"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 6 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

While the Beatitudes and Similitudes have been covered in Chapter Five along with more of the Sermon on the Mount, the Sermon preached by our LORD is far from complete; it continues still for another two chapters. 

Thus, this constitutes the longest, continuous teaching by Jesus Christ in Scripture (It’s interesting to note that Levi Matthias whose Gospel account we are now studying was a tax collector; this would mean he would be very skilled at dictation and likely wrote these discourses from the LORD on site while He addressed the people). 

We are about to begin Chapter Six now and there is much to cover.

The chapter begins with and maintains a warning against religious externalism and hypocrisy while also giving instruction on the proper method and purpose for prayer; also benevolence, fasting, forgiveness, service, and perspectives on eternal versus temporal values are considered.

We must remind ourselves that these teachings revolve around the central focus of the Kingdom of heaven, of which the LORD Himself is King; that is the Messiah of Israel. Yet these teachings are also in a profoundly spiritual sense applicable for the church as well, guiding and governing our attitudes and motivations through the power of the indwelling Spirit.
Without further ado then, let us begin the study.

Read more!

Monday, November 18, 2013

TYPHOON RELIEF EFFORT IN THE PHILIPPINES



TYPHOON RELIEF EFFORT:

Jane Marie Arabiana was a child seventeen years ago, when she was "adopted" by my husband through Compassion International in the Philippines. Now an adult, Jane Marie has renewed contact with us, her "American Family", and we are seeking help in collecting donations for the relief effort to aid those who have been devastated by Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda).  The TRUTH Under Fire has join the effort along with Whitestone Christian Fellowship and are asking for your help!

Those devastated by the recent typhoon are in desperate need. There are hundreds of thousands of displaced Filipinos. In some areas, there is total devastation. No water, no food, no medical supplies, no shelter, no communication. Literally, everything is wiped out. If you watched the news, you have seen the shocking pictures.

Jane Marie has offered to receive donations on behalf of her local church, The Independent Baptist Church of the Philippines in Cebu City. They are actively involved in collecting and purchasing supplies such as water, food, basic hygiene care, clothing and other necessities to be loaded on trucks and shipped to the more devastated areas.

Our desire is to get these donations into the hands of workers on the ground, to those who can provide relief immediately...and that every penny be spent on the victims.

If you would like more information about donating directly to the Philippine Relief Effort, please message me in our Facebook group, or my personal page.

If you would like to make a donation, please do so through Paypal to the following account:

Paul Kisly - pwk5@cornell.edu -

All donations will then be sent through Western Union directly to the Philippines, in care of Jane Marie. She is our trusted contact, and will facilitate the transfer of funds directly to the relief effort through the Independent Baptist Church in Cebu City.

Will you prayerfully consider contributing to this effort? We pray that local churches in the Philippines will rise to the challenge, minister to the needs of the suffering, and share the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ!  May we see the Hand of God at work, and may we see the outpouring of the love of God to the suffering people in the Philippines, through the Church.

Read more!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 5 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE Part 4 of 4

By James Fire

MATTHEW 5:31-48 will conclude our study in this chapter in this fourth and final part. 

We begin this segment by addressing the issues of divorce, oath taking, non-retaliation protocols and others as well.

Let us return to the mount where the LORD is giving His sermon, picking up at verse 31 . . . . 

MATTHEW 5:31-32
31 It hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a writing of divorcement: 
32 But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.

Here is the standard that the LORD upholds regarding the sacredness of marriage (See MATT 19:3-9). In God’s eyes the marriage ‘unit’ of husband and wife become ‘one’ (a singular unit) and that which God has joined together, humans should not set apart.

We know that God’s work will always produce godly fruit, and if indeed any joining brings forth godly fruit, we can be assured that such joining is God’s holy work in matrimony. If no such godly fruit is forthcoming, repentance is in order, but if this does not occur, such a marriage can never produce fruit for the glory of God.

Read more!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

This Little Church Went To Market

by A.M. Kisly

The evangelical church of today is surrounding itself with man-centered philosophies and teachers that are presenting a diluted social gospel, ripe for itching ears. 

"For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
" (2 Tim 4:3-5)

In a little book called, "This Little Church Went To Market", Mr. Gilley confronts today's believer about the unbiblical methods used to evangelize the lost and thereby altering the course of biblical Christianity.  Rather than stay with the only true standard of doctrine and spiritual growth found in scripture alone, unbelievers are being misled by false evangelism, unchallenged by the gospel, not convicted of sin, provided with a comfortable (worldly) environment where they can be entertained and fed pop psychology sprinkled with Christian terminology.  This is not the gospel of salvation.  This is not the truth we are to feast on.  This junk will do nothing more than feed the fleshly desires of sinners. 

These churches are mass producing false converts with false doctrines for the sake of "church growth" and mega churches which line the pockets of false teachers. 

 
One reviewer said, "This book is a damning indictment of the market-driven churches that are so popular today. Having extensively studied the issues Gilley writes about in this book, I am comfortable saying that this is the best introduction to "the church in the age of entertainment" that I have read. Gilley contends that the church has sold out to our culture so that the influences of the culture have become the influences in the church. The most significant forces pressing against the church are entertainment, market driven philosophies and psychology. These three are largely absent from the Bible, yet are startlingly prevalent in evangelical churches."

 
As I was listening to an interview online by Search the Scriptures radio broadcast, with Tom McMahon and his guest, Gary Gilley (author of the book)
I realized that there cannot be enough warning and admonition against false teaching and false teachers deceiving so many.    This book is being freely offered by the author in pdf format, and because of the importance of the message, we are making this free offer available to all of you.

