Chapter twelve continues with making sure we live soberly, and also that we view ourselves soberly (v3). So many of us worry about what others may think of us. We get so concerned that it can start to rule our lives. When this happens, we give others power over our lives. We can easily be thrown into an emotional roller-coaster ride every minute of the day. We come across one person who affirms us and we are fine, then one person comes across and expresses disapproval and we are crushed. We look for security in whether people like us rather than if God likes us. Continue reading
Chapter eleven challenges both Jews and Gentiles. God will graft into His fold whomever He chooses, according to the faith they live. Neither should be “haughty” (v20) over the other because they have been chosen by God. They can lose it on account of losing their faith. We too should be careful about being prideful of our faith. Sometimes we can think ourselves better than the other and assume our salvation. Continue reading
Chapter 10 of Romans begins with Paul’s desire for the salvation of anyone who would listen. Yet there must be a discernment. It seems people were trying to tell God what to do. It is Jesus who judges us, not we who judge him. We have to play by God’s standards, it is not God who has to play by our standards. Continue reading
Chapter nine shares Paul’s sorrow that many Israelites will not make it to heaven. He goes on to explain that the heritage of Abraham was not meant through bloodline or DNA, but by God calling us as chosen children of God. Being a child of God is not something we made happen. God offered this freely, and we have a choice to accept this gift or not. Continue reading
From Verse 13 on, in Chapter 7 of Romans, Paul talks about how he hates the sin he does. The law made him aware of the sinfulness of his actions and the suffering it causes him and others. He now hates it, but has not yet gained the habit of changing these actions. Paul states, “What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do want I want, but I do what I hate” (v15). Continue reading
Paul makes what seems to be an odd comparison with the law of God and the laws of marriage. Again, there is a logic to Paul’s thinking that is different than how we would think or make a comparison.
He starts off writing about how a woman is bound by the law to remain chaste with other men because of the laws of marriage, but when her husband dies, she is free to be courted by another man. While she is married, she is bound by the laws of marriage to remain faithful, but when ‘death do us part’ comes along, as is implicated in the vows of marriage, the law is no longer imposed on her. (So her husband is now dead to her, for he in fact is dead physically) In a similar way, when we die to sin, sin becomes dead to us. Since sin is now dead and we no longer have to obey the laws of sin, we are now free to live for God. When we are baptized, that is the moment in our lives when we are supposed to live our life for Jesus. The old life of sin is symbolized in the husband that died and Jesus is the new husband for whom we are now living. This is what is supposed to happen, but many times we want the old husband back, preferring the one who is bad for us and forsaking the good husband who is Jesus. Sin should be dead to us, not even a desire. Continue reading