Thursday, April 19, 2018

2018.04.19 Hopewell @Home ▫ Romans 15:14-33

Questions for Littles: What is Paul confident that the members of the church in Rome are full of and able to do (v14)? In what manner has he still written to them (v15)? What is Jesus offering to God, sanctified by the Holy Spirit (v16)? Through whom is Christ accomplishing this (v17-19)? Where has Paul aimed to preach the gospel (v20)? Whom does Paul hope to help see (v21a)? Whom does Paul hope to help to understand (v21b)? What has this quest of taking the gospel to new places also hindered, according to v22? When does Paul plan to come to Rome (v23-24)? Whom does he hope will help him get to Spain? Where is he going at the time that he writes this letter (v25)? Who had given an offering for poor Christians in Jerusalem (v26)? Who had received spiritual blessings from whom (v27)? What does Paul need to complete before going to Spain (v28)? Where will he stop along the way? With what does he hope to come to Rome (v29)? What does he plead with them to do (v30)? What two specific prayer requests does he give in v31? What two in v32? What benediction does he pronounce upon them in v33 
In this week’s Epistle reading, Paul is beginning to wind down his letter to the Roman church. We learn from this section several things that characterize relationships among believers who highly esteem one another.

  1. First, believers who esteem one another tell one another so. Looking at Paul’s statement in v14, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it is quite obvious that he highly esteemed the Roman Christians.
  2. Second, believers who esteem one another speak boldly to one another as a form of service assigned to them by God for their brethren’s good (v15).
  3. Third, believers who esteem one another give all the glory and credit to Christ, for whatever fruit He brings out of their ministry (v18).
  4. Fourth, believers who esteem one another have a great desire to spend time together (v22-23).
  5. Fifth, believers who esteem one another encourage one another with reports of what God is doing (v26-27).
  6. Sixth, believers who esteem one another hope to receive help from one another to serve the Lord (v28).
  7. Seventh, believers who esteem one another hope to be a great blessing unto one another (v29).
  8. Eighth, believers who esteem one another strive together in prayer for one another (v30).
  9. Ninth, believers who esteem one another hope to refresh one another with fellowship (v32).

This passage paints a beautiful picture of what it should be like when people who believe the gospel that is taught in Romans are in relationship with one another. And it gives us a checklist for loving one another well in the church—and across churches—today.
Whom in the church could you be doing a better job of loving? Which of the items on this list will you seek to improve with them? 
Suggested songs: ARP197 “Christian Unity” or HB473 “Blest Be the Tie That Binds”

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