Haiti Bible Institute, March 18, 2013 (Installment Six)
Yesterday we enjoyed a worship service led by students. Doc Bearss spoke from Ephesians 2 through a translator. We had more of a relaxed schedule because it was Sunday. I only taught three hours instead of five.
It brings me pleasure to hear the students comment that they are grasping the big picture of Romans even after such a short time. Paul is straight-up about our law-breaking condition and its penalty. He also makes it abundantly clear that lawbreakers cannot atone for lawbreaking by law keeping. A violent price must be paid. The first three chapters lay the groundwork for our need of a righteousness that is not our own. We need credit.
The practical end of this is the Bible answer to the performance-based righteousness that permeates not only mainline religions but also Christian fundamentalism. If what Paul says is true my whole identity is wrapped up in the performance of my sinless substitute. I cannot perform my way into happiness any more than I can perform my way into a right standing before God. My whole identity is wrapped up in the performance of my Substitute. God is fully satisfied with me, but only because He is satisfied with His Son. The violence I deserved was poured out on the one who is my righteousness.
By the time my last class was finished I had finally caught up to my goal of covering a chapter per hour. This morning at 8 we will venture into Romans chapter 5.
Cross-cultural epiphany: It occurred to me last night that in Haiti you can't really have the experience of flipping your pillow to the cold side : )