SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
- At this point in his letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul begins to address the legacy of the promises God made to the Jews. Before diving into this subject we must remember one thing: Paul has made it clear that people become right with God through faith in Jesus, who on the cross satisfied the requirements of the law in their place.
- Paul goes on to explain how blessed the Jews are. Their past is full of blessings from God that no other people group on the planet enjoyed. But when God opened his blessings to the whole world, many Jews refused to follow Jesus, choosing instead to live in the past.
- Paul explains that being a child of God depends on God’s mercy.
- The idea of verses 20-23 is that God knows everything, even the future.
SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
- In the opening paragraph, Paul says he wants so badly for other people to know God's love and go to Heaven that he would be willing to be separated from God and go to hell to make it happen. Wow. Everyone who has experienced God's grace and a relationship with him should have a passion for others to experience it as well.
- In verse 32 we learn that the reason the Israelites were losing their place as God's people is because they pursued him through works rather than through faith. Many Christians do the same. We feel like our status with God is based on how well we're performing and how little we're sinning. That is the opposite of Christianity. Our relationship with God is based solely on grace; on accepting what Jesus did on the cross for us and God making us right with him as a gift we don't deserve.
NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
- How passionate are you about other people coming to know Jesus? How could you increase your passion? What friend are you trying to show God's love to, and looking for opportunities to tell about Jesus? Who have you invited to church lately?