Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:18-39 (day four)
It is one of the greatest passages of hope in the Bible…Romans 8:38-39. “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Jesus Christ is fully God and fully man. All things have been created by Him, therefore, there is nothing that is stronger or more powerful than Him. By faith, Christ has come to dwell in our hearts in the form of the Holy Spirit. Nothing can take us away from His indwelling. He will always be with us throughout eternity. Paul was a man of unshakable confidence in our eternal position in God. How about us? Do we live our lives with unshakable confidence that we will always be with God in eternity?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day five)
Have you seen the Geico commercials? They have branded the tag line, “It’s what you do”. There are several silly examples. If you’re the band Europe, you love a final Countdown; it’s what you do. If you’re a golf commentator, you whisper; it’s what you do. If you’re a fisherman, you tell tales; it’s what you do. In other words, there are certain and unchanging traits that people have.
A similar kind of logic is being made for the Holy Spirit in Romans 8. Look at verse 11, “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.” The Holy Spirit who dwells in Christians is exactly the same person who raised Jesus from the dead. Just as the Holy Spirit raised Jesus from the dead, so the Holy Spirit will raise the bodies of believers from the grave.
If you’re the Holy Spirit, you raise people from the dead; it’s what you do.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day four)
Everyone…rich or poor, male or female, regardless of race or creed…everyone is born into the law of sin and death. The law states that all have sinned. Then the law states that the wages or due penalty of sin is death. Left to ourselves, we cannot avoid eternal death. Our passage in Romans 8 though gives hope. Verse 2 says “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death.” Our passage identifies a whole list of outcomes that result from the law of flesh vs. the law of the Spirit…antonyms that result from the source of our allegiance. If we are living according to the flesh, we reap sin and death, condemnation, curses, and we are hostile to God. If we are living according to the Spirit, we reap blessing, we are Spirit-led, we are sons of God, we are free from the law, and we have life and peace. Why would we ever choose to follow the flesh rather than the Spirit?
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day two) Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…vs. 1
When I was a high school choir director I taught hundreds of students. I was a teacher many of their lives that saw them every day from their first day on campus as a freshmen to their graduation. It was very rewarding. Watching these young people grow was often challenging and always awkward. Students would routinely come into my office with much fear and trembling. I would often make them leave and come back in with a renewed sense of purpose. If they were to talk to me, I expected eye contact, manners, and a sense of self-worth. That wasn’t always easy. We weren’t equals, but I also wanted them to understand how to appropriately communicate with an adult.
Our faith journey isn’t too dissimilar. When we come before the lord, we are no longer defeated, empty, and without hope. We are filled with the power of Jesus, and he has covered us with his blood. The fourth verse of the hymn And Can It Be expresses this hope beautifully.
No condemnation now I dread; Jesus, and all in Him is mine! Alive in Him, my living head, And clothed in righteousness divine, Bold I approach the eternal throne, And claim the crown, thro’ Christ my own. Amazing love! How can it be That Thou, my God, should die for me!
Boldly approach, have no fear. The Lord has paid our ransom.
Re:Verse reading–Romans 8:1-17 (day one)
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”–v 1.
Condemnation normally referred to a future event. “We must all stand before the judgement seat of Christ”–2 Corinthians 5:10. It (condemnation) literally meant “guilty verdict” or “negative judgement”. (A compound word formed from “down” and “decision”). It WILL NOT HAPPEN to those who have joined life to Christ by faith. NO thumbs down sign from God. NO condemnation for us. We will be WELCOMED as forgiven children of the Most High!
God’s decision on this matter is already made. “There is therefore (pointing to previous truths of Romans 1-7 ) NOW no condemnation.” Not something that will be decided later. It is decided now. Like the prodigal, If I am in His Son, I will be welcomed home no matter what my years in the far country have done to my soul.
For those in Christ, no condemnation. Not now. Not ever.
Welcome to TheEverydayPrayer blog (Advent Edition). For the next 26 days (November 30-December 25) we will welcome new bloggers to this space. Staff members and lay leaders, gifted writers all, helping us prepare for the celebration of Christmas. This is a journey that we will take together. Ready? Let’s start!
