Following the death of the Roman Emperor Claudius (59 AD), Jewish believers once again joined Gentiles in the church at Rome. How then were the two groups to live as one in Christ and in the church; and more importantly, why?
Initially, Paul establishes his authority and calling as an Apostle set apart for the Gospel of God (Romans 1-4). Next, he explains his own mission and that of his colleagues “… to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes through faith…” (Romans 1:5). In other words, Paul is writing to explain the Gospel, but more than that, he is writing to explain the implications of the Gospel; namely, Gentiles inclusion in an otherwise all Jewish church and Kingdom of God.
Over and over throughout Romans Paul Pairs these two concerns. For him they are two sides of the same coin. Let’s read together:
Many churches can be intentional in terms of evangelism, discipleship, worship, small group involvement, local and foreign missions, and much more, and yet still shy away from addressing New Testament expectations concerning unity and diversity in the local church with equal intentionality and passion for the sake of the Gospel.