Lesson 26: The Conclusion
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Over the last 25 lessons we have taken an incredible journey through God’s plan of redemption for mankind. We have seen how God has always demanded righteousness of His people, but many have rejected righteous living to live for their own desires. We have been reminded that God’s expectation of righteousness was present even in the law. That God demands righteousness of us because of His perfect righteousness, and that we are to demonstrate that righteousness through faithful (obedient) living. We have been shown undeniably that we are all guilty of sin, but that we have the opportunity to be saved from the punishment we all deserve by being justified through faith in the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus when we re-enact his death, burial and resurrection in the act of baptism. We have been shown that those of us who have risen from the grave of baptism to walk in newness of life are all heirs with Jesus Christ, and that both the Jews and the Gentiles have a special place in God’s plan. We have been reminded that we are not to be haughty or look down on each other, that we are to respect authority and put each other’s needs above our own, particularly in regard to matters of opinion. Finally, we were encouraged to glorify God in all things as His people.
Paul’s letter to the Romans is powerful, and full of both doctrine and principles for daily living. Yet we can not only learn from what Paul taught, but how he taught it. Throughout this letter he boldly proclaimed the truth, yet he consistently did so with love. Even more, not only did he profess love for these brethren, but they could clearly see his continual efforts to live out what he was instructing them to do. (There are few things more harmful than a, “Do as I say, not as I do,” mentality in a Christian.)
As we close out this study, I want to encourage you to reflect on Paul’s guidance for the Roman Christians. One of the consistent themes throughout the text is the need for balance: we must balance doctrine and opinions, being an influence for the cause of Christ in this world without letting the world negatively influence us and encouraging each other to grow without causing each other to stumble. While balance is very difficult, my husband continuously teaches that if our Bible study doesn’t change our lives, we haven’t done good Bible study. As we conclude I want to leave you with some questions to consider:
- What was your favorite section of Romans?
- Which section most stepped on your toes?
- Has studying Romans changed your understanding of salvation and how it is obtained?
- If so, what action do you need to take to be cleansed of your sins and in a right relationship with the Almighty God?
- What is one specific change you are going to make in your personal life based on this study?
- Have there been matters of opinion that you have been divisive over? If so, what do you need to do to rectify the situation?
- Do you have questions that are still unanswered that need further study?
- If Paul were to write a letter to you today, what might he say?
This has been a long and challenging study. I pray that it has increased your love for our God and His word and strengthened your desire to live faithfully for Him. I also pray that it has provided some practical tools that will benefit you in your daily walk. I praise God for salvation, I praise Him for His word, and I praise Him for my beautiful sisters in Christ who provide such encouragement to me to keep pressing toward the goal. I leave you and this study with the words of Paul, “to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen,” Romans 16:27.
Dear sisters, “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect,” Romans 12:2. May God guide you as you strive to do this daily.