Thursday, March 27, 2014

Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Have you ever considered the depth of the death of Jesus? That may seem to be a strange question to ask, but after reading these words maybe we should think more deeply about it. It is truly astounding to think of what we deserve as opposed to what God actually does. So much changed since that day He died. Jesus’s death truly altered our life here on earth and for eternity.
In this segment of his letter to the Romans, Paul begins to describe the magnitude of what changed. Paul highlights our weakness and God’s strength, our unworthiness and God’s grace. Jesus, the ultimate sacrifice, has saved us from “the wrath of God.” That “…while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son…” Paul describes the true status about our lives before a commitment to following Jesus. While harsh, this paints a more vivid picture of what separation from God deserves and what sin has truly done to our relationship with Him.
Jesus saved us, reconciled us, and truly gave us new life with His death. He repaired and made new that which was broken “for us.”
Lent is a time of repentance and reflection. Although we should be in continuous practice of both these habits, it is helpful to have this time each year to ensure that we are following up on what we proclaim as the reason for what we believe.

Heavenly Father, thank for sending your Son to die on a cross for my sins. Give me the strength to repent and rid myself of all things that separate me from you. In Your Holy Name I pray, Amen.

 

Advertisements

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)
1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Having access to God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ is priceless. His grace is sufficient to help us deal with whatever comes our way. It is hard to think that we could rejoice in our sufferings but we can when we realize they serve a greater purpose. Our sufferings require us to put our faith and trust in the Lord.

Our suffering produces endurance. In the Greek the word endurance is “associated with hope and refers to that quality of character that does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.” We can endure our sufferings and trials because we have strength from the Holy Spirit and because we have the hope of Christ.

What areas of your life are you experience suffering or trials? Know that the Lord is with you and He will empower you to endure. You do not have to surrender to your circumstances because your Lord and Savior is bigger than your circumstances. Jesus overcame the world and we, too, can be overcomers with His strength working in and through us.

Lord Jesus, we ask You to empower us today to face the trials and sufferings in our lives. We know that we have a tremendous hope in You and we chose to put our faith and trust in You. Help us to be overcomers. In Christ’s name, Amen.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.  Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Having access to God’s grace through our faith in Jesus Christ is priceless. His grace is sufficient to help us deal with whatever comes our way. It is hard to think that we could rejoice in our sufferings but we can when we realize they serve a greater purpose. Our sufferings require us to put our faith and trust in the Lord.

Our suffering produces endurance. In the Greek the word endurance is “associated with hope and refers to that quality of character that does not allow one to surrender to circumstances or succumb under trial.”[1] We can endure our sufferings and trials because we have strength from the Holy Spirit and because we have the hope of Christ.

What areas of your life are you experience suffering or trials? Know that the Lord is with you and He will empower you to endure. You do not have to surrender to your circumstances because your Lord and Savior is bigger than your circumstances. Jesus overcame the world and we, too, can be overcomers with His strength working in and through us.

Lord Jesus, we ask You to empower us today to face the trials and sufferings in our lives. We know that we have a tremendous hope in You and we chose to put our faith and trust in You. Help us to be overcomers. In Christ’s name, Amen.

 

[1] The Key Word Study Bible, AMG Publishers.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Romans 5:12-19 (ESV)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law.  14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 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.  16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin.  For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.  17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.  19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.

Everybody sins!  There is no getting around this.  Sin has woven itself into the very fabric of mankind ever since the fall in the garden.  Thus, Paul writes; “…for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” (Rom. 3:23).  The decision is not “should I sin or not sin.”  It is about how we deal with this in our everyday life.  In Romans 5:12-19, Paul compares and contrasts the disobedience of Adam with the obedience of Jesus Christ.  One man’s disobedience (Adam) led to sin and death in the world.  Another man’s obedience and righteousness (Jesus) led to grace being available to all who would accept it.  So the decision is still binary.  Do I continue to be sinful and rebellious facing certain death (in this world and the world to come) or do I accept God’s gift of grace, given freely, through His son, Jesus Christ?  At first glance, this decision seems like a no-brainer – and it is!  For grace trumps sin!  This is exactly what Paul says in vs. 17 and 19.  Although many fell to sin and death through Adam, many more have received righteousness and eternal life through Jesus Christ!  However, this requires something on our part that we may not be willing to give – our obedience.  As Christians, we live a life of redemption and obedience to God.  This is the hard part for us while we are here in this world.  All our everyday decisions are based on our obedience to God and being more like Him.  These are not always easy decisions to make and we must be prepared to sacrifice for the Body of Christ.  Therefore, ask yourself, “Am I prepared to follow Christ in obedience?”

Heavenly Father, keep us ever mindful of the obedience your son, Jesus Christ, exhibited and the sacrifice that he made for all mankind that we should have grace upon grace heaped upon us and everlasting life in your Heavenly Kingdom.  Amen.