Monday, March 22, 2010

Bible in 90 Days - Day 80

Today's reading schedule covered Romans 1 through 14. Romans is only 16 chapters so I decided to read the entire book. It took me exactly one hour, and that included a five minute stop where I discussed the idea of stumbling blocks vs. love with my husband. I think I've reached a better understanding of that topic but I will wait to see if the rest of the New Testament has anything further to say.

When I started reading, I immediately found a text that is a wonderful promise.

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith

Romans 1:16-17.

Where is the righteousness of God revealed? Not in works. Not in our actions, much as we love to believe that our good works will earn us entrance to heaven. The righteousness of God is revealed in the gospel of Christ. Amen!

I also came across another of my favorite promises:

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together

Romans 8:15-17.

There are so many promises and assurances in these three verses. My favorite is the word "Abba." In the Aramaic, this word literally means "my father." This is the term Christ used as He was praying in Gethsemane.

And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt
Mark 14:36.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on the Whole Bible says this about the word Abba: "It denotes an affectionate endearing importunity, and a believing stress laid upon the relation. Little children, begging of their parents, can say little but Father, Father, and that is rhetoric enough."

There are two terms used in both Romans 8:15 and Mark 14:36, "Abba" and "Father." Abba is Aramaic for "my Father," which is what the Jews call God the Father. "Father" is actually the Greek word "pater." Why are there two different words for God the Father in one verse? Matthew Henry writes that "it also denotes that the adoption is common both to Jews and Gentiles: the Jews call him Abba in their language, the Greeks may call him patēr in their language; for in Christ Jesus there is neither Greek nor Jew."

And in Romans, we are given the ability to call God the Father by the same term that Christ used. Even though I am struggle with sin, I can have a very close relationship with Abba. That's amazing!

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