Romans IV-V
(In Christ We Are Forgiven)
November 25th

Produced by The Listening for God Ministry
Copyright 2016

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Please refer to one or more Bible versions of your choice to read this section. We recommend that you read at least two versions for added understanding. For your convenience, we have provided six links below, each of which takes you directly to today's chapters in a specific version:

Key Verse

But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;
Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

- Acts 4:24-25 (KJV)

Summary of Chapters

In the first three chapters of Romans, Paul introduced his thesis with the concept of sin. He had explained that God's laws enable us to have a benchmark which reveals the sin in all of us. Thus we should not judge each other but should seek forgiveness through our faith, which upholds the law. Today's chapters pick up on this theme by describing the forgiveness of Christ. In chapter 4, Paul explains that the concept of salvation through faith is as old as Abraham, who was blessed by God before his circumcision, and only through faith was he able to produce offspring that became the people of Israel. He emphasizes to his audience that salvation comes only through faith, not good works or heritage or outward appearances:

    If you’re a hard worker and do a good job, you deserve your pay; we don’t call your wages a gift. But if you see that the job is too big for you, that it’s something only God can do, and you trust him to do it—you could never do it for yourself no matter how hard and long you worked—well, that trusting-him-to-do-it is what gets you set right with God, by God. Sheer gift.

    - Romans 4:4-5 (MSG)

In chapter 5, Paul explains what Jesus has done for us:

    Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.

    - Romans 5:1-5 (NIV)

He explains how sin entered the world through one man, Adam, but through the obedience of one man, Jesus, all of us may be saved.

Reflection and Application

When Paul talks about hope in the passage above he is not talking about an uncertainty, such as the emotion we express in a following statements: "I hope it does not rain today, I hope my client likes my ideas, I hope we find a dog that fits our family, etc". Rather, he has talking about an eternal hope that is fully confident in eternal salvation from God through Jesus. The commentary on this passage from the New American Bible provides further illumination:

    Because this fullness of salvation belongs to the future it is called the Christian hope...God’s promise in the gospel fills believers with expectation and anticipation for the climactic gift of unalloyed commitment in the holy Spirit to the performance of the will of God. The persecutions that attend Christian commitment are to teach believers patience and to strengthen this hope, which will not disappoint them because the holy Spirit dwells in their hearts and imbues them with God’s love

Paul’s frequent references to Abraham, David, and Old Testament passages helped his Jewish audience to understand the connection between the “new” theology and the “old” one. Paul’s explanation emphasizes that the new one is really just a continuation of the oldest messages in the Bible.

Therefore, when we read the entire Bible we have a better understanding of the message and meaning in the New Testament. The time we have spent in the Old Testament returns dividends now as we see many references from Paul to Isaiah, the Psalms, Hosea, Joel, and other books.

After finishing the New Testament, we may want to go back and read the Old one again for an even deeper understanding. The web pages for this study will remain available on the internet as a convenience for you and others if you chose to revisit any parts of the study. Alternatively, you may choose to dive deeply into one or more books of the Old or New Testament. There are many good resources available, including those mentioned in this study.

Questions and Prayers for Further Reflection

    Related Questions
    1. What is your favorite old piece of clothing?
    2. Who is your favorite Old Testament author?
    3. Where does God want you to direct your study?

    Recommended Prayer
    Father in heaven, we thank you for remembering us and saving us

    Prayer Concern

    Looking Ahead

    Tomorrow's reading: Romans VI-VIII (Freedom!)

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