I do the very evil I do not want! Romans 7.19

“For I do not do the good I want, but I do the very evil I do not want!”

Romans 7.19

Paul shows the futility of human struggle against sin in this chapter. Man may intend to do go, but he winds up committing the sin he has rejected.

The final declaration of the chapter ends this exercise in frustration. It is a must read. It leads into the rich victory of chapter 8.

#votd #Romans #gospel

Who will separate us? Romans 8.35

“Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will trouble, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?”

Romans 8.35

Paul’s question draws attention to the strength of Christ’s love. Nothing can happen that will drive him away. No bad situation can overcome this relationship.

Does our faith drive us to Christ or do we desire new and better circumstances? Our relationship with God defines how we approach the difficulties of life, and not the other way around.

#votd #Romans #love

If possible, Romans 12.18

“If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all people.”

Romans 12.18

Paul recognized it is not possible to live peaceably with some people. Not every persecutor will convert to Christ. But we must make every effort on our part.

Christians are peacemakers, like their Lord. They go the extra mile. They know how to bite their tongue. They bless instead of curse. How am I doing in this area?

#votd #Romans #peace

Hostile to God: Romans 8.7

“So the attitude that comes from selfishness is hostile to God. It doesn’t submit to God’s Law, because it can’t.”

Romans 8.7 CEB

The self-serving attitude is diametrically opposed to serving God. The meaning of conversion is to move from one to the other. Serving both is impossible.

Jesus never performed a miracle to serve himself. So he refused to turn a stone into bread. How can I refuse catering to self in order to obey God?

#votd #Romans #selfishness

From them came the Christ: Romans 9.5

“To them [the Israelites] belong the patriarchs, and from them, by human descent, came the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever! Amen.”

Romans 9.5

Listing the advantages of the Israelites, Paul mentions the greatest of all: Jesus was born of them. They had the best position to appreciate and follow him.

The Jews rejected Jesus. Some today seem to forget he was a Jew. They also forget he is God in the flesh. They make him out to be what they want. Do I do the same?

#votd #Romans #Jesus

No partiality: Romans 2.11

“For there is no partiality with God.”

Romans 2.11

For mercy or judgment, God is the same toward all people. He acts according to his holiness. He has no preferred people. He offers no one special privileges.

People tend to prefer some above others. Even some parents are guilty of having favorite children. But to please God, we must believe in Christ and obey the Lord.

#votd #Romans #equality

The result is eternal life: Romans 6.22

“But now that you have been freed from sin and have become God’s slaves, the benefit you reap is sanctification, and the result is eternal life.”

Romans 6.22 ISV

Freedom from sin comes through obedience, vv. 17-18. Servitude to God means receiving a life wholly given over to him. The outcome is no temporary benefit but eternal life.

How many of your prayers concern things of this life? How many of your efforts seek earthly benefits? In what ways does your sanctified life manifest itself? Do you glory in being God’s servant?

#votd #Romans #eternal-life

The Spirit himself: Romans 8.16

“The Spirit himself bears witness to our spirit that we are God’s children.”

Romans 8.16

The statement above is part of an argument of Paul’s about our inheritance with Christ. He does not affirm the manner of the Spirit’s witness. But it must be a discernible, objective one, not some inner, subjective one, whether by his Word or by the production of his fruit in a Christian’s life.

We do not want to reduce the Spirit down to only the Bible, as some do. His witness is personal and real. His action continues today. Still, “let’s interpret our experiences by the Bible, and not the Bible by our experiences” (Mark Dunagan).

#votd #Romans #Holy-Spirit

I long to strengthen you: Romans 1.11

“For I long to see you, so that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you”.

Romans 1.11

Paul hoped to visit the Romans in order to, first, bless them by passing on miraculous gifts in their midst, since they apparently had never had an apostle among them.

The desire to be among the saints is prompted in the first place by the desire to bless others, not seek a blessing for oneself.

#votd #Romans #blessing

About the things that pertain to God

“So I boast in Christ Jesus about the things that pertain to God.”