Free Book Offer:
 

This Little Church Went To Market, by Gary Gilley - pdf download

Search The Scriptures 24/7 Radio Program:

Search The Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon - Guest: Gary Gilley, Pt. 1 

Search The Scriptures 24/7 with T.A. McMahon - Guest: Gary Gilley, Pt. 2 










Read more!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI OF DECEIT - PART III (RIDING The THIRD WAVE INTO The LAST DAYS)

THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI OF DECEIT - Economic Aspect of the Third Wave

We now begin a third article dealing with this Economic Aspect of the Third Wave. Next we shall consider the work and thoughts of Amitai Etzioni, an Italian intellectual and political commentator and a university professor tenured at Columbia and Harvard and his familiar notion of ‘The Three Legged Stool’.
From the writings of Amitai Etzioni:
The Three-legged Stool: A mandatory partnership between the public sector (government), private sector (business), and social sector (community, churches, etc.) -- managed through Global Standards and laws established by national and international governments.”

While governments across the world search for a new political synthesis, the theoretical debate has offered little to those interested in a new framework for progressive politics. This [is] . . . what the Third Way really means, and roots it in a communitarian vision of the good society. It argues that such societies achieve a dynamic balance between state [public sector], market [private sector] and community [social sector]....”
Read more!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Burden of Damascus

In the following message, Amir Tsarfati shares Israel's importance in history, God's plan for His Chosen People, and how unfolding current events are confirming everything long foretold in scripture. We are exhorted to prayerfully seek to understand how God is working in the Middle East, and how it is His will that we support Israel.

Amir Tsarfati is a Jewish believer in the Lord Jesus Christ. He was born and raised in Jerusalem and surrendered his life to Jesus Christ after he watched the “Jesus” film during his teens.

He is the director of Behold Israel, (www.beholdisrael.org) a teaching ministry about Israel, Islam, current events and the Middle East. He has consulted work for various law enforcement agencies in the US and has been invited to give seminars on homeland security issues. He is a captain in the Israeli Defense Force Army. He was Deputy governor of Jericho and sat on the panel which negotiated its turnover to the Palestinians. Amir speaks 4 languages, leads tours as a guide and is currently the General Manager of Sar-El Tours. Amir and his family live in Northern Israel.



Read more!

Friday, September 13, 2013

A STUDY in ACTS TWO: 42 - 4th of 4 FACETS in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH

FOURTH FACET in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH:

PRAYER:

Let’s start off by reading some quotes about prayer . . .

“Work as if you were to live for a 100 years, pray as if you would die tomorrow.”
~ Ben Franklin

“Every great movement can be traced to a kneeling prayer”
~ D.L. Moody

“Our prayers must mean something to us before they be anything to God”
“Prayer does not fit us for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.”

~ Oswald Chambers

“Talking to men for God is a great thing, but talking to God for men is a greater thing”
~ E.M. Bounds

“Satan trembles when he sees the weakest Christian on their knees.”
~ Unknown

“I would rather teach one man to pray, than ten men to preach.”
~ Charles Spurgeon

DO YOU BELIEVE THAT? DO YOU LIVE THIS KIND OF PRAYER LIFE?

Read more!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 5 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE Part 3 of 4

MATTHEW Chapter 5:17-30

There are scores of churches that resound with absolute conviction, certainty and joy that we are saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, apart from the Law – that we are free from the Law and solely under God’s abounding grace! And so it is, just as Paul described:

ROMANS 6:14-15
14 For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace. 
15 What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

And again in Galatians:

GALATIANS 2:20-21
20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. 
21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain.

So then the Christian no longer need to concern himself with the Law of God because the Law of God is done and over for the church, right?
Well . . . yes and no . . .

Read more!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

A STUDY IN ACTS TWO:42 - 3rd of 4 FACETS in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH

THIRD FACET in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH:

Breaking of Bread/Communion – as taught by Kyle Peart

Let’s go ahead and turn to 1 CORINTHIANS 11; the title we have is . . .

Breaking of Bread: Commune or Commune?

Here we have a classic twist on the English language. Two words (homonyms) that look the same but have completely different meanings.

● To commune (verb; commune): to be intimate or fellowship
● A commune (noun; commune): community of people living together

So what does that have to do with our teaching?

Well, when we get into ACTS 2:42 we read that there was fruit which revealed who the
disciples were. That’s why we’re doing this four part study. We examined
doctrine, fellowship and now the breaking of bread [Lastly will be prayer, by Josh Boubion].
Read more!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI OF DECEIT (RIDING The THIRD WAVE INTO The LAST DAYS) – PART II

For those who are new to this series produced jointly by AMOS 37 ministries and TTUF, we have three contributing writers expounding upon these three aspects of The THIRD WAVE:

Keith McKenzie – 1) The Third Wave: The Religious aspect
Anne Kisly – 2) The Third Wave: The Political aspect
James Fire – 3) The Third Wave: The Economic aspect

Here are the articles already produced by AMOS 37 for your consideration:

THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI of DECEIT – ORIGINS Part One

THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI of DECEIT – An ANCIENT LIE Part Two

And here is TTUF’s first article on THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI of DECEIT – RIDING the THIRD WAVE INTO The LAST DAYS

We now pick up where we left off in our treatment of the Economic Aspect of the Third Wave – this Destructive Tsunami:

Read more!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A STUDY in ACTS TWO: 42 - 2nd of 4 FACETS in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH –

SECOND FACET in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH:

FELLOWSHIP:

Introduction: Have you ever felt that something is missing or something is wrong in your walk with the LORD? Is going to Church to study God’s Word enough? How about prayer and evangelism? And worship; are all of these enough?
As a believer all of these are essential necessities, and there is another part of our Christian life that is also an essential: fellowship!

1 JOHN 1:1-3
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life; 2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;) 3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
Read more!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

A STUDY in ACTS TWO :42 - 1st of 4 FACETS in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH

*ACTS 2:42
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

FOUR FACETS in the FUNCTION of the CHURCH
There are four functions or practices that the true church of the LORD Jesus Christ followed and still follows today as the basis of our spiritual life and health; these four functions in this series will be taught by the following:

1) The apostle’s doctrine 
2) Fellowship
3) The breaking of bread
4) Prayer
Read more!

