Saturday, January 27, 2018

Year 8, Day 27: Romans 4

Theological Commentary: Click Here

In Romans 4, Paul sets straight a very old argument.  What is it that makes God’s people?  For centuries, Jews have believed that what made them God’s people was that they received the Law.  We in the church think similar things.  Some say that we have baptism.  Others talk about special gifts from Godlike miracles or speaking in tongues.  The truth is that we like to put our faith into the evidences of our salvation.

However, let’s go back to the example that Paul lifts up in this passage.  Abraham was one of God’s people, given the promise of God centuries prior to God giving the Law through Moses.  Abraham wasn’t loved by God because of his ability to keep the Law perfectly.  Abraham was one of God’s people because his heart was with God.  It was the condition of Abraham’s heart, not his perfection, that caught God’s eye.

The same is true for us.  Does God love us because we perform miracles in His name, speak in tongues through His power, or even because we are baptized in His name?  Of course not!  He loved us before we did any of those things!

The truth is that God gave His people the Law because of His love for them.  The same thing is true about us.  He gives us His promise of baptism because of His love.  He gives us His gifts because of His love.  He works miracles through us because He already loves us.  All of these things come to us as a response in love, not things we must do or have in order to obtain His love.