RELEASED TO BECOME GOOD
I myself am satisfied about you my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another. Romans 15:14
“She’s such a good person!” What is meant by that? In circumstances when most would not be good, she is good.
Paul didn’t write Romans to a disobedient and carnal church. It might appear that way when I consider the depth of his message on law and grace. He was really writing to a church who had embraced Christ deeply. He reveals that he calls them good – inferring that their faith in the Gospel had translated to a goodness born of the Spirit.
So what’s going on when I am stingy, unforgiving, vindictive, pessimistic, controlling, and hopeless about the future? I have not embraced the full impact of the Gospel in my heart. Stressful circumstances don’t offer me an excuse from being good. The message of the Gospel of Christ and the power of the cross supersede any bad day and any set of crushing circumstances.
Imagine someone who has been locked up in solitary confinement for 35 years, but then gets an unexpected pardon. One day he walks out of a dark jail cell into the vast sunshine – free to go where he wants. What is his posture from that day forward? Pinching himself that he is free. Grateful every morning that he can awake to the sounds of the birds singing. I am that person. Once condemned, imprisoned forever and separated from Christ, I was set free by His death to forever live in the Light. If I have grasped that, I will dance over the choices available to me today to truly live out from under the life sentence of sin. Radical generosity will be the result.
Once guilty, I am now forgiven. Once unloved, I am now cherished. Once hopeless, I am now held firmly by the God of hope. Once one who demanded fairness from others, I am now excited to give others a taste of the grace I have received. Once plagued by insecurity and unaware of myself, I am now defined by my Creator and free to be a unique, authentic creation.
Joy and goodness are released at the cross. If I am technically a believer but goodness is far from me, the message of the Gospel has not fully impacted my heart. Only the Spirit of God can take it there and melt my heart of stone.
Don’t let me forget my deliverance and pardon. Amen