Friday, September 30, 2011


For Sunday October 2, 2011

(We are to reveal and demonstrate we have new life in CHRIST)
(Romans 6)

When we were joined to CHRIST in “spiritual baptism”, we became so united with HIM that HIS death became our death to sin. Sin no longer has dominion over our lives, and we are free to make the choice of obeying GOD fully. JESUS’ resurrection became our resurrection and we now share in HIS new life. In sharing in that new life, we are now able to live for GOD, just as CHRIST does (Romans 6:1-11).
In the Greek, the word used for “truth” is “aletheia” (al-ay-thi-a), and it means “in harmony with reality”. When we come to CHRIST, we experience a “spiritual reality” or “truth” through faith, that, we otherwise, would have never known. We have chosen to live in harmony with reality, and can now, consider ourselves to be dead to the world of sin, and new citizens to the “kingdom of Heaven”. We must now allow the Laws of GOD to become paramount to us in our new life, and we are ready to accept the reality of GOD’s truth, based on faith in HIS WORD. We are saying to GOD that we no longer want to be slaves to sin, but rather, we choose to be servants to HIM, through HIS grace (Romans 6:12-14). 
Chapter 6 of Paul’s letter to the Romans is all about “present tense salvation”. It exemplifies the truth that we are being perpetually saved by CHRIST JESUS daily, and in fact, moment by moment. And even though our propensity to sin remains with us, and indeed, we all still feel our “sin nature” tugging at us, however, now, we have the strength of CHRIST, through GOD’s infusion of the HOLY SPIRIT to help us win those battles between our “reason to do right”, and our natural “passion to want to do wrong”.
In verse 15, the mention that believers live “under grace” led some early believers to ask the question, “Should we sin more because we are under grace, and not the law?” Paul refuted this silly notion and went on to explain why that idea can never be accepted. Paul tells us, in effect, that, there can be no middle ground between being “a slave to sin” and being “a slave to obedience to GOD’s Word”. In other words, no one can serve two masters. We can’t serve both GOD and the devil. Being a slave to sin leads to death (eternal separation from GOD), and being a slave to GOD means having an “eternal life of freedom in CHRIST JESUS”. To choose “obedience to GOD” is to choose a new master, and, to abandon the chains of slavery and bondage with the old master, satan (Vs. 16-18).
The Apostle Paul used the illustration of “slave and master” because it was easy to understand in the physical sense. However, Paul sought to impart “spiritual” understanding of our spiritual problems, which always lead to our physical suffering. GOD is SPIRIT, and so is satan. GOD’s SPIRIT is righteous, and satan’s is evil. We can choose to let ourselves fall victim to the impurities and lawlessness of satan’s evil spirit, or, we can choose the righteousness of CHRIST, and become holy with GOD’ SPIRIT. Remember, the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of GOD is eternal life, through CHRIST JESUS, our LORD (Vs. 19- 23).
The role of faith becomes easier once we decide in our hearts to seek the righteousness that can only be found in living a more “CHRIST-like” life. Life has always consisted of choices that shape our lives for better or for worse. And since every rational person wants the best out of life, we must choose to make the choices in life that align us with the will of GOD. We cannot enjoy goodness apart from GOD. We must determine that we are going to live for the CHRIST WHO died for us, and make doing GOD’s will, our daily goal in life.  


(1). Make the choice of “Life in CHRIST”. It is an option that is readily available to
       you, as long as you have breath in your body.
(2). If you are a professed Christian, you must remain constantly in the word of
      GOD. Every time you begin to release your grip on the word of GOD, the old
       life begins to regain its grip on you. Spend as much time in GOD’s word as
       you possibly can.
(3). From the very moment you close your bible and put it down, you begin the
       process of being untrained all over again, so don’t wait long before you pick it
       up again.


Pray and ask GOD daily how you can remain out of the grip of your personal sins against HIM. Pray that HE continue HIS work in you, by releasing those strongholds that have dominated your life for so long, and then, help you to help others, through your experiences.

