Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Romans. .Week 3. .Fast Fact

Good morning!! Hope all is well with everyone. .
I had found an online bible study on the book of Romans that I started copy and pasting some of the interesting parts out of a few weeks ago. .
unfortunately. .I have lost the site. .
and am not sure how to get back there. .or even reference it for you. .
BUT. .
I wanted to include the study notes that I had copied from chapter 4 on justification. .
I know we studied that so much last month in Galatians. .
but this study guide emphasized some little details that I missed last month. .
that I think are important to remember to further the depth of our understanding. .
I colored the parts that I found most interesting in blue. .
The study notes address Romans 4:1-12. .
This chapter is a  "case study" in justification by faith.  Paul has emphasized that for both Jew and Gentile, there is only one way of salvation--by grace, through faith, not by works of the law.  Further, he has stated that circumcision has value only as an outward sign of an inward faith.   Paul now makes these doctrines concrete by applying them to one of the central characters in Judaism: Abraham, the father of the race.  If Paul can show that even Abraham was justified by faith, then his point is proven. 
v. 2 If . . . Abraham was justified by works . . . This was actually the view of many Jewish teachers of Paul’s day.  Abraham was regarded as someone who had kept the whole law perfectly, although the law was not given through Moses until hundreds of years later! (Gal. 3:17)
v. 3     Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness".  This is a quote from Gen. 15:6. The Jewish teachers of Paul’s day taught that Abraham’s faith was a work by which he earned righteousness.  But Paul rejects this.  Abraham’s righteousness was not earned or merited, but credited. 
vv. 4-5    Paul uses an everyday illustration to show that earning righteousness is incompatible with having it "credited". Someone who receives a paycheck for their work doesn’t regard those wages as a gift, but simply as what they have earned. So if what the Jews believed about Abraham were true, the Scriptures would say that Abraham "earned" righteousness. But instead, they say that it was credited to him.
          On the other hand, if a man does not work, but trusts God (as Abraham did), his faith is credited as righteousness.  Paul is not contrasting hard work with laziness, but faith with law-keeping.  Those who attempt to achieve righteousness through their own efforts will fail, while those who trust God for righteousness will receive it (Rom. 9:30-32).
vv. 6-8   Paul quotes Psalm 32:1-2, written by King David, to further support his argument. David’s sins are well documented (2 Sam. 11), so no one could claim that he had obeyed the law perfectly. In this Psalm  David speaks of God’s blessing coming not to the man who obeys the law, but to the man whose sins are forgiven, covered, and not counted against him.
vv. 9-12  The Jewish teachers of Paul’s day regarded circumcision as a saving act that guaranteed escape from God’s judgment. But Paul asks a simple question: was Abraham circumcised before or after he was declared righteous by God? The answer is that he was circumcised several years afterward (Gen. 15:6; 16:16; 17:1). In that case, reasons Paul, circumcision could not be the basis of Abraham’s righteousness!  It was not a saving work, but only a sign of the righteousness he already possessed through faith.
vv. 11-12   he is the father . . . This is Paul’s conclusion: Abraham is the spiritual "father" of all believers, both circumcised and uncircumcised.  Jewishness was always a matter of faith rather than circumcision (Rom. 2:28-29), so Abraham is the father of believing Jews.  But God declared him righteous prior to circumcision so that he might be the father of believing Gentiles as well.  
So. .for today’s fast fact. . 

Describe a Christmas tradition  that you remember as a child. .
and describe a favorite Christmas tradition that you have had during adulthood. .

One of the traditions that I remember from childhood. .
was baking peppernuts with our family. .
Peppernuts are little cookies that you have to buy the ingredients for, cause they are so weird that you likely don’t have them in your spice cabinet. .
I HATE peppernuts. .
there are a million other cookies I would rather eat. .
but there was just something about making them. .
as an assembly line of little kids. .
with the Perry Como Christmas record playing. .
and the silly dance moves that we made up to go along with it. .
that just can’t be erased from my memory!! I think my favorite tradition as an adult. .
is going to our little country church on a cold and dark Christmas eve. .
to listen to the Christmas story being read by a grandpa in a rocking chair. .
and singing Silent night in a century old church by candlelight. .
looking around at my brothers and sisters in Christ. .
reminded of the struggles each has been through in the last year. .
and how the glory of God just supersedes it all in that special moment as we celebrate the birth of our King!!  I also enjoy returning home to snack on a meal of junk food yummies. .
allowing the kids to open one gift. .
and then head back out to the car with mugs of hot chocolate to drive around town to see the Christmas lights! Christmas is a very magical and sentimental time of year. .
and I am so glad that. .
for the children of God. .
it means so much more than just the over-marketed commercialized holiday of a mythical Santa and tons of stuff we don’t need. .
it reminds us. .that we have a HOPE. .
an eternal hope. .
in the Savior, whose special and miraculous birth we remember and celebrate!!

I heard this song on the way home from work last night. .
and I thought it spoke so much about Romans 12 as Paul tells us to give our body as a LIVING sacrifice to God as our spiritual worship. .
Hope you have time to listen and read the lyrics this week. .
see what you think!! Lift my life up by Unspoken
Have a GREAT day!! Love Mel

1 comment:

  1. Christmas traditions…
    When I was growing up, my parents let us open one package on Christmas Eve. It was ALWAYS a pair of jammies that we wore that night. I couldn't sleep with the anticipation of the next day!

    With my own family… When Amy was in first grade someone in class told her about Santa not being real. She asked me when she got home, I confirmed the news. She wasn't upset at all. She hugged me, thanking me for all the wonderful gifts she thought Santa had given her. She made me promise to tell Brett the truth and Santa was no longer in our Christmas traditions. They (all 4 kids) played along with all their friends, they loved knowing the truth. It was so good to just focus on the Real Reason for Christmas. When the kids were young, they would ALL come get in bed with us giggling. We snuggled for a bit waiting for daddy would get up to make coffee, turn all the light on and give the okay.. my heart is full with those memories!
    Now Christmas Eve is magical for me too, the gathering with family and church family, singing Silent Night to candle light, coming home to eat things normally not on our food list, playing a game or watching our fav Christmas movie, Scott and I filling the stockings when everyone has gone to bed. Waking the family in the morning with the smell of cinnamon rolls and coffee….
    Christmas to a Christian is so much more than stuff (although I tend to get caught up in the hustle and bustle and gift giving far more than I should). This year, for some reason, remembering the Baby who came to save me from my stupidity has even more meaning… I am grateful for the Manger!