About two weeks ago I reacted in a blog post to some recent comments by Kirk Cameron about homosexuality and gay marriage. I also took the opportunity to share a biblical perspective and my own beliefs about the same topics.
In that post there were two main points that I made:
- The Bible reveals that all homosexuality is a sin in God’s sight.
- Christians who believe such are entitled to that free opinion just as much as those who are pro-homosexuality or gay themselves.
I anticipated that post getting a few extra views than our normal web traffic would bring. I didn’t quite anticipate that it would be the busiest day in the history of our church’s blog. Nor did I fully anticipate all the reactions and replies it would bring. Read the rest of this entry
This is the sixth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of Romans. It should only take about 10 minutes a day, or about 2-3 chapters a day to complete the assignment.
Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Romans.
Background: It is obvious that the apostle Paul wrote Romans because of the very first word and introduction of the letter. It seems from chapter 15 that he wrote this on his third missionary journey as he was about to return to Jerusalem, which would have been between 53-57 A.D. Other evidence may indicate more specifically that he wrote the letter around 57 A.D. from the city of Corinth at the end of that journey.
Paul wrote the letter to them because he was not able to visit them. The dominant theme and central concept of the letter is righteousness. Paul addresses how it has been lost by all people who are sinners, how it is received through faith in Jesus alone, and how it changes our lives to live for Christ. Thus, it could be said that the theme of Romans is Righteousness from God.
Romans 1: Paul begins this letter in typical fashion. It was a common opening for letters of this time, as it was also for Paul’s letters. There are three parts to the opening A) Identification of the author, B) Identification of the recipients, C) Greeting. Paul greets them appropriately in grace–God’s undeserved love–and in peace–God’s free gift through Jesus.
Paul then expresses his great desire to be with the Roman Christians. How he longed to share more with them about the gospel–the good news that Jesus Christ is Savior. That news of free and full forgiveness is a message that Paul was determined to share with all. He was not ashamed at all to share that great news with anyone and everyone. What a joy to know and to share that righteousness comes from God through faith and not through our works.
Paul continues in chapter one by showing the need for the gospel. All people in the world are sinners. All are and continue to act in a corrupt and sinful way. All deserve God’s wrath and punishment.
As a number of sins are mentioned here in this opening chapter, it should be noted that homosexuality is also mentioned. God is very clear in these words that homosexuality is indeed sinful and against his will. Gays and lesbians come up with all kinds of reasons to continue in their lifestyles: “I was born this way,” “It feels good,” “Times have changed,” “This is real love,” “God’s Word doesn’t apply any more,” and so on. Yet none of those reasons (or excuses) are valid. It is against God’s will. Even the “I was born this way” excuse is not valid. While that issue won’t be discussed here, even if a person were born that way, it doesn’t matter. All people are born sinful. Does that mean they should sin? If a person is born with a predisposition to hate (which we all are because we all are sinners), does that mean it is permissible to murder? It is not our opinions or thoughts or feelings that matter on such issues. God’s Word and his decrees are what matter. We must follow his commands and not our own desires. Read the rest of this entry