Posted by adventbiblestudy on August 7, 2013
So you think you know Paul’s letters. I’ve talked to a number of people having trouble understanding exactly what Paul is writing about in his letters to the early churches. First of all you have to know something about the back ground of who Paul is writing to. When Jesus sent out His twelve disciples, and later seventy more, little did they know they were building the foundation of the early church. Jesus instructed His disciples to stay in homes, accepting all the hospitality offered. The Holy Spirit worked behind the scenes building good will and bases for Jesus’ disciples to launch ministries when the time was right. Paul’s letters were addressed to these small home based churches to answer questions and problems they were facing, as well as teaching them how to properly conduct the ministry Jesus trusted them with.
I hear a number of methods people use in an attempt to understand a particular scripture. One of them involves looking at a number of translations. I don’t approve of this method based on the fact you are relying on individual interpretations which could be accurate or not. Another method is to consult commentaries. Although commentaries can be great for learning about back ground and locating related texts, this is not the best method to understand a particular subject. Subject commentaries can be tainted by doctrine and tradition. One useful study method for Paul’s letters is the simple introduction, summary method. When you see texts you don’t understand, look at the first and last few verses in the chapter. Also the introduction and summary Paul wrote in his letter. Remember, these are letters with Paul using the same style we often use in letters, which begin with an introduction and end with a summary of the main concepts.
The most useful, easiest, and most accurate method to study and understand Paul’s letter is to look at all the scripture Paul refers to. Whenever you use this method you will find Paul wrote less than one tenth of the information he was conveying to the new home churches. This served two purposes. Paul not only pointed new believers to the source of all the answers they would need, he also showed them how to instruct other believers. Paul knew Jesus wanted all of His disciples to learn how to point people back to scripture and the power of the Holy Spirit. While other study methods draw you away from God’s Word and Spirit, following this simple method Paul recorded lives on, leading people to eternity.
1 Corinthians 4:6 NLTse (6) Dear brothers and sisters, I have used Apollos and myself to illustrate what I’ve been saying. If you pay attention to what I have quoted from the Scriptures, you won’t be proud of one of your leaders at the expense of another.
Romans 1:2-5 NLTse God promised this Good News long ago through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. (3) The Good News is about his Son, Jesus. In his earthly life he was born into King David’s family line, (4) and he was shown to be the Son of God when he was raised from the dead by the power of the Holy Spirit. He is Jesus Christ our Lord. (5) Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority as apostles to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will believe and obey him, bringing glory to his name.
Paul defines the Good News at the very beginning of his letters. The Good News is the scriptures pointing to Jesus, making it know He is the Son of God, the Messiah. Now see how Paul uses scripture to point us to the source of all knowledge.
Romans 1:17 NLTse This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.”
Habakkuk 2:1-4 NLTse I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the LORD says and how he will answer my complaint. (2) Then the LORD said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. (3) This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed. (4) “Look at the proud! They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked. But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.
Romans 1:21-22 NLTse Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn’t worship him as God or even give him thanks. And they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. As a result, their minds became dark and confused. (22) Claiming to be wise, they instead became utter fools.
Jeremiah 8:8-9 NLTse “‘How can you say, “We are wise because we have the word of the LORD,” when your teachers have twisted it by writing lies? (9) These wise teachers will fall into the trap of their own foolishness, for they have rejected the word of the LORD. Are they so wise after all?
Romans 2:24 NLTse No wonder the Scriptures say, “The Gentiles blaspheme the name of God because of you.”
Isaiah 52:4-6 NLTse This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Long ago my people chose to live in Egypt. Now they are oppressed by Assyria. (5) What is this?” asks the LORD. “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long. (6) But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.”
Romans 3:10-12 NLTse As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous– not even one. (11) No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. (12) All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.”
Psalms 14:1-6 NLTse Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good! (2) The LORD looks down from heaven on the entire human race; he looks to see if anyone is truly wise, if anyone seeks God. (3) But no, all have turned away; all have become corrupt. No one does good, not a single one! (4) Will those who do evil never learn? They eat up my people like bread and wouldn’t think of praying to the LORD. (5) Terror will grip them, for God is with those who obey him. (6) The wicked frustrate the plans of the oppressed, but the LORD will protect his people.
