Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 60/260: Read Romans 8

Whose side are you on? If you are on God’s side, you’re on the winning side. It doesn’t matter what happens in this life, if you are with God, you will be victorious.

How does one choose to be on God’s side? We must align ourselves with Jesus, obey the gospel so that He will add us to His church. Those who are in Christ, walking according to the Spirit, will be justified, not condemned, when all is said and done. Isn’t that a great blessing?

Romans 8:28 reveals a great promise to God’s followers as well. “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.”

Does that say that everything will be good? No, but everything—good and bad—will work together for good. We will face troubles, we will be persecuted, we will struggle, but if we love God and are among the called, it will be all right. God is using your situation for good.

God will never stop loving you. Nothing can separate His children from His love. We have the freedom to leave Him at any time, but why would we? All of the blessings and promises available in Christ, it would be foolish to walk away. “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Romans 6:3. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Pray

Pray a prayer of thanksgiving for the love of God.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 59/260: Read Romans 7

For as long as I can remember, many religious folks have been upset about the removal of the Ten Commandments from schools and public buildings. Yet, we do not live under the Ten Commandments today.

When Christ died, His covenant went into effect. We now live under this new covenant, revealed by inspiration in what we call the New Testament. The Old Testament is useful to learn principles about how God deals with man, and how man can properly respond to God. But we are no longer under the Law of Moses now that Christ’s covenant has gone into effect.

It is true that nine of the ten commands have been repeated in Jesus’ new covenant. We obey those commands because Christ has commanded them, not Moses. To go back to the Law of Moses is to make Christ’s blood of no effect.

We live under a better covenant. We have a better Law, a better Lawgiver, and a better High Priest. Why should we desire to go back to the “handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us” when “He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross”? (Colossians 2:14)

Rather than fight and fuss about the Ten Commandments in schools, let’s teach and try to get Christ’s Law in more hearts.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Romans 6:3. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into _______________ Jesus were baptized into His _______________?

Pray

Pray that more will recognize the difference between the Old and New Testaments, and that Christ’s gospel will have an effect on more hearts.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 58/260: Read Romans 6

Have you obeyed the gospel of Christ? Those who have not obeyed will find themselves in a sorry state when the judgment comes (2 Thessalonians 1:6-8). If you don’t understand the question, stay with me. It’s eternally important.

The gospel (“good news”) is this: Christ died, was buried, and was raised again (1 Corinthians 15:1-4). How are we supposed to obey that? Romans 6 shows us!

Read Romans 6:3-4 again: “Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.”

In summary, the gospel is that Christ died, was buried, and was raised again. To obey the gospel, we must die to sin, be buried in the waters of baptism, and then be raised in the newness of life.

The question must be asked again: have you obeyed the gospel of Christ? Be honest in your evaluation of the Scriptures and how you have responded to God’s Word. The answer is of eternal importance.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Romans 6:3. Or do you not know that as many of us as were _______________ into Christ Jesus were _______________ into His death?

Pray

Pray for the humility to accept God’s Word as the final authority, recognizing your dependence upon Him for salvation.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 57/260: Read Romans 5

God should have known better. He should have known that His creation would turn their backs on Him and rebel. He should have known that they would reject Him and deny Him and hate Him. God should have known better.

Jesus should have known better. He should have known that, despite showing power over nature and using miracles to heal the sick, He would be reviled. Rejected. Despised. He should have known that His closest friends in the flesh would run away when times got tough. They would deny knowing Him. They would hand Him over to His enemies. His friends would watch His enemies torture Him and kill Him on a cross, a humiliating and excruciating death.

God should have known better. Jesus should have known better.

Here’s the thing: they did know.

“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

Despite our hatred, He loved us. Despite everything we had done and everything that we would do, He died for us.

God be praised for His love!

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Romans 6:3. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Pray

Pray for a greater love for God and a greater love for each other. Pray that you may demonstrate the love described by Jesus in Mark 12:30-31 in your life.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 56/260: Read Romans 4

A misunderstanding of this chapter has led to the false doctrine of salvation by “faith only.” Burt Coffman properly explained Romans 4:4 this way: “This verse is a simple statement of the truth that if one’s hope of salvation is based upon his having kept the law of Moses perfectly, then such a person could claim that God owed him salvation; and it would not by the virtue of God’s grace at all in such an event.”

To be sure, there is not a thing “only” that saves us. Not faith, not grace, not obedience. Many things, however, work together to bring about the salvation of man.

Man is saved by:

    → Belief (John 3:16)
    → Hope (Romans 8:24)
    → Grace (Ephesians 2:8)
    → Mercy (Titus 3:5)
    → The Word (James 1:21)
    → Obedience (Hebrews 5:9)
    → Baptism (1 Peter 3:21)
    → Faithfulness (Revelation 2:10)

Don’t be deceived by those who claim any one thing is all you need. Search the Scriptures and see how God ties everything together for your salvation.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Romans 6:3. Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Pray

Pray a prayer of praise for God’s saving power.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 55/260: Read Romans 3

“God said it, I believe it, and that settles it.” That’s a nice sentiment, but the middle phrase is unnecessary. If God says something, that settles it…whether I believe it or not.

