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Romans and the Reformation 7: Sunday Selah

Romans and the Reformation Day 7 – Sunday Selah

 Review and Reflection on Worship

During this study, we have looked at several passages in Romans through the lens of five key phrases from the Protestant Reformation which express core truths about the biblical teaching of the gospel of Christ. We discussed how we can apply each one to our understanding of God’s salvation and His continual work in our Christian lives:

  • Sola gratia – When we believe that we are saved by grace alone, we are freed from the lie that says we have to somehow make ourselves good enough before we can come before God.
  • Sola fide – When we believe that we are justified through faith alone, we are freed from the lie that our good works have any part to play in our being made righteous before God.
  • Solus Christus – When we believe that we are saved in Christ alone, we are freed from the lie that any other mediators—be they prophets, priests, politicians, popes, pastors, or popular philosophies—can make us ready for Heaven or save us from God’s righteous judgment against our sin.
  • Sola scriptura – When we believe that all spiritual truth is revealed in Scripture alone, we are freed from the lie that human wisdom can offer us the true enlightenment and revelation that will transform our lives.
  • Soli Deo gloria – When we believe that we are saved to the glory of God alone, we are freed from the lie that our lives are ultimately about us.

There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit…. So then, brothers, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die, but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him. For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8:1-4,12-18)

If you are anything like me, you probably forget sometimes that every Sunday morning that we gather with the fellow Christians to worship God, we are there to celebrate. It may not exactly feel like a party atmosphere, but essentially, we are there to rejoice! While we do meet to learn, we also meet to remember Christ and to share in the joy of God’s salvation with each other and with visitors who need to hear the gospel. 

The words of this passage in Romans 8 could not be more comforting for those among us who are struggling to keep our sights on the simplicity of the gospel amidst the distractions of daily life. In Christ, we will never be condemned (even though we absolutely deserve to be). In Christ, we will never die (even though we absolutely should). In Christ, we get to live in the freedom of serving Him instead of serving our sinful selves. His Holy Spirit empowers us to kill our sin and depend on Him fully as children would upon an intimately close and beloved Father. We can be sure that, through the miracle of adoption, we will be family heirs to all that God has in store. And finally, we can trust that glory is coming even in the midst of suffering. 

Brothers and sisters, we live in freedom that this world cannot begin to comprehend. We have hope and peace far beyond anything it can offer. Despite our own complete failure to measure up to God’s holy standard, we are welcomed into His family through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Now we get to praise Him every day for His unbelievable grace! The world and our lives may seem unbearably dark at times, but let’s be encouraged: the truth of the gospel shines still, and we trust in a Saviour who is the Light of the World. We have been saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, to the glory of God alone—and He is all we need for this day and for all eternity.

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