Verse by verse, together we dig into Romans 8:18-23 (ESV)…
Hear the full audio of Bible Study from 03 February 2019…
INTRODUCTION: A recipe from a cookbook calls for one large egg and 2 cups of flour. We read that book differently than we might read the Dr. Seuss books “One Fish, Two Fish” or “Green Eggs and Ham.” All three writings refer to numbers and to food. Why do we read them differently?
Again, we might read a love letter from our beloved again and again, pouring over every word and phrase. We savor the sweet things said to us or look for indications that they feel as strongly about us as we do about them–considering what this means for our future. If our beloved wrote a history book about Henry Ford or the generals of World War Two, we might read and reread the Dedication page or the forward, but read the rest of the book with a bit less interest or attention to detail. If it were a family history book, we might read and reread that writing more, hoping better to understand and remember people we knew. Whether a loved one writes love letter, a family history, or a general history book dedicated to us, we give closer attention to to some than to others. Why do we read some writings differently than others, even when the author is the same?
“Genre” is the term for this tool in our Bible Study toolbox. We consider the form, purpose and style of a written work in a sincere effort to deal with it on its own terms. We believe and confess “All Scripture is God-breathed and useful…” (2 Tim. 3:16). St. Peter also writes:
“For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty….And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts, knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation. For no prophecy was ever produced by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:16,19-21)
The Bible is all God’s Word. The Spirit directed every author and inspired every word of it; this we believe. It was not all written at the same time by the same person, yet there is a unity and central focus to it all. Jesus says, “you search the Scriptures…they testify about Me.” (John 5:39) John notes at the end of his Gospel, “Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of the disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31)
PART ONE: What kind of writing is this?
A.) If you look at our bulletin insert for today, you will notice the three readings are not all the same. Jonah 1 and Matthew 8 are narratives, recording people, places, words and events. These reveal the nature and character of the Lord and His people by the series of actions, relationships and conversations that took place.
B.) Our reading from Romans 8 is a bit different. This is part of a teaching letter sent by the Apostle Paul to the congregation of saints in Rome.
C.) How might we read this letter differently than we read Jonah 1 or Matthew 8?
PART TWO: Topics at hand
D.) Read through Romans 8:18-23.
E.) Would you describe this passage as easy or difficult to understand?
F.) What are some of the teaching topics (doctrines) Paul discusses here?
PART THREE: The Topics are Related and Connected
G.) Can we compare suffering and the glory to be revealed? (v.18) Y/N?
H.) What is creation waiting for? (v.19)
I.) Why is creation waiting like this? (v.20)
J.) Describe the freedom which creation waits for, in hope (v.21):
K.) What words describe how this waiting looks / feels? (v.22)
L.) How do we fit in to all this–what specific thing do we await? (v.23)
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