After reading Romans 1 and 2, you might wonder what possessed me to encourage you to expect good news.
Paul didn’t mince his words when describing the desperate spiritual condition of both Jew and Gentile, did he? Perhaps you noticed how he opened his letter, describing himself as Jesus’ “servant” and Roman believers as those who are “called to belong to Jesus Christ,” who are “loved by God” and “called to be saints.” Considering this “servant” was once the church’s dreaded enemy and that God’s love overflowed the borders of Israel to reach all the way to Rome—there is some encouraging good news in 1:1 and 1:7, but it’s easy to miss.
The Bad News That’s Actually Good News
It’s even easy to gloss over Paul’s thesis statement of good news in 1:16-17 and focus on all that bad news about “being given over to…” and “having no excuse…” and “the judgment of God.” But here’s where God’s version of good news and our expectations diverge. This “bad news” doesn’t seem like good news, but it really is. It’s good news because Paul’s vivid description of humanity’s lostness forces us to look outside ourselves for help. It forces us to despair and then it prepares us to receive the help that only comes through the powerful gospel of Jesus Christ’s life, death and resurrection.
Read the rest of this article by Elyse Fitzpatrick over at the Crossway Blog.
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