March - Reading 12

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2017' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 12, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good afternoon -

    The scheduled scriptue for today's reading is:

    Matthew 25:1-13

    Romans 8:1-17

    Psalm 59

    and

    Numbers 28-30

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

    [ March 12, 2003, 07:37 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    The reading in Numbers tonight brings one thought to my mind on which I would like to comment. Whenever a sacrafice is called for, it is specified that it should be "without blemish." I think there is a definite analogy that the modern believer can draw from this in that when we lay our offerings upon the altar, they too should be without blemish. In later lessons in the Gospels we will see instructions for our giving and I think that the early Jewish sacrifices tie in well with those lessons.

    I apologize for any of you that follow these commentaries for the lack of content last night on the readings in Matthew and Romans. The late hours have caught up with me a bit and Margie and I spent a little time watching movies and sleeping (she watched, I napped!).

    Last night's reading in Matthew was more on the end times and again, I would refer you to commentaries or even the various threads in the Baptist theology and Bible study forum. Tonight we read about the ten virgins. The point of the parable is summarized quite well in verse 13, "Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour."

    In Romans last night Paul continued his liturgy on spiritual life and death and its relationship to the law and sin. For those of us who were raised Christian, these passages are very basic. Margie commented tonight that it sounds like what she heard when she was a kid about being a Christian. The placement of this letter is no mistake. Romans gives us the very basics of Christian salvation and philosophy.
    Tonight we read about the fact that it is through the Spirit that we are alive and without the Spirit we are dead. The passage speaks well of its own accord. I would like to add here a text from my NIV study notes on the use of the word "law" in Romans:
    May God bless you

    - Clint
     
  3. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lesson – 11/13/05

    Romans 8:1-14

    In the 8th chapter of Romans, Paul continues his discussion from the chapter before in showing that the Gospel effects what the Law could not, that being sanctification and peace. The Law, though good and holy, could only work in the realm of flesh. The flesh being weak made the Law only so effective. Rather than producing the righteousness to which it pointed, the Law aggravated, excited and created conflict within man because of the sinful nature he inherited from Adam.

    Chapter 7 had concluded with a praise of God for Christ Jesus as the One who could free Paul, the everyman, from his captivity to sin. This recognition of the freedom found in Christ leads him to his next points and his outline of the concept of “life in the Spirit.” The points made in these verses are echoed throughout the Pauline Letters (2Corinthians 3:17; Galatians 5:16).

    Romans 8:1-8 The Law and the Mind of the Spirit

    The chapter begins with the now familiar “therefore” meaning Paul is reaching a conclusion to his previous points and “now” showing that this is a present tense situation. The conclusion stated is that there is no condemnation for the believer, those who are in Jesus Christ. Those who are in Christ do not walk (act) according to the flesh but rather to the Spirit.

    In verse 2 we must remember Paul’s concept of law. A law is that which governs one’s life and actions. The law of the Spirit is that which causes us to act in a righteous and holy manner. Previous to our conversion we were under the control of sin and consequently death. The righteous act of God in sending Jesus to take the sins of the faithful upon Himself has purchased our liberty. While our corporeal forms are still under the influence of the flesh, as stated in chapter 7, and therefore prone to death, the Spirit within us that is synonymous with Christ in us, leads to eternal spiritual life.

    This is where the Law of Moses had fallen short for mankind. While it was powerful and good and holy, it was unable to bring about salvation from sin and lead to the peace with God that morally depraved man needed and yearned for. The only way to that needed salvation was for God to send His Son to Earth in His physical manifestation in order that He could conquer sin where it lived: in the flesh.

    Jesus was not sinful. The New Testament is clear on that point in various places from various authors (2Corinthians 5:21; Hebrews 4:15). By being free from sin even though being in the flesh, He conquered sin for those who would have faith in Him. By living a sinless life and then being offered as the Sacrifice for sin, Jesus Christ conquered and subdued sin on its own ground.

    The moral requirements of the Law were still and are still in effect and are still holy and good. To “walk in the Spirit” is to fulfill the demands it makes upon us. Though we are still chained to this dying body, corrupted by sin and in the flesh, our spirits are led to act in a manner consistent with the Mosaic Law, the law of conscience and the law of the mind.

    Our actions are demonstrations of the Spirit of Christ within us. Those who are still under the law of the flesh act in a corrupt fashion. They live only to serve self and have no peace with God. Those who live under the law of the Spirit show themselves to be in servitude to God and neighbor. The good deeds we do are not what save us but what show we are saved! The works we do are not for our glory but for Gods! (Galatians 5:19-21; Galatians 5:22-23)

    It is impossible for one who is not at peace with God to please Him. Though the heathen may do good deeds he does not do them for the purpose of serving God. His greatest acts are but filthy rags before the Lord. Without the conquering of sin in his life through the indwelling Spirit of God and Christ, his master is still sin and it is sin who is benefited. The life that is in the flesh leaves God out. The life that is in the Spirit is organized around God.

