Thursday, September 16, 2010

Reading Through Romans 6-8

Reading Through Romans 6-8

How is it going? This has been quite a challenge in just reading these chapters. We are not even doing an in-depth study of this book which could really take us twenty years or more. No doubt there have been some rough seas to navigate. Paul writes some tough stuff. It is all glorious and magnificent but it takes time to break down and comprehend.

Can you imagine the church clerk of the Rome Bible Church going down to the Post Office box and finding one day the manuscript entitled The Epistle of Paul to the Romans in the church PO Box? Then think about it, the designated reader opens this letter and reads it to the congregation at one sitting one Sunday. What must the congregation have thought? What did they take in? How did they understand it?

Yesterday we read chapters 6 through 8 and I hope you make comments. Here is a brief running breakdown of what we read.

Today we will read Paul’s Parenthetical Portion in chapters 9-11. There has been a lot ink used on this section.

Chapter 6

In verses 1-14 we find Paul making the case that believers are dead to sin but they are alive to God. Paul makes the case that believers are not to continuing sinning as a regular practice we cause in Christ they have died to the power of sin. Paul ends this section with a clarion call to forbid sin from ruling the life of a believer. The reason for this truth is that the believer is no longer bound by the law but is not bound by grace.

In verses 15-23 – Paul anticipates the flawed reasoning of an imaginary adversary that since we are no longer subject to the law and its penalty we are free to do as we please. Of course that is not the reason that God freed us from the law and its penalty. Paul reasons with his readers that to whomever you submit and obey you are a slave to that person or entity. There are only two choices: sin or God. We were not freed by God from sin to be simply free. We are now to submit to God and His righteous standards and this will lead us to become more holy. Paul also wants his readers to think about what slavery to sin produced, shame and death. Now becoming a slave to righteousness produces the fruit of holiness and eternal life.

Chapter 7

In verses 1-6 Paul illustrates how believers have become free from the law. Paul uses a brilliant illustration of a woman and marriage. As long as a woman’s husband is alive she is bound to that marriage and husband. If her husband dies she is free from that marriage. If her husband is alive and she lives with another man she is to be considered an adulteress. In the case of a believer, it is the believer that died in Christ and therefore is no longer living. Hence the believer is freed from the binding penalty of the law and is free to marry another, which is Christ. Now the believer can live and even produce fruit as a result of the new relationship with Jesus Christ.

In verses 7-25 Paul addresses the question if the law had a claim on us and it produced sin in us was the law bad? Paul tells his reads that the law is good but the problem is sin. The law provokes sin in an individual. The law may say do not covet and our internal desires are enticed to covet. When we give into those internal desires and act upon them, then sin occurs. Of course sin leads to death.

Paul makes it clear that the law is not sinful. Paul makes it clear that the problem is with sin. Sin leads to death. The struggle comes because although believers are already righteous in Jesus Christ we are not yet fully matured or perfected until the day we are received in His presence. There is an ongoing struggle in the life of a believer with sin, whom we have been delivered from both its penalty and power but we have not been delivered from its presence.


Chapter 8

In verses 1-11 Paul talks about our new life in the Holy Spirit. Believers enjoy a new life as a result of the saving work of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Believers are not condemned by God and we have been set free in Christ from sin and death.

In verses 12-17 we find that we are joint heirs with Jesus Christ. We have been the Holy Spirit to lead us in our new life. The Holy Spirit enables us to reflate to our God as our Heavenly father.

In verses 18-30 Paul speaks of our assurance of hope. This section is really the conclusion of the section that Paul began in chapter 5:1. In this marvelous section we have what is been called the “Golden Chain.” Verses 28-30 assure us that regardless of what happens to us or around us that once God has saved us His plans and power keep us until the day we receive glorification in His presence.

In verses 31-39 Paul continues this theme of hope by demonstrating and explaining the eternal love of God for His children.  Regardless of temptation, tribulation, or testing God loves us and will preserve us. There is nothing in all of creation that will separate us from the love of God.

7 comments:

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Gregg, Why do you think so many churches preach the law and so few preach grace?

I've met many professing Christians that revert back to law keeping after they're conversion? Why?

~Ron

Gregg said...

People loose sight of grace for one reason Ron. Secondly, many people don't understand how grace operates in the live of a believer and how grace propels a believer in sanctification towards holiness.

