Romans

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The Greater Act

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Adam’s sin brought universal death – exactly opposite the result he expected and Satan had promised:  “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).  Christ’s sacrifice brought salvation to those who believe.  Unlike Adam’s act, Christ’s act has – and will – accomplish exactly what He intended, spiritual life.  Christ’s one act of redemption was immeasurably greater than Adam’s one act of condemnation.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 5:15, 17.

Without Excuse

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God holds all men responsible for their refusal to acknowledge what He has shown them of Himself in His creation.  The creation delivers a clear, unmistakable message about God’s person.  The Creator, who made all that we see around us and constantly sustains it, must be a being of awesome power.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 1:20.

Safely to shore

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This does not mean God has abrogated His moral law (Romans 3:31, Matthew 5:17-19).  The law is good, holy, and righteous (Romans 7:12, 1 Timothy 1:8), but it cannot be kept, so it curses.  Since it cannot assist anyone to keep God’s moral standard (Romans 7:7-11), it can only show the standard and thus rebuke and condemn those who fail to keep it.  But the believer is no longer under the law as a condition of acceptance with God – an impossible condition to meet and one designed only to show man his sinfulness (Galatians 3:10-13) – but under grace, which enables him to truly fulfill the law’s righteous requirements (Romans 7:6; 8:3,4).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 6:14.

Through One Man

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Adam’s sin brought universal death – exactly opposite the result he expected and Satan had promised: “You will be like God” (Genesis 3:5).  Christ’s sacrifice brought salvation to those who believe Him.  Unlike Adam’s act, Christ’s act has – and will – accomplish exactly what He intended (Philippians 1:6), i.e., spiritual life (Ephesians 2:5).

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Romans 5:17.

Causes of rebellion

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~Romans 6:12-14~

In God’s eyes, anyone who sins is rebellious, and Scripture tells us we’re all guilty (Romans 3:23).  Now, it makes sense that an unbeliever would choose to act apart from biblical teaching.  But what about those of us who have committed to follow Christ – what would cause us to stray from the will of our heavenly Father?

There are two powerful human tendencies that lead to disobedience: doubt and pride.  Both can be dangerously misleading.

  1.  Doubt is a mental struggle over whether or not to believe God’s promises.  From our limited perspective, we cannot understand how the Lord works.  Sometimes His way does not feel like the right path, so in order to obey, we must step out in faith.  Then it can feel as though we are jumping off a cliff and trusting God’s invisible rope to hold us.  If we listen to our doubt, we will surely transgress.
  2. Pride is the sin that caused Satan to fall from heaven, and it is a deceptive obstacle for believers as well.  Pride has to do with thinking that our way is best, putting more faith in our ability than God’s promises, and desiring praise.  Anything we do out of pride is rebellion against the Lord.

Whatever the cause, sin never leads to the Lord’s best for our life.  God’s way is the only road resulting in fulfillment and peace.

The enemy wants to lure us with doubt and pride – both feel right and are easily justifiable from our human perspective.  But believers should follow Joshua’s wisdom instead:  “Choose for yourselves today whom you will serve…but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:15).

Commentary from Charles Stanley’s In Touch devotional, November 21, 2017.