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.
We all try to make sense of and explain the reality around us. Theists believe in God and attribute the world’s existence and working in some way to that God (or gods). Atheists, agnostics, and skeptics have a different explanation.
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.
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.
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.
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.
First impressions are seldom correct. We’re quick to judge others but a better approach is to choose to see the best in each other and extend grace. It’s something we all need.