God’s Pleasant Surprise
March 23, 2011 § Leave a comment
Paul is probably one of those biblical characters who has experienced God’s amazing, surprising, unbelievable love and forgiveness like nobody else. For him, righteousness through faith is not a theological concept but the pleasant surprise of a life changing event. Not only did he not deserve to be forgiven by God for all the evil things he did, but he also thought that salvation is something to be earned through religious piety (see Philippians 3:5-6). The pleasant surprise is that God does not save on those terms. It is a completely undeserved, free gift from God. In Romans 4:6-13, Paul sees in Abraham another example of how God always surprise us with His love and mercy. Abraham was righteous in the eyes of God, not because he had followed the law (which of course had not been given yet at the time of Abraham), nor because he had earned that righteousness in any other way (such as circumcision). Abraham’s “faith was credited to him as righteousness” (4:9). God’s promise of new life is always there every day as a pleasant surprise regardless our efforts to earn it or our inability to deserve it. It is just a matter of whether you and I trust the promise and believe that to be true about God in our lives too.