February 14, 2021
DAY 43: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Today, we continue our journey through the book of Romans, written by the Apostle Paul.
Take a moment to pray for understanding of the journey we are about to undertake through Romans 13-14. Now read Romans chapters 13 and 14. It time to start our Journey!
As you read today’s reading, keep in mind the overall context of the book. This letter was written approximately 30 years after the ascension of Jesus Christ. Several years earlier, the Jews (Jews and Jewish Christians) had been forced to leave the city of Rome by the emperor. Following the emperor’s death, the Jews began returning to the city. This letter came to the Roman church at a time of change. A great amount of tension existed between Jewish Christians and Gentiles. Jewish Christians insisted that the laws of Moses, including circumcision and dietary restrictions, must be followed in order to gain salvation. Gentiles were reluctant to abide by the strict Jewish laws. One of Paul’s goals in this letter is to relieve the tension that exists between the two groups.
Romans 13-14: Paul encourages the reader to respect the authority of the government in our daily lives. By respecting the earthy government, we show our respect for God – the ultimate authority. Paul also warns the reader that whatever is done by the cover of darkness is seen by the Lord. The reader is to avoid thinking of the gratification of the desires of the flesh, and clothe himself or herself with the Lord Jesus Christ. Christians, those who follow the Lord, are to take care of each other. Once a person becomes a Christian, it is natural to seek a deeper understanding of their new-found faith. This can lead to conflict over what a new Christian, and an established Christian, view as proper conduct for a Christian. The examples given in chapter 14, include what a believer may eat and what day a believer considers more sacred than another. Paul’s advice is simply that the more established believer relents from whatever conduct offends the new (weaker) believer because that is acting in love for the new (weaker) believer. This advice confirms Romans 13:8-10, which directs us to love our neighbors as ourselves. (Romans 13:1-14:23)
Read chapters 13 and 14, and ask yourself these questions: What is the purpose of government in our lives? How should differences be reconciled? Consider both, the government and with other believers? How does today’s reading further Paul’s goal of unification? How does your behavior compare to what is described by Paul?
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