January 31, 2021
DAY 29: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
In today’s Journey Through The Bible In A Year, the Apostle Paul, while lamenting about the hardened heart of his people, Israel, contrasts the difference between the law (works) and mercy (faith in Jesus).
Before reading, stop and pray, asking that the Lord provide understanding of Romans 9-10. Read Romans 9-10. Let’s journey!
As you read today’s reading, keep in mind the overall context of the book. This letter was written by the Apostle Paul, to the believers in Rome, approximately 30 years after the ascension of Jesus Christ. Several years earlier, the Jews (Jews and Jewish Christians) had been forced to leave the city of Rome by the emperor. Following the emperor’s death, the Jews began returning to the city. This letter came to the Roman church at a time of change. A great amount of tension existed between Jewish Christians and Gentiles. Jewish Christians insisted that the laws of Moses, including circumcision and dietary restrictions, must be followed in order to gain salvation. Gentiles were reluctant to abide by the strict Jewish laws. One of Paul’s goals in this letter is to relieve the tension that exists between the two groups.
Romans 9-10: Paul talks of how his people, Israel, allowed the law to become a stumbling block to their salvation through Jesus Christ. Remember, since Moses, the children of Israel carried The Ten Commandments around with them wherever they went. It was their code of conduct. When a sin was committed that was in violation of The Ten Commandments or the Mosaic laws, punishment was to be meted out promptly, in accordance with the broken commandment or Mosaic law. The people of Israel, somewhat like the Puritans of New England, saw their relationship with God through the way they conducted themselves and their adherence to rules designed to implement atonement when a commandment or Mosaic law was offended. After all the sacrifices you offered to God for atonement; you are now told that offering sacrifices isn’t necessary anymore. Jesus, the Messiah, is the atonement you need to cover your sin before God. Quite a change, a bit confusing, and evidence of the importance of studying the entirety of the Bible. (Romans 9:1-10:21)
As you read chapters 9 and 10, ask yourself these questions: What is the law? How does this understanding further Paul’s goal of uniting the Jewish Christians and Gentiles as one church? What ultimately directs our life? What is the difference between works and repentance, law and mercy? What does the word Lord means in your life?
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