January 26th, 2007
It’s safe to talk about Jesus when you’re inside a church or hanging round with religious people, but when you’re somewhere else, maybe at work or at school, talk about Jesus suddenly becomes something to be ashamed of. Why is it that if you mention the name of Jesus at a party you suddenly feel like a person prancing down the beach wearing a pair of Speedos in full sight of everybody? You feel as if everyone is looking at you, judging you and saying to themselves and each other that you have absolutely no idea of fashion or socially acceptable behaviour.
Paul’s Letter to the Romans — Chapter 1
1:1 From Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the good news of God, 1:2 which he promised in advance through his prophets in the holy Scriptures. 1:3 The good news is about his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born as a descendant of David, 1:4 and who was powerfully shown to be the Son of God, by his resurrection from the dead through the Spirit of holiness. 1:5 Through him we have received the grace and mission to call all the nations to believe and obey, for his name’s sake. 1:6 You are also called to belong to Jesus Christ.
1:7 This letter is to all God’s loved ones in Rome, who are called to be saints. Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
1:8 Firstly, I am grateful to God through Jesus Christ for all of you. Your faith is spoken about all over the world. 1:9 God knows how regularly I mention you 1:10 in my prayers, as I serve him wholeheartedly in the good news of his son. I pray that some time soon I will be able by the will of God to visit you. 1:11 I long to see you, so that I can give you a spiritual gift to build you up, 1:12 and so that we can be encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
1:13 I want you to know, friends, that I have often wanted to visit you to have some productive ministry, just as I have amongst other Gentiles, but have so far been prevented. 1:14 I owe so much to Greeks and non-Greeks, to educated and uneducated people, 1:15 so I am as keen as I can be to preach the Good News also to you in Rome. 1:16 I am not ashamed of the good news about Christ, because it is the power of God, giving salvation to everyone who believes, the Jew first, and then the Greek. 1:17 The good news reveals God’s type of righteousness which is by faith from beginning to end. It is written, “The righteous person will live by faith.” 1:18 God shows his anger from heaven against all the godlessness and misconduct of people, who corruptly twist the truth. 1:19 What can be known about God has been made clear to them, because God has shown it to them. 1:20 Since the creation of the world his invisible characteristics, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly evident through the things that he created. People have no excuse 1:21 because they were aware of God but failed to glorify or give thanks to him as God. Instead their reasoning became meaningless, and their uncomprehending hearts were darkened.
1:22 They claimed to be wise, but became fools, 1:23 and changed the glory of the immortal God into images resembling mortal humans and birds and animals and reptiles. 1:24 So God let them wallow in the filth that their hearts desired, degrading their bodies with each other. 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 1:26 So God let them indulge in their degrading passions. Women exchanged natural relations for unnatural. 1:27 Similarly men abandoned natural relations with women, and burned with lust for each another, males doing shameful deeds with other males, and suffering within themselves the punishment which they deserved.
1:28 Because they refused to acknowledge God, God let them have their futile opinions and do things which are wrong; 1:29 They are full of all kinds of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil, envy, murder, quarrelling, cheating, malice, gossipping, 1:30 backbiting, God-hating, insolence, pride, boastfulness, invention of evil things, disobedience to parents, 1:31 lack of understanding, faithlessness, heartlessness, and mercilessness. 1:32 They know God’s rule that people who do such things deserve the death penalty, yet they not only do them, but also encourage others to do them.
Entry Filed under: Perseverance