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Spiritual Lighthouse; Romans
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The letter of Romans is widely considered one of the greatest works of the New Testament because it essentially covers all aspects of the work completed by God through Jesus. Many have read Romans, many have been transformed by it contents and many have based entire doctrines of faith upon it's words. It has also been called the most airtight legal document for salvation. However, let us leave theology for the theologians and seek for the practical application Romans has for each of us.
Romans can be viewed as a "spiritual lighthouse" for us as individuals and as a church. It not only can lead one to a saving knowledge of Jesus, but it can also enable one to reflect on their spiritual standing and help to gauge one's spiritual maturity. It can be a useful tool for Christians to spiritually "tune up" their faith as it sheds much light on the mysteries of God through Christ Jesus. As you read and study Romans, make effort to apply each principle to your life allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you into the truths that lie within.
Romans was written to both Jew and Gentile by the apostle Paul around 55-57 AD in anticipation to his visit to Rome and probably in Corinth. Paul's plan was to pass through Rome en-route to areas west of there, probably Spain. His message to the church at Rome was to enlighten them on God's plan of salvation and to enable them to effectively understand and share the Gospel.
The meat of the letter to those in Rome is comprised of 6 basic principles, righteousness declared and revealed, sin, salvation and justification, sanctification, God's sovereignty and life application. Let's take a brief look at each of these.
Righteousness declared and revealed
Paul reveals and declares the righteousness of God through the Gospel of Jesus in chapter 1:16-17. These 2 verses essentially lay the foundation for all of Romans and should also lay a good foundation for us in our Christian walk.
Chapters 1:18-3:20 are scripture that most of us would like to avoid. It is in these verses that condemnation falls upon the entire world. These are verses that we should all take heed to, for if there is any wish I might have, it is to be able to convince everyone how deadly sin is. These verses remind us of how important Jesus atoning sacrifice really is. This leads directly into salvation and justification.
Salvation and justification
Chapter 3:21-5:21 state and illustrate the salvation through faith in Christ. Paul states this fact clearly in 3:21-31. This justification is then revealed in the example of Abraham, that his faith in the promise of God was counted to him for righteousness. Justification is then explained through Adam. As the sin curse reigns in all of us through Adam's disobedience, so does the grace cover all because of Jesus' obedience to God through the act of His sacrifice on the cross.
Chapters 6,7 and 8 deal with the steps after the acceptance of Jesus (salvation). Chapter 6 deals with our union with Jesus and the victory we now have over the lusts of the flesh. In essence, set aside your body to good works that glorify God rather than the old lusts that fall into the condemnation of sin.
Chapter 7 addresses the law and how it now applies to us as children of God. The law no longer condemns but rather drives us closer to Jesus.
The result from this begins with chapter 8. Being unified with Christ (chapter 6), driven closer to Christ and His sacrifice (chapter 7) and now walking by the Spirit becoming heirs of God and victors over death. This is nicely illustrated in John 3:1-21.
Chapters 9,10 and 11 speak of Paul's desire to see Israel come to the end of the purpose of the law, which is salvation through Jesus. It also expresses that there is no longer a separation between Jew and gentile (See Ephesians 2:11-15). He is God over all.
Chapter 12-15:13 express Paul's instructions as to personal behavior (12:1-3), within the church (12:4-10), in life (12:11-13:14) and to the weaker believer (14:1-15:3)
Use Romans as your spiritual lighthouse. Let it be the foundation of your belief. Let the Holy Spirit be your guide through Romans. May you be blessed in your walk through the abundant riches in Christ Jesus. Amen.
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