Faithlife Sermons

The Greatness of the Roman Epistle

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
Sermon Tone Analysis
View more →

             I.      The Greatness of the Roman Epistle

A.    Augustine- he was born 354 A.D. in N. Africa. Monica-mother who was Christian. Father was unsaved. Came from poverty but had good education. They moved to Carthage (N. African capital). He had illegitimate son. He then went to orgies and felt guilty. He went to a friend’s house in Milan, Italy and randomly went to Romans 13:12-14 “(v.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. (v.13) Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness. Not in strife and envying. (v.14) But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof”. HE GOT SAVED! The gloom went away. He became the Thinker-Theologian-Augustine.

B.     Luther- moral and upright as a monk. Luther hated God. He tried to reach God through a super-pious life and he found it was unattainable. Read Romans 1 (the righteousness of God and justification by faith) and got saved!! He believed Romans was “the purest expression of the gospel”; we must get it right because there could be eternal consequences to our preaching/teaching. He believed that people all should memorize it.

C.     Wesley- converted by reading Luther’s “preface”.

D.    Godet’- Swiss commentator.

E.     Coleridge- said that “Romans was most profound piece of writing in existence.

F.      Tyndale-

G.    Calvin-

          II.      Background

A.    Authorship

-role of Tertius (3)

1. Paul gave him some general themes and he composed them later. (unlikely)

2. Paul gave shorthand notes to T. and Paul composed longhand later.

3. Paul dictated letter to T. and T. wrote it out as dictated. *(MOST likely)

      -evidenced “gars/connecting words/ exact transcription.

            B. Date- 55-58A.D.

            C. Open Chronology of Paul’s life (not complete/highlights only)

·         Conversion 34 A.D.

·         Tarsus 37-43 A.D.

·         First Missionary Journey -48-49 A.D. (Asia Minor)

·         Second Missionary Journey- 50-52 A.D. (wrote Romans in Corinth 56-57 A.D.)

·         3rd Missionary Journey 53-57 A.D.

·         Writing of Romans 56-57 A.D.

·         1st Roman Imprison. 60-62 A.D.

·         Martyrdom under Nero 68 A.D.

D. Unity- did author write all of it? * PAUL WROTE ALL OF ROMANS!

E. Destination-                  How the church art Rome got started

            - He was never there before.

            - Another apostle did not found it.

            - Converted Romans or Jews probably founded church

F. Composition of the church

- 49A.D. - the Jews were expelled from Rome.

- This affected all Roman churches makeup.

            *mostly Gentiles and minority of Jews

             references: 1:13, 11:13, 15:15, 16.

            G. Purpose

I. Purpose of Romans

1.      Sub-purposes

-          plans to visit (15:24, 29)

-          requests for prayer

-          edification

II.                Purpose (Four Strands)

-          the righteousness of God (subjective genitive)

#construct of God is dealing righteously. HE IS ALWAYS JUST! (3:5, 3:25, 3:26, 9-11).

-          justification- the major ways that God deals righteously. HIS                          CHARACTER MUST BE APPEASED!

-          Jew/Gentile tension- the Jews returned to Roman churches in 54 A.D.

1.      Jews wondered how God can justify filthy Gentiles.

2.      God’s lack of fairness in dealing with the Jews (9-11) – God seems to be inconsistent with his promises (unconditional promises). Gentiles were blessed by the Jews when they rejected the Gospel. 70 A.D. – Jews were under severe judgment! IS HE GOING TO FULFILL HIS PROMISES?

3.      How are Jews going to live together in unity?

(14-15) We have the same problem today in the church.

-          The Spanish factor- Paul had plans to go back to Spain. Franz Lerhart- commentary p. 14. Why give an evangelistic tract? He was promoting mission to local church for his ministry in Spain.


«  Paul presents a comprehensive statement of the righteousness of God, to show how Jews and Gentiles fit into God’s plan in order to unify the Romans thereby gaining support for his Spanish mission.





I. Introduction: 1:1-17

+Wilhelm Bousset “The monumental introduction to the Romans”


A. Salutation:  1:1-7

-longest and most comprehensive of all of Paul’s writings.

