ROMANS

  

INTRODUCTION TO ROMANS

 

 

 

I think that most people studying the Book of Romans would admit that they didn’t get far into this epistle without becoming awestruck at the grandeur of this work. That is because it is the Apostle Paul’s masterpiece epistle. It explains the doctrine of salvation, perhaps in a fuller way than do any of his other works.

 

An early Bible translator, William Tyndale, had this to say about the Book of Romans:

 

For as much as this epistle is the principal and most excellent part of the New Testament, and most pure evangelion, that is to say, glad tidings, and that we call gospel, and also a light and a way unto the whole scripture; I think it meet that every christian man not only know it, by rote and without the book, but also exercise himself therein evermore continually, as with the daily bread of the soul. No man verily can read it too oft, or study it too well; for the more it is studied, the easier it is; the more it is chewed, the pleasanter it is; and the more groundly it is searched, the preciouser things are found in it, so great treasure of spiritual things lieth hid therein.1

 

Tyndale said that it was “a light and a way unto the whole scripture.” That is because it explains the greatest theme of the Scriptures, the redemption of man and personal salvation by faith. It cannot be read too often or studied too much,Tyndale tells us, and the deeper it is searched the more of its treasures will be discovered. In this series of studies, we hope to uncover some of these treasures. However, these studies can be compared to a diver who dives to the bottom of the sea and finds an incredible coral reef. He brings up a few pieces of what he can carry to the surface to show them to others. However, those specimens of coral and sea-life are only a small fraction of the whole. It is my hope that, after these short studies, you will be inspired to “go diving” down to the “coral reef of Romans” and explore, study, absorb and live out its truths.

 

The Book of Romans speaks to modern man just as powerfully and with just as much relevance as it did to its first-century readers. It speaks out against adultery, homosexuality, hatred, deceit, civil disobedience and other moral vices. It speaks about the shortcomings of empty intellectualism and gives light on social issues by showing us how to relate to each other. It also gives us God’s view on human government. It tells us what to expect in the future as well as showing us how to live today. Most importantly, Romans opens up the Bible’s teaching on redemption and salvation by faith.

 

Romans has a message of hope, taught here more frequently than in any other New Testament book. We read; “For in hope were we saved: but hope that is seen is not hope: for who hopeth for that which he seeth?” (Romans 8.24). We also read:

 

26 And in like manner the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity: for we know not how to pray as we ought; but the Spirit himself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered;

 

27 and he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

 

28 And we know that to them that love God all things work together for good, even to them that are called according to his purpose.

 

29 For whom he foreknew, he also foreordained to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren:

 

30 and whom he foreordained, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

 

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us?

 

32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not also with him freely give us all things?

 

33 Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth;

 

34 who is he that condemneth? It is Christ Jesus that died, yea rather, that was raised from the dead, who is at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.

 

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

36 Even as it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; We were accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers,

 

39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Romans 8.26-39

 

These hope-filled words assure the Christian that all things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose. We read of the hope of being conformed to the image of Jesus, of God being for us, of Jesus praying for us and of nothing separating us from God’s love. God is the God of hope. We read; “Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.” (Romans 15.13).

 

The Apostle Paul introduces himself as the author of the epistle to the Romans. He wrote the letter from Corinth, most likely on his third missionary journey, sometime around AD 56. The Church at Rome, the receiver of this epistle, has a somewhat mysterious history. Unlike the other Churches that Paul writes to and that we have epistles for, Paul did not found the Church of Rome. Where did it come from? We have very little direct evidence to answer this question. The Roman Catholic Church says that Peter had a twenty-five year episcopacy over the Roman Church. However, this is difficult to support. There is some evidence that Peter came to Rome to do some ministry and we know that he was executed there. However, there is very scant evidence to establish any long-term ministry for him in Rome. In fact, Paul does not even mention Peter in his epistle to Rome, which would seem strange if Peter was there during this time.

 

If the Roman Church was not started by Paul, and Peter had little involvement with it, how did this Church come about? Most likely, it was first a grouping of Romans who were among the converts who came to the Lord on the Day of Pentecost. In fact, in Acts 2.10, Roman visitors are mentioned as part of the crowd there witnessing the Pentecostal event. It is conceivable that these Roman converts went back to Rome and started a Church there. Whatever the case, the glory for this Church-planting does not go to man. We will have to give it to the Lord Himself.

 

The Book of Romans remains the crown jewel epistle, heralding hope and salvation to all who will receive its message. Let us open our hearts to its precious truths.

 

Shawn Stevens

 

ENDNOTE :

 

1.Doctrinal Treatises and Introductions to Different Portions of the Holy Scriptures by William Tyndale, Henry Walter, ed. (Cambridge: University Press, 1848), p. 484.

 

Bruce, F.F. Tyndale New Testament Commentary, Revised edition. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1992.

 

Hendriksen William. New Testament Commentary by William Hendriksen. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991.Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Radmacher, Earl D., Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2007.

 

Scripture taken from the American Standard Version.

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 1

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Paul’s Introduction 1.1-7

 

 

 

II Paul’s Desire To Serve The Roman Church 1.8-16

 

 

 

III Judgment On The Pagan World 1.17-32

 

I Paul’s introduction

 

 

 

The Book of Romans opens with Paul’s introduction. We read; “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” (vs 1). Paul introduces himself as a servant of Jesus Christ. The word “servant,” “doulos” in the Greek, means slave; “deo” means “bind” and, so it is “bondservant” in some translations. Though one’s own will is free, he has chosen to bind himself to God. The term indicates subservience and subjection. The term indicates devotedness.1 Paul is more than just a bondservant. He is a love-slave of Jesus Christ. We read of love-slaves in the Old Testament. We read:

 

 

 

12 And if thy brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold unto thee, and serve thee six years; then in the seventh year thou shalt let him go free from thee.

 

13 And when thou sendest him out free from thee, thou shalt not let him go away empty:

 

14 Thou shalt furnish him liberally out of thy flock, and out of thy floor, and out of thy winepress: of that wherewith the Lord thy God hath blessed thee thou shalt give unto him.

 

15 And thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in the land of Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee: therefore I command thee this thing to day.

 

16 And it shall be, if he say unto thee, I will not go away from thee; because he loveth thee and thine house, because he is well with thee;

 

17 Then thou shalt take an awl, and thrust it through his ear unto the door, and he shall be thy servant for ever. And also unto thy maidservant thou shalt do likewise.

 

 

 

Deuteronomy 15.12-17 (KJV)

 

 

The word “ebed” in Hebrew means a love-slave.2In Old Testament times, if a servant wanted to remain a servant to his master he could do so and this was called being a love-slave.

 

As well as being a love-slave of Jesus Christ, Paul was called to be an apostle. Paul is divinely called;  “But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles and kings, and the children of Israel:” (Acts 9.15). Also:

 

 

16 But arise, and stand upon thy feet: for to this end have I appeared unto thee, to appoint thee a minister and a witness both of the things wherein thou hast seen me, and of the things wherein I will appear unto thee;

 

17 delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom I send thee,

 

18 to open their eyes, that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan unto God, that they may receive remission of sins and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith in me.

 

 

 

Acts 26.16-18

 

This is Paul’s commissioning. He is called to be a minister (see Acts 26.16) and an apostle (see Romans 1.1). The word “apostle,” “apostolos” in the Greek, refers to a person who is sent and it appears seventy-nine times in the New Testament.3 Paul is separated (see Romans 1.1) to the gospel of God. The word “separated” is “aphorizo,” in the Greek, meaning to “mark off by boundaries.”4 To be separated is to be devoted to a special purpose, and to be separated from worldly pursuits. Being set apart was a recurring theme in the Old Testament. One could be set apart to holiness (see Leviticus 20.26). Paul is set apart for the gospel. The word “gospel” means “glad tidings.”5

 

Paul’s gospel is the gospel of God “which he promised afore through his prophets in the holy scriptures,” (Romans 1.2). This is a reference to Old Testament authority. Paul’s message did not originate with Paul. Remember that Paul had been accused of preaching against Moses (see Acts 21.20). Paul’s gospel was grounded in the Word (see Romans 1.2).

 

Paul boldly declares that Jesus is the Son of God. We read; “who was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead; even Jesus Christ our Lord,” (vs 4). Jesus is more than a good teacher or prophet. He is the Son of God. Some might ask, “How do we know that Jesus is the Son of God?” We are told that the resurrection of Jesus declares Him to be the Son of God (see vs 4). It affirms His claims to Sonship.

 

The Romans epistle was written “to all that are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: … ” (1.7). Saints are not simply ones canonized by the Church. 7 A saint is a Christian. The saints are beloved of God. Don’t miss that; it is early in this epistle. This is something that we are told in the first chapter of the book. God is a loving God. (See Psalm 25.6, Ephesians 2.4-5, Psalm 36.7, Isaiah 63.7, 1 John 3.1).

 

 

 

 

 

II Paul’s Desire To Serve The Roman Church

 

 

 

Paul blesses the Roman Church, saying; “ … Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 1.7). Grace is God showing favour and pardon upon those who do not deserve it. 8

 

Paul observes and commends the Roman Church; “ … your faith is proclaimed throughout the whole world.” (vs 8). The Roman Christians of this time were not known for awesome cathedrals but, rather, known for their faith. Faith is the initial trust which initiates salvation and it is the abiding trust which brings growth.

 

 

 

Paul prayed for the Roman Church. We read; “… unceasingly I make mention of you, always in my prayers” (vs 9). The Roman Church was on Paul’s prayer list and he included them in his prayers unceasingly. This shows Paul’s faithfulness to his Churches. In his prayers, he asks that God would grant that he could come to them (see vs. 10). We also read; “For I long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end ye may be established;” (vs. 11). Here, Paul’s heart is to come, to give, to establish, and to comfort. Paul says that he wants to see them strong.

 

Further, Paul says that “I am debtor both to Greeks and to Barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish.” (vs. 14). A debtor, here, is a reference to fulfilling his commission. Paul’s heart is to reach out to all. These words, “Greeks” and “Barbarians,” carry with them connotations. Greeks were thought of as wise, educated, philosophical and cultured. Barbarians is a reference to those not Hellenized, who were thought of as cavemen and brutes. Paul feels he is called to a well-rounded ministry that reaches out to a broad cross-section of very different people. You might be a youth pastor, focusing on youth ministry, and saying, “I am not reaching out to a broad group but, instead, to youth only.” However, in your youth group there are “Barbarians” and “Greeks” there too and you need to be well-rounded and diverse in your ministry to them. Not all of them are the same; there is a diversity within your particular outreach group.

 

Paul boldly announces; “For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.” (vs. 16 KJV). This is one of the most marvelous verses in Scripture. Paul is not reluctant to preach. Romans were always boasting of power. However, Paul was speaking of a different kind of power, the power of God.

 

Just as a soldier fights on different terrain, Paul was eager to preach in the capital of the empire and beyond. He was not disheartened by criticism. Nor was he intimidated by persecution. The word “power,” here, is “dunamis” in the Greek.9 We get the word “dynamite” from this. Some try to mix the gospel with other religions. However, this does not work. If you add dynamite to a campfire you will find that they don’t mix. Paul knew that Christianity doesn’t mix with other religions, with dead religions. Imagine a fire built of dead wood and men adding more dead wood to the fire. Then imagine someone trying to add “dunamis” (dynamite) to the fire. It would blow everything up. The gospel of power that Paul preached in a way is like that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

IIIJudgment On The Pagan World

 

 

 

In verse 18, we read of the wrath of God. We are told; “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness;” If ever there was a subject that people want to avoid, it is that of the wrath of God. However, God’s wrath is spoken of throughout the Bible. Those who are not ashamed of the gospel will tell of it. God’s wrath is a righteous wrath.

 

Those who experience God’s wrath do so deservedly:

 

 because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them.

 

For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse:

 

Romans 1.19-20

 

 

 

These ones are without excuse. The phrase “without excuse” is “anapologetous,” meaning “defenseless.” 10 The man who is living wickedly does not find Scripture saying to him, “You poor, unenlightened soul who doesn’t know better.” Instead, Scripture says that they are without excuse.

