Hello friends! Today we continue reading Romans and will have another Bible Project video that helps explain the importance of literary context. The one thing you will encounter in today's reading is how often Paul speaks on behalf of God, which is something I find odd and am very careful to not do in my own preaching. For example, I've heard pastors that say things like "God wants me to say to you today" or "God wants to bless you" or things like that. But who are we to know what God wants or what God is thinking or what God is doing? If we know that then what is the purpose of faith if we have certainty for God's movements and actions? Paul will claim in the writing today that the only reason God accepted the gentiles is because the 1st class citizens (Israelites) did not trust God. But, that's now how Peter understood it, is it? Peter only saw that all animals are now clean, but no reason why was given. Peter saw the Holy Spirit act the same way upon the gentiles as it did the original disciples. In other words - they are equals, not first and second class Christians. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt as this is just what I'm left thinking about personally and not what is endorsed by scholars or experts. What will stand out to you today? Feel free to share that with me and we can talk more in the comments.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this reveal to me about God?
Paul is sharing who God is to him and what he believes God to be. You might agree, you might disagree. But it is a good practice to be able to voice who God is to you. So, who is God to you? What do you believe God to be like? What helped you come to that conclusion?
- Commentary -
Scholars use a number of different criteria when creating "official" commentary and when doing proper exegesis on a text. You learned one of those yesterday (historical context) and today you will learn another (literary context) Like a FICO score these two criteria make up the majority of the work when deciding the meaning of a text (or tabulating your score) but there are a number of different and smaller ones as well that aren't touched on by Bible Project. For example, canonical context is how this text reads in relation to the greater canonical story being told in the Bible. In other words, how does what we read in Romans relate to or speak to what we learn about God in Exodus? I tried to do an example this up top with my discourse between Paul's claims and Peter's visions. Canonical context believes that the Bible, like any other book, is one cohesive story with a beginning, middle, and end and must be read that way. With that said, let's jump into how the Bible Project explains canonical context.
Praying the Hymns
Our prayer for today is inspired by hymn 298 - When I Survey the Wondrous Cross. Let us meditate on God's presence as we look to our own "crosses" we must bear. I'm sharing this version because I find the Gaither family to be so incredibly extra in their performances that it often makes me laugh but the passion is undeniable.
1. When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss, and pour contempt on all my pride.
2. Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast, save in the death of Christ, my God; all the vain things that charm me most, I sacrifice them to his blood.
3. See, from his head, his hands, his feet, sorrow and love flow mingled down. Did e'er such love and sorrow meet, or thorns compose so rich a crown?
4. Were the whole realm of nature mine, that were an offering far too small; love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all.