Sunday, January 8, 2017
Daily reading assignment: Romans 3-4
One of the great challenges of reading through the Bible in a year is not only the discipline required to pursue such a task, but also the challenge to make good sense out of what we read. For instance, today’s assigned reading begins with Romans 3:1 and, though broken by a chapter division, Paul is continuing the same spiritual argument he began in Romans 2.
Writing to Jewish believers in the city of Rome, Paul challenged them not to boast in possessing the Law and Commandments of God when they, by their personal lives, lived in denial of what their lips boasted (Romans 2:17-23). Paul reminded the Jews that God would “render to every man according to his deeds” (Romans 2:6) and there is “no respect of persons with God” (Romans 2:11). Indeed, the privilege of being numbered among God’s people is not one of physical birth and lineage, but is a matter of the heart and faith (Romans 2:28-29).
Romans 2:28-29 – “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: 29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.”
Today’s devotional reading (Romans 3-4) encompasses some of the great spiritual truths whereby many a sinner has come to the knowledge of their sinfulness and to understand God’s provision of salvation through Christ’s sacrifice of Himself as the propitiation, the atonement, by which our sins are forgiven.
I close today’s devotion with a few verses to illuminate the central truths of the Gospel.
The Sinful Condition of Man is a Universal Malady
Romans 3:11-12 – “There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.”
The Condemnation of the Law and Guilt of Man
Romans 3:19-20 – “Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.”
The Provision of Salvation and Forgiveness of Sin by Faith Through Christ Alone
Romans 3:23-24 – “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:”
Romans 3:28 – “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.”
Salvation Was and Is a Matter of Faith (Romans 4)
The requirement of faith has been and is the condition for all sinners who would be saved. God chose Abraham as the recipient of His covenant promises, not on the basis of his good works, but because he believed God (Romans 4:1-3).
The Jews boasted they were physical descendants of Abraham and possessed God’s Law and Commandments; however, they could not be spiritual children of God unless they came to Him by faith in His gift of salvation through Christ alone (Romans 4:18-25).
Ephesians 2:8-10 – “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”
Copyright 2017 – Travis D. Smith