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Featured Interpreting Romans 6:23 In Context

Discussion in 'Christian Theology Forum' started by Hidden In Him, Nov 21, 2019.

  1. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Yes, in a sense, particularly if you introduce the Pharisees and Judaizers and the message they were preaching, which was contrary to the gospel. But you'd have to give a verse by verse for me to fully understand specifically how you are interpreting the passage.

    Whenever you have time, if you want to. This thread is a slow train, but it may end up stretching for miles, LoL.
     
  2. charity

    charity Well-Known Member

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    Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes,
    .. that they may also obtain
    .... the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

    It is a faithful saying:
    .. For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him:
    .... If we suffer
    (or 'endure' - v.9), we shall also reign with Him:
    ...... if we deny Him, He also will deny us:
    ........ If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful:
    .......... He cannot deny Himself.
    (2 Timothy 2:10-13)

    Hello @Hidden In Him,

    Thank you for your gracious reply.
    You mention the second part of, reply #134, as something I may wish to respond to. I see that it is a consideration of 2 Timothy 2:10-13, quoted above.

    In the Gospels the words, 'deny', and ' to be ashamed of', are used interchangeably (see mark 8:38 & Matthew 10:33). This links the words,
    'Be not ashamed' (2 Timothy 1:8), 'I am not ashamed' (2 Timothy 1:12),'He was not ashamed' (2 Timothy 1:16) with this matter of enduring or of denying the Lord, and in verse 15 the word occurs again:-

    'Study to shew thyself approved unto God,
    a workman that needeth not to be ashamed,
    rightly dividing the word of truth.'

    * Lets look what is being said in 2 Timothy 2:11-13:-

    As to Life: - If we died with Him we shall also live with Him.
    if we are unfaithful, He abideth faithful, He cannot deny Himself.
    As to Reigning: - If we endure we shall also reign with Him, if we deny, He also will deny us.

    Reigning
    and the crown is to this epistle, what the prize is to Philippians, and the reward is to Hebrews. In Philippians and Hebrews, these expressions are connected with perfection and the things that accompany salvation, and not salvation itself. This passage also does not speak of the possibility of loss of salvation, but of the loss of reward.

    Praise God!

    Thank you.
    In Christ Jesus
    Chris
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2019
  3. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for your gracious reply as well, Charity : }

    Listen, about this argument, the possibility actually crossed my mind when I was writing my last post (i.e. that "denying" here would relate only to kingship but not salvation). But now, if you look at Christ's entire teaching in Matthew 10, He strongly suggests in context that salvation is the subject matter and not just reward, and that those who refuse to endure persecution for His name's sake will not be saved:

    22 And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.
    23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come.
    24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
    25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
    26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
    27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

    28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell...
    32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
    36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
    37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me.

    I think Paul was using the expression "deny Him" in 2nd Timothy in the same way Jesus was using it here.
     
  4. Naomi25

    Naomi25 Well-Known Member

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    That's the problem when you start a thread...you have to find time to answer everybody! And that can almost be a full time job!

    If I understand you correctly (which I apparently didn't before, sorry!), you are suggesting that the 'outpouring' of the Spirit is what 'opens' the door for our salvation, but doesn't guarantee it? (Your post #69)
    The objection I have to that is that I would say that the bible seems to teach that when the Holy Spirit is poured out upon us, we do, indeed, have a guarantee. The verses you quote above tell us that the Spirit brings us near, gives us access to God the Father. 2 Cor 1:21-22 tells us that the Holy Spirit has been put in our hearts as a guarantee and Ephesians 1:13-14 says we are sealed with the Spirit who is the guarantee of a promised inheritance. This suggests rather strongly, I believe, not of just a welcoming door cracked open, but of a sureness, of a changed heart that has a member of the Trinity dwelling within it that is guiding us towards a promised future. I am unsure how something worded so strongly could waver between dead, 'undwelt' in heart, and alive, dwelt in heart, based solely upon our performance. Should, as you say, a person live in long, consistent, unrepentant sin, I cannot see the bible suggesting that the Holy Spirit dwells within that person at all.


