NOTE: The questions and devotional for this week’s study were written by Stan Schuermann.
1. As you pray for your study today, ask God to use His Word in your life as the writer of Hebrews prayed in Hebrews 13:20-21: “May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
2. Read Romans 1:8
3. In Romans 1:8, Paul says, “First, I thank my God” – Paul begins this section by commending the faith of the Roman’s and he implies that their faith had been received from God. In his commentary on Romans, John Calvin writes, “We are taught that faith is God’s gift; for thanksgiving is an acknowledgment of a benefit. He who gives thanks to God for faith, confesses that it comes from Him.” (NOTE: Paul often directs those to whom he is writing to know that their faith is a gift from God; see 1 Corinthians 1:4-9, Ephesians 2:4-9 and 1 Thessalonians 1:1-4.)
- Do you understand that the faith you have to believe in Christ is a gift from God?
- Do you often give thanks to God for your own faith?
- Do you give thanks for the faith you see in others?
4. Paul goes on to say, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ” – We should remember that all of our blessings are God’s free gifts. We see in Paul’s example that thanks should be given through Christ because it is in His name we seek and obtain mercy from the Father. What does it mean to you to give thanks through Jesus Christ?
5. Paul continues and says, “I thank my God” – We also observe that Paul addresses God as His God. Calvin writes, “This is the faithful’s special privilege, and on them alone God bestows this honor. There is indeed implied in this a mutual relationship, which is expressed in this promise.” We see in Paul’s prayer the example that Christ Himself taught – That we have the special privilege of coming to God as our God and our Father, continually.
- Do you think of the eternal creator as my God?
- What comfort and confidence does this give to you as you pray?
6. STUDY NOTE: Our God invites us to acknowledge that all of our blessings are His free gifts and they come to us because of Christ.
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