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WEDNESDAY, March 22 JAMES DE KOVEN, Priest, 1879
Romans 8:1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
When I was a young evangelical Christian, I memorized this verse from Paul’s letter to the Romans. As a young man, I was often more reactive than intentional, more snippy than patient, and more impulsive than reflective. Like Paul wrote in the previous chapter, I found myself doing the very things I detested, which led to a form of self-loathing. To receive assurance that I was loved and forgiven by Christ was life-changing.
Throughout Romans, Paul distinguishes between a life lived under law versus that lived under grace. A person is condemned under law, though loved by God nonetheless. Under grace, a person is received, though loved by God none-the-more.
In some traditions, salvation hinges upon catchphrase “salvation” prayers. As for me, I tend toward believing in a broad grace, one that alleviates condemnation, a work on the cross by Jesus that accomplishes salvation in amazing ways for myriads of people, beyond our understanding, in this life, and in the life to come.
MOVING FORWARD: How has your faith changed over the years?
PRAY for the Diocese of Ruaha (Tanzania)
Ps 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30 * 119:121-144 | Jeremiah 18:1-11 | Romans 8:1-11 | John 6:27-40