Romans: Avoiding the Traps of Despair and Presumption (The Faith Explained)

It might be tempting to assume that as long as we live “good enough” lives, God will show us complete mercy. This is a dangerous frame of mind that we need to avoid.

In this episode of “The Faith Explained,” Cale Clarke discusses Romans Chapter 2 from Saint Paul’s letter to the Romans. He emphasizes the dangers of judging others and presuming God’s mercy. Cale points out that St. Paul addresses both the pagan world and the Jewish believers, noting that everyone is without excuse before God. He warns against taking God’s kindness, forbearance, and patience lightly and underscores that God will judge everyone according to their works without partiality.

Cale reflects on the themes of mercy and wrath in God’s nature and the sin of presumption—assuming one’s actions will not bring about divine wrath due to God’s forgiving nature. He discusses the relationship between faith and deeds and cautions against altering scriptural text to fit personal beliefs, pointing out Martin Luther’s addition of “alone” to the concept of faith in his translation of Romans. Martin Luther took a very dangerous risk in doing this and has led many astray.

He also connects the ideas in Romans to other scriptural passages, such as the wisdom of Sirach. Cale wraps up with the concept of God’s judgment based on deeds, as exemplified in Jesus’ teachings, particularly the separation of the sheep and goats based on their actions.

In other words, we need to remember that we’re not “off the hook” by simply having faith and doing nothing in response. Doing good naturally flows from our faith in Christ, and He will ask us how we lived our lives according to His will. We need not despair, though. Jesus is a just judge and know us better than we know ourselves.

Check out the whole episode here!

Jake Moore serves as a Digital Audio Content Producer for Relevant Radio®. He is a graduate of Franciscan University of Steubenville, and is passionate about classic movies, Christian music, young adult ministry, and leading this generation to Christ through compelling media. You can listen to more of his podcasts at and on the Relevant Radio® app.