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1.11: Summary


You have begun one of the most important activities in science, the writing of mathematical models. The best models are sufficiently detailed in their description that dynamic equations describing the progress of the underlying system can be written and lead to solution equations that describe the overall behavior. The solution equation explicitly expressed the relation of (Q) to (v).

In some cases, such as the case of cricket chirp frequency dependence on ambient temperature in Example 1.10.1, the underlying mechanism is too complex to model it. The observation, however, stimulates considerable thought about why it should be. Presumably the metabolism of the cricket increases with temperature thus causing an increase in chirp frequency, but the phrase, ‘metabolism of the cricket’, masks a large complexity.

We have generally followed certain steps in developing our models. They are useful steps but by no means do they capture the way to model the biological universe. The modeling process is varied and has to be adapted to the questions at hand.

By the methods of this chapter you can solve every first order linear finite difference equation with constant coefficients:

[y_{0} ext{ given }, quad y_{t+1} − y_{t} = r y_{t} + b label{1.34}]

The solution is

[y_{t}=-frac{b}{r}+left(y_{0}+frac{b}{r} ight)(r+1)^{t} quad ext { if } quad r eq 0, quad ext { or } quad y_{t}=y_{0}+t b quad ext { if } quad r=0]

Exercises for Chapter 1, Mathematical Models of Biological Processes.

Chapter Exercise 1.11.1 Two kilos of a fish poison, rotenone, are mixed into a lake which has a volume of (100 imes 20 imes 2 = 4000) cubic meters. No water flows into or out of the lake. Fifteen percent of the rotenone decomposes each day.

  1. Write a mathematical model that describes the daily change in the amount of rotenone in the lake.
  2. Let (R_{0}, P_{1}, R_{2}, cdots) denote the amounts of rotenone in the lake, (P_t) being the amount of poison in the lake at the beginning of the (t^{th}) day after the rotenone is administered. Write a dynamic equation representative of the mathematical model.
  3. What is (R_0)? Compute (R_1) from your dynamic equation. Compute (R_2 )from your dynamic equation.
  4. Find a solution equation for your dynamic equation.

Note: Rotenone is extracted from the roots of tropical plants and in addition to its use in killing fish populations is used as a insecticide on such plants as tomatoes, pears, apples, roses, and African violets. Studies in which large amounts (2 to 3 mg/Kg body weight) of rotenone were injected into the jugular veins of laboratory rats produced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, including the reduction of dopamine producing cells in the brain. (Benoit I. Giasson & Virginia M.-Y. Lee, A new link between pesticides and Parkinson’s disease, Nature Neuroscience 3, 1227 - 1228 (2000)).

Chapter Exercise 1.11.2 Two kilos of a fish poison that does not decompose are mixed into a lake that has a volume of (100 imes 20 imes 2 = 4000) cubic meters. A stream of clean water flows into the lake at a rate of 1000 cubic meters per day. Assume that it mixes immediately throughout the whole lake. Another stream flows out of the lake at a rate of 1000 cubic meters per day.

  1. Write a mathematical model that describes the daily change in the amount of poison in the lake.
  2. Let (P_{0}, P_{1}, P_{2}, cdots) denote the amounts of poison in the lake, (P_t) being the amount of poison in the lake at the beginning of the (t^{th}) day after the poison is administered. Write a dynamic equation representative of the mathematical model.
  3. What is (P_0)? Compute (P_1) from your dynamic equation. Compute (P_2) from your dynamic equation.
  4. Find a solution equation for your dynamic equation.

Chapter Exercise 1.11.3 Two kilos of rotenone are mixed into a lake which has a volume of (100 imes 20 imes 2 = 4000) cubic meters. Another stream flows out of the lake at a rate of 1000 cubic meters per day. Fifteen percent of the rotenone decomposes every day.

  1. Write a mathematical model that describes the daily change in the amount of rotenone in the lake.
  2. Let (R_{0}, R_{1}, R_{2}, cdots) denote the amounts of rotenone in the lake, (R_t) being the amount of rotenone in the lake at the beginning of the (t^{th}) day after the poison is administered. Compute (R_2) from your dynamic equation.
  3. Find a solution equation for your dynamic equation.

Chapter Exercise 1.11.4 Consider a chemical reaction

[A+B longrightarrow A B]

in which a chemical, A, combines with a chemical, B, to form the compound, AB. Assume that the amount of B greatly exceeds the amount of A, and that in any second, the amount of AB that is formed is proportional to the amount of A present at the beginning of the second. Write a dynamic equation for this reaction, and write a solution equation to the dynamic equation.

Chapter Exercise 1.11.5 An egg is covered by a hen and is at 37(^{circ})C. The hen leaves the nest and the egg is exposed to 17(^{circ})C air. After 20 minutes the egg is at 34(^{circ})C. Draw a graph representative of the temperature of the egg (t) minutes after the hen leaves the nest.

Mathematical Model. During any short time interval while the egg is uncovered, the decrease in egg temperature is proportional to the difference between the egg temperature and the air temperature.

  1. Introduce notation and write a dynamic equation representative of the mathematical model.
  2. Write a solution equation for your dynamic equation.
  3. Your dynamic equation should have one parameter. Use the data of the problem to estimate the parameter.

Chapter Exercise 1.11.6 The length of an burr oak leaf was measured on successive days in May. The data are shown in Table 1.5. Select an appropriate equation to approximate the data and compute the coefficients of your equation. Do you have a mathematical model of leaf growth?

Chapter Exercise 1.11.7 Atmospheric pressure decreases with increasing altitude. Derive a dynamic equation from the following mathematical model, solve the dynamic equation, and use the data to evaluate the parameters of the solution equation.

Table 1.5: Length of a burr oak leaf.
DayMay 7May 8May 9May 10May 11
Length (mm)67758598113

Mathematical Model 1.11.1 Mathematical Model of Atmospheric Pressure. Consider a vertical column of air based at sea level divided at intervals of 10 meters and assume that the temperature of the air within the column is constant, say 20(^{circ})C. The pressure at any height is the weight of air in the column above that height divided by the cross sectional area of the column. In a 10-meter section of the column, by the ideal gas law the the mass of air within the section is proportional to the product of the volume of the section and the pressure within the section (which may be considered constant and equal to the pressure at the bottom of the section). The weight of the air above the lower height is the weight of air in the section plus the weight of air above the upper height.

Sea-level atmospheric pressure is 1 atm and the pressure at 18,000 feet is one-half that at sea level (an easy to remember datum from NASA).

Figure for Exercise 1.11.7 Figure for Exercise 1.11.7.


17 CFR § 1.11 - Risk Management Program for futures commission merchants.

(a) Applicability. Nothing in this section shall apply to a futures commission merchant that does not accept any money, securities, or property (or extend credit in lieu thereof) to margin, guarantee, or secure any trades or contracts that result from soliciting or accepting orders for the purchase or sale of any commodity interest.

(b) Definitions. For purposes of this section:

(1) Business unit means any department, division, group, or personnel of a futures commission merchant or any of its affiliates, whether or not identified as such that:

(i) Engages in soliciting or in accepting orders for the purchase or sale of any commodity interest and that, in or in connection with such solicitation or acceptance of orders, accepts any money, securities, or property (or extends credit in lieu thereof) to margin, guarantee, or secure any trades or contracts that result or may result therefrom or

(ii) Otherwise handles segregated funds, including managing, investing, and overseeing the custody of segregated funds, or any documentation in connection therewith, other than for risk management purposes and

(iii) Any personnel exercising direct supervisory authority of the performance of the activities described in paragraph (b)(1)(i) or (ii) of this section.

(2) Customer means a futures customer as defined in § 1.3, Cleared Swaps Customer as defined in § 22.1 of this chapter, and 30.7 customer as defined in § 30.1 of this chapter.

(3) Governing body means the proprietor, if the futures commission merchant is a sole proprietorship a general partner, if the futures commission merchant is a partnership the board of directors if the futures commission merchant is a corporation the chief executive officer, the chief financial officer, the manager, the managing member, or those members vested with the management authority if the futures commission merchant is a limited liability company or limited liability partnership.

(4) Segregated funds means money, securities, or other property held by a futures commission merchant in separate accounts pursuant to § 1.20 for futures customers, pursuant to § 22.2 of this chapter for Cleared Swaps Customers, and pursuant to § 30.7 of this chapter for 30.7 customers.

(5) Senior management means, any officer or officers specifically granted the authority and responsibility to fulfill the requirements of senior management by the governing body.

(c) Risk Management Program.

(1) Each futures commission merchant shall establish, maintain, and enforce a system of risk management policies and procedures designed to monitor and manage the risks associated with the activities of the futures commission merchant as such. For purposes of this section, such policies and procedures shall be referred to collectively as a “Risk Management Program.”

(2) Each futures commission merchant shall maintain written policies and procedures that describe the Risk Management Program of the futures commission merchant.

(3) The Risk Management Program and the written risk management policies and procedures, and any material changes thereto, shall be approved in writing by the governing body of the futures commission merchant.

(4) Each futures commission merchant shall furnish a copy of its written risk management policies and procedures to the Commission and its designated self-regulatory organization upon application for registration and thereafter upon request.

(d) Risk management unit. As part of the Risk Management Program, each futures commission merchant shall establish and maintain a risk management unit with sufficient authority qualified personnel and financial, operational, and other resources to carry out the risk management program established pursuant to this section. The risk management unit shall report directly to senior management and shall be independent from the business unit.

(e) Elements of the Risk Management Program. The Risk Management Program of each futures commission merchant shall include, at a minimum, the following elements:

(1) Identification of risks and risk tolerance limits.

(i) The Risk Management Program shall take into account market, credit, liquidity, foreign currency, legal, operational, settlement, segregation, technological, capital, and any other applicable risks together with a description of the risk tolerance limits set by the futures commission merchant and the underlying methodology in the written policies and procedures. The risk tolerance limits shall be reviewed and approved quarterly by senior management and annually by the governing body. Exceptions to risk tolerance limits shall be subject to written policies and procedures.

(ii) The Risk Management Program shall take into account risks posed by affiliates, all lines of business of the futures commission merchant, and all other trading activity engaged in by the futures commission merchant. The Risk Management Program shall be integrated into risk management at the consolidated entity level.

(iii) The Risk Management Program shall include policies and procedures for detecting breaches of risk tolerance limits set by the futures commission merchant, and alerting supervisors within the risk management unit and senior management, as appropriate.

(2) Periodic Risk Exposure Reports.

(i) The risk management unit of each futures commission merchant shall provide to senior management and to its governing body quarterly written reports setting forth all applicable risk exposures of the futures commission merchant any recommended or completed changes to the Risk Management Program the recommended time frame for implementing recommended changes and the status of any incomplete implementation of previously recommended changes to the Risk Management Program. For purposes of this section, such reports shall be referred to as “Risk Exposure Reports.” The Risk Exposure Reports also shall be provided to the senior management and the governing body immediately upon detection of any material change in the risk exposure of the futures commission merchant.

(ii) Furnishing to the Commission. Each futures commission merchant shall furnish copies of its Risk Exposure Reports to the Commission within five (5) business days of providing such reports to its senior management.

(3) Specific risk management considerations. The Risk Management Program of each futures commission merchant shall include, but not be limited to, policies and procedures necessary to monitor and manage the following risks:

(i) Segregation risk. The written policies and procedures shall be reasonably designed to ensure that segregated funds are separately accounted for and segregated or secured as belonging to customers as required by the Act and Commission regulations and must, at a minimum, include or address the following:

(A) A process for the evaluation of depositories of segregated funds, including, at a minimum, documented criteria that any depository that will hold segregated funds, including an entity affiliated with the futures commission merchant, must meet, including criteria addressing the depository's capitalization, creditworthiness, operational reliability, and access to liquidity. The criteria should further consider the extent to which segregated funds are concentrated with any depository or group of depositories. The criteria also should include the availability of deposit insurance and the extent of the regulation and supervision of the depository

(B) A program to monitor an approved depository on an ongoing basis to assess its continued satisfaction of the futures commission merchant's established criteria, including a thorough due diligence review of each depository at least annually

(C) An account opening process for depositories, including documented authorization requirements, procedures that ensure that segregated funds are not deposited with a depository prior to the futures commission merchant receiving the acknowledgment letter required from such depository pursuant to §§ 1.20, and 22.2 and 30.7 of this chapter, and procedures that ensure that such account is properly titled to reflect that it is holding segregated funds pursuant to the Act and Commission regulations

(D) A process for establishing a targeted amount of residual interest that the futures commission merchant seeks to maintain as its residual interest in the segregated funds accounts and such process must be designed to reasonably ensure that the futures commission merchant maintains the targeted residual amounts and remains in compliance with the segregated funds requirements at all times. The policies and procedures must require that senior management, in establishing the total amount of the targeted residual interest in the segregated funds accounts, perform appropriate due diligence and consider various factors, as applicable, relating to the nature of the futures commission merchant's business including, but not limited to, the composition of the futures commission merchant's customer base, the general creditworthiness of the customer base, the general trading activity of the customers, the types of markets and products traded by the customers, the proprietary trading of the futures commission merchant, the general volatility and liquidity of the markets and products traded by customers, the futures commission merchant's own liquidity and capital needs, and the historical trends in customer segregated fund balances, including undermargined amounts and net deficit balances in customers' accounts. The analysis and calculation of the targeted amount of the future commission merchant's residual interest must be described in writing with the specificity necessary to allow the Commission and the futures commission merchant's designated self-regulatory organization to duplicate the analysis and calculation and test the assumptions made by the futures commission merchant. The adequacy of the targeted residual interest and the process for establishing the targeted residual interest must be reassessed periodically by Senior Management and revised as necessary

(E) A process for the withdrawal of cash, securities, or other property from accounts holding segregated funds, where the withdrawal is not for the purpose of payments to or on behalf of the futures commission merchant's customers. Such policies and procedures must satisfy the requirements of § 1.23, § 22.17 of this chapter, or § 30.7 of this chapter, as applicable

(F) A process for assessing the appropriateness of specific investments of segregated funds in permitted investments in accordance with § 1.25. Such policies and procedures must take into consideration the market, credit, counterparty, operational, and liquidity risks associated with such investments, and assess whether such investments comply with the requirements in § 1.25 including that the futures commission merchant manage the permitted investments consistent with the objectives of preserving principal and maintaining liquidity

(G) Procedures requiring the appropriate separation of duties among individuals responsible for compliance with the Act and Commission regulations relating to the protection and financial reporting of segregated funds, including the separation of duties among personnel that are responsible for advising customers on trading activities, approving or overseeing cash receipts and disbursements (including investment operations), and recording and reporting financial transactions. The policies and procedures must require that any movement of funds to affiliated companies and parties are properly approved and documented

(H) A process for the timely recording of all transactions, including transactions impacting customers' accounts, in the firm's books of record

(I) A program for conducting annual training of all finance, treasury, operations, regulatory, compliance, settlement, and other relevant officers and employees regarding the segregation requirements for segregated funds required by the Act and regulations, the requirements for notices under § 1.12, procedures for reporting suspected breaches of the policies and procedures required by this section to the chief compliance officer, without fear of retaliation, and the consequences of failing to comply with the segregation requirements of the Act and regulations and

(J) Policies and procedures for assessing the liquidity, marketability and mark-to-market valuation of all securities or other non-cash assets held as segregated funds, including permitted investments under § 1.25, to ensure that all non-cash assets held in the customer segregated accounts, both customer-owned securities and investments in accordance with § 1.25, are readily marketable and highly liquid. Such policies and procedures must require daily measurement of liquidity needs with respect to customers assessment of procedures to liquidate all non-cash collateral in a timely manner and without significant effect on price and application of appropriate collateral haircuts that accurately reflect market and credit risk.

