Category: Book of Romans

Are My Actions Pleasing To My Lord?

How Confident Are We That We Are Serving In God’s Will?

Text:

Rom 14:22  Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. [Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth].
Rom 14:23  And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: [for whatsoever is not of faith is sin].

We should ask ourselves if God is pleased with His Church of today?

After all, we spend much more of our time whining and griping and comparing ourselves with other Christians, or other churches or even comparing our pastors with other pastors than we do serving and in worship to Our Lord.

This thing is contagious!

We look at how other churches do things and how they worship instead of “how does God want our own local church where God has placed us to worship”.

There may be changes from time to time to keep our worship relevant and fresh but constant dissatisfaction is a symptom of something deeper and something sinful.

Unless we dedicate ourselves to our own church under the guidelines of the Bible “we will never know how each church or each house of prayer fits into God’s Plan”!

Decisions can never be made unless we do it in a prayerful and a biblical manner, without compromising the TRUTH of God’s Word!

Remember God’s Word is settled in Heaven, it’s not up to us to change what God says!

Psa 119:89 For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven.

We should begin with the best translation of the scriptures for our own language. The Old Testament scriptures were in Hebrew and the New Testament scriptures were in Greek. I speak English so I need to find the best English translation of those original scriptures. I personally believe that to be the KJV.

We all need to research to be sure we have the best translation in our own language!

So, let’s look into God’s guidelines:

First let’s clear that word “damned” up in our text. A “Born Again” child of God cannot be “damned” to “eternal damnation”, but we can still suffer “condemnation” and “judgment” for the things we do that do not line up with the Word of God.

Both God and each believer should “condemn” ungodly acts that are done by the doubtful believer!

An We Need To Realize That Things that are done against our own conscience are sin “even if some other believer has a clear conscience of the matter”.

When your conscience tells you that what you are doing is wrong for you then it is worng and it is sin if you go against your own conscience!

All things are, indeed, legal for a true Christian but the main criteria that must be met is “Does it please the Lord”?

Some of these things should include the way we worship, the music we listen too and allow in our worship services, and also smoking, movies, drinking, drugs, marriage, just living together, dancing and many other such things.

The Bible teaches us that we must govern our own behavior in consideration of our other brothers and sisters in Christ!

So what are God’s guidelines?

In out text verse we see a big one:

*****1.) We have to have full confidence that what we are doing is pleasing Our Lord!

Our “faith” must be unquestionable!

So what else do we need to know?

*****2.) Does what I am about to do have a positive Christian value, without question or doubt, pleasing to the Lord?

Proof scripture:

1Co 10:23  All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, [but all things edify not].
1Co 10:24  Let no man seek his own, [but every man another’s wealth].

Does what we are about to do “edify” or “build up” other persons, or are we just thinking about ourselves?

Proof scripture:

Col 4:5  [Walk in wisdom toward them that are without], redeeming the time.

How does what I am doing or about to do look to those that are lost. Our goal is to reach out to the lost so we need redeem the time. Time is our most valuable possession and lost time can never be regained.

Our Christian lives are always shorter than our physical lives. We just do not have much time to reach out to those of this lost world and every time we damage our ability to witness we are not redeeming that time.

If what we are doing puts more distance between us and any lost person, then we should not do it!

*****3.) Is what I am about to do consistent with my Christian life?

Proof scripture:

2Co 5:14  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
2Co 5:15  And that he died for all, [that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves], but unto him which died for them, and rose again.

It must be our love for Jesus Christ that is to be our guide in all our actions!

Jesus must be at the beginning of every decision we make!

Proof scripture:

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, [seek those things which are above], where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.
Col 3:2  [Set your affection on things above], not on things on the earth.
Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.
Col 3:4  When Christ, [who is our life], shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

Will what I am about to do gain a reward from the Lord?

Proof Scripture:

2Ti 2:4  No man that warreth “entangleth himself with the affairs of this life”; [that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier].

We should ask ourselves, “if I get entangled in this” how does it affect my battle within my own self to remain pure and will I still be able to be on the front lines in God’s Army?

*****4.) Can I absolutely sense the positive leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit?

Proof Scripture:

1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: [therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s].
Do my actions glorify God or myself?

Proof Scripture:

Gal 5:16  This I say then, [Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh].
Gal 5:17  For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: [so that ye cannot do the things that ye would].
Gal 5:18  But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law.

If what you are about to do is something that you use to do before you were saved, then you must be sure that it is the Holy Spirit that is your guide!

In fact we must always be sure the Holy Spirit is our guide in all our actions!

2Co 6:17  Wherefore [come out from among them, and be ye separate], saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,

To be a Christian is to leave behind that old life!

We must walk away from that old life or we have not understood what it is to “repent”!

To repent is to have a complete change of mind!

*****5.) Will what I am about to do diminish my Christian influence?

Proof Scripture:

Rom 14:14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: [but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean].

We must realize, that as Christians the world is always looking at us to see if a Christian is truly different from the world!

Proof Scripture:

Rom 14:21  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing [whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak].

We must also realize that there is always some one in the church that has their eyes on us and it is most likely a young child or a member of our own family but could be a new convert or any brother or sister in Christ!

Proof Scripture:

1Co 8:8  But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse.
1Co 8:9  [But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumblingblock to them that are weak].
1Co 8:10  [For if any man see thee] which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol’s temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols;
1Co 8:11  [And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish], for whom Christ died?

Jesus Christ died for every sinner that has ever been born and if our actions cause just one them to remain lost and they end up in hell, we can be sure we will suffer some loss at the Bema Seat of Christ!

Proof Scripture:

1Th 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

We must absolutely abstain from anything that has any appearance of evil!

*****6.) Could what I am about to do pose a danger that I could become addicted to it?

This could be a long list for most of us!

Proof Scripture:

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, [but I will not be brought under the power of any].

If we do anything that comes between us and our Lord it is sin!

Any substance or Anything that can control our mind or our actions fit this description!

Proof Scripture:

Eph 5:18  And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;

This verse does not say it OK to drink wine but it does say that the Holy Spirit is the “ONLY” mind altering influence that we should partake of.

Proof Scripture:

Jas 1:14  But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.
Jas 1:15  Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death.

Our greatest enemy is our own selves!

Our mind will make up a million reasons to tell us what we are about to do is OK!

*****7.) A question we should always ask is, Would Jesus Do This ?

To be saved is to have the “mind of Christ”!

Proof Scripture:

Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

1Pe 2:21  For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, [leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps]:
1Pe 2:22  [Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth]:

1Jn 2:6  He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

With Jesus as our example then we need to learn how Jesus walked and be more like Him!

*****8.) If I am confident that my actions will glorify God then I should proceed.

Proof Scripture:

1Co 10:31  Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, [do all to the glory of God].

Col 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, [do it heartily, as to the Lord], and not unto men;
Col 3:24  [Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance]: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

So let’s go back to an earlier verse and have a clearer understanding of what it says:

1Co 10:23  All things are lawful for me, [but all things are not expedient]: all things are lawful for me, but all things edify not.

Carnal desires are the “root” and the “source” of sin!

And our “goal” MUST be to Glorify God in everything we do!

Amen

The Responsibility Of Righteousness

The Responsibility Of Righteousness

“Working Together”

Our Text: Romans 15:4—-16:27

We have a responsibility to be righteous after we are saved by God’s “Grace”. We had no righteousness before we were saved. Our righteousness was like filthy rags.

Isa 61:10  I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, [he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness], as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels.

That righteousness is only in Jesus Christ:

Mal 4:2  But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.

And God says:

Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

This means we are help one another.

We are to pray for one another.

We are to minister to one another. To minister is not only to be a servant to each other but to do it for the “glory of God”. We are to deliver to each other the things, physical and spiritual, we have received of God. This is being a good steward of the things that God has blessed us with. We are to give back to others what God has given us!

We are to admonish one another, we should warn our brothers and sisters in Christ, when we see some things that affect their witnessing ability.

THIS IS NOT THE SAME AS JUDGING ONE ANOTHER!

Our brothers and sisters in Christ are not our enemies and should not be treated in that manner.

2Th 3:6  Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.

Some read this verse and stop but we must consider the entire passage:

2Th 3:14  And if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no
company with him, that he may be ashamed.
2Th 3:15  [Yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother].

We should inform them of the wrong things they do, and advise them to seek counseling from the Word of God, even showing them the truth, BUT WE MUST AVOID GETTING INVOLVED WITH THEIR EVILNESS.

We must then make them aware that we are their friend, waiting on and encouraging their return to the Lord.

When we do this properly, according to the Word of God, we will gain a solid brother and sister in Christ and we are fulfilling our obligation of “righteousness” to the God who saved us.

This is not a command because when we wear the robe of Our Lord Jesus Christ we will be in His image and we will be Christian or “Like Christ”.

THIS IS AN ACTION THE SHOWS THE LOVE OF CHRIST.

LOVE IS AN ACTION WORD!

GOD’S LOVE IS NOT CONNECTED TO “LUST”!

To love our brothers and sisters in Christ is to be in one accord with them.

Pro 18:24  A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.

THAT TRUE FRIEND WE ALL HAVE, THAT ARE SAVED, IS JESUS CHRIST!

THIS IS THE STRENGTH OF THE BODY OF CHRIST!

Our Text:

Rom 15:4  For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that
we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

We must not forget that there was no New Testament at this time. It was being written by
these apostles and some others at this time of Paul. Paul clearly states that the books of the
Old Testament were written before the time of the Church. The Old Testament is where we learn how
God dealt with His people. God chastised them but God never abandoned them!

Rom 15:5  Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward
another according to Christ Jesus:
Rom 15:6  That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our
Lord Jesus Christ.
Rom 15:7  Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

Paul is telling us, through the Holy Ghost, that the same God who gave the Old Testament Saints patience, endurance, and comfort in His Word will do the same for every believer.

In other words it is not the things of this world that can make the church better!

It is only the Word of God that can make the Church a place of worship!

Satan has too much influence on the things of this world for them to ever be any benefit to the Body of Christ!

The world would only bring false preaching and false teaching into the church and make it a place of entertainment when God wants the church to be a hospital for souls!

God uses our mistakes to teach us but we must also learn from those mistakes!

The Church must major in the Word of God and in Prayer!

Abraham knew this to be true:

Gen 13:8  And Abram said unto Lot, [Let there be no strife, I pray thee, between me and thee, and between my herdmen and thy herdmen; for we be brethren].

