March - Reading 6

Discussion in 'Bible Reading Plan 2016' started by Clint Kritzer, Mar 6, 2002.

  1. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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  2. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Good evening -

    First of all, I would like to apologize for making these postings so late. I will endeavor to do better in the future.

    In Numbers tonight the reading certainly picked up a bit! Moses is experiencing a few difficulties in these passages. First, the attacks from Aaron and Miriam (his own sister!), secondly, the grumbling of the Israelites, thirdly the low morale of his people in hearing the reports of the spies on the Caananites, and finally an initial defeat of those who tried a maverick, preliminary attack on the Amelikites.
    The scriptures are not clear to me on whether Miriam is cured of her leperosy after the seven day banishment. Since she is allowed back into the community, I guess she was (5:1-4).
    A final thought on the reading in Numbers tonight. In verse 13:33, the people of the land of the Anakites are described as giants and the spies say, "We seem like grasshoppers next to them!" How often we seem to believe these reports ourselves. The exageration was meant to instill fear and it seems it did. This story has always stuck in my mind when facing adversity.

    The reading of Matthew tonight was broken up a little strangely in my thinking and I will comment tomorrow on that.

    May God bless you

    - Clint

    [ March 05, 2004, 07:54 AM: Message edited by: Clint Kritzer ]
     
  3. Born Again Catholic

    Born Again Catholic
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    Clint

    No worries on the posting you have taken on a huge commitment.

    Romans 5:1-11

    Describes the virtues of Faith(belief in God) Hope(trust in God) and Charity(love of God) if you live by these virtues you realize that God allows suffering in our lives to complete our perfection to righteousnous.

    Here is a quote from St Thomas Aquinas on suffering and hope.

    A person who hopes for something and strives eargerly to attain it is ready to endure all kinds of difficulties and distress. Thus, for example, a sick person, if he is eager to be healthy, is happy to take the bitter medicine which will cure him. Therfore, one sign of the ardent hope that is ours thanks to Christ is that we glory not only in the hope of future glory, but also in the afflictions which we suffer to attain it. (St Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on Romans ad loc.)

    Suffering also serves another purpose, just as our current sins are united with Christ's sacrifice on the cross I believe we can unite our sufferings with His suffering on the cross to serve a purpose. I think we will get to Paul's discussion on that later.

    God Bless
     
  4. Clint Kritzer

    Clint Kritzer
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    Sunday School lecture – 10/9/05

    Romans 5:1-11

    Having established the need for justification in 1:18-3:20 and the means for justification by grace through faith in 3:21-4:25, Paul now moves from the discussion of justification to the topic of salvation. Anders Nygren, a prominent mid-twentieth century commentator, outlined the next four chapters as salvation from four hostile powers: (5) wrath, (6) sin, (7) law, and (8) death. This is a rather helpful generalization for approaching our study but we will also be focusing on the more positive words such as reconciliation, sanctification, liberation and adoption.

    It is important to keep up with Paul’s arguments in order to recognize the solidity of this Book. Therefore, as we enter chapter 5, remember that Paul has firmly established:

    (1.) that a just God had condemned us for sin;

    (2.) that only the grace of God, that undeserved and unmerited favor of God extended through faith in His Son could save us;

    (3.) that this is the message of the gospel of Christ; and

    (4.) that this was the same way by which Abraham and David had been accepted before God.

    Having now established the doctrine Paul sets about to show its practical applications.

    Romans 5:1-5 The Nature of Grace

    The first word of the chapter is very important to the philosophical treatise presented to us. “Therefore” brings us into the transition. It shows us that this is the conclusion to Paul’s arguments that preceded this verse and serves as an introduction to those that follow. It has been shown to us no less than seven times in the first four chapters that are “justified by faith.” It is on this truth that the believer’s peace with God rests.

    The concept of peace with God after the acknowledgement and recognition of our own moral depravity greets the reader as a relief after a storm. The word peace is used in New Testament greetings, benedictions, and is beyond human understanding (Philippians 4:7). It represents harmony between God and man and stands as the opposite of confusion (1Corinthians 14:33). Social and spiritual harmony can only be obtained “through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

    Through the mediation of Christ, we have access to God’s grace. It is by means of our faith in Jesus Christ that we can obtain, not earn, God’s favor. It is only by our faith through Jesus Christ that we regain the reconciliation that sin has removed. Once we obtain that reconciliation because of our justification in Christ we have a new standing in the realm of grace. Here we finally have something about which we can boast. The Greek word translated “rejoice” in verse two means exactly that. Likewise, the word “hope” does not mean “wishful thinking” but “assurance.” Paul’s statement of verse 2 can be safely paraphrased as, “Wee can boast about our access to God’s favor through our faith in Jesus Christ because we will share in His Glory in the coming age.”

