“For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his descendants…” vs. 16a
Paul is taking great pains to show the Romans the distinction between the legalisms of Judaism and the freedom he had discovered in Christ. He doesn’t believe that what he is teaching is new. Rather, he tells them that the seeds of this understanding were sown in God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah in the very beginning. That covenant was based, not on law, but on the righteousness of faith, and was applicable to all. And since faith is not some new law or legal requirement, the entire promise rests on grace. The blessing was a total gift of God and was intended not just for Jews, but for all nations. That’s why, in so many of our congregations, we find such a strong emphasis on grace–it’s the divine principle on which everything else rests. And what a blessing it is to be a part of a faith community where that principle is actually practiced! It’s wonderful to gather with others and celebrate grace week after week with no thought to theological distinctions or proper rituals. There’s no need for judgment or separation. We can concentrate totally on inclusion and love, and together find ways to serve the broken in our hurting world. We can argue and debate about any number of things, and when we’re done, by God’s grace, we give hugs and celebrate our unity in Christ.
Thought for the Day: When grace is the unifier, what can separate us?