300 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 4 - Book 25 - Romans 13-16

300: Romans 13-16 – Lesson 3 Part 4 Book 25

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 4 * BOOK 25

ROMANS 13-16

Now in Chapter 14 of Romans, Paul has been dealing with believers who have been having trouble with other believers concerning doubtful practices. Now it doesn’t just have to be eating meat offered to idols, it could be in the matter of diet, alcoholic beverages, and multitudes of things that are not necessarily delineated in Scripture. It becomes then the option of the individual before God as to what he can and can not do. That brings us back to our “liberty” again, but we have to be careful that we do not do something that in our own mind is not wrong if it’s going to cause a weak believer to stumble. And that was the whole concept of Chapter 14.

If I see nothing wrong in eating a good juicy T-Bone steak, but yet there’s a weaker believer who says, “Les, how in the world can you eat meat like that?” Then for his sake I have to say, “I won’t eat meat for his sake until he gets to the place that he can see that I wasn’t wrong.” Now that comes into every aspect of life, and sooner or later they will come to that place where they will see, according to Scripture, that we’re not all that wrong in some of the things that we do. I think it’s come to the same place with the observance of Sunday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not telling people to forget about Sunday as our day of rest and so forth, and the operation of the local church. But scripturally there is no demand whatsoever from the Apostle Paul that Sunday is any different day than any other day of the week. And so again by tradition we have been programmed into the idea that Sunday is the same as the Sabbath was in Israel, and it is not. Sunday is just another day of the week so far as God is concerned. And I think what the admonition is, that for you and I as believers, everyday should be a Sunday. Everyday should be a day of recognizing God, and giving Him all His due, and we shouldn’t have a particular day programmed into our schedule. This is covered in Chapter 14, and it’s all self explanatory, and then he puts the wrap up here in the first verses of Chapter 15.

Romans 15:1-3

“We then that are strong (mature believers) ought to bear the infirmities of the weak (or the hang ups of the younger believers. Now when I say younger believers they may be 70 years old but have only been a believer for a few years. And so the mature believer has to take into consideration the idea of that younger believer, and not cause him to stumble), and not to please ourselves.” And now we come to that attitude that we’re not going to just please ourselves, but the person next to us.

“Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification (in other words to his growth in his Christian life. And in verse 3, here comes Christ as our primary example). For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, `The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.'” In other words, why did Christ die? Because He loved mankind. He had to die in order to settle the sin problem, but He could have rejected it and said, “No,” but He chose for the sake of mankind, out of that motivating love, to go to the Cross and purchase our Salvation.

Romans 15:4

“For whatsoever things were written aforetime (even as Paul wrote his epistles I’m sure the Four Gospels hadn’t been written, and certainly had not come together as Scripture, so when Paul speaks of Scripture or things written aforetime, what’s he referring to? The Old Testament. So what he’s really saying is that all the things written in the Old Testament) were written for our learning,…”

Now I always like to try and clarify where I’m afraid that I have been misunderstood. Someone told me awhile back that a pastor told this individual, “Don’t you listen to Les Feldick, because he says that you’re not to read the Four Gospels.” Now you know I have never said anything like that, but they can twist it you know. I have never told anybody not to look at the Old Testament or not to look at the Gospels, but here it is. Everything that was written before Paul wrote is for the believers’ learning. And I would say the same thing with the Gospels. Granted there’s not Church doctrine in the Gospels, but that doesn’t mean that we don’t study them. That doesn’t mean that we don’t make application. In fact I always have the primary one, when Jesus was talking to the Twelve up there on the northern shores of Galilee, and He probably saw a northern city ten to fifteen miles away sitting up there on the mountain side, and what did He say to the disciples as a perfect illustration? “You’re just like that city on a hill:”

Matthew 5:14

“Ye are the light of the world, A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid.”

Now who was to be the light of the world according to all the Old Testament promises? Israel, the Jew. But Israel rejected that opportunity of becoming the light of the world, so now by application, who today is the light of the world? You and I as believers, and so we can still make the same application. In the verse right before that He used salt as the example.

Matthew 5:13

“Ye are the salt of the earth;…”

Christ was talking to the Twelve indicative to the Nation of Israel, but we know Israel rejected that role, so today who is the salt of the earth? Again, you and I as believers. Absolutely we are, and the same throughout all the Gospel accounts. We can see perfect applications, even though it was spoken to Israel under the Law, so here’s where we have to be careful. But now back to Romans and Paul tells us that these Old Testament things were written not for our doctrine. You won’t find Grace Salvation back in the Old Testament. You won’t find anything concerning the Body of Christ, or the Rapture of the Church, and all these things that are indicative of the Body of Christ. But does that mean we don’t study the Old Testament? No way. You all know how I love to teach Genesis. I could just teach Genesis year in and year out, because it all had it beginnings back there, and that’s where you get the foundation even for what we believe as Grace Age believers. Now reading on in verse 4:

Romans 15:4b

“that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”

I had a question come in from someone a while back who had just lost a baby 7 days old. The question was, “Will we see that little one again, and I want some Scripture to back you up.” Well where do you suppose I went? Right back to when David lost that child from Bathsheba. Remember how he mourned for that little one, and finally David came to the conclusion;

II Samuel 12:23

“But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”

That was a seven-day old baby also. Was it secure? Was it in God’s presence? Yes, because you know David didn’t speak of going to hell, David is going to be in Heaven. So when he spoke of that 7-day old child that he had just lost, and that he would go to it someday, where do you find that? Old Testament. So all these things that we can glean from the Old Testament, even though they may not have the doctrines for our Salvation (because you won’t find the doctrine that Christ died for sins, was buried, and rose again in the Old Testament), but all the seeds of it are back there going all the way back to Genesis 3:15.

Romans 15:8

“Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision (Jews) for the truth of God (for what purposes?) to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.”

And those fathers were Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Well, what’s he talking about? Here again you have to go back to Genesis Chapter 12, and what do you have? Abrahamic Covenant. And what was the Abrahamic Covenant? From this man Abraham would come a nation of people, and God would put them in a geographical land, and one day He Himself in the Person of The Son would come and be their Messiah, King, and Redeemer. Now this was all promised back there in the Old Testament. And so He was the Minister to the Jew first and foremost. You remember the verse in John and Matthew:

John 1:11

“He came unto his own, (the Jew) and his own received him not.”

Matthew 15:24

“But he (Jesus) answered and said, `I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.'”

And when they had their final opportunity to yet repent of the horrible deed of crucifying their Messiah, they rejected it. Then in the Book of Acts, it was like a crescendo of rejection when Israel stoned what man? Stephen. And from that point on Israel just goes down through the cracks, and in its place comes the Apostle Paul going to the Gentiles. But it all had its seed back there in the Old Testament. So He came to the Nation of Israel:

Romans 15:8b-9a

“…to confirm the promises (the Covenants) made unto the fathers (now verse 9); And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy:”

I don’t think I have even understood it as far back as I should have, but I certainly do now, and that is the mercy and the Grace of God. So often I think mankind thinks, “Oh, well, after all, God didn’t do that much extra, we sort of deserved it, He made us, and He had to do something decent for us.” No He didn’t. We deserve absolutely nothing, so why did He provide a way back to Himself? Because of His mercy. And as I’ve said so often on this program, when Christ died on the Cross, and took all the wrath of God for the sins of the world, not only did God pour out His wrath, but He also poured out His mercy. And we no longer have to beg for mercy, it’s already been poured out, it’s all there, and all we have to do is appropriate it by faith.

Romans 15:10

“And again he saith, (speaking from the Old Testament) `Rejoice, ye Gentiles,…'” Even though God was dealing with primarily with the Nation of Israel all the way from Abraham till we get into the Book of Acts, God didn’t forget about the Gentiles. He couldn’t deal with them till Christ went to the Cross.

Romans 15:11,12

“And again, Praise The Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him, all ye people. And again, Esaias saith, there shall be a root of Jesse, (David’s father, and Christ is considered the Son of David, so here’s the connection now all the way back through Jesse, David, Solomon, and that whole line of Jewish Kings) and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.” It’s never happened, but it’s going to. When Christ sets up His millennium reign, He’s still going to be King of Kings and Lord of Lords not just over Israel, but over the whole Gentile world.

Romans 15:13

“Now the God of hope (hope in Scripture is not like we hope it rains. But hope in Scripture is that definite view into the future that God is going to fulfill it) fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.”

And then Paul begins now talking about his own future, and how he is longing to go to Jerusalem, contrary to a lot of things that happened to him that he shouldn’t go. Yet he had such a burning love for his people, the Jew, that he is just determined that he’s still going to get back to Jerusalem.