 

Homosexual sin is mentioned in this chapter. Of these erring ones, Paul says:

 

 

24  Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

 

26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

 

Romans 1.24-27 (NASB)

 

 

 

The Bible does not regard homosexual lifestyles to be an alternative way of sexual expression. It calls this sin and condemns these lifestyles as “indecent acts” and deserving of “penalty.”

 

Looking at the life of Paul, we see what it is to be a bondservant of Jesus Christ. Paul is a love-slave of Jesus and he is called as a minister and apostle. He is set apart to the gospel, or glad tidings, of hope. His message did not originate with him, but with God, and was grounded in the Old Testament. He had a message for the saints, or “holy ones,” at Rome and saints from every age have benefitted from this epistle. Paul had a heart to see the Church established. He was not ashamed of the gospel and he warned people of God’s wrath.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament. Vol 3. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 11.

2. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 4,Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr. and Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament. Vol 3. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 12.

3. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 21.Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

4. Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament. Vol 3. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 14.

5. William Tyndale, quoted in John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 9.Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

6. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 15-16.Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

7. Ibid., 18.

8. William Hendriksen, New Testament Commentary by William Hendriksen. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981), 48.

9. Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament. Vol 3. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 28-29.

10. Ibid., 35.

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Earle, Ralph. Word Meanings in the New Testament. Vol 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

Hendriksen, William. New Testament Commentary by William Hendriksen. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

Thayer, as quoted in Ralph Earle. Word Meanings in the New Testament. Vol 3.

 

NKJV Study Bible. Ed. Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson. 2007

 

Scripture taken from the American Standard Version, The New American Standard Bible and the King James Bible.

 

“Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation 
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 2

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I God’s Judgment On Hypocritical Jews 2.1-24

 

II Circumcision And Being A True Jew 2.25

 

 

 

I God’s Judgment On Hypocritical Jews

 

 

 

In the last Chapter (1), Paul dealt with the pagan world living in overt sin. Now, in Chapter 2, he deals with those who are hypocritical, those who are judging others for things they themselves are doing the same. There is a special context to Jews but broader applications can be made. The culprit here is the hypocrite who lives to some degree an outwardly virtuous life. Many Jews of the day believed in a system of good works by which they would be rewarded or penalized but that their salvation rested in being a natural Jew and in circumcision. Paul confronts this error. Paul confronts those who rest in the fact that they have the Law yet don’t keep it and still judge others like themselves. The secret hope of the hypocrite is that God will judge him in a superficial way, in the same way that most of his friends judge him. We read; “Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” (vs 4 KJV).

 

Living a double life is despising God’s kindness, forbearance and longsuffering. The word “goodness,” here, in the Greek is “ chrestoes,” meaning “goodness of heart, kindness.”1 The word “forbearance,” here, in the Greek is “Arecho,” meaning “hold back,” or “delay of punishment.”2 The word “longsuffering” in the Greek is “makiothymia,” meaning “patience.”3 Rather than asking how come bad things happen to good people, ask how come anything good happens to us at all? Who of us are truly good? God’s kindness and goodness does not ignore wickedness; it does lead us to repentance.

 

In this chapter, hypocrites are warned; “but after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up for thyself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;” (vs 5). The American Standard Version, here, uses the word “impenitent” for “unrepentant.” This is a terrible mis-translation. Penitence is a Catholic term for sacramental works assigned after confession. This is not the meaning here at all. Unrepentant is “anetanos” in the Greek and is a refusal to turn from sin. 4

 

 

 

 

 

II Circumcision And Being A True Jew

 

 

 

For circumcision indeed profiteth, if thou be a doer of the law: but if thou be a transgressor of the law, thy circumcision is become uncircumcision. (vs 25)

 

 

 

Physical circumcision means a cutting-away of the male foreskin and was commanded by God (See Genesis 17.11) as a sign of His covenant with the Jews. Many Jews trusted in circumcision to make them right with God. However, Paul says that circumcision is profitable only if you keep the Law. No one perfectly keeps it. If you break God’s Law, natural circumcision becomes uncircumcision. However, there is another kind of circumcision, circumcision of the heart; this is required. We read; “For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.” (vss 28-29). To have the circumcision of the heart is to be a born-again child of God. This is a spiritual experience entered into at conversion. It comes about by repentance and putting faith in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice.

 

So, in this good, but heavy, chapter, Paul has strong warnings and rebukes for hypocrites who live outwardly a somewhat virtuous life but are corrupt and, in fact, live a double life. Because of God’s mercy, goodness and forbearance, there has been a holding-back of His judgment. May we never despise God’s goodness, forbearance and longsuffering and may these things lead us to repentance. May repentance lead us to faith, if we do not have it already, and may we have circumcised hearts.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 44.

 

2. Ibid.

 

3. Ibid., 45.

4. Ibid., 47.

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Earle, Ralph. Word Meanings in the New Testament Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. Copyright held by John MacArthur.

 

 

 

Scripture references taken from the American Standard Version and the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 3

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Advantages To Natural Jewish Heritage 3.1 – 4

 

II God’s Righteousness Not Manipulated 3.5 – 8

 

III All Have Sinned 3.9 – 20

 

IV Righteousness Through Faith 3.21 – 31

 

 

 

 

 

I Advantages To Natural Jewish Heritage

 

 

 

Many would think that Jewish heritage is not an advantage considering the history of their

 

persecutions, such as:

 

 

 

– slavery in Egypt 400 years

 

– Northern Kingdom decimated by Assyria with only a remnant taken to Assyria

 

– Southern Kingdom 70 years in Babylon

 

– conquered by Greece

 

– Roman occupation – tens of thousands of Jews crucified – over 1 million killed in the

 

destruction of Jerusalem, according to Josephus

 

– Byzantine branch of Roman Empire persecuted them

 

– King Louis IX banished them from France

 

– Nazi – 6 million Jews killed

 

– today surrounded by hostile Arab nations

 

 

 

After establishing that natural Jewish heritage does not, in itself, guarantee salvation, Paul does say that there is an advantage to natural Jewish descent and, that is, that they have been given God’s Words.

 

 

 

11 God’s Righteousness Not Manipulated

 

 

 

Paul teaches here that God is faithful to the Jews even if they are not faithful to Him. Then he says that God being faithful to the Jews, under these circumstances, only further demonstrates His righteousness. Paul goes on to defend against those who would try to argue, something like this; “Well, then let’s be unfaithful to God to show Him faithful and righteous.”

 

 

 

III All Have Sinned

 

 

 

10 as it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one;

 

11 There is none that understandeth, There is none that seeketh after God;

 

12 They have all turned aside, they are together become unprofitable; There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one:

 

13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips:

 

14 Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

 

15 Their feet are swift to shed blood;

 

16 Destruction and misery are in their ways;

 

17 And the way of peace have they not known:

 

18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.

 

Romans 3.10-18

 

 

 

 

 

What does righteousness mean? It means “right standing with God.” We are told; “There is none that understandeth, …” . (vs 11). (Also see Psalm 14.2-3; 53.2-3). Man doesn’t naturally understand spiritual things without God enlightening him. I believe that even a man’s conscience is a way that God uses to enlighten him to truth. We read; “ … There is none that seeketh after God;” (vs 11). This is humbling considering that millions are occupied practising false religion. Many have zeal, but not a real searching after God. Jesus promised;  “for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.” (Matthew 7.8). Yet, generally, mankind is still running from God, rather than seeking Him. Paul’s words, “ … There is none that doeth good, …” (vs 12) are taken from Psalm 14.1.

 

Again, Paul says that they have all turned aside (see vs 12). This is like a soldier running in the wrong direction while deserting. It is possible to run from God and God’s way. 1 In Acts 9.2, the gospel is called “the Way. ” We read; “and asked of him letters to Damascus unto the synagogues, that if he found any that were of the Way, whether men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.” Also, we read; “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” (Isaiah 53.6 KJV). It is human nature to run from God’s way and turn to our own way. Yet, despite our nature, we do not have to accept this as our final course.

 

By saying they have together become unprofitable (see vs 12), Paul means they have become spiritually useless, useless to the kingdom. Paul says; “ …There is none that doeth good, no, not so much as one:

 

We read:

 

Their throat is an open sepulchre; With their tongues they have used deceit: The poison of asps is under their lips:  Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness:

 

vss 13 -14

 

 

 

(Also, see Matthew 12.34-35; 18).

 

 

 

It presents a vivid picture to say that the throat is an open grave (see vs 13). An open grave reveals the corpse inside. We are told of the wicked in this passage, that their feet are swift to shed blood (see vs 15). Violence is an ongoing problem in our world. Statistics tell us that a child born in any one of the fifty largest American cities has a 1 in 50 chance of being murdered. We read that destruction and misery are in the ways of the wicked (see vs 16). They are destructive. They suffer destruction. They suffer self-destruction, also. As well, the way of peace they have not known (see vs 17). There is no peace on this life-path.

 

 

 

Paul sums up this section; “There is no fear of God before their eyes.” (vs 18). We read elsewhere, in Psalms; “The transgression of the wicked saith within my heart, There is no fear of God before his eyes.” (Psalm 36.1). This is speaking of reverential fear. We are emphatically told;  “for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;” (Romans 3.23).

 

 

 

IV Righteousness Through Faith

 

 

 

21 But now apart from the law a righteousness of God hath been manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets;

 

22 even the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ unto all them that believe; for there is no distinction;

 

23 for all have sinned, and fall short of the glory of God;

 

24 being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

 

25 whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood, to show his righteousness because of the passing over of the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God;

 

26 for the showing, I say, of his righteousness at this present season: that he might himself be just, and the justifier of him that hath faith in Jesus.

 

27 Where then is the glorying? It is excluded. By what manner of law? of works? Nay: but by a law of faith.

 

28 We reckon therefore that a man is justified by faith apart from the works of the law.

 

29 Or is God the God of Jews only? is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yea, of Gentiles also:

 

30 if so be that God is one, and he shall justify the circumcision by faith, and the uncircumcision through faith.

 

31 Do we then make the law of none effect through faith? God forbid: nay, we establish the law.

 

 

 

Romans 3.21-31

 

 

 

Here, Paul teaches on a righteousness of God apart from the law. This righteousness, Paul says, is witnessed by the Law (see vs 21). It is witnessed by the Law but it is not produced by it. It is not man making himself righteous by keeping rules; it is man made righteous by the grace of God and it is experienced through faith (see vs 22). It is for all who believe (see vs 22).

 

Paul says “being justified freely by His grace … ” (vs 24), God’s declaration of the justification of a man or woman puts all accusation to rest. God imputes perfect righteousness to the believer by faith. We read; “ … through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:” (vs 24). The word “redemption,” here, is “apolytiosis” in the Greek and it appears only ten times in the New Testament. It has been defined as “release effected by payment of ransom.” 4 We also read; “whom God set forth to be a propitiation, through faith, in his blood,” (vs 25). The word, “propitiation,” here, is “hilaslerion” in the Greek. Joseph Thayer claims it means “an expiatory sacrifice.”5 The word has the idea of appeasing by sacrifice.

 

In this great chapter, Paul teaches us about sin and righteousness by faith. All have sinned against God. All fail to understand. All run from God. All have become unprofitable. Yet, no one has to accept this as their final life-course. Instead, God has made a way for us to be righteous. God has made a way for us to have right standing with Him. This righteousness is being justified freely by His grace. It is through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. It is a result of what Jesus has done by dieing for us and it is experienced by faith in Jesus Christ. It is for all who believe.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 185. Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

 

 

2. Ibid., 187.

 

3. Ibid., 208.

 

4. Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 80.

 

5. Joseph Thayer, quoted in Ralph Earle, Word Meanings in the New Testament Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 81.

