Romans: Content

  • The Solution for Sin (Rom. 1-4)
  • The Power of the Solution (Rom. 5-8)
  • The Solution and Israel (Rom. 9-11)
  • The Solution in Action (Rom. 12-16)

  • The Solution for Sin (Rom. 1-4) back to top

    Paul wastes no time dancing around the essential issues in his letter to the Romans. After a warm salutation Paul goes for the Jugular vein by explicating the desperate sinful condition of the heart of all men and making it very clear that none, especially the Jews, are without excuse. All men are slaves to sin and are alienated from God. There is no means by which we can, of our own accord, come into relationship with God. The Gospel is the announcement of a divine Savior, that is Christ, who has come into the world to reconcile this tragic situation and freely grant the righteousness of God to all who demonstrate faith in Him. Paul exemplifies Abraham as a model and refers to His faith as instrumental in received righteousness, an inheritance, and posterity from God. Faith has always been the way of God and is to be regarded as the only method by which we are justified to Him.

    The Power of the Solution (Rom. 5-8) back to top

    salvation Paul begins this next section by describing the act of justification as being made at "Peace with God" or reconciled to Him. While the most spectacular work of the gospel is its victory over sin, the implications of that triumph and its unsurpassed power extends far beyond as we come into a relationship with God by faith in Jesus Christ. We come to know Him as Master, the one in whom we can trust to both provide and protect. We learn to see him as our Father as He declares us his children and imparts to us His Holy Spirit, giving us power over the flesh and transforming us into His own reflection. Finally, we are able to lean on Him as our hope for salvation through His promise of Christ to declare us completely righteous by faith, enjoying eternal union with Him.

    The Solution and Israel (Rom. 9-11) back to top

    Many wonder if God has then neglected His promise to the nation of Israel? Of course not. The appropriate question is: Who is Israel? God has transferred His covenant privileges, which came through Abraham and now fulfilled in Christ, from Israel to the Church. Paul takes two misconceptions of God's covenant with Abraham head on in this letter to the Romans. He points out first that God never assured all Israel the benefits of His promise as a sort of birth right by heritage. Secondly, it is Israel that is to blame for not embracing Christ even after God had made it clear to them through prophesy and His written word in the Old Testament. Paul reminds the Gentiles, while exhorting the Jews, that salvation has come to the world through the Jews. Israelites like Paul have continued in the faithful witness of God's history with their nation and are being saved by their faith in Christ, not in the law. God will fulfill His promise and "all Israel will be saved." The church is the new Israel, the people of God and He has provided for them redemption through faith in Christ.

    The Solution in Action (Rom. 12-16) back to top

    In the final major section of Romans, Paul turns toward the practical application of this gospel of grace in the lives of believers. The grace of God not only has the power to achieve salvation, but it stimulates believers toward sacrificial giving to both God and neighbor fulfilling the commands of the law. God has given a wide range of spiritual gifts to the church through His Holy Spirit that both make up the body of Christ and enable believers in various forms of service. Being free form the law does not give Christians a license to disregard the law or the necessity of civil government. We must be obedient to the law using it not to justify our salvation, but to motivate us toward service in Christ. Our service is to be permeated with love and it is through this love that we reflect the light of God to the world. In addition, Paul takes the time to wrap up his message by addressing the division among them regarding the practice of Jewish law, its rituals and warns them against false teachers that initiate the conflict among them. Paul's message is one of unity. It is essential to the gospel that the Jews and Gentiles live in harmony with one another living in mutual tolerance and common respect. This is the way of the gospel and the body of Christ.