Ask God to orient or reorient you to Himself. Confess any known sin. Thank Him for His forgiveness. Be still and reflect on Jesus and His sacrifice for you. Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind to God’s Word. Pray for others in your life that they, too, would know and love God today.
“23 The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, 24 but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness—for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. 25He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.”
This morning as I read over the passage, I kept coming back to “for us who believe.” The word “believe” is translated from the Greek word pisteuo, which means to have faith, to entrust, to put trust in. When Christians talk about putting their faith in Christ, this is what they are talking about.
The biblical authors generally did not make a distinction between faith as belief and faith as trust, but tended to see true faith as consisting of both what is believed (e.g., that God exists, that Jesus is Lord) and the personal commitment to a person who is trustworthy, reliable and able to save. That is, trust in the person of Christ as the way to salvation.
Faith is all-important in the life of the believer. Without faith it is impossible to please God.
But what is faith? The only place you’ll find faith defined is in Hebrews 11:1 where it says, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen (NAB).”
It seems like the writers of scripture would rather show you what faith looked like in action rather than give a definition. And I can think of no better place to capture faith in action than Hebrews chapter eleven! Sixteen examples of faith in action were given before the writer wrote:
“32 What more can I say? I would run out of time if I told you about Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and the prophets. 33 Through faith they conquered kingdoms, brought about justice, realized promises, shut the mouths of lions, 34 put out raging fires, escaped from the edge of the sword, found strength in weakness, were mighty in war, and routed foreign armies. 35 Women received back their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured and refused to be released so they could gain a better resurrection.”
As believers, we share in this rich heritage of faith! By faith we believe that Jesus was delivered not only for our sins, but in order to put them away. We believe that He was raised up because of our justification. Our sins were the problem that needed to be dealt with and our justification is the result that is assured by the resurrection of Jesus!
This is why in faith we throw off any extra baggage that may hinder our walk with Christ. We get rid of sin that trips us up and we run the race that is laid out in front of us. Through Christ’s power living in us, we fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:1-2).
If you get a chance to read Hebrews 11 this week, pay attention to the line: “By faith Enoch…Noah…Abraham…Sarah…Isaac… Jacob….” Take time to think about your own faith story. How would that story go? “By faith ________ believed God when…”
Our faith story is written into the Gospel of Jesus. Your story matters.
*From what you have just read and considered: What is a personal implication/application for your life today?
(Personalize this prayer today; make it specific to the circumstances that face you.)
Ask God to lead you through His Spirit as you go through your day. Ask Him to bring to mind the truth of the gospel and its implications for what you will encounter today. Tell Him “Yes” to His will and ask Him for His power and protection to live this “yes.” Ask God to create and reveal opportunities to proclaim the good news today. KEEP PRAYING THROUGHOUT YOUR DAY.
Inspiration and insight for the devotionals came from the following books: Reading Romans with John Stott; The Message of Romans: God’s Good News for the World (The Bible Speaks Today Series), Stott, John; Romans (The NIV Application Commentary Book 6) Moo, Douglas J.; Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey (Encountering Biblical Studies) Moo, Douglas J.; Believers Bible Commentary; The Expositor’s Bible Commentary, with the New International Version, Romans through Galatians; NIV Application Study Bible. The Pursuit of God, Tozer, A.W.