Romans 15:4 Patience +the Scriptures = Hope

Romans 15:4 (KJV)
For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

I like to remember this verse, and one like it in 1 Corinthians 10, as keys to properly applying the Old Testament. Through them we learn what the purpose of preserving the Old Testament history is. They were written for our learning, but not just our intellectual advancement, they were written and preserved by God for our spiritual benefit. 

See in this verse a Biblical formula,
Patience +the Scriptures = Hope

Patience
Enduring difficulties over a long course of time. That’s life on planet earth. We are here for our average seventy years. It’s not all difficult, but it almost always has its challenges. 

The Scriptures 
Those things written aforetime. It’s obvious the Holy Spirit does mean everything that was written but those things He knows to be Holy Scripture. 

I notice the word comfort. We endure our difficulties by finding comfort in the Scriptures. There are lessons to be learned from the accounts of those who have gone before us, especially those God preserved in the Scriptures. Those lessons give us direction in making decisions through our own difficulties. We see similarities between them and our circumstances and we learn from them and find solace, guidance, help, and comfort in them. 

Hope
As we patiently apply those lessons to our circumstances, we gain confidence, hope in the work of God in our own case. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4600 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 15:4 Patience +the Scriptures = Hope

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Romans 14:6 Soul Liberty and Truth

Romans 14:6 (KJV)
He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

It is important to note that the Bible does not, in this passage, say in regard to eating meat, there is no Scriptural truth. Paul insists both here, in 1 Timothy, and in 1 Corinthians, that there is nothing wrong with eating meat so long as it is not being eaten in worship of an idol. Even in teaching us the importance of soul liberty he took the opportunity to teach truth. Each man must be persuaded in his own mind but that implies that a persuasion was made and not that he was left to merely figure out his own way. 

What is important to note, and maybe more difficult than ignoring people who think differently, is that after persuasion was attempted Paul still advocated love and respect for the one with whom he disagreed.[1] Don’t shy from giving the truth as you understand it. But don’t shy from loving the one who understands it differently. 


[1]There is still a place for separation. Different persuasions ought to assemble around their persuasion. For the sake of peace, remaining separate is necessary. But even in the separation we may have genuine care and concern for others.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4600 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

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Romans 14:6 Soul Liberty and Truth

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Romans 7:4 Move On

Romans 7:4 (KJV)
Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

There are those who can explain away this text and insist that a modern-day Christian is still obliged to conform to the Old Testament law in order to obey God. I am of the opinion that this passage, together with the sense of the whole council of God, teaches us to move on from that old law.

I am a friend to a number of people whose spouse has passed, and they have remarried. In those relationships, that are healthy, they maintain a love for the original spouse. 

  • They keep the photos
  • They mention them in conversation 
  • They remember them fondly 

But they also move on. It would be terribly unhealthy to obsess over the memories of the one who has passed and practically ignore the one who is present. 

This is exactly what Paul taught concerning the Christian and the law. 

We would be remiss to forget that law. It would be obnoxious to deny its place in bringing us to the Lord. We would be in error to argue that it is unrighteous. But we would be in complete contradiction to claim a new relationship with Christ while clinging to the old relationship with the law. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Romans 7:4 Move On

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Romans 5:1 Justification, Full Circle

Romans 5:1 (KJV)
Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

This chapter takes us full circle beginning and ending on the subject of justification. 

The benefits of justification 
Vs 1-4

  • Peace with God
  • Access to God
  • Hope through God

The origins of hope
Vs 4-14

  • The indwelling Holy Ghost
  • The saving work of Jesus Christ 
  • The reconciliation with God

The source of justification 
Vs 15-21

  • The gift of grace
  • The life of Jesus Christ 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Romans 5:1 Justification, Full Circle

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Romans 4:10 The Central Feature is Jesus

Romans 4:10 (KJV)
How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

Too often we roll right over passages of Scripture that are pivotal, foundational – the basis upon which great Christian doctrine springs. This is such a passage.

The Word of God insists that righteousness is reckoned not through the law but apart from it. The example is found in the very father of faith, Abraham. 

