5-10-2022 Words for Life
Father has been showing me, for some time now, to take a step back and keep the broader (bigger) picture in mind. Not just in life, but in the bible as well.
In the book of Genesis, Father creates all that is and He establishes Israel as the vehicle He had chosen to deliver His love to the world. Exodus through Deuteronomy He gives us standards by which to live. The ‘historical’ books, Psalm, Proverbs and the books of the prophets bring a clearer understanding of how God’s love interacts with us and that includes the coming of the Messiah!
The gospels of Matthew and Mark bring us a spiritual account of Jesus’ life while built around an historical undertone. Luke (our historian) relates the life of Jesus in an historical perspective with a spiritual undertone. And John? John shows us how the love of Jesus Christ interfaces (or should) interface with our lives as weaved around the life of Christ.
The book of Acts relates the building of the church from an historical perspective (thank you Dr. Luke) while interlacing with spiritual truths helping us to see how Christ’s love can operate through our lives.
Never thought about all this too much until these past few days (started thinking about all this past May 1st) as I started going through the book of Romans (not the 1st time!). I’m already up to chapter three (as of the beginning of this entry – lol). Father is showing me how Paul’s letter to the Romans is about establishing the church – spiritually. Of course, the whole bible is intended to help us grow spiritually, but I have never noticed before how these first six books of the New Testament are put together for purpose. The basis for our faith (Jesus), establishing the church (physically) and establishing the church (spiritually).
For today, Father says “Let’s take a look at Romans chapter 2.
A quick look at chapter one first. Paul identifies who he is, who Jesus is and that he desires to see he Romans in person. He also establishes that God is God (I AM that I AM – Exod. 3:13-14) and man is man and if it were up to man, the two would most likely never meet. Father explains, because man insists on refusing Him, He gives them over to their own desires (Rom. 1:24-32) and continues in Romans chapter two.
So, let’s take a look at Romans 2:1-29
1 Therefore you have no excuse, O man, for you condemn yourself when you condemn another man for you do the same things yourself.
2 We are sure that God judges according to truth in dealing with man.
3 so when you judge another, yet do the same things they do, do really think you will escape God’s judgment?
4 Do you despise the rewards of God’s goodness, forbearance and longsuffering because you don’t know that His goodness leads to repentance?
We see the presence of God in all creation, around us! So, just because we don’t believe in God or don’t want to be obedient to His ‘game plan’, do we expect to escape judgment because of our ignorance? (Hah! Don’t think so)
5 Yet, because of the hardness and ‘bullheadedness’ of our heart, we gather things unto ourselves even though the day of wrath is pending and so is God’s judgment.
6 And He will mete out His judgment to every man according to that man’s works. (we will reap what we sow! Gal. 6:7-9)
7 Those who are patient and continue in well doing (His will) seek glory, honor and immortality and that leads to eternal life.
8 But to those who are contrary and don’t obey the truth, rather follow unrighteousness, indignation and anger
9 Shall receive tribulation and anguish because of the evil they have done, to the Jew first, then the Gentile (everybody else).
10 But glory, honor and peace to every person who works ‘good’, again, to the Jew first, then to everybody else.
That means everybody will receive his just rewards or punishment according as to how they have lived this life. Because the Jews were intended to be God’s ‘spearhead’ (banner carrier [Isa. 49:6) unto this world, all things (good or bad) are dealt out to the Jews first, then to the rest of us (everybody else).
11 God does not respect who we are!
God does not consider how much money and possessions we have, how important we are in ‘man’s eyes’, or even what wonderful things we may have done. What He does consider is what is our relationship with Him. For with that relationship comes trust and obedience. Do we believe and trust the Father?
12 For though we sin (go against God’s law) even without realizing what we have done, we will perish in our ignorance of His law. And those who know His law and still sin, shall be judged by that law.
13 For even though it’s nice that we ‘hear’ the law and know all about it, we are justified in being obedient (doing) that law.
14 For when people who don’t know the law do those things contained in the law, those things (in themselves) become a law to that person.
For, when we have no clue about the law, yet do those things contained in the law, Father honors our ‘ignorance because we are doing His will anyway.
15 For then, our obedience shows that the law is written in our hearts and our conscience bears witness with ours that we are doing what is right and lets us know when we get off track.
