Word from Scotland
by Sandy Shaw
Romans Chapter 1verse 7 - Grace and Peace - you must get these from God - and through Jesus Christ.
We are already seeing that it is not enough just to believe in God - it must be God and Jesus Christ. Paul is telling us where to receive Grace and Peace - from God and through Jesus Christ.
Every letter begins with Grace and Peace.
When a man has such a calling of God - when he has received such Grace - he has a special job, with an awesome responsibility.
We have to bring about obedience to the faith. Obedience to the faith is vital. We let people see our faith in Jesus Christ by obedience to the Word - and also, we reveal our lack of faith in Christ by our disobedience to the Word.
Paul's calling was to go to ALL NATIONS - to the Gentiles - to non-Jews. And one centre of the faith at this time was Rome.
He is writing to these believers in Rome - and calls then loved by God - beloved of God - He loved you and loves you - He cares and is concerned - this is active and not sentimental.
Chapter 5 verse 8 - God demonstrates His own love for us in this - while we were still sinners Christ died for us.
"Called to be saints" - God says, I call you saints - holy ones - separated - set apart for ME! Called is EKKLESIA - called out of the world.
In verses 8 to 15 , we read of Paul's interest in these disciples of Jesus in Rome.
He delighted in them - and he prayed for them. Real apostolic and missionary concern demonstrates itself in prayer. Do we have that concern? He prayed for people he did not know. Paul is not simply interested only in his own work - but he is keen to hear about others and learn about others and what God is doing in their lives and through their ministries.
Here we have a Church at the centre of the Roman Empire - and throughout the world people are hearing about your faith in Jesus Christ.
I want to come and see you - and visit you - I have prayed about it.
Paul wanted to find out whether or not it was God's Will for him to go to Rome. He did not know he would eventually arrive there in chains. It is good NOT to know what we might experience in the future. But GOD got him there.
He wanted to give them some spiritual gift that would encourage them to be strong - this spiritual equipping would build them up in Christ.
Use the gifts - Paul wants the church to use the gifts and be open to receive further gifts. And Paul's ministry - it was two way - he wanted to give, and he was open to receive. He too needed to be built up - fortressed - fortified - edified.
This is the pattern - giving and receiving - ministering and receiving ministry.
Be faithful to God's Word and sensitive to His Spirit. This Book will inspire and challenge. Romans is a unique combination of the spiritual and the intellectual - and is without parallel in human literature - unfolding spiritual truths.
One word sums up Romans - "Righteousness" - and Righteousness is not very high among the priorities in today's Church.
How many are hungering and thirsting after righteousness?
All other things follow righteousness. The Kingdom of God is righteousness, peace and joy - and we cannot change the order.
Paul introduces himself as a slave – and his function is as an apostle who reveals the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
“Gracious God – enable us to see the importance and the significance of what beloved Paul was inspired to write in these opening sentences. We are given a brief overview of his life and calling and ministry – for which we give thanks. So help us to minister faithfully in our own calling in these present days.” Amen .
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Alexander 'Sandy' Shaw is pastor of Nairn Christian Fellowship in Nairn, Scotland. Nairn is 17 miles east of Inverness - on the Moray Firth Coast - not far from the Loch Ness Monster!
Gifted as a Biblical teacher, Sandy is firmly committed to making sure that his teachings are firmly grounded in the Word.
Sandy has a weekly radio talk which can be heard via the Internet on Saturday at 11:40am, New Orleans time, at wsho.com.
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