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Bible Narratives Devotional, Week 50: Life by the Spirit and the Word

This entry is part 50 of 52 in the series

"Bible Narratives Devotional"

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Week 50: Life by the Spirit and Word

Weekly memory verse:

Titus 2:11–13 – “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Weekly hymn:

“Savoir of the Nations, Come” (free download)

Weekly catechism:

Will Jesus Christ come again?
Jesus Christ will come a second time in power and glory, which is the joy and hope of all believers.

Day 246: The Word of the Lord

Reading: Psalm 119

Notes

Verse 1. Law. This is the longest chapter in the Bible. It is an acrostic psalm, composed of 22 stanzas, each with 8 line; each of the 8 lines in subsequent stanzas begins with consecutive letters of the Hebrew alphabet. Its theme is God’s Word.

Verse 75. Afflicted me. The psalmist is confident that God’s sovereign goodness reigns even over his afflictions.

Verse 164. Seven. Seven is a figure of speech representing perfection or completeness.

Summary

The Word of God is eternally settled in heaven; it is good and trustworthy, something in which believers can place their confidence, trust, and delight. It is a Word in which believers come to truly know God, its instructions are worthy of obedience, and its truths worthy of belief and defense.

Discussion Questions

  1. What kinds of images does the psalmist use to describe the Word of God?
  2. Why is the Word of God worthy of delight?
  3. What benefits does the Word of God deliver to those who love it?

Day 247: Living Filled by the Spirit

Reading: Ephesians 5:18–6:20

Notes

Chapter 5, Verse 18. Be filled. This is a command given to believers that describes their submission to the Holy Spirit’s work in their lives, specifically filling them with the Word of Christ (Col 3:16).

Verse 19. Psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. These terms are not meant to designate carefully defined kinds of songs but rather signify a variety of songs.

Verse 21. Submitting. This literally means to “arrange under” and describes a voluntary willingness to follow the lead of others. This kind of attitude characterizes all of the relationships described in the following verses.

Summary

A Christian who is filled by the Spirit with the Word of Christ will gather with his people for worship and edification, will live faithfully in the various vocations to which he or she is called, and will actively fight against the attacks of Satan. A Spirit-filled believer is controlled by the Word, glorifying God with every thought and action.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does it mean to be Spirit-filled?
  2. How does being Spirit-filled manifest itself in the church assembly?
  3. How does being Spirit-filled manifest itself in the Christian’s life?

Day 248: Christian Living

Reading: Philippians 3–4

Notes

Philippians 3, Verse 2. Evildoers. In context, this specifically refers to the Judaizers, who required obedience to the Law as necessary for salvation.

Verse 18. Belly. This refers to the physical appetites, which, although God-given and good, must be controlled. An enemy of Christ is driven by appetites.

Chapter 4, Verse 8. Whatever. Qualities in this list characterize the three transcendent categories of truth, goodness, and beauty, by which all things must be measured.

Summary

Although salvation does not come through works, a Christian who has a changed heart will desire to pursue holiness, ruled by love for God, and dedicated to do whatever pleases the Lord.

Discussion Questions

  1. How is the Christian life like a race?
  2. What kinds of actions and attitudes should characterize a Christian’s life?
  3. How can the list in Philippians 4:8 apply to what a Christian enjoys in life?

Day 249: The Gospel of Christ

Reading: Romans 1, 3

Notes

Romans 1, Verse 7. Rome. Paul wrote this letter to the church in Rome while he was in Corinth, evidenced by his reference to individuals in Corinth such as Phoebe (16:1), Gaius (16:23), and Erastus (16:23).

Verse 16. Power. The word “dynamite” comes from this Greek word.

Verse 18. Revealed. This passage describes general revelation, what God communicates to all people through his creation. Although this general revelation plainly reveals that there is a God, only his Word and Spirit effectual reveal him to people for their salvation.

Chapter 3, Verse 25. Propitiation. This Word refers to the appeasement of God’s wrath that was secured in the sacrifice of his Son.

Verse 30. Justify. This is a legal term which means to “declare righteous.”

Summary

The gospel of Jesus Christ is the power of God unto salvation for anyone who believes. The sacrifice of Christ on the cross appeased God’s just wrath and allowed him to justly justify (declare righteous) unjust people who trust in him.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is Paul not ashamed of the gospel of Christ?
  2. What does God’s general revelation accomplish?
  3. How can God justly justify the unjust?

Day 250: Life in the Spirit

Reading: Romans 8, 12

Notes

Romans 8, Verse 6. Mind. Those whose minds are set on the flesh describes all unbelievers, and all Christians are spiritually minded.

Verse 9. Dwells. All believers have the Spirit of God dwelling within them, evidenced by his active work of sanctification in their lives.

Verse 26. Groanings. The Spirit intercedes on behalf of Christians in ways they cannot even express.

Chapter 12, Verse 2. Conformed. This refers to an outward expression that does not reflect an inward reality.

Summary

Those who are in Christ will not be condemned; rather, they are spiritually minded and indwelt by the Spirit, living as sacrifices of worship to God whose lives are being transformed by the Word of God rather than being conformed to this present evil age.

Discussion Questions

  1. What does it mean that Christians are spiritually minded?
  2. What are the benefits of the Spirit dwelling within believers?
  3. In what ways should Christians present their bodies as living sacrifices to God?
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Scott Aniol

About Scott Aniol

Scott Aniol is the founder and Executive Director of Religious Affections Ministries. He is Chair of the Worship Ministry Department at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, where he teaches courses in ministry, worship, hymnology, aesthetics, culture, and philosophy. He is the author of Worship in Song: A Biblical Approach to Music and Worship, Sound Worship: A Guide to Making Musical Choices in a Noisy World, and By the Waters of Babylon: Worship in a Post-Christian Culture, and speaks around the country in churches and conferences. He is an elder in his church in Fort Worth, TX where he resides with his wife and four children. Views posted here are his own and not necessarily those of his employer.

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