In chapter 1 of the book of Romans, the apostle Paul opens with a greeting, immediately anchoring in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, referencing to Him historically as of David's seed, but Son of God, with power, holiness, and resurrected, through whom grace and apostleship is transferred to Paul himself and (verse 6) also to us who are "called of Jesus."
He continues to edify the relationship he shares with his audience, by stating:
(v.8) "First I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world."
and (v.9) "...without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers,"
and then it seems to me that he requests prayer for smooth or "prosperous" journey. He continues to emphasis how much he cares for them (Roman congregation) by speaking about how he had wanted to come earlier or on other occasions but was detained or distracted. I understood this to be because of preaching to others along the way.
Verse 16 and 17 seem to be the wonderful crescendo of good tidings in the letter, before the disheartening (or educational) references to sins of the time, which we all recognize today.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
Sins of the time:
~even though they knew Him, they were not thankful
~were vain in their imaginations
~foolish heart was darkened
~professing to be wise, but were fools
~lusting in their heart
~dishonoring body between themselves
~unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, envy murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whisperers, backbiters, despiteful, proud, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
~ with out natural affection one to another and burning in lust one to another
~ and have pleasure doing what is evil and against God
...God gave them over to a reprobate mind....
There is not change of tone by the end of the chapter. After the initial greeting and affirmations of mutual faith, it is just TOUGH PREACHING.
A couple things stick out to me. Number one, if I may follow Paul's example, I don't have to be shy to let someone know that I have been praying for them, if indeed I have.
Number two, I have received the same, "grace and apostleship," mentioned in verse 5, and this carries responsibility.
Dear Father in Heaven,
Thank you for the grace and apostleship that I have through my faith in Christ. Help me to be obedient.
Please forgive me for when I am guilty of sin, known or unaware. I want your Holy Spirit to reign in my life!
Please grow me and make me wise, loving, gracious, and kind, but also strong and courageous for YOU.
Guide me, guard me and direct me to let me know who needs to hear about your love and grace, your character revealed (what is sin in Your eyes) according to your Holy Word.
In the name of Jesus, I pray, AMEN
@ Grandma Mary Martha
May your path be warm and wonderful with His Sonshine.
The above post was written upon encouragement and organization of a link-up at The Speckled Goat (blog). I encourage you to skip on over by following this link, and visit other Bible devotionals written by sisters who love His word. Ally's post will be at the top. Enjoy hers and then more (including mine) linked at the bottom: www.thespeckledgoatblog.com/2018/02/failing-followers-gospel-of-mark.html