Hey there, I’m Minister Paul Bern, and I just want all my readers to know about my new weekly newsletter. Besides the weekly commentaries and the Biblical study series you’ve been accustomed to, I’m adding a collection of weekly video’s, book of the month specials, tee shirts, and other products coming soon like computers, coffee mugs, classic car calendars, and more! Here’s the link. Click now! https://www.authorrevpauljbern.com/so/6dNV_mUyg?languageTag=en #Newsletter #greatreads #video #op-ed #social-Gospel #faithbased
For my Christmas commentary on the Social Gospel Blog, having finished part 4 of the Christmas story last week, I’m going to delve into the touchy subject of sin against God. https://shoutout.wix.com/so/cdNQ771-S?languageTag=en #sin #God #SocialGospel #therealBible #realChristianity
Alternative nonfiction by Author & Web Pastor Paul J. Bern. You’re spending too much time looking at screens. Try reading a book instead. It’s easier on your eyes! Find out more on my author page at https://www.amazon.com/author/revpauljbern Visit my ministry website at https://www.social-gospel.net/so/efNNcmrVJ
Seven years in the making, this 3-part series on the writings of the apostles Luke & Paul is a lot more than just a compilation of Bible studies. This collection of Luke’s and Paul’s writings presents them from broader perspectives that are much more applicable to modern life than one might expect. Each study is limited to a few pages for the sake of brevity. These studies are done from a whole new 21st century perspective that is sure to educate while making the process enjoyable. Over 1,000 pages of enlightenment! A must-read for believers, whether they attend church or not!
Novels are a dime a dozen. Read something meaningful. Mind expanding nonfiction by Author & Web Pastor Paul J Bern; Books that focus the mind while inspiring the heart; https://www.amazon.com/author/revpauljbern See the video at https://goo.gl/jrjcqj #enlightenment #greatreads https://shoutout.wix.com/so/b8NJBUpQh
We Are More Than Conquerors Through Christ
(Romans 8, verses 29-39)
Last week we discussed Romans chapter 8 up to verse 30. This week, to put things into their proper context, we will start at verses 28-30 from last week’s study to maintain the continuity of what the apostle Paul was trying to communicate with us. The words flow with the living water that embodies the risen Lord as follows:
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined he also called; those he called he also justified; those he justified he also glorified.”
Paul starts out by stating the obvious. “In all things God works for the good of those who love him”. This is something we can count on in this life, the idea of God being perpetually on our side. However, let’s not forget that this is on the condition that we remain faithful to the commandments of Christ (“If you love me, obey my commandments”). Jesus has already committed himself to us 100% by allowing his own crucifixion and death which paid the penalty for all our sins. The penalty he paid on our behalf was the conquest of death, which our Lord also conquered by his resurrection, which gave us access to the same eternal life that our dear Lord Jesus has. After building on this idea in verses 29 and 30 Paul then takes it to its logical conclusion both intellectually and Spiritually starting in verse 31.
“What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all, how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died – more than that, who was raised to life – is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written: ‘For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered’.” (Romans 8:31-36)
“If God is for us, who can be against us?” Since God has already offered up Jesus as a living sacrifice for us all, will He not graciously give us whatever else we ask for? It is a waste of time for any Christian to be worried, threatened or intimidated by anything – anything at all! God is already on our side. Why be fearful when it’s pointless to be so? This is not what God intends for our lives to be like. He wants us to lead lives that are empowered, enriched and filled with Spiritual meaning and significance. Who can bring any charge against such a believer? Who can condemn us if it is God who justifies us? Jesus is interceding for us constantly at the right hand of God. “Who will separate us from the love of Christ?” Can personal trouble or economic hardship separate us from the love of Christ? Can persecution due to social rejection because of our Christianity diminish the love of Christ?