    Romans 8:9-11 The Indwelling of the Holy Spirit

    The contrast between “in the flesh” and “in the Spirit” remains the linking concept but Paul now introduces a new idea into the discussion. The indwelling of the Holy Spirit is presented as the central element of the Christian experience. From the moment of conversion the Holy Spirit resides in the believer. In the first mention, Paul refers to the “Spirit of God.” Those who have the Spirit of God within them do not act in the manner he has been describing that is attributable to the flesh.

    Next Paul mentions the Spirit of Christ. This is displaying the moral characteristics of Jesus. Without that indwelling Presence, one is “none of His,” that is, a Christian (1Corinthians 12:3). The Spirit, Who is holy and good, the source of the Mosaic and conscience law, is contrary to the flesh. They are at opposite ends of the moral spectrum (Galatians 5:17). Those who are under the influence of the Spirit are free from the full influence of corrupt desires and passions.

    The term “to dwell in” does not denote physical indwelling or even possession such as is described of demons. Indwelling is a close personal connection that results in producing the fruit of the Spirit. It is important that Paul uses the terms Spirit of God and Spirit of Christ in such close proximity. It clearly demonstrates Trinitarian thought as a basis of the Christian philosophy. Paul does not identify God as the Spirit nor Christ as the Spirit but gives It Its own identity separate from the Two. However, in 2Corinthians 3:17, he makes it clear that the Spirit is incorporated into the Godhead.

    Christ is in us and we are in Christ just as the air around us is also in us. With Christ in us, His Spirit within us, we are guaranteed eternal life. We, upon our conversion, become a part of Him and He a part of us. Our bodies will die. They will suffer the destruction of physical death. That is the plight of our physical realm, none of it will last forever. However, that part of us connected to Christ, what we may term the soul and Paul terms the Spirit, is guaranteed eternal life. Our flesh remains connected to sin. It is the nature we have inherited. The Spirit, however, will not die. Death is the wage of sin but we have received the gift of grace.

    While Paul teaches elsewhere that there will be a glorified and resurrected body for the believer, verse 11 is not necessarily following that teaching. It seems more likely that in this context Paul is stating that the indwelling of the Holy Spirit will quicken, that is “make alive,” even our bodies of flesh that are connected to sin. Through the power and influence of the Holy Spirit we are capable of using these carnal bodies for that which is holy. Just as sin took the Law, that which is good, and used it for evil by exciting and enticing us to sin, The Spirit can take our bodies, that which has been corrupted by evil, and use it for righteousness by leading and directing our actions. Such a feat is as miraculous as the Resurrection and can only occur through an act of God.

    Romans 8:12-14 The Life and Leading of the Holy Spirit

    Because of the indwelling of the Spirit due to the Sacrificial act of Christ resulting from the righteous act of God, we are debtors. This is to say that we are obligated with a deep sense of duty to obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. We are not indebted to the flesh. Its leading will take us to corrupt desires and propensities. The final end of such an obligation will be death.

    Our obligation is to God because the indwelling of the Spirit is meant to purify us for His service. It was an act of God that saved us and as such we are obligated to follow His call to obedience. The final end of that obligation is life. (2Corinthians 5:5)

    In verse 14 Paul introduces us to a new concept in his diatribe. Where sin had been our master and we had been its slave, the leading of the Holy Spirit brings about a new fate: we are adopted by God. The concept of adoption as introduced here by Paul would have been very relevant to the Roman audience where such a practice was rather widespread. Just as in our culture, adoption was a legal process in which one became an heir with all legal rights within a household. Only Paul among the New Testament writers uses the analogy of adoption but he uses it rather frequently. He will expound on the concept in the next Passage.
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

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    Sunday School lesson – 11/20/05

    Romans 8:15-27

    If there was ever a summary of the benefits of salvation, this Passage is it. Paul had stated in verse 14 that through our relationship to Christ and the leading of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit, we are brought into God’s family in a way much like our modern concept of adoption. There is more to belonging to a family than the legal benefits or ties. There is also the kinship and love that leads to terms of endearment such as “Father” or even “Daddy.” These ties are inspired not by the legality of the relationship but by the love that stems from God to His creation.

    There is no greater privilege than to be a child of God. With that privilege comes great benefits. In today’s Passage Paul expounds on some of these continuing to center his discussion primarily on the Holy Spirit and the joy and hope that His leading bring.

    Romans 8:15-17 The Witness of the Holy Spirit

    The essence of slavery is that it leads one to fear. As slaves to sin and our own carnal desires we live in fear. That fear is the result of our alienation from God. Once freed from that slavery by our justification through faith in Christ, we are led by the Holy Spirit to sonship. This sonship is peace with God and leads to security. We are adopted into God’s family and as such can call to Him with the affectionate term “Abba,” loosely translated from Aramaic as “Daddy.” When we receive the adoption of God He gives to us His Spirit.

