10 Alive Recap

Friends,

It was wonderful being back with you and I enjoyed our conversation about Paul.

We have been discussing Paul’s life and today we read the last portion of the 16th chapter of Romans. Paul sends greetings and messages to his friends in ministry. We discovered that the members of the church had diverse backgrounds. Indeed, one of the things that marked the early church was it’s diversity. In the first century jewish men began their day with a prayer the in part thanked God that they were not born a gentile, a woman or a slave. The first three converts in Europe were a gentile, a woman and a slave.

Christianity is the only major religion that is truly diverse. It is growing in Asia, South America and Africa. The gospel appeals to all people.

We also noted that in Paul’s time everyone contributed in their own way. We have all been given different talents and gifts. However, we are united in our love of Christ and our desire to share His love with a world that so desperately needs love.

We also discussed that Satan was trying to destroy the church in Paul’s day. False teachers were trying to get the church to turn away from the gospel and conform to the prevailing culture. This is also true today.

The same people who cheered us for standing against racism in Charleston condemned us for standing for the biblical definition of marriage. The gospel was meant to transform the world not to be transformed by prevailing cultural thought.

In Paul’s day as in ours one of the marks of the true church is that it loves while standing for truth. This will always result in persecution and I believe we are entering a time when we will face increased persecution. It is good to remember that it is during times of persection that we shine brightest.

Stand firm and hold fast to the truth.

Next week we will discuss 2 Timothy 4:6-8.

See you Sunday.

John

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