Paul is introduced to us in the beginning of Romans and he was set aside to preach the gospel. It then addresses his desires to go to Rome and preach to the people there but has been prevented early from doing so. He is there to preach the gospel to all who are willing to listen, Jews and Gentiles alike. In the last section of Romans 1, Scripture talks about how the wrath of God is coming upon the people. They know Christ but chose to ignore him. They do foul deeds of sexual immorality and other things an continue to do them openly and approve of others who do the same. The exchanged the truth about God for a lie. Scripture says, those who do those things deserve death.
1:5 “Through him we received grace and apostleship to call all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith for his name’s sake.”
1:18 “The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness.”
Q: In 1:26-27, why did God give them over to their lustful desires and commit acts of homosexuality? What started this?
A: God literally handed over the entire human race for judgment because of their sins. They had gone too far. The restraining and protecting hand of God, that was keeping us in pure relationships, was removed and He allowed the human race to dwell in their sin and become more sexually active and immoral. “By turning to illicit sex, instead of fulfilling our dreams we only expose the emptiness within” (preceptaustin).
The wicked culture then can very much apply to now. Our culture is very much the same and we are acting in evil natures and our desires are opposite of what God wants. God’s wrath will be shown through our wickedness just as it was shown through theirs. We as Christians should want the desire to preach the gospel to those who are lost so that the wrath of God will not affect them. We should want to save just as Paul did.
Scripture says we have no right to judge others because we would be just condemning ourselves. We cannot escape God’s judgment. God is going to reward us with what we have done. He will give eternal life to those who seek his glory. All are under jurisdiction of the law. It is those who follow the law that are righteous. Scripture then talks about how physical circumcision is not required anymore. If a man is not circumcised and still follows that law he will be more righteous than the man who is circumcised and ignores the law. Circumcision is in the heart.
2:7 “To those who by persisting in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, he will give eternal life.”
2:13 “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”
2:29 “No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, not from God.”
Q: In 2:14-16, Why will some people be judged under the law even though they have never heard the law?
A: In Matthew 25:31-46, Christ is talking about how he is going to come down and judge all nations. “All the Nations,” includes everyone on the earth whether they have heard the Gospel or not. Romans 2:10-16 talks about how the Lord has inscribed His law in our hearts and we are responsible. The criteria Jesus uses to judge is how did we respond to His saving grace? (biblechristians).
God is calling us to be responsible for our actions. Many people judge others for their unworthy or unfit actions and we get caught up in it instead of evaluating ourselves first. We as humans are imperfect and we will slip up but it is not our call to judge others while we commit the same acts of sin. We’re, as a whole, judgmental of each other and I think that the next time we make a move to judge someone else we should take a look at ourselves first.
In the beginning of Romans 3 it talks about how our sins only prove God to be more righteous. Paul makes the human argument that why are we still condemned as sinners if our sins bring God more glory? He says that Jews and Gentiles are the same under the power of sin. There is not a righteous person on the earth. No one will be righteous because we have fallen short of the law; the law is there to show us our fallen ways. Scriptures then says that righteousness is given to all who believe in and have faith in Jesus Christ. God is the God of all, Jews and Gentiles.
3:20 “Therefore no one will be declared righteous in God’s sight by the work of the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of our sin.”
3:22-23 “This righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
Q: In 3:1-2, Scripture mentions that the Jews have advantages in every way. What advantages are they?
A: The Jews already have the Sacred Scriptures and their instructions. The know God’s commands to start with and are expected to follow them (biblecommenter).
We can never become righteous through actions and deeds, we can only become righteous through believing in Jesus Christ. Many people now try to do good deeds to counter their bad ones and it doesn’t work that way. We need to realize that we become righteous in God’s eyes only after we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
Scripture says that Abrahams faith was credited to him before he was circumcised. Abraham’s promise was granted to him because of his faithfulness. Scripture says that Abraham is not the only person to be credited righteousness, all of us are meant to be credited who believe in the one who raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
4:3 “What does Scripture say? ‘Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness.'”
4:23-25 “The words ‘it was credited to him’ were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness– for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.
Q: In Romans 4, why did Paul choose to use Abraham as an example of faith is the way to righteousness?
