Waiting for the Baby, Romans 8:18-30
February 17, 2019, 4:46 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: ,

Waiting for the Baby
How many of you are sitting here with something on your heart? It is possible that you are here, turning your heart and focus on the Lord God because He is worthy of praise, but you walked into this room with a burden. It may be that you or someone you know are dealing with a physical problem, or maybe more than one. Perhaps you are worried about your finances and your bills. Maybe you have a loved one who is heavy on your heart right now. You might be struggling with sin or dealing with depression. Your marriage may be a warzone and you may be having battles in your family. You might be overwhelmed with a multitude of problems, and you are thinking, I’m struggling with many of these. Maybe you’re thinking, “you have no idea what I am dealing with right now!”
So when we read “for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” in Romans 8, verse 18 seems like Paul is giving us a verse that tells us something that disconnects with what is real in our lives. What would Paul know about problems?
Let’s ask Paul; “What do you know about difficult times?” Here is Paul’s answer. “Five times I have received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I have been beaten with rods; once I was stoned. Three times I have been shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brethren; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” (2 Corinthians 11:24–28)
The first thing that Paul reveals to us in this passage is that GOD PROMISES A GLORY TO BE REVEALED IN US THAT MAKES ALL THE SUFFERINGS OF LIFE WORTH IT.
Have you ever had something in life that is so great that all the difficulties, physically suffering, and problems that we might experience don’t compare to the joy that followed? One of the most exciting times in a dad’s life is the birth of his children. The same is true of grandfathers, or in my case “Poppy”. I do understand that it is also an exciting time in the life of a mom and granny, but I can’t speak from their perspective! In Romans 8:18-30, Paul talks about a glorious coming, which he compares to a birth. Thinking back to those days as a dad waiting for his children and reflecting on that now as a Poppy waiting for the birth of twin granddaughters, I can understand God’s use of something that is so familiar to us to show us what is ahead for us. Let’s take a look.
In verse 18, we read- “for I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Here God is reminding us, through the writings of Paul, that what will one day be comparable to the birth of a child, make everything we go through worth it. So what is the “birth” to which He refers? Look at two verses, verse 23 and verse 30. In verse 23, Paul mentions the “redemption of our body”. By using this term, Paul directs us the time, still future, when our salvation is finished. What do I mean by that? When you and I got saved, we became new creatures and sin’s influence over us was changed. Before I was saved, sin was my master. I was a slave to my sin nature. But God broke the power of sin in my life as he paid the penalty of sin. But I still experience the presence of sin. But the presence of sin also affects all of creation. One of the failures of a worldview that excludes God is that it fails to admit the inability, or futility, of man to solve his many problems, including problems with our environment. When Adam and Eve committed mankind’s first sin, not only were humans corrupted but all of creation was cursed by the fall. That is why we read “the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing (birth) of the sons of God. So in verse 23, the redemption of the body is this unveiling of the sons of God in their totally glorified bodies. Later in verse 30, Paul describes man’s glorification. I love that God had Paul use the past tense “glorified” for a future event to stress the certainty of our future glorification.
We know that the “birth” of our future glorification is a day which not only we eagerly anticipate but all creation does as well. Consider this, in verse 23, Paul tells us that we have the first fruits or the first crops which confirm the future harvest of our salvation. The firstfruits is the Holy Spirit’s indwelling presence. God in us the hope of glory is but the first evidence that something glorious would come for those who would suffer for a while. In verse 23 to 25, we see that all creation is waiting for the time that we have our full sonship in God.
In the Roman culture of the New Testament, adoption was extremely important. During the time of the New Testament, a natural born child could be disowned but an adopted child could not be. It is remarkable that the adopted son should have a stronger position than the son by birth, yet it was so. Also in the Roman system of adoption, an adopted son or daughter went through a change of family, of name, of home, and of responsibilities. According to this passage in Romans 8, all of creation is waiting patiently for something we don’t have yet but are waiting for it.
This passage encourages us that God will help us with the struggles of our lives. Here is how He will help you today. First, when we are overwhelmed with our problems, we may not know the words to pray. The Spirit comes to our assistance, speaking to God the Father for us with deep feelings that are too deep for words. As the Spirit searches us, He intercedes in harmony with God the Father.
Second, God takes everything, the good, the bad, the ugly and works it together for the good of those who love Him. Don’t misunderstand the word “good”. You and I may not get everything we want the way we want it. Which is good because what we sometimes think are good things, would destroy us. God knows exactly what we need and He is determined to transform us from the inside out to be Christ-like. God wants Jesus to be the firstborn or the preeminent One with many Christ-like ones to follow.
Third, God has declared those following Christ and being transformed to Christ-likeness are justified and will be glorified. Justification means to be declared right with God. Think of this: not only did Jesus satisfy the wrath of God toward our sin by the death of Jesus, but He imputes to us the righteous acts of Jesus while on the earth to us. I get credit for acting like Jesus did when He was on the earth. So to God, my heavenly Father, I am right in His sight. But now for the birth of the baby: I am glorified as a full-fledged son of the Living God. Glorification is the future and final work of God upon Christians where He transforms our mortal physical bodies to the eternal physical bodies in which we will dwell forever.
Now that we have worked our way through this passage, we need to time how we can apply this. Take the sufferings, the things that you walked in here with, and make a choice that based on the authority of the Word of God, they aren’t worth being compared to what we will be when we are glorified. So take these burdens and cast them upon the Lord. Wrap them up, and present them to God. He wants to take our problems and use them to make us Christ-like. If we hold on to them, trying to solve them ourselves, we hinder Him from using them to transform us. Let me put it this way. The downside of pregnancy is all forgotten when you hold that baby for the first time. Just think how sweet it will be when we are glorified. Let God work!


