Monday Reverb – 27March2023



The theme for this week is living into life.

The selected readings are … Psalm 130 • Ezekiel 37:1-14 • Romans 8:6-11 • John 11:1-45

  • The call to worship Psalm is an individual’s prayer offered in hope that the Lord will save him from trouble on account of the Lord’s steadfast love.
  • The Old Testament reading from Ezekiel offers a vision of dry bones coming to life as a prophecy to Israel that they will be delivered from the death of exile to live again in their own homeland.
  • Romans records Paul’s comparison of life in the Spirit with death in the flesh.
  • In the Gospel reading from John, Jesus raises Lazarus to life after being dead four days.



  • Title:  Two Kinds of People
  • Presenter:  Greg Williams, GCI President
  • Keynote Passage:  Romans 8:6-9



From the transcript …

Unlike many “two kinds of people in the world” statements, this one is not depersonalizing. In fact, it is intended to do just the opposite. Paul can make this division between two groups because he is basing it on reality. When God came in human form, he chose all of humanityAll people were created to belong to Christ and have abundant life in him.  

But not everyone believes that or wants it yet.  However, there is no other option left for us. We either live by the truth of who we were created to be, or we choose to live a lie, which amounts to no life at all. So,  Paul is encouraging us to embrace the life we have in Christ and live it out.  That is a personalizing life. That is a meaningful life that carries forward into eternity.

Paul reminds us that no matter how many kinds of people there are, there is no life outside our life in Christ, who is continuing to  pursue, draw, and embrace all of humanity to himself.  Embrace the one who has embraced you.  




A Mindset of Life and Death

Romans 8:6-11 (ESV)

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus[d] from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

We are now five Sundays into Easter Preparation (referred to as Lent in many Christian denominations).  We have a text before us that may serve well in guarding us from making some common mistakes when it comes to this season on the Christian calendar.  During this season we seek to align our lives with the reality we have come to know in Jesus Christ our Lord.  This alignment leads us to make changes, repenting of things in our life that do not fit the revelation of who Jesus is, and who we are in him.  When we see who we are in Christ, we no longer want to live as if we are living apart from Christ.  That is a life of contradiction and chaos.  We want to live in our true identity as those in whom Christ lives.

But here is a common misstep that can take place during this process.  Our focus can turn from Christ and get fixated on our sins.  If we are not careful, we can become preoccupied with our individual sins where our actions and inactions (our condition) blind us to the larger issue (our position).  The larger issue that our text will focus on is our mindset.  The point of the Easter Preparation season is not to make a list of every little sin that we struggle with and then commit to overcoming those sins.  That can quickly become a list of dos and don’ts that serve as a scorecard of our righteousness.  Our focus is diverted from Christ and onto our actions.

Here is an analogy that hopefully is not too oversimplified.  Let’s say you are trying to eat healthier.  In this analogy, chocolate cake may represent the sin you most easily fall prey to.  If you spend all day thinking of chocolate cake and how you need to avoid eating it, guess what’s going to happen.  You are probably at some point going to eat chocolate cake.  Why, because it’s what you have been thinking of all day.  Your mind is set on chocolate cake, not eating healthier.  If you are focused on eating more vegetables, getting exercise, and so forth, then you will not be tempted by chocolate cake unless it is put under your nose.  You’re not even thinking about it. T he point of the analogy is that it’s the mindset that is more important than making a list of sins to avoid.  And that is what we will see in our text today. So, let’s dive in.


For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. (Romans 8:6 ESV)

Right out of the gate we are given what is important during this season.  Our mindset.  Or more precisely, what our mind is set on.  Paul will give us a comparison to make his point.  He contrasts a mind that is set on the “flesh” with that of a mind that is set on the “Spirit.”  And Paul is clear that this contrast is a matter of life and death.  A mindset on the flesh is death.  A mindset on the Spirit is life.

More than that, a mindset on the Spirit is also peace.   Not only does the Spirit bring us into life, but this life is a life of peace.   And peace biblically understood, is living in relationship with the good of the other in mind.  It doesn’t just mean there is no fighting.  The peace of the Spirit is an active peace, seeking and working for the wellbeing of the other.  This kind of peace in a broken world may actually amount to “fighting” at times.  Like Jesus telling Peter to “get behind me Satan.”   Those are some serious fighting words.  Peter was going down a dangerous path resisting what Jesus was sent to do.  So, Jesus “fights” for Peter, to set him back on the right path.  So, a mindset on the Spirit cannot be spiritualized away as if we are talking about some ephemeral realm outside the body.  Peace will mean living in this present world with a mindset that seeks to be a blessing to others.  It’s a mindset that does not want any harm to come to another even if it means harm to one’s own self.  That’s the kind of peaceful living we see in Jesus Christ.

And to avoid confusion, let’s be clear.  Paul is not saying that there are two competing parts to being a human.  (The pagan Greek philosophy of “dualism” taught the mind and body were two distinct and separable entities.)  He is not saying our bodies are bad and we just need to be “spiritual.”  That would not stand to the fact that Jesus Christ assumed a human body, was raised in the flesh, and will return in the flesh.  This come into sharper focus in the next couple of verses where Paul first deals with the mind that is set on the flesh.

