The God of Both Jews and Gentiles
Today’s Reading: Romans 3
Key Verses: Romans 3:28 & 29
Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the law. Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also…
Justification (a declaration of righteousness before God) by faith was the reason given for the Protestant Reformation. Martin Luther, a Roman Catholic Priest, traveled to Rome for the purpose of gaining favor with God and an inner assurance of his salvation. As he ascended a church stairway, step by step on his knees, reciting prayers on each step, he jumped to his feet, exclaiming the Scripture, “The just shall live by faith.” He returned to Germany where he nailed his declaration of salvation by faith to the door of a church. What Luther and others hoped would be a reformation in the church became a wall of division. The action of the church courts and unwise people on both sides of the issue, eventually produced different denominations. It could’ve been different. For example, Acts 15:1-11.
PRAYER FOR TODAY:
Lord Jesus, help me to always “hold the truth in love.” I pray You will enable me to be part of resolving strongly held differences as Peter was in Acts 15. I ask for greater wisdom. You promised that if I would ask You would give wisdom liberally. Amen!
100 PERSONAL WORDS:
Concerning divisions in the church, Jesus prayed for all who profess to follow Him, “that they all may be one” (John 17:21). I have seen the power in working together for winning people to Jesus. During the 1970s and 1980s many walls came down between denominations. I was asked by the Archbishop Cardinal of Toronto to preach a mission in Varsity Stadium sponsored by the Roman Catholic Arch Diocese of Toronto. Literature on the assurance of salvation by faith was distributed to thousands as they responded to a Billy Graham-style invitation. There was a strong sense that Jesus’ John 17 prayer was being answered by the Father with a loud “Yes.” Sadly, in the 1990s, walls of division began to rise again. I believe that God is more than willing to continue to say “Yes” to Jesus’ prayer. I pray for much more of God’s unconditional love to expand my capacity to love and to overflow my life with His message of salvation.
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