Friday 16 December 2022

 Romans 1 v 1-7

The Epistle for Sunday this week, comes from the first Chapter of Romans, which has widely been acclaimed to be the finest of Paul’s thirteen New Testament Letters of Christian teaching. He was writing to the greatest city of the world in his time, so he used his words carefully.

He described himself as a slave of Jesus Christ, which meant a devoted follower, who was honored by being called an Apostle. This placed him in the highest of  all Offices of the Church, who were especially chosen by Jesus, and so with the other Apostles whose position was restricted to that time.  He heard the call of God, and with other great men  like Moses, Abraham,  Isaiah, all took part in the preparation for the coming of Jesus.

Paul refers to us as saints, which was the biblical way of describing Christians, and such is how we are to be seen, and not in the way of the Roman Catholic Church, as designated people selected by the Church.

In this passage Paul sets out the outline of the Gospel, and in particular  pointing out Jesus was fully man who became so  like all men; he was not someone made up. The Gospel is essential to all Christians, and Paul reminds us that Jesus was promised through the Old Testament. Jesus respected the Old Testament, and spoke from it from the time of Moses right through the Scriptures. There are many prophetic messages from the  Prophets all relating to the coming of Jesus.

We are presented with Jesus as having human descent from David, Israel’s greatest king.  The Bible is to have us accept he came as we do, to come as a man filled with God, and we are to live as he did and follow his example.  We see he had the power of God, which will enable him to perform miracles and be filled with holiness.  The outstanding part of  Jesus was his resurrection, which is a part of history. He links Christmas with Easter

Where the New Testament takes over from the Old in our Bible, the first story is of the preparation for Jesus arrival.   We see Jesus revealed, yet misunderstood. An enormous amount of people see Jesus as only a well-known  beautiful baby, for whom we sing carols at Christmas time, and then put him away afterwards.

It is generally seen that Christmas as a period when people have time off work, and associate it with presents, postcards, an excess of eating and drinking, and general merriment. Such is something all can enjoy, but we should also add, which the wide majority of people do not, that God sent his Son (Jesus) to bring joy to the world as part of his plan when God though the time was right. Christmas means Jesus Christ as born.

  Jesus came to be born of woman, and showed he was born in humanity, and was also the Son of God, born by the Holy Spirit to be divine also.

 In sending Jesus to earth, God had in fact sent him to eventually die, and do so cruelly.  He lived as man to live like any human being, to witness in this way the sins of mankind being committed, without him ever committing sin.  He came here as a substitute, to take all sin committed by peoples of the world, taking upon himself the paying of penalty for those sins, he was a ransom on our behalf.

He was crucified after a beating of 39 times, with s leather belt  with steel studs. By his death, all must accept that his death was made on their behalf  to avoid being perished, but instead made righteous in God’s sight. But if we are wishing to go to heaven, it means more than just saying, I believe in God, more than saying I help other people, more than saying I am a good person and honest. We have to repent of our wrongdoings, confess our selves to accepting Christ as Savior, and have a determination to follow the teaching of Jesus in the way we live our lives, so that we can do so in a practical and moral way.

People have so confidently told me I don’t need to go to Church, don’t need to read the Bible, I can enjoy  myself as I wish and God will forgive me for that he is here for. Actually it is being preached in Church you can behave immorally, despite the Bible reaching otherwise, and some bishops are campaigning so,  Yes you can do all the things you want, and boast in an arrogant manner, but a time of reckoning will come, and you will shamefully say, if only I had listened.

 Every true Christian will remember the time when they first became followers of Christ. We don’t just say I am a Christian, we realize God has called us to follow Christ, so it is then as we accept Him as Savior, we become part of the great family of God, as sons and daughters, and we praise God for his grace in choosing us. Now, wherever we go to in this world, we can share with peoples of any nation, color, sex, age. In a way no other organization or collection of people can do,

Paul is always telling that we are loved by God, and may be corrected  from time to time, just as any father wants his children to be well-behaved and cared for. This is the essential love and personal help God gives us, and helps us often without being appreciated.

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