• Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 9th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 16

    Bible Study: Romans 16

    Paul begins the sixteenth chapter by declaring, I commend to you Phoebe our sister, who is a servant (the word servant there in Greek is deaconess.) of the church in Cenchrea, Cenchrea is right there at Corinth. It was the actually the seaport of Corinth, just a few miles from Corinth. This Phoebe was a deaconess in the church. She had an important ministry in the church. There are those that would try to exclude women from any place of service in the church, but such was not the case in the early church. Women played a very important part of the ministry of the early church. There was only one thing that a woman was not allowed to do in the early church and that was to teach men or usurp authority over men. But she was able to pray. She was able to minister. She was able to prophesy in the church. She was able to share and prophesy in exhorting, exhortation. She was able to do that kind of thing. She was able to get up and exhort. She was able to comfort. She was able to share what the Lord had done and what the Lord was doing in what we should be doing for the Lord. And so in the early church the women had an extremely important part. This Phoebe was a deaconess there in the church at Cenchrea.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 8th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 15

    Bible Study: Romans 15

    Let’s turn now in our Bibles to the fifteen chapter of Romans as we continue our journey through the word of God. In the fourteenth chapter you will remember that Paul is dealing with Christian unity that is created by Christian love, accepting each other though we may differ in some of our ideas and interpretations of the Scripture. Basically the early church had a split over the Jewish aspects of the church and the Gentile aspects of the church. Many of the Jews were still following the Kosher laws. They were very concerned about the diet, that it be Kosher. Many of the Gentile believers had never really heard of the Kosher laws and were not really worried about keeping Kosher. So it developed this kind of division between the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers. Many of the Jewish believers were insisting that you could not really be a Christian without keeping the Jewish laws, even the ritual of circumcision. So Paul, an apostle to the Gentiles, though he was one of the strictest Jews at one time, he had been called of God to be an apostle to the Gentiles. God took one of the most strict of all of the Jews and made him an apostle to the Gentiles. In so doing, Paul came to a recognition and a realization that Jesus Christ has really set us free from the traditional observances of dietary laws and things of that nature. So going to the Gentiles, he had this liberty and this freedom. So yet the rule of Paul was to walk in love and try not to be an offense unto people. So he said he had learned to be all things to all men that he might gain the more. To the Jews, I became as a Jew. He could go and enjoy fellowship with the Jews, keep Kosher and all. Or he could go into a Gentile home and have ham, just give God thanks and eat it. He had this liberty. He said all things are lawful for me. There is nothing unclean of itself unless a person esteems it to be unclean. Then to him it is unclean. Now Paul sort of put it in the category of “weak in the faith” and “strong in the faith.” If you have a tender conscience, weak in the faith, then you are better off not to do those things for which you feel guilty. In the same token, a person who had no qualms or conscience about it, should not openly flaunt his liberty in Christ to the extent of stumbling another brother for whom Christ died. If you have liberty, Paul said, have it to yourself, in your own homes, enjoy it. But don’t just flaunt that liberty so as to stumble or hurt someone else. But basically the real law is love! Walk in love. Be considerate. Now Paul is showing that in the church, we are one, both the Jewish believers and the Gentile believers. Throughout the Book of Romans he has been showing that we are all of us sinners. We have all come short of the glory of God. We were all in need of redemption. God has provided that redemption through Jesus Christ through whom we must all come in order to be redeemed.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 7th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 14

    Bible Study: Romans 14

    Shall we turn to Romans, chapter fourteen. Walking in Christian love, would be the theme of this chapter if I would put a theme in it. And it begins with not judging one another.

    So Paul said, Receive one who is weak in the faith, but not to disputes over doubtful things. It is amazing how that we have allowed petty differences to divide the body of Jesus Christ. Have you ever known anyone who has won an argument? It’s tragic that there are so many people who want to argue over non-essential things. There was a big debate at one time of how many angels could dance on the head of a pin? People got angry with each other because of the differences of opinion. Shall we baptize people forwards or backwards, or shall we sprinkle them? Or shall we dunk them three times? And denominations have been created over such differences.

