Author: Stephen Ricker

BDBD is Romans 7:7-25

Law defined in the Bible is that which is. Law is a reality or set of realities. Law is the state of existence of that which God created and designed. Law is every aspect of creation as it is meant to be and as it interacts within itself. The law of gravity states that a […]

BDBD is Romans 7:1-6

There is a law for everything, and everything has a law. Marriage is no exception. According to all societies, marriage is bound by law. That is not romantic. Yet, it is true. Marriage law in most cultures states something like this, “The married couple is bound to each other exclusively as long as both are […]

BDBD is Romans 6:12-23

Paul compares two moral lifestyles with the analogy of slavery. Bob Dylan’s 1979 song “Gotta Serve Somebody” comes to mind when I read these verses. John Lennon’s response song “Serve Yourself” is comical in the light of the truth that in the heart everyone is either a slave to sin or a slave to righteousness. […]

BDBD is Romans 6:1-14

  I can and do live a new life in Christ (4). It is possible to change. It is possible to stop old bad habits; thoughts and actions. It is possible to form new good habits in Christ.   Some changes seemed daunting, ruled by the power of sin (6). Yet, the Spirit binds me to […]

BDBD Is Romans 5:12-21

   Paul compares the result of Adam’s action to Jesus’s action. I want to list just what Jesus did.   1. Jesus brings a gift to many (15, 16).   2. Jesus brings God’s grace to many (15).   3. Jesus brings justification to many (16).   4. We receive God’s abundant provision of grace through Jesus (17).   5. […]

BDBD is Romans 5:1-11

I have felt helpless at various times in my life. Helplessness is the awareness that as much as I want to do something to change something I cannot. It’s realizing that I cannot help the circumstances to proceed to change for the better. Rather, things are either fixed in the current mess or will get […]

BDBD is Romans 4

David, the 2nd king of Israel, lived 1,000 years before Paul, the writer of the letter to the Romans. Abraham lived 2,000 years before Paul. Paul said in this chapter that Abraham, David, and he have several things in common in regards to their relationship with God. The most important thing they had in common […]

BDBD is Romans 3:21-31

Most people want something better for themselves. If given choices to improve life or make it worse most would choose to make their life better. One way to make life better is to make a decision and then act on that decision. Improving life in this way takes effort. Self-improvements and hard effort usually go […]

BDBD is Romans 3:1-20

  Paul addresses some foolish arguments about God’s character and mankind’s character in verses 1 thru 8. His main point is that God is true and righteous while every human being is a liar and unrighteous. God’s judgment is just.   Verses 9 thru 20 reveal the truth that all are under the power of sin. […]

BDBD is Romans 2:17-29

I am not a Jew. Yet I have believed that Jesus is the Messiah and have been actively living within that belief for so long that this passage is relevant to me (28).    I do not rely on the law for establishing and maintaining an eternal relationship with God because I know and accept my […]

BDBD is Romans 2:1-16

Adam and Eve ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The knowledge of good and evil is the ability to know, determine, execute, and experience judgement. This is the human conscience (15). However, human knowledge and conscience are usually distorted by something else obtained from Adam, the driving force to avoid […]

BDBD is Romans 1:18-32

My human nature wants me to think of other people and not myself when I read these verses. In part, it is because Paul is writing about sinful wicked people, stupid people, and people whom God is angry with (18, 22). I don’t want to be known as one of those people. I am ashamed […]

BDBD is Romans 1:1-17

   Paul wrote this letter to the congregation in Rome in 56 AD at the end of his third missionary journey (Acts 20:2-38). He was probably in Corinth or possibly in Troas when he wrote it. Jesus’s believers in Rome had put their faith in Jesus as early as Peter’s speech at Pentecost (Acts 2:5-11). […]

BDBD is Acts 20:13-38

  Paul’s speech to the elders of Ephesus has much to think about.  I am looking at two items. First, verses 22 and 23, “And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing… the Holy Spirit warns me…”  Compelled means force or oblige someone to do something. Much of the time […]

