It’s another day: a fresh start and a fresh look at Romans 5:1-11. Yesterday I got all the predestination and free will thoughts out of my brain system, and I’m a clean slate ready for new perspectives. Today I want to ask a much better question: what is happening to us? Because it’s clear from this passage that whatever our role, whether active participants or wholly passive recipients, in what is happening to us, something is happening to us.
Picking up where we left off yesterday, we’ve identified Zechariah 3 as a symbolic vision about a historical person: Joshua the high priest, a spiritual leader for the Jewish people during the reconstruction of the temple in Jerusalem. Today we’re going to get into the details of the vision and what it means.
Paul’s got a two-pronged argument here for those among the Galatians who would want to hang onto the Jewish law and insist that it’s necessary for salvation. He starts with a contrast between law and faith, similar to his arguments in the first handful of chapters from Romans, then moves into one based on chronology. But before we get into all that, I just want to note: the Galatians are by and large not Jews themselves! But they’ve bought into this false gospel from diehard Jewish legalists that being a Christian means getting circumcised and getting your kosher on and keeping the Sabbath. Which, honestly, strikes me as a serious feat of persuasion, getting predominantly Greek Gentiles to adopt the restrictive legal code of a minority religious-ethnic group that enjoys no particular popularity in the Roman Empire.
Today’s Passage: Romans 5 In this chapter, Paul begins to dig in detail into justification by faith. The first half (vv.1-11) gives a purpose for the tribulations that we experience, and casts Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as an expression of God’s love. The second half (vv. 12-21) concerns Christ’s righteousness imputed to us, and […]