Romans 3:13 NLTse “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.”
Psalms 5:7-12 NLTse Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house; I will worship at your Temple with deepest awe. (8) Lead me in the right path, O LORD, or my enemies will conquer me. Make your way plain for me to follow. (9) My enemies cannot speak a truthful word. Their deepest desire is to destroy others. Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with flattery. (10) O God, declare them guilty. Let them be caught in their own traps. Drive them away because of their many sins, for they have rebelled against you. (11) But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them sing joyful praises forever. Spread your protection over them, that all who love your name may be filled with joy. (12) For you bless the godly, O LORD; you surround them with your shield of love.
Romans 3:14 NLTse “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.“
Psalms 10:1-8 NLTse O LORD, why do you stand so far away? Why do you hide when I am in trouble? (2) The wicked arrogantly hunt down the poor. Let them be caught in the evil they plan for others. (3) For they brag about their evil desires; they praise the greedy and curse the LORD. (4) The wicked are too proud to seek God. They seem to think that God is dead. (5) Yet they succeed in everything they do. They do not see your punishment awaiting them. They sneer at all their enemies. (6) They think, “Nothing bad will ever happen to us! We will be free of trouble forever!” (7) Their mouths are full of cursing, lies, and threats. Trouble and evil are on the tips of their tongues. (8) They lurk in ambush in the villages, waiting to murder innocent people. They are always searching for helpless victims.
Romans 3:15-17 NLTse “They rush to commit murder. (16) Destruction and misery always follow them. (17) They don’t know where to find peace.”
Isaiah 59:5-10 NLTse They hatch deadly snakes and weave spiders’ webs. Whoever falls into their webs will die, and there’s danger even in getting near them. (6) Their webs can’t be made into clothing, and nothing they do is productive. All their activity is filled with sin, and violence is their trademark. (7) Their feet run to do evil, and they rush to commit murder. They think only about sinning. Misery and destruction always follow them. (8) They don’t know where to find peace or what it means to be just and good. They have mapped out crooked roads, and no one who follows them knows a moment’s peace. (9) So there is no justice among us, and we know nothing about right living. We look for light but find only darkness. We look for bright skies but walk in gloom. (10) We grope like the blind along a wall, feeling our way like people without eyes. Even at brightest noontime, we stumble as though it were dark. Among the living, we are like the dead.
Proverbs 1:10-16 NLTse My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them! (11) They may say, “Come and join us. Let’s hide and kill someone! Just for fun, let’s ambush the innocent! (12) Let’s swallow them alive, like the grave; let’s swallow them whole, like those who go down to the pit of death. (13) Think of the great things we’ll get! We’ll fill our houses with all the stuff we take. (14) Come, throw in your lot with us; we’ll all share the loot.” (15) My child, don’t go along with them! Stay far away from their paths. (16) They rush to commit evil deeds. They hurry to commit murder.
Romans 3:18 NLTse “They have no fear of God at all.”
Psalms 36:1-4 NLTse Sin whispers to the wicked, deep within their hearts. They have no fear of God at all. (2) In their blind conceit, they cannot see how wicked they really are. (3) Everything they say is crooked and deceitful. They refuse to act wisely or do good. (4) They lie awake at night, hatching sinful plots. Their actions are never good. They make no attempt to turn from evil.
Romans 4:3 NLTse For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.”
Genesis 15:5-7 NLTse Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” (6) And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. (7) Then the LORD told him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
Romans 4:7-8 NLTse “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. (8) Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of sin.”
Psalms 32:1-6 NLTse Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! (2) Yes, what joy for those whose record the LORD has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! (3) When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away, and I groaned all day long. (4) Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. (5) Finally, I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the LORD.” And you forgave me! All my guilt is gone. (6) Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgment.
Romans 4:17 NLTse That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.” This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.