(ii) Operational risk. The Risk Management Program shall include automated financial risk management controls reasonably designed to prevent the placing of erroneous orders, including those that exceed pre-set capital, credit, or volume thresholds. The Risk Management Program shall ensure that the use of automated trading programs is subject to policies and procedures governing the use, supervision, maintenance, testing, and inspection of such programs.

(iii) Capital risk. The written policies and procedures shall be reasonably designed to ensure that the futures commission merchant has sufficient capital to be in compliance with the Act and the regulations, and sufficient capital and liquidity to meet the reasonably foreseeable needs of the futures commission merchant.

(4) Supervision of the Risk Management Program. The Risk Management Program shall include a supervisory system that is reasonably designed to ensure that the policies and procedures required by this section are diligently followed.

(1) The Risk Management Program of each futures commission merchant shall be reviewed and tested on at least an annual basis, or upon any material change in the business of the futures commission merchant that is reasonably likely to alter the risk profile of the futures commission merchant.

(2) The annual reviews of the Risk Management Program shall include an analysis of adherence to, and the effectiveness of, the risk management policies and procedures, and any recommendations for modifications to the Risk Management Program. The annual testing shall be performed by qualified internal audit staff that are independent of the business unit, or by a qualified third party audit service reporting to staff that are independent of the business unit. The results of the annual review of the Risk Management Program shall be promptly reported to and reviewed by the chief compliance officer, senior management, and governing body of the futures commission merchant.

(3) Each futures commission merchant shall document all internal and external reviews and testing of its Risk Management Program and written risk management policies and procedures including the date of the review or test the results any deficiencies identified the corrective action taken and the date that corrective action was taken. Such documentation shall be provided to Commission staff, upon request.

(g) Distribution of risk management policies and procedures. The Risk Management Program shall include procedures for the timely distribution of its written risk management policies and procedures to relevant supervisory personnel. Each futures commission merchant shall maintain records of the persons to whom the risk management policies and procedures were distributed and when they were distributed.

(1) Each futures commission merchant shall maintain copies of all written approvals required by this section.

(2) All records or reports, including, but not limited to, the written policies and procedures and any changes thereto that a futures commission merchant is required to maintain pursuant to this regulation shall be maintained in accordance with § 1.31 and shall be made available promptly upon request to representatives of the Commission.


Middlemarch Summary and Analysis of Chapters 1-11

The novel begins in the upper-class Brooke household in Tipton, inhabited by Mr. Brooke and his two nieces, Dorothea and Celia. Dorothea and her sister Celia are well-connected, sensible girls from a good family they believe in economy of dress and are rather mainstream in their beliefs and behavior. Dorothea is drawn to sacrifice and grand, intellectual things, while Celia has fewer aspirations in the world of academics and religion. Their uncle, Mr. Brooke, is careful with his money, and rather Puritan in his disposition, which Dorothea is also.

Two suitors, Sir Chettam and Mr. Casaubon, make visits to the house Sir Chettam likes Dorothea, but Dorothea believes he is more inclined toward her sister. Celia has more sense than her sister, but Dorothea is very steadfast in her Puritan ways.

Middlemarch is supposed to be a microcosm for semi-rural England in the early 19th century the novel takes place in the years around 1830. The novel is more focused on upper- and middle-class people than on anyone of lower financial and social status most of these people are not at all representative of the average Briton of the period in terms of income, lifestyle, etc. However, appropriate gender roles are represented and commented upon in the novel, and even in the first chapter Celia is more representative of the proper woman in this time period, with Dorothea embodying many less desirable qualities.

Dorothea, Celia, and Mr. Brooke do not represent the average family either with Mr. Brooke being so averse to women, it is a mystery how Dorothea and Celia were brought up, and by whom. Though it was not uncharacteristic in this period for women to die in childbirth and leave children behind, Dorothea and Celia are in a very interesting situation. Orphaned children with competent relations would likely be left to a married female relative, or to another mother-like figure. Mr. Brooke must have hired governesses and other women to raise the girls, because he certainly could not have handled them himself, nor would it seem socially proper.

Through the comparison of Celia and Dorothea in this chapter, Eliot conveys what were and were not considered suitable qualities for women during this time period. Dorothea is a woman with strong opinions, who is more interested in the world of faith and intellect than in reality these qualities are considered strange and undesirable, according to Eliot, and are impediments toward her getting married. Socially, in Eliot's world and in the world of this novel, a silent, self-sacrificing, weak-willed woman was still ideal, though Eliot's high regard of Dorothea and her eccentricities is a criticism of this ideal model.

Celia is clearly more suited to the time period in which she lives, able to be herself and have her own opinions without appearing out of place. But, then the question arises‹should Dorothea become more suited to her society, or should society have to learn to accept different kinds of women? This is one theme in the novel that is very pertinent to Dorothea's life. It is true that Dorothea has a lot to learn, since she lives more in her mind than in the world she inhabits but though she is mistaken in some of her appraisals of life, doesn't necessarily mean that she needs correction in everything.

At the same time, Dorothea herself has rather outmoded views on marriage, as is made clear by Eliot's tone. The statement that Dorothea wants to marry "great men whose odd habits it would have been glorious piety to endure," exposes Dorothea's outmoded views on marriage, and her particularly interesting personality. Husbands aren't supposed to be some kind of religious trial, and one shouldn't marry in order to seek martyrdom for putting up with their eccentricities Eliot makes it clear that Dorothea is indeed mistaken, and has much to learn, though her rebuke is soft and conveys no dislike of Dorothea as a character.

Sir James and Casaubon are over for supper, with Sir James trying to appeal to Dorothea, while Dorothea begins to admire Casaubon. Dorothea hopes that Sir James will try to appeal to her sister Celia, rather than to herself, and Dorothea continues her perverse fascination with Casaubon.

Casaubon is the very creature that Dorothea should avoid turning into he lives completely in his mind, with very little knowledge of the world in which he lives, so it is ironic that Dorothea favors him since these are the very qualities that endanger her good sense. And it is also ironic that Dorothea is so quick to slight the man who listens to her plans for the public good, and seeks to cater to the things she loves to do. That Dorothea tries her best to run from the things that would do her the most good shows a kind of perverseness inherent in her nature, that may do her a bit of harm.

Mr. Brooke holds very unkind views of females, and has no reservations about expressing his somewhat socially acceptable, though incorrect views, before his two nieces. Mr. Brooke represents an older way of thought, that is dying out, but still present he is of past generations, who firmly believed women to be flighty and irresponsible, and hardly able to do work of merit. Mr. Brooke is very vocal on the theme of gender expectations, and airs many views typically held in his day. In contrast with Mr. Brooke is Sir James, who believes that Dorothea has valuable things to say, and has no compunctions about recognizing the merits of Dorothea's plans.

Another irony is that Dorothea bristles when Mr. Brooke belittles her capabilities, while she herself believes that she can be no more than an assistant to another man's work. Dorothea, too, adopts older, incorrect views about women, views that will do her no good if she really means to make a difference in the world, which she desperately wants to do. There is a great contradiction in Dorothea on one hand, she totally underestimates her intellect and her ability to be her own guide, and on the other hand, she trusts herself with making workable plans to benefit a great number of people. That Dorothea doesn't trust herself intellectually, yet values her ability to create solutions, is a character issue that needs to be resolved in the course of the book.

Sir James represents progress in society's ideas about women he is of the opposite opinion of Mr. Brooke, giving some regard to women's ideas and good sense. Though Sir James has not totally given up on established ideas of men's dominance, he is far more permissive of a woman's individuality, as shown by his acceptance Dorothea as a potential wife. Sir James, in this respect, embodies the theme of progress that is seen throughout the novel, in social, technological, and ideological areas.

Dorothea continues to admire Casaubon, especially admiring his vast studies and knowledge. She understands that Casaubon has some regard for her, and feels honored, despite Casaubon's complete inability to show emotion. She is blind to the fact that he wants to marry her to fulfill his needs, and is taking advantage of her naivete in this decision. Casaubon actually tries to show consideration for her in the things he chooses to speak to her about, and in the way he regards her. Still, Dorothea's refusal to see Casaubon as anything other than a beacon of knowledge and good, and Sir James as an annoyance who is useful for carrying out her plans, shows how her stubbornness blinds her in judging people's characters, and in making important decisions as well.

Dorothea's allusion to the "affable archangel" of Paradise Lost, in explaining her feelings about Casaubon, shows a divide between what Dorothea believes to be true, and what is actually so. Dorothea takes Casaubon's pedantic and patronizing qualities to be generosity with his learning she views everything he says and does through the lens of her good favor, disregarding anything that would give her an unappealing impression of the man. Dorothea certainly means well, but her misappraisal of Causabon's character reinforces the necessity of careful consideration, of thinking about things from all angles, rather than just from an optimistic one. Dorothea is blind to the truth about Casaubon because she chooses to be, and this trait is more foolish than good-natured.

That Dorothea wrests herself away from the things she loves most‹riding horses, planning public improvements‹illuminates a certain perversion inherent in her nature. It is not a contradiction that she will be happy living with, and its existence, and the way that this flaw keeps her from being happy, foreshadows a necessary self-examination on Dorothea's part. She will need to decide whether to continue with her habits of self-denial and sacrifice, at the detriment of her happiness and greatest desires.

Eliot may not be in favor of Dorothea and Sir James marrying, but she does interject a bit of her own social commentary, stating that Sir James might be well-served by following Dorothea's plans, as other men would benefit from the ideas of strong women. This highlights a particular paradox in Victorian era society although men are acknowledged as head of their households and leaders outside the home, it is "feminine direction" which creates men from children, and often guides their spouses. Women are not acknowledged as leaders, and they do lead and Eliot professes a belief that more female leadership would do even more good.

Sir James has acted on Dorothea's plan, and made new, more pleasant cottages for his poor tenants Dorothea is still determined not to think highly of him, though Celia is rather fond of Sir James. Dorothea admits to her sister that she does not like Sir James, although he plainly likes her Celia cannot believe that Dorothea could so easily dismiss a man who loves her. When Dorothea gets back, her uncle tells her that he went to visit Casaubon, and Casaubon inquired about marrying Dorothea. Mr. Brooke is against it, because of Casaubon's tendency to mope about and live in books but, when Dorothea says that she would accept Casaubon over Sir Chettam, Mr. Brooke speaks diplomatically, while laying out before her the realities of marriage. Though Dorothea listens, she does not seem to absorb all the important things he says. Mr. Brooke has brought back a letter of proposal to Dorothea, and she is determined to accept.

Celia, who has remained in the background up until this point, is finally revealed as a very sensible, perceptive girl she makes the most accurate appraisal of Dorothea's character so far, telling her sister that "you always see what nobody else seesŠyet you never see what is quite plain" (36). Also, Dorothea prefers to blame people around her when their words or actions make her see, on some unconscious level, that she is wrong Celia knows about Dorothea's faults, though Dorothea refuses to realize them herself. The theme of hiding in knowledge is introduced, as Dorothea, almost instinctively, turns to books and the library after she realizes that she is acting unfairly toward Sir James. Knowledge is indeed a noble pursuit, but plunging into it to save one's self from confronting reality is definitely unhealthy, and is a habit that Dorothea will need overcome.

Here, Dorothea is confronted with the issue of expectations vs. reality for the first time. Her uncle cautions her on what to expect and what not to expect for marriage although she says she has some idea of what to expect if she marries Casaubon, in reality she has no idea what it will be like. Dorothea presumes to know more than any sheltered girl of 18 ever could know but at least she takes Mr. Brooke's advice with some weight. Still, the emphasis on Mr. Brooke's warnings, and Dorothea's attention to those warnings, foreshadow that there is some truth in what Mr. Brooke says. Dorothea indeed will have to face the difference between what she expects from marriage, and what she is going to get.

Dorothea reads Casaubon's letter, and is touched by it she immediately writes out an acceptance, taking the letter to mean that he feels the same about her as she does about him. Celia has no idea what has happened until Casaubon joins them all for dinner, and she, at least, knows that her sister has made a serious mistake, and perhaps can be swayed from it. Dorothea, however, is convinced that she has made the right choice Casaubon expresses happiness at their engagement, and Dorothea completely overlooks his lack of passion.

Casaubon's letter is a perfect expose of his stoic, remote character he refers to his material "need" in wanting her as a wife, and mentions her "fitness to supply that need" (43). But, what Dorothea fails to notice is that he states his feelings as being "sincere devotion," far short of the infatuation/ love with which she regards him. Dorothea sees the letter as a confirmation of Casaubon and her won mutual feelings what she does not see in the letter is its stark confession that he needs her help and companionship, without the troubles of passion and an equal union. Dorothea loves Casaubon for his learning and his mind but her vitality and her passion, the two things that energize and support her, will receive no nourishment from Casaubon's cold, emotionless self. She mistakes his practical proposal for a confession of "loving [her]," another instance where her naivete and her blindness to the truth deceive her. Dorothea's shows of passion overwhelm Casaubon, and also betray his feelings that Dorothea owes him something in this union not once does he ask himself whether he is good enough for her, and this foreshadows a rocky start to their marriage.

Eliot says as much concerning the union-to-be Eliot draws special attention to Casaubon's frigid rhetoric, which, although it is sincere in its intent, again conveys how emotionless Casaubon really is. Dorothea's inability to see what is before her plainly is a theme that becomes important with this union. As Eliot notes, "Dorothea's faith supplied all that Mr. Casaubon's words seemed to leave unsaid" Dorothea, for better or for worse, is a "believer," and nothing that Casaubon says or does can truly be unpalatable to her in this blind state.

