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Bible Pathways - Nov. 20, 2008


November 20

Romans 4

Highlights In Today's Reading:

Abraham used as illustration of justification by faith (4:1-25). Notable verses (5:8,12). Results of sanctification (5:1-11). Universal death by one man . . . Adam . . . free gift (of eternal life) . . . by one Man Jesus Christ our Lord (5:12-21). Union with Jesus in death. Struggles of old and new nature (7:1-25).

The more we understand the various aspects of the death of Christ, the richer our experience will be of its power. Some believers are conscious of Christ's death on the cross for their sins but they pass over what it means that the body of sin might be destroyed (6:6) in their lives as well as a source of 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 has power over him, and that he must occasionally obey it. But he thinks this because he does not know that he, in Christ, is dead to sin. It was sin that caused Jesus the suffering of the cross and the humiliation of the grave. But the Christian is now dead to sin; it has lost all rightful claim over him. He is entirely and forever freed from its power. Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness. . . . so now yield your members servants to righteouness 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 God's Word that: “Henceforth we should not serve sin." Every Christian should be Christlike at all times and recognize the exceeding greatness of God's power. For He is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20). Yield yourself to be in conformity to Christ's death.

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 Peter 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 (Philippians 3:10) and the power with which His life now works in those who are willing, when the opportunities come, to forsake self-satisfaction to help others.

Discover 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 (Ephesians 1:19-20).

Thought for Today:

God sees to it that temptation is never more than we can handle. When we are tempted, He makes a way to escape (I Corinthians 10:13).

Word Studies:

4:8 will not impute sin =b> no longer regards as a sinner; 7:8 concupiscence =b> evil desires or 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 International Shortwave Broadcasts in honor of Bonnie Wilhite •Bible Pathway Accountant: Joe Sarsfield • Government Officials: Sen. Joseph Biden, Jr. (DE), Gov. Matt Blunt (MO), Sen. Robert Byrd (WV), Rep. Thelma Drake (VA), and Rep. James McGovern (MA) • Country: Nicaragua (5 million) in Central America • Major languages: Spanish and English • Limited religious freedom • 95% Roman Catholic; 5% Protestant • Prayer Suggestion: Cry out to God daily for mercy (Psa. 86:3).

Memory Verse for the Week: 1 Peter 5:7

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