KEY VERSE: Romans 6:4

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: 1 Corinthians 12:12-13, 1 Corinthians 15, John 20:1-10

                                           LARRY D. ALEXANDER- Official Website

Friday, September 23, 2011


For Sunday September 25, 2011

(We receive salvation and enjoy its benefits through GOD’s grace)
(Romans 5)

The sin of Adam brought physical death. The Resurrection of CHRIST brought spiritual life. Because one man disobeyed GOD, many people became sinners (Romans 5:12). However, because one other MAN obeyed GOD, many people will be made right in GOD’s sight (Romans 5:17).
In the original Greek, the word Paul uses for “access”, in Romans 5:2, is “prosagoge” (pros-a-gogue-ay), and it means “to introduce, or usher someone else into the presence of royalty”. It can also be defined as “a safe haven, or harbor”. We have “access” to GOD through our faith in JESUS CHRIST, WHO came into the World, and overcame the World, by way of HIS enduring SPIRIT. We can now rejoice in our trials because we know that those trials are not meant to make us fail, but rather, they are tests, that are meant to strengthen us, and make us better warriors in the army of CHRIST. Trials help us learn to endure, and endurance develops strength and character. Our character then strengthens our hope and confidence in the gift of salvation (Romans 5:2-4).
In John 15:13 JESUS says that, “greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (KJV). This gives us confidence in salvation, because, here JESUS is saying in effect, that, from that glorious moment when HE died on the cross at Golgotha, we were no longer just HIS servants, but, at that moment, we became HIS friends. By the sin of Adam, all men became sinners and were alienated from GOD. In total contrast, by the righteousness of CHRIST, all men became righteous, and are restored to a right relationship with GOD (Romans 5:18).
Paul says it more clearly in 1 Corinthians 15:21-22 where he states, “For since by man came death, by MAN came also, the resurrection of the dead. For in Adam all die, even so in CHRIST shall all be made alive” (KJV). There are two basic Jewish ideas that come into play, when reading this passage. One is “solidarity”. The Jews never really thought of themselves as individuals, but rather, they were a part of a chosen clan, a family, or a nation, and whatever happened to one, happened to all. The other thing that comes into play is that, at least in those days, death was considered to be the direct consequence, or result, of sin. The Jews believed that sin was intimately connected with death, and in essence, they are right.
GOD’s love, however, is not limited to just a select few, and HE proved that when HE extended HIS love to the entire ungodly human race by sending HIS SON JESUS to die on the cross for our iniquities. And since HIS death brought reconciliation to us all, while we were still HIS enemies, we are now reconciled, and should have confidence that HIS sacrifice will complete the work of salvation in us (Romans 5:6-11).
GOD’s law was given to us so that all people could see how sinful they are. The more people sin, the more abundantly GOD’s wonderful grace and kindness will manifest itself. And just as sin had previously ruled over all people, bringing them to death, so now GOD’s grace and kindness rules instead, giving us right standing with HIMSELF, and resulting in eternal life through CHRIST JESUS, our LORD (Romans 5:20-21).
Through faith in CHRIST, we can see an ultimate happy ending to the unpleasant circumstances that we now find ourselves in. Faith gives us hope to see beyond our suffering, tribulation, and understanding. Faith enables us to realize how GOD can work a greater good in our lives through difficult times. And we can also rejoice and come to rest in the hope of a glorious future that was prepared for us long ago, by a kind and loving GOD.


(1). Think of someone you know, who may be seeing themselves as being in 
       a hopeless situation because of a recent setback in life. Then, try and come up
       with some GODLY ways in which you might be able to encourage them in the
       SPIRIT of hope, which CHRIST JESUS lends to us as Christians.
(2). Arm them with a list of scriptures, perhaps from this lesson that may seem most
       appropriate to their struggle.
(3). When a person has hope, they also have peace, and that is true with everyone.
       Through the power of CHRIST we can be conquerors of all things, even the
        things that bring us harm and disappointment in this world.


Pray a prayer of thanks to GOD for giving us hope, through JESUS CHRIST, our LORD and SAVIOR, WHO then sent to us, the HOLY SPIRIT, to empower us to do the same for others.

KEY VERSE: Romans 5:5

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: Philippians 4:6-7, Psalms 40:1-3, Psalms 34:17-19

A Bible Study Lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Friday, September 16, 2011

For Sunday September 18, 2011

(GOD saves people through faith)
(Romans 3:28-4:5 & 4:16-25)

