Romans 3:1-2 The Bible is an Advantage

Romans 3:1-2 (KJV)
What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.

The apostle says that the main advantage the Jews have had over Gentiles is that they had the Word of God. There were, of course, some who didn’t believe it. This became truer with Christ and the New Testament. Their lack of believing, however, did not change the truth of it.

The New Testament was written by Jews but it was believed and spread primarily by Gentiles.

The Bible is an advantage for anyone who will

  • Possess
  • Learn and
  • Practice

its message. The advantage that once belonged to the Jews is now ours.

Take advantage of this advantage.

 

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Romans 3:1-2 The Bible is an Advantage

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Romans 1:2 Rooted to the Old Testament

Romans 1:2 (KJV)
(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

The apostle insisted, and will spend a great deal of this book proving, that the gospel was no new thing but promised in the Old Testament.

There is too much disparaging of the Old Testament in today’s Christianity. There is:

  • Too little preaching of it
  • Too little application of it
  • Too little instruction concerning its place in New Testament faith

The foundational truths of the gospel are rooted in the Old Testament. Therefore a proper understanding of the gospel is not possible without an understanding of the Old Testament.

Paul, preaching to a Gentile church, began by assuring his audience his message was rooted to the Old Testament. We must do no less.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 1:2 Rooted to the Old Testament

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Acts 26:22 What the Faithful Preacher Preaches

Acts 26:22 (KJV)
Having therefore obtained help of God, I continue unto this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come:

There is no doubt that Paul was:

  • Called of God
  • Filled with the Holy Ghost and
  • Possessed gifts of the Spirit

Paul was used of God to record for us more than half of the New Testament. God spoke to him directly and through dreams and visions. Peter testified that what Paul wrote is Scripture. But Paul carefully explained that nothing he said crossed outside the parameters of what was already the revealed Word of God in the Old Testament.

The modern day Charismatic and Pentecostal preachers should have taken a cue from Paul. Their claims at having the spiritual gift of prophecy and then to preach things not found in the Bible and, in some cases, contrary to the Bible, abuse and dishonor the very Spirit they claim has gifted them. Paul practiced what preachers today are bound to practice; the careful study of God’s Word and the exposition of that Word. Paul preached with confidence and authority but never with arrogance. He never strayed outside what God had already said. He never contradicted the prophets or countermanded their message.

A faithful preacher preaches “none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.”

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 26:22 What the Faithful Preacher Preaches

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Acts 25:16 Darkness in High Places

Acts 25:16 (KJV)
To whom I answered, It is not the manner of the Romans to deliver any man to die, before that he which is accused have the accusers face to face, and have licence to answer for himself concerning the crime laid against him.

When I consider the treatment of Paul by the Romans after his incarceration, I am impressed with the reasonable character of that treatment followed by the brutal end of his life.

The Roman guards’ initial response when they took Paul into custody was to beat him. That changed quickly when they learned he was a Roman citizen. From that moment on their chief concern was to treat him justly.

  • They removed him from Jerusalem when they heard there was a plot there to kill him
  • They required not once but on numerous occasions that his accusers carry the burden of travel to Caesarea to accuse him to the face
  • They gave him the right of appeal to Caesar rather than simply passing this off as a Jewish thing
  • They were careful and patient to find what charge to write against Paul but
  • They were quick to allow him to defend himself when his accusers did arrive
  • They allowed his friends to minister to his needs
  • They refused to kill him when the shipwreck threatened to free the prisoners onboard

The system worked-until Paul got to the highest authorities. It was in Rome before Caesar that Paul found corruption.

The United States of America styles its government much after the pattern of ancient Rome. Our American system of government works. There are occasional glitches and evidences of lower level corruption, but the system overall works. Where the temptation for great corruption exists is in the highest levels. It is there we must exercise the greatest precautions in whom we elect to those offices.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 25:16 Darkness in High Places

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Acts 24:16 Paul’s Exercise Routine

Acts 24:16 (KJV)
And herein do I exercise myself, to have always a conscience void of offence toward God, and toward men.

At fifty-seven years old I now find that I have a great deal of pain in my body. Things are getting tired and muscles long neglected are being less forgiving than in my younger days. I am coming to realize that, if I am to keep moving, I am going to have to exercise carefully and regularly.

Paul exercised too. But the sort of exercise he spoke of was on a much more important level than merely to mitigate pain. Paul’s exercise plan involved two key elements, each related to the other; he exercised to have a conscience void of offense:

Toward God
This, I am sure is in order of priority. His first concern was toward God. He one time wrote that he preached not as pleasing men but God. Paul strove in exercise to see that his conscience was right with God. This would have required that he knew God’s will, character and word. We can’t have a conscience right with God unless we know what is right with God.

Toward men
This can be a complicated thing since men are so diverse and even the same man can be fluid, pleased by one thing today and another tomorrow. Paul must not have meant that he tried to make everyone happy. To have a conscience void of offense toward man means to do for every man what we know and believe to be in that person’s best interest.

