Sunday, January 6, 2019

THE GOD OF BOTH JEWS AND GENTILES

Today’s Reading: Romans 3

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion on the right-hand side).

 

This is known as the Mamertine Prison. Tradition tells us that Paul and Peter were both held in this prison before they were martyred (a photo of the inside of the prison is below). Upon entering the city of Rome, “Julius, a Centurion of the Augustan Regiment” (Acts 27:1) handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. “Now when we came to Rome, the Centurion delivered the prisoners to the Captain of the Guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (Acts 28:16).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verses: Romans 3:28 & 29

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also…

 

Justification (a declaration of righteousness before God) by faith was the reason given for the Protestant Reformation. The story is that Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Priest, travelled to Rome for the purpose of gaining favour with God and an inner assurance of his salvation. He probably visited the prison pictured above. It is reported that as he ascended a stairway into a church, step by step on his knees, reciting prayers on each step, he jumped to his feet, exclaiming the Scripture, “The just shall live by faith.” He returned to Germany where he nailed his declaration of salvation by faith, and not by the keeping of the law, to the the door of a church, along with many other theses. As they say, “the rest is history.” What Luther and many others hoped would be a reformation in the Church became a high wall of division. The action of the Church courts, and unwise people on both sides of the issue, eventually produced different denominations. It could’ve been different. For example, Acts 15:1-11. Why was there not a new denomination or an independent church body formed in the first century? We may want to take time now to think about that question.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

Lord Jesus, help me to always “hold the truth in love.” I pray You will enable me to be part of resolving strongly held differences as Peter was in Acts 15. I ask for greater wisdom. You promised that if I would ask You would give wisdom liberally (James 1:5). Amen!

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

Paul wrote his “epistle of joy,” Philippians, from prison. I can’t imagine myself having such an overcoming experience in Christ as to be able to rejoice so enthusiastically in similar circumstances. I do know that God does give grace to endure, but seldom in advance of the trial. He does so as we have need.

Concerning divisions in the church, Jesus prayed for all who profess to follow Him, “…that they all may be one” (John 17:20-23). I have seen the power in working together for winning people to Jesus. During the 1970’s and 1980’s, many walls came down between denominations. I was asked by the Archbishop Cardinal of Toronto to preach a mission in Varsity Stadium sponsored by the Roman Catholic Arch Diocese of Toronto. Literature on the assurance of salvation by faith was distributed to thousands as they responded to my Billy Graham-style invitation. There was a strong sense that Jesus’ John 17 prayer request was being answered by the Father with a loud “Yes.” I believe that God is more than willing to continue to say “Yes” to Jesus’ prayer. I pray for much more of God’s unconditional love to expand my capacity to love and to overflow my life with His message of salvation.

Yours for an answer to Jesus’ prayer, unhindered by pride in a denomination or by human self-righteousness,

David

P.S. My eldest son, David Reynold, and his wife Kathy, live in Uganda where their mission is to be a part of the answer to Jesus’ prayer for unity among Christians in that country. Here’s a link describing their work. Please remember them in your prayers. Thank you so very much!

Inside the Mamertine Prison, this metal grate in the floor covers where the prisoners were lowered into their prison cell. The first time Paul was imprisoned he was in a private house; however, the second time he was probably here, under Nero, who had him beheaded.

 

20 thoughts on “Sunday, January 6, 2019

  1. For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 ESV

    Chris Tomlin – Jesus (Lyrics And Chords)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cEbQswNB6Wc

    • Paul was an amazing man of God. Watched another video on Reynold and Kathy re: their Uganda Missions. I am sure they are enjoying their visit, here, with all their family. Wishing all saints a blessed day, as we come to worship the Lord with praise and thanksgiving.

    • Beverlee Kay;
      Happy New Year, the song gives me a feeling of warmth all over, I thank the Holy Spirit for this happening……always enjoy your words Beverlee Kay……
      Scripture uses “sew” which to me is related to sew garments, sew clothes, “sow” means to scatter seeds on the ground. Very interesting,

  2. I just finished reading the online book, Pebbles From the Brink, compiled by David’s uncle, William Pritchard. Inspires me all the more to make my days count for Christ.

  3. Dear Eleanor,
    So glad that the doctor’s report has been favorable regarding your husband.
    We continue to pray that each subsequent report will get better and better!
    Praying for you also. May God strengthen and encourage you!

    Blessings for the New Year!

  4. Thank you again, Ron and Anne. “That they all may be one” help us Lord to put our differences aside so that may be so.

  5. COMMUNICATION FROM OUR LORD
    I was looking for a black sweater with a “white” label, looked everywhere, no sweater,as I sat down to type this the Lord said something about my swimming bag or?? so I looked inside and no sweater, the Lord said the shelves, so I checked the shelves where the bathing suits lay and THERE, PRESTO, WAS MY SWEATER!
    Once again I shout Praise to the Lord! He has done this over and over Thank you Lord, thank you…….

  6. please pray for a new neighbour;spoke to him; mentioned I would appreciate no banging before noon; he told me sort of what I could do with that…..I thanked and began praying immediately that he recalls this conversation. they are completely gutting the home next door, it is a mobile home park so we are close together,please pray that God will keep the noise quiet until noon…
    other neighbours know of my sleep issues and many of them also have issues and we respect each other, all I can do is ask the Lord to help me with this issue TY Lord in Jesus Name we Pray Amen

  7. This Ukrainian Christmas Eve,, so to those who are of Uk background….
    Xrestoc NarodevxaQ

    Christ is Born!!

    Blessings to all you saints,

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