Does the Body of Christ need to tie up some loose ends?

Do you question why the power of the Holy Spirit doesn’t seem to be working in our Church’s?

Do you ever wonder why Luke didn’t start the book of Acts with Pentecost?

The answer then was loose ends. Could the answer to the power of the Spirit in the body has to do with tying up loose ends.

Listen to Dr. Stephen Manley as he preaches from Acts chapter one.

http://journeypodcast.org/a025-loose-ends-part-1/

http://journeypodcast.org/a026-loose-ends-part-2/

Lets all work together as one body to tie up those loose ends so the Holy Spirits power can be released!

Saturated

This post will go under the Bible Study/Spirituality section of my blog. I am not going to write a lot except to tell you that if you are interested in living a victorious, power filled, Christian life, the key to that is talked about in this podcast.  It is part 2 of this podcast on the Book of Acts by Dr. Stephen Manley.

Dr. Manley is my second favorite preacher of all time. (Of course, I am married to my first favorite preacher of all time) He is the one who originally got me interested in researching Saturation Bible Study and eventually trying to practice it.

I hope you all are continuing to saturate in the Book of Romans. Even though I have neglected to keep up my posts with my answers to the questions, the truth is you don’t need them. You simply need your Bible and notebook, yourself and the Holy Spirit. If you have been saturating or attempting to, I would love to hear about it. Especially if God has revealed an “aha” moment to you.

I will be writing again soon. In the meantime please check out the podcasts above.

Romans 1:8-17

If you need to review the steps we are following click here.

Step 1. Read Romans 1:8-17 several times. Write it out on index cards and place them in spots you spend a lot of time. Review the verses as often as you can.

For this passage, there are several words we need to look up in the Bible Dictionary. These words and concepts will be coming up frequently in our study of the book of Romans and it is essential that you understand their meaning. Even if you think you know what they mean look them up anyway, something fresh may be revealed to you.

Faith: This word in the Greek is pisteos. It has the same root word as the word translated ‘believe’ in John 3:16. Click here to read a story about the meaning of this word being translated to ‘lean your whole weight on him’. Pisteos is not just agreeing in your head, it is living that belief through your actions.

Gospel: The gospel is the good news about Christ. The totality of the gospel starts with who God is. Then it tells the truth about sin, how it came into the world, and what the consequences of sin are. Next, it tells the truth about who Jesus is and how he became the substitute (propitiation) for our sin. Lastly, it tells us how we should respond to this news.

Salvation: Being delivered from the power and penalty of sin.

Righteousness: Right standing before God through the fulfillment of the covenant between God and man.

Sanctification: Being made holy, a more accurate reflection of Christ,  resulting in the transformation of the inner person.

Reconciliation: Being brought back into a right relationship with God.

Some of these words were not found directly in our text but withing the definitions of the words that were. The definitions I have given are very basic and I strongly encourage you to read the more in-depth ones in a Bible Dictionary. Record what you discover in your notebook.

Step 2: Read the Bible Study notes. Write down any insights in your notebook.

Step 3: Look up the cross references, and record any insights in your notebook.

Step 4: Use the 3 question method.

  1. What does it say?
  2. What are the timeless truths?
  3. What does God want me to apply to my life?

Remember to write it all down in your notebook. Review your notes, and use listening prayer while waiting for your answer to question 3. Wait until God speaks to move on.

Watch for Romans 1:8-17 Part 2 tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

Romans 1:1-7 cont.

 

Here are my answers from blog post #2 on Romans

  1. What does it say?

This is a normal introduction for a letter of that time. The writer would put their name at the beginning. In this introduction, Paul is literally introducing himself and presenting his credentials to the Christians in Rome.

 He calls himself a servant of Christ. The Greek word for servant here is ‘doulas’, which means ‘a slave completely belonging to his master’.

He tells them that Christ himself called him to be an apostle and set him apart for the gospel.

He also defines what he believes about the gospel in order to show that he shared a common faith with the Roman believers.

