Tag Archives: Romans

KEEP THE FIRST THINGS FIRST


KEEP THE FIRST THINGS FIRST

William Andrew Dillard

Someone once said, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing! How true!
In the hustle and bustle of daily life, one often finds his focus shifted away from the things of the Lord to a sort of cultural Christianity. Religious holidays are not observed by 
true churches of theLord, but, such days are recognized as federal holidays intended to honor the Christ of our salvation, and to some extent we are carried along in the force of it even though our understanding of it is quite different to that of the world.
Throughout the year we focus on our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. We should be studying about Him, praying to Him, talking about Him, and seeking to advance His cause. We must not get carried away from truth, in worldliness nor in misguided piety as some do pointing to Romans 9:3. Here they either pretend to love lost souls more than any human possibly could or else they live in anguish because they cannot love others to the degree they think is mentioned here. That verse states, “For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” This verse needs to be looked over realistically in context of what Paul had experienced and was, in fact, saying.
I have known tremendously great and very dedicated people of God, but I have never known one who was willing to go to hell himself for others. Would that not mean that others were loved more than the Christ of one’s salvation? Such simply is not possible. But is this not what Paul was saying, or did he actually say something else?
Young’s Literal Translation of the scriptures translates this verse, “For I was wishing, I myself, to be anathema from the Christ for my brethren, my kindred, according to the flesh.” Notice “Was.” The apostle was referring to his past. Surely, this is what Paul meant: while he was a practicing Pharisee, he was zealous in persecuting Christians, and wanted nothing to do with the Christ. He wanted to please his kindred according to the flesh. 
The following verses in Romans Nine explain that there is a difference between the fleshly Israel (whom he sought to please earlier) and the true seed of promise. In context then, this verse makes a lot better sense than painting a pious picture that no human could fulfill, and one that would be wrong if it were possible.
So what shall we say then? Share the gospel! Help others as much as possible, but love God more. Remember the first and greatest commandment. Also remember the witness of Solomon in Ecclesiastes 12:13 “Let us hear the conclusion of the matter. Fear God and keep His commandments for this is the whole duty of man.” It is Jesus first, not humanity first!

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No Excuses  


 

Romans 1:18-20

They are without excuse,” Romans 1:20.

An Arab asked his friend to lend him his rope. The friend replied, “I can’t. I need it to tie my camel.” The borrower reminded his friend, “But, you don’t have a camel.” This friend replied, “Right! But when I don’t want to lend you my rope, one excuse is as good as any other.”

Mankind learns to make excuses very early in life, usually because of fear. David said that children come into the world speaking lies. The chimney corner description of an excuse is the skin of a reason stuffed with a lie.

Some folks are really clever and talented at making excuses. God cuts through our excuses straight to the heart, revealing our sinister motives. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks on the heart. “All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Heb. 4:13).

Recently, I ran over a stranger’s rural mailbox and excused the incident because the box was too close to the road. Daily, I passed the bashed mailbox lying on the ground. Daily, the Holy Spirit tortured me to practice what I preach. Finally, I said calf rope, bought a new mail box exactly like it and had a friend help me replace the thing. The owner caught us and inquired of our suspicious business. I ‘fessed-up, and he replied. “Oh that thing has been run over three times. I wasn’t even going to replace it.” We finished our clandestine job, and I was mad for having wasted a perfectly good excuse.

Many people’s lives are nothing more than an excuse, an illusion to fool their friends, neighbors and themselves. Most of mankind’s dysfunction is based on excuses.

 

 

IN OTHER WORDS

The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit (Psalm 34:18).

Robert Brock

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The Work of Tribulations  


 

 

Romans 5:3-5

And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience,” Romans 5:3.

 

Nathan Noel Rogers, use some patience!

Yes, you probably heard something similar from your mom when you were young, too. This was always very confusing to me because my mom would say this, but I heard people commonly use the phrase never pray for patience. I had trouble understanding that. That was until I read Romans 5:3-5. In these verses, we see that “patience” or “endurance” is a trait that is built through difficulties.

Nobody goes out looking for trials. No one yearns for tribulation. I do not know anyone that prays that problems would come their way. But we can rejoice even in tough times! We can glory in the difficult days of life. There is a ray of sunshine even in our darkest period. We rejoice not because the trials are enjoyable. We rejoice because even in the mess, God is up to something. He has established this progressive transformation that is triggered by the enduring of our trials according to Romans 5:3-5.

When we endure trouble, we must see the blessing that is hidden in it. James 1:2 states to “count it all joy” when we fall into these trials and tribulations. Maybe we just need to do as my momma said and “use some patience.”

 

 

JUST A THOUGHT

Do you find joy in your trials because you know God is doing a work in you?

Nathan Rogers

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More Than Conquerors


Romans 8:35-39
“Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us,” Romans 8:37.

