Tuesday, February 20, 2007

With this blog, I finish Romans. I am progressing through my notes faster than I am reading through the bible, which means that, eventually, you'll be getting these thoughts in real-time. How exciting for you.

10: 9-10 Active belief is a requirement of salvation, but not a work ( Gal. 3:2,5,6)

10:10 Interesting how the bible uses the phrase "believe with your heart." Whenever we believe, whatever we believe, the work is done within our brain. There is no thought in our heart, only action. Belief, by the heart, is belief-in-action.

11:7-11 Here, Paul talks about those who have hardened their hearts as though it's an exceptional phenomena, and something that happens infrequently. It's not suggestive of the idea that everyone who rejects Christ was forced into that corner. Verse 11 expands to show that such forced stumbling or blindness was not necessarily a permanent condition.

11:14 Paul indicates that his efforts could bring about a decision in the hearts of his fellow Jews, indicating that man's actions (though not personal works) can have a direct effect on a person's eternal situation, leaving no room for a master list theology.

11:20-21 Paul speaks of branches that are grafted in, but can be broken off (because of unbelief). He personalizes the branches as "you." He consistently uses grafted branches as a metaphor for Gentile Christians, and natural branches as a metaphor for Jews.

11:26 This is another instance of God, in the Old Testament, referring to a race by the name of their common patriarch.

11:28 "Elect" are the Jews.

12:6-8 Raised as a Wesleyan, these were the "official" gifts listed by our denomination. The Spiritual Gifts listed in I Corinthians were not excluded, but were less focused upon in some congregations.

13:1-3 This verse gives one reason why, despite the common-sense answer of bad things happening to bad things is good , blowing up abortion clinics (for example) is wrong. Also under this catagory fall prohibitions (in America, at least) of underage drinking and smoking.

13:11 As in Matthew 10:22, salvation is a term that addresses our rescue from this sinful world and Hell, not our status as a born-again believer. Paul states, to believers, that salvation is coming.

14:2-8 Meat sacrificed to idols is a real-life illustration for us and a dire situation for first-century Christians. It tells us that we should not cause our brother to stumble over their weaknesses, even if their weakness is not our own conscience rejects. The implication, therefore, is that something may be a sin for one man, but not another, so long as the bible give no strict prohibition of it. The difference between one man and another, as applies here, lies within the mind.

14:17-18 Living rightly (righteously, peacefully, and joyfully) will give you the approval of man, and not necessarily martyrdom.

15:30-31 Paul understands the need for prayer from our fellow brethern.

16:1 Phoebe is a "servant" translated from the Greek word from which we get "deacon," yet she was a woman. The same qualifications (I Tim. 3:1-7) that apply to a deacon like Phoebe apply to a pastor or leader.

16:10 It is possible to know whether a person is actually saved or not, since Paul notes that this knowledge came because Apelles had been "tested and approved" and not something that the Lord told him.

16:13 Rufus is the son of Simeon, probably the same that carried the cross of Christ, and was, therefore, present at the crucifixion. His name means "red," unusual for a Jew.

To begin I Corinthians, click HERE.

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