Monthly Archives: March 2015

Romans 15:4-13 — That we might have hope

Sometimes as we go through scripture, I think most of us wonder why God put all of the things he put in there.  For example, why did he put all the laws he gave the Jews in Exodus and Leviticus?  … Continue reading

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Romans 15:1-12 — Living as one

Paul sums up what he has been talking about in chapter 14 in this passage.  He starts by saying, We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us … Continue reading

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Romans 14 — Breaking conscience

There is one last thing that I should mention before leaving this chapter, and that’s the motivation of our hearts.  Why do we do the things we do? Paul makes it crystal clear here what our attitude should be.  He … Continue reading

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Romans 14 — Dealing with each other in love.

In chapter 13, Paul said, Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (13:8) And again, Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the … Continue reading

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Romans 14 — Judging your brothers and sisters

If there is one problem within the church, it’s brothers and sisters judging each other. Now I want to be clear, this has nothing to do with black or white issues.  Paul had no problems with judging others when it … Continue reading

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Romans 13:11-14 — Embracing the Day

When Jesus departed from this earth, and the disciples were left looking at the sky, an angel appeared to them saying, Men of Galilee…why do you stand here looking into the sky? This same Jesus, who has been taken from … Continue reading

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Romans 13:8-10 — To fulfill the law

It has always seemed strange to me that Paul said, For whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  (8b) After all, isn’t loving God the other half of fulfilling the law?  Jesus did say after all that the two great … Continue reading

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Romans 13:8-10 — A debt that can never be repaid

Paul’s use of words here are very interesting when you think about it. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.  (8) What is a debt?  It’s something that you owe to someone else.  Paul … Continue reading

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Romans 13:1-7 — Doing what’s right…no matter who’s in charge

In this passage, Paul talks about the Christian’s relationship to government.  And the basic principle that Paul gives is that we are to submit to those in authority. Why?  First and foremost, because ultimately, God is the one that put … Continue reading

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Romans 12:14, 17-21 — When people hate us

One thing that the early Christians had to face, and Christians have to face to this day is hatred and persecution. And Paul told the church how to handle it.  He said, Bless those who persecute you; bless and do … Continue reading

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Romans 12:9-16 — Living as a Christian…with the rest of the body

It would be easy to look at this passage and just think that these are things we are to do as individual Christians. But it’s important to note that Paul is saying all this within the context of the body … Continue reading

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Romans 12:3-16 — But don’t we need to go out?

I suppose I should address an objection that people might make concerning my last blog:  I said that one reason Christian fellowship is necessary is that we need each other.  We all have a role to play in the body … Continue reading

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Romans 12:3-16 — What destroys fellowship

It is so easy to think of the Christian life as an individual thing.  I suppose with the individualistic mindset of Western countries, this is particularly true.  But the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone.  We are … Continue reading

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Romans 12:2 — To know the mind of God

I like how some translations put the first part of Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this age.  (HCSB) So often we talk about “the age we live in,” and how things have changed.  And things have certainly changed. … Continue reading

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Romans 12:1 — A living sacrifice

This is perhaps one of the more famous passages in scripture.  Paul writes, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of … Continue reading

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Romans 11:33-36 — A God who is beyond us

One of the things that amazes me is the people who think that if they were to argue with God, they could win. More than a few atheists, when posed with the question, “If God exists, what would you say … Continue reading

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Romans 11:1-32 — No room for pride

I have never understood the anti-Semitic sentiment held by some Christians, particularly in view of Romans 11. I think at the root of the anti-Semitic sentiment is a feeling of pride, and that is something Paul completely squashes in this … Continue reading

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Romans 10:16-11-10 — Refusing to believe

A couple of days ago, I talked about the paradox of salvation.  That though the path to salvation is so easy, yet it is difficult.  All we have to do is put our faith in God and Jesus’ work on … Continue reading

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Romans 10:19-11:32 — The irrevocable call of God

One of the most amazing things about salvation is that it comes about through the call of God, and that call is irrevocable. Paul clearly illustrates this through Israel.  He talked about how Israel had hardened their hearts to God … Continue reading

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Romans 10:14-15 — The need for us to go

We’ve talked about this not to long ago, so this should be short and sweet.  I’ve mentioned before that we were chosen before the beginning of the world to be God’s children. There have been, however, Christians who have taken this … Continue reading

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Romans 10:6-13 — All that’s left for us to do

The way to salvation is, in a sense, contradictory.  That is to say, it is so easy, and yet so hard. Paul writes, But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend … Continue reading

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Romans 10:1-5 — Why can’t there be another way to God? (part 2)

I seem to be doing a lot of these multi-part posts.  In case you’re wondering why I don’t just put it all in one post, I translate all these posts into Japanese, and it’s intimidating enough to translate a 500-600 … Continue reading

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Romans 9:30-33 — Why can’t there be another way to God?

One of the things that bothers people about Christianity is that Christ claims he is the only way to God.  That there is no other way.  And they say, “Why can’t there be another way?” There are many ways to … Continue reading

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Romans 9:9-27 — The problem and wonder of election (part 5)

I’d like to address one last question concerning predestination.  Assuming that what I have said is true, that none will ever come to God apart from his choosing to intervene in their lives, why is it that he doesn’t simply … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 4)

A question that often pops up when we talk about predestination is, “You say that God predestines who will go to heaven.  So that must mean that God must predestine people to hell as well.” I answered this to some degree … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 3)

In the last blog, we talked about how God basically tells people, “I have determined to judge you.  Now prove me wrong.  Prove that you’re not worthy of destruction.” And he waits patiently for their response. We see this kind … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 2)

We ended the last blog with the question, “If our salvation is based on God’s election alone, isn’t he then choosing capriciously who to save and who to damn to hell?” The short answer to this is no.  It’s not capricious. … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 1)

One of the toughest concepts the Bible teaches is that of God’s election of the saints.  It seemingly flies in the face of our free will.  It seemingly flies in the face of God’s love for all.  The best I … Continue reading

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Romans 8:35-39 — Though we suffer

I’d never thought of it this way before, but this passage is basically tying up Paul’s thoughts in verses 15-18.  In verses 15-16, Paul reminds us of the kind of relationship we have with God, not one of fear, but one in which … Continue reading

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Romans 8:29-34 — If God is for us

So often, even as Christians, we fight feelings of guilt and condemnation.  We make a mess of things by the decisions we make, and we think, “Why do I keep messing up like this?” Or we struggle with temptation, and … Continue reading

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Romans 8:29-30 — A reason for hope (part 2)

As I look at this passage, I see another reason for hope through the struggles that we go through:  that from eternity past, God had a plan for us. Paul writes, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be … Continue reading

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