I picked up the N.T. Wright study guide; Paul for Everyone Romans a few weeks ago in anticipation of going through this Epistle with a study group that I have attended for the better part of a year now.  I had high expectations that Tom would present his ideas in a clear and compelling way and his book has lived up to my expectations.  The book comes in two volumes with chapters 1-8 and 9-16 separate.

Not only does Bishop Wright interpret the text for us, but he also provides his own translation of the text that is consistent with his interpretation.  I think this is key since part of the problem of Romans is that the language has changed so much and is so embedded in the culture of the day that a word for word translation is not adequate.  Here is an example from Romans 1:

I am under obligation to barbarians as well as to Greeks, you see; both to the wise and to the foolish. That’s why I’m eager to announce the good news to you, too, in Rome.  I’m not ashamed of the good news; it’s God’s power, bringing salvation to everyone who believes – to the Jew first, and also, equally; to the Greek.  This is because God’s covenant justice is unveiled in it, from faithfulness to faithfulness.  As it says in the Bible, “the just shall live by faith”.

This can be compared with the NIV 2011 translation:

Post continued, click here…

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The Lost Codex – N.T. Wright Edition

by Dave on February 26, 2011

in General, Theology

I have N.T. Wright’s Paul In Fresh Perspective, audio version, and I have been through it more than 5 times.  Tom Wright is my favorite theologian and he has done so much to expand and explain the Christian faith.

One of the most revolutionary things about Bishop Wright’s discussion of Jesus is how he frames up the gospel.  So here it is, the short gospel per N.T. Wright, I love it.

The good news is that the covenant had been fulfilled and that new creation had begun.  The great apocalypse had occurred revealing Jesus as Israel’s Messiah.  Jesus was, therefore, Lord of the world and Caesar was not.

N.T. Wright, Paul In Fresh Perspective


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The Lost Codex – Corinthians Edition

by Dave on December 9, 2010

in General, Theology

As you know, the name of this site comes from my assertion that the Gospel as it was taught to the first century people has been lost in the current Christian Church.  Well, as it turns out the Gospel is right in the bible here it is, 1 Corinthians15:

15:1 Now I want to make clear for you, brothers and sisters, the gospel that I preached to you, that you received and on which you stand, 15:2 and by which you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message I preached to you – unless you believed in vain. 15:3 For I passed on to you as of first importance what I also received – that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 15:4 and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures, 15:5 and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 15:6 Then he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. 15:7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 15:8 Last of all, as though to one born at the wrong time, he appeared to me also. 15:9 For I am the least of the apostles, unworthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. 15:10 But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been in vain. In fact, I worked harder than all of them – yet not I, but the grace of God with me. 15:11 Whether then it was I or they, this is the way we preach and this is the way you believed.

15:12 Now if Christ is being preached as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? 15:13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:14 And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is futile and your faith is empty. 15:15 Also, we are found to be false witnesses about God, because we have testified against God that he raised Christ from the dead, when in reality he did not raise him, if indeed the dead are not raised. 15:16 For if the dead are not raised, then not even Christ has been raised. 15:17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is useless; you are still in your sins. 15:18 Furthermore, those who have fallen asleep in Christ have also perished. 15:19 For if only in this life we have hope in Christ, we should be pitied more than anyone.

15:20 But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 15:21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead also came through a man. 15:22 For just as in Adam all die, so also in Christ all will be made alive. 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ, the firstfruits; then when Christ comes, those who belong to him. 15:24 Then comes the end, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father, when he has brought to an end all rule and all authority and power. 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 15:26 The last enemy to be eliminated is death. 15:27 For he has put everything in subjection under his feet. But when it says “everything” has been put in subjection, it is clear that this does not include the one who put everything in subjection to him. 15:28 And when all things are subjected to him, then the Son himself will be subjected to the one who subjected everything to him, so that God may be all in all.

Why did I spend so much time trying to say it myself?

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Romans Part 1 – Revisited

by Dave on July 23, 2010

in General, Theology

I was recently reading an interview of Bishop Tom Wright regarding the new perspectives on Paul and it brought to light an angle that I have not covered in my earlier post on the beginning of Romans.