                                                            +Two Themes

+Two Themes: 1) apostolic authority & mission, 2) sketch of the gospel

1. the author:  1:1a (theme #1)

a.       Paul: no Biblical basis for changing his name. Cranfield- says Roman citizen has 3 names.

b.      Slave: “doulos”- slaved/ servant toa greater authority. Ex.- I’m a humble servant of Christ.

c.       Called: (verbal adjective) stresses the principle or nature of the call. Divinely initiated. Not something that I decided. There are NO apostles today (5 criteria). Not even Binny Hinn meets all five.

d.      Separated: Pharisee- “separated one”.

NAME (s)

·         Personal

·         Clan

·         Family (Paulus)

·         *additionally- he would have an informal Jewish name (Saul) **His major ministry was to the Gentiles- he would have used Paul (Gentile name).

·         An auto biographical account of Paul is in Philippians 3 – He was a pre-conversion Pharisee- used 99 times in N.T. and one 1 times in the Epistles. There were approximately 6000 Pharisees (very rigorious in the law). Pharisees had a noble beginning because they were combating worldliness that was creaping into Judaism.

·         Problem; is what Pharisees became. An example is in law stipulation-“The Sabbath- to keep it holy”. They built “fence theology” around the law. “Women can’t look in a mirror on the Sabbath”- rationale: they might see grey hair and pull it out and therefore, and be tempted to work on the Sabbath! There were 365 prohibitions and an additional 248 commandments imposed on people.

Illustration: Paul’s “zeal” to persecute (to chase prey/enemy) the church. He said he was also, “blameless” because he had not committed nor omitted anything either. He was much like Luther- the “blameless monk”.

*** The number 1 and 2 pillars of Christian faith:

§  Paul’s conversion

§  Christ’s resurrection

2. the subject:  1:1b-6 (theme #2)

+the importance of the gospel

            - if we preach any other gospel, “As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed” (Gal. 1:9). Galatians was written A.D. 48-49. Also, “anathema”- be damned.

            a. the gospel of God:  1b (genitive).

It is a noun case in the N.T. It is a defining and limiting case. Ex. “kingdom”- kingdom of God. There are >30 uses of genitive in the N.T. The gospel is from God and about God (BOTH). Genitives are both subjective and objective. Martin Lloyd Jones – we are only philologists. WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS?

                        -irruption into history

                                    Septuagint history-God is doing/initiating something.

God is doing the work. Ex. God SAVES!


                                    Gospel is authoritative (is God). God is coming down to help us.


                                    God does it so therefore, it is the only true gospel.

            b. historical/trustworthy:  1:2

                        calculated the stat. probability of Messiah’s prophecies (>200)

                        if only 16 came to pass = 1 x 10 to the 45th power

                        if only 48 came to pass = 1 x 10 to the 157 power (impossible)!

            c. substance (Jesus Christ):  1:3-4

content and major feature is the Savior- there is NO gospel w/o Jesus. The essential feature of the gospel is Jesus (“…that ye shall die in your sins…” (Jn 8:24)?

+pluralism: many ways to God

+mysticism: desire to approach God directly. Middle Ages- ladder theology. Luther- we you need a mediator- “His nakedness will consume you”.

+the meaning of “Son”:  Jesus’ essence. Diety. He is God. “Son” is in N.T. 50 x. Jesus claimed to be God. If Jesus is not God; he cannot be Savior and vice versa. Example- the Grandmother and baby are drowning (non-swimmers) in pool. They cannot save themselves. Need Savior who can swim and can save them!.

+the Council of Nicea (325 A.D.)

1. Arius—Christ is not fully God- he also put his teachings to music

2. Athanasius—Christ is fully God

3. Eusebius—Christ is like God

1. Heteroousios—different substance

2. Homoousios—same substance

3. Homoiousios—of like substance

THEREFORE, debating one iota, was important to the ancients. Ex. Athanasian Creed and Nicean Creed agree that Christ was fully God.

ALSO, the difference between heresy and orthodoxy can be a FINE LINE. Get the book Christ Among Other Gods by Erwin Lutzer.

Telegraph story (punctuation marks): European message was wired and wife requested permission from husband to purchase $75K necklace. No (,) price too high. He sued.

