July 28, 2016
After Paul described the mystery of God’s salvation for Israel and the fulness of time for the Gentiles, he concluded with an exaltation of God’s wisdom and knowledge. Paul recognized that he was only scratching the surface of understanding God’s plans. He was only able to describe that which the Spirit had revealed to him. Yet, there remains a depth of God’s wisdom and knowledge that would take eternity to plumb, and still not reach its limit. How foolish are those creatures who would question the Creator’s judgments and ways. Their finite perceptions and understanding are so limited that they do not even know themselves, much less their Maker. How wonderful it is for those who have received God’s salvation through Jesus Christ. We have believed that which God has revealed, so that we might trust Him with that which remains a mystery.
July 27, 2016
After quoting Joel 2:32 (also in Acts 2:21), “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved,” Paul asked a series of questions to draw out the implications of this statement for those who have yet to believe. His logic is clear: People need to hear the gospel before they can believe it. If faith comes by hearing the Word, then we must be busy about declaring it. If they do not believe after hearing the gospel, it is on them. But if they do not believe because they have not heard, is it not on us?
July 26, 2016
Paul continued to express his desire that the Jewish people believe in Christ for their salvation. This was his constant prayer. Do you know someone that needs the Lord for which you are moved in such a way? Have you considered praying for an unreached people group that has never heard the gospel? You can find a list here: https://joshuaproject.net
July 25, 2016
The apostle Paul was continually filled with sorrow and anguish because of the Jews rejection of Christ. His grief moved him even to the point of wishing that he could switch places with them, so that they were accepted and he accursed. Everywhere he carried the gospel, he always started with the Jew and then the Greek, preaching first in the synagogues and then the marketplace. Paul burned with passion for the souls of his people. Yet, only a few believed. Is there someone in your family that is far from God? Are you in sorrow and anguish for them as you pray for them and share the gospel with them? Have you ever felt as Paul did about your loved ones who have not received Christ?
July 24, 2016
There is nothing that can separate those who have believed from the love of Christ. There is no charge nor condemnation that can come against God’s elect. There is no one nor any circumstance that can separate them from God’s love. The One whose love spanned sin’s chasm between humanity and a holy God, has overcome every hindrance of separation through His death and resurrection. Receiving this love, He makes us overcomers too.
July 23, 2016
Both we and creation experience an inner groaning, as in the pains of childbirth, awaiting the fulfillment of our redemption. In these last days, as sin and suffering in this world increase, so does our longing for that which the Spirit within us promises. There is coming a Day when all suffering and pain will end. We will receive resurrection bodies like Jesus and we will dwell with Him forevermore. So, may the groaning of your body remind you of this hope.
July 22, 2016
Those governed by the sin nature (“the flesh”), no matter the ceremonial precepts they affirm or the outward religious acts they perform, cannot please God. They are still guided and motivated by a carnal mind. It is their unrenewed state that makes their offerings unacceptable. God cares more for the heart than the offering. It is faith in Christ that pleases God. Those who are in the flesh must place their faith in Christ, so that they are born again spiritually. Those governed by the Spirit will live by the Spirit. It is this new Spirit-filled life that pleases God.
July 20, 2016
“Consider yourselves dead to sin.” Not toiling, nor working, but counting yourself dead to that sin which once enslaved you. And in the same breath consider yourself “alive to God.” Calling upon the Name of Jesus who paid the price for your adoption, be filled with the Spirit and walk in His power. Let Christ remove the grave clothes of your old life. Like Lazarus, arise and come forth! Put on your new clothes of righteousness in Christ Jesus and truly live!
July 19, 2016
If the sin of the one man, Adam, was sufficient to bring death to all humanity, then so much more shall the righteousness of Christ bring life. For Christ is in a sense, the second Adam. We are all born into sin by the first Adam, but only those born again by the second have received His gift of grace. The death and suffering that entered the world through Adam are plain to see. And so too, is the grace of God which was revealed in Jesus to those who believe.
July 18, 2016
This is the doctrine of justification. One way to remember this doctrine is the saying, “Just-as-if-I-never-sinned.” This is about God’s justice and our judicial position before Him. In Christ, we are justified. By faith, the righteousness of Christ is accounted unto us, while our sin is accounted unto Him. This is more than just clearing our criminal record and getting us out of jail. It is accounting unto us the status of righteousness, reconciling us to God and making possible our adoption as sons. The Judge has not only released us from prison, but has taken us home with Him to live in His house as family.