Genesis 17:2-8 NLTse I will make a covenant with you, by which I will guarantee to give you countless descendants.” (3) At this, Abram fell face down on the ground. Then God said to him, (4) “This is my covenant with you: I will make you the father of a multitude of nations! (5) What’s more, I am changing your name. It will no longer be Abram. Instead, you will be called Abraham, for you will be the father of many nations. (6) I will make you extremely fruitful. Your descendants will become many nations, and kings will be among them! (7) “I will confirm my covenant with you and your descendants after you, from generation to generation. This is the everlasting covenant: I will always be your God and the God of your descendants after you. (8) And I will give the entire land of Canaan, where you now live as a foreigner, to you and your descendants. It will be their possession forever, and I will be their God.”
Romans 4:18 NLTse Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping–believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!”
Genesis 15:3-7 NLTse You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” (4) Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” (5) Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” (6) And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith. (7) Then the LORD told him, “I am the LORD who brought you out of Ur of the Chaldeans to give you this land as your possession.”
Romans 8:5-9 NLTse Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. (6) So letting your sinful nature control your mind leads to death. But letting the Spirit control your mind leads to life and peace. (7) For the sinful nature is always hostile to God. It never did obey God’s laws, and it never will. (8) That’s why those who are still under the control of their sinful nature can never please God. (9) But you are not controlled by your sinful nature. You are controlled by the Spirit if you have the Spirit of God living in you. (And remember that those who do not have the Spirit of Christ living in them do not belong to him at all.)
Romans 8:14-17 NLTse For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. (15) So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, “Abba, Father.” (16) For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children. (17) And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
Romans 8:36 NLTse (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.”)
Psalms 44:18-26 NLTse Our hearts have not deserted you. We have not strayed from your path. (19) Yet you have crushed us in the jackal’s desert home. You have covered us with darkness and death. (20) If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread our hands in prayer to foreign gods, (21) God would surely have known it, for he knows the secrets of every heart. (22) But for your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep. (23) Wake up, O Lord! Why do you sleep? Get up! Do not reject us forever. (24) Why do you look the other way? Why do you ignore our suffering and oppression? (25) We collapse in the dust, lying face down in the dirt. (26) Rise up! Help us! Ransom us because of your unfailing love.
Romans 9:9 NLTse For God had promised, “I will return about this time next year, and Sarah will have a son.”
Genesis 17:20-21 NLTse As for Ishmael, I will bless him also, just as you have asked. I will make him extremely fruitful and multiply his descendants. He will become the father of twelve princes, and I will make him a great nation. (21) But my covenant will be confirmed with Isaac, who will be born to you and Sarah about this time next year.”
Romans 9:11-12 NLTse But before they were born, before they had done anything good or bad, she received a message from God. (This message shows that God chooses people according to his own purposes; (12) he calls people, but not according to their good or bad works.) She was told, “Your older son will serve your younger son.”
Genesis 25:22-24 NLTse But the two children struggled with each other in her womb. So she went to ask the LORD about it. “Why is this happening to me?” she asked. (23) And the LORD told her, “The sons in your womb will become two nations. From the very beginning, the two nations will be rivals. One nation will be stronger than the other; and your older son will serve your younger son.” (24) And when the time came to give birth, Rebekah discovered that she did indeed have twins!
Romans 9:13 NLTse In the words of the Scriptures, “I loved Jacob, but I rejected Esau.”
Malachi 1:1-5 NLTse This is the message that the LORD gave to Israel through the prophet Malachi. (2) “I have always loved you,” says the LORD. But you retort, “Really? How have you loved us?” And the LORD replies, “This is how I showed my love for you: I loved your ancestor Jacob, (3) but I rejected his brother, Esau, and devastated his hill country. I turned Esau’s inheritance into a desert for jackals.” (4) Esau’s descendants in Edom may say, “We have been shattered, but we will rebuild the ruins.” But the LORD of Heaven’s Armies replies, “They may try to rebuild, but I will demolish them again. Their country will be known as ‘The Land of Wickedness,’ and their people will be called ‘The People with Whom the LORD Is Forever Angry.’ (5) When you see the destruction for yourselves, you will say, ‘Truly, the LORD’s greatness reaches far beyond Israel’s borders!'”
