Reading through the Bible together
After reading the first two chapters of Romans, one who is a believer may ask, “Why did I choose to become a Seventh-day Adventist? I will be held more accountable for all the knowledge that I have when standing in the judgment.” Paul anticipated this kind of a response from the Jews who had the law of God committed to them. They have a great advantage. They have been given instruction that should make it easier to walk in the way of salvation.
He then points out in verses 3 and 4, that even if some do not believe the truth as set forth in Scripture, it does not make this truth without power and being effective. He quotes Psalm51:4, which says that when God speaks, He is just and does not lie. God is truthful when He pronounces as just those who believe in Him. God’s name and honesty can be questioned when He does this. But what He says, is true!
Next, Paul makes it clear that he does not teach, as they claim he does, that it is acceptable to keep on sinning because the more we sin, the more grace we receive (vs. 5-8). Then he speaks about the sinfulness of all humanity (vs.10-18). “There is none righteous, no not one.” This unrighteousness begins in the mind. The foolish choices we make turn us against God and leads to all forms of sin, including no fear of God (vs. 12-18). But part of the everlasting gospel as we see in the first angel’s message (Rev. 14:6, 7) is to fear God. We can be delivered from the foolish choices we make, which God promised us (v. 10-18). When we come to verse 19, we read that “all the world” is under the law and its condemnation, and all are guilty before God. And because all are guilty, no amount of good works can save us. Thus, we all need the “righteousness of God which is by faith in Jesus Christ.” This righteousness is given to everyone who believes.
This righteousness is given freely by God’s grace, and the blood of Jesus makes this grace possible. Those who believe in Jesus will be justified, and God will be just in pronouncing the believers as just (vs. 24-26). The chapter concludes by showing that there is no boasting, because this righteousness comes through faith and is for the Jews and the Gentiles, the Christian and the non-Christian. Furthermore, this faith will lead those who believe to uphold the law of God rather than to make it void. In other words, those who experience righteousness by faith will also live obedient lives by the grace of God through Jesus Christ our Savior (vs. 27-30).
Norman McNulty, M.D.
Neurologist, Lawrenceburg, TN, USA