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Thursday, January 30 2020

Contributor: Martins Olubiyi


In our last Bible studies, we learnt from Apostle Paul that the Gospel is ‘the gospel of God’. The Gospel originates from God. It is God’s idea. It was ‘promised beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures’. It is about ‘His Son’.  Moreover, we learnt that Jesus Christ is God’s Son. He is the Christ- ‘the Messiah’. He is our Lord God. The Jehovah Adonai. Today we are going to study the remaining four verses in chapter one. These are considered as the theme of the Book of Romans.

Text: Roman 1: 14-17 [English Standard Version (ESV)].

“14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.”   

The Gospel

Paul’s attitude about the Gospel.

  • I am under obligation (am a debtor) to share it- Rom 1:14

Apostle Paul make the claim here that Jesus Christ Has given him the responsibility and calling to be a preacher of God’s Gospel. See Rom 1:1. Also 1Cor 9:16

  • So am eager to preach the Gospel (I am ready to declare it)- Rom 1: 15

The reason why Paul is so eager to preach the Gospel l to those in Rome is that Jesus Christ by means of Paul’s calling had given him the Gospel to share with others. Until that happens, Paul’s calling is, in some way, not fulfilled yet. His supreme desire is to glorify his Saviour and take the Good news to all who are still without it.

Paul understood the cost in going to various places to preach the Gospel. He knew it would eventually cost him his life. Read Acts 20: 22-24 (ESV); Phil 1: 21-24.

Paul’s conviction was centred on one goal, which is to obey Jesus Christ by fulfilling his calling. He was driven and obedient.

We must strife to emulate Paul and be able to answer these questions: How driven are we to fulfil our calling? What barriers keep us from fulfilling what God Has called us to do? Why? What is more important to you than God’s glory.

  • Rom 1: 16 ‘I am not ashamed of the Gospel … who believes…...’ – Rom 1:17 ‘For in it the righteousness of God is revealed…’the righteous shall live by faith.

Brian Evans maintained that in these two verses we have the theme of the entire Book of Romans. Moreover, he went on to say that many scholars believe these verses to be the two greatest verses in the entire Bible. It is worthy to note that Paul’s expression of his passion for the Gospel in a negative sense probably because everyone else is ashamed of the gospel. In other words, why could not Paul states ‘I am proud of the Gospel or I am confident in this Gospel. 1Cor 1: 18-31. The Gospel is foolish to the lost world. For that reason, the world is ashamed of the Gospel, the Cross, and ashamed of Jesus Christ. The world hates the Gospel because  there is no ground for boasting and because God is infinitely in control not them. It is offensive to the self-righteous. But it reveals the power of God.

For it is the power of God for salvation

The word “Power” (dunamis) comes from a Greek word that comes into English language as ‘dynamite’. The gospel is the explosive dynamite of God unto salvation. There is no more powerful message in the entire world than this truth. The gospel power brings a life changing and eternity-altering experience. Hence, Paul stated again in 2Cor 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away, behold, new things have come”. The gospel of Christ has the ability to:

  • Take away the penalty of sin.

Rom 6: 23 “ For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord”.

  • Destroy the power of sin.

Eph 2:5 ‘When we were dead in our transgressions God made us alive together with Christ… and raised us up with Him’.

Col 3:1 ‘If you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

  • Create new life.

2Cor 5:17 that “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old things passed away, behold, new things have come”.

See Rom 6:4; Rom 6:11; Rom 6:13; Eph 2:6.

Conclusion: If truly you have accepted the Gospel, the evidence of your new creation must bear witness in your heart that you are no longer under the condemnation of sin. For sin shall not have dominion over you because you have been raised up with Christ. Therefore, keep seeking the things above. Keep preaching the Gospel by word and deeds. You are the epistle that the world read.

Note: Teaching culled from Brian Evans via

Thursday, January 23 2020

Contributor: Leye Olayiwola


We will be considering an in-depth study on the opening chapter of Paul’s letter to the Romans. Who are the intended recipient of Paul’s letter? Who is this writer himself? What exactly is the message? Who is the center focus of this message? Why is this letter important to Paul and his intended readers? What are the benefits of this letter to us as believers? These and other questions will be addressed in today’s study.


Verse 1: Paul Introduces himself

Paul here introduces himself to his readers. He identifies himself as:

  1. a servant of Christ Jesus indicating his allegiance and commitment;
  2. 'called to be an apostle indicating his divine commission; and
  3. 'set apart for the gospel of God indicating his mandate.

