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Only One risen Saviuor

Only One risen Saviuor
There is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved - Jesus

Friday, 26 December 2014

Romans Recap


I've been feeling the necessity for a few days to do a review and this is the perfect spot. Why? Because Paul begins verse 31 with a question that refers back to all he has said so far. So our first order of business is to review what he has been saying.
First he stated boldly that he was not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation (healing) for all who believe, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. This statement was earth shattering for 2 reasons. The first is that implying Jews need saving/healing is way outside the box since they are the chosen ones. Secondly putting the Greeks (all the "filthy" non Jews) on par with the Jews and part of God's saving plan is not just outside the box but off the map!
He then spends considerable time in chapter 1 showing how sinful we have all become (Jew and Gentile). In chapter 2 he says God's goodness is what leads us to change for the better and that He has no favourites. In chapter 3 he said we've all sinned and fallen short of His glory which is His perfect character. In chapter 4 he explains Abraham was no perfect man but God counted him as perfect because he believed. In chapter 5 he states plainly that humans may choose to die for a great man or even a good man but not Jesus. Jesus was crazy in love with us. So crazy in love that while we were still His enemies He died for us. In chapter 6 he begins the slave/free theme showing that we were slaves of sin but because of what Jesus has done we are free to stop being slaves and to serve Him instead. In chapter 7 he continues the same theme but acknowledges there is a problem. The problem is that even after we choose God with our mind, our old sin habits persist. Like a headless chicken the "old man of sin" is still running around wreaking havoc. What to do? Jesus will rescue us! Jesus is rescuing us. The process has begun. 
Then chapter 8 begins with this staggering good news! "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus." Now we come to verses 31 and 32:

8:31 "What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"
Read it. Reread it. Ask God to give you the capacity to begin to believe it. God sent His Son as a demonstration of His love. He did not wait for us to be deserving or to even ask or desire to ask. Now that He has shown His love all we have to do is choose Him. By seeing His goodness we say "God I want that. I want a heart like yours. I want to be like you". As soon as we say that, all condemnation for our sins is removed and the healing process begins. The headless chicken may run around but his death is guaranteed and so is Jesus' victory in us.
That is Paul's point. No matter how real the struggle is to die to who we were and become what He is the outcome is guaranteed. What is the only possible answer to his question? "If God be for us who can be against us?" God is fully invested in your success and mine. He staked the life of His Son on it. He can't be more invested. If you choose Him failure is not even possible. God does not fail. Abraham believed Him and the impossible happened. Will we?

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