Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 60-62; Romans 5
18 So now the righteous requirements necessary for life are met for everyone through the righteous act of one person, just as judgment fell on everyone through the failure of one person. 19 Many people were made righteous through the obedience of one person, just as many people were made sinners through the disobedience of one person.20 The Law stepped in to amplify the failure, but where sin increased, grace multiplied even more. 21 The result is that grace will rule through God’s righteousness, leading to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord, just as sin ruled in death. (Romans 5:18-21, Common English Bible).
If we were going to dance, traditionally the guy leads. I’m not sure why. Perhaps we are too hard-headed to follow. Maybe we aren’t smart enough. The more traditional answer puts women lower than men. Men are the natural leaders, some would say. I personally don’t think either gender has the key and lock on the abilities of leadership.
When I was in the Navy I learned to “two-step.” The poor woman who taught me got stepped on and kicked many times during the lesson, mostly because kept I continued to try to lead even though I had no idea of what I was doing. I did finally learn despite my inability to get out of the way. In the end, it really didn’t matter as I haven’t danced more than a half-dozen times in the 40 years since.
In today’s lesson, Paul talks about those leading and who we will follow. He says there is one teaches us disobedience. When we choose to follow the one who leads us to disobedience, just as I couldn’t learn to two-step until I let my teacher lead, as long as we insist on taking the lead, as long as we follow the wrong leader, we can expect problems, difficulty, and worse in our lives.
Paul also tells us, however, that when we follow the right leader, Jesus Christ. Following Jesus, says Paul, will result in grace. Grace will lead us to righteousness. Following Jesus will lead us to life eternal. And, Jesus is infinitely patient with me. If I step on his toes or kick him in the shin (accidently of course), he just says, “It’s OK, let’s start again.” That is grace.
I also think the message of this passage can have additional meaning. Paul says to the Corinthians:
14 Don’t be tied up as equal partners with people who don’t believe. What does righteousness share with that which is outside the Law? What relationship does light have with darkness? 15 What harmony does Christ have with Satan? What does a believer have in common with someone who doesn’t believe? 16 What agreement can there be between God’s temple and idols? Because we are the temple of the living God. Just as God said, I live with them, and I will move among them. I will be their God, and they will be my people. 17 Therefore, come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord. Don’t touch what is unclean. Then I will welcome you. 18 I will be a father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18, Common English Bible).
When we tie ourselves to others outside the faith, when we allow them to lead us, we are walking on a destructive path. This does not mean Paul is advocating we not follow the Great Commission. It doesn’t mean Paul is saying we shouldn’t talk to or associate with people outside the Christian faith. It simply means, be aware of who you are following and keep following the one who gives you light and grace and life. Keep following Jesus.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
With Joy and Thankfulness,
Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved