Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 2

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  We started with Mark, and now are reading Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.
 
The book of Romans is a different genre of biblical writing.  Mark is one of four Gospels, books that specifically tell the narrative of the life of Jesus Christ.  Romans, however, is a letter and is more theological in nature.  This means that, rather than introducing you to Jesus the person, it is seeking to explain the mission of Jesus and the impact of His life; what it means to believe in Him.
 
Romans one of the longest letters that Paul wrote and is, essentially, a summary of the plan of salvation.  It’s structure, which is commonly referred to as “sin, salvation, sanctification” or  “guilt, grace, gratitude,” has become the precedent for many contemporary writings and the general presentation of the Gospel as well.  The book covers the need for a Savior (chapters 1-3), the impact of The Savior (chapters 4-11), and the call of the Savior to a renewed life (chapters 12-16).

 Read Romans 2

Questions for Reflection:
1. Paul points out, very directly, that we have no excuse for sin and that no one is exempt from sin.  How does Paul’s treatment of sin in chapters 1 & 2 differ from the way we talk about sin in the Christian community today?  Do you think that these differences are beneficial or detrimental to us?  Why?
2. The Jews relied heavily on their heritage, their location, circumcision, and the fact that they had the Law as their reason and position as “the people of God.”  Paul challenges this in Romans 2.  What things in our lives do we rely on (other than faith) that we think makes us a “good Christian”?  How do you think Paul would respond to those things?
3. There is a warning embedded in these verses (17-24), about those who would teach others about faith, but not observe the life of faith themselves.  What does this say to us as followers of Christ who are called to be disciples that make disciples?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that the Holy Spirit will work in each of our lives to convict us of the sin that is present within us and work to bring about freedom from it.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would boldly proclaim the love and grace of God in Jesus Christ and speak the truth of the presence and impact of sin in our lives and in the community without being judgmental or condemning.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that the message of God’s love would be received and that Jesus Christ, the light of the world, would be seen through the darkness!
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

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