JULY 5, 2022 ~ 52 WEEKS THROUGH THE NEW TESTAMENT
JULY 5 READING…ROMANS 15
The early church had a conflict within itself, because of the bringing of Jews and Gentiles alike into it’s ranks. These are two groups that carried with themselves much baggage. The Jew had the law and the prophets…God had chosen them to bring His light to all nations, but they kept that light to themselves. It was through the Jews that God gave us His Word, and ultimately it would be through this nation that the Messiah would come. The Gentiles were seen as “dogs” and unclean by the Jews. They had come out of paganism. How to do bring these two groups of people together? Only Jesus could do such a thing…but there would still need to be much adjustment in thinking and in practice. It would be easy for the Jewish believer to expect and demand that the Gentile become just like them in order to be saved…and some still do, incorrectly so. It would also be easy for the Gentile believer to teach that the Jews have their own way to salvation, and are guilty of killing Jesus…and some still do, incorrectly so. Paul calls both to the grace of God offered through Jesus Christ to all…and to live by giving grace to each other and practices that have more to do with religious heritage than with that which is demanded of everyone who is a genuine believer in Jesus. The Jew should not despise and reject the Gentile who comes to God through Jesus…nor should the Gentile despise and reject the Jew through whom God chose to bring His message and Messiah into the world. The peace of God in the lives of all believers, regardless of ethnic heritage, brings down all barriers and walls of separation.
Paul then reminds the Jews of their God given responsibility to be those who share the Gospel with the Gentile people, and not add anything to it. I believe the Lord is instructing we as the church to do the same thing today to the Jew and Gentile alike. Paul explains that God has a call on his life to preach the Gospel to those who have never heard it before. We clearly see this as we have looked in the book of Acts at the four missionary journeys of Paul. Paul tells them that he is headed for Jerusalem…and we know that his trip to Jerusalem would lead to his being sent to Rome. He wanted to come to them with the joy of the Lord, and hoped that in those troubled days they would know the peace of God. I pray that for we believers today…that we would have joy and know the peace of God in all things.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW'S READING…ROMANS 16