Briefing: When someone gets hired by a law enforcement agency, they go to the academy and learn the basics. They spend months and sometimes years practicing the basics before they begin to add more advanced law enforcement training.
Dispatch (Assignment): Read Romans 10:1-13.
On the Street: Unlike the newly hired officer who has plenty of time to move from foundational information to more advanced skill and techniques, the Christian has to progress much faster. We read in the previous devotional about the correct righteousness that comes through faith. We will build on that foundation in this devotional.
In verse four and five, Paul recaps the difference in the two kinds of righteousness. We called them works and faith. The works come from the law and the faith is in Christ alone. Verse 4 says, “For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” The way of faith in Christ puts an end to having to live up to the requirement to be perfect, never violating the law, thereby never committing sin. We have to be careful not to misunderstand the last part. Verse 5 says, “For Moses writes that the man who practices the righteousness which is based on law shall live by that righteousness.” This sounds really good but the point is, a person who tries to acquire righteousness by law must live a life that is perfect. If you try to acquire this righteousness, the standard is to never have sinned and to live a life where you never will sin. Perfection is standard and anything less is unrighteousness. I don’t know about you but I will take the grace, compassion and mercy of Jesus over the standard of perfection.
We move from our faith to the confession of Jesus as Lord. Law enforcement officers are familiar with the process of obtaining a confession. Looking at several definitions of confession, I was surprised to find that the majority of definitions dealt only with admitting to guilt. Make no mistake about it, our confession is good. In the case of the Christian, we are required to freely and joyfully give our confession. Verse 9 says, “that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you shall be saved;”.
Paul puts it all together in verse 10, “for with the heart man believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.” This is a must, an absolute. Not putting these two together is like having a gun without ammunition. You would not go out on patrol with an unloaded weapon.
Investigational Resources: Matthew 10:32, 1 Corinthians 12:3, Philippians 2:11, Acts 16:31.
Officer Safety Principle: Do not be a closet Christian. You must confess your faith in Jesus by your words and actions.
from The Book of Romans Through the Eyes of a Cop
©by Charles Gilliland. Used by permission.
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