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How’s YOUR Power? (A SNL Skit Worth Watching)

 
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Posted by on January 17, 2021 in humor

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #21 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #8

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s consider the eighth blessing: THE HOLY SPIRIT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US!

What an incredible gift! The Third Person of the Divine Trinity — the Spirit of God — has been given to us!  What does that mean? [I just finished producing four videos on the topic “Developing a Biblical Relationship with God the Holy Spirit.” We will be posting those videos on this blog].

Pastor John Piper makes the point in his little book God Is the Gospel that when you trusted Christ, you got GOD! Here Paul makes the point that having been justified by the finished work of Christ, you and I got the Holy Spirit!

What a conclusion to this list of blessings here in Romans 5!

Thank God today for this incredible gift — the Holy Spirit Himself!

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2021 in Romans 5

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (New Year – New Possibilities!)

 
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Posted by on January 15, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #20 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #7

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s consider the seventh blessing: GOD’S LOVE HAS BEEN POURED OUT INTO OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT!

What a wonderful way of expressing the gospel! God’s LOVE. That was His motivation in sending His Son. And that love has been POURED OUT! Not doled out in small doses. But an abundant POURING OUT into our lives. And this is through the Holy Spirit. [I’ve been working on a series recently entitled “Developing a Biblical Relationship to God the Holy Spirit.” I’ll post those four videos in the near future.]

Thank the Lord today for the Holy Spirit’s action in pouring out the love of God into your heart. But ask yourself, “How can I show God’s love to people who haven’t experienced that ‘pouring out’?”

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2021 in Romans 5

 

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Problem with Our Neighbors’ Fencing! (A Great Commercial)

 
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Posted by on January 13, 2021 in commercials

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #19 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #6

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s consider the sixth blessing: WE HAVE A HOPE THAT DOES NOT PUT US TO SHAME (v. 5)!

Pastor Tim Keller has a great statement about HOPE in his book The Reason for God. Please take a few minutes and listen . . .

What would be a HOPE that does put one to shame? A hope to win the lottery only to find that one has wasted $3 on a Pick-Six? A hope to get a promotion even though one doesn’t have the experience to do that next-level job? A hope to win another’s heart even though there is no chance that other person would have any interest in one’s overtures?

Biblical hope is not wish-fulfillment or a gritting one’s teeth and believing really hard. Biblical hope is a certainty about the future promised by God Himself. And that kind of hope does not — and never will — put the child of God to shame!

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2021 in Romans 5

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (A New Year!)

 
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Posted by on January 11, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #18 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #5c

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s continue to think about the fifth blessing: WE CAN NOW GLORY IN OUR SUFFERINGS (vv. 3-4)!

In the West we suffer from a poor theology of . . . suffering! We do. We need to get back to the Scriptures and recover a biblical glorying in our suffering!

We listed several clear, biblical statements about the believer’s suffering in our last post. But how do we GLORY in our suffering?

Here in Romans 5 Paul explains a bit more what glorying in our suffering involves. He writes, “we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope.” Suffering is productive! It is not wasted. There are results that can come about, presumably only by suffering. Want to persevere more? You need to do some suffering! Want to have your character built to be more like Christ? You’re going to have to go through some suffering! Want to have some biblical, not worldly, hope? Apparently that kind of hope can only come through suffering!

Please don’t misunderstand me. I don’t believe Paul is saying that we pursue suffering or that we take a psychologically-twisted joy in suffering. No! But suffering is inevitable as a believer. And the real question is — What will you and I make of our suffering?

May I ask you — how are you suffering right now? The death of a loved one? A struggle at work? Covid-fatigue? Financial challenges? Use your suffering to become more like Christ! And glory in that!

 
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Posted by on January 10, 2021 in Romans 5

 

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The Theology of Calvin . . . and Hobbes (Virtuous Behavior)

 
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Posted by on January 9, 2021 in Calvin & Hobbes

 

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Ruminating on ROMANS! (Some Thoughts on Paul’s Great Epistle) #17 “Eight Blessings of Belief” (A Study of Romans 5:1-5) Blessing #5b

Many of you know that my New Jersey friend Frank and I are reading through God’s Word together (described here). We’re now in the book of Romans and are reading chapter 5 each day this week. Here is something that I noticed in reading this chapter:

Here are the eight blessings that I see in this passage:

1. Justified through faith (v. 1)

2. Peace with God

3. Gained access into this grace (v. 2)

4. Boasting in the hope of the glory of God

5. Glory in our sufferings (vv. 3-4)

6. A hope that does not put us to shame (v. 5)

7. God’s love poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit

8. The Holy Spirit has been given to us

We will think about each of these blessings — one by one — in subsequent posts. Let’s continue to think about the fifth blessing: WE CAN NOW GLORY IN OUR SUFFERINGS (vv. 3-4)!

In the West we suffer from a poor theology of . . . suffering! We do. We need to get back to the Scriptures and recover a biblical glorying in our suffering!

We listed several clear, biblical statements about the believer’s suffering in our last post. But how do we GLORY in our suffering?

Romans 8 indicates that when we suffer we are somehow sharing in Christ’s suffering (v. 17). To share anything with Him ought to lead us to a sense of glory! We also learn in Romans 8 that present suffering shows us (by way of comparison) the greatest of the glory that will be revealed in us (v. 18). The Apostle Paul defines the suffering of the Ephesians as “your glory” (Eph. 3:13)!

Suffering is a gift that no one wants, but it is described as something granted to the believer (along with belief in Him) (Phil. 1:29). Our participation in Christ’s sufferings is integral to getting to know Christ! (Phil. 3:10).

If someone sent you an invitation that began with the words, “Please join me in suffering . . .”, wouldn’t you think them strange, twisted, in need of medical attention? But the Apostle Paul actually invites the believers in 2 Timothy to “join with me in suffering for the gospel” (1:8; cf. 2:3).

Peter tells us that we’re to follow in Christ’s steps in suffering ( I Pe.2:21); that we’re to suffer for what is right (I Pe. 3:14); that we’re to rejoice in participating in the sufferings of Christ (I Pe. 4:13); that we are to praise God that we suffer as Christians (I Pe. 4:16); and that we’ve been called to God’s eternal glory in Christ after we have suffered a little while (I Pe. 5:10). Wow! If those passages don’t help us to GLORY in our suffering, we’re not paying attention!

But here in Romans 5 Paul explains a bit more what glorying in our suffering involves. And we will look at his explanation in our next post.

 

 
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Posted by on January 8, 2021 in Romans 5

 

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