    Well, I suppose to use a previous analogy, I would firstly say that, just because a parent who holds their child's hand tightly, points towards the road and tells that child what would happen should that child run towards it and onto it, does not necessarily mean that the parent will or intent to, let go of the child's hand.
    Secondly, I would say that if we look at how Christ presents his relationship with us and how we stand in him and in the gospel:

    I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. -Galatians 2:20

    If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. -John 15:18–20

    Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, -2 Timothy 3:12


    In 2 Tim 2:10-13 (what you quoted above), we see Paul encouraging Timothy to accept the coming suffering.

    You then, my child, be strengthened by the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses entrust to faithful men, who will be able to teach others also. Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. -2 Timothy 2:1–3

    When we see that he goes on to tell Timothy that he endures all suffering for the sake of the gospel so that others may come to Christ, we then understand that Paul thinks of it in a very matter of fact way; Christ suffered for us, now we suffer for him, and for our fellow brothers...this is promised to us by Christ. We endure these things knowing that if Christ died for us, he will also cause us to live with him. We see this passage not as a 'you betta measure up' list, but another passage that lines up the contrasts of what happens to those who are in Christ, and those who are not, and God's faithfulness in dealing with both. To the faithful and those being condemned. Consider:

    The saying is trustworthy, for:
    If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
    if we endure, we will also reign with him;
    if we deny him, he also will deny us;
    if we are faithless, he remains faithful
    for he cannot deny himself.


    "If we have died with him"..... If we have been baptized into his death...ie, become born again (Rom 6:3-6), He will be faithful to make us live with him. This is not a condition, but a promise. Do you have the Spirit? That Spirit is the promise of his faithfulness.
    "If we endure"....As we face the inevitable hardships and sufferings that WILL come, we CAN know that he has promised we shall reign with him. How can we know this, that we will endure through all? Because God himself promises to finish a work he began: Romans 8:29-30, John 28:30, Heb 12:2.

    The passage here splits off and begins to show the unfaithful, and how God is still faithful, still just, in his dealings with them.
    "If we deny him"...we know that this is clearly not a one time denial thing, otherwise Peter himself would have been damned. This, as you suggest, speaks of long time denial...of that moment when people cry out "Lord, Lord!" and he answers them "I did not know you". He promises us that he will faithfully judge the hearts of all men, despite what our mouths say, he knows our hearts.
    "If we are faithless"...again, the promise to recognize the hearts of those who refuse to acknowledge God or his Christ. His faithfulness here is that we may know that his promises to us are as sure and just as his promises to the faithless.

    All of which is to say, I suppose, is that I think the idea you posit, that salvation, once given, must be worked to be kept, is far too big an idea to balance on an 'if'. Especially when there is so much biblical weight against it.
     
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  5. Naomi25

    Naomi25 Well-Known Member

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    Is this like a Schrödinger's cat thing? Like...as long as Christians are 'in the box of life' they exist in a state of saved and unsaved simultaneously? And it's not until they die, and the box pops open that we discover if they're dead or alive??

    I think...I would say that it is not a case that Christians can NOT deny Christ....just that if they are truly born again, they WILL not. The bible is replete with promises, as I listed above, that the work of salvation, or sanctification, is not one done on our merit or strength. Therefore to deny it's sureness is to deny Christ's sureness. To deny it's strength and sufficiency is to deny Christ's strength and sufficiency. And, based solely upon what my bible tells me, I am just not comfortable doing that. And I thank God for it daily.

    I'm sorry, but I find nothing that suggests that the state of new birth, the state of a new heart being given to a believer, that the Holy Spirit coming to dwell inside someone, is not permanent. And to say that 'there is therefore now no condemnation' means that it is only speaking of a present, current reality and not one even a day away, is, to my mind, taking so much depth and beauty and truth out of some much of scripture. Everything Christ did for us, everything Paul affirms, tells us that 'now' stands in firm contrast to 'then'. 'Then', we were in darkness. 'Then', we were dead in our sins and flesh. 'Then' we were blind, lame and deaf. 'Now'...however. Goodness...'now'?? 'Now' we are alive, we are in the light, we are of righteousness and we see, hear and run the race! The whole NT is full to overflow of these images. And if you change it to momentary wobbles back and forth...what hope do any of us truly have? If we are only of the light, righteousness and life thanks to Christ's work and the Spirit's work, how do you propose we then stand on our own to live correctly? How do the days we get salvation right outweigh the days when we trip, fall and land in the darkness again? What hope do we have that we won't meet death on a day when we're visiting that darkness? This is not a gospel of good news. It's a message of terror, I'm sorry. It's a message of "Christ gave you a nice nudge at the start, but now you're expected to keep up what God jolly well knew only he could do in the first place. Now off you go...don't forget, hell is at the end!"
    You see...I'm afraid it's either one or the other. Either...we are of Christ, and we DO have his Spirit dwelling within us constantly, urging us forward and through our faults and sins to become better, to put them to death and keep going in faithfulness, in which case our salvation is sure. OR, we are capable of somehow ridding ourselves of the Spirit as we 'mess up', and then somehow managing to earn him back again on our own...what...work? Which is not how it ever went, is it?

