Friday, September 27, 2019

Romans Bible Study #18 "The Glory That Is To Be Revealed" (Romans 8:18-25...Video and Notes)

To go to the beginning of the series on Romans, click here...
To go to the last study (#17), click here..
To watch the entire series on YouTube, click here...

Suffering (vs. 17, 18) -

Three kinds of suffering -

  1. Physical (bodily) - not to be discounted. Though all men suffer to one degree or another, yet historically for Christians many have experienced more physical suffering than the average person (Paul was a good example).
  2. Suffering of the soul (mental suffering) - This can include all sorts of mental illness. Even for those “mentally healthy”, we still struggle with insecurities, worries and cares of this life, difficult interactions with other people. Those who follow Christ are not immune to these (though we can escape much of this by taking all to Christ!).
  3. Spiritual suffering - All human beings share in 1 and 2. However, there is a special kind of inward suffering that those who have been born again must suffer. An awareness of spiritual things brings with it suffering. We may agonize over our unsaved loved ones, as we unceasingly bring them to the Lord in prayer. We see a fallen world around us that others don’t see, and it brings suffering to our spirit. Especially, we have an innate desire to worship as we know that we should, to have the intimate relationship with Christ that we long for...and yet our own flesh so often gets in the way. (The groanings of vs. 23)
... the sufferings and the glory belong together indissolubly. They did in the experience of Christ; they do in the experience of his people also (17). It is only after we ‘have suffered a little while’ that we will enter God’s ‘eternal glory in Christ’, to which he has called us. So the sufferings and the glory are married; they cannot be divorced. They are welded; they cannot be broken apart.” John Stott

There is no comparison between the sufferings that we endure and the glory which follows.

Moreover, the ‘sufferings’ include not only the opposition of the world, but all our human frailty as well, both physical and moral, which is due to our provisional, half-saved condition. The ‘glory’, however, is the unutterable splendour of God, eternal, immortal and incorruptible. One day it will be revealed (18). This end-time disclosure will be made ‘to us’ (RSV), because we will see it, and in us (NIV), because we will share in it and be changed by it. It is also ‘in store for us’ (REB), although the precise nature of ‘what we will be has not yet been made known’.

2 Cor. 3:16-18

Suffering’ and ‘glory’ are inseparable, since suffering is the way to glory (see verse 17), but they are not comparable. They need to be no contrasted, not compared. In (2 Corinithians) Paul has evaluated them in terms of their ‘weight’. Our present troubles, he declared, are ‘light and momentary’, but the glory to come is ‘eternal’ and ‘far outweighs them all’. The magnificence of God’s revealed glory will greatly surpass the unpleasantness of our sufferings.

Vs. 19-22 “Creation” appears in each verse

Vs. 19

The word for ‘eager expectation’ (NASB “anxious longing”) means ‘to wait with the head raised, and the eye fixed on that point of the horizon from which the expected object is to come’. It depicts somebody standing ‘on tiptoe’ (JBP) or ‘stretching the neck, craning forward’ in order to be able to see. And what the creation is looking for is the revelation of God’s children, that is, the disclosure of their identity on the one hand and their investiture (ordained) with glory on the other. This will be the signal for the renewal of the whole creation.

Vs. 20

(Paul) sums up the result of God’s curse by the one word translated, frustration (“futility” NASB). It means ‘emptiness, futility, purposelessness, transitoriness’ (BAGD). The basic idea is emptiness, whether of purpose or of result. I. It is the word chosen by the LXX translators for ‘Vanity of vanities!… All is vanity’,100 which NIV finely renders ‘Meaningless! Meaningless!… Utterly meaningless!’ As C. J. Vaughan comments, ‘the whole Book of Ecclesiastes is a commentary upon this verse’. For it expresses the existential absurdity of a life lived ‘under the sun’, imprisoned in time and space, with no ultimate reference point to either God or eternity.

Vs. 21

Negatively, creation will be liberated from its bondage to decay (21b). (The word translated decay NASB corruption) seems to denote not only that the universe is running down (as we would say), but that nature is also enslaved, locked into an unending cycle, so that conception, birth and growth are relentlessly followed by decline, decay, death and decomposition….So futility, bondage, decay and pain are the words the apostle uses to indicate that creation is out of joint because it is under judgment. It still works, for the mechanisms of nature are fine-tuned and delicately balanced. And much of it is breathtakingly beautiful, revealing the Creator’s hand. But it is also in bondage to disintegration and frustration. In the end, however, it will be ‘freed from the shackles of mortality’ (REB), ‘rescued from the tyranny of change and decay’ (JBP).

