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We're saved by Jesus' death and his life

July 8, 2022

Daily Scripture

Romans 5:1-10

1 Therefore, since we have been made righteous through his faithfulness [or by faith], we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have access by faith into this grace in which we stand through him, and we boast in the hope of God’s glory. 3 But not only that! We even take pride in our problems, because we know that trouble produces endurance, 4 endurance produces character, and character produces hope. 5 This hope doesn’t put us to shame, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
6 While we were still weak, at the right moment, Christ died for ungodly people. 7 It isn’t often that someone will die for a righteous person, though maybe someone might dare to die for a good person. 8 But God shows his love for us, because while we were still sinners Christ died for us. 9 So, now that we have been made righteous by his blood, we can be even more certain that we will be saved from God’s wrath through him. 10 If we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son while we were still enemies, now that we have been reconciled, how much more certain is it that we will be saved by his life?

Daily Reflection & Prayer

Systematically setting out the core of his message, the apostle Paul told Christians in Rome (where he’d never yet been—cf. Romans 1:10) that people need Jesus because his living, dying and rising again reconciled us with God. That reconciliation is not just “fire insurance.” It opens a new quality of life here and now for us. In this new life we see even problems differently, knowing that “trouble produces endurance, endurance produces character, and character produces hope” (verses 3-4).

  • Paul expanded on “peace with God” when he later told Timothy, “This saying…deserves full acceptance: ‘Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners’—and I’m the biggest sinner of all. But this is why I was shown mercy, so that Christ Jesus could show his endless patience to me first of all” (1 Timothy 1:15-16). How have you (or could you) open your heart to the inner peace Jesus offers?
  • Paul trained as a rabbi (cf. Acts 22:3). Rabbis used a rhetorical form known by the Hebrew words qal wahomer, or “How much more.” In verse 10, Paul used that form to say, in effect, “If Christ was willing to die for us, how much more certain can we be that he will stay with us and support us in our daily life?” ln what ways do you depend on Christ’s presence with you every day? How might it lighten your “spiritual load” to count on that more completely?

Lord Jesus, thank you for your willingness to die for me before I was even born, and to draw my heart to you. And thank you for staying with me to guide me into your kind of life. Amen.

GPS Insights

Picture of Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe

Darren Lippe & his wife, Doris, first met in a Resurrection Single Adult Sunday School class in 1997 & were married in what is now the Student Center. They are empty nesters with 2 college-aged sons, Matthew & Jacob. Darren serves as a Couples Small Group co-leader & Men's Group Leader, while volunteering in a variety of other capacities at Resurrection.

With our sermon series focused on Revivals, I recall in high school portraying Preacher Haggler in the play, “Dark Side of the Moon.” The climatic scene of the play took place during a tent revival meeting. To prepare for the role, my director encouraged me to visit with some folks who had attended a tent revival to get their recollections & memories. I chatted with one old codger who had attended a tent revival meeting as a young farm boy back in the early 1940’s. (Note: While many of Darren’s conversations that appear here are imaginary, this was a real conversation – Editor.)

He lived on a small farm in mid-Kansas. Traveling to church was a challenge, so his family’s worship tended to be limited to listening to the Gospel Hour on the radio on Sunday evenings. One summer a tent revival was coming to their community & his Mom said it was time for the family to “get some religion.”

Aside: At a flea market, I saw an antique radio on sale: “For Sale: $1.00 – Volume knob stuck at 11.” I thought, I can’t turn that down.

The Revival lasted 4 nights & my friend was surprised his Dad would be willing to drive to town 4 nights in a row. It was held in a big tent that had been set up on an empty lot on Main Street & packed with mismatched folding chairs & rough benches. Since it was so hot, the walls of the tent were rolled up. His Mom had made a light supper, so they could clean up & drive to town in time to get a seat. Downtown was buzzing with folks dressed up & catching up before the service began around dusk.

Aside: I like the old preacher story of a traveling salesmen asking some old codgers sitting around the general store what they did for entertainment. One oldster replied, “Well, Floyd’s son just finished his freshman year of Political Science at college – so that’s pretty entertaining.”

My friend remembered the services were really long & quite warm. The tent was packed with a lot of folks standing around the edge of the tent so they could still hear. The worship service had beautiful music & dynamic preaching. Various townsfolk would get up to share their testimony of how Jesus had changed their lives. His teacher from his one-room school spoke & he recalled that it was really moving to see one of his favorite people speak so passionately about God.

The evening’s program would reach a crescendo when the preacher would make his altar call, encouraging folks to come up & turn their lives over to Christ. My friend recalled lots of tears, hugging, & raucous shouts of joy as people would repent & commit their lives to Christ. He said was it was so loud & exhilarating – like a packed football stadium. Finally, he noted that the entire summer that year felt different, like the entire community had been given a jolt of positivity & hope.

So, what might all this mean for us today?

My friend’s family couldn’t make the laborious trek to church each week, so they had to resort to their version of an online service. Admittedly, many of us also have to worry about challenges like roads washed out by flooding, livestock blocking our route, or punctured tires, but for those of us who have relatively easy commutes to church, perhaps it’s time to get back in the habit of worshiping in-person with a community of believers.

My friend lamented that a few weeks/months after the revival left town that many folks would return to their wayward ways. Billy Graham, the great revivalist of the 20th century, recognized this potential weakness, so he partnered with local churches to help folks connect & continue to grow in their faith long after his revival had packed up. Likewise, Resurrection is focusing on helping folks get plugged into small groups, knowing this is the best way to create a sense of belonging & encourage spiritual growth. These small groups will launch this fall & if we aren’t in a small group yet, perhaps this is the perfect time to get started. If we are already in a small group, maybe this is the season to revive our commitment & make it a priority.

Finally, as my friend noted, the whole community had seemed transformed during that summer of revival. It’s always amazing to see how the light of Christ can renovate not just individuals, but entire localities by providing a bit of peace, a glimmer of hope, & even times of joy in our daily lives.

Maybe we could all use a revival like that. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to peruse through some old high school memorabilia: Ah, yes, my Grandmother had sent me a congratulatory card after my play. It depicted actors from the 1860’s gathered around reading the newspaper with the headline, “President Lincoln Shot at Ford’s Theatre.” One of the actors says, “Yes, but does it mention my performance?”

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Scripture quotations are taken from The Common English Bible ©2011. Used by permission. All rights reserved.