Satan will do his best to isolate Christians in this world. It is when we are alone that we are the weakest.

Satan will try to convince us that we are never good enough to get into God’s Heaven.

He will convince us that since we are so bad then it is not so wrong for us to do bad things.

This is not the plan of God nor is it the Word of God!

We can never glorify God by submitting to the evils in this world!

When we do not have the mind of Christ, we will never glorify God with our mouths!

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? [for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh].

God saves sinners and God uses sinners to do His Work!

*****Our Text:

Rom 15:8  Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
Rom 15:9  And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.
Rom 15:10  And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.
Rom 15:11  And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people.
Rom 15:12  And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.
Rom 15:13  Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Rom 15:14  And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

What we see in chapter 15 is the fact that to minister and to be a minister of Jesus Christ should be our goal.

The theme of Chapter 15 is “minister” or “the ministry”.

The Apostle Paul uses five different Greek words to describe the ministry of the “Body of Christ”

We have learned from other lessons that the number “5” represents the number of “Grace”!

*****In verse 8 we see the word “diakonos”.

We get our English word “Deacon” from this Greek word but it means to execute the commands of a master. It means to be obedient to the Word of God as a servant to the Body of Christ.

Notice Paul said Our Lord Jesus was sent to execute the commands of the Master, The Almighty God Himself.

We are all also sent out into this world to execute the commands of our Master:

Mat 28:19  Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Mat 28:20  Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

To be a deacon is not to hold an office of power but an office of a servant!

*****In verse 25 we the word “diakoneo”.

This Greek word means to help those in need in the church, to try to provide the necessities of life to the Body of Christ. This would include missions. This also includes those that can give more than their tithe.

We are beginning to see that every Born Again chold of God has a “Ministry” in the Body of Christ.

*****In verse 31 we see the word ” diakonia”.

This Greek word means to be a teacher and serve in the administration of the Body of Christ.

These would include every teacher in every age group from Sunday School to every other teaching program but also the music director and any clerical help among others.

*****In verse 27 we see the word “leitourgeo” for the word “service”

This Greek word means the volunteers who work in the Body of Christ to keep all the various functions of the Church working. This would also include the Prayer Warriors at most important part of the Body of Christ.

This would also include the van drivers, those that work in the nursery, those that maintain and clean the House of God and most every other volunteer in the Church.

*****In verse 16 we see the word “leitourgos”.

This Greek word means to Pastor. We know that to Pastor is to be called of God, but these Pastors must come from the Body of Christ.

This would also include any youth Pastor or any assistant Pastor among others that are specifically called of God.

All these that minister in the Body of Christ must first be believers and Born Again.

We all have a place in the ministry of the Body of Christ!

God will provide the gifts needed to for us to fit in our place.

Our Supreme example of ministry must always be Jesus Christ Our Lord!

Jesus made sure that His disciples understood this most important part of the ministry in the Body Of Christ!

Luk 22:24  And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest.
Luk 22:25  And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors.
Luk 22:26  But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
Luk 22:27  For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? [but I am among you as he that serveth].

Until Jesus died on the cross and was “resurrected into new life”, He ministered to the Nation of Israel.

Only after this did the ministry spread to “whosoever will”.

The Book of Acts tells us that the disciples began in Israel, then to the Samaritans, then to all Gentiles.

God was not selfish to go to the Jew first because He used the Jews to spread the Gospel. We may wonder why God has not yet returned but, the truth is He will not return until the fullness of the Gentiles come in.

2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, [not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance].

2Pe 3:15  [And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation]; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
2Pe 3:16  As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
2Pe 3:17  Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.
2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

Look at what Paul says:

Verse 9 tells us that the Jews glorify God among the Gentiles fulfilling Old Testament prophesy:

Psa 18:49  [Therefore will I give thanks unto thee, O LORD, among the heathen], and sing praises unto thy name.

Verse 10 tells us that the Jews will rejoice with the Gentiles.

Deu 32:43  [Rejoice, O ye nations, with his people]: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.

Verse 11 tells us that All the Jews and the Gentiles together will praise God.

Psa 117:1  [O praise the LORD, all ye nations: praise him, all ye people].
Psa 117:2  For his merciful kindness is great toward us: [and the truth of the LORD endureth for ever]. Praise ye the LORD.

verse 12 tells us that Our Lord Jesus Christ will reign over the Jews and the Gentiles.

Isa 11:10  [And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious].

We know that not all these things have taken place yet but they will!

In verse 12 that word trust “elpizo” means hope.

So in verse 13:

“Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing”

But the Power behind that “hope” is the Holy Ghost.

We must remember before we were saved, we had no “hope”.

Eph 2:12  That at that time [ye were without Christ], being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, [having no hope, and without God in the world]:
Eph 2:13  But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh [by the blood of Christ].

Not only “hope” but, joy, peace, and power, still through the Holy Spirit that lives within us.

It is because the Jew took the Gospel to the us, the Gentiles, that all the nations of this world have the opportunity to “trust”(hope) in Christ Jesus as Savior!

*****Our Text:

Rom 16:17  Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
Rom 16:18  For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
Rom 16:19  For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
Rom 16:20  And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

The Apostle Paul, who was a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin, spent most all his years taking the Gospel to the Gentile.

When Paul met Jesus an the Damascus Road, he met the God of “Grace”.

1.) It was God’s grace that saved him.
2.) It was God’s grace that called him.
3.) It was God’s grace that made him the Apostle to the Gentiles.

Rom 1:5  By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:
Rom 1:6  Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

Paul realized that the Gentile were to be also called:

Eph 3:1  For this cause I Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ for you Gentiles,
Eph 3:2  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:
Eph 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,
Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Paul knew that the Salvation message was the Gospel of God, which is the “Good-News” of Jesus Christ.

All these things are done under the “power” of the Holy Spirit.

It is an absolute “privilege” to be a servant of God and to give the saving message of God to “whosoever will” hear it!

Paul did these things for God’s glory!

We cannot brag about our ministry BUT we must brag about what God had done in our lives since being saved and the fact of “Salvation” because it is a fact!

God’s Word is fact!

Our Salvation is based on “facts”!

We cannot over emphasize that we are stablished, stabilized on the facts of the Bible!

It was the Holy Spirit that gave Paul the power to do these things.

This is still the same power that every saved child of God operates on today!

The Apostle Paul preached according to God’s Plan of Salvation!

Paul was not to preach where other Apostles had ministered:

Rom 15:20  Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, [not where Christ was named], lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

There is no greater evidence that the Apostle Peter did not start the church in Rome, as the Catholic Church declares, than this one verse!

Paul would not have desired to go to Rome if Peter had already established the church in Rome!

The Apostle Paul was the pioneer of the ministry of God, to the Gentile world!

Isa 52:12  For ye shall not go out with haste, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.

That word rereward means the “One that gathers”.

In other words it is the God of Israel, Jehovah God and His Plan of Salvation that had sent Paul to the Gentiles.

We know that Paul preached Jesus, so God says we will gather at the cross and the blood of Jesus will wash us into Salvation!

It would now be the Gentiles that would take the Gospel back to the Jew and that is where we stand today!

Every one that wears the title Christian is obligated to repay the debt to Israel.

1.) We should pray for the Salvation of Israel
2.) We should take the Gospel message to Israel
3.) We should provide help to Israel when we are able

When the Holy Spirit is working in the Body of Christ, the giving of these things and more is no problem.

4.) We must stand by the side of Israel!

We will see in chapter 16 that it was a lady, Phebe, that took these written words of Paul to the believers in Rome.

Phebe may not have realized the importance of the message she carried but, she could have, as the New Testament was being written and assembled during this time of Paul and the other Apostles.

2Pe 3:15  And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him [hath written unto you];
2Pe 3:16  As also in all [his epistles] speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

For those that teach it was many years later that the New Testament was written, disputes what the Bible itself says.

The Bible was being written and distributed to the church during the time of the Apostles!

The Apostle Paul took some time to thank many who had help him in his ministry. We all have a ministry and we should always be thankful to any that help in our own ministry.

2Co 4:1  Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
2Co 4:2  But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

2Ti 4:5  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

The Apostle Paul knew that there were many that many that were working against the Church as there are today.

There are many who would divide the Church! 

We can see the evidence of false doctrine in our own communities.

Any place of worship not founded on the Rock of Jesus will not stand!

Paul says:

1.) Mark them, (take aim as a spy would) and point them out to the Church, the local assemblies.

2.) Avoid them, (keep a distance from) not allowing them in our own assembly, and to not be part of these false assemblies.

We cannot fall into the trap of friendship, when we should concentrate on being obedient to the Lord and preserving our own testimony!

Any one that deviates from the Word of God intentionally, comes from Satan!

AND We know his end is near!

Not everyone that hears the Gospel of Jesus will accept Him as Savior but, we owe it to them to reach out with God’s Word, and God’s Plan of Salvation.

If we can in love point out false doctrine, then we should, but not think of them as an enemy!

God’s Word is not to be argued but only delivered!

It is the work of the Holy Ghost that will bring salvation!

If we can all work together as the “One Body Of Christ” that we are supposed to be, then God’s goals will be reached.

It is God’s Plan of Salvation!

We cannot try to change God’s Plan!

We should serve the Lord because we love the Lord!

When we work together in the work of the Lord, we are showing the love of Jesus!

Joh 3:16  For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
Joh 3:17  For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

Let’s Pray!

The Duty Of Righteousness

The Duty Of Righteousness

“Considering Others”

Our Text:

Romans 14:1–15:3

This lesson may step on our toes a little bit but we all, including myself, need to understand all the Word of God.

We have a “duty” to properly serve the Lord once we are saved by His Grace!

We do not have to look very far to know that the body of Christ is not in one accord. In fact it seems even in our local assemblies we are in some kind of competition.

The Truth is, Every Bible Believing group of worshippers, through out this world are “One Body Of Christ”!

The problem then is, not many groups believe the entire Word Of God is inspired. To not believe this is the same as saying God could lie and this is what is impossible!

We fall into the trap of saying, let’s go down to the church or let’s go to church. This is not such a bad thing to say but the truth is we as believers are the church. We as believers are the body of Christ!

We are not just some local group of believers, but joined together to all believers by our “Faith” and that by the “Grace of God”.

Then we should ask, why does it seem that the worldwide “Body of Christ” is trying to hide itself from the evil things of this world?

We are to come out from among those of this world but we are not to hide!