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Earle, Ralph. Word Meanings in the New Testament Vol 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

Scripture references taken from the American Standard Version and the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 4

 

 

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

 

 

I Abraham Justified By Faith 4.1-4

 

 

 

II David And Righteousness By Faith 4.6-8

 

 

 

III Abraham Justified Before Circumcision 4.8-25

 

 

 

I Abraham Justified By Faith

 

 

 

We have all known many boasters. In fact, if we are honest we would admit to boasting many times ourselves. If Abraham was justified by his works then he could boast about it. However, he

 

can’t boast. Why? Abraham was justified by faith; “For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Romans 4.3). Abraham exercised faith. How did he do so? He left his homeland, business, friends, most of his family, probably many possessions, all to obey God. The Book of Hebrews also tells us:  

 

8 By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went.

 

9 By faith he sojourned in the land of promise, as in a strange country, dwelling in tabernacles with Isaac and Jacob, the heirs with him of the same promise:

 

10 For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.

 

 

 

 

 

Hebrews 11.8-10

 

 

 

God made a great promise to Abraham:

 

 

 

2 And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

 

3 And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

 

Genesis 12.2-3

 

 

 

Abraham believed and this belief was accounted for righteousness.

 

 

 

There is variation in how Romans, verse one, is translated. Let’s look at a couple of translations.

 

 

 

What shall we say then that Abraham our father, as pertaining to the flesh, hath found? (Romans 4.1 KJV).

 

What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather, hath found according to the flesh? (Romans 4.1 ASV).

 

 

 

The King James Version attaches “as pertaining to the flesh” to “father” where the American Standard Version attaches “according to the flesh” to “found.” This difference traces right back to the manuscripts themselves. I prefer the King James Version in this case. It does not seem right that Abraham’s flesh helped him find anything but, rather, that Abraham is a natural father to biological Jews according to the flesh, meaning through natural lineage.

 

Salvation is a free gift from God. We read:

 

 

 

 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt. (vs 4).

 

 

 

If salvation could be earned by human works it would be like wages and this cheapens or disregards grace. If salvation could be earned by human works then it would be apart from grace. If salvation could be obtained by works then God would owe man salvation. God, instead, gives salvation as a gift of His grace. The Bible clearly tells us; “But to him that worketh not, but believeth on him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteousness.” (vs 5).

 

This is an amazing verse. If salvation could be earned by human works then it would be apart from grace. God can justify us, the ungodly, by imputing our sin to Christ and imputing Christ’s righteousness to us. Most rabbis in the Apostle Paul’s time thought that Abraham was righteous by his works. In fact, some apocryphal books leaned to this idea. (See Ecclesiastes 44.19-21 and the Prayer of Manasseh (see vs 8) and the Book of Jubilees (see 23.10). By Paul asserting that Abraham was justified by faith, not works, and that that is how man must be justified, Paul was challenging and contradicting the foundation of rabbinical thought.

 

Salvation by faith in Christ establishes a relationship with God. Abraham was a friend of God. We read in Isaiah 41.8; “But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend.”

 

 

 

II David And Righteousness By Faith

 

 

 

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

 

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

 

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

 

9 Cometh this blessedness then upon the circumcision only, or upon the uncircumcision also? for we say that faith was reckoned to Abraham for righteousness.

 

10 How was it then reckoned? when he was in circumcision, or in uncircumcision? Not in circumcision, but in uncircumcision.

 

11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had yet being uncircumcised: that he might be the father of all them that believe, though they be not circumcised; that righteousness might be imputed unto them also:

 

12 And the father of circumcision to them who are not of the circumcision only, but who also walk in the steps of that faith of our father Abraham, which he had being yet uncircumcised.

 

13 For the promise, that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham, or to his seed, through the law, but through the righteousness of faith.

 

14 For if they which are of the law be heirs, faith is made void, and the promise made of none effect:

 

15 Because the law worketh wrath: for where no law is, there is no transgression.

 

16 Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all,

 

17 (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were.

 

18 Who against hope believed in hope, that he might become the father of many nations, according to that which was spoken, So shall thy seed be.

 

19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about an hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sarah’s womb:

 

20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God;

 

21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform.

 

22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.

 

23 Now it was not written for his sake alone, that it was imputed to him;

 

24 But for us also, to whom it shall be imputed, if we believe on him that raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead;

 

25 Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.

 

 

Romans 4.6-25

 

 

 

King David tells of righteousness apart from works:

 

6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

 

7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.

 

8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will not impute sin.

 

Romans 4.6-8

 

Here, sins are extinguished by forgiveness (God’s), not by our human good works. God can justify us, the ungodly, by imputing our sin on Christ and imputing Christ’s righteousness on us. In verse 8, we see that blessed is the person to whom God doesn’t impute sin.

 

 

 

 

 

III Abraham Justified Before Circumcision

 

 

 

For those not yet persuaded by Paul in Chapter 2 concerning justification not being granted by circumcision, Paul now goes into round two. This time he has a heavy piece of evidence – Abraham.

 

Abraham was counted righteous. When? Before he was circumcised. In Genesis 15.18, God made a covenant with Abraham. This was at least fourteen years before he was circumcised. We read:

 

5 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be.

 

6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

 

Genesis 15.5-6

 

 

 

Abraham was ninety-eight years old before he was circumcised. Yet, God called him righteous. We read; “And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.” (Genesis 15.6).

 

Rabbis believed that a man must be circumcised to be saved. The Jewish apocryphal Book of Jubilees declares:

 

 

 

This law is for all generations for ever, and there is no circumcision of the time, and no passing over one day out of the eight days; for it is an eternal ordinance, ordained and written

 

on the heavenly tables. And every one that is born, the flesh of whose foreskin is not

 

circumcised on the eighth day belongs not to the children of the covenant which the Lord made

 

with Abraham, for he belongs to the children of destruction; nor is there moreover any sign on

 

him that he is the Lord’s but (he is destined) to be destroyed and slain from the earth. (15:25ff.)

 

 

 

 

 

God declared Abraham righteous while Abraham was still uncircumcised. God’s declaration squashes every contrary opinion. There is no comeback to Paul’s evidence. Paul is showing more than how it was for Abraham. He is showing how righteousness must be appropriated by anyone (see Romans 4.23-24).

 

Salvation is nothing that we can boast about. This is because we have not earned it. Salvation is given to men and women as a gift. Just as righteousness is imputed. David and Paul testify to this imputation of righteousness and righteousness being accounted to a man can be seen in the life of Abraham.

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Bruce, F. F., D.D., F.B.A. The Letter Of Paul To The Romans : An Introduction And Commentary. Grand Rapids: Inter-Varsity Press, 1985.

 

 

 

Earle, Ralph, Th.D. Word Meanings in the New Testament, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

 

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1 – 8. Chicago:

 

Moody Publishers, 1991.Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

 

 

MacArthur, John. The MacArthur Study Bible. U.S.A.: Thomas Nelson, Inc., 1997.

 

 

 

The Book of Jubilees. (15:25ff).

 

 

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version and the American Standard Version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 5

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Justified By Faith – Results In Peace 5.1-5

 

 

 

II Jesus Died For Us 5.6-11

 

 

 

III Death In Adam / Life In Christ 5.12-21

 

 

 

 

 

I Justified By Faith – Results In Peace

 

 

 

 

 

1 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:

2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience;

4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:

5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.

Romans 5.1-5

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul has well laid out his case (or gospel) that justification does not come about by observing the Law or by circumcision. Instead, it comes by faith. Such justifying faith results in peace. Paul says that we have this peace now, in the present tense. The fallen state is one of being at war with God. Justification brings this war to an end and ushers us into peace. This peace is through our Lord Jesus Christ, not through our own works. Jesus gives access to God’s grace and we stand in grace. We read of the “ … grace wherein we stand, …” (vs 2). Stand is to stand fast, or stand whole. Compare this to what Paul says elsewhere in the New Testament; “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;” (1 Corinthians 15.1) and; “Not for that we have dominion over your faith, but are helpers of your joy: for by faith ye stand.” (2 Corinthians 1.24) and; “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.(Ephesians 6.11).

 

In Romans 5.2, we read; “ … rejoice in hope of the glory of God.” The gospel brings hope. Only the gospel brings hope. The gospel brings the hope of salvation. Paul’s hope is anchored in God’s redeeming love. We read further; “And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope:” (vss 3,4). Paul says here that he glories in tribulations. Why? It is because tribulation, endured, brings reward. Like a bridge where its steel needs to be tested, so the Christian is tested with tribulation. Tribulation, endured, also develops in us things that we need. What does tribulation, rightly handled, develop within us? It develops patience. The word “patience” is “Hupomone” in the Greek, meaning “a remaining under” and “patient enduring”. 1 Patience produces experience. The American Standard Version translates experience as “approvedness”. Experience produces hope. God’s hope does not disappoint.

 

We read further; “And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.” (vs 5). God’s love is shed abroad in the hearts of His children. Here, it is not rationed out, drop by drop, but is shed abroad.

 

 

 

II Jesus Died For Us

 

 

 

6 For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly.

 

7 For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.

 

8 But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

 

9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.

 

10 For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.

 

11 And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.

 

Romans 5.6-11

 

 

 

Jesus died for ungodly men and women. Yes, Jesus died for us.

 

This was Christ’s demonstration of love, not just to befriend sinners, touch sinners or help sinners, but to die for sinners. We read; “Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.” (vs 9). The word “justified” is to be saved from wrath and reconciled to God. We read further; “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (vss 10-11).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

III Death In Adam / Life In Christ

 

 

 

12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:

 

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

 

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

 

15 But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

 

16 And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification.

 

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

 

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

 

19 For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous.

 

20 Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound:

 

21 That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

 

 

Romans 5.12-21

 

 

 

When God created the world, He said that all was very good. (See Genesis 1.31).

 

However, something happened to the world and to human nature when Adam sinned and ate the forbidden fruit. Sin entered the world through Adam’s sin. This is a great mystery.

 

The concept of mankind being adversely and sinfully affected by Adam’s sin is not

 

foreign to the Scripture. However, it is not developed in detail and there is mystery surrounding it. It, therefore, requires interpretation and not all theologians agree on the nature of inherited Adamic sin. To show that the concept is not foreign to the Scripture, let us look at some of Paul’s teaching. “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” (Romans 5.12). We read here that sin entered the world through one man and we know that that man was Adam. Death entered the world through sin and death is something that spread to all men. Why did death spread to all men? Does it say that it spread from Adam to other men automatically? This verse says that death passed to all men “… for that all have sinned:”. This seems to put responsibility on all men for their acts of sin being the reason for their death.

 

Paul goes on to say in the next two verses:

 

 

 

13 (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law.

 

14 Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come.

 

Romans 5.13-14

 

 

 

Here, Paul says that although sin was in the world (brought in by Adam), “… sin is not imputed when there is no law.” (vs 13). God’s law was formally given and written down at the time of Moses. However, from the time of Adam until Moses death still reigned, even over those who hadn’t sinned according to the similitude or likeness of Adams’s sin. (See vs 14). Death still reigned over them.

 

The word “imputed” is interesting. We are told that “… sin is not imputed when there is no

 

law.” (vs 13). The Latin word “imputare” means “to reckon” or “to charge to one’s account.” “Imutare” was chosen for the Greed word “logisomat.” It appears that the Greek word has roots in the commercial and legal language of Greco-Roman society in which a person had something imputed to them, such as a debt. If a debt was imputed to someone, they then became accountable for that debt as their own. An example of this would be Paul’s request to Philemon that Onesimus’s debt be imputed to Paul. 2 “ If he hath wronged thee, or oweth thee aught, put that on mine account;” (Philemon 1.18).

