I really like Paul's message in chapter 2 of today's reading. It strikes me as particularly pertinent to today and today's lifestyle. Come to think of it, it seems pertinent to every generation. I would call it a universal truth.
I can just image that when Paul's letter to the Roman church was read to the congregation there were many heads nodding up and down in agreement. In this letter Paul condemns idol worshipers, homosexual practices, and violent people. However, what I am sure surprised many of his listeners, and would surprise many of us today, is when he turned on them and said in effect, you have no reason to gloat or feel superior as you are just as much a sinner.
Paul stresses over and over again that no one is good enough to earn a place in heaven for himself or herself. If we want to avoid punishment and live eternally with Christ, all of us, whether we have been murders or thieves or whether we have been honest, hardworking, solid citizens, must depend on God's grace for our entry into heaven. Paul clearly is saying that any sin is enough to make us depend on Jesus Christ for salvation and eternal life. Thus, Paul is also saying that one cannot qualify one sin as worse than another. The unfortunate truth is we have all sinned repeatedly, and thus the way to the Father and heaven is through Jesus Christ.
When one realizes this fact, one realizes what an awesome gift Jesus gave each of us. One realizes what grace truly is. One realizes how lucky we are to have such a loving heavenly Father that would have His son pay the price for our sin. I hope this is inspirational to all of us and makes us want to live a life according to God's will and not our own. I know it inspires me, faults and all, to try to live the next day better than the last.