Romans 13-16

Part 5

Faith in Place

In the first chapters of Romans Paul pointed out that some of the believers in Rome had slipped and were putting their faith in works rather than Jesus. The result of this was conflict. It is true that the result of our faith in Jesus will result in works, but there is a danger here that Paul also points out. The danger is relying on ourself and our efforts to accomplish the things of God.

Christians today are under the New Covenant. Under this Covenant we have been given the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit equips us for the ministry that God has called us to do. Ephesians 2:10 declares, “For we are His workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” NASB

In Chapter 8, verse 6, Paul said that the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace.  In Chapter 12, verse 2, Paul tells us to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. In verse 1, of Chapter 12, Paul urges us to offer ourselves as living sacrifices to God. In Chapter 13, verse 14, Paul tells us to put on Christ if we want to be truly free from the ways of the world. What Paul is saying in these verses is that there will be no peace until there is surrender. If we, as Christians, are going to serve God we must do things His way. This means we need to surrender our will, believe in Jesus, and let Him lead us by His Holy Spirit, and do God’s will and plan for our lives. So we must surrender and set our mind on the Holy Spirit. When we do so, we will find peace and also life! In the balance of this book Paul describes what life and peace look like.  

When our children were younger we had a toy that consisted of a bunch of brightly colored gears. They were all different sizes and even some were different shapes. There was also a plastic board with holes in it that the gears fit into. The holes were randomly place on the board. The object of the toy was to put the gears in holes that would allow one gear to mesh properly with another. Some holes were too close together and the gears would clash. Others were so far apart the gears did not mesh at all. The goal was to put all the gears in the right holes so they would all mesh and turn when the crank was put in the main drive gear and turned.

The same is true for us. God has gifted each of us differently for the various ministries He has called us to do. If we expect everyone to have the same gifts and do the same ministry in the same way we do, we are bound to clash because we will not have our mind set on the Spirit. We will end up judging others as was the case of the Pharisees in Matthew 7. If, because we have been judged or not gotten our way, we leave the church and “go worship God on our mountain,” we will be removing ourselves from God’s plan for us because we have set our minds on ourselves rather than the Spirit. In either case there is no surrender. Even though we might say we have our faith in God, our actions say something else.

When faith is in place life and peace is the result. In the balance of this book Paul will mention the Jewish believers, the Gentile believers, and both of them together. He is giving us a picture of how all believers can fit together and minister in harmony with one another and be a witness to the world. I urge you to read this section again and ask the Holy Spirit to speak and if necessary convict.

The most important thing we can do is make sure our faith is in the right place.

Pastor Dave