The Sermon that Challenged the World, part 1
February 10, 2019, 3:58 am
Filed under: Searching for our Savior in His book | Tags: , ,

A Teacher’s Desire
In addition to all that the Lord Jesus the Christ is, He was the ultimate teacher. As was common for His times, teachers were usually about thirty years of age and had a group of from ten to twelve teenage young men who were his disciples or followers. These men had already learned the value of hard work but what Jesus called them to do would need extraordinary strength and endurance. To provide this, Jesus promised to give the Comforter, or Holy Spirit, who would constantly live within, transforming these common, ordinary men into life-changers.
Like Jesus, I pray for my students to be life-changers. Unable to duplicate His amazing gifts to His students, I turn to praying for their relationship with Jesus and proceed to give them what I can, insight into turning the Bible from a book we occasionally read into the source of the core beliefs that shape our values of life. We start the class year by looking into a special textbook called Living by the Book by Dr. Howard Hendricks and William Hendricks. This father and son team combined to share a simple three-stage process to not only read the Bible but live the Bible. Their process is to observe, interpret, and apply the Bible. By the start of our second semester, we have covered the details, but learning occurs when the students put into practice the information with which they have received instruction. As Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” This book with be a journal in which the students put into practice what they have been told and taught. We will be able to observe their learning process as we move through the book. So, hold on! It may start out rocky, but through hard work, many prayers, and the Holy Spirit’s guidance, we will attempt to share what we learn from this endeavor.
This Is Where We Begin
What really is “the Sermon on the Mount?” The question struck my mind as my Bible teacher began to talk about this important sermon. The religious and government background and the Pharisees teaching vs. Jesus’ teaching is what I am going to cover to truly answer my question “What is the Sermon on the Mount?”
First, religious background, the setting takes place when Jesus is speaking to the multitudes that He cared for very much. He wanted to get them to see their sin. By telling them of the standards, He was showing them how far they are from God’s standards. They had fallen into the cycle of sin and salvation and the Judges. Now that they have returned to the land, they have different groups trying to keep the law in their own way. The importance of the standards is that are set are way too high for any human to meet. This part of the scripture clearly shows man’s situation without God. God is showing in this sermon how we can find happiness and true success.
Second, government background, they were under Rome now, before they had split into Israel and Judah under Solomon. The Jews wanted a Messiah that was a political leader or a military one. That would save them from Rome and create a Jewish Kingdom. John 18:36 Jesus says to them that His kingdom is not earthly and to this world. Israel was taken over by the Assyrians in 722 B.C. and each kingdom was captured.
Finally, the Pharisees teaching vs. Jesus’ teaching; the Pharisees say things that the people want to hear. Their teaching is based behind deceit. It lacks faith and it focuses on the physical rather than the spiritual. They taught a form of godliness but discarded the Power of God. They were more focused on what they could do instead what’s on the inside. They were very far from God and made up their own strict laws. It was a very extreme version of the Old Testament. Now Jesus taught with faith and compassion for those He was talking to. He was interested in both their spiritual and physical well being. His teaching was about the internal side, and how the right heart will lead to right actions.
In conclusion, the Sermon on the Mount has 3 important statements, 1 the standards are way too high for any human being to meet. 2 driving the listeners to Jesus Christ is their only way of meeting God’s standards. 3 there is a pattern that God gives in the sermon the will lead to having happiness and a true success. After reading this can, you answer the question “what is the Sermon on the Mount?” Emre B.

