January 1, 2014

TWO WORDS SYNONYMOUS FOR SHEEP THAT TRAVEL ALONE ARE "WOLF-BAIT" AND "MEAL."

Romans 1:1-17

Todd Wagner
Wednesday's Devo

January 1, 2014

Wednesday's Devo

January 1, 2014

Central Truth

Following Jesus (or reading and learning from His Word for that matter) was never supposed to be an activity for the isolated.

Jesus is an all-sufficient shepherd, but sheep run together.

Key Verse | Romans 1:11–12

For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you -- that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. (Romans 1:11–12)

Romans 1:1-17

Greeting

Paul, a servant 1 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 2 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,

To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Longing to Go to Rome

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you 10 always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God's will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith, both yours and mine. 13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers, 3 that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as well as among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians, 4 both to the wise and to the foolish. 15 So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

16 For 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. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, 5 as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” 6

Footnotes

[1] 1:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface
[2] 1:3 Or who came from the offspring of David
[3] 1:13 Or brothers and sisters. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, the plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) may refer either to brothers or to brothers and sisters
[4] 1:14 That is, non-Greeks
[5] 1:17 Or beginning and ending in faith
[6] 1:17 Or The one who by faith is righteous shall live

Wednesday, 1 January | Romans 1:1-17

One of the great heresies of the last 50 years has been the "just Jesus and me" heresy. While it is absolutely true that all of us individually must come to a place where we decide for ourselves whether to trust in and follow Christ, there is no place for running solo once we call Him our Good Shepherd. You may be able to hide in the choir of church life, but all of us are going to have to sing solo one day before the King. Paul came to Christ alone on the road to Damascus (cf. Acts 9), but he never walked a road alone again.

Go look at all the books Paul wrote and the journeys he took. You won't just see his name. You will see Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Titus, and close to 70 other associates he mentions as partners. (And this doesn't include the almost 30 others he sends his personal greetings to in his letters.)

However great Paul was, He didn't go at it alone, and neither should you. There is a reason we are warned to NOT walk alone. Our adversary is compared to a lion seeking someone to devour (1 Peter 5:8). Just in case you haven't been watching the Animal Channel lately, let me remind you that a wildebeest that travels alone isn't tough . . . he's next. If you want 2014 to be different . . . DON'T TRAVEL ALONE. Connect. Look for others who will provide you with the mutual encouragement that Paul eagerly anticipated to have once he and his friends finally hit Rome. Everywhere you go, look for others who will spur you on to to love and good deeds. Paul never stopped encouraging and being encouraged by others, and neither should anyone else who has "received grace" and is committed to "bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for His name's sake" (Romans 1:5, NASB).

In summary: You HAVE to come to Christ alone, but you don't want to continue on your journey toward meeting Him alone. Don't be wolf-bait, be a world changer.

Discussion Questions

If you claim to have trusted in Christ and you are not a member of a local body of believers that loves you, holds you accountable, and spurs you on to love and good deeds, then you are not a "regular attender," you are an irregular believer. Can you think of any biblical reason to dispute this?

2. If you are at Watermark, do you know there is a way to resolve your "irregularity"? Click here and jump in http://www.watermark.org/connect.

3. If you are in community with fools, you are in just as bad shape as those who run alone. Read Proverbs 13:20 and Jeremiah 5:30-31. If the men and women in your community group are "speaking with their own authority," look out.

4. If you are a Wagner kid and you jump in with Sue Bohlin and post a thoughtful comment before January 2, a blessing awaits.