One of the key elements to consider in the so called new perspective on Paul is that Paul was inherently anti-imperial.  That is, Paul was against the pursuits of the Roman Empire and actively tried to make it known that the imperial Roman Empire is against the ways of god.  As I have studied this topic I have concluded a couple things.  First, it sure looks like Paul and the teachings of Jesus are against the idea of the Imperial Empire.  Second, the Imperial Empire of Rome looks an awful lot like the Empire of the United States in the current world order.  But this post is really about the first point.

Let’s look back at the  beginning of Paul’s letter to the Romans.  When you read this, it may pay to keep in mind that Paul is writing this letter to the Romans.  That is, he is writing this letter to the people who are day in and day out benefiting from and succumbing to the rhetoric and influence of the Roman Empire.  The text:

1Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— 2the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures 3regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, 4and who through the Spirit[a] of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God[b] by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. 5Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

 7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
      Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ. NIV

This looks like pretty common language that we would hear of us all declaring that Jesus is Lord, right?  The key I was reminded of in Tom Wright’s interview is that much of the language that is used here in the opening to the letter to the Roman’s is a rehash of the language that was used to refer to Caesar.  It was common place to say your allegiance to Caesar.  The roman world would also say that Caesar was a god, and he was a god here on earth and he was the most powerful god as evidenced by his great power and wealth.  If you were to follow Caesar and be obedient to him then you too will get to share in the wealth and security of the roman empire!  Caesar is Lord!

Paul, in his opening to his letter to the Romans turns that on its head and instead declares that this forgiving and wise carpenter turned teacher that was crucified by Caesar is Lord, not Caesar.  Paul does not add that last not Caesar to his language but that was understood by his audience who were immersed in the language of Caesar being lord and god and you need to be obedient to his will and through that obedience you will secure salvation for you and your family in this new world order, the Pax Romana.  Sounds a lot like what Paul is saying about Jesus, right?

That is part of the scandal that was the letter of Paul to the Romans.  We read the opening today and miss all the nuanced association that Paul is making between the Kingdom of God and Jesus being Lord and the Roman Empire, with Caesar as lord.  Remember, Caesar is a son of the gods and he himself a god living here on this earth.  He is bringing peace and salvation.

Doesn’t it sound a lot like the good old USA?  We are extending our borders out to distant land, we will bring peace to the world through our power.  We will give our people peace here in our homeland and security.  But who pays the price for this?  Who is not secure?

Are you called to be son’s of the American Empire, or the Empire of the Lord?  Which lord?  I invite you to take the time to re-read the beginning of the letter to the Romans and see why a servent of Caesar may look at what Paul is saying differently than you or I today.

One last quote, from the Bishop Wright:

After all, in a democracy ‘Caesar’ is ‘all of us’, and though we have Presidents and Prime Ministers the critique of ‘empire’ is more complicated now than it was in the first century.

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Romans Part 6 – Righteousness of God

by Dave on July 11, 2010

in Theology

Today I start to get to some of the key concepts that are often misinterpreted in Paul’s letters.  First, the scripture, Romans 1:16 and 17

16I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 17For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”  NIV

I have often wondered why Paul would feel compelled to have to write that he is not ashamed of the gospel.  Why would the story of God and Jesus possibly cause shame to him in some way?  One of the reasons that I can think of is because the gospel that he is referring to is so simple and easy that it almost seems too simple and easy.  The gospel is, as I have been trying to articulate in The Lost Codex, is actually so simple that people may have laughed at it in the Roman world.  Remember, this is the world of the great Greek philosophers who have high sounding philosophies of other higher worlds and a disassociation of the mind and bodily concerns.  To hear someone preach that they should just try to be good to others here on earth may have been laughable.

Also, it could be that the gods of the Roman Pantheon were gods who would grant all kinds of wishes, that were powerful in war, powerful over the lives of people.  In contrast the god of Jesus and Paul is shown to be a loving, caring god who by the rules of this world is not powerful or strong.  Instead, he could be viewed as weak.  So it would be easily conceivable that some in Rome would be ashamed to have such a weak god.