Eliot makes Dorothea's flaws and oversights very clear, but does not chastise her for them Eliot seems to hope that Dorothea will find her own way, letting the characters flow through the work, rather than bending them artificially to the author's own desires. Eliot has much in common with Austen, as regards the tone, purpose, treatment of characters, and criticisms of society in their novels Eliot, like Austen, is able to display human follies and shortcomings, show where their respective societies fall short, and are able to criticize without being disparaging, keeping a rather objective tone throughout their works.

Mrs. Cadwallader is finally introduced, a shrewd, somewhat manipulative, and meddling woman whom Mr. Brooke has little affection for. Mrs. Casaubon and Mr. Brooke talk politics for a little while, which Mr. Brooke does not want to do finally, Celia tells Mrs. Cadwallader that Dorothea is going to marry Casaubon, which displeases Mrs. Cadwallader, a great advocate for Sir James, greatly. Sir James finds out, and is greatly displeased but Mrs. Cadwallader tells him that Celia admires him greatly, and won't give him as much trouble. Mrs. Cadwallader is the archetype of the country woman, with her narrow interests, her meddling ways, and her great concern in anything involving people she knows. Sir James is able to conquer his disappointment, and realizes that courting Celia is what he should begin to do.

At last, something of Middlemarch life and politics becomes clear. In such a rural area, everyone seems to know everyone, and also knows everyone else's business as well. It is the kind of place where people show a great amount of concern for one another, although gossip takes precedence over privacy. Politically, Middlemarch is a narrow-minded place since liberals are the minority, they are looked down upon, and there seem to be great rivalries between people of different parties.

Mrs. Cadwallader is a symbol of how this country life works, with everything out in the open, and the outside world not daring to interfere she believes in the privileges of good birth and class, and takes great interest in the marriages and relationships of those she knows, even going so far as trying to play matchmaker between Sir James and Dorothea.

However, even she is not to be underestimated she can sense Dorothea's reasons for marrying Casaubon, and knows how the marriages will go even before it begins. Appearances can be deceiving, even in Middlemarch sometimes a woman who seems as clueless as Mrs. Cadwallader has the benefit of perceptiveness on her side, and the good judgment to understand people and their hidden motivations.

Pride is another theme running through the course of the book it is what keeps Dorothea from realizing and admitting she is wrong, stops Casaubon from asking himself whether his upcoming marriage will benefit Dorothea, and smothers Sir James' disappointment in a new surge of hope for his marriage prospects. As Eliot says, pride can be a good thing in a sensible, even-tempered person like Sir James, pride does not deceive him, and can be a rather beneficial thing. But pride also works in harmful ways, and has certainly doomed Dorothea and Casaubon's marriage even before it has begun.

Casaubon has exhausted his meager reserves of passion already, and looks forward to married life, which he expects will be more pleasant and fulfilled. Not once does he stop and consider his duties for Dorothea, showing himself to be an unsuitable partner who will be hard-pressed to make her happy. Dorothea is eager to begin learning, out of her own desire to be able to understand and know things. Mr. Brooke cautions Casaubon that Dorothea, as a woman, might not be capable of such learning Dorothea resents such talk, and tries to ignore it.

Dorothea begins to show an inkling of her real desires, beginning with her desire to know Latin and Greek not because it would help her husband, but because it will help her become a more well-learned person. Dorothea and Casaubon are foils in the way they treat their relationship Dorothea believes it is her duty mostly to give, and is swayed by her emotion and passion. Casaubon feels little passion, and expects to receive without giving he believes he is owed every comfort in his endless pursuit of knowledge, and thinks of Dorothea as an instrument, rather than as a person. He enjoys her being ignorant, though she does not he wants dominance in the relationship, and she expects the relationship to be something resembling an exchange, with knowledge and enlightenment as the pay for her pains. Dorothea and Casaubon have nothing in common except their regard for learning because of this, their marriage will certainly be very trying for both of them, and probably will not be a pleasant experience for either.

Mr. Brooke again shows himself to be a symbol of the old ways of thinking about gender roles and society. His speech about women not being suited to real learning, and needing to be limited to the arts and other light pursuits was widely believed during this time period although he seems to trust his nieces' good judgment, he still airs his ultra-traditional beliefs about women and their capabilities at every turn. Dorothea is infected by these ideas, with her beliefs about self-sacrifice of women and her possible inability to learn like men do but, deep down she does not believe in them, as she first demonstrates with her distaste for her uncle's assertion that women should be involved in light, artistic pursuits.

Sir James, in spite of Dorothea's engagement, begins to like visiting the Grange, her home, once again he is stung by her rejection, and cannot understand her attraction to Casaubon at all. He goes to speak to Mr. Cadwallader, a great friend, to clear his mind about this issue. Sir James cannot help his great pride, but at least he is very civil to Dorothea, and does not let his distaste for her marriage interfere with his plans to make the cottages she proposed.

Sir James compares Dorothea, after her unexplainable rejection, to Desdemona the allusion is not quite fitting, since Casaubon has none of the passion for his future wife that Othello showed for his. However, it is likely that this comparison will prove more apt than it appears for, with the inequality of the match, it is certain that Dorothea will be greatly wronged at one point or another by her cold, loveless mate, as Desdemona was by hers.

Sir James does prove to be a good fellow, despite his pride like many people who know about Dorothea and Casaubon's match, he is greatly concerned, and hopes to bring the girl to her senses. And this desire on his part is due more to his regard for her well-being than his pain at being jilted Sir James proves himself to be a decent and kind-hearted man, and a good friend to Dorothea's who is certainly worthy of respect and good regard.

Dorothea gets her new home, Lowick, ready for her impending residence there. The house is rather big, but not particularly cheery in fact, it rather resembles Casaubon in its looks. Dorothea, however, finds it agreeable, as she finds Casaubon also but, chances are, she will soon find that she is mistaken, as the newness and novelty of this entire situation wears off. Celia herself dislikes anything that Dorothea accepts, and as such, dislikes Lowick and Casaubon equally.

Casaubon introduces the party to Will Ladislaw, his cousin he dislikes Dorothea immediately, because of the way she speaks poorly of herself before others, and because she is marrying his sour, humorless cousin. Will is young, rather handsome, and an artist as well he seems much better suited to Dorothea, though a better match than Casaubon is certainly not hard to find. Ladislaw is without occupation, so Casaubon is, reluctantly, providing for him but Casaubon and his cousin seem not to get along at all.

Obvious parallels between Casaubon and his house become clear, and the parallels are bad omens for Dorothea's marriage. The house is stern, melancholy-looking, and rather plain and uninviting, qualities which Casaubon also possesses any chance of the house, or Casaubon, becoming more cheery and friendly depend upon Dorothea, though the challenge is great and will probably be too difficult to achieve. The dour look of the house, combined with unanimous displeasure in the area about the marriage, and Casaubon's ungenerous, cold demeanor mean doom for the marriage, even before it starts too many events, judgments, and signs have foreshadowed a bad end for the marriage, and taken together, they cannot be denied.

Dorothea seems to be overcompensating for her youth and "ignorance" by insisting on being the obedient, weak-willed wife, though these qualities are not in her nature. In comparison, Celia does seem a bit trivial in some of her judgments and dislikes, but Celia and Dorothea are girls not even out of their teens at least Celia acts like the girl she is, while her sister belies her own nature with her attempts to be as agreeable as possible to Casaubon.

Ladislaw certainly seems like an interesting character he immediately senses the falseness of Dorothea's profession of ignorance, and figures that she and his cousin must be ill-suited, or else she is a very disagreeable person. Ladislaw is young, and seems rash, like Dorothea can be he is also a person of strong opinions, with a great deal of pride. Indeed, Dorothea and Ladislaw seem to have more in common even at this brief meeting than she and Casaubon ever could he does become more important later in the work, and some kind of conflict between Ladislaw and Casaubon is foreshadowed by their mutual dislike, and Casaubon's distaste for providing for Ladislaw, and for his non-academic temperament.

Ladislaw leaves suddenly for Europe he has a view of life and work completely opposed to Casaubon's, and is much more impulsive and full of passion than his dull cousin. Casaubon, to his credit, does try to be more joyful about his marriage, and to understand his young bride better but, he is fundamentally unsuited to this relationship, and cannot make himself more amenable to it. They decide to go to Rome on their honeymoon, a decision partially motivated by Casaubon's single-minded pursuit of information, to the detriment of his fragile relationship with Dorothea.

Casaubon and Dorothea attend a local dinner party, where many of the prominent citizens of the town are discussing their displeasure at Casaubon and Dorothea's marriage, and the arrival of the new doctor, Lydgate. Many of the townspeople prove completely pedestrian in their opinions, liking decorative, weak-willed women, and disapproving of any experimentation, especially relating to medicine. These are people who like routine and tradition, and will be hard-pressed to accept any progress or any outsiders in their community.

Eliot again proves herself an objective narrator, bringing to light Casaubon's good traits and explanations for his less desirable ones Casaubon is definitely not as bad as he seems to be, and does deserve some sympathy for his shortcomings. Casaubon is a very lonely man, whose hopes of feeling happier and less lonely upon marrying are dashed his high expectations of finally giving up bachelorhood prove false, and Casaubon does struggle to try and draw more emotion out of himself.

Dorothea, to her credit, is also misled‹by society's requirement that women derive their fulfillment from men, and do not seek to achieve on their own. Dorothea believes that she will gain the knowledge and the purpose she needs from Casaubon because he is a man of learning, and if he cannot give her this, no one can Dorothea is too young to see that society is often wrong, and that she has to gain her purpose and drive from within. Metaphorically, she wants the lamp of knowledge, but thinks she needs to seek the lamp's oil elsewhere, as Eliot puts it Dorothea does not see the fault in this metaphor, that she can only get this oil from herself.

The townspeople, as seen at the dinner party, are definitely a mixed bag they do have an overly harsh opinion of Casaubon, but on the other hand, are perfectly correct in their appraisal of the marriage's prospects. They are unfriendly to the coming of progress, which could be a very negative characteristic and their tendency to be wary of outsiders is also unfair. The people of Middlemarch, like the many characters in the book, have both positive and negative qualities they are human, and hence they are flawed, but as Eliot points out, we should not be quick to condemn them for things they cannot control.

Lydgate, the new doctor, is already enamoured of Rosamond Vincy, the mayor's daughter. She is attractive and affable, but he is not economically set for marriage yet. Lydgate believes that women should be quiet, obedient, and beautiful he is not looking for a partner, but rather an adornment, for a wife. Rosamond seems determined to escape from the tangled web of Middlemarch marriages, in which case Lydgate seems suited to her. Rosamond's brother, Fred Vincy, is an aimless young man who failed to get his degree at college, and seems to do very little besides hang about the house and bother his sister.

Lydgate embodies many of the misconceptions that men have about women, and believes that the qualities that would be considered shortcomings in men are well-suited for women. Like Mr. Brooke, he believes women should not be knowledgeable, opinionated, or make decisions he wants a woman who is pleasant, shallow, pretty, and vain. Rosamond Vincy is exactly this, a woman who delights in fripperies, and embodies all of the useless qualities that society of the time prized in women. Rosamond Vincy represents the "ideal" Victorian woman, with all her foibles and failings, and Eliot uses her to criticize this ideal, and show how little service it does to women and men alike.

Rosamond is also the embodiment of the social-climbing snob as well she cannot bear to think that her mother was the daughter of a simple innkeeper, or that her father's family is merely middle-class. Rosamond has no idea of the value of money, nor does she have any conception of how little such things as class matter in the scheme of things. Lydgate, too, is one of this kind he too would like to deny his origins, and pretend that he is better or higher class than he actually is.


Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Verse Romans 1:11 . Some spiritual gift &mdash This probably means some of the extraordinary gifts of the Holy Spirit, which, being given to them, might tend greatly to establish their faith in the Gospel of Christ and it is very likely that such gifts were only conferred by means of apostles and as the apostle had not yet been at Rome, consequently the Roman Christians had not yet received any of these miraculous gifts, and thus they differed widely from all the other Churches which had been raised by the apostle's ministry.

Bridgeway Bible Commentary


1:1-17 PAUL INTRODUCES HIMSELF

AND HIS SUBJECT

In keeping with the practice of the time, Paul introduces himself at the beginning of his letter. He is a servant and apostle of God, called to preach the gospel. This gospel, or good news, was promised in the Old Testament writings and became a reality through Jesus Christ. As to his humanity, Jesus was a descendant of David, but as to his deity, he is the Son of God, a fact shown clearly and powerfully by his resurrection (1:1-4). This Jesus is the one who gave to Paul the task of taking the gospel to people of all nations, which is one reason why he now writes to the people in Rome (5-7).
Churches everywhere know about the faith of the Roman Christians (8). Not only does Paul pray for them but he wants to visit them, so that both he and they might be strengthened as they profit from each other’s spiritual gifts (9-12). Until now he has not been able to visit them, even though he has often wanted to. His duty is to preach the gospel to people of all nations and cultures, and that makes him all the more eager to visit Rome (13-15).
Paul then gives a summary of the subject that he will expound in the following chapters. He wants his readers to have the same confidence in the gospel as he has, for the gospel is humankind’s only hope. People, because of their sin, are weak and unable to save themselves, but God in his power can save them from sin and accept them as righteous in his sight. Through the gospel God can put people right with himself and still be righteous in doing so. But though this salvation is available to all, it is effective only in the lives of those who believe. Only by faith, and never by works, can sinners receive the status of righteousness that God in his grace gives (16-17).

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may, be established that is, that I with you may be comforted in you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine.

Here is revealed the reason why Paul wanted to go to Rome, namely, that he might establish the church there. In a sense, it had already been established there for many years, at least to the extent of its having been able to exist but Paul saw the advantages that would accrue to the world-wide church by the building up, encouragement, and perhaps better organization of Christians in Rome. Significantly, the church there had no elders and deacons, else they would presumably have been mentioned in the salutation, as in Philippians 1:1 . The particular spiritual gift Paul had in mind was not mentioned, and it is pointless to speculate but one sure conclusion that seems justified from this verse is that no apostle had ever been in Rome at the time this letter was sent otherwise, the intended spiritual gift would already have been conveyed.

Romans 1:12 was written from considerations of tact. Paul, not wishing to appear as high and mighty above the band of believers in Rome, did not speak merely of his conferring some benefit upon them, but also of the mutual benefit in which he himself would also share. The use of the words "that is" indicates that Paul, after writing the preceding words, sought to soften their impact by mention of the blessing he himself would receive from them. The delicacy, understanding, and humility of this great Christian apostle stand out conspicuously in this warm, personal passage.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

For I long to see you - I earnestly desire to see you compare Romans 15:23 , Romans 15:32 .

That I may impart - That I may “give,” or communicate to you.

