Having completed our bible reading on Roman’s chapter 1-2 yesterday, today it was time to turn to Romans chapter 3 and 4. It might seem like a strange place to start, but we decided that it would be more beneficial for us to start off our bible readings with the New Testament, as the books featured the time during and after Jesus had come to earth (A.D). The 4 gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were commonly discussed in church so we decided to skip ahead to Romans and circle back around to the gospels at a later date.
I know we’re meant to only pick one key verse from each chapter, but I though that these three verses gave more context to the understanding of this chapter:
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. 25 God presented Christ as a sacrifice of atonement,[i] through the shedding of his blood—to be received by faith. He did this to demonstrate his righteousness… – Romans 3:23-25
As a child that was ‘schooled’ (or shall I say, learned) in the scriptures through the AWANA program, I clearly remember memorizing Romans 3:23 again and again, so perhaps that’s why this verse in particular, and the ones directly after it, stood out to me. These 3 verses, in my view, summarize the entire gospel story in three sentences. In the beginning, mankind was introduced to sin, causing us all to fall short – literally- to become distant- from God. However, because of God’s sacrifice in the form of his only son, Jesus, we are free to be received by God through faith. Faith in him, in his power, and in his ability to completely transform our lives. I have to admit that I don’t feel God’s power in all is entirety yet, and it’s do with the fact that sometimes I find myself running away from him and turning to sin. It’s a tedious process, but I’m working on becoming a better Christian.
As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.”[c] He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.- Romans 4:17
This verse emphasizes the enormity of God’s power, and the profound effect of Abraham’s unmoving faith in God. Although Abraham was already 100 years old at this time, as was his wife Sarah, he had complete and utter faith that God’s promise that Sarah would bear a son would be upheld. What happened after that? Abraham became a ‘father of many nations,’ and it was said that his offspring were far greater in number than the skies glittering in the night sky. (Hebrews 11:12).
I am reminded that we have to trust in God in order for this relationship to function properly. Undoubtedly, one-sided relationships will never succeed, no matter whether they are romantic, platonic, or familial. In order for a healthy, thriving relationship, we have to place all our faith in God, to rely on him, and continue to do our best through the energy, power, and inspiration that he gives us every single day.