“But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness.” vs. 5
The truth of the gospel was readily apparent to those who began following Jesus in those early years following his resurrection. They knew that in him they had forgiveness and life. But knowing the truth wasn’t always enough as they began talking with others about faith matters. People responded to the good news with questions about mechanics: how does this happen, or more frequently, don’t I have to do something to get the gift? Paul did his best to explain, in this instance going all the way back to Abraham, and reminding his readers that Abraham was without works, and that faith was reckoned to him as righteousness. That’s still a good answer. It’s enough to trust God! We don’t have to prove that we are decent and pious…in fact, it’s better to have a strong sense of our own unworthiness. It’s when we think we’re deserving that we start getting in trouble and turning our backs on God. We don’t even have to understand the mechanics of salvation or be able to explain some complicated theory of the atonement. Those sorts of conversations only serve to confuse us and often cause division. It is enough to know that we are sinners and that God loves us. Such faith gives us release from the burdens of the past and frees us for the possibilities of the present.
Thought for the Day: What are the mechanics of salvation?