Thoughts on the Epistle to the Romans (60)

Saint Paul arrested by the Romans

Their feet are swift to shed blood; destruction and misery are in their ways; and the way of peace they have not known.

Romans 3:15-17.

The fact that all are “under sin” is seen not only in what they say but also in their ways and their deeds and the effects the latter have. Here we again see a general picture of mankind, in which every individual has his particular share. The shedding of blood in personal disagreements and in warfare is indeed widespread, as history books show. 

Bloodshed is not only the result of the avoidable erroneous decisions or unfortunate incidents of wrong behaviour of individual people. It is the result of our indwelling sin. The effect of sin is always destructive, it wrecks man’s character and wreaks destruction on his environment. This may not always be seen in glaring deeds; nevertheless its root is ever present in every heart. Anger and hatred are signs of it. In spite of all his efforts mankind has to the present day never brought about permanent peace, not even in Europe and the West. “The way of peace they have not known”, because they have not dealt with the root cause.

The remedy cannot come from sinful man himself- from below. That is the reason why Jesus Christ became Man, coming to us  as “the dayspring from on high … to give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:78.79). Jesus Christ offers everyone the forgiveness of his guilt and peace with God. This is the pre-requisite for any form of peace.

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