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Showing posts from August, 2018

The Stumbling Stone

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Romans 9:19-33 Man has always found God offensive. Offensive, might not be the right word. However, we just do not get along with God. For example, what was so hard about not eating the fruit in the Garden? I mean, really, out of all the different fruit available, would it have been so hard to just leave one of the varieties alone? Okay, let’s think about this for just a minute. God made the Garden. God planted the Garden. Therefore, it was His garden to do with as He pleased. So, He decided to give it to the man and the woman with only one tiny condition attached. Oh, and by the way, He also made the man and the woman; so, they were technically His as well. Anyway, God decided to give them the Garden with His condition. That condition was a stumbling stone, a rock of offense. Not literally! I do not mean the fruit was a stone. I mean that the man and the woman tripped over this one tiny condition God had set on their ownership of the Garden. They were “of

Mercy

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Romans 9:1-18 Do you have family members who are not believers? Maybe you are the one in your family who is not a believer. The message of salvation has been clearly presented, everywhere. The simple message of the Gospel is as follows. Each one of us is separated from God because of our sin. However, Jesus Christ, God’s Son, took our sins upon Himself and died in our place. Because of His great love and sacrifice, if we accept Jesus as our Savior, our sins are forgiven and we enjoy the promise of eternal life. As simple as this message is, many reject this offer of salvation. When it is a family member, it is painful. As family members, we mourn for those who do not believe. The Apostle Paul speaks of this pain in chapter 9 of his letter to the Romans. He says: I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accur

Overcomers

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Romans 8:31-39  “What then shall we say to these things?” (Romans 8:31, ESV) Up to this point, the book of Romans has been speaking of the great salvation God has worked on our behalf. Starting with the fact that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, the book has explained how we are justified by faith. From justification by faith, the book moved into an explanation of how we are made holy by the sanctifying work of God in our lives. Romans 8:28-30 shows us that God works in all things to shape us into the image of His Son and ultimately to glorify us. This question, “What then shall we say to these things?” is a triumphant exclamation as we reflect on the tremendous grace and love that God has poured out on us.  We are overcomers!  Romans 8:37 says: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:37 ESV Romans 8:37 describes us as “more than conquerors!” In other words, we are completely and overwhel

Predestined

Romans 8:28-30 What is God’s purpose for your life? Do you know? What is keeping you from pursuing God’s purpose for your life? In Romans 8:28-30, God gives a synopsis of His purpose in each of our lives. As we look at these verses, we will see how He works in all things for our good. This passage uses words like “called,” “foreknew” and “predestined;” therefore, we will take some time to try to understand these words in the context of God’s purpose for our lives. Romans 8:28 is often quoted for its magnificent promise that God causes all things to work together for good. The full text of the verse is: And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 ESV From this verse, we see that the promise is for those who are called according to His purpose. The first thing we will look at concerning God’s purpose for our lives is His calling. What does it mean to be called a