Thursday, 29 June 2017

Romans 4: Heart and Key to the Two Covenants by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 25.6.17

This is a technical chapter where Paul uses legal, accountancy and banking languages.
This chapter is also about spiritual logic, a phrase coined by theologian Dallas Willard. 

Essence of Old and New Covenants
-Old covenant - justification through obedience to the law
-New covenant – justification and righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ (saved by Grace)
Note – John 1:14, John 1:17

Three parts:
(1) Justification by Faith ( vs 1 – 15)
(2) The Grace of God ( in both OT and NT)  ( vs 16 – 22)
(3) Forgiveness of sin through the cross and resurrection – Salvation ( vs 23-25)

Birth of the Nation of God’s people (the kingdom of God) resulted from the faith of one man – Abraham . Romans 4:13, 16

Jesus said ( in this context) :
    Fear not,little flock, for it is your Father’s good
     pleasure to give you the kingdom” ( Luke 12:32)
To His disciples : “…you will eat and drink with me at my table in my kingdom and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel “(Luke 22:30)

1: Justification by Faith ( vs 1 – 15)

-( as illustrated in the life of Abraham)
-(a) Key Words ( technical terms)
-(i) Reckoned ( RSV) – used in court
-(ii) Counted ( KJV) – accountancy
-( iii) Credited ( Jewish New Testament) – used in banks
All three words say the same thing in three different ways
-Reckoned – in a court of Law means to be considered, declared “ not guilty” by the judge
-Counted – language of accounting,
     in spiritual terms – your sins are forgiven- your
     account book in heaven still has credit
-Credited – language of banking , spiritually Jesus has paid the penalty for my sin. The blood of Jesus washes away my sin and my debt. ( 1 John 1:7)
-Abraham was the father and pioneer of justification by faith
-(i) Abraham believed God and it was reckoned to him as righteousness ( v3)
-Abraham was the first recipient of God’s grace (unmerited favor) . God chose him and blessed him
      ( because of his faith)
-(ii)David also understood the true meaning of Grace
     ( because he believed and trusted God)
-“ Blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not reckon his sin. “ ( v8)

2: The Grace of God ( vs 16 - 22)

-(i) Faith opens the door for Grace to do its work to set us free from guilt and condemnation ( Romans 8: 1-4)
-(ii) Faith also opens the door , through Grace, for us to be ‘born again’ of God’s spirit
-(iii) God’s spirit can now do  the work of transformation, making us more like Jesus.
-(iv) My legacy is now God Himself and God has also made us His legacy ( Ephesians 1: 18 ,19)

3. The Power of the Cross and Resurrection ( vs 23-25)

-“It will be reckoned ( credited, counted) to us who believe in Him who was raised from the dead…who was put to death for our sins and raised for our justification “ (v24)
-Saved, Justified, Glorified
Grace also might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord
 ( Romans 5:21)

Thursday, 15 June 2017

Romans 3:1-20 - Universal Sinfulness of men by Ho King Swee dated 11.6.17

1. Some Jewish objections (Romans 3v.1-8)
2. Universal sinfulness of men (Romans 3v.9-20)

1. Some Jewish objections (v.1-8)
1.1 What advantage has the Jew (circumcision)? (v.1- 2 ) – Roman 3:1, 2 – Jew entrusted with God’s oracles.
Gen 12:1.2,3 – Abram instructed by God to go to a land He promised.  Abram will be blessed with many decendants.
Eze 36:22 ““Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came.”
Rom 2:24 – God’s Name blasphemed because of the Jews.
1.2  Our faithlessness nullifies God's faithfulness? (v.3-4 )
Rom 3:3, 4
Psa 89:30-33 – if God’s children forsake His laws He will punish them. He will still love and be faithful to them.
Tim 2:13, Psa 116:11
  David's confession:
Psa 51:4  Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.
1.3  Is God unrighteous to judge? (v.5-6 )
Rom 3:5, 6-God is righteous even when we are not.
It is absolutely unfathomable that God should be unrighteous or unjust.
The holy and perfect God only demands righteous judgment.
1.4  Paul falsely promotes God's glory? (v.7-8 )
Rom 3:7, 8- Absolue twisting of truth and evil slander

2. Universal sinfulness of men (v.9-20)
This section summarises what had been established by Paul from Rom.1:18-3:8
Roman 3:9 – both Jew and Gentiles are sinners.
Gentiles have no excuse (1:18-32) Rom 1:20
Hypocritical righteous moralists have no excuse, Jews 1st and also Gentiles (2:1-16) Rom 2:1
Jews who boast in the law break the law - also have no excuse (2:17-3:8) Rom 2:23,24
Rom 3:9,10 – Jews are no better, Old Testament testify to universal sinfulness of men.
2.1 Sin in character v.10-12 (Psa14:1-3, 53:1-3)
Rom 3:10 vs Psa 14:1
Rom 3:11 vs Psa 14:2
Rom 3:12 Vs Psa 14:3
Rom 3:13 Vs Psa 5:9
Rom 3:15 Vs Isa59:7
Rom 3:17 Vs Usa 59:8
Rom 3:18 Vs Psa 36:1
Every sin and rebellion against God happens because man does not have a proper fear or reverence for Him.
Prov 8:13, Job 1:1
Rom 3:19, 3:20
Gal 2:15,16

3. Application
As Christians entrusted with the word of God,
 we must obey God's word
and not take God's grace for granted

Thursday, 8 June 2017

Roman 2:17-29 - Walk the Talk (Walk the thought) by Dr. Thomas Chung dated 4.6.17

“God’s judgement on those who do not walk the talk” (i.e upon both Jew and Gentile V9-16)
1.       The Essence of what it means to be a Jew (V1-24)
            a)       Privileges and responsibilities
            (i) God’s chosen people (vs 17 – 20)
           (ii) Recipients and hence Custodians of God’s laws (The Torah) (vs 17, 18)
          (iii) A special relationship with God (vs 17)
          (iv) To demonstrate God’s character to the world by living out the law 
                  (i.e. to walk the talk) (vs 17 – 20) 
           b)      Failure of the Jew to carry out the responsibility (V21-24)
           (i) Failure to be a guide to those who are in darkness (vs 19)
          (ii) Failure to correct those who are ignorant (vs 20)
         (iii) The Moral Laws reflect the character and will of God (vs 21 – 24)
2.       The Significance of Circumcision (vs 25- 29)
(a)    under the old covenant
             Sign and seal of God’s covenant with Abraham
             Genesis 17:19
             Genesis 21:4
             God’s chop of authenticity – a sign of recognition resulting in the birth of a nation
             (Genesis 14:13)
(b)    Circumcision in its spiritual application
             (i) Circumcision of the lips (Exodus 6: 12)
            (ii) Circumcision of the ear (Jeremiah 6:10)
           (iii) Circumcision of the heart (Jeremiah 4:4, Jeremiah 9: 25,26)
 * The Glorious Prophetic Promise
“And the LORD your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live.“  Deut 30:6
(c)      God makes no distinction between Jew and Gentile (vs 26 – 29)
“He is a Jew (i.e. with all the privileges and blessings of Covenant) who is one inwardly and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal (physical) ” (vs 29)
“Walk the talk”, walk the thought
James 2: 23.24
“Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness; and he was called the friend (philos) of God. You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone.”