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a Christian Church
Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of (Old Testament) witnesses surrounding us, let us (believers in Christ) also lay aside every encumbrance and the sin (nature) which so easily entangles us (ambushing us and buffeting us from all sides), and let us run with endurance the race (of our lives) that is set before us…
…(let’s keep on) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author (pioneer) and perfecter (finisher) of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the Cross, despising the shame (by ignoring it), and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (the Father).
For consider Him (the Lord Jesus Christ) who has endured such hostility (as the Cross) by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart
Romans Chapter 1- Faith is the Antidote to Unbelief
Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 8 to 15
Paul’s Prayer for the Purpose of his Ministry
First, I (Paul) thank my God (the Father in prayer) through Jesus Christ(’s name) for you all (believers in Rome), because your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world (all over the Roman Empire).
For God (the Father), whom I (Paul) serve in my (human) spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son (the Lord Jesus Christ), is my witness as to how unceasingly I make mention of you (believers in Rome…in intercessory prayer)…
…always in my prayers making request (even in petition for myself as well), if perhaps now at last by the will of God I may succeed in coming to (visit) you.
For I (Paul) long to see you (believers in Rome) so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established…
…that is, that I (Paul) may be encouraged together with you while among you, (as) each of us (is encouraged) by the other’s faith, both yours (encouraging me) and mine (encouraging you).
I do not want you to be unaware, brethren (believers in Rome), that often I have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far…even though I wanted to come) so that I may obtain some fruit among you also, even as (I obtain fruit) among the rest of the Gentiles.
I (Paul) am under obligation both to Greeks (people who speak Greek) and to barbarians (people who don’t speak Greek), both to the wise (believers in Christ) and to the foolish (unbelievers).
So, for my part, I am eager to preach the gospel (as a minster) to you also who are in Rome.
Romans, Chapter 1, Verses 8 to 15
What is faith?
“Your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world”
Something that prevents or counteracts injurious or unwanted effects
“The thief (Satan) comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I (the Lord Jesus Christ) came that they (believers in Christ) may have ( the Zoe) life, and have it abundantly.”
When Jesus had finished these parables, He departed from there (the area of the Sea of Galilee).//He (the Lord Jesus Christ) came to His hometown (Nazareth) and began teaching them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished, and said, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?”
“Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary, and His brothers, James and Joseph and Simon and Judas?//And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this man get all these things?”
And they took offense at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his hometown and in his own household.”//And He did not do many miracles there because of their unbelief.
And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) wondered at their unbelief. And He was going around the villages teaching.
“He who believes in the Son (the Lord Jesus Christ) has eternal life; but he who does not obey the (command to believe in the) Son will not see (the eternal) life, but the wrath of God (the Lake of Fire) abides on him.”
Voice of Truth
When I Think About Home
But now faith, hope, love, abide (in the sphere of) these three; but the greatest of these is (unconditional) love.
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him (body of the Lord Jesus Christ). //Very early on the first day of the week (Sunday), they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.
They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”//Looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.
Entering the tomb, they saw a young man (an angel) sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed (alarmed).//And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen (He is resurrected from the dead); He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him (the inner burial chamber).
“But go, tell His disciples and Peter (the Lord’s concern showing here), ‘He (the Lord Jesus Christ) is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’”//They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
[Now after He (the Lord Jesus Christ) had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons.//She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping.
When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it (unbelief).//After that, He (the Lord Jesus Christ) appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country.
They went away and reported it to the others, but they (the others) did not (never) believe them either.//Afterward He (the Lord Jesus Christ) appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen.
When they (Peter, John and James) came back to the disciples (from the Tranfiguration), they saw a large crowd around them, and some scribes arguing with them.//Immediately, when the entire crowd saw Him (the Lord Jesus Christ), they were amazed and began running up to greet Him.
And He (the Lord Jesus Christ)asked them, “What are you discussing with them?”//And one of the crowd answered Him, “Teacher, I brought You my son, possessed with a spirit which makes him mute;//and whenever it seizes him, it slams him to the ground and he foams at the mouth, and grinds his teeth and stiffens out. I told Your disciples to cast it out, and they could not do it.”
And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) answered them and said, “O unbelieving generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring him to Me!”//They brought the boy to Him. When he (the spirit) saw Him (the Lord Jesus Christ), immediately the spirit threw him (the boy) into a convulsion, and falling to the ground, he (the boy) began rolling around and foaming at the mouth.
And He (the Lord Jesus Christ) asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?" And he said, “From childhood.//It has often thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, take pity on us and help us!”
And Jesus said to him, “ ‘IF You can?’ All things are possible to him who believes.”
Immediately the boy’s father cried out and said, "”I do believe; help my unbelief.”//When Jesus saw that a crowd was rapidly gathering, He rebuked the unclean spirit, saying to it, “You deaf and mute spirit, I command you, come out of him and do not enter him again.”
After crying out and throwing him into terrible convulsions, it came out; and the boy became so much like a corpse that most of them said, “He is dead!” //But Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.
When He (the Lord Jesus Christ) came into the house, His disciples began questioning Him privately, “Why could we not drive it out?”//And He said to them, “This kind (of spirit) cannot come out by anything but prayer.”
Then what advantage has the Jew? Or what is the benefit of circumcision? //Great in every respect. First of all, that they (the Jews) were entrusted with the oracles (the Word) of God.
What then? If some did not believe (in faith), their unbelief will not nullify the faithfulness of God, will it?//May it never be! Rather, let God be found true, though every man be found a liar…
I (Paul) thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because He considered me faithful, putting me into service,//even though I was formerly a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent aggressor.
Yet I was shown mercy because I acted ignorantly in unbelief…
…and the grace of our Lord was more than abundant, with the faith and (unconditional) love which are found in Christ Jesus.
Trust in the Lord with all your
heart And do not lean on your own understanding.//In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.
The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed
Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, And therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him.
Let us pray…
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