Romans 15:14-18

“And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another. (Now remember who Paul is writing to. He’s writing to believers in the city of Rome who are primarily Gentiles.) Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God (Grace is the primary word in Paul’s vocabulary, the Grace of God). That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God. For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed.”

The Apostle has still been looking for the day that he would not only stop at Rome, but that he would go on west to Spain.

Romans 15:24-26

“Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you (the believers at Rome): for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company. But now (first and foremost) I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.” Paul had no idea that he would end up going to Rome by virtue of the prisoner route. He had no idea of that at all, but he is determined first to go to Jerusalem to minister unto the saints, the believing Jews there in Jerusalem.

“For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem.”

I read an account the other day, and it gave me a whole new perspective on some of these things. The Apostle Paul has been laboring there in western Turkey, and then a little later on, in Macedonia and Achaia in Greece. Now I don’t know how much you know history or geography today, but you see that area of Greece is totally mountainous. There is very little opportunity for creating any wealth to speak of so those new believers that Paul had brought about in Achaia and Macedonia, in the more rural parts of Greece, were intensely poor. They were poverty stricken, and yet what did they do? They gave of what they had so that Paul could take the offering to those poor saints in Jerusalem who were Jews. The guy who wrote the article made this analogy, and it changed my whole perspective on all this.

Here we sit in wealthy America, and we send missionaries to the poverty stricken areas of the world, and where they’ve never heard The Gospel. How would the average Church here in America feel today if some of those new believers, let’s say in New Guinea out there in the jungles where they have nothing, would send an offering back to them? Why it would almost repulse people wouldn’t it? But that’s exactly what they did here. Here these people that are now Paul’s new converts to Christianity, dirt poor, and yet they bring together offerings for the Jewish believers back there in Jerusalem where civilization had been head and shoulders above what these poor people had been enduring. But do you see the lesson? When people become true children of God, they have a whole different outlook on everything. Instead of those people sitting over there saying, “Send us some of that American money,” what were they doing? They were sending it back to the homeland; in this case Jerusalem. It’s something I don’t think most of us think of.

Romans 15:27

“It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.”

Now do you know what this verse says? I realize I’ve taught it, and I hope I’ve made it plain that on the spiritual level the Jew is absolutely no different than a Gentile tonight. He’s a sinner in need of a saving Grace just as well as a Gentile. He has no special privileges to The Gospel. He has no position that puts him in a better place than a Gentile. He is just as much in need of the plan of Salvation as any Gentile. But even though they are not under the Covenant promises tonight, they are out there sinners in need of Salvation, but if God didn’t have His Sovereign thumb on them, somehow or other they would have long disappeared from the scene. That little nation would have been swallowed up by assimilation of all the other nations of the world. The other Hitlers would have totally annihilated them, and he wasn’t the only one so why are they still there? Because God has Sovereignly watched over them.

I have a snapshot at home that I just cherish. Our kids were little, and they were down on the seashore playing on the edge of the water, and I took a snapshot of Iris as she was sitting there watching every move those three little kids made. I imagine that she was ready to jump if suddenly one of them fell in the water or something, but isn’t that exactly what God is doing with Israel? Oh, they’re on their own, but He’s watching over them like a hawk. He has brought them through, and listen, He has to because prophecy has to be fulfilled. The Nation of Israel has to be there in unbelief. They have to be in the land in order for God to consummate those 7 years of Tribulation. And if every Jew was a Christian, if every Jew was a believer, and the Rapture took place what would be left? Well no one to fulfill prophecy, and so we have to understand this, that yes, God in His Sovereign eagle eyes is watching over them, and He’s keeping them intact as a nation.

Where in the world would the 144,000 come from if there weren’t any Jews left? You have to have 12,000 out of each of the 12 tribes to fulfill that prophecy. Jeremiah 31 says that the sun would fall out of it’s place in the heavens if Israel would stop being a nation. The sun, moon, and stars would cease to shine it says if Israel ceases to be, so they have to stay there. So this is what Paul is talking about, that even you and I as believers, have to have a concern for the fleshly needs of the Jew even today, and that flies in the face of anti-Semitism as it’s raising it’s head again around the world.

Well in the couple of minutes that we have left, Paul now comes into Chapter 16, and there’s not a lot of doctrine in this chapter unless you want to call women’s role in Christian service as doctrine, and I guess it is. You know I’ve heard Paul castigated over the years. A group of feminists down at the university were trying their utmost to get all the Bibles off the campus. And it was for the simple reason that Paul was such an anti-feminist. Well bless their heart, they were so ignorant. There is not a man in Scripture that gives more commendation to the female of the species than the Apostle Paul. I think in this Chapter 16 alone there are at least 8 women that Paul enumerates who were intrinsic in helping him in the ministry. In fact, in verse 1 of this epistle to the Romans (one of the most important books of our Bible), do you know that this was entrusted to a women to get it to where it was supposed to go? Yes it was, look what it says:

Romans 16:1,2

“I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea (a seaport east of Corinth’s main city): That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.”

In other words, Paul sends this tremendous epistle of Romans from Corinth to the Roman Church by way of this lady we know as Phebe. Probably a business lady, but he entrusted this to a woman, and all the way through the chapter he commends over and over the women who helped him much in the ministry. Don’t ever say there’s not a place for the women in the Church.

299 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 3 - Book 25 - Practical Christian Living

299: Practical Christian Living – Lesson 3 Part 3 Book 25

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 3 * BOOK 25

PRACTICAL CHRISTIAN LIVING

Now getting back to our study; here in Romans Chapter 12 we have been talking about the gifts that God has imparted to every member of the Body of Christ to fulfill His purpose. A lot of these gifts are most functional within the local Body of Christ, within the local church, but it’s not confined to that. You can use your gift anywhere, anytime. Let’s pick up the Scriptures in verse 17 where we come into our attitude to those `round about us. Not just in our church, but our community as a whole.

Romans 12:17

“Recompense to no man evil for evil Provide things honest in the sight of all men.”

Now you know the human response: someone does you dirty, then do them dirty in return, but of course that’s just not the Christian principal. We’re to provide things honest in the sight of all men. I’d rather charge too little as to overcharge anyone, and if we have that kind of attitude of our fellow men, that we’re not out to get them, to take advantage of them, but to be a square dealer as we used to call it. Now verse 18, and this will probably raise some eye brows. I guess we have all been hammered with the idea that if you’re a Christian then you’ve just got to let people do to you as they will, because after all you’re in no position to argue with anyone because you’re a Christian. Well I’ve always said that verse 18 is a loop hole.

Romans 12:18

“If it be possible, (there’s going to be times when it won’t be possible, let’s face it) as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

That’s great, but listen, we’re living in a devil’s world, and it’s not always possible. I have some illustrations in my own experience, of people that have been in my classes, where they have been in the position that they’re a Christian, and can’t do anything about it. I’m thinking about a man several years ago, he and his wife sold a little business that they had made their living from, and he had sold it on a contract hoping that from the contact income he and his wife would have a decent living. But the buyer never bothered to pay them, never gave them any interest, certainly no principal, and he let the business all deteriorate down to nothing. He was telling me about it one night after class, and I said, “Good heavens, man, have you ever heard of a court?” He said, “I’m a Christian, I can’t take the man to court.” I said, “Is he a fellow believer? Is he in the same Church Body that you’re in?” He said, “Oh, no, he’s not even a Christian.” I said, “Then for goodness sake get after him, because that’s your prerogative. Go get you a good lawyer. You don’t have to sit there and starve to death because some crook is not fulfilling his obligations.” He said, “Oh, you really think so?” I said “I know so.” and I showed him this verse. He had done everything that he could in order to make the guy make some payments, and he was almost starving, because somebody was being a deadbeat on his contract. Now do you think that’s wrong to go to a lawyer in those circumstances? No.

Remember when Paul was called before the religious leaders in Israel? Go back with me for a moment to Acts Chapter 23. Here Paul is up before the great religious leaders of his day, and they’re giving him a bad time. Do you think Paul just stood there like a milk toast? No he didn’t, he fired back, and I think once in a while we have to. Now don’t take me wrong; this should not be the common thing to do, but if it’s impossible to do anything else, then you have to exert your Christian right.

Acts 23:1-3

“And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, (of these religious leaders) said, `Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day.’ And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. (why? Because in Ananias’ mind he was lying. He hadn’t lived in good conscience so he ordered them to strike Paul, and they did. Look how Paul responds.) Then said Paul unto him, `God shall smite thee, thou whited wall (what is that? Paul calls him a blatant hypocrite: “You religious leader, you know nothing of the things of God”): for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law?'”

