Read Romans 1 -- 3
In Today's Reading:
Paul's desire to visit the Christians in Rome; both Jews and Gentiles under condemnation; righteousness through faith
Satan and all unbelievers will be cast into the eternal lake of fire (Revelation 20:10,13,15). However, the wrath of God is . . . against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth. . . . God has showed it to them. . . . so that they are without excuse . . . when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God, neither were thankful . . . their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man. . . . Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonor their own bodies between themselves (Romans 1:18-27).
Three times we read that God gave them up to their degrading passions (1:24,26,28). There are some who view sex as no more than a physical appetite to be satisfied. But, Christ has said: The fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers . . . shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire (Revelation 21:8). Sex is a gift from God which can only bring lasting satisfaction and fulfillment within the marriage relationship of one man with one woman. There is no victory over sexual perversion until it is seen for what it really is, not as sickness or as an alternative lifestyle, but as sin.
In most of the world there is a disturbing and growing ignorance of the Bible, the only Book which reveals sin for what it is — rebellion against God. He alone has the right to set the standard for righteousness.
There is also a growing neglect of the Church and a tendency to use the Lord's day and His tithe for self-centered pleasures. Doing so usually leads to excuses for sin that remove any sense of guilt.
The Good News is that, now we are delivered from the Law, that being dead wherein we were held; that we should serve in newness of (the) Spirit, and not in the oldness of the letter (Romans 7:6).
1:13 let hitherto = prevented; 1:21 vain = morally misguided, empty, worthless; 1:29 debate = strife; malignity = malice; whisperers = gossipers; 2:22 commit sacrilege = petty theft; 3:2 oracles = the Scriptures; 3:25 propitiation = satisfaction, appeasement, atoning sacrifice, Mercy Seat; remission = passing over, suspension of judgment, or withholding of punishment.
For Romans 1:17: See Hab. 2:4. Romans 2:24: See Isaiah 52:5. Romans 3:4: See Psalm 51:4. Romans 3:10: See Psalm 14:1. Romans 3:11: See Psalm 14:2. Romans 3:12: See Psalm 14:3. Romans 3:13: See Psalm 5:9; 140:3 Romans 3:14: See Psalm 10:7. Romans 3:15: See Isaiah 59:7. Romans 3:16-17: See Isaiah 59:7-8. Romans 3:18: See Psalm 36:1.
BP Staff: Rita Guerra · Pray for Youth With A Mission and North American Director Peter Iliyn · Government Officials: Rep. Gary Ackerman (NY), Rep. Jo Bonner (AL), Sen. Tom Harkin (IA), Gov. Jim Hodges (SC), Rep. Lamar Smith (TX), and Sec. Tommy Thompson (Department of Health and Human Services) · Country: Congo, Republic of the (2 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: French and Lingala · Limited religious freedom, but government hostility has lessened · 41% Roman Catholic; 20% fetishism and belief in ancestral spirits; 17% Protestant; 9% cults · Prayer Suggestion: Intercede in prayer for others, knowing that God hears your prayer (II Chronicles 30:18-20).
Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:23