God’s peace allows no appeasement of the devil. It is only through the destruction of evil that true peace can be attained…. Such victories would be impossible, however, apart from grace.
Month: September 2015
Paul sends greetings to twenty -six individuals, twenty-four of whom he names, adding in most cases an appreciative personal reference…. Reflecting on the names and circumstances of the people Paul greets, one is particularly impressed by the unity and diversity of the church to which they belonged.
It seems very likely that Phoebe was entrusted with the responsible task of carrying Paul’s letter to its destination in Rome, although other business was apparently taking her to the city as well, perhaps commerce or ‘quite probably a law suit’. So she needed a ‘letter of commendation’ to take with her, which would introduce her to the Christians in Rome.
Sunday, 27 September: Numbers 11:25-29; Psalm 19:8, 10, 12-14; James 5:1-6; Mark 9:38-43, 45, 47-48 ~ Spirit break out
Pour out your Spirit, O God, over all the world to inspire every heart with knowledge and love of You. Grant that we who confess Jesus as Lord may shun whatever is contrary to our faith and give witness to Your love that has saved us in Christ, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
The purpose of prayer is emphatically not to bend God’s will to ours, but rather to align our will to his. The promise that our prayers will be answered is conditional on our asking ‘according to his will’. Consequently every prayer we pray should be a variation on the theme, ‘Your will be done.’
Paul now looks into the future and confides to the Romans his travel plans. He specifies three destinations. First, he is about to sail from Corinth to Jerusalem, taking with him the collection which he has long been organizing. Secondly, he is intending to go from Jerusalem to Rome, even though he will only be ‘passing through’ rather than settling down among them for an appreciable period. Thirdly, from Rome he will travel on to Spain, determined to resume his pioneer evangelistic commitment.
Paul takes the Roman church into his confidence about the salient characteristics of his ministry… giving us insight into the outworking of God’s providence in his life and work.
Christian unity is unity in Christ; the person of Jesus Christ himself is the focus of our unity; and therefore the more we agree with him and about him, the more we will agree with one another… so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.