St. Paul continues to help us merger the old with the new in Christ Jesus:
“But now, apart from the law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith. He did this to show his righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over the sins previously committed; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Romans 3:19-31 NRSV).
Our God is a great God. He is patient with us, His children. He knew that the law and the prophets’ contributions to us were not enough. They became part of His master plan to prepare the way for Him to come and be with us. He shared His nature with us through His Son who was from himself. His presence through the Son in a small Middle Eastern area of the planet Earth has sent shock waves around the world that grow stronger and reach farther every day.
His message was and is that He loves us so much, that no matter how horrible we act, He is willing to continue to teach us and forgive us for all the sins we commit along the way. To accomplish His continual love and dedication to us He was willing to take a part of Himself and make it like us in Christ Jesus. He knew that as part of doing this He would have to sacrifice that human part of Himself that non-believers would persecute. And He did this not only for the believers, but also for those who betrayed Him and hung His human body on a cross.
We think that we can play games with God because we ignore the fact that we have our being because He decided to create us. He is the all-powerful one. He has all the votes. He will win any game that we choose to play with Him. We are foolish not to realize that He wants us to be winners in His kingdom. By our actions we make Him the opponent. His patience with us is awesome. He will continue to show us His righteousness until we understand it.
Father God, I thank You for Your patience and forbearance in dealing with my sinful nature. I am not worthy of the attention that You give me. You have given me so many chances and You come back for more of my disrespect of Your glory. Father, I pray to You that I may give up my rude and childish ways. Remove my ignorance of You Father and replace it with Your knowledge and love. I know that You will do this if I am willing to change. I thank You and praise You and Your Son and the Holy Spirit. AMEN.
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extension: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.