Spectacular Film - Evolution vs. God

by A.M. Kisly

We don't usually advertise on this website, however there is a Spectacular Film called, Evolution vs. God, a must see for every Christian family.

This film, Evolution vs. God,  is challenging to unbelievers as well as faith affirming to all who are saved!

I highly recommend to everyone to obtain for yourselves a copy of this film.  You can watch here: Living Waters: Evolution vs. God





The following is a short preview of the film:

Read more!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 5 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE Part 2 of 4

By James J. Fire

The following study covers Chapter 5:9-16

We continue now learning from the Messiah and hear the Kingdom message He declares. Once again we must recognize that the Kingdom of heaven is in a very real sense, a sort of sub-set or division under the over all Kingdom of God. In the Kingdom of heaven there are wheat and tares; there are good fish and bad, there is “the enemy” – hardly what one would think should be present in such a kingdom.

Yet we understand that this Earth is polluted by such things, though God is present (behind the scenes as it were) and working to accomplish His objectives which will ultimately bring the Messiah-King back to this rebel planet known as Earth, ruling and reigning and ‘cleaning house’ of all things that offend.

This will become quite observable once the LORD Jesus Christ returns and commences the Kingdom given back to Israel in fulfillment of the Davidic Covenant, the veritable “kingdom of heaven” itself!

So as we learn more of this Sermon on the Mount, let’s not forget that though these Scriptural truths are entirely applicable for learning by us saints, who are of the church, its primary focus is in fact the Kingdom of Heaven, the reign of the Messiah and Israel in her glory during the Millennial reign . . .

Read more!

Friday, August 2, 2013

THIRD WAVE TSUNAMI OF DECEIT (RIDING The THIRD WAVE INTO The LAST DAYS) - PART I

A Combined Production of the ministries of: AMOS37 and The TRUTH Under FIRE

Contributing writers:
Keith McKenzie – 1) The Third Wave: The Religious aspect*
Anne Kisly – 2) The Third Wave: The Political aspect
James Fire – 3) The Third Wave: The Economic aspect

* To view Keith McKenzie’s first article on this aspect, follow this link to his web site AMOS37 ministries, which he has listed under his apostasy tab.

INTRODUCTION: The expression of ‘The Third Wave’ brings to mind a beach, where wave after wave breaks upon the shore line in a progressive fashion; each time as the tide rolls in, the waves get deeper and deeper inland.
Alvin Toffler wrote his book The Third Wave (published in 1980; which followed his previous work in Future Shock (pub. 1970) and in it he describes the First and Second Waves which were basically founded on an agricultural age and an industrial age respectively. The Third Wave, says Toffler, is that of an Information age. Each wave has pushed the previous away from predominance generally on a global scale.

Read more!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 5 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE - Part 1 of 4

By James Fire

The following study covers CHAPTER 5:1-8

What does the word ‘beatitude’ actually mean? Have you ever wondered? One rendering says, “To be supremely blessed, consecrated, and holy, in a state of bliss”. 
Those who follow the truth as expressed by the LORD in this chapter will certainly know (even if they don’t understand) this bliss and peace; yet there must be no mistake: in order to follow the Truth Incarnate, His Spirit must be the one to empower and enable them by indwelling their person!

Christianity is not, and cannot (successfully) be a mere philosophy or a set or principles for ‘moral man’ to abide by. The one statement alone, made by our LORD should put an end to any such endeavor: MATT 5:48!

Christianity is “Christ in us, the hope of glory” (COL 1:27)!

The apostle Paul likewise deals with the moral man in his treatise found in the book of ROMANS 2:1-16 (See the TTUF study of Romans, chapter Two).
Certainly the principles laid out by the LORD here are absolutely contrary to the edicts and principles and philosophy of this world which is ruled by Satan. 


Read more!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 4 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

CHAPTER FOUR – PART ONE


When Jesus was born in Bethlehem, it wasn’t merely the arrival of the Son of God Who would bring the Gospel message to fallen man, for the redemption of souls; it was a Holy Invasion into enemy territory with the intent of defeating Satan, the ruler of the rebel world system, as was promised as early as . . .


GENESIS 3:15
15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.


Satan being expert in the Scriptures, knowing full well what they said, realized the implications of the prophetic Word and understood that the Babe of Bethlehem would be the One to confront him in what would seem to be the Battle of the Ages, the War of all wars, the Supreme Strategy that would end, if he couldn’t stop it, the reign of sin.


Read more!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The LAST DAYS of LAWLESSNESS – TIME of the SIGNS

By James Fire

THE KING THAT DWELLS OUTSIDE CHRONOLOGY –

The ETERNAL GOD is not subject to time or space, and therefore is well able to observe past, present and future events simultaneously and knows all things before they happen; whereas we who are creatures (both human and angelic) bound within the confines of the space/time continuum, when left to ourselves, see the present, remember the past, and can only guess at the future.

This is where the Holy Bible leaves all other religious books that claim authenticity as the works of Deity behind; the Scriptures audaciously speak of future events before they ever happen because the Author of these Scriptures has ‘been there, done that’.

ISAIAH 46:9-10
9 Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, 10 Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:


God is the only One Who can make that boast. Earlier in ISAIAH the LORD taunts the false gods of the nations and challenges them to foretell the future (if they can!):

Read more!

Saturday, July 6, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: Ch. 3 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James Fire

CHAPTER THREE –

At this time I would like to resort to Dr. Scofield’s notes and provide the thematic outline on Matthew’s Gospel that he produced:

"THEME: The scope and purpose of the book are indicated in the first verse. Matthew is the "book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the Son of David; the Son of Abraham" (MATT 1:1). This connects him at once with two of the most important of the Old Testament Covenants: the Davidic Covenant of kingship (2 SAM 7:8-16), and the Abrahamic Covenant of promise (GEN 15:18).

