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Thursday, April 12, 2018

2018.04.12 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 15:1-13

Questions for Littles: With what ought the strong to bear (v1)? Whom ought they not to please? Whom should they please (v2)? For what purpose? Leading to what goal? Who else did not please Himself (v3)? What did He endure for God’s sake? For whom were Scriptures about former believers written (v4a)? Through what, from the Scriptures, do we have what (v4b)? What title of God does v5 use? What does v5 pray that we would be? According to whom? So that we may do what (v6)? If we are to offer such worship, what must we do (v7)? Just as Who else has done to whom? Unto what purpose? What does v8 call the Jews? What does it say that Jesus has done for them? To confirm what? What does He cause the nations (Gentiles) to do (v9a)? Who does this with them (v9b)? And who else (v10)? How many nations do this (v11)? What relationship does Isaiah say that Jesus, the root of Jesse, has with the nations (Gentiles), according to v12? What title of God does v13 use? What does it pray that He would fill us with? Unto what end? By what power?
In this week’s Epistle reading, we have the grand conclusion to the body of Paul’s letter to the Romans. While there is much to be gleaned from the editorial comments that follow, and even the greetings that he appends, this passage is the climax.

And it does not surprise us that Romans’s chief end is to glorify God. It ends with worship. It climaxes with worship. The opening verses are full of commands not to reproach one another, but bear with one another, and see how we can be used to build up one another. But these all have a purpose: so that we may with one mind and with one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

It’s all about worship.

The argument of the letter opened up with the fact that the wrath of God was already displayed against such wicked creatures who had failed to worship the Creator (1:18-25). It moved through the amazing salvation by merciful grace that God has provided for sinners such as we are. Then it reminded that the response to such mercy must be an entire existence of worship (12:1).

And now we learn why so very much time has been spent, in chapters 12-14, on relationships in the body of Christ. God’s purpose in salvation is not merely that a multitude of associated individuals might worship similarly. Rather, His purpose is that Jesus Christ Himself would lead a united congregation of Jews and Gentiles, all believers from all places and all times, in one massively united worship of God.

Won’t that be glorious to be a part of? It will literally be the most glorious event we ever experience! This is our hope. And, as the Lord fills us with all joy and peace in believing, we become more and more likeminded to one another, and we see Him bringing about that great purpose for which He has saved us.

Yes, it does take a literal miracle for us to be over-full (abound) with such hope. But that is why He has given us His all-powerful Holy Spirit for that task. His power is displayed not when believers have ecstatic seizures or burst into gibberish, but when they are filled with joy and peace, and offer united worship to glorify God who gave His Son to be our Savior and our Lord. This is the great work of the power of the Holy Spirit!
Whom could you welcome more or increase connection with, in your church?
Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or HB473 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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