What God Cannot Accept
Thomas was a very happy father. He loved his son very much. There was nothing he would have not done for his son. So, when he found out his son was sick, he was of course very disturbed. It hurt him deeply. He could not sleep nor eat. The situation was even worse when Thomas found out his son's disease was highly contagious. "Is there anything I can do to help restore my son to health?" he asked. The Doctors said, "No. Your son must be quarantined. No one can be in contact with him. No one can touch him, not even breath the air he breathes. Even the plates and utensils he eats from must be decontaminated or destroyed." Thomas' heart was broken. How could this be? In this time when his son needed him most, Thomas could not be near him. Thomas loved his child. He loved him no matter what: disease or no disease. But, he could not accept the condition his son was in.
The lesson makes the statement that Paul needed to define to the church in Rome – and us – what are the grounds upon which God accepts us. So, we ask the question, what are the grounds upon which God accepts us? What is it that Paul says?
In the beginning of the letter Paul addresses the Gentiles and tells them that their unrighteous behavior shows how ungodly they are. Before the Jews got too happy, he told them that their righteous behavior was still not pleasing to God; which meant that they – the Jews - were also ungodly. In fact, Paul added that the fact that they descended from Abraham was not enough. He reminded them that Abraham – a former pagan – believed and it was accounted to him for righteousness (Romans 4:3). Paul says in Hebrews 11: 6 that without Faith it is impossible to please God. So, faith must be the answer; God accepts those who have faith. But, there is a problem with this answer.
Paul says in Romans 5: 6 that "in due time Christ died for the ungodly." Why would Christ do this? Paul says in Romans 5:8 that "God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." The reason why God sent His son to die for the World was His love for us (John 3:16). Love is the ground upon which God accepts us. But, He cannot accept our Sinful condition. Jesus was sent to take care of that condition; He is the cure. God wants to cure us all, but only those who accept the Cure, will be restored. Only those who accept the Cure will be truly righteous. This is the cure that Abraham accepted, and it was counted to Him as righteousness. It is the cure that the Jews rejected, but the Gentiles accepted (Romans 9: 30 – 31: 10: 2 – 3). In Romans 10: 4 Paul concluded that the Cure – Jesus – "is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth." The end here means the fulfillment. So, although the cure is given to all men, only those who accept the Cure fulfill the law; which means that those who accept the cure are righteous. And, if they are righteous they are Godly.
God accepts all men. But, only those who accept the "Cure," will enjoy God's acceptance.