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Romans

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.

Cling To What Is Good (12:9-21)

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The Gospel – that is the death, burial and resurrection of Christ – should have a profound effect on our lives. Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf is the strongest expression of God’s love for us and of His mercy.

Living Sacrifices (12:1-8)

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The theme of the first 11 chapters of the Apostle Paul’s inspired letter to the followers of Christ at Rome is God’s mercy in granting salvation to sinners. Without God’s mercy, all of us would perish because we fall short of God’s expectations and standards.

Mercy On Them All (11:25-36)

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We enjoy stories in which the characters overcome seemingly impossible odds. They face a situation which threatens to overwhelm them or destroy them and there is no way out. Then, when hope is almost gone, the consequences of a choice made much earlier change the situation and provide a solution.

Riches For The Gentiles (11:11-24)

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It is probably true that almost all people live with a sense of failure. Very few of us are able to accomplish everything we would like to do. Even the things we do accomplish rarely reach the level of perfection we would like. In a more profound sense, we fail to reach our full potential. We are not the people we know we ought to be. We know that there is still room for growth in our character. For example, we are not as wise as we should be.

A Remnant Chosen By Grace (11:1-10)

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We humans have the tendency to let the principle of “collective guilt” influence our actions. For example, if a foreign government does something we don’t like, we will insult or harass a person from that country even though he had nothing whatever to do with the incident, has no influence over the policy of his government and disagrees with what it did. In the same way, it is not uncommon for people to vent their displeasure on a whole community for the actions of one of its members. What is even worse is when a whole community is punished, not on the basis of actual guilt, but because of a rumor that someone might have done something.

Good News (10:14-21)

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Businesspeople face a two-part problem. First, they must provide a product or service which others are willing to buy. Secondly, they must let others know that the product or service is available. For example, suppose someone starts a restaurant. His kitchen may be spotlessly clean. He may use only the finest ingredients in his dishes. His recipes may be healthier and tastier than anybody else’s. He may serve large portions. His prices may be cheaper than other restaurants. He may provide swift and efficient service. Yet, if nobody knows that his restaurant exists, he will not have any customers. Somehow he must tell people about his restaurant before they will come and eat there.