November 20

Read Romans 4

In Today's Reading:

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

The more we understand the intense 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 henceforth 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 unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof (6:11-12). This does not mean that we no longer sin but that God enables us to overcome sin!

Let not sin therefore reign in (control) your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts (evil desires) thereof. . . . but yield yourselves unto 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 ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (6:16). But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, ye have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (Romans 6:22).

Word Studies:

4:8 will not impute sin = no longer regards as a sinner; 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:

Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Joseph Biden, Jr. (DE), Gov. Matt Blunt (MO), Sen. Robert Byrd (WV), and Rep. James McGovern (MA) · Country: Vatican City (900) in Rome, Italy · Major languages: Italian and Latin · Religious freedom · Approximately 100% Roman Catholic · Prayer Suggestion: Declare the wondrous works of God with thanksgiving (Psalm 26:6-7).

Memory Verse for the Week: James 2:17