Saturday, January 29, 2011

Romans.


When the pastor makes the announcement that he's going to be starting a sermon series on Romans, many Christians groan. Romans is a theologically heavy book of the Bible and sadly a lot of the Christian community doesn't like the heavy doctrine of Paul's letter. I love Romans. It's my favorite book and I have to make myself study the other books. All I want to do is read Romans and go into greater depth.

In my New Testament Survey Class, we're just now discussing Romans. I already had so many verses underlined and notes in the margins and I've added more. Some verses I have underlined twice. Romans is just such a powerful book. There are so many amazing verses. And not to say that the rest of the Bible isn't just as powerful and amazing.

Some of my favorite verses:
1:16-17; "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 the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith as it is written, 'The righteous shall live by faith.'"
-This is what the gospel is! The true wording of the last sentence in the original language: the righteous by faith shall live.
7:18; "For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out."
-How frustrating is this? I want to be more like Christ, but it seems like every day I fail. To quote a song by Lecrae: "If I'm a Christian, how come every day I seem to fall." (Used To Do It Too) Thankfully, we have Romans 8:28:
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose." If we continue on into verses 29-30 we find the doctrine of predestination.
"For those whom he FOREKNEW he also PREDESTINED to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom he PREDESTINED he also CALLED, and those whom he CALLED he also JUSTIFIED and those whom he JUSTIFIED these he also GLORIFIED."
-These verses lay out the process of salvation and our Christian walk and the 5 points of Calvinism: TULIP. God knew us before we were born and knew that we were going to be sinners. (foreknew--Total Depravity). He decided that we were going to be his children (predestined--Unconditional Election). He called us to his side (called--Irresistible Grace). He washed away our sins with Christ's blood on the cross (justified--Limited Atonement). Then finally, he makes us perfect like him in heaven (glorified--Perseverance of the Saints)
11:33; "Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!"
Paul is so clear in his teachings. I don't understand how people don't understand. In chapter 12:9-21 we find the marks of the true Christian:
"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own thoughts to do what is honorable in the sigh to fall. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, 'Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.' To the contrary, if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals of fire on his head. Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."
If you're already a Christian and you're struggling with your walk with Christ I hope you find this mini study on Romans encouraging. There is so much more in this amazing book, don't write it off.
If you're reading this and you've resisted the church, the Bible, and all things "religious" your whole life...I hope you become curious. I hope you are one of the elect. I pray that God will work in your heart and bring you to a saving knowledge of him.
If you have questions or comments, leave a comment or shoot me a message.

"Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to being about the obedience of faith--to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen."
-Romans 16:25-27

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