Month: September 2022

September 23, 2022

Prayer

Our church is continuing our current devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer and study through Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans on Tuesdays through Thursdays. As we memorize our hymn of the month together, we pray the sentiments expressed in the hymn “And Can It Be” and the gospel truths will shine brighter in our hearts and in our lives.


“He must set his heart to conquer by prayer, and that will mean that he must first conquer his own flesh, for it is the flesh that hinders prayer always.”

A.W. Tozer

Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


Hymn of September

And Can It Be

Verse 1

And can it be that I should gain

An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(Chorus)

Amazing love! How can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

Verse 2

He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;

O praise my God, it reaches me.

Verse 3

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Verse 4

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine;

Bold I approach th’eternal throne

And claim the crown,

Through Christ, my own.

Words by Charles Wesley, 1738;

Music by Thomas Campbell

September 22, 2022

Romans 5:12-21

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 5 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 5:12-21 (ESV)

12 Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned— 13 for sin indeed was in the world before the law was given, but sin is not counted where there is no law. 14 Yet death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam, who was a type of the one who was to come.

15 But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. 16 And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification. 17 For if, because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ.

18 Therefore, as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men. 19 For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. 20 Now the law came in to increase the trespass, but where sin increased, grace abounded all the more, 21 so that, as sin reigned in death, grace also might reign through righteousness leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Reflection Questions

Romans 5:12-19

  • What truths can I learn from this passage about the source of life and righteousness?
  • What more can I do to take “abundance of grace” to those who have not yet received it?

Romans 5:20-21

  • How has the fact that “where sin increased, grace abounded all the more” been demonstrated to be true in my life?
  • Are there sins that I have been reluctant to confess before God because of the fear that God’s grace cannot overcome them?

Prayer


September 21, 2022

Romans 5:6-11

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 5 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 5:6-11 (ESV)

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Reflection Questions

Romans 5:6-11

  • In what ways was I an enemy of God?
  • Reflect on the fact that “while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son.” 
  • Spend some time “rejoicing in God through our Lord Jesus Christ” as you consider God’s love shown for us through the cross.

Prayer


September 20, 2022

Romans 5 Commentary


ROMANS 1 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 2 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 3 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 4 COMMENTARY

ROMANS 5 COMMENTARY

vv.3-4 “Not only do we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God, but we also rejoice in our sufferings (cf. Jas 1:2–4).  The believers’ joy is not simply something they hope to experience in the future but a present reality even in times of trials and distress. Their joy is not a stoic determination to make the best out of a bad situation. Christian suffering is a source of joy because its purpose is to build character in the believer. Paul argued that suffering produces steadfastness, and steadfastness results in ‘strength of character.’ The Greek term in v.4 for ‘character’ denotes that which has been proven by trial.  The NEB translates ‘endurance brings proof that we have stood the test.’ Thus it is the experience of coming through a time of testing that produces hope. Our confidence in God’s ability and willingness to bring us through difficult times leads to an ever-brighter hope for that which lies beyond. Hope is not superficial optimism but the confident assurance of that which will surely come to pass. It distinguishes those who have kept the faith in times of severe testing.”[1]

v.8  “The fact that Jesus Christ died for us is the final proof of God’s love. It would be difficult enough to get a man to die for a just man; it might be possible for a man to be persuaded to die for some great and good principle; a man might have the greater love that would make him lay down his life for his friend. But the wonder of Jesus Christ is that he died for us when we are sinners and in a state of hostility to God. Love can go no further than that.”[2]

vv.12-17  “Beginning at v.12 we enter Paul’s extended contrast between Adam (the first man) and the results of his sin and Jesus Christ (the ‘second man’) and the gracious provisions of his atoning life and death.  The contrast runs through v.19. These two figures illustrate the central theme of the specifically theological portion of Paul’s letter. Adam typifies the sinful condition of all humans (1:18–3:20). Jesus stands for the justification received by faith (3:21–5:11). Redemption is the story of two men. The first man disobeyed God and led the entire human race in the wrong direction.  The second man obeyed God and provides justification for all who will turn to him in faith. No matter how devastating the sin of the first, the redemptive work of the second reverses the consequences of that sin and restores people to the favor of God. Only by grasping the seriousness of the first is one able to appreciate the remarkable magnanimity of the second.”[3]

vv.18-19 “Just as the one sin of Adam brought condemnation, so also did the one righteous act of Christ bring justification.  Just as condemnation spread to all, so also is the divine acquittal offered to all. Paul did not intend to imply that the result of Christ’s atoning work automatically provided justification for all regardless of their willingness to accept it. Universal salvation is not taught in this text.  Context indicates that Paul was comparing the fate of those who are in Adam (the position of all by virtue of their birth into the human race) and the blessings of those who are in Christ (the position of all who have responded in faith).  Paul’s final contrast was between the disobedience of Adam and the obedience of Christ (v.19). By the disobedience of the first man the entire race was constituted sinners. But by the obedience of the second man ‘the many will be made righteous.’ As in v.15 we are to understand ‘the many’ in terms of all who are in Adam (everyone who is born into the human family) and all who are in Christ (everyone who has been born into the family of God by faith in Christ). The righteousness of which Paul spoke is a right standing before God (cf. 2 Cor 5:21). It is imputed by God as a result of faith. Righteousness as conduct (sanctification) is dealt with in chaps. 6–8. Growth in holiness is the proof that righteousness by faith has in fact been imputed. By definition, life is growth. Where there is no growth, there is no life.”[4]


[1] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (135). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[2] The Letter to the Romans. 2000, c1975 (W. Barclay, lecturer in the University of Glasgow, Ed.). The Daily study Bible series, Rev.ed. (Ro 5:12). Philadelphia: The Westminster Press.

