Romans: A Brief Review:
Chp. 1 . Paul is thankful for “your faith” a living and active faith being reported “all over the world.” So too, may we be thankful for our brothers and sisters persevering and maturing in our shared faith in whatever context God leads them.
v. 9 Paul a servant who is completely, wholeheartedly, preaching the good news and constantly mindful of his Christian readers in prayer. Moreover, he genuinely wants to fellowship with them if it be in accord with God’s will.
v. 11-13 Why do we need each other? Initially Paul writes “that I may impart…” v. 12 “that is, that you and I may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith.”
Blessings do not flow one way. All of us need to be encouraged, even the Apostle Paul.
Paul was supernaturally transformed. He couldn’t help but to share the gospel, in fact he eagerly anticipated the opportunity to preach the gospel and call people to salvation.
ZEAL! ZEAL! ZEAL! Lord give us supernatural excitement! May we cry out for a genuine concern for all people, especially those in our sphere of influence, to know and experience Jesus.
v. 16-17 “I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes.”
v. 18 In this context God’s wrath is His abandonment of the wicked to their sins. Harrison (1976) refers to, “A holy just revulsion against what is contrary to and opposes his holy nature and will.” It is also a present judgment, “…being revealed from heaven…”
Chp. 2 God’s kindness leads to repentance. However, his judgment is right and will prevail against sinful mankind. An overarching sin problem for all humankind is PRIDE: a judgmental pride. The Jews looked down on the Gentiles and passed judgment for sinful behaviors they themselves were doing, yet they condemned themselves.
v. 28 Our heart needs transformation (circumcision)
Chp. 3 No one is righteous: Jew or Gentile Law makes us conscious of sin. We are declared right with God through faith in Christ.
Is my heart’s desire to reflect God’s glory and righteousness through my life in every context?
Am I willing to say “I trust God” and “I know I am right with God by faith in Christ” to anyone willing to listen?
A brother in our Saturday group asked, “isn’t it kinda arrogant to say ‘Iknow I am right with God…” I thought that was an excellent question.
We want to understand our status vs our condition. Our goal is to always pursue humility in how we think, behave, and speak. The truth is that our status through the eyes of God the Father is “righteous” because of Jesus and the shed blood for our sins, past, present, and future.
However, our condition continues to be “sinner” saved and imputed righteousness because of grace through faith…
Justification by faith does not nullify the law but establishes it. That is, the law itself points to the fact that human obedience to the law cannot save and that righteousness can be achieved only through faith in Christ.
What “law” is Paul talking about? The moral law of God. We strive “in Christ” to uphold the moral law.
Chp. 4 Abraham justified by faith: To emphasize that Abraham’s close relationship to God was not based on works, Paul appeals to Scripture. Abraham understood that no amount of obedience or good works justifies, or made him right with our holy God. Therefore, there was no basis back in the day, or for today, where “boasting” about “being or doing good” is an acceptable measuring stick for being right with God.
Since we are deemed right with God by faith: (belief, trust), where does works/obedience fit into our relationship with God?
In both the old and new covenants: obedience does have a significant role through the life of all who believed. First, the supernatural occurrence of God stirring the heart and the hands of the heart engaging (believing, trusting) experiencing faith in our mighty God. Second, a living faith now produces obedience from a genuinely transformed or as Paul says, a circumcised heart.
Was Abraham perfect? What does that say about our God? What does this imply about how God relates to us?
Do we believe God even when our perception, our feelings, even circumstances seem hopeless?
Do we see how God sometimes orchestrates to ensure that human effort or wisdom is not going to make it happen? It is only supernatural intervention that is going to “work things out” and bring glory to our gracious and powerful God!
What is our responsibility? Strive to not waver, but be strengthened “in our faith” and give glory to God!
Are we fully persuaded that God has the power to do things for our good and His glory?
v. 22-24 We too are “credited as righteous” because of faith. We learn and benefit from the example of Abraham as recorded in Scripture (Rom 15:4).
Chp. 5 Peace with God: suffering > perseverance > character > hope
“Therefore, since we have been justified through faith”: (Only because of the grace and mercy of God) In Christ we have “peace with God.” In other words, “In Christ” we are justified and righteous in relationship to our Holy God. Thank you God! Praise our merciful God!
Reconciliation to God through Christ!
What was the purpose of the law? To bring a clear understanding/recognition of our sin (3:20), and to facilitate wrath (4:15). The law exposes our weaknesses and inability to live up to God’s righteous standards.
Paul says, “when we were still powerless…” essentially this means that we [mankind] were “incapable of working out any righteousness for ourselves” (Harrison, 1979).
“The only thing of my own which I can contribute to my redemption is the sin from which I need to be redeemed.”
Do you think it is accurate to say that we, left to our own devices, would reject God? Is it accurate to say that un-reconciled mankind “hates” God?
The depth of God’s love for mankind becomes more evident and profound as we begin to understand “Christ died for the ungodly.”
Death through Adam Life Through Christ
Chp. 6 Dead to Sin, Alive in Christ v. 5-6, v. 11
Because of grace, hence the supernatural power of God, what happens when we “go on sinning?” In other words, what God given emotion do we begin to experience as a transformed person in Christ?
Therefore, those “in Christ” our response, now grounded in the supernatural, to “ongoing sinful behavior” is one that logically makes “to go on sinning” impossible. Unless of course you examine yourself and realize that Christ is not your whole life, hence you are not “in Christ.”
The law exposes our sin to which we were once enslaved. In Christ, under grace we are now slaves to obedience, which leads to righteousness.
We are slaves to righteousness in Christ v. 22
Do you find yourself thanking God for redeeming you? As we reflect on “who we used to be” vs. who we are “in Christ” do we have much to be thankful?
Chp. 7 Struggle with the sinful nature…v. 5-6, 14ff
Chp. 8 Life through the Holy Spirit v. 1-8, 12, v. 18 Hope! v. 26 intimacy with God the Spirit, even today! 8:28, v. 37
Chp. 9 Sovereignty of God: Two parallel truths: God’s Sovereign Election and Man’s free will to choose.
v. 14 In light of “divine election” Paul asks: “Is God unjust?” “Not at all!” Why?
Are we/am I convinced that God is good? All the time? An essential premise. Psalm 5:4; Hab 1:13, James 1:13-14. Moreover, God is Holy x3, yet He calls sinners unto salvation through Christ because He is Merciful.
Chp. 10:1 Paul’s desire
v. 9 personal Application
v. 14 practice …bring good news.
Chp. 11 God’s Plan Some will believe and many will not. v. 22 need to persevere!
Chp. 12 Living Sacrifices v. 1-2
Diversity in Christ to build the body v. 4-8
Grounded in Love: When it comes to interpersonal everyday relationships:
What about those who are less loveable than others? Are we to make distinctions? Do we?
How do we curb making distinctions and love all people genuinely, especially believers?
1. “Honor one another above yourselves.” (cf. Phil 2).
Can we have zeal and spiritual fervor without sincere genuine love?
1. A sincere and genuine love is reflected in giving of ourselves
2. The genuinely transformed are lead by God the Holy Spirit.
v. 18 …how am I doing?
Chp. 13 God is Sovereign over established authorities. We are called to submit. Does this mean obey? We may have to submit, but we do not walk in obedience to evil. Remember, when we disobey, we are likely to suffer consequences until God rights the wrong. Application v. 11-14
Chp. 14 Weak and Strong v. 19 Humility and Indwelling Holy Spirit
Chp. 15 Free in Christ! To do what? To please our neighbors. Overflow! v. 13
v. 17 In Christ!, In Christ!, In Christ! There God is glorified in all we do. Paul’s plan to get to Rome v. 30 need for ongoing prayer…
Chp. 16 v. 17 Be Alert,” watch out….” Divisiveness then and now, even in the church… but, v. 25 God is able to establish you…
“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made known through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believe and obey him—to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.” (16:25-27 NIV 1984).