Read for This Week’s Study: Galatians 6:14; Romans 6:23; I John 5:11, I John 5:13; Romans 4:1-7; Leviticus 7:18; Leviticus 17:1-4; Romans 5:1.
Memory Verse: “But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith” (Galatians 3:11).
About seven centuries before Christ, the poet Homer wrote the Odyssey, the story of Odysseus the great warrior who — after sacking the city of Troy in the Trojan war — began a ten-year voyage to try to return to his native Ithaca. The voyage, too, took so long because he faced shipwrecks, mutinies, storms, monsters, and other obstacles that kept him from reaching his goal. Finally, after deciding that Odysseus had suffered enough, the gods agreed to allow the weary warrior to return to his home and family. His trials were, they agreed, enough atonement for his mistakes.
In one sense, we are like Odysseus, on a long journey home. The crucial difference, however, is that, unlike Odysseus, we can never “suffer enough” to earn our way back. The distance between heaven and earth is too great for us to atone for our mistakes. If we get home, it would have to be only by the grace of God.
The Week at a Glance: Why must salvation be a gift? Why could only Someone equal with God ransom our souls? What makes Abraham such a good representative of faith? What does it mean that righteousness is “imputed” or “credited” to us? How can we make the promises and hope found in the Cross our own?