Israel 2016

Israel 2016
Roman architectural influence in Bet Sean, Israel

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Chrnonoligcal Reading Plan for Dec 7, Rom 4-7

Today's readings are Rom 4-7. Tomorrow's are Rom 8-10.

We see that faith was always God's method of making His children righteous. God declared Abraham righteous (justified) by faith, not by works or the law.

Rom 5 tells us this justification by faith reconciles us to God. This is made possible by Jesus taking on flesh and undoing the work done by Adam. Adam was an imperfect representative of mankind. Through him, death came. Jesus is a second Adam. He is the perfect representative for mankind. Through him, life comes. God gave us the law to expose our sin. Those who recognize this and repent can be thankful for the law, seeing it as an act of grace. Without the law, we would die in our sin.

Believers have a new life in Christ. Rom 6 tells us we are still slaves but are now slaves to righteousness instead of sin. Because of Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, we are able to die to sin. We should understand, though, that this occurs because we are now united with Christ, joined with Him. While our union with Him is a guarantee of eternal life, as we will soon see, our earthly life can still be a struggle. Our death to sin calls for us to be resolute in avoiding it. "Some participation is required."

This becomes clear in Rom 7 where we see that avoiding sin is a battle. Our hearts long to be sin-free but our flesh continually draws us into it. Paul describes his own struggle with sin, repeatedly confessing that he does what he doesn't want to do. Rom 7 is a remarkable parallel to Rom 6. Ch 6 tells us we are dead to sin while ch 7 details the ongoing struggle with sin. In Rom 7:17-20, "Paul is not trying to escape responsibility for his sin, but rather putting his finger on the real culprit - indwelling sin" as The Expositor's Bible Commentary says. Paul claims Full responsibility for his sin subsequent to his salvation in Rom 7:24-25, confessing his inability to maintain his righteousness on his own. He needs help, as we will see in the next chapter.

Rom 6-7, taken together as the must be, become a picture of our ongoing sanctification. God sees us as righteous and just (sanctified), even as we are being made righteous and just (being sanctified), day by day. He sees the completed work of Christ in us because we are united to Him even though we are not yet perfected in our flesh. This union is the assurance of our eternal destiny that God would "count us as saved" even as He is saving and perfecting us. This guarantee of salvation even as salvation is being worked out in us is a beautiful and comforting example of the “already and not yet.”

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