Friday 04 May 2018

Bible Book:

“I make it my ambition to proclaim the good news.” (v. 20)

Romans 15:14-21 Friday 4 May 2018

Psalm: Psalm 53


In today’s passage from Romans, Paul is in a reflective mood. He seems to be reviewing his calling and recapping on the account that he is writing for the Christians in Rome. Paul is very clear about his calling, he is a pioneer minister, reaching out with the gospel into places where it had not yet been heard. He has found himself standing in marketplaces, synagogues, private houses and public auditoriums, addressing scholars and rulers, magistrates and ordinary folk. He has found himself speaking of the one, true, God who is made known in Christ, amongst a people who could accept a multiplicity of gods and religious ideas. Yet, amid that context, where contradictory convictions are held by faithful people, where we continue to ask ourselves what living in Christ means, Paul reminds us that the primary purpose is to proclaim Christ. The hymn Jesus is Lord! Creation’s voice proclaims it (Singing the Faith 353) reminds us to sing that “Jesus is Lord”, because even the voice of creation proclaims his lordship. The hymn rehearses the story of creation, of God’s salvation, of Christ’s dying on the cross, of his being raised and ascending into heaven, of the coming of the Spirit to announce the Lordship of Christ. We seek to discover what it is to live in Christ, as branches of the vine, and find ourselves called to proclaim Christ.

In writing to the Roman Christians of his method of pioneering evangelism, Paul acknowledges that he has not engaged with Christians of other backgrounds, who have been converted by other evangelists. He has concentrated entirely upon those who have not yet heard the gospel story. This reminds us, doesn’t it, of the various tasks and callings found within the Church that we considered in Monday’s passage from Romans? Some of us may have the skills to be pioneers and to reach into places that have not yet heard the message, whilst others have skills in building up the faithful and enabling people to grow in the faith. In some ways, Paul does seem rather boastful of what God has done through him, and I think if I were to meet him I would find him rather irritating. Yet, does it not take that strong and self-assured personality to enable the pioneer minister to reach over the boundaries of tradition to speak into new places?

To Ponder

  • How confident are you in speaking of the things of faith to those who have never heard the gospel story?
  • When did you last talk about the things of God with other members of the Church? And when might you?
Previous Page Thursday 03 May 2018
Next Page Saturday 05 May 2018