SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- This last chapter of Paul's letter to the Romans consists primarily of him greeting his friends.
- Paul warns his readers to watch out for people who use flattery to gain trust while actually teaching contrary to God's truth and ultimately causing division.
- Paul ends by giving glory, or credit, to God through Jesus.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- Paul's greetings to his friends in Rome may not seem interesting to us until we begin to understand their diverse backgrounds. A Christian community had developed in the city of Rome and it was unique! The church included prominent women such as Phoebe and Priscilla. It also included slaves like Ampliatus and Urbanus as well as royalty! Aristobulus was believed to be the grandson of Herod the Great. This is evidence that the good news of Jesus is truly for everyone, and that the church works best when we are united, regardless of gender, race, or socio-economic status. That is what was happening in Rome, and the church was bursting at the seams!
- We need to be careful about people who teach contrary to God's truth. And the only way to know if they are is by constantly growing in knowledge of the Bible. The more you read it and learn it, the easier you can discern whether someone's teaching is consistent with it.
- We need to be careful of people who cause division and try to stir up trouble in the church. This is not of God. Only unity is.
- The goal of our lives should be to give God glory. We are not the star of the story, God is.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- We have completed the book of Romans today. This book is critical in helping us understand God and His offer to us and how to live life with and for Him.
- In order to know God's truth we've established we need to read the Bible regularly. In addition, it can be helpful to memorize some key verses. Choose one, or several, to memorize. Memorizing Bible verses is one of the best ways we can grow closer to God and equip ourselves to live the life He has for us.
- “for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” Romans 3:23
- “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8
- "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 6:23
- "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose" Romans 8:28
- “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord." Romans 8:38-39
- “That if you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved." Romans 10:9-10
- “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. But be transformed through the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.“ Romans 12:1-2
- “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.“ Romans 15:7