"Of Jesus Christ in that twofold character, then, Matthew writes. Following the order indicated in the first verse, he writes first of the King, the son of David; then of the Son of Abraham, obedient unto death, according to the Isaac type GEN 22:1-18; HEB 11:17-19.

"But the prominent character of Christ in Matthew is that of the covenanted King, David's "righteous Branch" JER 23:5; 33:15. Matthew records His genealogy; His birth in Bethlehem the city of David, according to MICAH 5:2, the ministry of His forerunner according to MAL 3:1. His rejection by Israel; and His predictions of His second coming in power and great glory.
"Only then (Matthew chapters 26-28) does Matthew turn to the earlier covenant, and record the sacrificial death of the son of Abraham.
This determines the purpose and structure of Matthew. It is peculiarly the Gospel for Israel; and, as flowing from the death of Christ, a Gospel for the whole world.

Read more!

SHOW ME

By James J. Fire

It must be stated that the description of a saint, (that is, one who is sanctified, set apart for God and from the world in this context) is an ideal that we are all growing in and should desire.
We are all at different stages of spiritual development: some are babes in Christ, others are young in the faith, there are those somewhat older and wiser; then there are those elders who have walked with the LORD for many years and bear an even greater resemblance to Him.
None of us are perfect however, and none of us have attained the level of maturity whereby we can claim all of the attributes listed below, consistently, all of the time. Yet this description of a saint is by the grace of God, something that we may, over the course of our lives, acquire in increasing measure to become more like our LORD. May this encourage the saints to truly seek God and His empowering Spirit of grace to become more like JESUS, day by day!

Read more!

Monday, June 17, 2013

The GOSPEL of MATTHEW: Ch. 2 - The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

MATTHEW 2:1-3
Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, 2 Saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. 3 When Herod the king had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him
.

These wise men were known as the magi from the Parthian Empire, which was one of the few political entities that could cause Rome to tremble for their fierce martial disciplines that routed Roman forces, not once or twice but repeatedly until internal corruption brought about their decline with a Roman victory sealing their fate.

They were known as a religious and priestly order of seemingly magical knowledge (thus the term magi, from which we also derive the term magistrate) that was involved in the selection process of their Kings. They were among other things, “King Makers”.

Read more!

Friday, June 7, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW - Chapter ONE Cont.: The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James J. Fire

The WORD Incarnate was made flesh and sent to this fallen world; He came to His own (Israel) for a very specific purpose, for the time was fulfilled that He should appear to His kinsmen. And what was this purpose? What was His mission?

The MISSION Of the MESSIAH –

MATTHEW 10:5-7
5 These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: 6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 
7 And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.

When sought after by a Gentile woman, a Canaanite, to heal her daughter, the LORD replied to her:

MATTHEW 15:24
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

The prophet Isaiah has been long known as the Messianic prophet and for good reason; a vast quantity of his writing, particularly from chapter 40 and on, deals with the Messiah. The Gospel of Matthew employs the Scriptures from this particular prophet most readily, as observed here, regarding the Mission of the Messiah:

Read more!

Monday, June 3, 2013

The GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW: The MESSIAH and HIS KINGDOM MESSAGE

By James J. Fire

We have presented before us at the very beginning of the New Testament, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and this is entirely appropriate and right and good, because before anything else may be apprehended in the Christian faith, the Gospel must be understood, received and realized in the life of a repentant sinner who has fallen under the conviction of such by the Holy Spirit and as a result surrendered to Jesus as both LORD and Savior.

One cannot live in the kingdom of God, nor labor or experience any of its benefits until one is born into the kingdom of God; this spiritual rebirth is something that is initialized once God takes up His Holy Habitation in the heart of the humble believer, saved by grace and not of works, by the operation of faith placed in the LORD and His Gospel.

Why then are there four Gospel accounts, rather than just one? Does God have a stuttering problem? Or for that matter, why are there not five Gospel accounts or twelve (one from each of His twelve followers)?

A very good question with any number of legitimate answers!

I offer the following (for the full article, click on the web link below) as a very comprehensive yet concise answer from the site Spirit and Truth:

Read more!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – Chapter Sixteen: “On the Road of Righteousness” Conclusion of the Epistle

Conclusion of the Epistle: Chapter Sixteen – Salutations of Saints, Commendations of Christians

~ By James Fire

And so we have traversed the length and breadth of this marvelous epistle by the apostle Paul; obviously we have not exhausted its full content, quite frankly because it's the Word of God, and His knowledge and truth are unsearchable to the fullest extent of their depths.

Yet on a practical note, I believe what we have covered is somewhat competent and especially for new or young believers who are just beginning their journey through the Holy Bible.

In this last chapter there are a lot of salutations and administrative directives by Paul and one might think “what doctrinal truths can be gleaned by such a chapter as this?” That we shall soon see.
Along with these twenty seven verses we shall also provide a summary outline of the entire book as a review for our readers and with no small encouragement from us at TTUF to dig into this book on their own time and seek the teaching from its Author (and I’m not referring to Paul, but the One who inspired him! See EPH 4:21; GAL 1:12).


With no further delay then, let’s get into this last chapter of Romans,
And here is the rest of it.

Going Further Down On The Road of Righteousness! –


ROMANS 16:1-2

I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: 
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.

This sister saint, Phebe, whose name means “bright” was an example of the believer, serving the church – the body of Christ as a deaconess, ministering and administering to the needs of the church and its individual saints represented there in Rome; she came from the harbor city of Cenchrea, Corinth where she normally served, but she is found there in Rome, perhaps even at the request of Paul to serve the LORD and meet their needs there.

We must not become accustomed to our normal situation and believe this is the scope of service to the exclusion of other opportunities. Our servanthood extends beyond our usual habitations, just as Phebe was called to serve elsewhere. We are at our LORD’s beck and call.