Vs. 22

Now he adds that meanwhile, in the present, even while it is eagerly awaiting the final revelation (19), the creation is groaning in pain. Its groans are not meaningless, however, or symptoms of despair. On the contrary, they are like the pains of childbirth, for they provide assurance of the coming emergence of a new order. ...Jesus himself used the same expression in his own apocalyptic discourse. He spoke of false teachers, wars, famines and earthquakes as ‘the beginning of birth-pains’ (NIV) or ‘the first birth-pangs of the new age’ (REB), that is, preliminary signs of his coming.

(Matt. 24:7-8)

The universe is not going to be destroyed, but rather liberated, transformed and suffused with the glory of God.

Vs. 23
First fruits of the Spirit = down payment. Eph. 1:14 tells us the Spirit was given to us as a “pledge of our inheritance.”

2nd “groaning of Romans 8. We long for our eternal inheritance.

2 Cor. 5:1-5

Vs. 4 of “How Sweet the Name of Jesus Sounds” (John Newton)

Weak is the effort of our heart,

And cold our warmest thought;

But when we see Thee as Thou art,

We’ll praise Thee as we ought,

That day our adoption will be finalized...our salvation will be complete...our redemption will be fulfilled.

Vs. 24-25

Hope is the “eager expectation” of the child of God who awaits the full salvation that we have not yet received.

...we wait for it patiently, that is, for the fulfilment of our hope. For we are confident in God’s promises that the firstfruits will be followed by the harvest, bondage by freedom, decay by incorruption, and labour pains by the birth of the new world. This whole section is a notable example of what it means to be living ‘in between times’, between present difficulty and future destiny, between the already and the not yet, between sufferings and glory. ‘We were saved in hope’ brings them together. And in this tension the correct Christian posture is that of waiting, waiting ‘eagerly’ (23, cf. 19) with keen expectation, and waiting ‘patiently’ (25), steadfast in the endurance of our trials (hypomonē). We are to wait neither so eagerly that we lose our patience, nor so patiently that we lose our expectation, but eagerly and patiently together.


In my opinion whatever we may have to go through now is less than nothing compared with the magnificent future God has planned for us. The whole creation is on tiptoe to see the wonderful sight of the sons of God coming into their own. The world of creation cannot as yet see reality, not because it chooses to be blind, but because in God’s purpose it has been so limited—yet it has been given hope. And the hope is that in the end the whole of created life will be rescued from the tyranny of change and decay, and have its share in that magnificent liberty which can only belong to the children of God!

It is plain to anyone with eyes to see that at the present time all created life groans in a sort of universal travail. And it is plain, too, that we who have a foretaste of the Spirit are in a state of painful tension, while we wait for that redemption of our bodies which will mean that at last we have realised our full sonship in him. We were saved by this hope, but in our moments of impatience let us remember that hope always means waiting for something that we haven’t yet got. But if we hope for something we cannot see, then we must settle down to wait for it in patience. -

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Romans Bible Study #17 "Abba, Father!" (Romans 8:15-17...Lesson Notes)

To go to the beginning of the series on Romans, click here...
To go to the last study (#16), click here..

To watch the entire series on YouTube, click here...

Following are my lesson notes for Lesson #17. Unfortunately, the video of this lesson is not available.

Vs. 12 - “under obligation” lit. means “debtors” (KJV, NKJV). We are not debtors to the flesh...Unstated implication is that we ARE debtors to the spirit!

Vs. 13 -
  • “You must die…” cannot be talking about natural death as both those who live according to the flesh and those who live according to the Spirit both die. Means separated from the life that is in God…
  • First part of the first corresponds to Romans 7. Paul describes there a man living according to the flesh…
  • Second part corresponds to the first part of Romans 8…”You will live” = “no condemnation” and “set free.”
  • “Putting to death” indicates an ongoing state. Means “to make ineffective.”
  • "...this teaching is Paul’s elaboration of Jesus’ own summons: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’Since the Romans compelled a condemned criminal to carry his cross to the site of crucifixion, to carry our cross is symbolic of following Jesus to the place of execution. And what we are to put to death there, Paul explains, is the misdeeds of the body, that is, every use of our body (our eyes, ears, mouth, hands or feet) which serves ourselves instead of God and other people." Wiersbe
  • We are under obligation “debtors” to the Spirit to do this.