Some spiritual gift - Some have understood this as referring to “miraculous gifts,” which it was supposed the apostles had the power of conferring on others. But this interpretation is forced and unnatural. There is no instance where this expression denotes the power of working miracles. Besides, the apostle in the next verse explains his meaning, “That I may be comforted together by the mutual faith,” etc. From this it appears that he desired to be among them to exercise the office of the ministry, to establish them in the gospel and to confirm their hopes. He expected that the preaching of the gospel would be the means of confirming them in the faith and he desired to be the means of doing it. It was a wish of benevolence, and accords with what he says respecting his intended visit in Romans 15:29 , “And I am sure that when I come, I shall come in the fullness of the blessing of the gospel of Christ.” To make known to them more fully the blessings of the gospel, and thus to impart spiritual gifts, was the design he had in view.

To the end . - With the design, or purpose.

Ye may be established - That is, that they might be “confirmed” in the truths of the gospel. This was one design of the ministry, that Christians may be established, or strengthened, Ephesians 4:13 . It is not to have dominion ever their faith, but to be “helpers of their joy,” 2 Corinthians 1:24 . Paul did not doubt that this part of his office might be fulfilled among the Romans, and he was desirous there also of making full proof of his ministry. His wish was to preach not simply where he must, but where he might. This is the nature of this work.

Living By Faith: Commentary on Romans & 1st Corinthians

1:11-12: For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established 12 that is, that I with you may be comforted in you, each of us by the other&rsquos faith, both yours and mine.

One purpose for visiting the Roman brethren involved imparting a &ldquospiritual gift.&rdquo It has been suggested that this is a reference to 1 Corinthians 12:8-11 , a passage where miraculous gifts are mentioned. For information on the miraculous gifts the first Christians had, see the commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 . These supernatural gifts confirmed the teaching and preaching were true and from God ( Mark 16:20 Hebrews 2:2 Hebrews 2:4 ). The apostles gave these abilities to other Christians ( Acts 8:18 ). Since Paul was an apostle, it has been suggested he wanted to visit Rome so miraculous gifts could be given to the Romans.

Although this explanation is plausible, the context suggests a different interpretation. Verse 12 describes how Paul&rsquos presence would have helped &ldquocomfort&rdquo the Christians at Rome. This term (sumparakaleo) is found only here in the New Testament. Since it &ldquois in the passive voice, it could be translated &lsquothat I may receive comfort (or strength together with you)&rsquo&rdquo (CBL, GED, 6:162). May it never be said new or immature Christians have nothing to offer. They do. Another important term is found in verse 11 (&ldquoestablished&rdquo). This word (sterizo) is used in other passages to describe a general strengthening of congregations (see how it is used in Romans 16:25 1 Thessalonians 3:2 2 Thessalonians 3:3 ). In light of this information, the gift (notice that this term is singular) may simply describe fellowship and friendship. If Paul came to Rome, he and the Roman Christians would have strengthened each other. Though this gift would not have been tangible, it certainly would have been beneficial. In some ways it would have been superior to any miraculous gift. Another point which argues against the giving of miraculous gifts is Romans 12:6 , a passage that describes prophets. This may indicate the Christians in Rome already had spiritual gifts.

Paul was a spiritual giant, and the Christians at Rome were not. Though these Christians needed a lot of help, Paul believed he and the Roman Christians could assist each other. Paul expressed his desire to see these Christians with the word &ldquolong&rdquo (epipotheo). This word, which is in the present tense, shows Paul continually longed to see them. Paul had other longings (see how this same word is used in 2 Corinthians 5:2 Philippians 1:8 1 Thessalonians 3:6 2 Timothy 1:4 ). With the exception of 2 Corinthians 5:2 , each of these passages refers &ldquoto congregations and congregational leaders&rdquo (Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament, 2:33).

Calvin's Commentary on the Bible

11. For I greatly desire to see you He might, indeed, while absent, have confirmed their faith by his doctrine but as advice is better taken from one present, he had a desire to be with them. But he explains what his object was, and shows that he wished to undertake the toil of a journey, not for his own, but for their advantage. — Spiritual gifts (34) he calls those which he possessed, being either those of doctrine, or of exhortation, or of prophesy which he knew had come to him through God’s favor. He has here strikingly pointed out the use of gifts by the word, imparting: for different gifts are distributed to each individual, that all may in kindness mutually assist one another, and transfer to others what each one possesses. See Romans 12:3

To confirm you, etc. He modifies what he had said of imparting, lest he should seem to regard them such as were yet to be instructed in the first elements of religion, as though they were not hitherto rightly taught in Christ. He then says, that he wished so to lend his aid to them, that they who had for the most part made a proficiency, might be further assisted: for a confirmation is what we all want, until Christ be fully formed in us. ( Ephesians 4:13 .)

(34) The words, τι χάρισμα πνευματικὸν , some spiritual gift, or benefit, seem to be of general import. Some, such as [ Chalmers ] and [ Haldane ], have supposed that a miraculous power is intended, which the Apostles alone conveyed, such as the power of speaking with tongues: but most Commentators agree in the view here given. The phrase is not found in any other place : χάρισμα , in the plural number, is used to designate miraculous powers. 1 Corinthians 12:9 and τὰ πνευματικά mean the same, 1 Corinthians 14:1 . But here, no doubt, the expression includes any gift or benefit, whether miraculous or ordinary, which the Apostle might have been made the means of conveying. — Ed.

Chuck Smith Bible Commentary

This time let us turn in our Bibles to Romans, chapter 1. Paul opens his epistle to the Romans declaring:

Paul, a bond slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God ( Romans 1:1 ).

Twenty-five years before Paul wrote this epistle to the Romans he was on the road to Damascus to imprison the Christians there. When suddenly about noon there came a light brighter than the mid-day sun and there the Lord said, "Saul, Saul why persecute thou me?" And he answered and said, "Who art thou Lord, that I might serve thee?" Now twenty-five years later Paul writes, "Paul, a servant or a bond slave, of Jesus Christ."

Writing to the Philippian church concerning that same conversion experience he said, "Those things which were gain to me I counted loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ for whom I suffered the loss of all things and do count them but refuse that I may know Him" ( 1 Corinthians 3:7-8 ). What I am seeking to point out is that the commitment that Paul had made twenty-five years earlier was still being honored.

There are a lot of people who talk about past experiences, but the past experiences have not been translated into the present relationship, and thus, past experiences become null and void unless they are translated into present relationships. Those things which were gain to me I counted loss, twenty-five years ago. "Yea doubtless I do count them," you see, it is still going on. So past experience is only valid as it is translated into my present walk and relationship. Twenty-five years ago, "Who art thou, Lord, that I may serve thee?" Now twenty-five years later, "Paul a servant of Jesus Christ."

We just finished the book of Acts, and to help place the book of Romans, the writing of the book of Romans, into the study that we just had in Acts, if you will remember when Paul was in Ephesus and Demetrius the silversmith created a big ruckus and they brought all the people of the city into the arena and they were chanting, "Great is Diana the Ephesus," and so forth. How that at that point Paul said, "Well, I am going to go to Macedonia and to Corinth and I am going to go to Jerusalem and I must also see Rome." There Paul expressed his desire as he left Ephesus going over to Macedonia and then to Corinth, ultimately going on to Rome, "I must also see Rome." When he got to Corinth, before going back to Jerusalem, it was from Corinth that Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome. That will help you place it historically in the book of Acts. He wrote the letter to the church in Rome from Corinth. As he got ready to leave Corinth to go back to Jerusalem, he found out that there was an assassination, a plot against him. They were going to throw him overboard, and so instead of taking the ship from Corinth, he went back north to Macedonia, crossed over to Troas, and then made his way around the coast catching ships back to Jerusalem. He gave up his hopes of being there for Passover and intended to be there for the Feast of Pentecost. In Jerusalem he was arrested, taken to Caesarea, held in prison for two years. He appealed unto Caesar and now, of course, in the book of Acts he was finally going to Rome. This was written some two years, a little more than two years before Paul was able to go to Rome, and he is going to express his desire to come to Rome and the purpose for which he desired to go there.

"Paul, a bond slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle." The Bible tells us that we should make our calling and election sure. Paul said, "I was called to be an apostle." It is wrong for us to classify callings of God as important or highest calling or greatest calling or whatever. I don't know what God has called you to be. But it is important that you realize that you can't be any more than what God has called you to be. And we oftentimes get into trouble trying to do more than God has called us to do. Paul was called to be an apostle, then that is great, Paul should be an apostle. If he said, "Paul, called to be a tentmaker," then he should be a tentmaker. "Paul, called to be a camel driver," then he should be a camel driver.

Whatever God has called you to be that is the highest calling for your life, because you can't be more than what God has called you to be, and God only holds you responsible to be what He has called you to be. We oftentimes are guilty of taking on duties that God hasn't laid on us. Taking upon ourselves the responsibility because we have a great desire to serve God in some greater capacity, and thus, I launch into areas where God has not called me and that can be disastrous. I would give you a personal testimony, but we don't have time. I have tried to be on occasions but God didn't call me to be. I always ended disastrously. Sometimes our ambitions and our desires are beyond the Lord's callings.

"Paul, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God," which, of course, the book of Romans is dedicated to that subject.

(Which he had promised before by his prophets in the holy Scriptures,) ( Romans 1:2 )

This glorious gospel of the Messiah and that salvation through the Messiah is something that God prophesied through the prophets. Concerning his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. David came to Nathan the prophet and said, "I want to build a house for the Lord. I live in this beautiful palace and God still lives in that tent. They are still worshipping God in the tabernacle and it isn't right that I should live in this glorious palace while God lives in a tent. I want to build a house for the Lord, the most glorious building in the world." Nathan the prophet said, "Oh, that is great, David, do all that is in your heart."

That night the Lord came to Nathan the prophet and spoke to him and said, "Nathan, you spoke out of turn, you spoke too quickly. You are going to have to go back to David and you are going to have to tell him that he is not going to be able to build a house for me his hands are too bloody. He is a man of war I can't have him building a house for me. But you tell David that I will build him a house, and there shall not cease from his seed one to sit upon the throne." David saw Nathan the next day and Nathan said, "David, I have got some bad news and good news." The bad news first. "God spoke to me last night and said you can't build a house for Him, your hands are too bloody. You are a man of war, but your son will be able to rise up and build a house. But the good news David, God is going to build you a house, and from your seed there will never cease to be a king sitting upon the throne of Israel." From which David immediately understood that the Messiah was to come from David's seed.

This was just overwhelming to David. He went in before the Lord, and said, "Oh, Lord, You took me from the sheep coat, from following after the sheep. Lord, I was nothing. I was just a shepherd, and yet, You took me and You made me the King over your people. You have blessed me so much and know You speak of the years to come, oh God, what can I say?" David was brought to a place of silence before God, so overwhelmed by the grace of God. Have you ever been brought to that place? So overwhelmed by the goodness of God that there is nothing you can say. Sam Mulolo said, "When prayer reaches its ultimate, words are impossible." That communion with God when you really realize what God has promised to do for us, it is so overwhelming there are times when I just, what can you say? Too much God. Too much.

According to the promise then, he is come as the seed of David, there shall come out of Jesse a righteous branch. It is interesting that in the gospels when they record the genealogies of Jesus, that though the genealogy of Matthew and Luke are different, both of them go back to David. But from David they take different branches, in Matthew's genealogy when you get to David and David begot Solomon of Bathsheba who was the wife of Uriah, it brings you the genealogy from Solomon on down to Joseph who was supposed by the people to be the father of Jesus. Now in the genealogy coming from Solomon you come to this fellow Jeconiah. The Lord placed a curse upon Jeconiah from the last verse of the twenty-second chapter of Jeremiah, where Jeremiah said, "Hear O earth, hear O earth the word of the Lord, there shall not be a seed of Jeconiah to sit upon the throne of David forever." If Jesus were the son of Joseph He could not sit on the throne.

Luke gives us a another genealogy, the genealogy of Mary, of Joseph who was the son-in-law of Eli. So it is Mary's genealogy in Luke and he traces a different line back to David. He comes back to Nathan the son of David. So that Jesus through Mary, a descendant of David, and thus, a claimant to the throne of David, but not through Jeconiah. If so, He could not be a claimant to the throne, because of the curse of God that there should not be any of Jeconiah's seed sitting upon the throne of Israel. The two genealogies show that it was through David.

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead ( Romans 1:3-4 ):

That resurrection of Christ, the proof of the declaration.

By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for the obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name: among whom are you also the called of Jesus Christ: to all be in [Orange County], the beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you ( Romans 1:5-7 ),

And I like to personalize the scriptures. I like to believe that they were writing to me, because the only thing that doesn't really apply to me there is Rome, but I am beloved of God, and God has called me to be a saint. Really, Paul's epistle is to the saints of God. Church.

Grace to you, and peace, from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ ( Romans 1:7 ).

Grace and peace, the Siamese twins of the New Testament. They are always coupled together, and always in that order. I don't recall of any place in the New Testament where it says, "Peace and grace." But it is always, "Grace and peace." Why? Because you cannot really know the peace of God until you have experienced the grace of God.

Now, there was years in my Christian experience that I really didn't have the peace of God. I had peace with God that was established through the death of Jesus Christ, but I didn't have the peace of God, because I was going about my own works to establish a righteous standing before God. As long as I was seeking by my effort to be righteous before God, I never found peace. There was always a struggle in my Christian experience. I was always trying to be a little better and always promising that I would do better. I was restless I never had peace until I had experienced the grace of God, and then I understood what it is all about--grace and peace. Grace is always first, and if you haven't yet experienced the grace of God, then you really don't know the peace of God in your life yet.

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world ( Romans 1:8 ).

There was a body of believers there in Rome and their faith in Christ was known everywhere.

For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers ( Romans 1:9 )

It is interesting to me that Paul has to call God as a witness to his prayer life. I think that is proper. Jesus said, "When you pray, go in the closet and shut the door, pray to your Father who sees in secret, and your Father who sees in secret shall reward you openly" ( Matthew 6:6 ). Don't make a public show of your prayers. Don't write newsletters all over the United States telling people that you are going to go into your closet of prayer, kneel on your special rug and hold them up in prayer. And then offer to sell them a square of that rug for a five-dollar donation.

"I am going to Jerusalem and I am taking my prayer rug and I am going to place this down on the Mount of Olives, about the spot where Jesus is going to set His foot when He returns. I am going to pray for you on the Mount of Olives. Now, please send me your request, those things you want me to pray for you when I am there. Please enclose a gift." Then your next letter, "You can buy a little square of that prayer cloth, or that rug for a donation." God help us. Paul has to call God as his witness to his prayer life. "God is my witness, I don't cease praying for you night and day."

Making mention of you always in my prayers,

Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you ( Romans 1:10 ).

