Friday, October 23, 2015

Romans Chapter 16 Part Two

Romans 16:17-20

Final words
Paul could not resist giving a final word of warning that they watch out for spiritual enemies: those who are divisive and seek to hinder the Lord’s work (who put obstacles [skandala, “traps, snares”; cf. Rom_14:13] in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned). This is speaking of doctrinal falsehood and unrighteous practices.
Galatians 1:7-9 "Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ." "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." "As we said before, so say I now again, If any [man] preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed."
We can see from this Scripture that, Paul says not to fellowship with those who would cause divisions in the church. We are not to accept any other doctrine than that which has been established in our church.

Believers are to keep away (pres. imper., “keep on turning away”) from such false teachers, who were not serving (douleuousin, “serving as slaves”; cf. Rom_14:18) Christ, but were slaves to their own appetites (lit., “bellies”; cf. Php_3:19). They were selfish gluttons. The problem, however, was that by smooth talk and flattery they deceived the minds (lit., “hearts”) of naive people (akakōn, “innocent, unsuspecting”). Anyone who mars the unity or harmony of the local church does not serve the Lord Jesus Christ, regardless of his claim. He puts his interest above the welfare and interest of the local church.
Some are driven by self interest and self gratification, often seen in their pretentious, extravagant and immoral lifestyles.
Proverbs 14:15 "The simple believeth every word: but the prudent [man] looketh well to his going."

We see in this that some simple people believe whatever is said to them. The simple will fall for anything. Be wise, don't listen to gossip and be sure to test the spirits.
Matthew 7:15: "Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves."
Paul hastened to assure the Romans that he did not consider them naive. Their obedience (to Christ; cf. Rom_1:5; Rom_15:18; 1Pe_1:2) was well known and Paul was glad for them. But he was concerned that they be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil (kakon). I Kings 3:9 "Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people?"

It takes great understanding to be able to run a church.
I Corinthians 14:20 "Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men."
This is the way to keep from being deceived by a talebearer.
Ephesians 1:15-17 "Wherefore I also, after I heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus, and love unto all the saints," "Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers;" "That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:"

Do not listen to talebearers, but check out all things with the word of God.
The word for “innocent” is akeraious, “unmixed, simple, pure.” In Greek it was used of wine that was not diluted and of metal that was not weakened in any way. The word is used in the New Testament in only two other places: Mat_10:16 (“innocent”) and Php_2:15 (“pure”). Christians should be innocent about evil, not following the ways of the world (Rom_12:2).
To conclude this warning Paul added the promise, The God of peace (cf. Rom_15:33; Heb_13:20) will soon crush Satan under your feet (cf. Gen_3:15). This prayer of Paul's is the same one we preachers should pray for our people. Satan is out to destroy the church. We have no power over Satan, but the name of Jesus has power over him, and we have been authorized to use Jesus' name. Since the third chapter of Genesis, we have been enemies of Satan.

Genesis 3:15 'And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel."
Hebrews 2:14-15 "Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil;" "And deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage."
“Shall bruise Satan under your feet “Shortly” The underlying imagery is found in Gen. 3:15. In freeing themselves from those who were causing division and marring the unity of the church, they would be experiencing what Jesus will ultimately experience when He finally defeats Satan for all eternity.
The false teachers (Rom_16:17-18) were under Satan’s influence, but he will be destroyed and God will establish peace (Rev_20:1-6). Then Paul gave another benediction (cf. Rom_15:13, Rom_15:33) about God’s grace.

Romans 16:21-24

These few verses contain personal greetings from some of Paul’s associates: first, Timothy, my fellow worker, and then Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my relatives. Once again these men were not members of Paul’s family, but fellow countrymen (cf. Rom_16:7, Rom_16:10). Timothy, who is intended, is so close to Paul that Paul calls him his son. He is not his son in the flesh, but in the spirit.

Acts 13:1 "Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simian that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul."
We see here the connection between Paul {Saul} and Lucius. Lucius was a native of Cyrene, one of the prophets and teachers in Antioch who participated in Paul and Barnabas’ commissioning.

Acts 13:2 "As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them." "And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid [their] hands on them, they sent [them] away."

Jason means healing. He was from Thessalonica and was one of the first converts there, who evidently let Paul stay in his home for a short time before Paul and Silas were sent to Berea.
Sosipater means saver of his father. He was a Brean who joined other believers in meeting Paul at Troas after the apostle left Ephesus.
 These may be the men of the same names mentioned elsewhere (Act_13:1; Act_17:5-9; Act_20:4; cf. 2Co_9:4).

Then Tertius, who was Paul’s stenographer for this epistle, sent his greetings. So did Gaius, Paul’s host in Corinth, who apparently had a church meeting in his home. This Gaius was probably not the same Gaius who was from Macedonia and traveled with Paul (Act_19:29) nor the Gaius who was from Derbe (Act_20:4). The Gaius mentioned here in Romans was probably Paul’s convert whom he baptized (1Co_1:14). Gaius was a Macedonian who went with Paul on some of his ministering journeys. He was a convert at Corinth. His full name was most likely “Gaius Titius Justus. He was arrested in Ephesus.

