Friday, October 12, 2012
Romans Chapter 15
I am fascinated by Romans Chapter 15! Paul gets very personal here. I love getting to know this great man of God better.
First of all, Paul is concerned about how we treat others - those weaker than us - those different than us. His first verse tells us to bear with the weak, to build up others and to care for others as Christ did.
We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.
- Romans 15:1
Paul's Book of Romans is perfect to read in this election year! It is a great time to consider the Truth and take a stand, as Paul did!
Like Paul said in the beginning: "I am not ashamed of the Gospel!" May we have such boldness as we vote our values and hold on to the TRUTH of God's Word!
The Scripture should be our guide and encouragement. -- Gotta stay in the WORD! Here's what Paul says in Romans 15:4:
For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through the endurance taught in the Scriptures and the encouragement they provide we might have hope.
- Romans 15:4
HOPE -- that is what I have for our country. I pray and pray for God's people to take a stand and not compromise. We can all stand together as Paul says:
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. - Romans 15: 5,6
Paul wrote his letter as a warning to the people, however. He spoke of his admiration for the people, yet, he felt a strong need to remind them of the TRUTH. May we be so bold to remind our peers of the TRUTH in God's Word:
I myself am convinced, my brothers and sisters, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with knowledge and competent to instruct one another. Yet I have written you quite boldly on some points to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles. -- Romans 15:14,15
Paul had to cover some tough issues in his letter to the Romans, like the downward spiral sin can take us on, the cost of compromise and many things listed in Romans 1:
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.
Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.
Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
When I read Romans 1, I find it a chilling reflection of our culture today. I ask for God's forgiveness that we have let our world come to this place. I ask for God to heal our land and I pray he will lead us in HIS way of righteousness.
At the end of Chapter 15, Paul talks about coming to Rome. In sweetly personal words, he tells of his plans to travel to Rome and tells of his dreams:
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. Rather, as it is written:
“Those who were not told about him will see,and those who have not heard will understand.”
- Romans 15:20,21
Is that our ambition? Do we want to help people understand the love and plan of Jesus? Perhaps we, like Paul should ask for prayer in our journey.
Perhaps we, like Paul, need to take the risk to let others know what we believe and what we stand for.
There is no better time than now to follow Paul's lead.
See you in Chapter 16!