So Paul says he is not ashamed because it really is the way that you can have a great and fulfilling life.  It really is the way that you can find a piece of the Kingdom of God here and now.  It is really the way we were meant to be.  He is not ashamed that his god is not going to go and beat up your god.  Or that his god is not going to go to battle for him.  Instead, his god is going to love you…

I attended a Bible study class where the attitude of the teacher always seemed to be that following Jesus and his gospel somehow inherently involved suffering.  While I agree that there are many in this world who will cause you suffering for following the ways of Jesus, that is not the point that Jesus (or Paul) is making.  What Jesus says is that you will live a life of the ages, you will have eternal life.  This does not mean that you are going to go to heaven.  It actually means the opposite.  It means that you will have a life the way God intended you to have it here on earth.  Once we are all following this new way of being there will only be happiness and the Kingdom of God fully realized here on earth.

In verse 16 Paul also starts to use the phrase “everyone who believes”.  Do you believe?  I think that the way people have typically rendered this is something like: “do you acknowledge that Jesus is God and he was really here, that is believing”.  But that is not the way Paul uses the word believe.  Paul is not wanting people to somehow believe in a propositional statement of whether you think Jesus is God, but he is saying to you to believe the Gospel, which is that the person Jesus really is the new King to rule over the world, and his laws are to love each other!  When people ask the question, “do you believe in Jesus?” they are usually missing the point.  It is not whether you “believe in Jesus”, it is whether you believe that God’s kingdom has begun on this earth and the way you can live and share in this life is to love each other and treat people well.

So Paul says “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes”.  This does not mean, “I am not ashamed of Jesus because if you believe in him you will go to heaven some day.”  What it means is “if you follow the ways of Jesus you will participate in God’s Kingdom here and now on this earth and it is available to everyone.

Then in verse 17 we get the first instance in this letter of the phrase “righteousness from God”  This is one of those cases where it is beneficial to go back to the original Greek in which Paul wrote the original letter.  In his letter, the term we translate in the NIV as righteousness is dikaiosune.  Dikaiosune in the NET bible is defined as:

  1. in a broad sense: state of him who is as he ought to be, righteousness, the condition acceptable to God
  2. the doctrine concerning the way in which man may attain a state approved of God
  3. integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking feeling, and acting
  4. in a narrower sense, justice or the virtue which gives each his due

Thus, when we are talking about the righteousness of God (dikaiosune gar Theo, Theo meaning God) there is room for interpretation.  There are several interpretations of how this phrase can be used.  One of interpretations that I have seen used in Protestant (particularly Baptist) circles is that somehow this righteousness from God (dikaiosune gar Theo) is something that God imparts onto the person who believes.  That is, when Paul says “For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed”, these people interpret that as God has somehow given them righteousness and it is revealed in them.  Clearly this can lead to some problems that I think are significant and apparent in today’s baptist cultures (they are indeed holier than thou, Paul says it, right?).  This problem of feeling that they are righteous is exacerbated further by the next part of verse 17:

For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last,just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The baptist view of the word faith here is usually interpreted as a person believing that Jesus is God and by having this faith (that Jesus is God) he will impart his righteousness onto you and you will be holy.  I know a couple of “saved” people where this would certainly describe how they interpret this part of the letter.  This interpretation (I confess that I believe Jesus is God and he makes me righteous and therefore I will go to heaven) is not in the bible.  It is totally in keeping with the hyper individualistic notions of modern society.

But Paul may have meant this is a different way.  To me, the dikaiosune gar Theo, the righteousness from God, is a characteristic of God.  God has a righteousness.  As is in the Gospels, he is love and good, he has this quality of dikaiosune.

And faith, in the context of this letter, is not really some intellectual statement or some feeling that you have accepted Jesus as your personal lord, but instead it is that you have faith that you should live your life in the way that Jesus gospel (his good news) tells us that we should live.  Having faith is not an internal thought, it is an orientation, it is action, it is that you know that you will share in the Kingdom of God by living your life according to the teaching of Jesus.  In the ancient near east there was not an implicit distinction between the thoughts of a person and their actions.  It was generally assumed that if you thought a certain way (for example, had faith that Jesus taught God’s will), then you would generally do it.