    I'm sorry, but I just can't see how it all fits together. You seem to support the idea of a person, repeatedly, defiantly opposes Christ and denounces him as being someone who 'looses his salvation'. But from scripture it seems evident to me that the person you describe was never a Christian.

    It's cool. Took me all day to bang out this one. Like I said...you're making my brain hurt...I usually try and avoid working it this hard...especially when it's this hot! (97°F)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  6. charity

    charity Well-Known Member

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    'Therefore I endure all things for the elect's sakes,
    that they may also obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
    It is a faithful saying:
    For if we be dead with Him, we shall also live with Him:
    If we suffer (endure), we shall also reign with Him:
    if we deny him, he also will deny us:
    If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: He cannot deny Himself.

    (2 Timothy 2:10-13)

    'And ye shall be hated of all men for My name's sake:
    but He that endureth to the end shall be saved.'

    (Matthew 10:22)

    Hello @Hidden In Him,

    The words 'endure' or 'suffer' (G5278, )and 'deny' (G720) are translated from the same Greek words in both Matthew 10:22 & 33, and 2 Timothy 2: 11-13. So it is the context which is key to understanding both, isn't it?

    * The object of God, through Paul in 2 Timothy 2, was that those to whom he wrote should 'obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory'

    * The object of God, through the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in Matthew 10:22, was that those to whom He spoke should be saved from the persecution that was to come upon them, and remain faithful, and so He showed them Who they were to fear: not their persecutors who could only kill the body; but He Who had the power to deny them a resurrection out from among the dead, so that their mortality would never put on immortality, or their corruption put on in-corruption (1 Corinthians 15:53-54).

    * The salvation that Paul desired his hearers to obtain in 2 Timothy 2:10-13, was not salvation from death, but the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory. That could be lost without loss of salvation from death, for it was the reward for faithfulness in regard to the hope that was set before them (Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Titus and Philemon).

    Thank you once again,
    In Christ Jesus
    Chris

     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  7. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Btw, Charity, I forgot to respond to this one yesterday, but it did make me take pause for a second. I had to go back and read through the early Chapters of Romans to see if there was possibly merit to it. But Romans 1:13 makes it clear he was actually writing to Gentile believers. The reason it appears as if he is writing to Jews as well is because of Romans 2:17-27, where he was addressing the Judaizers among them. But in Romans 2:28-29, he ends up sort of obliterating the claim that anyone is a Jew by genealogy alone.

    Anyway, found it interesting, but I think the entire letter is written to Gentile Christians, not Jewish ones, though with a defense against the types of arguments Judaizers might use.
     
  8. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Blessings, Earnest T., and I hope you had a good Thanksgiving.

    I am in agreement with most of your interpretation. The only exception would be here where you say justification comes after entering into obedience (i.e. #3). My belief is that we are immediately justified the moment we put faith and trust in Christ having died on our behalf. Where I think obedience comes in is that if it remains blatantly absent from the believer's life, the justification that came as a free gift can be rescinded if the sin is egregious enough.

    But maybe I'm not fully understanding you correctly. Just thought I'd clarify where we would potentially disagree.

    Thanks for the post.
     
  9. Enoch111

    Enoch111 Well-Known Member

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    Did you mean "is NOT permanent"? Since if you think it is temporary, the whole meaning of salvation by grace through faith goes down the drain.
     
  10. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    LoL. Hey, Zachary!

