Wednesday, April 24, 2013

April 24 - Romans 1

Today's reading in our daily plan is Romans 1. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)
  • Romans was written by Paul. We just learned a lot about Paul in our study of Acts. In Romans  Paul is writing to people he had not met. (As opposed to the other letters Paul wrote that we have as "books" in the Bible). That makes this book less personal. It also led Paul to take a long time to explain the gospel (the good news about Jesus) and what it means to live for Jesus.
  • Verse 17 is kind of a summary statement: "Righteousness" (being made right with God) comes not from living a "good enough" or perfect life, but from faith in Jesus.
  • Paul explains the "depravity" of man -- that people have turned away from God (which God gives us the free will to choose, as verse 24 tells us, "God gave them over in their sinful desires of their heart" - see verse 25) and turned to worshipping "idols" (anything we worship and put our ultimate trust in other than God) and to sin (with Paul providing a list of sins people engage in from verse 26 through 31).

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The general path humans take is to turn away from the one true God and towards sin and making something else god. This path is self-destructive, and we don't want to take it.
  • Romans 1 talks about God's wrath against sin. We see throughout the Bible (and talk about at Verve a lot) that God is love. But God hates sin. In fact, God's hatred of sin is loving. Sin destroys the lives and relationships of the people God loves, and if he didn't hate the presence of sin in our lives, that would not be very loving.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • What path are you on? What is it that you're looking to for your ultimate satisfaction and fulfillment? Whatever it is, that is what you worship. So is it God? Or a person? Or money? Or your job? Or physical fitness? Decide today to make God the god of your life, and to look to and worship him alone.
  • What sin is in your life? In turning away from God, what sins have you turned to? Decide today to turn away from that sin and back to God. Ask God to help you, and consider confiding in a trusted friend who can support you.