Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“1 What advantage, then, is there in being a Jew, or what value is there in circumcision? 2 Much in every way! First of all, the Jews have been entrusted with the very words of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Will their unfaithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness? 4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every human being a liar. As it is written: ‘So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge.’ 5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing His wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.) 6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?”
In verse 5, the objector speaks up again and in essence says, “If that’s the case, why does God condemn us? If our unrighteousness causes the righteousness of God to shine more gloriously, how can God bring His wrath?”
Paul made clear at this point that he was using a human argument; he wanted his readers to know that he was using a secular argument.
Paul’s response to this objection was to say that such an argument was unworthy of serious consideration. If there were any possibility of God being unrighteous, then how could He be fit to judge the world? It is clear that the Scriptures teach that God will judge the world. Genesis 18:25 says, “Will not the Judge of all the earth do right?” Paul was driving home the point that if this argument were true, then God could never then judge anyone since in His providence He turns all sin into the praise of His name. This is ludicrous.
We hear this kind of argument today in a different form. It goes something like this: I hear what you’re saying, but I’m going to live my life the way I want to; there are things I want to do right now. When I’m older, when I’ve sowed my oats, then I’ll turn my life over to God; but for now, I’m just fine doing what I’m doing. I recently had a person who was close to me say this was exactly how they were thinking. Somehow, in their mind, they had convinced themselves that this was a good idea. Thankfully, they snapped back to reality before they did anything stupid!
In essence, this person is saying, “I’ll live for me, and then I’ll live for God; and, in the end, that will bring more glory to God.” To this I echo Paul’s words “Certainly not!”
Truth is, we are finite; we think too highly of ourselves. So many things can derail us; I’m thinking right now about how microscopic bacteria can stop us dead in our tracks. The things I control are so limited, I don’t even know what will happen to me when I’m done writing this devotion; I’m guaranteed nothing. Yet, I live as though I’m in control of everything. When I stop and think about it, it’s just complete foolishness.
This foolish way of thinking should never be true for the believer. Proverb’s 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
If we’re going to be truly wise, then it begins by revering God, trusting Him, and obeying Him. Think about this for a moment: What could be more illogical for us to do than for us to reject God’s Word and to live by our own hunches? It’s foolish. The wise thing for us to do is to repent of our sins, trust Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, and then live for Him wholeheartedly and devotedly.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians.