Read Romans 16.
Paul’s parting words to the church in Rome disclose three important characteristics of an authentic disciple of Jesus: Christians love one another, protect the Truth, and give thanks to God.
Love one another. Most of Paul’s letters end by emphasizing the importance of participating in genuine, loving relationships with fellow believers. From the list of names in Romans 16, we see the apostle cared deeply about each individual person (not just the church as a whole) and no doubt prayed for the believers of the cities he visited by name.
Protect the Truth. Paul also understood we can’t properly love people if we don’t also love Truth. That’s why we must protect Truth and stand against the greatest harm to the Christian community—the undermining of God’s Word. As believers, we must allow the Bible to have authority over our lives. When we give Scripture its proper place, it will weed out any false teaching that threatens to take our eyes off Jesus.
Give thanks to God. Like Paul, whose gratefulness for his salvation and sanctification is apparent in each of his epistles, we too must readily praise God for our redemption and renewal. As authentic disciples, we must daily thank our Lord not only for calling us, but for transforming us day by day into people who reflect our glorious Savior Jesus Christ.
Prayer: God, thank You for Your grace and compassion for me, a sinner. I praise You for the wonder of Your love displayed through Jesus Christ and the precious gift of salvation. May You be glorified eternally! I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
“Everyone has heard about your obedience, so I rejoice because of you; but I want you to be wise about what is good, and innocent about what is evil” (Romans 16:19).
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