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Trip 1041:  Ethical Conduct; Unity

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 13:8 through Romans 14:23

Focal verse(s):  Romans 13:8 – “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.”

Paul told us to pay our bills on time and do our best not to be in debt.  In modern day vernacular, we should not go into debt for non-essential items, avoid credit cards whenever possible so as not to pay unnecessary interest rates, and live modestly in order to be a good Christian witness.  Paul reviews 5 of the Ten Commandments, all of which are sins against one’s neighbor.  Jesus had said that the greatest commandment of all was to love your neighbor as yourself, and love never seeks to do others harm.  Paul urged all believers to be urgent because the end of the age is near, so we must throw off the clothes of worldliness and put on the armor of the light of Christ.  He said to encourage weak Christians and admit them to fellowship, but not to get into arguments with them over unimportant matters.  Christians have been released from not eating certain foods such as pork, etc.  Believers are not to judge one another, because every one of us will stand before the judgment seat of Christ, which is the only judgment that really matters.  At this judgment our service to God will be measured, not our sins, and at that time rewards will be given to those faithful Christians who have served the Master.  Every believer will have to give an account of his Christian life at that time, so the most important thing in the believer’s life is not dietary regulations, but living in the spirit.  Our lives should be lived in righteousness, peace, and harmony.  What a man eats or does not eat is not the important issue, but rather to live a life pleasing to God.  We should avoid divisive arguments within the body at all costs in order to maintain unity and fellowship among believers.  Even though we are free to eat any food, we must not do so if it causes a weaker brother to stumble.

 

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Trip 1040:  Instructions Concerning Righteousness; Commitment: Divine Gifts; Personal Relationships; Governmental Authority

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 12:1 through Romans 13:7

Focal verse(s):  “Romans 12:1-2:  ”Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship.  Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will.” 

Paul opens the 12th chapter of Romans with the famous exhortation to all believers to “present your bodies as a living sacrifice” to God.  We know that a Christian is the living temple of God because Christ is in our hearts, therefore we should yield our bodies totally to God and make sure every activity we do is for the glory of God.  By doing this, we offer an acceptable living sacrifice to God, which is our spiritual worship or service to Him.  There is nothing more holy that we can do for God but to offer our bodies totally to Him in service because as Christians we are no longer to be conformed to the standards of this world.  When we were saved Christ transformed us and we are to spend the rest of our earthly lives allowing God to continue the transformation of our minds.  Paul said that the way to accomplish this perfect will of God is to: (1) Exercise our Spiritual gifts as members of the body of Christ; (2) Take care of our social responsibilities as Christians; (3) Behave in a Christ-like manner in relation to the lost people of the world, witnessing to them about the Gospel of Christ; and (4) Be obedient and subject to the government of the land.  In this way we will be accomplishing the mission Christ has set out for each believer on this earth!  That is why each believer has been given a certain spiritual gift or gifts in order to help accomplish this purpose!

 

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Trip 1039:  Privilege of Israel—Part 2

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 11:7-36

Focal verse(s):  Romans 11:29:  “For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.”

Paul mentions the fact there was a remnant of faithful Jews, including himself, and that throughout Israel’s history there have always been a few faithful servants of the Lord.  In the days of the prophets Elijah and Isaiah, during the period of captivity in Babylon, at the end of the 70 years a remnant returned to Israel.  The 2nd chapter of Luke (verse 38) tells us of a faithful remnant when Christ came to the earth (There are also many believing Jews today).  A Jewish remnant will be delivered during the Tribulation time. The spiritual blindness of the nation of Israel had been prophesied in the Old Testament, and we read here that Israel will be restored as a nation.  The term “the fullness of the Gentiles” mentioned in verse 25 refers to the fact God will complete His plan for them at the Rapture when Christ takes the body of Christ out of the world.  Verse 26 tells us about Christ’s Second Coming, then 3 verses later we find that God’s original promise to Abraham will be fulfilled.  We as Christians must continue to pray for the nation of Israel and our Jewish friends to see the truth of Christ and accept him before the Tribulation so they will not have to go through that terrible time of suffering.  A Jew who accepts Jesus is the embodiment of what God wants all Jews to be!  We refer to those Jews who have accepted Christ as “completed Jews” or “Messianic Jews”.  There is a great organization known as “Jews for Jesus” which is based in California.  Their entire ministry specializes in reaching Jews with the Gospel of Christ. This would be a wonderful group to have come to your church for a program, and they will send Gospel tracts written especially for Jews to the home of any Jewish prospect that you give to them.

 

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Trip 1038:  Salvation of Israel Revealed; Privilege of Israel

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 10:1 through Romans 11:6

Focal verse(s):  Romans 10:9:  “…if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”

The 10th chapter of Romans is totally devoted to describing the Jews’ rejection of Christ because they were trying to work out their salvation through the Mosaic Law rather than by faith in Christ.  Paul made it very clear in verses 9-10 exactly how a person, whether Jew or Gentile, must be saved: (1) Confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord; (2) Believe in your heart that God has raised Jesus from the dead.  Verse 11 tells us that if you believe on Christ you will not be ashamed, meaning you will not have any problem confessing Jesus as your Lord publicly if Christ is truly in your heart!  The next verse nails it down by saying “whosoever” shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. I n other words, any person who does these things will be saved, regardless of their economic standing, race, nationality, or circumstances!  How do we get faith?  Answer:  By hearing the Word of God.  In spite of Israel’s rejection, God has been faithful and patient, yet because of Israel’s continual disobedience, the Lord turned to the Gentiles but keeps the door open for salvation for Jews.  Aren’t you glad that God wants everyone to be saved, not just a select race or certain chosen people?