Romans Ch. 1:3-4 extremely complicated. Ref.- Luther Commentaries- p. 12

The Son is described through two participial clauses with a kata phrase in common

            v. 3                                                                              v. 4

who has come                                     who was appointed

from the seed of David                       Son of God in power

according to the flesh                         according to the spirit of holiness from the resurr…

+the issue: the relationship between

vv. 3 & 4

View 1 (contrast of human/divine)

View 2 (contrast of inward/outward)

View 3 (contrast of born/appoint)


The Son was eternally Son.  He entered human existence by birth which was followed by a further appointment.


-the meaning of the seed of David

-the meaning of “declared” (2 views)

-the meaning of “spirit of holiness” (3 views)

-the meaning of “by”

            d. Paul’s responsibility:  1:5-6  (theme #1)

-“we” is an epistolary plural (a.k.a. editorial “we” (3 reasons)

-“grace and apostleship” is a hendiadys (2 reasons)

-the meaning of “obedience to the faith” (is this a subjective genitive or  an appositional genitive?)

-“for his name” (the motivation of ministry)

3. the readers:  1:7

            a. saints          

            b. called

                        -the general call

                        -the effectual call

            c. beloved

B. Expression of interest:  1:8-15

+two reasons for this section-criticism (unavoidable) just and unjust leadership. Ex. “I’ll see you at the judgment seat”- by Jonathan Edwards as he was leaving his church.

1. three proofs of interest: 1:8-10

            v. 8 “I thank God for your faith”.

            v. 9 “I constantly pray for you without ceasing”.

            v. 10  Praying to God so that he can visit you

2. three reasons to visit: 1:11-15

a. spiritual gift:  1:11-12-the  Holy Spirit gives spiritual gift (1 Cor. 12,14)

-not speaking technically-Paul wants to give it.

                        –to the end ye may be established (encouraged/edified/strengthened).

                        b. harvest:  1:13 (spiritual)                 

c. obligation:  1:14-15 (is this a psychological compulsion?)

- No! God has called him; so he is obliged because of his calling.

+3 concluding observations in 1:8-15

            -the basis of the thanksgiving

            -the content of the thanksgiving (2)

            v. 8 a reputation is important (personal and church)- your faith is spoken of.

            -His Word feeds your life.

-not thankful for your political affiliation.

-your church’s sport league, budget, etc.


C. The proposition:  1:16-17

+ashamed of the gospel (2 Tim. 1)

            -Normal/natural-but not desirable- don’t understand

             -it is Absolute Truth!

            -it requires OBEDIENCE!

            -it is THE FAITH!

            -anti-intellectual aspect of the gospel (Rome , Corinth)

-gospel begins with great (loving) insults (ex. Wrath—>Happy- and ashamed “mask” or game night with Kidsànot the gospel).


+the importance of gar- “for”- explanatory conjunction (v. 16)-he will develop something he just explained. For-“I’m not ashamed of the gospel- here’s why!

-why gospel with so much ZEAL? He’s not ashamed of the gospel because he knows EXACTLY what it is!

+litotes- a positive assertion made y negating an opposite assertion. Ex. Turn ashamed into proud of the gospel.

- 2 Reasons for litotes-

            1. emphasis: I’m not ashamed.

            2. personal reason: he knows that we have ALL felt ashamed before.

            1. the meaning of “gospel”- Good News-it’s the BEST News!

            2. the power of God-

            - not ABOUT God’s power.

            - not about something that He has done.

            -not description of the gospel.

-it is ITSELF power (doudumus)!-intrinsic/ capacity to do!

Illus. Dr. Jones- London->doudumus->prescription->apothecary->dispense->hold             in hand(power)->take->manifest in a cure! END OF LESSON    

            3. leads to (eis) salvation-the power of God that leads to salvation.

            -deliverance from sickness, enemies, sin, etc.

            -divisions of salvation

            - a.penalty of sin ,

            -b.power of sin ,

            -c.presence of sin .

            -which aspect is Paul talking about (Ex. Salvation Army- B.F. Wescott was            approached during event?

