Monday, January 12, 2015

January 12 - Righteousness by Faith

Today's Reading:
1 Samuel 18:5-19:24
Romans 9:25-10:13
Psalm 78:40-55
Click on Text Link to Read Online

Focus Verses:
Romans 9:14-16; 30-33

14 What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15 For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion." 16 It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy.
- - -
30 What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith; 31 but Israel, who pursued a law of righteousness, has not attained it. 32 Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but as if it were by works. They stumbled over the "stumbling stone." 33 As it is written: "See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame."


This chapter of Romans is often very misunderstood because it is not read in context with the entire book of Romans. When we ask, "Who is chosen by God to receive his mercy (9:14)?" The greater context answers, "The one who pursues righteousness by faith (9:30-31) in Christ (9:33)."

God's sovereign choice ("compassion on whom I have compassion") is not some willy-nilly arbitrary groundless whim. The sovereign God has made a way to life and salvation—Jesus. To pursue righteousness through placing faith in Christ is a choice I make. God's sovereign choice is to save all who choose to place faith in Christ Jesus.

Read all of Romans and notice how God holds people accountable for rejecting Christ. Notice that those who do not receive mercy are those who are obstinate toward God's mercy (10:21) Though God has been extending his open arms of love to them, they are unwilling to accept his love. Instead of choosing righteousness through Christ, they exchange the truth of God for a lie (1:25). The sovereign God chooses to hold us responsible for our choices.

Response and Action:
I choose Jesus, who first chose me. I surrender to God and embrace the salvation and forgiveness he extends to me through faith in Christ Jesus. My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus. I would have no hope or choice apart from God's grace, but God in his sovereignty has offered life for the choosing through Christ.

O God, thank you for extending your compassion and mercy to mankind. Help me to know your compassion and mercy in deeper and fuller ways with each new day. O Lord, I pray that you would soften hearts and open eyes so that more and more people would come to know the hope of Christ and the joy of salvation. Help me to be a witness of your mercy and a testimony of your compassion. Thank you for your promise to save all who put their faith in Christ. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses:  
1 Timothy 2:4-6
4 [God our Savior] wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all men—the testimony given in its proper time.

Who Needs Theology: An Invitation to the Study of God
by Stanley Grenz and Roger E. Olson

No comments: