This blog is based on Romans 4 that is read in accordance with the Revived by His Word initiative of the General conference of Seventh-day Adventists.
The world operates on a system of merit; earned privileges:
1. We study hard to pass exams. This in turn improves our chances of landing a good job
2. We work diligently/smartly to earn money; the harder and smarter we work, the more we expect to get. Scripture posits this position too.
3. We must have a "good" business plan or idea if we hope to attract investors.
4. We must be considered "nice/eligible" to successfully woo a mate; some folk look for those who to them are good-looking, intelligent, financially secure.
There's nothing necessarily wrong with the above situation, as far as the distribution of limited resources is concerned. In making some decisions, we cannot do much better than that as we're only able to look "on the outward appearance," (1 Sam. 16: 7) to determine the most eligible. And still, even among us, there are things that are by Grace and not by merit. These include:
"Love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance," (Gal. 5: 22), forgiveness (Matt. 18: 22). This is not an exhaustive list, but the idea is clear: to the extent that we have received these bounties from God in how He relates to us, we're to treat our fellow beings accordingly - "freely ye have received, freely give." Matt. 10:8.
To read and/or listen to Romans 4, and to read other related blogs, please click here.