We are to shine like bright shiny lights!

We are not to put ourselves under a basket!

Listen to the words of Jesus:

Joh 8:12  Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Again he said:

Joh 9:5  As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.

And again:

Mat 5:14  Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.
Mat 5:15  Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house.

To be called Christian is to be like Christ. As Jesus Christ shined in this world we are now to shine because, He is our example.

We do not shine very brightly in this world we  live in, when we cannot get along with our brothers and sisters!

If we cannot be in unity in the places where we attend to worship the Lord Our God, how can we expect the world wide the body of Christ to be in one accord?

This is not just a problem we have in our assembly, It is a worldwide problem and has been going on since the beginning of the church.

In the New Testament we see many disputes.

1.) The Corinthians were divided over human leaders and some of the members were even suing each other.

2.) The Galatians always seem to be bitter and divided into separate groups from each other.

3.) The Ephesians and the Colossians had to be constantly reminded to be of one accord just as we are.

We all, only have one book to guide us, The Holy Bible, and it is infallible!

4.) In the church of Philippi, even two women tried to split the church.

The book of Hebrews tells us:

Heb 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, [as the manner of some is]; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Not only are we not to forsake in the attendance of the church, we are to meet more often as we see the end time approaching.

The end time is approaching at every tick of the clock, and we can all see the signs!

BUT, It does not really matter how many times we meet if we do not act like we are “the body of Christ”, “One” worldwide group of believers all having the same mind of Christ.

We only have one example to live by, Jesus Christ Himself!

The Holy Spirit will always lead us to Jesus!

How can we travel so many paths in opposite directions, when there is only one way to Heaven?

I checked every English translation I could find, and they all say Jesus Christ is the only means of getting to Heaven. (John 14:6)

The Bible also says:

Php 2:2  Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:

We are to be likeminded!
We are to have the same love!
We are to be in One Accord!
We are to be in One Mind!
We are all to treat our brothers and sister like they are better than ourselves!
We are all to have the same mind of Christ, who is the only head of the Church and His Body!

If we ever see this become a reality in our separate places of worship, we will see an immediate change in the church and there will be a revival in the body of Christ!

The Bible says:

Psa 133:1 Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!

We must put aside any old belief, any old teaching, and every old thing that we learned from the past that does not match up to the Word of God!

*****The New Testament is full of examples of God’s people striving in the local church.

God did not write these things down for us to ignore, but to learn from!

What Jews were saved, were saved out of a legalistic background and even today they struggle to forget the way they were raised.

The Gentile believers had never had to worry about any special diet, or any Sabbath day, or any festival days. They certainly did not worry about diets and what they could or could not eat.

*****But, We know this caused great debate in the early church.

The book of Acts chapter 15 describes this time for us.

Act 15:19  Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:
Act 15:20  But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.

We know that the church in Rome also had its own problems.

What we should see also is that these things are still around today and this is a loss, to the Body of Christ.

*****We fight the same battles over and over again!

We simply do not learn from what God teaches us in His Word!

Are there gray areas in the Bible? No! There are no gray areas!

*****Our God never changes!

I just believe most people do not study God’s Word enough to know the truth!

Mal 3:6  For I am the LORD, I change not

Our God teaches us to have the same mind of Christ and Christ Jesus never changed.

Pro 24:21  My son, fear thou the LORD and the king: [and meddle not with them that are given to change]:
Pro 24:22  For their calamity shall rise suddenly; and who knoweth the ruin of them both?

This is why we should stay with a Bible that is translated from the original Greek and Hebrew texts such as the King James Bible we use here at Gethsemane.

When we see activities that go on in other places of worship that are clearly defined in our Bible as wrong, we need to get away from those activities and stay away from those places of worship!

*****The Body of Christ is not for entertainment!

The Body of Christ has only one function, to be so much like Christ Jesus that the World will still see Jesus and to continue in the work that He began!

When we see activities that go on in places of worship by the truth of the Gospel of God, then those are the places we should choose to worship.

When we see what we think are gray areas in the Bible we should search to Scriptures our selves and seek out those that teach the truth. There are no grey areas, God is Light and Light does not allow for any shade of darkness!

*****There may be places in the Bible we may not totally agree on, but even in these places we are not to dispute with each other.

If they have nothing to do with salvation then they are not worth arguing about!

*****More churches have been split over things that are not even in the Bible than ever over the truth!

I am so glad that my success as a Christian does not depend on the opinions or the attitudes of other Christians.

God is my judge and He is also the One that makes me able to stand in this evil world.

My salvation is based “the facts” of God’s Word and I now know that I need to lead my life according to God’s Word.

Romans chapter 8 tells us we are justified “and cannot ever be unjustified” again once we are saved!

*****This is what we must believe!

Our Text:

Rom 14:1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Rom 14:2  For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.
Rom 14:3  Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.
Rom 14:4  Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.
Rom 14:5  One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.
Rom 14:6  He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

God tells us we are not judges but God does teach us that we should be observant of our brothers and sisters.

If we love them, we should notice when they are suffering.

We should notice when they are weak in the flesh.

We should notice when they need our help and do not ask for it.

We should notice when their faith is weak and be ready to help them in the truth.

If we walk in love and not in our own self pride we will be more like Jesus and less like the world! 

We will always have brothers and sisters in Christ that are weak in the faith and have not spent much time in the word.

But we will always have brothers and sisters in Christ that are strong in the faith and have spent much time in the word.

We can all place our selves somewhere in the middle of these two extremes!

We should not miss the fact that Paul is preaching to those that were sincere in their worship.

Today we would say that Paul was preaching to the Choir.

Paul is preaching to those that are strongest in the faith. These are the elders of the church, these are the ones that have grown the most in the Word of God and these are the ones that are secure in their salvation.

Paul was preaching to the backbone of the church.

It is a false belief that the most mature Christians are the ones who follow the strictest rules.

It is in fact those that have a legalistic point of view that are the weakest Christians. These are the ones that are judging and condemning the strong Christian!

We must remember it is still not our job to convert those that are weak in the faith.

No one’s conscience but their own can direct them.!

It is more our job to disciple, to teach, to point out, what the word of God actually says.

If we act like a Pharisee then we have failed!

A true Christian does not look down upon another brother in Christ no matter how weak they are in the faith.

We have no right as believers to reject a babe in Christ and we should help to disciple them until we feel satisfied that they know the truth!

If God has received them into His family “then”we are to receive them too!

There is only one “Body of Christ”!

It is not our responsibility to decide the requirements of Christian fellowship in the body of Christ, only the Lord can do this and He wrote it all down for us.

When we set up man-made restrictions by the basis of our personal thoughts, we are going beyond the Word of God and what it says.

We are not even to argue over these matters!

We’re not to judge or despise any brother in Christ!

We should remember that when the apostle Peter was sent of God to take the gospel to the Gentiles he was criticized by the local church at that time!

But, Peter was called of God to do so!

Peter even ate his meals with them which went against Jewish law, but not God’s law of love

Act 11:1  And the apostles and brethren that were in Judaea heard that the Gentiles had also received the word of God.
Act 11:2  And when Peter was come up to Jerusalem, they that were of the circumcision contended with him,
Act 11:3  Saying, Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them.

It is God who decides who He will give the gift of the Holy Spirit, and the gift of “Grace”.

We also know that when Peter was around certain others of the church he would not associate much with the Gentiles.

The apostle Paul rebuked Peter for this act.

Peter was a mighty preacher at this time but even he did not always see that the Gentile believer should be welcomed into the fellowship of the church.

But God showed Peter and Paul that Christian Fellowship is not based on what we eat, or what days we worship or what days were considered to be religious days.

*****The church is not bound to any particular day of worship.

The Jew is bound by the Sabbath! We must remember, the Jew used a lunar calender. The Sabbath was every seventh day. The day Saturday, comes from the Roman calender which they adopted after they were defeated by Rome.

The early church chose the Lord’s Day. It was on Sunday that the Lord Jesus Christ came out of that grave.

The church “in fact” is to worship God every day and assemble as often as we can together!

It is the Jew and Judaism and many others who are taught falsely, that only the Sabbath day is the day of worship.

This is not of the Body of Christ nor the Word of God!

The weak in faith must not call those that are stronger in faith, super spiritual!

And those that are strong in faith must not call those weak in faith, immature!

If God has received both then we should receive each other and both believers show forth the fruits of the Holy Spirit.

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

We are all servants of God. God is Master to everyone who believes and It is wrong for anyone to interfere with this relationship!

I am strong, when I realize that my success as a Christian does not depend on the opinions and the attitudes of other Christians!

My God is my Judge!

It is My God that stands with me!

*****If we are busy enough in the work of the Lord we would not find time to condemn other Christians!

A people who realize the important things to do are, to be busy winning souls to Christ and not wasting time investigating the lives of the saints.

God has forgotten the past of every Saint and we should too!

*****Our Text:

Rom 14:7  For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.
Rom 14:8  For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
Rom 14:9  For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.
Rom 14:10  But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.
Rom 14:11  For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Rom 14:12  So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Rom 14:13  Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.
Rom 14:14  I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean.
Rom 14:15  But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.
Rom 14:16  Let not then your good be evil spoken of:
Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

As the children of The Living God we have a higher standard to live by!

The title “Lord” is found eight times in these few verses. Everything we do must relate to our Lord.

No Christian has the right to play God to another Christian.

We can pray for them and we should!

We can advise them by God’s Word and we should!

We can teach and we can even warn them of some of the things they do, but we cannot play God!

We as Christians must realize that God has His eyes on our lives and We should consciously feel His presence!

Each and every one of us are living or dying absolutely unto the Lord, who we belong to!

If He is not ruling our lives then we cannot even help another. Most of our local churches are divided and weakened just because they will not allow Jesus Christ to be Lord of the Church.

Jesus gives us a great example of this in the Bible.

The Bible says:

Joh 21:15  So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs.
Joh 21:16  He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.
Joh 21:18  Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdedst thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.
Joh 21:19  This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, Follow me.
Joh 21:20  Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee?
Joh 21:21  Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do?
Joh 21:22  Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me.

What we should notice in these Scriptures is that Peter was restored and again he was told to follow. So Peter began to follow Jesus but soon realized that another was walking behind him which was John.

Peter asked Lord what about this man?

We all need to pay attention to the answer that Jesus gave!

Jesus told Peter “just make sure you have made Me Lord of your life and let Me worry about John”.

