FEBRUARY 2
   
Today's Bible Readings
     Genesis 34
     Job 1
     Mark 5
     Romans 5
 
MEMORIZE TODAY
''For as by one man's disobedience many were sinners, so also by one Man's obedience many were made righteous. " (Romans 5:19)      .
 
A TALE OF TWO TREES
            In one garden (Eden) the first Adam disobeyed and brought sin on the human race. He took from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. The second Adam (Jesus) settled the issue in another garden (Gethsemane). Jesus settled the issue in prayer and hung on Calvary's tree to pay for your sins and mine.
            By one man's disobedience sin entered the human race. We all understand that because Adam sinned every person born into the human family has inherited the nature of sin. The Bible is not teaching that God is punishing the human race for one man's sin, but that the nature of sin entered the human race through one man. Now that's the bad news. The worst news is that this sin separates you from God forever.
            But here is the good news. The Bible also says that another Man took upon Himself the sin of the human race and put it away, an infinitely more profound revelation.  (Hebrews 9:26)
            Romans 5:12 tells us that this sin has brought death and it has spread to all men. There are three kinds of death. There is, of course, physical death, when the body is separated from the spirit. There is an eternal death, when a lost soul perishes in Hell separated from God forever. But there is also a spiritual death, which is the state of a person outside of Jesus Christ. Adam's sin, passed along to the human race, has brought about this spiritual death to all humanity. Jesus looked at something we do not see; namely, the nature of man.  (John 2:25)
            Sin is something I am born with and cannot touch - only God touches sin through redemption. It is through the Cross of Christ that God redeemed the entire human race from the possibility of damnation through the heredity of sin.
How can we be delivered from this body of sin and death? We are given this glorious message in Romans 5:10.  We are really not saved by believing and repenting. These are our personal responses and are the signs that I realize what God has done through Christ Jesus.  It is His death and resurrection by which I am saved.
            The danger is for me to put the emphasis on the effect instead of on the cause. Is it my obedience that makes me right with God? It is never that! I am made right with God because, prior to all of that, Christ died. When I turn to God and, by faith, accept what God reveals, miraculous atonement by the cross of Christ instantly places me in a right relationship with God.
            The wonderful salvation that God gives us is not based on human logic, but on the sacrificial death of Jesus Christ. Sinful men and women can be changed into new creations, not through repentance or their belief but through the wonderful work of God in Christ Jesus, which preceded all of our experience. (II Corinthians 5:17-19.) This is when the supernatural becomes natural to us through the miracle of God's salvation. Then there is the realization of what Jesus Christ has already done. Our response of faith and repentance activates what He has already done on the cross. ''For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.''  (Romans 5:10) The best news is that this new relationship can begin now Today is the day of salvation. Adam's tree is overcome by Calvary's tree.
 
PRAY FOR THE WORLD
            Most Americans have their genealogical roots in Europe. We also have many of our spiritual roots there. The modem missionary movement began from England, yet today, Western Europe may be the coldest and most difficult area spiritually to be reached for Christ and the further spreading of the Gospel.
              There are answers to prayer for which we rejoice; the collapse of European Communism, and the dismantling of the Iron Curtain that had divided Europe for almost half a century was a direct answer to the prayers of millions. The proud boast of atheist persecutors about the eminent demise of the church proved hollow.
             The tremendous revival in Eastern Europe is showing signs of spreading into Western Europe. The impact of Christian radio and television has been significant. The economic needs, though tragic, are serving to turn many people to faith in Christ. The country of Romania, for example, may have received more missionary giving, involvement, and activity than any country of the world in such a short time as the last twenty years.
 
A WORD FOR YOUR WORLD TODAY
''The church has halted somewhere between Calvary and Pentecost."  J  I. Brice