In the first century, many Jews believed that Paul’s teachings on grace and salvation by faith, seriously undermined the Mosaic Law, and thus, denied GOD’s Old Testament revelation to man. Paul argued instead, that, the Gospel he taught only served to uphold the Law, and to give it the place that GOD always intended for it to have.
In Romans chapter 3, taking up at verse 28, Paul sets out to educate the early Christian Church in Rome and other places on how GOD’s grace and salvation through JESUS CHRIST actually establishes the Law in GOD’s intended role, which is to be a mirror that can, first, show us our sins, and then, point us toward faith.
In the Greek, the word New Testament writers use for “faith” is “pistis”, and it means “to rely upon with an inward certainty”. Even before the Law, there was Faith. And as I mentioned in the last week’s bible study, Abraham is the towering figure to whom the Jews traced their origins and special place as GOD’s chosen people. By quoting Genesis 15:6, in verse 3 of chapter 4, Paul is able to prove to the Jews that the roots of faith are anchored in an “imputed”, rather than “earned” righteousness.
Here Paul demonstrates from sacred history, that, salvation always has been a gift of GOD received through faith, and that, faith is the way by which Abraham received his salvation, even before there was a Law, or a “Ten Commandments”. Righteousness was accredited to Abraham, because he had faith, and he believed GOD (4:1-3).
In the Greek, there is also a wonderful sounding word that New Testament writers use for “promise”. It is “epaggelia” (ep-ang-el-ee-ah), and it is “an announcement of divine assurance of good”. In Romans 4:13-17, Paul argues that, the “promise” of GOD was given to Abraham because of his “faith”. And since the promises that are given to him, and, to his offspring are rooted in faith, and not in the law, the Jews then, must also rely on faith, rather than works, in order to please GOD.
Abraham was confident that GOD was able to do that which HE had promised, and, that HE would surely keep HIS word. Whenever we believe GOD’s promise of salvation through JESUS CHRIST, we too, are accredited with “righteousness” that we did not, or could not earn on our own (Romans 4:18-25). If salvation depended on us we would surely be lost, however, since our salvation depends on GOD keeping HIS promise to those who believe, we have the greatest of all possible guarantees.
In Mark 10:27, JESUS responded to HIS Disciples’ question of “Who then can be saved?” There JESUS answered by saying, “With men it is impossible, but not so with GOD: for with GOD, all things are possible”. There JESUS is saying, in effect, that, if a man is to depend upon his own efforts to achieve salvation, then, it is impossible for anyone. Salvation is a gift from GOD, and with GOD, all things are possible. If a man is to rely upon his own efforts, he can never be “saved”. However, if he will rely on the saving power and redeeming love of GOD, then, he will be able to enter, for free, into the Kingdom of Heaven. That’s the thought that JESUS stated then, and that’s the thought that Paul is stating here in this letter to the Romans, and that’s the thought that is still today, the very foundation of the Christian Faith.
Paul used Abraham as an example, because the Jews regarded him as the father of their race, and the earthly pattern of what a man should live like. Paul was seeking to prove that what makes a man righteous, is not his works, but rather, it is his faith and trust in GOD and HIS word.
Paul also used Abraham as an example, because he himself was a wise teacher who could discern human thoughts. He recognized that faith is abstract, and, that the human mind finds abstract ideas hard to grasp. Using Abraham as an example was Paul’s way of personifying faith, and thereby, developing understanding in the human mind, not just for those people in his day, nor, just for the Jews, but for all people, for all time.


(1). Guard against losing faith in GOD because you are disappointed in people.
(2). Christians cannot operate without “faith”, and we certainly can’t please GOD
       without it.
(3). Abraham is the personification of faith in Paul’s illustration, because he lived
       before there was a “Ten Commandments”. Through faith only, he believed in, and
       obeyed GOD, and GOD, as a result, accredited him with righteousness, and he
       received GOD’s salvation based on his faith.
(4). When we obey GOD, we can be assured that GOD will keep HIS word of
       promise to us even today, because GOD cannot and will not change.


Pray a prayer of thanks to GOD for promises kept when we trust and believe on HIM. Thank HIM for life more abundant when we live it through CHRIST JESUS, WHO continues to fulfill those promises that enhance and enrich our lives each day that we follow HIM.

