Hey readers! Ok so I started a study on Romans today. I’ve just been really convicted lately that I have been slackin as a Christian and I need to step up my game. My Jesus dates (quiet times) have been not up to par and I haven’t really been invested, so I decided to really start digging in and studying.
Romans was written by Paul around AD 58. My Bible says that at this time, Paul was in Corinth and planning to go to Rome. He wrote this letter to introduce himself to the church there. This is his most structured letter. He opens up in Romans 1:1-7 stating giving a brief synopsis of the Gospel and why he has chosen to write to them.
Something that really struck home with me was how in the very beginning of this chapter, in verse 12, he says, “I want to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours.” Well, well, well, lookey what we got here-discipleship!! He don’t mess around. He gets right to the point of his ministry. Investing in others growth and discipleship. (Which is probably why he is writing all these letters).
Now here comes the boom: “For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes-the Jews first and also the Gentile. This Good News tells us how God makes us right in his sight. This is accomplished from start to finish by faith. As the Scriptures say, “It is through faith that a righteous person has life.” (verse 16-18).
“For I am not ashamed”-bold statement. Can we say the same? Have you ever in hushed tones said you were at church? Do you openly talk to your friends about your faith? Do you talk to strangers about Jesus? Slap in da face. Plain and simple, the Good News tells us what to do-we have been given the life manual for life. It is through faith and the power of God that we can do anything.
Verse 20 reveals, “ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made they can clearly see his invisible quality-his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” Sunsets, clouds and starry nights are some of my favorite beauties in the world and favorite things to admire. All of these; the sun rising, flowers blooming, the water cycle-all evidentiary support to the Creator. It says right there, we have no excuse not to believe. We know the truth, why are we not sharing it and why are we acting ashamed??
Verse 25-“They traded the truth about God for a lie. So they worshipped and served the things God created instead of the Creator himself, who is worthy of eternal praise!” This was a total slap to the left the temple. How often do we worship things that God has created instead of God himself?!
The dictionary definitions of worship are:
-the act of showing love and respect for a god
-a form of religious practice with its creed or ritual
-extravagant respect, admiration, or devotion to an object
Keeping these in mind, what are some things that we show love and respect for, hold to high standards as we do a god or idol? What are some things that we do ritualistically? What are some objects that we have an admiration and devotion towards?
To name a few personally-friends and family, school, work. These aren’t bad things-they were created by God, BUT am I putting them before God? That is the constant question I need to ask myself.
If we continue to put other things and worship things besides God, we are deemed as, “backstabbers, haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful” (verse 30) . Not exactly a list of happy adjectives or things little kids dream of being when they grow up. In verse 32, is says that “they know God’s justice requires that those who do these things deserve to die, yet they do them anyway.” As stated earlier in reference to verse 17-we know these things. We know what to do and what not do. We have no excuses, so why do we consistently insists on doing the complete opposite of what God has said?
In Romans 1, Paul is not ashamed and he understands what it takes to walk this walk. We know and understand too-we’ve been given the life manual, but do we always follow the instructions or are we more like the people in verses 18-32? We claim Christ, but do we really live life like we have given up the reigns? Are we stepping out? Am I stepping out? No-I’ve been slacking hard core. I don’t want to be like verse 32, I want to live out verses 16-18. I have to get the basics down and learn to get out of my world and fully live out these words I profess other than underlining and highlighting in my Bible, pinning on Pinterest and posting them as my Facebook status. If I’m not working at living them, all they are, are empty words from a hypocritical mouth. Is that how I want to be remembered? Is that how I want to portray Christ? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
As I start this study and fully focus my sights on running towards God, I want Romans 1:16 to be my mantra. No more cowardly Christian, I will be a bold Christian giving it all to God, because I am not ashamed of the Gospel. I am not ashamed to say that I am a sinner, I have screwed up, and I have been redeemed by God through the blood of His son Jesus Christ. I am not ashamed to say that I don’t have it all figured out and I am far from, but God is revealing himself more and more to me and I’m growing more and more every day. I am not ashamed to say that there are no excuses anymore.