Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives. The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version. At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture. To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.
Questions & Observations
Q. (Romans 2:5-11): Back in the Old Testament, I felt like all the prophecies were talking solely to the Israelites, which I think they were. But, here, I feel like Paul is staring me in the eye and telling me this prophecy. As to what this Scripture addresses: I feel that I’m doing some of what God wants, I just never know if it’s enough. There are definite areas I can work on. One is my dependence on God — emotionally, financially, socially. I still see my weaknesses, but when I let God take over, they are no longer weaknesses. My strength — when I ask for it — comes from God.
A. You’ve got the right idea. What Paul is really doing here is making a very long-winded case that we just can’t make it on our own. We all sin, and fall short of the standard, even the Gentiles who were unaware of the formal standard given to the Jews. Paul wants to tell everyone, Jew, Gentile, us today, that we are lost without the work of God in Jesus Christ. In the end, it is faith in God, and seeking His help, that is the foundation of our relationship with Him.
Q. (2:12-16): Why would the Gentiles be destroyed if they didn’t know anything about God’s written law? I like v. 15. It is similar to a thought I had this morning about sin. My sin indicator is not written down, it’s in my heart (soul). When something feels good in my head — showing off a bit, eating chocolate, complaining, gossiping (which I don’t do anymore, chocolate is my vice) — it doesn’t feel good in my heart. That is my conscience, which I say is the Holy Spirit guiding me.
A. Paul is saying that your “sin indicator” is universal, everyone has one, even if it has grown “dull” over time. That is why he can say that Gentiles will be destroyed for their sins.
O. (3:5-8): Talk about spinning the truth to fit someone’s needs.
Q. (4:1-25): I enjoy hearing about Abraham again … about how he was faithful and that was what made him righteous, and God, in turn, gives him salvation. I like how he is used as an example that obeying the law does not win God’s love and/or earn salvation. Circumcision, something that lots of folks get hung up on whether or not to have their boys circumcised, no longer signifies if you are set apart as God’s chosen. Faith alone does that.
A. Glad Paul’s writings can help clear that up. There is a reason that this book has been instrumental in bringing people to God through Christ for centuries. It has a very powerful message.