Phillip was evangelizing and ministering among the Samaritans (ACTS 8) and there, along with Peter and John who came into the work among them, experienced great success in the ministry. In the midst of this spiritual prosperity, the LORD spoke to Phillip to leave that work behind and go out . . . into the desert (ACTS 8:26). The LORD would have His servant leave such vibrant work as this, to go attend to whatever matters – if any – out in a barren wasteland?

As we know, Philip met with a eunuch of Ethiopia, a high ranking officer in the royal ministry of Queen Candace (ACTS 8:27), a convert to Judaism as can be seen, for he had just returned from Jerusalem where he worshiped the LORD in such offerings as were represented in the treasuries he carried, along with his own entourage of soldiers and servants. Once Philip joined the eunuch in his chariot and expounded on the passage from Isaiah (ACTS 8:28-34; circa ISA 53:7-8) which the Ethiopian read by preaching “unto him, Jesus”.

The eunuch was converted to the LORD, baptized and was sent on his way (ACTS 8:36-39), no doubt an instant missionary to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his countrymen there in Africa.
Let us then be mindful that if the LORD beckons us to venture from our usual haunts and our typical ministries into ‘uncharted territory’ that we answer the call, and not miss incredible opportunity!

A Succouring Sister Saint –


ROMANS 16:2

2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.


This word “succourer” means a patron or protector; it intimates a person of great esteem and, or a person of significant wealth. It may be that Phoebe was a wealthy merchant, who by the success of her business was able to impart financial assistance to those in need, provide employment, and bring some level of protection for the saints who might otherwise be imperiled by the Romans or others. The term can refer to those who represent civil authority in protecting the rights of resident aliens.

This is a fitting office for are we not, as Christians – not of this world, even as our LORD Himself was not of this world (JOHN 17:14); and like the Father that our LORD prayed to in that chapter, perhaps Phoebe was being used of the LORD to keep the saints there in Rome “from the evil” that might have befallen them, and perhaps of Paul as well. In that pagan culture, Christianity had become outlawed and any that refused to offer the customary offering to Caesar as ‘the god of Rome’ was in danger of martyrdom – and so, many of the saints were, as ably documented in Foxe's Book of Martyrs; you can read this online version here.

We are in fact, “pilgrims” and “strangers” (aliens) in this world and the admonition in Scripture is that though we are in the world we are not of the world, nor are we to be a part of carnal, worldly pursuits; rather we are to pursue holiness and purity by the ability that the Holy Spirit gives us.

1 PETER 2:10-12
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy. 11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; 12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
We don’t invest in this world nor pursue the wealth of this world; while permissible at the direction of the LORD, these things are not our focus, our passion, our calling. We are about heavenly business and royal edicts pronounced by our King and godly ministry of the Spirit, all conducted in the glorious light of the LORD that shines with promise from that "heavenly country" and holy city whose maker is God:
HEBREWS 11:13-16
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.
Listing of the LORD's  Ministering Family – 

Paul continues in his salutations and recognition of the saints who were busy about such affairs of state in the kingdom of God, as he mentions Priscilla and Aquila . . . 

ROMANS 16:3-5
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus: 4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. 5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ.


Priscilla and Aquila are known to students of the Word as they have shown up in various places as  ‘tent makers’ with Paul, laboring with their hands by day, and preaching the Gospel after work, tirelessly employed in the work of God. You can read about them in ACTS 18 and mentioned elsewhere in 1 COR 16:19 and 2 TIM 4:19.
Both here in Romans and in 1 Corinthians we learn that they had a church gathering in their house as was the custom for the early church.

Christians at this time did not have the resources to build their own buildings as distinctly Christian edifices; when the Gospel was preached and received by the Gentiles, they would resort to their own homes for gatherings; where the few Jewish converts that came to Christ in the latter period of the book of Acts met differed depending on their numbers. Occasionally they would be able to meet in synagogues, but more often than not in their homes or if they were persecuted heavily (by their fellow Jews), they would be forced to meet in remote locations such as by a river side.

The first century church would eventually become heavily persecuted so that they would actually be forced to meet in the catacombs (underground cemeteries); one can imagine, being born of God’s Spirit, alive from the dead, and worshiping the LORD of LIFE – in the midst of such decay and corruption of rotting bodies as still as stone on slabs of the same. Perhaps many of them thought on how any day in the near future, they might join those statue-like ranks at their own martyrdom!


Paul salutes Epaenetus who was one of the first converts of Achaia; here Paul reveals the true shepherd’s heart: though he had seen countless scores of souls that have come to know the LORD in multiple cities and regions, he still remembers those first converts in cities he had visited before. The love of this apostle, the compassion, the keen mind, the humility is exemplified when he recounts the numbers of people that he brings salutations to in this passage. 


Just as certainly as he remembered them by name for the intent of recognizing them in salutation, he likewise remembered them in his prayers; no doubt he found plenty of time to pray while imprisoned and in between the writing of his prison epistles.

Knowing No Bounds!! -

1 THESSALONIANS 1:2
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers
; see also PHIL 1:4; COL 4:2,12.
When he was imprisoned, incapacitated, seemingly of no avail for the Gospel, the apostle knew better than this (2 TIM 2:9); the physical capture of any vessel of the LORD by enemy forces does not impede the LORD Himself in His work for He has many other vessels! 

Besides this, as just mentioned, Paul had time to pray for the saints during his incarceration, to intercede for the saints at the very throne of God; to wage a valiant warfare in the Spirit against the principalities and powers of Satan’s kingdom (EPH 6:12). So even in this regard, such capture hardly slows the progress of the working Christian!

Perhaps there are those reading these studies who are incapacitated in some way; you’re not able to get out there and engage the world with the Gospel and work in the kingdom of God, and so you feel useless and inadequate. Brothers and Sisters, believe me, nothing could be further from the truth!


If you are a child of God, if you are born of God’s Spirit, if Jesus Christ is LORD of your surrendered life and your heart truly belongs to Him as a member of the Kingdom of God, then let me assure you – you have in your employment such Divine resources and ammunition that from that wheel chair, from that hospital bed or where ever you may find yourself right now – you can affect the world anywhere on the planet!

