Word Of The Week: Acts 5 & Romans Chapters 3 & 6 (NLT)

[Acts 5:1-42 NLT] (1) But there was a certain man named Ananias who, with his wife, Sapphira, sold some property. (2) He brought part of the money to the apostles, claiming it was the full amount. With his wife’s consent, he kept the rest. (3) Then Peter said, “Ananias, why have you let Satan fill your heart? You lied to the Holy Spirit, and you kept some of the money for yourself. (4) The property was yours to sell or not sell, as you wished. And after selling it, the money was also yours to give away. How could you do a thing like this? You weren’t lying to us but to God!” (5) As soon as Ananias heard these words, he fell to the floor and died. Everyone who heard about it was terrified. (6) Then some young men got up, wrapped him in a sheet, and took him out and buried him. (7) About three hours later his wife came in, not knowing what had happened. (8) Peter asked her, “Was this the price you and your husband received for your land?” “Yes,” she replied, “that was the price.” (9) And Peter said, “How could the two of you even think of conspiring to test the Spirit of the Lord like this? The young men who buried your husband are just outside the door, and they will carry you out, too.” (10) Instantly, she fell to the floor and died. When the young men came in and saw that she was dead, they carried her out and buried her beside her husband. (11) Great fear gripped the entire church and everyone else who heard what had happened. (12) The apostles were performing many miraculous signs and wonders among the people. And all the believers were meeting regularly at the Temple in the area known as Solomon’s Colonnade. (13) But no one else dared to join them, even though all the people had high regard for them. (14) Yet more and more people believed and were brought to the Lord–crowds of both men and women. (15) As a result of the apostles’ work, sick people were brought out into the streets on beds and mats so that Peter’s shadow might fall across some of them as he went by. (16) Crowds came from the villages around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those possessed by evil spirits, and they were all healed. (17) The high priest and his officials, who were Sadducees, were filled with jealousy. (18) They arrested the apostles and put them in the public jail. (19) But an angel of the Lord came at night, opened the gates of the jail, and brought them out. Then he told them, (20) “Go to the Temple and give the people this message of life!” (21) So at daybreak the apostles entered the Temple, as they were told, and immediately began teaching. When the high priest and his officials arrived, they convened the high council–the full assembly of the elders of Israel. Then they sent for the apostles to be brought from the jail for trial. (22) But when the Temple guards went to the jail, the men were gone. So they returned to the council and reported, (23) “The jail was securely locked, with the guards standing outside, but when we opened the gates, no one was there!” (24) When the captain of the Temple guard and the leading priests heard this, they were perplexed, wondering where it would all end. (25) Then someone arrived with startling news: “The men you put in jail are standing in the Temple, teaching the people!” (26) The captain went with his Temple guards and arrested the apostles, but without violence, for they were afraid the people would stone them. (27) Then they brought the apostles before the high council, where the high priest confronted them. (28) “Didn’t we tell you never again to teach in this man’s name?” he demanded. “Instead, you have filled all Jerusalem with your teaching about him, and you want to make us responsible for his death!” (29) But Peter and the apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. (30) The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead after you killed him by hanging him on a cross. (31) Then God put him in the place of honor at his right hand as Prince and Savior. He did this so the people of Israel would repent of their sins and be forgiven. (32) We are witnesses of these things and so is the Holy Spirit, who is given by God to those who obey him.” (33) When they heard this, the high council was furious and decided to kill them. (34) But one member, a Pharisee named Gamaliel, who was an expert in religious law and respected by all the people, stood up and ordered that the men be sent outside the council chamber for a while. (35) Then he said to his colleagues, “Men of Israel, take care what you are planning to do to these men! (36) Some time ago there was that fellow Theudas, who pretended to be someone great. About 400 others joined him, but he was killed, and all his followers went their various ways. The whole movement came to nothing. (37) After him, at the time of the census, there was Judas of Galilee. He got people to follow him, but he was killed, too, and all his followers were scattered. (38) “So my advice is, leave these men alone. Let them go. If they are planning and doing these things merely on their own, it will soon be overthrown. (39) But if it is from God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You may even find yourselves fighting against God!” (40) The others accepted his advice. They called in the apostles and had them flogged. Then they ordered them never again to speak in the name of Jesus, and they let them go. (41) The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. (42) And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”

