Class Notes: 4/28/2022

The book of Romans part 45; Paul's reversionism placed him in chains part 1

In our verse by verse study of Romans we just completed Rom 1:10 with the expanded translation: "Always in my prayers when offering a petition, that if somehow now at last I will succeed by the will of God in coming face to face with you all."

This verse brings us to a couple of side trips so we did a brief study of the categorical doctrine of prayer, we looked at the doctrine of God's will and today we will see an example of Paul rejecting God's directive will to operate in God's permissive will and pursue his own agenda that God stopped with his overruling will.

Our passage in Rom 1:10; tells us that it was God's will for Paul to go to Rome. Rom 15:24; tells us that he was not to stay in Rome because his ultimate destination was Spain

The book of Romans was written toward the end of his 3rd missionary journey as he wintered in Achaia probably in the city of Corinth for the winter months.

He should have known that he would not be received well in Jerusalem because the Jews had set a hit squad out to kill him in Greece so rather than sailing direct to Syria they crossed Macedonia on land and sailed from Philippi. Acts 20:3,6;

Rom 15:25-28; tells us that during his trip he had collected a large donation for the church in Jerusalem and that he wanted to deliver the money to Jerusalem in person rather than having someone else deliver it for him while he proceeded directly to Rome and then Spain per God's directive will but is plan under God's permissive will is to go to Jerusalem first then on to Rome and Spain.

Acts 20:16-17; tells us that Paul wanted to be in Jerusalem on Pentecost so he bypassed the large church in Ephesus and had the pastors meet him in nearby Miletus.

He tells the pastors that He is bound by the Spirit but the Holy Spirit is actually warning him that if he goes to Jerusalem he will encounter restraints and adversity. Acts 20:22-23;

The Lord did not include Jerusalem in His agenda for Paul's third missionary journey. That was Paul's idea, not the Lord's. Three passages demonstrate that it was the Lord's will for Paul's third missionary journey to go west to Spain, not east to Jerusalem: Romans 15:24,25,28;

God the Holy Spirit warned Paul not to go to Jerusalem Acts 21:4-9; was the first warning was Acts 21:10-13; where God the Holy Spirit used people to warn Paul.

Because of hi reversionism, Paul completely disobeyed God. Acts 21:14-17;

When Paul arrived in Jerusalem he was in full emotional revolt so he was susceptible to whatever the zeitgeist of the geographical area was and in this case that was Judaism that is a reversionistic legalistic religion.

The church in Jerusalem was so infected that it had lost its leadership in the Christian world. The unbelievers there were in a massive form of reversionistic Judaism that would end up in the fifth cycle of discipline in 70 AD.

When Paul went in to meet with the pastors of Jerusalem he takes their bad advice to go the temple and submit to their ritual. Acts 21:20-26;

No Bible teacher ever has to compromise in order to gain a hearing for the teaching of doctrine. Paul is the greatest Bible teacher in all of history. Therefore when Paul goes into a town he doesn't need to get into some kind of legalistic activity in order to attract a crowd.

No one ever has to bend over and compromise God's Word of truth to set up a system of rapport. God's Word stands on its own because it is the truth. Those with positive volition will come to hear of the Word of God regardless of any other factor involved. Those with negative volition are left to alone to remain under God's judgment. John 3:18;

The Word of God stands on its own merits, it doesn't need any kind of public relations fronting, or any system of hypocrisy to get a hearing but because of his reversionism Paul got into the compromise of legalism. Acts 21:26;

Paul had deviated from God's directive will and proceeded into God's permissive will and God was now going to engage His overruling will to save Paul from himself. This was also the beginning of Paul's discipline.

In Acts 21:27-32; almost 1 week later Paul went back in order to complete the function of his vow in the temple. He was spotted by some Judaisers from south Galatia in Asia, the very same people who had stoned him to death at Lystra and hey immediately incited the mob against him.

Acts 21:27; And when the seven days were almost over, the Jews from Asia Minor, upon seeing him in the Temple, began to stir up the crowd and laid hands on him,

v 28 crying out, "Men of Israel, come to our aid! This is the man who preaches to all men everywhere against our people, and the Law, and this place; and besides he has even brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place."

Acts 21:29; Because they had previously seen Trophimus the Ephesian in the city with him so they presumed that Paul had brought him into the temple.

v 30 And all the city was aroused and the people rushed together; and taking hold of Paul they dragged him out of the temple and immediately the doors were shut.

At this point, Paul's reversionism has placed his physical life at risk of the sin unto death. If God not intervened by means of His overruling will, the apostle Paul would have died at the hands of the people who he had hoped to evangelize that day.

Paul's time in Jerusalem was over. He was the apostle to the Gentiles. He had done his duty between Jerusalem and Illyricum (Rom 15:19;) and it was time for him to go west to Rome and Spain as God had directed.

He is out of God's geographic will. He is in Jerusalem compromising grace and truth and he has reverting to law keeping. This was not God's will, no Jew is being saved or led to doctrine, and the result is a near riot in the city that incurs the attention of the Roman authorities.

This is not suffering for blessing this is divine discipline. Paul is not suffering for Jesus. Paul is out of fellowship, out of the geographic will of God, and it shows but never forget that rebound turns divine discipline into suffering for blessing and Paul will rebound.

Acts 21:31; While the Jews were seeking to kill him, a report came up to the commander of the Roman cohort that all Jerusalem was in confusion.

The word translated "commander" is the Greek noun "chiloarchos" that literally means the "commander of a thousand." In the Roman army this rank was called "tribune," the commander of a "cohort" which consisted of roughly 1,000 troops.

We learn from Acts 23:26; that this tribune's name is Claudius Lysius. A cohort of 1000 men was comprised of "centuries" or groups of 100 men, each commanded by a "centurion." Tribune Claudius deploys at least two of his centuries of troops to restore order in Jerusalem.

Acts 21:32; And at once he took alone some soldiers and centurions and ran down to them. And when they saw the commander and the soldiers they stopped beating on Paul.

This is the overruling will of God under the principle that Jesus Christ controls history through the authority of the laws of divine establishment.

Acts 21:33; Then the tribune came up and took hold of Paul and ordered him to be bound with two chains and he began asking him who he was and what he had done.

v 34 But among the crowd some were shouting one thing and some another and when he could not find out the facts on account of the uproar, he ordered him to be brought into the barracks.

As Paul is being escorted away by the soldiers the mob follows shouting invectives. When Paul is about to be taken inside the barracks he asks Tribune Claudius if he can address the crowd and is granted permission. Paul's speech is recorded in Acts 22; where we find the second reference to Paul's conversion experience on the road to Damascus:

Acts 22:3; I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated under Gamaliel, strictly according to the law of our fathers, being zealous for God, just as you all are today.

This verse provides a lot of biographical information about Paul and when compared with other passages we learn that Paul was born in Tarsus of Cilicia.

Tarsus was a cultural and economic center during Roman rule and Paul describes himself and his hometown in Acts 21:39; "I am a Jew of Tarsus in Cilicia, a citizen of no insignificant city ..."

Tarsus was the capital of the province of Cilicia and for a while was the residence of Marc Antony.

Strabo, writing in about 19AD, tells us of its inhabitants' enthusiasm for learning, and especially for philosophy. He says, Tarsus surpassed Athens and Alexandria and every other university town.

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