There is no fear of God before their eyes.Romans 3:18(KJV)
The most structured and comprehensive revelation of God's redemptive plan for mankind, is found in the epistle of Romans. Every aspect of our great salvation is systematically and logically set out for our learning, from the very beginning of the book.
Paul is not ashamed of the gospel of God's grace. He knows that it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. However, before detailing the differences between justification, sanctification, propitiation, and a whole host of theological issues, Paul spends the best part of three chapters drumming home the truth - that man is a sinner, at enmity with God, and that the wages of sin is death - not only physical death, but eternal separation from God in the eternal lake of fire.
Paul had been brought up as a God-fearing Jew. He was a devout Pharisee from the tribe of Benjamin who was well acquainted with Old Testament Scripture. In order to reinforce the shocking consequences of sin, Paul used a sequence of quotations from the book of Psalms to strengthen his argument: "No one is righteous..." Paul proclaims, "...not even one. There are none who understand the Lord and no one seeks after God. Everyone has turned away and become useless," he continues, "there are none who do good - not even one."
"Their throat is an open grave," is Paul's continuing graphic description. "They deceive with their tongues. Vipers' venom is under their lips. Their mouth is full of cursing and bitterness. Their feet are swift to shed blood. Ruin and wretchedness are in their paths."
Paul's final quote is from Psalm 36: "There is no fear of God before their eyes." The fear and reverence of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge and wisdom, and yet the fool denounces the Almighty God and treats the sacrifice of His beloved Son, to pay the price for man's sin, with contempt. How shocking.
As God's children, we are exhorted to learn how vital it is for our salvation to fear the Lord and honour His Word. The Word and works of the Lord are good and righteous altogether - and we are called to meditate on His written Word day and night. We are instructed to study to show ourselves approved unto God and to search the Scriptures daily - if we are to grow in grace and in the fear and knowledge of our Saviour.
The fool has said in his heart, "there is no God," and unbelief is the single sin which God can never forgive. Faith in the sacrificial death and glorious Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ - the Son of the most high God - is the single requirement for salvation. The answer to the question: "What must I do to be saved?" is: "BELIEVE on the Lord Jesus Christ."
The wages of sin is death, but the gracious gift of our Heavenly Father is eternal life for all who will believe in His name: "For as many as received Him, to them He gave the power to become sons of God - even to them that believe on His name."
Heavenly Father, thank You for the content of the book of Romans, which clearly teaches that we are justified by grace through faith in Christ. Thank You for the structured teaching of Paul, and the other apostles, and for the leading and guidance of the Holy Spirit. May I read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest the Word of God, in spirit and in truth. Thank You that the way of salvation is so uncomplicated. Lord, I know I am a sinner and that death is my just dessert. But thanks be to God, that Jesus died to pay the price for my sins and by believing on Him, I have the forgiveness of sins and life eternal. In Jesus' name, AMEN.