[Daily Devotion] March 28th, 2016

[Daily Devotion] March 28th, 2016

Monday: God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity: Romans 1: 1-32

Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord,through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,

To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints:

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer of Thanksgiving

First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed throughout the world. For God, whom I serve with my spirit by announcing the gospel of his Son, is my witness that without ceasing I remember you always in my prayers, 10 asking that by God’s will I may somehow at last succeed in coming to you. 11 For I am longing to see you so that I may share with you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 or rather so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine. 13 I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that I have often intended to come to you (but thus far have been prevented), in order that I may reap some harvest among you as I have among the rest of the Gentiles. 14 I am a debtor both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish 15 —hence my eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome.

The Power of the Gospel

16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel; it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith; as it is written, “The one who is righteous will live by faith.”

The Guilt of Humankind

18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth. 19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 Ever since the creation of the world his eternal power and divine nature, invisible though they are, have been understood and seen through the things he has made. So they are without excuse; 21 for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools; 23 and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles.

24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the degrading of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

26 For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error.

28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. 29 They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.

We will be starting a journey of Reading through the book of Romans.
Romans is one of many of the letters Paul wrote. However, this is the only letter he wrote to a church he did not start. All the other letters he wrote, addressed to the churches he started and had to leave. Therefore, the book contains many theological concepts, which helps us to understand God’s grace better.

What does the Passage Say?

V. 1- 7 Paul introduces himself as ‘an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God.’ He emphasized that the gospel was a plan laid out before Jesus and was to include the Gentiles in the promised. “Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake” (v. 5 NIV). V. 5 is more like a thesis to the entire book. Paul wanted to share that God’s grace is for everyone, both Jews and Gentiles.

V. 8- 17 Paul shows how much he wants to visit Rome. He keeps them in his prayers, and he wants to share the experience of God mutually growing them in spirit when they meet. Another reason for him to visit Rome is to share the gospel to both Greeks and non-Greeks, basically everyone. He says, “For I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentiles” (v. 16 NIV)

V. 18-32 The sinfulness of the world covered the world from seeing the truth. It says, “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness” (v. 18 NIV)

It also says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened” (v. 21 NIV)

Being away from God, the people started to ‘create thing rather than the Creator.’ Sin continued to grow in the life of the people, and it came to a point where unnatural became natural.  “Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (v. 32 NIV)

What does this mean to us?

Paul’s identity is centered around the gospel. His only reason to visit Rome is to share the gospel with the Roman Jews and the Gentiles. That is what he is called to do, and that has what he devoted his life. He is focused. Up to a point, he says, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel.” We live in culture, which doesn’t welcome Christianity publicly. We tend to blame the changing culture surrounding us. We tend to say, ‘many years ago it wasn’t like this.’ However that is not a reason to lose our courage of the message we have. As we read in the later part of this chapter, we see that the world seemed to be as sinful as it is now. (He does give a beautiful apologetic statement about the sinfulness of the world.) It was not the surrounding he was afraid of, as long as he was focused on his purpose.

What can we say to Paul, when he asks why are we so passive in sharing this message?

Lord help us to be the true witness of your love and grace, shown at the empty tomb through your son Jesus Christ. Give us the courage to continue to live this day boldly sharing your love. The gospel that is to be shared for everyone. In Christ we pray. Amen


What is your thought?

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