This is a series that has been a long time coming. I remember working through the book of Romans many years ago, but I have changed so much since then, that I decided to do it again. I know that there is so much ‘meat’ in Romans, that I believe that I will learn much from this series, and I pray that you will learn from it too. Join me each week to have a look at Romans, one chapter at a time.
Let’s start with chapter one. After Paul introduces himself, he wastes no time in showing God’s wrath against a sinful humanity, but first the encouraging bit. Take a look at verses 11 and 12. “I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong — that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.” There are two things that strike me here, firstly that Paul longed for the gentiles to have spiritual gifts. I still come across people who don’t even believe that spiritual gifts are even from God, they refer to them as demonic. If you’re of this belief, I really encourage you to be open to the gifts of the Spirit. Since I have discovered, developed and used them, my life has changed for the better. The second part is about us encouraging each other. I think that we often go to church to be encouraged. We see it as the worship teams responsibility to lead us into fellowship with God. We see it as the pastor’s job to teach us, and the leadership’s responsibility to lead us as a church. What is our responsibility? Pitch up and listen? I believe that we are all responsible for our own walk with God (as I have said before). Do you ever go to church, preparing yourself before you get there, asking God how He is going to use you to encourage or bless someone else? I’ll leave this to you to think about. All I’ll say is that leaders are people too, they also need encouragement, and we are all responsible to and for everyone. There is no blessing, like blessing someone else.
After this encouraging passage, we then see a long passage about God’s wrath on sinful humanity. This is interesting for a few reasons. Firstly, we tend to disregard passages like this because we are ‘covered by the grace of God’. Now don’t get me wrong, we are covered by the grace of God, but we need to acknowledge God’s reaction to sin. The grace of God does not belittle the consequences of sin, the consequences of sin shows the power of the grace of God! We need to understand how God sees sin, so that we can begin to understand what we have been saved from. We also need to understand that there are people out there who have not been saved from their sins. Take a look from verse 18 to the end of the chapter. How much does that sound like people in the world today? It sounds very familiar to me. This is the sad part, I believe that so many people are in this category today, and it is our job to bring the gospel to them. Are we doing a good enough job? Again, as above, who’s responsibility is this? The worship team’s? The pastor’s? The leadership’s? Yours?
I’m not saying this to guilt anyone, I’m saying it to encourage you. This passage shows a clear difference between us and people who are trapped in sin. I believe that we need to stay out of sin, and help those that are in it to get out. Only a relationship with Jesus can do this, but they may only find a relationship with Jesus when we use the gifts that we have been given, and reach the lost.
Thanks for reading this, I hope that we all learn throughout this series. Please join me for the next chapter next week, and as usual, please feel free to comment if you wish.