Though the Jews were so confident about God’s election of them as His people, and though they were so proud of their knowledge of the law of God as well as circumcision, they have become uncircumcised because they broke the law of God they were relying on so much;
- What could we observe the impact on someone who relies on the law of God? See also Gal 3:10 All who rely on observing the law are under a curse, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who does not continue to do everything written in the Book of the Law.”
- What impact of the sin could we observe regardless of the racial background of people? See also Rom 3:23-24 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
- What was the cure the Lord Jesus has offered to the hopeless human state through His act of obedience? See also Rom 5:18-19 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying about your impact on the people through your act of obedience?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might also cause many people to become righteous before the Lord?
Though God has called the Israelites to be the kingdom of the priest among the nations by calling them aside and consecrated them, they have turned their back to seek their own good and abandoned God’s call for themselves. The name of God has been ridiculed among the nation because of their behavior as God’s people;
- What could we observe the way God has consecrated them before the nations? See also Ex 19:5-6 Now if you obey me fully and keep my covenant, then out of all nations you will be my treasured possession. Although the whole earth is mine, you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.’ These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites.”
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus saw our role in the world? See also Mt 5:13-14 “You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men. “You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.
- What could we observe the Lord’s expectation from our life and work in the world around us? See also 1 Pet 2:9-10 But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. Once you were not a people, but now you are the people of God; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your role among your neighbors around?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
God has put a sense of righteousness and a sense of law in the heart of man regardless of his background, wether man of the culture with the law such as Jews or pagans who do not have written law as Jews. Their conscience or sense of right or wrong would serve them as a law;
- What could we observe the way God communicates with pagans through their conscience? See also Gen 20:2-6 2 and there Abraham said of his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” Then Abimelech king of Gerar sent for Sarah and took her.
3 But God came to Abimelech in a dream one night and said to him, “You are as good as dead because of the woman you have taken; she is a married woman.”
4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her, so he said, “Lord, will you destroy an innocent nation?
5 Did he not say to me, ‘She is my sister,’ and didn’t she also say, ‘He is my brother’? I have done this with a clear conscience and clean hands.”
6 Then God said to him in the dream, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.
- What could we observe the way God has revealed His law to man/pagan in nature/His creation? Rom 1:19-20 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
- What could we observe the way God makes people accountable for people to Himself? Mt 27:19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your attitude in hearing and responding to His communication these days?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
Even Jews who know the truth as well as the law of God will be no exception to God’s fair judgment if they continue to live in a self-seeking manner without practicing the truth they know in life. For, there is no favoritism to God;
- What could we observe the heart of God from the way He has instructed the Israelites? See also Deut 10:16-18 16 Circumcise your hearts, therefore, and do not be stiff-necked any longer.
17 For the LORD your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes.
18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the alien, giving him food and clothing.
- What could we observe the life God wants to live from the Lord Jesus’ teaching about eternal life? See also Jn 10:27-28 My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
- What is Paul’s charge to those who worship the Lord Jesus? See also 1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.
- What is one thing the Lord Jesus is saying to you about your life these days?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
Paul is talking about those who have been educated and practice religion, yet without practicing genuine repentance. For their hypocritic religion won’t be able to rescue them from the coming wrath of God, for they do the same thing they pass judgment on the people about;
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus has been introduced and the coming judge of all mankind? See also Mt 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what he has done.
- What could we learn about the law of God concerning the consequence of our choice? See also Gal 6:7-8 Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.
- What could we observe the way His believers would be accountable to the Lord? 2 Cor 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that each one may receive what is due him for the things done while in the body, whether good or bad.
- What is one thing the Lord is saying to you that you should repent to be accountable to Him in your life?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
Though Paul has been called to be an apostle of Christ, he identified himself as a servant of Christ. That’s a life-long relational commitment Paul maintained like any servant of his day.
Read your journal over the week and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you’ and also ‘How you’ve responded to His voice’ as well;
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your relationship with Him as one of his servants?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your blessing as you share your blessing with the people around?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your eagerness for the preaching of the gospel?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about the way you glorify God through your knowledge of Him?
- What do you want to do in response to His message to you?
Though sexual perversion is an act of rebellion against God, it has been described as freedom by those who support it. And the practice has a long history in human civilization. But human preference doesn’t change God’s design and rule;
- Unlike some people who believe in birth with homosexual (genetic) nature, what could we observe about God’s creation of human-being? See also Gen 1:26-27-28 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
- What could we observe the way God sees homosexual relationships? See also Lev 20:13 “‘If a man sleeps with his daughter-in-law, both of them must be put to death. What they have done is a perversion; their blood will be on their own heads.
- What could we observe the perversion of a trend of our culture? See also 1 Cor 6:9-10 Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.
- What is the Lord saying to you about your attitude for those who practice perversion?
- How do you want to carry out your interest in them during these last days?
God has made His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—made shown that men might observe God if they want. But, they didn’t want to fear God and have chosen to turn against God and exchange the glory of the creator with creation as their god. Men are true without excuse before God;
- What could we observe the way God’s glory displayed in the creation of God? See also Ps 19:1-2 The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge.
- What could we observe the way men turned against the fear of God and made a god out of themselves? See also 2 Tim 3:2-4 2 People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy,
3 without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good,
4 treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God—
- What is God asking His people to do in view of His divine nature regardless of the trend of our culture? See also Rom 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.
- What is the Lord saying to you about your worship of God in life?
- How do you want to listen to His voice?
Paul has experienced first-hand the transforming power of the gospel of Christ in his life that he became eager to share it with others as many as possible. Have we also experience first-hand the transforming power of the gospel? Then we must be proud of it and eager to preach it as well;
- What could we observe the unconditional acceptance Paul experienced as a persecutor of Christ? See also Act 9:5-6 “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” he replied. “Now get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”
- What impact must Ananias’s acceptance and service make on Paul who was coming to arrest followers of Christ, like himself? See also Act 9:17-19 17 Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord–Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here–has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,
19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.
- What must Paul have seen the power of the gospel at work in his ministry? See also Act 13:9-12 9 Then Saul, who was also called Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked straight at Elymas and said,
10 “You are a child of the devil and an enemy of everything that is right! You are full of all kinds of deceit and trickery. Will you never stop perverting the right ways of the Lord?
11 Now the hand of the Lord is against you. You are going to be blind, and for a time you will be unable to see the light of the sun.” Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he groped about, seeking someone to lead him by the hand.
12 When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was amazed at the teaching about the Lord.
- What has the Lord shown you the transforming power of the gospel in your life?
- Who is on your path that you might share the gospel through your relationship with him/her?
- What do you want to do with him/her?
Though Paul has never been to Rome before, he longed to see them and made efforts to go there to share the gospel and to strengthen brethren as well as himself. Paul must have seen his life enriched as he enriches the lives of others around;
- What could we observe the impact of the word of God on our soul Paul is talking about? See also Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
- What could we observe about Paul’s eagerness in reaching out to young and needy people near and far from him? See also Eccl 4:9-11 9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work:
10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
11 Also, if two lies down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone?
- What must Paul have seen impact of his work on his own life that made him get even more to share with needy people? See also Pr 11:24-25 One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
- Who has the Lord led into your path these days that his/her life as well as yours might be enriched?
- How do you want to rich out to him/her for mutual benefit?