Read Romans 4
Before we “do right,” we have to “be right” with the Lord (Rom. 4:16-25). Faith brings joy (5:1-2). Jesus transforms us from enemies to family and friends, from death to life (5:10,17). With sin's power broken (6:1-14), we are free to obey God (6:15-23).The battle between the flesh and the spirit (7:7-25).
The more we understand the various aspects of the death of Christ, the richer our experience will be of its power. Although believers are conscious of Christ's death on the cross for their sins, some pass over what it means that the body of sin might be destroyed (Rom. 6:6) in their lives. And some fail to recognize that His death also represents His life passing from them to help heal someone else.
The Christian who does not understand this always imagines that sin is too strong for him, that sin still has power over him, and that he can't help but obey it. It was the sins of mankind that caused Jesus the suffering and humiliation of the cross and resulted in His death. But in Christ, the Christian is now dead to sin; it has lost all rightful claim over him. He is entirely and forever freed from submitting to its power. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. . . . so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness (6:18-19).
The new life in the believer is the life of Christ triumphant over death (6:4). Believers, as new creatures in Christ Jesus, can say: "Like Christ, we are dead to sin.” We believe the Word of God that: Henceforth we should not serve sin (6:6). Every Christian should be Christlike at all times and should recognize the exceeding greatness of the power of God. For He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Eph. 3:20).
However, to speak only of bearing the cross and of self-denial gives a one-sided view of following Christ. It is the power of His resurrection that gives us strength to face the trials of our faith (I Pet. 1:7). To some Christians who are unfamiliar with the Bible, their Christian experience is weak and they do not know Christ in the power of His resurrection (Phil. 3:10). His life now works with power in those who are willing, when the opportunities come, to forsake self-satisfaction to help others.
May the eyes of (our) understanding be enlightened to realize what is the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of His mighty power, Which He wrought in Christ, when He raised Him from the dead, and set Him at His own right hand in the heavenly places (Eph. 1:18-20).
Thought for Today:
Now unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy . . . be glory (Jude 1:24-25).
For Rom. 4:3: See Gen. 15:6. Rom. 4:7-8: See Ps. 32:1-2. Rom. 4:17: See Gen. 17:5. Rom. 4:18: See Gen. 15:5. Rom. 7:7: See Ex. 20:17; Deut. 5:21.
4:8 will not impute sin no longer regards as a sinner; 7:8 concupiscence, evil desires or lust; covetousness.
Pray for International Broadcasts in memory of Audrey Hash • Government Official: Vice-President Joseph Biden, Jr. • Country: Gabon (1 million) in west-central Africa • Major language: French • Religious freedom • 66% Roman Catholic; 30% Protestant; 3% animism and ancestor worship • Prayer Suggestion: Seek the Lord in prayer, turn from your sinful ways, and God will have mercy and pardon for you (Is. 55:6-7).
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 6:14