Tag Archives: Rome

Bible study on Romans – Chapter 3

Bible study on Romans

Bible study on Romans – Chapter 3

Dear brothers and sisters,

In this bible study on the 3rd chapter on the book of Romans we will go through the following parts:

  • God’s faithfulness
  • No one is righteous
  • Righteousness through faith

God’s faithfulness

Paul starts this chapter in discussion with the Jews in Rome. Based on chapter 2 you could indeed raise the question if it then is any advantage in being a Jew or Christian, when we still have the chance not to get into heaven even if we believe in God. Paul immediatelly lets them know that there are much advantages. Why? First of all, if we practice our faith, than we are also raised continiously with His word. And I have found out that I need His word in every situation. I used to think that I knew so much (maybe knew it all, I did not say, but I certainly acted like it), but without God I know nothing. For this reason God gave us the Bible to make sure that He teaches everything we need to know. But that He makes is available doesn’t make it automatically that we take the Bible and life by it. I wish that I had done so my whole life and lived my life accordingly, I believe that it would have saved me so much trouble. But I think that is one of the weaknesses we have as humans.

This discussion is ended by the conclusion that we should never think that because our unrighteousness shows God righteousness, that we can do evil and that good will result from it. Know in that case that your condemnation is just!

No one is righteous

Paul continious to ask them if then there is actually any advantage to being a Jew (or Christian). To me it is a bit confusing, because no he tells them not at all. I think it is both true. We already determined that there is not difference between Jews (and Christians ) and gentiles under the power of sin. Something we might want to think otherwise, but there is NO ONE under is that is righteous! When we go to heaven it only due to the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the cross dying for our sins.

God is determining my attention that they way that Paul is talking about the current time in which he lives, does resemble our current time as well:

10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.”“The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

Does this description sound (even remotely) familiar over our current time. Don’t think that 2,000 years later we are doing it even better. Why not? Because we life in a sinful world. Even in my own life I can pinpoint enough moments that I really insult God by sinning. But the beautiful thing about God is that if we truly repent, we can always come to Him and ask (and receive) forgiveness.

Paul ends this part of the chapter with a very important conclusion: no ONE will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law, rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.

Righteousness through faith

This chapter is concluded by explaining that righteousness will never come through our works, but is only given through faith and only to the ones that believe. It is beautiful to see how God makes not difference between Jews and gentiles in this matter. God is there for all of us.

But that we can only be rescued by faith does not mean that works are no longer needed or nullified. God showed us that our works will never be good enough by itself, but God truly needs us to do the works of the law, but we need to know that it requires faith to do them. God makes it very clear that being saved by faith did not and will never nullify  the law by this faith. Not at all , rather we are expected to uphold the law. So, I pray that we all study the Bible to really understand the works as well and start also doing our best to keep most of the law, because I know God already know that we will be unable that we are able to keep them all.

God bless you all!

Bible study on the Epistle to the Romans – Introduction

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Bible study on the Epistle to the Romans – Introduction

Dear brothers and sisters,

Today I am starting the Bible study on the Epistle to the Romans

My introduction

I feel very blessed that God has asked me to go through the Bible book by book and that together we have already come to the book of Romans. I pray that God will truly guide us through this book and teach us all that He wants to teach us.

Background and setting

This epistle was written by Paul. On the internet you will find that there is supposed to be some controversy on the writer of this book, but I see the Bible as the only source on this and the Bible makes it very clear that it was Paul that wrote this book.

He wrote this epistle to the Christians living in city of Rome. At that moment of time Rome was the center of the Roman empire and was very etnically diverse. It was estimated that around 1 million people were living there of which approximately 40-50 thousand were Jews.

It is expected that the Roman church started by Christians/Jews that were present at Pentecost and at some point found their way to Rome.

Audience

The apostle identifies his recipients in 1:7 by saying: To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints. His intent was for the Christians in all of Rome to read the epistle. It also seems that there were multiple churches in the Empire’s capital because there is made mention of an additional church in the home of Priscilla and Aquila (Rom 16:5).

