Well, I have to admit it – it was hard for the kids to sit through the first half of Romans last night. Not because it was so much longer than most other listenings. Not because Romans is less important and doesn’t mean anything (exactly the opposite, actually).
It’s because we’re out of the stories section of the New Testament. The gospels and Acts are full of stories; the rest of the NT, not so much. Does that make it more or less important? No. It simply means we now have to listen more carefully.
Stories are great for keeping our attention, and God chose to use stories for some parts of his book. Jesus taught many of his kingdom principles using stories. But God also chose to not use stories for some parts in the Bible. And God is always right.
God is about ready to teach us some big things for the rest of his book, and we’ll miss them if we’re just looking for stories. There is a place for stories. But there is also a place for hard truths. Don’t let your listening time slip because the stories are over. Open your hearts and minds and let God’s Word penetrate into your soul.
Here is what we heard last night. (Even the boys picked up some of those deep truths.)
Nathan: Where there isn’t a law, it can’t be broken
Micah: If there is a law, you have to obey it. If there is no law, you can’t obey it.
- This is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ; this is where it’s at: “God accepts everyone who has faith, but only those who have faith.”
- Why is God good to people? “The reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him.” He’s not above using good things to draw people to himself.
- Some people don’t think they can trust God. The fact that we sin actually proves that God is true, and that we should trust him.
- Since the law was given to show us our sinfulness and point us to Christ, when we have faith in Christ and our lives begin to change, the law actually becomes powerful.
- The whole of chapter 7 has caused discussion and debate for centuries. The short version is this: even the strongest Christian still fights against his or her sinful nature – that desire to do our own thing. It’s nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, having it there should be the agent that presses us on to grow closer and closer to God.
- Just like a believer’s faith makes the law more powerful, showing that Christ changes lives, a believer’s sinful desires weakens the law, making others think that it has no real, lasting effect. When we sin, it hinders others from accepting Christ.
- This is one of those things that I want to study further: “Only those people who are lead by God’s Spirit are his children.”
Can’t wait to see what other deep truths God points out over the next few weeks!