Today’s Bible reading is Exodus 24 and Romans 1.
They are the BIG questions of life: Why am I here? Where did I come from? What am I supposed to be doing? What’s the meaning of it all? Where am I going? What matters most? What difference does it make?
Do you know the answers to those questions? Are the answers actually shaping the way you choose to live day by day? Can you help those who are struggling around you because they don’t yet have those answers? Are you teaching your children the answers to those questions–with your mouth and by your manner of life?
Those are tall tasks, but the next time you’re looking for a perspective-refresher or something worth easily sharing with those who are seeking, I hope you’ll remember the first paragraph of Paul’s letter to the Romans.
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ… (Rom 1:1-6)
What does your Creator want to “bring about” in your life? Let’s let Romans 1:1-6 answer that question.
- God set apart certain men as apostles to make “good news” known
- The holy Scriptures are full of prophecies that point to the coming of God’s own Son
- Jesus was a fleshly descendant of David, the great king of Israel
- Even greater than that, Jesus was declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead
- If Jesus has in fact been raised from the dead, he is both Christ and Lord
- Paul and others like him received grace and apostleship–they were sent with a message by the resurrected Son of God
- They shared this message–the gospel of God–in order to bring about the obedience of faith in men and women of all nations
- When this happens, the name of God is glorified
So let’s take those six verses and boil them down to one simple answer. What does your Creator want to “bring about” in your life and the lives of everyone you know?
The obedience of faith for the sake of his name.
It’s how the letter of Paul to the Romans is introduced and how it is concluded.
Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith—to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen. (Rom 16:25-27)
“To the only wise God be glory forevermore.” That’s the point of the universe. In the past, I haven’t respected the point of the universe. Neither have you. But through Jesus, God’s own Son, there is good news. My cosmic treason can be forgiven. Over the course of thousands of years, my Creator gradually revealed a mystery–a plan that has now been disclosed and made known to all. The gospel of Jesus Christ is “the power of God” (Rom 1:16) to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations.
What does your Creator want to “bring about” in your life and the lives of everyone you know? The obedience of faith for the sake of his name. That’s why the Sun rose this morning. That’s why oxygen fills your lungs. That’s why you have the time you’ve already spent today.
The BIGGEST questions of life … answered in one God-breathed sentence … that’s what makes Romans 1:1-6 one of the greatest paragraphs ever written.