He then addresses the letter to ‘all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people’, wishing them peace (shalom) and grace. This is also the common way of beginning a letter during that time.

  1. What are the timeless truths?

We are called by Christ to be his holy people, servants of Christ, set apart for the gospel.

The Gospel as Paul defined it in these verses is what we believe about Christ today and going on into eternity. He was foretold by the prophets, He was an earthly descendant of David, he is the Son of God, He rose from the dead through the power of the Holy Spirit, through him we all received grace and apostleship to call all gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his namesake.

We are all called to Apostleship. This means we are called to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey all that he has commanded us.

Obedience comes from faith. See Hebrews 11:8 and James 2:14-26. The evidence of true faith is obedience to Christ.

  1. What is God trying to say to ME?

There are no wrong answers to this question. This one is personal between you and God. Here are some possibilities though:

  1. God has called you to be Holy. Is there sin in your life you need to deal with?
  2. God has called you to apostleship. Whom are you sharing the gospel with? Who should you be sharing the Gospel with?
  3. Faith leads to obedience. Has your faith led to obedience? Do you need to repent and ask Jesus to increase your faith? Do you need to spend more time deepening your relationship with Christ?

Deepening your faith and relationship with Christ will result in increased obedience, not the other way around. Trying to make yourself be obedient, more often leads to legalism and religiosity. Focus on Him and He will transform you from the inside out.

Romans 1:1-7

This is Blog Post #2 in our study of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. For Post #1 click here.

Step 1: Read Romans 1:1-7. Write it out on index cards and put it in the places you spend the most time. Beside your favorite chair, on the refrigerator, under the sun visor is your car. Write down any words you don’t understand, or want to know more about, in your notebook. For instance, we looked up the word ‘Apostle’ in the Bible dictionary. Write the definitions in your notebook.

Step 2: Read the Bible study notes in your Study Bible. You can also go here. Write anything you want to remember in your notebook.

Step 3: Follow the cross-references usually found in the center margin of most Study Bibles. See if they give you any new or deeper insights. Write them down in your notebook. You can find them online here.

Step 4. Now that you have gathered all this information you are ready to ask yourself the 3 questions we call ‘The 3 question Method of Bible Study’. Write your answers in your notebook.

1. What does it say? What was Paul saying to his audience?

2. What are the timeless truths? What spiritual truths are found in the passage that are true for all people at all times?

3. What is God trying to say to ME through his word? This is the application question.   The answer to this question will be personal to you. You are in a different place spiritually than anybody else. God wants to speak to you right where you are. This will take time. Don’t move on until you’ve heard from God. How long will it take? I can’t tell you. Wait as long as it takes. This is where listening prayer comes in.

How to do Listening Prayer.

  1. Read over what you’ve written in your notebook. Read the passage as many times as you need to. Meditate on the passage.
  2. Ask God to speak to you through this passage. Have your notebook and pen ready.
  3. Be silent and wait.
  4. Write down whatever comes to your mind. Write it all down, even if it seems silly. (God once led me to a song from Phantom of the Opera which I thought was a distraction but ended up being the answer to my prayer.) When you feel you’re done thank Him for speaking to you.
  5. Now read what you wrote down? Do you feel God answered your prayer about how to apply this passage to your life?

Yes. Great! Apply it! Now you can move on.

No. Try again tomorrow. Repeat all the steps. Keep trying until He answers. Don’t move on until you get an answer.

Want a more in-depth lesson on how to do listening prayer, click here.

(Note: Go as deep as you want to in steps 1-3, or skip them all together if you must. You may also add steps; like reading commentaries, or looking up the words in the original Greek, doing word studies etc. God once asked me to diagram the sentences. It’s all up to you.)

Stay tuned for Post #3 where I tell you the answers I got to the questions in Romans 1:1-7.

