The death of Jesus is nothing less than God loving us so much that he chose to fix the shortfall in divine-human relations himself, by dying for us, at our hands.
As Abraham had faith in God even in the unlikeliest of circumstances, let us also have a hopeful faith.
It is critically important that Paul chooses to disarm his Jewish critics not through clever rhetoric or philosophy, but rather by taking them back to what their own bible says.
Let us pray that God will reinvigorate our faith in his grace this Lent, as we contemplate just how kind he has been in sending his Son to die for our sakes.
The grace of God – his favour, undeserved and freely given – is an incredibly important concept to Paul. Most of Romans as a letter is devoted to unfolding the concept, and to explaining that it really is as radical as it sounds: for no reason, and without us deserving it at all, God has just decided to be permanently kind to us – to all of us.
If, when it comes down to it, we go through all the rigmarole of our religious practices and we don’t become more like Christ because for all our piety we don’t act like him, then all our pious devotions do is expose us as hypocrites.
What matters is that we all sin, and that, as a consequence, none of us can take the moral high ground over one another.
In order to rejoice properly in how great a salvation God has given us in Christ, we need to be realistic about how far we have fallen.
Introducing our “Reading Romans Through Lent” series of devotions