January 7, 2011

Glory and Honor

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. - Romans 2:7

This verse totally shows how we have to work for our salvation, right?

Not even!!

I love studying the Bible insofar as you learn very important things, like "Context is key." I've said that before here, and I'll likely say it again.

It's not what you do that gets you into Heaven--at least, the one and only thing you have to do is accept Christ as your Lord and savior. You can't lose your salvation because you had a bad day. Take me for example--my church is fasting again and I've chosen to give up sleep and get up early so I can do a Bible study in the mornings. But if you notice... I didn't post yesterday. I actually completely overslept and woke up with barely enough time to take a shower and dive into some clothes before leaving for work. So... am I a bad person for not doing my Bible study first? No. It doesn't work that way.

What you need to do is actually delve into what is being said in this book before and after verse 7. You actually want to start at the beginning of the book for this one, so I'm not going to paste it all here. But the gist of it is this--don't be selfish, self-centered and critical. Seek to do good things. Even though salvation can be won in just one step, making God truly the lord over your life means trying to live like Christ.

I'll admit I'm not very good at that. But what I like about this verse, when you really dig into it, is the idea that we all of us are "seeking immortality." We were made that way. We were cast out of the Garden, and spend our entire lives trying to get back in. The trouble is when we start getting confused on what "immortality" really is. Do glory and honor mean being lifted up as examples of Christ-like behavior, or do they mean having fellow humans look to us in adoration, as an idol for them to worship? (just a hint... setting yourself up as a replacement for God is soooo not what we're supposed to be doing.)

If I truly wish to live out this verse, I will think on it this way--by whom is it decided that I am receiving glory and honor? By God. What are His requirements? To live a life of Christ-like behavior.

And here's another hint--the glory and honor we receive should be turned right around and given back to Him. It's really not about us here.

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