Romans Lesson 11

God’s Plan for Israel (Romans 11:25-26)

Paul refers to the future of Israel as a mystery. The entire section is built on the framework of a series of events in salvation history. These events involve God using Jews and gentiles to accomplish his plan of salvation. Paul revisits the point he made in 11:7-10, namely that God has chosen to harden some Israelites to the truth of the Gospel.  But, this hardening is only “partial.” Elect Israelites—what Paul calls a “remnant” will be saved (Rom 11:5).

Does he mean every Jew? There are several viewpoints about the meaning of these verses. All Israel being saved could refer to a mass conversion of ethnic Jews at the end of history. Another view is that “all Israel” is referring to a remnant of ethnic Jews who are saved both in Paul’s day and throughout history. He implies also that Jews in his own day will be grafted in if they believe (Romans 11:23). He might even be implying that both would happen. Whatever God’s plan, He is not done with Israel, and makes it clear that there is an elect within their numbers. Continue reading “Romans Lesson 11”

Romans Lesson 10

Remember that Paul is addressing the Christian church in Rome, which  now has a larger Gentile membership than Jewish.  He deals with some aspects of conflict between the two groups, and addresses some very thorny issues prior to his visit to Rome. He especially wants to show how it embraces Gentiles without breaking continuity with the Old Testament.

Has Israel been abandoned by God?

In our earlier lessons, we see Paul answering the very profound question, “Why are some saved and not others?”. We see that salvation by grace naturally leads to the doctrine of election. Nothing we do can save us.

Let’s move to Romans 11:1-11. Paul’s first explanation picks up the idea of the remnant, which he introduced in Romans 9:27–29. Isaiah has predicted that “the remnant will be saved” (9:27, quoting Isa. 10:22). Continue reading “Romans Lesson 10”

Romans Study Resumes January 18th

Ladies, we will pick up our study next Wednesday the 18th at 10 a m. You can review by reading/skimming through our posts from the fall. Feel free to bring visitors, always. You can easily scroll through all the summaries here at our blog. We plan to finish by the end of February.

Romans Lesson 9

This was our last class for the fall. We will resume in mid January.

 

 

Romans 10:1-13 : There are Only Two Kinds of Religious Systems in the World

Paul uses these contrasts to explain why salvation history has taken such a surprising turn. Jews, who have so many blessings and to whom so many promises have been made, make up a small percentage of the people of God in the gospel era. Gentiles, on the other hand, have responded to the gospel in significant numbers. Continue reading “Romans Lesson 9”

Romans Lesson 8

Note, our last fall class will be next Wednesday November 9th.

 


By the time Paul wrote Romans, the general makeup of the early church was composed of many gentiles and relatively few Jews. Paul and the other early Christians proclaimed that the messianic salvation had come through Jesus of Nazareth. Why, then, was Israel not being redeemed, as the Old Testament has promised? Why was the church a mainly gentile body? Had the church replaced Israel?

Romans 9:1-5

Why Are Some Saved and Not Others?

We see Paul struggled with this issue emotionally: “I have great sorrow…”. As a whole, Israel had rejected the Messiah. Paul felt anguish over the fact that his fellow Jews (Israel) had rejected Christ. Paul’s offer to “cut himself off” resembles the response of Moses when he found the people of Israel fashioning a golden calf and worshiping it. (Exo  32:30-32). Continue reading “Romans Lesson 8”

Romans Lesson 7

Dr. Martin Lloyd Jones (1899-1981) describes chapter 8 this way: “one of the brightest gems of all… that in the whole of Scripture the brightest and most lustrous and flashing stone, or collection of stones, is the Epistle to the Romans, and that of these this is the brightest gem in the cluster.” It took him 77 sermons to preach through this chapter!

In this chapter, the word “Spirit” appears 21 times. The Spirit, however, is not Paul’s focus. He doesn’t tell us a lot about the Spirit, but tells us what it is that the Spirit does. He connects Christians to the life and hope that we have seen since Romans 5. The Spirit makes us aware that we are God’s own children and that as his children we can expect a wonderful inheritance someday.

In Romans 5:12–21, Paul has taught that believers belong to Jesus Christ and therefore are rescued from the condemnation that all people suffer in Adam.

Rom 8:1  There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 

Condemnation is a legal term, meaning one is guilty of a crime. It is the verdict. yet, in 8:1, Paul tells us that “those who are in Christ Jesus” need not fear condemnation. If you will remember last week in chapter 7 the phrase “law of sin” refers to a power or authority exercised by sin. We are set free from that law by “the law of the Spirit who gives life.” Continue reading “Romans Lesson 7”

Romans Lesson 6

“If you are burdened by weariness, even a weariness to the point of despair in trying to work for God’s acceptance of you, in trying to get God to forgive you, and trying earn His favor, in trying to condition His grace, then Paul has some remarkably good news for you in this great passage. On the other hand, if you are not burdened by your sin, and a sense of your inadequacy, and if you think that you commend yourself to God, apart from Jesus Christ, then Paul has some ominous news for you in this passage. ” Ligon Duncan

This passage is easily outlined. Verse 1 is Paul’s statement of a principle. Verses 2 and 3 are Paul’s illustration of that principle. And verses 4 through 6 are his application of that principle .

