Rome was thriving with exquisite poetry, royal decrees, pervasive military strength and many thought provoking philosophies. The Pharisee Saul had been exposed to all of it, and he knew the ways of the Romans. Saul was born in Tarsus, in the tribe of Benjamin, as a Hebrew among Hebrews, his teacher was Gamaliel. He worked as a tent maker and was in Jerusalem when they stoned Stephen, the first Christian martyr. Remember that Saul had been blinded by God while on his way to persecute believers. When Ananias imparted healing by the Holy Spirit, Paul’s blindness left and God gave him new eyes to see the world from a heavenly perspective. When Saul encountered Jesus on the road his heart was forever changed, and Jesus changed his name changed to Paul.
The fire of the Holy Spirit indeed lit up the pen of Paul! His mission was to spread the Good News and he took off running! Along his three journeys Paul planted churches while he wrote 13 inspired letters that would encourage exhort and teach people the Truth. As God’s servant he wrote to the new believers in Rome, but his letters still make an impact in the life of believers today. Paul tells us that we have been set apart and saved by Jesus Christ for His divine purpose while on earth. His enthusiastic letters still grip us with conviction; to do God’s will today.
Paul emphasizes that we have an obligation to eagerly share our testimonies to the glory of God. Wherever we live, let us NOT keep our salvation a secret. It is a miracle how a simple prayer of repentance will invoke such a dynamic heart change as the Holy Spirit enters our most holy place. We have a new life “in Christ”. Paul’s white hot conviction was in full flame after he experienced the fullness of God’s power!
Jesus prayed that we be one in Him as He is in the Father: “that all of them may be one, Father, just as You are in Me and I am in You. May they also be in US so that the world may believe that You have sent Me.” (John 17:21)
Our Father imparts immense faith, and our faith is a gift that is to be shared with boldness. Paul teaches that we have no righteousness of our own, but because our Father declared that we are righteous, His word is true! We are encouraged to take on our new identity “in Christ” and walk worthy for His glory. Our guilt is gone, and our shame is replaced with a confidence that only comes as we accept that we are totally forgiven.
“The righteous will live by faith.” (1:16) Living by faith can be as easy as flipping a light switch on. As we turn a light on, we trust that the dark was replaced with light as soon as we flipped that switch! By saying YES to JESUS, we cannot see what is going on in our soul’s atmosphere, but when the Holy Spirit enters, the Light of the world fills us.
“And if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of His Spirit who lives in you.” (8:11)
We are told what faith is by God. “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance of what we do not see.” (Hebrews 1:1) If you have accepted Jesus as your Saviour, you were given faith. “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Ephesians 2:8)
Every born again believer, baptized in water and by the Holy Spirit, are God equipped to do mighty works in Jesus name. Prior to accepting Jesus as Lord, Paul tried to keep all the Law of Moses. After Ananias laid hands on him, Paul received the Holy Spirit and was forever grateful for his freedom in Christ. We too can walk in the Spirit without guilt, shame, or fear but in the full power of the Holy Spirit. “And those He predestined, He also called; those He called, He also justified; those He justified, He also glorified…Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.” (Romans chapter 8). “Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 8:17)
Paul talks about the peace and joy that we have by the grace of God. “we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.
And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, who He has given us.” (5)
Through the power of the indwelt Holy Spirit we are more than conquerors in Christ. “What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?”” (8:33)
“The one who keeps God’s commands lives in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us.” (1 John 3:24)
People in Rome and today ask what they must do. Jesus answered; “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29)
Paul wrote 13 books: Romans, First and Second Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, First and Second Thessalonians, First and Second Timothy, Titus and Philemon.
Barbara Alley Hoyle.
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(click on BLOGGER TAB “Books of Bible” for the rest of the story)
“It is finished.” 5/21/19