The Book of Romans (Part 2)

 

 

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In Part 1 of this series I posed a question: “What would the Apostle Paul say today about America and Christianity? In a culture that has evolved from not only sexual immorality and idolatry to encompass an unrighteous agenda with flagrant disrespect for biblical truths.

I want to share with you a few excerpts from Strength to Love by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr that I felt were profound in light of what we see happening in America today. Dr. King shares an imaginary letter from the Apostle Paul “Paul’s Letter to American Christians.”  It begins with: “I would like to share with you an imaginary letter from the pen of the Apostle Paul.” [1] The opening of the letter is written in the Apostle’s typical writing style of personalizing his letters and personally connecting with his audience.

The letter’s opening expresses the Apostle’s longing to see the American Christians and that he had heard of all of their doings. How fascinating and astounding scientific advances had been made. Then the Apostle says, “But America, I wonder whether your moral and spiritual progress has been commensurate with your scientific progress.”  “It appears to me that your moral progress lags behind your scientific progress, your mentality outdistances your morality, and your civilization outshines your culture.” [2]

In true Paulinian style, the Apostle reminds us that our responsibility as Christians is to represent the ethical principles of Christianity amid a time that popularity disregards them.

I can’t include all of what is written in this imaginary letter, so I’ll end with this:

”American Christians, I must say to you what I wrote to the Roman Christians years ago: “Be not conformed to this world: but be transformed by renewing of your mind.” You have dual citizenry.  You live both in time and eternity.  Your highest loyalty is to God, and not to mores or the folkways, the state or the nation, or any man-made institution.  If any earthly institution or custom conflicts with God’s will, it is your duty to oppose it.  You must never allow the transitory, evanescent demands of man-made institutions to take precedence over the eternal demands of the Almighty God.  In a time when men are surrendering the high values of faith you must cling to them and despite the pressure of an alien generation preserve them for your chilren yet unborn. You must be willing to challenge unjust mores, to champion unpopular causes, and to buck the status quo.  You are called to be the salt of the earth.  You are the light of the world. You are to be that vitally active level in the lump of the nation.” [3]

To the church he says, “I must remind you, as I have told many others, that the church is the Body of Christ. When the church is true to its nature, it knows neither division nor disunity.” [4]

I would say that the Apostle Paul would come to the church  once again to remind us of our true identity in Christ. Reminding us that we are the “righteousness of God in Christ.” We are responsible as God’s elect, those whom God has predestined to salvation, kept by the power of God for …

May the grace, joy, and peace of God be yours through Jesus Christ our loving Lord. To Him be glory, now and forever.

Read The Book of Romans

Blessings,

Dr. Francine

Endnotes:

1. King, Martin L., Strength to Love, Fortress Press, Minneapolis, MN, 2010, (pg. 145).
2. Ibid (pg. 146)
3. Ibid (pg. 147)
4. Ibid (pg. 148)

Note: All Scriptures are taken from the New International Version unless otherwise noted.

 

 

 

 

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