    Don’t get involved, Paul said in disputes over doubtful things, especially with one who is weak in the faith. And Paul brings up some of these disputes that existed in the church at that time. 2For one believes he may eat all things, but he who is weak eats only vegetables. That is, weak in the faith. There are some people today who feel convicted about eating meat. They are vegetarians. Paul, writing to Timothy, said in the last days there would arise people who would forbid to marry and command you to abstain from meat which God had created to be received with thanksgiving of them that believe and know the truth.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 6th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 13

    Bible Study: Romans 13

    Romans, chapter thirteen. I must admit that I do have difficulty with the first part of this chapter. And so often, I think, we are prone to sort of dismiss it as a rather cultural thing. And yet it is not just here, but it is teaching that is consistent through the Word, where Paul declares, Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. When Peter wrote his first epistle, he said somewhat the same thing. There Peter wrote in 1 Peter 2:17-18, Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king. In verse thirteen he said, submit yourselves to every ordnance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether it be to the king as supreme or unto governors as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evil doers and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God that with well doing you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men.

    The clear teaching of the Scriptures is that I am to be subject to those powers and authorities of government. Not just if I agree, but as a matter of principle. For all power and authority is ordained of God. Now this was said when the Roman government, which was also corrupt in many forms, was the world power of that day. And Paul was writing to those who were in Rome, the capital city of the Roman Empire. People that were used to the excesses practiced by those in the Roman Senate, the abuses. And yet to them Paul writes that they are to be in subjection to those higher powers because there is no power but of God and the powers to be are ordained of God.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 5th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 12

    Bible Study: Romans 12

    Open your Bibles to Romans, chapter twelve. Paul has just exuded his marvel at the wisdom of God and the knowledge of God. His judgments. His ways. The mind of the Lord. The plan of God of bringing salvation to all men.

    Then he declares, I beseech you therefore, brethren, The word, “therefore” always refers back to what he has been referring to and talking about, in the past few sentences or you can go way back here, in the Book of Romans, the justification by faith and all that God has wrought.

    I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. After all that God has done. The mercies that God has manifested. Bringing us redemption from sin. Deliverance from the power of the enemy. This beautiful new life in Christ Jesus. Therefore present your bodies to God, as a living sacrifice.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 4th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 11

    Bible Study: Romans 11

    Romans chapter 11. At the end of chapter 10, Paul has been sharing Scriptures from the Old Testament that speak of God’s reaching out with the gospel to the Gentiles. And being embraced by the Gentiles as their God. But concerning Israel, God declared, all day long I have stretched forth my hands to a disobedient and a gain saying people. So, where the nation of Israel rejected their Messiah, He was embraced by the Gentiles.

    So Paul declares, I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. If you think that God has been stretching out His hand, they are not responding. They are disobedient. Does that mean that God has cut them off? That they are cut off from salvation and the blessings of God? And Paul declares, certainly not or God forbid! For he himself is a descendant from Abraham, according to the flesh, from the tribe of Benjamin.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 3rd, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 10

    Bible Study: Romans 10

    Chapter ten is closely tied with the last part of chapter nine. Where Paul declares beginning with verse 30, What shall we say then? That Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, (That is through the law.) have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness of faith; 31but Israel, pursuing the law of righteousness, has not attained to the law of righteousness. 32Why? Because they did not seek it by faith, but as it were, by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumbling stone (which of course, was Jesus Christ). 33As it is written: “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and rock of offense, And whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”

    Now, because Paul has taken the position that the gospel is open to all men, Jew and Gentile alike. And because Paul dared to take the gospel to the Gentiles, many of the Jews were accusing him of bitterness because the Jews did not receive his testimony. Paul always sought to go to the Jews first. When he would go into a new community, he would first go to the synagogue. And there he would preach Christ to them, always to the Jew first. But when the Jews rejected over and over, finally Paul said, seeing you count yourself not worthy to receive the things of God, I going to the Gentiles. And Paul became the apostle to the Gentiles. Now the Jews accused him of being bitter against the Jews. And so he opened the ninth chapter by saying that he had this great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart because he could even wish himself accursed from Christ for his brethren, his kinsmen, according to the flesh.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 2nd, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 9

    Bible Study: Romans 9

    Now to Romans, chapter nine, as we continue our through the Bible study, going from Genesis to Revelation. We’ve now come to Romans, chapter nine. In which the next three chapters, Paul inserts this discussion concerning the sovereignty of God especially as it relates to the nation of Israel and to the Gentiles being brought in and being made a part of the family of God.