Romans 9:15 NLTse For God said to Moses, “I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”
Exodus 33:17-23 NLTse The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” (18) Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” (19) The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. (20) But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” (21) The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. (22) As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. (23) Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.”
Romans 9:17 NLTse For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”
Exodus 9:14-18 NLTse If you don’t, I will send more plagues on you and your officials and your people. Then you will know that there is no one like me in all the earth. (15) By now I could have lifted my hand and struck you and your people with a plague to wipe you off the face of the earth. (16) But I have spared you for a purpose–to show you my power and to spread my fame throughout the earth. (17) But you still lord it over my people and refuse to let them go. (18) So tomorrow at this time I will send a hailstorm more devastating than any in all the history of Egypt.
Romans 9:20-21 NLTse No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?” (21) When a potter makes jars out of clay, doesn’t he have a right to use the same lump of clay to make one jar for decoration and another to throw garbage into?
Isaiah 45:8-9 NLTse “Open up, O heavens, and pour out your righteousness. Let the earth open wide so salvation and righteousness can sprout up together. I, the LORD, created them. (9) “What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’
Romans 9:25 NLTse Concerning the Gentiles, God says in the prophecy of Hosea, “Those who were not my people, I will now call my people. And I will love those whom I did not love before.”
Hosea 2:21-23 NLTse “In that day, I will answer,” says the LORD. “I will answer the sky as it pleads for clouds. And the sky will answer the earth with rain. (22) Then the earth will answer the thirsty cries of the grain, the grapevines, and the olive trees. And they in turn will answer, ‘Jezreel’–‘God plants!’ (23) At that time I will plant a crop of Israelites and raise them for myself. I will show love to those I called ‘Not loved.’ And to those I called ‘Not my people,’ I will say, ‘Now you are my people.’ And they will reply, ‘You are our God!'”
Romans 9:26 NLTse And, “Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘children of the living God.‘”
Hosea 1:8-11 NLTse After Gomer had weaned Lo-ruhamah, she again became pregnant and gave birth to a second son. (9) And the LORD said, “Name him Lo-ammi–‘Not my people’–for Israel is not my people, and I am not their God. (10) “Yet the time will come when Israel’s people will be like the sands of the seashore–too many to count! Then, at the place where they were told, ‘You are not my people,’ it will be said, ‘You are children of the living God.‘ (11) Then the people of Judah and Israel will unite together. They will choose one leader for themselves, and they will return from exile together. What a day that will be–the day of Jezreel–when God will again plant his people in his land.
Romans 9:27-28 NLTse And concerning Israel, Isaiah the prophet cried out, “Though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant will be saved. (28) For the LORD will carry out his sentence upon the earth quickly and with finality.”
Isaiah 10:18-23 NLTse The LORD will consume Assyria’s glory like a fire consumes a forest in a fruitful land; it will waste away like sick people in a plague. (19) Of all that glorious forest, only a few trees will survive– so few that a child could count them! (20) In that day the remnant left in Israel, the survivors in the house of Jacob, will no longer depend on allies who seek to destroy them. But they will faithfully trust the LORD, the Holy One of Israel. (21) A remnant will return; yes, the remnant of Jacob will return to the Mighty God. (22) But though the people of Israel are as numerous as the sand of the seashore, only a remnant of them will return. The LORD has rightly decided to destroy his people. (23) Yes, the Lord, the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, has already decided to destroy the entire land.
Romans 9:29 NLTse And Isaiah said the same thing in another place: “If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of our children, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah.”