    Though we had no claim on Him, through the sending of His true Son, Jesus Christ, we became eligible to be received by God in an intimate way. Though we were once at enmity with God, the releasing of our bondage to sin has given us the protection and love of God. It is through the affection we have for God that the Spirit bears witness of our adopted state.

    More than sons, however, we are also heirs. Sonship looks to the beginning of the relationship while heirs looks to the completion. Christ is the true heir by nature to God but by our being joined to Him, as one with Him, we are joint heirs. As such we share not only in the promise of the future but the suffering of the present as well.

    Romans 8:18-25 The Firstfruits of the Spirit

    Once again, we look back to the Old Testament for the fuller meaning of Paul’s thoughts. For the ancient Hebrews, the inheritance was the Land of Canaan but Paul widens the scope by including all of creation.

    When compared to the glorification of our minds and bodies to come, the sufferings of today pale. This looking towards the future is what sustains the Christian in the day to day trials of life. It comforts us in sickness, mourning, and aging. It eliminates the fear of death. No matter what our degree of suffering here on earth, the glory to come completely overshadows it (2Corinthians 4:17).

    Verse 19 gives interpreters some difficulty. The word rendered “creature” in the KJV is the same as “creation” in verse 22. The traditional view is that man is the “creature” and he eagerly awaited the glorified state afforded him by the adoption of God. While such an interpretation is credible, it may also be that Paul had in mind the whole of His creation eagerly awaiting the Second Coming when the heirs of God receives the inheritance. When man fell from grace because of the act of Adam, it was not only man that was cursed but also the earth itself was cursed to bring forth thorns and death entered the world for all living things. Thus, the time when the curse would be lifted will be a cosmic and worldwide event (Isaiah 55:13).

    The Greek for “eager longing (KJV earnest expectation)” means to watch with an outstretched head, like geese flying towards a warmer climate (2Corinthians 5:2-4). Such a longing is rooted in the futility and failure of creation to reach its goal of goodness. We share in that groaning as Paul states in verse 22 as it is our lot in life to be subject to the curse of Adam. Yet it is God in His wisdom and providence that has left us in that state as in it we share in the suffering of Christ. Creation groans like a woman in childbirth as it struggles against its own inability. This same analogy was used by Isaiah in chapters 24-27 of the Book that bears his name in reference to resurrection from the dead and Paul swiftly moves to the topic of bodily resurrection in verse 23.

    Th term firstfruits is a metaphor associated with the Feast of Pentecost in which the first harvest of the fields was offered to God in anticipation of the full harvest that would come at the Feast of Tabernacles. We in this form have only the firstfruits of the Spirit. The full consummation of the inheritance to which He leads us will only be realized when we are in our glorified state.

    It is important in verse 24 to remember that the New Testament term “hope” does not refer to wishful thinking but assurance and confidence. Our hope lies in the assurance of our future glorification. We are kept and sustained in our current trials because we have arrived at a state of recognizing this hope. In sharing the suffering of Christ we look forward to a future resurrection, the full harvest of the Spirit, through the hope we see in Jesus’ death and Resurrection. The word “sees (KJV- seeth)” refers not to physically placing sight on something but rather to possessing. Though we do not yet possess the full inheritance due to our adoption, we have hope of it and an earnest expectation to receive it. If we already possessed it, we could not hope for it.

    Because of the earnest desire we have for the future we endure the present with patience. That hope we receive from the leading of the indwelling Holy Spirit enables us to do just that.

    Romans 8:26-27 The Intercession of the Holy Spirit

    The Spirit of God that dwells within us not only leads us to adoption as well as comforts us and gives us hope works in the Christians life in a third way as well. He intercedes for us in prayer. The groaning spoken of in verse 26 are interpreted by some as the groaning of the Spirit working within the Christian heart. For those who take this line the human heart is the Gathsemane of this element of the Trinity. Others feel that the groaning that of the Christian who, burdened by life on earth, share with all of creation the feeling of futility in our failure and the pain that accompanies this existence.

    The intercession of the Spirit on our behalf occurs because of our infirmities, limitations and ignorance. Our ignorance is not complete, but we have no way of ascertaining nor understanding the full Purpose of God. It is only through the aid of the Holy Spirit that we can pray for what we should.

    We often do not know what is best for us. It is the Spirit that intercedes and makes our prayers effective. Likewise, we are often in deep perplexity and are unable to utter what we truly need. In addition to the comfort and peace offered by the Spirit, we also have the benefit of One Who truly understands the needs of man and the Will and Purposes of God. As children of God we benefit from the Spirit interceding in our hearts and Christ interceding in Heaven (Hebrews 7:25), a concept Paul will bring to bear in verse 34.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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