    Listen, I'm guessing you are citing Romans 6:16 in support of this, but v.17 says they obeyed from the heart the teachings that were delivered to them. For them to be slaves of sin again, it would have to mean they were slaves to sin before coming to Christ, entered into obedience to Christ instead, but had now fallen back into obedience to sin. I think more would have to be said in context (something like what Peter goes into in 2 Peter 2:20-22) if that were the case.

    Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  11. farouk

    farouk Well-Known Member

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    It's interesting that the truth of justification by faith is in the Old Testament; while Paul of course was the Apostle to the Gentiles.
     
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  12. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Ah... on the surface, this appears to be a good point, Naomi. But let me explain to you why. The Jewish laws pointed symbolically to spiritual realities that would take place in the lives of believers. For instance, eating unclean foods represented taking unclean demonic spirits within oneself, and how abhorrent that would be to God. Was the act of eating unclean foods itself of any great importance? No, not once the revelation was given to the early church that it only represented a greater spiritual reality, and was therefore nothing in and of itself. But the reality was indeed something very serious. Jesus scolded the Pharisees for harboring unclean spirits several times, and Revelations also prophesied that the false church would likewise become a habitation of unclean spirits in the end-times. So not eating unclean foods in the natural became no big deal. But receiving demonic spirits within oneself was.
    I think snatching them out of His hand is again related to death taking them from Him again here. Notice, "I will give them eternal life, and they will never perish," and then He says, "and no one will snatch them out of My hand." If the reference were to deceivers stealing them away in this life, the natural sequence would be "no one [on earth] will snatch them out of My hand, and I will give them eternal life, and they will never perish."

    Certainly it could be interpreted the other way and still be plausible, but the ordering gives full support to the notion that He was again talking about death being what would snatch them away.
     
  13. brakelite

    brakelite Well-Known Member

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    @Hidden In Him @Naomi25 @charity
    I mentioned a few posts previously, (probably a few pages by now :rolleyes:) to Hidden that when we look at scripture we would do well to contextualise each passage within the concept of the conflict that is constantly taking place between Christ and Satan-- the conflict and doubt that has ensued over millennia regarding the character of God, and our place within that conflict and our roles as witnesses and born again men and women destined to once again bear the image of God as humanity was first created in His image and exemplified by Adam and Eve, and since restored by Christ who being the express image of the Father revealed the true potential of the human race.
    This context is particularly relevant when discussing whether we can lose our salvation, because it directly relates to the character of God, and the image of God to which we are destined to reveal in our lives. And it all revolves around love, which is the very essence of God's nature. I don't think anyone would disagree with me so far right? But it is the nature of love which we need to apprehend in order to understand how God desires to relate to us, and we Him, and one of the intrinsic or inherent characteristics of love is the freedom to refuse to respond in kind. Which is why God never coerces or forces humanity to honour and love Him. He draws us to Himself through love...and keeps us faithful through the same medium...always with the risk that at any time we may refuse, change our minds, disobey, commit spiritual adultery as Israel so often did, as exemplified by Hosea. Yes, God remains faithful...but we do not always remain faithful...and the consequences of unfaithfulness are attested to throughout scripture as having dire consequences. No where is unfaithfulness said to bring about a "loss of reward". No where was Israel ever treated with such leniency...they lost far more than "reward"...they lost their inheritance and their rights to enter the promised land. So also shall we if we do not remain faithful to our trust. While God's love for us will always remain constant and unconditional, nowhere in scripture is there any suggestion that our salvation is unconditional.
    To suggest that God's love, offered unconditionally but at great risk that it may be cast back in His face thus ensuring that humans are free agents to accept or reject that love, after having granted salvation to an individual and then changing the parameters of love in order to enforce salvation regardless of that individuals personal response and life directly disobeying those "greatest commandments", denies the testimony of scripture which declares of God, "I change not".
     
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  14. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    I dunno, Naomi. :) I think you're stretching it a bit here to be honest with you. Look at the text:

    26 The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, "Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all."
    27 Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.

    Now, if the servant was just pulling the wool over his eyes, you have our Lord here being moved with compassion towards someone who was disingenuous. That kinda paints the Lord in a gullible light, don't you think? Why would he respond to a deliberate deception by being moved with compassion?
    My answer here would be that He calls him "servant" throughout, which is not something He calls those who do not believe in Him.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  15. Episkopos

    Episkopos Well-Known Member

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    Not so. Just as our sinful state is not permanent but our freedom dictated by entrance into grace...so likewise is the exodus of the sinless state also not permanent because of the possibility of frustrating grace. We can go in and come out again. Otherwise freedom is curtailed and we are imprisoned either in sin or in God. That is NOT God's way.