What did Paul do? He exerted his right even as a Christian. We won’t take time to look up the other one, but remember when Paul was brought before the Roman magistrates up there in Philippi, and they had beaten him without trial by jury, and the next morning they wanted him to leave town, what did Paul say:

Acts 16:37

“But Paul said unto them, `They have beaten us openly uncondemned, being Romans, and have cast us into prison; and now do they thrust us out privily? nay verily; but let them come themselves and fetch us out.'”

So here Paul exerted his legal privilege, and I see nothing wrong with that. Now I don’t think believers should run to a lawyer at the drop of a hat, that’s not what I’m saying. But when it gets to the place that we have no other way to turn, we do not have lay down, and say “Well, walk on me because I’m a Christian.” So I use this verse for this very basis, that there may come a time when you have to use this verse also.

Romans 12:19

“Dearly beloved avenge not yourselves, (now this flies in the face of human nature, we always want to get even, but the Scripture says to a believer, “We don’t have to try and get even. Who’s going to do it for us?”) but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, `Vengeance is mine; I will repay,’ saith the Lord.”

It may take Him longer than it would us, but He will. What goes around comes around, and it never fails. If God is in control, and you know He is, and someone has misused you, give God time, He’s going to square the matter, and I’d rather have God do it than me. And then the admonition in verse 20 and 21:

Romans 12:20,21

“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head, Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.”

Well, so much for the practicality of the Christian gifts, and of our dealing with the people around us. Now to Chapter 13, and Paul is going to talk about our attitude toward government. Of course, one of the beauties of democracy is if we don’t like what we see in government we can complain, we can say what we want, because we have that kind of freedom. But here Paul is admonishing the believer to recognize that every central government is there by divine appointment. I know this is hard to reconcile. Was Hitler there by God’s Sovereign divine appointment? Absolutely he was. And regardless who America has in the White House that we may not be proud of, listen, he is still there by God’s Sovereign appointment.

Romans 13:1

“Let every soul (saved and unsaved) be subject unto the higher powers. (this is speaking of our civil government) For there is no power (no king, no prime minister, no president) but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”

Now those of you who have heard me teach for many, many years have heard me say that one of the amazing things to me is that when you start way back there in the Garden of Eden, we find God turned over to human choice pretty much the exercise of his free will. And not only to individuals, but to nations. Nations have been given their free exercise, God isn’t in there constantly haranguing them, but in spite of the fact that He has given individuals, and nations, that exercise of free will, after 6000 years of human history, where are we in God’s program? Right on schedule, and this is what is so amazing that through wars and famines, and revolutions, the world is just exactly tonight where God intended it to be. Now that’s amazing isn’t it? But that’s how He works, He puts in our civil government in a way that we can’t understand or comprehend. Now verse 2:

Romans 13:2

“Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

Now I know this raises questions. What if someday we should have a completely totalitarian, ungodly government? Well, first and foremost, it’s the believers responsibility to live peaceably under that government. But I think the only place where we as believers will have the right to resist that government is when they go contrary to our Christian experience, and to the commands of Scripture. Then, of course, I think as believers we have every right to say, “Hey, wait a minute I can’t do that.” Until then we are to give ourselves under control of the central government. Then verse 3 is the reason: Why do we have government? So we can pursue joy, happiness, and so on.

Romans 13:3-5

“For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. (criminal element) Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: For he (government) is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: (capitol punishment) for he is a minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake.”

Now in verse 6 we all kind of rebel at this one, and since government has been given by God to help us pursue our life of happiness, yet in order for government to protect us, to give us this that we need, what do we have to do?. Well we have to pay some taxes. I don’t believe that we have to pay as much as we are, but, nevertheless, the government does need tax money so they can operate. So that’s what he means in verse 6:

Romans 13:6

“For for this cause (because of all the things that God intended government to do) pay ye tribute (taxes) also: for they (government) are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing.”

People paid taxes in Christ’s time, and they’ve been doing it ever since, and they’re getting better at it all the time aren’t they? I mean they can tax you to death now, and act like they are doing you a favor, but a certain amount of it is required if we’re going to have a workable government.

Romans 13:7a,8

“Render therefore to all their dues; tribute to whom tribute is due;… Owe no man any thing, (we can better translate as not defrauding, or taking advantage of anyone. There is certainly nothing wrong with going to the bank, and borrowing money to buy a home for example) but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath (past tense) fulfilled the law.”

Now all it takes to fulfill the Law, is to have love operate in your daily experience. Now then look at Chapter 6 for a moment to see something with your own eyes. Most never realize this complete difference between Law and Grace.

Romans 6:14

“For sin (or the old Adam) shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace.”

We’re not under the rituals and stipulations of the Law of Israel, we are not under the demands of Israel. That’s all been set aside, and now we’re under Grace, but Grace isn’t a license. That doesn’t mean that we can just do as we please, that we can go ahead and sin as we please, no, that’s not Grace.

Romans 6:15

“What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.”

Don’t think such a thing, we’re still under God’s providence, but we’re not under His Law as such that if you break it this is what’s going to happen. But God’s mind on sin hasn’t changed. But now we’re under Grace. Now back to Romans 13. Now, since we’re under Grace, love is the dominant force in the life of the believer. Remember, love is the fulfilling of the Law, so when love is operating, look what happens:

Romans 13:9

“For this, `Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.'” Now where are those statements coming from? The Ten Commandments, the Law. And when you get into the Book of Ephesians, Paul uses the one concerning children.

Ephesians 6:1

“Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and mother; which is the first commandment with promise;”

But you see even though Paul repeats nine of those ten commandments, and I think most of you who have heard me teach know which one he doesn’t repeat, and that is the Sabbath. The Sabbath has absolutely nothing to do with the believer today In fact I suppose I should have a whole lesson on that term “Sabbath.” The Sabbath was strictly the seventh day, as a day of rest for the Nation of Israel. It is absolutely incorrect to call our Sunday the Sabbath. The Sabbath was the seventh day, and it was given only to the Nation of Israel, long before the Law, but when the Law came the Sabbath was incorporated into it. So Paul never makes mention of that commandment concerning the Sabbath because we have nothing to do with that. But the other nine are still part and parcel of our Christian experience. Just because we’re a believer we don’t have a right to commit adultery. or to kill, and all these other things. So love is what keeps us in the straight and narrow.

Usually when I teach this I put two lines on the board, and on the one side it’s love for God, the love for the One Who bought us. And on the other line is love for other people, and so that keeps us then within the guidelines of God’s commandments.

Romans 13:10

“Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: (if you love your neighbor you can’t do him dirty, oh, he may do you some, but if love is operating as much as lieth in us we’ll let God take care of it.) therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

Now where is the epitome of love expressed that fulfilled the Law? On the Cross. What put Christ on the Cross? Love, It was His love for lost mankind that set His eyes to the Cross. It was love that nailed Him to the Cross. It was love that caused God to pour out mercy at the Cross. Now when that love has been imparted to you and I as believers, do you see how sensible that becomes? That same kind of love then is our attitude toward the people around us, and even our enemies, if we have such

Romans 13:11a

“And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep:…”

What kind of sleep? Spiritual sleep, and that’s where the Church is tonight. They are sound asleep. They are totally unaware of all the things that are taking place in this world tonight that are getting the stage set for the coming of that final seven years of human history. They have no idea, and we’re talking about church people who don’t realize how close we are. But Paul says we are in the end times, and if Paul thought we were 2000 years ago, then imagine how close we are now.

Romans 13:11b-14

“…for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in strife and envying. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Let’s go on to Chapter 14. Here Paul is going to deal with the disputes between believers. In Paul’s day one of the biggest things was eating meat that had been offered to an idolatrous temple, and let’s look at just a few things that he says.

Romans 14:1

“Him that is weak in the faith (do you see who we’re dealing with? We’re not talking about the strong believer, but rather the weak one, maybe a really new believer) receive ye, (into your fellowship) but not to doubtful disputations.”

Don’t bring him in and let him cause a lot of argument, because he sees you eating meat that you bought at the market place, and it probably came from the Temple, and he won’t touch it, so don’t get into a big argument over it.

Romans 14:2

“For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.”

