The Reflectionary – The One God Who Raises the Dead

by | Jun 8, 2023 | The Reflectionary

If you’re a church leader who follows the liturgical calendar, you know we’re now into “Ordinary Time,” or the Season After Pentecost. I’ve come to love that half of the church’s year (Advent through Pentecost) is spent focusing on Jesus’ birth, life, death, burial, and resurrection and then the other half of the year is given to living in light of Jesus and applying his teachings to all areas of our lives.

And in Year A (the current year), many of the readings for worship will come from Paul’s Letter to the Romans. I once preached through the entire book of Romans in a 60-part series. Now, I look back at my notes and realize I spent over a year immersed in the book without really understanding what it’s about.

My assumption, along with many evangelicals, is that Romans is Paul’s big theological treatise on the nature of God, the plan of salvation, and the doctrine of justification by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, plus a healthy amount of predestinarian theology.

Certainly, Paul touches on all of those themes, but his aim in writing the letter wasn’t ultimately to help us fine-tune any particular area of doctrine. Rather, his heart burned to come and teach in Rome, to the Jewish Christians and the Gentile Christians about the gospel – the good news that Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection made possible the enlargement of God’s family to include anyone and everyone who would trust in Christ.

It was a letter written to promote unity among people from differing perspectives. It announced the destruction of the barriers erected by humankind on the basis of nationality, ethnicity, and religious tradition. Jesus is the subject, with particular focus given to the gospel’s ability to bring everyone together on the basis of God’s grace.

You can preach the Romans passages from the Lectionary for the next six months, or you can go exhaustively verse-by-verse for a year or two, and I still guarantee that you will look back at your notes ten years from now and feel that you barely scratched the surface.

At the end of the day, my hope and prayer for the body of Christ in this season is not that a particular sectarian theological angle will be strengthened, or even that people will become more enlightened and educated about Christian doctrine. My hope and prayer are that we experience the unifying, resurrection, hope-fueling power of the good news about Jesus Christ.

Whatever you preach this weekend, preach the gospel. Point people to Jesus. He, and he alone, is the ultimate Healer of all that ails us, and his gospel is just the medicine we need for such a time as this!

Keep on growing!


Romans for Normal People: A Guide to the Most Misused, Problematic and Prooftexted Letter in the Bible (The Bible for Normal People)
  • Kirk, J. R. Daniel (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 200 Pages - 10/30/2022 (Publication Date) - Bible for Normal People, The (Publisher)


This Week’s Big Sermon Idea


Trusting the One God Who Raises the Dead

A sermon idea based on Romans 4:13-25.

The pathway to peace with God is not found in any particular ethnic pedigree, self-improvement plan, or religious ceremony. Peace with God results from receiving the free gift of God’s righteousness, which is given to all who trust in the one God who raises the dead.

Read and Share the Full Article »


Creative Sermon Series Ideas from MinistryPass

My favorite resource for sermon series and message ideas, complete series graphics, and video bumpers (but NOT full notes) to get you started is MinistryPass! Each week, I’ll feature a series I would recommend checking out for the upcoming season of the church year. This week:

Power for Salvation

From the Description:

This series is a four-week journey through the book of Romans. This Pauline epistle encompasses a vast amount of foundational theological truths for the Christian life. The series is bird’s-eye view from thirty-thousand feet, describing the sinfulness of humanity, the atoning work of Christ, the transforming power of the Spirit, and the new ethic for a Christian life.

Check Out This Sermon Series »


Links for Leaders

If you have a resource relevant to pastors and church leaders that you’d like for me to include, feel free to message me. I can’t always promise inclusion but I’ll definitely take a look.


The Latest from Walk Humble

Walk Humble is where I host an ongoing conversation about life, faith, and relationships among people brave enough to admit they don’t have life all figured out yet. Here’s the latest if you’re interested…

Choose the Relationship Over Being Right

You can be the most correct person and the most lonely person on the planet. Or you can value relationships more than being right. Your call, but walk humbly as you choose.

Read the Full Article


Miss an Issue? Read The Reflectionary Archives!


About the Cover Art: St. Savin – Calling of Abraham, from Art in the Christian Tradition, a project of the Vanderbilt Divinity Library, Nashville, TN.


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