Friday, December 11, 2015

Romans, Day 5 Readings

Christian Living for Jewish and Gentile Converts & Paul's Concluding Justification   

Today's first reading offers Paul's more specific details for how the church in Rome should behave toward one another.  Foremost in Paul's mind is the tension between Jewish converts and non-Jewish converts to Christianity.  Jewish converts can draw upon a wealth of laws and traditions about God's wishes, while non-Jewish Christians approach faith from different life experiences and expectations.  Paul stresses that both ways are blessed by God and both types of Christians should be valued members of the community.

Paul tries to alleviate problems by teaching the Roman Christians to refrain from becoming judgmental toward each other and to instead focus on encouraging each other.  Leave judgment to God and instead focus on ways to love each other.

Read Romans 14:1-15:13  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading is a postscript to Paul's lengthy theological essay, justifying why someone who has never been a part of the Roman church -- or even visited it -- can write so boldly about how they should understand the Gospel and its implications.  In some ways, Paul believes himself to be the perfect bridge for this situation -- having been raised a devout Jew, but having been called by God to spread the Gospel among non-Jews.  And, one imagines, Paul hopes to be an influence on the church when he eventually arrives in the city of Rome.

Read Romans 15:14-33  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Romans 14-16 today.