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.
Before reading our passage today, take a moment to stop and think about what we’ve talked about and discussed throughout the week. Think about what God, through the Holy Spirit, has been saying to you.
Now read our passage and ask the Spirit to speak to you. Today we’ll read from the Phillip’s New Testament in Modern English (paraphrase).
“The truth is that no condemnation now hangs over the head of those who are ‘in’ Christ Jesus. For the new spiritual principle of life ‘in’ Christ Jesus lifts me out of the old vicious circle of sin and death. The Law never succeeded in producing righteousness — the failure was always the weakness of human nature. But God has met this by sending His own Son to live in sinful human nature like ours. And, while Christ was dealing with sin, God condemned that sinful nature. Therefore we are able to meet the Law’s requirements, for we are living no longer by the dictates of our sinful nature, but in obedience to the promptings of the Spirit. The carnal man sees no further than carnal things. But the spiritual man is concerned with the things of the spirit. The former attitude means, bluntly, death: the latter means life and inward peace. And this is only to be expected, for the carnal attitude is inevitably opposed to the purpose of God, and neither can nor will follow His Law. Men who hold this attitude cannot possibly please God. But you are not carnal but spiritual if the Spirit of God finds a home within you. You cannot, indeed, be a Christian at all unless you have something of His Spirit in you. Now if Christ does live within you His presence means that your sinful nature is dead, but your spirit becomes alive because of the righteousness He brings with Him. Once the Spirit of Him who raised Christ Jesus from the dead lives within you He will, by that same Spirit, bring to your whole being, yes even your mortal bodies, new strength and vitality. For He now lives in you. So then, my brothers, you can see that we owe no duty to our sensual nature, or to live life on the level of the instincts. Indeed that way of living leads to certain spiritual death. But if on the other hand you cut the nerve of your instinctive actions by obeying the Spirit, you will live.”
Understand / Apply:
*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 out 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. The Cambridge Bible Commentary, Romans, Best, Ernest.