Monday, October 22, 2012

Romans 15 & 16

We come to the end of our study of the great book of the Bible, Paul's epistle to the Romans. It has been  a great opportunity to read it and to try and present just a small portion of the wonderful and life changing truths that are contained in the book of Romans. I would encourage you all to read it more seeking to uncover, with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, all that God has for you within its pages. as always, I recommend that you visit the websites listed at the top of this blog and read from a wealth of sound, biblical material on the many doctrines that are presented in Romans.

Paul opens Romans 15 saying that our Christian attitude should be one of service. We should seek to please others. Paul's wish is that the Roman Christians would look to help from God to live in harmony with each other. There is nothing more rewarding to the soul, to the emotions, to the mind, to the heart than good godly fellowship with other Christians, sharing a meal, conversation, concerns, hope, pains, all under the grace of the Holy Spirit. Paul stresses that the main point of our fellowship, as well as all that we do is to Glorify God. As we encourage one another in loving fellowship, we bring Glory to God, we please Christ. It is God who directs our attempts to share joy with each other, it is the Spirit of Christ that works in us our concern for other people.

Paul tells us we should see all Scripture as being written for our instruction and as we read, we will find that we will be encouraged and gain hope for it. As we read God's revelation of Himself through His sovereign relationship with people. We can all agree to Paul's assertion that we have gained hope, been inspired from reading how God helped His people, working great wonders in Egypt, God even stating that it was for this very purpose that He raised Pharaoh up to his position of great power. It is as if we are watching the story unfold before our very eyes, as we read of God's mighty deeds in the lives of Abraham, Moses, David, Samuel, and all the Prophets, and Kings. We see the purposes of God overcoming any and all obstacles, not only obstacles brought from outside, but the very obstacles of the people themselves, none of which could hinder the purposes of God, decreed from eternity past. What God promised surely came to pass. Romans expresses that we should take hope from that. Romans also points us to the fact that that hope has always been in Christ. He is our hope just as He was the Hope of Israel. Paul states the reason that Christ came was to fulfill and confirm the promises made to Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, displaying God's faithfulness, which can be seen as the constant theme running throughout His encounter with His people. Paul also shows that the Prophets of old gave light to the fact that the Gentiles were to be included in the people of God. So we see that all God's people, Jew or Gentiles, Black or White, rich or poor are all to be filled with hope as we read God's Word, and realize that that Hope has always been confirmed by God's faithfulness to His promises, and the fullness of that faithfulness is the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

Paul in Romans 15:18 states his purpose of preaching the truth to the Gentiles and that is to bring the Gentiles to obedience by word and deed. By knowing the Word and living the Word. Gaining knowledge of the Word of God is very important and that is the main reason for this blog, not so much as to present all of the wonder and awe of the Word of God but to spark and encourage you the reader to seek more of it, to see the absolute necessity of pursuing God in His Word. God's Word presents an Awesome God, a big God, a Holy God, a fearful God, and it is disrespectful to that revelation of Himself, not to want to know as much about Him as we can, again I say we only have a certain amount of time, and we need to place knowing God as our main priority. You will find out that it is not just about gaining knowledge but it will become about knowing a Person, A Holy Being.

Paul also appeals to the Romans to strive together to pray for him by the love of the Spirit. One of the surest comforts we can have is to know that someone is praying for us - we have seen in Romans 8:26, 27 and 34 that the Holy Spirit and Jesus Christ are praying, interceding for us - what comfort that should bring us. Let us be mindful to pray, when we hear of concerns let us know that God is giving us an opportunity to pray. Let us strive to pray for one another. We all have gotten older, and face health concerns and other issues that we need to take to God in prayer, we are all family members separated by miles yet we come together in our prayers to God for each other, so let us continue to share our prayer concerns with each other for the people of God are a praying people demonstrating their dependence on a sovereign God.

Romans 16 shows the Pastor's heart of Paul. He is involved in the lives of many people, and they in his live. He prays for them and they pray for him his love for them is demonstrated as well as their love for him. It brings all the doctrinal emphasis of this great book down to a personal one on one relationship. Just as our own knowledge of the things of God should do for us, it comes down to our personal one on one relationship to those people, the sovereign God brings into our lives. Please read Romans 16 and see the genuine fellowship that is expressed there, so that you by the Spirit will be blessed and encouraged and seek to be a part of that kind of fellowship.

The great doctrine of God's salvation has been grandly displayed in this epistle to the Romans and it is fitting it should end expressing the love that that salvation works in God's people by the preaching of Jesus Christ, by the command of the eternal God to bring about the obedience of faith, all to the glory of the only wise God forevermore through Jesus Christ____Amen!

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