In identifying himself in this way Paul establishes his authority to write to the believers in Rome. What do you think that Paul meant when he said he was 'set apart for the Gospel of God'? Was it that he felt called to do nothing but preach the Gospel to unbelievers? Or was it that he felt compelled not only to proclaim the Gospel to unbelievers, but also to teach its true and full significance to believers, clarifying its meaning and implications, and defending it against the false interpretations which so quickly were attached to it?

Verse 1b – 3a, 9: Paul introduces the gospel

  1. It is 'the gospel of God'. This teaches us that the Gospel originates in God. It comes from God. It is God's idea. This immediately prohibits any tension or division between the God of the Old Testament and the Father of Jesus. They are one and the same. It also prohibits any tension or division between God the Father and God the Son. In preaching a Gospel centered on Jesus Christ Paul did not for a moment consider that in doing so he was turning his back on God. Rather the Gospel is God's Gospel, God's good news.
  2. To further enforce this point Paul teaches us that the Gospel was 'promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures'. Not only is the Gospel God's Gospel, it is also something that has always been in God's intention. It is not something altogether new, not an innovative attempt to redeem fallen humanity. From the first embryonic prophecy of the crushing of the serpent's head (Gen 3:15), to the fully-fledged description of the Servant of the Lord (Isaiah 52:13-53:12), the whole of Scripture points forward to the coming and sin-bearing death of Jesus Christ. Rather than contradict and nullify the Old Testament, the Gospel fulfils, validates and establishes the deepest significance of the Old Testament.
  3. It is about 'His Son'. Here the whole content of God's good news is encapsulated in two words: 'His Son'. God's good news is about 'His Son'. Over and above all else, the Gospel is about God's Son. This is stated again in Romans 1:9 where Paul refers to 'the gospel of his Son', again identifying the person of Christ as the center of the Gospel. If in our supposed telling of the Gospel we have failed to tell people about the true, divine identity of Jesus Christ, we have in fact not told them the true Gospel at all.

Verse 3-4: Paul Introduces Jesus Christ

  1. He is God's Son. To make this statement meant to claim for Jesus Christ equality with God. A 'son' is, without reduction, of the same essence as the 'father'.
  2. He is, according to his human nature, a descendant of David. Paul links Jesus with all the prophecies relating to the Davidic king who would one day rule God's people.
  3. Paul repeats his affirmation of Jesus' divine sonship: Jesus was, through the Spirit of holiness, declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead. Here Paul teaches that the resurrection of Jesus confirms his deity. Why is this? Because the resurrection means that Jesus' death was not a death for his own sins, that he had no sins of his own for which to bear the death penalty. That in turn means that when Jesus made the claims that he did he was speaking the truth - when, for instance, he called God his Father, when he said 'I and the Father are one' (John 10:30), when he said that seeing him was seeing the Father (John 14:9). All of Jesus' claims are validated by the resurrection.
  4. He is 'Christ'. The English 'Christ' translates the word 'Christos' which is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew 'Messiah'. Again Paul identifies Jesus as the subject of Old Testament prophecies, this time the prophecies concerning the Messiah - the Anointed One, who would come to save and lead God's people.
  5. He is 'our Lord'. We can very easily slip over this word 'Lord' in our familiarity with it, but we should not lose sight for a moment that 'Lord' is one of the common Old Testament names or titles of God. God is the Lord. The Lord is God.

Verse 5: Paul Introduces his ministry

Paul sees Jesus Christ as the source/origin ('through him') and goal/purpose ('for his name's sake') of his ministry. His ministry was not his idea, nor is he in it to make a name for himself. It is a Christ-focused, Christ-centred ministry. He also sees his ministry as 'grace', that is, as something that he did not earn, deserve or merit. Both his ministry, and the ability to pursue it, are a gift.

Verse 6-8: Paul identifies his readers

It would be easy when we read some parts of Paul's letter to the Romans to forget that his readers are already believers, and because of that, to misunderstand his meaning. He here identifies them as 'among those called to belong to Jesus Christ', 'loved by God' and 'called to be saints’ and mentions their faith which 'is being reported all over the world.' Paul's readers are true believers in Jesus Christ; they already belong to Jesus. They already are loved by God. They already are 'saints' - set apart by God, for God. They already have faith. Paul is not writing to them to bring them to the point of faith. Rather, he is writing to them to spell out the implications of their already existing faith. He is not writing to them to bring them to Christ. Rather, he is writing to them so that their already existing union with Christ will find expression in the way they relate to God and to each other.

