“For we hold that a man is justified and made upright by faith independent of and distinctly apart from good deeds (works of the Law). [The observance of the Law has nothing to do with justification.]” Romans 3:28 IOW – You can follow and obey the 10 commandments yet never be saved. Yet we need to uphold the 10 commandments because they keep us conscious of our sin so that we can confess/repent of our sin. In my experience the more unconfessed/unrepentant sin you have between you and the Lord the further you feel from Him and more susceptible and open you become to the wiles of the evil one.
“God put forward Jesus [before the eyes of all] as a mercy seat and propitiation by His blood [the cleansing and life-giving sacrifice of atonement and reconciliation, to be received] through faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in His divine forbearance He had passed over and ignored former sins without punishment.” Romans 3:25 IOW – God allowed sin to go unpunished before Jesus came and died on the cross. Jesus’ death on the cross retroactively paid for the sins of those before. Did the sacrifices the Jews did in the Old Testament only allow them to be in the presence of God while He inhabited the tabernacle (cover their sin but not remove it)? Gonna have to dig in there.
“There is no one righteous, not even one.” Romans 3:10b IOW – Self-explanatory, but the real juice here is that observing the commandments (the Law) in itself is not good enough to be righteous in God’s sight. We all have sinned and fallen short. Only accepting God’s free gift of His Son will bathe you in righteousness, credited to you through our Lord Jesus Christ.
“For he is not a [real] Jew who is only one outwardly and publicly, nor is [true] circumcision something external and physical. But he is a Jew who is one inwardly, and [true] circumcision is of the heart, a spiritual and not a literal [matter]. His praise is not from men but from God.” Romans 2:28-29. IOW – Don’t be a CINO (Christian In Name Only). Live your a Christian walk on the inside first. Let your spirit change your soul, your soul change your mind, and your body will follow. Then you will show everyone who that inner follower of Christ is.
“Do you think or imagine, O man, when you judge and condemn those who practice such things and yet do them yourself, that you will escape God’s judgment and elude His sentence and adverse verdict? Are you [so blind as to] trifle with, presume upon, despise, and underestimate the wealth of His kindness, forbearance, and long-suffering patience? Are you unmindful or actually ignorant [of the fact] that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repent (to change your mind and inner man to accept God’s will)?” Romans 2:3&4 IOW – Wow! This is talking to looking for and calling out the sin in others thinking that we are judged differently than the person we are condemning. God sees all sin the same. When you say “woe to that dude who did that nasty thing” you are actually calling that “woe” down on yourself. God doesn’t see “that dude’s woe” any different than that lie you told two seconds ago. God’s kindness toward us is to draw us to Him, to embrace us into his will. We mock that when we judge others. I am reminded to focus on my own inadequacies and not worry about what others are doing wrong.
“For God’s [holy] wrath and indignation are revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who in their wickedness repress and hinder the truth and make it inoperative.” Romans 1:18 IOW – NO AMOUNT of ungodliness is free from God’s [Heavenly] wrath. This morning I read the very sobering verses of Romans 1:18-32. It is amazing to me how this passage entirely defines our current world culture of vanity, personal transcendence, and debauchery as well as how God has given over each person to their ungodliness. Practicing that ungodliness darkens the heart to hearing the Truth which is why our calling by Jesus to reach the lost is so great. Our world has lost the ability to find the repressed nature of the Almighty God within themselves. We must help them find it through our witness either directly or at a minimum through our example.
“But arise and stand upon your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, that I might appoint you to serve as [My] minister and to bear witness both to what you have seen of Me and to that in which I will appear to you,” Acts 26:16 IOW – I love this verse. This is what Jesus says to Paul when he stopped him in his tracks on the road to Damascus. Remember, Paul was torturing, killing, taunting, threatening, and terrorizing the followers of Jesus – he was a horrible person not unlike a jihadist extremist terrorist trying to eradicate anyone not adhering to the strictest form of Islam. Jesus says “I am Jesus who you are persecuting”…”BUT, get up on your own feet for I have a new purpose for you”. If Jesus can so quickly look past what Paul had done, why do we question God’s ability to forgive our horribleness’s. I needed this today.
“For in the Gospel a righteousness which God ascribes is revealed, both springing from faith and leading to faith [disclosed through the way of faith that arouses to more faith]. As it is written, The man who through faith is just and upright shall live and shall live by faith.” Romans 1:17 IOW – God ascribes this righteousness through His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. This righteousness grows in from the initial faith to believe in Jesus and as we move forward unto sanctification (being more like Christ – but it is like a snowball that gains mass, gets stronger as it grows). If in faith you make good choices in life, according to Christ’s precepts, then you shall LIVE and LIVE by Faith (again one accrues to the other). So powerful in so little words.
“And this includes you, called of Jesus Christ and invited [as you are] to belong to Him.” Romans 1:6 IOW – This is part of Paul’s opening letter to the Romans where he just gets done describing the Grace [God’s unmerited favor] God gives us through His Son Jesus, our apostleship to promote/encourage ‘obedience to the faith’, and to go make disciples among all nations. Yes! This means even YOU; regardless of what you have done in your past. What a great verse!
I have been in bed sleeping all day with the stomach flu. I have spent time thinking through what I read yesterday in our Romans study but can hardly call that a quiet time. This is the second major illness in 2 weeks so just praying the Lord will reveal what He wants to teach me.