KEY VERSE: Romans 4:20-21

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: Genesis 15:12-20, Acts -41, John 14:1-3

For questions and further information email Larry D. Alexander at

A Bible Study Lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander

Saturday, September 10, 2011

For Sunday September 11, 2011

(We all need to hear the Gospel)
(Romans 2)

In the beginning, GOD uniquely placed into human creation, seven communicable attributes that would allow man to be able to share HIS nature, and also, worship HIM. Those attributes are Life, Personality, Truth, Wisdom, Love, Justice, and Holiness. This is what GOD meant when HE said that HE would make man “in HIS OWN image” (Gen. 1:27). GOD is spirit (John 4:24) and does not have a physical image, and so the statement by GOD in Gen. 1:27 does not mean that man’s physical appearance is like GOD, but rather his spiritual makeup is compatible with GOD’s. Because of these communicable attributes, man instinctively knows when he’s doing right or wrong (Rom. 1:19 & 2:14-15).  
In Romans chapter 1, verses 18-20, the Apostle Paul talked about how GOD is angry and disappointed with all of us, Christians and non-Christians alike, because of our sin, and because of the innate sense of truth that we constantly push away from ourselves. Paul says that the truth about GOD is known to every man instinctively, because GOD has placed this knowledge in our hearts from the beginning. Paul also says that, by those facts, man has always been able to see GOD’s invisible qualities, HIS eternal power, and, HIS divine nature, and we have no excuse whatsoever for not knowing and obeying GOD.
In Romans 2, sensing the arrogant, mega-saved attitudes of the Jewish Christians who may have over-indulged in his previous criticism of the Gentiles and unbelieving Jews, Paul warns against judging others. Paul says that, by condemning others, we also condemn ourselves, because all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of GOD. GOD, in HIS justice, will punish anyone who does evil, Jews and Gentiles, Believers and unbelievers. Every one of us will have to make an account for the deeds done in our lifetime, and whether or not we believe that HE exists is totally irrelevant, and, GOD does not play favorites. HE will not withhold HIS disciplinary actions against sin from anyone, regardless of who they are, in fact, Paul says, HE will even start with the Jews first, because the law was given to them first. For it is not merely knowing the law, that brings GOD’s approval, but rather, it is those who obey the law that will be declared right in the sight of GOD (Rom. 2:1-13).
In Romans 2:17-29, Paul takes a look at the basis for which Jews claimed spiritual superiority over Gentiles in those days. He shows how both, as human beings, break the law of GOD, and how the claim of superiority by the Jews amounts only to an expression of raw pride and unwitting ignorance on their part.  To the Jews, an announcement such as this must have been quite hard to hear and take in those days. They were absolutely certain that GOD regarded them with special favor simply because of their national origin, or descent from Abraham. Remember, Abraham is the towering figure to which the Jews traced their origins as GOD’s chosen people. They saw it as a privilege to be born Jewish, but they never did grasp the responsibility of being “a light to the world” that their Jewish birthright also carried with it.
Here Paul shows how a relationship with GOD requires an inner spiritual circumcision of the heart”, not just the “outward physical act of the circumcision of the male’s genital, to be a member of GOD’s covenant community. Paul reminded them that circumcision only meant something if they obeyed GOD’s law. If they didn’t obey GOD’s law, they were no better off spiritually than the uncircumcised Gentiles. Paul insists that they were not true Jews, unless their hearts were right with GOD (v.29). In fact, an uncircumcised Gentile, who kept GOD’s law, was much better off than a circumcised Jew who didn’t (v.27).
In the Greek, the word Paul uses for “praise” in verse 29 is “epainos” (ep-ahee-nos), and it is “a laudable or commendable thing”. Here Paul is saying that, only GOD determines the righteousness of men, not, other men. GOD’s promises are not to people of a certain race, or to people who bear a certain mark on their bodies. GOD’s promises are to those who believe in HIM and exemplify it through their lifestyles and behavior. It is not a matter of pedigree, but rather, of character. We must be right with GOD in our living, regardless, of our race. In other words, Jews and Gentiles, in order to please GOD, must act like Christians, in both their private, and public life, at all times.


(1). Remember, the real mark of your relationship with GOD is on the inside. It is a
       circumcision of the heart that is performed by the HOLY SPIRIT, that sets a
       person apart from the world.
(2). Your moral nature is the only thing that will ever testify about you to GOD, and
       your acts are the only real measure of your morality.
(3). When our personal history judges us, it will be looking to see if we were, in our
       lifetimes, rightly related to CHRIST, rightly related to each other as Christians,
       and, rightly related to the world (John 15:1 – 16:4).


Pray daily that you will, at all times, show proper reverence for GOD, proper love for your fellowman, and maintain the desire and strength, through CHRIST, to not lose your heart to people and things of this world.

