When most of us read that I suspect a specific picture comes to mind, along with a chuckle, a look of exasperation, or maybe a little bit of both. As we have moved through the first 3 chapters of the book of Romans, the Lord, speaking through the hands of the Apostle Paul, has been dismantling any misconceptions about exactly what “it” is we have done.
No, we have not lived up to the standard, fulfilling the Law and all its requirements perfectly. No, we have not earned our salvation by the work of our hands, and therefore have no reason to boast before others, or to make demands of the Lord our God.
Instead, as Romans 3:23 put it so succinctly last week, “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”, and the only “I Did That!” we are entitled to declare, the only boast we can truly make, is that we have sinned, are absolutely worthy of the wrath of God, “but God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ, by grace you have been saved” (Ephesians 2:4).
Our “I Did That!” is far from a reason to boast in ourselves and much more of a confession of our failings; we are the villains in this cosmic story, not the heroes. It is the Lord Who is the Hero, the One who planned from eternity past to secure for Himself a people, “who for the joy that set before Him endured the cross” (Hebrews 12:2) for the sake of each and every person…who would work hard to earn His love! No, of course not! We could never work hard enough, but rather Christ endured the cross, “God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
He is both the object and the guarantee of our hope; He is our Hero, and our boast is in Him. As we continue our journey through Romans this week, we will be considering 2 Old Testament champions of the faith: Abraham and David. Both men were highly exalted by the Hebrews, and if we can look at their lives and clearly see that even they could not save themselves by works, but were declared righteous by grace through faith, by believing God and His promises and trusting in Him, then surely you and I can, and must rest in the same today.
Join us Sunday at 9 and 1045 as we continue our series, Romans: The Book of the Power of the Gospel; I look forward to seeing you there!
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