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The Sunday Salon

I've been sick the past couple of weeks with a bad cold, did not completely forget The Sunday Salon posts, I just didn't feel well.

Today is The International Day of Pray For The Persecuted Church
See also Open Doors website.

I completed the goal that I committed to back in January 2011 of reading Romans 10 times in 10 different translations. The last translation I read was from was The Amplified Bible. The Amplified Bible gives the full meaning of original Greek and Hebrew. It makes for long descriptive verses and lengthier reading.
Also finished Philippians and Colossians in my Bible readings, from the NIV. This was the second time to read them this year.
Also in BSF during the past week I read Acts chapter 15 and Galatians chapters 1 and 2 in the NIV.
BSF has covered since early September the first 15 chapters of Acts. Next week we'll be going over Hebrews chapters 1 and 2. The study is The Acts of the Apostles so we are not only studying Acts but other New Testament books as well.

The translations that I read Romans from this year were:
1. NASB also known as New American Standard Bible The MacArthur Study Bible Thomas Nelson Publisher 2006 Edition with Dr. John MacArthur as General Editor.
2. Interlinear New Testament Greek/English.
3. NIV also known as New International Version Zondervan Study Bible Large Print The 2008 Edition.
4. The ESV also known as English Standard Version by Crossway 2008 Edition.
5. The CEB also known as Common English Bible 2010 Edition.
6. The NLT also known as New Living Translation The Transformation Study Bible David C. Cook Publisher 2009 Edition with Dr. Warren Weirsbe as General Editor.
7. KJV also known as King James Version  The Scoffield Reference Bible Printed 1962.
8. The New Testament in Modern English by J.B. Phillips Published by The Macmillan Company 1962 Edition.
9. The New Testament An American Translation by Edgar J. Goodspeed Published by The University of Chicago Press 1951 Edition.
10. The Amplified Bible Large Print Zondervan 1987 Edition.

There is a lot of chatter about what translation is considered the best. The chat can often turn in to what I would call ugly talk, uncalled for. For most readers of the Bible, and I am referring to those of us without doctorates or master degrees in religion or divinity, we use a translation that we can either understand well or one that we are comfortable with. For some the King James Version is it, period. For others they need the New American Standard Bible which is considered the word for word translation. Or, some of us have chosen an in between version such as New International Version. The definition of an in between version of the Bible means that it is middle ground between the word for word and the thought for thought translations.
Recently The Today's New International Version has received flack for gender changes. For example instead of using "brothers" only, in this new version "brothers and sisters" were added when the translators felt it was necessary. There are other changes as well that some readers are uncomfortable with.
Other blogs have touched on these issues, I would rather encourage my readers to------read their Bible.

Four things stood out to me while reading Romans. 
1. Romans was written with the emphasis on defining what the Gospel is.
The word Gospel means Good News. The Good News is God's victorious plan of salvation for humankind sin, in that God's Son Jesus Christ shed his blood on the cross for our sin and then conquered death by being resurrected from the grave, and by our belief by faith in Him we are saved, justified, at peace before God. There is no plan B, meaning--there is nothing added to this!
Paul wrote in the opening verse in Romans chapter 1, "Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God-the gospel He promised before hand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding His Son, who as to His human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by His resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through Him and for His name's sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ."
Paul explains perfectly what the Gospel is, that it is "the Gospel of God," a plan that he had "promised before the beginning of time" (see Titus 1:2), and was "promised beforehand through His prophets." But it is through Jesus that we receive grace.
2. There are several key words that I read over and over again: righteous or righteousness--44 times, grace  21 times, peace 11 times, faith faithful or faithfulness 42 times, believe believes believed 17 times, judge judged or judgment 19 times, wrath 11 times, truth or truthfulness 8 times, justify justified or justification 12 times, promise promises promised 10 times, sin or sinful 67 times.
Grace is a word that we hear often, it is also given as a personal first name. Seeing a word so often we can loose sight of the priceless definition.
Grace in Greek is charis.
Mounce's Expository Dictionary defines grace as, "the acceptance of and goodness toward those who cannot earn or do not deserve such gain." 
In Romans we are told:
Grace cannot be earned, "And if by grace, then it is no longer by works; if it were, grace would no longer be grace." Romans 11:6
Yet we, "are justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus." Romans 3:24.
Ephesians 2:8-9 states is most clearly and affectively, "For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast."
But, we are not under grace unless by faith we believe in Jesus Christ.
3. A commentator has written, "Romans is a court book." I agree. Paul boldly states "that men (and women) are without excuse." See Romans 2:20.
Paul writes that humans have "worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator." In worshiping the created that includes themselves. See Romans 2:25.
In chapter 2 verses 1-3 "You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge the other, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. So when you, a mere man, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God's judgment?"
In Romans chapter 3 verse 10-12, "there is no one righteous, not even one; there is no one who understands, no one who seeks God. All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." Verses taken from OT passages: Psalm 14:1-3, Isaiah 53:1-3 and Ecclesiastes 7:20.
"But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
4. After reading Romans there can no longer be a non-decision for the reader. As my mother used to say, "you've got to make a choice, no sitting on the fence."
Romans is a book that is nose to nose with your face and it demands a decision.
The decision is will you believe by faith in Jesus as God's Son in the flesh and in His redeeming work on the cross and resurrection from the grave? Or will you continue to deny Him? There will come a time when we will all face a physical death. We don't have a choice about when we will die or how. But, we do have a choice as to whether we will have eternal life.

You may wonder, "gosh Annette didn't you get tired of re-reading Romans and all those other Bible passages you've read?"
NO, I want more. I can't get enough. There is a fire in my soul that just cannot be quenched by anything else but Scripture, if I could eat the words I would, if I could take a bath in them I would.
Over the years I've been called a "Bible thumper" by my own loving family members. I don't thump the Bible, I read it.
"For the Word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart."
Hebrews 4:12

All above Scripture from the NIV Study Bible 2008 edition.

Are you reading your Bible?

Blissful reading!


Becky said…
What a great post! I agreed with all your points about Romans. I do think it is a book that urges us to make a decision. And it's not a surprise that it is a book that can change lives.