The sermon at church today was a good reminder for me. The guest speaker is a pastor who also happens to have a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics. He spoke on the second half of Romans 5, where Paul discusses Adam and Jesus. One point in particular stuck out to me.
Just as the consequences of sin and broken relationships increased generation by generation, so the fruit of grace should also increase. Adam and Eve experienced shame and blame as a result of their sin. Cain and Abel experienced murder and hate. By the time a few generations have passed, Lamech is promising vengeance seventy-seven fold. I had never realized that the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” rule in the Old Testament was to protect humans from each other and themselves. It prevented “you poked out my eye- I’ll burn your village!” revenge.
Jesus offers freedom from the bondage of revenge, murder, hate, and so much more. His grace looks like walking the extra mile and offering more than is asked of , and finally, forgiving seventy-seven fold. His grace offers forgiveness but is too big to stop with just forgiving. Jesus changes lives and allows us to live becoming more like Him.
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how blessed I am to be free. In Sunday School, we discussed Psalm 107, which fits into this theme well. It describes how God rescues the lost in the wilderness, feeds the hungry, delivers the imprisoned and oppressed, heals and restores the sick by His Word, and protects and guides those on stormy seas.
“Oh, that men would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works (distinguishing acts!) to the children of men!” ~Psalm 107:8, 15, 21, 31