Verse 8-13: Paul introduces his priorities in relation to the Romans

Although Paul has not yet met the Roman believers, he already has them firmly fixed in his heart and mind. He thanks God for all of them (verse 8). He prays for them all the time (verse 10). He longs to come to see them but has been prevented (verses 10-13).

Considering that he has just stated that their faith is being reported all over the world, this is an interesting and informative comment. It gives us the insight that to 'preach the gospel' was not limited to initial, conversion-generating preaching, but included explanatory teaching of the meaning and implications of the gospel in the on-going life of the believer. Most of Paul's letters contain this kind of gospel teaching, and we know from his letters that the care of the churches and the preservation of the purity of the gospel within the churches lay heavily on his heart. This burden he affirms in verse nine where he states that he serves God with his 'whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son'.


Those who truly know the Gospel know that its impact is not initial only. Indeed, the more one knows and understands the Gospel, the more one realizes that it is increasingly impactive for every moment of the believer's life.

The more a believer studies the message of the Gospel the bigger he/she understands it to be. So, Paul was eager to preach the Gospel - to expound its depth and its greatness, even, no, not just even, but especially to those who had already embraced it. He longs to see them and strengthen them through his ministry (Romans 1:11). It therefore follows that our call to preach the gospel to a dying and decaying world does not stop at the point of conversion, necessity is laid on everyone of us, believers, to bring men to the place of maturity.

Some parts of this study culled from

Thursday, January 23 2020

Contributor: Alex Alajiki


Paul was called by God to be an apostle to the gentile (Rom.11:13 “For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry”).

He brought Christianity to the gentile world, and  established churches for worship and ministry. Rome was the capital of the gentile world, and a church was planted there. Paul no doubt knew the strategic value of strengthening the body of believers by laying a strong doctrinal foundation.

Paul was continually challenged by the Jews regarding the Gospel of Christ and the Law of Moses. Paul obviously wanted to clear up any confusion by creating a strong doctrinal statement in his epistle. He addresses the same issues as in his other epistles, false doctrine, false teachers, and troublemakers who would stir up dissension in the church.


Paul is universally accepted as the author of the epistle to the Romans. Throughout the entire letter it is easy to see Paul's sincerity, his unique insights in the teachings about God, the Jews, Jesus and salvation to all mankind. Statements in the epistle indicate that Paul was going to Jerusalem with the collection for the poor which he had gathered (Romans 15:25-27). The key personalities in the book of Romans are the Apostle Paul, and Phoebe who delivered this letter.


The epistle to the Romans appears to have been written near the end of Paul's third missionary journey, probably around 57 or 58 AD. One of the main reasons for this date is because 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians refer to this collection and this would indicate that Romans was written just after 1 and 2 Corinthians, toward the end of Paul's third missionary journey. Most scholars date the epistle near AD 58 and name Corinth as the city of its origin.


The epistle begins with "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints" in Rom 1:7. This would clearly indicate that Paul was addressing the Christian church in Rome. Throughout the book of Romans, it is clear that in the church at Rome there were many Jews and Gentiles.

 Outline of the Book of Romans

1, Doctrine and Theology - Chapters 1-8; Paul explains the fundamentals and foundations of the Christian faith (Rom.6:23). This is the Gospel Message, which all believers are commanded to share with the entire world.

2, God's Plan for Israel - Chapters 9-11; Paul explains God’s sovereignty over salvation. He also spells out how an individual may come into a right relationship with Go ( Rom. 10:9-10 ). Place your faith and trust only in what Jesus Christ has already done on the cross and make Him the Master of your life and trust He raised Himself from the grave conquering death. His promise to everyone is: "You will be saved''.

3, The New Life in Christ - Chapters 12-16; Paul gives instructions for all Christians about how to live a holy lifestyle ( Rom.12:1-2 ). Much of the errors and trials that Paul dealt with in his “Epistles”, were because the believers had conformed their lives to the world and not to God.

Summary of Romans from 1 to 16

Romans 1—The Gospel Is the Power of God

It covers Paul’s introduction to the book of Romans as well as building a case against the entire world that we were guilty before God. The reason for writing the book of Romans was to share the gospel and teach that our righteousness comes by faith in Jesus Christ apart from what we can do to earn it.

Romans 2—God’s Righteous Judgment

It is written to admonish the Jews that living by the law and circumcision does not make them righteous in God’s eyes. This comes as quite a shock, but Paul stresses that living by rules and regulations only brings about judgment and condemnation. Paul concludes that a true Jew is one that has experienced circumcision of the heart by the Spirit of God.