When we find ourselves condemning other Christians just because they disagree with the way we think on anything that is not essential to salvation or that God forbids in His word, then we are trying to become landlords to that person.

We have taken the place of Jesus in that persons life and we have absolutely no right to do so.

We are not following Jesus ourself!

Jesus did not do these things and He is still our example!

If each and every one of us would go to the Lord in prayer instead of going to our brothers and sisters in criticism, we would all have a stronger fellowship in the local church.

It is a fact that no matter how strong a Christian we are or how weak a Christian we are, we will all stand at the judgment seat of Christ.

This is where the saint of God will be judged or what he has accomplished “after” we are saved!

We had already learned in Chapter 8 there would be no more condemnation, so we cannot be condemned here at The Judgment Seat of Christ!

This place with Jesus has nothing to do with our sins!

The Judge that sits on “this seat” is the same One that hung on the cross and paid for our sins.

Only Christ Jesus has the right to judge our behavior after salvation!

The Bible says:

1Co 9:24  Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.
1Co 9:25  And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.
1Co 9:26  I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air:
1Co 9:27  But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway.

And again:

1Co 3:10  According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
1Co 3:11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
1Co 3:12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;
1Co 3:13  Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is.
1Co 3:14  If any man’s work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
1Co 3:15  If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.

The only way we can be prepared for this judgment seat is by making Jesus Christ Lord in our own lives!

We must faithfully obey the Word He has given us which includes the fact that we should not judge other Christians. This is not to say we cannot notice when they are sad or when they are in need of help this is not the same thing as judging. This is showing concern and love!

We are only to judge “our own lives” and “make sure we are ready” to meet Jesus when he comes!

We should remember the nephew of Abraham, whose name was Lot, he was saved in the end, but he lost everything he had worked for in this world, including his wife. He had no reward on this earth nor probably in Heaven, but he did not lose his salvation!

When we stand before the Lord we will only have to give an account for ourselves, not for anyone else in this world!

When we allow the Lord Jesus Christ to be Lord of all, then we are saying “Jesus you deal with your own servants as you wish”!

BUT, We cannot make the mistake of thinking we are to leave each other alone!

We have to put out of our minds, words like “servant” and “slave” and remember words like “brother” and “sister”!

Our commandment is to love one another as we love ourselves. This is our goal to live by!

There is no room in this commandment for being a judge!

There is no room for causing our brother or sister to stumble in their walk with Christ!

There is no room for causing the destruction of a brother or sister in Christ!

The most important trait of a strong Christian should be his love for all the brothers and sisters in Christ!

The second most important trait of a strong Christian should be his spiritual knowledge in the Word of God!

It is these two things that will help in the growth of those that are weak in the faith.

We must realize as the Saints of God that everything we do in our Christian life can have some affect on another Christian.

It is never worth the loss of a reward from Christ if we cause harm to a brother or sister in Christ with the things we do.

*****If the world cannot see righteousness, and peace, and joy in the life of the Christian, then we are not yielding ourselves to the Holy Spirit. These are the fruit of the Spirit!

When we yield to the Holy Spirit who lives within us we would see no reason to fight or strive with our brothers and sisters in Christ.

*****Our Text:

Rom 14:21  It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

There have been many a church divided and split over trivial matters such as the color of the carpet, serving meals in the church, additions to the church and other things.

None of these things has anything to do with salvation!

The apostle Paul used the example of food and drink, and food and drink cannot bring us closer to God. We are no worse if we if we eat and no better if we don’t eat.

The fate of the church rest of the ability of believers to yield to the Holy Spirit and major in a godly life.

*****Christians should never fight each other for any reason!

If we cannot agree to disagree that we jeopardize the body of Christ.

Christians must help each other grow. The strong Christian needs to grow in love, the week Christian needs to grow in knowledge.

*****It is wrong for a weak Christian to remain weak!

*****It is also wrong when we cannot show love to each other in every instance!

When a weak Christian stumbles often we should know that something is wrong. We should know that they need our love to show them and encourage them to grow.

This requires patience and we should remember how much patience our Lord had with the disciples.

There is probably not one among us who came to Christ the first time we were called!

*****We all grow in grace and knowledge when the church is in one accord.

2Pe 3:18  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and for ever. Amen.

The church cannot be geared toward making weak Christians. The church must be geared to make strong Christians, the weak Christians must learn from the strong Christian for the church to survive.

When there is an honest disagreement among church members, we should not make this a test of Fellowship.

If you have a sincere conviction from God about the matter keep it to yourself!

If it is not about salvation certainly is not worth the loss of a friend or a brother or sister in Christ.

Our conscience can only be strengthened by the knowledge of the Lord, but our knowledge must be balanced by love or it tears down instead of building up.

*****Our text:

Rom 15:1  We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Rom 15:2  Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.
Rom 15:3  For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

True Christian love is not selfish but in fact should have a goal to make others happy. If we are not willing to carry the load of the weaker Christian and help them in their spiritual development we are not showing Christian love.

When we cannot make some small sacrifice for a weak Christian then how could we ever say we are sacrificing for Christ. Our small sacrifice cannot ever match what Jesus did on the cross!

Most loving parents will sacrifice of their children, a true Christians will also sacrifice for those that are weak in the faith.

If we ever believe we are making great sacrifices to give up some food or some drink or some holiday or just something we hold dear to us, then we have forgotten the sacrifice Jesus made for us.

*****He gave up His place in Heaven just to save a lost sinner like me and like you!

If we are not willing to give up some of our rights so that we can help others, we will count this as a burden when God meant it to be a blessing!

These things show the influence of the Holy Spirit and an understanding of the Word of God.

If we bathe all these things in prayer, the Lord will guide us.

Our lives should bring glory to God and not division among God’s people!

Let’s Pray!

Submitting To God’s Righteousness

The Submission Of Righteousness

“The Law Of Love”

Our Text:

Romans Chapter 13:1-14

As we have progressed through the Book of Romans, we began with God showing us what He considered as sin, then the wages of that sin, which is death. We next saw confession to salvation, and then a short comparison of Israel as a nation and the Church. In these last chapters of this great book, God will get real close to us, one on one, because God deals with us individually. God is a one on one God and every one of His children have a special place in His heart, somewhat like any daddy(Abba Father) would be to his children.

We have learned last week how important it is for us to demonstrate our salvation in our daily walk with God. We must dedicate ourselves to God and to the work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We have seen that this results in “God transforming” us rather than “we conforming” ourselves to the world we live in.

A transformed life is far different from the life we led while we were lost and no matter how weak we may appear to those of this world, we know we will have “victory” in the end.

What we will see now in the Book of Romans is that apostle Paul turned the attention of the church to their relationship with the nation they lived in.

We need to learn these things also in the nations we live in.

The Bible says we should be the best citizens of our nation. We can also see that this is getting more difficult every day.

There are many that see the role of the church is to change the governments of this world.

There is a religious group we know of, that has become it’s own government. Our own nation, America, even sends an ambassador to this place.

This is not the what the Bible teaches in the New Testament nor even in the Old Testament.

This does not mean that a Christian cannot find a place government to serve, as long as they do not become servants to that government but continue to serve the Lord God Almighty.

We will one day be citizens in Heaven and we should behave as close as we can in that same way while we are here on earth.

Anything we do on this earth is temporary, but we should lead our lives as though they are eternal because they are eternal!

*****Our Text:

Rom 13:1  Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.
Rom 13:2  Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.
Rom 13:3  For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same:
Rom 13:4  For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.

This is another section of the Bible where we may not always agree, but we must remember the truths of these scriptures are just as important as those of salvation. God would not give us information that was not true.

The Bible teaches us that God has established three institutions:

1.) God first establish the home:

Gen 2:21  And the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept: and he took one of his ribs, and closed up the flesh instead thereof;
Gen 2:22  And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.
Gen 2:23  And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
Gen 2:24  Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

2.) God next established government:

Gen 9:5  And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man’s brother will I require the life of man.
Gen 9:6  Whoso sheddeth man’s blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man.
Gen 9:7  And you, be ye fruitful, and multiply; bring forth abundantly in the earth, and multiply therein.

3.) God next establish the church:

Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

Those words, “every soul” mean “every believer”. Remember Paul was writing to the church, the Body of Christ. Those “higher powers” are those civil authorities that are ordained of God.

Even when the people we vote for, are not the ones that get elected, does not mean we are to be disobedient to the ones that are elected. In fact we must still pray for them for it is by the power of God they are in their position. God has a purpose for everything He does.

We may not respect those that hold office but we must respect the office itself. In other words we may not agree with our president but we must respect the office of president no matter who fills that role.

It can be said that God established government because we are sinners and have need of authority over us!

Does this mean we use our vote to try to help God. No! We are still to vote for those that we think will follow the teachings of God’s Word.

The results of our leaders, can be seen, in that the world we live in is becoming more lawless and we know lawlessness comes from sin.

1Jn 3:4  Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law.

We know that lawlessness is the refusing to be controlled, this is a sin in the eyes of God.

What we see in our nation is a public that is unwilling to punish crime. This means that the nation we live in, has a sympathy for sin rather than to hate sin!

The victim of crime is soon forgotten!

This is one of the main reasons that law-enforcement breaks down. What we see are lawyers that exploit the technicalities of legal procedure to defeat the law. This was not the intent of the law and only brings corruption from both sides.

There are many so called lawyers who represent those that they know are guilty of heinous crimes and they will answer to God one day for this.

God has one main law in this matter.

We are to love the sinner but we are to hate the sin and sin still brings judgment!

We as a people do not have the right to cause any harm to other people!

This could not happen if our entire communities would stand up to the truth. We as the church are lax in this also.

If we follow the life of the apostle Paul we will see that Paul himself used Roman law to protect his own life on more than one occasion. God used Roman law to get Paul in position to witness to whosoever would listen in Rome itself. It was the finances of Rome paid for Paul’s missionary trip to Rome. It was the finances of Rome that provided Paul a place to live and food to eat.

I cannot imagine that happening today.

We sometimes actually teach riot and rebellion in the name of Jesus Christ. God does not teach us to be pushovers for everything that comes in our path but, God does not teach us to rebel against His Word for any reason!

When we do not obey the civil law authority then we are saying it is okay for every man to do what’s right in his own eyes.

The Bible says:

Pro 12:15  The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel is wise.

We live in a world that just does not hate sin. But we serve God that condemns sin. We simply do not have our priorities right.

