July 17, 2018
FAITH COUNTED AS RIGHTEOUSNESS
Paul explained that Abraham, the human founder of Judaism, was not considered righteous by his circumcision, but by his faith. Paul quoted Moses, who wrote of Abraham, “And he believed the Lord, and he counted it to him as righteousness” (Gen. 15:6). So, faith has always been the only way to please God. And what is the object of that faith? The object of our faith is the Lamb of God. Abraham believed that God would provide the Lamb. And God did, replacing Abraham’s son, Isaac, as a sacrifice.
Now, the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world has already come. He is Jesus, the object of our faith, the One in whom we believe, so that God counts us as righteous because of our faith in Jesus.
July 16, 2018
SIN MEANS MISSING THE MARK
All humanity has missed the mark of God’s righteousness. Therefore, all humanity falls short of being able to get right with God by our own effort. For even our best efforts are as “filthy rags” (Isa. 64:6) before the Lord. The word “sin” seems to have origins as an archery term, meaning to have missed the mark, or to have missed the bulls eye. So, we have all missed the bulls eye.
For this reason, God provided One who fulfilled the law, One who never missed the mark, to pay for our sin. He took our sin, separation and death and offers His righteousness, Sonship, and eternal life. His name is Jesus and He alone has hit the mark, so that by faith in Him we might be saved from our sin and made right with the Father.
July 15, 2018
SPECIAL REVELATION GIVEN
In chapter one of Romans, Paul wrote of God’s general revelation to all humanity through nature, how God’s creation revealed God’s character. In chapter two, he continued his argument for general revelation, explaining how human conscience is evidence of God’s righteousness. Now in chapter three, Paul moves to the doctrine of special revelation, which was given to the Jews. For God chose Abraham and his Seed to be the recipients of His Word revealed. For God “entrusted” His written revelation to the Jews, even ultimately the Living Word, Jesus Christ.
July 14, 2018
CONSCIENCE AND THE CREATOR’S LAW
In chapter one of Romans, Paul made the case that humanity is without excuse because God’s character has been revealed in God’s creation. In this second chapter, Paul builds on that case by showing that knowledge of God’s law is written in the human conscience. Both of these revelations of God, found in creation and conscience, bear witness of God’s eternal existence and righteousness, so that God is justified in His judgments concerning humanity.
In addition to God’s general revelation through creation and conscience, He has given us the special revelation of the gospel of Jesus Christ, through which all who believe might be saved and all who reject are condemned already.
July 13, 2018
CREATION REVEALS THE CREATOR
In the apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, he taught that all humanity was under God’s wrath because they had rejected even the most basic revelation He had given them, namely, creation itself. This is what theologians call General Revelation or Natural Revelation, which is the knowledge of God available to all through the observation of His creation. In other words, many of God’s attributes may be readily ascertained by the observation and study of God’s works in creation. As a result, all humanity is without excuse for they have always had access to knowledge of Him.
Paul laid this foundational truth early in the book of Romans to prepare for his proclamation of God’s intervention through Special Revelation, that is, the word of the prophets, the Scriptures, and the supreme revelation of God through Jesus Christ, His Son.
Everyone has already received God’s general revelation, yet Christ has commissioned us to share God’s special revelation, which is most fully expressed in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This is so that the people of God might be ransomed by the blood of Jesus from every tribe and language and people and nation (See Rev. 5:9).
Before God inspired the writing of Genesis and all the Scriptures, He wrote large on the parchment of the earth and painted bright on the canvas of the heavens, so that every creature might know their Creator.
July 12, 2018
PAUL’S PRAYER TO PREACH IN ROME
Towards the end of 57 AD, on his third missionary journey, Paul penned this letter to the believers in Rome while working in Corinth. In the letter, he expressed his heartfelt prayer that God might allow him to preach the gospel in Rome, so that he might have “some fruit” (Rom. 1:13) among them as he had in other Gentile cities. Some three to four years later, Paul’s prayer was answered. Although, it probably wasn’t answered in the way he had visualized, it was answered none the less. For Paul’s journey to Rome was filled with trials, storms, shipwreck, snakebite, and imprisonment. Yet, he spent two years from 61 to 63 AD in Rome under house arrest, but with unhindered freedom (See Acts 28:31) to preach the gospel to all.
July 17, 2017
Our best attempts at being righteous through religiosity, self-denial and good works cannot justify us before God. This takes away all human boasting, for humanity is steeped in sin and beyond saving itself. Yet, God has provided a Savior, which is Christ Jesus the Lord. The one who “believes on Him” is made just in God’s sight. The believer’s faith is counted as righteousness by God, for it depends on the righteousness of Christ, rather than his own.
Stop working and believe. Rest in Christ’s work.
July 15, 2017
Paul wrote that the outward signs of Judaism were inadequate for proving their faith. What matters is the inner life, the circumcision of the heart. For “man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart” (1 Sam. 16:7). This principle is also true for the one who would claim to be a Christian. It’s implications are:
– Outward religion is less important than inner relationship. Have you become a child of God through faith in Christ?
This means that…
– Being born into a Christian family does not make us so.
– Baptism without heart change will not save.
– Profession of faith through creed or prayer alone will not save.
– Church attendance and generosity alone will not save.
As Jesus said, “You must be born again of the Spirit” (John 3:5). Have you received Jesus as Lord and Savior, so that you are born again by His Spirit?
July 14, 2017
Don’t let the richness of God’s goodness, the apparent way that He seems to let those who continue in sin still prosper, and His patience towards evildoers in this world, lull you into doubting His existence. Or worse, despising Him as unjust because He does not judge sin immediately. For it is His goodness that should soften your heart and bring you to repentance, changing your mind on self-rule and surrendering your will to His. And it is His forbearance and patience that should cause your heart to tremble because He is storing up His wrath for the Day of judgment. For God is loving and good, but He is also holy and just. Repent therefore, and believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior, that you might be forgiven and be accepted on that Day.