1. Great Hope
Jenilee wrote a great blog on hope yesterday. Paul really used a great example in Abraham that when all hope seemed lost....God is faithful. I love this idea of gaining access. At a concert you have to have special backstage passes to actually meet the star you are there to see perform; in a way this is kind of like that. When I have faith (backstage pass) I now have access to God by his grace that was given to me. I have peace and hope. I can be in His presence.
Hope is not just there for us when all is good; but in rough times hope still remains. The Holy Spirit has been given to us so that when we face hard stuff in life he will be there to help. Verses 3-5 are so encouraging because they really show that God is working all things to the good of those who are called according to His purpose! Thank you for our helper the Holy Spirit!
We have learned a lot over the last 5 chapters that there is nothing we can do in our own strength to make ourselves right with God. Paul reminds us of the kind of power it took to make it possible for us to be in a right relationship with Him. It took His son's (God) death to free us from the curse of sin.
I love how Paul drives it home in verse 7, very rarely would anyone who is good die for another that is good. Nobody would die for an enemy! But while when we were enemies of God (because of our sin) Christ still died for you and me. Why? Because of His GREAT LOVE for all of us, He gave His life.
We receive justification. When I explain this word to kids I use this definition, "Just-If-I" had never sinned. A more scholarly definition would be the act of God whereby humankind is made or accounted just, or free from guilt or penalty of sin. We are justified because of Christ blood that was shed for us. I hope that when we remember what He did for us that it was our justification. We are no longer guilty.
We receive reconciliation. I love this word reconciliation! Reconcile has many meaning like to make (oneself or another) no longer opposed; to become friendly with (someone) after estrangement or to re-establish friendly relations between; to settle a quarrel or difference. Because of Christ death we are no longer enemies of God.
Because of God's Great Hope, Great Love & Great Gifts...I have Great JOY!
Check out Jenilee's blog today!