Today we’ve come to the conclusion of our study of the Book of Romans with chapters 15 & 16 convincing us our lives should be lived not out of our weakness, but out of Christ’s strength.
Today we’ll talk about the power of hope and the transformation that happens when the Holy Spirit comes into the world not only to restrain evil and to convict and draw the elect, but also to energize our hope and to give us power for service. As a Christian it is never just about me. It’s about serving the movement. It’s about living out of strength to weakness.
One of the other fallacies we deal with in this Bible study is the whole idea that I’m just a sinner saved by grace. I heard that all my life growing up. But we are more than sinners. Paul says we’re saints – holy ones. We have a new position and orientation to God and therefore, to the world. We’re no longer living out of weakness; we’re living out of strength.
Again, we are very careful to understand that it’s God’s strength in and through us, but a strength, nonetheless; strength enough to go out and pioneer the good news, to go into a dark world where people are losing their lives every single day around us and still smiling all about it, seeing past the facade and offering the hope of Jesus Christ; caring, loving, serving, and pouring our life and our resources into this epic movement that God cares so much about.
As you use the study today in your small groups or Bible studies, particularly ask yourself these questions, “What does it mean to say that life is not all about me? What is the true Christian hope? What is the Holy Spirit’s role in my life and in the world these days? What should I do about those who cause divisions among us? What about those who are in need? What are my responses to others who are suffering, and especially suffering for their faith?”