16th September 22
Read — Romans 1:7
Message Alan Burke
Paul writes to the church in Rome and this is his desire for them, it is what he prays for them. Two words here that are so significant again, so theologically rich for us here as they were for those who first heard them in Rome. They are what they needed and what we need, we need the grace of God to truly experience the peace of God.
Firstly Grace. I’m sure we have all heard the description of Grace as ‘unmerited favour’. It is a good definition. Unmerited meaning something that we do not deserve and could not earn and favour being God’s preferential treatment. Grace is something that we do no deserve and could not earn that means we have God’s preferential treatment. That is what these believers to whom Paul wrote to had received, there wasn’t one of them who deserved or could earn God’s preferential treatment but instead they received it in because of God’s love, they are loved in God and called to be saints. Likewise, there is not one of us who deserve or could earn God’s preferential treatment, but we receive it because of God’s love, we are loved in God and called to be saints, we have received the unmerited favour of the living God.
How we live is in response to this grace that we have received, Jesus himself said, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” (Jn 14:15). Our desire to obey the word of God, to live in God’s way and not the way of this world is out of the gratitude of our hearts for the grace that we have been shown, it is because we love our Lord because he first loved us. We have been shown grace upon grace, upon grace, upon grace, we have been justified before God by his grace.
Next, The Peace of God. Generally when we think of the word peace we think of the absence of war. When it comes to God, there is no such thing as neutrality. We are by our nature are the enemies of God, we are each day making the journey towards eternal damnation. Chapter 3 of Romans reminds us by our nature there is no one who seeks after God, we have all turned from him, there is not one who does good. Even man women and child by our natures are the enemies of God.
Before God called us to Himself, before He worked faith in us by the Spirit, before he brought us from death in sin to life in Christ it was not that we had no relationship with God, no, it was that we were his enemies, we were living a sinful rebellious life, we was living in every way as the supreme sovereign god of my own lives. But now, we are loved by God, we are called to be saints, we have experienced that Grace, that unmerited favour and we have peace. We have peace when before there was no peace. It is a peace that we can only have through the grace of God, a peace that we can earn and that we definitely don’t deserve.
We do not deserve it and could not achieve it. But God, has loved us and calls us to be His saints. God brings rebels, his enemies, sinners like us into His family so that we may in prayer come before Him and address Him as Our Father, He is our heavenly Father by the grace of adoption. As a result we can boldly approach the Lord God Almighty, the only living and true God, the maker of heaven and earth, the Lord of lords, King of kings, the great I am, as children who come to their Father.
Q54 What is required in the third commandment?
The third commandment requireth the holy and reverent use of God’ s names, (Matt. 6:9, Deut. 28:58) titles, (Ps. 68:4) attributes, (Rev. 15:3–4) ordinances, (Mal. 1:11,14) Word, (Ps. 138:1–2) and works. (Job 36:24)