This Wednesday @ 2 PM in the Leslie Dan Pharmacy Building room 210 (at the NW corner of College and University) we continue our bible study exploring Christianity as explained in the biblical book of Romans. There’s lots of room for newcomers as schedules shift this spring semester. This week we will be beginning Romans Chapter 3. I look forward to seeing you all there!
Not sure why this didn’t publish the first time. But here it is again. We finished out our study in Romans 1 and 2 back in early December for the Fall Semester. Please join us next year on February 6, 2013 for our first session of the Spring semester. Next semester our times will be 2 PM in the Leslie Dan Pharmacy Building room 210. See you there!
We’ll be back at the Pharmacy Building this week PB 210 @ 1:30 PM. See you there!
This week we had our second session and we discussed the term “the obedience that comes from faith” in v.5 in the context of Paul calling himself a servant of Christ Jesus. The interesting thing about servanthood and slavery in the Bible is that it’s not the same as the slavery we think about today (which is typically the kind of slavery we saw in the Americas in two centuries ago). No, biblical slavery was often taken on voluntarily (well, sort of) when a person was so indebted to someone that they only way they could pay them was to serve them, literally.
The picture in Romans 1 is that Paul was so indebted to Jesus for being rescued from the pit of his sins that he wanted to serve Him with his whole heart. But even for some voluntary servants, it’s hard to serve and obey the kindest and most gentle master. That’s why Paul speaks about the “obedience that comes from faith” which is a gift from God.
In other words, when a Christian obeys God and keeps his commandments, our motivation is not primarily out of guilt, or what other people will think, or because we think it earns us some sort of credit to get us into heaven. No, the reason we obey is out of gratefulness as we realize the depths of our utterly sinful hearts that selfishly pursue our own heart idols like money, success and sex. Paul, for example, had worshiped his own self righteousness and he had even (unbelievably) murdered people in his attempts to gain favour with God. When Paul was pardoned by Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus (see Acts 9) and saved by Him, Paul was also likewise given the delightful gift of “obedience that comes by faith.” So Paul served as a debtor to God’s mercy and grace and his obedience was motivated by faith in God’s promises. So Christians are differently motivated to serve – they realize the depths of their sinfulness and their forgiveness and so they want to serve Christ and are even helped by Him to do so. Guilt is not the motivation to serve God – forgiveness in His grace is.
If you’d like to learn more or ask questions, why not come join us for the study next Wednesday from 1:30 – 3:30 PM. Here’s the homework questions for next week after reading Romans 1:
- What reasons does Paul give for wanting to go to Rome? (11-15)
- What is the Gospel referred to in v.16?
- How do we get the Gospel into our lives?
- In what ways is it powerful?
- Have you ever experienced it’s power?
3. What does it mean to you to “live” by the righteousness of faith? (v.17)
See you next week!
We had our first session yesterday of the Fall 2012 Exploring Biblical Christianity Bible study and it was encouraging to see some old and new (to the study) faces. This semester we’re studying together the book of Romans and we talked about the introduction to the book – specifically looking at verse 1-7.
We’re always open to new participants who want to dig deeper and find out what the Bible really teaches about Christ and Christianity. Why not join us next week from 1:30-3 PM in PB 210?
Here are the homework questions for next week from Romans 1:
- What’s your attitude when you hear the word “servant”?
- What was Jesus’ attitude? – see Mark 10:43-45; Luke 22:24-27;
- How do Paul’s attitude (v.1) and Jesus’ differ from those of most people?
- Why do think that is?
2. What does Jesus resurrection reveal about Him? (v.4) – see also Acts 2:22-36
We are almost at the end of our first semester of Exploring Biblical Christianity. Next week will be our final week of meetings together. I’m thankful for all who have come out and shown interest in the Biblical Christianity and I’d like to invite you all to our Good Friday Services and Lunch at our church this coming April 6th at 11 AM. You can view the invitation card here:Good Friday Invitation or by clicking the thumbnail picture to your left.
This week for our big picture we summarized what the Gospel of Mark has been teaching about biblical Christianity. The image we used was that of a stool where Jesus’ identity as the God-Man is the first leg of the stool, His crucifixion the second leg and His resurrection the third leg. Basically the Gospel of Mark is designed to point us not to something we “do” to be saved but to a person, a Saviour, Jesus. He rescues us from our sins.
As we conclude our series we have a question to answer. What does biblical Christianity look like in a person. We see alot of people who claim the name Christian but don’t really live or act like the biblical description. So, in examining the issue, we saw that the first fundamental characteristic of a biblical Christian is that they live a life full of repentance. We examined the difference between sorrow over sin (an emotion) and repentance (a gift from God that not only expresses emotion but leads to an action – turning away from sin and a turning to God). Next week we will be looking together at the other part of a biblical Christian – a life lived by faith.
See you next Wednesday!