A Case Why Faith in Jesus is Necessary

In Romans, Paul lays out a case why faith in Jesus is necessary for salvation, how people have to hear about Jesus in order to put faith in Him, and how we are the only ones they can hear it from.  In Romans 2:12, Paul explains even those people who haven’t heard about God must answer to Him, because God has revealed Himself sufficiently to them through their consciences and the splendor of the creation.

– Greear, J.D.; Gospel: Recovering the Power that Made Christianity Revolutionary; B&H Publishing Group; Nashville, TN; Copyright 2011; Kindle Edition; page 145

Conditionality Is Everywhere

Conditionality is written into the fabric of every society and relationship because it is written into the fabric of every heart and mind (Romans 2:15).

– Tchividian, Tullian; One Way Love: Inexhaustible Grace for an Exhausted World; David Cook Publishers; copyright 2013; Kindle Edition; Location 656

 

The Collective Need to Repent and Confess

To be clear, I absolutely believe in our collective need to repent and confess our sins to one another (James 5:16).  I am only cautioning against doing so outside the context of the countervailing, scandalous nature of God’s unconditional love.  It is, after all, “God’s kindness [that] leads you toward repentance” (Romans 2:4), repentance being nearly synonymous with honesty.  The confidence that “there is no no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Romans 8:1) is the engine that fuels honesty with one another, about both our ongoing sin and our ongoing suffering.  Fortunately, this is the good news that lies at the heart of the gospel.  But I disagree.

– Tchividjian, Tullian; Glorious Ruin: How Suffering Sets You Free; David C Cook Publishers, Copyright 2013, Kindle Edition, page 71

On What Basis Shall We Be Judged?

Surely God will judge the world on the basis of whether we have done our best with the light we have been given.  But Paul’s whole point in these first three chapters (of Romans) is to convince us that regardless of how much light we have been given, we always do the same thing with it.  We suppress the truth, whether it is the light of nature (God’s existence and moral will known to unbelieving Gentiles) or the light of grace (God’s revelation of the gospel in the Scriptures).  There is enough revelation to render a guilty verdict.  Regardless of our own evaluation before God’s bar no one is good and no one seeks God.

– Horton, Michael; The Gospel Driven Life: Being Good News People in a Bad News World; Baker Books; Grand Rapids, MI; Copyright 2009; page 59-60

The True Mark of Circumcision

All of the people of God are marked with a special brand as it were.  In the Old Testament, circumcision was the proof of divine ownership.  It was required of all make children of the people of Israel, as well as of all male converts or proselytes.  It was an external sign of the covenant which made them God’s people.  It was also a subjective sign of the covenant in that it was applied individually to each person, whereas the ark of the covenant served as an objective sign for the whole group.

Instead of this external circumcision of the flesh, found in the administration of the old covenant, we find under the new covenant an inward circumcision of the heart.  Paul wrote, “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal” (Romans 2:29; see also Philippians 3:3)

– Erickson, Millard

as quoted by Driscoll, Mark and Gary Breshears, Vintage Church: Timeless Truths and Timely Methods, Crossway Books, Wheaton, IL, 2008, p.

The Theistic God We Can Discover is Consistent with the God of the Bible

Theism is the proper term to describe such a God. Now here is the amazing thing about these findings: the theistic God we have discovered is consistent with the God of the Bible, but we have discovered him without use of the Bible. We have shown that through good reason, science and philosophy much can be known about the God of the Bible.  In fact, this is what the Bible itself says (Psalm 19, Romans 1:18-20; 2:14-15).  Theologians call this revelation of God natural or general revelation (which is clearly seen independent of any type of scripture).  The revelation of Scripture is called special revelation.

– Geisler, Norm and Frank Turek, I Don’t Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, copyright 2004, page 198

Our Hearts, Where the Law is Written

So we may now put the whole train of thought before us, from Romans 2:11 on.  First Paul says that “there is no partiality with God”.  Then he defends this in verse 12 by saying that God’s judgment will come to the world according to how they respond to the measure of truth which they have access.  Then he explains (verse 13) that mere hearing of the law is no advantage to the Jew at the judgment day, and not hearing is the issue.  Then, he explains (Romans 2:14-15) that the law really is available to those who have no access to the law of Moses, because God has written what the law requires on the heart and given all of us a conscience to awaken us to this moral knowledge.

– John Piper, The Future of Justification: A Response to N.T. Wright, copyright 2007, page 108

What Does Justification Refer too?

The term “justification” refers to what happens in ordinary courtrooms, not just at the end of the age (Deuteronomy 25:1; I Kings 8:32).  It refers to Elihu wanting to justify Job (Job 33:32); to the evil of justifying the wicked for a bribe (Isaiah 5:23; 1:17); to the wisdom of God being justified (Matthew 11:19); to God’s being justified now by the crowds (Luke 7:29); to a man’s trying to justify himself and save face (Luke 10:29; 16:15).  And in the theological sense in the New Testament, it far more often refers to the present reality of justification, not the future.  There are references in the future tense; however, not even all these are obviously a reference to the last judgment (Romans 2:13; 3:20; Galatians 2:16; Matthew 12;37).  The future tense may refer to the immediate future or the distance future.

– John Piper, The Future of Justification: a Response to N.T. Wright, copyright 2007, page 58

The Value of God’s Glory

The upshot of this evidence is that God’s righteousness, in the mind of Paul, as in the Old Testament, is most fundamentally his unwavering allegiance to uphold the value of his glory.  It is also plain that this is the righteousness he demands from his creatures – that they forsake their “unrighteousness” and “glorify him as God or give thanks to him” (Romans 1:18, 21).  When he says that “none is righteous” (Romans 3:10), he means that all of use have failed to glorify God as we should.  We do not “seek God” (Romans 3:11).  Instead, we exchange the glory of God and see what his creation can offer (Romans 1:23).  And, in the case of Israel, “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you (Romans 2:24).  “All have sinned” – that is all have bartered away the glory fo God for false substitutes.  The aim of creation and redemption is that God be glorified – treasured and displayed as infinitely glorious (Romans 15:8-9)

– John Piper, The Future of Justification: a Response to N.T. Wright, copyright 2007, page 70-71

Wrath – God’s Justice and Man’s Choice

In the first place, God’s wrath is always judicial – that is, it is the wrath of the Judge, administering justice.  Cruelty is always immoral, but the explicit presupposition of all that we find in the Bible … on the torments of those who experience the fullness of God’s wrath is that each receives precisely what he deserves (Psalm 62:12; Proverbs 24:12; Romans 2:5-6)

In the second place, God’s wrath in the Bible is something which the people choose for themselves.  Before hell is an experience inflicted by God, it is a state for which a person himself opts by retreating fromt he light which God shines in His heart to lead him to Himself.

– J.I. Packer, Knowing God, copyright 1973, page 151-152