Soaking in the Word

This is Blog post #1 in the Study of Paul’s letter to the Romans. I personally use a technique called Saturation Bible Study.  Saturation can be used alongside any other type of Bible Study technique. The idea is to take your time, soak in the Word. It is like dropping a dry sponge into a bucket of water. The sponge soaks up the water until the whole sponge is saturated. When you pick up that sponge out of the bucket it is heavy and dripping with water. When you squeeze the sponge, the water comes out and soaks everything it comes into contact with, or even some things that are just nearby.

You can learn how to do saturation from a video series at Life Message International. It is a very in-depth series and I highly recommend it.

Another resource for learning Saturation Bible Study is Cross Style Ministries. This course must be purchased but it is also something I would recommend. If you would like to hear preaching that comes out of this type of study you can check them out here.

Saturation is the overarching technique that I will be using as we walk through the Book of Romans together, but I will also be using variations of inductive Bible study, the three question method, and listening prayer along with it.

Step 1 is to gather as much information as we can about the book itself, it’s author, and the culture of the people this Epistle was written to. We spent over a month doing this in the Women’s Bible Study. You can follow the links below to find information about the Book of Romans, or you can use your own resources. The idea is to have a complete and thorough understanding of what you are about to read before you start reading it.

Introduction to the Book of Romans: A good study Bible will also have this information at the front of each book.

Biblica

Bible.org

Blue Letter Bible

The Life and Missionary Journeys of Paul: Any good Bible dictionary should have information about Paul, or you can use your concordance to find the scriptural record in the book of Acts.

Holman Bible Dictionary

Bakers Bible Dictionary

Here is a timeline of Paul’s life alongside when he wrote each letter and Roman history.

History and Culture of Rome: I used a TV series that I love called Drive Thru History. They present world history alongside Christian history, explaining the role Christianity plays, and how Christianity was affected, by events in history. I watched it using my Pureflix subscription.

Here are some online sources also.

The Jewish Roman World

Origins of the Church at Rome

Roman Empire and Christianity.

Keep everything you learn in a file on whatever device you get online with, or write it in a notebook that you are using solely for this study.

Once you feel you understand what the epistle to the Romans is about. It’s theme, purpose, audience, and author; Once you understand who Paul is and why he wanted so badly to go to Rome; and once you have an understanding of the history of Rome as well as the culture of that time; You are ready to open your Bible to the Book of Romans. Read the entire book before you move on the the next step. Don’t worry about taking notes, the idea is just to get an overview of the entire book before we start picking out all the little nuggets.

Stay Tuned  for step #2 as we walk together through Romans.

 

The Word

My second favorite preacher ever, Dr. Stephen Manley once described how Jesus fulfills all scripture like this.

God decided to take who he is, his very nature and throw it down on the earth, and it was in the form of a book, The Bible, the written Word. Then Jesus came off his throne in heaven and jumped down into the book, fitting into it perfectly like a tailor made suit. Then the Holy Spirit came and indwelt us. Now when we pick up the written Word, which is filled with the living Word, through the power of the Holy Spirit something supernatural happens. (My paraphrase) 

I have a passion for the Word. The written Word filled with the living Word. Hebrews 4:12 describes that supernatural thing that happens when we read the Word this way.

“For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

A long time ago I was praying about what purpose God had for me in His service and he said to me “Use your words”. I have spent a bit of time exploring what that means. This morning, in a culmination of things that have been happening lately in regards to my writing career, learning how to be a more effective blogger, along with an awesome Podcast I have been listening to, God spoke again.

This time he said, “Use your words to share My Word.”

I can often be stubborn, and as a certain cousin of mine who shall remain nameless said, exasperating, but I try to be obedient when the Lord speaks.

Long story short I am going to begin to blog about studying the Word. I will be sharing with you my favorite way of studying the Word, and also let you walk along with me as I teach a Bible Study on Romans.

I am also going to be writing a book and homeschool curriculum about ‘Techniques for Personal Bible Study’.

There are several ways you can make sure not to miss any of what I post.

  1. Follow my entire blog.
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