    If we can repent of evil so we can repent of righteousness.

    God is fair and His ways are equal and just.

    But religious doctors have made a system whereby the dice are always loaded in their favour. I say dice because the game is about to be shown that it is a scam.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2019
  16. charity

    charity Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, @Hidden In Him,

    Though I must disagree: for in this epistle Israel as well as Gentile, both in their sin and their salvation, are placed in their true relation to the purpose of God. The church at Rome containing a fairly even mix of Jewish and Gentile believers, it was necessary to adjust the differences between them. See chapters 9 and 11 for example which deals with the sore point of Israel's rejection (though temporary), necessitating reference to Sinai and to the covenant made before that with Abraham.

    I will not take this further, because you already have your hands full. So, 'bye for now' :)

    In Christ Jesus
    our risen and glorified
    Saviour, Lord and Head.
    Chris
     
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  17. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Well, again now, Naomi, my problem with this interpretation is that it changes the subjects being addressed in the passage from the Christians living at Rome 2,000 years ago into all Christians who have ever lived throughout history. I don't read the passage as a bunch of theoretical statements about Christians in general, but as spoken with regard specifically to the Christians in Rome at that time. When he said, "but you became obedient to that form of teaching that was delivered to you," he was talking specifically about them, not us. So any "once ... now" time signatures that may appear in the text don't relate to us, they relate only to them.

    Certainly we can glean things from the passage or I wouldn't have started the thread, LoL. But assuming the passage is a bunch of theoretical statements about all Christians is IMO misreading the passage : )
    No, she is not : ) And no, it is most certainly not an impardonable sin. If she repents of it and is willing to suffer and die for Christ's sake then she would be forgiven just as Peter was. But now, the argument I was raising is, suppose she never does repent of denying Him before men? Suppose she continues to deny Christ until her death?

    Btw, my apologies for answering these out of sequence. It's tough finding the right post to be responding to, LoL. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Just hope I don't mis anybody : }
    Well absolutely. I believe the Lord gives each one of us all the time He possibly can to repent, and waits patiently for each of us until the last moment. Nor do I judge anyone based on what I see. I know of Christians involved in gross sins and perversions who I still believe very firmly belong to Him. But there are some sins I believe the Lord simply will not overlook, denouncing Him before men being one of them.
    Absolutely.
    Now this last statement here is where we get into a cruel reality that I think I accept but you reject as being possible with God. The difference between our relationship with God and an earthly father is that He requires us to worship Him as God, and He will have no other gods before Him. Hence a sin like taking the mark of the beast is something He will not overlook either. He is a jealous God, and unlike in the human analogy there are a few things that are paramount to disowning Him. As the scripture says, "If we deny Him, He will deny us." Deny, denounce, and disown are all plausible translations of the word used here in the Greek, and what that means is, He will not simply continue to call His own those who have disowned him before men.

    I think the full passage as I quoted it to Charity explains this better. Let me get it and quote it here.

    22 And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endures to the end shall be saved.
    23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee into another: for verily I say unto you, You shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come.
    24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.
    25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?
    26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.
    27 What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.

    28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell...
    32 Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.
    33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.
    34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
    35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
    36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
    37 He that loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
    38 And he that taketh not his cross, and follow after me, is not worthy of me.
     
  18. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Oh, my goodness is that well put!
    Thread winner, Episkopos.
     
  19. Hidden In Him

    Hidden In Him Well-Known Member

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    Yes, Ma'am. I do find it interesting. Something I've always found a little confounding, actually. That's part of why I think I was led to start this thread. Romans is quite honestly not a book I am completely refined in all my interpretations on yet.

    Thanks for your courtesy. I appreciate that. Maybe we can get into this part of it more later : )
     
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  20. charity

    charity Well-Known Member

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    I agree, I think it is one of the hardest of the epistles to understand. A book that I have found really helpful, is to be found for free download at:- https://www.bibleunderstanding.com/Just, and the Justifier-Mr.C.H.Welch.pdf

    In Christ Jesus
    Chris
     
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