The Divine, Practical Purpose of the Incarnation.

Love is talked about often during the Christmas season. The love of God in our hearts produces hope (Romans 5:5). The Holy Spirit instructs us about God's love. The gifts given by the Holy Spirit are to be lived out in love (1 Corinthians 13:1-13 and 1 Peter 4:9-11). It is God Himself who teaches us to love (1 Thessalonians 4:9-10).

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Paul returns to previously planted churches to strengthen them, then goes to Ephesus, establishing a church which impacts the nearby region.

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The Song of Gospel Praise, Part 2.

Romans 16:25-27 may not be a song, but these are glorious words spoken about God. They encapsulate our focus as we end our study of this book. While we live out the Gospel, our singular goal is to bring glory to God.

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The Song of Gospel Praise.

Setting goals and achieving them is a reflection of God's image in humans. Focusing on one thing has proven to produce great success for many entrepreneurs, although their achievements are only temporal. The ultimate goal of the Gospel is to spiritually and positionally restore us in Jesus Christ back to our original spiritual condition and purpose in the eyes of our Creator. The Westminster Shorter Catechism puts it this way: "the chief end of man is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever." How is this done?

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Paul took the gospel to the city of Corinth as his last stop in his second missionary journey.

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From sorrow to singing, Psalm 13 reflects our human emotional shifts and points us to stability.

Psalm 12 expresses how David felt when he had been abandoned by godly friends. In Psalm 13, David is so alone, he feels he has been abandoned by God Himself. This feeling is prompted by the length of his suffering. Perseverance in a long time of difficulty is perhaps the most trying to our minds and hearts.

David's struggle will feel familiar to many people of God. In a marathon of trust, we often ask similar questions. Is God one who abandons? Through David's wrestling, we will learn that God's character and work confessed in prayer sustains us during long, drawn-out periods of suffering.

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God’s sovereignty and man’s responsibility go hand-in-hand as the Gospel spreads to the nations.

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The Final Touch of Grace.

Paul includes two unusual elements at the end of his letter to the Roman Christians. He gives a final instruction about protecting the health of a good church and closes with a 3-verse doxology. (He normally ends his letters with a prayer of benediction.) Though danger was not present in the Roman church yet, spiritual danger is always imminent. He warned the church in Rome so they would be ready.

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Since God enables the Gospel to spread, we must be willing to adjust to His scope and His timing.

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Profiles of Grace.

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?

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