March - Reading 1

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 1, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good Morning -

    Today's scheduled readings of the scriptures is:

    Matthew 21:23-32

    Romans 1:1-17

    Psalm 48

    Numbers 1-2

    May God bless you as you continue to read from His word.

    [ February 25, 2003, 07:23 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    We begin our reading of the Book of Numbers tonight. I have heard people assert that this is perhaps the hardest book of the Bible to read because it is written in an almost a legaleeze, repititious manner. I can see their point but it may help to know what the intent of this book is.
    The over-all theme of Numbers is to tell the account of the Isrealites journey from Mount Sanai to the plains of Moab. The children of Israel are going into lands that are already occupied by people of other Middle Eastern sects and it is inevitable that they will meet some conflict. Our reading tonight of the census was for military organization. The only men over the age of nineteen excluded from this census are the Levites, the priest. They are assigned special duty having to do with the tent, tabernacle, Ark, and the other artifacts we read about last month as described in verses 1:47 - 53. Tomorrow we will be reading about encampment arrangements and later in the book, marching arrangements. If one visualizes the intent of this book, it's actually rather exciting!

    In Matthew, we begin the month with the leaders of the temple questioning His authority. Christ wisely asks them a question back about John the Baptist. Their refusal to answer is attributed to their fear of John's followers. Many recognized him as a prophet. Christ then tells the parable of the two sons to demonstrate the fate of those who desired to hold onto their authority instead of holding to their faith. I think this passage sheds a bit more light on the story of the fig tree we read on the 25th of February in Matthew 21:18 - 22.

    We are also now beginning the Apostolic letters, From now until the end of the year, we will be exploring instructions to the early churches and believers. Verses 16 & 17, sum up the intent of the book:
    May God bless you

    - Clint

    [ March 01, 2002, 11:47 PM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  3. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    In todays (March 1) reading of Romans we read what is a key to understanding the entire book of Romans. Romans is a about faith, but many in interpreting Romans try to put a wedge being faith and obedience to God's law. This clearly is not Paul's intention.

    The first time he uses the word faith in Romans and the last time he uses the word faith in Romans he reminds us what is the purpose of his mission "TO BRING ABOUT THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH".

    Begining of Romans
    (Romans 1:4-6)
    through whom we have received grace and apostleship TO BRING ABOUT THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH for the sake of his name among all the nations,

    End of Romans
    Romans 16:25-27)
    but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, TO BRING ABOUT THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH-

    Obedience and faith are not terms that are at odds with each other at all. Paul makes one coherent disertation on this subject in Romans starting with obedience to faith and ending with obedience to faith.With each verse building on what he has already written. Not a disjointed argument pitting faith against obedience.

    To read this book without understanding that it is to bring about the obedience of faith can distort its clear meaning.

    The parable of the man and his two sons from(Matthew 21:28-31) fits in nicely with this discussion of obedience. If we say "yes" to God, but do not obey him, our faith is false.

    God Bless

    [ March 01, 2003, 06:58 PM: Message edited by: Born Again Catholic ]
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture - 9/24/05

    Romans
    Introduction

    Author & Date


    The Book of Romans has always been recognized as genuinely Pauline and any objections to the authenticity have been sufficiently refuted. The influence of the Epistle can be traced even through the New Testament itself, most notably in 1Peter. Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Polycarp, and Justin all quote Romans in their writings and it is included in the Marcion Canon. Indeed, the Letter to the Romans has been recognized by the Christian church as far back as we can trace.

    Most of all, however, is the Letter’s testimony to itself. Every verse of every line, every digression in thought, every Christology contained in the Book is distinctly the work of a powerful heart and mind.

    It is also a widely accepted theory that Paul originally penned the Epistle on the return leg of his Third Missionary Journey. We gather from verse 15:19 that paul was concluding his work in the east and was now setting his gaze towards the west. In the interim, however, he was to return to Jerusalem with the collection he had made mainly in Macedonia and Achaia for the poor. Placing these claims by the text of 1 & 2Corinthians which also mention this offering. Going along these lines of thought, we place the time of the writing as just after 2Corinthians in the year 58 AD. Other schemes place the writing as early as 53 or as late as 59.

    Recipients

    No one is certain of how Christianity first reached Rome. It could be that there were members of the congregation at Pentecost who carried the word back to the capital city. The Roman church at this time was composed of both Jews and Gentiles, placing the writing before the persecution of he Christians under Nero begun in 64 AD. The dispersion of the Jews throughout the Roman Empire had been going on for two centuries at this time and the stoning of Stephen in Acts 7 accelerated the exodus from Israel as accounted in Acts 8. Many of the Jews of this era had lost all semblance of Jewish culture except the Judaistic practices of worship. These were called “Hellenistic Jews.” They had adopted the culture and language of the Greeks, an enduring legacy following the conquests of Alexander the Great.

