II ROMANS 7
I MUST TRUST IN HIS LOVE TO FORGIVE MY SINS;
THERE IS NOTHING ELSE I CAN DO
In the third chapter of Romans, Paul makes it very clear that no one is righteous, not even those who try to keep the law meticulously. The Jews called the pagans sinners because they did not have the law and therefore did not keep it. Here Paul says the Jew is no better than the Gentile, for no one can perfectly keep the law. Therefore, no one is righteous. To be righteous one must be like God Himself. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, “Be ye perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect”. Paul says here that the law only makes us conscious of sin, for no one can perfectly keep it. This refers to any law, not just the Law of Moses.
The most meticulous legalist in the church today has failures in his life that make him a sinner, even if his religious life is legally correct. The fundamental law of God, as quoted by Jesus, was “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Can anyone claim that they always keep that law? In the Law of Moses it says, “Thou shall not bear false witness”. Can anyone say they have never colored the real truth a bit to make it seem better than it actually was? These are just two examples of man’s inability to perfectly keep the law. However, once he sins, even in a small way, the law offers no method by which one can get back to the perfection of God. Therefore, there must be a different kind of way to be justified, other than obedience to all the rules. The children of God should obey Him. However, those who preach that obedience is the way to salvation miss the point. We will now examine what Paul says the secret is.
Adam rejected God’s way in the Garden of Eden. Therefore, it is God who was sinned against, and only God can forgive sin. David, in the 91st Psalm, says, “Against Thee and Thee alone have I sinned”. Those who teach that high officials in the church can forgive sin are usurping the authority and majesty of God. Consequently, the way of justification has to come from Him. It is a product of His grace and His love for mankind. It is an unearned and undeserved gift given to sinful man on one condition. When one says, “What must I DO to be saved?”, this is the only answer. Note carefully now.
God wanted to have a close and personal relationship with His creature, man. “God is love”, and He created man to love. But man must love Him in return. The first step in this direction is to believe what God has done to make it possible. He came to earth in the person of His Son, lived as a man and died the death of a man on the Cross. Then, proving that He was the Son of God, He arose from the dead. All of this to make man believe that He was loved by His Creator and that He wanted a close personal relationship with him. If one truly believes that, he should respond in overwhelming thankfulness and love. We must believe in His gift, believe in His forgiveness, believe in His eternal love, and reach out to Him who makes our hope a reality.
” What must I do to be saved?” First, I must place my total faith
in Him, and accept His gift of love. Then, I must surrender my life to Him, make Him the Lord of my life, follow His example in all my behavior, and trust Him to forgive me when I fail. In short, I must “love Him because He first loved me”. There is nothing less I must do and nothing more that He requires of me. When I strive for a personal relationship with Him, I have fulfilled His purpose for me, and that alone can give meaning to my life and hope to my eternity.