[Romans 3:1-31 NLT] (1) Then what’s the advantage of being a Jew? Is there any value in the ceremony of circumcision? (2) Yes, there are great benefits! First of all, the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God. (3) True, some of them were unfaithful; but just because they were unfaithful, does that mean God will be unfaithful? (4) Of course not! Even if everyone else is a liar, God is true. As the Scriptures say about him, “You will be proved right in what you say, and you will win your case in court.” (5) “But,” some might say, “our sinfulness serves a good purpose, for it helps people see how righteous God is. Isn’t it unfair, then, for him to punish us?” (This is merely a human point of view.) (6) Of course not! If God were not entirely fair, how would he be qualified to judge the world? (7) “But,” someone might still argue, “how can God condemn me as a sinner if my dishonesty highlights his truthfulness and brings him more glory?” (8) And some people even slander us by claiming that we say, “The more we sin, the better it is!” Those who say such things deserve to be condemned. (9) Well then, should we conclude that we Jews are better than others? No, not at all, for we have already shown that all people, whether Jews or Gentiles, are under the power of sin. (10) As the Scriptures say, “No one is righteous–not even one. (11) No one is truly wise; no one is seeking God. (12) All have turned away; all have become useless. No one does good, not a single one.” (13) “Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave. Their tongues are filled with lies.” “Snake venom drips from their lips.” (14) “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” (15) “They rush to commit murder. (16) Destruction and misery always follow them. (17) They don’t know where to find peace.” (18) “They have no fear of God at all.” (19) Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given, for its purpose is to keep people from having excuses, and to show that the entire world is guilty before God. (20) For no one can ever be made right with God by doing what the law commands. The law simply shows us how sinful we are. (21) But now God has shown us a way to be made right with him without keeping the requirements of the law, as was promised in the writings of Moses and the prophets long ago. (22) We are made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ. And this is true for everyone who believes, no matter who we are. (23) For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard. (24) Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when he freed us from the penalty for our sins. (25) For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when he held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, (26) for he was looking ahead and including them in what he would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate his righteousness, for he himself is fair and just, and he declares sinners to be right in his sight when they believe in Jesus. (27) Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith. (28) So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law. (29) After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. (30) There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. (31) Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

[Romans 6:1-23 NLT] (1) Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? (2) Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? (3) Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? (4) For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives. (5) Since we have been united with him in his death, we will also be raised to life as he was. (6) We know that our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. (7) For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. (8) And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. (9) We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. (10) When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God. (11) So you also should consider yourselves to be dead to the power of sin and alive to God through Christ Jesus. (12) Do not let sin control the way you live; do not give in to sinful desires. (13) Do not let any part of your body become an instrument of evil to serve sin. Instead, give yourselves completely to God, for you were dead, but now you have new life. So use your whole body as an instrument to do what is right for the glory of God. (14) Sin is no longer your master, for you no longer live under the requirements of the law. Instead, you live under the freedom of God’s grace. (15) Well then, since God’s grace has set us free from the law, does that mean we can go on sinning? Of course not! (16) Don’t you realize that you become the slave of whatever you choose to obey? You can be a slave to sin, which leads to death, or you can choose to obey God, which leads to righteous living. (17) Thank God! Once you were slaves of sin, but now you wholeheartedly obey this teaching we have given you. (18) Now you are free from your slavery to sin, and you have become slaves to righteous living. (19) Because of the weakness of your human nature, I am using the illustration of slavery to help you understand all this. Previously, you let yourselves be slaves to impurity and lawlessness, which led ever deeper into sin. Now you must give yourselves to be slaves to righteous living so that you will become holy. (20) When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the obligation to do right. (21) And what was the result? You are now ashamed of the things you used to do, things that end in eternal doom. (22) But now you are free from the power of sin and have become slaves of God. Now you do those things that lead to holiness and result in eternal life. (23) For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Multi-Verse Retrieval. Retrieved from http://www.blueletterbible.org/tools/MultiVerse.cfm

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