God’s Plan

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The Book of Romans is such a powerful book. It helps us begin to understand what went wrong with this world, as well as God’s Plan to restore it. If you are not familiar with the great story of the life of Paul, then I highly recommend you spend some time in the Book of Acts, where he dramatically comes on the scene. (see Acts 9:1-31; then 13 to the end) The first thing we need to know is that Paul was always very zealous for God. But having been raised to follow the most strict sect of the Jewish nation, the Pharisees, he thought this new Jesus movement was blasphemy. And so he persecuted the church, approving of the death of Stephen and arresting many believers in order to stop these followers of “The Way.” It is after his major conversion that Paul becomes sold out for Jesus and goes in the opposite direction of how he was living. He actually begins preaching about the Salvation Jesus can grant us, and plants churches along his journey to spread the news. 

Paul wrote many letters to encourage the persecuted believers, to answer their questions, to guide them on how to live this saved life, and how to deal with challenges, as well as to clarify doctrine. The major purpose of this Letter to the Romans is to spell out God’s Plan towards both, the Gentiles and Jews who made up this church of the Romans, and help them live in unity with each other. Unity, being one with God and others, is a reoccurring theme in many of Paul’s letters, also called epistles, especially with this church that consisted of these two ethnic groups. Many of the Jews who were given the Law from God through Moses, insisted that these new converts still had to follow the various rules, like circumcision and dietary limitations too. But the Gentiles, who did not have that history, simply were living the way they had always lived, just now, focusing on Jesus and the Church community. So you can see all the conflicts, quarrels and division this would produce. And so Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, writes to them this most wonderful Book. We will begin tomorrow, talking about God’s Plan.

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<>< Peace, Diane