This strategy of exercise has led to Paul’s effective ministry two thousand years after his own passing. His regular exercise cost him at the moment but paid off eternally.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 24:16 Paul’s Exercise Routine

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Acts 23:11 What Cheered Paul

Acts 23:11 (KJV)
And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.

Paul had earlier stated that he was willing not only to be bound but also to die in Jerusalem. Here the Lord encourages him that he would not die there, but be a witness also in Rome.

There is nothing in this promise that implies relief of the trial. There is only a promise

  • That the Jews will not kill him
  • That he will be given further opportunities to witness

Cheer can happen in the most unsuspecting ways. Paul was cheered:

By the Lord Himself
Find your joy in the Lord and you can be happy anywhere.

By an acknowledgment of his testimony
That God has been a witness of our ministry can be a great encouragement. We are not alone even when no one stands with us. We might feel like we have failed. But God has been in the stands cheering us along.

By a promise of future service
He hadn’t cast Paul away or put him on a shelf. He wasn’t confining Paul to ineffectiveness. He was merely opening new doors of opportunity.

 

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 23:11 What Cheered Paul

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Acts 21:4 Pay It Anyway

Acts 21:4 (KJV)
And finding disciples, we tarried there seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit, that he should not go up to Jerusalem.

When Paul went to Jerusalem he went fully aware of the risks he was taking. God had provided brethren, who were led of the Holy Spirit of God to tell him. That these disciples were speaking through the Holy Spirit and not their own is apparent to us; their prophecies came true. This leads to a more challenging question, why did Paul disobey the Spirit of God? Men like John R. Rice clearly believed that Paul did wrong in not listening and paid dearly because of it.

I understand that Paul was a man and subject to making mistakes but I don’t believe that he made a mistake here. I believe the lesson is that God’s Spirit can speak truth to us through another person but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are obligated to obey it. What the disciples said through the Spirit was true, but what Paul was responsible to do with that message was personal, between him and God.

We are wise to hear godly counsel but we should not necessarily follow it. From time to time faith requires us to step out where we most certainly cannot succeed in order that God might teach us greater lessons.

Paul did not disobey the Spirit of God. Instead he pressed on with what he believed to be God’s will, being fully aware of the cost.

Sometimes you count the cost, find it to be greater than you can pay, and for the sake of righteousness, pay it anyway.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 21:4 Pay It Anyway

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Acts 19:10 The Bible is a Book of Truths

Acts 19:10 (KJV)
And this continued by the space of two years; so that all they which dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Greeks.

Acts 19:26 (KJV)
Moreover ye see and hear, that not alone at Ephesus, but almost throughout all Asia, this Paul hath persuaded and turned away much people, saying that they be no gods, which are made with hands:

Paul’s tour of duty in Ephesus was so effective that the Bible says that, in the space of two years and three months, all of Asia heard the word.

I notice that they all heard, not that they all believed
While we want to speak so effectively that many believe, we have to keep in mind that, as much as we want to see people saved, our objective is to see that they all hear.

I see also that this was confirmed by Demetrius, an enemy of the Gospel
The Bible is a book of truths. These are not exaggerations. These are not mere principles. This is more than “evangelistic speaking.” We can trust every word of our Bible and if we tell everybody what it says, even those who oppose its message will have to confirm its truth.

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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 19:10 The Bible is a Book of Truths

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Acts 18:8 What A Miracle the Church Is

Acts 18:8 (KJV)
And Crispus, the chief ruler of the synagogue, believed on the Lord with all his house; and many of the Corinthians hearing believed, and were baptized.

Here is a fascinating verse when we think of it. It is the founding of the church in Corinth:

  • Born out of consistent witnessing
  • Born out of controversy
  • Born of both Jews and Gentiles
  • Born of whole families being converted
  • Born through those believers being baptized

The church in Corinth, came at the heels of some very difficult days for Paul but turned out to be a trophy of God’s grace. Though it required correction, (What church doesn’t at one time or another?) it influenced the world for Christ for centuries to come.

What a miracle the church is!

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 18:8 What A Miracle the Church Is

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Acts 17:13 A Case Study in Avoiding Burnout

Acts 17:13 (KJV)
But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.

We all go through seasons that are just not pleasant. Paul went through one of those in this chapter.

  • Thessalonica was so dangerous Paul only stayed three Sabbaths.
  • Berea looked like it was going to be a great work until the Jews of Thessalonica came and ran him again out of town
  • Athens wasn’t violent but it may have been the most discouraging of all because, with a few exceptions, his message had no power upon them

And all of this was after Paul’s imprisonment in Philippi.

Paul becomes a case study in avoiding burnout right here. He left Athens to go to Corinth where Paul later testified he came to town discouraged. I see these as Paul’s tools to lift himself out of despondency:

  • First he never quit witnessing or worshipping.
  • Second he got a bit of alone time
  • Third he found some friends
  • Fourth he got some diversion
  • Fifth he got some support

Corinth turned out to be a great ministry for the apostle.

To my readers:
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For this and more than 3000 earlier Daily Visits with God visit Marvin McKenzie’s blogger page. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Acts 17:13 A Case Study in Avoiding Burnout

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