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“Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!” (Romans 11:33 ESV)

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.

“How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?” (Romans 10:14 ESV)

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?

“I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh.” (Romans 9:2-3 ESV)

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?

“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?” (Romans 8:35 ESV)

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.

“And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.” (Romans 8:23 ESV)

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.

“Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.” (Romans 8:8 ESV)

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.

“So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:11 ESV)

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!

“But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many.” (Romans 5:15 ESV)

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.

“Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:1 ESV)

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.