One of the least known books in the entire Bible is the book of Romans. I have been excited for awhile now to learn More about this great book as some of the personal Bible studies I’ve had in the past always reference to this book in some way. Thankfully, where I attend at the Tri-Cities School of Preaching and Christian Development in Elizabethton, TN, we have just started the Spring quarter today and the very first class is on Romans. There will be articles from time to time exploring different ideas from this book to help anyone who is willing to read in their walk with God.
One of the hardest concepts to imagine is how God would ever send good people to hell! This loaded statement is not accurate for several reasons:
- There are no good people (Rom. 3:10)
- All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23)
- The wages of sin is death (Rom. 6:23)
- Christ died so sin doesn’t have to be laid to my charge (Rom. 5:8-9)
- God warns me about my future (Matt. 7;13-14)
- God does not want me to perish (2 Peter 3:9)
- God loves me enough to let me choose my own path (Rom. 1:18-32)
This is where our brief thoughts will come from today. There are 3 changes that are mentioned through the text.
- Changing God
- Changing Truth
- Changing Self
All three of these ideas/People are important. We understand the concept of saving up coins over a period of time can lead to saving a lot of money. Would the rate of saving be as fast if we constantly keep taking money away from our gathered funds? Of course it would not! We know that if you do want to save coins over time, that you would need to avoid taking any coins from the container of coins. But what if you changed the size of the jar in which the coins were being held? What is you filled the jar with something else other than coins? What if you only had 3 coins yet you said, I have $300 dollars in the jar? You would be called and found to be a liar!
Let us look at Romas 1:18-26. The scriptures tell us a couple of insights of valuing Christian living and being haven’t with God. The attributes of God are clearly seen everywhere (v.20) and thus His people should be too! One thing about the question asked in the beginning of this post is that God loves us enough to let us make our own choices. (v.21-23) However, in the midst of freedom one may find that their own actions don’t always coincide with what God wants. The three changes you can have yourself follows a process in Romans 1. If I rebel and reject god to do my own thing thinking, “Well He loves me to do whatever I want to do!” God loves you, but not beyond/into disobedience against His will. Paul would write that those who choose to follow their own desires and lusts, that God would be a corrupted image in their minds (v.23). God, who is incorruptible, would then have a distorted and false truth (v.25), but the real problem ultimately would lie in the heart (v.26).
Change itself is simple to gain. One piece at a time can payoff a TON in the long run, but frivolous spending or misplacing the coins will lead to no gains for your money. Adding to your heart on a daily basis the values of Christian living and learning how to become Christlike and becoming a ‘man after God’s own heart’ like David was! We have to invest in ourselves first and be honest enough to understand truth when we see it. As Ezra did in Ezra 7:10, you cannot teach others or even understand God’s word if you do not PREPARE your heart to seek God first! In preparing yourself to seek God’s word and to understand His message, you refine your spirit to resemble that of Christ (Rom. 8:29). That is refining your “spiritual coins”! Adding more truth to help your personal understanding so that you do not throw your own worth to waste! We must be very careful how we build ourselves up in God’s word and how we live accordingly in our life. Consider these brief thoughts as you ponder under the old oak today. God bless you and be with you in your daily walk.