Romans 1:16 is a beautiful verse in which Paul says that he isn’t ashamed of the gospel of Christ because of its power of salvation. In Verse 17 he says the famous words, “The just shall live by faith.” That phrase was first said in Habakkuk 2:4, – “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him; But the just shall live by faith.”
Then I read verses 18 – 32 and they contain some of the scariest stuff in the whole bible. Paul begins by saying that God’s wrath (anger, exasperation, fury, indignation, ire, passion, rage, temper) is against people who know the truth about Him, but suppress it. The Amplified version makes it very clear: ‘For [God does not overlook sin and] the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness of men who in their wickedness suppress and stifle the truth, because that which is known about God is evident within them [in their inner consciousness], for God made it evident to them.’ I read the verses that follow and it looked as if it meant that people who fail to acknowledge God are given over to all kinds of wicked behaviour, and it may well be so, but Chapter 2 starts off with the word ‘Therefore’. Therefore (for that reason; consequently; accordingly), a wonderful word that tells us to look at what went before. Romans2:1 “Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things.’ Ouch!! We are very good at judging and drawing conclusions about people’s behaviour, but whatever people are doing is not our business. It is our job to love people, not to judge or condemn them.
Matthew 22:37 – Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: You shall love your neighbour as yourself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets.” Let us start practicing to love people with the same love that God shows us.