DAY 169 THE GOSPEL
For I am not ashamed of the gospel; for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, “The righteous shall all live by faith.” Romans 1:16-17
The Book of Romans is the Apostle Paul’s magnificent presentation of what God did to secure our salvation and to establish us on the pathway of the abundant life. Donald Grey Barnhouse (1895-1960), minister of Tenth Presbyterian Church, Philadelphia from 1927 to 1960 taught a weekly radio Bible study on Romans from 1949-1960, which also appeared in a multi-volume print set. He used the Book of Romans as a starting point to explore major Bible doctrines. My father had this set – which I inherited.
Charles Swindoll states this in regard to the importance of this book, “The letter to the Romans stands as the clearest and most systematic presentation of Christian doctrine in all the Scriptures.” He then outlines the 16 chapters of this book as follows:
“Paul showed how human beings lack God’s righteousness because of our sin (1–3), receive God’s righteousness when God justifies us by faith (4–5), demonstrate God’s righteousness by being transformed from rebels to followers (6–8), confirm His righteousness when God saves the Jews (9–11), and apply His righteousness in practical ways throughout our lives (12–16).” https://insight.org/resources/bible/the-pauline-epistles/romans
What I would like to do over the next sixteen “Short Thoughts” is take a small portion of each chapter of Romans for us to meditate on. So, today, in Romans 1:1-6 and 16-17. Elsewhere in this chapter, we have Paul’s introduction of himself (1:1a) and his stated desire to visit the believes in Rome (1:18). And in the last section (1:18-32), we have why people need the Gospel.
Romans 1:1-6, 16-17 – The Gospel of God
These opening verses discuss the “Gospel”. The Greek word translated “gospel” in English means “good news”. The first four books of the New Testament are the “Gospels” – i.e., the Good News about Jesus Christ. The second church I pastored was “Faith Gospel Church”. Since the Greek word is “euangelion’, it is transliterated into English as “evangelical” – but that word has undergone some changes in how it is used in the 21st century. For example, it is used by media to refer to people of a certain political persuasion – most often right wing conservatives. But that is not how Paul defines the “gospel”. In these verses, he provides a theological definition – a term of belief. Let’s see some of his points.
- The gospel is from God (v. 1b)
What Paul is talking about is a message of good news delivered by God Himself. It is not man-made. The content of the news we shall see in a brief moment.
- The gospel is something promised beforehand and is found in the scriptures (v. 2).
What the apostle will say about this good news can be found in the Old Testament scriptures. It had been around for a long time by the time Paul wrote about it. This news was “promised” by God through His prophets. Here are a few examples, promising a Messiah-King descended from David:
II Samuel 7:12-14 – … I will raise up your offspring after you, who shall come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house after My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever .” . (Also found in Psalm 89:4 and 132:12)
Isaiah 11:1 – “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit … “
Jer. 23:5-6 – “There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
Ezekiel 34:24 – “And I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David …”
- The content of the gospel is a message about God’s Son (“concerning His Son” -Rom. 1:3-6).
Again, it is said that Son would be descended from David, and that the Son is Jesus Christ our Lord (v. 4a). A lot more is added about Jesus. He is evidenced to be the Son of God by the fact of His resurrection. The resurrection was accomplished by the powerful work of God the Holy Spirit (v. 4b). Jesus Christ has shown grace (a gift) to Paul and commissioned and appointed him as an apostle (a send one) to help people all over the world (including the Christians in Rome) to come to a place of faith in Christ and a subsequent life of obedience (verses 5-6). When this happens, Christ is honoured (“for the sake of His name”, v. 5). To summarize, we can say that the gospel is a message about the resurrected Son of God, namely Jesus Christ, who is available to all who believe.
- The gospel is the way to righteousness (or salvation) and is obtained by all who believe (verses 16-17).
