I love what Paul does in these first 8 chapters of Romans. He’s straight and to the point. He pulls no punches.
In our reading today (and so far this week for that matter), Paul is setting the stage for a grand story — the story of redemption. The way he does it, though, is different than what we might expect. He does it in a courtroom. Have you caught all of the vernacular used in chapter one and two up until this point? It’s almost completely legal language. After all, the Romans could understand this, for they were a parliamentary people.
But who’s on the stand? Who is Paul making a case against? The Romans? The Jews? Yes… and you too.
Who is the Judge? Romans 2:16: GOD THE FATHER.
What is the charge? Romans 3:23: GUILTY.
What is the sentence? Romans 6:23: DEATH.
Is there any hope?
Is there any chance of freedom?
Can anyone declare me NOT GUILTY?
Yes. Romans 8:1: JESUS CHRIST.
In today’s verses, Paul is specifically making the case against the Jews. This actually includes himself. He is making a stern point that, while the law was there for their good, it cannot save them:
And the Jews, who do have God’s law, will be judged by that law when they fail to obey it. For merely listening to the law doesn’t make us right with God. Romans 2:12b-13
Here’s where Paul’s going, and this is where we come into the picture. If the Jews, who were God’s people and had God’s law, could not save themselves through right living, no one can.
So, I ask you this question today: have you been trying to save yourself by your own merit? Do you rely on your good works to get you to heaven? Why, on that judgment day, in that big courtroom in the sky, should God declare you NOT GUILTY? If the answer is anything other than through the righteousness of Christ, you have no hope.
But today, you have the chance to embrace hope. Place your faith in Christ, the one who paid for your sins and bought you with His life.
For those of you walking closely with Christ or are striving to get there, continue to cling to the Gospel like never before. Grab hold of the feet of Jesus and never let go. The Good News that saved you is still at work in your life today, not because of anything you’ve done, but because of everything He did.
By: Todd Thomas — Worship & College Pastor