Posts Tagged ‘Romans’


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.

What a fitting close to the book of Romans. Paul’s recommendation of key people of faith with a personalized note on each was so encouraging to read. Then his warning about people who cause Church divisions to serve themselves was appropriate and what I loved most was his closing benediction featured above. It speaks volumes and is so rich to reflect on and one of the anchors is the ‘mystery’ that Paul says was hidden for ages. What was this mystery?

This mystery was hidden from the start of mankind through the shadows of the ceremonial law, the dark predictions of the prophets that pointed at it, through the veil that Moses used to cover his fading glory, from the Jews and the Gentiles and even from the disciples of Jesus. This mystery was revealed after the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead – it was salvation for all mankind through Jesus’ shed blood. The veil is now torn and life and immortality are brought to light by the gospel. I hope you can celebrate with me the revelation of this mystery and celebrate the life of Jesus. Good Friday is good because without Christ’s death, there would be no resurrection and our hope of eternity in God’s presence would be lost!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy

Advertisements

Romans 15:5-6
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.

As I read the above passage of scripture, I dwelt upon how Paul talks to us as individuals and as a team, giving us direction. In recent times, watching sport has caught my fancy courtesy the winter Olympics and Paralympics that took place here in Vancouver a few weeks back. Several events were individual and the rest were team events. Every medal was a joy whether individual or team but what it all added up to was victory for the country they represented.

The Church is supposed to mean the body of Christ (Not the building) and we are the bride to the most wonderful and perfect groom, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. In our daily walk, we are ambassadors for Christ in our homes, communities, schools, workplaces, etc. and we are called to serve Christ’s love for all to all. We are therefore individual and team players and are called to be united under the banner of Jesus Christ. Our goal is to serve Him because of what He did for us and not to dwell on our differences. Our joy is to revel in the joy of serving the King of Kings and not to argue like the disciples about who is to sit and the right or the left of Jesus in heaven. I pray we are encouraged to simply serve Jesus!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 14:19-21
Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification. 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.

Paul wrote this letter to the Roman church and addressed key faith issues which if unaddressed could lead to rifts in the body. Today’s passage deals with the issue of our lifestyle and how we should avoid doing anything that causes our brother’s faith to be shaken. As I read the chapter, I wondered what would put this into context and the present season of fasting or lent came to mind.

Lent is the period preceding Easter that is devoted to fasting and abstinence in commemoration of Christ’s fasting in the wilderness. While many christians follow the practice, many do not and that includes my family and I. To us, Jesus conquered sin and death and that gives us freedom from both. We don’t mourn Jesus’ death on the cross because he came to die for us and rose from the dead. Without his suffering and death, we cannot be saved and therefore we celebrate. When I read this passage today, I am reminded that even though our belief is slightly different, we will not make a big deal of our belief because it should not cause our other christian friends who observe the occasion to be at loggerheads with us. We will celebrate Jesus’ life, death and resurrection in our own way and not be stumbling blocks to others.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 13:1a, 6-7
Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established… This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.

Of everything Paul mentioned this far, this above passage was something I found hard to accept. Not that I don’t believe it but that God would place people in power who are often corrupt, selfish, prideful, heartless, etc. Worse still, the fact that we have to pay all our taxes and honor and respect them is something I find even more difficult. Why would God place such people in power? How can we honor and respect those who don’t always deserve it?

Look back at the time of Moses and the hardhearted Pharaoh all the way to today. Who are we to judge them when we ourselves are sinners? God does not measure the intensity of the sin because to Him, all have sinned and fallen short of His glory. Therefore, we are called to respect and honor those in power, pray for God’s wisdom upon them, pay our taxes and revenues and live a life of submission. I got ticketed for speeding a few days back and I felt really bad for getting caught but the policeman was doing his duty and I was breaking the law. I therefore should not pity myself but feel guilty for breaking the law and paying the price for it is better than taking a life. Thank you Lord Jesus for placing the officer where you did and correcting me before it was too late!

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God—this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

A sacrifice is an act of slaughtering an animal or person or surrendering a possession as an offering to God. If Jesus was the perfect sacrifice that was sufficient to end sacrifices altogether, what is the reason Paul is asking us to offer our bodies to God as living sacrifices and where do we make this sacrifice?

In return for God’s mercy upon us because of our sinfulness, Paul is asking us to consecrate our entire life – sleeping, eating, going to work, and walking around life – to glorify Him. The altar is the world and our transformed life in action is the sacrifice as an offering to Him. We are called to serve Christ to the world in EVERY area of our lives. We no longer are working or living for ourselves but for the glory of God alone. Have you submitted every area in your life to Jesus for His glory?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 11:33-36
Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.

Paul breaks out into poetic praise to God in this doxology at the end of the chapter where he cautions Gentiles about looking down on the Jews for their hardheartedness. A serious issues we face as humans is one-upmanship whereby we like to feel or gain superiority over others and as Christians, we face this challenge. We are often heard boasting of our Churches, pastors, denominations, God’s blessings to us, our memory, our understanding of God’s word, etc. Pride is something that always trips us in our walk, especially with the Lord.

We are reminded in the passage above about God’s wisdom and knowledge which is so overwhelming that Paul with his lifetime of serving God could not get a hold on. All of human wisdom combined cannot piece together God’s mind and we can never repay Him for His goodness. As we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior and follow Him, we realize that we are more and more in debt of Him because of His endless grace and mercy to us and we cannot pride ourselves in anything from or in us. All glory is to God who is the author and the finisher of our faith.

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy


Romans 10:1-4
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

The Jews are marked by religiosity and religious fervour that few others share and it is something that amazes me. Paul testifies of it in the passage above when he refers to them as zealous. However, he states that their zeal for God is not based on knowledge and this is where they are lost. I am certain that to the Jews, we Christians are lost in following Jesus as our Lord and Saviour and this causes the great divide. So, is Christ the undoing of the law as stated above?

For thousands of years, the Jews have been trying to live up to the law and follow its requirements but have faltered and therefore offer sacrifices as atonement for their sins. This is being done in wait of the Messiah who will redeem them and establish them as His own. In Christ, all the requirements of the law were met, in his death the ultimate sacrifice for mankind was made and in his resurrection, the assurance of life eternal for those who believe is confirmed. He is the Messiah for the Jews and Gentiles alike and waits (patiently) for those who believe to come and submit their lives to him and accept his gift of forgiveness and salvation. He is the fulfillment of the law and in Him, there is righteousness for all who believe. Are you still trying to live up to the law or can you see the truth in Jesus?

In His Loving Service,
ServantBoy