As we make our way through
Paul’s letter to the Romans we
are experiencing anew the
importance of the plan of
salvation that God has made
available to all who believe in
the Gospel of Jesus Christ. This
Gospel is really incredibly
‘good news’ as it encapsulates
the gift of life that is available to
each person through the death, burial and resurrection
of Jesus. Paul almost seems to work
overtime to be sure that we understand just how
hopeless we are without the grace of Jesus
and the forgiveness that is ours through Him.

When we come to Jesus, the work that He has
done on our behalf provides justification,
being placed in ‘right standing’ with God, and
sanctification, the process of growing in Jesus as
we are raised from the ‘watery grave’ to our ‘new
life’ in Christ. All of this stands in sharp contrast
to the way we thought, lived, spoke and acted
before our conversion. Those things were part of
the BC (Before Christ) period of our lives and we
now live in the grace that He lavishes on us
every day.

The apostle continues with a ‘reality check’ for all
of us who have chosen to accept the gift of God’s
salvation. While justification has been described
as the ‘work of a moment’ when we accept Jesus
as our Savior, sanctification is often called the
‘work of a lifetime’. The reality is, that even
though God is at work in us through the power
of His Spirit, we still live on this rebellious
planet and the forces of evil will show up
all around us every day.

The challenges that we experience will remind us
of the ‘old life’ while all the while we have the
assurance of the presence and power of God that
is active in our ‘new life’. And even though we are
assured that the Great Controversy between
Christ and Satan has been won, once and for all,
at the cross, the conflict between good and evil is
still alive in the heart of every one of us.

This week we will continue our current sermon
series in the Book of Romans as Abel Rios
presents our study in which he will focus on
chapter 7. In this chapter we will see just how
very ‘authentic’ the apostle Paul is as he
describes the ongoing issues in the battle for
our hearts. May God bless him, and all of us,
in this study today.

Pastor Phil