SOAP Study - August 7, 2020
17 And now I make one more appeal, my dear brothers and sisters. Watch out for people who cause divisions and upset people’s faith by teaching things contrary to what you have been taught. Stay away from them. 18 Such people are not serving Christ our Lord; they are serving their own personal interests. By smooth talk and glowing words they deceive innocent people. 19 But everyone knows that you are obedient to the Lord. This makes me very happy. I want you to be wise in doing right and to stay innocent of any wrong. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. May the grace of our Lord Jesus[a] be with you.
21 Timothy, my fellow worker, sends you his greetings, as do Lucius, Jason, and Sosipater, my fellow Jews.
22 I, Tertius, the one writing this letter for Paul, send my greetings, too, as one of the Lord’s followers.
23 Gaius says hello to you. He is my host and also serves as host to the whole church. Erastus, the city treasurer, sends you his greetings, and so does our brother Quartus.[b]
25 Now all glory to God, who is able to make you strong, just as my Good News says. This message about Jesus Christ has revealed his plan for you Gentiles, a plan kept secret from the beginning of time. 26 But now as the prophets[c] foretold and as the eternal God has commanded, this message is made known to all Gentiles everywhere, so that they too might believe and obey him. 27 All glory to the only wise God, through Jesus Christ, forever. Amen.[d]
PERSONAL SOAP STUDY
- What verse stood out to you while you were reading?
- What did you discover about God, yourself, and others?
- How should this information impact your life?
- What needs to be different about the way you are currently living?
- Take some time to talk to God about the things you just learned and how you want your life to look different. Give God thanks for revealing these things to you, ask Him for wisdom and courage to move forward so that you can apply these things to your life.
STAFF SOAP STUDY
These are Paul’s final words in Romans. Many times when people are writing or saying final words, we should really pay attention. Some of Paul’s final words here are a warning. His warning is for the church to watch out (pay attention, be aware) for people who try to teach and influence us to embrace lies and to stray away from the truths and teachings of the Gospel. Paul was very aware that Christians encounter a daily battle to embrace truth or lies. For Paul, the source of these lies is Satan (v. 20), but his messengers and messages are everywhere. Paul had seen in his ministry so many people fall prey to the lies who once believed and embraced the truth. Paul knew the power of Satan to corrupt and influence people. But Paul believed that God’s power to withstand was even greater. His challenge to the church was to be aware and stand strong against the lies with the help of God.
Paul’s concern still holds true today. Satan, who Jesus said is the father of lies, is still just as much at work today in our world. His messengers and messages are all around us. We witness it in conversations, television, movies, social media, in our schools, in our workplaces, in our social settings, and sometimes even in the church. Often, we fall prey to the lies instead of standing in the truth. What lies are you embracing right now? Since Paul’s concern is still true today, I firmly believe Paul’s warning to the church is still just as applicable and relevant for today. Thankfully, we serve a Jesus who is stronger than Satan. The Bible says the one who is in us is greater than the one in this world. However, in partnership with the Holy Spirit in us, we do play a role in this battle. According to Paul, the first role we have is being aware of Satan’s lies and being aware of his attempts to coerce us to embrace these lies. The second role we have is a constant choosing to stand strong and firm in our faith and in the truth through obedience. There are two practices that are vital to fulfill these roles. One, we must study and learn truth found in God’s word. Are you actively reading, studying, and meditating on Scripture? If you are doing this S.O.A.P. Study, this is a great start. Two, find a group of people who can encourage you and hold you accountable to staying strong in the truth. Remember what we wrote yesterday, we were not meant to live the life of faith on our own. Who are your people? If you don’t have any, email and let us help.
Jesus, what a great reminder to know that as believers, you live inside us, and that you are greater than the one who is in this world. Thank you for your word and your truth. Help us to always be aware and discern what is lie and what is truth. Help us to stand strong in truth and faith even when it is difficult. Help us to realize when the battle seems too hard, you are with us, and victory is always found in you.