Jerusalem one last time. And Paul say why….

Romans 15: 26-33

26 for Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to share their resources with the poor among the saints at Jerusalem.
27 They were pleased to do this, and indeed they owe it to them; for if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material things.
28 So, when I have completed this, and have delivered to them what has been collected,* I will set out by way of you to Spain;
29 and I know that when I come to you, I will come in the fullness of the blessing* of Christ.
30 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,* by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in earnest prayer to God on my behalf,
31 that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my ministry* to Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints,
32 so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.
33 The God of peace be with all of you.* Amen.

Paul has a donation for the poor Jerusalem church from the wealthy Gentile churches in Asia Minor. After finishing his work in Jerusalem, Paul will be going to Spain and will come to the Roman church first. Paul ask them to pray for his work in Jerusalem for the disobedient. Interesting — believing Jews saw unbelieving Jews as disobedient.

Paul’s purpose in writing this letter was to establish a new base in Rome for spreading the gospel to a new region of Gentiles. And he is asking their help for his mission.

May the Peace of Jesus Christ be with You

The Book of Romans Paul

The beginning
Romans 1: 1-7 (NRSV)
1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God,
2 which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures,
3 the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh
4 and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,
5 through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name,
6 including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
7 To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul’s salutation to the Romans is very similar to many other letters. Paul first identifies who he is, that he serves the Lord with joy and personal commitment. He also defends his authority to teach and that he was called to be an apostle and set apart to preach the Gospel. The Roman church, the Jewish believers probably remember turmoil that a man called Saul committed against the church in Jerusalem. Paul let them know that God took him off that path and set him on this new mission of life, a mission he felt obligated to pursue.

Then Paul describes what his mission was, and that is the gospel, through the prophets in the Scriptures concerning Jesus, the descendant of David by the flesh. And yet Jesus was declared to be the Son of God with power over the resurrection of the dead by the Holy Spirit. Jesus Christ the Lord. This is Paul’s mission to spread the good news. The beginning of Paul’s letter appeals to the Jewish believers.

In verse 5 Paul begins to make a path between the wounded pride of the Roman church and himself. Paul tells them that through Jesus, we have received grace and apostleship, meaning that the Jewish church shares a common mission of apostleship. And together they have received grace, the opportunity of sharing the gospel message to others, mainly the Gentiles. Paul suggest a common mission with the Jewish church, to bring about the obedience of faith to the Gentiles for Jesus sake.

Paul says to the Jewish church that he is writing to glorify the grace of God to them. In this salutation Paul knows that he needs to repair damage and he needs to win them over. Paul begins to appeal to their pride, at least for the moment, and he appeals to their sense of superiority as Jewish believers. Paul is carefully bring them to his side by describing to them as sharing in his mission. Paul plays to their pride, their feeling of superiority that they are above the rest of the church.

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world.
9 For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers,
10 asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you.
11 For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you—
12 or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
13 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles.
14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish
15 — hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.

Paul continues the charm in verse 8, though his words are completely sincere and honest. Paul thanks the Lord for this church, because their faith is well known through out the Empire. The Jewish church was rich, it was wise and very knowledgeable group of believers, it was a large group and they were still growing; and yet they weren’t known for their money, knowledge or size. This church was known for there faith, their strong belief in the gospel. Paul let them know that he holds them up as an example to the other churches. That Paul thinks highly of them and their work for the sake of the gospel.

Paul says his prayers are to be able to grace them with his presence and offer a spiritual gift. This does not mean he’s giving gifts, but rather a spiritual benefit or gift to the church that they would be a source of help to him in establishing and maintaining other churches. Paul continues to place his ministry on equal terms with the Roman church. Paul in verse 13 saying, I really want you to know that I want to come bear spiritual fruit with you – even as I have within the Gentile church, but he has been prevented from coming. And what or whom would prevent Paul from coming to them? It’s been hinted at or pointed to the Holy Spirit, and why would God prevent Paul from going to the Roman church? Paul does say he has a commitment to Greek and barbarians, to the wise and foolish. Paul tells them he is under authority by the Holy Spirit to preach the gospel to these people rather than them, the Roman church. Paul defends his absence by saying he wasn’t ashamed of the gospel and that he’s to bring the gospel to everyone, even the learned Jewish believers. The words of the gospel hold the power to save men. Unless we deliver the gospel of Christ, we do not bring the power of God to save. Paul says the message must go to the Jews first then the Gentiles.

Study Questions on Romans

Chapter 1

1. What does it mean to be a “servant” of Christ?
2. What is the doctrine of “election”? What bearing does 1:1 have on your concept of the doctrine? What bearing does 1:7 have?
3. Is there any evidence in Paul’s writings that he had knowledge of Jesus’ virgin birth?
4. What concept do we think of when we find the Scriptures called “holy”?