    The peace offered to us by this assurance extends not only to the times of worldly peace but also to the times of tribulation. The word “glory in verse 3 is the same word used translated “rejoice” in verse 2 and once again carries with it the connotation of boasting. Paul sets forth a progression that states the way in which suffering leads to glorification. Suffering produces or leads to patience. Webster defines patience as, "A calm temper, which suffers evils without murmuring or discontent."

    Patience leads to experience or character. The term rendered “experience” means “trials, testing, or that thorough examination by which we ascertain the quality or nature of a thing, as when we test a metal by fire, or in any other way, to ascertain that it is genuine (Barnes).” It also means being approved after such a testing. Afflictions borne with patience show our religion to be genuine.

    Knowing our religion to be tested and found true leads to hope. That peace we obtain from God that extends beyond human understanding, even in the face of adversity, demonstrates the power of God in our lives. In this way it “makes us not ashamed” or to the modern ear, “does not disappoint us.” For the believer who rests on God in times of trials, his assurance is well solidified. He recognizes the work of the Holy Spirit in his heart at the times he needs Him most. That work is a demonstration of God’s love, a concept more fully expounded in the next six verses.

    Romans 5:6-11 The Need of Grace

    God’s love is fully demonstrated in the fact that the human condition could only be remedied by the death of Christ. This is the “agape” love of God, love that goes forth unconditionally and is expressed in another hymn in verses 6-11. This is not the “eros” form of love that only goes forth to one who deserves affection. In an “eros” form of love, the value of the object being loved measured the amount of love bestowed. The “agape” form of love, a word applied only to the love of God, is bestowed upon those who are completely worthless. This can only happen because God IS love. It is because of this love for us that God sent His Son to secure our salvation. Being saved from our sins through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was not only a righteous act of God, but an act of love as well. Notice that God did this for us “while” we were helpless (verse 6), while we were sinners (verse 8), and while we were enemies (verse 10).

    The fact that we were helpless (without strength – KJV) refers to our lack of ability to construct a means of justifying ourselves to God. While we at the mercy of God’s justice, His wrath, He sent Christ. He did this at the time of our feeble condition. This is the great turning point in the history of mankind. It was done at the proper time in history after thousands of years of Law with the Jews and after the golden age of reason from the Greeks. After the failure of man had been plainly demonstrated, it was time for God to act and present His plan for our reconciliation.

    That God acted while we were sinners shows us the depth of His love. It is in verses 7-8 that we see the limited love of man contrasted to the limitless love of God. Christ’s death was vicarious, that is to say it happened in our stead. It happened for the ungodly, not for the good or the righteous.

    Even though we were enemies of God, He made this tremendous act of righteousness and love for our benefit. If God did this while we were enemies, how much more we can expect His love having been reconciled. If God can act in such a way to those who are helpless and undeserving, it follows that for those who are strong and on friendly terms in Christ, He will be a determined protector. Jesus’ death (His blood) justified us by acting as our propitiation. His resurrection, then, merits even more consideration towards our salvation.

    It is this agape love that we are to emulate when we love our enemies, when we forgive those who are in debt to us, when we reconcile ourselves to our brother and when we bless those that persecute us. Though we can never approach the level of God’s love for His creatures, we show a shadow of this love in our actions in the world.

    Salvation in verse 11 is in the future tense. The coming salvation stands against the coming wrath. It should be noted in these verses that it is not that God and man were enemies. Man was the enemy. It is not God and man that need to be reconciled. Man needed to be reconciled. God was always patient, always loving. God had nothing to gain and man had everything to lose before the Gospel. Now, however, for those who accept Christ, the future salvation is assured. Once again we see the word rejoice in verse 11 and it should be plain that it is a synonym for boasting. That God would act for a wretched sinner such as me in such a manner warrants the boasting of any Christian.
     
  5. Clint Kritzer

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