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Biblical Facts from New Testament


#121

What happens next?

Acts ends with Paul serving Christ from within a Roman prison. During this time, he wrote Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, and Philemon. According to the church historian Eusebius, Paul was released, then arrested a second time, and eventually martyred in Rome.


#122

A letter to Rome. Because Romans is Paul’s fullest explanation of his theology, it is easy to forget that Paul wrote it to a particular church in Rome. His letter applies the eternal truth of the gospel to their real-life concerns, but the letter applies today to people all around the globe, from all different kinds of backgrounds, because it is dealing with fundamental truths.


#123

God’s judgment. Global humanity’s rejection of God is the root of all that is wrong with the world. Since Adam and Eve, everyone has responded to God’s love by doing things he hates. Everyone deserves punishment, but God offers forgiveness through Christ (Romans 3:23–24).


#124

What does it mean to be “justified”?

To be justified means to be declared righteous before God. It means that, as the divine judge, God looks on those who are in Jesus and declares them “guilty as charged, but pardoned and accepted.”


#125

Transgression means to disobey a specific com­mand from God. It could refer to a violation of a command in the written law of God (Romans 4:15) or to a verbal command from God, as in the case of Adam (Romans 5:14).


#126

Those who trust in Christ have peace with God (Romans 5:1). God declares them forgiven. They stand securely in God’s grace and salvation rather than his judgment (Romans 5:2, 8–9).


#127

Paul was probably asked, “Does your message about salvation by grace lead people to continue in sin?” He explains what baptism symbolizes in the Christian life: Christ’s defeat of sin’s rule and the gift of new life (Romans 6:1–14). God changes believers so that they can obey him “from the heart” (Romans 6:17).


#128

Even Christians often struggle with sinful desires (Romans 7:7–25), but they can be confident that the Spirit lives within them, helping them to obey God (Romans 8:1–11).


#129

When Christ returns, he will fix everything that is broken and hurting (Romans 8:16–39; see Rev. 21:1–22:5). He will restore creation, including every corner of the globe, to its original beauty and wholeness. God will bring dead believers back to life and make all his children perfect like Christ (Rom. 8:29; 1 Thess. 4:13–18).


#130

Paul’s love for God and his compassion for those who do not know Christ are clear (Romans 9:1–5; 10:1, 14–15). Believers’ experience of God’s grace should motivate them to share the Good News with others all over the world and to pray that they will believe.


#131

A wild olive branch? Farmers don’t usually graft a wild plant onto a cultivated one, but Paul says that is just what God has done in grafting the wild olive branch of the Gentile world onto the cultivated olive tree of his people Israel (Romans 11:11–24). He has done this so that all people everywhere, no matter what earthly family they come from, can become a part of his family.


#132

What does “discern” mean? To discern something means to understand it. For Christians, discernment involves the use of wisdom and the Holy Spirit’s guidance to figure out how to apply biblical principles to the concrete issues of life (Romans 12:2; see also Eph. 5:10).


#133

Should Christians always pay their taxes? Paul says that paying taxes is one way in which Christians show honor to the authorities God has placed over them (Romans 13:1–7). Christians should obey their government unless doing so means disobeying the Lord (Acts 5:29).


#134

Paul had not visited Rome when he wrote this letter, but he sent personal greetings to more than 25 individually named men and women plus households (Romans 16:3–15). He obviously cared deeply for his Christian brothers and sisters and appreciated their work for Christ.


#135

Apollos (1 Cor. 1:12) was a Jew from the city of Alexandria. He was “an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures” (Acts 18:24). At Ephesus, Aquila and Priscilla helped Apollos to better understand the gospel. From Ephesus he traveled on to Corinth, where the church benefited greatly from his teaching (1 Cor. 3:6).


#136

The wisdom of men and the power of God. Mere intellectual persuasion does not save people. Saving faith is produced by the heart-changing power of the Holy Spirit as the gospel is proclaimed (1 Cor. 2:5).


#137

First Corinthians is a pastoral letter to a spiritually troubled church. Paul deeply loved the church at Corinth, but he was distressed by some of the behavior prevalent among its members. He wrote to the Corinthians to address such issues as the relationship between Christians and the surrounding culture, divisions within the church, and matters of personal morality.


#138

What is a “steward”?

A steward (1 Cor. 4:1–2) is someone who serves as an administrator or overseer of something that belongs to someone else. All that we possess ultimately belongs to God. Because of this, everything he has given to us during our time on earth must be managed with great care. This includes our finances, possessions, time, and gifts.


#139

Leaven is fermented or soured dough that is added in small amounts to a larger portion in order to make it rise. In the NT, leaven often symbolizes sin that goes undisciplined or unchecked and thus negatively affects the church as a whole (1 Cor. 5:6–8).


#140

What is a “freedman”?

A released bondservant was officially designated a “freedman” (1 Cor. 7:21–22). Bondservants were often paid and some were able eventually to buy their freedom.