S (Scripture): Romans 4:21 [Abraham] was fully convinced that God was able to do what he promised. 22 Therefore, it was credited to him as righteousness.
23 But the scripture that says it was credited to him wasn’t written only for Abraham’s sake. 24 It was written also for our sake, because it is going to be credited to us too. It will be credited to those of us who have faith in the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25 He was handed over because of our mistakes, and he was raised to meet the requirements of righteousness for us.
O (Observation): Paul leans on the mark of faith instilled into Abraham as the KEY factor in Abraham’s inheritance of God’s covenant. What God said, Abraham believes. Now, Abraham was not perfect in that belief, but it still stands that God was the one who was making promises and Abraham believed God would make good on God’s promises.
Faith is the factor for inheritance, not works or responses to that grace.
So, both Jew and Gentile could be Christian without giving up the Law (for Jews) and without needing to be held to the Law of the Jews (for Gentiles).
A (Application): God has always been about making room for all who wish to believe. Those considered “outside” of the Church is more often than not a rule generated and implemented by the Church, not God.
In what ways have you seen the Church push others away? When have stumbling blocks been put into place? When have blessings come to pass as people have been reunited with the Church body?
These questions help us to reconcile what it means to be a people of faith. Is there a standard? A Law? If so, what does the corresponding word of Grace sound like?
Is receiving God’s Grace easy for us? A challenge? Necessary for salvation?
Let that stew for a while : )
P (Prayer): Lord, be with us in our faith struggles. Amen.