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Sunday Feb 18th

SCRIPTURE NOTES The following notes provide additional information about today’s Scripture.

 1. Paul consistently uses a term (here translated “flesh") to indicate the parts of the self that function in opposition to God (compare Rom. 6:12-14; 7:5,18; Gal. 3:3). He does not thus label the physical body inherently evil; rather he reflects on the degree to which sin has pervaded and perverted our created existence on every level.

2. Paul makes it graphically clear that following the selfish desires of the “flesh” is ultimately destructive to the self and all those in the self’s sphere of influence. Compare Psalms 14:4; 57:4; Proverbs 30:14; and James 3:14-4:2.

3. The regenerating power of the Spirit transforms God’s people (see Ezek. 36:26-27), placing them on a path in tune with God’s character and desires. Remaining on this path is a matter of consistently living life together with the Spirit, learning from and being empowered to follow God.

4. Paul consistently sets law and freedom in opposition (5:18; compare Rom. 8:2; Gal. 5:1). He particularly emphasizes the role of the Spirit in delivering believers from an ineffective system of religion and from the natural law of death (Rom. 8:1-7). 5. FollowingJesus’ example, Paul looks to the results and qualities of a person’s life to identify whether one follows God (5:24-25). A life that bears fruit reflecting God’s character is a life lived by the power of the Spirit and proof of one’s status as a child of God.

Sunday Feb 25th

SCRIPTURE NOTES The following notes provide additional information about today's Scripture.

1. Paul’s point is that acting in love for one another makes questions of food and behavior required by in-groups null and void: loving one another seeks to encourage others toward maturity, not to destroy one another’s faith by arguments made out of pride and self-righteousness.

2. In the New Testament, obstacles and stumbling blocks are consistently defined as ideas and behaviors that prevent another from coming to understand, embrace, and act on the truth of God in Jesus Christ.

3. Although Paul is deeply concerned to communicate the freedom believers enjoy in Christ (Gal. 5:1-6), his greatest concern is developing the godly character of believers, specifically in experiencing and demonstrating God’s character in their actions (Gal. 5:13-14): as believers experience more of God, they will also comprehend more of the freedom he has bought for them.

4. Paul prioritizes character and the fruits of the Spirit over specific codes of behavior; he knows that when God’s people replicate God’s character, the resulting behavior will reflect God, honor God, and demonstrate to onlookers that God is present and active in God’s kingdom.



Sunday March 3rd  

SCRIPTURE NOTES The following notes provide additional information about today's Scripture.

1. Only God is the final Judge when it comes to sin (John 5:22-27; 16:8-11; Rom. 2:1-16; 2 Tim. 4:1); judging oneself or another essentially usurps the place that only God has the right to claim.

2. “Going beyond what is written” refers to Paul's own direction and the Old Testament already affirmed by the church. Believers are not to demand more of one another than God requires of them (Rom. 14:13, 22-23).

3. Living subject to the same standards and with only God as judge develops humility in God’s people—no one is better than or above another—and thus makes us more effective in our mission, in wholehearted obedience to God (Matt. 20:1-16; Luke 10:38-42; Gal. 3:26-28).

4. True discipleship looks only to replicate Christ’s character and lifestyle, not establish credentials to lord it over others; see Paul’s confidence in his disciple Timothy’s ability to demonstrate the humility and godliness ofJesus (1 Cor. 4:17).

5. In Paul’s theology, the power of God's kingdom is demonstrated best in God's salvation (through Jesus’ death and resurrection) and transformation (through the work of the Spirit) of the people (1 Cor. 1:18-25; 2:1-5); this itself is cause for humility (1 Cor. 1:28-31).



Sunday March 10th

SCRIPTURE NOTES The following notes provide additional information about today's Scripture.

1. In Paul’s theology, being “in Christ” or "in Adam" is an identity statement born of a deep spiritual affiliation with that person: on the one hand, being "in Adam” places the individual squarely in the context of Adam’s sin of rebellion against God, and sin pervades the very nature of that person; thus that individual is destined to die like Adam did (15:22; compare Rom. 5; Eph. 2:1-3).

2. On the other hand, being “in Christ" indicates the transformation of the person's nature by the Spirit through faith, establishing them as God's child in the context of God’s righteousness and holiness through Christ, along with daily continual sanctification until God’s character, not sin, pervades the person; thus that individual is destined for life with God (15:22).

3. God’s power revealed in Jesus’ resurrection is the beginning and foreshadows the completion of God’s utter victory over all opposition, since, in the resurrection, the God of life demonstrated authority over death, while at the final moments of victory, God will vanquish death entirely (15:24-26, 54-57).

4. In both 1 Corinthians 15:27 and Ephesians 1:22, the writer quotes Psalm 8:6, which in turn references Genesis 1:28-30, applying specifically to God’s command to steward and have authority over creatures.

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