The law couldn't save us because it was “weak through the flesh;” we were not able to walk in righteousness in our own ability. Instead, God removed our sin by Jesus Christ (See 8:3). He has now given us His Spirit and a new nature and calls us to walk in that new nature by faith. We are not “debtors to the flesh” any longer; we are not slaves to it (we don’t owe our flesh anything). The Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead gives life to us so we can put to death all the works of the flesh.
Paul writes about the Israelite's in Romans 9:4-5: “To them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the Law, the worship, and the promises. To the Israelite's belong the patriarchs, and from them, the Messiah descended…” Everything that we have today as children of God is because of what God did through Israel (the promises He gave them and Messiah being born through them, etc). Unbelieving Israel is like olive branches that have been broken off because of their unbelief (see Rom. 11:20). Believing Gentiles are likened to "wild olive branches" grafted into the salvation promised Israel. If an Israelite believes in Messiah, he will easily be grafted into “their own olive tree” (see Rom. 11:24). With this in mind, he councils us Gentiles in Romans 11:18: “do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember that you do not support the root, but the root supports you.” Gentile Christians have not replaced Israel as some have claimed; every promise God made to Israel, is to Israel. Gentles have been grafted in because of God’s mercy, and to provoke unbelieving Israel to godly jealousy.
Jesus said “Blessed are the peacemakers, For they shall be called sons of God” in Matthew 5:9; to called a “son of God” in this context means you are displaying His character. As you read Romans 12:14-21 you can get a clearer picture of what it really means to be a “peacemaker.” Look at each verse and see how you can apply the principles to your life. Note: to “bless” in verse 14 means to “speak well of” and to “curse,” in context, means to speak evil of.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan