In our earlier studies of Paul’s
letter to the Roman believers
we have encountered an
apostle who is passionately
sharing some very specific
truths about the state of humanity
and their, and our, need for
hope. We have encountered
some of the most descriptive
language that describes the
condition of people, then and now. The definition
of sin, and the examples that are included, paint
a desperate and stunning picture of evil.
We can imagine that the members of the Roman
churches recognized exactly what Paul was sharing
about the depravity of the people in their day.
It is interesting to consider that there was such a
level of involvement in the horrible practices that
were also seen in themselves, and those around
them. As we look at these descriptions there is no
trouble thinking that those people were definitely
sinners. But it is even more interesting to realize
that these descriptions are really the description
of us, and those around us, today.
In the first two chapters of this letter we have
perhaps one of the most specific, and horrific,
overviews of the problem of sin. We also read
Paul’s comments about the human efforts to
counter this challenge within a ‘keeping of the
law’ solution. Paul is very clear that the law could
not save the Romans from the consequences and
penalty of this sinful condition,
neither can it save us.
The letter seems to make a shift in the latter part
of chapter two as Paul teaches, in unequivocal
terms, that our only hope of deliverance and
salvation comes through the ‘power of the gospel’
of Jesus Christ. Any righteousness that we
could ever hope to experience is available to us
exclusively from Jesus. Paul says that we can
never BE righteous ourselves, however we can
be DECLARED righteous by the One Who
payed the penalty for our sin through
His death on the cross.
In our study this week we will explore one of the
most complete statements in all of scripture on
the ‘plan of salvation’. Paul is very specific that
our salvation is a gift of grace which each person
can experience by believing, and accepting, by
faith. This is available to us, just as Paul taught
the Roman believers, through His redemption for
humankind through the atoning sacrifice of
Jesus, the perfect Lamb of God.
May we choose to live in the confident hope that
Jesus offers to each one of us.