Rome with its pervasive power was thriving with exquisite poetry, royal decrees 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.
NOTE: Saul had been blinded by God while on his way to persecute believers. When he was born again as Paul, his blindness left and God gave him new eyes to see the world from a heavenly perspective. The gigantic event that split history between the Old and the New was the life, death and resurrection of the world’s Savior, Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Saul encountered Jesus on the road and was forever changed. Jesus changed his name to Paul.
The fire of the Holy Spirit lit up the pen of Paul and his mission was to spread the Good News! 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 letters still grip us with conviction today.
Paul emphasizes that we have an obligation to eagerly, with gratitude overflowing, share our testimonies to the glory of God. We are NOT to be ashamed of our faith, while living in Rome, or wherever we may live. We are NOT to keep it a secret of how God has so dynamically entered our hearts with a new life “in Christ”. Paul’s white hot conviction was in full flame as his experience on the road to Damascus was full of God’s power to transform a life!
Our Father imparts such immense faith as a gift, and it is a gift to share 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 forgiven.
“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel righteousness from 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)
Living by faith is as easy as flipping a light switch on. We trusted that the dark was replaced with light as soon as we flipped the switch! By saying YES to JESUS, we cannot see what is going on in the atmosphere, but God is always at work. His light, His righteousness came into us as our salvation, and that is very real!
As Jesus explained to Nicodemus; “The wind blows wherever if pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8) 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. We are also told to pray that God would increase our faith in Him. All we need to do is ask! “For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God.” (Eph 2:8)
Paul talks about the peace and joy that we have by the grace of God. “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, 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.” (Romans 5)
Through the power of the indwelt Holy Spirit we are more than conquerors in Christ. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” Romans 8:28-33
People in Rome and to this day ask about 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.
Copyright © 2019 by Barbara Alley Hoyle.
All rights reserved.
(click on BLOGGER TAB “Books of Bible” for the rest of the story)
“It is finished.” 4/20/19