bible study last night was very good. romans 12:1-8. it made me think about a few things, one bing that i need more to consider the grace shown me in the work of Christ. i know in my head that an incredible price was paid for my life, that i could never repay, but which my heart contantly fails to keep front-in-view. i forget (or ignore) the cost, i forget (or ignore) my complete in ability to repay it, with the knock-on effect that i am overwhelmed sometimes by the fear that i will lose my salvation! how can what i do lose it, any more than i could have gained it in the first place?!
the passage last night, though, makes that truth of assurance the biggest boost and the greatest... obligation. paul says he is a slave of Christ Jesus, under obligation both to the greeks and barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish, not ashamed of the gospel. why not? because it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes. the power of God. it's not just the effect of God's power, the gospel, but it is also the affecting force behind the effect.
i'd not really though that way about it before. so caught up am i in my own fears and worries that i effectively rob the gospel of its power, claiming that my foolishness is greater even than God's ineffable wisdom! how insane is that?!
another thing i've never thought that much about is the guilt paul must have felt about those whose stonings and deaths and imprisonments he'd approved. i can say that i've never actually murdered someone, not even at arm's length; paul had. i'll have to think about that some more. my understanding of grace is so incredibly limited...