Summary: Understading and experiencing God’s integrity
THOUGHTS ABOUT THE PASSAGE:
Many people in our culture today don’t know what the cross means, or what Christians believe about it. A study was conducted about five years ago of people in Australia, Germany, India, Japan, England and the U.S. to find how much they recognized certain symbols. Ninety-two percent could identify the interlinking circles as the symbol for the Olympics. Eighty-eight percent could identify the golden arches as the symbol for MacDonalds. But only half of the people could identify the cross as symbolic of the Christian faith. (Baptists Today 9/21/95)
1. Understanding God’s Integrity (vv. 21-22a) - How does the cross help us understand God’s integrity? That’s what we see in v. 21 and the first half of v. 22. The phrase "but now" marks a major transition in Romans, as Paul begins to speak of Jesus Christ’s death on the cross as the turning point of human history. The death of Jesus opened a new chapter in the outworking of God’s plan for the human race. But to understand God’s integrity, we have to understand who Jesus really is. This means understanding how Jesus’ life, death, burial, and resurrection all fit together. Apart from understanding that we won’t be able to understand God’s integrity.
2. Experiencing God’s Integrity (vv, 22b-26) - Now let’s look at how we can actually experience God’s integrity. Because of what Paul’s already said in Romans 1 and 2, we can see that there’s no distinction between religious people and non-religious people in terms of how they stand with God. Everyone has sinned. Both Jews and non-Jews, religious and irreligious, Greeks and Romans, Americans and Palestinians, all stand guilty before God. We can only experience God’s integrity when we EXPERIENCE THE BENEFITS OF CHRIST’S DEATH.
3. Living Consistently With God’s Integrity (vv. 27-31) - Now let’s look at how to live consistently with God’s integrity. Our tendency is to think we can live consistently with God’s character by trying real hard to be good, moral people. That’s how a lot of the religious Jews back then were. They thought that by keeping the 10 commandments and all the other laws they would live consistently with God’s integrity.
We are living in an exciting time of history, especially if we have completely trusted Christ and His work on the cross for our personal salvation! We have all sinned and come short of God’s glory (Romans 3:23). I will fall short if I try to make heaven by my own works. I must trust completely in Jesus to be justified before God (Romans 3:24 26).