Isaiah 1:8-19 NLTse Beautiful Jerusalem stands abandoned like a watchman’s shelter in a vineyard, like a lean-to in a cucumber field after the harvest, like a helpless city under siege. (9) If the LORD of Heaven’s Armies had not spared a few of us, we would have been wiped out like Sodom, destroyed like Gomorrah. (10) Listen to the LORD, you leaders of “Sodom.” Listen to the law of our God, people of “Gomorrah.” (11) “What makes you think I want all your sacrifices?” says the LORD. “I am sick of your burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fattened cattle. I get no pleasure from the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. (12) When you come to worship me, who asked you to parade through my courts with all your ceremony? (13) Stop bringing me your meaningless gifts; the incense of your offerings disgusts me! As for your celebrations of the new moon and the Sabbath and your special days for fasting– they are all sinful and false. I want no more of your pious meetings. (14) I hate your new moon celebrations and your annual festivals. They are a burden to me. I cannot stand them! (15) When you lift up your hands in prayer, I will not look. Though you offer many prayers, I will not listen, for your hands are covered with the blood of innocent victims. (16) Wash yourselves and be clean! Get your sins out of my sight. Give up your evil ways. (17) Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows. (18) “Come now, let’s settle this,” says the LORD. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool. (19) If you will only obey me, you will have plenty to eat.
Romans 9:33 NLTse God warned them of this in the Scriptures when he said, “I am placing a stone in Jerusalem that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”
Isaiah 8:11-17 NLTse The LORD has given me a strong warning not to think like everyone else does. He said, (12) “Don’t call everything a conspiracy, like they do, and don’t live in dread of what frightens them. (13) Make the LORD of Heaven’s Armies holy in your life. He is the one you should fear. He is the one who should make you tremble. (14) He will keep you safe. But to Israel and Judah he will be a stone that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. And for the people of Jerusalem he will be a trap and a snare. (15) Many will stumble and fall, never to rise again. They will be snared and captured.” (16) Preserve the teaching of God; entrust his instructions to those who follow me. (17) I will wait for the LORD, who has turned away from the descendants of Jacob. I will put my hope in him.
Isaiah 28:15-18 NLTse You boast, “We have struck a bargain to cheat death and have made a deal to dodge the grave. The coming destruction can never touch us, for we have built a strong refuge made of lies and deception.” (16) Therefore, this is what the Sovereign LORD says: “Look! I am placing a foundation stone in Jerusalem, a firm and tested stone. It is a precious cornerstone that is safe to build on. Whoever believes need never be shaken. (17) I will test you with the measuring line of justice and the plumb line of righteousness. Since your refuge is made of lies, a hailstorm will knock it down. Since it is made of deception, a flood will sweep it away. (18) I will cancel the bargain you made to cheat death, and I will overturn your deal to dodge the grave. When the terrible enemy sweeps through, you will be trampled into the ground.
Romans 10:6-10 NLTse But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven‘ (to bring Christ down to earth). (7) And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” (8) In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” And that message is the very message about faith that we preach: (9) If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (10) For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved.
Deuteronomy 30:11-16 NLTse (11) “This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. (12) It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ (13) It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ (14) No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it. (15) “Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between life and death, between prosperity and disaster. (16) For I command you this day to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, decrees, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you and the land you are about to enter and occupy.
Romans 10:11-12 NLTse As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” (12) Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him.
Isaiah 49:22-23 NLTse This is what the Sovereign LORD says: “See, I will give a signal to the godless nations. They will carry your little sons back to you in their arms; they will bring your daughters on their shoulders. (23) Kings and queens will serve you and care for all your needs. They will bow to the earth before you and lick the dust from your feet. Then you will know that I am the LORD. Those who trust in me will never be put to shame.“
Romans 10:13-14 NLTse For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” (14) But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them?
Joel 2:29-32 NLTse In those days I will pour out my Spirit even on servants–men and women alike. (30) And I will cause wonders in the heavens and on the earth– blood and fire and columns of smoke. (31) The sun will become dark, and the moon will turn blood red before that great and terrible day of the LORD arrives. (32) But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved, for some on Mount Zion in Jerusalem will escape, just as the LORD has said. These will be among the survivors whom the LORD has called.
Romans 10:15 NLTse And how will anyone go and tell them without being sent? That is why the Scriptures say, “How beautiful are the feet of messengers who bring good news!”
Isaiah 52:5-8 NLTse What is this?” asks the LORD. “Why are my people enslaved again? Those who rule them shout in exultation. My name is blasphemed all day long. (6) But I will reveal my name to my people, and they will come to know its power. Then at last they will recognize that I am the one who speaks to them.” (7) How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of the messenger who brings good news, the good news of peace and salvation, the news that the God of Israel reigns! (8) The watchmen shout and sing with joy, for before their very eyes they see the LORD returning to Jerusalem.