A: Abraham was a Gentile that was the father of the Jews. Abraham was a man of faith and Paul chose him to be a role model. He was not able to please God through his works or deeds, but only through his faith (auburn).
To me this is similar to Romans 3. Deeds are not the way to righteousness but faith alone. Our everyday actions should consist of having faith in the Lord and not trying to do good deeds to please Him. Good deeds aren’t bad but it has to be with right mindset. If we are aiming to please and gain good graces, then maybe we aren’t doing it for the right reasons.
Scripture says that we have peace with God because of faith through Jesus Christ. We also should boast in times of suffering because it shapes our character to what God wants. We can boast in God because we have received reconciliation through Jesus. Sin had entered the World before the law was given. Sin was entered into the world through one person and it was covered by one person, Jesus Christ. Sin reigns in death and grace flows through righteousness through Christ.
5:3-4 “Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.”
5:21 “So that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Q: How was sin brought into the world before the law was presented, like it is stated in 5:13?
A: The time before Moses and the law was called the Patriarchal Period. During this time, it is safe to assume that God taught the people the difference between right and wrong. People did understand morale choices. People did understand the basic principles even though the law was not written yet (lavistachurchofchrist).
Many times we as Christians wonder why we suffer. A lot of the time we think that being Christian makes things easier; instead it does make life harder. God uses the difficult situations to help shape our lives to His liking. Next time I’m going through a hard or difficult situation I will remember that God could be using this to shape me and add more character to me. Many people are brought to be saved with that tactic that life will be easier with Jesus in it which, in turn, it is the exact opposite. Hardships come with Christianity but we are not alone. Christ will always be there for us to work through whatever we are dealing with. We have trials and hardships but we are not alone!
Paul brings up the point of should we keep sinning to increase God’s grace? The answer is no of course. Scripture says that we have died to sin and how can we live in it any longer? Our old self was crucified with Christ so our body that is delved in sin can be done away with. Since we died with Christ, we also live with Him. We should not let sin reign in our bodies. We need to surrender all ourselves to Christ. Sin can no longer be our master because we are under God’s grace and not the law. We are slaves to righteousness. We were slaves to sin and the only thing we reaped was death. We make ourselves slaves to Christ and our reward is eternal life.
6:11 “In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
6:14 “For sin shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace.”
6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Q: As Paul talks about in 6:21, for those who do not make Christ there master and let sin rule their life, do they die forever?
A: Hell is a very real place and the bible makes many references to it. It is where to wicked go and perish for eternity. One of the most popular verses in the Bible support this in John 3:16. The world will be sinner free once Christ returns (miqteens).
Many “Christians” live out a life that is not very fruitful to God. They think that since they are already saved that they don’t have to do anything else. I true Christian will want to live a life that is honoring God. We should become slaves to Christ like Romans 6 says. We as a culture need to get engaged and realize that being lazy and sitting on our butts is just not going to cut it. We must live a life of righteousness and be fruitful in our production. We need to be more aware of how we are living our lives and how it is standing up to biblical standard.
Scripture says that the law only applies to those who are still living. Paul uses the example of a wife being bound to her husband until death, then she is released from him. We died to the law through the body of Christ. We have been released from our sin so we can bear fruit for the Lord. The law isn’t evil, it just sets up the guideline so we know our sins. The very commandments that were meant to bring life brought death instead because of our imperfection. The sin dwelling within us causes to do what we do not want to do. As Christians our inner selves should find delight is God’s law but there is also our sinful law waging war against it. We, in our bodies, are a slave to God’s law, but in our sinful nature we are also slaves to law of sin.
7:4 “So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit for God.”
7:12 “So then, the law is holy, and the commandment is holy, righteous and good.”
7:25 “Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Q: As Paul says in 7:18, are we as humans inherently evil?
A: As a fallen race we are helpless to do anything about it ourselves. We are stained by sin in every aspect of our lives. we need God’s redeeming grace in our lives if we want to amount to anything. Paul is referring to his person in the flesh in Romans 7:18. We are inherently evil in the flesh because of our sinful nature but we are redeemed through Christ’s grace and mercy (family.custhelp).