Now Paul is at Corinth, he is going to head for Jerusalem. He doesn't know what awaits him in Jerusalem, except that everywhere he goes the Spirit is telling him that bonds and imprisonment await him there. And yet, as he writes to those in Rome, he is saying, "I am hoping to come to you. I am praying that if by any means I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God." Paul had said, "I must also see Rome." Later, when he was in prison in Jerusalem discouraged and defeated, the Lord said, "Even as you have testified of Me here in Jerusalem, Paul, be of good cheer, because you must also testify of Me in Rome." He didn't come to Rome by the will of God, I don't know that you . . . well, it was a prosperous journey. Though he was shipwrecked and the whole thing, yet by being shipwrecked on the Island of Malta, he was able to lead Publius to the Lord and many of the Maltese people accepted Jesus while Paul was there. So it was spiritually very prosperous though you might challenge that from a purely physical standpoint with all of the hardship that he went through. Fourteen days at sea in that storm when everyone was so sick they couldn't eat. Yet, Paul expresses his desire to God to go to Rome.

For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end that you may be established ( Romans 1:11 )

Paul's desire not to be just a tourist to see the Colosseum and to see the forum and all of the marvelous buildings in Rome, but the desire is to come to minister to the church that he might impart to them a spiritual gift by which they might be established.

That is, that I maybe comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me ( Romans 1:12 ).

That we might really minister to each other. And it is true, you cannot minister to others without being ministered to yourself. You cannot give without receiving. There is always that mutual benefit of the ministry.

Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that many times I purposed to come to you, (but up until now I have been hindered,) that I might also have some fruit among you, even as among other Gentiles ( Romans 1:13 ).

I desire to bear fruit in Rome as I have in other places.

For I am a debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians both to the wise, and the unwise. So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes to the Jew first, also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith as it is written, That the just shall live by faith ( Romans 1:14-17 ).

So Paul's declaration: I am ready to come to Rome, I want to bear fruit in Rome, I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. It is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes. Jew first also the Greek.

For in this the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith ( Romans 1:17 ).

In the gospel of Jesus Christ, the righteousness of God is revealed because even God could not forgive our sins unrighteously. There had to be a righteous basis for the forgiveness of our sins. For a judge to just totally dismiss charges against a guilty man is not righteous. God cannot just righteously say, "You are forgiven." There has to be a righteous basis, for God is righteous. There has to be a righteous basis for the forgiveness of your sins. That righteous basis is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. For God had sentenced the one who sins to death. The only righteous thing is to put to death the sinner, because that is the sentence that has been meted out against sinful man. God established a righteous basis for forgiveness by Jesus Christ becoming a substitute, taking your sin upon Himself and dying in your place. The righteous for the unrighteous. Thus, providing God the righteous basis for the forgiveness, you are forgiven because Jesus Christ died for you. He took your place. The debt that you deserved, He took your place and died for you, and thus, the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith, as it is written, "The just shall live by faith."

For the wrath of God ( Romans 1:18 )

Now the righteousness of God, and immediately we contrast that with the wrath of God:

is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness ( Romans 1:18 )

Here we find the righteousness of God revealed, now the wrath of God revealed. God's wrath revealed against, number one, the ungodliness and secondly, the unrighteousness. What is the difference between ungodliness and unrighteousness? You remember when Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he had the two tables of stone with the Ten Commandments. On the first table of stone, the first four commandments dealt with man's relationship with God. "Thou shalt have no other gods before Me. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. Thou shalt not make any graven images or likeness of gods. Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy." Now, to violate one of these first four commands constituted a wrong relationship with God, which is ungodliness. The second table of stone dealt with man's relationship with fellow man. To violate one of the laws on the second table of stone is not living the right kind of life that you should be living with your neighbor, and thus, it constitutes unrighteousness, a wrong relationship with my neighbor, unrighteousness. The wrath of God is to be revealed against the ungodliness and the unrighteousness of men who hold the truth of God, but they hold it in unrighteousness.

Having and knowing is not enough. James said, "Be ye doers of the Word, not hearers only, deceiving yourselves" ( James 1:22 ). A lot of people today are deceiving themselves, because they have heard the Word, they know the Word, they know what God commands, they hold the truth of God, but unfortunately they hold it in unrighteousness.

Because that which may be known of God is manifested in them for God hath shown it unto them ( Romans 1:19 ).

There is within my own conscience of what is right and wrong. Universally there is within the consciousness of man that which I know to be right, that which I know to be wrong. It is manifest within me. God has just sort of inscribed it into my heart and mind and my conscience, and I know what is right, I know what is wrong. That which may be known of God is manifest in them. God has shown it unto them.

For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen ( Romans 1:20 ),

Or, "For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen," that is, the invisible God is revealed through His creation. The heavens declare the glory of God, the earth shows His handiwork day unto day they utter their speech, night unto night their voice goes forth. There is not a speech or language where their voice is not heard. God speaks to man in the universal language of nature. So that by nature I am aware that God does exist. A fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." The invisible things of Him are revealed in nature because that when they knew God they were without excuse, because God is revealed

by the things that he has made, even his eternal power and [deity or] Godhead so that they are without excuse: because, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God ( Romans 1:20-21 ),

Now, how can I do that in my own life? I fail to glorify God as God whenever I argue with Him. Because my arguing with God is in essence saying, "I know better what is good for me than You." I am really sort of exalting myself as God. I am not glorifying God as God when I make demands upon Him. When I insist through prayer that God does things this certain way. That is not glorifying God as God, and there is just an awful lot of this being propounded today by some of these present-day evangelists. Much of their teaching is really ungodly, because it elevates man to the position of being an authority and God becomes the servant. So it is no longer, "Chuck, a servant of Jesus Christ," but it is, "Chuck, the Lord of Jesus Christ," in a sense, because He is supposed to follow my every whim and wish and fulfill my every desire.

I was reading in a book the other day by a well-known minister of a very large church that he was desiring a bicycle and praying for a bicycle. And after praying several months for this bicycle and not receiving it, he became angry with God. He said, "How can I teach people to pray and to believe and trust You in prayer when here I have been praying all of this time for a bicycle and You have never given me the bicycle?" He said God said to him, "Well, you have never told me what kind you wanted. There are all kinds of bicycles, ten speeds, cruisers." In my book that is not glorifying God as God. What kind of a God am I serving who doesn't know what kind of a bicycle is best for me? Waiting to get the model number from me before He responds, waiting to get my choice of colors. No, I reject that concept of God. He is not a genie waiting to fulfill my slightest wish or whim. When I seek to treat God as a genie, that is not glorifying God as God. Peter tells us that if any of us suffer according to the will of God, we shall just commit the keeping of our soul unto Him as a faithful creator. I find that commitment, total commitment, is the greatest place of rest and peace I know. Because I don't have in my mind things that God must do for me. But I have a commitment of myself to God, so that whatever He does I accept, and I can rest.

Now we have made our offer for the property in Newport Beach, and I don't know if this point if we are going to get it or not. I am not really praying that we will get it. I am not really praying that we don't get it. I am just praying, "Lord, Your will be done. If You want us to have it, fine, Lord. If You don't want us to have it, fine, Lord." But you see, if I was in a big "have to," "We have got to have this property," and you get into that thing, "God, You have got to give this to us," then I am sitting in the driver seat and I am ordering God what to do. I am then putting myself in the position of God, making Him subservient to me. That is not glorifying God as God. It is a trap that people fall into quite easily. Total commitment to whatever God wants. Such a beautiful way to live, because you learn that to accept whatever comes along. You are never disturbed, because you are always expecting to be disturbed. The man who is always disturbed is the man who never expects to be disturbed he doesn't really plan disturbances into his life. Thus, he is very disturbed whenever disturbance comes. But the man who is never disturbed is the one who is always expecting disturbances. So when a disturbance comes it doesn't disturb him, because he is expecting it.

Now I have got a working relationship with God. I reaffirm it every morning: "God, You can disturb me today for anything You want. If my plans don't coincide with Yours then, Lord, disrupt my plans. Disturb me, put me on Your path. Because I want Your will to be done in my life today." Thus, if suddenly something comes up and I am not able to make that planned trip or whatever, God has something else in mind. The committing of the keeping of my soul unto Him as a faithful Creator. Glorifying God as God.

But, when they knew God, they would not glorify Him as God.

neither were thankful but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools ( Romans 1:21-22 ),

What Paul is telling them is that God has revealed Himself through nature man can know God through nature. Nature is a revelation of God. It is speaking to man of the existence of God. It is declaring the glory of God, His power, His wonders. But if a man doesn't want to hold the truth of God, he doesn't want to glorify God as God, he wants to elevate himself to the God level. "I am God for I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul. I am God. I am a self-governed man." Then as he looks at nature, he looks at nature from a presuppositional position that God does not exist. He then attempts to explain the phenomena of nature apart from God by natural phenomena. By natural happenings or circumstances. One of their favorite phrases is the fortuitous occurrences of accidental circumstances. That can explain about anything, all of these random chance factors just don't happen. There were all of these fortuitous occurrences of these accidental circumstances that finally that you are the end product of accident. Billions of them, through billions of years, here you suddenly are as the result of this spontaneous generation.

There was an interesting symposium back in Europe in 1975, Carl Sagin wrote a book summarizing the convention. It was the leading scientists of the world who were gathered together for a symposium to determine whether or not extraterrestrial beings were trying to make contact with the planet Earth. So the book published, "The Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Extraterrestrial Communication" edited by Carl Sagin, was a report of this symposium and its gathering of the world-renowned scientists to offer their various papers on the subject of extraterrestrial beings seeking to communicate to those on the planet Earth. I was very fascinated with one of the very first papers presented to this symposium by a group of scientists who felt that it would be important in determining whether or not there were beings out there trying to communicate with us here on the earth to determine what are the chance factors that life forms that exist on some other planet within the universe. Taking into consideration all of the multiplied obstacles really of life existing, they began to feed into the computer the factors necessary for the development of the first cell, all of the variables to create the first cells. The computer working out these various factors came out with the answer that there was only one chance in ten to the twenty-seventh power of the first cell ever being created. Now supposing the earth is six billion years old, that is about only about ten to the seventeenth power seconds.

So if you had these factors, say a billion of them each second going on for six billion years, you would only be developing your first cell. But then you have to develop two cells at the same place. The first paper concluded that there were no extraterrestrial beings trying to communicate with the planet earth because it is impossible that there could be any life forms anywhere else in the universe because of the complexities of the development of the cell. Like it's impossible any place in the universe. So no sense to have the symposium of whether or not there are extraterrestrial beings trying to communicate with us because it is impossible that they could exist. The chance factors are just . . . rule it out. I thought that there was a very interesting paper. I enjoyed reading it, but I wondered why didn't they carry that one step further and realize that it is impossible, if it is impossible that life forms could exist anywhere in the universe apart from here, how in the world do they think they exist here? If it is impossible that life forms could form on a planet in another galaxy, then it should also be impossible for life forms to appear here, which indeed it is impossible by accident. We were created. But man who comes to nature with a presuppositional base that God does not exist tries to explain the phenomena of life apart from God and you get into all kinds of foolish speculations.

Have you ever wondered how it is that you were able to walk? Well, once upon a time millions of years ago, back when the earth was covered with primordial ooze, and this cell had developed to the place of a worm-like creature, as it made its way out with the ooze and out of the waters, and onto the land, those fish-like creatures coming onto land, flipping itself around on this foreign environment, scratched itself on the coral reef, or upon the rock. And that scratch developed into a wart like a peonage, which continued to develop and grow until it became a leg with feet and five toes. After billions of years when the second leg also developed you were able to walk instead of hop. That is one of the explanations that has been offered for the development of the legs. I sort of agree with Paul, they became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. And professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

You see, to rule God out is the stance of the fool, for the fool has said in his heart, "There is no God." And to try to understand the universe apart from God is impossible without getting into all kinds of fanciful, unbelievable preposterous speculations which is nothing more than sheer foolishness but is being passed off as scientific poppycock.

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.

Because they changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man ( Romans 1:23 ),

They made God like man. They thought of God in terms of man. Sought to bring God down to man's level. The glory of an incorruptible God now made to look like man by the little idol or images that they have carved or drawn.

like birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things ( Romans 1:23 ).

As you look at the objects of worship of the ancient men, ancient people, you see these grotesque looking creatures that were representation of the deities of the various people, and you realize what Paul is talking about, man seeking to corrupt God.

God also gave them up to uncleanness [or filthiness] through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves: for they changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever ( Romans 1:24-25 ).

So God gave them up to these filthy lusts in their own hearts. I can remember that when I was a boy in junior high school, the fellows would smuggle around these sunshine and health magazines. That was about as pornographic as you could get. Magazines that dealt with nudism in the U. S. These were the things the guys would snicker over and it was just, you had to have your connections to even get a copy of them. I think in my lifetime how far we have sunk. Because you can go into practically any grocery store, any drug store, and you can pick up these magazines today with all kinds of implicit pictures that are designed to arouse and stimulate the flesh. We realize that we are seeing the consequences of God giving men up to uncleanness through their lusts. The moral downward spiral that we are observing in our society is concurrent with the teaching of evolution, the denial of the existence of God. Trying to understand our universe apart from God. And the result of man wanting to rule God out of his mind and out of the thinking processes is that God gives man over to a mind in which he can go ahead and sink into the filthiness of his own heart.

Beginning to dishonor their own bodies between themselves, for they exchanged the truth of God into a lie, and worshiped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. You see, by the evolutionary theory the creature becomes God, it is the almighty cell and its tremendous propensities to make these phenomenal changes to develop all of the forms of life that we can see. The marvelous adaptabilities in nature. It becomes God. They worship and serve the creature more than the Creator.

They look at nature irrationally, deifying nature rather than worshiping the God who created nature. Whenever you stop at nature and you worship nature, you're stopping one step short. That is irrational to look at nature and say, "That is God." It is looking at nature and saying, "That is the creation of God," and letting nature speak to you of God, that is the rational way to observe nature. So man became irrational in his observation of nature and he worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator who is blessed forever.

For this cause God gave them up to unnatural affections: for even their women did exchange the natural use for that which is against nature: and likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another men with men doing that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was necessary. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are [unspeakable,] not convenient, [not proper] ( Romans 1:26-28 )

Man's degradation, the downward spiral, can we observe it? You bet we can in the day in which we live. We see these very things of which Paul warned and spoke as man has sought to eliminate God from his mind, from his life, from our schools, the awareness the consciousness of God. We see the inevitable consequences in a society that is going deeper into the cesspool of immorality. We see the downward trend. Being filled with all unrighteousness, now they held the truth of God in unrighteousness, but now they don't even hold the truth of God anymore, God gave them over to reprobate minds and thus,

They are filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, spiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affections, implacable, unmerciful ( Romans 1:29-31 ):

Sounds like the morning newspaper. We are surrounded. We see the inevitable consequences of man trying to rule God out of his life. We see it in our society in which we live, these very things, prevalent in our society.

