Monday, September 23, 2013
Scratching the Surface of Romans
Scratching the Surface of Romans
Something inside cheers whenever I enter a restaurant and see people praying before digging in.
Of course, I can't keep it/Him to myself.
You know how that/He goes: "You will tell everybody about Me...here, there, and everywhere!"
Really, if we're really convinced He is who He says He is, we can't keep our mouths shut about Him.
All of that nonsensical talk about faith being a private matter was started by people who really aren't convinced He is who He says He is which is why they have so little to say about Him.
Let me be precise.
A religion about Jesus is a private matter; for it is knowing something about Him without really knowing Him on a personal level.
A relationship with Jesus cannot be contained in the privacy of the heart or mind because it overflows into conversations, conduct, and countenance.
So getting back to those inside cheers whenever I enter a restaurant and see people praying before digging in, I'll often blurt, "Outstanding! You must really love Jesus!"
Now here's the really, really, really revealing realities of the immediate responses to my outside not able to contain what's on the inside when I see people praying in a restaurant and draw everybody's attention in earshot to 'em.
The people who really love Jesus smile and nod and get almost gitty about it/Him.
The people who have no clue about Jesus just sit and look like their steak turned out to be liver.
Annnnnnnd the people who don't really love Jesus - the posers - along with the people who are His enemies - the antagonists - squirm and scowl and sometimes even scorn.
From as early as I can remember as a believer then undershepherd, the best way to take a person or group's spiritual temperature is to start talking about Jesus by name.
Talk about separating the sheep from the goats!
It's like the cartoon that hangs on the door to my study.
It depicts two guys waiting for a bus with one sporting a T-shirt that blurts, "Let's Talk About Jesus!" He says to the fellow in more conventional attire, "It guarantees me an entire seat to myself."
Truth is the Church (authentic believers) as opposed to church (posers) consists of people who are just like Paul: "I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, ''The righteous shall live by faith.'"
That's the theme of the apostle's letter to the Romans.
That's the theme of Christianity.
We are not ashamed of Jesus!
We can't keep our mouths shut about Him because He is Lord and Savior and the path to personal peace here and now and forevermore!
Like Paul when he got it/Him, we're psyched to tell people about Jesus because He is the saving power of God: "the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes."
Like Paul when he got it/Him, we're psyched in knowing Jesus is for all not just some of the people: "the Jew first and also the Greek."
In other words, Jesus is Lord and Savior of all who believe in Him as Lord and Savior without any partiality or favoritism for color, class, or culture.
That faith/confidence/trust enables us to live confidently in the assurance of eternal life: "The righteous shall live by faith."
Because of Jesus, we are not afraid of anyone or anything here and now and forevermore!
That's the theme of this letter!
That's the theme of Christianity!
Feel the supernatural excitement of knowing Him as Lord and Savior as translated and paraphrased by other versions of the Bible!
Get out your multiple translations/paraphrases or google Romans 1:16-17.
That's why Christians are sooooooo psyched.
We're not afraid!
We have Jesus!
That's why Christians like Paul could/would/must write/speak/act so boldly and fearlessly and convincingly and compellingly.
Only awesome reverence for God!
That's why Christians like Paul could/would/must write/speak/act so boldly and fearlessly and convincingly and compellingly about the only thing that matters, as he wrote in his letter to the Galatians, "is faith expressing/proving itself in/through love."
That's why Christians like Paul cold/would/must write/speak/act so boldly and fearlessly and convincingly and compellingly about behaviors not saving us here and now and forevermore but showing how we're saved here and now and forevermore.
Many people read Paul's letters and say, "He's all over the place. I can't pick up any consistent theme to what he's trying to get across."
Yes, his letters read like letters: more emotive and energizing than orderly and systematic.
Let me put it this way.
His letters are more about a relationship with Jesus than a religion about Jesus.
And it all hangs together here and now and forevermore because of the absolutely clear and conclusive theme of Christianity so concisely summarized in the opening chapter of Romans.
Christians are not afraid!
We have Jesus!
...to be continued...
Blessings and Love!