These verses amplify what was said in verses 5-6. The gospel reveals God’s righteousness. This gospel is received by faith. Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4, “…The righteous shall live by his faith.” This truth is so essential to the gospel that it is repeated in Galatians 3:11; Ephesians 2:8; and Hebrews 10:38.
These verses from Romans 1 present the only way to be rescued from sin (i.e., unrighteousness). We learn that the gospel is from God and is about His Son, Jesus Christ who fulfills Old Testament scriptures and who rose from the dead to provide the way (through faith) to righteousness. Paul will go on in the remainder of the chapter and the next to show that we needed to be rescued from sin in order to escape the judgment of a righteous God. So, the gospel is about Jesus Christ and His rescue, deliverance, salvation, and righteousne
- Read Romans 1:1-6,16-17.
- A message about living in harmony with one another and nature is good, but is not the gospel unless Jesus Christ and a relationship with God is at the core. Why is Christ necessary?
- If you were asked to define “the gospel” what would you say?
Day 170 – JUDGEMENT
“Therefore, you have no excuse, O man, every one of you who judges. For in passing judgement on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, practice the very same things. We know that the judgment of God rightly falls on those who practice such things.” Romans 2:1-2
We have mixed feelings about judgement. Many people are uncomfortable about the idea of judgement. Yet, we face it regularly. You are involved in a car accident and say, “The other guy’s insurance company is paying to fix my car because there’s no doubt he was at fault,” and that we are comfortable with! Or a serious crime occurs, with a death or long-term injury the result and the family of the victim is in court making statements about how the crime has affected them, asking the judge for the maximum sentence. But, at other times we feel judgement has been too harsh.
In the last half of Romans 1, the Apostle wrote about sinful practices of many. God has revealed Himself through nature, but many have exchanged trust in God for trust in images. Others have engaged in unnatural sexual relations. Still more are characterized by covetousness, maliciousness, boastfulness, heartless behaviour, murder, strife, deceit, slander, hatred of God, insolence, haughtiness, boasting, inventors of evil, disobedience to parents etc. These are signs of foolish, unrighteous, and debased behaviour. Thus, chapter 2 continues with a “therefore”.
“Therefore, you have no excuse…” When we judge another for his or her sins, we condemn ourselves, too, because we, too, have practiced some of these sins (2:1). Paul goes on to say that no one can escape God’s judgement. No one should presume that God’s rich kindness, forbearance, and patience will allow us to avoid His judgement. Instead, we should realize that His kindness is meant to lead us to repentance (verses 2-6). We should admit to our sin and repent (v. 4).
If we do so, we will be counted among those who are shown to be seeking immortality, and God will give us eternal life (v. 7). If we persist in our sin, God will bring distress – regardless of whether we are Jewish or Gentile – God shows no partiality (verses 8-11).
The rest of chapter 2 emphasizes that all of us are responsible, whether or not we have been aware of God’s law. People without the Old Testament Law still have a conscience and will be judged based on that (verses 12-16). And those who have God’s revealed Law can’t just boast that they have that. No, they must practice what they preach (verses 17-24). Circumcision was given to Abraham as a sign of belonging to the Jewish nation, but Paul points out that it is the heart’s attitude and a person’s outward actions that prove where someone stands. God is most interested in the heart, not just an outward sign (verses 25-29).
- Read Romans 2.
- What comes to your mind when you hear the word “judgement”?
- Do you see judgement, whether on a societal level or a personal level, as being necessary or unnecessary?
- Who has the right to administer justice?
- In verse 5, Paul says that we often show ourselves to have a “hard and impenitent heart”. How might that be seen in your own life?
DAY 171 – THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF GOD
21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. Romans 3:21-25
In this, the third devotional from the Book of Romans, we will focus on verses 21-31 of chapter 3. Focusing on these verses makes sense in that they form a summary of the earlier part of the chapter. The overall question asked and answered here is, ‘How can I obtain righteousness?’
Paul has two audiences in mind: the Jews (mostly)and the Gentiles. His Jewish audience might ask, “Can I obtain a righteousness that pleases God from the Law of Moses? How about by being circumcised?” Paul answers, “No.” They might also add, “Didn’t God favour us by giving to us “the oracles of God”? (verse 2) But Paul’s answer is, “You were favoured but, being given the Law just shows your guilt because you don’t obey and uphold it in every way. You tried to obtain righteousness by your good works, but you failed.” The Apostle then lists a number of ways people sin: deceit, cursing, bitterness, shedding blood, being not peaceful, having no fear of God (3:13-18). Gentiles are no better. In fact, “None is righteous, no not one” (v. 10) and “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (23). Neither Jew nor Gentile can boast that they made it (v. 27).
So, what is the answer? [What follows is at the heart of the message of the gospel of God!]
Our highlighted verses (21-31) give the answer. Even the Books of the Law and those of the Prophets, in the Old Testament speak to this and give the answer (v. 21). Here it is, in verses 22-23 – Righteousness comes through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. Justification (i.e., being declared righteous) is a gift. It is a matter of “grace” (v. 24), i.e., a gift given at His own expense. [Note that we don’t get gifts by working for them or paying for them; they come to us from someone else who has bought them for us.] God, Himself, is the giver. And the price or means He used is Jesus Christ who sacrificed His own blood on our behalf. This act is called an act of “propitiation” – which means a way of satisfying God’s judgment on us as sinners – an act of appeasement – the way He expiated or atoned for our sin, making amends for our guilt.
Once Christ took our sin upon Himself, died, and rose again, God showed forbearance by passing over our former sins (v. 25). He applies Christ’s righteousness to our account when we believe this (that is, have faith in Jesus, v. 26). So, justification is by faith. It’s that way for the Jews (the circumcised, those who have the Law but don’t live it) and for the Gentiles (the uncircumcised, who make their own standards and don’t live up to them) – v. 30.
Wow! This is a powerful truth.
- Read Romans 3.
- If you were to stand before God and He were to ask you, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’, what would you say?
- Does your answer to the above question show that you are relying on your effort to do good works? Verse 25 shows us what the acceptable answer really is.
Day 172 – By Faith
From our garden, September 2019
23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. Romans 4:23-25
The theme of righteousness by faith is continued in chapter 4 of Romans. In chapter 3 we learned how a person can obtain the righteousness of God. Now, in chapter 4, Paul illustrates this truth by referencing Abraham: “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”(v. 3)
Having focused on terms like “righteousness” and “law”, the Apostle Paul now moves on to “faith”. All three words are interconnected. Paul begins his illustration by saying that Abraham, their forefather through whom the Jewish nation was established, was justified (declared righteous), by believing (faith), not by works (4:1-3). Had he been justified by works he would have something to boast about. But that wasn’t the way he gained righteousness. Paul quotes from Genesis 15:6, an important verse quoted three other times in the New Testament (Romans 4:22, Gal. 3:6, James 2:23) – “And he [Abraham] believed the Lord, and He [God] counted it to him [Abraham] as righteousness.” In the Genesis passage, God spoke to Abraham in a dream, saying he would have a son and eventually his descendants would amount to countless numbers, like the stars in the sky. Abraham, an old man by then, believed God.
Paul also explains the difference between the wages gained by work and the gift of God gained through faith (v. 4). When I was a pastor, my church paid me a salary in exchange for the work that I did. But at Christmastime, they presented my wife and me with an envelope of cash – gifts that had been collected from members of the congregation. I did not earn this money; it was not obtained by working for it. It was a gift and all I had to do was receive it. The righteousness of God is ours not because we work for it. If we tried working for it we would fail because we can never do enough work to please God, and the good works we do are imperfect by God’s absolute standards. There has to be another way, and that is the way of faith or believing.
