My long overdue paper

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Alex and I are supposed to work on the final paper on our Romans studies that seem to last forever. We will be handling the last few chapters of the book and I finally managed to do some work this morning, though not much. But questions I have – many.

Rom 12:1
I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.

What allusion to the OT has the phrase “living sacrifice”?
What does Paul mean by “spiritual worship”? As opposed to it being physical?

Rom 12:3
For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

What is the context when Paul talks about the “measure of faith”?
Does it also imply that each of us has an assigned measure of faith that is different? Does it mean that if one is not assigned enough, then there is no belief? Or is it only confined to the context of thinking about oneself?

Rom 12:6
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them …

What does it mean and does it have any connection to the “measure of faith”?

Rom 13:1-6
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience.

“There is no authority except from God” - is this an absolute?
What about authorities that are led by leaders who are against the understanding of good? What is they are really rotten to the core?

Rom 13:14
But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

What does “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” mean?
Are there any parallel in the other parts of Scripture?

Rom 14:2
One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables.

Is this verse analogy to 14:1 or a lead into the subsequent verses?

Rom 14:9
For to this end Christ died and lived again, that he might be Lord both of the dead and of the living.

What is the meaning of “Lord of the dead and of the living”?

Rom 14:14
I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean.

What does “nothing” refer to? I feel that this is a very good example of verses that can go awry if taken out of context.

I only have access to my bible this morning and with just an hour with it, I have no answers yet.

Maeghan

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12 comment(s)

  1. Can I play?!

    Rom 12:1
    Never thought about it, so this is just a guess, but what about the vow of the Nazarite in Numbers 6?

    Rom 12:2
    You missed the italics. It says that in "Greek" the word is "age," not that it is the "Greek Age." The Greek is aion. So, it would mean this age of sin before the return of the Lamb.

    Rom 12:3
    Joh 3:34
    For he whom God hath sent speaketh the words of God: for God giveth not the Spirit by measure unto him.

    It seems to imply that yes, God measures out the Spirit to each of us, and that inequally.

    Rom 13:1-6
    “There is no authority except from God” - is this an absolute?

    Absolutely!

    Paul wrote this just after Nero had ascended to the throne, and just after Claudius had been killed. He was saying that both rulers sat on the throne by the hand of God, even if Nero was so much better than Claudius. (It was not until later that Nero went mad.)

    What about authorities that are led by leaders who are against the understanding of good? What is they are really rotten to the core?

    In the letters to Timothy, Paul is in prison, and he writes the same thing. Be subject to the powers God has put in place. They bear the sword only because God hands it to them.

    Rom 13:14
    Ga 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.
    Eph 4:24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
    Col 3:10 And have put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him:


    I think it's a reference to God clothing us in white linen, in place of our rags of righteousness.

    Rom 14:2
    I think Paul is saying that vegetarianism is a doubtful disputation, as is the holy day. They are not really analogies, but examples.

    Rom 14:9
    What is the meaning of “Lord of the dead and of the living”?

    This is a great one! I would say that Christ's resurrection made Him Lord of the saved and unsaved, but the context is different. In context, I think it means that He is Lord of the saved who have died, and the saved who yet live.

    Rom 14:14
    What does “nothing” refer to? I feel that this is a very good example of verses that can go awry if taken out of context.

    Hmmm. Don't forget Titus 1:15
    Unto the pure all things are pure *: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

    I say there is vastly more danger that we will protect ourselves too much, than that we will protect ourselves too little. The Spirit within us testifies that many things are clean, but we avoid them from unnecessary fear.

    Instead, I think we let the flesh scare us away from things that are good, even as we let it rationalize us into doing those things our conscience cannot accept.

    Of course, in context, both verses are telling the Jews that it's OK to be unclean in ceremonial things. God approves the unclean gentiles, and He will approve them too.

    ----

    Great questions, and fun! I had access to Crosswalk.com and the online ESV, and I ain't afraid to cheat. :-)

    May the Lord bless your paper, and I hope my plagiarisms are helpful.

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  2. Can I play?!
    I am counting on you!

    You missed the italics.
    Oopps! My ESV bible is only slight bigger than my palm - footnote too small!! I will need to remove that from the post.

    It seems to imply that yes, God measures out the Spirit to each of us, and that inequally.
    Calvinistically speaking eh? :) :)

    Rom 13:1-6
    I have to think more about it - thanks for putting it in context and history. Very interesting!

    All the rest are great! You save me some time looking it up in the concordance :)

    I will let you have a look at the paper when it is done.

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  3. Better Bibles Blog has a post up this morning on "in Christ" that disassembles the whole idea. You will want to give it a read.

    http://englishbibles.blogspot.com/2007/01/translating.html

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  4. Maeghan,

    Okay I'm in too:

    What allusion to the OT has the phrase “living sacrifice”?

    ==> Abraham with Isaac. Abraham was to bring a living sacrifice up the mountain... in this case it was his son.

    Also Cain's sacrifice of grain was found unnacceptable as compared to Abel.

