It’s Not On You
Sunday’s passage from Romans is another confusing one, but there is a critical and very encouraging lesson for us!
Moses, in the minds of Paul’s readers, was the lawgiver, so what he said carries a lot of weight. Basically, Moses taught that if anyone “does these things,” that is, “obey the law,” that person will have life. But — and this is a big ‘but’ — having read the first nine chapters of this letter, we know that Paul is very clear that no one can “do these things” well enough. We always fall short somewhere. So if we try to “live” by doing these things — obeying the law — we will fall short, and we will miss “life.”
On the other hand, Paul wants for us the righteousness that comes from faith. Faith does not require that we pursue righteousness up to heaven, or down to the abyss. We don’t need to struggle and study and search to find righteousness, hoping against hope that we will find it and be good enough.
Faith, and the righteousness that comes from faith, is to be found “on your lips and in your heart.” Why? “Because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Nothing more is required.
Circumcision? Not required. Getting the whole law just right? Are you kidding me? Joining the perfect church? There isn’t one.
All that is required is the trust that Jesus is the one whom God as raised from the dead and trust Him as Lord of our lives. We don’t have to get all the other stuff just right.
Relax. It’s not complicated. You don’t have to trust in yourself. Trust in Jesus!
This column appeared in the August 9, 2020 edition of St. John’s eNews. Click here for the complete issue.
If you are reading this at a different time, you may click here for the current eNews.