You know, you can never truly be alone when you have Jesus on your side. Can we be separated from the love of God by a lack of food or clothing? Real Christians don’t worry about having enough of life’s essentials, as it is written with the very words of our Lord Jesus, “See the lilies of the field. They neither toil nor spin. And yet I tell you that even King Solomon in all his riches was clothed like one of these”.(Matthew 6, verses 28-29) Won’t God also graciously give us all things when we pray earnestly and sincerely for them as Paul the apostle has written? That’s why worrying is a waste of precious time. Can imminent danger from a weapon separate us from Jesus? No, because no threat can deprive us of God’s love no matter how dangerous it is. As it is written in the book of Psalms 44 and verse 22, “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
Just as Jesus sacrificed himself for each of us, so we all find ourselves chewed up and spit out by the world that surrounds us. When this happens, and it will, we are to count that as a blessing because circumstances that are beyond our control caused us to emulate Christ whether we were consciously doing so or not. How did we emulate him? By allowing ourselves to be targeted by the world and the things thereof, making ourselves vulnerable in the process even as Jesus made himself vulnerable before Pontius Pilate. Paul then finishes this train of thought in the next 3 verses of Scripture. “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8: 37-39)
We are more than conquerors though Jesus Christ because God made us that way. He has predestined us to be more than conquerors because we are called, called us because we have been justified, and subsequently glorified us because we are justified in the eyes of God through Christ Jesus. And how are we justified? Because Jesus is at the right hand of God interceding for us continuously. Remember that old song by Diana Ross and the Supremes, “ain’t no mountain high enough, no valley low enough and no river wide enough to keep me away from you”. I regard this as a healthy way to look at God, and we can be sure that we are His forever, as it is written, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John chapter 10, verses 27-30)
There is nothing in the entire universe that can separate us from God. In fact, death actually unites us with Christ. That’s why the fear of death is eliminated by true belief in God through Jesus Christ. In real Christianity death is a time of transition, not an end of all things as we have known them. In the same way, present circumstances over which we have no control can’t come between us and God, nor can future occurrences that we cannot foresee, because God foresees all things. Neither angels nor demons can come between us and God unless God allows it (see the Book of Job). This is great news because it makes us realize that though we may be completely surrounded by evil, God’s love for us – and Divine protection – remains undiminished. Circumstances such as being in captivity can’t separate us from the love of God either. No matter how isolated we may seem to be, Jesus is right there beside us as He intercedes for us to his Father in heaven. Nothing in all of creation can separate us from the love of God that is ours through Christ Jesus our Lord.
So now you have had a practical lesson in maintaining a positive mental attitude from a Spiritual vantage point. By keeping things in their proper perspective we become empowered to live a life that is predestined to be in harmony with God. We are predestined because we have been “called according to His purpose”. We are therefore justified because we are called, and we are already glorified for the life to come before our present lives are even over. This is really great news for all true believers because we can find favor with God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Never again do we need to worry about the outcome of circumstances beyond our control because God is on our side, and He will always be there for us.
So now we are better equipped than ever before for a life that is justified and glorified before God through Jesus our Lord and Savior. Let’s all start living this empowered and victorious life today so we can enjoy the benefits of being called by God. We truly are more than conquerors because through Jesus we have overcome all the adversity that life has to offer. Jesus died and then rose from the dead just so we can have this kind of a victorious eternal life through Him. And this victorious life can be ours on a continuing basis. All we have to do is to humble ourselves and ask for it. That’s the best news of all. Ask God today for this kind of life. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we have done. He can’t wait to grant your request.
A Prophetic Post From 2014 by an Old Friend About the Times We Are Currently Living In
I greet you all in the name of Christ Jesus, who is the Son of God. Thank you all for your patience with me as I put the finishing touches on my new website. Watch for some announcements on social media when it makes its debut in just days from now! There will be video’s and music as well.
Richard Grzywacz posted in Occupy Corrupt Government
10:16pm Oct 3, 2014
WOULD YOU PLAY A GAME OF MONOPOLY THAT WAS UNFAIR, AND PEOPLE WERE ALLOWED TO CHEAT? Capitalism is the equivalent of asking people to join a game of monopoly that has been going on for decades, and 1 of the 4 players has accumulated 90% of the games wealth.
And someday soon it will end, when everyone else goes bankrupt or when the person that is winning decides not to feed the other players some scraps to keep the game going anymore.
While the game is going, what if the 1 wealthy person showed favoritism to his friends while affording them credit and a larger share of the scraps, in-turn buying their friendship in order to maintain the power and controlling interest of the game?
Oh, and one last thing – you have to start the game $50,000 in debt for tuition fees. But, you’re still not done yet in this hypothetical Monopoly game…..
You know? Because, you see, there are also the real land owners, who think that they can own the land of this world, while inflating the price and conniving others to buy into this insanity! God gave its garden to all of us equally, for free, as it is written, “God blessed them and said to them, ‘Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground‘” …Genesis 1, verse 28)
YOU CAN’T OWN WHAT IS NOT YOURS. You could be the custodian of it, which is the responsibility of all of us. Or, in some cases you may be the Lord’s tenant, but after that it goes back to the people (see Deuteronomy 15, verses 1-11).
Someday all those who enslaved others by forcing this losing game upon God’s people, will pay a high price for their actions. Just as you’re judged on what you do, while you were here. Not what you did or gave away upon dying. AFFIRMED
People have also forgotten the original purpose of money. When the world comes to see money as a way to measure ones work or service to another, and not just as a means of exchange and worth, the cries of the hungry shall be vanquished from our planet.
There should never be a lack of available currency as there never seems to be a shortage of yardsticks, rulers and tape measures, when it comes to measuring distance. And, one day we may find that all the measuring devices are in the possession of the corporations, and there wasn’t anything left for the people anymore.
