:) Finally had some time! Next week should be fun... we're heading into some messianic prophecies... :)

Happy studying!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Romans Chapter 15

vs. 1-7- Acceptance continued

- A continuation of the previous chapter. We who are strong, must be considerate of those who are weak.
- We live not to please ourselves, but rather to help those around us do what is right and to build them up in the Lord.
- Christ did not live to please Himself, and we should follow His example.
- God gives patience and encouragement... (and we all need it...) May He help you live in harmony with each other. If we can have patience with each other, then we can encourage one another. Through patience and encouragement, we can live together in peace. And because of this, we can all praise God together.
- So accept one another just as Christ has accepted you. Through this, God will be glorified.
- footnote- “The Roman church was a diverse community. It was made up of Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free people, rich and poor, strong and weak. So it was difficult for them to accept one another. Accepting means taking people into our homes as well as into our hearts, sharing meals and activities, and avoiding racial and economic discrimination. We must go out of our way to avoid favoritism. Consciously spend time greeting those you don't normally talk to, minimize differences, and seek common ground for fellowship. In this way you are accepting others as Christ has accepted you, and God is given glory.”(Most of us are like a man I once heard make the comment that he wasn't prejudice he just had preferences in who he chose to hang out with). God sometimes chooses to bring people into our lives that rub us the wrong way. If we will allow them to “rub” us without becoming irritated or angry, we will be the ones who are changed. We will become the precious jewels that God spoke of in Malachi and they in turn will see Jesus in us.

vs. 8-12- The Love of God...

- Christ came to the Jews to show that God was true to the promises made to their ancestors.
- He also came to the Gentiles so that they might give glory to God for His mercy to them.
- vs 9-12 are verses found in Psalms, II Samuel, Deuteronomy, and Isaiah. Even in the old testament, God was preparing the minds of Israel to accept the Gentiles. For the Gentiles too would come to praise God as their Savior, just as the Jews.
- I love vs. 12 from Isaiah. “The heir to David's throne will come (Christ), and He will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on Him.”
- Prophecy fulfilled completely. Christ came and HE IS our only hope. Our hope rests fully on His salvation. Without Him, where would we be?
- We were talking about the heart at church... I think at the Maunday service... but anyway, my dad said “you know, I know what's in this heart of mine. And I know the wickedness that lives there... and I am SO glad that Christ thought enough of me to come anyway.”
If you knew my dad, you'd be like... what? Wickedness? Ha ha. He's the most kind, gentle man I know and yet he stood up to weep about the wickedness in his heart. Why? Because we are all inherently wicked. Without Christ coming in to clean our hearts and keep them in check... well... who would you be? But for the grace of God... there go I. If not for Grace, if not for the Love of God so deep that it knows no bounds... where would you be? Would you have been into drugs? An alcoholic? A wife-beater? A child abuser? A thief? A murderer? An adulterer? A prostitute? What thing would have lived in your heart in Christ's place? All those things are there in each of us to some extent. The potential was inborn in us. And were it not for Christ... we'd be right in the thick of things. Are the gentiles rejoicing yet? Do you feel the love? : )

- Acts 3:24-26
- II Corinthians 1:20-22
- Isaiah 11:10-16
- John 3:14-21
- Psalm 119:49-56

vs. 13- hope source

- vs. 13- “I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in Him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.”
- That's pretty self explanatory. God the source of hope the source of everything good. Will fill you with Joy and Peace BECAUSE you trust in Him. No more worries. No more fear. Trust in the almighty God... the maker, the doer, the master of all. Why not trust in Him? THEN when you are trusting in Him... you will overflow with CONFIDENT hope. Not just hope, but CONFIDENT hope. Why? Because God never fails.
- Psalm 42
- Romans 5:3-11
- I Corinthians 15:12-28
- Hebrews 10:19-25

