For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.Romans 8:29 (KJV)
Firstborn – Who is the firstborn of God? Before you answer, think about how many firstborns can a parent have? One. There can be only one. Yes that was a throwback to the Highlander for anyone who cares. So who is the firstborn of God?
Continue reading “Firstborn?”
14 For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:Romans 2:14-15 (KJV)
15 Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;
Written on their hearts – According to Paul, the Gentiles have the law written on their hearts. The proof of this is that the Gentiles “do by nature the things contained in the law.” So the logic reveals that if the law is truly written on our hearts, then we should be doing the very things the law says to do.
Continue reading “Written On Their Hearts”
But now we are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter.
Romans 7:6 (KJV)
Oldness of the letter – Chapter 7 of Romans is perhaps one of my favorite chapters of the New Testament. It is the explanation of what Yeshua came to do. He came to die and release the divorced woman (house of Israel) from the law of divorce so that she may now marry the resurrected Messiah, and join the house of Judah once again. His kingdom is restored by His death. Continue reading “Oldness of the Letter”
But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach;
Romans 10:8 (KJV)
Word of faith – Paul shares something interesting here. First, in verse 1 and 2, Paul expresses his hope for Israel to be saved, and he recognizes they have a zeal for God, but they lack in knowledge. According to verse 3, their lack of knowledge results in their ignorance of God’s righteousness. And because they don’t have knowledge, and don’t submit themselves to God’s righteousness, they end up establishing their own righteousness through some other method. Continue reading “Word of Faith”
so there are many of us, and in union with the Messiah we comprise one body, with each of us belonging to the others.
Romans 12:5 (CJB)
Belonging to the others – This verse is a difficult one to translate. Have you ever read it in the KJV, or the NASB? It doesn’t quite make sense there, but in this version, it gets pretty close. We all belong to each other in this one body. There is no “I” in “team”. Continue reading “No “I” in “team””
Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?
Romans 7:1 (KJV)
Know – Modern day Christianity loves to apply Paul’s writings as if he was speaking to us personally in our current day culture. But he wasn’t. He was speaking to a specific audience that had specific issues during a specific time period. He didn’t write his letters with the assumption that some group of people 2000 years from then would be reading them. For instance, in this chapter of Romans, Paul is writing to those who “know the law” – does that sound like mainstream Christianity? Continue reading “Is He Writing to You?”
But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.
Romans 6:17 (KJV)
Delivered – It seems Paul sent a special delivery to the church in Rome. And in this verse their obedience to this doctrine is contrasted by their former lives of sin. There’s an interesting twist here. I’ve found that many who are in sin are waiting to be delivered, but maybe they should submit themselves to the delivery that’s already been sent. Continue reading “Special Delivery”
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Romans 12:6 (KJV)
Gifts – Reading this in English you’d no doubt jump to the conclusion that Paul is about to expound on the gifts of the Spirit which he earlier wrote in his letter to the Corinthians. I know I did. I imagined these must be other gifts of the Spirit that Paul forgot to mention to the Corinthians, but would be useful to the Romans. But there’s a difference here from his other letter. Continue reading “Edified by Charisma”
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.
Romans 12:1 (KJV)
Living sacrifice – I’ve always loved these words and work them often into my own prayers. A living sacrifice has been something I’ve strived to become. I figured in order to be a living sacrifice, I had to follow Paul’s instruction and be holy and acceptable to God. And while Paul’s words were metaphorically beautiful, I never realized this phrase embraced a common cultural Hebraic event, and that I had already been classified as a living sacrifice many years back. But this wasn’t obvious until a study of the sacrificial system was commenced. Continue reading “Living Sacrifices”
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.
Romans 12:20 (KJV)
Heap coals of fire upon his head – Why is this the metaphor we’re made to associate with being kind to our enemies? Sounds rather drastic, doesn’t it? Did people actually heap coals on people’s heads? If so, how could it possibly be related to doing kindness to an enemy? This phrase produces so many questions, but most of us probably just read past it without digging much further. Continue reading “Coals of Fire”