The very last part of verse 17 is also important especially considering the degree to which it is twisted in much of today’s society.  It says:

“The righteous will live by faith.”

If one were so inclined to feel that the gospel is all about how a person who accepts Jesus as his personal saviour will have eternal life by going to heaven then it is pretty clear that this phrase would confirm that stance.

But I contend that the real meaning of this is that those who share in the Godly quality of dikaiosune (the actual word used by Paul here is dikaios) will live (here and now in the way of God) by faith (believing that the ways of Jesus are the right ways and therefore they will actually live that way.

So a quick comparison of a couple of possible interpretations of verses 16 and 17 can lead people to radically different world views.  On one hand, the baptist believer will possibly state those as:

I am not afraid because God has the power to send people to heaven if they attest that Jesus is the Lord (in their mind and heart).  For God has gives you righteousness so you are now holy because you acknowledged that Jesus is God and believe!  You don’t have to do anything, only have faith and believe.

This is horrible, it missed the point of what Paul is saying.  Instead, he is saying this:

I am proud to support the man Jesus who was put to death by the Romans (this letter is to the Romans), for God rules the world and you can participate in his empire by having assuredness that the simple life of Jesus is the correct life to live.  This is verified in the good news that Jesus was raised from the dead by God proving that he indeed is the long sought after King of the world.  The new King shows that God’s correct way to live is to love each other.  Experience this wonderful new life now.

So what’s the difference.  In the typical evangelical baptist message, it is all about you personally believing something so that when you leave this life you will go to heaven.  The new perspective is that you need to act with love in this life and that is how God wants you to live.

This difference plays out over and over in our society.  People who believe the old view will go to church on Sunday and as long as they think that they “believe in Jesus” they will go to heaven some day.  So they don’t do anything.  They think that they are saved.  But they missed the boat.  Being saved means to live God’s rightful life here and now.  To be actively involved in ushering in the Kingdom of God.

Next time – is God mad?

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Romans Part 5 – Greeting

by Dave on July 2, 2010

in Theology

Having gone quite slowly through the beginning of Romans, I am going to go quickly through this next section.

8First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. 9God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you 10in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

 11I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong— 12that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith. 13I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

 14I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. 15That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are at Rome.  NIV

In 8-15 Paul gives a warm greeting to his audience.  There are many who feel that people can not come to God on their own and Paul can be viewed as a supporter of this in verse 8.  He thanks God through Jesus (as in John 14:6 “no one comes to the Father except though me”) for all of them because of the report of their faith.  Now is he is he thanking God for their faith or for the reports of the faith?  It is not obvious to me which it is.  It may be both.

Toward the end of this passage, he clearly articulates that his preaching of the gospel is for everyone.  One of the interesting parts of this is that he says that it is to the wise and the foolish.  In Greek, the term translated as foolish is anohtoiv.  In this sense it seems to be someone without sense.  He also uses this term in several other letters and in those contexts it looks like he uses it to describe people who have not taken the advice that has been given to them.  Particularly people who once had faith but for some reason no longer do.  I feel this is important since it means that Paul’s mission is to continually reinforce the gospel preached.  There are some who say once someone “believes” then they are saved.  But Paul says that some can be “foolish” and turn away.

Next time, several key words including “salvation”, “righteousness of God”, and “Faith”.


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Romans Part 4

by Dave on June 27, 2010

in Theology

So far we have discussed the Paul, Jesus being the Messiah and a bit about the gospel.  Now I think we have enough background to start to get at what the letter to the Romans is saying.

Verses 5, 6 and 7

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.

To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.  NIV

Here we start to get into some of the basic foundations of Paul’s mission.  In verse 5 he makes it clear that it is through Jesus (him) that they received grace and the mission (apostleship).  How did Jesus do this?

For Paul, Jesus came in a vision that temporarily blinded him and somehow had the message of Jesus and the significance of Jesus revealed to him.  The significance of Jesus is that because he rose from the dead, he is now officially the Messiah of the Jewish people.  The Messiah is the king of the Jews that will come to bring the Kingdom of God here on earth and rule forever.  Remember, Israel is to bring forth a ruler that will rule over all the kingdoms of the world.  Jesus is that ruler, that King.