vs. 14-19- Boasting

- Paul says that he is fully convinced that the people he is writing to are full of goodness... but he just wanted to remind them of these things. Why? Because to be reminded of where you came from, or where you could be, keeps you humble, and teaches you not to take Grace for granted...
- Paul goes on to say yet again that he is an ambassador to the Gentiles and he's there to bring the good news to them so he can present them to God.
- Then he says (vs . 17-18) “So I have reason to be enthusiastic about all Christ Jesus has done through me in my service to God. Yet I dare not boast about anything except what Christ has done through me, bringing the Gentiles to God by my message and by the way I worked among them.”
- Why would Paul not want to boast? Because then it would have been for the glory of Paul, not for the Glory of God.
- Through Christ and the power given him through the Holy Spirit, Paul has been preaching the gospel and doing great miracles. And he is careful to make sure to make that clear to his readers. It has nothing to do with Paul. It's all about God.
- In our own walk, we have to watch this as well. You may not be doing great healing miracles, but maybe your job's going well, or your kid just won a contest, or you prayed for someone to come to Christ... and they DID!
-As kids, we used to have a lot of other kids at our house and there were always opportunities to pray for little things. One lost a pair of his brothers' sunglasses and we had ONLY been running a go cart over 100 acres of farmland... So, we prayed and immediately one of the kids said “hey I found sunglasses”. My brother had nosebleeds constantly. These boys knew we taught God answered prayers. We prayed that God would heal the nosebleeds, and he never had another nosebleed. The list goes on and on as God showed Himself to these boys. Today, 17 years later, if they know of someone who is sick or in an accident, they call because they remember God answers prayer! God LOVES to reveal Himself to unbelievers.
- Pride is a great tool of Satan. It starts with just a little, “hey! That was pretty ok!” and then it's, “Well I did this, or I did that” and the next thing you know... God has very little part in things and you're not giving Him any of the glory.
- Be sure that God gets thanked... and that everything you do is based in something of Him... and be sure that when you tell people what happened... and what great things have been going on... that it's because of God... not because YOU had some awesome idea or YOU worked SOOOO hard for this... But for the grace of God, there go I...

- John 7:17-18
- I John 2:15-17
- I Corinthians 1:30-31
- II Corinthians 10:13-18
- Galatians 6:14-17
- Ephesians 2:8-10

vs. 20-22- ambition

- Paul's one ambition has been to preach the gospel where it has never been heard. Wow. In all his life, that's his one ambition? Wow... Paul's heart was so sold out for God that to spread the message was his only goal in life.
- So what are my goals in life? Am I focused enough on God that my goals are His goals? Or am I still trying to further my own cause? What are my ambitions? My aspirations? If God asked me to leave all of them to go do His thing... could I go without regretting what possibilities I was giving up?

- I Corinthians 3:1-15
- II Timothy 4:1-5

vs. 23-29- Rome

- Paul has been longing to be in Rome with these believers. None of the apostles etc. have made it there yet. But... despite longing to be there... God's plan was for the unreached... which was where Paul had been, but NOW, FINALLY Paul is finished and after many years of waiting, he's finally on his way to Rome.
- Side note... when Paul finally DID make it to Rome... it was as a prisoner... after a shipwreck... not really what he had in mind I don't think... He got to preach in Rome... but it was under guard and still in chains... (Acts 28)
- Paul is planning on stopping in Rome on his way to Spain. Why Spain?
- footnote- “Paul's future plan was to go to Spain because Spain was at the very western end of the civilized world. He wanted to bring Christianity there. Also, Spain had many great minds and influential leaders in the Roman world (Lucan, Martial, Hadrian), and perhaps Paul thought Christianity would advance greatly in such an atmosphere.”
- He was going to stop at Jerusalem on the way to drop off a gift. Other believers had taken up a collection to help the poor among the Jerusalem believers. So he's taking financial aid to Jerusalem. As soon as this is delivered, he's going to go to Rome.

vs. 30-33

- Paul asks them to join in his struggle by praying for him. When someone is going through a hard thing, or just to support a ministry... we should pray. Through prayer, we are joined with them. Prayer is communion with God. When we come to God in prayer through concern for a brother or sister, we use one of the most powerful weapons we have to help them fight their battle.
- Paul gives specifics to pray for. When you pray, pray specifically. It's ok to pray for specific things in people's lives or even in your own life. Prayer doesn't have to be general.

- II Corinthians 1:10-11

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