Romans 3—Righteousness Apart from the Law

It completes the accusation that both the Jews and the Gentiles are guilty before God. Now the prosecution can rest and the defence begin. Paul switches gears by explaining that the righteousness that the law was powerless to give us, God did by sending Jesus. He maintains that this righteousness comes by faith to all who believe in Christ Jesus apart from obeying the law.

Romans 4—Justified by Faith

It is proof that faith has always been the means for justification. Paul reflects back to the Old Testament patriarchs who were justified by faith, not works, to illustrate his point. Paul uses this illustration to prove that Gentiles were part of this promise given to Abraham. The whole world was blessed through him because he chose to believe God rather than his circumstances and, because of this, his faith was credited to him as righteousness.

Romans 5—The Results of Justification by Faith

It is powerful and instrumental in understanding that we are reconciled with God through Jesus Christ. God did not spare His own son, but graciously gave Him for us to undo what Adam did in the garden. Death came through one man’s sin, but life came more abundantly in every way through the gift of Jesus. Paul stresses that this reconciliation is not something we are waiting for, but in every sense of the word, believers are righteous, holy, and acceptable to God.

Romans 6—Freedom from Sin

It eloquently teaches that when we are born again, sin’s power is broken in our lives. Paul maintains that we are freed from sin and made alive to God through Jesus Christ. Our sinful nature was crucified with Him when we were baptized into his death. Now through Jesus, we have received the gift of God, which is eternal life.

Romans 7—Married to Christ

It shows us the contrast between living bound to the law and living by the Spirit of God. We are no longer in bondage as slaves and are now free to belong to God. The struggle with sin may still be evident, but Paul maintains we have no obligation to succumb to it. We are instructed to live by the Spirit and bear fruit according to our new nature.

Romans 8—Life in the Spirit

It shows how to live by the Spirit and let peace rule in our hearts. The Holy Spirit within us continually testifies to us that we are children of God. He gives us assurance with God to convince us that nothing will ever separate us from His love. This is a passage of hope because we know our future is bright in Christ.

Romans 9—Children of the Promise through Faith in Christ

It teaches us that it is not natural children that are God’s children, but rather children of the promise. The promise comes through faith in Christ not by works of the Law. He uses the example of the Israelites, who pursued righteousness by the law without obtaining it, and Gentiles, who pursued it by faith and obtained righteousness through Jesus Christ. Chapter 9 is a sobering call that faith in Christ alone saves us.

Romans 10—The Word of Faith

It teaches the word of faith. By confessing with our mouth that Jesus Christ is Lord and by believing this in our hearts, we are saved—nothing more, nothing less. Christ is the end of the law so we can be justified and made righteous by faith in Jesus alone. Faith comes by hearing this gospel message and responding to it. Paul encourages us that “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romans 11—A Remnant of Israel

It discusses that, although Israel as a whole rejected Jesus as the Messiah, there is still a remnant chosen by grace. Their dismissal of Jesus has blessed the world because this salvation message was then opened to the Gentiles. However, they have not fallen beyond recovery, and in the end Israel will be saved through faith. God’s plan includes bestowing mercy upon all mankind.

Romans 12—Living Sacrifices

It encourages us to be living sacrifices in view of the mercy we have received in Christ Jesus. We do this through renewing our minds to the truth of God’s word, serving and blessing the body of Christ through our gifts and above all by loving and being devoted to one another. Romans 12 is a call to live a life of peace, faithfully serving the Lord in all things and overcoming the evil of the world by faith.

Romans 13—Submission to Authorities

It is a charge to clothe ourselves with Christ Jesus and live as His children in this present world. We are to submit to authorities and to pay respect where it is due. We are to wake up and serve the Lord out of love by showing others the light of the gospel.

Romans 14—The Weak and the Strong

It encourages us to consider everything we do as if we are doing it for the Lord. It is a call to do what leads to peace and mutual edification within the body of Christ. We are not to condemn or look down on those who are weaker in faith, but be fully convinced of what is acceptable in our own minds, as everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Romans 15—Unity among Believers

It stresses unity within the body of believers. We are to take the encouragement from the scriptures and Christ as our example in how we live accepting one another. Paul reminds us that we are competent ministers of the gospel taking in and internalizing the amazing grace that was covered in the previous chapters. Now it is our job to share it with others.

Romans 16—Commendations and Greetings

It is Paul's final farewell and instruction to the believers in Rome. He is affectionate toward them and gives final coaching to watch out for false doctrines and teachings and those who would cause division among them. He reminds them that Satan will soon be crushed under their feet and that His gospel is able to hold them until the day of Jesus.

