Beyond the Gospels: Romans

For the scriptures for today’s devotional from Romans, click here: Romans 4:1-12
What is more important in our spiritual journey, faith or works?
Faith are those things which we believe even if we don’t know all of the details. As it is written in Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Works, in contrast, are the external actions and deeds that we do for God and others.
So which comes first? Which is most important?
Many people believe that the way to get to heaven is through works, as if God sits in heaven like an accountant with a balance sheet, making marks by our name in the “good” column when we do something good, and making marks in the “bad” column when we fall short and sin. Then, when we die, God adds it all up. If we have more “good” than “bad” marks, then we get into heaven. If we don’t, we go to hell.
But Paul points out in today’s reading in Romans something completely different. He writes that it is through faith that we are made righteous. We cannot earn our way to heaven through good works. It is simply impossible.
But through our faith in Jesus Christ we accept the grace that God offers us freely, given out of his love for us. And it is in our response to this awesome, overwhelming grace that we do works, seeking to keep the Great Commandment to love God and love others.
Holy God we thank you that you offer us righteousness through your son Jesus Christ. May we increase our faith, and in doing so do works that bring you honor and glory. Amen.

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