Archive for July 2013

Romans 9:22-24

If you had lived in Bible times, you would have had every reason to believe that God had chosen to work exclusively through the Jewish people and that was going to be the pattern for the future as well. However, thankfully for us non-Jews, God had other plans. Paul continues His discussion of sovereignty here as well. 

 Paul juxtaposes these two thoughts: God is glorified when He sovereignly chooses to demonstrate mercy for the unrighteous, and God is glorified when He sovereignly chooses to punish the unrighteous. In fact, the reality of His justified righteousness wrath makes His mercy all the more astonishing and wonderful.

 Romans 9:22-24  What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction,  23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-  24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

Published on July 4, 2013 at 2:00 am |

Romans 9:25-26

Can you imagine if God told you to marry a prostitute? Imagine God saying, “I want you to be a living object lesson. You will marry this woman who has seemingly zero morals. She will claim to love you at times, but she will constantly leave you and cheat on you. Each time she runs away with another man, you will pursue her, love her, and bring her back home.” Being a prophet was a rough gig.Read more ...

Published on July 5, 2013 at 1:43 am |

Romans 9:27-29

God acts in the hearts of some people and saves them. This is true of every people, tribe, and nation—including Israel. If ever there were a people amongst whom salvation would be universal, it would seem to be the Jewish people. That is not the way God chose to work. Read more ...

Published on July 10, 2013 at 3:35 am |

Romans 9:30-32a

Have you ever gone to a live sporting event? One of my favorite non-sports moments at a game is when the mascot breaks out the T-shirt cannon. If you have never seen this, basically there is a device which fires rolled up shirts high into the crowd. When people see the cannon pointed their way, they go bezerk. They will jump up and down, wave their arms, and scream. The weird thing is it seems that those who are most desperate for a shirt never seem to get it. When the mascot fires the cannon, a knot of people forms under the descending shirt. Everyone in the group freaks out and forgets how to catch, the shirt bounces off everyone’s hands, and it inevitably lands in the lap of some guy playing with his smartphone.Read more ...

Published on July 11, 2013 at 3:30 am |

Romans 9:32-33

Few things are more jarring than when you go to taste something and you are sure you know what you are tasting, but you are wrong. If you think you are stealing a bite of your friend’s yogurt, but it turns out to be a bowl of mayonnaise, you will definitely think something is the matter. That is the type of reaction God’s people had to God’s Son.  Jesus as the Messiah was such an offense to the Jewish people that Paul said He was actually a stumbling stone.

Read more ...

Published on July 12, 2013 at 4:25 am |

Romans 10:1-2

There is a phrase in our vernacular—“his heart was in the right place”—which normally means that we disagree with someone’s actions or decisions, but we think they had good motives. This phrase is pointless and useless when it comes to God. He knows our thoughts and plans; He knows what we believe.Read more ...

Published on July 16, 2013 at 3:42 am |

Romans 10:3-4

In my younger, less creaky days I was a very good basketball player. My shooting form was good—not great, but good. It looked a lot better than my friend Shawn’s, but it was less picturesque than my friend Dustin’s. The key, though, was that we could all put the ball in the bucket. We had different shooting styles, but we all had the same result. Theology is not like this…Read more ...

Published on July 17, 2013 at 2:44 am |

Romans 10:5-9

Paul quotes Moses as saying (Leviticus 18:5) that keeping the Law perfectly would preserve life. If you attain God’s perfect standard, you will be fine…, but we can’t do that. So, we have a problem. Paul then goes on to present a personification of faith saying that we do not need (on the analogy of a perfect standard) to find Christ by faith.Read more ...

Published on July 18, 2013 at 3:35 am |

Romans 10:10-12

The gospel plan is simple—do not complicate it. When you trust Jesus to save you and tell others about what He has done in your life, you are justified. Your relationship with God, which had been damaged by your choices and actions, is made right. This simple formula is the same for everyone. 

