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 his intention known unto them.  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.

A Better Atonement, A Better Covenant

Hebrews 9:1–10:25

Then verily the first covenant had also ordinances of divine service, and a worldly sanctuary. For there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary. And after the second veil, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all; Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercyseat; of which we cannot now speak particularly.

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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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 Of Christians and Politics

I heard this read at the inauguration of President Trump and for the first time I really understood full context:

1 Timothy 2:1–7 — “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; Who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Whereunto I am ordained a preacher, and an apostle, (I speak the truth in Christ, and lie not;) a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and verity.”

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The Secret of the Thessalonians

In any study of “end times”, it is important to put “first things first”.  Being a “prophecy expert” is one thing, but without the proper framework and an intelligent understanding of the word of God rightly divided, you may attract a lot of attention, but it is not edifying to the saints.  In the following from “The Church Epistles” by Dr. E.W. Bullinger, our author points out the first things that need to be kept in mind when looking to the future.  Over the last few months, I have become quite fond of some of Dr. Bullinger’s work, and this is one of my favorites.

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The Word of Reconciliation

{This is a re-post of an article written last year.  I said this when I shared it before, that if I had one more Sunday School lesson to give, this would be it}

 2 Corinthians 5:14–6:2 — “For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that He died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we Him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, Who hath reconciled us to Himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For He hath made Him to be sin for us, Who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.

“We then, as workers together with Him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain. (For He saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.)”

Reconciliation is one of the great “theological” words of the scriptures.

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One Last Charge

A Study of Colossians 4:17–18

And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen. (Colossians 4:17–18)

As we have reached the end of this great epistle in God’s Word, the apostle has a charge to one, Archippus.  This Archippus is associated with Philemon, possibly a member of his household, as we read in the epistle to Philemon.

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Two Baptisms Involving the Holy Spirit

There are two baptisms which involve the Holy Spirit which often are mixed and considered to be one and the same.

Many Christians who stand firmly for the distinctiveness of the 3 Persons of the Godhead do not consider the difference in these baptisms.  In the first case, that baptism which occurred in the upper room before the Apostle Peter preached on the day of Pentecost following our Lord Jesus’ resurrection, it was God the Son Who did the baptizing, while the Holy Spirit is the content with which the people were baptized.

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