So what does the weak one become? A vegetarian. Now you know from Scripture when even old Elijah was out there and the ravens fed him, what did they feed him? Herbs and veggies? Meat. And so all the way through Scripture there is absolutely nothing that says we cannot eat meat. Now I know some of you don’t agree with me, but you’re not arguing with me, you’re arguing with The Book. And The Book says that meat is part of God’s diet, and there’s nothing wrong with eating meat. If your doctor tells you that you are absolutely in a position that you can’t eat it, then that’s different. But for the normal healthy individual there’s nothing wrong with meat. So Paul says here, “Don’t let someone come along and say that they are a vegetarian, and you are a testimony of evil when you eat meat.” And that’s what they were doing, and Paul says how you deal with it.

Romans 14:3

“Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth:, for God hath received him.”

Remember what The Book tells us in Romans 8? Who can judge us? No one because Who alone is the Judge? The One Who died for me. And it’s the same way here. When you come into contact with other believers who may not live the lifestyle that you think they should, remember you’re in no position to judge. You may be able to point them to something in Scripture, but you can’t judge another person. Paul absolutely rejects that out of hand. Now verse 4 and here Paul uses an everyday example.

Romans 14:4a

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant?…”

You’re not his boss. You’re not paying his wages. Are you going to judge him? Don’t judge someone else. You’re not the boss. God is. And in verse 5 he gets into the business of days.

Romans 14:5,6a

“One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind. He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it….”

Here again, one person may establish one day, and another person will say, “Hey, to me they are all alike.” Well, that’s the liberty of the Christian faith. We’ll pick this up in our next lesson.

298 Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 25 - Romans 12

298: Romans 12 – Lesson 3 Part 2 Book 25

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 2 * BOOK 25

ROMANS 12

Now let’s jump right back into Romans 12 and verse 2. Remember Paul has just made the plea in verse 1:

Romans 12:1

“I Beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies (not your soul, but rather your body, flesh and blood that we operate in) a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable (logical, practical) service.”

We’re not under a mandate of law or rules and regulations, but we respond as the Holy Spirit leads us in our life of service, in our testimony, and everything. Now then verse 2:

Romans 12:2a

“And be not conformed to this world:..”

Now I always like to explain the word `conformed’ this way: Most of you have seen your wife or someone pour that hot jello into a jello mold, and once that jello sets, it’s going to be just exactly the shape of that mold. You can do much the same thing with soft steel, it’s molded, and once it’s molded it’s set, and that’s the way it is. This is just exactly the analogy that Paul is saying, “Don’t be poured into Satan’s mold.” Oh, he has one ready for you, absolutely he does. We know he’s the god of this world, as we’ve seen over and over again. And remember in our closing remarks in the last lesson we find, “The world lieth in the lap of the Wicked One, and the whole world system out there is under his control.” And as soon as we come out away from that, of course, then we are marked people. The worlds knows us, and don’t think for a minute it doesn’t But this is what Paul is admonishing us now of our own free will, because we’re not being forced. So the whole plea here is, “Don’t be molded according to this old world which is in the control of the Wicked One.” But the opposite in verse 2 is:

Romans 12:2a

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed…”

And again a lot of time we miss the impact of these words. I’m no Greek scholar. I’m just like the average one of you, or a Sunday School teacher, But do you realize that again in the Greek that this word “transformed” here in Romans 12 is the same word, “Transfigured” when Christ was transfigured up there on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew Chapter 17. Now you all know what happened when Peter, James, John, and Jesus went up to that Mount of Transfiguration. Remember He was changed right before their eyes. He took on all the appearances of His glory. And the voice from heaven recognized Him as such:

Matthew 17:5b

“…This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye him.”

Now that’s the same word that Paul uses here as “being transformed.” We’re not all of a sudden going to have that glorious appearance as Jesus did, and another word that comes out of the same Greek root is, “Metamorphosis.” We are to be metamorphosized. Now what’s that? When that old ugly cocoon suddenly opens up, and out of that caterpillar comes that beautiful butterfly. Now that’s to be the experience of the believer, we’re to be transformed, we’re to be transfigured, we are to be totally changed from what we were before. I had a young lady tell me once, “I’m sure glad I’m a Christian, because I know I’m bad enough even as a Christian, but what in the world would I be if I weren’t?” And isn’t that the way most of us have to look at it? I can be an ornery critter, even as a Christian, but remember we have been transformed, and Paul is reminding us of this. Now you don’t expect a beautiful butterfly to fly around looking like an old vulture do you? No, but rather you expect him to be the innocent fluttering beauty that it is, and that’s what we are to be. We’re to be different from what we were before.

How does it take place? Not by works. I’ll take you back to the car battery illustration. When your car battery is dead, you don’t go with a basin of soapy water, and clean it up. That’s ridiculous. But that’s what people try to do with the spirit. They’re constantly somehow trying to clean up their own act, somehow do something that will appease God. But listen, you can wash that battery till dooms day, and you’re not going to put a charge into it until you bring in an outside source. Well it’s the same way here. That why works religion is as doomed to failure as anything can be, because you cannot go into the invisible part of a man’s make up, and touch it. Remember, only God can do that. No preacher, priest, teacher or denomination can touch it. And the reason God can touch it is He is the Creator of that invisible part of us. Now the reason I’m touching on the invisible part is the next word in verse 2 is, “Mind.”

Romans 12:2a

“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind….”

Now you all know enough about your physical anatomy. And the mind is as real as your hands, feet, and eyes. You know it is or you wouldn’t be here, you’d be locked up some place. But who can see the mind? Now I have a pathologist setting right here in front of me, and he has done many autopsies, and I’ve asked him before, “Have you ever seen a person’s mind?” No, but we know it was in there while they were living. So it’s in that area of the invisible then that only God can work.

Romans 12:2a

“…but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,…”

We can’t renew the mind only God can do that, but even God can’t do it until we believe. And then God moves in and yes, He transforms us. In II Corinthians Chapter 5, starting at verse 14, Paul is writing to that carnal congregation at Corinth. They had just recently come out of an immoral pagan background, and were still having problems with their own morality, but here Paul sends this letter to these people and says:

II Corinthians 5:14-17

“For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, (or conclude) that if one died for all, then were all dead: (the whole human race) And that he died for all, that they which live (spiritually now as a result of their new birth) should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh; (Paul is reflecting back on Christ’s earthly ministry) yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, (in other words Paul was contemporary with Christ, he knew Him during His earthly ministry.) yet now henceforth know we him no more. (now here is the verse that I wanted.) Therefore if any man (person) be in Christ, he is a new creature: (creation)old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.”

Now that’s part of the new birth, that’s part of Salvation. God has created within us a transformed mind. He is the One that transfigured us from a hell-bound sinner to a heaven-bound saint, and it’s just that simple, and we can’t do a thing, except stand open before Him and say, “Lord, there’s nothing I can do.” So then The Lord moves in just like He did with Israel on the shores of the Red Sea. My, what did Israel do there? Did they start looking for something that would float? No! God told them to stand still, don’t do anything, don’t try to build a bridge that will float, just stand still. And that’s exactly where the unbeliever has to come to, and that he too can do nothing until God moves in, and performs then the miracle of Salvation which in this verse He creates within us a whole new mind, will, and emotion. The personality has to be totally re-created. The old Adam has to die, old Adam with all of the things concerning the world has to die. And then in his place, God with a miraculous work, will then give us that transformed mind. Now back to Romans Chapter 12. Now once we’ve had that renewing of the mind, the Salvation experience, that creating within us a new man, then we can prove or live out daily:

Romans 12:2b

“…what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.”

You know I’ve had so many people over the past 25 years say, “Les, how can I find God’s will for my life?” And that is a good question, but how do you start? Well, first you have to start by becoming a child of His, because God doesn’t fool with the unbelieving world, He just let’s them go. He’s waiting for them to respond to His Salvation, but He is not in control of their lifestyle, and that carries on even into our own everyday living. You can’t legislate morality, it’s just impossible to pass laws that will force the unsaved world to live a Christian life, it just won’t happen. But rather it has to be that act of God that transforms us, and makes us that new creation as a result of His work, and then all we have to do is just search the Scriptures, you’re in an attitude of prayer, you’re in an attitude of fellowship with other believers, and God will show you His will. I can’t claim to have had some great light from heaven, because I was a victim of circumstances if you want to put it that way. Just circumstances, doors opened, doors closed, doors opened, doors closed, and that’s how I got to where I am, and I think it’s that way with every believer. So that’s how we come to that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God.

