January 27, 2019
DAY 29: JOURNEY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR
Focus Verses For Today: Romans 10:9-13
In chapter’s 9 and 10, today’s Journey Through The Bible In A Year, Paul, while lamenting about the hardened heart of his people, Israel, contrasts the difference between the law (works) and mercy (faith in Jesus).
In chapter 9:30-33 Paul talks of how his people, Israel, allowed the law to become a stumbling block to their salvation through Jesus Christ. Put yourself back at their time in history. 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. For offenses not requiring the life of the offender, sacrifices were made to atone for the committed sin, putting the offender back in good standing with God. 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.
About 1,570 years after Moses, the expected Messiah of Israel is born, Emmanuel, Jesus, and is rejected by His people: the children of Israel. The Abrahamic line was established through Issac. Few were listening to the prophets. Now put yourself back at the time of Christ. You are a Jew. You believe that by keeping the law established your relationship with God. Remember some Jews believed that there was no afterlife. Some did believe in the afterlife. 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. Got you thinking!
Our focus verse comes from chapter 10.
9If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. 11As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” (Romans 10:9-13, NIV)
After reading the focus verse you may be asking what happened to the law? Nothing! It is still telling us what we shouldn’t be doing. The law tells us what sin is. That is it. It does not tell us how to avoid it. It does not tell us how to atone for our sin. IT CONDEMNS US! JESUS TO THE RESCUE!
Let’s get in the right frame of mind. If I declare, verbally, that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that God raised Jesus from the dead I will be saved from eternal damnation. That is it! This is just too simple. No, it is not! Declaring something lord requires that you forsake all your lord’s enemies. Have you ever wondered why the word “Repent” was a key word in the messages of John the Baptist and Jesus himself? Does this mean that if I sin after declaring Jesus my Lord I am condemned to hell? No! We all sin and will continue to struggle with sin until we join Jesus. The issue is, do we live a life to honor Jesus or a life that promotes his enemy, Satan: a life directed by sin.
Take some time now to read Romans 9-10, praying for God to reveal His true message contained in today’s journey. Reflect on what you read and what your prayer revealed to you. If you are journaling, distinguish the difference between works and repentance, law and mercy, and what the word Lord means in your life.
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