Who, knowing the judgment of God, that they who commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them ( Romans 1:32 ).

Now you watch soap operas? Do you enjoying watching soap operas? Do you enjoy watching Dallas? Do you enjoy watching a murder mystery? Do you enjoy watching movies that have these X-rated features to them? If you enjoy watching these things, then are you not taking pleasure in those who do them? You see, you may go off very self righteously and say, "I never commit fornication. I have never murdered anybody, or I have never done this or that or the other." But Paul says, "Not only do they do them, but they take pleasure in those that do them." That is a person actually enjoys reading about it. Or a person enjoys watching it portrayed. Things that I wouldn't think about doing myself, but there is some kind of an excitement watching someone else do it. That is taking pleasure in those that do. Be careful, God help us. We are being bombarded on every side by Satan's wiles, seeking to snare us, draw us in. Because it is fascinating, it is interesting, "Oh, it is just life and I am just interested in life." Rationalize how you please. Be careful if you take pleasure in people who do these things, watching them do these things.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This great epistle begins with a broad perspective. It looks at the promise of a Savior in the Old Testament, reviews Paul&rsquos ministry to date, and surveys the religious history of the Gentile world.

"The main body of Romans is a treatise on Paul&rsquos gospel, bracketed by an epistolary opening ( Romans 1:1-17 ) and conclusion ( Romans 15:14 to Romans 16:27 ). These opening and concluding statements have many similarities, not the least of which is the emphasis on the gospel . (Eight of the 11 occurrences in Romans of euangelion ["gospel"] and euangelizomia ["to evangelize"] are in these passages.) Paul&rsquos special relationship to this gospel, a relationship that encompasses the Roman Christians, both opens and closes the strictly &rsquoepistolary&rsquo introductory material in the section ( Romans 1:1-5 Romans 1:13-15 )." [Note: Ibid., p. 39. See The Bible Knowledge Commentary: New Testament, p. 439, for a chart comparing Paul&rsquos introductions to his epistles.]

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

Having begun with a formal and unusually long greeting compared to his other epistles, Paul next proceeded to address his readers more personally. He had not met the Christians to whom he wrote, so he spent some time getting acquainted and sharing his heart with them.

"One of the first lessons of effective leadership is the importance of setting priorities. Not only must things be done right (management) but the right things must be done (leadership)." [Note: Mounce, p. 65. Cf. Cranfield, 1:78-79.]

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

As Paul had prayed often for the Romans, so he had also planned often to visit them. The phrase "I do not want you to be unaware" always identifies something important that Paul proceeded to say (cf. 1 Corinthians 10:1 1 Corinthians 12:1 1 Thessalonians 4:13 ). His reason was for fellowship, namely, mutual sharing of things profitable. One obstacle that may have prevented Paul from reaching Rome previously was the imperial edict of A.D. 49 expelling Jews from Rome (cf. Acts 18:2 ). [Note: See Bruce, p. 16.] Paul mentioned his contribution to the Romans first ( Romans 1:11 ) and theirs to him last ( Romans 1:13 ), and he stressed reciprocity in between ( Romans 1:12 ). The spiritual gift ( Romans 1:11 ) was probably not one specific gift but anything and everything of spiritual benefit (cf. 1 Corinthians 12:1 ). In 1 Corinthians 12:1 he mentioned specific gifts (plural). We should also probably interpret the fruit he hoped to obtain ( Romans 1:13 ) broadly rather than specifically as the fruit of his evangelism among them or financial support.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

For I long to see you. Not the city of Rome, which was one of Austin's three wishes to have seen in its glory nor the emperor of it, nor the senate in it, nor its populous inhabitants, fine buildings, riches and grandeur but the poor saints there, which were the excellent men of the earth, of the whole Roman empire, and in whom was his delight: his desire to see them was not to gratify his curiosity, nor to spend his time in idle chat with them, nor with a view to enrich himself by them but, says he,

that I may impart some spiritual gift: not any extraordinary gift of the Spirit but spiritual light, knowledge, peace, and comfort, through the exercise of his ministerial gift: whence it may be observed, that that which qualities men for the preaching of the word to the profit of others, is a gift, a gift by grace a spiritual one, which comes from the Spirit of God, and may be, and is to be imparted to others in the free use and exercise of it and that,

to the end that saints may be established for such who are called by grace, need establishing. They are indeed in a safe state and condition they are encircled in the arms of everlasting love, they are fixed in the hands of Christ, secured in an everlasting covenant, established on the rock of ages, and settled in a state from whence they can never fall: yet, notwithstanding this, they are sometimes very unstable in their hearts, in their frames, in the exercise of grace, and the discharge of duty, and in professing and adhering to the doctrines of the Gospel wherefore they need establishing, as to a more firm persuasion of interest in the love of God, and in the covenant of grace, as to a more stable exercise of grace in Christ, and as to a more constant discharge of duty, and steady profession of adherence to the truths of the Gospel to all which the ministration of the word has a tendency, with a divine blessing.

Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible

8 First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. 9 For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers 10 Making request, if by any means now at length I might have a prosperous journey by the will of God to come unto you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established 12 That is, that I may be comforted together with you by the mutual faith both of you and me. 13 Now I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that oftentimes I purposed to come unto you, (but was let hitherto,) that I might have some fruit among you also, even as among other Gentiles. 14 I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians both to the wise, and to the unwise. 15 So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.

I. His thanksgivings for them ( Romans 1:8 Romans 1:8 ): First, I thank my God. It is good to begin every thing with blessing God, to make that the alpha and omega of every song, in every thing to give thanks. -- My God. He speaks this with delight and triumph. In all our thanksgivings, it is good for us to eye God as our God this makes every mercy sweet, when we can say of God, "He is mine in covenant."-- Through Jesus Christ. All our duties and performances are pleasing to God only through Jesus Christ, praises as well as prayers.-- For you all. We must express our love to our friends, not only by praying for them, but by praising God for them. God must have the glory of all the comfort we have in our friends for every creature is that to us, and no more, which God makes it to be. Many of these Romans Paul had no personal acquaintance with, and yet he could heartily rejoice in their gifts and graces. When some of the Roman Christians met him ( Acts 28:15 ), he thanked God for them, and took courage but here his true catholic love extends itself further, and he thanks God for them all not only for those among them that were his helpers in Christ, and that bestowed much labour upon him (of whom he speaks Romans 16:3 Romans 16:6 ), but for them all.-- That your faith is spoken of. Paul travelled up and down from place to place, and, wherever he came, he heard great commendations of the Christians at Rome, which he mentions, not to make them proud, but to quicken them to answer the general character people gave of them, and the general expectation people had from them. The greater reputation a man hath for religion, the more careful he should be to preserve it, because a little folly spoils him that is in reputation, Ecclesiastes 10:1 .-- Throughout the whole world, that is, the Roman empire, into which the Roman Christians, upon Claudius's edict to banish all the Jews from Rome, were scattered abroad, but had now returned, and, it seems, left a very good report behind them, wherever they had been, in all the churches. There was this good effect of their sufferings: if they had not been persecuted, they had not been famous. This was indeed a good name, a name for good things with God and good people. As the elders of old, so these Romans, obtained a good report through faith, Hebrews 11:2 . It is a desirable thing to be famous for faith. The faith of the Roman Christians came to be thus talked of, not only because it was excelling in itself, but because it was eminent and observable in its circumstances. Rome was a city upon a hill, every one took notice of what was done there. Thus those who have many eyes upon them have need to walk circumspectly, for what they do, good or bad, will be spoken of. The church of Rome was then a flourishing church but since that time how is the gold become dim! How is the most fine gold changed! Rome is not what it was. She was then espoused a chaste virgin to Christ, and excelled in beauty but she has since degenerated, dealt treacherously, and embraced the bosom of a stranger so that (as that good old book, the Practice of Piety, makes appear in no less than twenty-six instances) even the epistle to the Romans is now an epistle against the Romans little reason has she therefore to boast of her former credit.

II. His prayer for them, Romans 1:9 Romans 1:9 . Though a famous flourishing church, yet they had need to be prayed for they had not yet attained. Paul mentions this as an instance of his love to them. One of the greatest kindnesses we can do our friends, and sometimes the only kindness that is in the power of our hands, is, by prayer to recommend them to the loving-kindness of God. From Paul's example here we may learn, 1. Constancy in prayer: Always without ceasing. He did himself observe the same rules he gave to others, Ephesians 6:18 1 Thessalonians 5:17 . Not that Paul did nothing else but pray, but he kept up stated times for the solemn performance of that duty, and those very frequent, and observed without fail. 2. Charity in prayer: I make mention of you. Though he had not particular acquaintance with them, nor interest in them, yet he prayed for them not only for all saints in general, but he made express mention of them. It is not unfit sometimes to be express in our prayers for particular churches and places not to inform God, but to affect ourselves. We are likely to have the most comfort in those friends that we pray most for. Concerning this he makes a solemn appeal to the searcher of hearts: For God is my witness. It was in a weighty matter, and in a thing known only to God and his own heart, that he used this asseveration. It is very comfortable to be able to call God to witness to our sincerity and constancy in the discharge of a duty. God is particularly a witness to our secret prayers, the matter of them, the manner of the performance then our Father sees in secret, Matthew 6:6 . God, whom I serve with my spirit. Those that serve God with their spirits may, with a humble confidence, appeal to him hypocrites who rest in bodily exercise cannot. His particular prayer, among many other petitions he put up for them, was that he might have an opportunity of paying them a visit ( Romans 1:10 Romans 1:10 ): Making request, if by any means, c. Whatever comfort we desire to find in any creature, we must have recourse to God for it by prayer for our times are in his hand, and all our ways at his disposal. The expressions here used intimate that he was very desirous of such an opportunity: if by any means that he had long and often been disappointed: now at length and yet that he submitted it to the divine Providence: a prosperous journey by the will of God. As in our purposes, so in our desires, we must still remember to insert this, if the Lord will, James 4:15 . Our journeys are prosperous or otherwise according to the will of God, comfortable or not as he pleases.

III. His great desire to see them, with the reasons of it, Romans 1:11-15 Romans 1:11-15 . He had heard so much of them that he had a great desire to be better acquainted with them. Fruitful Christians are as much the joy as barren professors are the grief of faithful ministers. Accordingly, he often purposed to come, but was let hitherto ( Romans 1:13 Romans 1:13 ), for man purposeth, but God disposeth. He was hindered by other business that took him off, by his care of other churches, whose affairs were pressing and Paul was for doing that first, not which was most pleasant (then he would have gone to Rome), but which was most needful--a good example to ministers, who must not consult their own inclinations so much as the necessity of their people's souls. Paul desired to visit these Romans,

1. That they might be edified ( Romans 1:11 Romans 1:11 ): That I may impart unto you. He received, that he might communicate. Never were full breasts so desirous to be drawn out to the sucking infant as Paul's head and heart were to be imparting spiritual gifts, that is, preaching to them. A good sermon is a good gift, so much the better for being a spiritual gift.-- To the end you may be established. Having commended their flourishing he here expresses his desire of their establishment, that as they grew upward in the branches they might grow downward in the root. The best saints, while they are in such a shaking world as this, have need to be more and more established and spiritual gifts are of special use for our establishment.

2. That he might be comforted, Romans 1:12 Romans 1:12 . What he heard of their flourishing in grace was so much a joy to him that it must needs be much more so to behold it. Paul could take comfort in the fruit of the labours of other ministers.-- By the mutual faith both of you and me, that is, our mutual faithfulness and fidelity. It is very comfortable when there is a mutual confidence between minister and people, they confiding in him as a faithful minister, and he in them as a faithful people. Or, the mutual work of faith, which is love they rejoiced in the expressions of one another's love, or communicating their faith one to another. It is very refreshing to Christians to compare notes about their spiritual concerns thus are they sharpened, as iron sharpens iron.--That I might have some fruit, Romans 1:13 Romans 1:13 . Their edification would be his advantage, it would be fruit abounding to a good account. Paul minded his work, as one that believed the more good he did the greater would his reward be.

3. That he might discharge his trust as the apostle of the Gentiles ( Romans 1:14 Romans 1:14 ): I am a debtor. (1.) His receivings made him a debtor for they were talents he was entrusted with to trade for his Master's honour. We should think of this when we covet great things, that all our receivings put us in debt we are but stewards of our Lord's goods. (2.) His office made him a debtor. He was a debtor as he was an apostle he was called and sent to work, and had engaged to mind it. Paul had improved his talent, and laboured in his work, and done as much good as ever any man did, and yet, in reflection upon it, he still writes himself debtor for, when we have done all, we are but unprofitable servants.--Debtor to the Greeks, and to the barbarians, that is, as the following words explain it, to the wise and to the unwise. The Greeks fancied themselves to have the monopoly of wisdom, and looked upon all the rest of the world as barbarians, comparatively so not cultivated with learning and arts as they were. Now Paul was a debtor to both, looked upon himself as obliged to do all the good he could both to the one and to the other. Accordingly, we find him paying his debt, both in his preaching and in his writing, doing good both to Greeks and barbarians, and suiting his discourse to the capacity of each. You may observe a difference between his sermon at Lystra among the plain Lycaonians ( Acts 14:15 , c.) and his sermon at Athens among the polite philosophers, Acts 17:22 , &c. He delivered both as debtor to each, giving to each their portion. Though a plain preacher, yet, as debtor to the wise, he speaks wisdom among those that are perfect, 1 Corinthians 2:6 . For these reasons he was ready, if he had an opportunity, to preach the gospel at Rome, Romans 1:15 Romans 1:15 . Though a public place, though a perilous place, where Christianity met with a great deal of opposition, yet Paul was ready to run the risk at Rome, if called to it: I am ready -- prothymon. It denotes a great readiness of mind, and that he was very forward to it. What he did was not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind. It is an excellent thing to be ready to meet every opportunity of doing or getting good.