The Beatitudes make up a very well-known passage of the Bible in about the first dozen verses of Matthew 5. These verses are also a part of a much bigger part of Scripture coming from the mouth of Jesus himself, the Sermon on the Mount. Before we get into this, however, we must investigate the past. The background of Israel is important to understand the customs and philosophies behind Jesus’ teaching.
The religious background of Israel though it started out good, later fell into chaos. They had a history of turning to other gods. In Judges we see their cycle of sin, capture, repentance, obedience, and back into sin. Later after so many sinful kings, God punished them with captivity again. When they could return to their country, after the rebuilding of the city, there’s a gap of 400 years. When the Bible picks back up, there are several different religious groups, who have formed, each trying to keep the law in their own way.
Israel’s religious background caused a very interesting government background as well. Saul was their first leader, then, due to his son choosing to follow God’s wishes over his own, David became king. Though his line continued in his son, Solomon, God had warned that though the Savior would be born in his line, immorality could cause the throne to be taken from him. When Solomon sinned, Israel split into two nations, Israel and Judah. Then their sin caused them to be captured, Israel by Assyrians in 722 BC and Judah by Babylon in 568 BC. Then in 538 BC and the years after, Jews began to return to Israel and rebuild the city. They were then captured by Rome in 63 BC and were still under their rule during the Sermon on the Mount.
The most vocal and present religious group in the Bible, who could always be seen opposing Jesus’ ministry and that of his followers after his ascension, were the Pharisees, a group with teachings much different to Jesus. The Pharisees were a separatist group obsessed with the old laws. They made many new laws defining what counted as breaking the Old Testament laws. If you carried so much as a rock in your shoe on the Sabbath, you could be punished for working. They focused on actions to be righteous. Jesus taught that righteousness is based off an internal attitude and believing on him would save you. It was internal, not external. Pharisees said your actions define your character. Jesus said the right character produces the right actions. Your actions only show your character, but they don’t define it.
To understand why what Jesus taught is significant, we must understand what normal was in that day. By knowing the background of a situation, it helps us know the best way to approach and handle a situation or a passage of Scripture. You can’t make a statement without knowing all the conditions surrounding the subject. It’s why we still teach history…because the past is the key to present success. Hannah G.

This chapter of our book is on the background of the Sermon on the Mount. And we will talk about Jesus’s teachings and how they are different from the Pharisees’ teachings. We will also look at the government background and the religious views at the current time. And I’ll show an interesting fact that happened just before the Sermon on the Mount.
The background of the religion before the Sermon on the Mount is easy to understand. There are two main ones that I will show you. The first one is the early Christianity which the Pharisees believed in, but we will that discuss later. The now let’s focus on the two Roman religion, which are Christianity or the Roman gods. The Roman gods were just slightly different from the Greeks a bit more was like so to say. The other is just Romans who converted to the Pharisees’ form of Christianity.
The government background is Romanian. Which means there were very strict rules and they punish you according to what the law says. And they often go a bit more than they need to. And they also misinterpret what they hear and still punish them. It is like you get beat down in front of the police station and then the police come out and then they beat you.
The final piece of information I need to give you is the difference between Jesus’ teachings compared to the Pharisees’ teachings. The Pharisees’ teaching is salvation. Like whenever you sin you are to confess it to whoever is listening behind the wall (so yeah you would not what to sin much because then there is something called blackmail). And the Pharisees might have not even been saved themselves. But they did everything outwardly to make it look like they were saved. But that is where Jesus’ teaching was different. See, Jesus’ is different because of his focus on the inward self. Like the b attitudes. Because he focuses on salvation through faith.
And this is where my part of this chapter ends. And I hope you have some more insight into the background. And I hope you will see the importance of salvation through faith instead of works. And the government back then was a bit one-sided, so I hope you see what Jesus had to put up with. And here is the interesting fact, it is that Jesus chose his twelve apostles just before the sermon on the mount. Jonathon S.

This paper will be talking about the Sermon on the Mount. The Sermon on the Mount is an important part of the Bible. The sermon consists of the Beatitudes and some important things we need to know to have a godlier life.
The Sermon on the Mount is a big part of the Bible. The big part about it is the Beatitudes with are confused with sometimes the Ten Commandments. The Beatitudes is a blessing list from Jesus. The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ longest sermon in the New Testament. The Sermon on the Mount was taken place in the northern end of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus spoke to tons of people on the mountain.
The Pharisees were always trying to find somehow to make people seem that Jesus isn’t perfect. There were several occasions that made the Pharisees question Jesus. An example is when Jesus would heal people on the Sabbath. On the Sabbath, you are not allowed to do any work so the Pharisees would say that healing people would be called work. Another example is when they didn’t wash their hands before eating which is talked about in Mark 7:6-7.
In conclusion with everything, the Sermon on the Mount is a very good message. I think we should have more people to read it so we can have a little better of a world. Kelli B.

