When in Rome (a Look at Romans) – Part 15 & 16

This is the last post in my series on Romans, I have decided to cover the last two chapters I one post, as Paul does tend to write long introductions and farewells. Paul tells us of his plans in detail, so much of the last two chapters is not really a lesson for us to learn. There were two passages that jumped out at me, so I would like to take a look at them today.

Take a look at part of verse 1 and verse 2 of chapter 15. We must not just please ourselves. We should help others do what is right and build them up in the Lord. What can I say about this. We live in a narcissistic, self-obsessed, selfish, greedy and uncaring world. I hate to say it, but most people are the same. This verse flies right across our current climate. This is why we are called to be in the world but not of it. This is why we need to be different. The problem is that this goes deeper than many of us care to admit. You see, I am not really an extrovert. I don’t mind being up in front of people, but I naturally want to be alone, I don’t really like crowds of people. Society today supports individuals, and not the community. You can have your entire life in front of a laptop or tablet now. Facebook and Google Plus supports us if we want to have our entire social life online. We can talk to many people without actually seeing them face to face. LinkedIn let’s us do the same thing for business. Twitter let’s us put our opinion out there, which is much easier to do when you’re not actually looking someone in the eye. It is easy to type that someone is an ‘idiot’, but try telling that to someone’s face. Now before you all tell me to ‘get with the times’ or call me a hypocrite. I am not saying these things are bad, in fact we need to be using all of these forms of communication to preach the gospel, I am just saying that it is easy to be selfish. Every advert is geared to selfishness. Watch a few commercials on TV and see. You deserve this. You need that. You can have what others don’t. This is what adverts do, they prey on our emotions, and the strongest one most of us have is selfishness. We as Christians need to be different. My finger is pointed at me just as much as it is at anyone else here. What are we doing to help other do what is right and build them up in the Lord? I’ll leave you to think about that.

The second passage is verses 17 and 18 of chapter 16. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. Recently, I have seen many posts about end times, and about false teachers. The problem is that many posts about false teachers, are themselves false. Just because someone posts scripture and talks about false teachers, it doesn’t make them right. Take a look at what Paul says. ..contrary to what you have been taught. This does not mean contrary to what you (yes, you reading this) has been taught. You see, I was taught from the Bible when I was young, yet now I realise that what I was taught is not the truth. Just because you have been taught it, doesn’t mean that it is right. Paul was talking about what they had been taught, which he knew to be right. Please make sure that what you have been taught, are being taught and are teaching is actually from the Bible. And True. We need to weigh everything that we know against our best understanding of scripture. So often people use this verse to attack anyone who doesn’t agree with their theology. Rather use this verse to defend yourself from anything that isn’t Biblical.

Thank you very much for reading my blog, and this series on Romans. I’m not sure what I’ll write about next, I’ll see where God leads me. I have a few ideas, but I want to see what He wants.

Until next week.

Richard

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