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✝️ Romans 6:6 | "..our old self was crucified with him..."

The Roman empire, identity, prayer & a song to help you meditate..

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Happy Monday! 🎉 

If this is your first verse with us, welcome! This week, we’re memorizing Romans 6:6 to prepare our hearts and minds for Easter!

📧 In today’s email…

  • 🤓 Book context: Connecting with the Roman empire

  • 💢 Division in the church at Rome

  • 🙏 A prayer and reading to set the tone for the week

  • 🎵 A song to help you meditate and memorize this week

Let’s dig in…

 🧠 Memorize

We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing,

so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin.

Romans 6:6

(Use our free web app to help you memorize in your favorite translation. Instructions to set it up are at the bottom of this email.)

Book & Cultural Context: Romans ✍️ 

  • Author: Romans is the first letter in the New Testament written by Paul (Romans 1:1)

  • Original Audience: Paul wrote to Christians in Rome (both Jews & Gentiles) who met in house churches.

    • The Roman believers were likely well educated and much of Romans features some of Paul’s most complex writing recorded in the New Testament.

  • When: ~AD 56—58, most likely at the end of Paul's third missionary journey in AD 56

  • At this time in history, Rome was known for:

    • Political Power: Rome was the center of political power, with the Roman Senate and Emperor governing the entire empire. It was a thriving economic center, benefiting from lots of trade and agriculture.

    • Social Structure: Roman society was hierarchical, with distinct social classes and a complex system of citizenship. Slavery was also widespread.

    • Cultural Hub: Rome was a cultural melting pot, drawing influences from various regions within the empire. It was a hub for art, literature, philosophy, and education.

    • Religious Diversity: The city hosted a wide array of religious beliefs, including the traditional Roman pantheon and the worship of the emperor.

Historical context: Paul + The Roman church 🤔

Paul, formerly known as Saul of Tarsus, was a rabbi and a Pharisee.

He was passionate about the Torah of Moses and the traditions of Israel - to the point where he was actively persecuting Christ followers.

Then, he had a dramatic encounter with Jesus (Acts 9).

Jesus commissioned him to be a messenger to the Gentiles and he starts going by his Roman name, Paul.

Fast forward to Acts 18.

The Roman emperor Claudius commanded all of the Jews to leave Rome (Acts 18:1-2), including Jewish Christians.

💡 Remember that the church in Rome was made up of both Jewish and Gentile Christians.

Years later, those Jews (which included Jesus-following Jews) were allowed to return.

So when they came back, they returned to a Christian church made of up Gentile Jesus-followers that had become non-Jewish in custom and practice.

This led to a lot of division within the church, including arguments over things like:

  • Circumcision (Romans 2)

  • Sabbath (Romans 14)

  • Dietary practices (Romans 14)

Paul wrote this letter in part to unite a divided church, but also for a much larger purpose:

to advance the good news of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection further into the Gentile world.

💡 Throughout the rest of the week, we’ll zoom in the first half of Romans and in particular, the chapters surrounding our memory verse.

Apply & respond: A prayer and reading for the week 📖 

Paul opens up his letter to the Romans with these words:

1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God

Romans 1:1

Notice what Paul does not say:

  • Roman citizen

  • Pharisee

  • Tentmaker

  • Jew

Paul says..

A servant of Jesus.

An apostle.

Set apart for the gospel.

Paul was crystal clear on his identity.

And his mission flowed directly from that.

Pray 🙏 

Lord, as I memorize Romans 6:6 this week, remind me of my primary identity. Remind me why I am placed here, where I live, at this particular moment in history.

Please speak to me through your Word. Stoke the flames of my desire to live set apart for the gospel. Amen.

Read 📖 

Read Romans 6 slowly, preparing your heart for the week.

🍽️ Bonus: Read it out loud at your dinner table with family or friends.

Listen 🎵 

Occasionally, there are songs we find that can help us soak in the verse we’re memorizing.

Here is a song that speaks to our great need to be delivered from sin and death, and then reminds us of the new life we now get to enjoy.

You can click below to listen to When Death Was Arrested on Spotify to help you meditate on this passage this week! (or click here to listen on Apple music)

See you in your inbox tomorrow as we dig deeper into Romans 6:6!

Have a great week! 👋 


Isaac (left) and Kieran (right)

p.s. just for fun…


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