The book of Romans is Paul’s overview of “The Normal Christian Life”. Paul is writing to the church in Rome … a church struggling with theological and practical issues … a church struggling with its identity.
Who are we? What is our role? How can we fulfil our calling in a hostile world?
Paul starts at the beginning …. “The Gospel” … the good news. The church starts with “the good news”. The good news is NOT A MESSAGE … it is A PERSON … The Lord Jesus Christ.
Why do we need good news?
Because every human being is broken. Humanity, as created by God, has chosen to go its own way and as a result, mankind created in the image of God IS BROKEN. We cannot fix ourselves. God therefore sent His son to fix our brokenness.
This is the good news. Jesus is the answer to our inner brokenness.
Jesus came as our Redeemer to pay the price to set us free. When he died on the cross he purchased our freedom with his life. Everything we lost in the garden of Eden has been bought back through his blood shed on calvary. On the cross he also became our atonement offering. His blood covered our Godlessness … our willful rebellion against God. He paid the price for our forgiveness. As we accept his sacrifice for us on the cross we are free! Paul then moves on to show us that before God something has happened. We are now declared by God to be “in the right” (justified, righteous). There is no penalty standing against us. God, through what Jesus has done, declares us to be in right standing before him. There is therefore no condemnation … no charge to be laid against us. We have free access to the throne of God … nothing now stands between us. Not only that, but the Holy Spirit comes to live within us. His role is to change us from the inside out … to do the work we cannot do for ourselves. He changes our stoney heart into a heart of flesh. Then he begins to use everything that comes our way to do God’s work of transformation in our lives.
Because of all of this … because of what Jesus HAS DONE for us, and because of what the Holy Spirit IS DOING WITHIN US … we can be confident that our future is glorious.
God is changing us from glory to glory. We are becoming, day by day, more like him. We are changing from the inside out, if we submit to his change process. Be encouraged. The best is yet to come! But that is only half of the story.
Jesus didn’t die for individuals … he died to create a NEW FAMILY … THE CHURCH … a church powerful & effective. Paul, in the final chapters, moves on to show us HOW THIS NEW FAMILY SHOULD FUNCTION if it is to be the full expression of God’s love to a broken world.
That’s the next part of our journey in Romans!