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Bible Pathways 11/20/2002

November 20

Read Romans 4 -- 7

In Today’s Reading:

Faith and righteousness through Jesus Christ; sin through Adam; salvation through Christ; freedom from the power of sin; Christians under grace, not Law; conflict of the flesh with the spiritual nature.

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 henceforth we should not serve sin (Romans 6:4-6).

To commit ourselves to only the likeness of His death, of bearing the cross, and of self-denial, would produce a 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 strengthens us to walk in newness of life. As children of God, we are responsible to reckon . . . ourselves to be dead indeed to sin (6:11). We are to accept the fact that sin is no longer to be our master, and that we are dead indeed to the old life of sin. This does not mean we no longer sin, but that we are enabled to overcome sin!

Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in the lusts thereof. . . . But yield yourselves to God, as those who are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God

(6:12-13). Our old "natural" man is still capable of yielding to the sinful desires of the flesh, but all sin is rebellion against God and His Word and cannot result in satisfaction. Christians should live according to His Word that sin shall not have dominion over you (6:2,14).

We may not triumph over Satan in every situation, but Jesus already has. As we desire the sincere milk of the Word, that we may grow. . . . The Word of God (becomes) powerful (in our lives) (I Peter 2:2; Hebrews 4:12).

The Kingdom of God is . . . righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). His life in us makes the difference: Do you not know that to whom you yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (6:16). The decision is wholly ours; and, by it, we determine our destiny. Now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life (6:22). However, to enjoy this growing precious relationship with Christ, we need to bring into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ (II Corinthians 10:5).

Thought for Today: Christ has made it possible for us to experience the reality of being more than conquerors (Romans 8:37).

Word Studies:

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

Cross References:

For Romans 4:3: See Gen. 15:6. Rom. 4:7-8: See Psa. 32:1-2. Rom. 4:17: See Gen. 17:5. Rom. 4:18: See Gen. 15:5. Rom. 7:7: See Ex. 20:17.

Prayer Needs:

Government Officials: Sen. Joseph Biden, Jr. (DE), Sen. Robert Byrd (WV), and Rep. James McGovern (MA) · Pray for your church · Country: Denmark (5 million) in northern Europe · Major languages: Danish and Faroese · Religious freedom · 92% Protestant; 1% Muslim; .5% Roman Catholic; .5% cults; .1% Jewish · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to give you discernment and an understanding heart (I Kings 3:9).

Memory Verse for the Week: II Corinthians 12:10

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