Bible Reading and Commentary January 4-9, 2016

Bible Reading and Commentary
January 4-9, 2016

ROMANS — “This epistle is truly the chief part of the New Testament and the purest Gospel, being so valuable altogether that a Christian might well not only memorize it word by word, but keep in touch with it every day, as with the daily bread for his soul.” (Martin Luther)

Monday, January 4, Romans 1
Vv. 2-4 — The Gospel is the good news in Holy Scriptures about God’s Son, who is a true man descended from David. He is also true God and His mighty resurrection proves that He is the Son of God who freed us from sin and won for us eternal life.
v. 16 — This verse is well worth underlining and memorizing. God’s Gospel is the “dynamite” (from the Greek word “dunamis”) that brings us to faith.
vv. 24-26 — Notice the horrifying description of this sinful world. Note the repetition of “God gave them over,” a horrible judgment from God on obstinate, rebellious sinners. God is saying, “Have it your own way. I’m done with you!”
vv. 27, 32 — God speaks of homosexuality as a shameful, degrading sin, deserving of eternal death. Read Lev. 20:13; I Cor. 6:9-10.

Tuesday, January 5, Romans 2
Vv. 14-15 — This is a description of the Natural Law. The problem with it is that sometimes it excuses us. An example is in vv. 21-23.
Vv. 28-29 — The Jews believed physical circumcision saved them. Paul points out that only a spiritual circumcision, a change of heart worked by the Spirit through the Gospel, would save them. Compare Col. 2:11-13.

Wednesday, January 6, Romans 3
Vv. 1-4 — Paul wants to show that there are advantages to being a Jew. God gave them His Word and promises first. Although most Jews were unfaithful to God, that doesn’t mean God was unfaithful. His faithfulness to everyone is clearly demonstrated in vv. 27-31 instead of vv. 27-28.
Vv. 23-24 — Underline and memorize this beautiful Law and Gospel passage. Verse 23 describes the Law. None of us can ever attain God’s expectations. Our terrible natural condition is clearly portrayed in vv. 10-18. How are we saved? Verse 24 makes that clear: We are justified, declared free of sin, through the redeeming work of Jesus.

Thursday, January 7, Romans 4
Vv. 9-12 — Many of the Jews believed they were saved because they kept the Law. For them, you could not, for instance, be saved without circumcision. Paul reminded them that Abraham, whom they looked up to as the father of their race, had faith in the promised Savior before he was circumcised and before the Law (the 10 commandments) came into existence. He was justified not through the Law, but alone through Jesus’ atonement. The Law’s purpose is to show us our sins and the need of a Savior. (Rom. 3:20)

Friday, January 8, Romans 5
Vv. 9-11 — Paul now shows the blessings that the believer enjoys because God has credited righteousness to them. If God loved us enough to justify us when we were sinners, how much more God will bless us now that we are His children. That blessing is reconciliation. Reconciliation means we have peace with God through Jesus’ glorious work of redemption
vv. 12-14 — This section shows the strength of death and original sin even over those who did not sin like Adam did. They still died because they were infected with original sin.

Saturday, January 9, Romans 6
Vv. 1-2 — Some falsely teach that since we’ve been freed from sin, we can sin all we want. Paul points out to us that God is diametrically opposed to that. If we sin, we are again a slave to sin. However, once we are freed from sin, sin is no longer to be our master (v. 14). We have become slaves to righteousness (v. 18). We are to live a new life in Christ (v. 4) and through faith in Jesus, look forward to eternal life.
Vv. 4-5 — In Baptism, we are buried with Christ. That means we share in what Jesus accomplished for us through His suffering and death on the cross. That supreme blessedness is pointed out to us in v. 23, “The gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
v. 23 — Underline. How can eternal life be something we earn if it’s a gift of God?

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