Devotion Text: Romans 8:14-17
You are no longer slaves, why do you continue to act like it?!
Earlier this month, my son Joshua decided he was a “big boy now” and wanted to move from his crib into a normal bed. My wife and I obliged, but quickly noticed something peculiar. Joshua, even though he could now easily get in and out of his bed, would call for us when he was ready to get up. His situation had changed, but his attitude had not–he still acted like a little child that needed to be lifted out of a crib.
We too, sadly, are often like that that in our relationship with our Heavenly Father!
Paul writes in Romans (shortly before our text) that the law controlled us. The law controlled our minds and our will. It set us on a course of death and destruction. We were hostile to God and could not, would not please him. But, brothers and sisters in Christ, we have changed!
We now are led by the spirit of God and are made sons–co-heirs–of God! We were dead, but now are alive! Our situation has changed! The law need not control us any longer!
Under the spirit of God, we need not fear death, hell or the devil’s power. We have the freedom, the power to call upon our father for whatever we desire and he is pleased to hear us! We can now live lives pleasing to God through faith. As heirs with Christ, we will share in his glory in heaven forever.
Prayer: Our Father, give to your people the comfort and joy that comes through your spirit. You have made us free, give us the strength to no longer live as slaves to death and sin. Help us live lives pleasing to you Lord and protect us in your grace until you bring us to glory everlasting. Amen.
This is the sixth weekly reading in the plan for reading your Bible in one year. The assignment for this week is the book of Romans. It should only take about 10 minutes a day, or about 2-3 chapters a day to complete the assignment.
Here are some comments to help you grow in knowledge and faith as you read Romans.
Background: It is obvious that the apostle Paul wrote Romans because of the very first word and introduction of the letter. It seems from chapter 15 that he wrote this on his third missionary journey as he was about to return to Jerusalem, which would have been between 53-57 A.D. Other evidence may indicate more specifically that he wrote the letter around 57 A.D. from the city of Corinth at the end of that journey.
Paul wrote the letter to them because he was not able to visit them. The dominant theme and central concept of the letter is righteousness. Paul addresses how it has been lost by all people who are sinners, how it is received through faith in Jesus alone, and how it changes our lives to live for Christ. Thus, it could be said that the theme of Romans is Righteousness from God.
Romans 1: Paul begins this letter in typical fashion. It was a common opening for letters of this time, as it was also for Paul’s letters. There are three parts to the opening A) Identification of the author, B) Identification of the recipients, C) Greeting. Paul greets them appropriately in grace–God’s undeserved love–and in peace–God’s free gift through Jesus.
Paul then expresses his great desire to be with the Roman Christians. How he longed to share more with them about the gospel–the good news that Jesus Christ is Savior. That news of free and full forgiveness is a message that Paul was determined to share with all. He was not ashamed at all to share that great news with anyone and everyone. What a joy to know and to share that righteousness comes from God through faith and not through our works.
Paul continues in chapter one by showing the need for the gospel. All people in the world are sinners. All are and continue to act in a corrupt and sinful way. All deserve God’s wrath and punishment.
As a number of sins are mentioned here in this opening chapter, it should be noted that homosexuality is also mentioned. God is very clear in these words that homosexuality is indeed sinful and against his will. Gays and lesbians come up with all kinds of reasons to continue in their lifestyles: “I was born this way,” “It feels good,” “Times have changed,” “This is real love,” “God’s Word doesn’t apply any more,” and so on. Yet none of those reasons (or excuses) are valid. It is against God’s will. Even the “I was born this way” excuse is not valid. While that issue won’t be discussed here, even if a person were born that way, it doesn’t matter. All people are born sinful. Does that mean they should sin? If a person is born with a predisposition to hate (which we all are because we all are sinners), does that mean it is permissible to murder? It is not our opinions or thoughts or feelings that matter on such issues. God’s Word and his decrees are what matter. We must follow his commands and not our own desires. Read the rest of this entry