 

Theologians have wrestled with the concept of imputed sin. Those who believe that Adamic sin is imputed often wrestle with God being just in such a scenario. Would God judge a man for imputed Adamic sin? Would God judge a man for “alien sin” which was not the sin of men personally? Some theologians have argued that all men were in Adam as a part of Adam, even at the point of Adam’s fall and for that reason they (we) actually participated in Adam’s sin as being a part of him. Others express the view of the Westminster Confession that Adam was our representative and, as our representative, he sinned, transferring guilt on us as well. 3

 

However, are these the only ways of interpreting human sin? If we jump ahead to Chapter 7 of Romans, we read; “but sin, finding occasion, wrought in me through the commandment all manner of coveting: for apart from the law sin is dead. And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;” (Romans 7.8-9 ASV). Paul, here, says that sin took opportunity by the commandment, or by God’s law, and sin produced coveting within Paul. Some other translations seem to expand the word “coveting” to include other forms of evil desires. What was Paul’s understanding or experience of sin before he had exposure to hearing or reading God’s law? Did he have sin or was there an age or time of accountability at which Paul, all of a sudden, experienced sin as an actual reality, understanding in his conscience that he was a transgressor? Before this point, did Paul have sin? What does he mean when he says “And I was alive apart from the law once: but when the commandment came, sin revived, and I died;” (7.9 ASV)? In what sense was Paul alive once without the law? Was he always dead in Adam’s inherited sin or was there a period of innocence in which he was not yet accountable for sin, not knowing God’s laws yet? I am not proposing an answer but I am acknowledging that there is mystery concerning the doctrine of imputed sin.

 

We have looked at some Scripture which seems to discuss sin as a nature. Is this the most frequent context for the word “sin” in the Bible? Remember the Scripture also says; “Every one that doeth sin doeth also lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.” (1 John 3.4 ASV). Here, John defines sin as “lawlessness.” Whose sin is John talking about? Is he talking about Adam’s sin only? No, he isn’t. He is talking about the transgressions of “Every one that doeth sin … ” (vs 4). Everyone is everyone. Everyone is not Adam only. So, actual sins are the individual transgressions that everyone makes against God’s laws. As we look through the Bible, we will find that the word “sin” is usually used in this same way. The large majority of references to sin in the Bible is of actual personal sin.

 

We also read:

 

 

 

17 For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.)

 

18 Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.

 

 

 

Romans 5.17-18

 

Is Paul teaching universal salvation? No, he is not. What is he teaching? We read; “ … even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life.” (vs 18). My understanding of this is that the free gift came to all men but they still need to choose it. I believe that salvation is made available to all men and women.

 

From this precious chapter we learn of the peace that can come to us through the Lord Jesus Christ, through faith in Him. We are also introduced to the mystery of sin and death which has roots in Adam but is also personal to us. We are told of the free gift of salvation which has come to all men. Will we receive it?

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

 

 

1. Ralph Earle, Th.D., Word Meanings in the New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 98.

2. Walter A. Elwell, Editor, Evangelical Dictionary of Theology (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984), 554.

 

3. Ibid., 555.

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

 

 

Earle, Ralph, Th.D. Word Meanings in the New Testament, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

Elwell, Walter, A. Editor. Evangelical Dictionary of Theology. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1984.

 

Hendriksen, William. New Testament Commentary by William Hendriksen : Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981.

 

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary On The Whole Bible. Vol. 6. Acts to Revelation.

 

Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers.

 

Jones, D. Martin Lloyd. Romans : Assurance : Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

MacArthur, John. MacArthur Study Bible. U.S.A.: Word Publishing, 1997.

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson. 2007

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version and the American Standard Version. 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 6

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

 

 

I Dead To Sin / Alive To God 6.1-14

 

 

 

II Shall We Sin? 6.15-23

 

 

 

 

 

I Dead To Sin / Alive To God

 

 

 

 

 

Once the famous preacher and theologian, Martin Lloyd Jones, was asked when he was going to preach a series of messages on the Book of Romans. He said that he would when he came to understand chapter 6.1 I think I know how he felt when he said that.

 

 

1 What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?

2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?

3 Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?

4 Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6.1-4

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul begins this chapter with a question, “What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?” (vs 1). His answer is, “God forbid. … ” (vs 2 ). He is essentially asking if we should sin, more and more, to magnify the grace we receive and the pardon that we are shown since God’s grace forgives sin. Paul is simply recalling this question that he had addressed in Romans 3.5-8. Some would ask, “Who would even ask such a thing?” Actually, this doctrine has been around for a long time even though it has been directly refuted by Scripture. It is called antinomianism. Antinomianism teaches that it doesn’t matter what sin you commit after you are saved, and you can sin extraordinarily lustfully if you like and you are safe. Rasputin, an infamous late 19th and early 20th century spiritual advisor to the Romanov ruling family of Russia openly taught this; he taught that we should sin extraordinarily to magnify God’s grace. It was probably taught in Paul’s day, also. Paul lived and worked in a very philosophical culture that loved to rationalize sin. We have died to sin Paul says, that is, we have forsaken the path of sin to follow Christ. (See vss 2-4). Does this mean that a Christian will never sin after his conversion? No, I believe that it means that a Christian’s sinning does not grow out of his spiritual life but, rather, is at odds with his spiritual life and is to be brought to the Lord to be repented of and to be forgiven.

 

Paul refers to those who were baptized into Jesus Christ. (See vs 3). Evangelical scholars generally do not equate this baptism to water baptism but, rather, to the spiritual experience of conversion in which we are baptized into Christ in a spiritual way.

 

We have been baptized into Jesus’ death that we should be in the likeness of His resurrection. Jesus did not stay dead; He rose from death. As well as this being a literal truth, His resurrection also symbolizes the transformation that takes place in us after we are converted and the bodily resurrection that we can expect one day as believers. What transformation takes place in us? One day we will be resurrected too but, in this life, we are empowered to “ … walk in newness of life.” (vs 4). Newness, here, is “kairos” in the Greek and means “newness of quality and character, not ‘neos’ which refers merely to newness in point of time.”2

 

We read; “ Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.” ( vs 11). It is one of the hardest things for a Christian, who wrestles with the attacks of the enemy and who is aware of his or her own personal sins, to consider themselves dead to sin. Christians have God’s Spirit within them but their bodies are still tempted to sin and, as a result of sin, experience death. We are still called to “ … reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, …”. (vs 11).

 

 

 

 

 

The New Covenant puts God’s people in a new place of victory. Reckoning ourselves dead to sin is an important admonition from Paul.

 

 

 

II Shall We Sin?

 

 

 

What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid.

 

(vs 15).

 

 

 

Paul, again, emphatically answers, “ … God forbid.” Sin enslaves you if you obey it and leads to death. The Christian was a slave to sin but has been made free. (See vs 18).

 

We read:

 

17 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you.

 

18 Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness.

 

Romans 6.17-18

 

 

 

Christian, be who you are, a servant of righteousness.

 

 

 

Sin has wages to it – death. However, God has a gift of eternal life, through Christ Jesus, for us; “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” (vs 23).

 

This is the gospel in nugget form.

 

In Chapter 6, Paul boldly refutes the argument that continuing in sin is good because it causes God’s grace to abound. He reminds us that we believers were baptized into Christ’s death. Being united with Christ in His death also means being united with Him in His resurrection. This behooves us to walk in newness of life, to regard ourselves as being dead to sin and to be slaves of righteousness.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. Taken from Romans: Exposition of Chapter 6 : The New Man by D. Martin Lloyd Jones.

Copyright © 1972 by Zondervan Publishing House. Use by permission of Zondervan. www.zondervan.com D. Martin Lloyd Jones, Romans : The New Man (Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House).

2. Ralph Earle, Th.D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 113, 114.

 

3. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 337. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Earle, Ralph. Th.D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible. Vol. VI : Acts to Revelation. Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers.

 

Jones, D. Martin Lloyd. Romans : The New Man. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1972.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

Wuest, Kenneth, S. Romans In The Greek New Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1955.

 

Scripture taken from the King James Version.

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 7

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Dead To The Law – Through Christ 7.1-11

 

 

 

II The Purpose Of The Law 7.7-12

 

 

 

III Paul’s Struggle With Sin 7.13-25

 

 

 

 

 

I Dead To The Law – Through Christ

 

 

 

 

1 Know ye not, brethren, (for I speak to them that know the law,) how that the law hath dominion over a man as long as he liveth?

2 For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.

3 So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.

4 Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

 

 

Romans 7.1-4

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul uses the illustration of marriage to show the relationship between men and the law of God. In this illustration, the law has dominion over a man as a husband has dominion over his wife. Do you see the picture that Paul is painting? The person that we are reading about is first married to the law. However, this is not a good marriage. Why? Because the couple is not suited for each other. The law is specific, exacting and concrete. The wife, here, cannot live within its boundaries. The fault is not in the law, for Paul goes on to say; “Wherefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good.” (Romans 7.12). The law is good, however, the wife in this illustration cannot live up to it and, therefore, they are not suited for each other. She would be better suited for having Christ as her husband. This is not because Christ is flawed like she is but, rather, that Christ is merciful and gracious. How can this woman, who is married to the law, be free from her marriage to marry Christ instead? Paul tells us; “For the woman which hath an husband is bound by the law to her husband so long as he liveth; but if the husband be dead, she is loosed from the law of her husband.” (vs 2). If the husband dies, then the woman is free to marry again. Paul is saying that Christians have become dead to the law and married to Christ.

 

Again, we read:

 

Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.

 

Romans 7.4

 

 

 

What does this mean? Salvation has never been earned by any fallen man or fallen woman in any dispensation. Paul also teaches; “Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin.(Romans 3.20). The law only condemns. We read; “For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”(Romans 6.23). Because the sacrifice of Jesus Christ paid for our redemption, Christian believers are dead to the law and, therefore, dead to its penalties. We read further; “Wherefore, my brethren, ye also are become dead to the law by the body of Christ; that ye should be married to another, even to him who is raised from the dead, that we should bring forth fruit unto God.” (Romans 7.4). It was Jesus’ death which freed us believers from the law and joined us to Him. Jesus is now the bridegroom.The result of dieing to the law and being married to Christ is that of bearing fruit to God. (See also Galatians 5.22, John 15.1-2 and Philippians 1.11).

 

 

 

For when we were in the flesh, …” (vs 5)

 

 

 

Flesh” has different meanings throughout the Bible. It can mean skin or body. Here, it apparently means unredeemed humanness. It is obvious that Paul does not mean merely the physical body in this verse. For, while still in the body, he writes, “ … when we were in the flesh, … ” Clearly, he refers to the time when he was under the rule or control of the carnal nature. This implies that he was no longer in such a state.

 

 

 

 

 

II The Purpose Of The Law

 

 

 

Without the Law we would not know sin. (See Romans 3.20 and 4.15). We read:

 

What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet.

 

Romans 7.7

 

III Paul’s Struggle With Sin

 

 

14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15 For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16 If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17 Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18 For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19 For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20 Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21 I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22 For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23 But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25 I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.

Romans 7.14-25

 

 

 

The above passage of scripture has been hotly debated over by learned theologians for centuries. Fine men of God, on either side of the theological fence, have interpreted this passage quite differently. This should provoke some humility in us before approaching an understanding of the passage. There are three main interpretations. These verses reflect, either:

 

 

 

1) Paul before his conversion or an unregenerate man

 

2) Paul as a strong Christian or a Christian at his best

 

3) Paul as a weak Christian or a Christian who is immature

 

 

 

Is Paul saying these words in reference to his life before his conversion? Most early Church Fathers (first300 yrs) seem to hold this as applying to the unregenerate and to Paul before his conversion. Patristic fathers do, also, but with some exceptions. Augustine originally took this view. Arminians usually take this view, as do the Wesleyans.

 

Why would some believe that these verses spoke of Paul before his conversion? They hold this view because of what Paul says:

 

1. “For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.” (vs 14)

 

2. Nothing good dwells in him, that is, in his flesh. (See verse 18).

How can this be applied to a Christian when the Christian has died to sin?

 

 

 

Is Paul saying these words as a strong, mature Christian who wrestles with sin? Augustine switched to this position. Reformers and Puritans took this position as well. Why would one believe that these verses speak of Paul as a mature Christian who wrestles with sin? Firstly, this person desires to obey God’s law and hates doing evil. (See vss 15, 19, 21). It can be understood that nothing good dwells in his humanness. Thanks to Jesus, his Lord, he serves the law of God with his mind. (See vs 25). This sounds like something a Christian would claim. Would an unbeliever claim to serve God’s law?

