The Power of God at the Center of the World

Romans 1:13–17 — “Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.”

In this passage, we find out that the Apostle Paul had great intentions to get to Rome.  “Now I would not have you ignorant” was the way that he made it known unto them his intention.  This phrase or similar is found several times in Paul’s epistles, see the following references:

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That Ye May Be Established

Romans 1:8–12 — “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of His Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers; Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established; That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me.”

Before beginning to discuss the Apostle Paul’s words in this chapter, I want to point out something that may make you scratch your head:

If we turn one page back in our Bible to Acts chapter 28, we read of how Paul reached Rome, being escorted there by the government of Rome, and after three days he did something:

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Grace to You and Peace

Romans 1:7 — “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Paul had many kind things to say about the saints at Rome, but the first kindness that he had for them was not about them, it was to them; and it did not originate with him, but it was from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

The Gospel of God

Romans 1:1–7 — “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God, (Which He had promised afore by His prophets in the holy scriptures,) Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: By Whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for His Name: Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ: To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.”

As the Apostle Paul opens his greeting to the saints at Rome, he begins by letting them know the official nature of this letter.  In verses one through seven, we almost can see a “letterhead” of sorts, showing the genuineness of this epistle as official.  That verse seven sends another greeting, we can see the true Source of this epistle:  God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

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The Olive Tree

I have seen endless debates on this passage about the olive tree in Romans 11.  The following is my attempt to speak on what it is that the Apostle Paul is speaking about in this more difficult portion of Scripture.  It is especially difficult if we force belief systems into this passage rather than looking at what the passage says and refining our belief systems to what the Book says. Many use this passage to teach against security, or to teach “replacement theology”, and some to combat these teach this passage as in some way not applicable to us today.  So now, let us dive in, right to Romans 11:13:

Romans 11:13 — For I speak to you GENTILES, inasmuch as I am the APOSTLE OF THE GENTILES, I magnify mine office:

Here Paul speaks to Gentiles as such.  Not to saved Gentiles particularly, nor to unsaved Gentiles, but to Gentiles.  He states this as having authority to speak to them because he is the apostle of the Gentiles.  The position of apostle of the Gentiles was not a position grasped at, but a position given. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth Me; and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me” (John 13:20).

Acts 22:21 — “And [the Lord] said unto me, Depart: for I will send thee far hence unto the Gentiles.”

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Romans 6:1-11, An Overview

In writing the studies in Colossians, there have been several times where I pointed to Romans 6 as a starting point regarding the believers identification with Christ.  I also noted on a number of occasions the necessity of getting the doctrines that are taught by Paul in Romans correctly in order to properly move on and understand the gospel of Jesus Christ according to the revelation of the mystery.

In this study, which is more of an overview, my intention is to get the point of this most important chapter in Paul’s fundamental “establishment” epistle.  My comments will be in italic type to distinguish them from the scripture quoted. Continue reading “Romans 6:1-11, An Overview”

Settled Accounts

For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. But to him that worketh not, but believeth on Him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness. Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works, [saying], Blessed [are] they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed [is] the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin. [Rom 4:3-8] Continue reading “Settled Accounts”

The Mercy Seat

And thou shalt make a mercy seat [of] pure gold: two cubits and a half [shall be] the length thereof, and a cubit and a half the breadth thereof.  And thou shalt make two cherubims [of] gold, [of] beaten work shalt thou make them, in the two ends of the mercy seat.  And make one cherub on the one end, and the other cherub on the other end:  [even] of the mercy seat shall ye make the cherubims on the two ends thereof. Continue reading “The Mercy Seat”