Did you see yourself in that list of sinners? I’m sure the list is a lot longer than that! We can all think of sins we’ve committed. We can all remember seeing important people in our lives falling out of graces with God due to sin. Paul’s words can be startling. “[N]one of these will inherit the Kingdom of God.” But hold on, all is not lost!
Paul assures his readers that we don’t have to stay stuck in our sins. There is a way out. Jesus was sent on a rescue mission to capture our hearts and draw us closer to God. Being “right with God” is what Paul says is what we need to do. “[Y]ou were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
I’ll never forget when I read this passage. I had been a very successful paralegal at my law firm for years! Now I felt like I had gotten punched in the gut! I’ve struggled with this only because handling lawsuits was my profession for nearly 30 years.
We’re supposed to avoid that behavior, and I am in total agreement with Paul. You can’t imagine all of the things I have seen, broken relationships, penniless victims, crooked judges, deception, lies, etc. How could that NOT be a bad thing!
This was a hard text to read. It was confrontational and appears to be unloving. Where is the grace, mercy, and love? This is one of those texts we often disregard believing it’s not relevant anymore. For me, because it is in the Bible, it’s important and eternally applicable. As far as I know, God hasn’t made any “amendments” to his word. So, let’s unpack it a bit.
When we read the Bible, it serves us well to always take things in context and understand what was happening in the world at the time the words were written. That does NOT give us liberty to disregard the parts that make us feel “uncomfortable.”
Did you like to play dress up when you were a kid? I always figured out a way to get my brother involved in the make-believe, and we made all sorts of great memories. Who did you pretend to be? I was usually a teacher or a mother.
As grown-ups, we often look to other people who we admire and want to be like them. Amy Grant is one of those people I dreamed of being. What a beautiful voice she has! Some people idolize athletes and movie stars. Often, the underlying character of those celebrities is flawed. If we could only see the “real” person we might not be so enamored.
Are you vocal about your faith or do you keep it quiet? Many people feel it’s “safer” to keep their faith under wraps when it comes to their public life. Our private lives are a different story. What happens behind closed doors is just that–unseen by others. In essence, we are keeping the best “secret” of all hidden. How does that make sense?
Jesus’ saving grace is available for all. Why aren’t we shouting it from the rooftops? Why? Because somebody would probably call the cops or admissions at the “funny farm.” Sadly, we’ve all seen people who are overly enthusiastic about their faith and their actions are anything but “attractive.” Even to us as fellow believers!