The Apostle Paul Sets Sail For Rome
Acts chapter 27, verses 1-12,
by Minister Paul J. Bern
Last week as we put the finishing touches on our knowledge of Acts chapter 26 and what it all actually means, we saw the apostle Paul had concluded his testimony to King Agrippa in the presence of governor Festus and various officials and dignitaries of their time. About his testimony Festus had said to Agrippa, “This man could have been set free had he not appealed to Caesar” (see verse 32 of Acts chapter 26). But Paul, who was on a mission from Almighty God, undertook that journey knowing it could be a life-ending decision. But first, he must sail to Rome on a perilous journey by ship, and sailing ships were far more rudimentary than they are today. And so on that point, let’s all go to verse 1 of Acts 27.
“1) When it was decided that we would sail for Italy, Paul and some other prisoners were handed over to a centurion named Julius, who belonged to the Imperial Regiment. 2) We boarded a ship from Adramyttium about to sail for ports along the coast of the province of Asia, and we put out to sea. Aristarchus, a Macedonian from Thessalonica, was with us. 3) The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs. 4) From there we put out to sea again and passed to the lee of Cyprus because the winds were against us. 5) When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6) There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board. 7) We made slow headway for many days and had difficulty arriving off Cnidus. When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. 8) We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.” (Acts 27, verses 1-8)
In verse 2, Adramyttium was originally located at the head of the Gulf of Adramyttium, on the River Caicus in the Plain of Thebe, approximately 4 kilometers west of the modern town of Burhaniye, but later moved 13 kilometers northeast to its current location and became known as Edremit. Also in verse 2, (Acts 20:4) “They are designated “men of Macedonia, Paul’s companions in travel.” We learn later that Aristarchus was a native of Thessalonica (Acts 27: 2). They were probably seized to extract from them information about their leader Paul, but when they could tell nothing, and since they were Greeks, nothing further was done to them. But both men would be executed by the Romans in their not-too-distant futures.
“3) The next day we landed at Sidon; and Julius, in kindness to Paul, allowed him to go to his friends so they might provide for his needs.” Right here in this verse is ample proof that Paul posed no threat whatsoever to his Roman captors. In fact, he readily gained their trust once they realized that Paul’s faith was genuine and authentic. Paul reinforced the trust he had earned when he came back to the ship on schedule. In verse 5, “ 5) When we had sailed across the open sea off the coast of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we landed at Myra in Lycia. 6) There the centurion found an Alexandrian ship sailing for Italy and put us on board.” All these seaports were located along the southern coast of modern-day Turkey.
Verses 7 and 8 further trace the directions of Paul’s Roman captors as they ultimately ended up in the seaport of Fair Havens. By now everyone realizes that traveling long distances in the 1st century AD was difficult even on a good day. On a bad day, trying to sail a boat was a pointless excersize in futility. “When the wind did not allow us to hold our course, we sailed to the lee of Crete, opposite Salmone. We moved along the coast with difficulty and came to a place called Fair Havens, near the town of Lasea.” Fair Havens is on the south side (“leeward”) of the island nation of Crete in the central part of the Mediterranean sea. And now let’s move on to part 2 of this week’s study series.
“9) Much time had been lost, and sailing had already become dangerous because by now it was after the Day of Atonement. So Paul warned them, 10) ‘Men, I can see that our voyage is going to be disastrous and bring great loss to ship and cargo, and to our own lives also.’ 11) But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12) Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on, hoping to reach Phoenix and winter there. This was a harbor in Crete, facing both southwest and northwest.” [Acts 27, verses 9-12]
For any persons who weren’t aware, Paul the apostle and the others with him were all Jews who had been converted to Christianity, so the Day of Atonement had deep meaning and was of major significance for each of them. All except for the Roman guards, who evidently cared nothing about the convictions of Paul, Luke and company. So much so that the ship’s captain and her owner convinced Julius the centurion to set sail ASAP. And, that meant setting sail on the morning of the first day of the Jewish feast of Yom Kippur, just so Julius and his fellow soldiers could show off their sailing skills and their disdain for Christianity, not to mention their total disrespect for our risen Lord and Savior. But this is what happened in verses 9, 10 and 11.
“….But the centurion, instead of listening to what Paul said, followed the advice of the pilot and of the owner of the ship. 12) Since the harbor was unsuitable to winter in, the majority decided that we should sail on….” Can’t stay where they were, but couldn’t leave either? It looks like some additional planning in this case would have been beneficial for everyone concerned. But that was not to be. And so the apostles Paul and Luke, together with Aristarchus of Thessalonica who had been a member of the church at Thessalonica that the apostle Paul had founded, set sail for Rome. Will they make it despite setting sail at an inopportune time from a weather standpoint? At this juncture, there’s no way to tell. But if you will only return next week at this time for the next lesson in this series, everything will become clear to you. So, God willing, I will see you then.