*****Our text:

Rom 13:5  Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.
Rom 13:6  For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.
Rom 13:7  Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour.
Rom 13:8  Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
Rom 13:9  For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
Rom 13:10  Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

Most of us would obey the law just to avoid the punishment but we as Christians should obey the law because of our conscience.

What is conscience?

Conscience means that we have in our own self a sense of what’s right and what’s wrong!

When we were lost, our conscience mind was perverted but knowing Christ is to be renewed in our minds.

There are times when our government interferes with our conscience. When this happens we are to obey God rather than our government!

In our day we see the laws pertaining to abortion, but we should obey the Word of God.

In our day we see the law pertaining to the immoral lifestyle, but we should obey the Word of God.

But when the laws of the land we live in are right then we are to be obedient to those laws.

1Ti 1:5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

1Ti 1:19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck:

1Ti 3:9  Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

What we see is that in the day we live in, the latter days, the people of this world and our nation have no conscience.

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
1Ti 4:2  Speaking lies in hypocrisy; [having their conscience seared with a hot iron;]

If your conscience has been seared with a hot iron, you will not have one!

This is the truth of the Bible and is true of the world we live in!

This does not change the fact of how we are to live as Christians.

Act 24:16  And herein do I exercise myself, [to have always a conscience void of offence toward God], [and toward men].

Those government authorities should include not only our national government but our local government including the police and the military.

There is no place in God’s Word for pacifist. It is an honor to be a soldier and a true soldier is not a killer or a murderer.

It is therefore sin to call the work of a “true” soldier evil.

Luk 3:14  And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

There are those that reject the local police but most of these are the first ones to call when something is happening on their property.

In America we find that many come in pursuit of freedoms they did not have where they lived.

But we as Americans see sometimes is that these wanting freedom insist on trying convert America to be like the nations they escaped from. How confusing is this?

It is God that has allowed the formation of the nation’s. It is God that will sometimes use one nation to police another nation!

I cannot say that this is the role of America in this world we live in.

I can say that God will use one nation sometimes to police and stop the evil of another nation!

It is God that sits in the throne!

We can therefore say that anyone that would divulge the military secrets of our nation to another nation surely go against the Word of God.

There is no such thing as a pacifist or a conscientious objector in the Word of God!

When it comes to taxes that we owe, these are included as respect for the nation we live in. If we do not pay our taxes we are also showing disrespect for the law and our government officials but more importantly to the Lord.

We might not agree with the way our government spends tax money but we go against the Word of God when we refuse to pay them. It is more important for us to be obedient to the Word of God!

The apostle Peter wrote:

1Pe 2:13  Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;
1Pe 2:14  Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.
1Pe 2:15  For so is the will of God, that with well doing ye may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men:
1Pe 2:16  As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God.
1Pe 2:17  Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.

We cannot allow as Christians, for the world to think that the church is above the laws of the places we live.

In verse eight we see again the truth of the words of our Lord.

“To love one another is fulfilling the law of God”

Jesus said:

Joh 13:34  A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
Joh 13:35  By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.

Paul is repeating the exact words of Jesus Christ Our Lord.

When we practice this law, we have no need for any laws of man, nor any of the laws given by Moses.

If we love each other enough, we will not sin against each other nor will we sin against God!

This is exactly why we did not see the 10 Commandments often in the New Testament. In fact we do not see the Sabbath commandment mentioned at all in the New Testament.

We of the Body of Christ, do not live under any law, we do live under “grace”! It is “grace” that is our motive for obeying God!

“To owe no man nothing” does not mean that it is a sin to be in debt.

The Bible does not forbid borrowing. The Bible does not forbid financing when interest is involved.

What the Bible does forbid is charging high interest, robbing from the brethren or anyone else, and failing to pay a debt, as as that would be to steal.

Banking and investing are not wrong. It is wrong to take on a debt that you cannot repay.

Paul is teaching us matters of the heart and of conscience. These are things that no law can affect.

It is the law of love that shall rule our hearts and our minds.

*****Our Text:

Rom 13:11  And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed.
Rom 13:12  The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.
Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

We must always have an understanding of where we are in our lives but more importantly we must understand the timing of God. If we do not realize we are closer day by day and moment by moment to the coming of our Lord then we do not understand God’s timing.

Our life on this Earth is temporary, and it will be much more pleasant if we are obedient to the laws of the land.

There are those that believe Earth is a permanent home but we do not find that in the Word of God.

As a child of God we absolutely cannot live on this earth for ever. We must move on through the time that God has given us until we enter into eternity, for this is the promise of God!

We have already come a long way, we cannot turn back now, and why would we want to.

It is in our best interest to be found faithful when Our Lord returns.

The Bible says we need to “wake up”:

1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.
1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,
1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.
1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

The Bible says we need to “clean up”:

1Jn 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
1Jn 2:29  If ye know that he is righteous, ye know that every one that doeth righteousness is born of him.
1Jn 3:1  Behold, what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God: therefore the world knoweth us not, because it knew him not.
1Jn 3:2  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.
1Jn 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.

The Bible says we need to “grow up”:

Rom 13:13  Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.
Rom 13:14  But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

If we continue to feed our flesh we will fail as Christians!

If we will feed the inner man, God’s new creature, we will succeed!

A Christian should be the best citizen in the nation where he lives!

We do not have to agree on politics or those in authority.

But we must have a godly attitude toward human government!

The apostle Paul uses the full title of our Lord Jesus Christ. Because we must put on all of Jesus.

1.) Jesus was His personal name:

Mat 1:21  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

2.) As Christ, He is The Anointed one:

Joh 1:41  He first findeth his own brother Simon, and saith unto him, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ.

Joh 3:34  For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

He is able to save because He is truly the Messiah sent from God.

3.) As Lord, He is over all things:

Heb 1:1  God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets,
Heb 1:2  Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 1:3  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high;
Heb 1:4  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they.

It is the apostle Peter that announced His full name at Pentecost.

Act 2:36  Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.

To be a true believer, then you have to put on All Of Christ:

Gal 3:27  For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
Gal 3:28  There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Gal 3:29  And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.

He is our life:

2Co 13:5  Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates?

All we have to do is examine our own selves. A reprobate is someone who has rejected the Lord Jesus and lost to His grace.

The only way to put on the Lord Jesus Christ is to put to death that old sin nature!

Col 3:3  For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.

Col 3:10  And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:
Col 3:11  Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all.

This should be our daily walk down that path to becoming perfect:

Col 3:12  Put on therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, bowels of mercies, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, longsuffering;
Col 3:13  Forbearing one another, and forgiving one another, if any man have a quarrel against any: even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.
Col 3:14  And above all these things put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness.

A godly love is the key to our success!

Let’s pray!

The Pursuit Of Righteousness

The Pursuit Of Righteousness

“Transformed-Not Conformed”

Romans Chapter 12

As Christians we need to look at ourselves daily. We need to examine our daily walk with the Lord!

Do we truly walk as believers, do we walk as enemies to those around us that are lost.

There are only two choices, we can overcome evil, or we can be overcome by evil.

What is this evil?

Any principle in this present world we live in, that we allow to rule our lives, that are not the principles of God!

So:

1.) When we do not present ourselves to the Lord for His use on a daily basis, we are being overcome by evil.

2.) When we cannot agree to disagree in a wholesome way with all others, we are overcome by evil.

3.) When we cannot go into the world with a sweet spirit, we are overcome by evil.

4.) When we believe we live on a upper level from others, even the lost, we are overcome by evil.

When the apostle Peter preached his first sermon he had these words:

Act 2:38  Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.
Act 2:39  For the promise is unto you, and to your children, [and to all that are afar off], even as many as the Lord our God shall call.

As Christians we must walk as close to Jesus as we possibly can. When we are walking [afar-off] as Peter describes, then we are walking too close to evil.

This is the same way we walked before we were saved!

The safest place for the sheep among wolves, is real close to the shepherd!

These are the words of Jesus:

Mat 7:15  Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

In other words there are many false prophets [that will keep us at a far distance from Jesus], if we allow it to happen.

Jesus also said:

Mat 10:16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: [be ye therefore wise] as serpents, and harmless as doves.

In other words, We need special training to walk amongst the evil in this world!

These that Jesus was talking to were the disciples that He was personally training every day.

*****Our Text:

Rom 12:1  I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Rom 12:2  And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

We must translate what we learn as Christians into the way we live and show in our daily lives that we truly trust God’s word.

It should be noticeable to the world that we have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. If we have the right relationship with God we will have the right relationship with the people that God allows to cross our paths.

We think of God as a God who gives commands, yet in this first verse we see the word “beseech”.

“Beseech” is not a word that commands but it is a word that implores, that exhort, and gives the sense that Our Lord is praying for our success. In fact God is almost begging us to give ourselves to Him for His use.

Being used of God at His will, is the safest place for us to be!

God wants us to succeed!

God is not training us to fail!

God’s purpose will not allow for failure!

God gives us the three steps that each Christian should take:

1.) God asks for our bodies.

Before we trusted in Christ we used our bodies for sinful pleasures and purposes. But!, Now that we are saved by Him we need to use our bodies for His purpose and for His glory.

Our body is His Temple:

1Co 6:19  What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

God gives us this great privilege to glorify Christ:(and it is a privilege to serve Our Lord)

The Apostle Paul put it like this:

Php 1:20  According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, [so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body], whether it be by life, or by death.
Php 1:21  For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

a.) We, as believers, are chosen:

Eph 1:4  According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love:

b.) We as believers are selected as His favorites out of many who are called:

Mat 22:14  For many are called, [but few are chosen].

Joh 15:19  If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, [but I have chosen you out of the world], therefore the world hateth you.

c.) We as believers, are God’s children:

Eph 1:5  Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will,

d.) We as believers,are accepted:

Eph 1:6  To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

e.) We as believers, are a forgiven people:

Eph 1:7  In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;

It is a great privileged to be one of God’s children!

*****We know that the God Almighty poured Himself into a fleshy body that we know as Jesus. He did this to accomplish his will on this Earth.

It is truly our privilege to give our bodies to continue in the work that Jesus started!

There are two living sacrifices in the Bible and they help us to understand what this means:

A.) In Genesis 22 we know that Isaac willingly put himself on the altar as a sacrifice. He would have died if that had been God’s will but God sent a RAM to take his place.

What we don’t seem to realize is that Isaac had to die of his own will in order to give into his fathers will. Isaac willingly gave his body to his father Abraham knowing it was he that was to be the sacrifice.