  • He was counted as righteous before circumcision. 
  • He obeyed God in going to the Promised Land before circumcision. 
  • He worshipped God at local altars before circumcision. 
  • He gave to Lot the choice of land before circumcision. 
  • He was promised and given a son in his old age before circumcision. 

The ordinance of circumcision (hence, law) was provided after. It was important and had its place. But it had nothing to do with righteousness. It was a tool to point men to Christ. It has been replaced with the great commandments, to love the Lord thy God with all thine heart… and to love thy neighbor as thyself and with the ordinances of baptism and the Lord’s Supper. The day for worship has been changed from the Sabbath, remembering the first creation to the first day of the week, remembering the new creation.

The Mosaic law is a parenthesis in the eternal plan of God. It is not, and never was, the central feature of His plan. That central feature is Jesus Christ.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Romans 4:10 The Central Feature is Jesus

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Romans 3:31 The Law – In Its Right Place

Romans 3:31 (KJV)
Do we then make void the law through faith? God forbid: yea, we establish the law.

John Gill writes of the law, “…its use in other respects is not set aside, such as to inform us of the mind and will of God, to discover and convince of sin, to show believers their deformity and imperfection, to render Christ and his righteousness more valuable, and to be a rule of walk and conversation to them…”

Only the believer, who grasps the truth surrounding salvation by grace through faith, can put the law of Moses in its proper place. Far from voiding the law, this Christian sets it once and for all in its rightful place, as a schoolmaster to bring us to Christ. This law, when understood, draws the sinner to call upon Christ for salvation. It serves then to stay the Christian near to His Lord. We study the law and see in it types of Christ. We learn of the failures of the Jews precisely because they tried to keep it for righteousness’ sake instead of calling out to God for mercy. 

We do not void the law. We do not ignore the law. We establish it and set it up as the standard of a holy and righteous God – a standard met only by Christ. A standard that is applied to our account when we are hidden in Jesus. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Romans 3:31 The Law – In Its Right Place

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Acts 28:30-31 Free To Serve

Acts 28:30-31 (KJV)
And Paul dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, and received all that came in unto him,
Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.

Paul was under constant threat when he was at liberty.

  • He was forced to flee Damascus
  • He was forced to flee Jerusalem 
  • He was forced to leave

Ephesus, Phillips, Thessalonica and Berea.[1]

He eventually left Greece by way of Macedonia because, “the Jews laid wait for him” there.[2]

I don’t mean to imply that incarceration was an easy experience for Paul.

  • He was not free to go about as he pleased
  • He was under constant watch of a soldier
  • He was eventually executed 

but those prison years in Rome were years of spiritual liberty. 

  • He received all who came to him
  • He preached confidently and
  • He was never forbidden to do it. 

Your “prisons,” those things you believe hinder you, may be the very tools God means to free you for God’s service.


[1]This is “off the top of my head.” There may have been one or two more. I might have made a mistake on one or more of these. I did not really confirm. But this is close and makes the point. 

[2]Acts 20:3

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 28:30-31 Free To Serve

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Acts 25:11 Regardless The Consequences

Acts 25:11 (KJV)
For if I be an offender, or have committed any thing worthy of death, I refuse not to die: but if there be none of these things whereof these accuse me, no man may deliver me unto them. I appeal unto Caesar.

I think it was John R. Rice claimed that this whole mess was created by Paul’s own refusal to obey the Spirit and leave the Jews to themselves. Had he, according to what I think I remember Rice preaching, to stuck to his calling, he would not have been in this fix. 

As it was Paul was stuck between two bad choices:

  • He could return to Jerusalem where he was sure to die
  • He could appeal to Caesar where he did eventually die

To trust his life to a corrupt religious system or to appeal to a wicked worldly system.

What a choice.

I was reminded recently of the experienced hiker who, in order to save his own life, purposely broke his arm bone and cut his arm off. The man who related to incident used it as an example of man’s solution rather than God’s. I am not sure that is a fair representation. I think of Paul. It feels like appealing to Caesar was “man’s solution.” Even Festus and Agrippa would later opine that it was a shame he had done that. I don’t see an alternative. 

