Who Are These People?

“For I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. (Acts 20:27, ESV)”  Do some parts of the Bible give you more difficulty than others? Are there parts that you just skip over reading entirely?  Leviticus, with all its ceremony and detailed regulations? Or maybe the “begats” in Matthew 1? I have heard some who won’t read Revelation because it’s very intimidating.  I’ll admit, that even with a good Bible reading plan, every year when I get to certain passages, I tend to stare at them blankly because, frankly, they aren’t where the action is.  And who is really concerned about Paul’s greetings to a bunch of people?

 

Turns out, we are.  Or will be this Sunday.  Those who regularly join us know that we have been working our way through the book of Romans.  As we enter the last chapter of this book, we come to a passage that most of us have probably only glanced at.  We encounter a whole list of names that are important to Paul. But why does he include them? Or more importantly, why did the Holy Spirit inspire Paul to mention all these?  After all, “All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Tim. 3:16-17, HCSB)”  So, since these names are part of divinely inspired scripture, God has them there for a reason. Let’s find out why!

 

Passages like this remind me of why I preach through an entire book of the Bible.  This idea is not original to me, because I am in no way original. And I have not done as W. A. Criswell, and started at Genesis 1:1 and preached 18 years to get to Revelation 22:21.  That is beyond dedicated! There are several advantages of preaching through an entire book, but my favorite is that it forces me to deal with passages that I know I would ignore. I don’t get to skip the hard stuff, because you all would notice, and then ask about it.  Of course, preaching through the whole book doesn’t let me skip the seemingly mundane.

 

The people we will encounter this Sunday are all individuals who, like us, are important to God.  They are also important to the Apostle Paul. They were hard-working, unique individuals who made a great contribution to the Kingdom.  So join us as we take the time to find out a little bit about them. See you Sunday!


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