Paul’s letter to the church at Rome is many things – as complete an exposition of God’s grace through faith for the sake of Jesus Christ as can be found in scripture; it is also Paul’s admonition as to how those Roman Christians might behave in a foreign capitol; it is also a reminder to us that we Christians these days strive to live in Christ rather than in the world.
Oh, and by the way – Paul’s scribe for the recording of the letter identifies himself near the end; at Romans 16:22 Tertius steps forward as Paul’s amanuensis. Just a detail, but I like Biblical detail.
Our epistle reading this weekend is instructive for the Christian: Romans 12:9-21. Does your temper ever get the better of you? Do you ever look upon your neighbor, whoever that might be, as somehow not as clever/accomplished as you are? Do you ever want to just give up in the face of criticism or doubt or malice in others? Then Paul was writing to you. Yeah, and to me. In the admonitions we read in these verses we can be found, each of us. Paul calls us, through faith in the One who died for us, to live by the example Christ set for us. Wait, you say, I can’t do that!
But yes, we can. What if we began each day re-reading these verses Paul gives us? Would we be better able to face the challenges of the day? Could we learn to be more at peace with ourselves and others if we took these passages to heart? Go ahead and read them. You decide. Led of the Holy Spirit I’m pretty sure these teaching verses can make us better Christian citizens. Paul certainly thought so.