A second example of a person who believed what God said is introduced in verse 6. David, like Abraham, understood that God counted righteousness to an individual apart from works – it is a gift. He quotes Psalm 32:1-2, “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
To emphasize that God’s gift of righteous standing comes by faith not works of the Law of Moses, or any other such law, Paul shows that Abraham was declared righteous even before he had been circumcised. Circumcision as a sign of belonging to God’s chosen nation was introduced later. He already had righteousness by faith (v. 11). This works for the Gentile world as well – righteousness is counted to Gentiles when they believe the same as the Jewish people. Thus, Abraham is our forefather as well, the father of all who believe (v. 12).
Additional assurances of this are found in verses 13-25. –
- Righteousness depends on faith, a gift of God’s grace (v.16)
- By faith Abraham became the father of many nations (v. 17)
- Faith for Abraham meant believing against hope (v. 18)
- The miraculous provision of a son for Abraham and Sarah is seen in that they were past child-bearing years (v.19)
- Faith for Abraham meant not wavering in his belief in the promise of God (v. 20)
- All this applies as much to us in our day as it did to Abraham. In our case, we believe that Jesus, who died for our trespasses was also raised from the dead for our justification. Believe this and you are counted as righteous (vv. 23-24).
- Jesus our Lord was delivered up for our sins and raised to provide our justification (v. 25)
- 1. Read Romans 4.
- How would you define “righteousness” How would you define “believe” or “have faith”? How do you understand “will not count his sin”? How do you understand “counted to us”?
- Can you recall a time when you came to accept these statements about the need for justification and how it is obtained? If you are uncertain about having acceptance by God, are you ready to believe that Jesus Christ is the way to God and has already accomplished exactly what you need by His death and resurrection?
Day 173 – HOPE
“Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character and character produces hope.” Romans 5:3-4
There are times in our lives when we feel hopeless. The website “PsychCentral” observes, “Feeling hopeless may be a natural, universal response to personal and world events that may impact our lives. It can also be a symptom of depression, adjustment disorders, and other mental health conditions.” [https://psychcentral.com/anxiety/the-9-types-of-hopelessness-and-how-to-overcome-them#_noHeaderPrefixedContent]
Perhaps it is because hopelessness is such a common feeling that the Bible verse Jeremiah 29:11 has become a popular verse that many claim as their favourite. It says, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”
Yes, the Bible offers true hope. The late theologian J.I. Packer wrote this about hope: “The Christmas message is that there is hope for a ruined humanity–hope of pardon, hope of peace with God, hope of glory–because at the Father’s will Jesus became poor, and was born in a stable so that thirty years later He might hang on a cross.”
In Romans 5 we learn about the connection between justification, faith, and hope. We will focus on verses 1-11. These words add up to show the process and nature of salvation. It begins in verse 1 with “justification” – that is the act by which “God pardons and accepts all believing sinners”. It is a judicial or legal term stating that God “declares a verdict of acquittal and thus excludes “all possibility of condemnation” [The quoted words are from Evangelical Dictionary of Theology , ed. Walter A. Elwell (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House, 1984, p. 593.]
The next word is “faith”. Justification is by faith. The faith Paul is referring to is the trust or confidence or reliance that the needy sinner places in Jesus Christ to rescue him or her from the bondage and penalty of sin.
Then, there is “peace”. This is the result of the faith that enabled justification to be granted. It is a peace “with God”, accomplished by “our Lord Jesus Christ” (5:1b). Christ’s payment of our sin on the Cross satisfied God’s judgment against sin. Thus, peace with God is ours as a result of faith and justification. Hence: faith –> leading to justification –> peace.
Once we have peace with God, there is “hope”. Read Romans 5:2. “…We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” Faith in Christ gives us access into “this grace in which we stand”. God in His goodness provides the way of sure salvation and firm standing in His presence. That assuredness in turn gives us hope. Hope also grows from suffering and endurance. In fact, hope is a logical development of initial suffering, followed by endurance, which develops character, and that leads to hope (verses 3-4). This hope is the result of God’s work by the Holy Spirit. His love is “poured out” in our hearts” (verses 5-6). So, we see that hope comes from having God’s righteousness given to us, and hope is a gift also in the sense that it springs from enduring suffering and from becoming a recipient of God’s love.