“For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? Certainly not1 indeed, let God be true but every man a liar.”

God’s truth does not depend upon man’s belief. God is true even if every soul rejected Him.

The Bible is a big book, and one could spend a lifetime studying it without exhausting its treasures. “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16-17).

May we never tire of diving in to the depths of God’s Word. It will continually give us new heights for which to strive. It is the standard for every child of God to follow.

“He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him—the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day” (John 12:48).
God said it, and that settles it.

Memory (Recite to a friend without looking)

Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Pray

Pray for the wisdom to accept God’s revelation and the conviction to follow it. Pray for stronger faith.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 54/260: Read Romans 2

Hypocrisy is one of the most cited reasons for rejecting Christ. No one likes a hypocrite. A lot of people can talk the talk, but if they’re not also walking the walk, their influence is destroyed.

If you are going to teach against sinful practices (and you should—in love), then you must also avoid those same practices. When we fail in this, we dishonor God. Paul quotes from the prophets here, “For ‘the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,’ as it is written.”

Jesus Himself taught against hypocrisy. The Pharisees were very proud of their heritage and the knowledge of the Law of Moses, but they attempted to circumvent the Law in several ways, inventing loopholes and ignoring commands. They pronounced condemnation against others while committing more egregious sins themselves. They were not consistent in their application.

We should heed the words of James, who wrote, “But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (James 1:25).

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Romans 1:16. For I am not _______________ of the gospel of _______________, for it is the power of God to salvation for _______________ who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Pray

Pray for patience with your brethren who are weaker, and pray for patience with those who may be living hypocritically.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 53/260: Read Romans 1

When you are involved in the conversion of a soul for Christ, you feel good. You have helped someone escape the eternal fires of hell; you have led a lost sheep to Jesus. We must be careful, however, that we do not become so self-confident that we take credit that we do not deserve.

The power of God to salvation is not our eloquence. It is not the way we turn a phrase, or our skills of persuasion. The power of God to salvation is the gospel of Christ. Without the gospel, man is lost.

Christianity is not just a bunch of motivational speeches to make a person feel better about themselves. Rather, Christianity is a commitment to respond to God in faith for what He has done out of love.

Jesus Christ sacrificed Himself; He allowed Himself to be crucified; His blood covers our sin. The gospel tells us all of this, and how to respond to His love.
May we never forget it is God’s power, not our own, that saves men from sin.

Memory (Fill in the blanks)

Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the _______________ of Christ, for it is the _______________ of God to salvation for everyone who _______________, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Pray

Pray for humility, recognizing God’s greatness and our frailty in relation to Him.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 52/260: Read Acts 28

Wherever he was, Paul was fulfilling the Great Commission. He could not stop talking about God’s kingdom, and spent time with all he came in contact with, “persuading them concerning Jesus from both the Law of Moses and the Prophets.”

He was tireless in his teaching “from morning till evening.” He never gave up. Souls are lost without the gospel. When this life is over, we can rest. In the meantime we need to work, and we need to work hard.

Brother Otis Gatewood once wrote, “Did you ever try to rest when you were not tired? It is an impossibility. Heaven is described as a place of rest, and we will not enjoy it unless we are tired when we get there. Many are not going to be tired because they never ‘work’ for the Lord.”

Is it difficult to keep going when we do not immediately see the fruits of our labors? Paul did not want Christ’s disciples to be discouraged. He wrote, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9).

Don’t give up. Keep working for the Lord, keep spreading the seed of the Word, keep persuading others concerning Jesus.

Memory (Copy into a notebook 5-10 times)

Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Pray

Pray for strength in spite of weariness.

Read the New Testament in a year, one chapter a day, five days a week

Day 51/260: Read Acts 27

On many occasions, the Scriptures tell us of the disdain non-believers—especially among the Jews—had toward Paul. He was persecuted often, thrown into prison, and eventually lost his life due to his commitment to the Lord.

Yet, there are other instances in which a great deal of respect was shown to the apostle. We see in this chapter that Julius, a Roman centurion, “treated Paul kindly and gave him liberty to go to his friends and receive care.”

One who follows Christ does not have to do so at the expense of being kind to those outside the faith. We can disagree with non-Christians without being disagreeable. It was the apostle himself who wrote, “If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men” (Romans 12:18).

No, don’t compromise the truth. Do not condone sin. Do not give in to the temptation of rebelling against God with those around you. But be respectful toward them. Show them that Christians are not judgmental and negative toward life. Perhaps your joyful attitude could open the door to presenting the gospel to one who is currently without hope.

Memory (Read aloud 5-10 times)

Romans 1:16. For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Pray

Pray for the wisdom to look at the positive in adverse situations, and the proper attitude when relating to those who are unlike you.

But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized. (Acts 8:12)