The Giver

Jonas is an 11 in his community. His age group will soon be turning 12 in the December ceremony. This causes Jonas much apprehension about what job the council of Elders will assign him. What if he were assigned a job he didn't like, like a Nurturer? His father was a Nurturer and was responsible for tending to the newborns until the next ceremony when they all will turn one. One baby, in particular, was having a difficult time sleeping through the night so Jonas's father asked if he could bring the baby home if this is not corrected then the newborn could be released. While playing catch with an with his friend, Asher, Jonas experienced "it" for the first time. The apple changed in mid-air. Just for a split second and then returned to normal. Jonas couldn't explain what he had seen but he HAD seen something. Jonas decided to perform the last of his mandated volunteer hours at the House of Old with Asher and Fiona. That was the first night that Jonas had "stirrings". Telling his family at breakfast during ritual dream sharing, Jonas began taking the pill that every adult and some 11's took. Stirrings are basically sexual thoughts. Ceremonies for the children (which are like birthdays, except everyone has the same one)is a two day event. Gabe, the newborn staying nights with Jonas and his family, was still not sleeping through the nights, however, was granted a second year after Jonas's father plead on his behalf to not be released. Gabe would not turn a one and would not be officially named. Finally the 11's went to the stage to receive their assignments and Jonas finally felt relaxed. This feeling was short lived as he soon realized that he was skipped during the ceremony of 12 that never happens. After all 11's were given theie assignments, the Chief Elder called Jonas to the stage to bestow to him the greatest honor in the community, Receiver of Memory. Walking into the Annex behind the House of Old, Jonas prepared himself for his first day of training. He was shocked to see the doors locked. Doors were never locked in the community. And to see so many books! Jonas had only seen standard dictionaries, conduct books, and books that described jobs but these books were different. After a brief conversation with the Receiver of Memory instructed Jonas to lay face down on the bed without his tunic. The Receiver transmitted to Jonas three memories: the memory of a winter day going downhill on a sled, the memory of shunshine, and the memory of sunburn. The Receiver told Jonas all these things. and many more. were eliminated when "Sameness" occured. Jonas asked what he should call the Receiver since he had been referring to Jonas as the Receiver' the man replied "the Giver".

This chapters summaries were completed by Allison Lindsey. My next installment of summaries will span chapters 14-19

9 comments:

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Jonas brought me memories, as I was growing my mother told me that when I turned 10 I was going to be assign a job at home. Minerva

The Ceremony of 12's must have been an extremely difficult moment for Jonas when his number was skipped during job assignments. Before this, everything was orderly and followed a procedure. The "Sameness" the community and its members strives to reach was all ripped away from Jonas when he was assigned the job of Receiver of Memories. Now he is no longer one of the many. he will be the only one.


The Breadwinner

The Breadwinner is about an eleven year old girl named Parvana who lives in Afghanistan while the Taliban is in control. She has moved into a run down apartment in Kabul. One day while she is at home with her family, 4 Taliban soldiers come in and take Parvana's father away. This is awful because there are rules about going outside. You are not aloud to go outside without a man or a note from a man. Women must wear a chador when they go outside and they are not aloud to work. Now they are running out of food and money and there mother won't do anything but sleep. A couple days later,

Mrs. Weera comes over and turns everything around. She gets mama up and dressed and she gets everyone organized. Mrs. Weera is one of mama's friends and she used to be a gym teacher.That night mama and Mrs. Weera decide to dress Parvana up like a boy, that way they can get food and money. She is their only hope becuase she is the only one old enough and that can look like a boy. This is the beggining of her many adventures.

First of all as a boy she takes over her Dad's job. She enjoys being outside and doing her Dad's job. It gives her a whole new understanding about what it is boys have to do. One day she runs into Shauzia, a girl from school, who was also dressed as a boy. From then on they hang out with each other and become great friends.

Then Shauzia and Parvana come up with an idea to join together and sell things, but they don't have enough money. Shauzia suggests to Parvana to go bone digging. Parvana knows her mom will not like this, but she goes along with it. When she goes bone digging she digs up a lot of bones and makes a lot more money then she ever has.


Hebrews 12:1-11 Inductive Bible Study Notes and Discussion Questions

Explain the phrase “we have so great a cloud of witnesses.” Who are they? Are they watching us?

What is the difference between an encumberance and sin? What kinds of things could be encumberances, but perhaps not sin?

What impression do you have of the word “entangle?”

How does sin slow us down?

What is the race that we are in? What does it mean that this race is “set before us?”

What kind of race needs endurance?

How can we fix our eyes on Jesus?

What does it mean that He is the “author” of our faith? How about “perfector?”

What do you think was the joy that was set before Him?

How does considering the persecution Jesus faced help us not to grow weary?

Cross-References

Teaching Points

Therefore – Hebrews 12:1-2 are very popular verses. They are often memorized. When we memorize individual verses, one result is that we may often overlook the context. In this passage the context of what we have studied in Hebrews 11 is very important. Hebrews 11 lays the foundation. The author encourages his audience with examples of faithful believers. Then he challenges them to take to heart the good lessons learned from the OT saints and push forward in their own walk with the Lord.

So great a cloud of witnesses – All the saints in Hebrews 11 have passed out of this world. They leave behind their legacy of faith and God’s grace. They may or may not actively “witness” us from heaven, but this is not the main point. The main point is that their good examples should spur us on. Their lives demonstrated that it was not impossible to face the trials and adversities in this world and conquer them by faith. Hebrews 11 showed us that they were not “super-believers” in that they never sin, but that they were faithful believers who chose to have faith in God even when it wasn’t easy. Imagine a baseball player playing in Fenway Park. He is a rookie getting ready to play his first game. His coach reminds him of all the baseball greats of the past who have stood in that same spot beside home plate getting ready to swing for the fences. This inspires that rookie baseball player to do his absolute best to try to follow in the footsteps of the baseball heroes of the past. This is something like what I think the author is doing. He is inspiring believers and encouraging them that it is in fact possible to live faithful lives even in the midst of a crooked and dark generation.

Lay aside every encumbrance – An encumbrance is not necessarily a sin. In a race an encumbrance is something that slows an athlete down. As a child, I listened to Patch the Pirate audio stories. These were stories which featured Christian songs combined with stories designed to teach Biblical character quality. One of these stories was about a marathon race. One of the runners in the marathon took a large backpack to the starting line. Inside he had a CD player in case he got board. He had a portable fan to cool himself off with. He had an extra set of clothes to change into when his first set got sweaty. If the story was modern he of course would have a digital camera, an Ipad, and a smart phone so that he could keep in touch with his friends during the race. Are any of these bad things? Not necessarily. In the right situation, they could be considered good things. But they are unnecessary. They slow him down and encumber him. We must remember that we too are in a race. Our life is short. It is meaningless, but we have a purpose and a goal. We should always keep our goal before us. Do not allow “good” things to keep you from the best thing. Do not allow anything to distract you from what you know God wants you to do. It is very easy to fill our schedules with things that are not the most productive. Sometimes we need to evaluate and consider what activities we may need to cut out so that we can be the most productive. We should also be willing to say “no” at times if people ask us to do things that may encumber us (for example I will often say “no” to people who ask me to tutor them in English.)

And the sin which so easily entangles us – This aspect is easy to understand. Sin is sneaky. It is so easy to begin tolerating it. Sin builds up a wall in between us and God and keeps us from being effective in our service for Him. Be quick to recognize sin and repent of it.

Let us run with endurance – The Christian life is not a sprint, but a marathon. Each of the saints in Hebrews 11 faced many challenges, trials, and temptations. Sometimes they stumbled along the way, but they got back up again and finally they finished the race. Unfortunately there are many professing believers who fall away. It is rare to see believers serve God faithfully over the whole course of their life. Stats tell us that most Christian workers (pastors or missionaries) leave the ministry at some point (that doesn’t necessarily mean they don’t finish the Christian race, but it is a reminder that it is hard to keep on keeping on.) How can we get more endurance? How can we face trials triumphantly?

Fixing our eyes on Jesus – This verse has the answer. We should not be like Peter who took his eyes of Jesus when walking on the water and saw the crashing waves around him. Then his faith faltered and he began to sink. The same thing will happen to us if we begin to focus on the circumstances and the world around us instead of on Jesus. In what practical ways can we fix our eyes on Jesus everyday?

Jesus is our example – He perfects our faith. But before we were even born into this world, He already lived out the perfect example of endurance. During his whole ministry He was doubted, scoffed, mocked, challenged, and persecuted. Finally he was tried and sentenced to death, the most shameful, humiliating, and painful death imaginable. He endured all of this. Why? For the joy set before him. He did it because of the reward/result at the end of the tunnel. What is that referring to? This passage does not say, but I believe it was for His bride. You might hear a groom say he would do whatever it takes to get married to his bride. Jacob was like this. He was willing to work 14 years for Rachel. The church is the bride of Christ. Jesus’ death redeemed us to Himself. Our salvation was worthy enough that Jesus would face every indignation and suffering to His task through until He achieved our salvation. After He accomplished it, He sat down at the right hand of God. What an example!

Application – Verse 3. We should consider this example. We should think about it and meditate on it. What should we do because of Jesus’ example? We should not grow weary or lose heart. We should persevere. Is there anything you know God is calling you to do, but perhaps you are growing weary or losing heart about it? In light of this passage, what should you do?

II. Verses 4-11

Discussion Questions

Why does God discipline His sons? What is the purpose? What does this teach us about the nature of discipline?

In what ways might God discipline us? If we suffer trials or hardships, does that mean we are being disciplined? How can discern whether a specific circumstance is discipline or not?

Can you think of any people in the Bible who experienced discipline from the Lord?

What does 7b imply about the father/son relationship?

How should we respond to discipline?

Since fathers discipline according to what they think is “best,” how can a father have true discernment about this issue?

What applications does this passage have for parents? How about for children? How about for believers?

Cross-References

Proverbs 12:1 – Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge.

Proverbs 6:23 – The reproofs of discipline are the way of life.

Proverbs 13:1 – A wise son hears his fathers’ instruction.

Jeremiah 29:11-14 – The goal of discipline.

Teaching Points

Verse 4 – None of those reading Hebrews 12 had yet given their lives (been martyred) for their belief. They had not paid the ultimate price or been tested with the ultimate test yet. If the saints in Hebrews 11 could endure to the end, some to the point of giving their lives for their faith, we should too.

Verses 5-6 – Some of his readers had forgotten about God’s discipline. Perhaps they were surprised to face the consequences of sin. Maybe they had been taught that belief in God guaranteed a life of health, wealth, and happiness. Many believers today have forgotten or ignored this as well. Perhaps they go to a church that focuses on God’s love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness. At the very beginning of his teaching on discipline, however, the author first reminds us that the motivation of discipline is love. Teaching about God’s discipline is not incompatible with teaching about God’s love. Rather it shows us another aspect of God’s love and the depth of His love. Perhaps the most important exhortation for us in these verses is “do not regard lightly the discipline of the Lord. We should not cast it aside. The book of Proverbs warns us that fools don’t listen to instruction or accept reproof. The wise person will take to heart discipline from the Lord and change their behavior. At the same time it tells us not to faint when we face it. We shouldn’t collapse under it or give up. We shouldn’t be surprised when we do face discipline. Instead of fainting (ie: I can’t bear it! I can’t take it anymore!), we should take it as a reminder that we are His son and correct the issue that needs dealing with.

The trials we face may be discipline from God – It seems that verse 7 is indicating that the suffering these believers were facing was discipline from God. Discipline could have two meanings. One is “punishment for the purpose of correction” against one who has sinned. The other is like training. (Ie: He is very disciplined. He gets up every morning at 5:00 to go swimming.) Parents may discipline their children in both aspects. So these sufferings may have been as a direct result of their sin, or perhaps they fall into the more general category of trials which God used to train them to endure and to strengthen their faith.

What son is there whom his father does not discipline? – The main thrust of this passage is not teaching parents to discipline their children. However, this is a secondary application of this passage. This phrase implies that all parents SHOULD do this. At that time in history, probably most of them did. The implication is clear. See Ephesians 6:4. If parents love their children they must discipline them. Why is it loving TO discipline when the world these days say that this is unloving? One reason for not disciplining is that it is not convenient. Or the parent does not enjoy it. It pains the parent emotionally. Basically it is easier not to. Love is willing to do what is necessary, no matter how difficult, and inconvenient, for the good of others.

Verse 8 – This verse tells us that if we are never disciplined by God then we don’t belong to Him.

Verse 9a – This verse implies that children will respect parents who faithfully discipline them. The world is afraid that disciplining children will hurt the parents’ relationship with them, that it will create a wall of resentment. But this is not true. Kids will have a sense of security when they know the boundaries and these boundaries are consistently enforced. They will see their parents’ love through the way that they discipline even when in their flesh they don’t want to. I can say from personal experience that I am glad my parents’ disciplined it and it never scarred my relationship with them in the slightest.

Verse 9b – This phrase shows us how we should apply this passage. We must subject ourselves to God. That means that we must accept correction from Him, and submit ourselves to His authority from our hearts. This whole passage shows us clearly one aspect of our relationship with God. Yes, Jesus called His disciples friends. Yes, God answers our prayers. But He is not a powerful Santa Clause in the sky. He is not our chum. He is our authority. We are to submit ourselves to Him and respect Him from the heart.

Verses 10-11 – These verses tell us the purpose of discipline. God’s discipline is not punitive. The goal is not to shame us (like the father who screams at his child’s face or the mother who hangs a sign “I am a thief, do not believe me because I stole” sign from her kids’ neck and then tells him to stand on the street corner). The goal is not to hurt us. The goal is not to seek revenge. The goal is not to be an outlet for anger (like the father who angrily beats his child and then “feels better” after his anger is released onto his child). The goal is correction. This point cannot be overstated. For parents that means that discipline must be combined with clear teaching and aimed at the heart, not the external behavior. For us, this teaching is comforting. It reminds us that God doesn’t discipline us because it feels good or He enjoys it. It is always for our good, so that we will become more and more holy.

Discuss verse 11 – Experiencing or giving discipline is not fun. It’s tough and sad. But it bears fruit. It corrects. It accomplishes its purpose as it changes people’s hearts and lives. Notice the word “trained”. This a continuous process not a “one and done.”

Application – What applications can we make from this? In what ways does God discipline us? How should parents apply this? What should we do when we face sufferings or trials that might be discipline from God?


BIBLIOGRAPHY:

Achtemeier, Paul J., Interpretation: Romans, (Atlanta: John Knox Press, 1985)

Barclay, William, The Daily Study Bible: The Letter to the Romans (Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press, 1975)

Bartow, Charles L., in Van Harn, Roger E. (ed.), The Lectionary Commentary: The Second Readings: Acts and the Epistles (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2001)

Dunn, James D. G., Word Biblical Commentary: Romans 1-8, Vol. 38A (Dallas: Word Books, 1988)

Gaventa, Beverly R. in Brueggemann, Walter Cousar, Charles B. Gaventa, Beverly R. and Newsome, James D., Texts for Preaching: A Lectionary Commentary Based on the NRSV — Year A (Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1995)

Morris, Leon, The Epistle to the Romans (Grand Rapids, Michigan: William B. Eerdman’s Publishing Co, 1988)

Wright, N. Thomas, The New Interpreter’s Bible: Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, Vol. X (Nashville: Abingdon Press, 2002)


Luke 5:1-11

One of the primary functions of Jesus during His ministry was preaching and teaching the Word of God. This focus on explaining Scripture allowed Him to reveal what living in light of the Kingdom of God looked like. Such instruction was essential for the disciples of Jesus if they were going to carry on the mission of Jesus, as they begin to do in Acts (cf. Green 1997:228).

