Romans1215 - Crouch 1 Stephen Crouch A Real Difference: A...

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Crouch 1 Stephen Crouch A Real Difference: A Case Study of Romans 12-15 Does unity make a real difference? Unity amongst the believers is a good idea, but is it important? And if that is the case, where should we draw the line with whom we should fellowship and those we should not, and is it a “salvation issue”? These questions are the basis for an age-old discussion of association in the Lord’s church. There are many principles to which all Christians should cleave, one of those being unity as it says in Romans 12-15, but we should not forsake other key principles of Christianity in order to obtain a fickle foundation. Now, while some people of faith claim that the principles of Christianity should be ranked with some being more important than others, the Biblical view has all principles in agreement and does not need to make one teaching more important than the other. Another idea that we will examine is found in the introduction of C. S. Lewis’ book Mere Christianity , where he says: I hope no reader will suppose that ‘mere’ Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions – as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several rooms…When you have reached your own room, be kind to those who have chosen different doors and to those who are still in the hall. (XV-XVI) Lewis’ inference here that there are many doors leading to Christ, or rather many ways to get to the Father, is not Biblical and is directly refuted by the scripture. The likely next question would be one like this: “Well, does that mean that we have to agree on everything?” We will look at that and see what the Bible says, and we will consider the freedoms that we are granted while
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Crouch 2 still being under the law of Christ. These initial questions and answers will be our foundation for observation, and we will establish our discussion on a scriptural foundation. We will also take a look at Romans 12-15 and what it has to say with regards to this subject and how it relates to love, the government, our brethren, and our mission as Christians. Our look at the text for our case study will start in Romans 12. I recommend that all readers take the time to read the chapters we will be discussing as they come up. I would like to start by saying that it is logical to start here in chapter 12. While some might wish to know what Romans 1-11 says, please note that many have indicated that Romans can be divided into anywhere from three to six sections, depending on whether or not you include the introduction and conclusion. The Zondervan Group, which translated the Bible translation I will be using, separates 12:1-15:13 into its own section which they entitle “Christian living and relationships” (1746). So what Paul does here is set up a standard by which to measure the rest of this section of his writing. Paul does this with the theme of “living sacrifices” (Rom. 12.1) and later on
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Romans1215 - Crouch 1 Stephen Crouch A Real Difference: A...

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