Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Romans, Day 3 Readings

Christian Living & God's Covenant with Israel  

Today's first reading presents the practical choice that Christians face in how they live day-to-day.  Paul describes this as a choice between living in the flesh or living in the spirit; that is, one can fall back into the life of humans who are faithless and work against God's wishes (flesh) or one can live a new life unhindered by sin (spirit).  After baptism (where Christians receive the Holy Spirit) the can live according to God's promises of life through Jesus Christ.  [Given this, Paul isn't necessarily describing a disembodied experience for Christians, but rather a Spirit-filled experience.]

Read Romans 8:1-17  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading explores the theological dilemma of God's covenant with Israel for Christians.  After all, the Jews had long been God's chosen people, but Paul invited non-Jews to receive God's promises as well.  From his study of Jewish scripture, Paul believed that anyone who was faithful to God could be counted as a descendant of Abraham and thus part of the chosen people.  For Jews who argued that they biological lineage was the basis of God's favor for them, Paul points out that God's favor rests on those who are true to the promises God made to Abraham; far too many Jews had turned away from God, rejecting the covenant (and thus its benefits).  In fact, Paul suggests that this Jewish rejection of God has encouraged God to allow non-Jews to enter into the covenant through faith.

Read Romans 9:1-33  (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 7-9 today.