This last week we have been walking through the book of Romans. It is a simple book with a deep message behind it. The gospel is always such a simple message of redemption and love, yet it impacts and changes peoples lives.
The order of Romans goes a little like this:
Romans 1:16-17 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “But the righteous man shall live by faith.”
Something I realized while going over Romans is just how dead we were in our sin before Christ. For me its not like Jesus threw us a lifeline while we were struggling to swim in the ocean and we chose to grab the lifeline and he pulled me in the boat. Rather it's more like I was drowning in the ocean, I died and sank to the deepest part of the ocean. Jesus came down and rescued me and breathed life into me again.
When Jesus died on the cross for our sins we were then justified; we are made righteous in the sight of God. Paul outlines this in chapters three through five. It is this that moves us. Once we truly know this we will follow Jesus with our whole lives, no matter what it takes.
I think that all too often I forget how sanctification is a continual process that will not be complete until God takes us home to be with him. To stick with this same analogy why would I jump out of the boat into the stormy ocean when I know that it would only cause me trouble. With sanctification we are to continually pursue our relationship with God and live our lives in a way that is pleasing to Him. We are to leave our old life behind and not return to it.
Proverbs 26:11: Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.
Jesus has restored us! He has restored us back to what we originally were meant to be. His ultimate restoration will be when He comes again to free His people. We will be in the presence of God and will worship him eternally!
Lastly Paul outlines some practical ways for us to live our lives in a way that is pleasing to God; ways to live our lives that sanctifies us until the day that Jesus returns.