Beginning with verse 3 are the various gifts that God has given to every believer. Every believer has at least one of these gifts, some may be fortunate enough to have two, but again that’s according to God’s will. We were just talking to Elsie who is visiting from California, and she has that unique gift of approaching people who are usually unapproachable. Now that’s a gift, and I hope she will always use it to the fullest. I remember a lady in Iowa who would open up her home for our Bible Study on Saturday nights for about 40-50 teen-agers, and she was complaining one night to me that she didn’t have a gift. I said, “Are you crazy? How many people could get that many young people in here for 3 hours on a Saturday night, singing, and studying the Word? That’s a gift.” She had never thought of it that way before. But that’s the way so many of us are, we have that gift, we practice it at times, and we just don’t realize what we have. So don’t go looking up your gift, but rather as we go through the list you’ll know where you’re strong. Now verse 3 and 4:

Romans 12:3,4

“For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:”

I Corinthians Chapter 12 says it so much better than I can. And here Paul is using the analogy of a human body.

I Corinthians 12:12,15

“For as the body (the human body) is one, and hath many members, (in other words we have ten fingers and toes, two eyes, etc.) and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is Christ, (or the Body of Christ) For by one Spirit are we (not just the most spiritual, not just a chosen few, but how many believers?) all baptized (or placed) into one body, (of Christ. Now it’s not a denomination,) whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. (now Paul comes back to the physical body again for an illustration.) For the body is not one member, but many. If the foot shall say, `Because I am not the hand, I am not of the body; is it therefore not of the body?'”

Now here Paul is being ridiculous, of course, to the extreme to make his point. What if our human foot would say to the mind, leave me alone I’m not part of you, but you see that’s not the way it works. Or your little toe which is usually unseen, and you don’t really comprehend it, but just lose that little toe, will you miss it? You’d better believe it, because that little toe is part of the body. Now come back to Romans, and this is exactly the illustration Paul is drawing. This illustration of the Body of Christ is going to have some members that are just as unseen, and unknown as the little toe on your foot, but are they important? Absolutely, that believer is important, he’s a member of the Body of Christ. Others are going to be more visible, you’re going to have your Billy Grahams, and famous evangelists, but are they anymore important? No. They are no more important than that believer who is represented in the little toe, and so never sit back and and say, “Oh, God can’t use me because I’m a nobody.” Hey, if you’re in Christ, you’re a somebody.

Romans 12:5,6

“So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us (we’re not all going to have that same gift. Who’s in control of gift giving? God is. God imparts your particular gifts whether it’s great or small. He’s the one who is building the Body), whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith:”

Remember at the time Paul was writing these letters, the New Testament hadn’t come together yet, the Four Gospels I don’t think were even written. And Paul’s letters hadn’t become part of Scripture, so how was God promoting the Word? Through gifted men who spoke forth the Word of God. That’s what prophesy means. It doesn’t mean telling the future like Isaiah did, but rather they were gifted men to speak the Word of God. Now let’s go on to the next one.

Romans 12:7

“Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;”

Now you can have all kinds of ministry, but whatever it is determines that it’s your gift, and put it to use. The last part of that verse speaks of teaching. Granted not everyone can teach, but there’s a lot more people that can than do. Why don’t they? Well they’re afraid like I used to be. I was scared to death to get up in front of even ten of my own peers when I was a kid, but God overcame that, and now I know that He’s given me the gift of teaching, but it isn’t me that is teaching. It’s Him. And the same way with you. Whatever your gift is, don’t ever say, “Look what I can do.” It’s a gift that God has given, and He has designated. Now verse 8:

Romans 12:8a

“Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation…”

Not everybody can exhort someone without making them mad. Do you know what it means to exhort someone? To push them, encourage them, and a lot of people will rebel at that if it’s from the wrong person, but if you have that gift, get after it. The lady in Iowa who opened her home to the teen-agers, encouraged one of those lads, after he had come out of Iowa State University, to go to a good Bible School, and as a result he has gone into the ministry full time. And that’s what it takes, and as a result there was a life that became productive. Now giving:

Romans 12:8a

“…he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity;…”

Not everybody has that ability, not everybody has the gift of giving, and I’ve experienced some that do, and my they know how to give, and they know when to give. Why? Because it’s a gift that God has given them.

Romans 12:8b

“…he that ruleth, with diligence:…”

Here I think it’s going into the working of the local church. Not everybody has the ability to be a leader in the local church, but if you have leadership ability, and people are willing to follow you, get after it, and give God the credit.

Romans 12:8b

“…he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness….”

My wife, Iris, is a nurse, and she can tell you better than I can that some visitors come into the hospital room and make people sicker than they were before. But some can come into that room, and make that sick person feel like a million dollars. Now that’s also a gift that everyone doesn’t have.

Romans 12:9a

“Let love (which is the very core of Christianity anyway) be without dissimulation….”

Now don’t just skim over a big word like that. If you don’t know, go get your dictionary. What does dissimulation mean? Don’t be hypocritical, and just try to use your gift with the wealthy people, but you’ve got to be able to do it with the lower echelon also. Don’t sort people out according to where they are in the social ladder. Your love and gift has to be without dissimulation.

Romans 12:9b

“…Abhor that which is evil;…”

You see this is one of the failures of Christianity today. Christianity is no longer showing it’s hatred for evil. They’re rolling with it, they’re condoning it, and will say “So what? There’s nothing we can do about it.” Listen we are never to stop abhorring that which is evil. I’m not one to point these things out, and never have been, because I feel that if I teach The Book, and can get people into The Book, they’re soon going to see what God calls evil, I don’t have to tell you. All you have to do is go back into the Book of Leviticus, and you can find out real fast all the things that God forbade Israel to do. God hasn’t changed. Those same wicked sins are just as wicked today as they were back then. But it’s not in the legal context that it was back there. Now reading on:

Romans 12:9

“…cleave to that which is good.”

Now we’re living in a time where there is a concept that what is black is white, what is evil is good, what’s good is evil. We are totally seeing our values mixed up, and of course it’s a ploy of Satan. That’s all a part of what I call this end time conspiracy, and it’s getting the world ready for the appearance of the Anti-christ. Everything we see, this explosion in technology, is all God’s way of letting Satan have his free course, but what’s he working for? A world government, a world leader, a world religion, and you think it isn’t coming? It’s so close it should keep you awake at night. And it would if we didn’t know that The Lord is going to come first, and remove us. I, for one, don’t believe that you and I are going to go into the Tribulation, and so this is our prayer, that The Lord will come and take us before this world leader comes and makes his appearance.

297 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 3 - Part 1 - Book 25 - Our Logical Intelligent Service

297: Our Logical Intelligent Service – Lesson 3 Part 1 Book 25

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 3 * PART 1 * BOOK 25

OUR LOGICAL INTELLIGENT SERVICE

Now let’s get back into teaching The Book. We trust the Holy Spirit will enhance your understanding as you read, and as you study, because this Book is the most exciting Book on the earth. Now we’re ready to go into Romans Chapter 12, and you remember for the past several lessons we have been in the intervening Chapters of 9-11 which, when we started studying them, I reminded you that they were parenthetical. And just like the structure of an English sentence you can have a complete sentence, and then open it up, and put in a parenthetical statement, you can take that statement back out and still have your complete sentence. Now that’s the whole idea of parenthetics, and that’s the way it is with these three chapters here in Romans. You come to the end of Chapter 8, and then all of a sudden there is this parenthetical thinking of Chapters 9, 10, and 11 where the Apostle Paul, by inspiration of course, deals with the Nation of Israel with regard to the Gentiles. And then when those three chapters end, he comes back to Chapter 12, and verse one, and what I always like to emphasize when he starts out this verse:

Romans 12:1a

“I Beseech you therefore,…”

Usually in other places he would start out the verse with, “Therefore.” And when you see therefore or wherefore, what do you do? Well you go back, and see what Paul is referring to. Now back in Chapter 8, verse 1 Paul says:

Romans 8:1a

“There is therefore now no condemnation….”

You don’t have to go all the way back to Chapter 1 on that “therefore,” but on that one we went back to Chapter 5, and Chapter 7. But here in Chapter 12, with this “therefore” you have to ask yourself, well where does Paul want me to go back to? On this “therefore” he doesn’t want us to go back to Chapters 9-11 that’s for sure, and he doesn’t want us to go back just to Chapter 8, but rather go all the way to the first eight chapters, and as we come into Chapter 12:

Romans 12:1a

“I Beseech you therefore, (on the basis of everything that he has written or taught in those first eight chapters) brethren, by the mercies of God,…”

Now that’s not just empty talk. When you go back and reflect on everything that was written in those first eight chapters, what is really exploding throughout those chapters? The mercies of God. He is not some ogre up there Who is just waiting to zap people when they have done something wrong. Neither is He a Santa Clause waiting to be manipulated, but He is a God of mercy. Remember when we started Romans, and came into Chapters 1-3, God, by the pen of the Apostle Paul, built His case against the whole human race. First we had the immoral person. There was no doubt that he stood in need, but then God went from that immoral person to a good moral person, and then to the religious Jew, because after all the Jews were the only real religion of Paul’s day. And then you come into Chapter 3, what was the conclusion? Whether they were immoral, or moral, or religious Jews, they were all enemies of God. There is none that seeketh after God. There is none righteous, no not one, and then the capstone of it all is Romans 3:23:

Romans 3:23

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;” The immoral, the moral, and the religious. Everyone has come short of the glory of God, and then what’s the very next verse there in Chapter 3?

