Romans 1:6-7 – …including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Ours is a very lonely world. There is no shortage of people, but there is a shortage of deep meaningful loving committed relationships. It seems like most everyone is using and abusing others for their own benefit, not much interested in the well-being of others.
Making matters worse, once in a while in life, we are blessed with a warm, loving, devoted healthy relationship only to see it come to an end. The person we love and appreciate dies, moves away, or something blows up the relationship so that it is never quite the same again.
Sadly, many people turn to religion where the rules they are taught only cause more relational damage as people are judging and punishing rather than forgiving and blessing one another. This is precisely the story of Paul. He had plenty of religion and that was his problem. What he needed were healthy relationships, starting with Jesus Christ.
When Paul says that we are “called to belong to Jesus Christ” the language is a warm endearing term for relationship. When we want to begin a personal relationship with someone, we often start by sitting down together for a meal. This is precisely the imagery Paul is using. Jesus welcomes us to sit down, get to know one another, and build a relationship where we belong to one another doing life together in every way. For those who accept this invitation to a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, Paul says that there are four things that God gives:
- Love – God actively pursues you for relationship and never stops that pursuit.
- Saint – God sees you as you will be when He is done with you in eternity and he builds you up for your future rather than beating you down for your past.
- Grace – God gives blessings you don’t have to earn as free gifts to benefit you.
- Peace – God gives peace about your past so that you are freed from guilt, shame, and regret, and also gives peace about your future so that you are freed from worry, stress, and anxiety of what is to come.
How has God called you to belong to Jesus Christ?
To find the free Romans study guide for individuals and small groups, hear Pastor Mark’s entire sermon series on Romans, or find a free mountain of Bible teaching visit realfaith.com or download the realfaith app.