Optimistic Worldview (By Shane Prewitt)

I have been very encouraged over the last few weeks by our people’s enthusiasm for our new series in the book of Romans. The book of Romans has been called “The Crown Jewel of Scripture” for good reason. In the sixteen chapters for this magnificent book, we are given a panoramic view of God’s full redemptive plan for our lives.
The message of Romans truly moves from pessimism to optimism. The book begins by diving into the problem of all of our problems, which is our sinful rebellion before Holy God. Paul makes a clear and compelling case that the entire world stands condemned before Righteous God because we are born into sin.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23, emphasis added).
Not only do we all find ourselves in the same category of being sinners, but the issue becomes even more pessimistic when we are told what the ultimate penalty is for our sins.
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 6:23, emphasis added).
Death is a reality because of the presence of sin. Not only do we face certain physical death, but even more importantly the presence of sin in our lives leaves us spiritually dead. This spiritual death is the main problem of the human race. Because of this separation between Holy God and sinners, no amount of good works can save us. This is why man-made religion and living a good, moral, ethical life still ends up leaving us empty. Works cannot solve the core issue that we face; we are sinners condemned by our own sins before Holy God.
But God in His rich mercy and compassion provided a solution to our need.
But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us (Romans 5:8, emphasis added).
Even when we were at our worst, God still displayed His kindness towards us when He sent His Son Jesus Christ to die upon the cross for our sins. Whenever a person places their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior, they are given an eternal peace with the God whom they were at once at odds with.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1, emphasis added).
Not only does salvation through Christ save us from the penalty of sin and gives us the promise of eternal life, but the work of God at salvation begins an extreme life makeover from the moment we are saved. The book of Romans will show us how God’s work of sanctification begins at salvation to transform our lives through the power of the Holy Spirit to make us holy. This work will continue while we are here on earth and will culminate in that future day when we are given glorified bodies in heaven.
And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified (Romans 8:30, emphasis added).
To know Romans is to know Christianity, and as we journey through this book together, we will be reminded time and again that we have every reason to live with optimism in our hearts. We might not always understand why we have to go through certain things in this world, but we have the promise that what God has started in our lives, He will complete.
So let’s listen intently to what the Crown Jewel of Scripture has to say to us, and let’s pray that God uses this book once again in the life of His church to deepen us and strengthen us to live the lives He has called us to live.