Tags: alliteration, blogging, God's glory, Jesus Christ, mnemonic devices, Spiro Agnew
This is the 500th post on this blog. Managing enough consistency to accomplish this insignificant little feat probably shouldn’t even be mentioned in the same breath with the famous missionary, William Carey, and some of the great things God used him to accomplish for the the Kingdom of Christ, but I am reminded of this particular Carey quote: “I can plod. I can persevere to any definite pursuit.”
I don’t know if “plodding” is considered to be a spiritual gift, such as the gifts of mercy, giving, evangelism, administration, and the like, but, if it is, then maybe that is my one spiritual gift. I have managed, by God’s grace, and by His power, and hopefully to His glory, to plod my way through 500 blog posts. Hopefully He will allow me to continue. I give Him all honor, credit, and praise, in the Name of His holy Son, Jesus, for allowing me to be a steward of what I consider to be His blog, The Deep End. For anything good or encouraging or helpful that has come of it, all glory must go to Him alone.
I say a special “thank you” to everyone who has stopped by to read a post from time to time, leave a comment, or to click a “share” or a “like.” Thank you especially to those of you who subscribe and/or read regularly.
One time, when I was in elementary school, one of my teachers explained to us what “alliteration” meant by using the example of former Vice-President Spiro T. Agnew. Apparently, he was prone to using strange little phrases of words that all started with the same letter. Referring to the media as “nattering nabobs of negativism” was the one my teacher used as an illustration, and for some reason, that phrase has always stuck in my head. When I am preparing to teach Bible lessons there are times when I am apt to attempt an alarming amount of alliteration. The purpose is that I find it to be a helpful mnemonic device which hopefully doesn’t make me seem like I’m trying to be too “clever” while I’m engaged in the serious business of Bible-teaching.
In honor of the occasion, I’m posting the links to the category, “A Little Alliteration,” for your reading pleasure, or as a cure for your insomnia – you decide:
1. Wholly Holy
2. Noisy Neighbors
3. Acts and the Apostles: Activated, Authorized, Audible, and Accountable
4. Friends or Foes?
5. Panicked Pressing
6. Naming Neighbors
7. From Power to Proclamation to Prayer
8. Pouting Pastoral Pathetic Pity Party Permanently Postponed
9. From Frequent Formal Faithful Following, Flows Full Foundational Fellowship
10. Preaching, Pressing, and Pushing On
11. Insincerity, Inaccuracy, or Incompletion?
12. Porcine Predilection Predates Powerful Prevailing Pardon, Prompting Personal Purity
13. Falling, Flooding, and Facing Facts
14. Lord, Leader, and Ladder
15. Comparisons, Calculations, and Christophany
16. Beware of Fabrics, Frolicking, and Friends
17. Rehearsing Repetitive Roman Reigns Really Recognizes Right Reckoning
18. Bold Mouths, Beautiful Fee, and Blindfolded Eyes (*)
19. Mysteriously Meaningful Marriage Part 1
20. Mysteriously Meaningful Marriage Part 2
21. Sacrificially Submitting Surrendered Sanctified Service
22. Doubtful Disputations Deter Doxological Demonstrations Displaying Desired Decorum
23. Leavnless Lump
24. Heaping Helpings of Holy Hatred? Or Refusing Revenge for the Right Reasons?
25. Saved, Sure, and Serving? Or Suspicious, Sedentary, and Slothful?
26. Preaching and Praying in Prosperity and Predicaments
27. Fresh, Frail, or Fruitful?
28. Prayer, Protection, Praise, and Posture
29. Indulgent, Incompetent, or Industrious?
30. Quick Quiz Quietens Questioning Qualms
31. Inhabiting and Investigating Your Marriage
32. Influence, Intercession, and Inheritance in Marriage
33. Delaying Dutifully During Deliverance
34. Scorn, Schemes, Scoundrels, Schizophrenics, and Scares
35. Learning, Loving, and Living the Word
36. Condemning the Princes, Prophets, and Priests
37. Clear Calls for Christians: Pure Upgrade
38. Clear Calls for Christians: Proper Unity
39. Clear Calls for Christians: Point Upward
40. Omniscience, Obstacles, Opportunities, and Overruling Oversight
41. Properly Promoting the Principle of Personal Property
42. Purity, Prayer, and Possessions
43. Corrupt Curving off Course (Exodus 32:7-9)
44. The Meaning, Majesty, Ministry, and Maintenance of the Mediator (Hebrews 8)
45. Decrees on Discipline and Divorce (Matthew 18-19)
46. Unveiled Glory and Unguarded Giving (Exodus 34; II Corinthians 3)
47. Don’t be an Abusive, Angry, Absent, or Addicted Parent
48. The Problem with Popular Parenting (Genesis 21:1-11; Ephesians 6)
49. The Problem with Pecuniary Parenting
50. The Problem with Petulant Parenting
51. The Propriety of Paragonal Parenting
52. No More Wondering, Working, and Waiting
53. Forgiveness, Fulfillment, and Freedom (Mark 2-3)
54. Ministers Must be Managers (I Corinthians 4:1-5)
55. Ministers Must be Meek (I Corinthians 4:6-13)
56. Ministers Must be Mild (I Corinthians 4:14-21
57. Wise Watering (I Corinthians 3:5-6)
58. Winsome Weeding (Matthew 13:7-10)
59. Wary Watching (Luke 12:35-40)
60. Willful Waiting (Lamentations 3:25-26)
61. Disciples, Defilement, and Division (Mark 7)
* most-read post in series
Tags: Brazilian tree sloth, Christian service, commentary on Romans, glory to God, lessons in Romans, marriage jokes, Romans 12, sloth, slothfulness, Sunday School lessons on Romans
Wife: What are you doing today?
Wife: That’s what you did yesterday.
Husband: I didn’t finish.
Regardless of whether this type of exchange makes you chuckle, or hits a little too close to home to be funny, one thing is sure: As Christians, we need to stay busy.
Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord;
“Slothful” is a word that describes exceedingly slow movement due to laziness. There is even an animal named the sloth, which is known for its slowness of movement.
A sloth may spend a whole day hanging from a tree branch in the Brazilian rain forest, and only move a few millimeters.
If you are a Christian, one of the main reasons that God did not bring you to Heaven the moment you were saved is because He had some good works, some great opportunities, and some specific tasks which He wanted you to accomplish both for the good of others and yourself, and for His glory. Christians, in other words, must be about our Lord’s “business,” and we must not be slothful in doing it. Our attitude ought to be one of fervency in spirit: an impassioned enthusiasm that gives us joy in serving the Lord.
Tags: Bible study on Romans, coals of fire, commentary on Romans, fire with fire, Judges 16, overcoming evil, revenge, Romans 12, Sunday School lessons on Romans
If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.
It doesn’t always lie within us to be able to live peaceably with everyone around us. But it does always “lie with” God. There are some people who won’t let you live peaceably with them. The question is, when they fight against us, do we trust God enough not to fight back?
Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
What do these “coals of fire” represent? Is the Holy Spirit encouraging us to pray for revenge? There are some Old Testament instances of such prayers. Samson’s prayer is one example:
And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord GOD, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
Sometimes we are tempted to substitute the expression “coals of fire” with the sentiment “fight fire with fire.” The emphasis in Romans 12:20-21 is not on refusing to fight evil with evil – that should be a given. God’s children should not hate other people. Instead, the emphasis is on not being overcome with evil. The admonition is against letting the evil – the hatred – get inside us.
Tags: 1 Corinthians 5, Christian love, communion, Communion devotions, Lamb of God, leaven, Lord's supper, Lord's supper devotions, Passover, sin in the camp
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
I Corinthians 5:7
The Passover feast was Christ’s appointed time – the time when the spotless Lamb of God would shed His blood for the sins of the world. A little over 2000 years later, under the New Covenant, we remember this occasion by observing the ordinance of the Lord’s Supper.