The events in this section are near the beginning of the second year of ministry, and due to His teaching and miracles, Jesus has gathered quite a large number of followers. However, at the beginning of this second year, Jesus began to focus on teaching several of these followers. Luke 5:1-11 records the selection of three of these.

It is unclear if this event is parallel to or follows after the similar events in Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20. Many believe the events are parallel, but there are enough differences between those accounts and this passage in Luke to lead one to believe the events are different (cf. Bock 1994:450). For example, in Matthew 4 and Mark 1, Jesus is walking along the shore and invites Simon and Andrew to follow Him, and then walking along some more, also invites James and John. But in Luke 5, Jesus is teaching from a boat, and from within the boat, after a great catch of fish, He invites Simon to catch men. If they are all talking about the same account, it seems incredible that neither Matthew nor Mark include the miraculous catch of fish. But then, even if they are different events, this miraculous catch of fish is not recorded at all in Matthew or Luke. It seems best to conclude that they are different events, with the accounts of Matthew and Mark preceding the account of Luke by a few weeks or months. This view is supported by the fact that Simon is already following Jesus (4:38-39).

5:1. The end of chapter four indicated that Jesus intended to teach the Scriptures all over the region of Galilee. On one such day, the multitudes had gathered to hear Jesus teach the word of God. Jesus not only taught the Scriptures in the synagogue on the Sabbath, but whenever and wherever the opportunity presented itself. On this occasion, He taught on the shore of the Lake of Gennesaret, also known as the Sea of Galilee. The lake is about eight miles wide and fourteen miles long and was a popular place for fishing (on fishing, see Edersheim, 1988:473ff).

5:2. As the crowd grew and pressed in on Jesus to hear what He was saying, He found himself backed up against the water, and so, not wanting to stand in the water and teach, He decided to get into a boat and teach a little way out from shore. There were two boats standing by the lake but the fishermen had gone from them and were washing their nets. Most likely, they were able to listen to Jesus teach while they went about their work. The detail about the fishermen washing their nets is crucial for the development of the tension in this text.

Fishing on the Sea of Galilee was mostly done at night as this is when fish were more active, out of hiding, and had more difficulty seeing the linen nets (Green 1997:232 Bailey 2008:140-141). There were two ways of fishing using nets. The first used a circular net with weights around the circumference of the net, with a long cord coming out of the center. During the night, the fishermen would stand on the boat or shore with the night slung over their shoulder. While holding on to the cord, they would flip the net out over the water so that it twirled and spread out wide. When it hit the water, the weights cause the net to drop to the bottom like a cone, trapping any fish within. Using the cord, the fisherman begins to slowly draw the net back up while the weights on the net draw together along the bottom, keeping the fish inside. Once the net is pulled up, and the fish removed, the whole process is repeated. This type of fishing is probably what is done later in the ministry of Jesus when He tells them to cast their nets on the other side of the boat (John 21:6).

The second type of fishing required two boats, and used a dragnet (cf. Matt 13:47). It was for deep water fishing, generally done at night, and allowed for a larger number of fish to be caught. It was the kind of fishing being done here, since two boats are mentioned. The boats would go a certain way out into the water, and then, with the spread the net between them, drop the lower end of the net to the bottom while the top was secured to the boats. Then the boats would slowly move in toward shore, dragging the net along the bottom as they want. The net acted like a sieve, trapping fish inside until the net was pulled up near shore.

Both methods required long hours of hard, physical labor during the night. But once morning came, the work was not done. The fish not only had to be cleaned and sold, but the nets had to be cleaned and sewn. Dragging the nets along the bottom caused them to pick up sticks, stones, and other debris that had to removed, and small tears had to be mended so they did not become large, gaping holes which allowed the fish to escape. Cleaning the nets was a long, arduous process, and took several hours. After this was complete, the fisherman could go home and sleep, before rising at dusk to repeat the whole process.

5:3. The fisherman had no need of their boats while they cleaned the nets, and so Jesus got into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, and asked him to put out a little from the land. Maybe Simon was finished with cleaning his nets, or maybe the other fisherman agreed to finish so that Jesus could finish teaching. Listening to Him most certainly made the time go faster. So Simon took Jesus a little way out from shore, and from there, Jesus sat down and taught the multitudes from the boat. As Jesus taught, Simon rowed to keep the boat from drifting down the shore and away from the crowd.

This is the not the first time Jesus and Simon had met. About a year earlier, Jesus had invited Simon’s brother, Andrew, to follow Him, and Andrew brought Simon along as well (John 1:35-42). But they hadn’t left their fishing, and it seems that Jesus spent time where Simon and Andrew were so they and the other fisherman could learn from Jesus while He taught without having to leave their jobs. But this is all about to change.

5:4. After Jesus finished speaking He asked Simon to take the boat out into the deep and let downthe nets for a catch. This was a strange request on multiple levels. First, Simon was the professional fisherman Jesus was not. Jesus was a carpenter, and while He probably knew the basics of fishing, He was not as skilled or as knowledgeable as Simon. From Simon’s perspective, the request of Jesus reveals His ignorance. It was probably nearing the middle of the day, which is the worst time of the day to fish, as every fisherman knows. The nets were made for night fishing, and during the day, the nets were visible to the fish, and could be avoided.

Second, Simon and his friends had just finished cleaning their nets and should be going home to bed so they can be well rested for the next night of fishing. If they let down the nets now, they would have be cleaned again, which would take most of the afternoon, leaving little time left for sleep. This, in turn, would make it more difficult for them to fish that night.

5:5. Simon’s answer reflects some of his frustration. Though he refers to Jesus as Master, the title is more equivalent to Rabbi, with the implication that Jesus is a teacher, while Simon is the fisherman (Bock 1994:456 Bailey 2008:142). He and the other fisherman have already toiled all night and caught nothing. The word toiled (Gk. kopiasantes) refers to wearisome work, and indicates that Simon and his partners are tired from a long night of fruitless labor (Bock 1994:456). This is a tactful way of saying that if they didn’t catch anything during the night, they wouldn’t catch anything during the day either. And fishing during the day would only make them more tired for fishing during the following night, which may lead to another night of no fish. From a fisherman’s perspective, Jesus was making a foolish request.

Nevertheless, at the word of Jesus, Simon Peter agrees to let down the net. Maybe he does this to humor Jesus, but the text seems to imply he did it out of faithful obedience. Simon Peter did not know what was going to happen, or even if something would happen. Jesus promised nothing for obedience.

5:6. When they had let down the net and started to pull it back in, they discovered that they had caught a great number of fish. So many, in fact, that their net was breaking. Unlike in John 21:11, where they caught 153 fish, it is not recorded how many fish were caught.

5:7. So as not to break the net and lose all the fish, they signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. Even then, there were so many fish, that they filled both the boatsand they began to sink.

5:8. The response of Simon Peter to this miracle reveals some of what he may have been thinking when Jesus asked him to let down his nets after he had just finished cleaning them. He is called Simon Peter here, rather than just Simon, because his new apostolic nature starting to emerge. Occasionally in the Gospels, Simon the man is set in contrast to Peter the Apostle. He is more commonly referred to asPeter once Jesus gives him this nickname in Luke 6:14.

The response of Peter to this miracle is surprising. The general response to such a miracle would be amazement, wonder, awe, and a desire for Jesus to stay and perform more miracles (cf. 4:42). But Peter asks Jesus to depart. Peter states that he is a sinful man, implying that he has no right to be in the company of Jesus. But what sin had Peter committed? It was probably not something Peter said or did, but something he thought about Jesus. He may have felt anger, bitterness, or resentment at Jesus for asking Peter to fish in the middle of the day. Peter had just finished cleaning his nets, and to let them down again would require Peter to clean them all over again. This would keep him from going home to his family, and from getting adequate rest to prepare for the next night of fishing. Though it is not recorded, it is quite likely that such thoughts went through Peter’s mind, and now he is confessing them to Jesus, saying that he is not worthy to be in the company of Jesus.

Also, if it is granted that the events here in Luke follow Matthew 4:18-22 and Mark 1:16-20 by a period of a few weeks or months, then Simon has previously been called to follow Jesus and become a fisher of men, but has now gone back to fishing. If so, he may be confessing the sin of turning back from following Jesus. He is confessing his doubt in the ability of Jesus to provide for him.

But now, far from doubting Jesus, Peter declares Jesus is his Lord. This is in contrast to the earlier usage of “Master” (5:5). Simon is not stating that Jesus is God (Green 1997:233), and it is not even certain that Peter believed Jesus was the Messiah (cf. Matt 16:16 contra. Pentecost 1981:143). Instead, Peter now recognizes the authority of Jesus, and submits himself to Jesus as One who is worthy of trust.

5:9. The reason for Peter’s confession of sin is that he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken. The miracle caused amazement, which led to the recognition that Jesus had not asked them to do something ridiculous after all.

5:10. Among these others were James and John, the sons of Zebedee. John may have been one of the first followers of Jesus (John would be the unnamed second disciple in John 1:45-52). As fishing partners with Simon, they would have shared in the task of cleaning the nets and hauling in the fish, as well as the potential rewards from such a great catch (See Bailey 2008:142-143 for some of the thoughts that may have gone through Simon’s head).

Simon has confessed his sin to Jesus, and might be afraid that Jesus will not allow Simon to follow Him any longer. When Jesus speaks to Simon directly, He is not talking only Simon, but speaking to him as the spokesperson and leader for the group. Jesus to him, “Do not be afraid. From now on you will catch men.” Jesus is not here to judge or condemn Simon, but to challenge and encourage him in discipleship directions. Again, if this event follows the previous earlier calling (Matt 4:18-22 Mark 1:16-20), then Jesus is reiterating that Simon can trust Jesus to provide for him as he follows Jesus in catching men.

The idea of catching men does not refer primarily to saving souls from hell so they can go to heaven when they die. “The figure is one of rescue from danger, as the OT and Jewish usage of the concepts ‘to let live’ and ‘to save alive’ show” (Bock 1994:461). Though fish are caught to die, people are rescued to live. This call to discipleship, though frequently observed among Jewish Rabbis, was different in many regards. Jesus was not calling them to learn doctrine or to continue more fully in a way of life they were already practicing, but to learn and follow a completely new way of life, a life of mission, ministry, and service among people who, like Simon, saw themselves as sinners (cf. 5:32). Just as Simon had been “caught” by Jesus, so Jesus was calling Simon to catch others.

5:11. Simon had learned to trust Jesus, even when the request seemed foolish. So now, having just made the largest catch of his entire career as a fisherman, and when they had brought their boats to land, they forsook all and followed Him. They left the boats, the nets, and the record number of fish, and followed Jesus, which becomes a common imagery for being a disciple of Jesus. These men recognized that He had called them to a greater and higher purpose than fishing, and has proven that He has the “knowledge and ability to guide” (Bock 1994:454). The night before, Simon had come home empty handed. Now, as a result of doing what Jesus had said, he and his partners had made the biggest catch of their lives. Now Jesus was asking Simon to do something that seemed even more foolish. He was asking Simon to leave it all behind and follow Jesus in pursuit of something even more valuable to follow Jesus in catching men.


Summary

The weaknesses of the Articles of Confederation convinced the member states to send delegates to a new convention to revise them. What emerged from the debates and compromises of the convention was instead a new and stronger constitution. The Constitution established a bicameral legislature, with a Senate composed of two members from each state and a House of Representatives composed of members drawn from each state in proportion to its population. Today’s Senate has one hundred members representing fifty states, while membership in the House of Representatives has been capped at 435 since 1929. Apportionment in the House is based on population data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Constitution empowers Congress with enumerated, implied, and inherent powers. Enumerated powers are specifically addressed in the text of the Constitution. Implied powers are not explicitly called out but are inferred as necessary to achieve the objectives of the national goverment. Inherent powers are assumed to exist by virtue of the fact that the country exists. The power of Congress to regulate interstate and intrastate commerce has generally increased, while its power to control foreign policy has declined over the course of the twentieth century.

11.2 Congressional Elections

Since the House is closest to its constituents because reelection is so frequent a need, it tends to be more easily led by fleeting public desires. In contrast, the Senate’s distance from its constituents allows it to act more deliberately. Each type of representative, however, must raise considerable sums of money in order to stay in office. Attempts by Congress to rein in campaign spending have largely failed. Nevertheless, incumbents tend to have the easiest time funding campaigns and retaining their seats. They also benefit from the way parties organize primary elections, which are designed to promote incumbency.

11.3 Congressional Representation

Some representatives follow the delegate model of representation, acting on the expressed wishes of their constituents, whereas others take a trustee model approach, acting on what they believe is in their constituents’ best interests. However, most representatives combine the two approaches and apply each as political circumstances demand. The standard method by which representatives have shown their fidelity to their constituents, namely “bringing home the bacon” of favorable budget allocations, has come to be interpreted as a form of corruption, or pork-barrel politics.

Representation can also be considered in other ways. Descriptive representation is the level at which Congress reflects the nation’s constituents in terms of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and socioeconomic status. Collective representation is the extent to which the institutional body of Congress represents the population as a whole. Despite the incumbency advantage and high opinion many hold of their own legislators, Congress rarely earns an approval rating above 40 percent, and for a number of years the rating has been well below 20 percent.

11.4 House and Senate Organizations

The leader of the House is the Speaker, who also typically the leader of the majority party. In the Senate, the leader is called the majority leader. The minorities in each chamber also have leaders who help create and act on party strategies. The majority leadership in each chamber controls the important committees where legislature is written, amended, and prepared for the floor.

11.5 The Legislative Process

In the classic legislative process, bills are introduced and sent to the appropriate committee. Within the committees, hearings are held and the bill is debated and ultimately sent to the floor of the chamber. On the floor, the bill is debated and amended until passed or voted down. If passed, it moves to the second chamber where the debating and amending begins anew. Eventually, if the bill makes it that far, the two chambers meet in a joint committee to reconcile what are now two different bills. Over the last few decades, however, Congress has adopted a very different process whereby large pieces of legislation covering many different items are passed through the budgeting process. This method has had the effect of further empowering the leadership, to the detriment of the committees. The modern legislative process has also been affected by the increasing number of filibuster threats in the Senate and the use of cloture to forestall them.


Watch the video: Horaces Odes. Ancients Week (December 2021).