When Isaac climbed off that altar he was a “living sacrifice”!

B.)  The greatest example of all is our Lord Jesus Christ who is the perfect “living sacrifice”.

Jesus actually died as a sacrifice in order to fulfill his Father’s will. BUT! Jesus rose again from that grave to be in Heaven as our “living sacrifice”.

To be a “living sacrifice” means we will live eternally with our Father in Heaven!

Heb 4:14  Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession.

1Jn 2:1  My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:

2.) God ask for our minds:

Satan uses the things of this world to try to control our minds. God knows this and through Jesus will renew our minds.

Eph 4:17  This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

Eph 4:23  And [be renewed in the spirit of your mind];
Eph 4:24  And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

Col 3:1  If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God.

Col 3:10  And have put on the new man, [which is renewed in knowledge] after the image of him that created him:

As the world tries to control our minds from the outside, the Holy Spirit that lives in us after we are saved tries to control our minds from the inside.

And, God uses His Written Word to transform our minds!

We do wrong when we ignore God’s Word! That Bible we have will not do us any good if we never turn the pages.

2Co 3:18  But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, [are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord].

3.) God asks for our will:

We have a body and our mind controls our body but it is “our will” that controls our mind!

We will fail if we try “under our own willpower” to control our bodies!

It is only when we yield to God’s “will” that His Power can take over!

A.) We must be sincere and fervent, in our prayer life!

B.) We must take everything before the Lord and “let God have His will” in everything we do!

Jesus says:

Joh 15:5  I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: [for without me ye can do nothing].

C.) We must especially pray for those things that worry and bother us!

We must begin each day yielding our bodies, our minds and our wills to God and His purpose.

*****Our Text:

Rom 12:3  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
Rom 12:4  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
Rom 12:5  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

We can see that the Apostle Paul was writing to Christians who were members of local churches.

It is not hard to see the references to the church, “body of Christ”.

We know that each believer is a living part of this body. Each one of us have a place to serve. The Holy Spirit has made sure that each of us have the right gifts needed to fulfill our purpose.

We can also readily see “that we belong to each other as much as we belong to the body of Christ”, the church of the living God.

Paul points out some essential things for our ministry.

1.) We absolutely cannot think that our place in the church is exalted above any of the others in the church.

We must have a humble attitude toward each of our brothers and sisters in Christ.

2.) We must be of a sound mind and moderate in our thinking,.

This is what the word “soberly” means!

It is God that provides our measure of faith.

And our measure of faith, directly relates to the gifts we receive of the Holy Spirit:

The Bible says:

1Co 12:7  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
1Co 12:8  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:9  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
1Co 12:10  To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
1Co 12:11  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

It is the Holy Spirit that provides the tools each one of us need to fulfill our purpose in the church!

These gifts are given individually but, “they are for the benefit of the entire congregation”!

3.) We must not think that we are the only ones that can perform the work of Christ.

When we surrender to the Lord we then need to just get out of His way “and be that tool in His hand”.

Any believer that takes on a ministry that the Holy Spirit has “not” equipped them to do, can cause damage to the church.

But, Any believer that refuses to do a ministry that the Holy Spirit “has” equipped them to do, can hinder the growth of the church.

We can see that both of these type believers have the wrong attitude about serving!

Any gift we have is because of God’s grace. They are to be used “according to the gift of faith”.

Since our gifts are from God, we certainly cannot take credit for them in any way!

It is in the best interest of the church that we accept any gift of the Holy Spirit and use those gifts to honor the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul wrote of himself:

1Co 15:10  But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.
We can read in the Old Testament that when Solomon built the Temple that the stones that were used were so finely chiseled that they fit together without mortar.

The apostle Peter wrote:

1Pe 2:5  Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

We should also be so finely chiseled that we join to each other without any friction and without any strife and without any gaps!

There are no unimportant jobs in the house of God and there is no job more important than any of the others.

Spiritual gifts are tools, that in the hand of God can build the church. These gifts are not toys to play with and they are not weapons to fight with.

These gifts when used improperly can destroy the church which God will not allow!

We cannot use the “gifts” of the Holy Spirit without the use of the “fruit” of the Holy Spirit!

And the fruit of the Spirit is:

Gal 5:22  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Eph 5:9  (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;)
Eph 5:10  Proving what is acceptable unto the Lord.

If it is not acceptable to the Lord, IT IS NOT FOR CHURCH USE!

*****Our Text:

Rom 12:9  Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Rom 12:10  Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Rom 12:11  Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
Rom 12:12  Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;
Rom 12:13  Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.
Rom 12:14  Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.
Rom 12:15  Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.
Rom 12:16  Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

The apostle Paul teaches us that without charity, and charitable giving and a forgiving love, then we are not using the gifts God gave us in a spiritual manner.

1Co 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1Co 13:13  And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.

Love is a fruit of the Holy Spirit, which allows all members to work together in a healthy way.

This must be honest love, not a hypocritical love nor any lustful thing. To lust is to desire, or to covet!

Our love must be a humble love and not full of self pride.

“preferring one another” really means treating others as they are more important than ourselves.!

Php 2:3  Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Php 2:4  Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.

There should be little doubt that there will be many days that Satan will oppose us and try to discourage us.

But, If we can remember the one main thing, that we are serving the Lord and not man!

We must not only share the blessings of our brothers and sisters, but we should also share the burdens of our brothers and sisters.

In this way we can all grow together!

*****Our Text:

Rom 12:17  Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.
Rom 12:18  If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
Rom 12:19  Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.
Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.
Rom 12:21  Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

What we find here, is that as we try to live our lives as the Lord Jesus did, we will see, that just as Jesus had enemies, we also will have enemies.

There will always be those that oppose the work of Jesus Christ!

We know that opposition to the work of the Lord is growing in our day.

In fact Jesus said some of our worst enemies would come from our own homes, our own families.

Mat 10:36  And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.

To be truthful, we are sometimes the very reason people hate us. We sometimes forget the love that Christ had for us and don’t share that love with those around us.

This is a sad thing!

We are washed in the blood of Jesus and some refer to this as a bloody religion but, this is the truth of the gospel.

But, There is still a difference in sharing the offence of the cross, and being an offensive Christian.

As Christians we cannot play God, we cannot return evil for evil. We must not only return good for good but also Good For Evil!

We cannot do this if we do not have the love of God in us!

We cannot do this if we have not based our lives on “faith in the work of Jesus Christ” on that cross.

We cannot do this if we are not trying to accomplish the will of God for our own lives, even to those that cause us harm.

This does not mean that we should allow this world to walk all over us!

We must remember that it is the Lord that will defend us and we should leave things in His hands.

We must also remember that these very things is what Jesus taught us that would lead us to perfection.

Mat 5:44  But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
Mat 5:45  That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
Mat 5:46  For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
Mat 5:47  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Mat 5:48  Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.

There is no doubt that this is difficult to practice in our daily lives.

It is hard to show kindness to an enemy that hates you knowing, that they would take advantage of this.

Our job is still to obey and leave all the results to the Lord!

Many of our enemies will feel shame for hating us for no reason.

*****These are the ones that the Lord is trying to reach!

The only way to overcome evil is with good.

And, Our greatest witness is the life we lead in the Lord!

1Pe 2:12  Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.

To the evil in this world, it is the Christian Church that is the enemy.

We, of the Body of Christ, are the only ones that can show the world that this is not true.

WE ARE NOT THEIR ENEMIES BUT THEIR TRUE FRIENDS!

If we cannot do this then we have not submitted ourselves to the will of God.

These words of the Book of Romans are just as much a part of the Bible as those about salvation!

If we cannot do this then we have conformed ourselves to be like those of this world!

But, since we are God’s Children, it will show that we are identified with Jesus.

Remember, we are chosen, predestined, accepted, redeemed, forgiven, and a holy people!

When we are truly conformed to the image of Jesus, we are a mighty weapon in the Hands of God!

Let’s Pray!

The Attainment Of Righteousness

The Attainment of Righteousness

“Israel’s Salvation”

Romans 10:1-11:36

The Apostle Paul is preaching to the saved children of God concerning his desire that the nation of Israel be saved. When we look back having understood the “Gospel” that is taught by Jesus Christ, we sometimes think that Israel as a nation would have been eagerly expecting the arrival of the Messiah.

We think they should of been prepared to receive Him. The Old Testament prophecies were known for centuries. The fact is, that when Jesus the Messiah came He was rejected.

Joh 1:11  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.

There were a few students of the Bible such as Simeon and Anna that knew the Messiah had come.

Luk 2:25  And, behold, there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon; and the same man was just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel: and the Holy Ghost was upon him.
Luk 2:26  And it was revealed unto him by the Holy Ghost, that he should not see death, before he had seen the Lord’s Christ.

Without a doubt there are some in the church that should have the same knowledge of His coming to get His Church, which we call the Rapture. Many also reject this but the truth is always the truth no matter what we believe.

1Th 4:16  For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
1Th 4:17  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
1Th 4:18  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Those words “Caught Up” are what the word Rapture means.

Rapture means “A seizing by violence”, caught up, yanked out. God is going to reach down and just grab His children out of this world one day and that day may not be very far away.

Jesus tells us in three of the Gospels that this is the truth:

Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Mar 13:29  So ye in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors.

Luk 21:31  So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand.

We witness these signs  every day we live, so like Simeon we should be waiting on the consolation of Israel for we know that the “Rapture of the church” will happen before the time of tribulation when God will deal again with Israel. This time of tribulation will not happen until the end of the “Age of Grace”.

This is the “truth” of the Gospel of Grace.

The Church will not see the “wrath of God”!

We are saved from the wrath of God, that’s what “salvation” is all about.

In our lesson today see why Israel rejected the Messiah the first time.

The lesson for the church is that the lost of this world, after the “Rapture” of the church, will still fall into this same snares of the devil and even more so.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

We know that the world is ready for this man now who says he will make all the turmoil in this world go away.

*****Our Text:

Rom 10:1  Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.
Rom 10:2  For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.
Rom 10:3  For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.
Rom 10:4  For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.

We immediately see that with the word “brethren”, Paul is addressing the church. Paul is explaining his desire that his fellow countrymen be saved.

You know, it seems what we have lost this desire in America. We don’t seem to care whether everyone in our nation is saved. It just seems that we say as Christians, we are saved but why worry about the others that are lost.

We can see that this was foremost in the prayers of the apostle Paul and this should be foremost in our prayers for our nation America and all the lost of this world.

