Showing posts from February, 2018

Our Obligation

Romans 1:14-15 Romans 1:14-15 says: I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.  ( Romans 1:14-15 ) The world is divided between us and them.   Divisions run deep.  Liberal or conservative, Democrat or Republican, labels usually suffice to define the lines of division. Historically, us-and-them divisions have cost millions upon millions of lives.  World War II is my first example.  In Europe, the Aryan race sought its rightful place over the rest of the world.  In Asia, the superior Japanese race claimed its right of sovereignty.  The us-and-them identity was strong on both sides of the conflict. These divisions are necessary and even crucial at times.  For the Christian confronted with all the divisions, conflicts and loud boasting of the world, it can be a challenge to know what the “Christian” thing to do is.  Without going into the subject an

Righteousness and Faith

Romans 1:8-17 Faith is essential to the Christian life.  As we are the people of God, we partake of the righteousness of God by faith.  First, we are known for our faith.   Paul opens his letter to the Church in Rome with the necessary salutation, introducing himself as the author, the gospel as his subject and the Romans as his intended audience.  He then says, "First...”  He is excited to be writing to the Romans.  He says, "First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.”  (Romans 1:8, ESV)  He thanks God for people he has never met.  He expresses his great thankfulness to God because their faith was proclaimed in all the world. Exceptional things are noticed throughout the whole world.  Of course, this does not mean literally the entire world, because Paul had no way of knowing what was happening in America.  However, traveling extensively in the Roman Empire, Paul had firsthand knowledge o

Good News

Romans 1:1-7 God is good. He made sure we have a testimony to His great works. We see His hand in all that He made.   The stars proclaim His handiwork.   The animals and plants around us show the care He takes for His creatures. Creation is not the only witness we have.   We have the Bible, the testimony of history and of millions upon millions of people who have chosen to follow Christ. Throughout history, God has chosen certain individuals for particular usefulness in bearing witness to His goodness, His grace.   Moses and the Old Testament prophets witnessed to God's goodness and grace.   They recorded His works and words for all to read.   Jesus chose twelve to be His apostles.   "Apostles" means messenger or emissary.   Jesus chose twelve to be His ambassadors and messengers.   In choosing twelve to be His apostles, He guaranteed us to have a witness to His goodness.   The resulting witness is the New Testament. One of the twelve was a