Thursday, April 7, 2011
Romans from 30,000 Feet by Michael Horton
"The problem that all of humanity faces is the wrath of God, which is entirely justified because the Gentiles know God according to general revelation and the Jews know God according to special revelation. Yet both have failed to truly acknowledge God since they have violated His law. Since everyone is under sin and God's wrath the only way out is the Gospel, the announcement that in Christ God has provided a righteousness that satisfies his holy requirements. Christ has absorbed God's wrath in His death and justifies the wicked in his resurrection. All of this is received by faith alone apart from works as the examples of Abraham and David demonstrate Yet God has not only secured our life from the condemnation of the law, but also from the dominion of sin and death. Baptized into Christ's death and resurrection we are made new creatures and yet we continue to struggle throughout our lives with indwelling sin and the only hope we have is to look outside of ourselves to Christ, with the indwelling Spirit testifying in our hearts to our free adoption and keeping alive within us the hope that not only we but the whole creation will share in the final redemption.
"In the light of all this, nothing can separate us from God's love. But how then can we trust this gospel if God has been unfaithful to his early promises to Israel? Well, God has always maintained his prerogative of Election, even among the physical descendents of Abraham. So salvation isn't a matter of physical decent or of human decision or effort, but of God's mercy alone. God has been faithful to His promises, because even now an elect remnant is being saved from among Jews and Gentiles and after God adds alien Gentile branches to the tree of Israel he will finally bring in the fullness of the Jews as well. In view of all these mercies that stagger our imagination, we can now offer, not the dead sacrifices of animals for atonement, but our own bodies as living sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving. In that light, stop judging each other about things indifferent and get on with the business of loving and serving each other." --Michael Horton, from an Overview of the Book of Romans, WHI 2006