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Romans in Cambodia

by Rev. Dr. Stephen OLIVER

Pushing forward towards completion of their Bachelor of Theology degree, the Cambodian students moved a step up in the maturity of their understanding of "Justification by Faith" through a course in THE EPISTLE TO THE ROMANS (December 17-20, 2018 by Dr. Stephen Oliver). Complementing and maturing understandings previously received in THE EPISTLE TO THE GALATIANS course, the deepened exegetical and systematic exposition of ROMANS provided a way to delve into the detailed arguments of Paul in carefully laying out the key doctrines of the Gospel and its fruit in the lives of the faithful. As such, it provides personal edification as well as fruit for ministry. During the course, much time was spent in discussion as every verse was carefully read together. Many current questions could be dealt with in interaction with Paul. As Paul was edifying the fairly new church in Rome, so this epistle was most appropriate for the fairly new church body in Cambodia.

With the completion of this course, the students have yet to complete two or three more courses to obtain their degree. This will be a milestone accomplishment in the network of cooperation in edifying the Cambodia Lutheran Church (CLC). The partners are almost too many to name here, but key partners in this degree are Concordia Theological Seminary in Hong Kong (CTS), the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod Office of International Mission (LCMS OIM), and the Cambodia Lutheran Church.

With thankful hearts we praise the Lord of the church, who's mission it is, for the privilege to be a part of His continuing work of Salvation on earth. As Paul writes at the end of ROMANS, and as is very applicable to the Cambodian church:

"Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which was kept secret since the world began but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith--to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen."

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