In our culture we think there is nothing we can do about our sinful nature and we just sin to sin because there is “nothing we can do about it.” This is completely false. We need to wake up and see that God has provided a way out. We can help our sinful nature; we help it by letting God help it. His grace can never run out. We need to start owning up to our actions and take action to change our sinful actions. We are helpless and hopeless without God’s hand but we need to realize our weakness and accept Christ’s love.
Paul writes about how we are set free from the law of sin and death through Jesus Christ. We live according to the Spirit not the flesh. Those who live in the flesh have sinful desires but those who live in the Spirit desire what God wants. If one lives in the flesh it is impossible to please God. Christians have the Spirit within them and life is given to them through righteousness even though are bodies are still subject to death because of sin. Scripture says we are co-heirs with Christ. God always has the best intentions in mind for his followers. If God is for us, who can be against us? Paul says that no force on heaven or earth could separate us from the love of God.
8:2 “because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who give life has set you free from the law of sin and death.”
8:5 “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”
8:14 “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God.”
8:38 ” For I am convinced that neither death no life, neither angels or demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Q: So in 8:11 when Paul talks about our bodies being raised, is he talking about our actual physical bodies being raised to heaven with our souls?
A: Yes, are physical bodies will be raised to heaven. Acts talks about how to disciples ate with Christ after his resurrection so we know that Christ was risen physically. Scripture says that we will follow Christ’s resurrection pattern. Romans 8:21 talks about our bodies being redeemed. All these things give ample evidence that our resurrection will also be physical (desiringgod).
Are culture is very deeds based. We believe that to get God’s grace we must earn it. In reality it is already given to us but the church has been so distorted. I’m not saying that everyone believes this but the majority do. We also believe that if we commit acts of sin or crime that God’s love cannot reach us. We have to learn that God always loves us and we cannot be separated from it. It is by faith alone that we attain the way to eternity with Christ. Our culture needs to shift its view from believing to attain God’s love, we need to work, to believing that we already have God’s love.
Scripture talks about how it isn’t the physical descendants of Abraham who are God’s children but the children of the promise. God’s justness doesn’t depend upon our human desires but God’s mercy. Paul says we are humans and we have no room to talk back to God. God has a right to use some people for special uses and some for common. Paul then quotes Hosea when God talks about how he will call his people his people who are not his people. He is not limiting his people to the Jews. The Gentiles have obtained righteousness even though they did not pursue it. If you pursue the law to obtain righteousness then you will not obtain it because righteousness is unobtainable by works.
9:8 “In other words, it is not the children by physical descent who are God’s children, not it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham’s offspring.”
9:30 “What then shall we say? That the Gentiles, who did not pursue righteousness, have obtained it, a righteousness that is by faith.”
9:33 “As it is written: ‘See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who believes in him will never be put to shame.”
Q: In 9:13, I read about how God loved Jacob and hated Esau, is it possible for him to hate Esau?
A: No, Paul was referring the Jacob as the nation of Israel and Esau as the nation of Edom. He wasn’t referring got individual salvation. Hate is also a Hebrew idiom which means “to love less” (toughquestionsanswered).
Romans 9 makes it clear that we are all God’s chosen people. In our culture we always see ourselves as unfit for God’s love and mercy, (which we are). We see it in a way that makes his love and mercy unobtainable for us to reach or receive. We have to really engage ourselves in the word and realize that God’s love is available for everyone! He can make the Vilest sinner clean. If we realize that Christ is our Lord and Savior and let him work in our lives, sin can no longer keep us separated from him, not matter how much our culture says otherwise.
Scripture talks about how Paul wants Israel to be saved. Christ is the way to be saved so that the law doesn’t condemn us. If we claim that Jesus is Lord and believe it with your heard, we will be saved. It is by our hearts that we will be saved and justified. Paul says that there is no difference between Jew or Gentile because God is Lord over all. Paul then goes about to ask the questions about how can people be saved if they never heard the Gospel or how can anyone preach if they aren’t sent? Paul said the Lord has always held out his hand to the disobedient.
10:9 “If you declare with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
10:13 “for, ‘Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.'”
Q: What does it mean, as in 10:13, to call on the name of the Lord?
