Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Romaning With Paul- part 4

Bible Study

  I am going too fast and have taken on more than I can develop at the moment. Romans is a big epistle with many areas to study. I should have chosen a smaller epistle to work on. So to those who are out there waiting for me to unpack the whole thing, I will say hang on. A step at a time.
   Since this is not a group that is meeting in my house and I can not see your faces to know how I am doing, I will need you to comment from time to time and ask questions, make observations, respond. Can I get that from you?
    So I will change to a overview method and land on segments.
   In verse 17 which is part of what I submit to be the theme we read a quote from the Jewish scriptures -"The righteous shall live by faith."  We should ask ( and this is something you should note on your piece of paper you have with you as you study--to jot down questions to explore) just what is living by faith?  And what is faith? And what is righteousness? (Told you this was deep) Is there an example we can look at?
   Glad you asked.
   Paul looks at the example of unrighteousness first before he looks at a person who was living a righgteous life.
   You may have to take a paper and put on one side unrighteous and on the other righteous. In fact, that may be a good idea.
    You may be realizing when you do Bible study you need a large amount of time. It is not a small short session. It is work.
    As you read and reread the epistle you fill out the chart.
     You start your listing at verse 18. What does Paul and though Him, God, say unrighteousness looks like? What are the fruits of unrighteousness?
   It seems he spends a good amount of time on what he calls sin. Sin being less than what God requires. That definition is weak but it will do at the moment. As you work through this epistle you will come to a better definition.
   I guess  that is enough for now.
   When I see your responses I will venture on more with Romans . Until I hear from you, then, I will let Romans rest.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Roman With Paul- Part 3

Image result for bible 
   I am still in the first chapter of this epistle. I may be here for a while. There is so much here for us to  dig out. It is like a mine field and we are looking for the gold.
  Well, if you have read through this epistle a few times as I suggested you are ready to start outlining.
   So you will need a piece of paper and a writing instrument. I don't think a computer, iPad or iPhone will quite be the best thing to use..
   You notice the repeat of certain words in the, let us just look  at the first fifteen verses, text. As a starting point, and this doesn't have to be the only word you note,Look at the word promise. Ask what did he promise.? What does this section tell us about that promise? Flash out  that promise. Don't be afraid to hunt through the Bible. We are told this promise came through the prophets. What have the prophets said? You may need a Bible dictionary for this. Dig. Hunt. This is a study.
   If I am going too fast or if there are any comments you wish to make, feel free to do so.
   Grace is another word to explore.
   Most scholars agree that the first 15 verses are the intro to this epistle. And that the key verse in this chapter is 16 and 17. I think these verses are worthy of being memorized .
   Why did Paul write this? That us another question you should ask.
   List your questions on the paper as you go along. Seek for the answers to the questions. Some questions will be found in the text.The Bible has the ability to explain itself.
   Enough for now. Next time we shall push on.
   Let me know how you are doing. 

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Following Paul In Romans - part 2

As we look at this epistle we note that it is deep. Therefore we should start our study by reading through it a couple of times to get the landscape plotted, so to speak. As we read through it we will no doubt notice a large section in it concerning the Jewish reader in Rome as well as the Gentile reader. Therefore we can figure there was some Jewish-Gentile tension in this group.
  The church in Roman might have started out as a Jewish church. It might have been start by a small group of those who had been in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost as spoken of in the book of Acts. They returned to Rome and started the group. Later Gentiles joined.
   Using a Bible dictionary we see that some people through the ages have thought Peter formed this group, but there is no significant evidence to support this premise.
   The Roman historian Suetonius records that the emperor Claudius (A.D. 41-54) expelled the Jews from Rome. We find this recorded in Acts 18:2.
   Reading this epistle a few times shows us that there are a number of themes running through this epistle. Some are gospel and law; the significance of Abraham; the future of Israel.
   Up to this point Paul has not been in Rome.The book of Acts tells us he was brought to Rome in chains.
   He wants them to know that the gospel was spoken of or hinted at by the prophets in the holy scriptures. All they had at that time was the writings we today know as the torah, the writings, the prophets, and so on. We call it the Old Testament. But since the books we know as the New Testament weren't yet in completed form when this epistle was written  in A.D. 57 we must be fair and deal with what was available then. In other words., don't read twentieth century back intro the epistle.
   Verse 8 tells us that this church was well known and talked about.
   Verse 16-17 can be looked on as the theme.
   I recommend to my groups to find one verse per chapter and commit it to memory.  "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word....I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.' Psalm 119:9,11. ESV
   Until next time.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Starting Our Study With Paul

Study to show yourself approaved

It has been a while. Yes. And I have been posting study methods.
 I have decided to now move into a book of the Bible using the methods of study so as to instruct.
 Let us start with the epistle to the Romans.  It is the first letter after the book of Acts in the portion of the Bible known as the New Testament.
 We see it is written by a fellow named Paul to a group of people in Rome.
  So using the question method to crack it open we first ask who is this person named Paul? (Who wrote it?)
  He was born a Jew. He studied to be a Pharisee. A Pharisee emphasized the observance of the Mosaic law in both oral and written forms. He was the best of the best. He was there at the murder of Stephen by stoning. He was the one who held the coats of the executioners. He had to make sure the killing was kosher.
It was he who wanted to kill all Christians and he even got a permit to do so. On the way to the city of Damascus he was met by Jesus in a bright light and blinded. "And he fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul (That was his name) Saul, why are you persecuting me?" And he said, "Who are you, Lord?" And HE said,"I am Jesus whom, you are persecuting."
 Saul was lead to Straight Street and there he was given his sight back. He also became a believer in Jesus Christ and also became a child of God, A Christian then.
  Who better than an expert in the scriptures to be writing this epistle that concerns the  gospel? The gospel is that Jesus was crucified according to the scriptures and was buried and rose again on the third day according to the scriptures.
  Now as to the book.
  It starts out with Paul calling himself a bond-servant. A bond-servant, we find out when we consult our Bible Dictionary, is a free agent who decides to be a servant of someone else. Called as an Apostle- an apostle was someone who saw the Lord. See above for how he saw him and what qualifies him to make this statement. Set apart for the gospel. He had a purpose for being called. We should expect the rest of this letter to expand on that.
  Paul was a very learned man. By the time he got to writing this letter to the Romans whom he has not yet seen but has heard about, his theology has been developed by study and interaction with people,to a point he could explain it. After all, as a Pharisee he knew how to teach.
  In the coming posts I may go slow and fast at times depending on the chapters and the content. Not that there is any less important scripture portion but because I may feel the need to explain deeper in some places over others.
  Read along and do your own study work. Anticipate and communicate.
  Until next time, may God bless you.