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.

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.
  2. Follow me on Facebook or Twitter.
  3. Mention in the comments you only want to receive the Bible Study blogs and I will add you to a special list.

If you plan on following let me know in the comments.

Changed lives, that’s why we do it.

July 5th I shared this post on Facebook:

“Some ask why we keep doing it. It’s the prostitutes boyfriend sitting in the back row with his head hung down while Pastor Bob preaches about the prodigal son, and who goes up to the altar to pray after church. That’s why!!”

The prostitute came into church with her boyfriend on Sunday. Why? Well it wasn’t because of any pointing or wagging fingers, or because of the condemnation of anyone with a false sense of their own righteousness, or judgmental glances or whispers, or shaking heads. It wasn’t because somebody put a sign on the corner that said “No hoe Zone”, It wasn’t because anybody yelled “dirty hoe” at her as they drove by in their car. It wasn’t because some well meaning person informed her of God’s Law and her destiny in Hell either.
It was, in part, one faithful servant of Jesus Christ. Who has poured herself out as a thank offering and willingly went where He told her to go, to speak to whom He told her to speak, and to love who He told her to love. Saturday night wasn’t the first time she went out of her way to speak to the prostitutes that work near the corner of Franklin and Delaware, Christ’s love spilling out without condemnation and soaking these ladies. It wasn’t the first time she walked away with a breaking heart and tears pouring down her face. Saturday night the prostitute expressed how she didn’t want to live that way, but felt unworthy to enter the church because of what she was doing. The beautiful servant of Christ; again with a breaking heart and tears expressed to me on the way home that she hoped that she had spoke well the words God gave her to speak; she talked about her feelings of helplessness at not being able to do more, and wondered if she would ever get to see the fruit after pouring out so much of herself. She prayed at the stop light for the prostitutes, for her to get to see fruit, and not to grow weary in doing good. We both felt weary and discouraged, but later that night chose to praise Him and rejoice in spite of our weariness. The prostitute came into the church with her boyfriend on Sunday.
We are just a small mission church on the corner of Franklin and Delaware. On Sunday at 2pm our sanctuary is filled with the lost, broken and hurting; the poor and hopeless; the unwashed and the mentally ill; prostitutes, drug addicts, alcoholics and thieves. They are broke, or on welfare or on SSI. We literally collected 2 dollar bills and some change in the offering plate this Sunday. We have been doing this for 5 years. Fighting the discouragement that tries to set in when we see those we’ve poured ourselves into start to be choked by the weeds, or fall under the weight of their circumstances. Believing in faith that God will provide the finances to keep our vans on the road, and to be able to pay the rent for the St. Mary’s school where we have between 30-40 kids every Sunday coming to church. That someone will provide us a meal after church on the two Sundays a month one of our sister churches don’t, and that God will finish the good work begun on this corner 14 years ago. Sundays like this make it all worth it. Please pray for the people of Flint’s East side, please pray for us.

UPDATE: We were able, with the help of another pastor, to get this couple into an apartment they can afford. This means that her boyfriend is no longer afraid to leave her alone in an abandoned house, and can go look for work. She has not been on the streets for 3 days now.

http://www.flintnewlifenaz.com