What we are before God is all we are!
Paul is moving toward the conclusion of the section establishing this letter’s first major truth. It can be summed up in this verse, “Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God” (Rom. 3:19). Not one of us will be able to stand before God and avoid facing our arrogance and sin against Him. However, when we cease to suppress the truth about God—a truth written upon every human heart (Rom. 1:18-20)—and cry for God’s grace and forgiveness we are yielding to much needed self-awareness. This process is strengthened by our God-given consciences. They are capable of excusing or accusing us concerning the condition of our hearts and the actions we take (2:11-16). If we continue to pursue self-idolatry and the false gods we erect, everything will crumble in a moment of time. Suppressing what is knowable about God and the universal sinfulness of humanity, and instead living for gods of our own making will have dire consequences when we enter death’s door and stand before our Maker.
Facing this universal backdrop of sin leaves us only two options. One is to continue to put whitewash on a decayed building and work hard at supporting our fantasy. The second is to embrace the courage to face ourselves in the light of who God really is and allow this process to reveal to us how far we have fallen from His image. In the moment of truth about God and ourselves the wonderful grace of Christ and His salvation makes so much sense. His salvation not only forgives sin but transforms our inner being and in turn removes the origin of sin within us.
Prideful self-idolatry is the only thing that keeps anyone from this wonderful salvation. It doesn’t matter who we are or what we have done. What matters is that we leave our delusions of self-righteousness at the cross. This approach to God will never change. No matter how much we grow spiritually, or how much we serve God or humanity, the self-idolatry that seeks to make God in our own image remains a threat. It must never be allowed to take root in our hearts. To do this is to commit spiritual suicide.
Created 6 months ago