Romans 10:16-17 NLTse But not everyone welcomes the Good News, for Isaiah the prophet said, “LORD, who has believed our message?” (17) So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.
Isaiah 53:1-5 NLTse Who has believed our message? To whom has the LORD revealed his powerful arm? (2) My servant grew up in the LORD’s presence like a tender green shoot, like a root in dry ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him. (3) He was despised and rejected– a man of sorrows, acquainted with deepest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way. He was despised, and we did not care. (4) Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God, a punishment for his own sins! (5) But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.
Romans 10:17-18 NLTse So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. (18) But I ask, have the people of Israel actually heard the message? Yes, they have: “The message has gone throughout the earth, and the words to all the world.”
Psalms 22:26-28 NLTse The poor will eat and be satisfied. All who seek the LORD will praise him. Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy. (27) The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him. All the families of the nations will bow down before him. (28) For royal power belongs to the LORD. He rules all the nations.
Romans 10:19 NLTse But I ask, did the people of Israel really understand? Yes, they did, for even in the time of Moses, God said, “I will rouse your jealousy through people who are not even a nation. I will provoke your anger through the foolish Gentiles.”
Deuteronomy 32:19-22 NLTse (19) “The LORD saw this and drew back, provoked to anger by his own sons and daughters. (20) He said, ‘I will abandon them; then see what becomes of them. For they are a twisted generation, children without integrity. (21) They have roused my jealousy by worshiping things that are not God; they have provoked my anger with their useless idols. Now I will rouse their jealousy through people who are not even a people; I will provoke their anger through the foolish Gentiles. (22) For my anger blazes forth like fire and burns to the depths of the grave. It devours the earth and all its crops and ignites the foundations of the mountains.
Romans 10:20 NLTse And later Isaiah spoke boldly for God, saying, “I was found by people who were not looking for me. I showed myself to those who were not asking for me.”
Isaiah 65:1-3 NLTse The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. (2) All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. (3) All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens. They burn incense on pagan altars.
Romans 10:21 NLTse But regarding Israel, God said, “All day long I opened my arms to them, but they were disobedient and rebellious.”
Isaiah 65:1-6 NLTse The LORD says, “I was ready to respond, but no one asked for help. I was ready to be found, but no one was looking for me. I said, ‘Here I am, here I am!’ to a nation that did not call on my name. (2) All day long I opened my arms to a rebellious people. But they follow their own evil paths and their own crooked schemes. (3) All day long they insult me to my face by worshiping idols in their sacred gardens. They burn incense on pagan altars. (4) At night they go out among the graves, worshiping the dead. They eat the flesh of pigs and make stews with other forbidden foods. (5) Yet they say to each other, ‘Don’t come too close or you will defile me! I am holier than you!’ These people are a stench in my nostrils, an acrid smell that never goes away. (6) “Look, my decree is written out in front of me: I will not stand silent; I will repay them in full! Yes, I will repay them–
Romans 11:2-3 NLTse No, God has not rejected his own people, whom he chose from the very beginning. Do you realize what the Scriptures say about this? Elijah the prophet complained to God about the people of Israel and said, (3) “LORD, they have killed your prophets and torn down your altars. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”
1 Kings 19:9-12 NLTse There he came to a cave, where he spent the night. But the LORD said to him, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” (10) Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (11) “Go out and stand before me on the mountain,” the LORD told him. And as Elijah stood there, the LORD passed by, and a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. (12) And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper.
Romans 11:4 NLTse And do you remember God’s reply? He said, “No, I have 7,000 others who have never bowed down to Baal!”
1 Kings 19:15-18 NLTse Then the LORD told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram. (16) Then anoint Jehu son of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet. (17) Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha! (18) Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”
Romans 11:8 NLTse As the Scriptures say, “God has put them into a deep sleep. To this day he has shut their eyes so they do not see, and closed their ears so they do not hear.”
