Romans 5: Cause and Effect Modified


Romans 5 brings us to one of the most countercultural thoughts in the entire Bible.

Rom 5:8  But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

Rom 5:9  Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

We live in a world where the overarching model seems to be that you get what you pay for. That does make sense on some level. After all, think about job performance. You go to the office, you do your job and you get paid. If you don’t do your job, you don’t get paid. It is pretty simple. Every cause has an effect. The effect follows logically from the cause that comes before it.

As people who have violated the law of God, we don’t deserve salvation. If it is true that all have sinned, and it seems to be pretty obvious that every person in the world has done something wrong, then we have fallen short of the glory of God. If we have fallen short of that target, then what we deserve is death. That is the effect that necessarily follows the cause. It is the logical consequence. If we are separated from God, then we will remain separated from God for eternity.

However, that gap was bridged. Jesus Christ died for us. Now, we’re justified through Him, and we’re going to be saved because of Him. It is nothing of our own, but it is the power of Christ who is able to conquer the grave. We can now freely receive that gift.

The old cause and effect was modified. There are still two possible effects. We’re still fallen human beings. That has not changed. However, we don’t need to have the necessary effect of eternal separation from God. We now had the option to accept this gift from God. There is an option there that we would never be able to get on our own.

It is really remarkable. Something else was put into the system. There is a higher path to be taken. It goes against what we seem to see in the world normally, but it shows how amazing our God truly is.

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Posted on June 8, 2015, in Romans and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. “We live in a world where the overarching model seems to be that you get what you pay for.” Really? Maybe in the commercial marketplace, although even there it takes an enormous amount of legal and social supervision to keep it so. But do families work like that? Friends? Even the internet has areas where you can get wonderful things for free, if you know where to look, as well as areas where you can pay and get nothing good (if you don’t know).

    “As people who have violated the law of God, we don’t deserve salvation.” This has the well-known apologetic weakness that God set the rules, he knew that we could not keep them, so he set us up to fail. Difficult to reconcile with 1 John’s “God is love.”

    • I guess that I don’t necessarily mean financial payment. It certainly can be, but think about the popular teaching of karma. Maybe a better way of phrasing my thought would have been that you get what you deserve.

      I don’t necessarily see it as a weakness that God has set the rules. However, if there is truly free will, then God certainly would have known that it was possible for humans to violate this law. It doesn’t mean that he set us up to fail however…

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