Jesus Reveals God is Love: Remember the chasm in our pictures from last week’s devotion? (If you missed last week’s devotion here’s the link: (http://www.calvarylutheranscottsbluff.org/blog-ps-my-spiritual-musings/there-is-no-way-to-god-period). The minute we sin our relationship with God is broken and we become separated from God and there is no way we can restore that relationship on our own; we can never be perfect enough or do enough good works to heal the brokenness. So God comes to us, God takes on human flesh, becomes one of us in Jesus Christ dying on the cross for us, forgiving our sins through the power of the cross and resurrection and restoring that which we could not do on our own.
Grace. It’s a word we like to throw around a lot in the Lutheran Church. If you grew up Lutheran you might have even learned a handy little acronym for helping you remember what grace means: God’s Redemption at Christ’s Expense.
The author of our “Lutheran Trump Card” study says it a little differently: Jesus reveals God is love. However you want to define it, grace is the promise that God loves us so much that he refuses to leave us caught in our sin and the subsequent brokenness and separation that sin causes.
This love is the content of grace. It is the promise that despite what we may do, God always comes to us again and again and again, inviting us to accept Jesus’ gift to us on the cross and the chance to begin again, no matter how many times we may have sinned.
Faith, (another term we like to use a lot in the Lutheran church) is simply the acceptance of this grace—this gift—from God. But let us be clear, as Dave Daubert, the author of our study says, “faith does not make God loves us—it helps us trust that God already does love us (no footnotes or exception clauses).”
“For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified (made right) by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a sacrifice of atonement by his blood, effective through faith.” (Romans 3:23-24)