BDBD is Acts 20:1-16

  Paul is in the final weeks of his 3rd missionary journey. It is 56 AD. He had just finished a traveling zigzag sweep through Macedonia and Greece (1-3) in the west where he penned 1 and 2nd Corinthians.  He was about to write the Roman congregations who were even farther west because he could […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 13

Paul wrote, “Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?” How can I examine and test myself?   Self-examination can be a foreign idea to many even though Jesus taught that prayer and meditation are important. […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 12

  God protected Paul from the pit of conceit (7). Conceit is a word not in much use these days probably because conceit, vanity, and pride are considered at best normal and at worse good mindsets. However, conceit ignores some blatant truths about the human condition, that is my state of being. When self truths […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 11

No doubt, Paul did not have a hum-drum normal easy life. He endured a lot of that which I want to avoid. Why did he press on? Because of his love for God and God’s people. Jesus said his people would suffer for his namesake. I should know things like these will happen.  Paul several […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 10

Paul expends most of the chapter explaining and defending his ministry. Others, especially from within the church were trying to undermine him and his ministry. Verses 3 thru 6 stand out. Here Paul defines his work allegorically. He sees his ministry as a spiritual war.  Jesus told his disciples, “Go into all the world and […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 9

Paul is continuing the instruction of giving to the poor suffering believers in Judea. The principle that when I give to the poor God supplies me back and increases my money and makes me more profitable is introduced (12). This is true. Yet, not all the time is it applied correctly. What I mean is […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 8

  The eastern shore of the Mediterranean was experiencing a drought. The Judean churches were experiencing hardships not only because of the drought but also because they were ousted from the synagogues, forbidden from taking some jobs (i.e. priests), and became social outcasts. Paul was coordinating a free-will gift from the Gentile churches to help […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 7

God does at times intend for me and all to be sorrowful (9-10). This is called Godly sorrow. Godly sorrow comes when I recognize and accept that I did something that I know was wrong or when I do not do something that I should have done. Godly sorrow does not end in regret. Regret […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

All my brother and sisters in Christ and I are the temple of the living God. The Holy Spirit, Jesus, and the Father live in me. I am a son of the Lord Almighty. God dwelling in his people is only by grace. No matter my life circumstances nor my past, present, or future God […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 6:1-13

Every human who has ever lived has experienced events that they never wanted to happen whether self-imposed or because of nothing they had done or failed to do. In this world everyone has troubles. Troubles will come. Jesus’ apostles experienced perhaps some of the worse life events. Paul lists some of his life pains here. […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

I had estranged myself from God. I did this by not believing he loves me and that His ways are best. I harbored lust, envy, greed, and other kinds of godlessness in my heart. I thought about these and occasionally acted on those thoughts. God told me not to do these for it was harmful. […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 5:1-10

God created humans with 3 parts; a physical body, a soul, and a spirit. The soul is my emotions, thoughts, and will. My spirit was dead until Jesus gave it new life when I first believed in him many years ago. My physical body temporarily contains my soul and spirit. My physical body is like […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 4

Life with Jesus is a split identity existence while in this world. The duel existence is not like the fictional Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde who had a bad character and a good character. Nor is it like a split personality disorder where two entirely different personalities exist in one body. Also, it is not […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 3

The Old Covenant is compared to the New Covenant. The Lord God presented the Old Covenant to Israel at Mt. Sinai thru Moses on two stone tablets (Ex. 19-20) and the first five books of the Bible (though some are history). When Moses came down the mountain to present the Old Covenant his face was […]

BDBD is 2 Corinthians 2

  Paul had given instructions in his first letter to the Corinthian congregation in chapter 5 concerning a man engaging in a particular offensive sexual immorality. He said they should cast him out. Here Paul reveals two motives behind that directive. First, he did not want to be grieved by them when he arrived (3-4). […]