Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Reading Through Romans 1-3

Yesterday we read the first three chapters of Romans. This section is filled with some tough things. If you are a believer it should cause you to fall on your face and praise God for His great gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. If you are not a believer, one who has forsaken every way including earning your own righteousness and placing faith in Jesus, please, fall on your face immediately and ask God for forgiveness and to grant you repentance unto salvation. What did you get when you read this section? What questions do you have?

Don't forget tomorrow we read Chapters 4 and 5.

Chapter One

In verses 1-7 we see Paul’s greetings to the Roman believers. Paul identifies himself, names the Romans as the addressees and then gives them a greeting. All of this is in keeping with the standard practice of letter writing of Paul’s day.

In verses 8-17 Paul talks about the gospel, or the good news of God. We have that wonderful passage where Paul tells us that the gospel is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes the good news. The gospel is for both Jews and Gentiles.

In verses 18-32 Paul clearly spells out God’s anger at sin. God is also just or right in displaying his anger against sin. Sin is a violation of the character and nature of God. Men have no excuse, God has revealed enough through creation to know that there is a God. Yet, men in their sinfulness deny God, they suppress, or push down the truth about God. Men in their quest to reject God go so far as to create idols to replace God.

Of course resisting and rejecting God results in horrific consequences. God says you don’t want me then I will abandon you to yourselves. God gave man what he wanted, absolute freedom from God. This resulted in the most vile and unnatural behavior, unnatural sexual immorality. Man received the just punishment for rejecting God, they were left to their own devices with no heavenly restraint. Sometimes getting what you want is the first thing that can happen to you.

Chapter Two

In verses 1-16 we see God’s judgment on sin. Paul shows that both the Gentiles and the Jews have sinned against God. The Jews are just as guilty especially when they condemn the Gentiles for their sin. Paul told the Jews that God will not be any more tolerant of your sin than the Gentiles.

As a matter of fact God has been giving the Jews time to repent. They have been just as stubborn. Man wants to be judged according to what he has done, i. e. his works. God says OK, I will judge you according to your works. But your works will not survive and you will be lost. No one can keep the law no one can be obedient enough and earn righteousness.

One day God will judge the secrets of men’s hearts. Everything will be made known. God will judge man the way he wants but it will be disastrous for man.

In verses 17-29 we see Paul address the Jews and their relationship to the law. Paul warns the Jews that they can’t rely on their heritage or the law as the means of salvation. Paul also tells the Jews that they cannot rely on the act of circumcision for their salvation. The act of circumcision is merely a physical sign for an inward transformation. Circumcision will not save them. True Jews are not true Jews merely because they had Jewish parents, possessed the law and were circumcised but because God transformed their heart.

Chapter Three

In verses 1-8 we see that God is faithful to His people. There are advantages for being part of God’s chosen race. God gave His Word through the Jews. Even though some Jews were unfaithful and sinners God is faithful and will keep his promises and covenants.

In verses 9-20 we see Paul wrap up and end his argument that all people, Jews and Gentiles are sinners. Paul makes it clear that every human being is a sinner before God. As a matter of fact Paul makes clear there are no good people and no people seek after God. There are no seeker sensitive people. All people are wicked, evil, worse than snakes and spiders before God. No one derives righteousness from anything that they do.

In verses 21-31 we get out the this mire and muck we have been in. Here we see that Jesus took the penalty that we deserved. He died so that we could live. There is no salvation in keeping the law, earning righteousness, working for heaven. There is only one way to God and that is by faith Jesus Christ. Any other way leads to destruction. Paul makes it clear we are only forgiven and justified in God’s sight when we trust Jesus Christ as the sacrifice that appeased God the Father. Everyone has sinned Paul states emphatically and everyone is lost. However, God sent Jesus His Son as an offering that satisfied Him, enabling God to justify us.

Paul makes it clear in this section that we cannot boast nor be prideful as if we did anything to ensure our salvation. We are not saved by good works. We are saved by faith in Christ.


Seams Inspired said...

This was definitely tough to read! I've read bits and pieces of Romans before, but never chapter by chapter. There's a lot of information to take in all at once! Here's what stood out to me, and the questions that were raised...

Romans 1:6...If you're a non-believer and reading this verse, does this verse mean that once you've read it, you should consider yourself called?

1:7...What is the derivation or translation for the word saints? Was it a Hebrew or Greek translation?

1:12...I just love those words!

1:28...Does this mean that God essentially washed His hands of us and gave up? I don't understand this verse and how it is to be interpreted.

1:32...If you don't speak out in disapproval of worldly behavior, does this mean that, in essence, you are approving of sin and will be judged for keeping quiet?

2:14-15...What do these verses mean? I cannot wrap my head around them.

