Therefore, since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we[c] boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us.
For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.Indeed, rarely will anyone die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare to die. But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us. Much more surely then, now that we have been justified by his blood, will we be saved through him from the wrath of God. For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more surely, having been reconciled, will we be saved by his life. But more than that, we even boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.
Verses 1-5 of this passage underline the necessity of involvement in the purposes of God by dedicating our lives to the good works of proclaiming and demonstrating God’s love. In verses 6 – 11 we find this Epistle portion that brings us back to the very centre and core of our religion. Faith doesn’t save us because it’s a good work, but because it’s the hand that reaches out to take the salvation God has prepared for us. Daily repentance won’t make or keep us Christian but it is our realization of and response both to our unworthiness and to what God has done for us in Jesus Christ. Our obedience to God doesn’t make us right, but the suffering, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ makes us right with God. It is by the miracle of God’s grace that we stand justified before Him, not by sorrow over sin or confession of faith or consecration to divine purposes.
This will always be something mysterious and something that we will have difficulty in understanding. But what we can’t understand, we can still celebrate. Through the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ, God’s act of grace and gift of love, we have been made the very sons and daughters of God. We were once the enemies of God, totally estranged from him, but God’s love for us, however, is far greater that the evil that brings death and destruction. His grace is more powerful than human wickedness. This is the grace that was wrought and revealed by Jesus Christ, and it is this grace that grants us everlasting life.
Loving God, every day should be a day of celebration, a day to sing or shout or proclaim your eternal salvation through Jesus Christ. May our churches, our homes and our lives resound with the glad, joyful sounds of celebration. Amen
Sue Knight Assembly Accredited Lay Preacher, Reigate Park URC
St. Andrew's United Reformed Church - The United Reformed Church in Monkseaton and Whitley Bay
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