Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Romans, Day 2 Readings

Sin and Salvation & Baptism into Life  

Today's first reading explores how Jesus' faithful sacrifice is a more than complete antidote to human sinfulness.  If the problem of human sinfulness can be traced back to the first human who sinned -- Adam -- then the hope of human redemption (and life through that redemption) is what the sacrificial death of Jesus accomplished.  In fact, the gracious act of Christ is greater than than the sinful act of Adam because it is an undeserved gift from God for the godless and in this one act many sins can be redeemed.

Read Romans 5:1-21  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading argues that by becoming Christians we can experience Jesus' death and resurrection in regards to our sinfulness.  Here Paul uses lots of life and death imagery.  Ultimately, sin can only lead to destruction and death; however, Christ offers life -- in key ways, this is what Jesus' crucifixion and resurrection is all about.  Jesus unjustly dies a human death -- the consequence (for the rest of us) of our sinfulness; however, he was resurrected to life beyond that sin.  We too, in his name, can die to sin and have new life beyond the sins of this world.  In fact, Paul believes that this is the key meaning of our baptism and he uses the surface of the water to illustrate this.  The person being baptized goes into the water -- a sign of death -- and comes out of the water reborn.  After this moment, Christians no longer owe sin anything else and we can live entirely for things beyond this world.

Read Romans 6:1-23  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Romans 4-6 today.