Word of Explanation: I am taking a college course and will be posting a series of blogs on the book of Romans as part of a class assignment. I would appreciate feedback on these blogs. The Roman blogs will be quite different than my usual blogs.
Recently I have had the privilege to begin a study on the book of Romans. God does things in interesting ways – at the same time I received my book for my class on Romans, I also found myself just starting a personal study of the book of Romans. The series of Roman blogs that I will be posting are compilations of both what I have learned in my class and also a more intimate look at what I learned in my personal reading of Romans. I hope you enjoy my musings.
In Romans, Paul takes the events from the life and ministry of Jesus, especially Jesus’ death and resurrection, and explains the significance of these events. The book of Romans “… gives us the fullest explanation of the gospel in the Bible by uncovering sin, proclaiming the Savior, surveying God’s shaping process, and revealing God’s plan for Israel. Then he urges us to translate theology into practice – applying God’s righteousness to our daily living.” (Romans: Justification by Faith; pg. 13; Third Edition 2010) Romans 1
Paul introduces himself as a servant, an apostle (one sent on a mission) of Jesus Christ, set apart and called to tell the good news. He starts out with what it Romans is all about – the gospel – the good news of God’s Son, Jesus. Through Jesus, Paul received grace and his calling as an apostle. Paul was first of all called on the road to Damascus to belong to Jesus himself, to accept Jesus as his Lord and Savior. Then he was called to bring others to obedience through faith in Jesus.
It struck me that while we may not be called to be apostles, like Paul, we are still called. God also offers us grace and purpose or calling through Jesus. He calls us to be followers of Jesus. He calls us to be bearers of the good news. Each one of us has different gifts and abilities, different ways of sharing the good news and a different circle of friends and associates to share with; but we all have been given an assignment, a purpose or reason for living here on earth. That purpose is to live for Jesus. We are called to obedience through faith, called to belong and called, as verse 1:7 of Romans states to be His holy people. How does this all happen? Not through our own strength or effort but only through Jesus – through accepting what He did for us when He offered Himself as a sinless sacrifice and by living in relationship with Him. It happens when we have His Spirit living within us. It happens because God, through Jesus, extended grace and peace to us if we will simply kneel at the cross and open our hearts to receive what He so freely offers. Wow! To think that we, like Paul, have been chosen, called, set apart and given a mission is good news. It’s amazing to realize that we belong to a God who loves us so much. We have purpose and a mission to fulfill through Jesus whom we serve. I am so very thankful that God sent Jesus to the world and that He calls us to belong to Him.
So many people need your grace, your purpose and your peace in their lives. How can I share the good news with someone for whom good news seems nonexistent? How can I share good news with someone who has a terminal illness or someone whose child is addicted to drugs and is suicidal? How can I share good news with those who have lost all hope? The only thing I can give them is what you have so graciously given me, Jesus. I am reminded that as I place my trust and faith in your Son, I receive grace and forgiveness. I receive peace and new life, life that can’t be taken away because Jesus paid the price for me. Thank you Lord! This is the heart of the gospel. This is good news! No matter what life may bring my way, I do not have to go it alone. Because of Jesus, I have a friend that sticks with me in every situation. I am never without hope because you are the hope giver, you are the restorer of life, yes, you are the healer. You are all that I need. Thank you God for sending Jesus to redeem us. Amen.