THIS WEEK’S FOCUSED SCRIPTURE
So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 5:21(NIV)
What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in this matter? If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast about—but not before God. What does Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.” Romans 4:1 (NIV)
For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Romans 5:10 (NIV)
When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so they sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves. Genesis 3:6 (NIV)
For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Romans 1:21-23 (NIV)
THOUGHTS FROM YOLANDA
This week we’ll read Romans chapters 1 – 5 together. It is a famous discourse of Paul as he breaks down reliance on the law for righteousness and lifts up grace “reigning” through righteousness, which now comes by faith. It sounds pretty important because it is. In these chapters Paul lays out the very foundation of our faith. Paul is exposing our long reliance on ourselves and our own abilities for righteousness, acceptance, and love. In its place, Paul displays the truth that Christ, through faith, is our only source for righteousness, acceptance, and love.
There are two major things that grab me through this week’s reading. First, is a giant glimpse at the extravagant expanse of God’s love for us and faithfulness towards us. There would be no acceptance without this love. There would be no faith without this love. We would have no righteousness without this love. Consider for a moment Romans 5:10, For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son…” This verse is a confession of a deep, immovable love that challenges our human reasoning and thinking. “Lord, how could Your Son dying for me be the thing that restores me to You? How could that be the act that makes us not enemies? Wouldn’t the death of Your Son be the nail in the coffin that separates me from You?” No, because They did it on purpose! The Father and the Son agree that it is, and was, worth it for Jesus to suffer as He did so that you could be free and restored back to Them. This is the truth and the reality of the God that loves you.
Second, I see God’s desire and plan for us to rely on Him as our source. If we go all the way back to Adam and Eve, we see them make the choice to trade reliance on God as their source of everything, including their righteousness, for reliance on themselves. We have been following this example since that day. Take a moment and read Romans 1:21-23. Here Paul makes the outcome of this trade very clear. Can you see this in your own life? I can. I can see where I have worked to create a righteousness of my own and hold it up in celebration. God’s love for us is proof that He is the only source we need.
I encourage you to take a moment with the Holy Spirit and allow Him to show you the areas in your life where you have become your own source. Repent and submit those areas back to the Lord and choose to trust His love for you in the process.