For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot.  Those who are in the flesh cannot please God. (Romans 8:7-8 ESV)

It’s important to understand that when Paul contrasts the terms “flesh” and “Spirit” he is making a contrast between two “ways of life.”  He is not talking about the body as if our material flesh is in some way evil or sinful on its own.  No, God created us with bodies, and he blessed it and said it is good.  Again, for Paul, the “flesh” is a mindset, a way of living, one that is shaped and controlled by the ways of the world, which stands in opposition and outright rebellion against God.  So, Paul is also not referring to a list of bad behaviors, but a mindset that wants nothing to do with Christ.   This type of orientation is a focus on death because it is not focused on the author of life.  It is a mindset that will lead to nothing.  Paul is so bold to say that this mindset, this way of life, is not even capable of pleasing God.  It’s worse than just making some bad decisions, it is a form of slavery, an inability to live according to who we are created to be.

Those strong statements may lead us down to another misstep that can occur during the season of Easter Preparation if we are not careful.  We may be tempted to look around and try to determine who has the Holy Spirit and who does not.  We may even begin to wonder if we have the Spirit.  We will need to move to the next couple of verses to avoid that pitfall.

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. (Romans 8:9 ESV)

Now Paul is going to move to the other mindset.  And it is important to remember that he is writing to believers.  So, he is trying to encourage them to live out the reality of who they are.  He begins by confirming who they are as those who are first, “not in the flesh,” and then second, “in the Spirit.”  If we ever begin to wonder whether we are in the Spirit, let Paul’s words here remind you that you are.  In fact, if you ever are concerned about not being in the Spirit, it is only because the Spirit is nudging you to live into the fact that you are.  If you weren’t in the Spirit, it wouldn’t even cross your mind.  Remember, for Paul, living in the Spirit is a mindset.  In this case, the mind is turned to the reality of living in Christ.

If you ever get discouraged over a sin in your life and begin to doubt that you have the Spirit, or fear that you don’t belong to Christ, remember that if you did not belong to Christ, you would never be discouraged or disappointed that you have sinned.  You wouldn’t care one bit.  So, Paul is not trying to beat us down and tell us we need to get with the program and quit sinning.  No, he is reminding us of where our focus needs to be, what our minds should be occupied with.  And that is Jesus Christ, whom we belong to.   Focusing on him is the only way we ever overcome any of our sins, because the reality is we don’t overcome our sins, we come over to the one who has overcome them for us.

Paul has not turned from grace and now is preaching works.  He is trying to turn our eyes and our minds back to Jesus.  And that is the whole point of this season.  To turn to him again and again, for only in him is there life and peace.

This verse and the two following will also give us three things to remember about living in the Spirit which flows from God’s grace.

First, the Spirit is not something that belongs to us.  We do not possess the Spirit like we do an object.  The Spirit is “the Spirit of God.”  It belongs to him and is a gift to us.  The Spirit is a “who” and not a “what.”  And it is given to “dwell in you.”  Living in the Spirit is living in the relationship we have with the Father through Christ, all by the power of the Spirit.  The mindset of the Spirit is to remain and abide in this life-giving communion we are given in Christ.  We no longer live as if we are not in relationship with Jesus.

Second, the gift of the Spirit empowers us.  Let’s look at the next verse.

But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10 ESV)

Paul has already established that his hearers are in the Spirit.  So, his “if” statement is not set up as a question to see “if” Christ is in them.  Rather, he is stating a reality on account of having Christ alive in them.  He is letting us know that our body of sin is dead.  It has been crucified with Christ and it no longer has any power over us.  We are free from the bondage of sin, and free to live a life of righteousnessThat righteousness is not our own, but the righteousness given to us in Christ by the power of the Spirit.

This is a staggering new identity that is hard to believe.  But, since you are in Christ, you are actually given his righteousnessYou don’t have to work up your own righteousnessYou can’t get more righteous than you already are in ChristBut, in this life we do need to have our mind set on that reality in order to live it out.  We won’t do it perfectly this side of heaven, but we are given hope and assurance that in the end, our lives will perfectly align with who we truly are in Jesus Christ.  And that’s the third and final point we see in the last verse for today’s text.

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you. (Romans 8:11 ESV)

Third, living in the Spirit today will not be taken away tomorrow. 

One thing the season of Easter Preparation will force us to acknowledge is that we still sin.  Even as believers we still struggle to live a life of righteousness and peace.  The more we walk with the Lord the more we will see our sins and hate them.  We are growing to be more like Christ, and anything that does not look like him we will not want to see in ourselves.  But we are assured that the Spirit was not given to us to leave us in our sinsHe is determined to bring us to resurrected life, the very life Jesus has for us.  So, even when we fail today, we have hope for tomorrow.  And it is on this ground of hope that we can repent and turn to him once again                                  .










Romans 11:25-27  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.

26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.  



Will all modern Israel be saved, regardless?

