When a natural disaster is coming, human organizations spend a lot of time and effort getting ready to withstand it safely. Rehearsing the core doctrine of justification was necessary preparation for the Roman believers about to face severe persecution under Nero. Christ and what He has done for us through the Gospel is our only anchor in any affliction.
Knowing intellectual data about Jesus is not enough to save a person. Nicodemus was a learned Jewish teacher, but he still did not possess saving faith until he knew what it meant to be born again (John 3:1-21). The longest 18 inches is the distance from the head to the heart, from knowing about Jesus to placing our full faith in and submitting to Christ.
The world likes to ask why bad things happen to good people, but the more appropriate question is why good things happen to bad people. Romans 1-3 comprehensively shows that all unbelievers are equally lost, whether they are religious, moralists, or irreligious. Those who think they have some good in them are actually the most wicked in God's eyes. No one can be saved unless they believe themselves to be the worst of sinners.
The inventor of the weather vane said its purpose is to remind us that human nature is fickle. Similarly, this first section of Romans is a reminder of our character. It is uncomfortable truth to be reminded of, but it is for our help, encouragement, and learning.
Children who grow up without a father suffer various negative repercussions. The presence and approval of a father is a natural need. Spiritually, every person has been estranged from the Heavenly Father of our own choice. Through sin, God's children have abandoned Him and His natural affection for them. Various religions and efforts of good works try to devise ways back to God, but there is only one way that relationship can be restored.
The Christmas season brings our attention to when God became man. God was made manifest and shown publicly through the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 3:21-26 is one passage that highlights the importance and reality of the Incarnation.
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