Erastus sent greetings. He was the city’s director of public works (lit., “the city’s steward,” a high position in Corinth). This Erastus was from Corinth and was probably the city treasurer (chamberlain). His name means beloved. Erastus went to Ephesus with Paul and was sent by Paul with Timothy to Macedonia. His usual place to live was Corinth and was there when Paul wrote this.
Paul called Quartus our brother, undoubtedly meaning a spiritual brother, not a physical one. Quartus may have been a physical brother of Eurastus, but more likely just the final brother in Christ listed here. Quartus means a fourth.

Romans 16: 24

"The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ [be] with you all.  Amen."This is a benediction used by many churches even today. This is about the best blessing that could be spoken on you.
Many manuscripts omit this verse. It is not found in the earliest Greek manuscripts of Romans which is understandable in view of the longer, more explicit benediction that follows.
This letter concludes with a beautiful doxology that praises God for His work through Jesus Christ and thereby summarizes the major themes in Romans.

Romans 16:25-27

The apostle finally came to his closing benediction. This letter to the Romans is Paul’s longest and most complete statement of the message he proclaimed, what he here called my gospel (cf. Rom_2:16; 2Ti_2:8) and the proclamation of (i.e., concerning) Jesus Christ. The truth of this message is the means of spiritual life and stability, as Paul expressed his praise to God who is able to establish you (cf. 1Pe_5:10).

Paul said that aspects of this message (e.g., Rom_11:25; 1Co_15:51; Eph_5:32) and in a sense the total message (cf. Eph_3:3-9; Col_1:26-27) are the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known. Preaching of Jesus Christ was synonymous with the gospel; it was Paul’s supreme life commitment. The “mystery” refers to something hidden in former times but now made know.
Colossians 1:26-27 "[Even] the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:" "To whom God would make known what [is] the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:"

In the Old Testament the veil was covering the things of God. Jesus opened the way for us to the Father when He died on the cross. It is as if He removed the scales from our eyes and the Holy Spirit of God has revealed to us the salvation story. We could hear it all day long, but until the Holy Spirit reveals the meaning we are without understanding. Praise God Jesus sent the comforter who is our teacher and guide, as well.
The message of the gospel of Christ was “hidden” in the Old Testament, but is revealed in the New. In the prophetic writings (of the OT; cf. Rom_1:2), given by the command of the eternal God (1Ti_1:17), Christ was referred to (Luk_24:44-45), but even the prophets themselves were not fully aware of all they wrote (1Pe_1:10-12). But now in the Church Age their writings are understood.

The goal of this “revelation of the mystery” (Rom_16:25) is that people of all nations might believe and obey Christ (cf. Rom_1:5; Rom_15:18; 1Pe_1:2). God had told Israel that He would not only call her to righteousness, but appoint her as a light (of the gospel) to the nations.

Manifest means to render apparent. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God.
Luke 24:44-47 "And he said unto them, These [are] the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and [in] the prophets, and [in] the psalms, concerning me." “Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures," "And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:" "And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem."

Jesus spoke in parables when He taught so that the world would not understand. We see in the Scriptures above that He had to open our understanding for us to understand.
Paul’s concern for the geographical spread of the gospel is evident here (cf. Mat_28:19), appropriate in view of his writing to the believers at the empire’s capital city.
Paul then identified specifically the object of his benediction: To the only wise God. In the Greek this phrase is followed immediately by the words through Jesus Christ. This indicates that the wisdom of God is displayed supremely through Christ (cf. Col_2:3). According to the Greek text the benediction then ends, to whom be glory forever! Amen (cf. Rom_11:36). Psalms 147:5 "Great [is] our Lord, and of great power: his understanding [is] infinite."

This just about says it all. God is Wisdom. He is Power. He is Infinite.
It was through the Father that the gospel was ultimately revealed; therefore He deserves all the credit, praise and worship. God the Father ultimately is the One to be praised and to whom glory belongs (cf. 1Co_15:24-28).

