Paul, a bond-servant of Christ Jesus, called as 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 born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name’s sake, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ; to all who are beloved of God in Rome, called as saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the Scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations, leading to obedience of faith; to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, be the glory forever. Amen.
The weapons we use in our fight are not made by humans. Rather, they are powerful weapons from God. With them we destroy people’s defenses, that is, their arguments and all their intellectual arrogance that oppose the knowledge of God. We take every thought captive so that it is obedient to Christ.
Some obey the Law of Moses.
We call them Jews.
Some obey the law of sin and death.
We call them humans, or sinners.
Some obey the Law of Faith.
We call them believers, or Christians.
Paul bookends his letter to the Church in Rome with a certain phrase that’s only used twice in the epistle: obedience of faith.
He clearly identifies that as his purpose, or goal, in ministry.
To bring about, or leading to, the obedience of faith.
That’s perhaps the best definition of what making disciples means.
We want to teach everyone to be obedient to the faith found in Christ.
Faith is a living relationship with God.
By faith, we enter into that relationship.
And by abiding in faith, that relationship grows and develops into full maturity, where we manifest the fruit of the Spirit and Christlike character and integrity.
The Spirit led life is one of submission to the Spirit of God.
Rebellion is sin.
Trying to manipulate things to get our own way is like witchcraft.
Our daily life is a spiritual battle between our flesh and the Spirit.
Our minds are the battleground.
We have free will.
We’re not robots.
We choose what we’re going to obey.
Are we going to obey the carnal desires of our flesh?
Or are we going to obey the voice of God?
Jesus said, “My sheep recognize My voice.”
And sheep follow their Shepherd.
Can I simplify life for you?
Lose your agenda.
Forget your plans.
Seek the Lord while He may be found.
And follow Him as if your life depended on it.
Because it does.
Sure, we live in this material world and we have material needs and we have the ability to rebel against God and take things into our own hands and eliminate our need for God to provide for us as He promises to do.
But that is not living by faith.
That is living after the flesh, and that leads to death.
It may seem like a good idea at the time, but the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.
So keep it simple.
Live life as Jesus taught us to do.
Line up your life with Scripture.
Don’t worry about anything.
Take no thought for tomorrow.
Trust and obey God, in everything.
Our world is an exercise in idolatry.
Idolatry is the hidden sin in all of our hearts.
Our actions reveal our hearts.
What’s most important to you?
Doing God’s will?
Or doing your will?
The purpose of having a will is to use it to choose God’s will.
Your freedom is found in surrendering to God.
You don’t have to make the big decisions anymore.
You don’t have to figure out a plan.
You can simply live, today, in this moment.
Walk with God.
Take His yoke upon you.
Let Him lead you.
Life is really simple.
Don’t let the lies of this world and its ruler, Satan, deceive you.
You have a purpose.
Your purpose is found in God.
God will accomplish His purpose.
Your job is to be obedient to Him.
Your flesh won’t like it.
Your pride will be useless.
But your soul will love it.
And soon, you’ll come to know Christ and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, and you wouldn’t have it any other way.
May the Lord bless you this day.
So from now on we don’t think of anyone from a human point of view. If we did think of Christ from a human point of view, we don’t anymore. Whoever is a believer in Christ is a new creation. The old way of living has disappeared. A new way of living has come into existence. God has done all this. He has restored our relationship with him through Christ, and has given us this ministry of restoring relationships. In other words, God was using Christ to restore his relationship with humanity. He didn’t hold people’s faults against them, and he has given us this message of restored relationships to tell others. Therefore, we are Christ’s representatives, and through us God is calling you. We beg you on behalf of Christ to become reunited with God. God had Christ, who was sinless, take our sin so that we might receive God’s approval through him.