Sunday, January 12 2020

Contributor: Isekhua Evborokhai

INTRODUCTION: As Paul concludes his letter to the Galatian churches, he writes the final words in his own distinctive handwriting as if to certify the authenticity of the entire letter with his personal stamp of approval.


"With what large letters" calls attention to the fact that Paul's handwriting is distinct from that of the scribe who wrote the other parts of the letter. It was as if he were saying, "Pay careful attention to my final words!" These final verses emphasize the key points Paul had been making throughout the letter - that false teachers were trying to persuade the Galatians to submit to the system of the Law which is opposed to the new economy of the cross of Christ. These concluding comments contain many reminders which point back into the body of the letter to highlight points that Paul had already made there.

  • Since Paul's main goal was to counteract the message of the false teachers, he does not want to close this letter without summarizing their errors and their motives. The false teachers were putting on a "good face" (literally). They only made an outward show of conformity to the practices of the Jewish system.
  • "In the flesh" - in the realm of the fleshly nature. Paul had clearly contrasted the flesh with the Spirit - the works of the law with the fruit of the Spirit. Here he clearly shows that the false teachers wanted nothing more than a good showing of human effort. And their desire to put on a good facade for others was certainly prompted by the fleshly, fallen human nature.
  • They simply wanted to gain the acceptance and approval of their countrymen. Paul points out that their motive was to avoid persecution. Had they preached the true gospel, they would have faced the same kind of persecution that Paul faced. The reason Paul was persecuted was because he taught that the work of Christ (the cross of Christ) is the only basis for being justified before God (see Gal. 5:11).
  • Paul reminds the Galatians that even the Jews themselves cannot actually keep the Law (see Gal. 3:10-11). The underlying motive of the false teachers is ambition - they want to be able to boast about the numbers of followers they had recruited.

  • "But"... by contrast, Paul would never do this. He did not desire to glory in his own fleshly accomplishments nor in the works of others. The only thing worth boasting about is what Christ accomplished on our behalf (see Gal. 3:13).
  • Our fleshly accomplishments count for nothing toward our justification before God. That is why Paul reminds believers that we have been crucified with Christ (see Gal. 2:20) and we are no longer in slavery to the desires of the flesh. We are no longer bound to try to impress the world like the false teachers were doing.
  • "Circumcision nor uncircumcision" here Paul reminds us that being a Jew or being a Gentile does not provide any advantage when standing before God (see Gal. 5:6). The only thing that counts is being a "NEW CREATION". The creation of something entirely new is something that only God can accomplish, and that is the only thing that matters in our justification before God.
  • "This rule" the previous verse (Gal. 6:15) contains a "rule" that Paul wants every believer to live by. This rule is that Jewish/Gentile distinctions mean nothing when it comes to salvation - the only thing that counts is being a new creature. Walking according to this rule means giving up any hope that human effort will be effective in attaining righteousness before God - that salvation comes by faith alone in Christ alone. Those who walk by this rule will have peace with God as well as being the objects of His mercy - it is God who justifies believers on the basis of the finished work of Christ.
  • "The Israel of God" - believing Jews; Israelites who are walking by this rule. God has always worked with the believing remnant of the nation of Israel (see Romans 9 - 11).
  • "Cause trouble for me" - (literally) give me troubles; cause Paul to defend his apostolic authority as well as the truth of his gospel message. Paul had gone to a great deal of trouble to accomplish this in the letter to the Galatians. He had answered the "troublemakers" in such a way that "from now on" he should not need to do so again.
  • "The brand-marks of Jesus" - these were the kinds of "brands" that were given to slaves in order to identify their owner. Brands were also marked on soldiers, captives, and servants in the pagan temples. Paul certainly bore in his body the brand marks of suffering for Jesus (see Second Corinthians 11:23-28).
  • Paul's own battered physical body testified to the authenticity of his apostleship!
  • Grace is the undeserved favour of God that give us new life, and it also provides us with a new desire and power to live in a way that pleases God. Everything that Paul has said about the work of Christ on our behalf is the result of the grace of God.
  • Paul addresses them as "brethren" at several places in this letter (see Gal. 4:12; 5:11; 6:1). But he has spoken very sternly, and before he closes he wants to make sure they understand that he holds great affection for them as his brethren in Christ. We must avoid the temptation to put on a good show to get the approval of others or to gather a band of followers. If we boast in anything we should boast only in what Christ has done for us on the cross. We should live every day in light of our new life in Christ, realizing that persecution might be the consequence of such a life lived for Christ.

This study was culled from


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