            -Which salvation?

            a. Paul is talking about full salvation as in complete-past, present, and future          salvation.

            b.Luther- eyes of Adam, ears of Adam ,etc. greater than any animals including      strength. Now seperated from God! So, recovery of paradise starts-> Jesus came        to save me and restore paradise and reverse every effect of the Fall. (paper)

            4. for all kinds of people-v.16) everyone that believes- the Jew and the Greek. 

                        -wise- the Greeks-parallelism (barbarians/ wise and unwise). During           Paul's day the educated and wise , cultured , who had access to the humanities.        They need it too!

                        -barbarian (onomatopoetic)- ordinary common person- cetain words are      drawn from natural sounds ex.Buzz, oink, barbarians- bar bar bar- did not know            education and culture-no college no grad school or drived old car and not proud of     your home.

                        -Jew- religious person- need Gospel first. Religious privileges but needed   the gospel too!

                        -Greek- the world which is cut off from religious privilege. Gospel can       meetthem too! The gospel is for all people.

            5. righteousness of God-

+views- how is Paul using this phrase?

-an attribute of God (possessive gen.)- God is righteous and just.

-a believer’s status (genitive of source) - righteousness from God status given by God.


-activity of God (subjective genitive)- God is acting and bringing salvation to people. Nigel Taylor.


-arguments for a combination view-best-

1. the arguments for genitive of source- believer'ssource- connection between faith and righteousness ch.4 5:17,

2. righteousness is a gift. v.17- Paul talks of faith- justification by faith.

3.God's saving -righteousness of God revealed. notice construction of v. 17-18 are connected with a "for".

4.Strongest view-God's saving activity. We find both.   

            6. revealed-apokaloupsis-sp -uncover or disclose or to unveil. He does not mean the gospel is new or not known...sin, blood, Messiah.

He is indicating revealed -manifests for us the righteousness of God. Unveiled---it is God's saving activity as an imputed revealed salvation.

**Why there is so much IMPORTANCE of preaching!

            7. faith to faith (the views)- reveal from faith to faith. Ref. to Cranfield commentaries 99-100- 2 possibilities

- the way it is revealed or how it is received.

Most commentators opt for option 1- how it is revealed.

RULE OF THUMB: take simplest view or approach.

**HE IS saying emphatically- "the righteousness of God" is received by FAITH alone.

**WE NEED REFORMATION- NOT REVIVAL. We need sound theologians in the pulpit! They MUST teach the great doctrines.

            8. the Habakkuk quote- as it is written "...the just shall live by his faith" (Hab.2:4).

·         It is not new and has scriptural precedent.

·         He means (God is not judging Israel -Chaldeans will be the instrument) judgment is coming- despite what people think is coming.

·         The principle of FAITH. The principle in Romans is to trust God for salvation.

·         Luther: Righteousness of faith and the just shall live by faith (key impressions).

·          God will give it to me (Hebrew text of Habbakkuk) could have the sense that the "just" by "faith" shall live! IF that is what Habakkuk means, "the just" (by Chaldeans) whether you will live or die has to do with your faith. Whether the Chaldeans kill you or not. You will have full orb salvation and will live forever!! END OF LESSON92105

II. The Sinfulness of all Men to show God’s Righteous Judgment:  1:18—3:20

            1:18- General Heading for this section.

+why Paul emphasizes the Jews- it would have been taken for granted that the Gentiles would be sinful

- He needed to remind people that the Jews need Him too!

+the section is not parenetic

-writing to Roman Christians

-some can get saved too. Jews and Gentiles fit into the Gospel message.

-He was seeking for support for his Spanish Mission.

+the importance of “for”

- "The Wrath of God"- why not start from a more positive point? Paul was God centered and our real needs are more important than our felt needs. "For" (not punctuation when written) - the saving activity in God is accomplished through faith alone v.17!

-True righteousness is accomplished because God is just and the human race is lost (the only way out is to receive the righteousness of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

-Paul is trying to drive us to despair so that we understand the glory of the remedy.- there is no other way out of the predicament.

-Luther: The law that brings conviction to lawbreaker is NOT good news. He despairs. Christ is the deliverer of all these things. God wounds because he wants to heal us perfectly.

A. The unrighteousness of the Gentiles: 1:18-32 

+four reasons this section refers to the Gentiles

1. this section is very similar to Jewish critiques of Gentiles.