2 Corinthians Chapter 5 Part One

2 Corinthians 5:1
Christians should not fear death, because we have an eternal habitation with God in heaven.  Death of our body on the earth is like stepping out of the door of this earth into the door of heaven. The tabernacle, spoken of here, is our body of flesh (our earthly house). We see in the next two verses in Jesus' own words that we have a home in heaven that Jesus has prepared for us.
John 14:2-3 "In my Father's house are many mansions: if [it were] not [so], I would have told you.  I go to prepare a place for you." "And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, [there] ye may be also." 
2 Peter 1:14: "Knowing that shortly I must put off [this] my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me."
“A building of God” is Paul’s metaphor for the believer’s resurrected, glorified body. A glorified body, by definition, is not of this earthly creation but one that has been made by God.
We see the tabernacle of God is with man in the following verse.
Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God."
2 Corinthians 5:2
We spoke earlier of how we shed this body of flesh as a man would shed his outer garment. In heaven, we Christians are dressed in a white linen garment washed in the blood of the Lamb {Jesus Christ}. It is our robe of righteousness. It is, in fact, Jesus' righteousness that we are clothed with. It could be said, that we are clothed with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:3
We would have been naked, but Jesus provided our garment acceptable to God. When God looks at us, He does not see the sin that we once had, but He sees His Son's shed blood. So that we won’t be found naked and ashamed, we are clothed with the righteousness of Christ.
Paul had a passionate longing to be free from his earthly body and all the accompanying sins, frustrations, and weaknesses that were so relentless.
2 Corinthians 5:4
Our mortal body grows old, and full of pain, and suffering. Moses' snake, which represented life, swallowed up the snakes of the Pharaoh's magicians. The magician’s snakes represented death, or Satan. Death must be swallowed up for life to come. This mortal must put on immortality. Death of the body has to come for life of the spirit to begin.
Paul reiterated that he could hardly wait to get his glorified body. He wanted the fullness of all that God had planned for him in eternal life, when all that is earthly and human will cease to be.
2 Corinthians 5:5
Romans 8:23 "And not only [they], but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, [to wit], the redemption of our body." 
Jesus was the first fruit, and we that follow are the first fruits of the harvest. Let us look at the following verses and find what this earnest of the spirit is. 
Ephesians 1:13-14 "In whom ye also [trusted], after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promise," "Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." 
Jesus sent the Spirit of the Risen Christ to dwell in the Christian. That is our earnest. We have eternal Life within us. We must shed our body of flesh for the Spirit of life to make itself real to us.
The sealing of which Paul speaks here refers to an official mark of identification that was placed on a letter, contract, or other important document. The seal usually was made from hot wax, which was placed on the document and then impressed with a signet ring. The document was thereby officially identified with and under the authority of the person to who the signet belonged.
That is the idea of our being sealed in Him (Christ) with the Holy Spirit of promise. The seal of God’s Spirit in the believer signifies four primary things: security, authenticity, ownership and authority.
Ephesians 4:30 "And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption."
2 Corinthians 5:6
This body of flesh gets in the way of total fellowship with the Lord. This world, or this body, should not be thought of as our permanent home. We are just traveling through this earth on our way to the Promised Land {heaven}.
While we are still in our body, we are attached to this earth. We are in the earth. To live in heaven, we must leave this earthly dwelling place. Just as the children of Israel had to leave Egypt {type of the world}, before they could go to their promised land, we must leave this world to get to our promised land. The Lord is inside of us, but to fully enjoy fellowship with no boundaries, we would have to be with Him at the throne of God in Heaven.
“Absent from the Lord”: Paul was not saying he had absolutely no contact, because there is prayer, the indwelling Spirit, and fellowship through the Word. Paul was simply expressing a heavenly homesickness, a strong yearning to be at home with his Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:7
Faith is the opposite of fact. If you can see it with your physical eyes, it takes no faith to believe.
Hebrews 11:1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."
Abraham had faith, and it was counted unto him for righteousness. It is our faith that provides our righteousness in Jesus' blood, as well.
Christian’s hope for a heaven they have not seen. They do so by believing what Scripture says about it and living by that belief.
2 Corinthians 5:8
When we leave this body of flesh, we are instantly in heaven with the Lord in our spiritual body. Jesus told the thief on the cross that today he would be with Him in Paradise. Jesus dismissed His Spirit from His body and commanded it to go to the Father.  Both the Spirit of Jesus and the spirit of the thief instantly went to paradise/heaven, when they left their bodies of flesh.
Revelation 2:7 "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; to him that overcometh will I give to eat of the tree of life, which is in the midst of the paradise of God." 
The Tree of Life {Jesus} is in heaven with God.  Paradise is now in heaven.
2 Corinthians 5:9
The cry of all Christians should be, we'll work till Jesus comes. The desire of every Christian that I know is that when they stand before the Lord Jesus as Judge of the entire world, that they’ll hear Jesus say: Well done, thy good and faithful servant. He will recognize us as His own, if we have stayed faithful to Him.
Paul demonstrated that it is right and noble for the believer to strive for excellence, spiritual goals, and all that is honorable before God. Paul’s highest goal, and should be so for every believer was to be well pleasing to God and to be accepted of him.
2 Corinthians 5:10
This is speaking of the Bema Seat, the judgment seat of Christ. “Judgment seat” metaphorically refers to the place where the Lord will sit to evaluate believers’ lives for the purpose of giving them eternal rewards. It is translated from the Greek work bema, which was an elevated platform where victorious athletes (during the Olympic Games) went to receive their crowns. The term is also used in the New Testament to refer to the place of judging, as when Jesus stood before Pontius Pilate, but here the reference is definitely from the athletic analogy.
“Done in his body” refers to the actions which happened during the believer’s time of earthly ministry. This does not include sins, since their judgment took place at the cross. Paul was referring to all those activities believers do during their lifetimes, which relate to their eternal reward and praise from God.
What Christians do in their temporal bodies will, in His eyes, have an impact for eternity?
“Whether it is good or bad”: Again terms that does not refer to moral good and moral evil. Matters of sin have been completely dealt with by the death of the Savior. Rather, Paul was comparing worthwhile, eternally valuable activities with useless ones.
His point was not that believers should not enjoy certain wholesome, earthly things, but that they should glorify God in them and spend most of their energy and time with what has eternal value.