February 24

Romans 5:12-19

“For just as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.” vs. 19

Paul had loved the ancient stories of the Hebrews and had tucked them away in his memory bank. And now as he attempted to explain the righteousness of God to the Romans he drew on one of those stories to make sense of his message. He explained that the disease of sin had come into the world through one man, and that all humanity had been infected. Therefore all people were sinners. But the good news is that by the obedience of Jesus Christ all humanity will be healed through God’s grace. All people have been and will be made righteous. For Paul, this was the gospel in a nutshell! In general people had many questions about Paul’s grace-centered teachings. This new message, even though it arose out of their scriptures, seemed to undermine the law and many thought that it would lead to careless and licentious living. And there were many others who thought that it was too inclusive. People still have those reactions when they first hear about what has been called “universal salvation.” They wonder if anyone will even bother to go to church if everything has already been taken care of. After all, why pay when you can get in for free? But Paul is clear. Jesus paid the price for all! And for most of us that’s good news!

Thought for the Day: How do I feel about free gifts?

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