March 4

Romans 4:1-5

“But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.” vs. 5

Paul takes pains to remind his readers that their ancestor, Abraham, was made righteous, not because of his works, but because of his faith. And then, in the process of making his point, he defines faith as trust. We would do well to remember his definition! Too often we fall into the trap of thinking that faith is something like “believing,” and that it involves assenting to a particular set of credal statements. While it is true that creeds have value for a community of faith, it is trust that binds us to one another and to God. And the most important aspect of trust is allowing our sinful selves to fold into God’s loving arms and knowing that we don’t have to perform well to please God. Even as ungodly persons we have been redeemed and forgiven, and the image of God is being restored. Like Abraham we have been invited to journey with God into a future that is jam-packed with blessings and every goodness. That call has come in spite of our flaws and short-comings, and as we trust the promises that come with it, our lives are transformed. There are some of course who don’t trust grace and who prefer to “go it alone.” But they can’t escape being loved by the One they don’t trust–they too have been justified. It may mean nothing to them, but it means the world to their family and friends.

Thought for the Day: Why do some find it hard to trust God?

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