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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Something to be happy about

NOTE: I may post more than one in a day, but they really are meant to be a daily period of reading and reflection. If I get ahead, it is only to cover future gaps where I am unable to post. I am also playing with format. Please bear with me.
READ: Romans 5
KEY VERSE: Romans 5:21
DEVOTIONAL:
So far in our study of Romans, we have found the need for salvation, the just consequence of sin and faith as the eternal means of salvation. But the focus has always been on sin. Today, we will see that Christians have something to rejoice about.
When we have achieved our salvation and are justified with grace, we have a peace in our relationship with God. This chapter contains two sets of progressions:
Faith -> Grace -> Hope of the Glory of God
And
Tribulation -> Patience -> Experience -> Hope
(If you counted to see which one gives hope first, perhaps you need some more patience.)
And hope maketh not ashamed, because our God will not let us down.
If you are living in tribulation or in happy faith, both come to the hope of God and both of those hopes shall be fulfilled. In this we can rejoice: Whatever happens to us will strengthen us in hope, for those who love God. Even though few men have the love to die for a good man, while we were living in the throes of sin, the perfect Christ died for us and gave us access to the love of God through the Holy Spirit. When Adam and Eve ate from the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, they made it possible for all people after to sin. When Jesus died, me made it possible for all people to be free of sin. The free gift of salvation, the gift of grace, is without limit.
All men sinned before the Law of Moses, and only those with faith in the Lord of Hosts will escape judgement. After the law of Moses, people were aware of what their transgression was, but still, only those with faith will escape judgement. When Christ came and fulfilled the Law, we now look back onto his sacrifice and faith saves.
That is something to rejoice about.
QUESTIONS:
(1) Do you wear a smile worthy of the good news? Or does your dark demeanor turn people away from God's happiness?
(2) Does v 21 have a real, personal meaning to you?
(3) The Bible tells us the law is a schoolmaster to show us our sin. Do you avoid learning about your sin and deprive yourself of becoming more Christlike?

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