The second chapter of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans is a dark, sad passage, but it opens the door to the richest blessing the human heart can contain: salvation by grace.
The opening words: “Therefore thou art inexcusable,” are blunt indeed, but God exposes our sinful condition only so as to save us from it.
This is where most philosophies and the Bible clash head-on. Most philosophies close their eyes to the sinful nature of man. They argue, generally, that man is inherently good, while overwhelming evidence bears witness that he is inherently bad. Therefore human philosophy offers no salvation from sin and its just penalty. Only the Bible does this with its “gospel [good news] of the grace of God.”
In Paul’s day the Greek philosophers condemned the uncivilized pagans for their open immorality and wickedness. But while preaching virtue these moralizers themselves practiced vice, and God said:
“Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things” (Rom. 2:1).
It is the same today. Multitudes of self-righteous people are outwardly cultured and moral, but they forget that God looks upon the heart and sees hate as murder, jealousy as theft and the lustful look as adultery. He considers, not what we do, outwardly, but what we desire to do or wish we dared to do. He sees the desires and motives of the heart.
But thank God, “Christ died for sinners” — guilty sinners, and all who come to God by faith in Christ are “justified freely by His grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 3:24).
“Inexcusable,” or “justified freely by His grace,” through faith in the Christ who died for our sins? Which will it be?
To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.