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Romans

Obedient To The Faith (16:17-27)

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One of Jesus’ most fervent wishes was that all of His followers would be united. Just a few hours before His crucifixion He prayed. After asking God to protect His disciples He said, “My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” (John 17:20-21 NIV)

Greeting (16:1-16)

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When we speak of the church we often refer to it as an institution. For example, we will say things like, “The church teaches...” However, we should never forget that the church is composed of individuals who have submitted themselves to Jesus Christ. In light of this, it is no wonder that the Apostle Paul mentions several individuals in his inspired letter to the followers of Christ at Rome.

Sharing (15:23-33)

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Before ascending to heaven Jesus Christ gave His disciples a command. He said, “...All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV) When the Apostle Paul became a follower of Christ, he took this command very seriously.

An Acceptable Offering (15:14-22)

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The world tries to tell the followers of Christ that they are evil, ignorant and incompetent to teach anyone about God. The Apostle Paul, however, has a very different view. In chapter 15, verse 22 of his inspired letter to the followers of Christ at Rome, he says, “I myself am also persuaded about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish others.”

A Spirit of Unity (15:5-13)

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All of us are different. We come from different families, backgrounds, experiences, traditions and cultures. As a result, we not only have different tastes and preferences, we also think differently. Sometimes we lack the very concepts or point of view which are necessary to comprehend what the other person is saying.

For Our Neighbor’s Good (15:1-4)

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People come from many different backgrounds and cultures. Our customs, practices and ways of thinking are different. Because of these differences it can sometimes be difficult to understand one another, let alone accept one another. Sometimes there are misunderstandings even among people who share the same background and who love one another.

Acting In Love (14:13-23)

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Jesus said that the world would be able to recognize who His followers are by their love. “A new commandment I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. All men will know that you are my disciples if you love one another.” (John 13:34-35 NIV)

Disputable Matters (14:1-12)

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The Apostle Paul teaches us that if we love one another we will not need rules and regulations to restrain our actions. To the followers of Christ in Rome he writes, “Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.” (Romans 13:10 NIV)

The Fulfillment of the Law (13:8-14)

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Most human activities tend to become more complex over time. For example, think of a sport or a game. In the beginning the rules were quite simple: Move the ball forward until you can pass it through the goalposts. But as situations arose which the inventors did not anticipate, they added more rules. Each circumstance called for another regulation until the rules became quite complex. Now it is not enough to move the ball forward, you are forbidden to carry it and you can touch it with only certain parts of your body. The more rules there are, the more skill is required to play the game.

Governing Authorities (13:1-7)

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We serve a God who is loving, kind and merciful. The Old Testament writers repeatedly assure us that He does not treat us as our sins deserve. We see this most clearly in the fact that God sent Jesus Christ to redeem us from our sin. Jesus takes the penalty for sin upon Himself for those who choose to follow Him.