Throughout the Old Testament, God makes covenants with his people by entering into an agreement with one man who serves as the acting representative of all humanity. In Genesis 9, God enters into one of these agreements with a man named Noah where he promises that he will never again allow utter chaos to destroy his creation. The story of the great flood and God's covenant with Noah gives us an early glimpse into the eternal plan of God that unfolds throughout the rest of the Bible.
If our Lord was simply an almighty King sitting on his sovereign throne commanding us as his subjects to serve and to suffer for his sake then that sort of call would certainly feel like a burdensome mandate that we were forced and obligated to carry out. That is why the apostle Paul takes time to point out the proper motivation for Christian suffering by providing the beautiful portrait of Christ’s own sacrifice for our salvation.
Perhaps there is nothing in this world more unique and unexpected than someone who chooses to love the people that mistreat them and who chooses to pray for those who hurt them the most. The world can hardly comprehend such love because it seems so irrational and unreasonable. It goes completely against our natural instincts and our natural inclinations.
John Piper has declared Romans 3:21-26 as the most important paragraph written in the entire Bible. And some biblical scholars have even labeled Romans 3:21-26 as possibly the most important single paragraph ever written in the history of literature. It is in this profound paragraph, that the apostle Paul reminds his readers of the amazing grace of God and the incredible hope that he has given humanity.