letters of paul (pt. i)
Romans is the first of Paul’s letters that we come upon in the sequence of the New Testament. It was not the first that he wrote, but appears first in the Bible because it is the longest of all his letters. Unlike most of his letters, Romans -- sent to the church in Rome -- was written to a church he had never visited. Romans contains the longest, most logical and linear explanation of the gospel in the New Testament. In it, Paul clearly explains the doctrine of justification, that by faith in Christ’s work on our behalf, humanity can be declared right before God.
The following statements help summarize Paul’s explanation in Romans and give context to our reading throughout the week:
- All are sinful and must be justified before God (Romans 1-2).
- No one can be justified, or saved, by their own work or obedience to the Law (Romans 3:20).
- Justification is only possible for sinful humanity because Christ died in our place (Romans 3:24).
- Faith in Jesus is the only way in which a person can receive the benefits of His saving work (Romans 3:22).
- All can be justified by faith in Jesus -- no person or ethnic group is excluded (Romans 4-5).
- Though we are justified by faith alone in Christ alone, justifying faith is never alone. Saving faith results in a transformed life (Romans 6-8).
- God has been faithful to fulfill His promise to Abraham and the Israelite people through His Son, Jesus (Romans 9-11) .
- Because of God’s mercy in justifying us by faith in Jesus, we can and should give our lives to Him fully, as an act of worship (Romans 12-16).
new testament visualized
Roman's Road Scriptures
The emphasis of this week’s devotional is Identity and who we can be through Christ. Before the days of GPS, giving directions to someone who was directionally challenged, such as myself, was always tricky. Specific landmarks and written instruction along with a map were always helpful. In the same way, it is always good to have a linear pathway for our children when it comes to showing them the way to know Christ. My husband would always tell our kids that there are many ways to get somewhere but only one way to heaven and that, of course, is Jesus! In order to have a relationship with Christ, we must know the truth. Paul carefully laid that out for us within the book of Romans. Study over these verses and discuss how they lead to Christ.
Activity: Roman Road Treats
Make a layered snack for your family to enjoy as you learn the Roman Road. Works best using clear glasses. Here are the different layers.
- Romans 3:10: Raisins or milk duds -- Everyone has sinned
- Romans 3:23: Graham cracker layer representing sin separation
- Romans 5:8: Chocolate kisses or chips -- God’s love for us
- Romans 6:23: Life Savers -- Jesus saved us
- Romans 10:9-10: Grapes or Gummy bears -- Do you believe in what Jesus did on the cross and are you ready to ask Jesus to be your Lord and Savior?
- Romans 10:13: Chocolate chip cookie -- Part of God’s family
Adapted: My Mix of Six
Make sure and watch the Bible App story for today. As you discuss the scriptures, allow the Holy Spirit to work. Be prepared to pray with your child to become a Christian. For more help in walking your child through this process, watch today’s Bible App story. On the last page entitled “Be Part of the Story,” click on “Open the Bible App.” The first day devotional will lead you and your child through the prayer of salvation. To discuss this, you can also contact your church's children's pastor.
Small Group Discussion
- What promises are there to claim?
- What sins are there to avoid?
- What example is there to follow? Portions of Romans 9 & 10 give you a glimpse at the heart of Paul (vs. 9:1-3, 9:15-18, 10:1), a man who cherished the sovereignty of God and wept over those who were not saved.