2. the blatant idolatry was virtually non-existent among the JEWS BUT NOT UNCOMMON IN THE GRECO-ROMAN WORLD.


4. Verse 32 would have been inconsistent with the Jewish concept of sin.

            -Paul uses very similar concept to what Amos 1 and 2 (countries surrounding         Israel- like a strangle hold--They will pounce like eagle on them.


1. The revelation of God’s wrath: 1:18

1. Divine wrath is a Biblical concept.

Who determines what is right? Is it what the Bible says? God is in a state of process and evolution? In O.T. and N.T., God has matured and emphasizes love instead of wrath? The O.T. has much teaching on mercy. Jesus mentioned Gehenna. Romans talked about wrath ten times Eph. and Col. 2 Thess. talks about John says the wrath of God. Revelation says we will be consumed with God's WRATH in ch. 6-19!

Unless you throw the Bible away, you must agree and take the Bible seriously.

What are you going to do with this doctrine?

2. The words used for God's wrath in O.T. number more than 20 words that talk of God's anger (over 600 wrath passages in the N.T.) 2 passages that have emotional and passionate anger.

-Romans- holy revulsion of sin. "orge" 36x in N.T. and all except five are used towards describing God's character.

-God does not lose his cool, but chooses to express his anger.

3. His wrath is a terrible thing, "The wrath of God from Heaven"- 5 earthquakes in Rev. (ch 6) earlier quakes are small in comparison to last.

People realize that this judgment is from Him (people will run into buildings and caves and trying to hide from Him).

4. Present tense of revealed"- doesn't necessarily mean present ongoing event. Taking it in its pure form of wrath, it is WRATH that is currently taking place .

            -God's wrath in Romans will be taking place in the future and there is a present aspect. Right now right here God's wrath is being demonstrated!

5. Wrath is a part of the character of God. He cannot be God with out being wrathful.       

+five observations on the divine wrath

+concluding thoughts from Jonathan Edwards

+why is God so angry? - who hold the truth in unrighteousness. "Hold"- means to suppress. to hold down to restrain to confine, to keep imprisoned.  "Truth"- is not eh Gospel in this context , yet...he is talking about general truth that everyone knows and are holding it back and failing to worship God and is the worse sin of all.

2. the revelation of the knowledge of God: 1:19-20

+the importance of “because”

            - men hold the truth in unrighteousness. Paul is going to justify his statement.

+a series of affirmations -

  • all have knowledge of God- a sense , a conscience of them - in their midst (in the realm where they live and it is clearly shown).

            a. If God is loving than he has to be wrathful.

            b. If God loves than he must hate some other things (ex. like a parent would hate               anything that would hurt their children).

            c. If wrath is not part of God's character, how can he be loving?

            d. We claim right of justice, so why then would we not expect God to(ex. Prosecution of Osama bin Laden)? Remember, READ JONATHAN EDWARDS!                  -In Romans 2: 8 and 9; Wrath is beyond all perception and conception.

                        -The seriousness of a crime is upon the insult of the victim of the crime.

                        -God's wrath seems unreal to people because God has not poured out                           his wrath on        people. If he did we would die. God is angry with the sin                         and the sinner!  

  • God hates wicked man and vice versa---God can hate and love us at the SAME TIME (we are not capable of this)! Think of the final judgment of the wicked. Sentencing of the final punishment. God is just. NO MERCY!   END 924
  • this knowledge comes from creation- this knowledge comes from creation- general or natural revelation (by Thomas Aquinas). Natural - what may be known about God in Nature. Special revelation- what may be known about God through scripture. Natural revelation is general and from nature and not enough to be saved.
  • the content of the knowledge- the content of the knowledge- v.20 the invisible things of Him. Even his eternal power and Godhead. Eternal (omnipotence) can can do anything that does not violate his character. Godhead- refers to his perfections (attributes- ex. - omniscience).
  • all are without excuse- Paul means that this significance on two levels

      - No one can say that they did not see God (Ex. Russian Cosmonaut- ref. to general revelation only). The suppression of general revelation- damns the individual even though they have not heard the gospel.

