Today, in our quiet time,
we’re starting two new books:
In the Old Testament —
In the New Testament —
Here are a few words of introduction before we start reading this letter.
Paul wrote to the Romans in about A.D.56. He was probably in Corinth during his three-month visit there (Acts 20:2, 3) Paul had never been in Rome and he was eager to minister to the Christians there, for mutual strength and blessing. He writes to acquaint them with his message of grace, thus preparing the way for his visit. He stresses that justification is through faith alone. What this involves and what its consequences are in the lives of believers make up the greater part of this letter. Paul magnifies the grace of God in salvation with the corresponding responsibility of the believer who lives under grace, not law. He rises to heights of inspired eloquence in chapter 8, which might be called “The Gospel of the Holy Spirit.” Time and again the Spirit of God has used this letter to call God’s people back to the foundational truths of the Christian faith.
My prayer, as we read Romans, is that our hearts will be called back to truth and faith in God’s amazing grace.
Chapter 1 — Paul opens his letter with a warm salutation, greeting God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints, with words of grace and peace.
Saints in the Greek is hagioi form hagios, meaning “set apart,” “separated unto God,” “holy.” This title is applied in the New Testament to all who have been regenerated by faith in Christ. It points to the position of the believer as holy, and in sanctified possession of the Lord.
He continues, as is his practice in many of his letters, with a prayer for his readers (v 8-15), then announces his theme:
Highlight verses 16 & 17 – For I am not ashamed of the gospel: it is the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith.
The word salvation is derived from the Greek word soteria, meaning “safety” or “soundness,” has three aspects: past, present, and future. That says as a believer you are already redeemed from the guilt and penalty of sin; right now being delivered from it’s power, and will at last be delivered from its presence and be perfectly conformed to Christ’s image.
Chapter 2:1 – 3:8 — Paul speaks to God’s principles of judgement.
The thoughts I want to share as you read these verses:
Learn what we teach! Practice what we preach! Act as though we ARE hagios, set apart – every minute of every day. Be who we were made to be–not judging others, not thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought. (Remember the results of Adonijah’s self-absorbed attitude?) No one’s life is without trials and troubles. Sometimes the most unlovely people are those who talk the loudest about being a “Christian.”
Christian or Minister or servant?
There is no I in servant.
The goal is to bring others into the kingdom, not drive them further away. Salvation and sainthood are not about how you “should” act to get God to work. It is all about how God works regardless (or in spite of) ow we act.
Highlight verse 29 – He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.
The Living Bible puts it this way – No, a real Jew is anyone whose heart is right with God. For God is not looking for those who cut their bodies in actual body circumcision, but he is looking for those with changed hearts and minds. Whoever has that kind of change in his life will get his praise from God, even if not from you.