The apostle Paul is the main character in this passage, and he is hopeful about the future. The passage is a reflection of sorts on what Paul believes to be an event that has never happened, but will happen. I will address this idea of what will never happen in multiple ways throughout the writing. First, I will connect it to how Paul connects audiences to Jesus in his letters, and second I will show that Paul’s hope is also a hope for all people.
Some of the most interesting connections that Paul makes in this passage is the fact that he connects audiences to Jesus. The hope that Paul promises his audience and some of the people who will come after them, is connected to Jesus and his sacrifice. This connection between Jesus and a future hope is also seen in the connection between Christians and Christians, as well as Jews and Jews.
Additionally, Paul makes a connection between all people and Jesus through the hope that he speaks about. This connection is evident in the fact that Paul connects his audience to his readers and his readers to all people.
Finally, I will discuss how Paul’s readership does not represent all Christians. In contrast, Paul’s audience does not represent all Jews or every reader of his letters. This is also seen in the fact that both Jews and Christians are promised hope when their time comes, even if they are lost or have sinned. This is a reminder to Christians of their sin and how they are not saved by their own works, but by God’s grace.
Introduction: The Bible and Evil
The Bible has many references to the idea of evil. There are also many references to good, so what makes something evil? In this passage Paul is talking about how Jesus is the new covenant and how through Jesus the law was fulfilled and now we can be considered righteous by God. Throughout this passage, Paul’s hope is for the future, for the readers of his letter to be able to do good things in Jesus and also to be rewarded as a result of their actions. However, Paul also believes that evil will prevail in this world and people will still want to do evil things. This can be seen through the many references to evil throughout this passage. Many of these references are “world-threatening.”
What is a Spiritual Life?
Paul uses the word “life” a lot in this letter. Is it just physical life, or is it more spiritual, or both? I believe he is using the word “spiritual” to mean “of the Spirit”, that is of God. The physical life that we live on earth was given to us by God at our creation. The “life” that we have as a result of being created by God is spiritual and eternal, yet it can be destroyed in one very important way: Sin. Sin is the breaking of the Commandments and thus we cannot go to heaven because sin is a barrier and a roadblock. Sin is what separates us from God and the only way to be saved and live in heaven, is through Jesus Christ. Because of this, Paul wants to show that this life that we have here on earth is only temporary, it is only temporary until Christ returns. In the meantime, we need to live a life that is pleasing to God. This means living the Commandments, which are Holy and just. In this way we will have peace in our hearts and mind.
“For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness therewith” (Romans 2:14).
Do We Need God?
Paul mentions that we need God without being explicit about what he means. He could be saying that we need God to live, or he could be saying that we need God to have true spiritual life. But I believe he is talking about our lives and how we should live them. We have a life here on earth, and this life is temporary because it will end when Jesus returns. This life was given to us by God and it is meant for us to live in submission to Him (Romans 6:16). We should live in such a way that we look forward to the day when Christ will return and give us eternal life, where we can be in His presence forever.
Spiritual Decisions in Light of Evil’s Presence
In this section, Paul is asking us to live in a way that will help bring about the return of Christ. This is what he refers to when he says “evil will not triumph.” If we live to God’s standards and submit to them, even though it is hard, as long as we have faith in Jesus and our actions are good, then we will eventually be rewarded. There is evil in everyone, but it is not so apparent as to overpower every single person in order to stop them from having a good life. Hopefully, through the power of God and our faith in Jesus, evil would only have the ability to overcome someone if they give up their love for Christ. But I don’t think it will ever happen for really obvious reasons that I will explain later.
When Jesus came to this earth, evil was evident for all to see. But the love he had for all creatures showed that he was able to overcome evil with love. And that is what we need as well. As Christians, we have been given a new commandment by Christ so we can overcome the world and its lies: “Love thy neighbor as thy self.”
As long as we abide by God’s laws and act in a good manner, then our hearts are not filled with selfish motives like the world has. If we have any selfish motives, then we are not in line with God’s laws. How can asking us to be good and loving one another as brothers and sisters reflect that God sees us as his children? If a person is not living by God’s standards, then He will see that person as being evil or an enemy of God. And if that is the case, then they will be punished for their actions, whether it be through punishments like experiencing sickness or other types of misfortune in life or even dying a painful death.
Whatever evil has come into our lives, we are forced to confront and deal with these evil acts. We may not be able to change or stop the act from occurring, but we can try our best to overcome it.