Paul shows how the good news should create ethnically diverse communities that are unified by devotion to Jesus and to each other. In the book of Ephesians, we see how the gospel story affects believers' everyday lives. God the Father planned throughout history for Jesus to create a multi-ethnic community of followers. Comprised of Jews and non-Jews, these followers form the covenant family God promised to Abraham. They live in unity as one body in their families, neighborhoods, and churches because of God's grace. Scripture, prayer, and their relationships with each other equip them to put off their old humanity and put on new humanity that mimics Jesus and marks them as mature followers of Jesus. Energized by the Holy Spirit, believers also stand tall against the spiritual evil that threatens their unity as a Church family and maturity as followers of Jesus.
Romans: Part 1
"Paul’s Magnus Opus"
The Book of Romans is a four-part explanation of the Gospel message written by Paul to the Church in Rome. Since Adam, humans chose to live sinful and selfish lives. Paul shows how Jesus created the new covenant family of Abraham through his death and resurrection and the sending of the Spirit. The people of Israel tried to obey God and follow the Law, but they didn't succeed. Only faith in Jesus' death and resurrection can justify humanity and fulfill God's promise to create a covenant relationship with His people, the descendants of Abraham. Through Jesus, God creates a new covenant family that includes Jews and gentiles who are unified as they love and forgive each other. Even though people continue to reject Jesus, God uses their rejection to expand His family and grow the Church.
Paul shows the new Christians in Corinth that all of life's most complex problems can be seen through the lens of the gospel. 1 Corinthians challenges believers to examine every area of life through the lens of the gospel. Specifically, Paul addresses divisions, food, sex, worship gatherings and the resurrection. He reminds believers that the Church is not a popularity contest, followers of Jesus cannot compromise when it comes to sexual integrity, the core principle of worship gatherings is love for others, and the resurrection gives us a reason for unity, motivation to maintain sexual purity, ability to love other people more than ourselves and ultimate hope for victory over death. Our belief that Jesus was raised from the dead makes the gospel more than moral advice or a recipe for private spirituality. It opens a whole new reality for every area of our life.