I have attended countless prayer meetings over the decades and they are seldom brimming over with attendants; this is not to say that prayer meetings are ineffective with fewer numbers, but to express the point that, in these days especially, prayer seems a forgotten ministry. Thus those few who will remain faithful and diligent and tenacious in this spiritual war are all the more PRECIOUS and VALUABLE!!

By your prayers fellow saints, you can have an affect on the missionaries in Islamic nations; you can by faith, move the hand of God (Who desires to have you yoke together with Him in such work) to touch the hearts of Chinese Communist officials and soften them in regards to Chinese Christians imprisoned and tortured and gain their release. By your intercessions you can pray for the healing of those sick all around you and see them raised up to health and vigor!
There are many excellent books that deal with prayer; here are a couple of my favorites:

Collective Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer

With Christ in the School of Prayer - Andrew Murray


There are also resources for you whereby you can pray for nations and missionaries and the work that goes on for the Gospel across the globe:

OPERATION WORLD You can also access such information online here!

Let us continue in our study:

The Apostle's Heart Towards the Saints –


ROMANS 16:6-12

6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. 7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord. 9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. 10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household. 11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. 12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.


The list goes on and on as the apostle recites the names of people that are beloved to him; may we likewise remember those saints we have encountered and do all we can to touch their lives, to communicate with them, encourage them in the Word and prayer.

Andronicus and Junia were fellow prisoners, and who knows what sort of ‘prison ministry’ these were involved with, but I’m certain, it had to be quite dynamic if it was anything like Paul’s imprisonment with Silas (See ACTS 16) – and that’s what I call the real ‘Jail House Rock’!
Andronicus and Junia apparently were in Christ before Paul and yet while they knew Christ longer, it would seem that they had no problem submitting themselves under the authority of Paul’s office of apostle; a lesson to be learned by us ‘older saints’ when we see those younger “in the LORD” ministering in their God-ordained offices.

Here we notice another aspect of the humility of Paul; elsewhere he spoke (“as a fool”) of all his hardships and trials in the midst of his incessant and continual ministry (2 COR 11:23-30) and he accomplished more than any of the other apostles, yet not himself but Christ he admits (1 COR 15:9-11) – still, he is careful to note and commend the works of others. It wasn’t ‘all about him’ and ‘The Paul of Tarsus Ministries’ as is sadly too often seen in today’s ministry. He recognizes time and again that we are all members of the body of Christ and all with vital ministries (whether big or small – still vital) to perform for the LORD.

It reminds me of a story that I believe comes from the Jewish Talmud -

“Two angels appeared before the throne of God to fulfill some appointments that the LORD gave to them. To the one angel, He commanded that he go to a certain city and there reign as its king. To the other, the LORD God commanded that he go to that same city and sweep the streets of the dust.
”Both angels went to their task rejoicing, not for the tasks themselves, but that they could do God service.”

There is mention of what I believe to be two sisters there, Tryphoena and Tryphosa; their names mean “luxurious” and “luxuriating” respectively. Their labor in the LORD refers to that sort of work that brings “fatigue, working hard, to weary with toil and burdens; to labor with wearisome effort, to toil”. I wonder if Paul smiled as these words were penned, thinking of these two ladies, perhaps used to a life of dainties and luxury, laboring ‘in the mud’ as it were for the sake of their LORD! Such class distinctions disappear where the true body of Christ is present, for we are all one in Him, and are brethren – on equal standing!

GALATIANS 3:28
28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus
Are You A Lover of the Word? –

There are yet more that the apostle sends greetings to:


ROMANS 16:13-16
13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. 14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. 15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. 
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.

My eye gravitates towards one of these saints, and his name is one that I would love to have for my own! James Joseph Philologus Fire! It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? What does ‘Philologus’ mean, you might ask?
“One who is fond of words or of learning” (which I am!); and most especially being fond of the Word of God, and learning it is an appellation I would certainly be honored to have! In a very real sense, we should all have this as a ‘middle name’ for we are called to be able students of the Word of God!

2 TIMOTHY 2:14-16
14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers. 15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
The “rightly dividing” of the Word of Truth means to have a balanced perspective of the Holy Scriptures that in turn presents a balanced view of God, of ourselves, this world and that which is to come: everything with which we have to deal with. It’s when we divide the Word wrongly, that doctrinal errors creep in, even heresies and this is the stuff of cults! This is where people will divide themselves away from doctrinal purity and the full counsel of God! This is the stuff of apostasy!

This is the very reason why Paul determined to declare ALL the counsel of God (ACTS 20:26-28) because in teaching line upon line, and precept upon precept (see ISAIAH 28:10-13) throughout the Scripture, and gaining all the doctrine included in Holy Writ, we obtain the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as God intends for us.

Thus it’s vital that we allow all Scriptural references to be interpreted not by our own wisdom, insights, opinions and perspectives, but by the leading of the Holy Spirit as He directs us into the entirety of Scripture from cover to cover, to shed light and understanding on any of its verses. 


In other words, we let Scripture interpret Scripture. It’s when one begins to have at the least, a manageable grasp of the whole of the Bible that one becomes able, by the Spirit of grace to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth and this tends towards spiritual maturity, provided that one is a “doer of the Word and not a hearer (or learner) only” as stated in JAMES 1:22-23.

Discerning The Divisions –


ROMANS 16:17-18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. 
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

How many times have we heard it, saints? When we hear a teaching from the pulpit (or any other source of teaching) and we discern some kind of doctrinal error and mention it to others, only to be told that we are being “divisive” or “unloving” or “argumentative” or “contentious”, what have you?

In point of fact, our unity is expressed when we “hold fast the form of sound words” and if we do not hold fast to such "pure, undefiled and without-error doctrine" (this is the meaning of the word sound) that we are parting from "the faith", that is, the body of doctrinal truth as represented in the Holy Scriptures and by such action cause division. We cause division when we believe and follow false doctrine.

