Scripture reading for February 16th: Romans 6
Key Scriptures: Romans 6:11-14 “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.”
Paul was explaining the reality behind the sacrament of water baptism. In water baptism, the one being baptized is plunged under the water identifying with Jesus’ death and burial. The old carnal man has died with Jesus on the cross and was buried with Jesus. But as Jesus Christ did not stay in the grave, but was resurrected on the third day, so the baptismal candidate comes up out of the water a new man, out of death’s reach and freed from the grip of sin. Grace abounds through repentance and submission to Jesus Christ. But we still have a responsibility to choose daily to offer our bodies and its members to Christ as redeemed from death and alive in Him. Sin now has no dominion over us as a slave-master. We are dead to sin and no longer under law either. Grace is our new master through faith in Jesus!
Faith confession and prayer: Lord Jesus, I thank You that you have told me to declare my old man as dead and buried. I was baptized in obedience and trust in my resurrection to a new life and eternal life with You. Help me each day to count my members dead to sin and alive to You for worship and service.
Jeremiah 31:33-34 “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put My law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be My people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity and their sins I will remember no more.”
Scripture reading for August 23rd: 1st Corinthians 15:1-28
The Gospel message is the power of God for salvation. Paul clearly stated this powerful Gospel in just a few words: “By this Gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: That Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, the He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. . “ (1st Corinthians 15:2-4)
In order to be saved, we must believe the Gospel. Paul’s simple explanation of the Gospel reveals to us the essentials of what makes up the ‘good news’. We must hold firmly to all aspects of this Gospel. The first essential is that Christ died for our sins. Jesus Christ is the Son of God. He could die for our sins because He, Himself, never sinned by breaking God’s laws. His life wasn’t taken by the force or power of men in authority. He willingly gave up His life for the purpose taking the penalty for man’s sins as their substitute.
Christ actually died. His body was a human body and He suffered willingly the brutal death of Roman crucifixion. He was scourged by Roman soldiers, carried His cross until another helped Him, and then was bodily nailed to that cross. It was there, on the cross, that Jesus gave up His life. His last words were “It is finished.” (John 19:30) One of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ body and heart with a spear to make sure He was dead. Blood and water came out. (John 19:33-35) Jesus’ body was placed in a borrowed tomb that had never been used. (John 19:40-42) His body was wrapped in grave clothes and covered with about 75 pounds of spices. A stone was rolled over the mouth of the tomb.
Jesus rose again from the dead on the third day! Eyewitnesses saw the empty tomb! Mary Magdalene, Peter, and John saw the tomb and grave clothes neatly folded. (John 20:3-7) Paul states that five hundred people at once saw Jesus alive. The apostles saw and touched His body and Paul, himself, saw Jesus alive! Because He lives, we can live too! Christ rose from the dead and we will also be raised when the end comes and Jesus returns! (1st Corinthians 15:20-24) Praise the Lord!