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Showing posts from December, 2018

The Forgiving Grace and Transforming Grace of God

We tend to read Romans as a theological explanation of our salvation, a clarification about how we are justified or made righteous.  This is a part—a large part—of what Romans teaches.  If you check in your English Standard Version translation of Romans, for instance, you will find that Romans mentions ‘justification’ three times, ‘justify’ one time, and ‘just’ and ‘justifier’ in one verse (3.26).  Yet there is considerably more to this.  The same Greek word for ‘justification’ (and its other forms) more often gets translated as ‘righteous/righteousness,’ which appears forty times in Romans (ESV).  Thus, Romans does, indeed, speak to the issue of how the unrighteous are made righteous.  Yet this focus on our condition obscures other aspects of the theology of Romans.  (One of these, not discussed here, is about God’s plan of salvation for Jews and Gentiles—a corporate reading of the theological argument in Romans.)  If Romans is about our salvation, it is also about God’s grace.  This…