Imagine you receive a generous gift, totally unexpected but generously given. But you say, “oh this is good but I can think of something better”!
This passage underlines the earlier teaching of Paul about righteousness by faith. Paul compares a gift with wages, and explains the gift of being counted righteous comes to us because we trust in God for salvation, through Jesus’ death. Just like he gave Abraham, God has given us a beautiful gift – he declares us righteous, he declares us redeemed and our relationship with him restored.
We receive this gift through faith alone, not by what we ourselves bring or have achieved (eg., works see Chapter 3 v 28.) We accept this gift of righteousness, rather than trying to add to it or doing it “better” so we can take the credit. I can’t do “better” than the salvation God has provided through Jesus. It is his generous gift I have not earned or deserved.
Funny though isn’t it. So often I want to add to what he has given, as if it’s not enough. A bit like Abraham. Maybe this stems from thinking God’s gift is not enough, or I’ll feel more deserving if I add to it by what I do, or sacrifice, or deny myself. It’s a trap which cheapens what Jesus has done to save us.
Dear Lord Jesus, please send your Holy Spirit to show me where I am substituting the Father’s beautiful gift of righteousness with my own efforts. I need you now. You are all I need. Amen.
Written by Claire Moore