First Day of Advent
Genesis 3:8-15 New American Standard Bible (NASB)
8 They heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 He said, “I heard the sound of You in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” 11 And He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten from the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” 12 The man said, “The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate.” 13 Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this you have done?” And the woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 14 The Lord God said to the serpent,
“Because you have done this,
Cursed are you more than all cattle,
And more than every beast of the field;
On your belly you will go,
And dust you will eat
All the days of your life;
15 And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel.”
Q—Why do we need a Savior?
A—Because we hide from God (see today’s reading “And the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God.”—v 8—compare your own experience)
Q—Why do we hide from God?
A—Because we feel shame (an intuitive signal of a spiritual reality).
Q—What is shame?
A—Inner condemnation for past failure, a deep sense of unworthiness or inadequacy.
Q—How does shame manifest?
A—Many ways, avoidance of God, reluctance to accept/embrace a high calling, self-hatred—often unconscious.
Q—Why did Jesus come?
A—TO RELEASE US FROM SHAME! To restore us to God!
“You will call His name Jesus, for it is He who will save His people from their sins.”—Matthew 1:21
“There is therefore now no condemnation (internal or external, legal or spiritual) for those who are in Christ Jesus.”—Romans 8:1
Thought for today–Until we are released from shame, until we come out of hiding and fear of inadequacy, Christmas has not come.
Re: Verse reading – John 1:1-18
Re: Verse reading–2 Timothy 1:6-14; 2:1-15 (day two)
But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me. vs. 12
Imprisoned and alone, Paul’s words to Timothy show the fervor of his commitment to Christ. How often when discussing faith have your heard the words ‘it’s a private matter’? Yes, each person has to account for themselves and is responsible to the Lord, but we are not to be ashamed to give account of our faith in Christ Jesus. Paul’s imprisonment only emboldened his resolve to share the Good News and to encourage others to do the same. We are not in prison or in bondage, let us therefore share boldly with others.
RE Verse reading–1 Timothy 4 (day seven)
“If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.”–v 6 (NIV). Paul is proud of Timothy. Proud of his work in Ephesus. He has high hopes for this young pastor. Part of Timothy’s preparation for ministry was his home. “I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice.”–2 Timothy 1:5. A 1st Century testimony to the value of “Next Gen” ministry! At FBCSA, we believe that children and younth should SEE faith lived out in their parents, that one of our roles is to encourage and train parents to give this “clay-shaping” testimony. Even without a Father’s influence, Timothy was prepared for ministry by his mother and grandmother. He was “brought up in the truths of the faith”.
Re: Verse reading–Ephesians 3 (day four)
When Paul describes the Savior, he always uses superlatives. Verse 8 says, “…the unfathomable riches of Christ.” Verse 10 says, “…the manifold wisdom of God.” Verse 11 says, “…the eternal purpose carried out in Christ Jesus our Lord,” Verse 16 says, “…the riches of His glory,” Verse 19 says, “…the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge.” Verse 20 says, “…who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think.” How can you describe Christ without using superlatives? Maybe you are a creative thinker…maybe you are a person of great vision…of great dreams. Verse 20 says that no matter how lofty our thoughts may be, they do not even approach the thoughts of the Lord… “Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us.” Let’s ask God to cause His thoughts to be our thoughts…for our eyes to see as He sees.
Re: Verse reading–Ephesians 1 (day five)
No one has ever called me a “Saint”. I certainly wouldn’t classify myself as such either. Yet Paul labels every one of the believers in Ephesus as a saint. vs. 1 “Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are at Ephesus and who are faithful in Christ Jesus:” Why? Were these folks different in character and behavior than us? The encouraging answer is “NO DIFFERENCE”. So why the saint title? Because our identity as believers (saints) is not found from behavior, actions, or deservedness. It comes from the work and power of The Lord. In Christ we receive a new: heart, nature, loyalties, kingdom. They are now ours because of the work and character of Christ alone. He has made us saints!! What a hope-filled identity!! Thank you God for Your work in us!!