These is more explanation of God’s love in verses 6-11. Here we were, weak sinners, unable to help ourselves, and God came on the scene in the person of Jesus Christ and died for us (v. 6). This is astounding! Paul points us that even for a good man, it’s rare for someone to die – but, he adds, that sometimes happens (v. 7). But in God’s case, He loved us even “while we were still sinners” (v. 8). That act of sacrifice declares us right before God and spares us from God’s judgment on sin (v. 9). Those who now trust in Christ were once enemies of God but now are reconciled to (made at peace with) God (v. 10). We are saved by Christ’s resurrected life, and that makes us joyful (v. 11). Hoping and rejoicing are positive terms describing the new life a believer has in Christ.
We’ll stop there for now.
Your Turn :
- Read Romans 5.
- Are you becoming more comfortable with the meaning and sense of the term “justification”?
- Do you see the connection between these concepts of justification, faith, peace, and hope?
- What kinds of things do people typically place their hopes in? Are these things productive of eternal hope in God?
- Consider these quotations: “Without Christ there is no hope.” Charles Spurgeon — and
“Faith has to do with things that are not seen and hope with things that are not at hand.” -Thomas Aquinas
- Notice how the Apostle has tied in the name and work of Jesus Christ with these fundamental and desirable qualities of righteousness, faith, peace, and hope.
DAY 174 – NEW LIFE
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23
Absurdities! Twice in Romans 6, Paul asks an absurd question. Both begin with about the same wording and both introduce a new section in which the absurdity is again stated.
First, initiating verses 1-14, we read, “What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound?” His answer is quick and definite: “By no means!”
The question can be asked with one of two purposes in mind. Someone might try to get away with a life of sin suggesting that since salvation is a gift of grace and not of good works, I don’t have to worry about what I do – I can live sinfully and get away with it. Or, another person (like the religious Jews who opposed Paul) might ask the question because they proposed the message Paul preached allowed people to continue in sin – Paul’s gospel was mistaken.
There are many in the world who claim adherence to the Gospel of grace while holding dark prejudices. Paul would say, “By no means! If you say you love God, there is no way you can justify your sinful attitudes and actions!” He explains that true believers are dead to sin and alive to righteous living. True believers identify with Jesus in His death, burial, and resurrection to a new life (verses 3-4).
Often, when a person is baptized, these verses are referred to to show that the act of baptism illustrates what has happened when that individual trusted in Christ for salvation. In baptism the candidate is placed under water (by immersion or pouring or sprinkling) and then raised from the water. This illustrates Jesus’ death and burial, then resurrection. The death is death to the control of sin. The raising is the raising to newness of life (v. 4). The picture is extended in verses 5-11, emphasizing the oneness of the believer with Jesus in being dead to sin and alive to God – in Jesus (v.11).
Because of this change from death to life, we are not to allow sin to rule in our bodies by making wrong choices. Instead, we are to choose God’s ways, allowing Him to have dominion over us (verses 12-14). So, what began as a discussion about the possibility of letting sin rule, ends with the conclusion that, to be consistent with our new identification in Christ, believers must let God rule.
The second section of chapter 6 begins with another “What then? And phrases it, “Are we to sin because we are no longer under law but under grace?” It is the same question as in verse 1 and is answered the same way, “By no means!” (v. 15). Here (through v. 22) is one of slavery or servanthood. It is inconsistent to call yourself a believer and at the same time serve sin. We’ve been set free from such servitude. Now we are free to be obedient to God, to be “slaves of righteousness” (v. 18) which leads away from impurity and lawlessness and on to sanctification (a life set apart for holiness – v.20) and eternal life (v. 22).
A well-known and important verse (v. 23) ends the chapter: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Choosing the ways of self and the world leads to death. Choosing the path of faith in the finished work of Jesus in paying for our sin and rising to new life leads to abundant and eternal life.
