Romans 4:9 "Is this blessedness only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? We have been saying that Abraham's faith was credited to him as righteousness."
Have you ever said or thought while watching a situation: "boy this child does not have a chance" as you watched their parent(s) do something? Maybe because the parents are fighting in public or their use of language. Whatever the case, we look at the parents and wonder what the child must be thinking. Then fast forward 15 years and we are not surprised that the child is modeling what he/she learned.
In the passage above, in Romans, Paul is saying that our family history does not guarantee God's grace; only our faith will be credited as righteous. Abraham was a universal example here. But on the reverse side of this, Paul is saying something just as crucial: the absence of family history or poor parenting does not , in any way, deny our access to God's grace, love and forgiveness.
In the example above Paul is saying the child does not have to follow the same course as the parents. He does not need to conform to the pattern of his/her ancestors no matter what the pattern may have been. (Drug abuse, disrespect, alcohol or anything else.) Paul will say later in 2 Corinthians that anyone can become a new creation in Jesus Christ. 2 Corinthians 5:17: "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!") This is a gift to all who believe, some may call it a rebirth.
As Christians we play a vital role in the situations above (The do as I say not as I do thought process is not of God). Our actions, our encounters, our words with others, both in the church and outside, play a significant role. We are called to be examples of grace and giving, examples of love and forgiveness to the people around us. Yes, Christ is the answer, not us, but we are called to be the hands and feet of Christ. Aren't we? I hope to see you later this morning as we celebrate Consecration Sunday together.
Almighty God, Paul tells us that it is in Your Son that all can find new life. Help me, oh Lord, to be a better example and show the changes that You have blessed my life with. Help me live my life continuously in Jesus with thought and action. May I not be persuaded by greed, power, ego and self and instead rely on Your teachings. Father, forgive me of my sins as I grow closer to who You are calling me to be. I pray for this help in the name of Jesus, Amen.
Meet the pastor
Rev. Pastor Carl Schreiber has been serving East Orrington Congregational Church (EOCC) since March 12, 2006