Friday, December 1, 2017
Today’s Bible Reading: Romans 5-8
Journal Entry on a passage from today’s reading:
SCRIPTURE: Romans 5:6-11
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life! 11 Not only is this so, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. (Rom 5:6-11 NIV)
In this passage the Apostle Paul points out that through Jesus Christ we may be reconciled to God—changed from being subject to God’s wrath to being saved from His wrath—changed from being enemies of God to friendship with God. The Greek word katallasso, or some variation of this root, is translated as reconciled or reconciliation in these verses. In its simplest form katallaso means to be made different, to be changed. In yesterday’s Bible reading in Romans 4 we find the Greek word logizomai employed to describe faith and belief in God being “credited” as righteousness. Generally speaking, logizomai is an accounting term. Abraham’s faith-filled belief in God was credited to his account that he was righteous.
It is interesting that Paul explains these very spiritual concepts in practical accounting terms to help the Romans and us understand. In bookkeeping, when both sides of a ledger do not balance there is a problem. However, if credits can be entered to offset expenditures, the ledger is reconciled. In the ledger of our lives the expense of sin is so vast that we can never earn enough righteousness to offset the debt. Only God can grant the credit (logizomai) needed to reconcile (katallaso) our books and bring us into right standing. It must be understood, however, that God is not saying that because men and women cannot produce enough good works to earn salvation on their own that He has accepted faith as an easier substitute. He is saying that salvation is credited freely and faith is the means whereby we receive that gift.
Christ did not die for me because I was worthy, but because I was unworthy and powerless to save myself. While I was still a sinner (bad, worthless, not the kind of person that would be found worthwhile to save), Christ died for me (vv. 6-8).
This is still a concept that supposedly intelligent human beings find hard to grasp. I appreciate how Paul labors to help us understand and I am inspired to strive all the more to make God’s truths understandable to people as lost as I was before I was reconciled to God through Christ.
Lord, I admit my frustration at times when trying to explain the truth of Your salvation to people who are either unable or unwilling to understand. Help me to be enabled by Your Holy Spirit to communicate for you in ways that pierce the darkness surrounding men’s souls and enable faith to be activated. Through Christ. Amen. –AP