Prepare to listen and light 3 purple and pink candles. Pray: ‘Worship the LORD in holy splendour; tremble before him, all the earth. (Psalm 96:9)
Prayerfully Read Romans 1:1-7
Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy scriptures, the gospel concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be Son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith among all the Gentiles for the sake of his name, including yourselves who are called to belong to Jesus Christ, To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Paul knows how to pack good theology into a few verses! However, I was struck by one phrase: ‘the obedience of faith.’ It’s a significant phrase used again at the end of Romans (16:26). It reminds us that the Christian faith is more than a system of beliefs. It’s a way of living. Growing up in the church I was taught that the most important thing about being Christian was believing the right content. This became burdensome and oppressive and I was relieved when I learned that what mattered has more to do with living rightly (‘the obedience of faith’) than believing rightly. That’s what Jesus looks for in us who believe.
Faith isn’t content we must believe and nothing more. Faith is also obedience, that is, a life lived daily in response to God’s will. Our faith content might not be 100 percent correct. And that’s okay. The real issue is our walk. The question to ask ourselves is: Am I practicing an obedience that demonstrates my faith?
Jesus is God in the flesh. Believing this great faith truth is the beginning, but just a beginning. It will only grow deeper as we seek to live more obediently to God in Christ. Ponder how you can practice a more consistent obedience today (the key word is practice).
Respond to Jesus
Lord, I often fail in faith because I focus only on believing the right stuff. Help me practice the obedience of faith and keep practicing, until I get better and better at it for the sake of your name and in gratitude for your sacrifice for my sin. Amen.
Go live obediently in the world practicing the obedience of faith.