Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God â€“ the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his human nature was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him and for his nameâ€™s sake, we received grace and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith. And you also are among those who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace and peace to you from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Romans 1:1-7 (NIV)
I began a Bible study last nightâ€¦.as a student. Pastor spent most of the time allotted to â€˜prepâ€™ the class by turning the class in the direction that he wants to see the church to go. I believe his prayer is that the church will become infected by the 100 people in this class! If this 100 will become excited about God and His Word â€¦ think what could happen with 800+ infected passionate disciples!!!
The â€˜principle of the nightâ€™ for me was this:
Paulâ€™s letters were meant to be read aloud in the community of Believers; to wrestle with understanding God as a community.
I am going to be meditating on that this week. At this point, it seems like a principle that I would bring into my own life and into my ministry of teaching and encouraging. Letâ€™s see how the first seven verses of Romans would connect when read aloud to a community of Believers.
Paul was an educated man. A Pharisee. He had plenty to brag about! Just ask him! (Philippians 3) Here he is, arguably writing the most important letter of his life â€“ and he calls himself a servant! A slave! He says it right at the beginning! Do you think he was messing with the heads of those who might think they were privileged to be living in THE city of the known universe?
Paul sets Jesus front and center. Make no mistake if you are reading this letter: JESUS is the focus of the letter. You cannot hear about Christianity unless you hear Jesus! You cannot be a Christian unless you accept that Jesus is LORD. He was spoken about by the prophets and He is God. He is power!
My homework assignment for this week is to read the book of Romans. Read it. Aloud. Listen to the words with ALL my senses. â€œHe who has an ear, let him hearâ€¦â€ Revelation 2:7 (NIV)
God bless you all this week with a hunger to spend time with God.