Love in ActionHow can you show Christ’s love to someone in need with both your words and your actions?
Top Christian Music Videos
Saturday October 5
right with God
Theologians are debating what the apostle Paul meant when he said that “we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law” (Romans 3:28). Traditional Protestants follow Martin Luther’s insight that sinners like us can’t do enough good works to satisfy a holy God. We become right with God by putting our faith in Jesus. When we trust Christ, God our Father performs what Luther called the “joyous exchange,” placing the guilt of our sin upon Jesus and counting His righteousness as our own.
But some scholars are challenging this longstanding view. They say that Luther projected his monastic struggles upon Paul, and that the apostle was making a very different point. They say Paul used the term justification (being “right with God”) not to describe how an individual receives salvation through Jesus, but how Jews and Gentiles could live rightly with each other. So the new view states that justification isn’t about personal salvation but about ethnic reconciliation.
As with many issues, the right answer to this debate is not either/or but both/and. In the first half of Ephesians 2 Paul celebrates the precious gospel of personal salvation. We “were dead because of our sins,” but God “raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms” (vv.5-6). The second half explains that God, who saved us individually, has not left us to ourselves; He has “made peace between Jews and Gentiles by creating in Himself one new people from the two groups” (v.15).
Paul didn’t separate personal salvation from corporate unity; he brought them together. The same righteousness that forgives our sin unites us with other believers. —Mike Wittmer
Read 2 Corinthians 5:14-21 and note what it says about Jesus and the reconciliation found in Him.
Do you tend to focus more on the gospel’s teaching of personal salvation or ethnic reconciliation? Is one more important than the other? How do you think they’re connected?
- Love in Action - How can you show Christ’s love to someone in need with both your words and your actions?...read more
- Generous Hearts - Have you ever been the recipient of someone else’s generosity?...read more
- Persecuted but Growing - Have you ever seen God use something negative or discouraging to accomplish something amazing?...read more
- Autumn Moments - What season of life are you in right now?...read more
- Where Love Flourishes - How does the love of a man and woman united in Christ reflect the love God has for us?...read more
- You're Needed - How are you serving the body of Christ?...read more
- Not Coming Back - How does Jesus’ sacrificial example inspire you today?...read more
- Everything Matters - In God’s vision for the world, everything matters....read more
- Valid! - Our value comes from God in whose image we all have been created....read more
- Cupcake Face - Do you have a sin in your life you’ve been trying to hide from God?...read more
- Four Views - Have you ever wished that the Bible was written differently or in a way that was easier for you to understand?...read more
- Perfect Peace - Are you living out God’s “perfect peace”?...read more
- Cherished Possessions - Do you share the same love, empathy, and care for sinners?...read more
- Is This Heaven? - What do you think about heaven and earth?...read more
- Another View - How can the suffering of another person be used by God to help others grow in Him?...read more
- Good Company - How do you choose the company that you keep?...read more