“THE BOOK OF ROMANS” Part 8 of 8
 

Ch 12,13,14,15 = Service & worship

Ch. 12 -  Living sacrifices

               Christian behaviour
This 12th chapter teaches us the nature of the true worship of God. We are called to offer up sacrifices to the Lord, but not about money or houses as prescribed under the law. No, these sacrifices are to be our own bodies in everyday living, as we are to be living sacrifices and slay our own lusts in our service toward others. This is true worship and is a daily thing. Many Christians miss this point believing that worship only belongs in church on a Sunday.

Paul describes the outward conduct required of Christians in how we are to teach, preach, rule, serve, give, suffer, love, live and act towards our friends, enemies and everybody else. These are the works that God requires and are faith in action. This is true worship to God.

 Ch. 13 – Higher powers

               Our duty towards government
Paul states that the civil government is there for our good. They are God’s ministers
(Rom 13:6). We are to obey them as far as is possible in the Lord. We do not steal from them at tax time for example. They are there for our protection as the wicked are not free to do evil as they wish. This is why the civil government must be honoured for what it can provide in maintaining law and order. Paul restates the last five of the Ten Commandments of adultery, steal, kill, witness and covet under loving thy neighbour as thyself
(Rom 13:9).

 Ch. 14 – Weak in faith

              Our duty towards weaker brethren
Paul teaches us to bear those weak in the faith very tenderly and not to injure them. Accordingly it may be sometimes better to yield somewhat to those who are weaker in the faith such that the effects of the gospel is maintained and not perish. As babies in the faith, they have tender consciences and can be confused until they know the truth about things regarding food (Rom 14:2) days (Rom 14:5) and drink (Rom 14:17).

Ch. 15 – Christian love

              We are not to please ourselves
In this chapter Paul outlines that we are not to please ourselves when it comes to other Christians. He refers to the frailty of their manifest sins, their unpleasant manners, habits and imperfections. Indeed, we are reminded that Christ has longsuffering to us every day. This is summed up in verses four and five. For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: Rom 15:4-5

Paul puts forward his qualifications as the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (Rom 15:16) but not on another man’s territory/foundation (Rom 15:20). He reveals his wish to come to Rome via Spain (Rom 15:24) and of his current endeavour to take some money to the poor saints in Jerusalem. He finishes by praying that he will be delivered from unbelievers (Rom 15:31).

Ch 16 = Salutations and warning

Ch. 16 – Salutations

              Warning – all those whose idol is their belly (Roman Catholic church)
In the first sixteen verses of this chapter Paul mentions and salutes the saints in Rome. He finishes with the warning of those that would have doctrine contrary to Paul. He says their god is their belly and are smooth talkers that can deceive the simple minded saint (Rom 16:18). For it is out of Rome, for two thousand years, and through the Roman Catholic system, that they have overwhelmed the world. They are truly called the whore of Babylon (Rev 17:1,15, 16; 19:2). Paul denounces them, warns us of them and that God would save us from them. Indeed, the flesh wars against the Spirit (Gal 5:17) and as the days get darker and the word of God disappears, the world is indeed becoming more fleshy.

Why their belly? Paul also knew that in the future, Rome’s priests would say their wafer is the actual body of Jesus. You must eat their ‘magic cookie’ and have ‘jesus’ in your belly to be accepted by God. Absolute blasphemy!

 

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Harley Hitchcock

Monday 13th September 2021

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

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