S (Scripture): Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is God’s power for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For the righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel from faith to faith, just as it is written, “The righteous by faith will live.”
O (Observation): Paul is addressing his main concern: the Gospel is for all of humankind. And his order is interesting: To the Jew first and also to the Greek (or, basically, any non-Jew).
Paul acknowledges that – while most Jewish people do not believe that Jesus is the Messiah – the Jews are God’s people though whom God brought about salvation for the whole world. The Jewish people are the ones through whom God made many promises (covenants), including the birth of Jesus, the Messiah.
But the Jewish people are not the end of the lineage of God’s people. In Jesus, the gift of salvation is opened to the whole world – even to the Greeks.
A (Application): We (Christians) are so quick to judge other people these days – Christians and non-Christians, alike. I’ve done it. Lots of times. When I see fellow Christians giving passive-aggressive comments or making it clear how they are “saved” but others are not because those others don’t fit their “mold” of Christianity, I just wanna scream.
Is it really up to us to tell others they are outside of salvation? How about we take the approach of showing God’s love and sharing what we have? And let God figure out the saving bit?
Our purpose has NEVER been to save people. Our purpose is to share the Gospel.
Sometimes that means preaching and leading worship.
Sometimes that means standing up for injustices.
Sometimes that means welcoming our neighbors from distant lands.
Sometimes that means associating with members of society that are pushed to the side and sharing God’s love with them.
I don’t mind folks being prophetic, but a bit of humility goes a long way. We will need prophets to speak up, but let the Gospel be that which convicts us, not your personal “logical” opinions. Just because you can connect dots of logic doesn’t mean you are “right.” (Remember: the cross was NOT the logical way to any throne.) The “right” thing is that which is measured against the Gospel (Jesus’ words and actions). If what we do or what we say doesn’t hold muster against the words and actions of Jesus, we need to shut up and sit down and pray some more.
P (Prayer): Lord, keep us united in the faith. Amen.