Purpose

Paul wrote this epistle so that they would know the gospel of Christ. He also wanted to inform the church regarding his future plans because those plans would involve them. At the time of writing the epistle, Paul was about to take the offering that he had collected from various churches to the poverty stricken church in Jerusalem. After that, he intended on going to visit the Roman church for a time to preach the Gospel to them.

God bless you all!

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 28

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Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 28

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 28th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Paul ashore on Malta
  • Paul’s arrival at Rome
  • Paul preaches at Rome under guard

Paul ashore on Malta

God was protecting Paul through this whole journey. Now arrived on the shores of Malta, God made sure that the islanders showed unusual kindness. Paul gathered brushwood for a fire and from that wood came a viper that god hold of his hand. The inlanders thought that this meant that Paul was a murderer and justice was coming after him. But as always God protected him and Paul put them to shame by just shaking the snake off.

On the island he was welcomed into the estate of Publius, the chief official of the island. His father was sick in bed. And again God allowed Paul through prayer to heal someone. Even in times that people are trying to get us down, God can and will still use us to do His work. Never think that your situation means that you are not expected to be there to your work for God!

Paul’s arrival at Rome

After some months the travel to Rome was complete and God allowed Paul to live there in freedom in the meanwhile. He was sent their to be put to trial, but still God ensured that he was treated properly! God is good!

Paul preaches at Rome under guard

He came to the Jews in Rome and explained the whole reason for him being here. See how the Jews in Jerusalem did not even do any trouble to reach the Jews in Rome. And yet they considered Paul to be such a treat. These Jews openly listened and also were divided, but allowed him to live in peace in al those years and to spread the gospel.

That we might not fully agree on everything, does not mean that we should try and kill each other. Love each other, we are all children from God!

Thank you for growing with me through the Bible study on Acts! Amen!

Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 27

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Bible study on Acts of the Apostles – Chapter 27

Dear brothers and sisters,

In the Bible study on the 27th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles I will discuss:

  • Paul sails for Rome
  • The storm
  • The shipwreck

Paul sails for Rome

Paul (and other prisoners) were now put on a boat (under the guidance of a centurion called Julius) to sail to Rome. Along the way they stopped Sidon, where we see how God touched Julius heart by allowing Paul to go to friends there and let them provide for him. Even in times of difficulties we will see that God has not forgotten us and is providing for us. Without God in Paul’s life I don’t believe that Julius would have allowed this. So I urge you even in your hardest times to trust on God to provide for you!

At some point they arrived at Myra in Lycia where they found an Alexandrian ship that was going to Rome. During this voyage they had already lost a lot of time due to the wind working against them. And Paul knew because the Day of Atonement was coming close that it became more dangerous, therefore he warned all of them the voyage would be disastrous and that great losses would come to both the ship and the men. God will always warn us if danger is coming, so that we can let God guide us away from that danger. Listen to the Holy Spirit and don’t think you should not listen, because if the Holy Spirit speaks than He does so for a reason!

Unfortunately they did not listen and they continued their journey to Rome.

The storm

We now see that the storm indeed came and all the predicted losses indeed happened. In our lives we will not be exempt from storms, but God will warn, guide and protect us. After a certain moment Paul told them about his warnings, but also that from now on they should not lose their courage and continue and know that no more losses would be incurred (through God). He told them that an angel appeared to him and told him not to be afraid as he will stand trial in Rome. And that God has graciously given him the lives of himself and the lives of all that sailed with him. God is so good! Then he warns them that although nothing would happen to their lives they should know that they would run aground.

The shipwreck

When the men feared that a shipwreck was imminent they were trying to leave the ship, but Paul told them to stay on the ship and know that they will keep their lives. Through the Holy Spirit all of them listened and stayed. Then he told them to eat again, because the last 14 days they barely ate anything. And the next morning they reached land without any lose of life. Their some of the guards were planning to kill all the prisoners, but God intervened on Paul’s behalf and touched Julius’ heart and all lives were spared.

Know that God is continuously with you and will protect you!