Bible Reading Day 214
Day 214: August 2 (Romans 2)
How are your climbing legs? Yesterday was already steep in our climb up Mount Romans! Remember our foundation: the Good News is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes.
Paul laid out a comprehensive diatribe against sin in the last part of Chapter 1; no one was exempt. By the way – diatribe is a form of classical writing that mimics the way a person would speak when confronted by a heckler. It is forceful to make a point, but the term does not imply that Paul’s writing is an empty rant – on the contrary it is well thought out and designed to challenge and convince. Remember Paul’s foundation – God’s power working to save everyone who believes.
Today, in chapter two, having condemned sin, Paul starts by ensuring that none of us excuse ourselves. We are ALL sinners. There are outwardly good, religious sinners, and outwardly immoral, pagan sinners. But a sinner is a sinner, and only sinners who accept the saving work of Jesus by faith will escape God’s clean-up of sin.
Paul repeats a phrase “for the Jew first and then the Gentile:” God came first to the Jews, and now to the Gentiles also. Judgment is coming to the Jews first, then the Gentiles, glory and honor are coming, for those who do God’s will, for the Jews first and then the Gentiles. The day is coming when God will make everything as plain as day – the good and the bad.
All the talk of Jews first could lead some to be proud, but Paul cautions those who trust in their special relationship, who live by a different standard. Living by the Law means you are in more trouble when you break it (and any honest Jew would agree they break the Law – that is why the Temple sacrifices were necessary). So any Jew who breaks the Law is in the same trouble as a Gentile “heathen.” And conversely if the Gentiles obey God’s Law, God will declare them to be His own people.
Ultimately what counts is a change of heart produced by God’s Spirit. How do we tell if our heart is truly changed? Examine where we seek praise; where does my value, affirmation, and security come from? If it is from those around me, I am still in need of Holy Spirit heart change. If my trust is in God, my heart is changed.
So how is the view so far? Can you see the majesty of salvation by grace, through faith?
Have a great day!