No one deserves to be put in Hell. We are all guilty of sin, but this is still an individual choice, AND IT IS A CHOICE WE CAN MAKE AND MUST MAKE!

At the time of Jesus, Israel had a great desire to be free from Rome. They did not feel they needed spiritual salvation, they were seeking physical salvation.

Today, in America, we feel a great desire to be free from our immoral government. They also do not seem to feel the need for salvation and keep pushing God out.

Ever since Israel had returned from Babylon they had been cured of their idolatry. They had served the only true God, Jehovah.

Only the Word of God, was taught in their synagogues.

They were so zealous that they had added to the Word of God with their own traditions. They had become a nation of works not understanding God’s “grace” at all.

There are still many devout and sincere people in Israel but not a one can be saved by works.

They were proud and self-righteous, not because they did not understand the Word of God but they simply rejected the simplicity of salvation. They were too stubborn to admit their sin and trust our Savior. The apostle Paul clearly understood this because he had made the same mistake.

Php 3:4  Though I might also have confidence in the flesh. If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more:

Php 3:6  Concerning zeal, persecuting the church; touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.

Php 3:9  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:

Just as Paul was wrong. Israel was wrong.

In fact anyone who places there confidence of salvation in there own flesh will never see Heaven.

*****Our Text:

Rom 10:9  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Rom 10:10  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
Rom 10:11  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
Rom 10:12  For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
Rom 10:13  For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

As we studied in the book of Exodus we know, that everything about Jewish religion pointed forward to the coming of the Messiah.

Their sacrifices, their priesthood, their Temple services, their religious festivals, and all their covenants pointed to a Messiah.

The book of Daniel gave the Bible scholar the exact time the Messiah would come, “But” in actuality they worshipped the law instead of worshipping God.

We cannot worship the Word of God, we must worship the God that gives us His Written Word!

We have been learning that the law cannot grant righteousness, the law can only point out our need for a Savior.

Jesus Christ has ended the ministry of the law to all believe!

The law moved out when the Holy Spirit moved in!

Paul pointed out that Israel had not clearly understood the truth of their own law. They had not turned to the Lord God with all their heart.

Deu 30:10  If thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes which are written in this book of the law, and if thou turn unto the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul.
Deu 30:11  For this commandment which I command thee this day, it is not hidden from thee, neither is it far off.

The truth of the Gospel was not hid from them, because the truth of the Bible has always been about “Faith”.

Verse nine shows us how simple salvation is. I like to read it like this:

That if, Bobby Mayfield, shall confess with Bobby Mayfield’s mouth, the Lord Jesus Christ, and shall believe in Bobby Mayfield’s heart that God hath raised him from the dead, Bobby Mayfield shall be saved.

This is the way Oliver Greene, the Evangelist read it also.

When we make Jesus our Lord and believe, then we can be saved!

To confess this openly, without believing in our heart, will not bring salvation. The key is still “faith”.

Verse 10 gives us the order of events regarding salvation.

To believe unto righteousness is to accept Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, and as our Savior.

1Jn 5:1  Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him.

This must be based on the written word of God. We must believe what God tells us to be the truth.

After we have believed what the Bible clearly states we need to make an open confession of our faith.

The word confession means, “to agree”. This means that we agree with God that we need a Savior. We also agree that we accept the Lord Jesus as that Savior.

This is where the nation of Israel stumbled. This is where the entire world stumbles. This is where all those that are lost stumble.

This is the very place that Satan pours most all his energy on this world!

We can see this happening with our own eyes around Christmas as the world removes the name Christ from even his own birthday.

When Paul says “shall not be ashamed” he is teaching that we have absolutely nothing to fear. When we trust in the Lord Jesus we can be assured that we are saved and are kept saved by the “blood” of Jesus.

We did not save ourselves and we cannot keep ourselves saved!

For anyone to call on the Lord for salvation, they must know about Him. This is why God leaves us here after He saves us. Our job is to proclaim the Word of God to all that are lost. And along with that job we are to be disciples to those that believe so that they can also teach others.

We may not realize it, because we live in the Bible Belt, but there are so many people in America and throughout this world that don’t know a thing about and have never heard the name Jesus. God said if we would just broadcast His word, He would make it prosper.

There has never been but one plan of salvation and as far as the plan of salvation is concerned there is no difference between Jew or Greek or black and white or red and yellow or any other thing or between any other race of people.

When God says “rich unto all” in verse 12, He is saying that the supply of mercy and grace will never run out, regardless of how many call on Him.

Verse 13 tells us the truth. “Whosoever”. This word is not bound by any limitations!

God says what He means, and God still means what He says!

Joe 2:32  And it shall come to pass, [that whosoever] shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered:

We can see that God’s prophets had told the nation of Israel this same thing. They had no excuse for thinking that God, was only the God of Israel.

God truly wants the world to know that there is no other way to get to Heaven.

Act 4:12  Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
 
*****Our Text:

Rom 10:17  So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

We simply cannot leave this verse out of our lesson today.

1.) Faith does come by hearing.

The child of God simply cannot be silent about his salvation. The light of salvation simply cannot be hidden.

2.) Hearing.

Hearing does not automatically lead us to faith. There are many things in this world that we hear and they will lead us in the wrong direction. The Jews had heard about Jehovah God for many hundreds of years. Yet not many were saved.

3.) It is the facts of Jesus Christ, the Virgin Birth, His Ministry, His Death, His Burial, His Resurrection and His Blood.

It is when we hear these things about Christ we must accept the message or reject it. We must accept the Word of God just as it is written, rightly divided.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

God says in verse 21 that every day and all day long He stretches out his hands to a disobedient and a denying people.

*****Our Text:

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
Rom 11:26  And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Rom 11:27  For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

God would never cast away any people, we do that all by ourselves when we reject the Word of God.

*****Paul called himself, “one born out of due time”.

1Co 15:8  And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.

Paul said he was the example, the pattern, a picture, of how the nation of Israel would be saved in the future.

1Ti 1:16  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.

*****We get the details of Israel’s restoration from Zachariah:

Zec 12:9  And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem.
Zec 12:10  And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

Zec 13:1  In that day there shall be a fountain opened to the house of David and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem for sin and for uncleanness.

*****The nation of Israel will see Christ at his Second Coming and there will be no denying then

Zec 14:3  Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
Zec 14:4  And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

*****The Bible tells us of the experience of Paul’s salvation on the Damascus Road. This is the experience that the apostle Paul says that he was the pattern for, this is the experience the nation of Israel will have. What is important here is not the fact that Paul was saved but in the manner that he was saved.

Israel will not be saved just because they are the covenant people, like Abraham, they will have to believe on God in order to receive His righteousness. Like Paul they will see Jesus and they will then say “Lord what will thy have me do”.

This will not only be a remnant but this remnant will be saved by grace and not by works. This is the same way any Jew and “whosoever will”, is saved in the “Age of Grace”.

What we learned from Paul is that the Jews rejected the gospel, God then sent the same Gospel to the Gentiles. The Gentiles believed and are saved.

There are three things that occurred when the Gospel was turned to the Gentiles.

One: The nation of Israel fell.

Two: The nation of Israel was lost.

Three: The nation of Israel was cast away.

BUT, The nation of Israel was not judged!

God had promised that the Gentiles would be saved and he kept His promise. We must realize that these promises to the Gentiles are linked to Israel during the millennial kingdom. The Millennial Kingdom has not taken place yet. This gap is what we call the Church Age.

This is what Paul called “the ministry”!

God is not abandoned Israel they are merely set aside unto the end of the Church Age.

The ministry of the church to the nation of Israel is to provoke them to jealousy.

There is a future for Israel, Paul describes this as their fullness in verse 12.

Rom 11:12  Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

God will never break His covenant with this His covenant people. God has promised to restore them!

Jer 31:35  Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name:
Jer 31:36  If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever.
Jer 31:37  Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, saith the LORD.
God is not finished with the Jew. God made his covenants with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and God cannot deny them or change them.

The Church has been “warned” that we are also obligated to Israel!

Rom 11:22  Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, [if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off].

We all have family members that are lost, surely we do not want God to take us out of here early just because we have failed to heed His “warning”.

According to Bible prophecy the church during the Laodicean Church Age will be cut off because of apostasy. Apostasy is the falling away, the departure from the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

1Ti 4:1  Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;

2Ti 3:1  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2Ti 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
2Ti 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
2Ti 3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
2Ti 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.

These are the signs that we see every day. Who is to say that the man of sin, the Antichrist, will not show himself at any moment. We can be sure that the Rapture is at the very door.

What is happening to Israel is part of God’s plan and we know God knows exactly what He is doing!

Let’s Pray!

The Absence of Righteousness

The Absence Of Righteousness

"Condemnation"

Our text:

Romans Chapter 9:1-33

Eternal life is the free gift of God. We do not work to earn it and do not have to work to keep it.

We are saved by grace, we live by grace, and we are secured by the "grace" of God!

You can search the entire Bible and you will not ever find a place where God has failed.

God never fails in what he does!

God always delivers what he promises!

So, It is not up to us to keep ourselves saved; it is up to God!  We are in His Mighty hands.

We are then filled with the spirit of Jesus. This is the same Holy Spirit that is always there to make intercession for us and The Holy Spirit is always with us to "convict" us when we fail.

Every day that we begin, God is working out his plan in our lives so that all things work together for our good.

Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, [to them who are the called according to his purpose].

This is the valuable lesson that we learned from last week in Romans chapter 8.

What we will see this week is that Paul will take some time to teach the church to understand God’s relationship with Israel.

What we should notice is that Paul has not done this until he has taught the truth of eternal salvation to the Church, The Body of Christ. (Romans Chapter 1-8)

We should also believe that none of these words are just for Israel but they are also for the church to learn. Paul was writing this Epistle to saved people.

Paul wrote this letter to believers but we need to understand as the Church, the Body of Christ, that God is not through with Israel.

Not as a nation, nor as a people!

We see many things about Paul but some of these things are:

1.) Paul was considered a traitor to this Jewish nation.

2.) Paul spent most all his time witnessing to Gentiles.

3.) Paul taught "all" God’s creation, of the freedom from the law Moses. (God only has one message of salvation, this is not the message taught in Judaism which is a message of works )

4.) Paul caused trouble in every synagogue he preached with this message.

5.) But, Paul never stop loving his nation and his people.

Reaching out to his nation was a personal thing to Paul.

