Thursday 24 May 2012

Bible Book:

"But God proves his love for us in that while we still were sinners Christ died for us." (v. 8)

Romans 5:1-11 Thursday 24 May 2012


"Results of Justification" is the subtitle for this passage inthe NRSV version of the Bible. It is useful to note the previouschapter (Romans 4) ends with "[Jesus] was handed over to death forour trespasses and was raised for our justification". Being"justified by faith" (v. 1) because of Jesus' death, results in thebeliever having peace with God, obtaining access to God's grace andthe assurance in the hope of sharing God's glory.

Paul (the writer of Romans) encourages the reader that "sufferingproduces endurance, and endurance produces character, and characterproduces hope" (v. 4). This hope is the assurance that God loved usand made the first move whilst we were still enemies. This love fartranscends human love, and is an act of pure grace to provide a wayback to God.

This is the grace that John Wesley discovered when he woke up themorning of 24 May 1738, opened his Bible to the reading "Thou arenot far from the kingdom of God" (Mark12:34) and later on went to hear evensong at St Paul'sCathedral. He remembered the words which the choir sang, "Out ofthe deep have I called unto thee, O Lord" (Psalm130) and felt as if that was what he was doing. Reluctantly hejoined a meeting of a little group of Christians in a house inAldersgate Street, and while someone was reading aloud from thewritings of Martin Luther, John Wesley felt his heart "strangelywarmed" by the love of God. His testimony is: "I felt I did trustin Christ, Christ alone, for salvation. And an assurance was givenme that he had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from thelaw of sin and death".

It was a discovery that John Wesley passionately shared for therest of his life, as a preacher and in a ministry that expanded inEngland, Europe and America to make him the founder ofMethodism.

To Ponder

John Wesley's last words were, "The best of allis-God is with us!". Reflect on these words along with Romans5:7-8: "perhaps for a good person someone might actually dare todie ... but God proves his love ... in that while we still weresinners, Christ died for us". What is your response?

If, like John Wesley, you wrote a journal (orblog) reflecting on your life and faith, how would you put intowords your experience of God?


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