Romans. Revisited. (pt. 1)
If you don’t catch anything else from what I’m about to say, remember this:
God is righteous. He is just. He is faithful.
He has proven himself faithful to his promises of restoring the world, working through his faithful Son, the Messiah, to bring about both our faith in and our faithfulness to him.
Allow me to explain this further.
But first, the objections:
See, at first glance, the big idea above seems ridiculous. God is faithful? Have you seen the world recently? It’s corrupt to the core. Idolatry, sexual immorality, violence, deception, hostility, etc. Because people refused to believe that God is who he says he is, Sin and Death have infected and affected every layer of human existence. If God is truly righteous, why is his world so unrighteous?
Furthermore, look at his “chosen people,” the Jews! They are no better than anyone else, despite their privileged position as the ones through whom God promised to work.
They have failed to understand that their identity as God’s people was more inward than outward, and by boasting about their possession of God’s law (instead of allowing God to change them from the inside out), they have become just as unrepentant and stubborn as the rest of the world!
Doesn’t Israel’s utter failure to have faith in God and fulfill their role as a conduit of God’s grace to the entire world mean that God’s plan and promises have failed?
No. Just because some of the Jews failed does not mean all of them have.
And it especially does not mean that God has.
He is still faithful and righteous. But more on that later…
Even though everyone, Jews and Gentiles alike, is corrupt…
Despite the fact that Sin and Death, God’s cosmic enemies, have polluted his creation…
Although Scripture itself testifies that we are all unfaithful…
Although the Law which was supposed to guide us in our pursuit of God has only highlighted just how broken we are and how far we have fallen…
Despite all of these things, God is righteous.
God has revealed his covenant faithfulness to us through Jesus the Messiah, the True and Faithful Israelite through whom God has kept his redemptive promises. Through his death, the Messiah has absorbed the wrath of God which our unfaithfulness merited. What’s more, he has reconciled us to God and made possible the truly human life, one which honors God by living in perfect relationship with him and the rest of his creation. Through the Messiah, God is proving his faithfulness in redeeming the entire world.
…to be continued.