The Bible does not tell us what we already know. For instance, not once does it argue for God’s existence. We already know that by reason or experience or history or science or logic or common sense. Only “the fool has said in his heart, ‘There is no God.’” (Ps. 14:1). But it does tell us what we do not already know: the nature of God. We do not know that “God is love” by reason or experience or history or science or logic or common sense. That is a shock.
We think we have absorbed that shock, since it hit earth 2,000 years ago. But we have not. The shock waves have not diminished. They are still hitting us, but we are not feeling them.
Romans 1:16-17 (RSV)
The thesis statement of Paul’s Epistle to the Roman Church.
In his ministry of reconciliation, therefore, Paul develops two paramount themes, and interweaves them beautifully. The first is the justification of guilty sinners by God’s grace alone in Christ alone through faith alone, irrespective of either status or works. This is the most humbling and leveling of all Christian truths and experiences, and so is the fundamental basis of Christian unity…
Paul’s second theme is the consequent redefinition of the people of God, no longer according to descent, circumcision or culture, but according to faith in Jesus, so that all believers are the true children of Abraham, regardless of their ethnic origin or religious practice. So ‘there is no difference’ now between Jews and Gentiles, either in the fact of their sin and guilt or in Christ’s offer and gift of salvation. Indeed, ‘the single most important theme of Romans is the equality of Jews and Gentiles’.