Isaiah 29:8-13 NLTse A hungry person dreams of eating but wakes up still hungry. A thirsty person dreams of drinking but is still faint from thirst when morning comes. So it will be with your enemies, with those who attack Mount Zion.” (9) Are you amazed and incredulous? Don’t you believe it? Then go ahead and be blind. You are stupid, but not from wine! You stagger, but not from liquor! (10) For the LORD has poured out on you a spirit of deep sleep. He has closed the eyes of your prophets and visionaries. (11) All the future events in this vision are like a sealed book to them. When you give it to those who can read, they will say, “We can’t read it because it is sealed.” (12) When you give it to those who cannot read, they will say, “We don’t know how to read.” (13) And so the Lord says, “These people say they are mine. They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
Romans 11:9-10 NLTse Likewise, David said, “Let their bountiful table become a snare, a trap that makes them think all is well. Let their blessings cause them to stumble, and let them get what they deserve. (10) Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and let their backs be bent forever.”
Psalms 69:21-29 NLTse But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. (22) Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. (23) Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually. (24) Pour out your fury on them; consume them with your burning anger. (25) Let their homes become desolate and their tents be deserted. (26) To the one you have punished, they add insult to injury; they add to the pain of those you have hurt. (27) Pile their sins up high, and don’t let them go free. (28) Erase their names from the Book of Life; don’t let them be counted among the righteous. (29) I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power.
Romans 11:26-27 NLTse And so all Israel will be saved. As the Scriptures say, “The one who rescues will come from Jerusalem, and he will turn Israel away from ungodliness. (27) And this is my covenant with them, that I will take away their sins.”
Isaiah 59:20-21 NLTse “The Redeemer will come to Jerusalem to buy back those in Israel who have turned from their sins,” says the LORD. (21) “And this is my covenant with them,” says the LORD. “My Spirit will not leave them, and neither will these words I have given you. They will be on your lips and on the lips of your children and your children’s children forever. I, the LORD, have spoken!
Romans 12:19 NLTse Dear friends, never take revenge. Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say, “I will take revenge; I will pay them back,” says the LORD.
Deuteronomy 32:34-37 NLTse (34) “The LORD says, ‘Am I not storing up these things, sealing them away in my treasury? (35) I will take revenge; I will pay them back. In due time their feet will slip. Their day of disaster will arrive, and their destiny will overtake them.’ (36) “Indeed, the LORD will give justice to his people, and he will change his mind about his servants, when he sees their strength is gone and no one is left, slave or free. (37) Then he will ask, ‘Where are their gods, the rocks they fled to for refuge?
Romans 12:20-21 NLTse Instead, “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals of shame on their heads.” (21) Don’t let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.
Proverbs 25:21-22 NLTse (21) If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat. If they are thirsty, give them water to drink. (22) You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads, and the LORD will reward you.
Romans 13:9-11 NLTse For the commandments say, “You must not commit adultery. You must not murder. You must not steal. You must not covet.” These–and other such commandments–are summed up in this one commandment: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (10) Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law. (11) This is all the more urgent, for you know how late it is; time is running out. Wake up, for our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed.
Exodus 20:12-20 NLTse “Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you. (13) “You must not murder. (14) “You must not commit adultery. (15) “You must not steal. (16) “You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. (17) “You must not covet your neighbor’s house. You must not covet your neighbor’s wife, male or female servant, ox or donkey, or anything else that belongs to your neighbor.” (18) When the people heard the thunder and the loud blast of the ram’s horn, and when they saw the flashes of lightning and the smoke billowing from the mountain, they stood at a distance, trembling with fear. (19) And they said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen. But don’t let God speak directly to us, or we will die!” (20) “Don’t be afraid,” Moses answered them, “for God has come in this way to test you, and so that your fear of him will keep you from sinning!”
Romans 14:11-13 NLTse For the Scriptures say, “‘As surely as I live,’ says the LORD, ‘every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess and give praise to God.'” (12) Yes, each of us will give a personal account to God. (13) So let’s stop condemning each other. Decide instead to live in such a way that you will not cause another believer to stumble and fall.
