By the Grace of God
Romans 1:1-7 ESV
“Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle, set apart for the gospel of God, which he promised beforehand through his prophets in the holy Scriptures, concerning his Son, who was descended from David according to the flesh and was declared to be the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by his resurrection from the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of his name among all the nations, including you who are called to belong to Jesus Christ,
To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”
We, as followers of Jesus Christ, are all to be his bond-servants, for he bought us back for God with his blood so that we would now be God’s possession, and so that we would now honor God with our lives. For, he delivered us out of our slavery to sin so that we would now be slaves of his righteousness (1 Co 6:19-20; Rom 6:1-23; Eph 2:8-10; Tit 2:11-14).
We are all also set apart for the gospel of Jesus Christ. For, by faith in Jesus Christ we are crucified with Christ in death to sin and we are resurrected with Christ to walk in newness of life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. And holiness means to be set apart from this world and to be set apart for God, being made to be like him (Eph 4:17-24).
And we have all been recipients of God’s grace or else we would not be saved from our sins. For, Jesus Christ died on that cross that we might die with him to sin and live to him and to his righteousness. And he died that we might no longer live for ourselves but for him who gave his life up for us. And none of us can do this but by the grace of God (1 Pet 2:24; 2 Co 5:15).
And God’s grace, which brings salvation, trains us to say “No!” to ungodliness and fleshly lusts and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives while we wait for his return. And the Holy Spirit within us empowers us to do what this says, and he guides us in the way that we should go, and he strengthens us and helps us to walk in holiness to our God (Tit 2:11-14).
For, only by God’s grace are we able to be obedient to our Lord in our walks of faith. And only by God’s grace are we able to forsake our sinful lifestyles and to walk in holiness, and to honor Christ as Lord of our lives.
Because of Your Faith
Romans 1:8-12 ESV
“First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world. For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you — that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
What is faith? Literally it means to be persuaded, and in this case to be persuaded by God as to his righteousness and holiness and as to his sacrifice on that cross for our sins, and as to his purpose in dying on that cross so that we would be delivered from our slavery to sin so that we would now become slaves to God and to his righteousness (Rom 6:1-23; Eph 4:17-24).
But it is also to be persuaded (convinced) as to what our relationship with him should look like, and as to what is required of us, as his followers. And it is to be convinced as to his power and his sovereignty over all things, and as to the fact that we who love him can trust him with our lives completely in all circumstances, and that he is working all things for our good (Rom 8:28).
For faith in Jesus Christ is not something we do one time and then that is it until we go to heaven. We must live by faith and walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh, and not make sin our practice, but to make righteousness our practice. We must rest in our Lord and trust him in all things and not worry or fret over anything (Rom 8:1-17; 1 Jn 1:5-9).
For, faith in Jesus Christ means our lives are no longer our own to be lived however we want, for we were bought back for God with the blood of Christ. We now live according to the word of God and according to the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit living within us in surrendering our lives over to Jesus Christ to now be lived for him and for his praise and glory.
And this is the kind of faith which will be proclaimed throughout the world, because it is true faith, it is biblical faith, and it is a faith which is ongoing, day by day, being lived out in our lives in the things which we do and say. For, true faith is not a feeling or a religion, but it is what we practice, according to the will of God, in loving God and in loving other people, too.
But we can be attacked in our faith by other people or by our circumstances, so we need to be encouraged and strengthened in our faith on a consistent basis so that we don’t give way to fear. So, encourage one another daily.
Living by Faith
Lyrics by James Wells, 1918
v. 4 by Robert E. Winsett, 1918
Music by J. L. Heath, 1918
I care not today what the morrow may bring,
If shadow or sunshine or rain,
The Lord I know ruleth o’er everything,
And all of my worries are vain.
Living by faith in Jesus above,
Trusting, confiding in His great love;
From all harm safe in His sheltering arm,
I’m living by faith and feel no alarm.
Though tempests may blow and the storm clouds arise,
Obscuring the brightness of life,
I’m never alarmed at the overcast skies—
The Master looks on at the strife.
I know that He safely will carry me through,
No matter what evils betide;
Why should I then care though the tempest may blow,
If Jesus walks close to my side.
Our Lord will return for His loved ones someday,
Our troubles will then all be o’er;
The Master so gently will lead us away,
Beyond that blest heavenly shore.
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