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The Acceptance of Life (Romans 1)



The Book of Romans written by the Apostle Paul is loaded with spiritual knowledge. Chapter 1 begins with a simple introduction. Paul introduces himself as a servant of Jesus Christ who was called to be set apart—a man called to preach the gospel. He explains that this gospel was promised through the Holy Scriptures or the Old Testament before Christ descended. And that gospel is that the Son of God lived an earthly life, died, and was resurrected with all power in heaven and earth given to him by God the Father.


Paul explained that through grace and faith, he was called to preach this gospel to the Gentiles, and that those in Rome were amongst the Gentiles called to belong to Jesus Christ. Today, some people are concerned about their calling. They want to know their purpose. They want to know if they are called to be a spouse, a parent, a business owner, or they want to know if they are called to live in a new location. But the most important call is the first call, which is the call to belong to Jesus Christ.

God very well may have other assignments that we are called into. Yet, we cannot properly walk into the other callings if we have not accepted the first call of belonging to Jesus Christ. Paul continues by saying the Romans were called to be God's holy people. Accepting the call to belong to Christ and being holy is the ultimate call that every believer must accept.


Paul continues by admonishing the Romans on their faith and how it was reported all over the world. He longed for a face-to-face visit with them to “impart some spiritual gift to them to make them strong” —so that both Paul and the Romans may be mutually encouraged by each other’s interactions.


The fact that Paul wanted a personal interaction with the Roman Church in addition to sending this letter proves the importance of face-to-face fellowship. Paul didn’t think the letter alone was enough to encourage them. He knew the importance of interactive fellowship. While many members of the body today share Paul’s sentiments of face-to-face fellowship, some members of the body have disregarded its importance.


The 2020 Pandemic forced virtual fellowship unto the Body of Christ, and at the time, it was a much-needed blessing. It is still a blessing for those of us who may be homebound, ill, or have some other reason for opting for virtual services. However, if we are to model ourselves after the early church, then our fellowship should be modeled after them as well. Face-to-face interactions to encourage one another and edify the body is just as important today as it was then. Anyone who has opted to refrain from fellowship with the body without due cause should carefully consider Paul’s words.


The chapter continues with Paul acknowledging that he was not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ because of its power to bring salvation to all souls. Of course, neither should we be ashamed of our Lord. Paul also quoted Habakkuk 2:4 by stating that the righteous person will live by faith. And we know that it is indeed by faith in Christ that we can live in peace both now on earth and later in glory if we hold fast into our faith.


Starting with verse 18, Paul begins to address two things: 1.) God’s undeniably presence in the earth 2.) Mankind’s disregard of God’s undeniable presence. He states that the wrath of God would fall upon the wicked because they suppressed the truth. He reports that the truth of God, his invisible qualities such as his eternal power and divine nature, is clearly seen. Therefore, anyone who chooses to disregard God, or his existence is without excuse.


Paul goes on to state how this evil, this denial of God, leads to all sorts of wickedness including homosexual activity, envy, murder, strife, gossip, and much more. He states that although they know God’s righteous decree as well as its penalty, they do it anyway. Romans 1 ends with a phrase that reminds me of something written in the Book of Ezekiel.


Romans 1:32 states, "they not only continued to do these things, but they also approved of those who practiced them.” In Ezekiel 9, God commanded an angel to “Go throughout the city of Jerusalem and put a mark on the foreheads of those who grieve and lament over all the detestable things that are done in it.” (Ezekiel 9:4 NIV). The angel did as God commanded, and then God commanded his other angels to go throughout the city and kill everyone in the city who did not have their foreheads marked.


What this says is that even if the people did not commit the detestable thing, they were destroyed for not grieving that detestable things were being done. Basically, they were destroyed for not having the same mindset as God. They agreed with what God opposed. They suppressed the truth, just like those in Rome. And to suppress the truth is to suppress Christ.


And according to Romans 1, to suppress Christ is to deny the evidence that lies around us. It is to deny the proof that God is real. Denying God’s existence leads to wicked thinking just as it did for the Romans. So, as believers today, it is essential that we understand the seriousness of our confession and belief in God.


Paul states in verse 21 that they knew God but refused to glorify him or give him thanks. Because of this, their hearts were darkened, and their minds were useless. It is with these wasted minds that we began to love what God hates and hate what God loves. But with wise minds, we believe in the obvious and thus, we believe in God.


And so, from reading Romans 1, we know that to deny God is to deny the obvious. And when we deny the obvious, we become foolish and wicked. My prayer is that we will continue to believe in what has been made clear. I pray that we won’t suppress the truth, which is Christ. For John 14:6 states that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life.  Because the denial of truth is the acceptance of sin, but the admittance of truth is the acceptance of life.


So, may we accept life. May we accept truth, and may we accept Christ. I pray the reading of Romans 1 blesses you. God bless you and keep you is my prayer.


 

Quin Arrington is a wife, mother, and author. Both fictional and nonficational books are available at www.amazon.com/author/quinarrington

Thank you for your time and attention. God bless!

 

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