16 God judged the secrets of men the day Jesus Christ came into this world according to the gospel.
17 The Jews rest in the law and boast of God.
Do we boast the fact that we are Christian? We’ve confessed Jesus with our mouths and been baptized with water so we’re good to go, right? Consider the parable of the sower (Matt. 13:1-23). The seed by the wayside never lets Jesus into their heart. They are ‘lost’. The seed on stony ground, amongst the thorns as well as on good ground are all ‘church members’. They all have professed faith in Jesus. Yet, the seed on stony ground and among the thorns are suspect, for they have become like the five foolish virgins who weren’t ready for the bridegroom when He came (Matt. 25:1-13). Some lost their faith and walked away from God while others became more concerned with things of this world and drifted away. That’s why ‘doing the law’ justifies, not just ‘knowing it’! Don’t forget Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5:1-10) or Simon the sorcerer (Acts 8:9-24). The all confessed a belief in Jesus, yet go back and look at their end. Two lied and the other had ‘no clue’ about the relationship.
18 The Jews know the law and attest that it is the way things should be because they have been taught the law (Gen. thru Deut.).
Father intended the Jews to be the light unto this world, but that torch has been passed on to Christians as we have received that light in spirit and in truth (not just in the letter) and we should have the life, thke love (Spirit) of Jesus Christ abiding in us. Do we?
19 Are we confident that we, ourselves, are a guide to the blind? We are (should be) yet a lights to those who are still in darkness (lost without hope).
20 (the Jews) were to instruct the foolish and teach babes for they have the form of knowledge of the truth (the Law was given to them).
21 When we teach another, don’t we teach ourselves as well? When we preach to others ‘not to steal’, do we steal?
22 When we say “don’t commit adultery’, do we commit adultery? We say we hate idols, but do we commit sacrilege (rob the church – not just money but truth, as well)?
23 (Let’s bring it on home) Do we boast of our Christianity but don’t keep God’s commandment (to love)? (not loving another is to kill that person for we don’t love him enough to share God’s life-giving love!)
24 Do our words and action cause ‘unbelievers to blaspheme God (attribute His works to something or anything else)?
25 The Jews were circumcised as an external expression of their obedience to God’s Law, but disobedience negates that action (for it is our heart needs circumcision.
26 (Paul speaking to the Jews) If the uncircumcised (us Gentiles) keep the righteousness of the law, won’t that be counted as circumcision (of the heart)? (Yes)
27 So if those who didn’t have the law (us Gentiles) keep the law, why do you (the Jews) judge us by the law even though you don’t keep the law yourselves?
28 So, one is not a Jew simply because he has been circumcised (in the flesh, born a Jew) for that is just an outward sign
29 But we become Jews because our hearts are circumcised, circumcised in the spirit, not in the flesh. Therefore we don’t seek the praise of men because of our outward circumcision but rather the praise of God because our spirits are circumcised.
In short, Are we living for God, through Christ Jesus, because the Holy Ghost is alive and well within our hearts? Or are we just going through the motions, pretending to be what we actually are not?
God is a God of the heart. Yes our heart is part of our body, an integral part, so our heart and body come as a total package. Father desires our hear,t for where our heart is, is reflected in our words and deeds.
Jesus ‘slammed’ the hypocrites of His time for being other than what they wanted people to think. As Christians today, are we truly (inwardly) what we portray ourselves to be? Or are we like the Jewish hypocrites of 2000 years ago – all ‘show’ and ‘no go’?
Christians are not perfect. Paul describes the battle we face in Romans chapter eight, but thank God we have a propitiation (go between, One who stands the gap – 1 John 2:1-2) for us. And when we are faithful to confess our sins, God is faithful and just to forgive us those sins (1 John 1:9). Father then puts those sins behind His back (Isa. 38:17) and casts them into the sea (of forgetfulness – Micah 7:19). In other words, Father not only forgives them but He forgets our sins - completely.
Therefore, we live in, for and through Jesus Christ and because Jesus stands the gap (for us) we are kept clean as we confess our sins before God. Jesus is the first of many brothers (our ‘older brother’ and shows us the way (Rom. 8:29) – is our example! Our profession of faith (John 3:16) and living in that faith gives us our confidence of eternity (1 John 5:13) with the Father, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, because He has given us the Holy Ghost until He returns for us (Eph. 1:13-14, 1 Thess. 4:17).
So! Are these words for life?