I’m starting a new Bible study in the book of Romans, a letter to friends (and us) by apostle Paul, some say the greatest apostle because, among other reasons, his preaching reached Gentiles and Jews in the crucial corners of the early church (thru personal visits and many letters written while God moved him to and fro)… and from those places the Gospel (Good News about Jesus) spread to the rest of the world and back. You and I are likely knowing about Jesus due to the Holy Spirit working thru Paul’s preach-reach. His testimony always spelled out the FULFILLMENT of the scriptures about Jesus being the foretold Messiah. The Old Testament is the Foretold Testament.
Paul is an example of tremendous achievements and STILL falling really short of perfection. (Be Still and still be needing Jesus). Face it, we too fall short and it’s never going to be where the definition of perfection changes. Jesus is perfection and instead of changing Himself (which is impossible) (and why would He), He changes us – both in how we behave but in especially how we appear to God our Father. “Covered in the Blood”.
Atonement needed and granted. Sacrificial Substitutionary Atonement, in place from Adam’s time, is given once and for all by Jesus’s sacrifice. Perfection poured out on those falling short. God knows we need it. God knew to give it. God bless that we got it.
A crucial Bible-based message I heard multiple times is that we don’t get right then come to Jesus – we come to Jesus then get right. And what doesn’t get right gets Jesus because we will never achieve perfection, no one will. Not Paul who came as a murderer and not us who come as we are. All sin is equal and falls short. Jesus doesn’t move the bar, He is the bar, He just makes the bar into a bridge. He wants us to be with God forever.
Come as you are, let Jesus take care of the rest. To “get it” we have to “get” Jesus, understand that we can’t “make amends” but “get got” by Him, by His Sacrifice.
Romans 1:1-6, 14-17
Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God— the gospel he promised beforehand through his prophets in the Holy Scriptures regarding his Son, who as to his earthly life was a descendant of David, and who through the Spirit of holiness was appointed the Son of God in power by his resurrection from the dead: Jesus Christ our Lord. Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake. And you also are among those Gentiles who are called to belong to Jesus Christ.
I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”