January 14, 2024
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DAY 015: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Today, we continue our journey through the book of Romans, which overflows with theological and philosophical wisdom. Remember, the Apostle Paul, the author of Romans, was not always known as Paul. He began life named Saul, a devout Jew, a Pharisee by religious and social tradition. Saul was well-versed in the Old Testament. He knew the word of God yet he chose to persecute Christians. Saul, who later became Paul, so he wouldn’t be identified with his former life. Paul’s understanding of the Bible and the new Christian faith prepared him well to engage the philosophers of Rome in philosophical debates regarding the gods of the Roman Empire and the only God. The book of Romans was written by this man Paul, the former persecutor of Christians named Saul.
Before reading, stop and pray, asking that the Lord provide understanding of Romans 5-6. Read Romans 5-6. Let’s journey!
As you read today’s reading, keep in mind the overall context of the book. This letter was written 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 5-6: Our first chapter of study today is focused on peace and hope. Peace comes from God, through faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. It is through faith in Jesus Christ that we are granted grace (forgiveness of our sins). Paul explains that through Adam, one man, death entered the world for all men. That’s right; the consequence of Adam’s sin is death for all men. Hope comes to the world through Jesus Christ: ONE MAN! Paul continues that through One Man eternal life is available to all. Adam chose to surrender to sin. Jesus chose to obey God. Chapter 6 can be understood by understanding two words: Justification and Sanctification. Justification is God seeing us through Jesus. Jesus covers our sins so we are seen as righteous in God’s sight. Without Jesus as our intercessor, God does not see us: God only sees sin. Sanctification is a reflection of repentance in that we strive to live a life that is righteous. In a very simplistic way, this can be translated to mean through faith in Jesus, God is giving you credit for the person you are going to become before you become that person. More simplistically stated, it is equivalent to being paid for a job before you actually do it. (Romas 5:1-6:23)
Read chapters 5 and 6 and ask yourself these questions: In your reading for today, how is Paul attempting to achieve his goal of uniting the Jewish Christians and Gentiles as one church? Do you live in righteousness? Do you truly understand the role of justification and sanctification in your life?
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