Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Thoughts from Romans 4

It is so humbling and awesome to re-visit the truths of the gospel. I'm absolutely ashamed but not afraid to admit I know so little - indeed have hardly scratched the surface of the gospel! And actually after the last few days listening to Rob Rufus preach on grace - have wondered what I was actually saved to! I'm transcribing a message Rob preached at a conference in East London in South Africa where he used Romans 3 and 4 as a text.

So my Bible is sitting open on the desk (as I like to follow along when he reads) and these verses just caught my eye this morning.

Romans 4:4-5; "Now to the one who works, his wage is not credited as a favour but as what is due. But to the one who does not work, but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly - his faith is credited as righteousness".


"To the one who does not work but believes in Him who justifies the ungodly - his faith is credited as righteousness". So we want to be righteous before God? There is no mention of work - indeed it actually says; "To the one who does NOT work". What do we do then?

We believe in Him who justifies the ungodly. Most Christians believe the gospel of grace - but we still persist in trying to add "just a little Law" in so that we contribute something to our standing before God. It just goes against our whole nature to stand back and accept we have nothing and He has everything! But the wonderful C H Spurgeon wrote about the Law;

"Unless you and I keep the law of God perfectly, it matters little how near we get to perfection. It is as though God had committed to our trust a perfect crystal vase, and had said, "If you keep that whole, and present it to me, you shall have a reward." But we have cracked it, chipped it; ah! my brethren, the most of us have broken it and smashed it to pieces. But we will suppose that we have only cracked it a little. Yes, but even then we have lost the reward, for the condition was that it should be perfectly whole, and the slightest chip is a violation of the condition upon which the reward would have been given".

So the one who simply believes - his faith is credited as righteousness. The one who spends his time in effort and in "spiritual disciplines" trying and trying to add righteous deeds to the gospel - he is under a curse because; "Cursed is everyone that continueth not in all things written in the book of the law to do them". You break one law? You've broken them all. You had a moment of pride? You have committed adultery, homosexuality, prostitution, murder.

So much easier to just accept the gospel isn't it!? I'm learning so much about the Law and it's proper place and will probably blog more - it's just incredible how I feel like I'm going back to school!

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