I’m an armchair mountaineer; which is a little strange as I’m scared of heights and wouldn’t real-life climb for all the tea in China! I loved Joe Simpson’s “Touching the Void” and have just finished Bear Gryll’s “Facing Up”, describing his ascent of Everest. He reached the pinnacle, the summit, safely and made it back down, where others gave up or couldn’t reach it. Today we have reached the pinnacle of the New Testament and the view is worth it!
‘A righteousness from God has been revealed from faith for faith’, Romans 1:17, and Paul has taken the next seven chapters to describe why we need it and how we get it. Whether we are a ‘do whatever you like’ Gentile, a hypocritical law fanatic Jew or somewhere between, we are in need of grace.
There’s the Law of Moses for Jews and an innate law for Gentiles to know right and wrong, that aroused the law of sin and death within us. “Keep off the grass”, the sign says in the park and we are provoked to walk on it. If we put our trust in Jesus, we are given justification, redemption, reconciliation and freedom as a gift. Now we have reached the mountain peak – theologically a tough slog through seven chapters of Romans, but in reality, simple trust in Jesus got us here!
There is NO condemnation for us! We are free. We are not under the Law of Moses or the law of sin and death anymore, because the Spirit of Life has set us free! Our flesh meant the law didn’t work, so God sorted it for us, by sending Jesus to fulfil all the law on our behalf.
Now we set our minds on what the Spirit wants, not on our old nature that is dead and buried. Living in the old way can’t please God. It is impossible. But we live in the Spirit, because the Spirit dwells in us. He gives life to our mortal bodies and is the One who will empower us to transform our thinking. Because of all that, put to death the old stuff, it is dead anyway.
There’s more! Not only are we free, but we are sons too. We have been adopted as sons by the Father, whom we can call by the most intimate of terms – Abba. Not distant YHWH, missing the vowels because of fear of punishment, but Abba!
Praise God! Hallelujah!