- Rom. 1:1-3:20
Apparently during the three months while Paul is in Corinth—probably between 56-58 A.D.—he writes the letter to the Romans. Over the next three days we will complete our reading of this letter. In the first part, covered in today's reading, the major theme is that every person—both Jew and Gentile alike—is guilty of sin before GOD and in need of a savior. The gospel, or good news, of Jesus Christ tells us there is a solution. Paul writes:
9 What shall we conclude then? Do we [Jews] have any advantage [over the Gentile sinner]? Not at all! For we have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is written: “There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands; there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one.”
13 “Their throats are open graves; their tongues practice deceit.” “The poison of vipers is on their lips.” 14 “Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin and misery mark their ways, 17 and the way of peace they do not know.” 18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”
19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. 20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the works of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.
(Rom. 3:9-20 NIV)
The Jews had been given GOD's special blessing of the Law of Moses, which was to teach and guide their behavior to keep them from sin. Yet, every Jew was guilty because they all broke at least one commandment in their lifetime. Gentiles didn't have a special law revealed from GOD, but they had nature to teach them and show them that there is a GOD and yet they turned to idols and didn't acknowledge or thank the Creator for their blessings.
This is a most terrifying position—all men stand guilty before GOD. What can we do? As we continue reading tomorrow, we'll see that GOD has made a way through Jesus Christ, His Son. For now, let Paul's own words from Rom. 1 preview what we will find out over the next few days:
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.
(Rom. 1:16 NKJV)