04/03/2017 08:02

Romans (Part 01) – Introduction to the Letter

Our initial considerations when beginning study of a book are who wrote it and when was it written. For Romans, we conclude that the Apostle Paul wrote it. The letter itself says so, the style of the letter is Paul’s. The focus of the letter aligns with Paul. There is really no good reason not to...


04/24/2017 07:23

Romans (Part 02) – Paul’s Mission

We have discussed who wrote this letter. There is not much debate out there. That Paul wrote it is the general consensus. We have discussed when he wrote it, which was in the late 50s, toward the end of his last (third) missionary journey. And we know why he wrote it rather than wait until he got...


05/08/2017 08:34

Romans (Part 03) – From Faith to Faith

Recapping the theme of Romans found in chapter 1 verses 16 and 17, we find that Paul is not ashamed of the good news which comes about from Jesus’s death because that death (and resurrection)—and therefore, the good news—is the power of God for salvation. And it is good news to everyone who...


05/28/2017 08:00

Romans (Part 04) – Jesus, the Son of God

After explaining that he is the slave possession of Jesus, commissioned with a message to deliver, and informing that it is good news (the gospel), Paul in brief speaks of the subject of this message (which the message itself—the rest of this letter—will describe in detail): Jesus the Son of God,...


06/06/2017 07:28

Romans (Part 05) – Obedience of Faith

Paul continues in his opening by explaining further what his calling—his mission—is. He tells the Romans that he (and the others) have received grace and apostleship to bring about the obedience of faith. Grace is translated from the Greek charis. We often think of the quick and common definition...


06/12/2017 06:03

Romans (Part 06) – Revelation

The point in seeing death around us is not simply for us to quake at the awesome power of God. The wrath and punishment meted out are meant to show his displeasure—his incompatibility with sin. His wrath is juxtaposed with the truth, goodness, and beauty of God that Paul goes on to say are also...


06/26/2017 05:42

Romans (Part 07) – Cravings of the Heart: Sexual Impurity

In studying an epistle such as Romans, in which Paul offers so much intricate explanation of the multi-faceted diamond of the gospel, it is easy in our concentration of one facet to forget the contextual arrangement of the whole. Often interpretations can skew because we see nothing but the...


07/03/2017 09:23

Romans (Part 08) – Cravings of the Heart: Believing the Lie

In verses 24 and 25—the summary of God giving us up—Paul provided two categories of the cravings of our hearts; the first was sexual impurity, and the second was believing the lie. Paul goes into more detail of these two categories in the rest of this chapter. The first of these—sexual impurity—is...


07/10/2017 12:14

Romans (Part 09) – Judging Good and Evil

To ensure we keep a solid hold on the handrails as we move along, I want to review our outline so far. (Don’t worry if you see slight changes of wording now and then. We are refining as we go.) Part 1 covered the introduction to the letter.   Romans Outline   Part 1: Introduction...


07/17/2017 08:07

Romans (Part 10) – Judgment of Works

Paul began chapter 2 saying that anyone who charges others with and condemns them for wrongdoing should realize that they too do wrong and are guilty of condemnation. Paul is presenting (on the basis of chapter 1) the fact of universal guilt (which he will sum up at the end of this entire...


07/24/2017 07:40

Romans (Part 11) – Judgment of Works Continued

Paul’s insistence on being judged for our works may create a troubling splinter stuck in the skin of our overall structure of belief. We have been born in sin, correct? We have inherited this sin from our first parents, Adam and Eve, correct? We are then guilty before God for that very first sin...


08/07/2017 05:56

Romans (Part 12) – The Failure of Israel

That God came in the flesh to do what we could not do—conquer sin by not falling to its oppressive and seductive manipulation—was our rescue. Without guilt Jesus went to the cross, giving his pure life as the death consequence for our guilt. But notice carefully what happened next: Jesus rose from...


08/14/2017 06:13

Romans (Part 13) – The Advantage of Israel

Our modern misunderstanding of how the Jews considered works of the Law has led to much further misunderstanding about Paul’s arguments in Romans. To follow the development of Paul’s argument against the Jews requires us to truly understand the mindset of the Jews. We will, therefore, again walk...