At the Jewish Passover there was to be no leaven in the lump of dough used to make the bread. Leaven is a picture of sin in a congregation. Leaven may be small, but it is powerful. It works secretly. It “puffs up.” It spreads.
But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
I Corinthians 5:11
Sometimes the Lord’s Supper is called “Communion,” a word which speaks of common unity. When a group of New Testament Christians assembles to observe the ordinance of Communion, one the worst instances of “leaven” would be feelings of hatred among different members of the body.
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I Corinthians 5:8
Tags: acceptance, alliteration, Christian love, infirmities, legalism, pleasing God, Romans 12, Romans 14, Romans 15
I find it easier to explain Romans Chapter 14 by skipping ahead just a little and looking at the very first Verse of Chapter 15:
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.
Romans 15:1 (emphasis added)
The “then” means, “Considering what I just said…” Romans 14 deals with the problem of pleasing ourselves at the expense of others’ “infirmities.” Those who have infirmities are called the “weak in the faith.” How we treat our fellow Christians will be determined by answering the question, “Who do you love?” You are going to please those whom you love. Should you be trying to please the exuberant, loud, extroverted believers? Or should you try to please the mean, quiet, bored-looking believers? Those are overt questions, but they are only masking the real question: Am I going to please God, or am I going to please myself?
If you are a parent of siblings, then you know one of the most pleasing things you can experience is watching your kids “prefer one another.”
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;
Romans 12:10 (emphasis added)
Similarly, God is pleased when, instead of a “me first” attitude, I have a “you go first” attitude toward my brothers and sisters in Christ.
Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.
Romans 14:1 (emphasis added)
When a fellow Christian is weak in the faith, we need to receive him – but not for the purpose of disputing with him over his personal convictions. Those who are counted as “weak in the faith” in this passage of Scripture are those who have trouble understanding their freedom in Christ. They think they’re more spiritual because of what they eat or drink (or what they don’t eat or drink) or because they keep certain days holy. Here are two misconceptions which are both dangerous ditches on the sides of the road:
Misconception #1: The rule-keepers are “better Christians.”
Misconception #2: Those who have personal convictions are “legalists.”
We must stay balanced on the road and not fall into either ditch. Here are some examples: I strongly prefer the King James Version of the Bible. It is the translation I study and the only one from which I teach in church. I believe it’s the one that everyone ought to use. That does not make me a legalist. I often wear ties, dress shirts, socks, and shoes to church. That does not make me a legalist. I have friends who use other translations of the Bible. I have friends who wear flip-flops to church. I have friends who wear leather motorcycle chaps to church. I have friends who don’t eat pork because it was forbidden to the Jews in the Old Testament. I have friends who enjoy few things better than killing a deer. I probably eat about a pound of bacon a week, and I wouldn’t shoot a deer unless it was attacking me. Which of us is the “weaker” Christian? I don’t know. But I do know we need to have Scriptural reasons for doing what we do, and, when we disagree on non-essentials of the Christian faith, we need to receive each other in Christian love.
What’s the reasoning for this “receiving in love?” Why is it a good thing to do?
1. God wants us to do it.
2. Ultimately, people are answerable to God, not to me.
3. No true Christian is an island unto himself.
For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself. For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.
I’m not your ultimate judge and you’re not my ultimate judge. In Christ, we are free from bondage, not enslaved to each other. We will give an account of our freedom one day – not to each other – but to Whom?
For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Notice that the verse does not say that every eye will wink, every hat will tip… No, it says the knees will bow and the tongues will confess.
If you are not in Christ Jesus, that verse should horrify you. On judgment day there will not be any mumbling about a lot of different ways to Heaven. No one will be saying, “You called Him Jesus, I called him Buddha, but it was all the same thing.” You will be face to face with the Christian God of the Bible and none other.
