Book of Romans Part 13
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Hello and Welcome to Our Church Without Walls:
I’m preaching this Sunday on THE BOOK OF ROMANS
Today’s Text is Chapters 14 & 15. This is Part 13.

Join with us now as I give you an exposition on Paul’s Epistle to the Romans

From Chapter 12, we learned that our service for the Lord is to be lived in the outliving of the in-living Christ. This means the believer’s responsibility is to serve God in love. It also means that our "self" is to be sacrificed by the “renewing of our mind”. And the mind that is saturated with, and controlled by, the Word of God is one that is undergoing the “renewing of our mind”. Paul also taught us in chapter 12 that we should not be "lacking in zeal", and that as much as it is possible, we are to live at peace with others.

In Chapter 13, Paul then shifts his subject to the Christian and his relationship to the government. In verses 1 - 7, he states that this relationship requires submission to governing authorities because human government represents God's authority. But to resist it is to resist God and to incur judgment.

CHAPTER FOURTEEN

Now, in chapter 14, the apostle Paul addresses the issue with conflicts between mature believers and immature (or the weaker) believers. In verses 1 - 6, he talks about the strong believer who has the duty to welcome a weaker believer without passing judgment of disputable matters. For according to verse 5, each Christian must follow the dictates of his own conscience in matters not specifically commanded or prohibited in Scripture. That means that our conscience is a God-given mechanism to warn, and it responds to the highest standard of moral law in the mind (chapter 2:14-15). Paul explains that believers have Christian liberty; that they will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ; that God has received the weaker one as a believer; and that he is indeed a servant of Christ, just as is the stronger believer.

Now, Verses 13 - 21 explain that this consideration rules out putting a stumbling block in his path, even though something may seem good in itself. The weaker believer's welfare must be valued above one's own desires.

Some of the conflicts in the early church included such things as the eating of meats and the observing of days. The meats probably referred to meat that had been offered in sacrifice to idols. As for the days, the reference there was probably to the Jewish insistence that Gentiles observe the Sabbath and other Jewish Festival Days. For example, The Lord's Day (which is the first day of the week) was the Christian's day. If, in addition, a Gentile Christian wanted to observe a Jewish Sabbath, it was his privilege. But he must not insist on others doing it.

The bottom line Paul is trying to draw is about God's glory (verses 22 - 23). God is to be glorified in a life of faith. And we are to live in God's sight by faith, free from a spirit of condemnation.

CHAPTER FIFTEEN

Now, chapter 15. As a continuation of the exhortations of the previous chapter, Paul had learned that some of the Jewish Christians in Rome were determined to enforce Jewish habits (and traditions) on Gentile Christians. It is mainly because of this conflict for which Paul writes.

The first 3 verses of chapter 15 show the strong believer his duty when in conflict with a weaker believer. The strong believer ought to put up with the failings of the weaker brother, sacrificing personal pleasure. Furthermore, the strong believer is to please his neighbor for his good and build him up. He is also to imitate Christ's example for God's glory.

The hope of God's worldwide glory is found in verses 4 - 7. By instructing believers in the divine redemptive purposes for man and the earth, Paul inspires hope. Human relationships of God's redeemed ones are to glorify the Father promoting His praise and honor. Harmony among God's people is for the purpose of a united voice of praise to God. And according to verse 6, we are to be with one mind and one mouth. Our unity should be both real (one mind) and apparent (one mouth). But the consummate purpose of unity is not to please other believers, but to glorify God.

Verses 8-13 shows us God's plan which embraces the extension of the gospel to the entire globe in which both Jew and Gentile are glorifying God. For this purpose, Jesus ministered to one nation so that eventually in the future kingdom all nations might join in glorifying God the Father. As "a servant of the Jews on behalf of God's truth" Christ had, as His ultimate purpose not only the calling out of a people for His name in this age, but the confirming of His promises to the patriarchs. These promises guarantee worldwide Gentile conversion when the kingdom is restored. Their fulfillment awaits the Second Advent. The promises are taken form the Psalms (18:49; 117:1), from Moses (Deuteronomy 32:43), and the prophets (Isaiah 11:10). They show that God's goal all the while is the nations of earth glorifying Him in worldwide adoration. The apostle appends his quotation of these promises with a benediction of hope.

In the closing verses (14 - 33), the apostle expresses assurance of their spiritual growth. And in order not to be misunderstood, he outlines his devotion to his ministry for Christ. Its source is in God (verses 15 - 17). In fact, Paul never boasted on his accomplishments, but only in what Christ had accomplished through him. But Paul’s ministry accreditation is by miraculous signs (verses 18 - 19). Now, in verses 20 - 21, Paul also expresses his longing to visit the church in Rome, and the circumstances delaying his visit. Paul writes in verse 27 about the Gentiles being partakers of their “spiritual things”. Those “spiritual things” were gospel truths that they had from the Jewish apostles, prophets, teachers and evangelists. In verse 28, the Apostle also mentions in his letter “this fruit”. “This fruit” was a sacrificial financial gift given to the Jerusalem church. This gift showed the “fruit” of their genuine love and gratitude. But then in verse 30, the Apostle’s tone of his letter changes. Paul knew of the trouble that awaited him upon his arrival in Judea. It was there that many Jews rejected the gospel and were prepared to attack Paul when he returned.

Knowing this, and according to verse 33, he makes a request for their prayer support and ends with a joyful benediction of peace.

I’m Dr. Robby sharing His Word, His Work, His Way