What is Paul’s admonition for such that cause divisions and offences that are contrary to doctrine? He plainly says that we are to avoid them because they do not serve the LORD Jesus Christ, but their own appetites; these will use good sounding words and fair speeches to deceive who?

The simple-hearted; this is why it’s vital that discipleship happens among the saints, pairing up the elder with the younger (preferably parents with their own children); it’s important that we as Christians know not only what we believe, but why we believe it. If a strong foundation in Christ is laid (1 COR 3:10-11), then doctrinal instruction in the Word will ensure (again, if one is a practitioner of the Word, not merely a philosopher) a stable walk, gifted with discernment and wisdom. 


Such things are desperately needed in the days we live in, for the LORD Himself stated that deception would be everywhere to deceive if it were possible, even the elect (MATT 24:3-51 TIM 4:1-3).

How Firm A Foundation –

I recall my own Christian experience when I first received Christ Jesus as my LORD and Savior; I was privileged to become acquainted with a Christian couple who were opening their house for biblical teaching which we heard via cassette tape (recorded from a radio program). 


I devoured such teaching and asked many questions afterwards to the delight of these two dear saints. When some certain questions arose, the wife told me she had just the teaching for me and I followed her to ‘the tape room’. 

When I entered, my jaw dropped because covering two of the four the walls were cassette tracks, each slot containing a cassette tape! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Here was a treasure trove of good, solid teaching on the Word of God! There was also a filing cabinet that was stuffed with more teaching tapes!

I made it a practice, every week at Bible Study when I left that house to have with me anywhere from three to five tapes. I would listen to them two or sometimes three times, following along in my Bible, underlying key passages, jotting down notes in the margins or in my notebook and once done, I would return them for more!

This was my own personal seminary! The LORD educated me quite rapidly in the Word of Truth, and it wasn’t very long (about a year and a half I think) before I began to teach the Word to others. One thing I can say with absolute confidence: that the stability of my walk and the soundness of my foundation is because of the ministry of that Christian couple, in allowing me access to all of that good, clean and “sound” spiritual provender!

May I likewise encourage you dear saints, to be enthusiastic about your study of God’s Word! Find some reputable, sound teachers, and learn all that you can from them! Take notes, underline your Bible, and commit passages to memory. In your own quiet time of devotionals, prayerfully ask the LORD to grant you insight into His Holy Word. Also, share what you have learned with others that they also may be blessed!

If you can find another saint close by, someone who is mature in the LORD, seek to be discipled by them; since “you will know them by their fruit” look for those who have not mere head knowledge of the Word, but one in whom the fruit of the Spirit (GAL 5:22-23) is in evidence!
Also note that there are excellent resources to be found here on TTUF; just have a look at the Study Helps to get a good overview of what we offer.

Gaining God's Grace, Demolishing The Devil -


ROMANS 16:19-24

19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil. 20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen. 21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. 22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. 23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. 
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.

Obedience is something frowned upon in our society as the spirit of rebellion is everywhere; questioning authority out of a sincere inquiry for truth is perfectly fine, but to repudiate truth for the sake of believing a deception that makes allowance for the pleasures of sin and self is always detrimental and destructive. 


We along with Paul are “glad . . . on your behalf” who are obedient to the truth as found in the Word. It is a mark of spiritual maturity to be obedient in all things and as a result of this, have the deep wisdom of God revealed to the heart so that we are indeed wise concerning good and can recognize such God-given wisdom and goodness in others.

Being “simple concerning evil” means that we are not familiar with vile practices and conduct as we once were in the world; we possess an innocence, a purity, an absence of anything that would defile us. See MATT 10:16; PHIL 2:15. For those who have lost innocence from a life in the depravity of this world, take heart, for the LORD is well able to restore such, in the sanctifying renewal of the mind (ROM 12:1-2)!

Paul declares this astounding statement almost in passing, as he acknowledges this truth as a foregone conclusion – which it is! That “the God of peace will bruise Satan under your feet shortly”!! 


This is coupled with “the grace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you”. Certainly there can be no victory over Satan apart from God’s empowering grace, which alone enables us to acquire the help we need to overcome sin in our lives (HEB 4:16).
Since we are the body of Christ, and He has conquered over Satan in every way, we share in that victory; we who are “in Christ” stand fast upon this truth regardless of our circumstances or even our present condition – because if we are in fact, in Christ, then He who began this work in us, shall complete it (PHIL 1:6) and in that completion (when we see Him face to Face - 1 JOHN 3:2) we shall know utter victory over all things: sin, self and Satan!

Stablished, Secrets, and Scriptures –


ROMANS 16:25-27

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began, 26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith: 27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.


Here we have the closing benediction of Paul and He acknowledges the LORD Jesus Christ as the One Who wields the power to establish us in accord with the Gospel. This power (“dunamis”) is the very power of God, and with it our LORD is able to resolutely secure us in a sure direction wherein He carries us: from here to heaven! That’s the kind of ‘staying power’ that no demon of hell, or vain philosophy of man can deter or corrupt! 


This is something that must have a sure foundation (1 COR 3:11), and again, this is none other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel we believe must be wholly biblical and free of error; it must be the simple and unadulterated truth of God’s Word expressed and there cannot be any margin for error since this is foundational. Any errors or misrepresentations in such a foundation will sooner or later affect the structure of the entire Christian experience.

This “mystery” is something that is not discovered by human insight, but brought by revelation of God through the Scriptures of the prophets who were given progressive revelation of God’s plan for the ages – that He Himself would become a man, dwell among us, teach us personally of the Truth that is Himself and ultimately pay the price He didn’t owe for those who had nothing to pay!

This Gospel has been revealed to “all nations” and in this day and age, with some blessed exceptions in certain regions of the globe, is being rejected in very belligerent and blasphemous ways. The only ones adhering to the genuine Gospel are those that are ordained unto eternal life, those who out of a willing heart have received (or are receiving) Gospel truth.


