“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:1-5).
This is a paragraph of causes and effects.
There is another list of causes and effects in Romans 10, where the list is given in rhetorical questions. “How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!’ …. Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ” (Romans 10:14-15, 17).
This wonderful succession of causes and effects started with the Father, continued with the Son in His death and resurrection, and continues in the present through the Holy Spirit and redeemed people sent to proclaim Jesus Christ.
“When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, ‘The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field’” (Matthew 9:36-38). The crowds are bigger now than they were then. They are still helpless, shepherdless. Jesus said to ask.
Written January 1991.
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