All in The Trek Through Romans
Many people breeze through 16, almost skipping over the names. Consider slowing down. When I do, I see a few things...I see Paul as a person...who is concerned for all sorts of people...and finally, standing at the last three verses...
Well read Romans 16 and then have one last look at my notes.
I was reading Romans 15 again and verse 5 hit me... “the God of endurance...” Endurance...hmm, I know I am supposed to persevere, to endure, but I love the fact that the Word describes God in this way...
I encourage you to read Chapter 15 slowly...linger a bit!
I like things that are “cut and dry”. I do not like “gray areas” at all. Yet for those of us seeking to follow Jesus, we'll constantly be put in situations where people are not following what the Bible teaches. Sometimes we withdraw into our church community only to find that even in those environments we end up arguing. For me, I just want life to clear and simple without all the arguing...
Today’s title, “It Depends” may put you off a little. It may sound like I am being “relativistic”. Trust me, I am not. We do not have a lot of chapters left. Paul gives a small amount of advice about “how to live as a Christian” to people who live in the center of an Empire...they live in Rome!
Maybe you have come to the point where you are yelling, “uncle, I give in, you win St. Paul. I agree Jesus is the Son of God and I need Him!” Now what? Well first of all catch your breath. Because you are about to be “wowed” by how un-religious this all becomes...it is simply about your life.
One of the real dangers of theology is thinking we “have it all figured out”. We come to a point in Romans where Paul reminds us about God...
Read Romans 11 and then consider my thoughts below.
Be encouraged you are always in the grips of God!
Jesus often challenged people for being so religious, that they could not see God in their midst.
Paul now picks up on that theme, especially as it relates to why his people can’t accept Jesus...
Read Romans 10 and then consider my thoughts below.
So what is it? Are you a fan, fanatic, or follower of Jesus?
Sometimes when you think you understand something, you begin to then talk yourself out of it.
Last week we read how we are inseparable from God through Jesus! As you “take in” this reality, maybe your mind begins to think about your family and friends. If so you are not alone. You may remember, we wound our way through the first four chapters of Romans.
I know the last chapter was hard. Sometimes when you are climbing you come out of a deep thicket and get to stand on a ledge or plateau and take in an amazing view. Welcome to chapter 8!
This chapter begins with the word “Therefore”, which is huge, and it ends with the idea that we are “Inseparable from God when we are in Jesus”, which is huger (I know that is not a word!).
This is perhaps a chapter that is one of the biggest wrestling matches I have ever read! Paul is wrestling with the idea of the Law (shouldn’t I be a good boy?) and Grace (but if I am forgiven, then why do I torture myself by trying to be a good boy?) I am not trying to make light of this situation, only to simplify it.
I don’t know about you, but when someone is trying to convince me of something, a lot of times in my head I am saying, “Yeah, but what about this...” Sometimes people say, “Yeah, but aren’t all Christians hypocrites?”. Or, “Yeah, but if God is so forgiving, why doesn’t everybody get a pass?” The list goes on. In this Legal Letter, St. Paul deals with these.
In Chapter 5 of Romans we read this bold proclamation—we have Peace with God! Now how big of a deal is that for me or for you? We need to think about how big God is and that God who created all that ever was, and is, and will be—this God loves us and we have peace with Him.