    A word should be inserted at this juncture about the notion of Peter the Apostle going to Rome prior to Paul’s writing. Catholic scholars long clung to the tradition that Peter went to Rome following the accounts of his actions in the Book of Acts and established the church there. Through this tradition, they claim a direct line of successors to the papacy back to peter and back to the Roman Empire. For the purposes of the study of the Book of Romans, this point is rather moot, but two points should be noted: (1) The Book of Romans makes absolutely no mention of Peter, neither associated with the church or not, and (2) there is no mention of any type of hierarchy within the church at all – no elders, bishops, presbyters, nor any leadership at all. If Peter had already been to Rome and if he had established the Catholic Church as that institution claims, the absence of any mention is highly unusual.

    Purpose

    It is noteworthy that, aside from a possible conflict between the Jews and Gentile members of the congregation, Paul is not writing to correct any errors within the church as he had done with the other Letters that bear his name. Instead, Romans is as much a theological treatise as a letter. Some have stated that the central message of Romans is “Justification through Faith” but this is a very narrow view. The Book also embraces and addresses issues such as the Righteousness (or rightness) of God, sanctification, glorification, sin and death, grace, redemption, resurrection, and security. Romans is the basic Gospel broken down into a history of salvation. In essence, Romans is “Christianity 101.”

    As stated earlier, Paul wrote this Letter as a preparation for his later planned visit to the city. Like his journeys in the east, Rome would be a stopping point on his way to Spain and perhaps even Gaul. It is plausible if we accept the premise of Paul enduring two Roman arrests (see introduction to 2Timothy ) that he may have actually reached these goals. It appears from 15:22-29 that Paul hoped to establish a base of operations in Rome much as he had done in Ephesus.

    Paul also used this occasion to explain the part that the Jews and the Gentiles played in salvation history. He builds his premise from the beginning of mankind to the present day making Romans a theological essay on the subject of why man needs Christ to reach God. While all the Epistles that bear Paul’s name are necessary to grasp the whole of Pauline thought, Romans is by far the most basic, complete, and essential.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lecture - 9/24/05

    Romans 1:1-17

    The first 17 verses of the Book of Romans act as an introduction divided into three parts.

    1. The Salutation (1:1-7)

    2. Thanksgiving (1:8-15)

    3. The Theme (1:16-17)

    As with all Scriptures, each attention should be given to each line and phrase.

    Romans 1:1-7 The Salutation

    As with twelve other Books of the New Testament, the Letter begins with the sender’s name: Paul. In this case he identifies himself first as a slave to Jesus Christ. Paul also uses the phrase “Christ Jesus” in other Passages but both mean the same thing. “Jesus” is the person, “Christ” is the title, equivalent with the Hebrew “Messiah.” He then calls himself an apostle. While slave carries the connotations of humility and subservience, apostle carries with it authority. Paul was a servant to Christ but an apostle to men. An apostle was one who was sent to carry a message. In Paul’s case, the message was the Gospel of God that is the good news of Jesus Christ.

    The Christ had been promised in the Holy Scriptures, that is, the Old Testament where He was described as being of the seed of David according to the flesh or what is tangible in this world. He was also designated the Son of God according to the Spirit through His Resurrection. It should be noted that the word “dead” in verse 4 is plural continuing the idea of the resurrection of all who are of Christ when He returns.

    Paul’s call to apostleship is as much a gift as salvation. It was both universal and particular. It’s universalism is seen in that it was to “bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all nations.” Obedience springs from faith as a personal commitment in Romans. The apostleship among all the nations does not exclude the Jews even though Paul considered the Gentiles his primary mission field. The Book of Romans always seems to hold the Jews in contrast to the Gentiles.

    The Romans are included in this mission for a particular purpose. Paul planned to use Rome as a base of operations for his world mission. The mission is associated with his calling. Paul was called to be an apostle. The Roman Christians were called to belong to Jesus Christ and to be saints. In Pauline thought, the call to salvation is a call to service.

    The salutations ends with a short prayer for grace, meaning favor, and peace, meaning order for the Romans. This combination of grace and peace are united with God, our father and Jesus, our Lord.