 

Is Paul saying these words as a weak Christian or as a Christian who is immature? Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones, and others, takes this position. Why? They do so because it is a middle-road position. It can acknowledge the positive points as evidence of faith, while acknowledging Paul’s weaker points as evidence of immaturity of faith. I respect those who disagree and I am open to having my mind changed on this, however, to my own understanding position #2 seems most correct. I have a hard time imagining Paul as being an immature Christian at the time of his writing of Romans. After all, he is functioning as an apostle. He is humble in admitting to an inner battle with sin. Would a non-Christian call Jesus “ … our Lord. …”? (vs 25). Would a non-Christian say; “… So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; …” ? (vs 25). I believe that this is what a Christian would say. Also, the verses expressing weakness are written in the present tense and Paul was a believer when he wrote this epistle. I believe that this is Paul making a humble admission of an inner war. Despite a Christians’s conversion, his or her body is still tempted, influenced by, and, in some ways, bent towards committing sin. The Christian has a civil war going on inside him. Such an inner civil war is not comfortable. To convey the thought, Paul uses a very graphic image. He says; “O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?” (vs 24). The Romans had a terrible punishment that they sometimes applied to murderers. In some cases, if a man was found guilty of murder he was attached to a body of death. What does this mean? The corpse of the person who was murdered was permanently bound to the murderer. The murderer was made to live with the awful discomfort of being attached to his victim. Paul uses this imagery to communicate the discomfort that the Christian feels for the Christians spirit is cleansed and sanctified before God and yet, in this life, is attached to the fallen flesh of the believer. Hence, the Christian has a civil war waging inside of him. Again, we read; “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.” (vs 25).

 

In Chapter 7, we learn that we, as Christians, are dead to the law; we learn that we may be married to another, that is, to Christ. The law does not justify us but, instead, brings us the knowledge of sin. We also read of Paul’s wrestling with weakness and sin and have sought to understand the context of these words.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Barclay, William, D.D. The Letter to the Romans. Edinburgh: The Saint Andrew Press.

 

Earle, Ralph, Th. D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

Hendriksen, William. New Testament Commentary by William Hendriksen : Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981.

 

Jones, D. Martin Lloyd. Romans : Exposition of Chapters 7:1-8:4 : The Law : Its Functions & Limits : Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1973.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

Nee, Watchman. The Normal Christian Life. Carol Stream: Tyndale House Publishers, 1977.

 

(First published in 1957).

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson. 2007

 

Scripture taken from the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

ROMANS : CHAPTER 8

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Freedom In Christ 8.1-11

 

 

 

II Sonship In Christ 8.12-17

 

 

 

III Suffering And Redemption Of Body 8.18-28

 

 

 

IV Predestination And The Faithfulness Of Christ 8.29-39

 

 

 

I Freedom in Christ

 

1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.

 

3 For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 

4 That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.

 

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

 

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.

 

8 So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

 

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

 

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

 

 

 

Romans 8.1-11

 

 

 

Verse 1, Chapter 8, of the Book of Romans, in the King JamesVersion, reads:

 

 

 

There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. (vs 1)

 

 

 

This chapter opens with good news for the Christian. According to the King James Translation, the Christian, who does not walk according to the flesh but, rather, who walks according to the Spirit is free from condemnation. Many modern translations, including the American Standard Version, do not have the second part of this verse; “ … who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.” The translators of these versions that make the omission in verse one claim that the phrase does not appear in the earliest manuscripts in this spot but, rather, in verse 4. 1In the context of Christ’s kingdom, the Christians spoken of here are spared from hell.

 

We read further:

 

For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh:

 

 

 

Romans 8.3

 

 

 

Here, the Apostle Paul says that the law could not provide salvation because it was “ … weak through the flesh, … ”. This is not really a criticism of the law but, rather, of our own human flesh which does not have the strength to fulfil the law. It is like a shovel with a steel blade and a wooden handle. After some use, the handle breaks, but not the metal. In this illustration, the metal is the law and the wood is our flesh. We read; “ … his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, …” (vs 3). This is not saying that Jesus did not have a flesh body. I believe that it is simply saying that His flesh was not sinful. Elsewhere in Scripture, we read; “Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.” (Matthew 1.18) We read further; “ … condemned sin in the flesh:(Romans 8.3). The sacrifice of Jesus Christ defeated and condemned sin.

 

We also read:

 

5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.

 

6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

 

 

 

Romans 8.5-6

 

 

 

In “ … do mind … ”, the verb “Phroneo” is used and means “basic orientation, bent and thought patterns of the mind …”. 2 Being after the flesh and minding the things of the flesh is being carnally minded, resulting in death. Being after the Spirit and minding the things of the Spirit is being spiritually minded, resulting in life and peace.

 

We read further:

 

9 But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

 

10 And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

 

11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.

 

 

 

Romans 8.9-11

 

 

 

These verses show the importance of the indwelling of the Spirit of God. A Christian is a temple of the Holy Spirit. A Christian, with God’s Spirit indwelling, will receive life to their mortal body. This is probably a reference to our future resurrection.

 

 

 

II Sonship in Christ

 

12 Therefore, brethren, we are debtors, not to the flesh, to live after the flesh.

 

13 For if ye live after the flesh, ye shall die: but if ye through the Spirit do mortify the deeds of the body, ye shall live.

 

14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

 

15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

 

16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

 

17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

 

 

 

Romans 8.12-17

 

 

 

Translations such as the American Standard Version refer to the Spirit as “himself” rather than “itself” in verse 16. I prefer the American Standard Version’s rendering over the King James in this case. Jesus did more than forgive us. Through Him, we are adopted into God’s family. Adoption is “huiothesia” in the Greek and means “a placing as son.” 3Paul is the only one to use this word in the New Testament. The act of adoption is loving, gracious and heroic. We see adoption in the Old Testament before we come to it in the New Testament. Pharaoh’s daughter found Moses in the bulrushes in a basket and raised him. Adopted, as sons, also makes us heirs, heirs of God. (See also Matthew 25.34 and Lamentations 3.24).

 

 

 

III Suffering And Redemption Of Body

 

 

 

18  For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

 

19 For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

 

20 For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope,

 

21 Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

 

22 For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now.

 

23 And not only they, but ourselves also, which have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.

 

24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?

 

25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.

 

26 Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.

 

27 And he that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because he maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

 

28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

Romans 8.18-28

 

  Once more translations such as the American Standard Version refer to the Spirit as “himself” rather than “itself” in verse 26. I prefer the American Standard Version’s rendering over the King James in this case.

 

We read :

 

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (vs 18)

 

 

This is one of the most encouraging scriptures in the Bible. What we suffer in this lifetime will be worth it in the end. We also read; “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” (vs 28). If verse 18 is one of the most encouraging scriptures for the Christian who is suffering in the will of God, then verse 28 is equally encouraging. The details of a Christian’s life are all a part of a master plan, a plan that ends in good. The words “all things” mean that in everything, God is interconnecting and working out good for those who love Him.

 

 

 

IV Predestination And The Faithfulness of Christ

 

We read:

 

 

 

29 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.

 

 

 

Romans 8.29

 

 

This has been a much debated verse. What is predestination? “Predestinate” is “proorizo” in the Greek. 4Pro” means before and “horizo” means boundary or, more specifically, “mark off by boundaries.”5How much meaning are you going to attach to this word? It simply means to mark off by boundaries beforehand. Does this speak of God’s marking or choosing of us before our births? I believe so, but I don’t want to stretch the word beyond what Paul is trying to say. How much will you pack into the meaning of this word? God marks and calls us but this, in itself, does not eliminate free will. We read; For whom he did foreknow, … (vs 29). Who is whom? The predestined. Who is He? God. What does God foreknow about them? It does not specifically say. An Arminean interpretation says that those whom God foreknew would choose Him, He predestined.

 

We read further:

 

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

 

36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

 

37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

 

38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

 

39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

 

 

Romans 8.35-39

 

 

 

We have said that verses 18 and 28 of Romans, Chapter 8, are some of the most encouraging verses of Scripture for those suffering in the will of God. Verses 35 to 39 are in the same category.

 

Chapter 8 in the KJV opens with the good news that we are not under condemnation if we are in Christ Jesus and do not walk according to the flesh but walk according to the Spirit. Jesus did for us what the law could not do; He condemned sin in the flesh. In this chapter, we see two pathways; we see the path of those who set their minds on the things of the flesh and the path of those who set their minds on the things of the Spirit. We learn that a believer is an adopted son of God. We are comforted that suffering is worth enduring and even that all things are working for our good if we love God and are called according to His purpose. The Christian is dear to the Lord and no external force can separate him or her from God’s love. Praise God.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

1. Ralph Earle, Th.D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 140-141. and

 

John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991), 399. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

2. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Romans 1-8 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994), 416. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

3. Ralph Earle, Th.D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 154.

 

4. Ibid., 166.

 

5. Ibid., 166

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Barclay, William. The New Daily Study Bible : The Letter to the Romans. Louisville:

 

The William Barclay Estate, 2002.

 

Earle, Ralph, Th.D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

Hendriksen, William.New Testament Commentary by William Hendriksen : Exposition of Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1981. MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Romans 1-8. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1991. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson, 2007.

 

Scripture taken from the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 9

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Paul’s Broken Heart Over Lost Israel. 9.1-5

 

II The Unbelief And Lostness Of Much Of Natural Israel And

 

The Faith And Salvation Of Gentiles Can Both Be Taking

 

Place Without Being In Contradiction With God’s Word 9.6-33

 

 

 

 

I Paul’s Broken Heart Over Lost Israel

 

 

 

We read:

 

 

 

2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart.

 

3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

 

Romans 9.2-3

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul loves his countrymen and wants to see them saved. He is the apostle to the Gentiles but he still has a heart for his kinsmen.

 

 

 

II The Unbelief And Lostness Of Much Of Natural Israel And

 

The Faith And Salvation Of Gentiles Can Both Be Taking

 

Place Without Being In Contradiction With God’s Word

 

 

 

Is the unbelief of, and lostness of, much of natural Israel and the faith and salvation of the Gentiles, both occurring, contradictory to, or consistent with the whole Bible? No and yes. Unbelieving natural Israelites are acting contrary to God’s Word by not putting faith in Jesus Christ and becoming saved. However it is not contradictory for God  to save both Jews and Gentiles who put their faith in Christ. It is not contradictory; it is consistent. Some would still ask, “Would there not be a contradiction or an inconsistency between God choosing Israel and Israel not believing Him and not accepting His way of salvation?” It is an irony, but not a contradiction or inconsistency on God’s part.

 

It is consistent with God’s promises. (See Romans 9.6-13). God is only committed to grant spiritual salvation to those who are His spiritual children. Such ones can also be called spiritual Israel. Paul distinguishes between spiritual Israel and much of natural Israel.

 

6 Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:

 

7 Neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called.

 

8 That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.

 

 

 

Romans 9.6-8

 

 

 

We read; “… For they are not all Israel, which are of Israel:” (vs 6). To be a true Jew you must be a spiritual Jew, not just an ancestor of Abraham. This must have been a great shock to many natural Jews. By “natural” Jew, I mean a biological descendent of Abraham. However, a “spiritual” Jew (true Jew) is someone who is trusting in Jesus and has come to Him in repentance and faith by God’s grace. This is shown by two examples. Isaac is chosen, not Ismael. (See vs 7). Jacob is chosen, not Esau. (See Romans 9.10-13).

 

A spiritual Jew means someone who has a personal, individual relationship with God. This concept was not developed clearly until the New Testament. Natural Jews have the honour of having had God choose them historically, for a purpose. However, that does not mean that they are full sons or that they have salvation automatically. There are many Jews today who are secular and some who are atheists. They do not have salvation without faith in Jesus Christ. We read:

 

28 For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh:

 

29 But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God.

 

 

 

Romans 2.28-29

 

 

 

Jesus did not regard as God’s children the rebellious natural Jews who rejected Him. (See John 8.31-44). Instead, they were of their father, the devil. To be a true son of Abraham, you have to be of faith. We read; “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham.” (Galatians 3.6-7).