 

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Trip 1037:  Relationship of the Jews to Salvation; Remnant of Israel Elected

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 9

Focal verse(s):  Romans 9:16:  “It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or effort, but on God’s mercy.”

Beginning with the 9th chapter of Romans, Paul reflected back to the 3rd chapter when he showed the lost condition of both Jew and Gentile.  Paul explained that the Old Testament promises to Israel had not failed.  Some of the Jews of Israel were already saved and all Israel had a chance for salvation through Christ but rejected the Messiah, plus Israel would still have a chance to be saved in the end times after the Second Coming of Jesus, during the tribulation.  Paul had a great burden for the Jews who rejected Jesus, but he rejoiced in those Jews who were saved and were not only Abraham’s descendants but children of God as well.  Paul reflected on how God chose Jacob over Esau and how Pharaoh chose to harden his heart against God during the days of the Israelites in Egypt.  The Old Testament had predicted the falling of Israel and the salvation of the Gentiles in both Hosea and Isaiah.  Jesus did not fit the mold of Israel’s expectations for the Messiah, so they rejected Him as the Christ…thereby stumbling over the “stone” of Jesus.  We must always remember God’s ways are not man’s ways and as long as we look for things of the Spirit from our own fleshly eyes, we will not be able to see the things of God!  Just as a 3D movie must be seen through special glasses, so the things of God must be seen through the special lens of a heart filled with Jesus!

 

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Trip 1036:  Consolation: Eternal Life

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 8

Focal verse(s):  Romans 8:1:  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Paul began the 8th chapter of Romans with the comforting words that those who are in Christ will not receive any judgment from God because we have been freed from the law of sin.  When Christ died on the cross, sinful flesh was condemned and righteousness made victorious at His Second Coming.  In other words, we already know the result of the spiritual war: Satan and the demons of Hell are the losers!  Paul said that if you are in Christ and filled with the Spirit, your mind will be filled with things of the Spirit, and conversely, if you are of the flesh your mind will think about carnal things.  Anyone in the flesh cannot please God.  If Christ is in you then you have died to sin, and owe Christ a debt you cannot pay except to live in thankfulness by living in the Spirit and serving God. We have been adopted as children of God and are no longer in bondage to the devil. Because we are God’s children, He is literally our “Daddy” (Hebrew-“Abba”) and we are heirs of God and joint heirs with His Son Jesus.  Paul said the sufferings that Christians will go through on this earth are not worth comparing to the glory which we shall receive when we get to heaven!  When God completes His plan of redemption, all believers will rejoice along with creation itself because at that time nature will be released from its current slavery to decay.  Sometimes when Christians pray, we are so burdened we cannot express the desires of our hearts to God, but at that time the Holy Spirit intercedes for us, helping express our thoughts clearly to God.  Paul discussed the doctrine of sanctification, which is the process God uses to perfect us before we finally receive our glorified bodies in heaven, the ultimate goal of sanctification.  Paul closes this chapter with the famous words in Romans 8:38-39 that he was convinced “neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, not things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”  That says it all…nothing in this universe can separate us from the love of our Heavenly Father!

 

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Trip 1035:  Warning: Abandon Sin—Part 2; Warning: Law Cannot Justify

Book Cover

THE TIME SEQUENCE BIBLE

READING GUIDE and DEVOTIONS

(As Events Occurred in Chronological Order)

Rix W. Tillman, D. Min.

Reading assignment:  __Romans 6:12 through Romans 7:25

Focal verse(s):  Romans 6:23 – “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Paul told the Roman believers not to let sin reign in their lives, but to let themselves be yielded to God as the new creations Christ made in them.  Now that they were under God’s grace, sin had no dominion over them.  Believers are slaves to God rather than slaves to sin and the devil, the condition they were in before being transformed by Jesus.  The Romans had come out of a background of great sin, so Paul reminded them God’s payment for sin is death but the free gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ.  Paul dealt with the sin nature that remains in all persons after they are saved which presents a constant internal conflict in our thoughts and actions.  The apostle used the illustration of a woman married to a man to picture the believer’s relation to the Law:  The woman is committed to her husband until his death, at which time she is released from the marriage.  When a believer “dies” to sin he is set free from sin and also dies to the Law and is free from it.  In other words, our good works do not get us into Heaven, but only God’s grace and our faith in the Lord Jesus.  We are released from the old Law in order to serve God in the newness of our life in the Holy Spirit.  However, when we serve the Lord in the new covenant we will want to keep the Law in obedience to God as we serve Christ.  Paul related the battle he personally had between his old nature and his new nature in Christ.  As believers, we are in a constant battle between the lust of the flesh and the Spirit of God.  Our basic sin nature is constantly waging war against the law of our mind and making us a prisoner of the law of sin at work within our bodies.  An American Indian chief stated this problem eloquently when he said, “I have two dogs within me, a black dog (representing evil) and a white dog (representing good) and they are constantly fighting each other”.  A man asked him which dog won and the wise old Indian chief replied, ”The one I say ‘sick-em’ to!” (Source unknown).  Paul realized as long as we live in our mortal bodies, believers will face the inner conflict between the old sin nature and our new natures in Jesus.  The hope of all Christians is looking forward to the Second Coming of Christ when He will defeat sin once and for all and we will receive our perfect, sinless glorified heavenly bodies!  Hallelujah!  What a day that will be, when our Jesus we shall see and sin ceases to have any hold on us!

 

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