Saturday, March 24, 2018

Romans 1:1-7

Through Christ, God has given us the privilege and authority to tell Gentiles everywhere what God has done for them, so that they will have obedience that comes by faith, bringing glory to His name.  You are among those who have been called to belong to Jesus Christ, dear friends in Rome.  God loves you dearly and has called you to be his very own people.  May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. (verses 5-7)

What is obedience that comes by faith?

I assume this is to be distinguished from obedience that comes from fear of retaliation or self-serving gratification.  Obedience  out of fear might cause someone to just obey in accordance with the letter of the law, and not engage in its spirit to serve the purposes of God.  It would cause a hedging obedience - just enough to stay out of trouble - and not a heart-felt desire to please God in obedience.  Obedience for self-serving purposes would be to obey in order to justify oneself or prove oneself worthy.  The credit for obedience would be expected for the one obeying.

So, then what is obedience that comes by faith?  It would be driven by the desire to please the One who set the standard, to show Him and the standard to be righteous and worthy of obeying.  It might also be a gratitude response.  If God wants it, He can have it, whether I see the necessity of the obedience or not.  Whether it's easy or not; whatever diligence it might require of me.  God says it, so I do it! 

My personal example is one I have given many times.  I love my husband.  My husband hates onions.  So, I don't cook with onions.  In fact I love onions, but gladly deny myself cooking with them because of the request of the one I love.  In fact, because dried onions are often hidden in many products, I have to be diligent about reading labels.  I wouldn't want to ruin his meal by their addition.  I wonder if I am so diligent about God's requests so as not to accidentally offend Him?

What is your act of obedience that comes by faith?
What is a grateful response?


What is the impact of being identified as the object of God's love?  In fact,  He loved me so much that He wants to identify me as one of His and join me in the people group He has gathered together.  I see this as an opportunity to take on God's defining character trait of love.  It is so defining that it drives my identity into the people group of those who share that character trait.  Just like I might identify with my college team or my family, it provides definition for me.  It gives me a sense of belonging and pride;  it might even direct my path.

How does love become a defining character trait for you?
How do you identify with God's people?


If we are to be spiritually formed in a way that leads us
to God, we want to finally and thoroughly keep God
at the center.

What does God reveal about himself in this passage?
What does God want most for us?

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