Sunday, December 09, 2012

December 9, 2012 … The Fulcrum of God’s Truth

Chronological Bible Reading Plan - Day 344

Passage of the Day: Reference of Today’s Chronological Bible Study: Romans, Chapters 11-13 To study these chapters, go to this link

Highlight Passages: Romans 11: 33-36 : [NLT] … {Paul addresses Chapter 11, as a close to his treatise on Christian theology with a brief prayer of praise to a VERY BIG GOD, whom neither he, nor any Christian can fully fathom. Chapters 1-11 of Romans are Paul’s reasons WHY TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST; and it seems entirely appropriate that he would close this section on Christian doctrine with this prayer.}  
33 Oh, what a wonderful God we have! How great are His riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand his decisions and His methods! 34 For who can know what the Lord is thinking? Who knows enough to be His counselor? 35 And who could ever give Him so much that He would have to pay it back? 36 For everything comes from Him; everything exists by His power and is intended for His glory. To Him be glory evermore. Amen. 

Highlight Passages: Romans 12: 1-2 : [NLT] … {Chapter 12 in Romans launches Paul’s HOW TO LIVE IN CHRIST section of this letter on the truth surrounding Christ and how to live in the reality of those truths. And the first two verses of Romans 12 comprise what I refer to as the “fulcrum” of New Testament theology, which I’ll explain below as the focus of my journal entry for today. And in preparation for what I will blog today, may I be so bold to suggest that you search out several Bible versions of Romans 12: 1-2 and meditate on them to study this very important passage of NT Scripture. And in reading the rest of Romans 12, following verses 1-2, you’ll see that Paul begins to describe for his Christian readers how to live in Christ, applying the doctrine he has exposed in Chapters 1-11. }  
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice — the kind he will accept. When you think of what he has done for you, is this too much to ask? 2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.  

Highlight Passages: Romans 13: 8-10 : [NLT] … {And Chapter 13 gets right into Christian living with a discussion of how to live in any era of this world … with worldly governments and laws. And the chapter closes with Paul quoting one the most practical of all Old Testament doctrines – right from God’s Law – Lev. 19: 18, that all of God’s Law is summarized in one principle … “to love one’s neighbor as himself.” As you can read, Paul was a powerful and pragmatic apologist, being able to bring multiple doctrines into a concise summary.}
8 Pay all your debts, except the debt of love for others. You can never finish paying that! If you love your neighbor, you will fulfill all the requirements of God’s law. 9 For the commandments against adultery and murder and stealing and coveting—and any other commandment—are all summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” 10 Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements. 

My Journal for Today: My friends, if you were forced to prioritize the truths of Scripture, especially New Testament theology, into one Bible passage, what would you choose as your summary passage? Asking it another way, … if I said you could only memorize and internalize one passage of the New Testament, what would it be?

Well, if you’ve read what I wrote above, you have a clue that my passage would be Romans, Chapter 12, Verses 1-2. I call that passage “the fulcrum” of Paul’s letter to the Roman Christians (and to us). A “fulcrum” is defined is … “the support, or point of rest, on which a lever turns in moving a body.” Archimedes, who lived in the 3rd century BC and was considered to be one of the most brilliant mathematical minds in history, is quoted to have said, “Give me a lever long enough, a fulcrum strong enough, and I’ll move the world!”

I call Romans 12: 1-2 the “fulcrum” of Paul’s treatise on Christianity in Romans; because Chapters 1-11 describe Christian theology (i.e., WHY TO BELIEVE IN CHRIST) and Chapters 12 – to the end of the letter – describe Christian pragmatics (i.e, HOW TO LIVE IN CHRIST). And right at the balance point, between the two, lies Romans 12: 1-2, … this powerful statement which merges or moves a Christian from doctrine to duty. And it explains how the truths from God must be lived out in 24/7 worship of our Lord.

Romans 12: 1-2 takes us from Godly truth to Godly living; and it points us from Scripture to in-the-trenches living … which will, if we live as God’s word teaches, produce Christians becoming whom we were intended to be in the first place. Once again I charge any Christian reading with me here today to go back and look up and study several versions of Rom. 12: 1-2 in the Bible (perhaps the NKJV, the NIV, the NLT (quoted above), and The Message paraphrase). And I maintain if you really grasp the meaning God intended as Paul wrote this passage in Greek, as we have it translated into English, you’re going to be convicted and directed to pursue the mind and living transformation written of in this incredibly powerful Bible passage.

Once again, Archimedes said he could move the world if you give him the proper lever, being place at the proper fulcrum. And so, … when we take the most powerful lever ever created (i.e. God’s truth from His word) and use it to leverage our lives, we will be moved to function in God’s way and in His will, rather than in our own selfish direction. When we choose to live (and God gives us that leverage) by His fulcrum of truth, our lives will be transformed; .. and as it says in Romans 12: 2, we “ … will know what God wants [us] to do, and [we] will know how good and pleasing and perfect His will really is.”

I’d say that is spiritually what Archimedes was describing mathematically; and Romans 12: 1-2 could be the truth that changes any Christian’s life forever into one who serves God in His will from His word.

My Prayer Today: … Lord, thank You for the leverage of Your word, balancing me in Your will as I live out Your truth as the fulcrum of my life. Amen

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