So in the second part of verse 5, he makes it clear that all people are called to be under the kingship of Jesus the King.  And what happens if you believe that someone is your King?  If you truly believe that someone is your King then you will be obedient to that King.  Jesus rising from the dead meant that he was the King that the prophets spoke about, the King that was promised to Abraham to be a King of all the world.  And if you believe that he is this King, then you will be obedient to him.  That is what Paul means by “to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith”.

In verse 6 he again emphasizes that those in Rome, the people of Rome are those who are called to belong to Jesus the Messiah of the Jews.  The term Christ means the Messiah.  It does not mean that he is God’s son (though I believe that to be true), it means that he is the great Kingdom Bringer!  The one who will bring the Kingdom of Israel’s God (Yahweh) to all the world.

We have heard it said many times that by dying on the cross Jesus proved he was God and then went to heaven so that we too will go to heaven when we die.  But that is not what the gospel is about.  Instead, the gospel is that God raised Jesus from the dead (the first resurrection), thereby proving that resurrection does happen and this then means that Jesus was indeed the promised King of Israel that would make Israel the nation to rule all other Nations.  And Jesus teaching as this ruler was to Love Others.

So, in verse 5 and 6, I could write it like this in my words:

Jesus the new King of Israel has given us the mission to tell all people that he started to bring the Kingdom of God here on earth and that we should be obedient to him if we believe that he is this new king.  All of you, all the people of the world and not just the Jews are able to participate in the new Kingdom by obeying his teachings.


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Romans Part 3 – The Gospel

by Dave on June 23, 2010

in Theology

In the first post I discussed the idea of Jesus being the Messiah, the king or leader that would come to herald in God’s kingdom in this world.  It was assumed that this was to be a human, a real king, not someone like Jesus.

In the second part I talked a bit about Paul.  Paul was very Jewish and only became a Jesus follower after Jesus died and rose from the dead.  He was a Jewish insider as well as a Roman citizen.

In this part I will discuss “the gospel”.  The beginning of the Letter to the Romans states:

Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. NIV

Besides having a good idea of who Jesus and Paul are, it would be a good idea to have some idea as to what the gospel is that Paul is talking about.  Paul says that he is “set apart for the gospel of God- the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son..”  You may have heard that the word gospel means good news and indeed I do believe this is the sense in which Paul is using the word.  In Greek it is euaggelion, which also has more of a good tidings, or good message flavor to it.

The point I want to make about the use of the word gospel by Paul, is that when he is writing the letter to the Romans he is not talking about what he has to say, but he is referring to what Jesus did and what he said.  The gospel is how the man Jesus fulfilled the prophetic narrative, declared his message to the people and was risen from the dead thereby ushering in a new age, a new kingdom to come for all of humanity.

This gospel that I am talking about is in stark contrast to the “good news” that so many of our reformed churches in the US teach.  I propose that the gospel according to Jesus goes something like this:

Everyone!  As your fathers and the prophets have promised, I have come make everything right between you and God.  I have come to tell you of a new way of life that was promised by God.  I am here to be the leader of the world.  Rejoice, for I am ushering in the Kingdom of God which is available to you here and now.  This Kingdom of God has two commands.  First, love God with all you have and second, love your neighbor as yourself.  That’s it!  It is simple!  Believe that it truly is THE WAY!  If you believe that this really is The Way, you will have the opportunity to live a life of the ages.  A life that is the way that Yahweh always wanted you and all people to live.