Vs 14
  • “All who are being led” - Grammatically speaking this is “present progressive tense.” Describes something that is ongoing in the present.
  • “‘Being Led by the Spirit’ is virtually synonymous with “walking according to the Spirit.” “Walking” highlights the active participation and effort of the believer. ‘Being led’ (NASB “All who are being led”) underscores the passive side, the submissive dependence of the believer on the Spirit."
  • “Being led by the Spirit” is a sure indication of our “sonship.” How do we know that we really are God’s children? By the fact that we are being led by His Spirit!
  • Note connection between 13 and 14…”Being led by the Spirit” may correspond to “by the Spirit putting to death the deeds of the body” in vs. 13 as many commentators think. Seems to me is a prerequisite for “being led by the Spirit” or “walking according to the Spirit.” (in vs 4).
  • How do we know we are being led by the Spirit? Operation of the Spirit in us (internal), freedom from sin (internal), circumstances (external)

Vs. 15
  • “Spirit of slavery” is equivilent to “no condemnation” (vs. 1). We are not slaves to sin any more, but without due diligence we can be brought back under the “spirit of slavery” again. It is characterized by fear.
  • “Spirit of adoption” -“Adoption” means in Greek “Son
placement.” “It is a legal term that in this context indicates that believers have been given the full privileges of sonship into God’s family. Concurrent with this placement into sonship, God places the Spirit of His Son into our hearts so that we become, in effect, His natural-born children.”
  • ”In ancient Rome, an adopted son would possess all the rights of a son born into the family.”
  • Wiersbe - “In NT adoption means “being placed as an adult son.” We come into God’s family by birth. But the instant we are born into the family, God adopts us and gives us the position of the adult son. A baby cannot walk, speak, make decisions, or draw on the family wealth. But the believer can do all of these the instant he is born again.”
  • F. F. Bruce ‘The term “adoption” may have a somewhat artificial sound in our ears; but in the Roman world of the first century AD an adopted son was a son deliberately chosen by his adoptive father to perpetuate his name and inherit his estate; he was no whit [sc. not in the smallest degree] inferior in status to a son born in the ordinary course of nature, and might well enjoy the father’s affection more fully and reproduce the father’s
character more worthily.’
  • “Abba, Father” - Joachim Jeremias’ researches into the prayer literature of ancient Judaism convinced him that Jesus’ use of this colloquial and familiar term of address to God was unique. ‘Abba was an everyday word, a homely family-word. No Jew would have dared to address God in this manner. Jesus did it always, in all his prayers which are handed down to us, with one single exception, the cry from the cross.’
  • This term would correspond to “Daddy”. Note contrast between this cry of “childlike and joyous assurance” and the attitude of a slave. No slavish fear because He is our Daddy!
Vs. 16
  • Watchman Nee - “It is imperative that believers recognize a spirit exists within them, something extra to thought, knowledge and imagination of the mind, something beyond affection, sensation and pleasure of the emotion, something additional to desire, decision and action of the will. This component is far more profound than these faculties. God's people not only must know they possess a spirit; they also must understand how this organ operates: its sensitivity, its work, its power, its laws. Only in this way can they walk according to their spirit and not the soul or body of their flesh.”
  • 1 Thessalonians 5:23 Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
  • Hebrews 4:12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart”
  • Immediately(when) the sinner believes in the Lord Jesus he is born anew. God grants him His uncreated life that the sinner's spirit may be made alive. The regeneration of a sinner occurs in his spirit. God's work begins without exception within the man, from the center to the circumference. How unlike Satan's pattern of work! He operates from the outer to the inner. God aims first to renew man's darkened spirit by imparting life to it, because it is this spirit which God originally designed to receive His life and to commune with Him. God's intent after that is to work out from the spirit to permeate man's soul and body.
  • “When God's life (which can equally be called His Spirit) enters our human spirit, the latter is quickened out of its coma. What was "alienated from the life of God" (Eph. 4.18) is now made alive again. Hence "although your bodies are dead because of sin, your spirits are alive because of righteousness" (Rom. 8.10). What we are given in Adam is a spirit made dead; what we receive in Christ at regeneration is both the dead spirit quickened and the new spirit of God's life: the latter, something Adam never had.
  • God's children receive within them the permanent abiding of God's Spirit...Few are those who know they have been born anew and thus possess new life; but fewer still are those who know that from the moment they believed in the Lord Jesus they have the Holy
Spirit indwelling them to be their energy, their guide, their Lord. It is for this very reason that many young Christians are slow in spiritual progress and never seem to grow...Regardless the dullness of Christians in recognizing the dwelling of the Person of God's Spirit in them, God nonetheless has given Him to them. This is an immutable fact which no condition of the Christian can gainsay (contradict). Because they have been regenerated they automatically have become a holy temple fit for habitation of the Holy Spirit. If only these would claim by faith this part of God's promise as they did the other part, they would gloriously experience both.”
  • Thus are we able to recognize what is authentic spiritual life. It is not to be discovered or experienced in the many thoughts and visions of the mind, nor in the many burning and exhilarating feelings of the emotion, nor in the sudden shaking, penetrating and touching of the body by outside force. It is to be found in that life which emanates from the spirit, from the innermost part of man. To walk truly after the Spirit is to understand the movement of this most hidden area and to follow it accordingly. However wonderful may be those experiences which occur through the components of the soul, they are not to be accepted as spiritually valid as long as they remain in the outward and run no deeper than sensations. Only what results from the operation of the Holy Spirit within man's spirit can be accounted spiritual experience. Hence to
  • live a spiritual life requires faith.
  • "It is the Spirit himself bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God" (Rom. 8.16). Man's spirit is the place where man works together with God. How do we know we have been born anew and are therefore children of God? We know because our inner man has been quickened and the Holy Spirit dwells therein. Our spirit is a regenerated, renewed one, and He Who dwells in, yet is distinct from, this new spirit is the Holy Spirit. And the two of them bear witness together.

