Romans 3. What a romantic chapter. I mean, I think it is.
The theme of this chapter is simply this:
Everyone is unrighteous.
Very romantic David. This is why you’re not married.
You see, Paul was addressing a common question, “If everyone is unrighteous, and those who are taught God’s word are just as bad as those who are ignorant of His word, then what’s the advantage of knowing?”
A question he answered with a relational understanding.
Paul says, “Can’t you see? The benefit of knowing God’s word is exactly that: it is GOD’S word. The infinite God has spoken to you. That in itself is valuable.”
One can say, that when a lady says, “I really like it when we go to this restaurant. I wish we can go back.”, that those words on their own have no value other than being her opinion. But to the man in love with her, he takes her words, and does what?
He turns her wish into his command.
While it is not fitting to compare God to a human, boy or girl, I simply want to highlight this principle:The words of the one who is greatly loved are of great value, and so are her thoughts, her ideas, her purposes.
Paul is saying, “The value of God giving you His word is this: God Himself is talking to you. That’s unheard of! You’re too busy thinking of what you can get out of God, salvation from pain and blessings, that you’ve missed the most basic. God Himself is talking to you.”
God’s faithfulness is seen in this progression:
– That He first created us to rest with Him and to be loved by Him. He gave us His word so that we would have a copy of what He wants and dreams for us and what He wants as well. He does not make any unreasonable requests when He, as any lover would, asks and expects exclusivity, dependence, and faithfulness.
– But what did we do to this most benevolent lover? We refused Him. Yet when we rejected Him, he covered our shame with clothes and gave us the instructions and rules to live as peaceably and harmoniously and as healthily with each other in community. Who does that? Who do you know still cares for you after you’ve deliberately hurt him?
– But God, knowing that we would keep rejecting Him until we finally finally finally realize just how truly amazing He is compared to our infidelities, knowing that our evil hearts would undo any external good achieved, that greed would taint profit, that lust would destroy love, that pride would destroy relationships, that fear would isolate us, that our appetites would win, that there was no way we could or would keep the instructions that are good for us, He prepared a final way to save us.
– That final way is Jesus.
– That final way is not a new way. It is His original way. Love was His original way and it is also His final way. He created us to love us and He sent Jesus to restore us to His love. How?
The only way how. By loving us first.
Verse 25 and 26, has started to make me tear as I write this.God presented Christ as a sacrifice.
He did this to demonstrate His righteousness AND at the same time demonstrate His love.
Romans 3 is an incredible chapter and in my humble understanding, I believe it’s saying this:
Embrace God’s word. They are the words of the most beautiful, the most esteemed, the most noble, the most excellent.
They’re saying more than just giving you the criteria for who is good and who is bad.
If it’s more than that, what do those words say then?“Believe in MY love. Believe in MY love for you. Believe that MY love saves you.”
That is faith. To believe that God loves me so much that He sent Jesus, who laid His life down for me, and because of Him, not me, I am saved.
And if I really believed that God is the greatest and most deserving of love, that I love Him with all my heart, mind, soul, and strength, and if I was truly convinced that God, the greatest, loves me greatly, then how I can I NOT do as He wishes when He says, “David, I really like it when you do that. Please do it more.” Or “David, it really hurts me when you do that. Please stop”?
Yet I go against His wishes many times and so reveal my evil heart. Even when I do good, I hurt Him with my pride and forget Him.
Yet He loves me and so even in my evil His love is highlighted.
So I run to His love over and over and over again – no longer to find justification nor seek temporary blessing – but to hear His beautiful words, to hold His pierced hands, and to feel His beating heart, the beating heart of the God who loves me.