3. How men are rejecting the knowledge of God to illustrate their suppression: 1:21-23 How is this rejection suppression of God express itself, because men suppress the truth through their unrighteousness?

            a. they did not give glory to God: 21a (is God petty?)- because- when they knew God in creation, they glorified him not as God. They do not worshipthe true God of Scripture. Glorified is used 5 times in Romans- the reverential and worshipful response to God that they owe Him as creator and sovereign. 21a. Is God petty? Failure to glorify God is the root sin. God's chief passion is his own glory. It is not even am I saved. God will be glorified no matter what our response. Jonathan Edwards- Treatise the End that God Created the World". Isa. 43, Adam and Eve, who I created for my glory. Ezek. 43, Ps 106, Ezek. 20, Ezek. 36, John 1, John 17, Rom. 9, Eph. 1, 1 Cor. 10, 2 Thess. 9? Exalt what is marvelous (not yourself). Ps 19, 104 The heavens are glorifying God.

            b. they did not give thanks to God: 21b - He is the giver of every good and perfect gift.

            c. their thinking became futile: 21c - they became vain in their imaginations. "Vain"- futile, empty, or worthless. Imaginations-thoughts or opinions or even the rreasoning process. When people are left to their own devices their reasoning becomes futile. They cannot understand the ultimate reality. Obstruction of knowlege- The noahetic effect- fallen men can reason and think high thoughts, however,  mankind in his sin cannot understand spiritual truth.

            d. their hearts were darkened: 21d- their foolish hearts were darkened. Mind wills, souls, their suppression.

            e. they became proud: 22 so they became fools. Wise -philosopher, one who thinks they can come up with solutions. Paul says that in reality are fools. “Fear of the Lord...” (Ps). They are fools, so they are not as wise as they think. They have made a moral choice and not an intellectual one.

            f. they became idolatrous: 23 - "changed"- has the force exchanged. Paul pictures fallen man as he should worship and be thankful. He will suppress that and worship other things, even decaying creatures. They prefer dead man to a living God. 

*are those without the gospel lost? (the broader questions)

1. Is Christ the only way to God?

2. What about those who sincerely worshipGod?

3. How about those that have not heard the gospel?

4. How about those who have not heard a missionary?

5. What about my ancestors who dies before you came?  FOR TEST ONE!!

+some options

  • universalism? everybody will eventually be saved. Originally introduced into the church by Origin in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. Condemned as heresy at 5th eceumenical Council of Constantinople. in the 6th Century. Social are saved.
  • annihilationism? If one dies without receiving the gospel, they just past out of consciousness into nothingness and cease to exist.
  • conditional immortality? very similar to annihil.John Stott-  conditional immortality. One's unending existence. Immortality is a gift of salvation. Traditionally immortality is a gift of salvation. Therefore, if you reject salvation/gospel, you will live eternally.
  • wider mercy? - those insist that Christ is the only basis of Salvation but is not necessary to place direct faith in Him through his Cross work. The work of Christ is channeled through to them in their individual religion.
  • later light?
  • foreknowledge?
  • the infant analogy?
  • inherent natural ability?

+6 concluding observations

*The debate over natural revelation vs. natural theology

-the issue stated

-Van Til’s presuppositional position

-the application to evangelism

4. God’s response to the suppression of mankind:  1:24-32

-the meaning and views of “gave them  up” (paredoken)

            -the “no wrath” view

            -the permissive view

            -the privative view

            -the judicial view

a. stage #1: sexual impurity: 24-25

b. stage #2: sexual perversion: 26-27

+why does Paul focus on homosexual relations?

+note the unusual words: thelys, female; arsen, male; rather than gyne, woman; aner, man

+three ways the man’s activity is unnatural in v. 27

+what is the penalty?

c. stage #3: utter depravity: 28-32

            1) abandonment to a depraved mind and all its expressions:  28-31

            2) promotion of wickedness: 32

*Seven concluding observations from Romans 1

B. The unrighteousness of the Jews: 2:1—3:8

+Purpose (3)


1. God’s judgment is just and impartial despite privilege: 2:1-16

+three aspects of justice

  • rectoral
  • distributive
  • redemptive

            a. judgment is based on reality: 1-5

                        +false assumptions

                        #1 not guilty: 1-2

+proof of inexcusability

  • inconsistency & self-deception
  • original sin
  • total depravity
  • glory of God
  • Ten Commandments
  • Sermon on the Mount