KEY VERSE: Roman 2:29

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: John 15:1-16:4, Matthew 25:31-46, Acts 10:34-48

A Bible Study Lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander


For Sunday September 4, 2011

(GOD’s power to save lives comes through the gospels)
(Romans 1:1-17)

When Paul wrote his, now famous, letter to the Romans, he had not yet visited the church in Rome. He wrote Romans shortly before his visit to Jerusalem, where he went to deliver a monetary gift from the Gentiles (Acts 24:17 & Rom. ). At that time, he was residing in Corinth as a guest in the home of Gaius, while visiting the church at Cenchrea. He resided there for three months according to Acts 20:2-3, and so this letter was most likely written there, probably during the early spring of A.D. 58.
In the biblical Greek, the word used for “Apostle” is “Apostolos” (Ap-os-tol-os), and it is “an ambassador, or commissioner of CHRIST”, or, “he that is sent”. In the New Testament, the title “Apostle” refers to the leaders of the early church, who, had witnessed the risen CHRIST, and were specially commissioned by HIM to preach the Gospel (Acts 1:21-22). JESUS originally gave the title to the twelve original disciples (Luke 6:13), however, after HIS resurrection, the term was applied to a wider circle of preachers and witnesses who also seen HIM after HIS resurrection (Acts 14:4 & 14).
Paul’s claim to be an Apostle was challenged by some at first, mostly because of his previous history of persecuting Christians in and around Rome. However, Paul staked his Apostleship claim on the basis of his direct call by JESUS when HE appeared to him, while traveling on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:1-9). In his letters, Paul refers to himself as being a “slave” of JESUS CHRIST, or, in the original Greek, a “doulos” (doo-los). “Doulos”, or “Slave”, is the proudest title of the ancient Prophets. It is a title that, they felt, separated them from all other men, the fact that they were “slaves of GOD”.
We must be careful to remember however, that, for every man, GOD has a purpose, and no man’s life is without that purpose. In fact, it is for the purpose of GOD that all Christians are called, and all creation is made. It is also by the work of HIS HOLY SPIRIT that a life is hallowed towards HIM, and, it is because of the spilling of the blood of HIS SON, CHRIST JESUS, that our past sins are forgiven us, and we, like Paul, can look forward to a future of obedience to GOD.
Through the Gospel, JESUS saved Paul that day on the road to Damascus, and Paul’s life was forever changed for the better because of it. But isn’t that what JESUS does for each of us, through HIS vicarious sacrifice? HE saves us, from permanent separation from GOD.
Paul was always ready to preach the Gospel to whoever would listen, because he knew about the saving power of the word of GOD. He placed no faith in his own abilities, because he understood that the life-changing power was contained in the Scriptures. In fact, GOD’s very being is wrapped up in HIS Word, and, because of it, HIS Word manifests to us, GOD HIMSELF. Scripture is not just a composition of GOD’s instructions, or how HE deals with man, but rather, it is the power that can redeem us from the hopelessness of our own self-imposed circumstances.
Let us remember that, by the time Paul is writing this letter to the Romans, he has already been imprisoned in Philippi, chased out of Thessalonica, smuggled out of Berea, laughed at in Athens, and in Corinth, his message was considered to be ludicrous to the Greeks, and a stumbling block to the Jews. Yet in Romans 1:16-17, he declares in one of his most famous statements that, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel of CHRIST: for it is the power of GOD unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of GOD revealed, from faith to faith: as it is written, the just shall live by faith”.
GOD intended for HIS Gospel to be for all people, Jews and Gentiles, in fact, the Church in Rome, at that time, was made up mostly of Gentile Christians who had answered the call of the Gospel of CHRIST. Through the work of the HOLY SPIRIT, all believers become Saints, and are therefore GOD’s holy people. Paul was not ashamed of the Gospel, and neither should we be. For, it unleashes the power of GOD that brings all mankind to salvation, and, in simpler terms, it saves us from ourselves.


(1). If you have not accepted the wonderful gift of Salvation, talk to someone, whom
       you know to be a Christian, about how you should go about it.
(2). If you have already accepted CHRIST, sit down right now and write a thank-
       you note to GOD for giving you the most precious part of HIMSELF, CHRIST
(3). As long as there is breath in your body, it is not too late to accept Salvation. The
       right time to come to CHRIST, is always right now, and the right way to come
       to CHRIST is always, just as you are.


Pray a prayer of thanks to GOD each day for Salvation, through CHRIST JESUS. Pray also that people everywhere will clearly hear and understand the gospel message and be able to share in the gift of Eternal Life.

KEY VERSE: Romans 1:16

DEVOTIONAL PASSAGES: John 6:35, John 8:12, John 10:11

A Bible Study Lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander