Episode 20- Romans Made Easy

Rome

 

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Romans is the most difficult book in the New Testament for me. After all these years, I still struggle with making sense of parts of it. So what I decided to do was back out and look at it from a higher altitude, so to speak, and look at the big picture. Doing this, helps me a lot.

Lets face it, one of the big mistakes in Bible Study AND Bible teaching is trying to zoom in too close and draw conclusions from the minutiae rather than get the big picture right first. Looking ahead, that is frequently one of the problems we’ll deal with when we get to the book of Revelation. By looking at the big picture we gain perspective.  That’s how I’ve approached Revelation for years, so I decided to use that same approach with Romans, and it’s helped me a lot.

Traditionally, Paul wrote the book from Corinth, shortly before his third missionary journey and trip to Jerusalem where he was arrested. He gives strong indication of this time table towards the end of chapter 15.

Ok, let’s look at the themes Paul covers in Romans. Keep in mind he’s never been to Rome. He’s writing to a Church he’s never visited and has only heard about. That’s why he sticks to more general themes than say, in his letters to the Corinthians.  As a preacher, I will usually approach a message differently when I’m at a congregation I am unfamiliar with than I will in a place where I know the congregation well and where I am well known. You can feel a sense of formality in Romans as compared to the way he writes to congregations where he is better known.

After his introduction, Paul goes into the text of his letter where he addresses some universal truths

  1. The sinfulness of Sin and God’s hatred of it.
  2. The Universal lostness of the human race – We’ve all sinned
  3. Jesus has provided a remedy for our predicament
  4. Paul takes a diversion to deal with the Judaizers and Explains Israel’s Predicament as well as his personal love for his own people
  5. Chapters 12-14 have advice for practical Christian living ( Finding our personal gifts and ministry, dealing with secular authorities, and how to relate to legalists and people with differing social mores as they relate to acceptable behavior.)
  6. Finally, Paul spends time in personal greetings to people in the Church he is familiar with. You can almost feel his desire to be with them.

So, in essence, the Paul’s letter to the Roman Church is a presentation of the Gospel, but from the perspective of someone already a Believer rather than as a message trying to convince a skeptic or seeker to follow Christ.

 

Episode 18 – The ‘In Your Face’ Gospel of John

Image result for John the Apostle images

 

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Episode Notes

John is the fourth and in many ways the most dramatic of the Gospels.  It is certainly the one that most emphasizes the conflict in Jesus life.  Jesus it the light in a dark world. A key verse has to be, “a light that shined in darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. And also, He came to that which was his own, and his own did not receive it. Both are found in chapter 1

Let’s talk about the writer himself:  from Capernaum, brother of James, son of Zebedee, fisherman and one of the first of Jesus’ disciples. Of all the Apostles, John is the only one who follows Jesus all the way to Calvary.

He, along with Peter is the first disciple to the empty tomb. According to Luke, in Acts, Peter and  John are the first Apostles recognized as leaders of the Church in Jerusalem. Despite this, he quickly passes from the front lines of book of Acts.

We can piece together from John’s disciples and close associates that he spends his last years in Ephesus. It is while in Ephesus that he wrote his Gospel and three letters. Revelation was written either on Patmos, or after his return from exile there.

The reason for his exile by Domitian, is lost in the mists of history, but within less than 100 years, the legend is that the emperor tried, but failed to have the apostle killed. The story is that Domitian ordered John to be boiled in oil, fried like a chicken leg, but he didn’t die.

According to the most ancient traditions, John died of natural causes somewhere around AD 95 and was buried in Ephesus.

For many years, liberal scholars suggested that John’s Gospel was not written until the late 2nd or possibly the third century, because it deals with such specific matters and doctrines.  Lots of talk about Jesus Deity and Humanity.

The Gospel appears to be a direct assault on Gnosticism, which reached its peak in the late 2nd and early 3rd centuries.  However, a certain parchment fragment that contains part of John’s Gospel, on display in Manchester England, called P52, is dated to within 50 years of the original writing.

The purpose of John’s Gospel is most explicit in the very last verse of the chapter 20

Arguably the most important claim Jesus ever made about His own identity is in John’s Gospel. You can find it in chapter 8, verse 58

 

Episode 17 – The Gospel of Luke

 

God’s Route 66 Part 3

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Author: Luke – Physician, Companion of Apostle Paul, Gentile, Historian, Author of Acts

Date Written – Mid 50s – A.D. 66

Recipient – ‘Theophilus’ Probably a real individual as the name is not uncommon in the first century, but possibly a pseudonym for ‘Christian’ as the name literally means, friend or lover of God.

Focus – To establish the universality of the Gospel by identifying Jesus as ‘The Son of Man’. Since Luke is a Gentile and ‘Theophilus’ is a Gentile name, it is safe to assume that the earliest appeal was for a Gentile Audience.

Key Passages – 1:1-4, Chapter 2, 3:16, 4:18-21, 10:1-9, 10:25-37

 

Episode 15 – The Gospels Part 1

matthew

Gospel of Matthew

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Why are the Gospels in the order they are in?

Who is Matthew?

When was Matthew Written?

What is the purpose of the Book?

Email  or use comments to request NT reading plan

 

Rediscovering the Bible Kindle Book

Key Verses:

Chapters 5,6,7, 11:28-30, 16:13-17, 24, 25:34-46, 28:19,20

 

Everybody Dies Famous In A Small Town – ‘Scandalous, Part 1″ is Up.

GossipWho remembers telephone ‘Party Lines’?  Hint: it has nothing to do with 900 numbers…

If you lived in a small town in the 60s, there’s a good chance you know what I’m talking about.  Yes, I’m old enough to remember life before smart phones, cell phones, digital phones, push button phones and even rotary phones. I distinctly remember asking the operator to connect me to certain lines. Ah, those were the days.

Small towns are different; especially if you are trying to keep a secret. Small town gossip is faster than the internet. It can be pretty impressive.

Imagine for a minute you are Mary and Joseph trying to live in Nazareth, a town of 200 to 3oo people at best, when it becomes obvious that Mary is pregnant and the young couple are not married. I’ll betcha things got exciting around town.

We’re talking about things like that in this weeks, (Re)Discovering the Bible Online Radio Show.

The first episode in our ‘Scandalous’ series is now up.

What’s The Big Deal About The Bible, Anyway? Episode 3

Rediscover Cover(Re)Discovering The Bible Online Radio Show – Episode 3 is out.

Podcast Link

 

Show Notes:

Bible Verses showing what the Bible Says about itself

II Timothy 3:16

II Timothy 2:15

II Peter 1:20,21

John 17:17

Psalm 119 (all of it, but we mentioned verse 105

 

The Jesus Centered Bible – More Info ,  Shop here.

(Re)Discovering The Bible, Vol. 1

 

 

(Re)Discovering the Bible Online Radio Show, Episode 2, Kooks, Crazies, Zombies and the Bible

Episode 2 is online:  Kooks, Crazies, Zombies and the Bible

Notes: Today’s Topics:

Craft Fair Crazies

Reasons Why I Created This Radio Show

Answering the Question: Why isn’t the Bible in Chronological order?

 

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