Therefore no one will be declared righteous in His sight by observing the law (Romans 3:20, NIV)
THE PRIMARY purpose of the first eight chapters of Romans is to present the core of the gospel message, the heart and soul of Christianity: people are guilty of sin and cannot save themselves from the guilt of sin by their own rule keeping or by observing a set of laws; we are saved by the grace of God, specifically, the blood of Jesus Christ; we gain access to the blood of Christ by our faith response to the grace of God.
In our reading today, Paul is seeking to bring us to an understanding of our need for God's grace. We must understand that we are sinners and cannot save ourselves. We need a Savior!
Paul begins by talking to the Gentiles. He outlines the nature of their sins. He begins by noting their sin of idolatry and continues by listing their sins of the flesh, and every kind of wickedness. They had no hope.
Just as the Gentiles of ancient Rome needed a Savior, so do we. Without Christ we have no forgiveness and no hope.
I lift my gaze beyond the night, and see,
Above the banners of Man's hate unfurled,
The holy figure that on Calvary
Stretched arms out wide enough for all the
- J. H. Wheelock
God, help us realize that we all sin and are in need of the One who can save us. Thank You for Jesus who makes forgiveness possible . In His name. Amen.
- GARTH W. BLACK, Bakersfield, California