When a most excellent word gets into your heart, the supernatural begins to happen. If you are seeking truth, healing, ethics, world history, mercy, forgiveness, the significance of the law, justice, election, faith, the doctrine of the church, works, creation, redemption, the purpose of the Holy Spirit — as taught by God, then dive into Paul’s letter to the Romans. It is the most clear presentation of the glad tidings of the Gospel. The seed of Abraham has spread to reach people across the globe. All peoples were created by God, and singled out for the Creator’s grand purpose.
All receive grace as a gift! Grace brings about obedience. As a justified believer in Jesus Christ, we belong to Him who called us perfect in His sight. God tells us that there are mysteries that we will never know and that He has mercy on whom He chooses. His ways are NOT our ways, so it is wise to NOT demand signs and wonders in order to maintain your faith. Our Father cannot be controlled. The natural inclination of man or woman is to manipulate and intimidate to get their way. God delivers us from our sinful nature that desires to control people and situations. When we are pricked by holy conviction, we get out of denial and confess that our ways do not work. “As He went along, He saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” “Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him. As long as it is day, we must do the works of Him who sent Me.” John 9 — Think about it, this blind man never saw Jesus or knew His name, he never witnessed a miracle so it was not his faith, but the mercy of God that restored his sight. We are called to BELIEVE in Jesus, not the signs and miracle healings that still occur. Our Lord told us that we will suffer, we will be rejected, and we will be persecuted. We must BELIEVE in all of His Word. Sickness of the body happens to the best, most faithful believers. Our pastor got COVID and lived, and yet people of great faith die of heart disease, cancer and others by tragic accidents. Doctors are necessary in this fallen world. If we need surgery, we need a doctor. When we get prayed over and we can still feel pain, we are wise to be aware that Satan seeks to destroy our faith in God to heal us. IF we expect immediate results, and feel a twinge of pain, our flesh can quickly question God’s word. As we pray, we are called to believe and NOT doubt God’s word for us. Do NOT be like king Herod who just wanted Jesus to impress him with miracles. Christians get sick with incurable diseases and many solid believers need antibiotics and chemo to live. We are to pray and aptly discern as we trust that God is still God, even when we do not get healed. The tent we live in gets wrinkled and torn. As we age our bones wear out. Seeking the cause of symptoms is NOT as important as seeking GOD. Healing comes by faith in the Great Physician, however, people of tremendous faith SUFFER and DIE. We are called to SUFFER with Christ, and to SUFFER well and be a good witness.
Raise your hands HIGH and PRAISE God regardless of how your body feels! Remember God did not heal Paul of his thorn, but the thorn kept Paul humble. WHY would God promise us a NEW glorified body if we don’t need one? Unexpected conditions, events, or circumstances should not take us by surprise, we live in a fallen world. We get colds, flus, allergies and cancers. Some conditions are caused by what we eat, or the polluted air we breathe. Not all disease is caused by a lack of faith in God. Check in with all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews, they all did not die peacefully in their sleep. Paul was bit by a snake, stoned, shipwrecked, tired, weak and probably sick at times in prison. We are called to capture every thought and hold it up to Scripture. I am certain Rabbi Paul did just that, and yet, he still had a thorn stuck in his side.
God’s faithful disciples are in the news, making a huge impact around the globe. We serve God with a spirit of willingness to seek and trust God in sickness and in health. Just like a wedding vow, we do not abandon our Groom. “For I very much want to see you, so I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, to be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” RM 1:11
We are a witness to the brutes of this world and to our fellow believers by our testimony. We are not ashamed of the Gospel, therefore we hold onto the faith God gave us and trust Him no matter the circumstance. The Truth, the glad tidings, the Gospel — is God’s power to save everyone who believes and trusts that Jesus is Lord. God’s righteousness is revealed from faith to faith, just as it is written: The righteous will live by faith. God’s wrath will be poured out on all godlessness — it is an abomination to suppress the TRUTH. What is known about God is evident in every sunrise and sunset. God’s invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature has been clearly seen though all that He has made.
As a result of His apparent glory, people are without excuse for denying God. For they can see that God exists, but they chose not to glorify Him as God or show any gratitude. Instead their thinking became nonsense and their minds became darkened as they claim to be all wise. They exchanged the glory of the eternal God for images resembling mortal man, birds, the moon, the sun, or a reptile. This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. Without the mind of Christ, males and females are inflamed with their lust for one another, and with all kinds of evil, greed, envy, gossip, arrogant, pride, slanderers, God-haters, undiscerning, unloving, unmerciful. However, there is no condemnation for those who claim Jesus as their Lord. There is no sin too great that the blood of Jesus will not cover. The Spirit of God’s law— of a life lived in Jesus Christ— has set all who were a slave to sin – FREE.
What the law or courts could not justify because of human weakness, God did. Our Father condemned sin in the flesh by sending His Son Jesus in the flesh, as a perfect sacrificial lamb. The law’s requirement of death was accomplished ‘in us’ as we do NOT walk according to the flesh, but according the Spirit that dwells within ALL who claim Jesus as Lord. The mind set of the Spirit is LIFE — because the Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in us. God raised Jesus from the dead and He also brings our mortal bodies to life and healing through the ongoing work of the Holy Spirit. We did not receive a spirit of fear, but we received the Spirit of adoption, by Whom we cry out “Abba Father!” The Holy Spirit Himself testifies together with our spirit that we are God’s children, and if children, also heirs — seeing that we SUFFER with Jesus —so that we may also be glorified with Him.” Romans chapter 8
The unique power of the Spirit of God living in us is that He will search out our dark habits, our instincts for hypocrisy, our self-reliance, our unbelief in the power of prayer, our shallowness in repentance, our spiritual pride, insensitivity to the suffering of others, our worldliness, our conceit. The letter to the Romans is the highest peak to climb in coming to grips with all that Jesus did on our behalf. What is left for us to do? Believe, Receive, and Trust what God has done, and what He continues to do. The grace of God is issued to us daily, NOT because of what we deserve, or because of our good deeds. The grace of God is poured out lavishly because we are in constant, desperate need of His mercies. Read and re-ponder every word of the book of Romans and receive whatever the Holy Spirit desires to impart. Resurrection Sunday is a day to celebrate that Jesus has risen, and He is alive in us. AMEN