The nature of grace means that God doesn’t owe it to us. Grace is simply defined as undeserved favour. As such it cannot be owed; it would cease to be grace.
As we explore the deep, rich mine of God’s truth in Romans, we do so with great gratitude to Him who led Paul to write these words. Like no other book of the Bible, Romans forms the doctrinal cornerstone of Christianity. Because it touches on every major belief of Christianity, it is foundational to our faith.
To illustrate how God uses ordinary people, let’s travel back in time to a period of history called the Reformation. The Reformation’s heroes and battlefields may not be as recognizable as the American Revolution’s George Washington and Valley Forge. Yet the soldiers who led a religious revolution from the 1300s to the 1500s made a tremendous difference in what matters most to us—our understanding of God, the Bible, and salvation.
In the previous lesson, we studied several faithful men from the Reformation era. Time failed us, though, to tell the whole story of the greatest difference maker of that period, Martin Luther. Let’s pause for a while at his portrait and draw courage from his example of faith.
The same power that first pushed up the mountains moves within the simple words of the Gospel: Jesus died for sinners and is alive today. Believe in Him, receive His forgiveness, and follow Him into the life God intended.
The church is a place like no other. You’ll rarely find such a supportive community elsewhere in life. When you hurt there are people who will stay with you and suffer with you.
Why are we so reluctant to share the Gospel? We hear so much about the need for evangelism but it doesn’t affect us if we don’t have a burden for the lost.
Too often we experience shame over the wrong issues or in too great a degree. Paul, in Romans 1:16, drew an important boundary around shame. He marked off the things of Christ, leaving shame to the realm of the sinful and disobedient.
When was the last time you directly gave a word of encouragement to someone else? Form a new habit: think of a way to encourage one person every day. It will change your life.
No one is qualified to judge another. We don’t have all the facts, we don’t know motives, and because we have our own prejudices and worldviews, it’s impossible to be objective. The only one who has all the information is God. He alone is qualified to judge.