Sunday, January 6, 2013


Suggested Reading: Romans 3

(click scripture link to read online)



This is known as the Mamertine Prison. Tradition tells us that Paul and Peter were both held in this prison before they were martyred. Upon entering the city of Rome, "Julius, a Centurion of the Augustan Regiment" (Acts 27:1) handed Paul over to the Prefect of the Praetorian Guard (the commanding officer). The official duty of the Prefect was to keep in custody all accused persons who were to be tried before the Emperor. "Now when we came to Rome, the Centurion delivered the prisoners to the Captain of the Guard; but Paul was permitted to dwell by himself with the soldier who guarded him" (Acts 28:16).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Romans 3:28 & 29

Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also…

Justification (a declaration of righteousness before God) by faith was the reason given for the Protestant Reformation. The story is that Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Priest, travelled to Rome for the purpose of gaining favour with God and an inner assurance of his salvation. He probably visited the prison pictured above. It is reported that as he ascended a stairway into a church, step by step on his knees, reciting prayers on each step, he jumped to his feet, exclaiming the Scripture, “The just shall live by faith.” He returned to Germany where he nailed his declaration of salvation by faith, and not by the keeping of the law, to the the door of a church. As they say, “the rest is history.” What Luther and many others hoped would be a reformation in the church became a high wall of division. The action of the church courts and unwise people on both sides of the issue, eventually produced different denominations. It could’ve been different. For example, Acts 15:1-11. Why was there not a new denomination or an independent church body formed in the first century? We may want to take time now to think about that question.


Lord Jesus, help me to always “hold the truth in love.” I pray You will enable me to be part of resolving strongly held differences as Peter was in Acts 15. I ask for greater wisdom. You promised that if I would ask You would give wisdom liberally. Amen!


Paul wrote his “epistle of joy,” Philippians, from prison. I can’t imagine myself having such an overcoming experience in Christ as to be able to rejoice so enthusiastically in similar circumstances. I do know that God does give grace to endure, but seldom in advance of the trial. He does so as we have need.

Concerning divisions in the church, Jesus prayed for all who profess to follow Him, “that they all may be one” (John 17:20-23). I have seen the power in working together for winning people to Jesus. During the 1970’s and 1980’s many walls came down between denominations. I was asked by the Archbishop Cardinal of Toronto to preach a mission in Varsity Stadium sponsored by the Roman Catholic Arch Diocese of Toronto. Literature on the assurance of salvation by faith was distributed to thousands as they responded to a Billy Graham-style invitation. There was a strong sense that Jesus’ John 17 prayer request was being answered by the Father with a loud “Yes.” I’m sad to report that in the 1990’s, walls of division began to rise again. I believe that God is more than willing to continue to say “Yes” to Jesus’ prayer. I pray for much more of God’s unconditional love to expand my capacity to love and to overflow my life with His message of salvation.

Yours for an answer to Jesus’ prayer, unhindered by pride in a denomination or by human self-righteousness,


Inside the Mamertine Prison, this metal grate in the floor covers where the prisoners, like Paul and Peter, were lowered into their prison cell. The first time Paul was imprisoned he was in a private house; however, the second time he was probably here, under Nero, who had him beheaded.

REMINDER: If you are reading the email version and wish to post a comment on my blog, go to and “Leave a Reply.”

15 thoughts on “Sunday, January 6, 2013

  1. It is a matter of perspective that if we all gaze upon our Lord Crist Jesus, we become one. The rest is human divide and ecumenical politics. One may ask, what is the meaning of life? I believe it is simply to have faith and worship our Lord.

    • Amen and Amen.

      The last couple of days I have been praying and worshipping and the annointing is powerful.

      I always loved reading (when I attended church) to see the church plaques where it stated “dedicated to the Lord” such and such a date.

      I would marvel at that. Don’t know why but I would think that the precious Holy Spirit dwells in me. That it is no longer I that liveth but Christ that liveth in me. Let me an acceptable dwelling place Lord God Almighty was my prayer.

      I was weeping thinking that we all represent the Lord Jesus Christ.
      That His dwelling place. His being. I still marvel that the Lord Jesus Christ and the Precious Holy Spirit(my constant comforter and counsellor these many years) speaks to me, cares for me, loves me.

      I cannot get over that. I accept it and I am so grateful but I still marvel over God’s greatness and love that He has for me, my family, my community, my province, my country and all the individuals in the whole world.

      Today I marvel at God’s love and rejoice and delight in it and accept it.
      Thanking Him for friends, for families, for complete strangers who have prayed for me over the years but mostly for saving my soul and being with me.

      I love to worship His name and dance and shout.
      To stand in the gap for my family.
      To know that God is good and that He is soverign and so able and ready to extend mercy and grace.
      I ask Him to help me extend mercy and grace to others.

      Blessings fellow bloggers

  2. There is a huge misnomer in society that ‘church’ is what has the power to ‘save’ and I hope that we all know the ‘church’ saves no one. Another misnomer is that the ‘church’ is a building structure of brick and four walls, another lie of the devil that many have bought into. The ‘church’ or acclesia is a gathered group of believers in Christ Jesus that come together to fellowship, worship, pray and to break bread together in remembrance of Him as outlined in the scriptures, nothing more. “Ecumenical politics and human divide” as David pointed out above, has often corrupted the minds and hearts of good church people to the point of them giving up going to the local church because it has been so infiltrated with politics that there is no life in the congregation. The good news is that God will ultimately have the last word. I believe those who know much about the gospel will have much to answer to our Lord about how they handled His word and His people come the time of judgement. It’s an awesome responsibility and unfortunately many church groups take it too lightly. (sorry for getting a bit preachy today folks)

    • I agree with your post, Scott. I see a bit more behind the meaning, relevance, and intention of the church or ecclesia, in addition to the points you have wisely outlined. As members of the church, which represents the love and forgiveness taught by Jesus, in addition to the discipline and precepts of the Ten Commandments, revealed through Moses, we are a living and breathing vehicle of God within our communities. We are called, as the church, to spread the Word, with others, so that they might also be saved and come to know the Truth.

      • I agree.
        A church can be a body of believers meeting in a L/R.
        If they call upon the name of the Lord.
        If they believe that He shed His blood for their sins.
        That He is coming back again.
        It is good to praise the name of the Lord.
        To rejoice in Him
        I love to worship His name.
        To call upon Him. To talk of Him. Sometimes I cannot even talk about Him to people who are Christians.
        They don’t want to talk about Jesus.
        Yet that is what we were created to do.
        Talk about Jesus and worship Him.
        I like this blog b/c I can read the word, pray, worship and talk with other believers.
        So thank u fellow bloggers and David for making this possible.
        In Christ

  3. Amen to all the comments so far, and thanks again David for being such an incredible steward, elder of the church and communicator of God’s wisdom!

    There is only one church in heaven- completely non-denominational: Jesus’ Church. While we help to bring it here, let us remember in prayer, acts of love to all of our Brothers & Sisters in Christ- regardless of denomination, who are on their individual (and collective) journeys of faith.

    Speaking of: on Wednesday January 23, 7pm the four Churches of Manotick, Ontario, will come together in prayer for Christian unity- hosted at Manotick United Church. All are welcome!!!

    ” I appeal to you, brothers and sisters,[a] in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.” (1 Cor 1:10)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.