Friday, February 3, 2012

Romans 8

     There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! That is going to be the focus of this Sunday's message at Christ Church. Jesus extends mercy and grace to those who have tried and failed and are aware of their failure. Jesus has harsh words for those (Pharisees, Scribes, etc.) who don't recognize their own failures and need for mercy and grace. Total freedom from the craziness and busyness of legalistic religion is found in that simple phrase: there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus! I am free to try and fail, I am free to explore the faith and life God has given me, I am free of worrying about the minutia of legal standards -- free to love God and love my neighbor and seek and receive forgiveness when I fail.
     God's purpose is being worked out in the world through us. Romans 8:28 reminds us that God uses every aspect of our lives for good. One friend of mine has suggested that God is the most frugal being in the universe and will use whatever we bring to advance the kingdom. If all we have is pain, God will use our pain to help others. God uses every experience, every success, every failure, every victory, every defeat, to build character in us and to continue to transform the world around us. I live my life with greater confidence knowing that God's purposes are not thwarted by my successes and/or failures. God uses it all to build good in me and God's kingdom in the world.
    The simple reason for this is Romans 8:31 to the end. Nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. I believe I can never lose my relationship with Jesus. It will never be taken away. In that confidence and that assurance of my relationship and salvation . . . I am free to try and will never fear condemnation again.

1 comment:

reagan family said...

This is just plain fun. We enjoy greatly your witness of the grace- and know that it is the goodness of God's mercy that leads us onward, no need or room for strife- no separation whatsoever from Christ! This is the heart of the great commission- this wonderful news! It is positively inconceivable to imagine a universe such as our own without the possibility of total and complete, unreserved forgiveness- this is our hope for better and better decision making- this is our opportunity to grow!