Professor of History of Christianity
at the University of Catania
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[Letture dal Nuovo Testamento], IPL, Milano 1996, pp. 246


With his letter to the Christians of Rome, Paul reminds the churches of all times of the essential characteristics of justification, which springs from faith in the mercy of the Father. Jesus, the unrecognized messiah, rendered this a sure thing through his death for sinners, a new life for all free from the ties of the past, and with the universal gift of his Spirit. Paul saw the promise of it in the scriptures of Israel, in Adam, in Abraham and in David, and in the expectations of the prophets. Whether it be the imposing and clear wisdom of the gentiles or the rigors of the Jewish law, they are all overcome by the new divine will of grace. From this springs the morality of the universal body of Christ and the fulfillment of all creation. Nature, law, guilt, death, grace, faith, love, and hope are all stops along a lengthy path which is repeated in the life of each individual. In its midst stands the crucified messiah, who is the sign of life, holiness, and peace for all.