What is the first thing we look for in anybody we meet? It is quite clear that the first thing that Paul looked for in them was the Spirit that was in them… Remember how, when he arrived at Ephesus, he found certain people who were called disciples and … he said to them: Have you received the Holy Ghost since you believed? … That was what he looked for in everybody. He was not interested in the colour of their skin or in their nationality; he was not interested in their social status or standing; he was not interested in the school or university that they had attended. The thing he looked for was this: Is there a brother with the Spirit of God in him? Is there a man with who I can have fellowship because he is in Christ as I am in Christ?Romans, vol. 1, Chapter 18, p. 233-234
What a word for our divisive times. How I need to be reminded that I have more in common with an African believer living in a hut in Kenya than I do with my non-Christian next door neighbor who votes for the same politicians, cheers for the same football team, and drives the same model car as I do.
This year I’m trying to read through Martyn Lloyd-Jones’ 14 volume exposition of Romans. Lloyd-Jones began teaching through Romans on Friday nights at Westminster Chapel in London on October 7, 1955. Thirteen years later, at the end of chapter 14, he was forced to retire from the pulpit ministry because of illness. He spent the rest of his life editing the manuscripts of his sermons. All his sermons were recorded on tape, and are available at https://www.mljtrust.org/free-sermons/book-of-romans/