Tuesday, August 31, 2010

THE EARLY CHURCH - Mutual Encouragement


Read Romans 1:1-19

     I long to see you so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to make you strong– that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other's faith   Romans 1:11-12 NIV
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     The church at Rome was established by Jewish believers who came to faith at Pentecost. (Acts 2) Paul wrote them this letter to encourage and build them up in a full understanding of the Truth. He also encouraged them to build each other up through the abilities God had given them.
     Reports of the ongoing spread of the gospel brought tremendous encouragement to Paul. He said, “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world.” (Romans 1:8)
     Paul had suffered much for preaching that Jesus "was declared with power to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead…" (1:4) But in spite of persecution he said, “I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile” (1:16)
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     Dear Lord, grant me the ability to share my faith, realizing that it is not my ability to convince, but the power of the Holy Spirit that will bring men and women to faith. Help me also to be a source of encouragement to other believers.
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     For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."   Romans 1:17 NIV

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