The First 15

Wednesday July 7, 2021

by Sharon Reid

Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father – help me start today with a clear heart and a clear mind ready to receive your word in a brand new way today. Amen.

Scripture Reading

Romans 5:1-11

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him! For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! Not only is this so, but we also boast in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

Reflection 

The Apostle Paul uses the word “justification” in verse 25, meaning the pardoning of our sin by God’s grace. This redemptive and divine work of Jesus Christ, through his death and resurrection, is a gift of grace that makes us right with God.

Eugene Peterson translates Paul’s words this way:
“This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does. God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them. For Abraham is father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father.” – Romans 4:16 MSG

Paul wants his listeners to grasp that God’s promise to Abraham reaches far beyond Abraham’s genetic offspring and out into the world of his faith offspring. Our response of gratitude for God’s generous, pardoning and justifying gift of grace is to have faith, which Eugene Petersen translates as, “trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does.”
● How could you more fully orient your life toward “trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does”?
● Does this understanding of faith in God seem more simple or more complicated for you?

Closing Prayer

Lord, these are your words. This is our story. Help me live in a way that honors you today and everyday. Amen.

The First 15

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