Romans 3:24-26

“Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, (He’s fair, He’s honest in being) and the justifier of him which (Notice all the things that people think they have to do, but those things are not in this verse.. Things like joining the church, baptism, do this and do that, but rather) believeth…”

Do you see that? That’s so simple that it just throws a curve a people, and they just about go into orbit, but that’s what The Book says. “He is the justifier of them that believe.” And then you go into Chapter 4, and He uses Abraham as that epitome of faith. The man when he was a hundred years old, when God said, “You, and your ninety-year old wife Sara are going to have a son, and from that child I’m going to build a nation of people.” And Romans 4:20 says:

Romans 4:20

“He (Abraham) staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief;”

What did Abraham do? He believed God who was rich in mercy even to the man Abraham, and then you come into Chapter 5, what’s the first verse of Chapter 5?

Romans 5:1

“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

Then in Chapter 6, he goes through this whole idea of being identified with Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection. That just as surely as Christ was crucified on that Roman Cross, you and I have also been crucified. And of course Paul brings that to the light then in Galatians Chapter 2, and verse 20:

Galatians 2:20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Now all of this is what Paul is making reference to, and then remember we came into Chapter 7, and Paul came into the dilemma that everyone of us are faced with. Oh, the things we know we should do, we don’t. And the things we know that we shouldn’t do, we do, and Paul went through that same dilemma. And then Paul ends up Chapter 7 by saying:

Romans 7:24

“O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?”

And then Chapter 8, and I’ve always said that if every American would read this chapter once a day, then we’d see a change in this country. Just from that one chapter, and what does verse 1 of that chapter say?

Romans 8:1a

“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus,…”

And how do we get into Christ Jesus? By believing The Gospel. (Ref. I Corinthians 15:1-4) Now for a moment I want you to turn back with me to Chapter 8, and let’s look at those closing verses from which we’re going to jump right into Romans Chapter 12, and verse 1. So let’s look at Romans Chapter 8, that tremendous chapter of our great Salvation, not based on what we have done, but what Christ has done on our behalf. We have to read these verses because they are just so far beyond human comprehension, that we have to read it, and read it, and read it, and believe it, believe it, and believe it. And here it is:

Romans 8:35,36

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, `For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.'”

That’s the world’s attitude toward the believer, and has been ever since the beginning of time. Even back in the Old Testament economy, why did the pagan people around Israel so hate the Jew? Because of their relationship with their Creator God, and it’s still the same today. Now verse 37:

Romans 8:37

“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.”

Now verse 38, and the Apostle Paul’s words should be our words, we should be able to say exactly the same thing, and in verse 38 the word “persuaded” in the Greek is much stronger than what we normally think of as finally consenting to something. It is a word that denotes absolute certainty, without a doubt, and look what it says:

Romans 8:38,39

“For I am persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Now then with that as a background, and everything we’ve reviewed in these first 8 chapters, flip over to Romans Chapter 12, and what this first verse says.

Romans 12:1

“I Beseech you therefore,…”

Now what does the word `beseech’ really mean? It’s a begging. I plead with you. In other words, is Paul by inspiration laying down a command that you will or else? See this is the difference, and we’re going to see it in another word in a little bit. This is the difference between Grace and Law. Law says pick up sticks on the Sabbath day, and what’s the result? Death by stoning. Now we’re not under that. If we sin, if we fail, we’re not going to be utterly chastised or cast out. But God is going to deal with us in love, we know that He will discipline when we fail if we don’t respond, and He’ll move on from one level of discipline to another. But it’s still the whole idea, “It’s up to us.” As a believer we have such intense liberties that very few people in Christendom understand. In fact turn with me to the Book of Galatians for a moment, and we’ll see the word and how he uses it. Remember, Galatians is written because these believers were being hammered by the Jewish believers to come back under the Law, to practice circumcision, and Judaism to the fullest extent, and Paul had to write this little letter to refute all that. We’re not under the law, we’re not under any demands of those commandments, and so instead he says in verse 1 of Chapter 5:

Galatians 5:1

“Stand fast therefore (and that means just exactly what it says. Be immovable) in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”

And bondage was legalism. Do you see that? So when you enter into that Salvation that we talked about back in Romans Chapter 1 and verse 16, and all the ramifications of it: justification, sanctification, forgiveness, being baptized into the Body of Christ, the Holy Spirit indwelling, and on and on we could go. Oh what did all that imply? That we’re in Christ, but we have also been set free. A liberty like nothing else on this planet, we are set free. Now back to Romans Chapter 12, and verse 1, with this whole concept that as a believer, as a child of God who has the promise that nothing can separate us from the love of God. We have the promise that now being justified by faith that we have peace with God, now Paul goes on to say:

Romans 12:1

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present (and that means just exactly what it says. Just say, “Lord, here am I,” like Isaiah of old. And that’s all we have to do. We don’t have to cross raging rivers, or run from this place to another, we don’t have to go out and try to get an education that God can use. We just simply say, “Lord, here am I, use me,” and that’s presenting) your bodies a living sacrifice,…”

Now that throws a curve at us, because ordinarily what do we think of as a sacrifice? Well, the animals that were killed that gave up their life, as Christ the Sacrifice that was killed, put to death the Cross. But you see the death that we now die is a substitutionary death in the Person of Christ. That’s what Paul meant in Galatians:

Galatians 2:20

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”

Although Paul said he was crucified, was he dead? No, he was writing the Book of Galatians when he said it, and it’s the same way with us. As a believer, yes, we’ve died, we have been put to death in the mind of God on the Cross of Calvary. We died when Christ died, but oh, we’re alive! And now it’s our duty, not a command, but rather our duty in light of everything that God has done on our behalf, and we did nothing to present ourselves to Him. I’m going to use this next statement merely for shock. Spiritually we had to stand before God stark naked, and that’s the best way I can put it, with no hope anywhere of getting any help, because when a naked person is caught in a predicament, he’s not going to go out and look for a set of clothes, he’s going to hope for the best.

Now that’s exactly where we were spiritually, we were naked before God, we had nothing we could do, we didn’t even have fig leaves, and so we just had to stand there at His mercy, and mercy was poured out, and He came in, and He did everything that needs to be done, if people will simply believe it. Well, what is a living sacrifice? I’m going to take you back to the Book of Hebrews for a moment. Hebrews was a Book written to the Hebrews, and it was in light of all the Old Testament sacrifices, and rituals, and what have you. Let’s look at Chapter 13. I’m going to take you off the hook. I’m going to give you the idea of presenting your body, “A living sacrifice.” From the time you get up in the morning until you lay your head back on the pillow at night, and it’s so easy especially for us living in blessed America. And I hope you take this verse with you from this day forward, because this is all God is looking for. This is that living sacrifice that He is asking. Now remember God is not commanding it, or demanding it, but rather He is asking for it. That’s what the word beseech means. “I’m asking you, I’m begging of you,” and here it is:

Hebrews 13:15

“By him (that is the crucified Christ up there in verses 12 and 13. By virtue of His death, burial, resurrection on our behalf) therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

And this is what God is looking for first and foremost. He wants to hear our lips speak praise, and thanksgiving to Him all day everyday. And that’s the easiest way to fulfill Romans Chapter 12. Now I’ll guarantee that if you have a believer who is going to be offering lips of praise to God seven days a week, you’re going to have a believer who is going to start accomplishing things for God as well. I’m mean it’s just going to work hand and glove, it’s that automatic. Now then come back with me to Romans Chapter 12, and again in verse 1. And remember we were talking about this living sacrifice, and don’t let it stop with the lips of praise, because it will move on into other areas of your life.

