Thursday, April 23 2009
The 16th chapter of Romans is the last chapter of the book and it gives us a personal look at Paul. In this chapter, Paul greets many people from all walks of life including Jews, Gentiles, prisoners and the prominent. He had not yet visited Rome, but had met many people from the church at Rome in other cities. He had many friends in the gospel and was sure to recognize them as such.
It is in the 17th verse that Paul "gets down to business". He warns them of those that sound good, but have the power to deceive. He writes...
17 I appeal to you, brethren, to be on your guard concerning those who create dissensions and difficulties and cause divisions, in opposition to the doctrine (the teaching) which you have been taught. [I warn you to turn aside from them, to] avoid them.
18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ but their own appetites and base desires, and by ingratiating and flattering speech, they beguile the hearts of the unsuspecting and simpleminded [people]. (AMP)18 And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear?
How important is the doctrine? It is important enough that Paul warned the church at Rome to avoid those that are in opposition to it. The doctrine is precious and we must protect it at all costs. Our very lives depend on it. Perhaps, you think I am being dramatic, but Peter wrote in 1 Peter 4...
The God's Word Version states the same scripture like this...
18 If it's hard for the person who has God's approval to be saved, what will happen to the godless sinner?
I realize that many blogs include the activities of the writer and that is fine for them, but the readers of this blog knowing that I went to Starbucks or that I play golf does not help them or me. Perhaps, it makes them more comfortable with me as a pastor, but I write this blog as part of my study time with the word of God. It is the word that changes us. I am a pastor that desires to see an increase in souls, and if I can take one thing from the book of Romans it that we need to know the scripture if we are going to make it to heaven. If I can help you better understand the Bible than I have accomplished my purpose.
I challenge you to study your Bible. We cannot rely on someone instilling the knowledge that we need to make it to heaven while at church a few hours a week, but must budget our time to allow us private study time each day.
Thank you for letting me rant.
PS You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org