Vs. 17 -John Stott
  • the Spirit is the firstfruits of our inheritance (17, 23). Paul cannot leave this topic of our being God’s children without pointing out its implication for the future. Now if we are children, then we are heirs as well— heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ (17a).71 At first sight this seems to refer to that heavenly inheritance, which ‘can never perish, spoil or fade’, which God is keeping in heaven for us. It is possible, however, that the inheritance Paul has in mind is not something God intends to bestow on us but God himself. Indeed, ‘it is difficult to suppress the richer and deeper thought that God himself is the inheritance of his children’.
  • “If indeed we suffer with Him…” Here is another way that we can know that we are being led of the Spirit of God. Walking according to the Spirit will lead us into suffering.
  • 1 Peter 4:14-16

Romans Bible Study #16 "As Many As Are Being Led By the Spirit of God..." (Romans 8:3-14...Video Lesson)

To go to the beginning of the series on Romans, click here...
To go to the last study (#15), click here..
To watch the entire series on YouTube, click here...

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

"Examine Yourselves" (Sermon Preached 9-8-19 - Video and Notes)

Examine Yourselves

Galatians 4:19
19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you—
Ephesians 4:11-16
Colossians 1:28; 2:6-7,10; 3:1-4; 12-17
Hebrews 10:24, 25

Taking your own spiritual temperature (Examine Yourself 2 Cor. 13:5)
  1. Am I spending time with Christ daily? (not just punching a clock)
    1. Pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17)
    2. Am I fully surrendered to His will for my life?
  2. Am I in His word daily? (not just punching a clock!)
    1. Is His word getting in me? (Richly dwelling in me - Col 3:17)
    2. Is it changing my life?
    3. Do I see a difference in my attitudes, my relationships as a result?
  3. Am I “overflowing with gratitude?” (Col 2:7)
  4. Does the peace of Christ rule in my heart? (Col 3:15)
    1. When I come into a room, do I bring peace or strife and contention into that room?
    2. Do I cast my anxieties on Him or do I hold them to myself? (1 Peter 5:7)
    3. Do I experience more inner peace and rest for longer periods of time than I did a year ago? 5 years ago?
  5. Am I rooted in Him? (Col. 2:7)
    1. Am I less able to be “blown away” by circumstances and events around me?
  6. Do I have a heart of compassion for others, especially those who I find difficult? (Col:2:12-13)
    1. Am I holding a grudge against anyone? Is there any unforgiveness in my heart?
    2. If I have found unforgiveness in my heart, have I taken it to the Father and asked Him to cleanse it out of me?
  7. Am I “not forsaking the assembly of the saints”? (Hebrews 10:24, 25)
    1. Am I “stimulating others to good works?” Am I encouraging others in the body of Christ?
    2. If I am not able to attend the assembly as I should, am I willing to lay down things in my life that interfere (including if necessary, even my job)? Am I that “sold out?”
  8. Am I giving financially in proportion to how the Lord has prospered me? (2 Cor. 9:6-8)
  9. Am I praying for my pastors and all those in spiritual leadership? Hebrews 13:17
  10. Am I willing to receive spiritual giftings from the Lord if He were to choose to give them to me, not for my own sake, but for the sake of the building up of the body? (Eph. 4:11,12)
    1. Am I willing to be taken completely out of my comfort zone for the sake of Christ?

Summary - Am I a net deposit or a net withdrawal to the body of Christ? Is the body built up by my being a part or is it being hindered because of my lack of participation?

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