Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Thoughts on Portions of Romans

  • The Good News of Christ is the power of God for salvation for everyone who trusts. In it is revealed God’s righteousness from trust to trust. (Romans 1:16-17)
    • The gospel is the revelation of God's righteousness. God's righteousness is Jesus Christ & His body (2 Corinthians 5:21). We become a part of His body & thus righteous by trusting in Jesus. This means the Gospel contains God's eternal purpose which is to bring people into the union & relationship that the Father, Son, & Holy Spirit share.
    • The righteousness of God is revealed to us who trust in His trustworthiness.
    • His righteousness begins & ends with trust.
  • Because people chose to worship & serve false Gods, because they refused to have God in their knowledge, God respected their free will & let them wallow in their lusts & ungodly mental states. Once they gave up on the idea of acknowledging God & His goodness there was no reason for God to force them into morality so He let them do all the devastating things they wanted to do. (on Romans 1:22-32)
  • Their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. (Romans 1:26-27)
    • Even in Old Testament times God did not wipe out homosexuality. Paul says God let them "receive in themselves the due penalty of their error." They suffered the physical, emotional, & mental consequences of their choices. This further shows the absurdity of those who say God will "judge" a nation because of how they handle homosexuals. We live in an age after the law. "Sin is not charged when there is no law" (Romans 5:13). God will not pour out wrath in this age on anyone. He doesn't count any one's sins against them in this age (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). All wrath is reserved/stored up for the day of wrath & judgment (Romans 2:5) exclusively for those who reject Christ.
    • If you trust in Christ all of your sins are taken away forever (Psalm 103:12) & God will never have any wrath for you. So while a homosexual lifestyle is more destructive than most of us realize, Christ has put away all sin. He is not especially mad at anyone. He does not look at mankind based on sins. To apply your hatred or offense to God misrepresents Him to the uttermost & shows that you are clueless about the reasons why Christ came to die for us.
  • You therefore who teach another, don’t you teach yourself? You who proclaim that a man shouldn’t steal, do you steal? You who say a man shouldn’t commit adultery. Do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who glory in the law, through your disobedience of the law do you dishonor God? (Romans 2:21-23)
    • Paul's point here is not to get the Jews to straighten up & stop acting hypocritical. He is making a point to them that no one can keep the law even if they firmly support & promote the law. "For you who judge practice the same things" (Romans 2:2). The law virtually requires you to judge others. Paul is establishing his point that the law is powerless to bring righteousness because no one can keep it. Those who uphold the law as a means of righteousness "despise the riches of God's goodness."
  • Do we then nullify the Law through faith? May it never be! On the contrary, we establish the Law. (Romans 3:31)
    • Paul & his co-workers in Christ established the true purpose of the law which was to "shut every mouth and make it so the whole world has to answer to God." So to establish the law was not to put themselves under the yoke of bondage of obedience to its commands but to make the need for a savior evident to the Jews.
    • "The law is good, if a man use it lawfully" (1 Timothy 1:8). The only lawful way to use the law is to point people who have a need to the Savior. The Law is God's way of revealing to people their need. It is powerless to make provision for that need. It is the Gospel that provides the power to produce salvation.
      • Once the need of righteousness & salvation has been fulfilled the law is no longer needed thus "the law is not made for a righteous man" (1 Timothy 1:9).
  • Blessed is the man to whom the Lord will by no means charge with sin. (Romans 4:8)
    • The strongest possible language is used here in the Greek, "by no means." Those who trust Christ will never have sins held against them, more so they will never be charged with sin.
    • Notice he didn't just say "did not" or "does not" but "will not," implying that even future-tense sins have been dealt with through the sacrificial offering of Jesus, once for all (Hebrews 10:10,14).
      • All our sins--past, present, and future--were forgiven (removed from us) through the one offering of Jesus.
      • If God can't forgive future-tense sins, then none of us can be saved, because Jesus only died once, nearly 2,000 years ago, before we had committed any sins. All our sins have been forgiven, they have all been taken away from us.
  • While we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. (Romans 5:10)
    • "God gave us the good work of reconciliation. This work is to tell people that 'God was in Christ on the cross reconciling the world to Himself and He is not charging anyone with sin because of it.' He has given us this word of reconciliation. We beg you on behalf of Christ, 'Be reconciled to God.'" (2 Corinthians 5:19-20)
      • We can see that God has reconciled everyone to himself but that reconciliation does not mean everyone is saved. To be "saved by His life" one must "be reconciled to God."
      • Jesus said in John 17:3, "This is eternal life, to intimately know God the Father and Jesus Christ whom He has sent." Salvation is the entrance into an eternal relationship with God.
      • Mutual reconciliation is required for salvation. Both parties must agree to be in relationship. God is already extending relationship to all mankind. He is giving out kindness to all in the hopes that they will respond positively.
  • We died with Christ. Christ, being raised from the dead, dies no more. For the death that He died, he died to sin one time. Remember this, you have likewise died to sin one time. You are permanently freed from sin & you do not need to "die" again. Now we live with Him in spirit & one day face to face. Death has no power over Christ. The life he lives, He lives to God. Remember this, you are alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord. You have an unbreakable bond because you are now one spirit with Him. (Romans 6:8-11, Paraphrase)
  • You Jews were married to the law, obligated to keep its commandments for life. But you have died. You were made dead to the law through the body of Christ so that you would be married to another, to Jesus the Messiah who was raised from the dead. Thus you are not under the burden of the law anymore but instead are joyfully joined to Christ Jesus our loving Lord. (Romans 7:4, Paraphrase)
  • Whatever is not from trust is sin (Romans 14:23). The law is not from trust (Galatians 3:12). Is the law sin? Certainly not! (Romans 7:7)
    • Most take Romans 14:23 to mean, "Whatever is not from trust is counted as a sin" but it actually is saying "whatever is not FROM trust is FROM sin." A person cannot operate by trust & by law at the same time. Galatians 3:12 is saying, "Obedience to the law does not come from trust in Christ because Christ has freed you from the law & He will not put you under it." The law itself is not sin & the law does not come from sin but from God. However obedience to the law is not based on trust thus sin is who convinces a person to keep the law.
    • From sin's point of view "Rules are made to be broken." From God's point of view "Rules were made to show you that you are broken." Trust in Christ fixes you permanently. Sin seeks to make you feel broken by convincing you to put yourself under the law. Under the law sin uses the law to produce evil desires in your flesh.
    • The law came from God. You cannot adhere to the law & trust in Christ because He has ended the law & you have been released from it. If you feel as though you must keep the law it is not Christ giving you that feeling but sin itself seeking to deceive you & produce evil desires in your flesh that will hurt you.
  • Why didn't Israel arrive at righteousness? Because they didn’t seek it by trust, but by works of the law. They stumbled over the stumbling stone. As it is written, “Behold, I lay in Zion a stumbling stone and a rock of offense; and no one who trusts in him will be disappointed.” (Romans 9:32-33)
    • Those who seek to become righteous or even just feel righteous by their own works stumble over Jesus & are offended at Him.

No comments:

Post a Comment