I have recently been preaching through Romans Chapters 1-4. The first three chapters can be quite rough and challenging to the reader. I entitled two of my messages “The Roman Road Can Get A Little Rough” and ”Romans Road – Rest Stop”.
“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.” (Romans 1:16) In this verse, the Apostle Paul lays out His gospel of grace (1:16-18). But first, he must show the reader why the Gospel is so necessary. He convincingly shows the reader that the Gentile world has “suppressed” the truth about God by their sinful, idolatrous lives (Romans 1:18-32). But Paul does not stop there! He continues by quoting the Old Testament extensively (Romans Chapter 2; 3:9-18) showing how God’s chosen people, Israel, have also sinned repeatedly throughout history. “Therefore, all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” (Romans 3:23)
After Paul calls to the witness stand his star witnesses, Abraham and David (Romans 4:1-6), he begins to show the reader the absolute necessity for faith/righteousness. Abraham first believed God and was declared righteous (Genesis 15:6). Abraham’s works of righteousness did not occur until Genesis 22 when he offered His son Isaac as a sacrifice. Paul establishes the Biblical precedent of faith first with works that follow (see James 2:14-26). What was Paul’s point in developing this story? Romans 5:1-2 explains “Therefore since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ through whom we have gained access by faith into His grace in which we now stand.”
We and the saints of old, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, David, Rahab… have in common that we all are/were sinners that can be reconciled to a holy and sovereign God only by His grace and mercy through faith in Jesus (Romans 3:21-24; Hebrews 11).
What are you standing on? If it is not God’s amazing grace, it is a faulty foundation. (See Ephesians 2:8-9)
Captured & Kept by His Grace,