Lesson 1: Paul and Rome
The seat of power, the capital of debauchery, the home of gladiators, scribes and senators, this is Rome. A city with many lords who serve many gods, this is atmosphere in which Paul’s letter finds the church in Rome.
Don’t want to give too much away in this introduction to the book of Romans so I’ll stick to a couple of questions and insights raised in the quarterly.
We are the church. A common fallacy that is pervasive in this century is that the leaders of the church and the building itself are what define the church. Turn on any Christian radio station and you will hear people talking about their church and who their pastor is, as if that is what recommends your church to a dying world in need of a savior.
Sunday’s lesson ends with a series of questions
What kinds of issues are agitating your church at present? Are the threats more from without or from within? What role are you playing in these debates? How often have you stopped to question your role, your position, and your attitudes in whatever struggles you’re facing? Why is this kind of self-examination so important?
These are important questions and no church is perfect so I’m sure yours has issues but what role do you play? Are you content to be a bystander or do you hold your leaders accountable and seek the will of God above that of an elder or pastor or head deacon?
Paul wanted to see the church in Rome, not because he thought it would be a cool place to vacation or wanted to visit his father’s brother’s sister’s son’s mother. He had a desire to connect with the brethren visually in order to share with them the truth of our Savior.
What motivates you and your actions in regards to the church? Do you do things more out of convenience or a genuine desire to alleviate pain and spread the gospel?
Paul gets to Rome not as he expected and not on the route he planned (Acts 28: 17 – 31)
Life has a way of taking very interesting and sometimes hazardous turns. Even when our intentions and motives are pure, life doesn’t always go the way we plan. Paul’s journey to Rome is one such example.
So here is the question I leave y’all with. How do you remain faithful with the unexpected twists in your life that currently don’t look or feel good?