Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 5”

Before we continue our series on Paul’s letters in Romans to Philemon, I want to announce that all my books are free today through Friday (10/21-10/25) on Amazon (ebook only) to celebrate my three year blogging anniversary. You can click on the links below to download the free ebooks.


Last week, we studied Romans 4 how Abraham was justified by faith. Through his example we learn that we are also justified by faith. This week, in Romans 5, Paul explains some of the benefits of being justified by faith.

One of the benefits is that we have peace with God.

“having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”

v. 1 (NASB)

Jesus said, “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid” (John 14:27, NIV).

No matter how unworthy we think we are, we should never be afraid to draw near to God. He will not turn us away.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 10:19-22 (NIV)

 

Another benefit of being justified by faith is God’s unmerited favor.

“through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand”

v. 2 (NASB)

Through faith in Jesus, we have been introduced to the grace of God. We not only have confidence to approach God, but we also have confidence to receive the same favor He bestowed upon Christ.

But the free gift is not like the transgression. For if by the transgression of the one the many died, much more did the grace of God and the gift by the grace of the one Man, Jesus Christ, abound to the many.

v. 15 (NASB)

 

Other benefits we receive through faith are joy and hope.

“and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance;  and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

v. 2-5 (NASB)

With the hope God has given us, we can have joy even in our trials and tribulations because we know He will use them and work them out for our benefit.

Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

James 1:2-4 (NIV)

 

Lastly, a wonderful benefit of being justified through faith in Christ is righteousness.

For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.

v. 17 (NASB)

We often forget that the faith we had when we received Christ is the same faith we need to continue trusting Him to work in our lives.

I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?

Galatians 3:2-3 (NIV)

One of Strong’s definitions for righteousness is: integrity, virtue, purity of life, rightness, correctness of thinking, feeling, and acting. As we walk with Christ by faith, the Holy Spirit can work His righteousness in us and transform us from the inside out.

Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?

Romans 6:16 (NASB)

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for loving us as You love Jesus. Your Word says those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. And the Spirit we have received does not make us slaves, so that we live in fear again; rather, the Spirit we received brought about our adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory (Romans 8:14-17). We receive by faith all that You have given us, all the benefits of being justified through Christ, Your Son.

In Jesus’ faithful name, we pray. Amen!

 

How did God speak to you through Romans 5? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others? 

 

*Come back next Monday as we study Romans 6. Use the share tabs below to invite others to join us in this study of Romans to Philemon. You can also subscribe below to receive email reminders of new posts. Have a blessed week receiving all the benefits of being justified by faith in Christ!


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Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 4”

We continue our study of Paul’s letters in Romans to Philemon. Follow this link to read any previous messages in this series. This week we are studying Romans 4.

As in the previous chapters, Paul talks about how we are justified before God and made righteous by faith, not by works of the law.  Paul explains how Abraham believed God and it was credited to him as righteousness.

How then was it credited? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised; and he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while uncircumcised, so that he might be the father of all who believe without being circumcised, that righteousness might be credited to them, and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also follow in the steps of the faith of our father Abraham which he had while uncircumcised.

v. 10-12 (NASB)

Abraham set an example for us to follow in his footsteps as he, against all hope, believed God was faithful to deliver what He promised him. Because he stood firm in faith, Abraham received what God promised and he became “a father of many nations” (v. 17).

Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead—since he was about a hundred years old—and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised.

v. 19-21 (NIV)

We can learn by Abraham’s example how to receive what God has promised us in His Word. First, we learn that Abraham didn’t deny the fact that he and Sarah were well past child bearing age. Walking in faith doesn’t mean we ignore the facts. Walking in faith means we trust that God can change the facts. 

…God, who gives life to the dead and calls into being that which does not exist.

v. 17 (NASB)

Second, we learn that Abraham didn’t allow himself to waver in unbelief. The Bible says, But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do” (James 1:6-8, NIV). Abraham was spiritually minded. He refused to entertain carnal thoughts of doubt.

Third, we learn that Abraham’s faith grew as he did not allow himself to doubt God. He was fully convinced that God had the power to do what He promised. To receive God’s promises we must be fully convinced in our minds that He will certainly deliver.

I once needed healing in an area. I read God’s promises on healing and believed it was His will for me to be healed, but I didn’t see any change.  One evening, when I was starting to lose hope, I cried out to Jesus and told Him if He was here on earth today I would come to Him and He would touch me and I would be healed. I told Him that His Word says He’s the same yesterday, today and forevermore. I cried out for Him to reach down and touch me so I would be healed. Later that night, I awoke from my sleep and noticed my husband was awake. My husband, not knowing what I prayed for, said that while I was asleep God spoke to him to tell me I was healed. Receiving that confirmation took away any doubt and convinced me in my mind that it was already given to me. Because God spoke that promise to me I was able to stand firm in faith and receive what He promised.

It’s not that we don’t have the faith to receive from God. The Bible says that God’s already given us a measure of faith (Romans 12:3). And all it takes is the faith of a tiny mustard seed to move mountains and do the impossible (Matthew 17:20). It’s that our minds need to be renewed and convinced of His will in order to see it come to pass in our lives.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 (NIV)

 

Heavenly Father,

We praise You that no matter how many promises You have made, they are “Yes” in Christ (2 Corinthians 1:20).  We want to receive all that You have for us. Help us to renew our minds in Your Word and cast down any doubt, so that we can be fully convinced that You have the power to deliver what You have promised us.

In Jesus’ faithful name, we pray. Amen!

 

How did God speak to you through Romans 4? Is there anything He revealed that you would like to share with others? 