What I do see is that God used it. Paul survives many more years. Though a prisoner, he was able to: 

  • Witness to countless more souls 
  • Influence the world through Rome and 
  • Write many of the New Testament epistles 

Who knows what might have happened had he never gone to Jerusalem in the first place? Who knows what might have happened had he agreed to return and be tried in Jerusalem? What we do know is that he remained faithful to Christ until death. 

Follow God’s leadership. Do what you, to the best of your understanding, believe to be God’s will. And then be faithful to God regardless the consequences. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

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Acts 25:11 Regardless The Consequences

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Acts 24:1 Set Up

Acts 24:1 (KJV)
And after five days Ananias the high priest descended with the elders, and with a certain orator named Tertullus, who informed the governor against Paul.

I’ve been “set up” before. 

Many years ago, our church sponsored a missionary with the Baptist Bible Fellowship.  He had pastored in our state and, when the church he pastored grew to just one or two elderly ladies meeting in a building the city was going to condemn for needed repairs, the little congregation left had decided to sell their property and use the money to help this pastor reach the mission field. There was another pastor in the state who had some hesitation’s, but he had no legal or biblical authority in this church. When I explained the situation, he told me he understood and was fine with this guy proceeding with the sale of the property and using it for missions work. 

On a certain day I was asked to appear before a group of pastors of the Baptist Bible Fellowship and present this missionary. It required that I travel to Springfield, MO, my first and last trip there. When I arrived, I discovered that the pastor who had hesitations was also there and he had changed his mind. He planned to appear before this group of pastors and object to the approval of the missionary. Further, he had brought another, well known, pastor to support his objection. The other Pastor` was not from our state and had no personal knowledge of the circumstances. He was just a friend of the one opposing and who offer his support of the opposition on that basis. I could have also had well known pastors supporting my position if I had known I was going to be opposed. I did not. 

I was “set up.”

Acts 24 feels like a “set up” to me. Paul had been snuck out of Jerusalem under threat of his life. The Jews, upset that an angry mob had not just done away with Paul, sent a contingent to Caesarea and included in the contingent a famous and gifted speaker. Once he was done with this oratory the Bible says Paul was permitted[1]to speak for himself. 

He did an admirable job and God intervened. The governor refused to let the Jews have him and Paul, though not freed, was protected. His ministry carried on for many more years. Some would say he did his most important work after this. 

Those who “set me up” did not succeed either. I had a few unanticipated hurdles to jump but the missionary was approved and served on the field until his wife’s passing. 

God is bigger than those who try to set us up to fail.


[1]Forced, really.

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 24:1 Set Up

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Acts 21:23-25 Not Necessary

Acts 21:23-25 (KJV)
Do therefore this that we say to thee: We have four men which have a vow on them;
Them take, and purify thyself with them, and be at charges with them, that they may shave their heads: and all may know that those things, whereof they were informed concerning thee, are nothing; but that thou thyself also walkest orderly, and keepest the law.
As touching the Gentiles which believe, we have written and concluded that they observe no such thing, save only that they keep themselves from things offered to idols, and from blood, and from strangled, and from fornication.

We’re looking at some mixed up Christians right here. 

On the one hand they are glad for the work of the Lord in the world.
On the other they are terrified of the misunderstandings of the people.

On the one hand they wished for Paul to keep up Jewish appearances.
On the other they realized that none of these Jewish laws had anything to do with righteousness. 

These three verses prove two things for us:

  • That keeping the Law is a religious act forced upon people
  • That the observation of no such things is necessary for a right standing with God. 

Of course, we ought to maintain a testimony and be moral, separate and holy. 

Beyond that, the law, whose only purpose was to lead us to see our need of Jesus Christ, has become a tool of men to dominate over other men. 

To my readers:
First of all, thank you! It is a great joy to me to know you read the thoughts and lessons God has given me in His word. Secondly, I would love to hear from you. Please feel free to leave comments.

For this and more than 4500 earlier Daily Visits with God visit https://mckenzie-visit-with-god.blogspot.com. There you will find daily visits going back to 2006.

If you have been blessed by this blog, please subscribe to my feed and share it with others.

For more resources from Pastor Marvin McKenzie visit http://puyallupbaptistchurch.com.

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Acts 21:23-25 Not Necessary

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