Thursday 06 December 2012

Bible Book:

"Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers." (v. 11)

Romans 13:11-14 Thursday 6 December 2012


In this passage we catch abeautiful snippet of Paul's (the author of the letter to theRomans) theology and the reason for his hope. Paul, and it seemsthe early Church, is quite clear that Jesus would return again andit would be soon!

Paul shared an apocalyptic senseof the coming of Jesus as both judge and king. The return will besuch a devastating affair that all of humanity needs to prepare forit and Christians, in particular, have no excuse for notunderstanding the significance of the events to come.

From this passage we can see howPaul understood both the 'coming to' faith and the result of it. Asa believer in Jesus, salvation is both a present reality and afuture promise. So salvation is experienced in the here and now ('Iknow that I am saved') and in the future to come ('I know that Iwill be saved'). It makes sense of the once-in-a-life-time decisiveact of God in the death of Jesus on the cross and still allows roomfor a new world to come. Paul's hope is born out of his presentexperience of the risen, living Jesus and longs for the day whenthat experience is an everyday truth throughout the world - whenJesus comes again.

That is why Paul can speak of thesalvation being nearer now for the first Christians than when theyfirst believed. It is also why he can exhort his readers to getready: to live their lives with an expectant urgency; to put asideanything that might be seen as sin (that which gets in the way of arelationship between humanity and God) and to put on Christ (livethe ideal that Jesus longs for all humanity)! In that way whenJesus does come again the believers will be ready, they will allready be living under the rules of the new world, the kingdom ofGod, where Jesus will be king, ruler, the anointed one, Messiah,Christ.

To Ponder

  • What are the things you do that you might need to 'lay aside'to be ready for the coming kingdom?
  • What are the things you can do this advent to help you 'put onChrist' and live as he longs for you to do?
  • What do you think about the future coming of Jesus? Is it true?Has it happened? Is it going to happen?
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