Updated: Jan 3
NOVEMBER 23, 2021 READINGS... 1 Corinthians 16:1-24 & Acts 19:21-20:6 & Romans 1:1-32
Paul closes his first letter to the church at Corinth. He makes a statement of fact, and leaves no room for those who would claim many ways to salvation. Paul says, “If anyone does not love the Lord, that person is cursed…” To love the Lord is to obey the Lord. One must come to God and salvation the way that God declares. It is clear that the Bible teaches that the only acceptable way to salvation is through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We then move to the book of Acts and find Paul on the way to Macedonia and Achaia on the way to Jerusalem. He stops in Ephesus where he teaches against the false gods being crafted for the pagans there by Demetrius. This teaching caused a riot in the city…the riot was squelched quickly, and Paul left for Macedonia. He stayed there three months to encourage the believers there.
We move into the epistle to the Romans. Many believe this book is Paul’s greatest writing. He spends much time on the meaning and result of a genuine biblical faith that brings salvation. He focuses on Jesus, and the fact that He died for our sins, and won the victory over death by His Resurrection. Paul makes an all-inclusive declaration concerning the power of the Gospel of Jesus in Romans 1:16. He tells us that he is unashamed to declare the Gospel wherever and to whoever he finds himself. This is true because it is the Gospel that is the power of God for salvation for all people. Simply put, the Gospel in the message of Jesus Christ, broken down into two main parts…first, who Jesus is…second, what Jesus did. But what about those who reject God and His salvation…does it really make any difference? Paul tells us that humans know of the existence of God even through creation itself. But, they chose to worship the creation, rather than the Creator. They sought and lived by their own wisdom…showing themselves to be fools. They made idols that looked like people, animals, and reptiles. Trading the truth for a lie. Because of mankind’s rejection of God, He handed them over to their vile desires. Homosexuality is mentioned as what happens when people reject God, and seek after their own vile passions. Paul calls this activity shameful, sin, and that which brings suffering in the lives of those who partake in this. This stands against the teachings of the world, which says this in normal…it is not, it is contrary to God, it is sin. Paul tells us that God has abandoned such people and let them continue in their sin, ultimately bringing destruction on themselves. Finally, he says that God’s justice requires that those who practice such perversion deserve to die…and so do those who encourage other to do such things. You can see clearly that this perversion is not a minor thing to the Lord…it is sin, and sin always brings death.
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READINGS… Romans 2:1-4:25