So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
In a previous post, I addressed the truth that Christians are not free to sin. We are free from sin – from its power.
Let not then your good be evil spoken of: For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.
The manifestation of freedom is not breaking rules. The manifestation is in joy in the Holy Ghost. Some Christians spend every day reviewing every little mistake and wringing their hands over how mad God is at them. We have to remind them over and over how nothing can separate them from the love of God. Little kids fight over the “last word” or whose “turn” it is. How freeing it is when we don’t feel the need to enforce our freedom! When we can enjoy the true freedom of letting our brothers and our sisters have “our” turn, or the “last word” if they want it. True Christians still battle with the flesh. The flesh will always have a tendency to look at something questionable, and ask, “Why can’t I do that? What’s wrong with it?” But the Spirit asks, “What’s right about it?”
Tags: 1 Peter 1, authentic love, commentary on Romans, Leviticus 11, Proverbs 8, renewing your mind, Romans 12, Romans commentary, Sunday School lessons on Romans, transformed in Christ
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
“Beseeching” is a passionate appeal. “Brethren” are other believers. “Presenting” is a daily process. Christians are supposed to be “living” sacrifices. We are supposed to be “holy.”
Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
I Peter 1:16
For I am the LORD that bringeth you up out of the land of Egypt, to be your God: ye shall therefore be holy, for I am holy.
Being living sacrifices who are holy and acceptable to God is our “reasonable” service. All Christians have the capability of doing it and doing it cheerfully.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
The world wants you to be “conformed.” It wants you to be molded in the shape of everyone else who does not obey Christ. The world will put the squeeze on you and change your shape, but it does not have the power to make you grow. “Transforming” is from within. The Word of God has the power to renew us and make us grow. We must read it and heed it each day. Christians have the exciting opportunity to “prove” God’s good and perfect will. If you are truly a Christian nothing should stop you from being right in the center of God’s will.
We need to think of our bodies as living sacrifices before we begin each day. Consider your feet, legs, stomach, heart, arms, hands, neck, mouth, tongue – your whole physical body – to be surrendered to the service of Christ.
As an example, our natural tendency is to wake up in the morning and start thinking about what we will eat that day – what we’re going to put into our mouths. What we probably need to think about instead is what is going to come out of our mouths that day.
I love them that love me; and those that seek me early shall find me.
Have you surrendered your ears and eyes to the Lord today – to hear what He wants you to hear, and to see what He wants you to see? The surrender of my body and the renewal of my mind are daily requirements.
The same principle applies to the “Body” of Christ as a whole.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
Our love for one another needs to be open, authentic, submissive, and renewed daily.
Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.
Tags: 1 John 4, agape, Bible mysteries, charity, Christian marriage, Galatians 2, John 8, love of Christ, marriage, marriage counseling
Last time I showed that Christians are supposed to love their spouses the same way that Christ loves His bride, the Church. The Greek word for the type of love wherewith Christ loves the Church is agape. Agape love is Christian love because it operates in truth and not just in feelings.
Where will the right kind of marital love come from if God is not central to the marriage? Agape is the giving of self.
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 [agape] me, and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20, emphasis and parenthetical agape added
“But,” some have replied, “my spouse is just not worthy of that kind of love.” What better way to show agape love? We should seize opportunities to love the unworthy.
Will agape love always be reciprocated? Not always, but more often than not, it will.
We love him, because he first loved us.
I John 4:19
If it is not reciprocated, Christ is still glorified when we love selflessly.
Agape love is antithetical to cruelty. Cruelty is caused by bad feelings. But will there ever be a time in marriage when we don’t have some type of bad feelings? Cruelty is bad feelings untempered by love.