As the apostasy increases, and truth is further disparaged, the time is drawing near when the LORD Jesus Christ will appear and bring judgment to this Rebel Planet for having summarily rejected His offer of grace and truth in the Gospel.

2 THESSALONIANS 1:7-9
7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, 8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power;
God calls us to obedience, but it is the obedience of faith, not works, Once genuine faith is genuinely placed in the Person of Christ and His finished work of the cross for the salvation of souls from sin, self and Satan as well as everlasting punishment and perdition, the outworking of such faith will produce good fruit and works, but its vital to understand that our salvation is by faith alone in God’s grace alone through Christ Jesus and His atonement alone.

So ends this chapter and this study of ROMANS: ON THE ROAD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
SUMMARY OUTLINE OF The BOOK OF ROMANS (Using Thompson Chain Ref. as a Source):

KEY VERSES: ROMANS 1:16; 5:1

MAIN THEMES:

PART ONE: Doctrinal – Ch’s. 1–11; The PLAN OF SALVATION; Justification by faith and Sanctification through the Holy Spirit.

PART TWO: Practical – Ch’s. 12–16; MAINLY EXHORTATIONS; Concerning Christian Duties.

A MASTERLY ARGUMENT:

In Part One the apostle proceeds to prove that the entire human race is surrounded by three insurmountable walls:

1) The Wall of universal guilt (Ch’s. 1-3)
2) The Wall of sinful tendencies (Ch’s. 7:15-24)
3) The Wall of the supposed sovereign election of God of a certain portion of the race to salvation and the divine reprobation of all others (Ch’s. 9:7-18)

In the midst of his argument showing the awful situation of the natural man, he points out the doors of divine mercy provided for in the plan of salvation, by which all men can escape the impending judgments of God if they will.

To overcome the Wall of Guilt, there is the door of Justification by faith; ROMANS 5:1.
To overcome the Wall of Sinful Tendencies, there is the door of Regeneration: ROMANS 8:1-4.
To overcome the Wall of Sovereign Election, there is the door of Universal Opportunity: ROMANS 10:13.

KEY CHAIN Showing the current of thought:

ROMANS 1:16; 3:22-23,28; 4:3; 5:1,18; 9:31-32; 10:3-4,6-9.

SYNOPSIS:

PART ONE: The PLAN OF SALVATION.

1) The need of, grounded in universal guilt of mankind:
Of the Gentile world – Ch. 1:18-27
Of the Jews, under condemnation of the Law – Ch. 2:8 to 3:20.
All alike sinners – Ch. 3:23

2) The method of Justification or Righteousness by faith – Ch. 3:21-28.
Universal – Ch. 3:29-30
Honors the Law – Ch. 3:31.

3) Illustrated in the life of Abraham – Ch. 4
Apart from works – vs. 1-6
Apart from ordinances – vs. 9-12
Apart from the law – vs. 3:31

4) The blessings of, made effective through the love of God as manifested in the sacrificial death of Christ – Ch. 5:1-11.

5) The Scope of the free gift of salvation expounded – Ch. 5:12-21.

6) The Free Gift does not encourage the continuance in sin, but demands rather the crucifixion of man’s corrupt nature and a life of holy service to God – Ch. 6:1-23.

7) In Chapter Seven Paul is evidently speaking of the struggle with sinful tendencies and fleshly lusts. Whether he refers to his own experiences before or after conversion, is a question concerning which Bible students differ in opinion. All agree that he vividly portrays the strife going on in the human heart, Ch. 7:7-24.

8) The culmination of the divine plan of salvation is pictured in chapter Eight. It is a new spiritual life of liberty and righteousness through faith in Christ. This is one of the great spiritual chapters of the Bible; in it the Holy Spirit is referred to nineteen times.

9) Parenthesis – Paul’s solicitude for his own people – 9:1-5.

10) The Mystery of Divine Election and God’s dealings with Israel.
Special privileges of Israel – Ch. 9:4-5; See also 3:1-2.
The distinction between the natural and spiritual seed of Abraham – 9:6-13
The mystery of the divine sovereignty – Ch. 9:14-24
The prophets predicted the failure of the Jews to live up to their privileges: the calling of the Gentiles and their acceptance of the divine plan of righteousness by faith – Ch. 9:25-33.

11) The Misapprehension by the Jews of the divine plan, resulting in their self-righteousness by faith – Ch. 10:1-3.

12) The Plan of Salvation by Faith expounded and its universal application set forth – Ch. 10:4-18.

13) God’s dealings with Israel – Ch. 10:19 – 11:12.

14) The Gentiles warned not to boast because of their privileges but to take heed lest they call under condemnation – Ch. 11:13-22.

15) The Restoration of Israel predicted and the mysteries of God’s way declared to be unsearchable – Ch. 11:23-36.

PART TWO: PRACTICAL.

Chiefly Exhortations and Instructions concerning Christian duties – Ch. 12 -16.

Ch. 12. This chapter presents one of the finest summaries of Christian duties foind in the Scriptures.
Ch. 13. Duties of various kinds
1) Civic and social duties (vs. 1-10)
2) The duty of living as “children of the day” (vs. 11-14).

Ch. 14:1-15:7. More Duties to the Weak.
1) Charitableness in judging – Ch. 14:1-13
2) Carefulness not to give offence to, Ch. 14:15-23
3) Bearing the infirmities of, and not pleasing self – Ch. 15:1-7

CLOSING THOUGHTS -
Mainly personal experiences and greetings.

Ch. 15 cont’d -
Reasons for thanksgiving on the part of the Gentiles and the apostle’s wide-spread ministry among them, vs. 8-21.

Paul’s desire to visit Rome and his greetings to the various Christian friends – Ch. 15:22-16:16.

Final words and benediction – 16:17-27.
Read more!
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