I am actually preaching on this topic this coming Sunday AM. The problem is that we humans even under grace have trouble distinquishing morality and righteousness. To help make me righteous we resort to rules, regulations, dos and don'ts thinkin if we keep these standards we are righteous. People use the law in order to keep the rules and regulations they think they need to keep in order to be righteous but when in reality they are more likely being moral. God is not developing moral people - he is developing holy people through the process called sanctification.

We need to heed Romans 6:19-23 and realize that we are no longer slaves to sin and the law, we are slaves to sanctification and the savior. We are slaves to living according to God's standards of righteousness which leads to holiness. The Holy Spirit is usually left out of the equation.

Seams Inspired said...

I'm very late with my comments today...LittleGirl decided to wake at 5:30 when I usually complete my reading. I have the last chapter to read and will post all my questions later this evening. Happy Thursday! :o)

Seams Inspired said...

Now I think I realize why I've never tried to read the entire book of Romans! I'm having difficulty 'hearing' Paul's voice in the chapters today. He darts from thought to thought with too many words in between. Okay. Enough griping. Here's what stood out to me...

6:9-10 Death no longer has mastery over Him...That's such a triumphant statement, isn't it?
...He lives to God...I find this interesting that Paul uses the preposition 'to' instead of 'for' Do you suppose the translation was muddied? Or is it correctly translated? If so, why does Paul state Christ lives 'to God'? What does that mean to you?

6:14 This is a verse to memorize and repeat often through life.

6:21 Talk about getting punched in the gut by words!

6:23 Just a sidenote...Can you picture a 'Hell, Fire, and Brimstone' kinda preacher shouting this verse at his congregation? I think this is one of the most misused or 'verse-jacked' verses in the Bible. I've heard it used so many times in an argument. What the verse-jacker fails to tell the non-believer is the complete verse. They only use the first half as a scare-tactic. Have you had this experience too?

7:13 What exactly is Paul saying here?

8:5 That is so true!

8:19 I just like this verse. It's a happy thought.

8:28 I take great comfort in this verse.

8:32 This is one of those verses I wish I could 'hear' Paul's voice. Maybe I just can't wrap my head around the humbling words.

8:35-39 He ends this chapter on a very high note, doesn't he? This is the only place in these three chapters I can hear the triumph and happiness in Paul's voice. Can you hear it? Do these verses uplift you?

Looking forward to the chapters ahead! Happy Reading! :o)

THE OLD GEEZER said...

Brother Gregg, thanks for answering my questions. I look forward to tomorrows study.

BTW, my friend Larri is a very good Bible student. :-)

Seams Inspired said...

Aw, thanks, Ron! I am enjoying the process of reading this book all at once. Before now, I'd only gleaned a few verses at a time. While it's difficult, it's worth pursuing. Gregg, I'm thankful you decided to post this challenge. :o) Happy Reading!

Gregg said...

6:9-10 Yes it is!No looking at the Greek it doesn't look muddled, the preposition is tw, which is translated to.

It seems to mean that Christ died to destroy sin He now lives to promote the righteousness of God. It deals with purpose.

6:14 - Yes, great verse to memorize.

6:21 - yes, we loved sin and we were a slave to sin, but what did it get us? Shame and death. If only people would look at sin that way, for example, "Oh you love sex outside the guidelines of scripture? What did it get you? STD's? Divorced? You love getting drunk? What did it get you? DUI?, Lost your job? Lost your family? Sick? Lost your inhibitions?

Yes, when you really think about it, it is a gut puncher to think that for all sin promised it produced the fruit of shame and death.

6:23 - yes, I have seen that many a time in the long gone past.

7:13 - Paul has made the case that the law was not evil or bad, but that the law was good. He also made the case that the law awakened sin or made an awareness of sin and sin killed and sin led to death.

To head off an objection Paul says, did the law, which is a good thing, execute death in me? No, sin produced death. The law didn't kill me - the law said keep me and live, sin and die. So, sin results in death. Having or possessing the law does not result in death, sin results in death.

The law said don't lust, but the lust in me craftily and like a lure led me to lust, and when I lusted I sinned and the law made me aware that my lust was sin and I had sinned. The law said don't lust but I did lust and the law made me aware of how sinful sin was.

Paul doesn't want his readers to think the law is a bad thing, or to reject the law as if the law is the problem. The law is good because it identifies how sinful sin is.

8:32 - do not misunderstand nor misinterpret my next statement, it spoken in love from the heart of a pastor. Ask God to kill the pride that keeps us from admitting that God killed his own son in order to provide me with redemption, and if he killed his own son he will give me whatever I need to live holy and righteously for God's glory.

8:35-39 - yes those words are excillirating! I can hear his triumph and they always uplift me!