Archive for December 10th, 2010

Romans 1

Romans 1 begins one of the greatest books that is contained in the Bible.  Paul writes clearly and from the heart.  He begins by reminding us that he has been “called” and “set apart” as a servant of Jesus Christ.  He is not out doing his own thing.  He is serving the living God and his agenda is one thing – to preach Christ.  Why?  Because he know atht it was “through whom we have received grace and apostleship” and that brings “obedience of faith”.  Did you catch that?  Being a servant of Christ means we live in obedience.  It requires change and action on our part.  It is all about living “for the sake of his name”.  Being His is a big deal – it should change everything for us!

What is Paul’s mission – “that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith”.  He is about making an impact – a difference in the lives of those he touches.  But not just a simple difference – Paul wants to “reap some harvest”.  Isn’t that what we are all up to?  We want to share life and touch others in meaningful ways.  But do we reap a harvest?  Unfortunately not very often.  We are pathetic when it comes to leading others to Jesus.  Why is that?  He is the most important thing to anyone who is a Christ Follower.  He is the source of life and salvation.  He is everything.  Paul tells us what the attitude has to be if we are going to truly be a difference-maker: “For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek”.  Jesus is the way to salvation.  His story is for everyone.  The problem with us?  We don’t tell the story – we never share the gospel.  We dance around the edges and never share the punchline.  Jesus died to set us free from the penalty of sin.  He went to the cross to take away the price of disobedience.  He is our sacrifice.  We never tell the story.

Why is that?  Sometimes folks tell me they can’t get their arms around the gospel – what about the people in Africa that have never heard – how can God deal with them?  Paul addresses it here very clearly: “For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse”.  Did you catch that?  There are no excuses.  No one will get a pass.  We will answer for our sin.  We will have to face God and tell Him what we did with Jesus?  Do you have an answer?  Have you dealt with the truth that He is the Son of God who died to set you free?  Don’t miss the importance of this!

Paul wraps up by listing a number of sins that are the outcome of disobedience.  Area any of these par tof your life:

–       “unrighteousness

–       Evil

–       Covetousness

–       Malice

–       full of envy

–       murder

–       strife

–       deceit

–       maliciousness

–       gossips

–       slanderers

–       haters of God

–       insolent

–       haughty

–       boastful

–       inventors of evil

–       disobedient to parents

–       foolish

–       faithless

–       heartless

–       ruthless

Any of these sound familiar in your life?  Paul is clear about the consequences of sin when he says “those who practice such things deserve to die”.  Not a patsy answer – but truth straight from an apostle and servant of the gospel.  Life matters.  Sin doesn’t get a pass.  We need to be ready to address it and Jesus is our only way!

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