To the man who does not work (for his salvation) but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness.
— Romans 4:5
Our new sermon series, which we started last Sunday at c|Life, is on the message found in the book of Romans. The theme of Romans is the gospel. The good news. It should be very familiar to every Christian, but it seems as if we lose our gospel focus from time to time.
This is not a new problem for the church. In fact, not long after the great work of God on our behalf was done on the cross, early churches were reverting back to some old ways. Some wanted to keep the Law as part of what was needed in their religious life. From time to time even today we seem to make light of the grace of God and think we need to do something to help save ourselves. May God forgive us of that. God’s grace is more than enough to blot out our sins and make us righteous in his sight.
In Max Lucado’s book, Come Thirsty, he tells a story that took place back in the late 1800s. A group of fishermen were relaxing in a Scottish seaside inn, trading fishing and hunting stories. One of the men gestured widely with one hand while telling a questionable tale and accidentally knocked the serving maid’s tea tray into the wall. It made quite a mess.
The innkeeper looked at the damage and sighed, “That whole wall will need to be repainted.” A stranger spoke up and said, “No, let me work with it.” So he pulled out some pencils, brushes and pigment out of an art box. He started to work. He sketched lines around the stains, and added color to the splashes of tea. In time, an image emerged of a stag with a great rack of antlers. The man then inscribed his name at the bottom, paid for his meal and left. His name was Sir Edwin Landseer, the great wildlife painter. In his hands, a mistake became a masterpiece.
God’s hands can do the same in your life. If you have not already done so, ask God to forgive your sins and to enter into your heart today. You can become a child of God and a masterpiece of his grace.