Archive for the ‘Romans’ Category


Under Gods Command

(Suffering)

Romans 5:3-4 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance, character, and character, hope. 

For first-century Christians, suffering was the rule rather than the exception. Paul tells us that in the future we will become, but until then we must overcome. This means we will experience difficulties that help us grow. We rejoice in suffering not because we like pain or deny its tragedy, but because we know God is using life’s difficulties and Satan’s attacks to build our character. The problems that we run into will develop our perseverance—which in turn will strengthen our character, deepen our trust in God, and give us greater confidence about the future.

Lets Bring it Home: You probably find your patience tested in some way every day. Thank God for those opportunities to grow, and deal with them in his strength

(see also James 1:2–4; 1 Peter 1:6, 7).


Under Gods Command

Romans:  16:25-27 Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him-to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ Amen.

As Jerusalem was the center of Jewish life, Rome was the world’s political, religious, social, and economic center.  There the major governmental decisions were made, and from there the gospel spread to the ends of the earth.  The church in Rome was a cosmopolitan mixture of Jews, Gentiles, slaves, free people, men, women, Roman citizens, and world travelers; therefore, it had potential for both great influence and great conflict.  .

Lets Bring it home: Paul had not yet been to Rome to meet all the Christians there, and of course, he has not yet met us.  We too live in a cosmopolitan setting with the entire world open to us.  We also have the potential for both widespread influence and wrenching conflict.  We should listen carefully to and apply Paul’s teaching about unity, service, and love.


Under Gods Command

Romans:  15:30 I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 

To often we see prayer as a time for comfort, reflection or making requests to God.  But here Paul urges believers to join in his struggle by means of prayer.  Prayer is a weapon that all believers should use in interceding for others.  Many of us know believers who are living in difficult places in order to communicate the gospel.  Sending them funds is part of joining them in their struggles, but prayer is also a crucial way of being with them.  Missionaries strongly desire the prayers of those who have sent them out.

Lets Bring it home: Do your prayers reflect that struggle on their behalf?


Under Gods Command

Romans:  16:17-20 I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned.  Keep away from them.  For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites.  By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naïve people.  Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I am full of joy over you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil.  The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet.  The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. 

 When we read books or listen to sermons, we should check the content of what is written or said and not be fooled by smooth style.  Christians who study God’s Words will not be fooled, even though superficial listeners may easily be taken in.

Acts 17:11 Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true. 

Lets Bring it home: How do you evaluate sermons and teaching?  The people in Berea opened the Scriptures for themselves and searched for truths to verify or disprove the message they heard.  Always compare what you hear with what the Bible says.  A preacher or teacher who gives God’s true message will never contradict or explain away anything that is found in God’s Word.


Under Gods Command

Romans:  15:20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 

 Paul says that he has “ambition.” Ambition can be a difficult topic for Christian’s because we see so many bad examples of ambitious people who claw their way to the top.  But certainly that isn’t the kind of ambition one sees in Paul.  Instead of looking out for himself and working hard for personal advancement, he was ambitious to serve God-for Paul that meant to “preach the gospel where Christ was not known.”

Lets Bring it home: Are we ambitious for God? Do we want, more than anything else, to please him and to do his will?  Ask God for “holy ambition.”


Under Gods Command

Romans:  15:05-07 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ

The Roman Church was a diverse community.  It was made up of Jews and Gentiles, slaves and free people, rich and poor, strong and weak.  So it was difficult for them to accept one another.  Accepting means taking people into our homes as well as into our hearts, sharing meals and activities, and avoiding racial and economic discrimination.

Lets Bring it home: We must go out of our way to avoid favoritism.  Consciously spend time greeting those you don’t normally talk to, minimize differences, and seek common ground for fellowship.   In this way you are accepting others as Christ has accepted you, and God is given glory.


Under Gods Command

Romans: 15:04 For everything that was written in the past was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.

The Knowledge of the Scriptures affects our attitudes toward the present and the future. The more we know about what God has done in years past, the greater the confidence we have about what he will do in the days ahead. We should read our Bibles diligently to increase our trust that God’s will is best for us.

Lets Bring it home: How much time do we spend in the Word? Have often do you opened your Bible week to week? Self-evaluation.


Under Gods Command

Romans 14:20-21 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

Sin is not just a private matter. Everything we do affects others, and we have to think of them constantly. God created us to be interdependent, not independent. We who are strong in our faith must, without pride or condescension, treat others with love, patience, and self-restraint.

Romans 14:22-23 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the man who does not condemn himself by what he approves. But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

We try to steer clear of actions forbidden by Scripture, of course, but sometimes Scripture is silent. Then we should follow our consciences. “Everything that does not come from faith is sin” means that to go against a conviction will leave a person with a guilty or uneasy conscience.

Lets Bring it home: Is the Church and those that are strong in faith maintaining that peace when in disagreement? When God shows us that something is wrong for us, we should avoid it. But we should not look down on other Christians who exercise their freedom in those areas.


Under Gods Command

Romans 14:20-21 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.

Sin is not just a private matter. Everything we do affects others, and we have to think of them constantly. God created us to be interdependent, not independent. We who are strong in our faith must, without pride or condescension, treat others with love, patience, and self-restraint.

Lets Bring it home: Is the Church and those that are strong in faith maintaining that peace when in disagreement?


Under Gods Command

Romans 14:14 As one who is in the Lord Jesus, I am fully convinced that no food is unclean in itself. But if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.

At the Jerusalem council (Acts 15), the Jewish church in Jerusalem asked the Gentile church in Antioch not to eat meat that had been sacrificed to idols. Paul was at the Jerusalem council, and he accepted this request not because he felt that eating such meat was wrong in itself, but because this practice would deeply offend many Jewish believers. Paul did not think the issue was worth dividing the church over; his desire was to promote unity. So he concludes, “if anyone regards something as unclean, then for him it is unclean.” Paul’s practice was to honor, as far as possible, the convictions of others.

Lets Bring it home: Believers are called to accept one another without judging our varied opinions. However, when the situation has to be faced, how should we deal with those who disagree with us? Paul’s response is that all believers should act in love so as to maintain peace in the Church.