PAID IN FULL
S – “But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if many died through one man’s trespass, much more have the grace of God and the free gift by the grace of that one man Jesus Christ abounded for many. And the free gift is not like the result of that one man’s sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brought justification.” Romans 5:15-16
O – Four times in these two verses Paul says “Free gift”. Free means free. Free means “not costing anything or charging anything”. If a gift is free then we are not obligated to pay anything. We just accept the gift. We reach out and take it. I have to believe there is a gift. I have to receive it but the gift is mine to keep. If I had to do something to earn the gift, then it would not be free.
A – The free gift brings justification. It’s a gift that the human brain has trouble comprehending. That our perfect, holy Creator would offer us the free gift of salvation and that it would come because His Son, Jesus Christ was willing to life a perfect life for us and then die in our place to pay for our sins. To pay for my sin. He conquered death and rose again. He paid the price for our sin. Now He offers salvation as a free gift to all who believe in Him. It sounds too good to be true but it is true! That is who God is. That’s how much He loves us.
P – Thank you Father for the free gift of salvation. Thank you Jesus for being willing to die for us.
S – “On that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.” Romans 2:16
O – There is coming a day when all the secrets of our hearts will be judged by God. On that day there will be no pretending, no masking, no hiding…the sins of our hearts will be revealed and we will be exposed. On that day, I will be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. On that day, He will judge and only those who have trusted in His death for us will escape judgement.
From John Piper:
“Note this very carefully in verse 16: it is the gospel that speaks of judgment here. This means that you can’t feel the glorious seriousness of the gospel of Jesus Christ unless you know that it is a gospel about future judgment. The gospel is glorious not to the extent that it solves our problems with depression and cancer, but to the extent that it removes the wrath of Almighty God against us at the last judgment, and brings us to everlasting joy. “
“Being justified by God, being given a positive sentence at the last judgment is greater than all our mental well-being and all our physical health in this whole life on earth. “ John Piper
A – Praise God! My sins are covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Praise His holy name! On that day when I face judgement, He will say “Paid in full.”
P – Dear Jesus, thank you, I love you. Please glorify your name in and through my life. Thank you that I am yours forever.
SOAP Bible Study Method
Why do I continually teeter on the edge of following God whole-heartedly and being aware I’m totally self-seeking? I’m 64. Have I progressed at all? Am I just a weak, flabby believer? Have I deceived myself and fallen for the easy life, comfort, warmth, never pushing myself too hard? Am I real with others? Am I just looking for the way of lest resistance? I say I want to follow Jesus, that I am His follower but am I dying to self? Jesus said the one who comes after Him must deny themselves take up their cross and follow Him. The line between following Him in self-denial and living to enjoy all He has given becomes blurred.
His word says He gives us all things richly for us to enjoy. Everything is a gift from Him. But my flesh so easily starts looking to the gifts more than the Giver. The Giver is the one who is the source of my joy, peace, and life. The gifts are to point me to Him. The pull to self-exaltation is always out there, luring me away from worship of God alone. Why else would I continually battle jealousy, pride, and comparison? My flesh looks for recognition and honor. My spirit longs to honor my Lord. I know I belong to Jesus. He is my Lord and my Savior. But will I enter heaven as if by fire, with all my works burning up? Will I have any gold or silver to offer to Him? Have I had it too easy? Is that why my flesh so easily falls back into floating along? Do I truly love people? Loving others is everything. That is the whole law summed up. Love your neighbor as yourself. Do I even know how to love?
Sometimes I feel trapped in my own mind. Trapped in seeking ease and comfort. My brothers and sisters around the world suffer just for believing. They have no choice. It’s so easy to make excuses for myself. It’s so easy to give myself a pass. But the only true evaluation is what my Lord thinks. Am I living in obedience to Him? Am I listening to His voice and following my Shepherd? What others do or don’t do has no bearing on me. My call is to listen to and obey His call on my life. Am I listening and following or am I deciding what I think should be His will for me? Am I choosing the way I want to go or following Him in faith? He will call me beyond myself. He will call me to do what I can’t do apart from Him. He will call me to die to self-exaltation, self-protection, and pride. He will call me to lay down my life for others.
Jesus, I want to be willing. I want to hear you. I believe in you with all my heart. I want to live for you with all my being. I want to be willing to die to self-protection, comfort, and the easy way. Help me Jesus. Please, help me abide in you. Help me remain in you because that is the only way to bear fruit. I don’t want to waste the time you’ve given me or whatever time I have left. I don’t want to leave this earth in regret. Please, Lord, take my strengths which are few, my weaknesses which are many, my gifts, talents, experiences, hopes, dreams, my life, my all. Take me and use my life for your glory. Glorify your name in me Father. Let your strength be made perfect in my weakness.
Luke 9:23; I Timothy 6:17; James 1:17; Romans 10:9; 1 Corinthians 3:15; Mark 12:29-31; John 15:13; John 10:27; John 15:4; 2 Corinthians 12:9
If you want to know more about Jesus and why we celebrate Easter, here is a link to watch the Gospel of John portrayed and word for word from the Good News translation. To focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus, start with chapter 18. Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. I believe in Him with my whole heart.
Gospel Of John, the movie
S – “Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” Colossians 3:2
O – Paul is giving instructions to believers to live a godly life and please God. Here he tells us to keep our minds set on what is above.
A – “Set your minds” – What you think about – this implies that we have a choice. We can choose what we think about, what we set our minds on. As hard as it might seem and it isn’t easy, we do have a choice. We should think about “things that are above.” What is above? Jesus, our Father, heaven, eternity, all who have gone before us, all those who will join us there, God’s will, eternal rewards, all the promises of God, His Word which will last forever. Not on things of the earth: what is temporal, material things, sin, pain, sorrow, temporary pleasures, money, earthly gain and power, problems and worries, physical limitations, pride, selfish gain. Is it possible to never think about those things? Of course not. But to “set” my mind says to me that which I think about the most. The channel I set my radio to. My default setting. What I always go back to. I need to make things that are above my default setting for my mind. Yes, I will think about earthly things and I need to at times but my goal is to always bring my mind back to what is above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.
P – Please help me, Lord. Help me to set my mind on you, on your truth, on eternity. Help me to train my mind to always come back to truth. Thank you that because of your Holy Spirit, that is possible. I love you Jesus.
SOAP Bible Study Method
He’s Everything To Me
S – “The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” Acts 17:25
O – Paul visited Athens and was disturbed by the many idols. He saw an altar to the unknown god. He began to proclaim who that God is. Telling that the One True God made everything that is; He is Lord of heaven and earth; He gives life and breath and everything we have to each of us.
A – My heart is moved to praise our Wonderful, Almighty God. He is Lord of all! He is worthy of all praise and honor. He gives us everything. He is our breath. He is our life. We owe everything we have and are to Him. Praise His holy name!
P – Praise you Father! Maker of heaven and earth. Praise to your holy name. You are worthy. Worthy of all honor and praise. You alone give us all we need. You are all we need. You’re my breath, my heartbeat, my life, without you I’m nothing. Without you I wouldn’t exist. You alone give me meaning and purpose. You’re Holy, Just and Pure yet you love me. You loved me enough to let Jesus die on the cross knowing I would choose sin. You still love me in spite of all my mistakes, failures, and bad choices. You love me in spite of all the times I’ve taken your grace for granted and have let momentary comfort rule my heart. Father, please fill me with your Spirit and let your will be done in me. In my heart, mind, and soul. Use me for your glory.
SOAP Bible Study method