Consequences! Why do we have consequences? If we’re talking in terms of punishments then normally it is so that the person who has done something wrong takes responsibility for their actions, but also so that others see that responsibility is being taken. That’s one thing pupils are very ‘hot’ on at school, whether things are being done fairly, are people being punished. They quite like coming up with suggestions of punishments as well, a lot of the time you have to ask if they really think those punishments are fair. Essentially people want to know that they are getting what they deserved. We like to see people rewarded IF they deserved it. We like to see people punished IF they deserved it. Consequences are also there to hopefully stop people from doing something silly in the first place!
This term we are looking at what the resurrection means to Christians, what is it that Christians receive from Christ rising from the dead. This week our theme is Grace. Romans 6:14 says
For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.
At the moment I’m listening to the Bible in one year as I walk to work. I’m currently on the book of Judges in the Old Testament meaning that I have listened to Genesis Exodus Deuteronomy Leviticus and Numbers. These books, known as the Pentateuch, are full of complicated names and places and I have a lot of respect for David Suchet for reading them out, but there are also a lot of rules. A lot of things that people had to do to make up things to God. There are whole lists of if you have done this thing, then you must do this. That’s what it means in Romans by being under law, sin is called master because people had to keep a careful watch on what they were doing in case they went against God so that they could do whatever they needed to do to make up.
Paul says, in Romans that we are no longer under the law but under grace. What does that mean? Grace means the undeserving favour of God to those under condemnation. We’re under condemnation because we are human and we do things wrong, we are never going to be perfect, but we don’t have to follow all the laws of the Old Testament anymore because God has shown us his favour. A J Tozer says…
The cross is the lightning rod of Grace that short-circuits God’s wrath to Christ so that only the light of his love remains for believers
If we believe in the cross, and the resurrection, we are no longer faced by the wrath of God but only see his love. This doesn’t mean that we can do whatever we want, after all when someone is kind to you, or gives you an amazing gift, do you not want to do the same back to them. We will make mistakes but grace means we are forgiven, and are still in relationship with God without having to do anything to earn it. Therefore, for many, they will try to reflect that light, and try not to make mistakes in the first place.
Prayer: thank you God for your grace, that is completely undeserved, and yet so amazing. Help us to respond to your grace, and reflect your light. Amen
Challenge: can you give a gift to someone who doesn’t deserve it?