    Now Paul considered himself a Pharisee of the Pharisees, a zealous Jew, zealous for the law, zealous for the people. But because Paul had taken the gospel to the Gentiles and because Paul had declared the righteousness of God, in saving Gentiles, many of the Jews looked at Paul as a traitor. And they looked upon him with suspicion because of his ministering to the Gentiles. When he had come to Jerusalem and was in the temple area preparing for the Jewish holiday, he created a riot because there were some Jews from Asia who knew of his ministry to the Gentiles. And so they stirred up all of the people. They said this man speaks against the law of Moses. And he is going to the Gentiles. So it created a huge uproar. Paul did believe that the gospel of God was not to the Jews only, but to the Gentiles. That the Lord had opened the door of salvation to all men, Jew and Gentile alike, who would believe in Jesus Christ. So because of his affiliation with Gentiles and taking the gospel to the Gentiles, the Jews were more or less accusing Paul of being a traitor and not really having a concern for the Jews.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on November 1st, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 8, Part 3

    Bible Study: Romans 8, Part 3

    Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, You look at all of the horrible things that are happening in our nation today. The corruption of our youth and all of this stuff, you realize, yes, we deserve the judgment of God. Is God wanting to give Clinton four more years to judge America? Now, I don’t know! And thus how to pray. There are a lot of things that I really don’t know how to pray. I don’t know what the will of God is. There is a friend. He is in big trouble. He’s gotten away from the Lord and that relationship that he once had. And now he’s in a real mess. He’s facing jail time. Does God want to just really use this to draw him back fully to a commitment to Jesus Christ? Is this God’s wake up call to him? Shall I pray, oh God, you know, give him favor in the courts? Help him Lord and keep him out of prison. Or does God want him to be in prison so that he’ll have to start listening to the voice of God. How to pray? It’s often times a real problem for us to know just how to pray as we ought. Now this is a weakness. We don’t always know what God’s will is. We want to pray according to God’s will. Here’s where the Spirit comes along and assists us. Assistance in our prayer life when we are faced with this enigma of not knowing how to pray as we ought. So He helps in our weaknesses, for we don not know what we should pray for as we ought.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 31st, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 8, Part 2

    Bible Study: Romans 8, Part 2

    Tonight we begin with verse fourteen. In 1 John, he wrote, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God.” What a wonderful thing it is to be a son of God! Now there are those who talk about the universal Fatherhood of God. That is, the creator of all things. But not all men are sons of God. You remember Jesus was talking with the Pharisees. And they were bragging about the fact that we have Abraham as our father. We’re sons of Abraham. Thus, God’s chosen, elect people. Jesus said if you were sons of Abraham, then you would have believed in Me. For Abraham rejoiced to see My day and he saw it. They said you’re not even fifty years old. What do you mean, Abraham saw You? He said, before Abraham was, I AM! But then Jesus went on to say that you are the sons of the devil.

    So beloved, now are we the sons of God. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God (Paul tells the Romans), these are sons of God. Those that are led by the Spirit of God. So the question is, “Is my life being led by the Spirit of God?” Do I seek to know the will of God and to follow the will of God? Do I seek the leading of the Spirit? It is unfortunate that there are many people today who are resting their hope for salvation in something other than a relationship with Jesus Christ, being filled and led by the Spirit. A lot of people are not even worried about their salvation because they were baptized when they were infants. And they are trusting in that experience as an infant that they weren’t even conscience of, to somehow secure their salvation. But as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 30th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 8, Part 1

    Bible Study: Romans 8, Part 1

    It actually begins the thought process here back in verse 22 of chapter seven, “For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. 23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. 24O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.” There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, What a wonderful, glorious, liberating, verse that is! Later on this chapter, Paul is going to ask the question, “Who is he who condemns?” And he is going to answer that question by declaring, who isn’t condemning. “Who is who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” Christ is interceding on our behalf. Interceding for us, He can’t be condemning us. You would never hire a lawyer who would tell the judge what a rat you are. You want him to tell how wonderful you are and all of the wonderful things. Maybe you slipped up, you know, but it wasn’t really in your heart because you are really a very marvelous person. You like someone to present you in good light and not in bad light. Who is he who condemns? So he points out that it isn’t Christ who is condemning you. Who is it then who condemns? When Satan is cast out of heaven, the angels declare (Revelation 8:13, 12:9-10), “Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth. . . for Satan the dragon, who has accused the saints day and night before God, is cast to the earth. Satan is the accuser! Satan is the one who condemns the child of God. He pounces upon every weakness. He pounces upon every failure. He uses that as a soapbox to condemn you. But “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus!”

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 29th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 7

    Bible Study: Romans 7

    Chapter seven, actually takes up at verse fourteen of chapter six. For in verse fourteen, Paul said, “For sin shall not have dominion over you, for you are not under law but under grace.” The rest of the sixth chapter is parenthetical. Here in chapter seven, he picks up that idea again. He continues from that concept that you are not under law but under grace. And so you need to really think of this now in chapter seven under the title of , “You are not under law by under grace.”

    Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law), So this first part is addressed to the Jewish people. Not talking to Gentiles at this point. He will in a moment. But right now to Jewish people. Or do you not know, brethren (for I speak to those who know the law) that the law has dominion over a man as long as he lives? As long as you are alive, law has dominion over you.

    And then he uses an illustration of how one is bound to another as long as they live, but how that death frees that bond. 2For the woman who has a husband is bound by the law to her husband as long as he lives. But if the husband dies, she is released from the law of her husband. 3So then if, while her husband lives, she marries another man, she will be called an adulteress; but if her husband dies, she is free from that law, so that she is no adulteress, though she has married another man. Now it is not Paul’s intent here to teach on marriage. He is only using this as an illustration of how that death frees a person from the bonds that existed under the law. So that as long as a person lives he is under the law. Only death frees you from that relationship to the law, even as only death frees a wife from her husband.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 28th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 6

    Bible Study: Romans 6

    At the end of chapter of five, Paul tells us, “so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” He tells us, “where sins abounded, grace abounded much more.”

    What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Paul’s answer is, 2Certainly not! Or God forbid! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it? It’s interesting how that people will take a certain truth of God and then run with it to an illogical conclusion. If when we sin, God’s grace abounds, shall we then just go ahead and not worry about our sins? Shall we just continue in sin in order that God’s grace might just continually abound to us? Paul responds to that with this strong statement, “Certainly not!” or God forbid? Or perish the thought! And then he tells us what the principle is: How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?

    3Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Notice we were baptized into Christ Jesus. Into this relationship with Him. Into this identity with Him. Into this oneness in Him. Jesus said, “In that day, you shall know that I am in the Father. You are in Me. I am in you.” We have been baptized into this beautiful relationship with Jesus Christ. I’m one with Him! He dwells within me! So being baptized into Jesus Christ, we were baptized into His death. That is as Jesus died, so my old life died, baptized into His death. Paul will tell us in a few moments that we are to reckon ourselves crucified with Christ. Declaring that we were crucified with Him, baptized into His death.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 27th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 5

    Bible Study: Romans 5

    Therefore, having been justified by faith, Having laid out that this is God’s plan. This is God’s provision whereby He can accept you. Whereby He can declare that you are righteous by your faith in Jesus Christ and the fact that He bore your sins. He died in your place. So the righteous demands of the law have been fulfilled for you by Jesus. Thus as we believe in Jesus Christ, God can account our faith for righteousness. Therefore, having been justified by faith, first of all we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, At one time we were at war against God, against the laws of God. We were rebels, rebelling against God’s laws. Feeling that they were too restrictive. Mistaken in our concept of the law, we thought that God was seeking to hinder us from a full, rich life, when in reality, the purpose was to bring us to a full, rich life. But Satan had deceived and blinded our eyes. Sin looked attractive. It looked exciting, but the consequences of sin was something that we didn’t see. How that it was like a cancer, slowly eating and destroying until finally there was no cure. So showing to us how that we are no longer rebelling. Our eyes were open. We see the law of God now and it’s good for us. I consent to the law. It is good, but still the inability to keep the law; therefore, God provided for me. A righteousness apart from the law. A righteousness through faith in Jesus. But by believing in Him, I am no longer fighting against God. How glorious it is to have peace with God! Jesus said come unto me all you that labor and are heavy laden. I will give you rest. Or I will give you peace. And you know when a person accepts Jesus Christ, as their Lord and Savior, suddenly you realize that the war is over. I’m no longer fighting against God. There is such peace! There is such rest. You go home and you lie there on your pillow. You look up and say, hey God, I’m on Your side now. Not fighting against You anymore. And you just feel that warmth and that glow of knowing that there is no more war. There’s no more rebellion. I’ve surrendered. And now I belong to Him. And the glorious peace because I’m no longer at enmity with God.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 26th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 4

    Bible Study: Romans 4

    Let’s turn now in our Bibles to chapter four as we continue our journey through the Word of God. Now Paul has introduced in chapter three the subject of justification by faith. That is, I stand before God righteous. Not by the works that I have done. God does not account me righteous because I don’t smoke. I don’t drink. I don’t go to dances. I don’t go to shows. God doesn’t count me righteous because of my works. And my works have nothing to do with my righteousness. God counts me righteous because of my faith and trust in Jesus Christ. And God accounts my faith for righteousness. That is because I believe in Jesus Christ, God looks at me as righteous. For God sees me in Christ Jesus. And thus He sees me in the righteousness of Christ, which is imputed to me because of my faith in Jesus.

