Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1)
Paul has just told us that we are made right with God (‘justified’) through our faith in God. Because of that, he says, we have peace with God. As news goes, this is incredible - where there was once conflict, we are now at peace. It’s the good news the angels brought at the first Christmas: ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.’ (Luke 2:14).
The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for [Abraham] alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. (Romans 4:23-24)
This Sunday, we’re starting a series looking at a section of Paul’s letter to the Romans. The focus here is on the good news of God’s salvation of us, through Jesus. Paul uses the words ‘righteousness’ and ‘justification’ to describe the salvation: Christians are those who are ‘right’ with God. How do we get this righteousness? Can we ever lose it? How does it affect how we live?
‘Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’ (Matthew 28:19)
As Jesus leaves his disciples and ascends into heaven, that is the command he leaves us with. It's the general command for us as we live as Christians: make more disciples. We are to be disciple making disciples.
‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. Each tree is recognised by its own fruit. People do not pick figs from thorn-bushes, or grapes from briers.’ (Luke 6:43-44)
We’ve reached the end of Jesus’ sermon, and a pause in our look at Luke’s Gospel. Jesus uses two parables to help us see what it means to follow him. First he goes to gardening: you can tell what a tree it, by what fruit it grows. Later in the passage, he moves to architecture: buildings on the right foundation will stand firm, buildings without a foundation will fall.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.’ (Luke 6:38)
How should we treat other people when we think about judgement and mercy? Should we judge other people? What should our mercy look like? What does Jesus say about how to be righteous?