Thursday, 16 November 2017

Romans 13:8-14 Faith, Hope & Love, but the Greatest of these is Love by Dr Thomas Chung dated 12.11.2017

The Apostle Paul introduces the theme of love by expounding the essence of Christian love in Romans 12:9-10

Love expresses itself in three ways
(William Barclay’s translation puts it in this way)
   (i) “your love must be completely sincere “(the purity of Christian love) (Romans 12:9)
  (ii) “Hate that which is evil, cling to (or love) that which is good “ (12:9) 
                Christian love is a love/hate relationship (i.e. a paradox)
             i.e. the two must go together representing the two sides of the same coin   -
 (iii) “Be affectionate to one another in brotherly love” (12:10)
                  Notes: “affectionate” – Greek “philos – storge”
               Philos – means affection or love between friends – a term of endearment
                              “Abraham was called the friend (philos) of God” (James 2:23)
                 Storge – love between members of the same family i.e. parents for children
                               and vice versa
              Storge is used here because as Christians we are members of the same    
              family- the family of God, i.e. my brothers and sisters in Christ
(iv) “Give to each other priority in honour” (12:10)
              (i.e. the kind of respect that causes us to value one another)

1. Agape-the highest form of love (vs 8-10)
Agape only finds its full meaning in the person and death of Jesus.
      The Apostle Paul now uses this word as the highest form of love – i.e. God’s love
       for us and vice versa. (this is at the core, in the heart of Christianity – our
       relationship with God in Christ)
       “For God so loved the world that he gave his only son…” (John 3:16)
(a) The “debt” of Love (vs 8 – 10)
          (i) every Christian is forever in debt
        (ii) it is a debt that we continue to repay throughout our lives
         “Owe no one anything except to love one another: for he who loves his neighbour has   
           fulfilled the law” (vs8)   
           i.e. we cannot love enough
(b) The “fulfilment” of the law (vs 8 ,10)
             “He who loves his neighbour has fulfilled the law” (vs 8)
             “Love does no wrong to his neighbour, therefore love is the fulfilling of 
                the law” (vs10)
(i) when we love we will do what is right
(ii) Obedience to God signifies that we love God and our fellow men
(iii) vs9 says Love God with your everything, love your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27)
(iv) Jesus said: If you love me keep my commandment” ( John 14:15)
(v) “Fulfilled” – Greek – plȇrȏma means fullness – i.e. Love fills up everything in life and 
                                gives pleasure to God.
                                Loving in full will cause us to be the most fulfilled person in life.

2. Constant reminder (Vs 11-13)
We are in the “last days”, even “last hour”
(a) The early church lived in the hope and belief that Jesus will return in their life   
(i) “the night is far gone, the day is at hand” (vs12)
(ii) “The end of all things is at hand” (1 Peter 4:7)
(iii) The Book of Revelation ends with “Surely I am coming soon. Amen. Come,Lord  
           Jesus” (Rev 22:20)
(b) In view of this Paul sums it up.
          Obey the law, live clean lives, stop quarreling, get rid of jealousy (vs13)

3. Final remedy
(a) “Put Off”, before we can “put on” we have to “put off”, or put
          away, means to give up
         (i) “Put away strange Gods” (Gen 35:2)
         (ii) “Put away sin” (Job 22:23)
         (iii) “Put away childish thing” (1 Cor 13:11)
         (iv) “Put away everything that will grieve the Holy spirit” (Eph 4:30)
(b) “Put on”
         (i) “The armour of light” (vs12),  Eph 6:11
         (ii) “Put on the New Man ”- (the new nature) created after the likeness of
                    God in true righteousness and holiness (Eph 4:24), Col 3:10
         (iii) “Put on love” (Col 3:14)
         (iv) “Put on the Lord Jesus Christ” (vs14)
                     (also do not feed our evil desires) (vs14)
                  “Stop turning to the dark side”
Repentance,  forgiveness & reconciliation
will enable us to put right
what is wrong
and keep us on the right side
of our relationship
one another.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Romans 11 by Tiong Tung Hui dated 22.10.17

Re-cap on: 
Romans 9 – Sovereignty of God in choosing a people for Himself.
Romans 10 – Israel's failure to respond to God’s righteousness.

The Remnants
Rom 9:27
“Though the number of Israelites be like the sand by the sea , only the remnant will be saved.”

The teaching about the remnants;
       1.       About judgement
       2.       About mercy

God and the Jews
Question 1
Did God reject His people?
Psalm 94:14
For the Lord will not reject His people, He will never forsake His inheritance.
      1.       Paul as an example
      2.       Prophet Elijah
      3.       The remnants chosen by grace.
Deuteronomy 29:2-4
Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt to Pharaoh, to all his official and to all his land.  With your own eyes you see those great trials, those miraculous signs and great wonders.  But to this day the Lord has not given you a mind that understand or eyes that see or ear that hear.
Isaiah 29:10
The Lord has brought over you a deep sleep, He has sealed your eyes, He has covered your head.
Matthew 23:37
Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!  You are like white washed tombs, which look beautiful from the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.
Hebrew 3:15
Today if you hear His voice do not hardened your heart.

