Friday, March 14, 2014

#40daybible Day 15 (Romans 1-8)

The final reading for this week is here. It covers the first 8 chapters of Romans.

Here are some highlights:
  • Romans 1:16-17 are the key verses of Romans: "That’s why I’m ready to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. I’m not ashamed of the gospel: it is God’s own power for salvation to all who have faith in God, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. God’s righteousness is being revealed in the gospel, from faithfulness for faith, as it is written, 'The righteous person will live by faith'" (CEB)
  • Decoder ring: "gospel" - The good news that Jesus is king and all that it entails...
  • "salvation" - to escape the coming judgment of God
  • "righteousness of God" - God's propensity to save his people and the world
  • "from faithfulness for faith" - possibly, starting with God's faithfulness and resulting in our faith
  • Romans 1:17-3:20, the problem - Gentiles have sinned, but Jews have sinned too - "all have sinned" and the wrath of God is revealed against all godlessness and wickedness.
  • Romans 3:21-31, really the key verses of Romans. Like Galatians 2:15-21. All have sinned, but God has offered Jesus as a sacrifice of atonement. If we trust in his faithful death, have faith in his faithfulness, God will justify us, find us "not guilty" in the divine court.
  • Romans 4 substantiates this claim, with 5:1-11 more or less concluding the argument thus far. 
  • Romans 5:12-21 seems to start the next major section. If the first section presented the legal case, the second section presents the cosmic, narrative case. Adam disobeyed; everyone died. Christ obeyed; everyone can become alive.
  • Romans 7:14-25 depicts the plight of a person before Christ and the Spirit. This person might want to do the good and keep the essence of the Law, but s/he is not able to do so.
  • But the person with the Spirit in Romans 8 is set free from the law of sin and death, just as the creation will be set free from bondage to decay and corruption when Christ restores all things.
  • Romans 6 had already started off with the practical take-away of this section--the person who is in Christ should not let sin control their mortal bodies.
  • Here is the bottom line of this section: "But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness" (Rom. 6:17-18).

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