Another Failed Attempt to go to Church & Romans 5

For the second time in three weeks, I tried to go to a new church, but could not. I picked out the church I wanted to go to, PC, last night and looked on Google Maps for directions. Using the bus system, it would take me about 20 minutes to get there. I set my alarm for 9:30 to give me plenty of time to eat and make it to church for the 11:00 service, but ended up dozing until about 10:00 after waking up. I ate breakfast at R and then got to the bus stop at 10:45, so I knew I was going to be a little bit late, but I wasn’t expecting it to take 20 minute for the bus to arrive. I got off the bus around 11:20, and had to backtrack a little bit because there was not bus stop where Google Maps said I should have gotten off. When I reached the address given on the church’s website, around 11:25-11:30, I found a large sign saying “PC has moved to ____.” I don’t own a smart phone, so I had no way of finding out where said new location was, and walked back to the bus stop feeling frustrated.

There were two good things that came from my journey this morning. First, I know how to get to the downtown mall because PC was about a 5 minute walk from it. Second, as I was waiting for the bus I saw an empty van drive by with a decal for TPC. It was headed toward OH, where students can meet to get rides to various churches, so I think that it may have been going to pick up students. If that was the case, I may have a chance to go to TPC after all.

Because I couldn’t go to a real church service this morning, I’m going to spend some more time with Romans 5, which I read last night and didn’t want to start talking about because there was so much I had to say. First, in the first paragraph of the chapter, Paul writes that “We [Christians] rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope.” (Romans 5: 3-4) I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought about pain or grief like that, even though it should be true. It actually reminds me a lot of a common question non-believers may ask of apologists: why do bad things happen to good people? Surely, some of those bad things are a direct result of sin, but I think that God can use them to build our faith.

In verse 7, Paul says that “One will scarcely die for a righteous person–though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die.” As he is saying, there are rare occasions where a human will offer his life to save a “righteous” or “good” person. He continues by comparing this to God’s sacrifice for us. The key difference is that Jesus died, not for the righteous, but for all sinners, or all mankind. (Romans 5: 8) ALL mankind. None of us deserve to be saved, but that doesn’t matter to God. He wants all of us, and gave everything so that we could be saved and have eternal life with Him.

The rest of the chapter is dedicated to presenting a really interesting and beautiful comparison of Adam and Christ. Paul writes that Adam’s temptation and failure to resist it brought sin and death into the world for all of humanity. But Jesus did exactly the opposite: through his death, he has saved us all from our mistakes and the inevitable death that comes with it. Paul also, in his description of Jesus’ death, repeats the term “free gift,” emphasizing how we have done nothing to deserve it, but don’t need to. Verse 18 is probably my favorite verse from the section: “Therefore as one trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all men.” That’s pretty awesome.

I have some work to do, but hope to making at least one more post today. I’m not sure whether I will count this as my Daily Devotion, especially since I read it last night, I just didn’t write about it. We’ll see how I’m feeling.

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