One of the joys of my job is just walking through the Bible with students in OT and NT Survey. Students often realize they don’t know as much Bible as they thought. And we get to encounter the gospel again and again in its fullness, power and beauty.
Here are some student responses to studying Romans 3 this January. My aim is that these will encourage us in just continuing to preach the Word.
“This makes me think how great God is to save sinners like me who do not deserve anything. I do think love and justice go together, but they get mixed up sometimes. It is interesting to think about how God is not required to forgive anyone, but He does out of great love. I think a lot of times Christians don’t say enough about sin because we try to sugarcoat everything and compare ourselves to others.”
“The words of Paul are such a comfort! If I had listened to this sermon two years ago it would have turned my world upside down. For so long (and still in many churches today) sin was not the thing being taught but hell. It was the fear of hell that I was continually taught instead of the reason I deserved it. This is one of the reasons I struggled so much with my faith. When only hell is taught you lose so much of God’s glory and replace it will feelings of anger towards God and confusion. I understand all too well Luther’s feeling of anger at a God who would punish me for sins I was bound by.”
“The statement ‘God is not required to forgive anyone’ rings in my ear all the louder every time I hear it. It is hard but so very lovely to think about when you understand how he forgave us when he was never required to. How much this should make us fall to our knees in humility and thankfulness! I never understood the true gravity of what my sin deserved. You are very right, we down play sin so much in our churches today and have dangerously entered into a worldly view of ourselves. It is one thing to tell someone that they should accept a savior that gave his life for them, yet you receive a much different reaction to ‘you are wretched and deserve hell because there is no hope to become good, however God sent Christ to take your punishment, not because he had to but because he chose to.’ This is the truth missing today and how much more would we appreciate the gospel if it was taught fully! This has been so encouraging and I continue to fall in love with my savior all the more as I learn more and more about the gift I have received.”