Devotional thoughts on Romans 3:21-31
By Thilini Cate
In Letter VIII of C.S. Lewis’s Screwtape Letters, Screwtape explains to his protégé the different purposes that God and the devils have for the human race: “We want cattle who can finally become food; He wants servants who can finally become sons.” What Lewis explains through dialogue is humankind’s innate characteristics of God, pursued through the struggle of its proclivity toward mindless self-destruction.
In creation, God made people in his image to share his qualities, yet be distinctly different from him. For meaningful communion to exist between these entities, a triune Godhead and finite humanity, the freedom to accept or reject God was necessary. By proving his love for us “while we were yet sinners” (Romans 5:8), by absorbing our sin through crucifixion, Jesus challenged the cycle of death in resurrection. And love won.
In the latter half of Romans 3, Paul showed that all people are subject to the same prideful tendencies; the resolve being faith in Jesus. This does not mean a simple adjustment in theological understanding or religious response, but trusting in him who is incarnate God.
Perhaps the importance of this lies in the essence of our problem—looking within ourselves for what is right and true. Acknowledging we are wrong profoundly transforms our version of human experience, allowing us to uproot ourselves from self-wisdom and look to God for revelation through Jesus.
Back to Basics
An easy misunderstanding of God’s plan for the cross is to perceive salvation as making us “super-human.” The cross does not create a new type of personhood but reactivates God’s original intention through creation.
As Creator, what God creates is good. Humanity is good. The problem is, a power strip that is removed from its wall outlet and plugs into itself lacks electricity. In order for trees to give off oxygen, they must be exposed to the sun and given water to drink.
Therefore, through faith in Christ, we must continually plug ourselves back into God’s presence to truly be human.
Thilini loves traveling the world with her husband, Chris, and curious son, Isaiah. She writes for Vanderbloemen Search Group while pursuing a Doctor of Educational Leadership at Oral Roberts University.