While The Mom was excited & busy for the Christmas Family Party last night, she found it so much easier not to be the one who was organizing it! And she did a pretty good job of not dipping in to the candy, too much.
Time for some Romans notes. We’re on chapter 10; chapters 1 to 8 are about God’s righteousness, and chapter 9 is the retelling of the Covenantal story.
Remember that Paul is agonizing for his fellow Jews, and stressing that they should not be abandoned now that the Gospel is being brought to the Gentiles. They are zealous, but their zeal is based on faulty knowledge–this Paul can really relate to, since that’s exactly what he was like, before Jesus appeared to him. And contrary to what you may think, the problem was not that they were following the Law in order to earn their salvation–no, they followed it because of salvation (the Exodus, to be exact). Their problem was in their ethnic boasting. They felt that since God had given the Law to them, they were better than the other nations… Messiah was to come to them, etc. They should have known better, because even Moses told them that the Messiah would be for ALL the nations. (Think of the promise to Abraham: that “through you, all the nations of the world shall be blessed”.)
In Romans 10:9, we have the foundation of the Christian faith, which involves simply two things: 1) Jesus is Lord; 2) God has raised Him from the dead. The resurrection proves that God has the power to take something ungodly and make it godly; to take something dead and make it alive. And if you truly believe these things, God’s Holy Spirit has worked in you to believe it. The next verse (Romans 10:10): you believe with your heart, and confirm your belief with “confession” (meaning, saying it with your mouth).
Today’s hint: Sure, God knew that there was going to be a glorious ending to the story, but have you ever had to watch your child through pain and suffering?