5. What “part” of the nature of Christ is spoken of when Paul uses the word “spirit of holiness”?
6. What evidence is adduced to prove that Jesus is the Son of God?
7. What is the significance of the plural word “dead” (1:4)?
8. Explain “obedience of faith.” Give at least two possibilities.
9. What evidence of the deity of Christ is found in chapter 1?
10. If the saints in Rome received what Paul wished for them as in verse 7, what would it mean to them? Just what is the “grace” that God and Christ were to give to them?
11. What is significant in the order “grace” and then “peace”? Can peace come before grace? Why?
12. What ideas about prayer life can we learn from chapter 1?
13. What is included in the “spiritual blessing” which Paul wished to impart to the Romans?
14. Compare and contrast the “Gospel” and the “Law.”
15. What is the “righteousness” of God?
16. List several interpretations of what is meant by the words “from faith unto faith” found in verse 17. Give the strong points and weaknesses of each interpretation. What can be said about Today’s English Version’s translation “faith alone”?
17. Beginning at 1:18, what is the point of Paul’s argument?
18. Where has the “wrath of God” been revealed? Not From where, but where? To say simply “from heaven” will not answer the whole question. If you wanted to show someone the revelation of God’s wrath, where would you look?
19. What is the difference between “ungodliness” and “unrighteousness”?
20. What is meant by “divinity” (v. 20)?
21. What ideas are included in the language “God gave them up”?
22. Where did men get a “true knowledge” of God? (1:28)
23. List the sins –in terminology you understand –that men do when they reject God. Then examine your own life prayerfully in the light of this list.
24. How did “men” know God’s “ordinance”? (1:32)
25. According to chapter 1, why had Paul become an apostle?

Prophets Hosea

Hosea    part 1

Hosea’s message was primarily for the northern kingdom of Israel, but there were times when he referred to the southern kingdom of Judah. Hosea’s prophecy began with Jeroboam II, and continued for the next 40 years until just before Samaria fell to Assyria in 722 B.C. Hosea means “Deliverance”, he was called “Prophet of Divine Love.”

About 200 years before the time of Hosea, the 10 tribes northern Israel had separated from the southern tribes of Judah and set up an independent kingdom. Israel was experiencing the greatest time of peace and prosperity since the separation when Hosea arrived on the scene. But the good times weren’t to last with the rise of social injustice, political disorder, and social moral decay.

Hosea was prepared for his work through the lessons which he learned from the sins of his unfaithful wife. Through the suffering which he encountered because of her sins, he understood how God was grieved at the wickedness of Israel and how her sins were not only against God’s law but an disgrace to divine love. In love and at great cost he restored his wayward wife and in that act saw hope of the restoration and forgiveness of Israel.

Hosea main theme of the prophecy is God’s mercy to a sinful Israel. Israel, is described as an unfaithful wife. Israel will come to God who will show mercy and compassion. This is also a theme of judgement that runs throughout the book.

Wealth and prosperity subdue the people of Israel into a false sense of security.
1. Which took them in a direction away from God and into a national decline and decay which was worsened by a self assured spiritual attitudes, including a rejection of God’s law,
2.  the pursuit of materialism as a dominant way of life,
3.  dependence on international alliances which demonstrates a lack of faith and trust in God,
4. moral corruption of the priests leading people way from God and His ways.
5. Worship of idols in Bethel (calf worship).
6. Hard-hearted they refuse to listen and respond to repeated warnings of doom.

These conditions and other factors led Israel into captivity and cruel bondage by the Assyrians.

Hosea used many metaphors to describe the relationship between Israel and God.
Chs 1-3 – the nation is an unfaithful wife
4:16; 10:11 – a stubborn heifer
6:4; 13:3 – evaporating dew and dwindling mist and smoke.
7: 3-7 – a hot oven
7: 8 – a burned cake
7: 11; 11: 11 – a silly dove
8: 7 – a foolish farmer
8: 8 – a useless vessel
8: 9 – a stray donkey
9:10, 16 – a worthless fruit tree
10: 1 – a bad vine
10: 7 – a hapless twig
11: 1-4 – a disobedient child.

Then there were the metaphors that were used to describe how God deals with His people. In matters of judgment He is referred to as:
5: 12 a moth that will eat away at the nation
5: 14-15; 13: 8 a wild animal that devours
7: 12 a hunter that traps wild birds
11: 4 a farmer who yokes Israel like an Ox.

Yet the God of mercy is also described as:
Chs 2-3 a forgiving husband
11: 1-4; 14: 3 a loving parent
14: 4 a healing physician
14: 5 a fresh dew.

These metaphors were meant to stir the heart and imagination of God’s people. Some were shocking, by exposing the ugliness and the depth of sin and the straight forward compelling repentance; others comfort and encourage the faithful to trust in the goodness of God and preserve through the coming judgement.