Down at the core of the gospel that this book of Romans is so much about (1:16-17) are two truths:
- We are all a bunch of rascals.
- But God can save us anyway.
The first point we don’t like to accept, especially in a culture where we grew up on self-esteem slogans and a foundational belief that all people are good. The second point we absolutely love. We deem it an inalienable right. Though, I wonder if we can really appreciate the second point if we don’t fully accept the first. Maybe that is why some of my favorite verses in the Bible are right here in this chapter:
While we were still weak, at that very moment he died on behalf of the ungodly. (5:6)
This is how God demonstrates his own love for us: the Messiah died for us while we were still sinners. (5:8)
When we were enemies, you see, we were reconciled to God through the death of his son. (5:10)
Where sin increased, grace increased all the more. (5:20)
It’s all about grace, and when we forget that we get out of alignment. Then we sell our uniqueness and settle for something that is just like everything else.