Chapter 3...When Paul speaks throughout Romans, he refers to 'the law.' What law? Does he mean the 10 Commandments? Jewish laws of old? I think knowing exactly which laws he speaks of would help me better understand the context of the scripture.

3:5...I just like that Paul uses an aside "I am using human argument" to further explain salvation. :o)

3:23...This is one of my favorite verses of all time! Why? These words trump any argument or resistance a non-believer might have. There's no getting around the path to salvation. We're all the same...sinners who fall short of God's glory.

Whew! I have loads of questions and commentary! I look forward to seeing what everyone else gleaned from the first three chapters. Happy Tuesday and Happy Reading! :o)

Larri at Seams Inspired

welcome to my world of poetry said...

To be perfectly honest I found this hard to take in, for a start I had many distractions......like recieving a phone call from my daughter asking could I pick my grandson up from school as she was held up at the dentist, then on my return found the kitchen flooded so all in all quite a day and not much reading accomplished.

Have a lovely day.

Gregg said...

1:6 - No, the called in verse 6 refer to those whom God through the Holy spirit has already named, summoned, or invited to Himself. It is a past tense verb, God has previously called these believers to Himself.

1:7 - the derivation of the word saint is hagios, or holy. These are ones who are separated as persons to God's service. It is a term used for believers. It means that believers share the moral purity of God.

1:28 - those who saw the evidence of God in creation, rejected that evidence, in essence put God on trial and then rejected God as having no value in their life, God abandoned them to themselves. God in essence said, OK, you don't want me, you can have what you want - your own way and ways. Horrible thing to be abandoned by God. God does not abandon Christians but He leaves sinful man to their own devices. The problem is that man loves his sin and darkness so much that man will always reject God apart from a special working of God through the Holy Spirit in a person's life.

1:32 - refers to sinners who revel in their sinning and then encourage others to sin. Paul is showing that some people love their sin so much, even thought they may be aware of the penalty of their sin, sin anyways and encourage other sinners to sin as they are sinning. Drunks like other drunks to be drunk with them. Adulterers like other adulterers around them committing adultery, etc.

2:14-15 - Paul is making a case that all men, both Jews and Gentiles have sinned and are guilty before God of sin therefore deserving of God's wrath or justice. Paul can make an easy case against the Jews - they had the law of God and broke it, therefore they are guilty of sin. Well, the Gentiles did not have God's law, so the question or objection could be made how can God punish them when the Gentiles did not have the law of God? Paul states that the Gentiles are guilty of sin, and can be charged with sin, and punished for their sin because God's law, his standard of right and wrong is placed within every person in the form of a conscience. So listening to one's conscience about right and wrong is evidence that God has placed within each person a means by which they can know that there is a standard of right and wrong. So when Gentiles do right without even knowing the law of God it shows no man can be considered ignorant and excused of not knowing a standard of right and wrong. In other words, no one can say well I didn't know it was sin. Why? Because our conscience accuses us (tells us this is wrong) or excuses us (tells us this is right). God will judge the Gentile who did not have the law because he gave the Gentile a conscience.

Chapter 3 - I think chapter three when law is referred to means the whole law of God which would include the ceremonial law and the religious or 10 commandments. However, Paul does refer to different parts of the law at different places in Romans. To know what portion is being referred to requires careful attention to the context.

Keep our questions coming. This is a great book. It can be studies for years and only the surface is scratched.

Yvonne - sorry you weren't able to read all three chapters. But take your time. It is well worth it.

Lloyd said...

Thank you Gregg for this Bible study on the book of Romans. It is one of my favorites along with Hebrews because it touches on all of God's truths. It seems like every time I read through the book of Romans, God is always letting me know more about who He really is and how I can glorify Him even more. Blessings. Lloyd


Thanks Gregg, This is a great way to read and study God's Word.I'm looking forward to my daily dose of Pastor Gregg's Bible Study.

Keep up the good work for Jesus!


Seams Inspired said...
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Seams Inspired said...
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Seams Inspired said...

So am I the only one with questions or extensive comments?

Gregg said...

That is totally ok. However some come on in the evening and leave comments.

JD Curtis said...

Great study Gregg.

Seams Inspired said...

That was totally said out of curiosity. I didn't mean for it to appear neurotic or whiny. :o) Although, I guess now that I'm commenting again, maybe it does seem a little neurotic. ;o)

I truly am simply curious to how others interpret these chapters. Happy Tuesday! :o)

Seams Inspired said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lisa said...

Romans is a great book! Thanks for breaking it down for us. :)

I strive to read, every morning, Romans 6:1-23 and the last part of chapter 12 that tell us how to behave like Christians. :) I want these words so embedded in my mind and heart that I never be able to get away from them. I read my devotional as well, but right now these two areas are my focus for continuous reading.

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