Romans 12:1

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy,…”

Now that scares people, and it used to scare me because I didn’t want to be thought of as holy, because then you’re just sort of out of everything, you’re some sort of a kook, or oddball, but listen, Christianity is never that. But here we are holy, what does that mean? Just simply set-apart. Now when the vessels in the Temple were declared holy what did that mean? Well they were set apart for Temple use, and nothing else. In other words, the high priest’s wife couldn’t come down to the Temple and borrow a ladle, because those instruments were set apart for Temple use, and nothing else. And that’s exactly what we’re for. We are a set-apart people. Now that doesn’t make us an oddball, but it does, in God’s mind, designate us as people of The Book, as people who are living to please Him first. Now, as I’ve told my children over the years, that comes down to the word “Priority.” You have to set your priorities, what is most important in your life. Well remember what the Scriptures says:

Matthew 6:33

“But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Priority says, “God First!” After that these other things can come at their rightful place. Now back to Romans again.

Romans 12:1b

“…that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, (now this is what I want to show you in the Greek that I had never known before) which is your reasonable service.”

For about 20 years now, when I teach Romans I tell folks that these last five Chapters 12-16 of Romans are just practical Christian living. What do I mean by practical? It’s common, it’s ordinary, there isn’t anything in these five chapters that would take you out of the mainstream of your community, and make you an oddball. If you could live in a community where people 99.9% lived out these last five chapters of Romans, you’d be in the closest thing to heaven on earth. But we won’t do it, none of us do, but oh it’s so practical. Getting back to the Greek part of that verse, “reasonable service” as Paul uses it, are the two Greek words `Logikos’ and `Latreia’ which means `ritual’ or `service.’ Now so that you can see what I mean let’s go back to the Book of Hebrews again. Remember the best and only way to really learn is to compare Scripture with Scripture. Hebrews is rehearsing all the Old Testament rituals of Judaism. Explaining the Day of Atonement and all the rest. Now in Chapter 9:1 we find.

Hebrews 9:1a

“Then verily the first covenant (Law) had also ordinances of divine service,…”

And that’s the same Greek word `Latreia as we have back in Romans, but the word divine comes from a different Greek word that implied the established or prescribed ritual according to the Law. Now that was prescribed. I mean when people came to the temple they knew exactly what they were to do and how and when. You know, I’ve accompanied Catholic friends to one of their services, and I say this with no ridicule, but it’s just a fact of life. If you were not Catholic and you were to attend a Roman mass or something like that with a Catholic, they will get up and kneel, then they’ll stand and then kneel. Well, the visitor about 5 minutes into it, what does he become? Totally confused, because about the time you’re kneeling, they are standing. Now the Jew was the same way. When they went into their Synagogue service, they knew exactly when to sit, when to stand, when to respond – there was no confusion because it was established ritual, a religious service. Now come back to Romans Chapter 12 and we have the same service, Latreia, but instead of divine or ritualistic, or religious, our word is in the Greek, `Logikos,’ and our translators for the most part, have translated it “intelligent.” Now, read it that way.

Romans 12:1

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God which is your reasonable (intelligent) service.” Or you could say, “logical service,” or “practical service.”

Isn’t that beautiful? We’re no longer under the demands of a certain ritual of “you’ll do it this way and this way.” We’re set free. We’re not under any particular commanding type of ritual. We are an individual, accountable to God and God alone. And that is our logical, practical, service. I like that. I don’t know whether you’re catching it, but when I saw this last week as I was getting ready for this, I thought, “Well now that’s exactly what I’ve been telling people but I didn’t have the Greek to prove it.” But now I do. For the Jew or for a person who is in a religion, they have to follow the rituals. But you and I as set-free believers, don’t have a prescribed ritual to follow. But we are just simply in tune with God and we do that which of course He leads us to do. Now let’s go on to verse 2.

Romans 12:2a

“And be not conformed to this (what?) world:…..”

Now the word `world’ in Scripture is usually used in two Greek words – `Kosmos’ from which we get the word `cosmopolitan,’ or `Aion,’ which means `age.’ In other words, we are not to be molded by the god of this age or the god of this world. Now, all the way back to the Garden of Eden, once Adam fell, and he dropped the ball of dominion that he was given to carry, who picked it up? Satan did! And what does the Scripture call Satan? The god of this world! The world, which John says, lies in the lap of the Wicked One. And that’s where most of the people are tied. But this verse says not to be conformed to this world and the god of it.

296 - Les Feldick Bible Study Lesson 2 - Part 4 - Book 25 - Romans 11:25-34 - Part 2

296: Romans 11:25-34 – Part 2 – Lesson 2 Part 4 Book 25

Through the Bible with Les Feldick

LESSON 2 * PART 4 * BOOK 25

ROMANS 11:25-34

Let’s get back to Romans Chapter 11. In order to pick up the flow let’s go back up to verse 26 where Paul writes:

Romans 11:26-28a

“And so all Israel shall be saved: (we looked at that. I believe that the escaping remnant in Matthew 24:15 will be that remnant) as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob: For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins (and we went back and looked at the new Covenant in Jeremiah). As concerning the gospel,…”

Now of course you always have to ask, what Gospel? I’ve made reference of a little booklet by Paul Van Gorder, one of the Bible teachers on the Old Radio Bible Class, and the title of the booklet was, Which Gospel When, and low and behold the other day I ran into a gentlemen who had a whole stack of them. Paul Van Gorder made it so plain that The Gospel proclaimed during Christ’s earthly ministry, and by the twelve disciples was the “Gospel of the Kingdom.” And the “Gospel of the Grace of God” came from the Apostle Paul (Reference I Corinthians 15:1-4). The same God of course, because God never changes, but He can change His message, and that’s what we talked about in our earlier lessons, “The Mysteries.” So out of that revelation of the mysteries comes what Paul calls, “The Gospel of the Grace of God.” In another place Paul calls it, “That Gospel which I preach among the Gentiles.” In another place he calls it, “My Gospel.” And still another he calls it the “Gospel of God, The Gospel of Christ.” But The Gospel that Paul is referring to in verse 28 is Paul’s Gospel, that Christ died, shed His sinless Blood, was buried, and rose again from the dead. Now that’s The Gospel to believe for your Salvation. You can’t add anything to it, you can’t take anything from it. So this Gospel then is what the Jew has been opposing ever since it began.

Romans 11:28

“As concerning the gospel, they (the Jews) are enemies for your sakes: but (let’s not try to destroy them because they’re our enemies; why?) as touching the election, (God extending Salvation to them) they are beloved for the fathers’ sakes.”

Now who were the fathers? Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Remember that God had a special relationship with Abraham didn’t He? He loved Abraham, as well as David, a man after His own heart. And so God constantly goes back to those patriarchs and His love for them when He deals with their offspring, and I think that is what Paul is saying. That the election, that remnant of Israel that God is still preparing for that end-time event are beloved because of their forefathers Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, David, and so on and so forth. Now verse 29:

Romans 11:29

“For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.”

Now that word “repentance” I think is crushed, and crucified about as much as any word in the English language. What is the true definition of repentance as we see it here in Paul’s writings? Well, it is not falling down on your face and weeping in sorrow for your sins, but rather the repentance spoken of here is a change of mind, a change of thinking. Now then when it comes to God’s dealing with Israel, Has He changed His mind? No! Now look at the verse in that light. Treating repentance as changing His mind. “For the gifts and calling of God are without changing His mind.” Now isn’t that plain? Well, what do we mean? Let’s go back to Genesis 12, because this is what it’s all referring back to. So let’s just see what it says in those first three verses, the Abrahamic Covenant.

Genesis 12:1-3

“Now the LORD had said (back in Chapter 11) unto Abram, `Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: (now look at verse 2, where God is speaking to the man Abraham where He says:) And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and I will curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.'”

Now do you think God changed His mind? No! He hasn’t changed His mind. That’s still valid, that is still true, and that Abrahamic Covenant is still going to be fulfilled. Now you want to remember that this is still the whole idea of Christ’s first coming was to fulfill these promises made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and Israel rejected it out of hand to the place that they crucified their Messiah. Did God turn His back on them forever? No. Like we’ve seen for the last several lessons, we’ve seen He has set them aside. He blinded them, but He hasn’t taken them out of His program. He’s still going to come back, and finish the Abrahamic Covenant. Absolutely He is. Now let’s go on over to Chapter 15 for a moment, and here in this passage we find Abraham showing his humanity. You know that’s what I always like to point out when I teach about these Old Testament characters. They were just as human as we are, they weren’t some super people, just as common and everyday as we are.