    What does Paul mean by “spiritual worship”? As opposed to it being physical?

    This is almost an Eastern religious thought, but Paul reverberates it in a couple places: the denial of self is an act of worship. I am thinking that Paul is saying that forfeiting our own sovereignty (aka die-ing to self), is spiritual worship.


    What is the context when Paul talks about the “measure of faith”?
    I am thinking about the scripture to whom much is given, much is expected... just a thought.

    Faith is a seed that is grown, so a faith that is nurtured grows into something wonderful, but its origin is still just a seed. I think it could mean that the nurturing of faith comes from God, so its measure is a function of how much God as 'fed'.

    “There is no authority except from God” - is this an absolute?

    No it is relative. It is like compating a match or a candle to the light of the sun.

    The authoroty we have and wield here is small and trivial by comparison.

    What does “put on the Lord Jesus Christ” mean?
    Are there any parallel in the other parts of Scripture?


    I'm sticking with the denial of self, which references back to Rom 12:1?

    What does “nothing” refer to? I feel that this is a very good example of verses that can go awry if taken out of context.

    I'm with you on this, I would take this to mean that Paul is pulling out his anti-law verbage.

    I go back to Adam and Eve, and what was the tree called that they ate from? The Tree of knowledge of good and evil.

    Technically Satan didn't lie about this, Satan said that if they ate from this tree, they would obtain knowledge. Was the tree or its fruit bad? Nope! It wasn't the tree that was the problem: it was the law that God laid down and they broke that was. It was man's willful and knowing disobedience that was bad.

    So: 'nothing' to me means an 'no object'. Paul seems to say the same thing about eating food sacrificed to idols.

    Just your crazy friend's random thoughts.

    God Bless
    Doug

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  5. CP,
    thanks for the heads up. I have done something on "in Christ" in my Ephesians paper back then but this is interesting.

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  6. Doug,

    living sacrifice
    I am thinking more about the sin and guilt offering and sacrifices but the allusion to Isaac is a good one.

    measure of faith
    Noel and I had a long chat about this during lunch on Friday - I am to update my Friday's post on that. Basically we were trying to get to the definition of "measure" and "faith" and the kind of genitive.

    I am thinking about the scripture to whom much is given, much is expected
    That is an interesting thought. But the problem of different allocations still applies here - my problem that is, because some do not find that a problem.

    No it is relative. It is like compating a match or a candle to the light of the sun.
    How do you take “There is no authority except from God” a relative? Paul seem to state that all authority held by anyone comes from him anyway. This though give rise to the problem of the authority of the evil.
    I am still figuring out what it means if it is relative.

    Just your crazy friend's random thoughts.
    It takes one crazy to know another crazy :) And thanks for your thoughts for it makes me think further.

    God bless!

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  7. How do you take “There is no authority except from God”

    God's permissive nature it what makes authority possible. Recall Nebedkenezar (sp?), God allowed him to loose his mind for seven years for thinking that he created his empire. And when he regained his sanity, his first act was to recognize the creators of all.

    It still doesn't minimize the comparrison to God and His authority. Absolutely nothing compares! God's authority is certain, unshakeable, and most of all undeniable: it usurps all other authority.

    I guess you could say that our authority are like crumbs off of the table of God's feast. I like that analogy.

    God Bless
    Doug

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  8. Absolutely nothing compares!
    So would you say then that the statement "There is no authority except from God" an absolute?

    Please be patient with me :)

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  9. Maeghan,

    No prob with patience here sis. Ask away.

    Let me approach this another way: do you have authority over, perhaps, your son? Of course you do!

    So therefore is 'all' authority residing in God? Nope! Now compare your authority in your life to God's authority. How do they compare? Our authrotity is pretty meaningless right? God's authority is so far beyond ours and all of mankind's that it might as well be absolute. Does that make sense? So to answer your question, no it is not absolute, but it might as well be.

    God Bless
    Doug

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  10. Maeghan,

    Well... let me eat my previous statement a little here (please be patient with me...lol).

    There is an absolute in there. All power and authority is derived from God. It is his permissive nature that allows us to have authority.

    Sorry I am in a funk and after I thought about it a little I needed to respond, even if it recants my previous statement.

    Sorry for the confusion.

    God Bless
    Doug

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  11. I'm sorry I cannot easily get back to check on comments any more.

    On the matter of all authority absolutely being from God, I would reference,

    Isa 46:9-11
    Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.


    The ravenous bird He called was Cyrus the Persian, if memory service. He was an evil, evil man who did evil to Israel, and God declares that He is the one Who called him West to Israel. In another place He declares that He brings evil, meaning evil circumstances like alien invasions of Israel.

    I have to go with the absolute. God brought the Democrats into power here in America.

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  12. I'm sorry I cannot easily get back to check on comments any more.
    It's alright. I understand. Where do you think we can get some html codes that will enable you and I keep track by email our comments in blogs not our own? There has to be something.

    Thanks for the reference. A good one, at that. To me, God's power is absolute. All power comes from God and it is how we use the power that will determine how we will stand in the Final Judgement.

    God bless!

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