Early Christians suffered persecution to the highest degree, many of them paid with their lives. No doubt, Paul was writing to those who had witnessed some of this suffering and death to encourage them to remain brave and faithful to Jesus Christ. This encouragement rings through the ages.
Paul used a good word to describe who we are in Jesus Christ—conquerors. Even though Christ has already won the battle, we have a purpose and position. We are both defensive and offensive soldiers of the cross. We are conquistadors through Christ, yet, we are more than mere militia. Our job is to proclaim the message of good news to the world and defend the faith against false teaching until death (Phil. 1:7; Jude 3).
Like all faithful soldiers, our full payment will come at the end of our tour of duty. It will be a reward like no other on earth. Waiting for each and every soldier of the cross are a crown and white robe, a mansion and golden streets, banquets with singing, rejoicing and worshiping at the feet of the King of kings and Lord of lords! Sound the battle cry!

REFLECTION
For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory (2 Cor. 4:17).
Beverly Barnett

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Is America Becoming a Pagan Kingdom? 3


By Kelly OConnell  Monday, December 17, 2012

H. World Religion Polytheism Versus Monotheism
One of the great battles between ancient paganism and Christianity was the debate over whether a single, versus multiple deities existed. For example, one of the main reasons Christianity was sanctioned so harshly by the Romans was their insistence that God was of one nature. This disagreed with the state religious system which was pluralistic and committed to bringing in any non-novel foreign deities, already established elsewhere. Interestingly, the most important public policy in ancient Rome was Pax Deorum, or the Peace of the Gods—which directed the leaders to do anything humanly possible to avoid upsetting the gods so as to avoid human tragedy.
This battle was decisively settled when Constantine declared Christianity the state religion. After this such leaders as Emperor Theodosius declared pagan worship a capital offense, with offenders possibly executed. Yet, today in America the Christian church is reeling as multiple cases come down against Believers and church expressions of faith. Any statements seen as exclusive of any other religious traditions, including atheism are harshly put down as non-inclusive. So paganism has returned to America.
I. World Government & Tower of Babel
A fixation on a one-world government which would create a single law applied around the globe by a world court system, also delivering taxation and management of resouces and assets is not a new idea but ancient. The Tower of Babel in Genesis was an example of such an attempt to create a one-world society. This was rejected by Yahweh who caused languages to be multiplied to foment confusion to end the project. Therefore, a commitment to world government cannot be claimed biblical or modern, but merely pagan.
J. Education Goals
While the classical Triumvirate was developed by pagan thinkers, the average Roman did not have access to such first-class education. The vast majority of Romans were plebeians, the poorer class. Only upper class males were trained, with some notable middle class children such as Cicero who were able to advance beyond their class via hard work and genius.
The original American education czar, John Dewey, was certainly a progressive, and many feel a Marxist. His goal was to train children through experience, not via rote memory or immersion in classical texts as was the original American pedagogy. It is because of Dewey’s ideas that American education became a study in advanced mediocrity, turning out generations of students simply not equipped to debate, analyze arguments, or study texts with any precision. In other words, perfect pawns for the state, representing the ancient Roman description of a few elites directing the masses. Writes one educator,
A detailed examination of Dewey’s relationship to Marxism can explain a great deal about the form and content of modern schools. Dewey found Marxism useful, if not indispensable, in the formulation of his educational theories…
K. Belief in Universal Law
It is part of leftist modern political theory that there must be a body of world legislators and courts to standardize a global law, which presumes a viable world body of law fully applicable in any scenario or setting. This idea was in fact first declared by the ancient Roman Stoics who declared a law which applied universally, such as demanded now with the United Nations.
Yet the greatest theory of law in modern history, Anglo-American common law, is decidedly not a claim of universal jurisprudence but a regional canon based upon Natural Law & Rights. It proved so powerful its Constitution and Bill of Rights became the model for all universal rights theorists. Yet the problem with universal law regimes is that should they become corrupt, the entire world would become infected and tyrannical, without any potential respite except for armed insurrection.
L. Afterlife
The idea of a heaven and hell were not originally in the minds of the earliest Romans. Instead, a life inside the grave was imagined, explaining inclusion of various everyday implements, according to Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges in The Ancient City. Instead, it was thought corpses still had some level of awareness in the grave. Only later was it conceived that underground spirits joined in a giant cavern where they resided together. But there was no belief that good people went to a heaven, whereas as the evil went to hell.
In modern America, belief in a Christian heaven and hell is increasingly unpopular with many believing just in heaven, whereas many others believe the “soul” is annihilated after death. This is no coincidence, but in an increasingly perverse and irreligious populace where many cling only to the barest outlines of Christianity, it is certain that those who abandon traditional morality also abandon orthodox theology on the afterlife.
M. Property Rights
One of the current fascinations in American society is the idea of wealth redistribution. This well-suits the welfare of ancient Rome and its grain dole. Further, despite the idea of private property, there was no well-established right of such. This is because the city, the most common authority in antiquity, was seen as representing the group, and no individual rights theory existed at this time. Therefore, the city could confiscate private property if it saw need to.
The medieval debate over private property between the Franciscans and the Pope was used by William of Ockham to argue that individuals had a non-negotiable right to property ownership. This became a foundational Natural Law and Rights argument. John Locke famously argued for a complete defense of private property, which along with the rule of law, made America’s prosperity possible. Yet, now we are on the verge of giving up even this fundamental right which will almost certainly lead to America collapsing economically.

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