Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Grace and the Obedience of Faith

Romans 1 -

through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, 6 including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, 7 To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

What an encouraging few verses! Paul is writing to the Roman church - explaining to them a beautiful picture of grace in these first few verses. Paul shares that God has given him (and others) grace in order to bring about the obedience of faith for God's glory!

Think about the phrase "obedience of faith". Usually, humans tend to think of obedience as something we conjure up inside of our selves. That obedience then boosts our self-esteem (makes us feel better about what we can do). However, this is not how Paul describes true obedience. From God's perspective, obedience is only that which is birthed through faith (dependence/reliance on Christ's life, death, resurrection and promises to grant you strength and joy today for God's glory). Then, the obedience that flows doesn't cause us to turn in-ward, it instead focuses our hearts on God's name in this world.

If you were to depend on your own merit to fulfill the Law, you know you'd fail. You aren't good enough. But, God is pleased in Christ and you can grow in your joy-filled obedience to Him because Christ has fulfilled all the Law in your place!

Oh, isn't God merciful? How beautiful that God would grant His children the grace to have faith and then He also accepts that faith as true obedience - that faith which we live by (Rom. 1:16-17)!

So, don't turn to your own will-power. Turn to Christ and pray (as Paul prayed for the Romans) that grace would be with you. And, if grace truly is towards you, you possess real faith and obedience.


Natalie Joy said...

Yes God is so merciful! It blows my mind. Very wonderful way of explaining obedience. Wow!
For all God has given and done for us, it makes me wonder,yet again, how the Children of God can slap Him in the face by thinking our way is better than Christ and obeying Him. Ya know?

Noldorin_Calvinist said...

Encouraging words indeed! The Gospel is a glorious thing that encourages and allows us to prevail and persevere... Thank you for these encouraging words, God Bless

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