- Read Romans 6.
- Think of the teaching of this chapter and its concluding statement this way:
THIS: What shall we say then? – continue in sin
OR THIS: By no means! – live the new life of Christ
- Do you see the illogic of the question asked?
- Do you see the logic of the answer given?
- How have you answered the question?
Note this helpful explanation of verse 6: “The power of sin has been broken in those who believe, for their old self…was crucified and put to death with Christ. They were born into the world as sinners, with the result that their bodies were ruled by sin. Body of sin refers to the rule of sin, but without excluding the involvement of the personal self that lives through the body. Sn’s rule, however, was broken when Christians died with Christ and therefore they are no longer enslaved to sin.Paul does not argue that Christians do not sin at all ..; instead, the tyranny, rule, and dominion of sin have been defeated for them. This means that the normal pattern of life for Christians should be progressive growth in sanctification, resulting in ever greater maturity and conformity to God’s moral law in thought and action.” ESV Study Bible, footnote for Romans 6:6 on page 2167; [ ESV Study Bible, ESV Bible. Wheaton, Ill. Crossway, 2008]
Day 175 – DELIVERANCE
“Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” Romans 7:24-25
Have you ever struggled with some undesirable habit from which you would like deliverance? Of course you have, as have I.
The province of Ontario where I live has recently (Spring 2022) permitted online sports betting. The day this was allowed, the TV screens (especially any type of sports programming) were filled with commercials for online gaming sites, the product promoted by celebrity athletes. Included with these commercials – in small print – is information about where to call if you have a gambling addiction! I also see that the federal government in Canada now requires cigarette manufacturers to include a health warning not just on the packaging, but also on each cigarette. Will this additional warning help smokers kick the habit? Gaining deliverance from dangerous habits is hard to do. Even if these two addictions are not ours, we know the truth of the matter. Perhaps the addiction is food-related, or excessive shopping, or foul language, or immorality of one form or another, or too much television or other misuse of time, etc., etc.
I don’t know what addiction the Apostle Paul wanted deliverance from, but I know he struggled: “Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me…? (Romans 7:24)
Romans 7 arrives at this point by an unusual route. The chapter begins with a discussion of the Law (the Mosaic Law) and the sin nature in each of us. The Law showed us what was sin. Paul illustrates this in verses 7-12. The Law says, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s house…wife…male servant…female servant…ox…donkey, or anything that is your neighbour’s.” (Exodus 20:17) Paul reflects on this and states that when the Law pointed to covetousness as a sin, his sinful nature became all the more covetous. It wasn’t the Law that was sinful; it was sin that grabbed hold of him and used the Law to deceive him.
Paul can’t understand why it works this way (7:15), why he does the very thing he hates. What he does understand is that the Law is good, but sin lives inside him and works against him. He wants to do the right thing but often persists in doing the wrong (7:18-19). Then, he exclaims, “Who will deliver me?” (7:24)
The answer is God delivers him, through Jesus Christ (7:25). Jesus provided a new way of the Spirit (7:6). All three members of the godhead are working to provide deliverance – God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We do have someone to turn to in our struggle with sin.
Here are some Bible verses that can help us face and defeat temptation:
- No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it. – I Corinthians 10:13
- Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come. – II Corinthians 5:17
- But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh. – Galatians 5:16
- Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Be miserable and mourn and weep; let your laughter be turned into mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you.– James 4:7-10
- Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. – James 1:12
- He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. – II Corinthians 5:21
- If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth; but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. – 1 John 1:6-9
- Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. – Psalm 51:10
- Your word I have treasured in my heart, that I may not sin against You.– Psalm 119:11
- We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. – Romans 6:6-11 (NLT)
- Read Romans 7.
- What specific temptation(s) do you struggle with?
- Do you have, as Paul did, a desire to do right?
- Will you take this problem to God in prayer? Will you seek help in the scriptures? The verses abut are a start – there are many others with direct help in overcoming sin.