In these final four verses of Romans 12, God instructs us through the Apostle Paul to be a people who strive for peace with all men. This does not mean we compromise the truth or hide from the world, but rather that we be active makers of peace by spreading the gospel of Christ wherever we go. As we intentionally strive to reflect the compassion of Christ, refusing to take vengeance on those who persecute us, we will (by the grace of Christ!) overcome evil with good.
Hear how Christ restored Peter after he fell into sin by denying Christ three times. The Lord Jesus is full of grace and stands ready to forgive and restore sinners, even those who speak out against Him, if they repent of their sins. Listen to this sermon to hear of the great grace of Christ and repentance of sins.
As we transition into Romans 5, Paul makes a distinct shift in his thought as he now begins to enumerate the blessings of our salvation along with developing a theology of our sanctification in these subsequent chapters. In these introductory verses, Paul give us insight into our past, present, and future as believers in Christ: Our Past — We have peace with God; Our Present — We stand fully and irrevocably in His grace; Our Future — We rejoice in hope of His glory.
The first words Christ spoke from the cross were “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” Here we see Christ’s compassion toward sinners who were determined to hurt and kill Him, and we learn of His great love for us, as well as the way we should treat our enemies.
Israel is finally to the point of beginning construction on God’s Tabernacle. Through their deliverance from Egypt, the people had come to know YAHWEH as a ‘Giving’ God. Through their sin with the golden calf, they had come to know YAHWEH as a ‘Forgiving’ God. Now was their opportunity to have their perspective of God shape their perspective of obedience and giving to the construction of God’s dwelling place. How does your perspective of God shape your perspective of giving?
Within Scripture, we have many instances of God speaking directly to men to reveal Himself and His will. But here in Exod 34, we have God’s own definition of Himself. In verses 6 and 7 of this text, God Himself proclaims 7 attributes of His divine being in answer to Moses’ request to behold His glory. From this, we learn that encountering God’s glory is not so much about what we ‘see’ as much as it is about how we know Him and reverence Him and love Him.
As we begin chapter 33 of Exodus, we find ourselves still in the aftermath of Israel’s sin with the golden calf. God affirms that He will continue to be faithful to the promises he made in the covenant with Israel’s patriarchs, but He also tells Israel that He will not be going up with them in their midst. For now, He will be outside the camp. This narrative leads to some challenging questions for God’s people today, the greatest of which is “Have we become comfortable being distant from God?”