Welcome to the weekly podcast of The Gathering with Paul Jenkins. To learn more visit our website at http://www.thegatheringnow.com or download The Gathering's app.
We MUST PRTOECT the promise
Origin stories are important if we want to understand the whole story, and this week we looked back at the origin story of Abraham in order to fully understand what Paul was saying in Romans 4. In Genesis 15, we find God making a covenant - a promise - that HE ALONE was responsible to fulfill, and yet we also found Abram fighting off the vultures that wanted to steal the sacrifice. The point? We protect the promise, but God fulfills the promise. As Paul wrote in another letter, "The one who call you is faithful, and He will do it." We can rest in that, and find the power in that promise to fight off the birds of prey that come to steal what we've prepared for God.
Demons believe in God more than we do
When George Michael sang that "you just gotta have faith" back in the 80s, he was only half right. It's good to have faith, but the faith we have is only as good as the object of our faith. Ironically, the same enemy who has tried to convince us not to put our trust in God actually believes in God enough to tremble (James 2:19). Does our faith in God result in lives that are changed by God? That's the challenge the apostle Paul threw down in the first part of Romans 4.
Stop letting pride keep you from being used
Pastor Seth crushed the end of Romans 3 in this week's message from The Romans Road Trip. Too many times we get so caught up in being rescued that we forget about the others who still need to be rescued, and by the end of this message, you'll be saying, "Here am I, Lord! Send me."
Bad news makes the good news great
If ChatGPT was a spirit-filled, evangelical preacher, it would summarize the first 3 chapters of Romans with one word: GRACE! If you've heard all the teachings to this point, that may seem like an odd choice for the word because there's been so much hard truth about how sinful mankind is. But when we understand that the bad news makes the good news great, we can see that the table has been set for GRACE to be served!
Stop hoarding! Be a river, not a reservoir.
By the time the original hearers got to the third chapter of Romans, they were starting to wonder if there was any advantage to actually being a Jew, and Paul reminded them of all the things God had entrusted to them. But Paul also challenged them to remember why they'd be given so much, and until we realize that what come TO us is meant to be shared THROUGH us, we'll run the risk of becoming spiritual hoarders.
Hypocrites, fakes, and failures
When non-churchgoers are asked why they don't attend church, they almost always share the same answer: because the church is full of hypocrites. Depending on how we define what hypocrisy is, they may be surprised to learn that Jesus and the apostle Paul agreed with them. But as we found out in this week's teaching, that's exactly where hypocrites need to be.