2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17, Romans 6:1-23, Psalm 16:1-11, Proverbs 19:20-21
Today is the 20th day of July, welcome to the Daily Audio Bible, I’m Brian, it’s great to be here with you today in the balmy, humid, sweaty summer time, here the rolling hills of Tennessee. And hopefully wherever you are, things are pleasant and full of joy. Course we know that’s like a roller coaster ride up and down and up and down and so whether we are the highest of heights, or the lowest of lows, we have this place called the Global Campfire. We come here and we sit together and we let God’s word speak into the situations that we’re facing or dealing with, or contemplating. So, let’s get to it we’re reading from the New Living Translation this week. Yesterday, we concluded the book of 1 Chronicles, which means we’ll begin 2 Chronicles today. And there’s not a whole lot for us to specifically talk about; 1 and 2 Chronicles were originally one text and are broken up for ease. And so, one thing that we can notice as we’ve read 1 Kings and 2 Kings and we’ve read 1 Chronicles and we…we would’ve noticed that 1 Kings and 1 Chronicles both end and the end of David’s reign. And so, we’ll be picking up in 2 Chronicles after the same fashion that we picked up with 2 Kings if that’s not confusing. We’ll be picking up with the reign of Solomon, 2 Chronicles chapters 1 through 3 today.
Okay, in Paul’s letter to the Romans today, we are now focusing some of the discussion on the topic of sin. Sin being something that interrupts the flow of God’s work and will in our lives or in the lives of those around us or in the world like the interruption of the way things are supposed to be. We might call the way things are supposed to be Shalom and we do interpret that word as peace, but it’s like an all-encompassing peace, it’s like the peace and order of things as they are supposed to be, as they were intended to be. And so, we could consider that anything that we willfully do that interrupts that we’re moving in a sinful direction. We read a very famous passage today: The wages of sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life. So, there’s the contrast. A if you’re gonna sin, then you get paid in death, and even when taxes are taken out you’re still dead. The gift, the thing you can’t earn, the gift of God is eternal life. So, you can work your way to death or you can say wait, I’ll receive this gift of eternal life. But sin stands in the way of these things, like in between this, or does it? So, let’s just look back, because Romans is so thick and so dense if we…we gotta kinda hold onto the thread. We remember we talked about this yesterday. Abraham is where the story started. Abraham didn’t have a law to break, so he had no way to actually commit a sin that he became completely aware of. What he had was a covenant with God and he would of understood that that meant everything about him belonged to God and everything about God belonged to Abraham like this is the covenant. And so, to walk out of that covenant is to break the covenant that would be sin. But there was no Mosaic Law for Abraham to break, that came much later, much, much, centuries later. And Paul’s central argument, that is controversial, is that yeah, if you can obey the law perfectly you can find righteousness before God, that would be a pathway to be righteous before God, but nobody can do that, it’s not possible. And so, that’s not really the purpose of the law. The purpose of the law, since no one can live up to it, is to reveal our inability to live up to it. Like it reveals our sin because every time we rub up against the law and break it, we have sinned. It gives us this clear picture that we have stepped outside of the bounds, that we have sinned against God. So, when we can begin to realize we inside of our…like we can think we’re pretty good people. Maybe we are even very good people, but we cannot make ourselves righteous before God. God can bestow that upon us but we can’t earn it, it’s a gift. So, Paul goes on to then tell us that even while we were in the depths of sin, completely estranged from God, even enemies of God completely out of bounds and not in any type of relationship with God, even then, even then, God came for us, even while we were his enemies, He still died for us. So, essentially what we’re saying is we are in a situation that we can’t get ourselves out of. We can only realize it and when we fully do realize it, we realize we are helpless and hopeless. But even in that state of realization of helplessness and hopelessness, God is there in that moment saying I have always been there for you, like I’ve always pursued you, you’ve just now seen that, receive My gift of eternal life. I will give you what you can never earn if you will believe, if you will simply trust me. Which is what brings us to the majority of what Paul’s discussing today sin. When we do trust God and receive that gift, through faith by believing and are baptized then it is Paul’s conviction that who we were, estranged from God, that being dies an actual death and we are resurrected in Christ. And the repercussions or the implications of that are that sin no longer…like we, there is no claim against us before God anymore. The sins that…that we’ve committed that we’re earning death by are eliminated and there is nothing between God and ourselves anymore. We’re actually free. God’s not mad, he’s not disappointed, he’s not crossing his arms and shaking his head left to right in a disgusted no. There’s nothing between us. The thing is, we know our failures and they’re daily. Right, maybe even minute by minute, like, there before us all the time and so we know that it’s true we can’t find righteousness before God and we keep still trying to not by brute force sin, but it’s …there is just so many things that come against us that we react to incorrectly in some sort a way and that’s really where this all begins as we’ve reacted in some sort of way without taking a second to think about it and think about the repercussions. And so, then it’s easy enough to look at everybody else and go well they’re doing worse things than I am and that’s how we judge ourselves and then we begin to judge others when none of this is being held against anybody. Like, God’s not looking at us this way. He’s inviting us into freedom, like eternal life doesn’t begin at the moment of death, it begins at the moment of rebirth, we’re in it, we’re living it right now. This is part of it, it never ends and we’re free, we are free. If we would just learn that and people were obviously, because Paul’s answering these questions. People were thinking okay if I’m free than I can do whatever I want and Paul’s like, no absolutely not. That’s now…that’s not what we’re talking about here. You’re free from these things that are going to give you death in the end, you don’t have to be that way anymore. You have been re-created. You are a new creation. It all boils down to our choices. So, I quote from Paul “Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living.” The Holy Spirit is pretty clear. This is the good news of the gospel that we’re unpacking here. This is the offer. This is the exchange. Our inability to become righteous before You ever, in exchange for your free gift that makes us righteous before You. This is the good news and so often we continue to live and struggle as if…as if we’re not free and that bondage ends up enslaving others around us when we’ve been free this whole time.
Come Holy Spirit help this to sink in. Because this changes the way we live. We ask this in the precious name of Jesus, our Savior, who made this possible. Amen.
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And that’s it for today, I’m Brian, I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.