Paul’s Run-On Sentence: The Righteous Shall Live by Faith

Greeting Paul, a servant 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 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, (Romans 1:1-6 ESV)

Now that is how you open a letter.

Hello, this is Sheri.  I belong to Jesus so let me tell you about who He is.

He was promised beforehand through God’s prophets in the scriptures,

Descended from David in the flesh,

Declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Holy Spirit,

Resurrected from the dead,

Our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship,

So that we may bring about the obedience of faith for His name sake among ALL the nations,

And, oh, by the way, that includes you who are called to belong to Jesus.

Do I have your attention yet?

Keep reading.  Paul more pointedly calls directly to those in Rome who have been called to be saints.  Called to be saints.  You believer have been called to be a saint.  Grace to you and peace from God the Father and Jesus His son.

I wonder if Paul could say the same thing about the believers today in America.  Is our faith in Jesus proclaimed through the whole world?  I would hope so, but I seriously doubt it.  Certainly the church in America needs to be strengthened.  We need to encourage one another by our faith in God and in the truth of His scriptures.

So I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 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. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall live by faith.” For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth. (Romans 1:15-18 ESV)

I wonder if we are living by faith.  I certainly can see how the unrighteousness of men suppresses the truth of God’s gospel.  I pray that I may not be counted among the unrighteous.  How I live my life matters.  The daily decisions I make are either made with God in mind or with me in mind; it cannot be both.  If I have truly surrendered my life to Jesus, then I have put aside my wants and desires and replaced them gladly with God’s wants and desires for my life – each day – each decision.  That is walking by faith.  Allowing God complete control over your choices; walking by faith and not by sight.  Trusting God enough to step out in true obedience to His call on your life; His call for you to be a saint.  Last I checked, saints didn’t tear down their husbands or whine and complain about their children.  They don’t bad talk their boss or their coworkers, they don’t eat, drink and party for their own pleasure.  They don’t fill their homes with material things that mostly just sit there while their brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus are in great need around the world.

Saints have their eyes fixed on their creator.  They are living lives that represent Him well to the world around them.  They seek forgiveness and offer it freely.  They give all glory in their lives to the one to whom it belongs – God.  It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit, which we receive by faith alone in God’s son Jesus Christ that any of us have the audacity to be called saints.  A saint truly knows that the only thing that they deserve is hell. All blessings come from God, including our next breath.

So like Paul, let us fully understand that we are servants of Jesus Christ.  He is my Master and Lord.  I have died, it is Christ Jesus who lives in me.  To God be the glory forever and ever, Amen.  Be encouraged today beloved.  Represent Jesus well.  Live by faith.  Walk in the obedience of faith for His name sake.  Press on.

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