November 20

Read Romans 4 -- 7

In Today's Reading:

Salvation, righteousness through Jesus Christ; sin through Adam; Christians under grace, not Law; baptism explained

The more we understand the horrible suffering and death of Jesus and the glory and power of His resurrection, the more we will desire to walk in newness of life, daily manifesting the life of Christ. Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of His death, we shall be also in the likeness of His resurrection: Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that hereafter we should not serve sin (Romans 6:4-6).

To commit ourselves only to the likeness of His death, to bearing the cross, and to self-denial, would produce a very dismal view of following Christ. It is the glorious indwelling power of His physical resurrection that not only frees us from sin's control but also daily encourages and strengthens us to walk in newness of life. Followers of Christ accept the fact that sin is no longer to be our master and that we are dead indeed to sin. . . . Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof (6:11-12). This does not mean we no longer sin, but that we are enabled to overcome sin!

Let not sin therefore reign (control) in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts (evil desires) thereof. . . . but yield yourselves to God, as those that are alive from the dead (6:12-13). Our old natural man is still capable of yielding to the sinful desires of the flesh. But, Christ has made it possible for us to experience the reality of being more than conquerors through Him (8:37).

Jesus' life in us makes the difference: Know you not, that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin to death, or of obedience to righteousness? (6:16). But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end everlasting life (Romans 6:22).

Word Studies:

4:8 will not impute sin = does not hold sin against him; impute = credit, count; 7:8 concupiscence = evil desires of lust; covetousness.

Cross References:

For Romans 4:3: See Genesis 15:6. Romans 4:7-8: See Psalm 32:1-2. Romans 4:17: See Genesis 17:5. Romans 4:18: See Genesis 15:5. Romans 7:7: See Exodus 20:17; Deuteronomy 5:21.

Prayer Needs:

BP Staff: Pam Pendergrast · Pray for Susie Wiley and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WYAM-AM, Decatur AL · Government Officials: Sen. Joseph Biden, Jr. (DE), Sen. Robert Byrd (WV), and Rep. James McGovern (MA) · Country: Costa Rica (4 million) in Central America · Major languages: Spanish and English · Religious freedom is increasing · 90% Roman Catholic; 6% Protestant · Prayer Suggestion: Pray for national leaders and their families (Ezra 6:10).

Memory Verse for the Week: Galatians 5:23