Quick points about Romans
Quick points about Romans:
We understand from the text that Paul was not in Rome but he had a desire to go and visit. This was his reason for writing in the first place. However, he was unable to visit because he was working with other gentiles and he specifically wanted to address the gentiles and Jews in Rome.
- Paul had heard of the Christian church in Rome from many sources.
- Paul transition in verse 16 address salvation for the Jew and Gentile and that salvation is a work of faith. This begins the body of his letter.
- Paul continues by describing the carnal mind of man and the denial of God (18 – 32). The most important piece is the denial of God based on actions. Paul describes how God allowed man to make a choice and as such he “gave them over” to their desires. Paul repeats this phrase several times to make the point.
- Paul now transitions to his audience, the Christian Jews of Rome. The context is that Christian Jews had issues with Gentiles who sought God. We can assume that Paul’s tone was an answer to severe judgment from Jews to Gentiles. The essence of verses 1 – 11 can be summed up by verse 11; God does not show favoritism.
· In verse 12, Paul begins to explain the “heart” issue of the law and how it supercedes being a chosen people or lineage. Obeying the law is what causes God to declare one righteous. To obey means a commitment has been made and normally a commitment to something comes from the heart.
· Paul provides a living example of this in verses 17 – 29 and uses circumcision as the point, verses 25 – 29.
“So what’s the point of being a Jew?” is Paul’s rhetorical question. In this passage, Paul is rebuilding the mind of the Jew by asking:
o What is the advantage of being a Jew?
o What if some Jews did not have faith? Does it mean God is not faithful?
o Does our unrighteousness benefit God in that he is now seen as a righteous?
o Why am I declared a sinner if via saving the sinner God is glorified? Shouldn’t I just remain a sinner?
· Paul answers these questions knowing that the Jew who is hearing the letter would ask them.
· Paul moves to his conclusion in verse 9 by reiterating that Jew and Gentile are on an equal playing field.
· We must understand also the importance of following the law for the Jew. The law, to the Jew was the only way for atoning for sin. Paul is moving his fellow Jews from following the law to living the law and having a heart for God (see verse 20). To be “conscious of sin” indicates that the heart is sorrowful for the behavior. Being conscious of sin allows the law to travel from the head and down to the heart.
· Paul completes the chapter by relating atonement for sin with Jesus Christ. The law of the day stated that sacrifices needed to be given to God for redemption. Yet these animal sacrifices were never perfect, unblemished animals. Christ was the perfect, unblemished sacrifice for Jew and Gentile. We follow the law in our hearts because we love God. But we are incapable of following the law of God perfectly and our sins still must be addressed. To fix this, God sent his son to live the perfect life for us and to be a sacrifice for our mistakes.