Lent Reading Challenge: Romans 6

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 somewhat of 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 6

Questions for Reflection:
1. Paul discussion on our union with Christ in both His death and resurrection is one of the key images that we see in baptism as well.  Particularly in adult baptism, when a person is submerged the going under signifies dying and the coming up signifies rising again.  How does this talk of being united with Christ in both death and resurrection impact the way you think about your life of faith?  What things does it change or challenge for you?
2. As we continue in Romans, Paul continues his treatment of sin in the lives of those who belong to Christ.  Here he says that we are literally to be “dead to sin” (v1) and that we should no longer offer any part of our body to sinful acts.  What does this mean to you when you read it?  Is the Holy Spirit convicting you of any sin that might need to “die” in your life?
3. The notion of being “set free” from sin is a popular thing to say and also an important part of our understanding of what Jesus accomplished for us on the cross.  What do you think it means to be “set free” or no longer being “slaves” to sin?  How does that impact your daily walk with Christ?

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that the Holy Spirit would give you the confidence and conviction to confront the sin in your life and seek repentance and restoration in Jesus Christ.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would not sugarcoat the reality of sin in our lives nor the greater reality of God’s great love and grace that is available through Jesus.
Pray for the Hopkins Community, that God would open doors for the message of His love, mercy, and grace to be proclaimed and that it would be received with open hearts.
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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