In marriage will there get to be a time when there is never a lack of affection? Lack of affection is not the result of bad feelings as much as the result of an absence of feelings. Lack of feelings means an absence of motivating love. Resentment; selfishness; an unjust sense of entitlement: these things are inescapable in a marriage. But they are not really a major problem unless they outrun love. True Christian love – agape – is just that: actively loving the one who does not deserve love.
For the person who is married, here is a good working definition of “love” to always keep in mind: True love is a giving of oneself for someone else with two main goals in view:
1. That the person being loved receives grace and mercy.
2. That the person being loved is directed more toward righteousness (toward conformity to Christ).
Remember what Jesus told the woman who had been caught in adultery after all her accusers had left because none of them had been willing to throw the first stone at her. Jesus told her to “go” (grace and mercy) and to “sin no more” (directing her toward righteousness). This definition makes sure that our understanding of the 4 “S”s of marriage does not lead us to the conclusion that we should be hard to live with on purpose in order to help the other person be more like Jesus.
Agape is not getting. Agape is giving. We must be willing to give up things for our spouses, even if they won’t give up things for us. We must make sure we are giving to meet our spouses’ needs, but not in order to get our selfish desires met as trade-offs for what we are sacrificing. Loving someone who does not want to be loved is hard. Crying babies hate it when Mom scrubs their face with a washcloth, but we would not think that a mother who never wiped food, snot, and dirt off her child’s face really loved that child.
Tags: commentary on Romans, Deuteronomy 32, Ephesians 2, Isaiah 52, Isaiah 65, Jesus, Joel 2, Romans 10, Romans 11, Sunday School lessons on Romans
For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
We do not earn salvation merely by what we say. In fact, we do not earn salvation at all. It is a gift from God. But our mouths are what we are to use to confess the salvation we have received. Have you ever made a public profession of your faith?
For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
In Joel 2:32 the prophet Joel had prophesied about the time when “whosoever” called on God as Lord would be saved. If you have been in church long enough, you have probably heard a preacher at one time or another exhort people who have not been saved to answer this question for themselves: “Are you a ‘whosoever?'”
The Holy Spirit in Romans 10 went on to use the Scriptures of the prophet Isaiah to explain how God views those who carry the Gospel to all the “whosoevers:”
And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
Beautiful feet are feet that bring the news of salvation. They are feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace, but peace between whom? Peace between God and sinners. “Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinners reconciled!” Sinners need to be reconciled to God because, before we were saved, we were at war with God.
In the Apostle Paul’s time this should not have been a new idea to the Israelites. The Holy Spirit cites Deuteronomy 32:21:
But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.
That “foolish nation” was the gentiles. One of the reasons God sent the message of salvation to the gentiles was because the Jews had rejected it, but another reason was so that gentile Christians could provoke them to jealousy.
Romans Chapter 10 ends with a quote from Isaiah 65:
I am sought of them that asked not for me; I am found of them that sought me not: I said, Behold me, behold me, unto a nation that was not called by my name. I have spread out my hands all the day unto a rebellious people, which walketh in a way that was not good, after their own thoughts;
Isaiah 65: 1-2
Romans Chapter 11 shows that, although the Jews are a gainsaying people, God’s patience has not run out with them. He has a future for them. His hand may have been turned against them, but His heart is not turned against them. God to the nation of Israel: I’m not finished with you yet. God could have called gentiles to be apostles, but he chose Jews. The manner in which the Apostle Paul was saved is a picture of the way that Israel will be converted to a Christian nation and a Christian people:
1. Paul saw Jesus.
2. He repented.
3. He received Him.
God hath not cast away his people which he foreknew. Wot ye not what the scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession to God against Israel, saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets, and digged down thine altars; and I am left alone, and they seek my life. But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.
The Bible word for those Jews who are set aside for God – who are still faithful and who still know the truth, even when the vast majority does not – is the “remnant.” The remnant is a special group, but it is still made up of people who are saved the same way anybody is saved: by grace through faith.
Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded
“Blinded” in Romans 11:7 is not referring to someone who will never see again. It is the term that we think of as “blindfolded” (temporarily blinded). Historically, the Jews had received great spiritual blessings, but they had often loved the blessings and forgotten the Blesser. Generally, we don’t like to work, but there is pleasure in the fruits of labor. The problem is focusing on the pleasure and thinking we are the producers of that pleasure, instead of remembering where our blessings really come from.
Tags: 1 Corinthians 13, 1 John 4, agape, agape love, Bible mysteries, Christian love, Christian marriage, Christian marriage counseling, Ephesians 5, John 3, love of Christ, marriage, marriage counseling, principles for marriage, Romans 5
When the Bible uses the word “love” for the way spouses are supposed to treat each other, it is a translation of the Greek word agape (pronounced uh-GOP-ay). There are different Greek words which can be translated as “love,” but agape is the one we call “Christian love.”
Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.
Ephesians 5:24-32, emphasis added
A “mystery” in the Bible is not something we’re never supposed to think about it, and it’s not something to be solved.
It’s something that God has withheld the fuller revelation of, but is about to be revealed by Him. In Ephesians 5:32 God uses the Apostle Paul to reveal a mystery concerning marriage. Marriage had been around since the time of Adam and Eve, but the full revelation of what it meant had not been revealed until Ephesians 5:24-32. The revelation is that God always intended marriage to be a picture of Christ and His relationship to and with the Church. Marriage is a picture of Christ and the Church, not only in the salvation of individuals (in that He pursues and “takes” a bride), but in that He loves His bride. Christians are supposed to love their spouses the same way that Christ loves His bride, the Church. Therefore, we need to know what kind of “love” is the love of Christ. Obviously, His type of love will be the best type of love. The Greek word for love resulting from relationships, especially familial relationships, such as parent-child and brother-sister is phileo. The Greek word for the type of “love” that is tied to physical passion is eros.
But agape is sometimes translated as “love” and sometimes as “charity” because it is more than just a feeling. It is an active love. It is love in motion. It is true love because it operates in truth and not just in feelings.
And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love [agape] of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love [agape] toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:5-8, parenthetical agapes and emphasis added
For God so loved [agape] the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
John 3:16, parenthetical agape and emphasis added
Agape love is the love of God when He gave His most valuable Gift: His Son.
Beloved, let us love [agape] one another: for love [agape] is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love [agape]. In this was manifested the love [agape] of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.
I John 4:7-9, parenthetical agapes added
In Part 2 I’ll show some very practical applications of the mystery of true marital love.
Tags: Adam's disobedience, alliteration, Christ and Adam, Christ's obedience, commentary on Romans, reign of Christ, Romans 5, sacrifice of Christ, Sunday School lessons on Romans, the Law of God
God wants us to understand the significance of Adam’s one sin and Christ’s one sacrifice. Count how many times you see the Word “one” in Romans Chapter 5: Verses 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19. I believe there are eleven “ones.”
Now count how many times you see the Word “reign?” Verses 14, 17, 21, for a total of five “reigns.” The Holy Spirit is emphasizing and comparing Adam’s kingdom and Christ’s kingdom.
Now look for the Words “much more:” Verses 9, 10, 15, 17, 20, for a total of six. The blessings that were gained by Christ’s obedience are “much more” – or much greater – than those lost by Adam’s disobedience.
That is the key difference in what Christ did so that He was victorious, and what Adam did so that he was defeated: Obedience. Adam was DISobedient unto death, so we have to die. Christ was OBEDIENT unto death, so we can live.
Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:
Romans 5:20, emphasis added
This expression – “the law entered” – reminds me of the stage directions found in the manuscript of a play. (Falstaff enters, stage right.) The Law entered, like an actor, so that the Law could put on a show. It showed us how holy God is and how helpless we were to keep His commands in our fallen state. The Law is not “bad.” It is our schoolmaster – to bring us to Christ.