by Norma Koehne
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The words ‘it was credited to him’ were not written for him alone but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness – for us who believe in him (Romans 4:23,24).
When we think of something being ‘credited’, we can think of a gift being paid anonymously into our bank account, or we can think in terms of paying a debt. Paul alludes to the latter idea when he talks about the law only bringing God’s wrath. The law convicts us of sin. It is salutary to read Martin Luther’s explanation of the Ten Commandments at intervals and ponder on them. We are led to realise that we are not only convicted by our wrong actions but also by failing to do positive deeds for love to our neighbour. When God credits righteousness to us, it is a gift of grace and love.
God’s gracious promise of free salvation and the gift of righteousness comes to us through faith. Look at the promise to Abraham that he would be the father of many nations. He and his wife Sarah were old, and all common sense and human reasoning would say this would never happen. But Abraham did not waver in having faith in God’s ability to do what he said and was ‘strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God’.
We are blessed to have the full revelation of God’s power and love. He ‘raised Jesus our Lord from the dead’. Why? For you and for me so that our sins were paid for in full, and we are justified and have life forever with God our Father through Jesus’ resurrection.
Every day as we pray in repentance for God’s forgiveness through Christ, we are in credit with God. What an amazing gift of love!
Loving Father, it is often hard to comprehend the extent of your great love for us, that you would sacrifice your Son to pay our debt in full and cover us with his righteousness. Our feeble thanks we offer for this overwhelming gift. Amen.
Norma grew up at Koonibba in SA. She was a teacher at Concordia College in SA and then served in various roles in Papua New Guinea with her husband. Returning to Australia, Norma worked as an International Student Advisor and, after completing a PhD, worked in administration at the University of Divinity. She has been privileged to serve the LCA on the General Church Council, Seminary Council, and as president of Lutheran Women of Victoria and Lutheran Women of Australia. Currently, she is happily retired.