At Present, However

James Cook

READ : Romans 15:14–33 At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. (v. 25) Paul’s character exhibited a beautiful combination of vision and practicality. These verses throb with the spirit of a man who dreamed of great things. For years he had longed to visit the church in the imperial city. Now, with the centers of Asia evangelized, the dream awaited its fulfillment. And by this time Paul had caught glimpses of more distant things. …

Hope in God

James Cook

READ : Romans 15:1–13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope. (v. 13) To a world of despair and fear, Paul’s prayer comes as a benediction: “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” This hope announces that the …

Putting Gifts to Work

James Cook

READ : Romans 12:1–8 Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them. (v. 6) Paul has been hammering away at the idea that when it comes to salvation, all is of God. We can add nothing to what Christ has accomplished for us. But this does not mean that we have nothing to do. Our task is to respond, presenting our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God. Paul goes …

Stand in Awe

James Cook

READ : Romans 11:11–36 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! (v. 33) Paul is writing to Christians and he has a memorable word for us all. We ought to stand in awe before God’s love. That was always the New Testament attitude. Those writers could never get over the fact that God had so loved the world that he sent his only begotten Son. Turn where you will in their writings and you will …

Misdirected Zeal

James Cook

READ : Romans 9:30–10:4 For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. (10:2) Paul has been saying some hard things about the people of Israel. Yet lodged in among their failures is one glowing tribute: They have a zeal for God! Zeal indicates an ardor in the pursuit of anything. It carries thoughts of enthusiasm, fervor, and passion. This was the way the Jews felt about God and his law. In …

Life in the Spirit

James Cook

READ : Romans 8:1–27 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. (v. 10) The coming of God’s Son has made it possible to dethrone sin from its tyranny in the human heart and to install in its place the Spirit of Christ. Paul describes the blessings of life in the Spirit. There is the blessing of deliverance. No verdict of “guilty” is heard over us any …