Romans 15.22

Paul’s boasting did not center in his accomplishments, but in what God has wrought in Christ and “what Christ has accomplished” v. 23. Nor did he take credit for the work of others.

Boasting in Christ amounts to praise for what God has done. It requires divesting oneself of all self-importance. It recognizes that all is done “in the power of the Spirit of God” v. 24.

#votd #boasting #Romans

We are the ones: Romans 9.24

“We are the ones God has called. We don’t come only from the Jews but we also come from the Gentiles.”

Romans 9.24 CEB

God calls people according to his sovereign grace. He has determined that those who respond in faith and obedience will be saved, independently of origin or class.

Paul does not sound arrogant here, but humbly grateful. God’s sovereignty does not deter him from evangelism, but spurs him toward it. God’s call comes through his evangelizing people.

#votd #Romans #calling

‘Spiritual worship’ in Romans 12.1

Romans 12.1-2 introduces the practical part of Paul’s letter and offers a framework to understand what follows. The last phrase of verse 1 has been variously translated. In 1993, David Peterson published “WORSHIP AND ETHICS IN ROMANS 12” in the Tyndale Bulletin. What follows is a quote from it.

If Paul’s expression is translated ‘spiritual worship’, there is a danger of accenting the inwardness of Christian worship and not taking sufficient account of the fact that we are to yield our bodies to God’s service. There is no doubt from passages such as 1 Corinthians 12:3; Ephesians 2:17-22; Philippians 3:3 that the Holy Spirit facilitates the worship of the new covenant era, but that does not mean that we are compelled to translate λογικὴ λατρεία as ‘spiritual worship’. On the other hand, ‘rational worship’ may only suggest a contrast between the offering of rational beings and the sacrifice of irrational animals. The mind is certainly central to Paul’s perspective here, but the focus is not simply on rationality. The service he calls for is the obedience of faith expressed by those whose minds are being transformed and renewed by God, so that they may no longer be conformed in lifestyle to the values, attitudes and behaviour of ‘this age’ (Rom. 12:2; cf. Col. 3:9-10; Eph. 4:22-4). Consequently, it may be best to read ‘understanding worship’, and to recognise from the context that this means ‘the worship which is consonant with the truth of the gospel’,13 [Cranfield] or the service rendered by those who truly understand the gospel and its implications.

#Romans #quotes #worship #truth

Notes: Inseparable love, Romans 8

Elsewhere it was observed that the first notes in my new Bible were on Romans 8.28-39. They were mere memory ticklers, since I often preach without notes or with just key words. But they might set off some good thoughts for you, so here they are:

  1. Action of God, 28.
  2. Gift of God, 32.
  3. Justification of God, 32-34.
  4. Conquering love of God, 35-39.

In the first part of the chapter, the Holy Spirit appears. In the second half, however, God the Father comes to the fore. The little outline above reflects that.

#god, #romans, #sermon-notes

Joined to another

“So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, so that you could be joined to another, to the one who was raised from the dead, to bear fruit to God.”

Romans 7.4

Paul disallowed any attempt to use the principle of law for justification before God. Using the death of a spouse as an illustration, he maintained exclusive union with Christ as the way to true spiritual results.

Obedience is a necessity, Rom 6.17, but proving one’s worth to God by law-keeping is of a whole different order. Which are you doing?

#votd #Romans

Father of us all: Romans 4.16-17 VOTD

“For this reason it is by faith so that it may be by grace, with the result that the promise may be certain to all the descendants—not only to those who are under the law, but also to those who have the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all (as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”). He is our father in the presence of God whom he believed—the God who makes the dead alive and summons the things that do not yet exist as though they already do.”

Romans 4.16-17

Under the new covenant, God now looks for spiritual descendants of Abraham, who have the same faith he had. He believed in God’s promise, contrary to all evidence.

What yet inexistent realities must Christians believe in as if they already existed?

#faith #promise #Romans #VOTD