Category: Daily Devotionals

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:1-11

Romans 8:3 “For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do.  By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh.”

We could never keep the law to its required perfection.  That was one of the purposes of God’s giving us His law, but the righteousness needed by keeping His law to perfection is necessary to stand before a just and holy God.  That truly is the dilemma for fallen man.  God, however, because He is merciful and loving and full of grace, did the work in us that we could never do so that we could come to Him in heaven, and He did this work by sending His very own Son to die for us.  He sent Jesus, who became particularly like us in the flesh, but who did so in perfection.  Then He sacrificed that sinless flesh for our sinful ones.  He certainly wouldn’t have done that for nothing.  No, He did so for us, to accomplish for us what we could not accomplish.  That is the love of our Lord and Savior for us, His people.

Study/Meditation:  Why is it so important that you remember that God wouldn’t have sent Jesus for nothing, or even for some arbitrary purpose?  How does this affect your love and devotion to Him?

*Father, You are holy and just and You require holiness and perfection.  Thank You for giving me what I could not earn or possess in Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:1-11

Romans 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.”

Paul tells us in verse 1 to contemplate our justification.  We are now free from condemnation because we are in Christ Jesus.  But he goes on in the next verse to answer the question, “How can I remain assured of this justification in the midst of the sin I commit every day, sin that remains even though my desire is to emulate my Savior?”  The answer is sanctification.  Just as we must contemplate and know that we are justified, we must also contemplate and know that it is the work of the Holy Spirit in us that has saved us.  Paul doesn’t want us to take confidence because of what we’ve done or what our circumstances are or what we are doing; he wants us to take confidence because of what God has done and continues to do in our lives. “The law of the Spirit of life has set us free.”  This is where our hope and confidence lie.

Study/Meditation:  Paul speaks more of this confidence in Ephesians 1:18-20.  Read that passage and expound more on why you should have this confidence.

*Father, thank You for the Spirit of life that has set me free from the law of sin and death.  Help me each day to be confident in You and not in myself.  Amen

Focal Passage:  Romans 8:1-11

Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Once we stand on the threshold of our sin, just as Paul did and Peter did and Isaiah did, it is extraordinarily difficult not to feel condemned.  After all, we look in the mirror every day and we know our sin.  Even more than that, since we have the Holy Spirit living actively in our hearts, we also know that God knows our sin.  How can we not be condemned and how can we live in that knowledge?  The answer is simply Jesus Christ.  The truth is that we have sin, we do sin, and we will sin.  Our hearts have changed and we don’t want to sin, but the battle wages on in this flesh while we wait for our Bridegroom to return.  Christ’s saving blood is the only thing that removes the condemnation that sin deserves and only in Him do we have the assurance that Paul has in this passage.  Only then can we cry with him:  “O wretched man that I am!” and then say, “There is no condemnation because I am in Christ!”  Amen!

Study/Meditation:  What is the difference between knowing your sin and guilt and feeling incorrect condemnation for those sins?  How can you remember your sin but feel no condemnation?

*Father, thank You that I stand before You clothed with the righteousness of Christ, enabling me to stand before You without condemnation.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 7:7-25

Romans 7:24-25 “Wretched man that I am!  Who will deliver me from this body of death?  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!  So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”

When brought to full knowledge of his state of sin, Paul can scream nothing but his own wretchedness, much like Peter did in front of Jesus (Luke 5:8) and Isaiah did in front of the angel (Isaiah 6:5).  These are not dramatic representations of mankind, nor are they done simply for effect.  These men see who they are in the presence of the holy and majestic Father and realize that they can present nothing before Him in and of themselves except evil.  In the face of God’s great love, mercy, grace, holiness, righteousness, and justice, anything we have to bring to the table is more than nothing—it is evil.  But, just as Paul’s reaction turns to thanksgiving, so must ours in the face of all that our Savior has done for us.  Only in Him do we attain the righteousness needed to stand before our Father.  Let us recognize our depleted states without Christ but sing in glorious thanksgiving the gift of grace we’ve been given with Him.

Study/Meditation:  Look at the two accounts of Isaiah and Peter in Isaiah 6:1-6 and Luke 5:4-11.  What happens to these two men that puts them face to face with their own sinful states?  How do you think you would respond if Jesus were standing right in front of you?

*Father, I give you praise and honor and thanksgiving for all You’ve given me, but most especially for giving me salvation and righteousness through Your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 7:7-25

Romans 7:21-23 “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand.  For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.”

The war that wages in all of us as believers to live sanctified lives in the midst of our fallen flesh is a war that is fought in the mind.  Sin begins there, but so does the law, so does our knowledge of Jesus Christ.  The Spirit has revealed Himself to us in the law, and we then desire desperately to be obedient to it.  However, our minds are also the playground for every sinful thought and deed, giving inception to those things first before we play them out in our actions.  In a sense, as Paul phrases it, we are held captive in these depraved states and the battle is continuous.  This is helpful as we live, just as it was for Paul, for two reasons:  We recognize the unavoidability of this battle now, but we lean on the knowledge that it will be won in Christ when He returns and takes us home.  We do battle now, accepting occasional defeat so that we may wage war again all the while hanging onto the promise that one day we will be glorified.  Hallelujah!

Study/Meditation:  How does Paul reiterate this glorious truth in Philippians 3:17-21?  On what do you place your hope?

*Father, thank You that I only wage this war against my flesh for a short time.  Thank You for promising me eternity where the battle is won.  Amen.

Focal Passage:  Romans 7:7-25

Romans 7:20 “Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.”

Oh, what a great a glorious proclamation the Apostle Paul is making here!  Only now, once we have accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as our Savior, can we say that we are new creatures.  Only now, now that the Holy Spirit has taken up residency in our hearts, can we exclaim with the rest of God’s regenerated children that it is the sin that dwells in us that disobeys God, not the justified child of the Most High.  Paul says “Now,” or in other words, “Now that I am justified by the blood of the Lamb…”  Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross gives us new identities, identities that may say, “I may disobey in my flesh, but Jesus has given me His righteousness and in that I am redeemed.”  Oh, what a Savior!

Study/Meditation:  How can you correlate what Paul is writing here to the Roman Christians with what he wrote to the Corinthians in 2 Corinthians 5:17?

*Father, thank You for making me new in Your Son, Jesus Christ!  Amen.