Justified

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement, through the shedding of his blood – to be received by faith.” – Romans 3:22-25a

O-bservation

The refrain of verses 10-18 say that “No one is righteous.” We are all guilty of sin, we do not and cannot fulfill the righteous requirements of the law on our own. That means Continue reading “Justified”

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Divine Exchange

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous…A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from people, but from God.”
– Romans 2:13, 28-29

O-bservation

In this piercing chapter Paul cross-examines the hearts and actions of the people of God,  as well as those who are outside of relationship with Him. In chapter 1 Paul observed the sin-stained condition of the human heart, in chapter 2 he explains God’s justice Continue reading “Divine Exchange”

Gospel Call

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“a servant of Jesus Christ…set apart for the gospel of God…to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for His name’s sake…who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.” (Rom 1:1-6)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the gentile.” (Rom 1:16)

O-bservation

At the start of this letter, Paul introduces himself and lays out a sort of mission statement of what he does and why he does it, and all of it is based on the Gospel; this good news Continue reading “Gospel Call”

A Bold, Unhindered Call

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“For two whole years Paul stayed there in his own rented house and welcomed all who came to see him. He proclaimed the kingdom of God and taught about the Lord Jesus Christ – with all boldness and without hindrance.” Acts 28:30-31

O-bservation

Through a series of circumstances, Paul arrived at Rome to appeal to Caesar. Shortly after he arrived he met with the Jewish leaders in Rome and laid out the message of the Continue reading “A Bold, Unhindered Call”

Your Story & The Gospel

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“But God has helped me to this very day; so I stand here and testify to small and great alike. I am saying nothing beyond what the prophets and Moses said would happen – that the Messiah would suffer and, as the first to rise from the dead, would bring the message of light to his own people and to the Gentiles.” -Acts 26:22-23

O-bservation

Chapters 25 and 26 record the trial of Paul Festus and King Agrippa. It’s in his exchange with Festus that Paul appeals to Caesar, which as a Roman citizen, gives Paul the right to appeal his case to the highest official in the land, Caesar himself. In America, this would Continue reading “Your Story & The Gospel”

The Certain Cost

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“Several days later Felix came with his wife Drusilla, who was Jewish. He sent for Paul and listened to him as he spoke about faith in Christ Jesus. As Paul talked about righteousness, self-control and the judgment to come, Felix was afraid and said, ‘That’s enough for now! You may leave. When I find it convenient, I will send for you.’ At the same time, he was hoping that Paul would offer him a bribe, so he sent for him frequently and talked with him.” – Acts 24:24-26

O-bservation

Look at Felix’s reaction to Paul’s talk about the Christian faith. All that’s recorded is that this caused him to be afraid, and he immediately cut off the conversation. We don’t know the explicit cause of Felix’s fear, but we might draw some conclusions based on Continue reading “The Certain Cost”

Take Heart

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“The following night the Lord stood near Paul and said, ‘Take courage! As you have testified about me in Jerusalem, so you must also testify in Rome.'” – Acts 23:11

O-bservation

Paul went where God told him to go. The Spirit said to go to Jerusalem, so Paul went – even though there was going to be persecution and hardship (ex: see Acts 23:2). I think it’s safe to say, He wasn’t making his five-year plan: “I’ll go to Jerusalem, get that out of Continue reading “Take Heart”

Mentor & Foundation

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

“When they heard him speak to them in Aramaic, they became very quiet. Then Paul said: ‘I am a Jew, born in Tarsus of Cilicia, but brought up in this city. I studied under Gamaliel and was thoroughly trained in the law of our Ancestors. I was just as zealous for God as any of you are today.” – Acts 22:2-3

O-bservation

At the beginning of his defense, Paul references being discipled by the Pharisee Gamaliel. On the surface, this is nothing extraordinary; since Paul was a Pharisee, a religious elite, Continue reading “Mentor & Foundation”

Speaking In The Spirit?

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-CRIPTURE

We sought out the disciples there and stayed with them seven days. Through the Spirit they urged Paul not to go on to Jerusalem. – Acts 21:4

O-BSERVATION

The disciples here were Speaking in the Spirit, which is another way of saying that they were speaking out a prophecy to Paul. It’s striking that the believers here are said to have spoken from the same Spirit that so compelled Paul to go to Jerusalem no matter Continue reading “Speaking In The Spirit?”

Not Holding Back

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-CRIPTURE

And now, compelled by the Spirit, I am going to Jerusalem, not knowing what will happen to me there. I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. – Acts 20:22-24

O-BSERVATION

Paul had already been testifying to the Good news of God’s grace everywhere he went. He even goes on in chapter 20 to describe how he was faithful to this call and didn’t hold Continue reading “Not Holding Back”

Is Something Missing?

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-CRIPTURE

While Apollos was at Corinth, Paul took the road through the interior and arrived at Ephesus. There he found some disciples and asked them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?”

They answered, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.”

So Paul asked, “Then what baptism did you receive?”

“John’s baptism,” they replied.

Paul said, “John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance. He told the people to believe in the one coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul placed his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied. There were about twelve men in all. – Acts 19:1-7

O-BSERVATION

The person and work of the Holy Spirit is perhaps one of the most important elements in the Christian life. He is the One who is our Advocate, guide and comforter in this life (Jn 14:15-18). He is the One who gives us victory over sin (Rom 8:1-11) and breathes Continue reading “Is Something Missing?”

Connect & Respond

Here’s the daily SOAP!

S-cripture

…a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was a learned man, with a thorough knowledge of the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord, and he spoke with great fervor and taught about Jesus accurately, though he knew only the baptism of John.  – Acts 18:24-25

O-bservation

In the text there are five character traits recorded about Apollos by the writer of the Continue reading “Connect & Respond”