That is some good news as far as I am concerned.  Unfortunately, many of our religions have forgotten the gospel.  They have instead contorted it to mean something more like this:

One God: Infinite, Eternal and Unchangeable, subsisting in a mysterious and Eternal Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 1 John 5:7-8, Matt. 28:19

One Word: The Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments of faith and practice. 2 Timothy 3:16-17, 2 Peter 1:16-21

One Condemnation: There being no difference, for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God, because the carnal mind being born of corruptible seed, is enemy against God. Romans 3:10-26, Romans 6:23, John 3:16, Ezekiel 16:4

One Savior: The Lord Jesus Christ, God manifest in the flesh; His essential deity, virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious death, physical Heaven from whence He shall return personally and premillennially to set up an earthly kingdom. John 1:1-14, John 14:9, Isaiah 7:14, Acts 3:12-26, Hebrews 9:24, 1 Cor. 15:12-15, 1 Thess. 4:13-18, Acts 1:11, Rev. 19:11-16, Rev. 19:19-20, 20:1-6, Titus 2:11-14.

One Atonement for Sin: Made by Jesus Christ in a substitutionary and sacrificial death on the cross, sufficient for all, available to all, and that all must be born again or be forever lost. Mark 10:45, John 3:3, 36, Romans 5:1-10, 1 Cor. 5:18-21, Hebrews 2:9.

One Spirit: God, the Holy Ghost whose work is to reprove the world, of sin, of righteousness and of judgment, and through whose sovereign agency in sanctification the soul is changed more and more into the Divine Image from glory to glory. John 16:7-15, 2 Cor. 3:18.

One Life: The Life is with Christ in God – The Life Eternal; begun when a sinner believes and receives Him and continuing thereafter by the effectual and sovereign grace of God. Phil. 1:6, Eph. 1:13, John 1:12, Romans 10:9-10, John 10:26-29.

One Church: Which is Christ’s Body, all the members of which God hath from the beginning chosen in Christ to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth. Eph. 1:4, Eph. 1:14, 22-23, 6:25-32.

Two Destinies: Heaven, a place of eternal life and bliss, and Hell, a place of everlasting punishment eternally separated from God. 2 Cor. 3:10, Rev. 20:1-15, Rev. 21:1-29, Hebrews 9:27-18, Matt. 25:46, Luke 16:19-31.

One Satan: Both Temper and Accuser who exists in personality and reality. Rev. 12:9-10, Matt. 4:2-11, John 8:44, Eph. 6:11-12.

One Commission: The Great Evangelistic Commission given by Jesus Christ to the Disciples and the continuing Church. Matt. 28:16-20, Acts 1:8.

The Blessed Hope: The personal premillennial return of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. John 14:3, 1 Thess. 4:13-18.

Two Ordinances: Baptism, the immersion in water of a believer in Christ which symbolizes His identity with the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, and the Lord’s Supper, the eating of the unleavened bread and drinking of the fruit of the vine, commemorating the broken body and shed blood of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin. Acts 2:11, Acts 8:36-38, Romans 6:3-4, Luke 22:14-20, 1 Cor. 11:23-26, Acts 8:12-13.

For more information please click the link below:

Baptist Faith and Message

I got this from the Beaverdam Baptist Church website.  I will use my definition for “the gospel” and not the Baptist one as I work through my posts on the letter Paul wrote to the Romans mainly because I believe that it is the true message that Jesus taught.  It is a simple message that truly proclaims the good news of Jesus.

Jesus gave us the gospel, the good news, good message and good tidings.  What Paul is doing in his letter is not proclaiming the gospel as much as fighting for the gospel.  Paul is offering a perspective and clarification for the people in Rome.

Next time, I want to start getting into versus 5 and 6 which begins to bring into light the faith versus works paradigm of the great reformation.

Through him and for his name’s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. 6And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ. NIV

I also want to bring out one theme that I hope to develop in subsequent posts.  This theme is that Jesus and the Apostles were poor people of low standing.  We get so caught up in the Jesus is Lord, and Kingdom of God that I believe that these words have lost the impact that they had in the time of Jesus.  Jesus was a poor person who was the opposite of a Lord and King.  That is a big part of the point of what happened.


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Romans Part 2 – About Paul

by Dave June 21, 2010

In the first post of my series looking at the Epistle of Paul to the Romans I discussed a bit about the role of the messiah (the Christ) from a Jewish perspective.  Today, I want to talk about Paul himself since we need to understand some things about Paul before tackling his letter to the [...]

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Romans Part 1

by Dave June 18, 2010

Romans begins: Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was [...]

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