                        #2 God won’t judge: 3

                        #3 God is too good: 4-5

+Edwards’ 8-fold chronology of the afterlife and man’s delusion

+3 observations about God’s patience

+Concluding citations from Edwards

            b. judgment is based on works: 6-11

+three themes of the section

+two common views: hypothetical and perseverance

+my view

            -the importance of the chiasm

            -this is a general principle

            -the outcome of the righteous is a

             full eternal life


-the outcome of the wicked is condemnation

            c. judgment based on obedience to revelation: 12-16

+two groups in view in this passage: 12-13

+the moral law: 14-15a

+the conscience: 15b

+the final judgment: 16

2. The Jews’ failure to honor God in light of their privilege and responsibility: 2:17—3:8

            a. the Jews’ possession of the Law is a basis of condemnation: 17-24

                        -5 privileges:  17-18

                        -4 responsibilities:  19-20

                        -3 examples of hypocrisy: 21-22

+two views of “abhorrest idols”

                        -summary:  23-24

            b. the Jews possession of circumcision is a basis of condemnation:  25-29

            c. Jewish objections to show God has not set aside Israel:  3:1-8

+the importance of “Israel” in interpretation

                        -objection #1:  3:1

                        -answer #1:  3:2

+the meaning of the “oracles of God”

+three applications

                        -objection #2:  3:3

                        -answer #3:  3:4

                                    -may it never be

                                    -God does not lie

                                    -Psalm 51

                                    -two applications

                        -objection #3:  3:5

                        -answer #3:  3:6-8

C. The Unrighteousness of the Whole World:  3:9-20

1. the charge stated:  3:9

  • the universality of sin
  • the preposition “under” (hyph)

+three views on the state of man

  • “sin” (hamartian)

+the doctrine of total depravity

-negatives: 1) not utter 2) not stripping man of dignity, 3) not unable to do good deeds


2. the charge proved: 3:10-18



+two emphases

            a. the first strophe on the universal nature of sin: 10-12


                        -the moral nature:  10

                        -the mind:  11a

                        -the will:  11b

+is this issue really important?

+God’s sovereignty in salvation distinguished from God’s sovereignty in everyday life

+a bold statement

+an historical survey

+how the will works

+what about general invitations?

+what about the person who “seeks” God?

                        -the conclusion:  12

                                    -gone out of the way


                                    -none who does good

            b. the second strophe on specific acts of sin:  13-17

            -wicked words:  13-14

            -wicked actions: 15-17

            -the root cause:  18

3. the charge applied:  3:19-20

+three interpretive observations

+the application

III. Paul expounds justification by faith to show how God can be righteous in saving

sinful man and his keeping of sinful man unto full and complete salvation:  3:21—8:39

17 introductory observations

1. the importance of this section

2. the importance of justification

3. the historical development of the doctrine

4. Martin Luther

5. the two central issues of the Reformation

6. four contrasts between Rome and the biblical view

7. contemporary importance

8. further statements of importance

9. the systemic nature of the doctrine

10. the need to eliminate faulty terminology and concepts

11. definition of the doctrine

12. Hodge’s extended definition

13. differences between justification and sanctification

14. Luther’s dunghill illustration

15. George Whitefield’s sermon

16. Luther’s dire prediction

A. Paul explains justification: 3:21-31

A series of interpretive observations (vv. 21-26)

1. a great turning point: 21a

2. a divine righteousness: 21b (22)

3. no human merit: 21c

4. testified in the OT: 21d

5. received through faith alone: 22

+faith defined

+Luther’s comparison of “historical” faith and “real” faith

+“of Jesus Christ” is an objective genitive (4)

+faith is a channel

+faith is not a work

+faith operates alone (necessary vs. sufficient)

+faith’s strength is unimportant

6. all are justified the same way:  23

+“all have sinned”

+“come short”

+“the glory of God” (5 possibilities)

7. the basis in divine grace:  24a

+justifying vs. common

+grace operates alone

+without a cause

+grace is not obligatory

+grace is abounding

+grace not withheld for sin

+grace not proportionate to sin

+grace is prevenient

+grace does not incur debt

8. the means of redemption:  24b

+definition of “redemption”

9. God’s character is vindicated: 25-26

+whom God has “set forth”

+why did God do this? (the importance of perspective)

+the revolt against propitiation

+C.H. Dodd and expiation

+the need for propitiation

+the appeasement of wrath

+“through faith”

+“in his blood”

+what about those before the cross?

a series of inferences (27-31)

1. boasting is excluded:  27-28

2. no distinction between Jew and Gentile:  29-30

3. the Law is established:  31 (3 views)

B. Paul illustrates justification: 4:1-25

+what does this chapter contribute?