[3] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (139). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

[4] Mounce, R. H. (2001, c1995). Vol. 27: Romans (electronic ed.). Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (145). Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers.

September 20, 2022

Romans 5:1-5

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 5 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 5:1-5 (ESV)

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

Reflection Questions

Romans 5:1-2

  • How does being justified by faith lead to having “peace with God” that no merit-based system could provide?
  • Reflect on the fact that I have “obtained access by faith into this grace.”

Romans 5:3-5

  • What is the progression that turns suffering into hope?  How does this happen?
  • Are there circumstances in my life that I can turn into an opportunity for character-building and hope?

Prayer


September 19, 2022

Prayer

Our church is continuing our current devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer and study through Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans on Tuesdays through Thursdays. As we memorize our hymn of the month together, we pray the sentiments expressed in the hymn “And Can It Be” and the gospel truths will shine brighter in our hearts and in our lives.


“When we don’t pray, we quit the fight. Prayer keeps the Christian’s armor bright. And Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”

William Cowper

Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


Hymn of September

And Can It Be

Verse 1

And can it be that I should gain

An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(Chorus)

Amazing love! How can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

Verse 2

He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;

O praise my God, it reaches me.

Verse 3

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Verse 4

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine;

Bold I approach th’eternal throne

And claim the crown,

Through Christ, my own.

Words by Charles Wesley, 1738;

Music by Thomas Campbell

September 16, 2022

Prayer

Our church is continuing our current devotional format, to devote Mondays and Fridays to prayer and study through Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans on Tuesdays through Thursdays. As we memorize our hymn of the month together, we pray the sentiments expressed in the hymn “And Can It Be” and the gospel truths will shine brighter in our hearts and in our lives.


“Prayer – secret, fervent, believing prayer – lies at the root of all personal godliness.”

William Carey

Prayer of Gratitude

Prayer of Supplication


Hymn of September

And Can It Be

Verse 1

And can it be that I should gain

An int’rest in the Savior’s blood?

Died He for me, who caused His pain?

For me, who Him to death pursued?

Amazing love! how can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me?

(Chorus)

Amazing love! How can it be

That Thou, my God, should die for me!

Verse 2

He left His Father’s throne above,

So free, so infinite His grace;

Emptied Himself of all but love,

And bled for Adam’s helpless race.

‘Tis mercy all, immense and free;

O praise my God, it reaches me.

Verse 3

Long my imprisoned spirit lay

Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;

Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,

I woke, the dungeon flamed with light;

My chains fell off, my heart was free;

I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

Verse 4

No condemnation now I dread;

Jesus and all in Him is mine!

Alive in Him, my living Head,

And clothed in righteousness divine;

Bold I approach th’eternal throne

And claim the crown,

Through Christ, my own.

Words by Charles Wesley, 1738;

Music by Thomas Campbell

September 15, 2022

Romans 4:16-25

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Bible Text: Romans 4:16-25 (ESV)

16 That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, 17 as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 18 In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” 19 He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. 20 No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, 21 fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. 22 That is why his faith was “counted to him as righteousness.” 23 But the words “it was counted to him” were not written for his sake alone, 24 but for ours also. It will be counted to us who believe in him who raised from the dead Jesus our Lord, 25 who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification.

Reflection Questions

Romans 4:17

  • In light of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, how has God “call[ed] into existence the things that do not exist” in my life?  What am I really?  Yet what does God declare me as?

Romans 4:18-21

  • How does this passage show that Abraham’s faith was not merely foolish optimism?  Reflect on the words “he considered his own body, which was as good as dead,” “no unbelief made him waver,” “he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God,” and “fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”  Are there some situations in my life that I need to apply these words to?

Romans 4:23-25

  • Reflect on the amazing fact that the righteousness that was “counted” to Abraham can also be counted to me today.  Are there obstacles in my life preventing me from taking God at His word and believing Him  (e.g., fears, past failures, etc.)?

Prayer


September 14, 2022

Romans 4:9-15

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Bible Text: Romans 4:9-15 (ESV)

9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

13 For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. 15 For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.

Reflection Questions

Romans 4:9-15

  • Why is it significant that Abraham was counted as righteous before he was circumcised? Why might this be shocking for the Jewish readers of this letter to read?
  • According to this passage, who can call Abraham their father and also be counted righteous as he was? Reviewing Abraham’s life, what does it look like to walk in his footsteps of faith?

Prayer


September 13, 2022

Romans 4:1-8

Journal

Please use one of the prompts below to get your journaling started.

  • Explore your fears and what’s behind them.
  • Write about a relational conflict you are experiencing.
  • List out all that you are grateful for.
  • Recall a significant reaction, conversation or event.

Romans 1 Commentary

Romans 2 Commentary

Romans 3 Commentary

Romans 4 Commentary

Bible Text: Romans 4:1-8 (ESV)

1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:

7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,

    and whose sins are covered;

8   blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”

Reflection Questions

Romans 4:1-3

  • Reflect on the fact that “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” (Gen. 15:6).  What can I learn about the nature of God’s relationship with me from this?
  • Are there ways in which I am still trying to be “justified by works” before God?

Romans 4:6-8

  • Note how David defines blessing. How much am I in agreement with this view of blessing?

Prayer


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