The Gospel of God is the Power of God to salvation
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Romans 1:1-4
Four short verses declaring the gospel of God promised through the prophets in the Holy Scriptures concerning Jesus born of the seed of David and now declared the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. Romans 1:16
In our bible readings this week, we will continue through Matthew, Romans, 1 Kings, Proverbs, Amos, Obadiah, and two readings for the Feast of Trumpets. I have some invaluable information on how to listen to Kings when I share our reading in Kings.
Matthew 18 – 23
“Who is the greatest?”, the disciples asked. Jesus is moving kingdom values into the forefront as He brings forgiveness into the center of all relationships, including marriage. Give and forgive, leave, and lose, all the same. One is decided upon before the fact, the other to deal with the fact. We give all and leave all to follow Jesus, or we forgive all and lose all in following Jesus. Jesus is worth it all. Last day parables, Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem followed by more parables and the examination of Jesus, the Passover Lamb by the religious leaders to see if they can find fault. Then Jesus asks them one question and they are left speechless. “And no one was able to answer Him a word, or from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.” Matthew 22:46 Woe to the Scribes and Pharisees for their hypocrisies – I always read this slowly to allow the Holy Spirit to remove the leaven from me. Finally, Jesus laments over Jerusalem, “For I say to you, you shall see me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!’” Matthew 23:39
The River of Life, the throne of God and of the Lamb, His servants with His name written on their foreheads who serve Him there. The Epilog begins in verse 6 to again state the reason all was shown and to keep the words of this prophecy. “Behold I am coming quickly,” is repeated three times, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!”
Romans 1 -7
We enter into the gospel of God. “The Just shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 Refusing to glorify God and be thankful is the beginning of all falling into futility, darkness, foolishness, dishonor, exchanging the truth for the lie and death. Romans 1:20-32 We move then toward our corporate guilt and God’s gift of righteousness now shown in hearts and consciences. All have sinned and all must be justified by faith in Jesus Christ. What have we learned from Abraham? Chapter four shows where righteousness began, not in the law but through faith. Chapter five is the summation of the abundance of grace and the gift of righteousness through the One, Jesus Christ.
Chapters six and seven bring us into the paradox of being dead in Christ and now alive. We were once a slave to sin but now sin shall not have dominion over us. We have died to the law through the body of Christ, that we may be married to another – to Him who was raised from the dead to bear fruit for God. These are powerful chapters that identify our struggles and prepare us for chapter eight and God’s new covenant.
1 Kings 5 -13
When I first began reading the bible, I was given an example of how Samuel and Kings differ from Chronicles. There are several differences, but the most prominent is that Chronicles records the Davidic dynasty from a priestly or heavenly record, and 2 Samuel and Kings record both Judah and Israel’s history after the division from an earthly perspective, more like reading a newspaper. See, I told you this was a long time ago. In a newspaper, there is a record of people and events; from a priestly or heavenly report, the record is from heaven’s vantage point. In 2 Samuel we have the dirty details of David’s fall with Bathsheba and the following drama. But in 1 Chronicles, none of it is mentioned. In 2 Samuel you have the record of the census and its consequence of the plague. In 1 Chronicles, you have the same plus the revelation of this being the house of God and a record of David preparing for His son, Solomon to build the temple. I will share more as we travel together in the next two months.
In 1 Kings this week, we will witness Solomon building the temple and its dedication. We will witness the Queen of Sheba coming to see and hear Solomon’s wisdom and the great wealth that came into Jerusalem yearly. The weight of gold was six hundred and sixty-six talents, close to two trillion dollars in today’s valuation.
Chapter eleven is a sad departure for Solomon, his heart turned, not because of adultery but because of his many wives and concubines. He had seven hundred wives and three hundred concubines, and they turned his heart after other gods. The Lord declares the kingdom will be divided and it is in Chapter twelve. We will witness the two kingdoms as they move along in time (Chronicles will only follow Judah) and we basically will watch the fast decline of Israel, beginning with the first king Jeroboam, and his fear that led to idolatry.
Proverbs 22 – 26
In these five chapters, we will encounter many precious jewels of wisdom some will be recognizable in the New Testament; If your enemy is hungry, give him bread to eat; and if he is thirsty, give him water to drink; for so you heap coals of fire on his head and the Lord will reward you. Proverbs 25:21, 22. Still, many others are timeless and needed for today; Where there is no wood, the fire goes out; and where there is no talebearer, strife ceases. As charcoal is to burning coals, and wood to fire, so is a contentious man to kindle strife. Proverbs 26:21 22
We see the conclusion of Amos’ prophecy to Israel and its coming destruction. The Lord in His faithfulness promises to raise up the tabernacle of David which has fallen down so that the rest of the nations may seek the Lord. This is where James in Acts 15 quotes to prove that the Gentiles are to be free to seek the Lord and not become Jews to do so.
This short book (only one chapter) addresses Edom (Israel’s cousin – descendants of Lot) around the same time as Amos and the Lord’s judgment against Edom. God promises Israel’s deliverance and their possessing what Edom had taken.
Jonah is called to go to Nineveh and prophesy for them to repent during the same time as Amos and Obadiah. But Nineveh is an enemy of Israel, and Israel expected God to destroy and not save. Jonah runs from the presence of the Lord and takes a ship in the opposite direction. God sends a storm to stop Jonah, and a great fish to swallow Jonah after he is thrown overboard, to stop the storm from destroying the ship and all life.
Feast of Trumpets – Rosh Hashanah
Leviticus 23 is an overview of all seven feasts, with the Feast of Trumpets being the fifth feast.
Numbers 29 shares more on the Feast of Trumpets and the offerings for it, and the following last two feasts; Atonement – Yom Kippur and Tabernacles – Sukkot.