God and Gentiles
Israel’s rejection – salvation of Gentiles
Analogy of an olive tree
Israel: cultivated olive tree
Gentiles: wild olive tree
Broken branches of cultivated olive tree = partial rejection of Israel
Grating of the wild olive branch – Reception of gentiles
Question 2 ( V 11-12)
Is Israel going to stumble and rise no more?

Jews in the future ( Vs 25-32)
Roman 11:26 All Israel will be saved.
Roman 11:2 When full number of gentiles has come in
Luke 21:24 Until the time of gentiles are fulfilled
Roma 11:26 When the Messiah returns

Paul’s reminder
1st reminder v 30
Gentiles who were at one time disobedient to God have now received mercy as a result of their (Jews) disobedience
2nd reminder V 21
For if God did not spare the natural branches , He will not spare you either. (Do not be arrogant)

The depth of His wisdom and knowledge is unsearchable and beyond tracing out.
Who can know the mind of God?
Who can be His counsellor? (Isaiah 40:13 )
Who has given to God that God should repay him, He is not our debt.
For from Him and through Him, and to Him are all things. To him be the glory! Amen.

Friday, 13 October 2017

Romans 9: God's Sovereignty & Grace by Dr Thomas Chung dated 8.10.2017

Intro: Controversies arising from Romans 1-8
(i) Antinomianism (cheap grace) – Romans 5:20
(ii) Sinless perfection – ‘dead to sin” (6:11), “freed from sin” (6:7)
(iii) Hyper Calvinism – Absolute Sovereignty of God
       Hyper Arminianism – Responsibility of Man
(iv) Antisemitism – Anti Jew 
General Outlook of Romans 9, 10 and 11 
(a) One of the most bewildering problems that the Church has to solve – Salvation of the Jews
(b) The rejection of Jesus Christ – as the Messiah and the Son of God by the Jews
(c) The Apostle Paul did not and could not hate the Jews for he himself was a Jew
(d) The Jews were the chosen people of God and recipients of seven vital blessings from God 
(i) The Covenants (The Ways and Works of God are governed by   them)(Romans 9: 4-5)
(ii) The Temple (The Presence of God)
(iii)The Law (written with the fingers of God)
(iv) The Shekinah Glory (Pillar of Cloud and Fire)
(v) The Patriachs (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and David)
(vi) The Prophets (As God’s Spokemen)
(vii) Above all Jesus (God’s greatest gift to Man)
 Romans 9 
The Grace of God Operating in Predestination (Election)
 1: The Apostle Paul does not write in anger against the Jews, but in love for them and was prepared to sacrifice his all for their sake (vs1-3)
(a) The Ministry of Jesus
         (i) to the Jews – Mark 7:27
         (ii) of the old covenant – Matthew 5:17
(b) Predestination according to human logic appears to be unfairness on the part of God (Does God practise favouritism?)
(c) Romans 9 suggests that Predestination is actually the Grace of God in operation among the Jews under Old Covenant- God’s grace in predestination (election) upon the descendants of Abraham (i.e. Isaac and Jacob) even before they were born. (vs11)
    Note: Abraham was the first man to be called a Hebrew (Gen 14:13) , i.e. the first Jew
2: Two examples of The Grace of God in predestination (election) 
(a) Isaac and Ishmael (both sons of Abraham)
            Ishmael – born to Hagar (Egyptian slave woman), (Gen 16:4),
                               Abraham’s son of the flesh
            Isaac – born to Sarah (Abraham’s wife), (Gen 21:1-2),
                         Abraham’s son of Promise (vs7,8)
(b) Esau and Jacob   
         Esau was the older twin (vs12,13)
          “hated”- a relative term which means to love less ( Jewish NT)
 3: The tension of God hardening the heart of Pharaoh 
vs18 cf Exodus 10:1
Notes: The hardening of Pharaoh ‘s heart not only benefited those whom Pharaoh intended to harm (i.e. the Jews) but ultimately worked to the advantage of the Jews and their deliverance from Egypt.
    God used Pharaoh’s hardness of heart in order to demonstrate his glory
vs17 cf Exodus 9:16
The effect of Pharaoh’s hostility to the Jews accomplished the opposite of its   intent , for it resulted in the liberation of the Jews . (Romans 11:33 )
 4: Closing Thoughts in Conclusion 
(a) Romans 9 distinguishes between the Jewish nation (Israel) and the individual Jewish believer in Christ
             vs 6&7 , Romans 10:12,13;
           i.e. “Gentile and Jewish believers in Christ (under the same dispensation) are both saved under the New Covenant in Christ”
(b) Under the New covenant, the Spirit of the law (forgiveness , reconciliation through the death of Jesus can overcome the letter of the law which brings death and condemnation
     “….a new covenant , not in a written code but in the spirit, for the written code kills but the spirit gives life” (2 Cor 3:6)
(c)  The Old Covenant bleeds into the New Covenant because it also emphasizes the circumcision of the heart
(d) The key and climax for both Jew and Gentile is :
      Regeneration when God changes the heart ,
quickens the spiritual life
 instils in us a Passion for Jesus