Grace, Not Race (Romans 9.6-13)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  Jews are God’s Chosen People. In Deuteronomy 7.6, Moses said to Israel: “The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.” But during the first century, most of God’s Chosen People refused to choose Christ. Was God’s choice of them a failure?  Romans 9.6-13 continues Paul’s reflection on his fellow Jews’ refusal to choose Christ, a reflection beginning at 9.1 and ending at 11.36. He quickly puts to rest the notion that God’s choice was a failure: “It is … Continue reading Grace, Not Race (Romans 9.6-13)

Cause for Tears, Call to Action (Romans 9.1-5)

Listen to The Daily Word online.  Like most men, I’m not much of a crier. I only remember crying under three circumstances: an irritation in my eye, extreme pain, and the breakup of my engagement. I dripped a tear or two for the irritation and pain, but I spewed tears like a fire hose over my breakup. Relational pain is the worst kind.  In Romans 9.1-5, Paul expresses his pain over the breakup of Israel’s relationship with God:  I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit—I have great sorrow and unceasing … Continue reading Cause for Tears, Call to Action (Romans 9.1-5)

Introduction to Romans 9-11

Romans 9-11 is one of the most difficult passages to interpret in Paul’s letters, if not the entire Bible. And yet, it plays a key role in Paul’s argument in Romans. Today, I’d like to talk about both why it’s difficult and why it’s important.  There are several reasons why Romans 9-11 is a difficult passage to interpret.  First, the social situation in Paul’s day was different than ours. Today, we distinguish Judaism and Christianity as two separate religions. In Paul’s day, however, the distinction was not clear. Jesus, the apostles, the first Christians, and Paul himself were Jews. And … Continue reading Introduction to Romans 9-11

Unconditional, Inseparable Love (Romans 8.35-39)

I've been thinking a lot about weddings lately, probably because I've been to three in the past three weeks. When I marry a couple, I lead them in reciting vows of unconditional love to one another. I begin with the groom, who says to his bride: In the Name of God, I take you to be my wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow. Afterward, the bride says … Continue reading Unconditional, Inseparable Love (Romans 8.35-39)

Interceding for Us (Romans 8.34)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– Have you ever wondered what Christ has been up to the last 2000 years? Romans 8.34 provides an answer: â..Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who diedâ..more than that, who was raised to lifeâ at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.â. Consider the question: Who is he that condemns? Our sins should condemn us in the eyes of God. According to Romans 3.23, â..all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.â. And according to Romans 6.23, â..the wages of sin is death.â. But condemnation … Continue reading Interceding for Us (Romans 8.34)

Free to Go (Romans 8.33)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– Several years ago, I had an unforgettable run-in with law enforcement. I was driving with my best friend down Pacific Coast Highway when a patrol car hit its siren and lights and signaled me to pull over. The officers approached my car, indicated that they suspected us of driving with open alcohol containers, ordered us to sit on the curb, and searched our car. Youâ..ll never guess what they found. To fully appreciate this story, you need to understand that I was a fairly new teenage driver who had been reared in a … Continue reading Free to Go (Romans 8.33)

Graciously Given All Things (Romans 8.32)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– In Romans 8.32, the Apostle Paul asks a very good question: â..He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us allâ will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?â. Letâ..s walk backward through this verse, from the beginning to the end. The phrase â..all thingsâ. translates the Greek word pas. According to my Greek dictionary, pas means â..each, every (pl. all); every kind of; all, full, absolute, greatest.â. Now â..all thingsâ. includes a lot of things that are undesirable: asthma, bursitis, and cancer, for … Continue reading Graciously Given All Things (Romans 8.32)

God Is for Us (Romans 8.31)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– In Romans 8.31-39, Paul asks five questions whose answers express the heart of Christian faith. Here are the five questions: If God is for us, who can be against us? (verse 31) He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us allâ will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? (verse 32) Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? (verse 33) Who is he that condemns? (verse 34) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? (verse 35) Letâ..s … Continue reading God Is for Us (Romans 8.31)

The Good Work of God (Romans 8.28-30)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– Have you ever heard Ronald Reaganâ..s favorite joke? It goes something like this: The parents of identical twin boys were concerned that their sons had such extremely different personalities. One was a die-hard pessimist, the other an undying optimist. So, they took the boys to a psychologist. The psychologist put the pessimistic twin in a room filled with brand new toys, but the boy didnâ..t touch any of them. Instead, he cried. When the psychologist asked him why he didnâ..t play with the toys, the boy said, â..Because Iâ..m afraid Iâ..ll break them.â. … Continue reading The Good Work of God (Romans 8.28-30)

The Intercession of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8.26-27)

Listen to The Daily Word online. —– In Romans 8.18-30, Paul outlines a theology of Christian optimism. The first pillar of this theology is the salvation of creation. The second is the redemption of our bodies. And the third is the intercession of the Holy Spirit. Hereâ..s what Paul writes about the Spirit in Romans 8.26-27: In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of … Continue reading The Intercession of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8.26-27)