The book of Romans has brought much encouragement over the last week with Romans 3:24-31 being a powerful place to pick up again.
Justification is more than just forgiveness. It is a slate continually wiped clean, freeing us from what we truly deserve. Every single day.
“The God we have sinned against is the one who pursues us. The God that in our sin we ran away from has run to us.” (from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 74)
God was pursuing and running to us when we very least deserved it. This is truly the gospel of grace.
I have to be honest, it was verse 26 which blew me away …
“for the demonstration, I say, of His righteousness at the present time, so that He would be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.” (NASB)
“Because it is at the cross that we can see that God is both just and our Justifier.”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 75)
Today I have been brought low by this thought. Amazing to think of this in terms of my own life. Me, the sinner, justified by the sacrifice of our Lord.
The study asks: In what way is justification more than forgiveness?
Then we moved onto Romans 4:4-12.
Here were were reminded that salvation is a gift – something we often forget. We can’t do a single thing to earn it and yet, so often we strive in our walk with God.
“In God’s mercy, He has not given us what we deserved.
In His grace, He has given us what we could never have earned on our own.”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 82)
So simple, and even though we know this, we often lose sight of the truth.
In our Scripture passages, Paul reminds us of Abraham. He was called by God to be a father of many nations before he was circumcised. He stepped into that role in, and by, faith.
Abraham was not circumcised until more than fourteen years later. The act of circumcision was a sign – a sign of faith and obedience.
The reading brought to mind the old hymn and chorus whose words are:
“Thank You, Lord, for saving my soul.
Thank You, Lord, for making me whole.
Thank You, Lord, for giving to me,
Thy great salvation so rich and free!”
Let’s discuss >> Why is it comforting to understand that salvation is a work of God and not something we can earn?
The reading of Romans chapter 4 has been so good! We closed the week with reading verses 18-25.
These words (and actions) of Abraham stood out:
- “in hope against hope he believed” (v. 18)
- “without becoming weak in faith” (v. 19)
- “he did not waver” (v. 20)
- “grew strong in faith” (v.20)
- “and being fully assured” (v. 21)
Each of these statements seemed to build upon the other until Abraham was able to stand firm on the promises of God.
Our faith rests not on our ability to have faith, but solely, and fully, on the promises of God and His faithfulness to His Word.
We are not told there won’t be times of doubt. Abraham doubted. But the study brings this encouragement:
“And in fact, those moments of questioning how this was all going to work out were likely the very thing that made him reevaluate his situation and preach to his own heart that God would be faithful despite the impossible situation that was before him. Abraham faced the facts, and then he trusted God anyway.”
(from Romans: The Gospel of Grace, page 90)
Right there is our answer – Trust God Anyway.
The study asks: How does Bible study help us to trust God?
We may not see the answer or the resolution but trust God anyway. Bible Study helps us to remember He works in impossible situations, His wonders to perform. It’s in remembering His promises, His Words to us that our trust remains in God alone.
God is both just and our Justifier,
giving to us His great salvation so rich and free,
as we trust God in all things.