Gravity of grace (5): Overview of Romans 9-11

Previously, Paul had announced he was not ashamed of the gospel because it is God’s power to save all those who believe, whether Jew or Greek. Furthermore, he asserted that this gospel reveals God’s righteousness. Subsequently, Paul proceeded to demonstrate God is righteous whether it be in judging people or how God justifies people “from faith to faith.” Chapter 8 ended with a crescendo emphasizing the security and confidence those in Christ possess.

Ironically, Paul begins to address the ramifications of this gospel that had elevated God’s fairness in making “no distinction” (Rom. 3:22,29; 4:16). If the Law cannot provide life or if ethnic Israel is not coextensive with God’s people, has God’s word failed? It is toward hard questions such as these that Paul now turns. Continue reading “Gravity of grace (5): Overview of Romans 9-11”

Romans 1:17 – The Righteousness of God

by Barry Newton

Prior to Martin Luther, general consensus agreed Paul was claiming in Romans 1:17 that the gospel reveals how God is righteous “from faith to faith.” Luther, however, confessed he “hated … active righteousness according to which God is righteous and punishes sinners.”/1 In struggling with this text he perceived Paul’s assertion to be that the gospel reveals God imparts righteousness to people through faith. While it may be that both are true, which message did Paul intend?

An appreciation for ancient literary structures casts an objective light on the apostle’s intentions. Perceiving Romans 1:16-17 and Romans 3:22-26 as forming an inclusio, like the two ends of an Oreo cookie, informs us what Paul meant to communicate.

Continue reading “Romans 1:17 – The Righteousness of God”

God Is Fair … Good News! Bad News & Great News!

If you have ever suffered prejudice, you can really appreciate just how wonderful the truth is that God is fair. That’s right. When we come before God, nobody gets special treatment ahead of you (or behind you) ¬†because of their connections, social status or race. That’s right, being daddy’s little girl won’t help or hinder. Being a member of an ethnic minority will not make it any better or any worse. The manner in which God will judge the world is the same for us all. The Principles of God’s Judgment Without favoritism, God gives to each one according to … Continue reading God Is Fair … Good News! Bad News & Great News!