 

In Romans 7:1-6 Paul explains how it that we are not under law but grace. The principle is that death sets you free from the legal obligations of the law. He says the law is binding on a person as long as he lives. The law cannot be a solution to our sin problem as we have already violated it and it is permanently binding. How then can we restore our relationship with our heavenly Father? Continue reading “Romans Lesson 6”

Romans Lesson 3

In Chapter 2, Paul is addressing the  religious Jew did not believe he could be under God’s judgement as he saw himself moral and religious. In Romans 3:1-8, we find Paul dealing with objections and confusion about Paul’s argument that Jews have no special advantage for salvation. Both Jews and gentiles have access to revelation about God, and both failed to respond appropriately. We will see him address the privileges of Jews, and God’s righteousness in condemning them.

In Romans 3:1-4, God equates scripture with the very words of God. In v 4 he quotes Ps 51:4, David’s confession. Paul uses numerous O T verses to show that both Gentiles and true Israel are part of God’s plan of salvation.

In Romans 3:7-8 he notes that even though sin can lead to God’s glory being seen, it still deserves punishment.

Romans 3:7-12

Paul emphasizes that we are not just sinners but under the power of sin. These verse are drawn from Psalm 14:1-3. Continue reading “Romans Lesson 3”

Romans Lesson 2

The Universal Need for God’s Righteousness(1:18–3:20)

                    1. Gentiles Are Unrighteous (1:18–32)
                    2. Jews Are Unrighteous (2:1–3:8)
                    3. All Humans Are Unrighteous (3:9–20)

People need to understand their sinful dilemma before they can take the gospel seriously. We can see this is Paul’s strategy in Romans.

Rom 1:18

After Paul has made his wonderful announcement of the good news of salvation through God’s righteousness, (Romans 1:15-17), you would think Paul would spend time teaching about the blessings of salvation. But he goes in a different direction: he writes about wrath, sin, idolatry, and judgement.

The wrath of God is not a welcome discussion, even for Christians. We would rather think about God’s love and His grace. In the rest of this section Paul will detail the ways in which God’s wrath is inflicted and, especially, the reason why he inflicts that wrath. At the end of 18, Paul tells us that God’s wrath is visited on those who “suppress the truth”. This implies that people have access to the truth.

Romans 1:19-21 includes a discussion of natural revelation. We see that God has manifested his truth to human beings.

In Romans 1:22-28 Paul describes the effects of man’s resistance to God. The act of God “giving them over” is not a passive “allowing” them to experience the consequences of unbelief, but rather an action taken by God. He responds by condemning people to the consequences of the sins they have chosen.

We need to keep in mind that idolatry is anything we put in the place of God-sex, money, power, hobbies, ministry-is and idol.

Romans 1:29 focuses on the evil that we do to one another. Paul ends this by telling us that we have a recognition of good and evil. He also condemns not only those who sin, but those who approve of it.

In Romans 2, Paul uses a literary style that would have been familiar to his audience. This style, called a diatribe, uses a debate with a fictional opponent to express his case.

In Romans 2:1 he discusses judgement. He is not arguing that judgement of others or sinful behavior is wrong. In Romans 2:2-11 he shows that man will be judged on his works, because his works reveal who he is. Paul argues that your actions are evidence that your faith is genuine. So your works or the lack of them indicates what you believe.

Romans 1:17-29 shows the contrast between Jewish teaching and Jewish behavior. He is teaching them that to belong to God’s people, one must be inwardly changed. Physical circumcision means nothing without circumcision of the heart.

In vv 28-29 Paul expresses a new concept of “Jew”. Paul is using the language of “Jew” here to mean “a member of God’s true people.” And he argues that membership in this people has nothing to do with outward or physical matters such as circumcision. In v 29, the word “letter” represents the old salvation historical era, while “Spirit” stands for the new era of redemption that has come with Christ and His resurrection.

Jews need to understand that their covenant status cannot, by itself, protect them from the judgment of God. And they need ultimately also to understand that only a relationship with Christ through the Spirit of the new age will bring them into the true people of God.1Douglas Moo Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey

 

 

Footnotes
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    Douglas Moo Encountering the Book of Romans: A Theological Survey

Romans Lesson 1

Are you ready to study what many theologians consider to be the greatest letter ever written?

It is important that we understand that this is a letter, a letter written by a particular person to a particular group of people, at a particular time, a particular place. We need to understand it in its context before we can interpret it for its meaning for us. In Acts we see the birth of the church and the spread of the gospel from Jerusalem to Rome. In the Book of Romans we are going to see the doctrine of salvation as it is seen through the bible. Continue reading “Romans Lesson 1”