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Our Hospitable God, And His Call For Us To Do The Same

December 3, 2023 • Steve Marshall • Romans 12:3

The word in the Bible for hospitality is a very simple and yet powerful word, philoxenia (φιλοξενία; Romans 12:13). This word simply means “love the stranger.” The command is specifically directed towards strangers and not friends and fellow believers. So, in other words, hospitality is not entertaining your church buds over at your house with some of your famous chili and a football game. That is called fellowship which is also a command. Instead, hospitality is intentionally loving those in your life that you are not familiar with. Hospitality is making room for the stranger, welcoming them into your life, nurturing them and meeting their needs for the purpose of them becoming your neighbor and hopefully part of the family of God.

For Biblical hospitality to be effective it must be rooted in the grace of God. You must remember that at one time you were living in the flesh, separated from Christ, alienated from God's family and strangers to any covenants of promise, you had no hope and you were without God in this world. But because of the hospitality of God and His Son, Christ Jesus, you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. Jesus, being your peace, reconciled you, brought you to God and into His family through His cross. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God (Eph. 2:11-22).  

More from Romans

When to Divide for the Sake of Unity and Purity in the Church

April 28, 2024 • Steve Marshall • Romans 16:17–20

Doctrine is one of the most divisive things in the church. What we believe Scripture teaches determines our understanding of God, the gospel, salvation, ourselves, others, life, and much more. Have you ever heard the saying, "There is no doctrine a fundamentalist won't fight over and no doctrine a liberal will fight for." You may not consider yourself a fundamentalist or a liberal when it comes to doctrine but if you are honest, you still lean one way or the other when it comes to doctrinal differences. Are you one that leans towards sniffing out bad doctrine and fighting over it for the sake of purity or are you one that leans towards unity at all costs and so allows any doctrine and practice into the church? In Romans 16:17-20, Paul makes it clear that there are occasions when we as a church are to divide from someone based on doctrinal error, but how?

UNreached

April 21, 2024 • Steve Marshall • Romans 15

Paul’s mission as an Apostle was to the “unreached peoples” of the world. Paul’s mission is God’s mission. God’s mission is seeking and saving His people throughout all nations through the gospel of Jesus Christ. When Jesus gave his last command through what we call the Great Commission to “make disciples of all nations” (Mat. 28:19-20) the word used “nations” (ethne) refers to ethnic groups which are also called "peoples." This great mission of God was Paul's mission and also must be our mission.

What is a Miracle?

April 14, 2024 • Steve Marshall • Romans 15

Our culture today uses the word “miracle” to mean just about anything that is amazing or extremely unusual. Even within the Church the word “miracle” is loosely used for everything that amazes us or not easily explained. But what really is a biblical miracle? There is no universally agreed-on biblical definition of miracle but probably the most useful one is: A miracle is a supernatural event, that cannot reasonably be explained in terms of human abilities or other known forces in the world, that is a direct act of a supernatural God and understood as a sign pointing to God as redeemer, judge, and Savior. Don’t forget, If you are a Christian, it took a miracle for God to supernaturally change your nature from dead in sin to alive in Christ. It is called the new birth (John 3:3).