A: The Lord is Lord of all, All things belong to him and all this come to him. We call upon the name of the Lord because He is our salvation (Bray).
I think this passage is simply stated. All we need to do is call on the name of the Lord and proclaim that he is Lord and we will be saved. Our culture now-a-days makes it seem so much more complicated and we need to knock that off. Romans 10 states it very simply because it is simple! By faith, not by deeds like so many people in our culture try to impose or imply.
Paul asks if God abandoned his people and answers his own question by saying that God hasn’t. God’s grace is reserved for the few who are left who worship him. God allowed the people who didn’t him hearts to be hardened. Paul mentions how that because of Israel’s falling that salvation has been brought to the Gentiles and how much more would be offered to all if Israel was fulfilling what God wanted them to do. Paul uses the analogy of a tree and branches. We should remember our place and not feel superior to others because the root of the tree supports us, as we are just branches. The branches that fell of the tree can be put back on again by God’s kindness. God always shows us mercy because of prior peoples disobedience.
11:18 “do not consider yourself to be superior to those other branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.”
11:23 “And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again.”
Q: As it talks about in 11:21-22, can we lose our faith?
A: Salvation comes from God’s grace, He does not abandon us. It does not directly say that we cannot lose our faith but if we are able to, that is contradictory to what Paul is saying in Romans (Bray).
Our culture is very fallen. It can be viewed the same as Israel at its time. We are very twisted and as a whole reject God and everything that goes with it. Because of God’s grace he doesn’t destroy the world though. There are a few of us true believing Christians left and that is God needs just as Paul talks about in Romans 11. It is our job as the few to try and sway the many with God’s help. We are to make other disciples and through God’s mercy and kindness aid them in their way to be grafted back into the tree.
Paul wants us to offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to Christ. We should not conform to this world but resist. We should not think of ourselves as higher than what we really are. We are all one body and each of us act as different parts. We need to act upon our gifts given to us by God. We must be sincere in love. We must be faithful in prayer and serve the Lord. Be kind to those who persecute us. We should not be afraid to affiliate ourselves with people in low places. Scripture makes it clear not to repay evil with evil, we should live in peace. The Lord will avenge for the wrong doings. Repay evil with good.
12:1 “Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God–this is your true and proper worship.”
12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
12:21 “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Q: Our bodies are living sacrifice as stated in 12:1. How?
A: “The divine Word wants you to offer your flesh to God in purity, with the understanding of your reason.” We are a living sacrifice because our souls are eternal and our bodies are the dwelling place for the Holy Spirit (Bray).
I read this passage in Romans 12 and it just shocked me. Our culture is almost the exact opposite. Romans 12 needs to be taught in our little ones to be instilled in them as traits and qualities they possess! Our culture would be ten times better if we didn’t repay evil with evil or if we didn’t take revenge. It is important to remember that each one of us plays a part in the body of the church and so many of us want to be noticed. We have to realize that we each have our place were the Lord wants us to be and I think we all as a culture (who are Christians) forget this.
Paul says that we all must abide by our governing authorities. The leaders put in place were instilled by God. We should fear when we do wrong because the authorities don’t bear swords for no reason. Paul also says that we should pay or taxes because the authorities are God’s servants and they give their full time to governing. We should continue to love one another because by doing so we fulfill the law. Love does no harm to your neighbor. Paul says that the time is near that our salvation is coming. We should follow the path of Christ and not satisfy our human sin nature.
13:4 “For the one in authority is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for rulers do not bear the sword for no reason.”
13:8 “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.”
13:14 “Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and so not think about how to gratify the desire of the flesh.”
Q: Should we submit to evil rulers and dictators like in 13:4?
A: “…it is not right for us to be subject to an man who seeks to overturn in us the very thing which God has been pleased to grant us so that we might obtain eternal life.” We always choose God over any secular rules or Faith. They should not contradict! (Bray)
I think we can apply this passage very much to our culture. Many people are in debt and are forgetting to love one another. I think Paul was making a great statement about being is financial debt because the less debt we have the closer we are able to be to Christ. Debt can only hinder us. Another things that severely lacks in this culture is love. We all say that we love one another but we lack it in our actions. Throughout all the ages, civilization have been wiped of the face of the earth because they lacked love for each other. I fear that our culture is reaching that stage. We need to refocus and love one another and fulfill God’s law.