We should make reaching out not only to Israel but to all that are lost a personal thing to us that are saved.

We should learn that each one of us has an obligation to reach out to our own nation beginning with our own family and then all that God allows to cross our path.

Paul taught us in chapter 8 that all believers were secure in Christ Jesus. The question that always arises about the Jews is, "how will they be secured"?

We know that the nation of Israel were a chosen people in the work of the Lord.

We know that to some it may appear that God has abandoned this people.

We know that to some it may appear that God has failed to keep his promises to Israel.

If these things are true and God is not faithful to the Jew how can we know for sure that God will be faithful church?

Israel is the only nation in the world that has a complete history.

1.) The Bible tells us about their past, when they first became a nation.

2.) We live with them in the present, when they are again recognized as a nation, since May 14, 1948.

3.) The Bible tells us about the future of this nation during the Millennial Kingdom.

4.) This cannot be said of any other nation on this earth!

We will see in this chapter, God’s righteousness, God’s justice, and God’s grace applied to Israel.

*****Our Text:

Rom 9:1  I say the truth in Christ, I lie not, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Ghost,
Rom 9:2  That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.
Rom 9:3  For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:
Rom 9:4  Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises;
Rom 9:5  Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.

It has only been a few weeks where we read how Moses loved this nation of Israel.

Exo 32:32  Yet now, if thou wilt forgive their sin–; and if not, blot me, I pray thee, out of thy book which thou hast written.
Exo 32:33  And the LORD said unto Moses, Whosoever hath sinned against me, him will I blot out of my book.

Moses was willing to take all the blame of Israel on himself just so this nation could survive.

But! God will not allow us to die for the sin of another. We can answer only for ourselves in salvation.

What we see here is that Paul also had the same love for his nation as he had for the church.

It amazes me that in America it seems Americans do not love our nation as we should. Sometimes it seems that not many missionaries to stay want at home in America. We sometimes get so caught up in our day by day lives and forget this nation of freedom in which we live.

We still live in the greatest nation in this world!

And, we know that God deals with the sinners on an individual basis.

The Apostle Paul list eight ways that God dealt with Israel as a nation.

*****1.) This nation was adopted by God.

Exo 4:22  And thou shalt say unto Pharaoh, Thus saith the LORD, Israel is my son, even my firstborn:

This nation was chosen as God’s own possession.

Deu 7:6  For thou art an holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth.

This nation has seen more of God’s wrath than any other nation.

Amo 3:2  You only have I known of all the families of the earth: therefore I will punish you for all your iniquities.

This is still God’s chosen nation. This is absolutely and eternally true!

The Church is God’s chosen people, BUT Israel is still God’s chosen Nation!

These facts have not changed!!!!!!!

Isa 66:22  For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the LORD, so shall your seed and your name remain.

If we do not stand with the nation of Israel there will be no blessings from God. It seems more and more that our own leaders are trying to abandon Israel and this is a serious mistake.

*****2.) We know that Israelites were the first to see the glory of God.

It was Israel that was told to build a sanctuary for God.

Exo 25:8  And let them make me a sanctuary; that I may dwell among them.

God has not asked any other nation to do this!

*****3.) We know that it was Israel that received God’s covenants.

With Abraham:

Gen 15:18  In the same day the LORD made a covenant with Abram

Gen 22:18  And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.

Gal 3:16  Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

With David:

2Sa 7:13  He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.

Gabriel told the Virgin Mary:

Luk 1:32  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:
Luk 1:33  And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

And there will be a new covenant:

Heb 8:8  For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

There is still some prophecy that has not yet been fulfilled:

Eze 36:24  For I will take you from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.
Eze 36:25  Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you.
Eze 36:26  A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27  And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.

*****4.) It is Israel that God gave the law, the moral laws we live by now:

Rom 3:1  What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Rom 3:2  Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

*****5.)  It was Israel that was taught how to serve Jehovah God:

They were taught the religious ordinances for Tabernacle worship and Temple worship.

These things were for Israel and not for the church.

These things may even resume during the age of the millennial kingdom.

BUT, Paul denounced these things for church worship:

They have no part in the church, the Body of Christ!

Gal 4:9  But now, after that ye have known God, or rather are known of God, [how turn ye again to the weak and beggarly elements, whereunto ye desire again to be in bondage?]
Gal 4:10  Ye observe days, and months, and times, and years.
Gal 4:11  I am afraid of you, lest I have bestowed upon you labour in vain.

*****6.) Israel was given certain promises that will still be fulfilled:

God’s salvation promises were given to Abraham.

God’s kingdom promises were given to David.

The Gospel given to the church is not a promise but it is a "Fact" to be believed!

The Gospel is not preached to the nations "but to each individual"!

We do not have to become Israelites in any sense to enjoy God’s salvation in Jesus Christ!

BUT, All Israelites do have to be saved to become part of the "Body of Christ"!

*****7.) Who are those fathers of Israel?

Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, and Judah who was the tribe of the Royal promise, King Jesus.

Heb 7:14  For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood.

We also have  Moses, Samuel, and King David that we must include with the prophets of God.

We also know that Abraham is the father of all "believers" in any age!

*****8.) We know that Jesus Christ our Lord was also a Jew from this nation of Israel, and from the tribe of Judah.

Rom 1:3  Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;
Rom 1:4  And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

Joh 1:14  And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Heb 2:16  For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.
Heb 2:17  Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people.

What we will see in the teaching of Paul is:

a.) God will not be unfaithful in His promises to Israel.

b.) That God’s Own Word had foretold of their rejection and their salvation of Israel but also foretold of the salvation of the Gentile.

c.) That there would be a future blessing to Israel because of God’s mercy.

*****Our Text:

Rom 9:6  Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:
Rom 9:7  Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.
Rom 9:8  That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

Rom 9:27  Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:
Rom 9:28  For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.
Rom 9:29  And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

There should be little doubt that there is a difference between the natural seed of Abraham and the spiritual children of Abraham.

(Rom 2:28)  For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

(Rom 2:29)  But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

Abraham actually had two sons, Ishmael by Hagar, and Isaac by Sarah. Since Ishmael was the firstborn he should have been the chosen son but God chose Isaac.

Later Isaac and Rebekah his wife, had two sons Esau and Jacob. Esau was the firstborn and should have been the chosen son but again God chose Jacob. Esau and Jacob had the same mother but Ishmael and Isaac had two different mothers.

What we should see is that God does not base his decisions on physical things!

God will have His way and His purpose in whosoever He chooses whether they be good or whether they be evil!

God had chosen Jacob before the babies were even born. These two boys had not had a chance to do neither good nor evil so God’s choice is  not based on character or conduct.

BUT, These descendents of Abraham failed.

They had had a privileged relationship with God above all other nations.

AND, We know that the Lord Jesus Christ had to confront them on this matter.

Joh 8:39  They answered and said unto him, Abraham is our father. Jesus saith unto them, If ye were Abraham’s children, ye would do the works of Abraham.

It was the faith of Abraham that made him righteous in the eyes of God.

All the children of Abraham would have to have that same faith in Jesus.

Jesus knew that this was not true when he was on this Earth.

Joh 8:42  Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me.
Joh 8:43  Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.
Joh 8:44  Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

There is no such thing as religious privilege in the eyes of God.!

God’s Messiah was prophesied to come through Isaac.

The Lord Jesus Christ born of the Virgin Mary, came from the promised seed.  

The "born again" child of God then are the true children of promise and are accounted the seed because of Jesus and the work He did on the cross.

BUT, We must never think that God is unrighteous in the way He does things.

God is holy and must punish sin; but God is loving and desires that all sinners be saved.

God’s ultimate purpose is to form his church from both Jews and Gentiles!

But God had prophesied to Israel in the days of Hosea that He would turn from the Jew to the Gentile:

Hos 2:23  And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them which were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

This new people would be the children of the living God:

Hos 1:10  Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.

Then God said that there will be only a remnant of Israel saved:

Isa 10:21  The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty God.
Isa 10:22  For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, yet a remnant of them shall return: the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.
Isa 10:23  For the Lord GOD of hosts shall make a consumption, even determined, in the midst of all the land.

It is possible that most of the studies concerning Israel will not happen until the tribulation period and with it’s ending.

In our time we know that there’s only a very few Jews that believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.

We should never think that God is unjust because some are saved and others are lost. Each individual must make that decision themselves!

Hell was created for Satan and his fallen angels. It was not intended for a place for humans.

But we should also remember if these human that have rejected Our Lord got into Heaven they would be burnt to non-existance.

Our God would only be unjust if He did not keep ALL His promises!

In the days of Moses, God rejected the Gentile nations and chose the nation of Israel so that through the Jew he might save the Gentiles.

This nation of Israel rejected God’s will but they could not defeat God’s purpose!

Israel might object to the fact of the remnant but Paul insists that if God had not intervened with his grace Israel would be like Sodom and Gomorrah.

What we do know is that when this time the church has passed God will continue with his work with Israel.

*****Our Text:

Rom 9:30  What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.
Rom 9:31  But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.
Rom 9:32  Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;
Rom 9:33  As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

The Jews were seeking God’s righteousness but they thought it came by the laws of Moses.

The Gentiles were not seeking God’s righteousness yet they obtained it through "faith" in the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Israel was trying to be saved by "works" and not by "faith".

They rejected God’s "grace", and tried to please God through the "laws of Moses".

The Jews in their self-righteousness believed that the Gentiles had to come up to Israel’s level to be Saved.
In Actuality, Israel would have to come down to the level of the heathen Gentile the saved. (Romans 3;23)

They still struggle with this and it has become a major stumbling block to them.

There are many in this world that struggle with the fact that all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.

Isa 28:16  Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste.

Psa 118:21  I will praise thee: for thou hast heard me, and art become my salvation.
Psa 118:22  The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

There is only One foundation that God chose for all the world, and it is the Lord Jesus Christ!

It is a shame that the the world still struggles at this stumble stone instead of planting their feet on the solid ground.

FOR, God does not save people on the basis of birth or behavior!

People are only saved by the grace of God through faith!

Eph 2:8  For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:
Eph 2:9  Not of works, lest any man should boast.

This will never change!

God offers his salvation to whosoever will but we must trust Him and receive "by faith" His righteousness which is our guarantee to His Heaven!

Nowhere does God ask us to choose between these two truths!

The word of God and the promises of God work together for our salvation!

Our God is faithful even when we are not!

He will accomplish His purpose!

He will keep all His promises!

Let’s pray!