Published:Sunday | March 26, 2023 | 12:23 AM 
Rev Clinton Chisholm
Rev Clinton Chisholm

There is an old popular, but unbiblical belief within Evangelical circles that all modern Israelites will be saved before our Lord’s return.  Ask anyone who holds this view and you will likely hear a quotation of Romans 11:26 “And so all Israel shall be saved ….” (KJV)

I have asked a few who hold the view I am countering ‘so will modern Israelites get a special way to God’s salvation without accepting Jesus as Lord and Saviour?’  They fumble and stutter a bit, eventually admitting ignorance of how this will happen, but still maintain the view that it will happen.

They need to know and take seriously my R.O.A.D principles of interpretation (check Particularly the ‘R’ principle which deals with reading in context.  As well as the ‘D’ principle, going deeper by knowledge of Greek then they would get clarity on the verse in the context and language of Paul’s argument in chapter 11.

In Rom. 11:11-19 Paul checks the temptation on the part of Gentiles to boast, spiritually, by reminding Gentiles that we were simply grafted in, albeit by means of the deliberate act of God in breaking off some of the branches of the olive tree.

Pay close attention to the idea from v. 20 onwards. The crucial concepts are the opposites unbelief / faith.  V.20 (Rom.11:20) “they were broken off because of unbelief, you stand (=are in place, positionally) by faith.”  

Verses 24 and 25 (Romans 11:24-25) are best read as a summary of the main argument advanced re the cruciality of faith as the means of being right with God whether one is a Jew or a Gentile.

Then comes v.26 (Rom.11:26) which has been terribly handled because folks do not pause to explore the Greek text.  Perhaps, because of the time expression in 25 (Rom.11:25) “… until the full number …” many think the first words of v.26 “and so” are terms suggesting time.  But they are not!

The troublesome word in the English is ‘so’ which in the Greek is houtōs (sound = who toes).  This word is an adverb of manner (= how) meaning ‘in this way/manner’, not an adverb of time (=when).

V.26 should read “And in this manner, [that is, by faith] all Israel will be saved.”  

A critical point to ponder is this, if Israelis or ethnic descendants of the ancient Israelites are to be specially blessed with salvation in a way different from all other humans, then how would we answer the following questions.

1. What promise has God made to the biblical Israelites that a) God has not kept; b) the said Israelites have not forfeited by disobedience and; c) that has not been superseded/abrogated by the New Covenant at Calvary?

2. What in context would/could Paul mean by “the Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16, in a book where he consistently argues about the radical superiority of faith in Jesus above works of the law?

3. What in context could Paul (an ethnic Jew) possibly mean in Rom.2:28-29?

Ponder as well, the declaration of Paul (the converted Jew) in Gal.3:27-29.  This has nothing at all to do with the ill-named/erroneous ‘replacement theology’!

So then, there will be no special salvation of any Jew or Israeli (wherever located globally) except by faith in the finished work of Jesus at Calvary.  This I hear is the prayerful mission of messianic believers in modern Israel.

This means that Evangelicals who are using trends in modern Israel as end-time signs are actually reading a dead-end or detour sign.  Modern Israel is not equal to or a spiritual extension of biblical Israel and let it be remembered that even biblical Israel was repeatedly disobedient and punished by God!!

It should be instructive too that God allowed (caused?) the Temple and Jerusalem to be destroyed in AD 70!


Romans 11:25-27 (KJV)  25 For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.  26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:  27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.  


Romans 11 (ESV)

I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham,[a] a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? “Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life.” But what is God’s reply to him? “I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace.

What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened, as it is written,

“God gave them a spirit of stupor,
    eyes that would not see
    and ears that would not hear,
down to this very day.”

And David says,

“Let their table become a snare and a trap,
    a stumbling block and a retribution for them;
10 let their eyes be darkened so that they cannot see,
    and bend their backs forever.”

11 So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather, through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous. 12 Now if their trespass means riches for the world, and if their failure means riches for the Gentiles, how much more will their full inclusion[b] mean!

13 Now I am speaking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch then as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry 14 in order somehow to make my fellow Jews jealous, and thus save some of them. 15 For if their rejection means the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance mean but life from the dead? 16 If the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, so is the whole lump, and if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 But if some of the branches were broken off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root[c] of the olive tree, 18 do not be arrogant toward the branches. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you. 19 Then you will say, “Branches were broken off so that I might be grafted in.” 20 That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but fear. 21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will he spare you. 22 Note then the kindness and the severity of God: severity toward those who have fallen, but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in his kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off. 23 And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in again. 24 For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grafted back into their own olive tree.

25 Lest you be wise in your own sight, I do not want you to be unaware of this mystery, brothers:[d] a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. 26 And in this way all Israel will be saved, as it is written,

“The Deliverer will come from Zion,
    he will banish ungodliness from Jacob”;
27 “and this will be my covenant with them
    when I take away their sins.”

28 As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. 29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 30 For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, 31 so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now[e] receive mercy. 32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!

34 “For who has known the mind of the Lord,
    or who has been his counselor?”
35 “Or who has given a gift to him
    that he might be repaid?”

36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.


Romans 14:11

Philippians 2:9-11






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