The Gospel in The Book of Romans
|The Author and Finisher of Our Faith|
Be sure to continue making lists as you read.
Lesson Two ..... Our Need for Salvation
This lesson will explore Romans Chapter One .... Romans was written by Paul about AD 57
First, knowing a little about what was going on at this time in history in Rome, will help us to understand some of the things Paul wrote to the church in Rome. Greek philosophy and thinking prevailed during that era, and as a result of the cultural mind set, where philosophical debate and individual opinion or theory rated high in the process of interpretation, there were two main factions attempting to pervert the simple truth of the Gospel.
1. the antinomians (against the law) They taught that if saved by grace, you could live any way that you pleased, because the more you sinned, the more God's grace was demonstrated
2. The judaisers (saved by grace, but KEPT by law) So they added circumcision and other outward works of the law to faith in Christ.
Even today we still have to deal with these heresies. I make mention of this because as we study in the next few lessons we'll see that Paul's writings expel these false doctrines and there will be no confusion as to the truths of the Christian doctrines concerning the need for salvation, the way of salvation, the results of salvation, the life of salvation, and the fact that the righteous shall live by faith.
To get started in Chapter 1, let's get used to making lists. Using some KEY words, which are words (or phrases) that are repeated often or have obvious importance in the passages. You'll learn that this is one part of the method of inductive study that is simple and a good way to become accustomed to searching out the scriptures ourselves. It's easy even for beginning students of the Word. Don't become discouraged if you think you aren't seeing things to list at first. Just keep on with what you do find, and you'll soon find you're developing an instinct of finding those little things that you may have overlooked before. It just takes a little perseverance ... so hang in there!
Below are a few lists to get you started. I'll find everything I can that speaks about, describes, or explains something about each of the Key words I've chosen. Try to add a few key words (or phrases) of your own, such as .. Jesus - the Gospel - the Saints - Paul - just to name a few. And then start your own list.
1. God set Paul apart to preach the Gospel of God .... v 1
2. the Gospel is of God .... v 1
3. God promised the Gospel beforehand through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures ... v 2
4. God loved the saints in Rome .... v 7
5. God gives spiritual blessing and peace .... v 7
6. God was a witness of Paul's service .... v 9
7. God's power is in the Gospel to work salvation .... v 16
8. God ascribes righteousness in the Gospel .... v 17
9. God reveals His Holy wrath from heaven against the ungodly .... v 18
10. God made Himself known to all men .... v 19
11. God's Glory was exchanged for images .... v 23
12. God gave unrighteous men over to sexual impurity .... v 24
13. God gave unrighteous men over to vile affections and degrading passions .... v 26
14. God gave unrighteous men over to a depraved mind .... v 28
15. God was hated by those who practiced all kinds of evil .... v 30
1. Wrath is revealed against them .... v 18
2. They suppress the truth in unrighteousness .... v 18
3. God made His truth known to them .... v 19
4. They knew God but did not honor Him .... v 21
5. They became futile in their speculations .... v 21
6. Their foolish hearts were darkened .... v 21
7. Claiming to be wise, they became fools .... v 22
8. They exchanged the glory of God for images .... v 23
9. They lusted in their hearts and dishonored their bodies .... v 24
10. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie .... v 25
11. They worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator .... v 25
12. Their women lusted for other women.... v 26-27
13. Their men lusted for other men .... v 26-27
14. They received the due penalty in their bodies for their sin .... v 27
15. They did not see fit to acknowledge God .... v 28
16. They did things that were not proper .... v 28
17. They were filled with all kinds of unrighteousness:
------------- hatred of God
------------- inventors of evil
------------- disobedient to parents
------------- without understanding
------------- practice such things that are worthy of death
------------- give hearty approval to those who practice the above
I think if I'd been Paul, I might have added, "Need I say more!"
Did you notice that in verse 18 Paul said that the wrath of God is revealed from heaven?
God has made it evident since the beginning of the world .. His proof of creation having been seen by all, so that there is no excuse for anyone who rejects God. Even knowing God, they chose to reject and withhold honor and thanks so their hearts were darkened. They CHOSE to reject Him!
Verses 22-23 describe the deprivation of their bodies and souls, the result of rejecting God. Does that sound familiar as we look around us today? Precious ones, the wrath of God is revealed against all ungodliness, and it's ever so evident that we are in NEED of the Power of God for Salvation .. The Gospel!
You'll notice that in v 5-6 Paul is primarily addressing the Gentiles here in this chapter so this part of the message speaks to the sinful state of the Gentiles. We'll take up God's dealings with the Jews in Chapter 2.
There's one important thing we should see as Chapter 1 begins. Paul precedes this discourse of the sinful and degraded state of men and the wrath of God that it brings (v 16-17) with the statement that "The Gospel is the Power of God for salvation for everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek.For in it the righteousness is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, "But the righteous Shall Live By Faith"
I believe there's something significant here. If I had written this passage, I think I may have addressed the subject of God's revealing from heaven His wrath against the unrighteousness of men, and then followed up with the righteousness of God being revealed from faith to faith in the Gospel. It may well be that it's symbolic of the fact that the Lamb, Jesus, the Christ, was slain to obtain our salvation, from the foundations of the world. God's mercy, grace, and provision for our salvation was in place before the first man, Adam, sinned. Doesn't this again show the love of the Father.
On the subject of "ungodly men" ... when we think of the Gospel we think, "GOOD NEWS!" and it IS! But, I think we need to see that part of the Gospel message is the telling of the slavery to sin and the depravity of men, and total separation from God. For God is establishing here in Romans, our absolute, no question, no room for debate, NEED of saving! In other words, there are NO good people in the world! Isaiah 53:6 "All we like sheep have gone astray. Each of us has turned to his own way." Sound familiar again? From the above list? We must first recognize our sinful state before we can embrace His Great Love and Grace on our behalf, and receive His forgiveness and provision for our salvation. And when we present the Gospel to the lost, we must see that they understand, quite simply, that they ARE lost. That part of the message may not be as comfortable for some as the part of the Gospel that tells about God's love and redemption plan, but we need to be able to establish the need factor.
Because of the extent of the subject, we'll continue addressing our need of a Savior in the next lesson.
God Bless You in Your Studies these next two weeks, and be sure to come back for Lesson 3.
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Love In Christ,