Isaiah 45:22-25 NLTse Let all the world look to me for salvation! For I am God; there is no other. (23) I have sworn by my own name; I have spoken the truth, and I will never go back on my word: Every knee will bend to me, and every tongue will confess allegiance to me.” (24) The people will declare, “The LORD is the source of all my righteousness and strength.” And all who were angry with him will come to him and be ashamed. (25) In the LORD all the generations of Israel will be justified, and in him they will boast.
Romans 15:3-4 NLTse For even Christ didn’t live to please himself. As the Scriptures say, “The insults of those who insult you, O God, have fallen on me.” (4) Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Psalms 69:19-23 NLTse You know of my shame, scorn, and disgrace. You see all that my enemies are doing. (20) Their insults have broken my heart, and I am in despair. If only one person would show some pity; if only one would turn and comfort me. (21) But instead, they give me poison for food; they offer me sour wine for my thirst. (22) Let the bountiful table set before them become a snare and their prosperity become a trap. (23) Let their eyes go blind so they cannot see, and make their bodies shake continually.
Romans 15:4 NLTse Such things were written in the Scriptures long ago to teach us. And the Scriptures give us hope and encouragement as we wait patiently for God’s promises to be fulfilled.
Romans 15:9 NLTse He also came so that the Gentiles might give glory to God for his mercies to them. That is what the psalmist meant when he wrote: “For this, I will praise you among the Gentiles; I will sing praises to your name.”
Psalms 18:47-50 NLTse He is the God who pays back those who harm me; he subdues the nations under me (48) and rescues me from my enemies. You hold me safe beyond the reach of my enemies; you save me from violent opponents. (49) For this, O LORD, I will praise you among the nations; I will sing praises to your name. (50) You give great victories to your king; you show unfailing love to your anointed, to David and all his descendants forever.
Romans 15:10 NLTse And in another place it is written, “Rejoice with his people, you Gentiles.”
Isaiah 42:8-12 NLTse “I am the LORD; that is my name! I will not give my glory to anyone else, nor share my praise with carved idols. (9) Everything I prophesied has come true, and now I will prophesy again. I will tell you the future before it happens.” (10) Sing a new song to the LORD! Sing his praises from the ends of the earth! Sing, all you who sail the seas, all you who live in distant coastlands. (11) Join in the chorus, you desert towns; let the villages of Kedar rejoice! Let the people of Sela sing for joy; shout praises from the mountaintops! (12) Let the whole world glorify the LORD; let it sing his praise.
Romans 15:11 NLTse And yet again, “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles. Praise him, all you people of the earth.”
Psalms 117:1-2 NLTse Praise the LORD, all you nations. Praise him, all you people of the earth. (2) For he loves us with unfailing love; the LORD’s faithfulness endures forever. Praise the LORD!
Romans 15:12 NLTse And in another place Isaiah said, “The heir to David’s throne will come, and he will rule over the Gentiles. They will place their hope on him.”
Isaiah 11:9-11 NLTse Nothing will hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain, for as the waters fill the sea, so the earth will be filled with people who know the LORD. (10) In that day the heir to David’s throne will be a banner of salvation to all the world. The nations will rally to him, and the land where he lives will be a glorious place. (11) In that day the Lord will reach out his hand a second time to bring back the remnant of his people– those who remain in Assyria and northern Egypt; in southern Egypt, Ethiopia, and Elam; in Babylonia, Hamath, and all the distant coastlands.
Romans 15:20-21 NLTse My ambition has always been to preach the Good News where the name of Christ has never been heard, rather than where a church has already been started by someone else. (21) I have been following the plan spoken of in the Scriptures, where it says, “Those who have never been told about him will see, and those who have never heard of him will understand.”
Isaiah 52:13-15 NLTse See, my servant will prosper; he will be highly exalted. (14) But many were amazed when they saw him. His face was so disfigured he seemed hardly human, and from his appearance, one would scarcely know he was a man. (15) And he will startle many nations. Kings will stand speechless in his presence. For they will see what they had not been told; they will understand what they had not heard about.
Romans 16:26-27 NLTse But now as the prophets foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him. (27) All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.
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