Paul advises us to accept those with weak faith. God has accepted them just as they are. It is not our place to judge someone else’s servant. We are to regard what others hold sacred. If we live, we live for the Lord. We always belong to the Lord. Christ died for us so he could be Lord over all the dead and the living. We should not put any stumbling blocks if from of our brothers and sisters. Paul says we should be wary of what we do around other Christians. We should not make others fall. If a man who is against something and does it, he has sinned because it wasn’t from faith and anything without faith is sin.
14:8 “If we live. we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.”
14:21 “It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.”
14:23 “But whoever has doubt’s is condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.”
Q: Can we ever criticize as stated in 14:4?
A: It is not the question of criticizing; it is the question of fighting over what is nonessential. “…They must realize that God accepts both sides.” It is not wrong to criticize in a positive manner if it is on an essential issue (Osborne).
Wow! This applies so much to our culture! This is a powerful chapter. Many Christians judge and criticize in a condemning matter. We need to remember our places. We pick the smallest of things to be bitter at in other Christians and that can separate us. We also in the face of other Christians do thing that other Christians deem wrong. This causes other to stumble and this is very wrong! We need to apply Romans 14 directly to how we view others.
Paul advises us who are strong to bear with the failings of the weak. We are to build each other up. We are to accept one another as Christ has done to us. Paul is convinced that the Gentiles are filled with goodness and he want to see them become an offering worthy for Christ. Paul refuses to say anything else other that what Christ has led him to say. He has proclaimed the Gospel from Jerusalem to Illyricum. He was his desire to preach the Gospel where it was not known. He has not made it to Rome because he was to preach at places where the Gospel was not proclaimed. He wished to pass through Rome on his way to Spain. Paul is working his way back to Jerusalem to give a contribution to the poor on behalf of the Macedonian and Achaean people. He says they owe it to them because they have shared in the Jew’s spiritual blessings so they must share their material blessings. Paul asks for the people of Rome to pray for him.
15:7 “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God.
15:13 “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Q: Must Christians agree on everything?
A: No not on everything. “Paul wants the Roman Christians to focus on these needs rather than on their differences. Both sides must realize that they cannot endure or find comfort in their present problems without each other.” We do not have to agree on the small things but we do have to agree on the large and the basic fundamentals of being a disciple of Christ. (Osborne).
This chapter really just glorifies chapter 14 in Romans. Like I said previously, this current culture we live in is very pattern and belief oriented. We hold to certain ideologies and beliefs and we condemn others who do not hold to the same beliefs as our own. We need to get over this hump and do as Paul says; we need to build each other up and tolerate other beliefs. The main goal is to honor and worship the Lord and many times we all get caught up in the small things and that does not bring glory to the Lord.
Paul starts out with his greetings. He commends a woman who has served the church. Paul then sends out a list of all the people to greet who have walked with him and the Lord. He commends all of them, man and women, for their hard work for Christ. Paul warns to stay away from people who cause division and go against all the teachings they have learned. Paul says they aren’t serving the Lord, but their own appetites. The Lord will soon crush Satan beneath our feet.
16:17 “I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause division and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.”
16:20 “The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you.”
Q: As stated throughout that last chapter of Romans, did the early church have women leaders?
A: Yes, women did hold certain offices in the early church. “Then she is a ‘deacon’ of the church in Cenchrea, which could refer to a general service to the church.” Women did hold position and Paul listed them by name (Osborne).
Paul greets everyone in this last chapter of Romans. At the end of the letter Paul warns that the people following Christ to stay away from those who cause division. In our culture it seems that a lot of people cause division now. We really need to apply this last part of what Paul says in Romans. We must keep away from those who cause division because they don’t follow the Lord. It seems that now-a-days more people cause division than bring the church together.
Osborne, Grant R. Romans. Downers Grove, Illinois. InterVarsity Press. 2004. Print.
Bray, Gerald L. Romans (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture). Downers Grove, Illinois.
InterVarsity Press. 1998. Print.