August 15, 2021 | Jess Rainer
Passage: Romans 12:1-14:23
Let the gospel shape your relationships.
1) Don’t pretend. (vs. 12:9-13) When you are gripped by the genuine love of Jesus, it’s hard to show fake love to others. You’ll never foster genuine relationships with fake love. Be real. And really love those around you.
2) Do what you can to live in peace. (vs. 12:14-21) Is God saying (through Paul) that when someone does something wrong to us, we are to pray for them? Yes - pray for them - pray that they will know the gospel and God will bless them. Empathize with those we disagree with – people we don’t get along with. Celebrate other's success as if it was your own success. When you exhibit gospel grace to those who don’t believe in Jesus, there is a chance they might come to know Jesus. Pursuing peace with someone may include setting up boundaries. Don’t stay in abusive relationships. Be real. Pursue peace.
3) Keep it between yourself and God. (vs. 14:19-23) The Bible is clear, we all should have the same clear convictions. The Bible doesn’t teach exactly what to do in every situation, you should grow your own biblical convictions. When you need to make a decision about an issue that we are facing in culture:
- It starts with prayer - pray hard and pray often - ask God to guide you.
- Then go to God’s Word and read it with a hunger. Seek to find principles in Scripture that may guide you in whatever issue you are seeking.
- Then talk with other godly men and women.
- Once you get that biblical conviction, you ask God to help to live out that conviction with love.
There’s wisdom in knowing the right time to speak to the right person about the right issue. We’re not called to make sure everyone has the same biblical conviction. Unity is greater than uniformity.
This Pauline epistle encompasses a vast amount of foundational theological truths for the Christian life. We’ll dive into a bird’s-eye view from thirty-thousand feet, describing the sinfulness of humanity, the atoning work of Christ, the transforming power of the Spirit, and the new ethic for a Christian life.