Wednesday, February 03, 2010

The February Reading

This month's passage in the Romans Reading Plan (henceforth, RRP) is Romans 2:12-3:20. This is just the sort of passage I tend to pass through quickly. I mean the passages in which Paul seems to address the Jews in his audience, to talk of circumcision, uncircumcision, etc. I'm just not the target audience, so I think. So I grab the gist of Paul's argument and hurriedly read on.

Well, the RRP won't let me do that of of course. I've got to stay here for the month, and my guess is that I'll be glad I did. Some preliminary thoughts after 4 readings.

At one end of this passage Paul is arguing, hypothetically, that when people keep the law, even though they are Gentiles, they will be saved. Paul had stated this proposition back at 2:7. He's expanding on it here.

At the other end of this passage, Paul draws on the prophets of old, who spoke for God, to make the point that, well, nobody keeps the law. "No, not one."

Those are the two key points. We learn something important about the law here, and we learn something important about ourselves. More about all this later.

Also, more later about about 2:14-16:
For when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do what the law requires, they are a law to themselves, even though they do not have the law. They show that the work of the law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, a according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus.
This passage prompts a question in me: in what way can it be "good news" (gospel) that God will judge the secrets of my heart?

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