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2016.Sep.
29 Thu
 
The Gospel Message
[ Romans 10:1 - 10:13 ]
 
1. Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved.
2. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge.
3. Since they did not know the righteousness that comes from God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness.
4. Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.
5. Moses describes in this way the righteousness that is by the law: "The man who does these things will live by them."
6. But the righteousness that is by faith says: "Do not say in your heart, 'Who will ascend into heaven?'" (that is, to bring Christ down)
7. "or 'Who will descend into the deep?'" (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead).
8. But what does it say? "The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart," that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming:
9. That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.
10. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved.
11. As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame."
12. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile--the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him,
13. for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
 

Reflection
Self-Righteousness (10:1–7)
Gods heart is for the Israelites, His chosen people, to be saved. Paul shares throughout his letter to the Romans that God desires for all people, both Jews and Gentiles, to come to Him for the forgiveness of sins. The purpose of the Law, therefore, is to reveal our need for a Savior. As performance-driven people, however, our acceptance of the unconditional love of God is often thwarted by our search for self-righteousness, which overpowers our desire for a Savior. For some, this pressure to be perfect weighs them down with a heaviness of condemnation, pushing them towards the grave. For others, a false sense of accomplishment inflates them with pride and a lofty sense of self-sufficiency. But our focus should not be on our own failures or successes—it should be on Christ, the only one who can save us.

Christs Righteousness (10:8–13)
It is not by penance or performance that we obtain forgiveness for our sins. Through confession and acceptance of the payment and victory of Jesus on the cross, we partake in the fullness of Christs righteousness. Exchanging condemnation for forgiveness, laying down pride for unconditional acceptance, we receive freedom from shame and realize the power of humility. Mighty men and women of God are shaped through their weaknesses. Indeed, a denial of these weaknesses will only lead us astray. Regardless of ones origin, accomplishments, or identity, salvation is the leveling ground that brings us together under one title: redeemed. When sinners look to Christ, God is faithful to reconcile us to Himself.

Application
- Who is at the center of your thoughts? How can you shift your focus from yourself to the work of Christ?

- Do you lean towards self-sufficient pride or self-condemnation? Both are deviations from the Gospel. However, you can get back on course by meditating upon Gods grace and fixing your eyes on Christ.

A Letter to
God
Jesus, my righteous acts are but filthy rags. You paid the price for my sins and rose victoriously from the dead. I trust in You alone for salvation. Release me from shame and remove pride from my heart. Create in me a clean heart, lovingly devoted to You. In Jesus name. Amen.
 
 
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