Friday, April 4, 2014

Getting Right and Doing Right

Getting Right and Doing Right
“Abraham never wavered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was absolutely convinced that God was able to do anything he promised. And because of Abraham’s faith, God declared him to be righteous.”               (Romans 4:20-22 NLT).
One of my all-time favorite videos is Mr. Holland’s Opus. Glenn Holland (played by Richard Dreyfuss) has a passion to compose a memorable piece of music. Reluctantly, in order to provide for his family, he accepts a job as a music teacher and ultimately realizes that his real passion is teaching and inspiring young people to live out their dreams. The story line climaxes with Mr. Holland leading his former music students in performing his “Opus” to a packed audience.
     On his third missionary journey, Paul spent three years in the Corinthian church before coming to a crossroads. It was decision time. The question was—since he was so far west and close to Rome, should he visit the church there (one he did not start), or should he fulfill the responsibility to safely transport the financial contributions donated by the Macedonian Christians to the suffering church at Jerusalem? Which would it be—Rome or Jerusalem? Would it be to the southeast or northwest? After much prayer and deliberation, he decided to write a letter to the church at Rome, and proceeded to take the offerings to Jerusalem. He would later visit Rome, but in chains under arrest for alleged insurrection in Jerusalem.
     The letter to the church at Rome was not just a postcard. It is considered to be one of Paul’s greatest works—his “magnum opus!” In the first eleven chapters he explains what is necessary in order to “get right” with God, and in the last five chapters, he explains how we are to demonstrate the righteousness of Christ that has been credited to our account. The word “therefore” in Chapter twelve is the hinge that connects doctrine with duty, theology with practice, understanding with application, and believing with doing.
     Dr. David Jeremiah in the introduction to Romans in his Study Bible (2013) states: “Those who have trusted in Christ Jesus for salvation were never meant to live defeated, despairing, boxed-in, unhappy lives.” Take heed to what Paul says in Romans 5:17, “The sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over us, but all who receive God’s wonderful, gracious gift of righteousness will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ.” (NLT)
     Dr. Jeremiah goes on to say, “Life certainly presents an abundance of problems, but those who belong to God have been given an abundance of grace—the unlimited, unbounded favor of God in Christ—with which to deal with those troubles.”  Are you trusting your all to Jesus?

Prayer: Dear Lord, how I thank you that your grace is sufficient for all my needs. 

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