+why is Abraham chosen?

1. Paul states the fact that Abraham was justified by faith:  1-3

+the sense of the question in v. 1

+the “Jewish” answer in v. 2

+the “biblical” answer in v. 3

2. Paul explains the nature of Abraham’s justification:  4:4-25

            a. how Abraham was not justified: 4-16

                        -not by works: 4-8

                        -from logic: 4-5

                        -from scripture:  6-8

                        -not by circumcision:  9-12

                        -not by the Law:  13-16

            b. how Abraham was justified: 17-25

                        -the object of faith was God’s word:  17a

                        -his faith operated despite appearances:  17b-19

                        -how did he have this faith? 20-22

                        -a final application:  23-25

C. Paul demonstrates the hope possessed by the one who is justified to show that God deals righteously with people in that he can be trusted:  5:1—8:39

+how chapter 5 fits into the overall structure of Romans

1. the assurance of the hope of glory: 5:1-11

            a. present peace and future hope: 1-2

                        -being justified by faith (2)  1

                        -peace with God (2)  1

                        -access (2)  2

                        -rejoice  2

                        -glory of God  2

                        -7 observations on the future glory

            b. affliction strengthens hope:  3-5

                        1) glory  3


  • Thoughtlessness
  • Martyr’s complex
  • Not produced
  • Not smiling
  • No exceptions


We can glory in tribulations when we have knowledge into God’s purposes


Key word: knowing  3


                        2) tribulation produces patience

                        3) patience produces experience

                        4) experience produces hope

                        5) hope does not disappoint

                                    -the love of God

                                    -shed abroad

                                    -in our hearts

                                    -through the Holy Spirit


            c. expansion of the divine love as the ground of hope:  6-11

                        1) the people God loves

                                    -without strength




                                                -Psalm 2

                                                -the life of Christ

                                                -Revelation 20

                                                -the depths of hell

                        2) the expression of God’s love

+two preliminary points

  • The link between holiness and love
  • The intensity of God’s love

                                    -in due time (2)


                                    -generous (2)

                                    -death not life

+a question: was it necessary that Christ die?  (3 views)

                        3) a concluding deduction: (an a fortiori argument):  10-11

2. the believer’s change in position to show that Christ quashed sin and death which gives another ground for hope:  5:12-21

+statements of importance

+the purpose of the section (dia touto)

            a. the first part of the proposition (anacolouthon/the protasis): 12

                        -one man




                        -all sinned

            b. Parenthesis: an explanation of the proposition: 13-17

                        -the effects of Adam’s act (why people die): 13-14

                        -the effects of Christ’s act (why believers have hope): 15-17

            c. the second part of the proposition: the representative act of one brings consequences on all: 18-19

The views of “all sinned”

  • The myth view
  • The Pelagian view
  • The sin nature view
  • Augustinian/seminal/real
  • The federal view

-the objection of Pascal (the peccatum alienum)

            d. the realms of law and grace: 20-21

+3 importances of this section

                        -the realm of Law  20

+why was the Law given, or, how does the Law cause sin to increase?

  • Increases the knowledge of sin
  • Exacerbates sin
  • Increases the seriousness of sin*

                        -the realm of grace:  21

                                    -an abounding reign

                                    -an exorbitant reign

                                    -a powerful reign

                                    -an invincible reign

                                    -a bountiful reign

Contrasts in Romans 5:12-21

Two men:                    Adam                          Christ

Two acts:         trespass in        righteous act

                        the garden       on the cross

Two results:       sin/death        right./life

Two differences:  sin/death    grace                                                                                   

     abound       superabounds

Related Media
Related Sermons