The church is about people and in this final chapter we see something of Paul’s concern for people both those to whom he wrote and those with whom he was working. Often our parting words are of importance. ‘Don’t forget to….’ are often the last words we hear from wives, husbands, fathers and mothers as we leave the house: similarly, Paul’s parting words are of some importance

God is in charge and he has a plan. I doubt that any bible believing Christian would dispute that statement. But does that mean that everything that ever happens is what God wants and is according to his plan?

In the last chapter, Paul helped us to understand how the church should work amidst differences in convictions such as whether it is OK to eat meat or be a vegetarian. For these ‘disputable’ matters the principle was for those who were strong in faith - and had no scruples about such things - not to condemn those of weaker faith. Likewise, those of weaker faith ought not to judge those with more freedom. The key thing was for everyone to get on and respect each others’ views. There is a recurring theme in Romans that relates to Jews and Gentiles

Theory into practice

Our journey through Romans thus far has included an understanding of the condition of the human race in general and our individual condition in particular and we have seen that it is through faith in Christ that we are rescued from our condition and have the possibility to live new lives. We’ve also studied the big-picture situation with respect to the church and Israel: all remarkable and immensely helpful information. If this is as far as we get and go no further then we have utterly failed!

My way or the high way

The history of the church is littered with disputes. Some of the disputes down through the ages have been of great benefit as they focus on contending for the truth and thus have a purifying effect on the church, but other disputes are about much less important matters. I heard of churches that divide on which version of the English bible they use or the style of service or even the colour of the walls! How do we deal with such matters? Romans 14 has the answers.

Israel: a story of God’s faithfulness

You will recall that there was a pressing question in the church in Rome and it related to the role of the Jews.