The book of Matthew chapters five through seven talks about the Beatitudes and teachings on different rights and wrongs. This section is called the Sermon on the Mount.
The message Jesus was trying to tell the people He was preaching to was that they were far from meeting God’s standards. In fact, no one could live up to God’s standards. He said this not to discourage them but because He cared for them. Jesus was trying to get them to see their sin and see the need for salvation.
The government at this time was divided into four different groups. Each group had its own different way of what was considered righteous. These four groups consisted of the Pharisees, the Sadducees, the Essenes, and the Zealots. The principal kinds of religious parties are represented here even though these groups were established hundreds of years ago.
Although there were multiple groups the Pharisees probably stand out most. The Pharisees believed that being clean on the outside was more important than being clean on the inside. Jesus, however, taught the opposite of this. Jesus taught that if you are pure and clean on the inside then your action will portray that. Also, righteousness, on the inside is far more important than righteousness on the outside. In addition to teaching on righteousness, Jesus taught that in order to have true success you must have true joy and happiness which contradict what the Pharisees say. Their doctrines concentrate on the physical and not the spiritual.
In conclusion, we should train our thoughts on the inside of ourselves instead of outside appearances. -Malia B
The Sermon on the Mount is the most famous sermon ever preached. In the sermon, Jesus gives the beatitudes and tells how to have a happy life. This most famous message covers many things like becoming a Christian, how to live life and how to handle all people and most importantly God.
There were four types of religious groups that were all different. The Pharisees followed the old laws, worried about internal and not external. The Sadducees followed the modern law of God’s way, not man’s way. The Essenes believed in separation. The Zealots fought against Rome.
The government was under Roman rule. At this time, they were in Rome but before that, they split between Israel and Judah.
Jesus was teaching about how they needed internal change to have joy and success. Jesus taught if you are correct on the inside then your actions will show it on the outside. The Pharisees taught that keeping the old law made you worthy. They added to the law and made it extremely specific and difficult. They focused on what people saw in their life.
In conclusion, Jesus clearly taught with the sermon on the mount that you are to put God’s way before man’s way. Jesus taught that internal change would lead to joy and success and that your actions would show to everyone. Even though many were looking for a savior to be a warrior, Jesus was successful in everything he ever did. -Reagan B
The Sermon on the Mount was in Jerusalem 31 BC halfway through Jesus’s three-and-a-half-year ministry. It took place in the northern end of the Sea of Galilee, Mount of Beatitudes. It just happened after Jesus chose his twelve apostles and his teaching at the synagogue. There were crowds from Galilee, Judea, Jordan and many more from other places. People came to be healed from their sickness and their uncleanliness.
There were the Pharisees, Sadducees, Essenes, and the Zealots. The Sadducees focus on the present and they were religious liberals who counted things as supernatural. They changed the scripture to meet their religious beliefs. The Essenes were ascetics and believed that the right religion meant separation from society. They led austere lives in the northwest side of the Dead Sea. The Essenes were nationalist and thought the right religion was political activism. They also looked down on other Jews for not taking up arms against Rome.
The Roman’s establish a republican government where citizens elected representatives to rule. But every citizen had to have an active role in the government. The highest position in the government was two counselor leaders and they ruled the Roman Republic.
The Pharisees believed that religion consisted of laws and tradition and they believed that Christianity is found through works. Jesus said true spirituality is internal, not external. Ture religion in God’s kingdom is not a question of ritual but of the right attitude toward God and others.
The main message of the Sermon on the Mount is that you must not find comfort in the right theology but being contemporary in the right way, separating ourselves from world guidelines and taking a stand for moral problems. This was about some of the background information parts of the Sermon on the Mount. -Job C

Having read the works of my young authors, you may be interested in what the assignment was. Here it is: you are to write five paragraphs of at least five sentences on the following topics. First, write an introductory paragraph in which you give a thesis statement, giving your reason for this writing. Second, explore the religious background at the time of the Sermon on the Mount. The third paragraph was on the government of the Jews at the time of Jesus’ life. For the fourth paragraph, I wanted the students to examine the difference between the most influential religious group in Israel, the Pharisees who also were the most outspoken opponents of Jesus and the God-man, Jesus. Finally, the last paragraph was their conclusion statement.
How could you do with this assignment? Start by reading through the Sermon on the Mount. Become familiar with the passage in Matthew 5 to 7. Make a list of terms you would like to understand better, passages that you need clarity on, and anything else that interest you. Ask God to help you notice what He wants you to notice. Next move on to the five paragraphs mentioned above. Using at least five sentences, put together your thoughts and research into clear thoughts. Consider the importance of Jesus coming before the people and speaking words that are radical and that challenges the status quo of the day. Put your thoughts into the time period by exploring how his proclamations would be taken by government officials, religious leaders, common people, and those who were social outcasts. End with your conclusion, making a powerful statement about the importance and significance of the Sermon on the Mount.