Transparent spiritual relationships in the local church take hard work, but they are worth it. These relationships are more meaningful than checking off the number of times you attend church services. Christians cannot live the Christian life without each other.
The best way to proclaim that you're redeemed is by the way you live. The Gospel makes a transformative change in our lives that should be noticeable to those around us. Faith comes by hearing, but hearing the Word of God does not come primarily from a pulpit. It comes from believers living with disciple-making intentions in the natural rhythms of life. Your character and joyful disposition should prompt conversations!
Christ is coming back, and as the Head of the Church, He will be looking to see His people bringing the Gospel to others (Romans 1:16). Jesus is building His church in Mentor as He has been since the beginning of the church. He was building His church through the local body of believers in Rome. This was a healthy church made up of all different kinds of people, which we will see in Romans 16. That diversity of people being saved and united in Christ is the result of living out the commission of love that Paul wrote about in Romans 12:17-21.
Every person was created by God in a body. Those who have been born again are indwelt by the Holy Spirit; their bodies are sacred and owned by Jesus Christ. In a culture that declares themselves free to do whatever they want with their bodies, we are able to do with our bodies what is pleasing to the Lord.
Americans spend an astounding amount of money every year to take care of our bodies, whether that involves medical costs, fitness, or weight loss. God cares about the body as well. He determined to redeem and resurrect our human bodies before Creation. The Mosaic law shows great care for the physical body. The Israelites took Joseph's body with them when they left Egypt, and God Himself buried Moses' body when he died. Jesus healed the human body multiple times in His earthly ministry. Jesus was resurrected bodily, and so will we be.
Genesis 19 is a hard chapter to understand. It is often misunderstood and misinterpreted as judgment on one particular sin, but it is not. Rather, it should be read as a sub-narrative in Abraham’s story about how God’s people can slip into living like the world.
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