• Jack Selcher

Grace and Responsibility

For many years, I knew Jesus died for my sins. That knowledge didn’t change my life. The Epistle of Romans explains the gospel’s facts and implications. It reveals what to believe and how to live. It includes both grace and responsibility.

In his letter, Paul called himself Jesus Christ’s servant. The punishment scars he bore in His service never diminished that obedience.

Jesus was a descendent of David (1 Chronicles 17:11–12). The resurrection proved He was the powerful Messiah and Son of God. Following Him eventually brings pain.

Many men think Christianity is for women, children, and old people. Supposedly, one proves he’s a real man by drinking, chewing, cussing, driving fast, and fighting anyone who challenges him. By contrast, real men embrace the inevitable suffering that comes from openly identifying with Jesus.

Romans 1:5 describes a privilege and responsibility—grace and apostleship. God has forgiven you even though you don’t deserve it. That’s grace. He has something for you to do. That’s responsibility. Jesus charged Paul with sharing the message of grace with others, especially the Gentiles. Like him, your purpose is to serve God and others.

The Roman Christians accepted Jesus’ forgiveness. They centered their lives on doing His will (verse 6). They were part of God’s greatly loved family. God called them to set their lives apart to His purposes. To share His purity. To separate from all that defiles. He calls you to do the same.

People noticed the faith of the Roman Christians. It was a topic of conversation far and wide. Fast forward two thousand years. Today, the failings of the church are more likely to be a topic of conversation than its faith. How do we get back on track? When will we emphasize our responsibility as much as the grace we’ve received?

Paul prayed that he’d be able to travel to Rome safely and be of benefit to the faith of Christians there and they to his faith (verses 10–12). God didn’t answer his prayer as he expected. He was arrested and shipwrecked before he got to Rome. I’ve experienced some detours too. God called me into vocational Christian service when I was twenty-one. I resisted. Eleven years later I became the pastor of a local church. God used those eleven years to prepare me for what was ahead—even while I resisted His call. God has been preparing you to complete your responsibility. Even if you’ve been neglecting it.

Like Paul, we’re indebted to Jesus who took our punishment on Himself on the cross. Salvation is by grace through faith in that sacrifice. We pay our debt by fulfilling our ministry responsibility. Have you said, “Here am I, send me” to whatever God wants you to do? He’ll accept a delayed “Here I am” to fulfill your purpose. He did for me.

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I invite you to check out my book, His Power for Your Weakness, a devotional discipleship resource and to share it with others: https://read.amazon.com/kp/embed?asin=B09NZG9W7L&preview=newtab&linkCode=kpe&ref_=cm_sw_r_kb_dp_FWTFW3TMPTR5PDR6B3ZH

See free spiritual growth resources for Christians at https://www.christiangrowthresources.com

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