July 11, 2017

Religious Rituals and Faith

July 11, 2017

Daily Reading

Romans 3:1-8
Song of Solomon 2:8-13
Genesis 29:1-14
This week’s sermon text: Mark 6:30-32

Field Notes
In this larger section of Romans, Paul fleshes out a theology of sin and what it means to be sinful. He tries to get at what it means to be righteous by exploring what it means to be unrighteous. In this specific passage in chapter 3, Paul explores what role religious ritual, in particular, plays in our righteousness. In the verses right before this, Paul explains that though religious rituals (circumcision, in his example) are important, it is the deeper work of the Spirit and the deeper meaning of these rituals that is really most important. If we attend worship, Sunday school, Bible study, and mission events only to check it off a checklist, then Paul argues this is not true faithfulness. If our heart is not in it, we are missing out on God’s true work. BUT, Paul says, even if our heart is not in it, God is still faithful and will continue to work in us. Though we are sinful, God will faithfully continue to work in and through us. Of course Paul challenges us to grow deeper in our faith and move past simply being “Checklist Christians” who show up in body but not in spirit, but how great it is to know that God works through us sinners no matter what?

Questions for the Field

  • Are there times you feel like you are a “Checklist Christian”?
  • How do you feel that God is using you even in the midst of your brokenness?

Family Field Talk

  • What religious rituals (like Sunday school, reading Scripture, etc.) teach you about God?

Prayer Guide
God, I confess that I often fall short of what it means to be a true disciple of Christ. Many times I am a “Checklist Christian” who shows up to church just to show up. God, I pray that You continue to work in me when I fall short of Your full call. Thank You for loving me, a sinner, and using me, a sinner, for Your good work even in the midst of my faults. Amen.