    Romans 1:8-15 The Thanksgiving

    With the notable exception of Galatians, all of Paul’s letters follow the form of inserting a prayer of thanksgiving at this point. Beyond the characteristic prayer of thanks Paul also mentions his intercession in verse 9, reason in verse 11, purpose in verse 13 and duty in verse 14. The prayer is to God, through Jesus Christ, for all the believers in Rome. It should be noted here that Christ is a mediator both towards God and man. He offers us salvation and offers God our prayers.

    The term “all the world” in verse 8 is more than a hyperbole. Rome was indeed the most important metropolis of its day. News of Paul and his message would be carried literally through the entire known world should he be successful there. The term “I serve” in verse 9 indicates that Paul’s prayers are a priestly service.

    The longing behind the prayer of intercession brings forth the reason for his journey to Rome. Paul wishes to both strengthen and encourage the Roman believers. He would strengthen them by imparting to them some spiritual gift. In chapter 12 he will mention seven spiritual gifts but they are not as mystical than the nine gifts in 1Corinthians 12:7-11. The church at Corinth needed order whereas the believers in Rome needed a spiritual gift.

    Paul then indicates that the Romans also had something to give him. A young church like that in Thessalonica had little to offer Timothy when he was sent there but the congregation in Rome was no new church. Paul would receive encouragement from them. This mutual encouragement in a shared faith is an integral part of a belief system.

    Paul wanted to be clear, literally, “I would not have you ignorant (KJV),” that he had intended on coming sooner. We are left with conjecture as to what the delay may have been. Whatever the hindrance had been, however, it was now out of the way and the harvest in Rome and west could begin.

    Paul’s duty was a debt and an obligation that grew out of God’s gift of grace to him. As an apostle to the Gentiles, he must preach to Greeks and barbarians, the cultured and the uncultured. The Romans were the Greeks in culture. The barbarians were those Gentiles who did not know Greek. The Greek speaking people perceived their language as an unintelligible “bar-bar” sound. Paul described those who spoke in tongues as sounding like barbarians when there was no interpreter (1Corinthians 14:11). The areas west of Rome including Spain were likely looked upon as barbarian. The longing to preach the Gospel in Rome had been announced by Luke in Acts 19:21 and is now repeated in the introduction to Romans. It will be repeated in chapter 15 as well.

    Romans 1:16-17 The Theme

    These two verses present to us a preview of what is to follow. The preposition “for” in this case indicates three steps: (1) Paul was eager because he was not ashamed of the Gospel; (2) he was not ashamed of the Gospel because it is the power of God; (3) the Gospel is the power of god because the righteousness of god is revealed in it.

    To say that he was not ashamed was a major understatement for Paul. He did, in fact, glory in it. The salvation mentioned first in verse 16 is dynamic. For Paul, salvation was an act, not a state of being. Just as a sinner’s reconciliation has a past, so, too, does salvation have a future. As Paul will state in chapter 13, “For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed.”

    This dynamic salvation is available to everyone who believes, first to the Jew and then to the Greek. The first place of the Jew will be addressed beginning in chapter 2 and will be expounded upon greatly in chapters 9-11. It should be noted here that Paul is speaking of the Greek from the viewpoint of the Jew. The barbarian is by no means excluded. He is quite clear that the Gospel is for everyone. The old distinctions are now obsolete.

    The righteousness of God will be expounded in chapters 3 & 4 but are summarized here. It is revealed but it must also be received by faith if it is to save. The phrase “from faith to faith” has been somewhat o a puzzle to interpreters for centuries. A number of views have been taken to explain it. The dominant view is that it means “from start to finish,” or rephrased “a way that starts from faith and ends in faith {Dodd}.” A second view is that the phrase means “from the faithfulness of God to man’s faith (Torrance).” A third line of interpretation states that the repetition of the word is to “accent the fact that not only does the righteousness of God bear savingly upon us through faith but that it bears savingly upon everyone who believes.” The phrase “the righteous shall live by faith,” quoted from Habakkuk 2:4 has also puzzled scholars. Generally the line is taken as meaning, ”He who through faith is righteous shall live.” It can also be taken as meaning, “the righteous shall continue to live, from start to finish, by faith.” Either statement could be viewed as correct.

    With the presentation of the main theme established in terms of salvation and righteousness (or justification), Paul is now ready to expound the concept of righteousness in verse 1:18-4:25 and salvation in 5:1-8:39. As we study these chapters, notice “faith” is referenced twenty-five times in chapters 1-4 and only twice in 5-8, while “life” appears twenty-five times in 5-8 and, excluding the theme, only twice in 1-4.
     
  6. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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