 

*Come back next Monday as we study Romans 5. Use the share tabs below to invite others to join us in this study of Romans to Philemon. You can also subscribe below to receive email reminders of new posts. Have a blessed week renewing your mind in God’s Word!

 

 

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Monday’s Blog: Paul Series “Romans 1”

I am starting a new series today. I invite you to join me in studying Paul’s letters in Romans to Philemon. This series will run every Monday. We will study one chapter a week. If you would like to follow along with this series, read the chapter listed for the week and then share whatever God taught you through that chapter in the comment section below. We can minister to one another, as God may teach each of us something different through the chapters.

This week, we start out by reading Romans chapter 1.

The first half of the chapter talks about the benefits of faith and how the gospel of Christ is exalted through faith.

In verses 1-17, I learned that:

  • Faith is obedience (v. 5).

 We often think we have to do everything right to be obedient. But the Bible says, “know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ (Galatians 2:16).

  • Faith is noticeable and spreads to others (v. 8).

When we believe God is who He says He is, and believe He will do what He says He will do, His power is unleashed in us: his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come” (Ephesians 1:19-21).

  • Faith builds and encourages us, and those around us (v. 12).

When I am in faith I am filled with God’s Holy Spirit and lifted up. “But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit” (Jude 1:20). When I start to lose hope, and God leads me to someone in the faith who is filled with the Holy Spirit, they encourage me and build up my faith. “Barnabas was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and strong in faith. And many people were brought to the Lord” (Acts 11:24).

  • Faith leads to righteous living (v. 17).

James 2:18-19 says, “Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” Faith does not just believe God exists. Faith trusts God as Lord of our lives. When we submit our lives over to God He fills us with His righteousness and our actions begin to change.

 

The second half of Romans 1 talks about the consequences of unbelief, and how it hinders the gospel and leads to unrighteous living.

In verses 18-32, I learned that:

  • Unbelief suppresses the truth God has placed within us (v. 18).

God has clearly made Himself known to all of us. There is no excuse for us not to believe Him (v. 19-20).

  • Unbelief darkens our hearts (v. 21).

Even though we know God, we don’t acknowledge and worship Him as Lord and our Creator. Instead we acknowledge and worship the things that have been created. When we start to worship things of this world over God, our hearts begin to harden to the truth and we become blinded by Satan’s deception. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God” (2 Corinthians 4:4).

  • Unbelief does not please God (v. 28).

When we deny God, He gives us over to our depraved mind (v. 28). The Bible says, “The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God” (Romans 8:6-8).

  • Unbelief separates us from God and His righteous, and leaves us in our unrighteousness (v. 29-32). 

We need God’s righteousness to do what is right. When we reject Him we are “filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; [they are] gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:29-32, NASB)

 

So to summarize Romans 1, when we put our faith in Christ, the power of God is released in us and displayed through us. When we persist in unbelief, we hinder His power to change us and impact the world for Christ.

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for this study of Paul’s letters. Thank you for teaching us in Romans 1 about faith and unbelief. Help us to continually put our faith in You and make You Lord of our lives. Fill us with Your righteousness so that we are empowered to do what is right. In Jesus’ faithful name we pray, Amen! 

 

How did God speak to you through Romans 1? Is there anything He revealed to you that you would like to share with others? 

 

*Come back next Monday as we talk about what we learned in Romans 2. Use the share tabs below to invite others to join us in this study of Romans to Philemon. You can also subscribe below to receive email reminders of new posts. Have a blessed week walking in faith!

 

 

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Monday’s Blog: God’s Promises Still Stand

I met a woman recently at my homeschool co-op class. Her name is Amanda also. I found out that she also writes blogs. For several weeks we’ve been sharing our stories and personal struggles with each other. She’s been going through a lot of hardship since her and her family stepped out and followed God’s will. Last week, she shared that she’s been fearful of looking back at the Scripture verses God first led her to before the arduous journey her family has been on the past few years. She explained that she’s been avoiding those chapters lately out of fear of disappointment.

As she shared her story with me, I realized that we were struggling with the same fear. When I surrendered my will over to God’s, and started following His plan, God spoke His will to me through two specific chapters in the Bible. For the first year or so, I would read the verses frequently with great expectation and hope. But as time went on, and troubles arose, I started losing hope as God’s plan appeared to be forgotten. I’ve avoided those verses out of the same fear Amanda had. I couldn’t face the disappointment that they hadn’t come to pass.

As I was talking to Amanda, I suddenly realized why God brought us together at that exact moment. I expressed to her, “Maybe God brought us here to tell us that those promises He spoke to us individually still stand.” Since then we’ve prayerfully re-read our verses and God has individually confirmed to us that His promises for us do indeed still stand.

For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn.

Romans 11:29, NLT

I love how God goes through great measures to remind His children that His promises are true. He never takes back His Word. If God promises us something, He will deliver. We must not give up and lose faith when we don’t see His promises come to pass in the time frame we expect.

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for.

By faith Abraham, even though he was past age—and Sarah herself was barren—was enabled to become a father because he considered him faithful who had made the promise.

Hebrews 11:1-2, 11

If you are waiting for a promise to come to pass, God is speaking this message to you too. His promises for you still stand. Don’t be afraid to look back at those promises. Psalm 119:148 says, “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may meditate on your promises.” Continue meditating on God’s promises, and keep the faith that they will come to pass at just the right time.

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. You will increase my honor and comfort me once again. I will praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praise to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy when I sing praise to you—I, whom you have redeemed.

Psalm 71:20-23

 

*I want to thank my friend, Amanda, for giving me permission to share this message. You can read her inspiring messages on her blog: I’m Still Clay


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