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

Thursday, 5 October 2017

Romans 8:28-39 All Is Well Because of God’s Love Conquers All by Chen Kien Nam dated 1.10.17

Life is not a random mess
God is at work in our life
God is sovereign He can turn things around
E.g Crucifixtion of Jesus, story of Joseph Gen 45:4-8
God’s love + call by God = All is well
Are you called by God?
Yes, of course provided you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior
Then love Him so that all is well

What Do You Mean By Good?

Not good health, wealth and comfort
Becoming like Jesus is the good for which God works.
To those who are known by God, He gave a destiny which should be like Jesus.
Read Ephesian 1:4-6

Read verse 29-30
Foreknew, predestined, called, justified, glorified.
This promise applies to all born again believers.
Read Jeremiah 1:5 Before I form you in the womb I knew you, before you
 were born I set you apart.
Personal testimony: born almost to perish, and born again in spirit.

Read verse 31-39
Paul further elaborate God’s love for us
He affirms God’s love by posting 5 questions:
      1.       With God on your side like this how can you lose?
      2.       If God gave His only Son for you, is he likely to hold anything else?
      3.       Who will dare to persecute you?
      4.       If God is your judge and Jesus is your defense counsel, how can a prosecution succeed?
      5.       Can anyone separate us from the love of Christ?

Chinese folk story about “good” and “bad” luck.

Moral of the story : don’t be fickle minded, don’t be influenced by circumstances, God is good all the time.

Applications and Reflections

Election makes us humble and feel less self righteous.
Election give us a heart of thanks giving and gratitude resulting in praise to God.
Experience God’s unconditional love help is to love in the same way
Realizing His unconditional love makes us more willing to obey and serve.