Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Reading Through Romans 1-3
Yesterday we read the first three chapters of Romans. This section is filled with some tough things. If you are a believer it should cause you to fall on your face and praise God for His great gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you are not a believer, one who has forsaken every way including earning your own righteousness and placing faith in Jesus, please, fall on your face immediately and ask God for forgiveness and to grant you repentance unto salvation. What did you get when you read this section? What questions do you have?
Don't forget tomorrow we read Chapters 4 and 5.
In verses 1-7 we see Paul’s greetings to the Roman believers. Paul identifies himself, names the Romans as the addressees and then gives them a greeting. All of this is in keeping with the standard practice of letter writing of Paul’s day.
In verses 8-17 Paul talks about the gospel, or the good news of God. We have that wonderful passage where Paul tells us that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes the good news. The gospel is for both Jews and Gentiles.
In verses 18-32 Paul clearly spells out God’s anger at sin. God is also just or right in displaying his anger against sin. Sin is a violation of the character and nature of God. Men have no excuse, God has revealed enough through creation to know that there is a God. Yet, men in their sinfulness deny God, they suppress, or push down the truth about God. Men in their quest to reject God go so far as to create idols to replace God.
Of course resisting and rejecting God results in horrific consequences. God says you don’t want me then I will abandon you to yourselves. God gave man what he wanted, absolute freedom from God. This resulted in the most vile and unnatural behavior, unnatural sexual immorality. Man received the just punishment for rejecting God, they were left to their own devices with no heavenly restraint. Sometimes getting what you want is the first thing that can happen to you.
In verses 1-16 we see God’s judgment on sin. Paul shows that both the Gentiles and the Jews have sinned against God. The Jews are just as guilty especially when they condemn the Gentiles for their sin. Paul told the Jews that God will not be any more tolerant of your sin than the Gentiles.
As a matter of fact God has been giving the Jews time to repent. They have been just as stubborn. Man wants to be judged according to what he has done, i. e. his works. God says OK, I will judge you according to your works. But your works will not survive and you will be lost. No one can keep the law no one can be obedient enough and earn righteousness.
One day God will judge the secrets of men’s hearts. Everything will be made known. God will judge man the way he wants but it will be disastrous for man.
In verses 17-29 we see Paul address the Jews and their relationship to the law. Paul warns the Jews that they can’t rely on their heritage or the law as the means of salvation. Paul also tells the Jews that they cannot rely on the act of circumcision for their salvation. The act of circumcision is merely a physical sign for an inward transformation. Circumcision will not save them. True Jews are not true Jews merely because they had Jewish parents, possessed the law and were circumcised but because God transformed their heart.
In verses 1-8 we see that God is faithful to His people. There are advantages for being part of God’s chosen race. God gave His Word through the Jews. Even though some Jews were unfaithful and sinners God is faithful and will keep his promises and covenants.
In verses 9-20 we see Paul wrap up and end his argument that all people, Jews and Gentiles are sinners. Paul makes it clear that every human being is a sinner before God. As a matter of fact Paul makes clear there are no good people and no people seek after God. There are no seeker sensitive people. All people are wicked, evil, worse than snakes and spiders before God. No one derives righteousness from anything that they do.
In verses 21-31 we get out the this mire and muck we have been in. Here we see that Jesus took the penalty that we deserved. He died so that we could live. There is no salvation in keeping the law, earning righteousness, working for heaven. There is only one way to God and that is by faith Jesus Christ. Any other way leads to destruction. Paul makes it clear we are only forgiven and justified in God’s sight when we trust Jesus Christ as the sacrifice that appeased God the Father. Everyone has sinned Paul states emphatically and everyone is lost. However, God sent Jesus His Son as an offering that satisfied Him, enabling God to justify us.
Paul makes it clear in this section that we cannot boast nor be prideful as if we did anything to ensure our salvation. We are not saved by good works. We are saved by faith in Christ.
Posted by Gregg Metcalf at 3:00 AM