I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:16–17
It was great to have Keith Ferrin share God's word with us this past Sunday. I am thankful for Keith and the other folks who are and have been stepping up and helping me carry the load as I go through this season of radiation treatment. Thank you all for your prayers, they are birthed in the good news of Jesus, fueled by the power and the hope of salvation, both at a moment and as a process.
I loved the challenge and the clarity of the Romans for our everyday life and all that we face. Keith summarized his points in his blog post, but I will do so here as well:
1. The Gospel is the Power of God.
What greater power is there than God's, what greater freedom do we have than the knowledge that the power is his -- from him and to him.
2. Salvation is an Event and a Process.
This amazing truth is not cause for dejection that I am "never going to get there," but freedom and courage that I do not have to wait until I "get there" to be used by God. I am saved by him (and all heaven rejoices). And then the realization of my salvation, the becoming who I already am in Christ, continues, fueled by him and with him.
3. Salvation is for Everyone.
We needn't make the call as where people are in the process, but instead should rest assured that God has the hope for salvation in everybody. That frees us to be more like him and to live in the reality that he is at work before and after us in often invisible ways.
4. God has Made me Righteous.
One word: Grace. We cannot earn, nor can we repay. It is God's work that makes us righteous, his goodness that makes us good. So then, we are freed and empowered to move into Kingdom choices and actions based upon the nudging of the Spirit and upon our desire to live into our righteousness rather than a supposed score card of good and bad. We all have an internal scorecard to some degree or in some area. Rather than propel us to be better, it blocks us from living into our righteousness and is a lie from the enemy.
5. I Live by Faith.
The Bible describes faith using words like "evidence," and "substance." Faith is observable. As we learn to believe that salvation is for us, for our church, for our community and for the world, that it is an ongoing process borne from God's deep love for us and fueled by God's power, and his righteousness, it will change the way we live (not might, but will). People will notice. You will notice. That's the truth. And the truth will set you free.
That's good news.
Peace, hope and love