March 14, 2023 – Romans 4: 1-8 – Amazing Grace

Today we’ll look at Romans 4: 1-8:

1What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? 2For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 4Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. 5But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. 6So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works: 7“Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; 8blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.” 

Romans is the first book of Christian theology ever written. In Romans, Paul introduces himself to a church that doesn’t know him. They may know him through reputation, but they don’t “know” him. He is telling them who he is, but more importantly, to Paul, he is telling them who Jesus is.

Romans is a beautiful and powerful book that should be read often. If I had only one book of scripture to read for the rest of my life, it might very well be Romans because in this book, we get a powerful explanation of the Gospel and a look at what the Gospel life should look like.

Today there is much to appreciate, but I was struck by verse 4, which says, “To the one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift, but as something due.” I think this is such a powerful concept.

Is salvation something we are given, or is it something that we deserve? The answer to that question tells us so much about what we believe.

If we believe that we deserve salvation, that we’ve earned it, then we really believe that our salvation comes from works. We’ve “done” something to have earned this. There is nothing marvelous or amazing about grace and salvation; it’s simply wages due for a job done. We’ve done a job, and we’ve been paid. We’ve simply received what we are due.

There is nothing amazing about that.

But if salvation is a gift, then that means we haven’t earned it. We’ve done nothing to deserve it. It is not wages. It’s not something we are due. It’s a free, undeserved gift given by a loving God.

And do you know what that is? It is amazing. It is marvelous. It is grace. It is amazing grace. An unearned, undeserved gift that we simply receive as a gift from our loving God.

So, be honest. Do you believe that you deserve salvation, or do you believe that salvation is given to you as a gift? The answer to that question will determine whether grace is truly amazing or not.

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