December 30, 2018

ROMANS 1-2   


Key Verses for Today: Romans 1:5; Romans 1:16-17; Romans 2:5


Paul, a man who once sought to kill all Christians, became a tireless evangelist after his encounter with the risen Christ on the road to Damascus. Paul, a devout Jew who converted to Christianity, finds his assignment is to take the Gospel of Christ to the Gentiles. Although delayed many times, Paul’s desire to take the Gospel to Rome, arguably the most morally abhorrent society on the earth during Paul’s lifetime, takes place in approximately AD 62, with the Apostle Paul leaving Rome sometime during AD 63. Let the journey begin.


The first lesson of Bible study year 2019, begins with the first two chapters of the Book of Romans. Paul points out that Rome is consumed with the worship of created things and of man-made things (idols), and with sexual sin. He warns not to take God’s patience in bringing judgment as a concession, but merely an opportunity for the people of Rome to re-evaluate what they believe and live their lives accordingly.  Read chapters 1 and 2 and ask yourself this question: Does Rome of Paul’s time sound like the United States of America today? 


Let’s look at three Bible verses from Romans chapter 1 and 2:


Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.  (Romans 1:5, NIV)


For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. 17For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” * (Romans 1:16-17, NIV)


But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed.  (Romans 2:5, NIV)


As you look at the highlighted portions of these three verses selected from the first two chapters of the Book of Romans, you will notice that the Apostle Paul is telling his audience in Rome that repentance is evidence of faith. That gives rise to the question: what do you believe?


Read the first two chapters of Romans taking notes and ask yourself this question: How does your life reflect what you believe? 


Habakkuk 2:4