 

In Romans 9.11, we have a side point saying that reincarnation is not true; “(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)”. Children who are unborn have done neither good nor evil. This refutes the concepts of previous lives, karma and reincarnation.

 We read:

 

 

 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. (Romans 9.14)

 

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. (Romans 9.15)

 

 

Paul goes on to defend his statements. I think that Romans 9.15- 18 are the most difficult verses in the Bible to understand. They are probably some of the most loved verse of Calvinist scholars. On a surface reading, they seems to support the idea of unconditional predestination. We read; “ … I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, …” (vs 15) and; “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (vs 16) and; “Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.” (vs 18). All of this at first would seem to make a strong case for Calvinism. How do Arminean Christians, who believe in free will in choosing, interpret a passage such as this? Armineans point out that the context of the chapter is to do with God’s choice of who the lineage of the Messiah would pass through and say that these verses are not meant to be applied to the salvation of individuals. They see the references to Ismael and Esau as being to nations, not individuals.

 

While the lineage of Christ is dealt with here, I feel that more is being said. It is hard to get away from the examples of individuals that Paul uses, such as Esau and Pharaoh. The case of Pharaoh is fascinating. In Exodus we are told numerous times that Pharaoh’s heart was hardened as Moses was presenting the LORD’S word to him. (See Exodus 7. 22; 8.19; 9.7; ). However, two times we are told that God hardened his heart. (See 7.13, 9.12). Then we read Paul’s words:

 

17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.

 

18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth.

 

 

 

Romans 9.17-18

 

 

 

If these verses are saying that God hardened a soft-hearted Pharaoh and that Pharaoh could not have chosen to have obeyed the LORD, then I do not know how to reconcile this with the rest of Scripture, which from cover-to-cover calls and commands men and women to choose God’s way and repent.

 

However, I believe that something else is being said here. My understanding of this can be illustrated in this way. First, think of the sun. When the hot rays of the sun hit an object, they can either melt it or harden it. Whether something melts or hardens depends on the properties of the object. Similarly, God comes to a person’s heart with His hot truth. A wicked, unrepentant heart is hardened by the truth but

 

a humble, repentant heart is melted by the truth. I believe that God wants to melt, not harden human hearts. However, what people choose to do with His truth will either melt or harden them. The choice, I believe, is with the people and yet there is in this illustration a sense in which you could say that God hardened someone’s heart when He brought to them His truth. I am not saying that I understand this fully but, rather, this is how I look at passages such as this.

 We read:

 

25 As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.

 

26 And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

 

27 Esaias also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved:

 

28 For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth.

 

29 And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left us a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.

 

Romans 9.25-29.

 

The unbelief and lostness of much  of natural Israel can be occurring without God being in contradiction to His Word. The faith and salvation of many Gentiles is consistent with God’s way of salvation by faith. We read:

 

30 What shall we say then? That the Gentiles, which followed not after righteousness, have attained to righteousness, even the righteousness which is of faith.

 

31 But Israel, which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness.

 

32 Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law. For they stumbled at that stumblingstone;

 

33 As it is written, Behold, I lay in Zion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

 

 

 

Romans 9.30-33

 

Paul has a broken heart for those of his kinsmen, the natural Jewish people, who have not received Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Edited by French L. Arrington and Roger Stronstad. Full Life Bible Commentary To The

 

New Testament -An International Commentary For Spirit-Filled Christians.

 

Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990.

 

Bercot, David W. Will The Real Heretics Please Stand Up, 3rd Ed. U.S.A.: Scroll Publishing Co., 1999.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary – Romans 9 – 16.

 

Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson. 2007

 

Scripture quotations taken from the King James Version.

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 10

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Paul’s Burden For Natural Israel 10.1-2

 

 

 

II The Righteousness Of God Vs The Righteousness Of Man. 10.3-13

 

 

 

III Necessity Of A Messenger 10.14-18

 

 

 

IV Natural Israel Vs Gentiles 10.19-21

 

 

 

 

 

I Paul’s Burden For Natural Israel

 

 

 

1  Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved.

 

2 For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.

 

 

 

Romans 10.1-2

 

 

 

Paul’s tenth chapter begins like his ninth. Though the natural Jews persecuted him, he prayed for them. We read; “For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge.” (vs 2). They have zeal, or a passion for God, but not according to knowledge. In other words, they have not believed God and they have been wrong in what they know.

 

 

 

II The Righteousness Of God Vs The Righteousness Of Man.

 

 

 

Natural, biological Israel has in large part chosen the righteousness of man. What kind of righteousness is this? It is self-righteousness. What is the result of this choice? They are ignorant. This means that they are spiritually blind. It is because they are ignorant of Jesus Christ, as the Messiah, that they are ignorant of salvation. They seek to establish their own righteousness. The statement they “… have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God.” (vs 3) suggests that this is rebellion on their part.

 

Why do people reject the Lord’s offer of righteousness? Firstly, they reject it because they trust in their own self-righteousness. Secondly, they reject it because they reject God’s plan of salvation. Reliance on self and separation from God are our greatest problems. Many natural, biological Jews tried to fulfil the law through own their efforts. God’s way for them is very different. God’s way was that of Jesus Christ dying for us and giving us His righteousness. That is why Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes. Salvation is for everyone who believes.

 

What is meant by “believes?” We shall see further down. (Also See Romans 4.3). We read:

 

 

 

6 But the righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise, Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? (that is, to bring Christ down from above:)

 

7 Or, Who shall descend into the deep? (that is, to bring up Christ again from the dead.)

 

Romans 10. 6-7

 

Paul is writing satirically, as if it were possible for man to go and fetch Christ from some unearthly location. Perhaps a works-based religion would require such a retrieval, but no, Christ has died and resurrected from the dead. It is for man to repent and believe. It is for man to confess and believe. We read:

 

9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

 

10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.

 

Romans 10.9-10

 

 

To “confess” is to declare your faith intention. Tell God your faith intention; establish it with Him.

 

There is also a call from Christ to confess Him before men. (See Matthew 10.32).

 

Believe. How does one believe? You believe in your heart. This means believing from the depth of your being. The confession must be coupled with faith in the heart. What is the result? The Bible tells us “ … thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10. 9).

 

Faith in the resurrection of Christ is essential. There are many truths in the Bible but on this truth of His resurrection, salvation depends. His resurrection declares His deity as the Son of God. (See Romans 1.4). It declares His victory over sin, death and the devil. We read further; “For the scripture saith, WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH ON HIM SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.” (vs 11). The phrase “ … SHALL NOT BE ASHAMED.” means not to be made ashamed or disappointed. It is critical to believe in Jesus Christ and to stand before Him, one day, with faith in your heart.

 

 

 

III Necessity Of A Messenger

 

 

 

Paul has this to say about the necessity of a messenger:

 

14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

 

15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

 

16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?

 

17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

 

18 But I say, Have they not heard? Yes verily, their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world.

 

Romans 10.14-18

 

 

 

Messengers are an important part of the spreading of the gospel. Messengers have already carried the gospel throughout the Earth and will continue to do so.

 

 

 

IV Natural Israel Vs Gentiles

 

 

 

Lastly, Paul tells us of natural, biological Israel and the Gentiles. He says:

 

 

 

But I say, Did not Israel know? First Moses saith, I will provoke you to jealousy by them that are no people, and by a foolish nation I will anger you.

 

20 But Esaias is very bold, and saith, I was found of them that sought me not; I was made manifest unto them that asked not after me.

 

21 But to Israel he saith, All day long I have stretched forth my hands unto a disobedient and gainsaying people.

 

 

 

Romans 10.19-21

 

 

 

Paul loves his kinsmen and kinswomen. He wants them to be saved. They will not be saved by following their own self-righteousness. A way for them to be saved, and for all men and women to be saved, has been made and that way is of Jesus Christ dying for us and rising again. By repentance, faith and confession a person accepts the righteousness of God.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

The Unpublished Study Notes of Jack Balzer.

 

Earle, Ralph, Th. D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. Romans An Exposition Of Chapter 6. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1977.

 

Lloyd-Jones, D. M. Romans An Exposition Of Chapters 7.1 – 8.4. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1976.

 

 

 

Stamps, Donald C. Editor, et al. The Full Life Study Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.

 

 

 

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible, Vol. VI : Acts to Revelation.

 

Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9-16. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson.

 

Scriptures taken from the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 11

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I God Stretches Out His Hands To Natural Israel As Evidenced By Individuals 10.21-11.6

 

1) Evidenced by Paul’s conversion 11.1

 

2) Evidenced by the 7000 men 11.2-4

 

 

 

II God’s Sovereign Dealings With People 11.11-29

 

There Has Been Both Human Unbelief And Faith In Him.

 

1) God’s sovereignty relating to believing Gentiles

 

A) God revealed salvation to  Gentiles. 11.11-12 (also see Acts 13.46-52)

 

B) God grafted Gentiles into the olive tree. 11.17

 

C) God warns the Gentiles not to be proud. 11.17-22

 

 

 

2) God’s sovereignty relating to Israel

 

A) God cut off some because of unbelief. 11.20

 

B) God reminds Israel that when they believe they will again be grafted in. 11.23-24

 

C) God reminds Israel that their Deliverer will come. 11.25-27

 

D) God reminds Israel that His gifts and calling are irrevocable. 11.29

 

 

 

I God Stretches Out His Hands To Natural Israel As Evidenced By Individuals

 

 

 

Firstly, this is evidenced by the Apostle Paul’s conversion. He says; “I say then, Hath God cast away his people? God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin.” (Romans 11.1). It is also evidenced by the remnant of 7000 men. We read; “But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” (vs 4). The term “answer of God” is all one word in the Greek, “chrematismos.” This originally meant a business transaction or political negotiation; it also was used for a decree. 1 The remnant of 7000 men did not bow to Baal. Baal was God’s main rival in the Old Testament. The worship of him was forbidden.We also read; “Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.” (Romans 11.5).

 

Remnant, here, is “leimma” (or limma) in the Greek. It only occurs in the New Testament. It means “what is left.” 2 Jesus’ little flock is a remnant. Whether you are a part of the remnant or whether you are hardened to God is determined by whether or not you choose to believe.

 

 

 

II God’s Sovereign Dealings With People

 

There Has Been Both Human Unbelief And Faith In Him.

 

 

 

In God’s sovereign dealings with people, there has been a response of both human unbelief and of faith in Him. These verses show God’s sovereignty relating to believing Gentiles:

 

 

 

 11 I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy.

 

12 Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness?

 

 

 

 

 

Romans 11.11-12

 

 

 

(Also see Acts 13.46-52).

 

In verse 13, Paul magnifies his office. We read; “For I speak to you Gentiles, inasmuch as I am the apostle of the Gentiles, I magnify mine office:” Most translate “diaconia” as “ministry” rather than “office.” 3

 

God grafted  Gentiles into the olive tree; “And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;” (vs 17). The olive tree may represent salvation, the church or even Christ. Gentiles are the wild olive tree . Wild, or foreign, might also hint at manner of life. In horticulture, a cultivated branch is normally grafted into a wild tree or vine. Here, Paul turns this around in making an illustration.

 

God warns the Gentiles not to be proud. We read:

 

 

 

17 And if some of the branches be broken off, and thou, being a wild olive tree, wert grafted in among them, and with them partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;

 

18 Boast not against the branches. But if thou boast, thou bearest not the root, but the root thee.

 

19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be grafted in.

 

20 Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:

 

21 For if God spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee.

 

22 Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off.

