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  • Gwen Diaz

318 - A Letter to the Romans (Part 1)

NOVEMBER 14 - Nº 318 Acts 20:2-3; Romans 1 – 5; 6:23

Paul was on his way to Jerusalem to give a report about everything that had taken place on his third missionary journey. He also planned to deliver the gifts that various Gentile churches had donated for famine relief in Judea. But before getting there, Paul wanted to fulfill his promise to visit the believers in Corinth. So, after encouraging the churches in Macedonia, he headed south to Greece. Because it was winter and travel was difficult, he stayed in Corinth for about three months. While he was there, Paul decided to write a letter to a growing congregation of believers in Rome. Rome was the most influential city in the Empire, and Paul was hoping to make it his base of operations for future ministry in western Europe. The Roman church was made up of both Jews and Gentiles. The Jewish believers had probably learned the good news about their Messiah when they traveled to Jerusalem to celebrate the important feasts and encountered a growing Christian population. Gentile converts may have first heard about Jesus when they passed through one of the Roman cities where Paul and his companions had already started a church. But these new converts faced a problem. There was no one in the city of Rome to follow up the initial teaching they had received. Since it would be a while before he could get there, Paul wanted to make sure they really understood the Gospel. He also wanted the Jewish and Gentiles converts to understand the importance of being united as they lived out their faith in a difficult environment. Paul introduced himself as an apostle—someone chosen by God to deliver an important message. He called this message “the good news” (Gospel) about Jesus Christ. He began by explaining the basics of what was now called Christianity: · First, no one can claim that they are unaware of God’s existence. The creation around them constantly reveals His presence. It defines His character and demonstrates His divine power and authority. · Neither can anyone live perfectly enough to have a relationship with this powerful and holy God. Although everyone tries to establish standards that will allow them to one day live in His presence, no one is capable of living up to the standards they set. This imperfection is called “sin,” and “sin” separates everyone from God. Regardless of what standards are used, no one is capable of creating their own righteousness. · But God (the only true God revealed in the Scriptures) provided a solution by sending Jesus Christ. Christ lived a perfect life and then died in our place. He was separated from God so that we don’t have to be! Therefore, we can live in God’s presence forever! · We are given this gift of an eternal relationship with God when we accept through faith the fact that Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave. · This gift of eternal life is available to everyone, everywhere regardless of whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Paul built the rest of his letter to the Romans on these basic principles.

Have you ever taken the time to “see” God as He is revealed through nature? Look out a window right now. What can you learn about God from just that tiny space? Do you know Him personally? Will you live with Him forever?

318 - A Letter to the Romans (Part 1)
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