Day 24

Righteousness through Faith

from the Romans reading plan


Romans 9:20-33, Jeremiah 18:1-6, Ephesians 1:11-14


Wrath.

That word is uncomfortable for anyone to hear, much less from God Himself. Isn’t He loving and merciful and kind and gracious? How can a good God be wrathful toward people?

This passage in Romans 9, among many others, raises tough questions about God’s character. Good questions. Questions that God doesn’t mind you asking and that He can handle.

How can a good God be wrathful toward sin? He can because He is a good judge, and good judges rightfully hate and push back against evil. We want a God who says, “I am here to not allow injustice to reign as king. I am here to reign as King against injustice.”

Because God is perfect, His wrath isn’t like ours—it’s an outflow of His perfect love and goodness. And because of this great love, God calls us to place our faith in His righteousness and not our own.

We’re clay, created by God to worship Him. When we try to earn our salvation, we miss the point of our existence. This was Israel’s greatest mistake.

If you read through the Old Testament, you see Israel obeying and then disobeying God, worshiping Him and then worshiping idols, ultimately placing their hope in something other than God’s unmerited favor. Israel tried and tried to work for their salvation, and they even questioned God for not rewarding their efforts. But God’s not interested in our white-knuckled efforts. He’s interested in our faith driving us to love Him and others.

God is not surprised by sin, but that doesn’t mean He’s ambivalent toward it. God is not surprised by unbelief, but that doesn’t mean He’s satisfied with our misplaced worship. In fact, He cares so much that He sent His Son to live the life we couldn’t live and die the death we deserve.

May we not be bitter or angry toward God like the Israelites, questioning His character because we don’t like something He’s said or done. Instead, let us lay our lives down for Him because of His righteous, perfect character. He is good and He does good.

Written by Brandon D. Smith

Post Comments (7)

7 thoughts on "Righteousness through Faith"

  1. Victor says:

    I think in a world where everything is about performance and merit, we cannot fully understand the gift of grace and salvation on this side of heaven. I am so thankful that God’s word tells me otherwise, He just wants me to be present with Him and wants me to enjoy His presence . There are no works whatsoever that could ever earn me Gods favor, love or salvation. For me it’s can be a struggle to remember this truth, but this was GREAT reminder for me, much needed. This is a symbol of Gods unconditional , perfected love.

  2. DES says:

    Lord, help me to always put my faith in you. Remind me of your presence and power and love and never ending care for me. Help me reflect on your mercy and loving kindness and live out of the truth of your victory and promises. Help me today to do what is right and what honors you. Thank you for another chance today. I love you.

  3. Adam says:

    Mold me to be more like You. If I am found imperfect, restart on me. Help me to realize it is for my good whenever God is working on me and reshaping me to be more like Him.

  4. Chris Greenwood says:

    “20 But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” 21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?”
    -Romans 9

    “Wrath.

    That word is uncomfortable for anyone to hear, much less from God Himself. Isn’t He loving and merciful and kind and gracious? How can a good God be wrathful toward people?

    This passage in Romans 9, among many others, raises tough questions about God’s character. Good questions. Questions that God doesn’t mind you asking and that He can handle.

    How can a good God be wrathful toward sin? He can because He is a good judge, and good judges rightfully hate and push back against evil. We want a God who says, “I am here to not allow injustice to reign as king. I am here to reign as King against injustice.”

    Because God is perfect, His wrath isn’t like ours—it’s an outflow of His perfect love and goodness. And because of this great love, God calls us to place our faith in His righteousness and not our own.

    We’re clay, created by God to worship Him.”
    – Brandon D. Smith

    As I lay here this morning reflecting on these words of Scripture and the words of this devotional writer, My mind drifts to our country. What a chaotic week it has been! So much I could say but only one thing I need to say…I’m so grateful that the One seated at the potter’s wheel is good. Not just good in His choices but the embodiment of goodness itself. It’s that goodness that allows me to worship even when chaos surrounds me.

    May the “riches of your glory” be made know, Father. May we find comfort and strength that you are here to reign as King over injustice. And may we remember we’re created to worship You. In Jesus Name. Amen.

  5. Adam says:

    God,
    I didn’t like hearing that you have made vessels for destruction. For your wrath and power… What is up with that? Bring me to a place of understanding and acceptance that not only is that simply how you are but that also is the best way for you to ever be. If my image of you is different from what you really are, it is I who is wrong, contorted, and missing the mark. Forgive me for making you what you are not. It is because of these vessels of wrath that I know your honor.
    Thank you that I may be called a son of God. You chose me, and I am eternally grateful. I wish that I could know who the other chosen ones are and pursue them as you do and see them to fruitfulness, yet there again, you plan is distinct and holy. We as your children must share with all as Jesus did where he was so that the real God, the God we fear and the Jesus we follow and the Spirit that indwells, may be made known to all people. I suck at that. I really do. Forgive my unbelief and increase my faith, O God, my rock and my redeemer. ~Amen

  6. Kyle says:

    I really like the last line of this devotional. “He is good, and he does good.” Through my own ups and down, times of doubt, or disobedience. I pray I will remain faithful and remember he is good, and he does good

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