 

 

 

Romans 11.17-22

 

 

 

Paul is concerned about the Gentile’s attitude towards the natural Jews who had not yet believed in Jesus. In verse 17 we read; “ … partakest of the root and fatness of the olive tree;”. The oldest known Greek manuscript, Papyrus 46, and a few others, omits the words “root and”. 4

 

In Romans, Chapter 11, we learn of God’s sovereignty relating to Israel. God breaks off some of natural Israel because of unbelief. We read;  “Well; because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not highminded, but fear:” (vs 20). However, God reminds us of some encouraging things concerning natural Israel. God reminds us that if natural Israel believes they will again be grafted in. (See vss 23-24). God reminds us of Israel’s Deliverer. (See vss 25-27). God reminds us that His gifts and calling are irrevocable. (See vs 29).

 

 

 

All remnant Jews and new-branch Gentiles have submitted to God in God’s way which is the way of salvation by faith.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. Ralph Earle, Th. D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 207.

 

2. Ibid., 208.

 

3. Ibid., 210.

 

4. Ibid., 212.

 

5. The Unpublished Study Notes of Jake Balzer.

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

The Unpublished Study Notes of Jake Balzer.

 

Earle, Ralph, Th. D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

 

 

Stamps, Donald C. Editor, et al. Full Life Study Bible. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1999.

 

 

 

Henry, Matthew. Matthew Henry’s Commentary of the Whole Bible, Vol. VI : Acts to Revelation.

 

Iowa Falls: World Bible Publishers.

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version.

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 12

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Presenting Our Bodies To God 12.1

 

 

 

1) As living sacrifices

 

2) As holy sacrifices

 

 

 

II Non-conforming To The World 12.2

 

 

 

III Transforming Of Our Minds In Becoming More Christ-like 12.2

 

 

 

1) Continually changing from what affects our total being

 

2) Continually choosing a lifestyle which encourages becoming more like Jesus

 

3) Continually focusing on God’s Word and letting it transform us

 

 

 

IV Developing A Wholesome Attitude Toward Oneself 12.3

 

 

 

1) Not a superior attitude

 

2) Humble attitude

 

 

 

V Developing A Wholesome Attitude Toward Fellow Members 12.4-5

 

 

 

1) Respect the different functions of fellow members

 

2) Respect your interdependence with fellow members

 

3) Respect the gifts of fellow members

 

 

 

VI Developing Your Spiritual Gift In Relation To Fellow Members 12.6-8

 

 

 

VII Learning How To Temper Our Responses To Others 12.9-21

 

 

 

1) Tempering our response to those who persecute us

 

2) Tempering our response to those who rejoice

 

3) Tempering our response to those who weep

 

4) Tempering our response toward those of a lower status

 

5) Tempering our response toward those who do us evil

 

6) Tempering our response to those who provoke feelings of revenge

 

7) Tempering our response towards our enemies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Presenting Our Bodies To God

 

 

 

We are called to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices. We read; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12.1 KJV).

 

Our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. We read;“What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Corinthians 6.19KJV). The old sacrificial system was a type and a shadow prefiguring Christ’s sacrifice. God wants us to live a sacrificial life that is daily offered up to Him.

 

We are called to present our bodies as living and holy sacrifices. I repeat; “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” (Romans 12.1KJV). The word “holy”, means being set apart for a special purpose. 2 A holy sacrifice and a living sacrifice are acceptable sacrifices to God.

 

 

 

II Non-conforming To The World

 

 

 

We are called to be non-conforming to the world. We read; “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12.2 NASB). Conforming means changing to what surrounds or confronts us, like chameleons do. 3 We are not to masquerade as a man or woman of the world. Don’t be squeezed into the world’s mould. 4

 

 

 

III Transforming Of Our Minds Is Becoming More Christ-like

 

 

 

 

 

The term “be transformed” (see vs 2) means to change in outward appearance and is the word we get metamorphosis from. Matthew even uses this word in describing Jesus’ transfiguration. 5 We are called to continual change from what negatively affects our total being. We are called to be continually choosing a lifestyle which encourages becoming more like Jesus. We are called to be continually focussing on God’s Word and letting it transform us. What is the intent? It is to prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

 

 

IV Developing A Wholesome Attitude Toward Oneself

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul also shows us how to develop a wholesome attitude toward ourselves. We read; “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” (Romans 12.3 NASB). A wholesome attitude is not a superior attitude. A wholesome attitude is a humble attitude. To be humble includes thinking soberly and to recognize that God has dealt to each one in the body a measure of faith.

 

 

 

V Developing A Wholesome Attitude Toward Fellow Members

 

 

 

We are called to develop a wholesome attitude toward fellow members. We read; “For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.” (Romans 12.4-5 KJV). What is a wholesome attitude toward other believers? Respect the different functions of fellow members. Respect your interdependence with fellow members. Respect the gifts of fellow members. How do we do this? By living graciously toward others in relationship with them. We can live and work together as one body under Jesus’ rule and the Holy Spirit’s empowering.

 

 

 

We read further; “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.” (Romans 12.9 ASV). “Abhor”, here, is “apostygountes” which means to “hate” or “abhor.” This has very strong meaning – loathing, horror, et cetera. 6 The phrase “cleave to that which is good” means to“cling” or “glue.” It is “kollao” in the Greek. 7

 

 

 

VII Learning How To Temper Our Responses To Others

 

 

 

Paul shows us how to temper our responses to others. We read:

 

 

 

14 Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not.

 

15 Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.

 

16 Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits.

 

17 Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men.

 

18 If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.

 

19 Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.

 

20 Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head.

 

21 Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.

 

 

 

Romans 12.14-21

 

 

 

Here, we read about tempering our response to those who persecute us (see vs 14), tempering our response to those who rejoice, tempering our response to those who weep (see vs 15), tempering our response toward those who are of a lower status (see vs 16). We are to associate with the lowly (also see James 2) and remember their need. We are to temper our response toward those who do us evil (see vs 17). We are to temper our response toward those who provoke feelings of revenge (see vs 19). The Old Testament standard of an “Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, …” (Exodus 21.24KJV) pertains to civil justice, not personal revenge. Lastly, we are to be tempering our response towards our enemies (see vss 20-21).

 

From Romans, Chapter 12 we hear the call to offer our bodies to God as a living sacrifice. This means being consecrated to a holy life and not being conformed to this world. We are called to be transformed in our minds. We are to be humble and live gracious lives towards other believers and even towards the world.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. John MacArthur Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9 – 16. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994), 142. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

2. Ibid., 147.

 

3. Ibid., 149.

4. Ibid., 150.

 

5. Ibid.

6. Ralph Earle, Th. D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 220.

 

7. Ibid., 221.

 

 

Scripture taken from the King JamesVersion, the American Standard Version and the New American Standard Version.

 

“Scripture quotations taken from the New American Standard Bible®,
Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973,
1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.” (www.Lockman.org)

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 13

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

 

 

I What Does It Mean To Be Subject To The Higher Powers? 13.1

 

 

 

II Why Submit To Government? 13.1-5

 

 

 

1) We are to submit to government because God has established it.

 

2) We are to submit to government because government is God’s servant.

 

3) We are to submit to government because our conscience requires it.

 

 

 

III How Do Believers Express Their Submission To Government? 13.6-7

 

 

 

1) By living within the law

 

2) By paying taxes, customs, etc.

 

 

 

IV Loving One Another 13.8-10

 

 

 

V How To Live In Days When Our Time Is Short 13.11-14

 

 

 

1) Holiness vs 13

 

2) Putting on Christ vs 14

 

 

 

 

 

I What Does It Mean To Be Subject To The Higher Powers?

 

 

 

We read:

 

Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.

 

Romans 13.1 KJV

 

 

 

What does it mean to be subject to the higher powers? Most translations translate “exousia” as “authorities.” It is the civil government. 1 The King James Version says that the authorities have been “ordained.” This is “instituted” in the Revised Standard Version. 

 

 

 

II Why Submit To Government?

 

 

 

Submitting is not passive. It is obeying the government. However I am not saying that this is totally unqualified or without exceptions. When the government requires of its citizens violation of God’s laws then obey God instead. When the apostles were ordered not to preach in Jesus’ name, they said; “ … We ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5.29KJV). The question of to what extent a Christian must submit to a despotic or unjust government is not dealt with in this article.

 

Why should we submit to government? We are to submit to government because God has established it. We read:

 

1Let every soul be in subjection to the higher powers: for there is no power but of God; and the powers that be are ordained of God.

 

Therefore he that resisteth the power, withstandeth the ordinance of God: and they that withstand shall receive to themselves judgment.

 

For rulers are not a terror to the good work, but to the evil. And wouldest thou have no fear of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise from the same:

 

Romans 13.1-3ASV

 

 

 

There is no authority except from God. We are to be model citizens. On some level, resisting authority is resisting God (See 1 Peter 2.13-17). This is a general rule (not without exception). We may speak out against injustice and sin but we must strive to do so within the framework of civil law. We are to submit to government because government is God’s servant. We are to submit to government because our conscience requires it. It is needful to live a peaceable life and to keep a good testimony.

 

 

 

III How Do Believers Express Their Submission To Government?

 

How do believers express their submission to the government? Firstly, we do so by living within the law. Also by paying taxes. No one likes taxes but they are a reality of society.

 

 

 

IV Loving One Another

 

 

 

We are to be loving to one another. We read:

 

8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.

 

9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

 

10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

 

 

 

 

 

Romans 13.8-10

 

 

 

V How To Live In Days When Our Time Is Short

 

 

 

How should we live in days when our time is short. We should live in holiness. We read:

 

 

 

12 The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.

 

13 Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

 

Romans 13.12-13 KJV

 

 

 

We are to put on Christ. We read further; “But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” (Romans 13.14KJV).

 

Paul calls us to be model citizens who submit to government, even in lawless times like we live in today. This may be against society’s sentiment but the Christian is foremost concerned with obeying God and building a testimony that will honor Him. A part of that testimony is also to love our neighbour and to live holy lives and to put on Christ. God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

 

1. Ralph Earle, Th.D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3. (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 230.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Edited by French L. Arrington and Roger Stronstad. Full Life Bible Commentary To The

 

New Testament – An International Commentary For Spirit-Filled Christians.

 

Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House, 1990.

 

Jake Balzer’s Unpublished Study Notes

 

Earle, Ralph, Th. D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

MacArthur, John Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9 – 16. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

NKJV Study Bible. Editors Earl D. Radmacher, Ronald B. Allen, et al. Nashville. Thomas Nelson. 2007

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version and the American Standard Version.

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 14

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Why Should All Believers Receive All Other Believers? 14.1-4

 

 

 

1) Because God receives them 14.1-3

 

2) Because the Lord sustains them 14.4

 

3) Because the Lord is sovereign over each believer 14.4

 

 

 

II How Can We Learn To Fellowship With Each Other In Harmony? 14.1-12

 

 

 

1) By learning to respect each other’s conscience 14.1-4

 

 

 

The natural and unspiritual tendencies are

 

A) For the strong in faith to be contemptuous towards those who are weaker

 

B) For the weaker in faith to be judgmental towards the stronger

 

 

 

2) By learning how to accept our own accountability towards God 14.5-12

 

 

 

A) For our own conscience and actions towards those who are weaker 14.1-7

 

B) For our submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ 14.8

 

C) For our own accountability at the judgment seat of Christ 14.12

 

 

 

III What Are Our Responsibilities Towards Other Believers Regarding Christian Freedom? 14.13-22

 

 

 

1) Don’t put a stumbling block in their way 14.13

 

2) Determine to use your freedom within the context of love 14.14-15

 

3) Try to walk so that we are living in peace and mutual edification 14.17, 19

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Why Should All Believers Receive All Other Believers?

 

 

 

Why should all believers receive all other believers? Firstly, believers should receive other believers because God receives them. We read; “Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him. (Romans 14.3).

 

The New Covenant seems to not include dietary restrictions on food. (See 1 Timothy 4.1-3). The Apostle Peter, early in the post-ascension of Christ period, saw a vision of God offering him food which was not kosher under Old Covenant laws. Peter objected, but heard God say, “ … What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10.15). The lesson in this is that God had, or would, cleanse Gentiles who receive Him and Peter should accept them since God had.

