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.
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.
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.
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.