Thursday, April 25, 2013

April 25 - Romans 2

Today's reading in our daily plan is Romans 2. 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?)
  • In chapter one, Paul wrote about people who choose to live without God and it leading them to selfish and destructive behavior. The Jewish audience of this letter would have been nodding their heads in agreement. Then Paul throws a sucker punch at the beginning of chapter two by telling them that they are included. And not only do they live the same way, but they judge others who live the way they do. But passing judgment on someone else may make us feel better, but it does not absolve us of our own sin.
  • We also learn that God does not show favoritism. If we seek to do good, God will reward us. If we seek to do evil, God will punish us.
  • Teaching others about the law and what God desires does not make one right with God. God wants people to actually live out his teachings.
  • Circumcision back then was something Jewish people did as a sign that they were Jewish. But we learn here that being from the right lineage, or having parents who do a ceremony for you (like circumcision) when you are a child, is not what counts with God. God is looking for people who have truly given their hearts to him.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)
  • The book of Romans starts out on a very negative note, as we learn that no one can perfectly follow God's law perfectly, and that because God is righteous, he must judge those who do not follow the law perfectly. However, things are about to take a turn for the better in chapter three, so keep reading!
  • We may think that we are OK with God because we have Christians parents, or because we grew up in a place of faith, or because we go to church today. But what God is looking for, and what makes us right with him, is faith. We must truly give our hearts to God.
  • Christians will sometimes look down on people they consider more sinful, but it is only God's place to judge. And when we judge it makes God angry.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)
  • Where are you at with faith? Have you given your heart to God? What would it take to get you there, or to do that in a more full way?
  • Do you judge others for their sin? If so, know that the only sin we're to pay attention to and feel responsible for is our own. Deal with your sin, and don't worry about the sin of other people.