As we make our way through some pretty meaty topics in our passages in Romans this week, there are a few points I’d like to highlight, which should help you in your reading.
Having just read the verses quoted from Hosea in chapter 9 (“I will call them ‘my people’ who are not my people; and I will call her my ‘loved one’ who is not my loved one”) we turn to chapter 10 with hope and thankfulness for the grace which has been shown to us. There is now no distinction between Jew and Gentile, and all those who proclaim that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and believe in the resurrection are saved. As you read through this chapter, take a moment to thank God for this undeserved grace he has shown to you.
Paul argues in chapter 11 that some branches of Israel are broken off because of unbelief, and other younger branches are grafted in in their place. Therefore, Gentiles are not to consider themselves superior to the other branches because it is due to the kindness and grace of God that we are all saved and therefore we cannot boast. Do you have a tendency to forget that you are saved purely on God’s grace, rather than your own doing?
In chapter 12, Paul goes on to exhort the Romans to live their lives as a sacrifice to God, in view of the mercy which God has shown us. We are called to love one another, devote ourselves to one another and to bless those who persecute us. In the following chapter, Paul says we should be subject to the authorities and pay our taxes, although in some cases problematic, this comes from the belief that all authority comes from God. Paul sums up all of these things as loving your neighbour, hence fulfilling the law.
And finally, as we ponder what it means to give our bodies in true and proper worship, allow David’s worshipping heart recorded in the Psalms to inspire you to worship God in response to the love and grace He’s given us.
Some points to ponder:
- What questions do the passages from Romans raise for you?
- Paul calls for us to give our bodies as a living sacrifice at the beginning of Romans 12. Is there an aspect of your life the Lord might be challenging you on in particular?
- David worships God and turns his eyes to Him amidst his present hardships and struggles. Is this a discipline which you feel you need to press deeper into?