Romans 3:27-31~ cough it up

199838560_f2dd9c1588 You are the flailing kid who had to cough up his lungs when God plucked you from the pool… And yes I understand you were a really good swimmer… And yes I understand you shouldn’t have eaten lunch right before that cannonball… and yes I get it, your leg cramped up… and your little sister swamped you.  You’ve got plenty of excuses, don't you?  You need them to explain why you have fallen short of your own goals… Let alone fallen short of God’s goals for you. 

Dude, God made the water you learned to swim in.

If you boast about your spiritual pedigree, then you are messed up.  Yes, North American Christian, I'm talking to you.

So what if your journey is more rich, more comfortable, more flashy than someone else’s?  So what if you were baptized by so-and-so?  So what if your pastor is the best preacher in the city… or your youth pastor has the coolest tattoo?   So what if you keep the unwritten rules of Lutheranism or Methodism or SouthernBaptism or Catholicism better than most other people?  So what if your grandma went to a little steepled church every week of her life?  (By the way, your grandma was awesome!!  More people should be like her!)  So what if you are more passionate in worship than the person standing next to you?  So what if you get on spiritual highs at special events?  So what if you are the best Pharisee ever?  So what if you are the best Mother Theresa ever?  So what if you are the greatest sinner ever?

You’ve got nothing to boast about.

You did not save yourself. 

God did.

So cough it up.  God is God and you are not.  God sets the pace and you are to follow… even though you won't be able to keep up.  So you are to pursue hard after God… with every once of your lowly self… but you should remember that you could never pursue God well enough to catch up to Him.  It is only by God's grace that your faith even allows you on the path.

So what are you bragging about?

 Romans 3:27-31 (NLT)  Can we boast, then, that we have done anything to be accepted by God? No, because our acquittal is not based on obeying the law. It is based on faith.  So we are made right with God through faith and not by obeying the law.

 After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course he is. There is only one God, and he makes people right with himself only by faith, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. Well then, if we emphasize faith, does this mean that we can forget about the law? Of course not! In fact, only when we have faith do we truly fulfill the law.

Ken Castor

Ken Castor is a husband, dad, pastor, writer and teacher. He serves as a professor at Crown College, Minnesota, where he equips students to pursue Jesus-Centered Faith and Next Generation Ministry. For 20+ years he's focused on equipping the next generations in places like the U.S., Canada, and Northern Ireland. He's the author of Grow Down (Simply Youth Ministry, 2014), Make a Difference (Broadstreet, 2016), the Blue-Letters Editor of the Jesus-Centered Bible (Group, 2015) and numerous other articles and Bible Study guides. But, whenever possible, he gets down on the floor and builds Lego with his kids. Connect with him @kencastor.

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