The Landscape of Grace

the landscape of grace 1

The primary editorial focus of our blog will always be to share stories about the transformational nature of our work in India, but from time to time we also want to encourage you with a devotional thought that enhances your love for Jesus Christ. Usually written by a member of our staff, these posts are intended to draw your heart Godward.

Even for a trained theologian, someone who reads and studies the Bible for a living, the book of Romans is dense theological terrain.

I don’t know about you, but there are moments when I read Paul’s letter and feel like a novice when it comes to matters of faith. Honestly, it feels like I’m just getting started, like there’s a world of Gospel—of good news—that I’m just beginning to understand.

And while that may sound like a crazy admission to make, especially for someone who has been around this story his whole life, it really is the truth.

Paul’s understanding of the Gospel is extraordinary. His ability to synthesize old and new covenant themes into a coherent whole makes my head spin—and sometimes hurt.

Like legions of Christians before me, I find myself reading certain sections of Romans over and over again because I’m not sure that I grasp Paul’s argument or even understand the point he’s trying to make.

But the thing is, I want to get it. More importantly, I need to get it. And the reason I feel that way is because I’m so strongly convinced that the Gospel changes everything.

In Romans, Paul consistently pushes us back into the landscape of grace and reminds us that all of our self-salvation projects are destined to fail.

Apart from faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, there’s nothing we can do to save ourselves. Nothing. And Romans is Paul’s way of inviting us to be okay with that.

And let’s just be honest: it’s never an easy thing to come to terms with our own inadequacies and concede that we are incapable of doing something—especially in our culture. But that is precisely what Paul hopes his readers will do. He hopes we’ll realize that we are incapable of saving ourselves.

Paul knows that salvation always eludes those who think they can earn it; to those who receive it for what it is—pure gift—it changes everything.

Since 1992, Vision Nationals has been planting churches, training nationals, and caring for orphans and widows in India. Through your prayers and financial gifts God has graciously sustained our work.

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