08/21/2017 06:06

Romans (Part 14) – Revelation of God’s Righteousness

We now move to chapter 3 verses 9 through 20—the last subsection of our Part 2 discussion labeled “God’s Righteousness: Judging TGB” (Romans 1:18–3:20). This last subsection is a summation of sorts, concluding (or reiterating) that the Jews were as guilty of sin before God as were the Gentiles....


08/28/2017 05:49

Romans (Part 15) – Works Versus Faith

It is not until verse 24 that we begin to see righteousness in connection to believers. In this verse, we learn that the believing sinners can be justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption of Jesus. We must recall again that to justify means to declare righteous. Therefore, it is based...


09/11/2017 05:17

Romans (Part 16) – Abraham, the Example

By the end of chapter 3, Paul has made his point that boasting in the flesh (being a Jew) has no merit in showing Covenant of Life relationship with God. You are not in right covenant standing with God simply because you are a Jew. Therefore, holding up markers of being a Jew (circumcision and the...


09/18/2017 07:15

Romans (Part 17) – The Promise of Faith

We continue in Part C of Section 2 of our outline. Recall that Section 2 concerns God’s Righteousness. Paul has been emphasizing this idea from the first chapter and will continue with it through chapter 5. We are in the portion of his discussion concerning justification by faith (3:21–5:3). Paul...


09/25/2017 08:06

Romans (Part 18) – Hope That Does Not Disappoint

As Paul is speaking of the results of justification in verses 1 and 2 of chapter 5, it appears he realizes that, while the truth of these glorious concepts may flood his readers’ vision, they will eventually get back to looking about them and seeing the persecution on the church by the Jews and by...


10/02/2017 09:43

Romans (Part 19) – The Gift That Is Greater Than the Trespass

After expressing the strength of God’s gracious gift of reconciliation (which is the new life given through the death payment by Jesus and the faithful embrace for justification) in verses 5 through 11 of chapter 5, Paul goes back all the way to Adam to discuss how much greater is this gift than...


10/09/2017 09:00

Romans (Part 20) – Baptized into Christ

Although we are now moving into a new section, we cannot forget the line of thought that is propelling Paul forward. Let’s briefly summarize. Paul began in 1:16–17 with his theme—the gospel: Jesus is Lord. Jesus became Lord because humanity was dead—separated from God with no hope to overcome the...


10/16/2017 08:07

Romans (Part 21) – Life: Following God’s Essence

Paul continues in the first half of chapter 6 speaking of this change in status that we have undergone by dying with Christ. Not only have we been baptized into his death, but “just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, so we too may walk in a new way of life” (6:4). The...


11/06/2017 09:53

Romans (Part 22) – The Marriage Illustration

We have covered a lot of ground since last we listed our outline, so let’s take a look: Section 1: Introduction (1:1–17) Section 2: God’s Righteousness (1:18–5:21)             Part A: In COE: Judging TGB...


12/11/2017 08:34

Romans (Part 23) – The Law Awakens Sin

Romans 7 is one of those difficult chapters that force you into such a struggle to understand that you easily forget where Paul has been going in his argument up to this point. The marriage illustration of the first six verses seems to put the Law in a bad light. And therefore, verse 7 opens again...


12/18/2017 15:35

Romans (Part 24) – The Mind Agrees with the Law

We can understand God’s interaction with Israel mirroring his interaction with the human race better as we understand what Paul already spoke of in chapter 5 verses 13 and 14. There Paul argued that even though the Law had not yet been given, people from Adam to Moses all still died because of sin....


01/22/2018 09:31

Romans (Part 25) – No Condemnation

To recap the post-marriage illustration of chapter 7, we find Paul ask a question in verse 7: is the Law sinful? He immediately answers, “No!” and follows in the next five verses with an explanation. His explanation is basically that rather than being sinful itself, the Law points out sin. And then...


01/29/2018 08:40

Romans (Part 26) - The Spirit in Us

Paul goes on to explain this salvation in light of his discussion. We need to remember that over the past several chapters, he has not only been discussing the gospel in terms of how Christ provided his death for ours and justification through faith but all this against the insufficiency of the...


02/12/2018 08:31

Romans (Part 27) - Predestined to the Image of His Son

Verses 26 and 27 provide a familiar set of verses which are often, maybe, slightly misunderstood. Verse 26 tells us that the Holy Spirit helps in our weakness. He intercedes with unspoken groanings when we do not know for what or how to pray as we should. Verse 27 says that the heart-searcher (God)...