FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
OUR THEME FOR 2016
JUSTIFIED BY FAITH
October 15, 2015
Here is the stark reality: “all have sinned and are deprived of the glory of God.” (Rom 3:23). We are all sinners. Left to ourselves, we would be hopelessly estranged from God. We would have no hope for the future. And there is nothing on our own strength and power that we can do about it. “If you, Lord, keep account of sins, Lord, who can stand?” (Ps 130:3). We cannot merit our own salvation.
Here is where the mercy of God comes in. “But with you is forgiveness” (Ps 130:4a). God can and will forgive us. “For with the Lord is mercy, with him is plenteous redemption” (Ps 130:7b). God can and will be merciful to us and save us.
How does God do that? How has God done that? “They are justified freely by his grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus” (Rom 3:24). As a manifestation of His mercy, God sent His own Son into the world to suffer and die for us. By his death and resurrection, Jesus has redeemed us. He has conquered sin and death. He has paid the price for our salvation. This is a free gift. This is an outpouring of undeserved grace. This is mercy.
How do we experience God’s mercy? As we continue to be sinners, as we continue to do things that estrange us from God, we must humble ourselves and constantly seek God’s face, asking for His mercy. “Our of the depths I call to you, Lord; Lord, hear my cry! May your ears be attentive to my cry for mercy.” (Ps 130:1-2).
Then we must grow in our faith in Jesus. He is our Savior and he is the manifestation of God’s mercy. It is he “whom God set forth as an expiation, through faith, by his blood” (Rom 3:25a). Then God will “justify the one who has faith in Jesus.” (Rom 3:26c).
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