As we finish Paul's list of greetings for those who are "in Christ," consider which description you identify with. What is your role in the pursuit of Gospel progress?
We have been studying the love Christians should have within the body of Christ (Romans 12:9-16). The pointed commands beginning in verse 13 seem random, but they do flow from what Paul wrote in the verses just before. Love that is holy, relational, passionate in serving and persevering, will be aware in these ways.
Romans 8 concludes with a strong emphasis on the truth that God's children can experience no separation from the love of Christ. If God's love is enough to hold the whole body together, how much more so will it hold individual believers eternally secure! There are no people or circumstances that can separate us from God's love.
At the end of his letter to the Romans, Paul names many individuals who were an encouragement to him in the Lord. Paul had not been to visit the churches in Rome, but he knew many believers who had evidently moved there. The list begins with a woman named Phoebe who likely delivered Paul's letter about AD 57 (Romans 16:1-2). Her inclusion, along with Priscilla and her husband Aquila in the next few verses, reminds us that women are very important to the essential ministry of disciple-making in the church.
We are studying how to become more like Christ through prayer and reading God's Word. Jesus' prayer in John 17 shows His life's purpose and the influence He had. We can draw insight about our own purpose and influence from His prayer.
We continue to follow Timothy's journey as he learns how God builds His church. The normative pattern we see in the book of Acts is not churches being grown around programs or a person. God's primary way to grow a church is through people getting saved as a result of believers interacting with the unsaved. A church grown around the Bible will have the desire to plant other churches, then network together to reach even more regions in the world.
Our culture has an obsession with greatness that often leaves us normal people asking, if I can’t be great, is my life really worth anything? Yet there is greatness in spiritual simplicity. The greatest thing we could do is to know Jesus Christ, walk with Him, and serve in His local church for the Gospel’s sake. Let God be great through your obedience.
Isaac was a simple man, mostly known for being the son of Abraham and the father of Jacob – yet God used him to perpetuate an eternal seed.
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