Earlier this year, we took a journey together through the Old Testament book of Isaiah. Paul, as a learned rabbi and the author of the letter to the church at Rome, quoted regularly from the Prophet. So, let’s take the next few weeks together to look at the New Testament book of Romans.
You may play today’s devotional message here. (4:43)
Congratulations! We’ve read through Romans together. So much we have learned about God’s plan for us and His grace. And, about Paul.
This is a full chapter of greetings to those in the church at Rome. Almost 30 people. And they are likely from more than one congregation. I’ve wondered about Peter. It seems his name is conspicuously absent? Tradition says he was the first Pope in Rome. But that’s a conversation for another day. I do love that Paul calls out by name many women who love and serve God. I think that’s significant. Think about Paul as a former pharisee. His old tradition would likely not have given much attention to the women of the synagogue. I believe this acknowledgment is evidence of real life transformation in his new walk with the Messiah!
He also includes a warning to watch out for those who say they follow the Master, but who’s actions are deceptive. And he affirms their obedient discipleship. They are following his call to spiritual maturity (which we talked about yesterday): I am glad that everyone knows how well you obey the Lord. But still, I want you to understand what is good and not have anything to do with evil. (v19, CEV).
My big takeaway from today’s reading: “Enjoy the best of Jesus!” (v20, MSG.) What a great way to conclude a letter!
He states again the reason he has written this dispatch. And it is a source of strength for us all:
Praise God! He can make you strong by means of my good news, which is the message about Jesus Christ. For ages and ages this message was kept secret, but now at last it has been told. The eternal God commanded his prophets to write about the good news, so that all nations would obey and have faith. And now, because of Jesus Christ, we can praise the only wise God forever! Amen. (v 25-27, CEV).
“Enjoy the best of Jesus!”
What is this Good News? Let’s review the Gospel Message along this Romans Road, a map to our salvation through the pages of this single letter:
1. The Human Condition — We are all sinners.
All of us, whether insiders or outsiders, start out in identical conditions, which is to say that we all start out as sinners. Scripture leaves no doubt about it: There’s nobody living right, not even one,nobody who knows the score, nobody alert for God. They’ve all taken the wrong turn; they’ve all wandered down blind alleys. No one’s living right; I can’t find a single one. (Romans 3:9-10, MSG).
“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23, NIV).
Sin pays off with death. (Romans 6:23a, CEV).
2. We Have Hope — Thanks to Jesus. “But God…”
But God’s gift is eternal life given by Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 6:23b, CEV).
But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8, NLT).
3. Our Response — Calling Out to Jesus.
If you acknowledge publicly with your mouth that Yeshua is Lord and trust in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be delivered. For with the heart one goes on trusting and thus continues toward righteousness, while with the mouth one keeps on making public acknowledgement and thus continues toward deliverance. (Romans 10:9-10, CJB).
“Everyone who calls, ‘Help, God!’ gets help.” (Romans 10:13, MSG).
4. The Result of Salvation — Peace and Grace.
By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God. (Romans 5:1, CEV).
So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus.For the power of the life-giving Spirit—and this power is mine through Christ Jesus—has freed me from the vicious circle of sin and death. (Romans 8:1-2, NLT).
It’s our power too!
I’ve really appreciated your joining me on this journey. Thank you! Looking back over my journal, I want to go back to Chapter 1 and start it all over again!