My wife and I like the show MasterChef. It is a cooking competition in which the winner of a given challenge sometimes gets to force a disadvantage on another contestant (no more blender the rest of the day, canned food when everyone else has fresh, etc.). In spiritual life no one has an advantage or disadvantage. We all need Jesus, and there are no shortcuts. One person may grow up in a Christian home and another may not, or one may hear the gospel at a younger age, but everyone must place their trust in Jesus to have hope of Heaven. There is no distinction.

Romans 10:10-12   For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.  11 For the Scripture says, "Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame."  12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.

Published on July 19, 2013 at 4:34 am |

Romans 10:13-14


One of the most constant things about my job is getting customer feedback. It is a requirement that my store gets a good VOC (Voice of the Customer) score. Now, you might provide world-class service, but if no one reports it, as far as my employer is concerned it didn’t happen. So, when you help someone and they thank you, you ask them to go online to the web address at the bottom of their receipt and fill out the survey.Read more ...

Published on July 22, 2013 at 3:24 am |

The Big Picture

by Chris White
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Published on July 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

Filed under Hebrews

The Prologue

by Drew Sutherland
2013-07-21 Hebrews 1:1-4
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Published on July 22, 2013 at 7:39 pm |

Romans 10:15

This series of questions (how can they call on someone they haven’t believed in, how can they believe in someone they haven’t heard of, how can they hear without a preacher?) concludes with “how can they preach unless they are sent?” There are two ways to look at this—first, some think it means how can they preach if they are not sent out as missionaries?…so support those who go all over the world to spread the gospel. Others think it means, how can they preach if they are not sent by God?…He gives you the strength and opportunity, so get to it.Read more ...

Published on July 23, 2013 at 3:23 am |

Romans 10:16-17

Being involved in sales is an interesting proposition. There are several types of salespeople. There are the short-view guy (the guy who tries to wring the most dollars possible out of you every time he is in front of you—we all hate this guy), the long-view guy (the guy who figures getting you the best product for your situation will encourage loyalty and a greater volume of sales in the long term—we all like this guy) and the genuinely altruistic guy (the guy who legitimately likes people and wants them to get the best deal/product possible—think Mr. Incredible as an insurance agent*). Ultimately, if someone knows their product well, and is fairly persuasive, they are probably going to be able to guide you into making a purchase.Read more ...

Published on July 25, 2013 at 3:49 am |

Romans 10:18-21

My favorite writer uses the phrase “legacy kids” to describe children of important/famous people who are themselves significantly less accomplished or qualified. Often, sadly, a child grows up seeing the influence or privilege which his parent has earned, and he thinks that sort of respect is his birthright. The abilities and accomplishments which these “legacy kids” bring to the table are often not up to snuff. These kids are spoiled by their parent’s success.Read more ...

Published on July 26, 2013 at 2:36 am |

Romans 11:1-5


So, God turned from His chosen people—He rejected Israel as the sole means by which He worked in the world. However, that does not mean that He rejected every Jew individually. The corporate rejection of Jesus as Messiah by the Jewish people did not in fact spell the damnation of each member individually. In the same way, though your life may have taken a strange or frustrating twist, God has not rejected you. He simply has something different for you to do now.Read more ...

Published on July 30, 2013 at 2:47 am |

Romans 11:6

Sports often produce strong emotional reactions. If you follow a given team, you are duty-bound to dislike their rival. If you love the Washington Redskins, you hate the Dallas Cowboys. If you like the Yankees, you despise the Sox. If you like the TarHeels, it is untenable to claim you also like Duke. These are mutually exclusive. 

When you talk about the salvation of your soul, it is either a gracious gift from God, or you earned it. It is one or the other—the two concepts are mutually exclusive. It simply cannot be some of each. Since the Bible makes it perfectly clear that we can never earn our salvation, we are left with one option—God is our only hope…trust Him.

Romans 11:6  But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

Published on July 31, 2013 at 2:52 am |

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