 

Secondly, believers should receive other believers because the Lord sustains them. We read;

 

“Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.” (Romans 14.4).

 

Thirdly, believers should receive other believers because the Lord is sovereign over each believer. We read further:

 

5 One man esteemeth one day above another: another esteemeth every day alike. Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind.

 

6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not, and giveth God thanks.

 

7 For none of us liveth to himself, and no man dieth to himself.

 

8 For whether we live, we live unto the Lord; and whether we die, we die unto the Lord: whether we live therefore, or die, we are the Lord’s.

 

9 For to this end Christ both died, and rose, and revived, that he might be Lord both of the dead and living.

 

 

 

Romans 14.5-9

 

 

 

II How Can We Learn To Fellowship With Each Other In Harmony?

 

 

 

How can we learn to fellowship with each other in harmony? Firstly, we can find this harmony by learning to respect each other’s conscience. We read:

 

1  Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.

2 For one believeth that he may eat all things: another, who is weak, eateth herbs.

3 Let not him that eateth despise him that eateth not; and let not him which eateth not judge him that eateth: for God hath received him.

4 Who art thou that judgest another man’s servant? to his own master he standeth or falleth. Yea, he shall be holden up: for God is able to make him stand.

Romans 14.1-4

 

 

 

The natural and unspiritual tendencies are for the strong in faith to be contemptuous towards those who are weaker and for the weaker to judge the stronger, and vice versa. 1 The weak one in this passage is the legalistic one who restricts himself from eating certain foods for religious reasons. The strong one in this passage is the  one who knows his freedom before the Lord. Also, one observes Sabbath ceremonial days and one does not. (Also see Collossians 2.16-17; Galatians 4.9-10). Those who know their freedom are likely to use it but this is not necessarily good in all situations.

 

Secondly, we can learn to fellowship in harmony by learning how to accept our own accountability towards God. It is also a natural tendency for the weaker in faith to be judgmental toward the stronger. However who are we to judge another’s servant? (See vs 14.4).We are asked again; “But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.” (Romans 14.10). The American Standard Version agrees with most translations in ascribing the judgement seat to God. The King James Bible, as well as some others, ascribes the judgement seat to Christ. (Of course, we know that Christ is God). We should accept accountability for our own conscience and accountability for our actions towards those who are weaker.

 

We read further; “But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of:” (Romans 14.15-16).

 

Let us consider the word “Destroy” in verse 15. Some say that this means ruining the walk or testimony of a weaker brother but the word is used frequently in Scripture to mean perishing without salvation. “Apollymi” is the Greek word here. 2We should accept accountability for our submission to the lordship of Jesus Christ. (See vs 8). We should accept responsibility for our own accountability at the judgment seat of Christ. (See vss 9-10).

 

 

 

III What Are Our Responsibilities Towards Other Believers Regarding Christian Freedom?

 

 

 

What are our responsibilities towards other believers regarding Christian freedom? We are not to put a stumbling block in the way of others. We read:

 

13 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.

Romans 14.13

 

We should try to understand the other’s point of view. We should determine to use our freedom within the context of love: We read further:

 

15 But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died.

16 Let not then your good be evil spoken of:

17 For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

18 For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men.

 

Romans 14.15-18

 

We should try to walk so that we are living in peace and mutual edification. We read further:

 

19 Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.

20 For meat destroy not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence.

21 It is good neither to eat flesh, nor to drink wine, nor any thing whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak.

 

Romans 14.19-21

 

We should live to please God and not to parade our freedoms. In God’s kingdom, love and acceptance of each other is crucially important. It keeps us away from judgmentalism which is destructive to others. The Apostle Paul is not saying that all judgment is wrong but he is saying that false judgment, or judgment wrongfully applied, does damage in the body. With this admonition comes also the call to not flaunt freedom and lay stumbling blocks for other believers. Instead, let us walk in love and peace.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

1. John MacArthur, Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9-16 (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994), 278. Copyright held By John MacArthur Jr.

 

2. Ralph Earle, Th. D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 248.

 

3. Jake Balzer’s Unpublished Study Notes

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

Jake Balzer’s Unpublished Study Notes

 

Earle, Ralph, Th. D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

MacArthur, John, Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9-16. Chicago:

 

Moody Publishers, 1994. (Copyright held by John MacArthur Jr.)

 

Stamps, Donald C., M.A., et al. Full Life Study Bible. The New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,

 

1990.

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 15

 

 

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

 

 

I Determine To Express Building Up Your Neighbour 15.1-3

 

 

 

II Determine To Express Unity And, Thereby, Bring Glory To God 15.4-6

 

 

 

III Determine To Accept Others As Jesus Has Accepted Us 15.7-13

 

 

 

1) So that they may glorify God for His mercy

 

2) Be filled with all joy and  peace and abound in hope

 

 

 

IV Purpose For Writing 15.14-21

 

 

 

V Paul’s Plans To Visit Them 15.22-31

 

 

 

1) Invites the Church to assist him as he goes to minister in Spain

 

2) Sharing how believers financially helped Church at Jerusalem

 

3) Invites the Church to pray for him

 

 

 

 

 

I Determine To Express Building Up Your Neighbour

 

 

 

We are called to build up our neighbour. We read:

 

 

 

1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

 

2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification.

 

3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me.

 

Romans 15.1-3

 

 

 

The strong and weak are carry-overs from Chapter 14. In our study of that chapter, the weak were those who did not understand their freedom in Christ to not have to hold to Old Covenant ritual days and eating requirements. The strong were those who understood their freedom in Christ. Here, the Apostle Paul says that the strong ought to bear with the “scruplos” or “infirmities” of the weak. 1 We are not to simply please ourselves but, rather, we must please our neighbour. God does not just give us freedoms so that we can use them for self-pleasure but, rather, for helping others. (See Romans 14.19). Jesus is our example. Jesus did not live to please Himself. (See Philippians 2.5-8; John 4.34).

 

 

 

II Determine To Express Unity And, Thereby, Bring Glory To God

 

 

 

The believer should determine to express unity and, thereby, bring glory to God. Paul says:

 

 

 

4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.

 

5 Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:

 

6 That ye may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Romans 15.4-6

 

 

III Determine To Accept Others As Jesus Has Accepted Us

 

The believer should, to some degree, determine to accept others, as Jesus has accepted us. We read:

 

7 Wherefore receive ye one another, as Christ also received us to the glory of God.

 

8 Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:

 

9 And that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy; as it is written, For this cause I will confess to thee among the Gentiles, and sing unto thy name.

 

10 And again he saith, Rejoice, ye Gentiles, with his people.

 

11 And again, Praise the Lord, all ye Gentiles; and laud him all ye people.

 

12 And again, Esaias saith, There shall be a root of Jesse, and he that shall rise to reign over the Gentiles; in him shall the Gentiles trust.

 

13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

 

 

 

 

 

Romans 15.7-13

 


 

 

 

IV Purpose For Writing

 

 

 

What was Paul’s purpose for writing? He tells us in these words:

 

 

 

14 And I myself also am persuaded of you, my brethren, that ye also are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge, able also to admonish one another.

 

15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,

 

16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.

 

17 I have therefore whereof I may glory through Jesus Christ in those things which pertain to God.

 

18 For I will not dare to speak of any of those things which Christ hath not wrought by me, to make the Gentiles obedient, by word and deed,

 

19 Through mighty signs and wonders, by the power of the Spirit of God; so that from Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum, I have fully preached the gospel of Christ.

 

20 Yea, so have I strived to preach the gospel, not where Christ was named, lest I should build upon another man’s foundation:

 

21 But as it is written, To whom he was not spoken of, they shall see: and they that have not heard shall understand.

 

Romans 15.14-21

 

 

 

Paul is trying to affirm and encourage the Christians so that they can admonish each other. (See vs 14). Paul affirms his ministry to the Gentiles. Paul affirms his faithfulness to speak fully the gospel. Paul divides his ministry into two types. Firstly, he ministers in word and deed. Secondly, he ministers in signs and wonders by the power of the Spirit of God. The phrase, “by the power” is in the Greek “en dynamei” and means “in power.” 3

 

 

 

V Paul’s Plans To Visit Them

 

 

 

Paul plans to visit them. He said to the Roman Church:

 

 

 22For which cause also I have been much hindered from coming to you.

23 But now having no more place in these parts, and having a great desire these many years to come unto you;

24 Whensoever I take my journey into Spain, I will come to you: for I trust to see you in my journey, and to be brought on my way thitherward by you, if first I be somewhat filled with your company.

 

Romans 15.22-24

 

 

 

Paul invites the Church to assist him as he goes to minister in Spain. Paul is sharing how believers financially helped the Church at Jerusalem. The King James Version and the American Standard Version render the word for “material” as “carnal” in verse 27 but material is more correct. Lastly, Paul invites the Church to pray for him and expresses his desire that God would be with them.

 

Paul calls us to love our neighbour, be united with other believers and to glorify God. This requires a fair share of acceptance of others in the body. Believers should admonish one another in a godly way. May the God of peace be with you.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

ENDNOTES :

 

 

1. Ralph Earle, Th. D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 252.

2. John MacArthur, Jr., The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9-16. (Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994), 318. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

3. Ralph Earle, Th. D., Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3 (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974), 255.

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

Jake Balzer’s Unpublished Study Notes

 

Earle, Ralph, Th. D. Word Meanings in The New Testament, Vol. 3. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974.

 

MacArthur, John, Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9-16. Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

 

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROMANS CHAPTER 16

 

 

 

 

 

OUTLINE :

 

 

 

I Affirming And Greeting 16.1-16

 

 

 

II A Word On False Teachers 16.17-19

 

 

 

III Doxology 16.25-27

 

 

 

 

 

I Affirming And Greeting

 

 

 

The Apostle Paul starts this chapter with affirming and greeting the saints. (See 16.1-16). Because we recognize this book as Scripture, it is hard for us to also think of it as a personal letter to friends. This letter is both and, at the close of this great letter, Paul is commending a saint, named Phoebe, and sending greetings to personal friends at Rome. It is curious how Paul knows so many people in the Church of Rome when, to our knowledge, he had never been there. It probably is a testament to how much movement there was of Christians in the empire.

 

 

 

II A Word On False Teachers

 

 

 

Paul gives a word on false teachers. We read:

 

 

 

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

 

18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.

 

19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.

 

20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

 

Romans 16.17-20

 

 

 

This is a strong warning against false teachers. False teachers are not just nice guys in the Church who are a little confused on doctrine. Paul warns us to avoid them. False teachers are dangerous. Avoid them. Avoid them. Avoid them. Reject their teaching. This is not splitting hairs. False teachers serve their own belly. They are self-serving. They engage in self-promotion. A false teacher may come in many disguises, such as a reformer, a scholar, an orator, a writer, a celebrity or a religious leader. However, he is not drawing his or her teaching from God. The right response towards them is avoidance.

 

 

 

III Doxology

 

Paul ends the Book of Romans with this beautiful doxology or benediction. We read:

 

 

 

25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,

 

26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:

 

27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.

 

Romans 16.25-27

 

 

 

It would be an honour to be affirmed by the Apostle Paul and many at Rome no doubt received this affirmation. Some leaders do not deserve affirmation and I am referring to false teachers. They can be found today, in our times, promoting themselves and spreading error and lies. Avoid them.

 

We have worked our way through sixteen chapters of the Book of Romans. Readers and friends, I would like to pray the same prayer for you, that you would be established and that God would be glorified.

 

God bless you.

 

 

 

Shawn Stevens

 

 

 

REFERENCES :

 

 

 

MacArthur, John, Jr. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary : Romans 9-16.

 

Chicago: Moody Publishers, 1994. (Copyright held by John MacArthur, Jr.)

 

The Ryrie Study Bible. New American Standard Translation. Chicago: Moody Press, 1978.

 

Stamps, Donald C., M.A., et al. Full Life Study Bible. The New Testament. Grand Rapids: Zondervan,

 

1990.

 

 

 

Scripture references taken from the King James Version.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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