Now God has been promising Abraham a land, and a nation of people, but who’s in the land? The Canaanites. Abraham is a stranger, he probably had to ask permission wherever he went with his flocks. In fact, while we were in Israel back in 1975, and Israel was still just coming out of their statehood, every place that an Arab or anyone would take their flocks, they would have to ask the orchard owner whether they could graze their sheep or goats for any number of days. I imagine it was much the same way with Abraham. He didn’t own a stick of ground. And he was a stranger in a land that had been promised to him, but he still didn’t have the deed to it. Now just watch how human he is. Let’s look at verse 8 of Chapter 15, where God has been making all these promises and then Abraham said:

Genesis 15:8

“And he said, `Lord God, whereby shall I know that I shall inherit it?'”

God’s word wasn’t even enough for a man like Abraham. He said, “I want some proof.” And what does God do? He gives it to him. He gives him the deed to the land in the succeeding verses, all the way down from verse 10 to verse 18, God deeds, not just that little land from the Mediterranean to Jordan, but look how much God deeded to Abraham in verse 18. And the same day that he deeded the land, by virtue of the old customs, I think coming out the laws of Hammurabi.

Genesis 15:18-21

“In the same day the Lord made a covenant with Abram, saying, `Unto thy seed have I given (past tense) this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river, the river Euphrates: The Kenites, and the Kenizzites, and the Kadmonites, And the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Rephaims, And the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Girgashites, and the Jebusites.'”

All these different tribes were dwelling in that area of the world. That was a promise and God gave it to Abram, deeded it to him. You think He’s going to change His mind now all of a sudden and say, `Well no, I’m not going to let you have it’. No way! So regardless of what Israel does with the land, whether they give it back or whether they fight for it or whatever, you rest assured when Christ returns they’re going to have the whole Middle East as their homeland. All the way from the river of Egypt to the great river, Euphrates, all the way from Mt. Hermon, all the way down to the Red Sea. That’s going to be Israel’s homeland. They haven’t gotten it yet, they’re not even close, but they’re going to. Why? Because the gifts and calling of God are without His changing His mind. Now, let’s look at another promise in II Samuel Chapter 7. God is dealing with David. Another one of the patriarchs, a man after His own heart. And God loved David and David loved his God. But now look what God is saying:

II Samuel 7:12,13

“And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, (God’s not going to intervene in the physical element of death) I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, (in other words it would be his own son) and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build an house for my name, and I will stablish the throne of his kingdom for ever.”

This is the promise of that kingly line that would go all the way from David down to the coming of Christ the King. Here it’s all promised. The house of David.

II Samuel 7:14

“I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, (and is he going to? You’d better believe it!) I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:”

Has Israel experienced that? Why, constantly they’ve been under the disciplining of their God. All you have to do is go back and read the book of Judges. What is that a story of? A story of a nation that was on a roller coaster. They would go up to a spiritual high under a righteous, holy judge and he’d die and what would happen to the nation? Down into the steps of sin and rejection. God would raise up another good judge and here they’d come again. And they would be blessed and they would be victorious over their enemies and then down they went. Up and down and up and down. Yes, God chastised them, but did He ever give up on them? No! We’ve seen this all the way through Israel’s experience that God has promised them and promised them and promised them, a King and a kingdom. He came the first time, they rejected it, they crucified Him.

And so The Lord in resurrection power went back to glory. To forget about Israel? No. Like a MacArthur who left the Philippians and said, `I will come back’, that’s exactly what Jesus told the Twelve there on the Mt. of Olives. He’s going back to Heaven, but He said, `I’m coming back’. The angel announced it, if The Lord Himself didn’t. And so Israel is approaching the day, we feel, that their Messiah is going to be coming back. Now, come back to Hosea for a moment. Beautiful prophecy. Hosea Chapter 6 and verse 1. Now these are promises that God has given to the nation through the prophets.

Hosea 6:1

“Come, and let us return unto the Lord: for he hath torn, and he will heal us; he hath smitten, and he will bind us up.”

Watch the language there. What did it mean that he had torn and smitten? He chastised them! He had exercised discipline on them. But what are the last words of that verse? He will bind us up. What does that mean? He’s going to heal them. He’s going to heal the land. He’s going to heal their nation.

Hosea 6:2a

“After two days (when we speak of prophetic days, according to Peter, how long is that? `A day is but a thousand years in God’s sight and a thousand years is but a day’. So I think it’s speaking of 2,000 years here) will he revive us:…”

Isn’t He doing it? Of course. You go back to pre-World War II. Go back to the 30’s and all the way back then into the early 1900’s and the 1800’s. Who would have ever dreamed that the Jews would one day have their own land and a sovereign government. Only Bible scholars, they were writing about it, but no one else ever thought of it. Whenever the Jews would talk to the powers that be in England and America and what have you, they would laugh at them. The English actually offered them a piece of Africa for their homeland that was uninhabitable for the most part, and they said, “No we don’t want a piece of ground in Africa, we want our own homeland, Israel.” And here they are. They’ve been coming back now for the last 100 years, and since 1948 they have been pretty much an independent state.

Hosea 6:2,3

“After two days (or two thousand years) will he revive us: in the third day (which takes you into the Kingdom age) he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight.” Indeed, He’s going to be ruling from Jerusalem, and He will right there in their midst. Now verse 3, when they come into that Kingdom economy:

“Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the LORD: his going forth is prepared as the morning; and he shall come unto us as the rain, as the latter and former rain unto the earth.”

Now we in America are not so much concerned with the former and latter rain, but in the Middle East it was everything. That’s why Israel became a waste land for thousands of years, they lost the latter rain. They may have had some of the earlier rain, but they would never get that latter rain. But now since Israel is a nation and they’re beginning to green up and it’s beginning to blossom as a rose, Israel is beginning to experience the former and the latter rains. In other words, they are getting it in two times during the year instead of one. All of these are simply to show as Paul says, concerning the elect of Israel, that God has not changed His mind. Now to Romans Chapter 11, verse 30.

Romans 11:30

“For as ye in times past have not believed God, yet have now obtained mercy through their unbelief:” Remember what we saw earlier in this Chapter? Just go back a page, because that’s the only way you learn is to go over and over it.

Romans 11:11

“I say then, `Have they (the Nation of Israel) stumbled that they should fall? (in other words, become completely out of God’s program) God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the (whom?) Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.'” Oh, wonder of wonders. Now let’s go back to the last part of the chapter and that’s exactly what Paul is going to say.

Romans 11:33

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!”

This is beyond us. How in the world could He take a Covenant people like Israel, give them all the promises that He gave to the patriarchs and the prophets, then even through the coming of their Messiah, and deal with them on Covenant ground. And then see them crucify the One He gave them, and cry out in total rebellion, “Away with him.” And then have God say because they did that, “I’ll now send Salvation to the Gentiles.” Who would have ever thought of anything like that? No one but God! But this is what God did. And so, because they rejected everything that God had promised, they have brought about what had to be done for our Salvation. And that of course, was His sacrificial death and His burial and His Resurrection.

Romans 11:30

“For as ye in times past have not believed God,…”

We have two facets. We can believe in God. How many people do that? Just about everybody, at least in America. We’re open to the Scriptures and so forth. Most Americans will admit they believe in God. But what’s the other one? Believe God! Now that narrows it down. How many people believe God? That becomes then, faith. Believing in God doesn’t take faith into consideration at all. But to believe God, is faith, when we take God at His Word. Now that’s exactly what we’re talking about here. The Gentiles, for thousands of years, did not believe God. They may have believed in some god, but they did not believe God. And you see, this is where all of a sudden it makes such a difference when we believe God, we take what He says and we believe it, and that’s what? Faith! So when the Scripture says that Christ died for your sins and rose from the dead, what does God expect us to do with it? Believe it! And when we believe it with all our heart, what does God do again? He opens up our whole ability to believe, He comes in, He makes us a new person and all these things become so easy to comprehend. Which before were just so hard to comprehend. Now let’s go on.

Romans 11:32-34

“For God hath concluded them (Israel) all in unbelief, (because of their total rejection) that He might have mercy upon (how many?) all. (now who are the all? Jew and Gentile. The whole human race.) O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! (we can’t even come close to comprehending His wisdom.) how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?”

Now I think that history can pretty much prove presidents or kings rise and fall pretty much based on the men around them. If they’ve got weak advisors, or people that are constantly getting the president or king or whatever, in hot water, history is not going to be very kind to them, are they? God doesn’t have that problem. He doesn’t need a cabinet. He doesn’t need counselors. He’s all the counseling that He ever needed. You know I always like to use that verse in Acts about the predetermined counsel of God and the foreknowledge of God? What does that mean? That the Triune God came together and without any outside counsel, they put the whole thing together and His ways are past human understanding.