03 January 2010

Bible in a Year: Day Three

Today's Bible Reading:
Romans 1-2

Romans 1:1 identifies the Apostle Paul as the author of this epistle to the Christians in Rome.  Paul speaks about the Gospel and coming to preach in Rome.  He then notes that righteousness comes from faith, but God is wrathful against the unrighteous who know they should be righteous by the revelation in God's creation.  Paul talks about how people do not glorify God and worship the creature rather than the Creator and are given up to "vile affections" and a whole list of unrighteous actions and behaviors.

Romans 2 talks about the fairness of God's judgment on unrighteous man because man is inexcusable about knowing to do right, either by the written Law or by the law written on their hearts.  Paul finally ends on the fact that there is no difference between an outwardly circumcised person and an uncircumcised person if righteousness is not internalized.  Therefore, circumcision does not save and lack of circumcision does not condemn.

What I knew
"I am not ashamed of the gospel" is found in a few really good gospel songs, and it is the basis on which Paul preached to whomever he came into contact.  The last half of Romans 1 I had studied before when first I was confronted by someone saying the New Testament did not condemn homosexuality.  My studies led me to this particular chapter, and I was pretty astounded at some of the other things listed there that are commonplace behaviors today.

What I learned
A commentary I read said that it is one thing to be a racial Jew, and a whole other thing to be a spiritual Jew.  It's really what is inside that counts; any outward, ceremonial sign is not what regenerates.

Doctrinal Importance
Romans is probably the most preached book that I've heard because there is so much in it instructing us to live righteously.  Romans 1 tells of the natural degradation of morality that the sin nature and ignoring of God's laws causes.  The list of immorality at the end of the chapter not only list what man is capable of, but it is a snapshot of what the Christian should avoid.  Romans 2 illustrates the fact that neither circumcision nor uncircumcision are necessary for salvation, but that God is praised by internalizing righteousness and acting in a Godly manner.

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