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.
“13 It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith.”
What does the law demand? Obedience and performance. If the law was violated, wrath resulted.
The law was not a system of grace and promise. God’s promise to Abraham and his offspring came through the righteousness that comes by faith.
The promise Paul had in mind was in Genesis 15:5 where God brought Abram outside and said, “Look up at the sky and count the stars if you think you can count them.” He continued, “This is how many children you will have (CEB).” God didn’t tell Abram he’d fulfill this promise if Abram did x,y, and z; He simply said what He was going to do. It was a promise without any conditions or requirements attached. Abraham simply believed God and he was credited righteousness.
Paul said earlier in Romans that works and circumcision both had nothing to do with Abraham’s justification. He showed us that the promise was made to Abraham some thirteen years earlier. So, if both of these had nothing to do with his righteousness, how could the law which was given some 430 years later? The answer is simple; it didn’t. The law had nothing to do with the promise; the promise was not conditional on adherence to some legal code.
Paul spoke to this in Gal. 3:17 when he said, “I’m saying this: the Law, which came four hundred thirty years later, doesn’t invalidate the agreement that was previously validated by God so that it cancels the promise (CEB).” No, what God made was an unconditional promise of grace, to be received by faith—the same kind of faith by which we obtain God’s righteousness today.
Think back to the time you placed your trust in Christ–when God spoke to you about placing your faith in Him.
For Abraham, it was an evening as he gazed into the night sky. For me, it was in a hospital delivery room at the birth of my daughter Kaili. God spoke clearly to Patty and me that day. “Jim and Patty, who are you going to live for…the world or Me?” That was the question God asked us. The answer from both of us was “We’re going to live for you.” That was it, and for 27 years we’ve walked faithfully with Him. It hasn’t been perfect, but the direction of our lives has been pointed towards Him. As I think about friends and their stories of faith, I’m amazed at how clearly God has spoken to people in the everyday moments of life.
He continues to speak to us in that still, small voice, but sometimes the hustle and bustle of the day can keep us from hearing Him. Sometimes it means that we need to slow down—be still—quiet our souls and just listen. What is He saying to you today?
*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; NIV Application Study Bible.