Welcome to Week 20 of the Higher Hope Church 2018 New Testament Reading Plan! If you haven’t already, go pick up your 5x5x5 Reading Plan and join our private Facebook group for daily interaction and discussion. This week we finished the Gospel of Matthew and started the Book of Romans!
Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. A violent earthquake happened and an angel of the Lord came down and rolled the stone away from the tomb. The guards were so terrified that they became like dead men. The angel told the women that Jesus had risen from the dead and is going ahead of them to Galilee. They should go tell the disciples. As they hurried away, Jesus appeared to them. The women fell at His feet and worshiped Him. He told them to not be afraid and to tell His brothers to go to Galilee and meet Him. The guards reported to the chief priests what happened. The chief priests and elders paid the guards a large sum of money to lie and say that the disciples stole Jesus away during the night while they were asleep. The disciples went to Galilee where they saw Jesus and worshiped Him; however some still doubted. Jesus gave them the Great Commission, telling them to make disciples of all nations. He says that He is always with them, til the end of the age.
Paul declares his faith, as a servant of Christ, called to be an apostle, and set apart for the gospel. He discusses his desire to come to Rome and then explains how the world is rebelling against God, who we can clearly see by only looking at His creation.
God’s judgment is based on truth and He is right to judge everyone. God will repay each person according to what they have done, evil or good. But God does not show favoritism. But the Jews will be just as guilty as the Gentiles because both are under the power of sin. A person must have a circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code.
The Jews were entrusted with the words of God. But even their unfaithfulness does not nullify God’s faithfulness. Our unrighteousness brings out God’s righteousness more clearly. No one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, it is through the law that we become conscious of our sin. The righteousness of God is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile as all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. And, yet, we are all justified freely by His grace through the redemption that came by Christ. A person is justified through faith apart from the works of the law.
Abraham was justified by faith and his righteousness was credited before he was circumcised. He received circumcision as a sign, a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. So he is the father of both the uncircumcised and the circumcised. It was not through the law that Abraham received the promise that he would be a father of nations; rather, it was through righteousness that comes by faith. Abraham did not waver in unbelief regarding the promise of God that he would bear a son, but he was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God.
Have a great week!