    So in chapter four Paul is going to illustrate this truth to the Jews from two of their main characters in history. Men that they traced their background to, Abraham and to David. The two heroes of the Jewish faith.

    So beginning in chapter four he speaks concerning Abraham, What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? Now Abraham is the father of all who believe, but these are the physical descendants of Abraham, pertaining to the flesh. What has Abraham discovered or found?

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 25th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 3

    Bible Study: Romans 3

    Now Paul the Apostle in chapter one, showed that the Gentile world was guilty before God. God had revealed Himself in nature, but man rejected the revelation of God. In fact he made such a foolish error he began to worship and serve the creature or the creation rather than the Creator. And we are surely at that point again today where the worship of mother earth, the worship of nature, rather than the Creator.

    In chapter two, he showed how that the Jews who were resting in the law, making their boast of God, were no better off than the Gentiles, who were guilty before God. Because though they boasted in the fact that that they had the law, they weren’t keeping the law. And if you don’t keep the law, then there is no value to the law. They had the ordinances of God. They had that seal of circumcision, which would indicate that they were to be a people that would live after the spirit and not after the flesh. A Godly heritage, spiritual people. But that the circumcision did not make them spiritual. Being spiritual is something within the heart of a person. It isn’t an outward kind of ritual or ordinance. So showing that the law had no value, as far as making them righteous, just having the law didn’t give them special privileges. Showing that circumcision, unless it really follows that in the heart, they were living after the spirit, the ritual itself did nothing, would naturally bring up the question that Paul begins with chapter three.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 24th, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 2

    Bible Study: Romans 2

    n chapter 1, verse 18, he tells us the wrath of God is going to be revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth of God in unrighteousness. And he tells us what men were doing. Because when they knew God they would not glorify Him as God, neither were they thankful. They became vain in their imaginations and their foolish hearts were darkened. Professing themselves to be wise they became fools as they changed the glory of an uncorruptible God. And they began to fashion images like corruptible man and birds and creeping things. So God gave them up to the uncleanness through the lusts of their own heart to dishonor their own bodies between themselves. They changed the truth of God into a lie and they worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. So God gave them up to vile affection. The women changing the natural use to that which is against nature. And likewise also men, leaving the natural use of the woman burned in their lust toward one another. Men with men, doing that which is unseemly and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was fit. And even as they did not want to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind to do those things which were not convenient. And thus being filled with all unrighteousness, and fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of envy and murder, debate, deceit, malignancy, whisperers, back biters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful, who knowing the judgment of God that they that commit such things are worthy of death not only do the same but have pleasure in those that do them.

  • Bible Studies, Chuck Smith

    Posted on October 23rd, 2013

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    Bible Study: Romans 1

    Bible Study: Romans 1

    What a joy it is. To labor for the Lord and to serve the Lord. And that brings us to Romans, chapter one, where Paul said:

    Paul, a servant(a bondservant or bondslave) of Jesus Christ, Paul wrote his letter to the Romans while he was in Corinth at about 60 AD. It was his third visit to Corinth. And in his opening here, he will express to them the desire that he has had, to come to Rome. A long standing desire, but up until this present, the time that he wrote, he was hindered from going. Now when we closed the Book of Acts last week, we found Paul in Rome, at the end of the Book of Acts. That was three years after he wrote this desire that he had to come to Rome. Now he speaks of his desire as having been a long standing desire. We know that it was the will of God that Paul was to go to Rome. Jesus said, “As you have borne witness of Me in Jerusalem, so must you bear witness of Me in Rome”. This desire to go to Rome was a desire that was put upon his heart by the Lord as the Lord said that He would write His desires on the fleshly tablets of our hearts. So God had put upon Paul’s heart that desire to go to Rome, but it was several years before the desire was a fulfillment. Often times God reveals His will in advance, but it takes time for it to be accomplished. Look how long Abraham waited for the promise of God to give him a son through Sarah. And so often times like with Abraham, we get impatient waiting upon God. And we think, well, maybe God needs my help. Maybe God can’t quite do it without me getting involved. As the general rule, we are able to pretty well mess things up when we get involved. And then it takes a little longer for God to unscramble our mess before He can go ahead with His program. So Paul is writing. And so you were three years ahead of this writing last week. Now we are going back three years earlier as Paul was writing to the Romans, expressing his desire to come.