Paul has been called as the apostle for the Gentiles to serve them by preaching the gospel to them and help them grow in Christ that they might become an offering acceptable to God as they become sanctified by the Holy Spirit;
- What could we observe the call of the Lord Jesus for us for the gospel? See also 2 Cor 5:19-20 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.
- What could we observe the privilege of the suffering of Christ we are to experience in our service for the gentiles around us? See also Col 1:24-25 Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church. I have become its servant by the commission God gave me to present to you the word of God in its fullness–
- What could we observe the Lord Jesus’ work of empowering Paul for the ministry as an apostle for Him? See also Col 1:28-29 We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about His ministry to empower yourself for His call for you?
- What do you want to do in response that you might continue to experience His energy working in you powerfully?
Though God is the God of hope His joy could overwhelmingly fill our heart, we need to put our trust in Him to experience that. Our response to the gracious promise of God is essential we need to come up with to experience joy and peace in life;
- What could we observe the way God granted Abram covenant/promise and expected him to persevere and grow in hope? See also Gen 12:2-3 “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
- What could we observe the way God helped him to grow in hope regardless of what he saw? See also Rom 4:18-21 18 Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
19 Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead–since he was about a hundred years old–and that Sarah’s womb was also dead.
20 Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God,
21 being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.
- What has God done to make Abraham grow in hope during the time he waited by faith? See also Gen 15:1-5 1 After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: “Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward.”
2 But Abram said, “O Sovereign LORD, what can you give me since I remain childless and the one who will inherit my estate is Eliezer of Damascus?”
3 And Abram said, “You have given me no children; so a servant in my household will be my heir.”
4 Then the word of the LORD came to him: “This man will not be your heir, but a son coming from your own body will be your heir.”
5 He took him outside and said, “Look up at the heavens and count the stars–if indeed you can count them.” Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”
- What is the Lord saying to you about a promise you still need to wait to see Him fulfill?
- How do you want to wait for God to fulfill such promises?
Though God loved the whole world and planned to reach out to them for their salvation, He sent His Son to the Jews. The Lord Jesus became a servant of the Jews on behalf of God’s truth to confirm the promise God made to Abraham;
- What could we observe the way God wanted to bless all people of the earth? See also Gen 12:3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.”
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus became a servant of the everyday Jews? See also Act 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been with Jesus.
- What could we observer the way the Lord Jesus’s attitude toward Samaritans(non-jews)? See also Jn 4:7- 9 7 When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?”
8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.)
- What is the Lord Jesus saying that he has sent you?
- How do you want to respond to His call?
The Christian life is a life trying to follow the footstep of the Lord Jesus and to grow in Christ-like character day by day. The Lord Jesus didn’t try to make it easy or avoid pain in times of trouble and suffering. That is the example we need to follow in times of crisis;
- What could we observe the way the Lord Jesus volunteered to make Himself miserable for our sake? See also 2 Cor 8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
- What could we observe the role /leadership the Lord Jesus showed us as the shepherd/ leader? See also Jn 10:11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
- What could we observe the way God wants His people to bear the burden with each other in life? See also Gal 6:2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your role among people who are weaker than yourself?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that people’s life gets enriched?
Each of us is encouraged to come up with his mind about any disputable things such as what to eat or what to drink or even different days. But we’re not urged to allow anyone with weak conscience stumble because we practice conviction. Review your journal over the week and see ‘What the Lord has spoken to you through Rom 14’ and ‘How you’ve responded to His voice’ as well;
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your attitude toward a brother who is weaker than yourself?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your conviction about the tradition of different cultural groups?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your practice of conviction of disputable matters?
- What has the Lord spoken to you about your control you, your conviction for the sake of weaker brothers around?
- What is an application you still need to carry out in life?
- What do you want to do about it?
Some are weak in the Lord around who be observing what you eat or do anything get hurt, or get stressed out, or even get stumbled because of his fragile spiritual condition. For he is still young to accept what you are eating/doing, you are hurting him as you do what you do with a clear conscience;
- What could we observe the Lord’s guidelines for our relationship with the brethren around? See also 1 Cor 10:23-24 “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.
- What has the Lord warned us of the communication pattern we need to have between brothers? See also Eph 4:29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
- What is our ultimate goal for our relationships with the people around us? 1See also Cor 10:31-33 31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God–
33 even as I try to please everybody in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your communication for edifying the brothers around you?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might see your brothers built up?
God was satisfied with the punishment the Lord Jesus had gone through on behalf of our sin and its penalty. And He has accepted us through the Lord Jesus unconditionally. Now the Lord wants us to turn around to each other with the same attitude to receive each other just as God has accepted us through the Lord Jesus Christ;
- What could we observe the way God accepted us as we embraced the Lord Jesus? See also Rom 15:7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
- What could we observe the way the Lord’s acceptance of us should impact our relationships with others in Christ? See also Col 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.
- What would help/strengthen us to accept and forgive others in Christ? See alsoCol 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your practice of acceptance & forgiveness with each other?
- How do you want to respond to His voice?
Though God has graciously granted an opportunity for everyone to start a new life as a new creature in Christ, He does expect everyone to be accountable for the way they have lived their life, for He is the judge of all;
- What could we observe the way God wants all people to appear one day before the judgment seat of Christ? See also 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 could we observe the way God is going to carry out judgment for each of His people? See also 1 Cor 3:12-15 12 If any man builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw,
13 his work will be shown for what it is because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.
14 If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward.
15 If it is burned up, he will suffer loss; he himself will be saved, but only as one escaping through the flames.
- What could we observe the way the Psalmist maintained carefulness in his walk with the Lord because of his accountability to Him? See also Ps 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
- What is the Lord Jesus saying to you about your attitude in life because of your accountability to Him?
- How do you want to respond to His voice that you might enjoy His reward in the future?
No one considers his life as his own since the Lord Jesus has become the Lord and the master of one’s life. For his life is His and his ultimate goal in life is to honor the Lord either in life or in death. For the Lord has sacrificed his life that He might purchase us to be His own;
- What could we observe the way the Lord has encouraged us to live our life? See also 2 Cor 5:14-15 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.
- What could we observe the way Paul’s value got transformed? See also Phil 1:20-21 I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
- What is new rule of life that we might live as an instrument of God/righteousness ? See also Rom 6:13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.
- What is an area of your life the Lord is pointing out to offer to God?
- How do you want to respond to His guidance that you might life as His instrument?
There were people with different cultural backgrounds among Roman Christians and Paul is teaching that Lord Jesus is at the center of everything they do, not one culture such as Jewish culture. For Christ is the one who unites all into one body regardless of the difference of their background in terms of racial origin or cultural difference;
- What could we observe the way God was making a distinction between His people and the heathens? See also Lev 18:3-5 3 You must not do as they do in Egypt, where you used to live, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you. Do not follow their practices.
4 You must obey my laws and be careful to follow my decrees. I am the LORD your God.
5 Keep my decrees and laws, for the man who obeys them, will live by them. I am the LORD.
- What could we observe the new teaching of the Lord in the New Testament concerning regulations they need to follow? See also Col 2:16-17 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
- What could we observe the way people of different backgrounds called into one body in Christ? See also Rom 15:5-7 5 May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus,
6 so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
7 Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
- Who is someone God brought into your path regardless of differences of background to unite in Christ?
- What do you want to do that you might grow in unity in Christ?