Theology Thursday #9 – Faith For The Sake Of Christ

“through whom we have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith for the sake of His name among all the nations”
~Romans 1:5

So I fully realize it’s Wednesday when writing this. The reason being I won’t be in my normal Thursday writing routine because of a certain holiday. Namely, Thanksgiving!

Anyways, back to the verse.
So from our previous study, we’ve already established the “whom” in the first part of this verse being Jesus. So it is through Christ we receive grace. I know it’s a simple thing most of us know, but it really does have plenty of implications. A couple of them being:
Firstly, we receive grace from Him alone because He’s the only one who enables the grace to be given freely in the first place. (In Christ, the only way (John 14:6))

Secondly, it means we can’t get our own grace, we can’t “make” God give it to us, it’s freely given from him, despite us. (Eph. 2:8-9)
Next, we can cross reference to verse one to see Paul’s specific call to be an apostle. And see in this verse we get more clarity on his position being given directly from Christ, setting him specifically apart for His own purposes.
So we’ve now established that we receive grace through Christ alone, that apostleship was given to Paul to set him apart for specific purposes.
I recently heard a quote from Conrad Mbewe at the Strange Fire conference saying,

“The behavior is ultimately the fruit of a persons belief. So you’ve got the fruit, and the root.”

I tie this quote in with the last part of this verse, “to bring about the obedience of faith” because Paul doesn’t just spout a bunch of morals first, he gives us the theology behind the morals. He doesn’t tell us, “be obedient”. He says that grace brings about obedience through faith. We don’t make ourselves change, Christ changes our hearts. Paul here teaches us the theology of what genuinely changes someone, and says what that looks like practically. So he addresses what we believe instead of just changing our behavior as much of modern psychology and self-help does. But ultimately only Jesus’s saving work can change someones heart.
The final part of this verse lets us know what the point of it all is “for the sake of His name among all the nations”.
So the real point of it all is for Christ’s name and for others to see His name as great.

So my challenge to both you and me: How are you making Christ’s name great among those around you?

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