An Argument Of The Book Of RomansRelated Media
Paul As An Apostle To The Gentiles Boldly Writes The Romans To Consider The Lord’s Gracious Provision Of Righteousness For All Men, In Spite Of Israel’s Unbelief, So That They Might Better Love One Another In The Assembly (Including The Weak And Strong) As Well As All Men (Including Mankind In General And The State) And Thereby Bring Honor To God
I. Introduction: Paul, as a servant of God set aside to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles, greets the Romans with a prayer that God might grant them grace and peace, and with a desire to minister God’s life giving gospel among them in order to strengthen them spiritually 1:1-17
A. The Greeting of Paul: Paul as a servant of God who was set aside to proclaim the gospel of God’s promised deliverer (the resurrected Jesus from the line of David) to the Gentiles prays that the Romans may receive grace and peace from the Father and Son 1:1-7
2. The Subject: The gospel which Paul was set aside for was that which the OT promised, that Messiah would come through the line of David, be appointed with power, and would give grace and apostleship so that unbelievers might believe as the Romans have 1:2-6
a. Its History: The gospel which Paul was set aside for was that which God promised through His prophets in the Old Testament 1:2
b. Its Content: The gospel which the OT promised was that Messiah, namely Jesus Christ, would be born of the line of David, would be appointed Messiah with power, and would give grace and apostleship so that unbelievers might believe (as the Romans have) 1:3-6
1) The gospel which the OT promised was that Messiah (His Son) would be born of a human descendant of David4 1:3
2) The gospel which the OT promised was that David’s son would be appointed Messiah with power by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit, namely Jesus 1:4
3) Grace and apostleship were received through Jesus so that unbelievers (Gentiles) might believe among whom are the Romans who are also called 1:5-6
3. The Recipients and Prayer: Paul prays that the Romans, whom he considers loved of God and saints, would receive grace and peace from the Father and Son 1:7
a. Paul writes to the Romans whom he calls loved of God and saints 1:7a
b. Paul prays for grace and peace to come to them from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ 1:7b
B. Paul’s Interest in the Romans: Paul thanks God for the renowned faith of the Romans and prays that he may come to them in order that he might experience a mutual strengthening, have ministry among them, and thereby fulfill his obligation to preach the gospel to all peoples 1:8-15
1. Proofs of Paul’s interest in the Romans is that he thanks God for their renowned faith, and prays that he might come to them 1:8-10
a. Paul thanks God for the Romans because their faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world 1:8
b. God is Paul’s witness concerning how he constantly prays that he might come to the Romans 1:9-10
2. Reasons for Paul’s longing to see the Romans: Paul longs to see the Romans in order that they might experience a mutual strengthening, in order that he might receive some spiritual fruit among them, and in order that he might fulfill his obligation to proclaim the gospel to all peoples 1:11-15
a. Paul longs to come to the Romans in order that he may give them some blessing5 in order that they may be strengthened as Christians,6 and in order that he may be encouraged in a reciprocal way by the Romans 1:11-12
b. Paul longs to come to the Romans in order that he might receive some spiritual fruit7 among them as among the rest of the Gentiles 1:13
C. The Proposition of the Letter: Paul desires to proclaim the gospel to the Romans because it is the power of God through which He reveals the righteous status of life for all people through faith 1:16-17
II. Doctrine--Righteousness Received by Faith: Paul praises God because His gracious provision of righteousness for the universal need of mankind is imputed (justification) and imparted (sanctification) by faith in Jesus Christ even though Israel rejected it 1:18--11:36
A. Condemnation--The Universal Need to Righteousness: God’s condemnation of mankind demonstrates the universal need for God’s righteousness in that mankind does not have a righteousness of their own; mankind needs the righteousness from God which comes through faith17 (cf. 1:17) 1:18--3:20
1. The Unrighteous:18 Mankind is demonstrated to not have a righteousness of their own in that God condemns them for their rejection of Him 1:18-32
a. The Statement: God has revealed his anger against all wicked men who hold down the truth in wickedness 1:18
b. The Reason: God has manifested knowledge of himself within mankind through creation, but mankind rejected it 1:19-23
1) God manifested knowledge of himself through creation leaving mankind without excuse for not knowing him 1:19-20
2) The reason mankind is under the anger of God is because he rejected the knowledge of God 1:21-23
a) In rejecting the knowledge of God, mankind became futile in his thinking leading to a darkened heart and foolishness 1:21-22
b) Mankind’s rejection of the knowledge of God led to idolatry 1:23
c. The Result: The consequence of being under the anger of God is the degradation of mankind 1:24-32
1) God gave mankind over to impurity in worship as they dishonored their bodies, and worshiped the creature rather than the creator 1:24-25
2) God gave mankind over to immorality as women and men abandoned their natural function with one another, and burned with desire toward same-sex relationships 1:26-27
3) God gave mankind over to depravity as people sinned against one another 1:28-32
a) The judgment is announced: When mankind ceased to acknowledge God any longer, He gave them over to a depraved mind to do improper things 1:28
b) Mankind committed many sinful acts 1:29-31
(1) Mankind committed sins of character in that they were filled with sins of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil 1:29a
(2) Mankind committed anti-social sins (in acts or feeling) envy, murder, (in speech) strife, deceit, malice, gossiping, and slandering 1:29b-30a
(3) Mankind committed sins of self assertion, or pride, through hating God, insolence, arrogance, boastfulness, and inventions of evil 1:30b
(4) Mankind committed sins against nature such as disobedience to parents, being without understanding, untrustworthiness, and being unmerciful 1:31
c) Mankind had animosity toward God in that they knew the ordinance of God which pronounced death upon those who did wickedness, yet they did evil and even encouraged those who did evil 1:32
2. The Moralist19: Mankind is demonstrated to not have a righteousness of their own in that God condemns them by the standards of divine evaluation rather than by the hypocritical standards of the moralist 2:1-16
a. Unlike men who make relative judgments without an accurate assessment of themselves, God judges mankind by the reality of their situation as guilty and unrepentant 2:1-5
1) A conclusion which Paul draws from the rebellion of mankind (1:18-32) is that all men are without (righteous) excuse when they pass judgment upon another, because their judgment is self condemnatory 2:1
2) In contrast to the judgment of moralistic man, God’s judgment is right (or fair) when he condemns those who practice wickedness 2:2
3) Men who judge others of evil and then do the same evil should not think that they will escape the judgment of God because even though He does not judge immediately (out of graciousness), His judgment will certainly come 2:3-5
a) Men who judge others of evil and then do the same evil (cf. 1:18-32) should not think that they will escape the judgment of God20 2:3
b) Men should not interpret God’s gracious delay as evidence that they will not be judged because grace is provided so that men might repent 2:4
c) When men refuse to repent they store up wrath for the coming judgment 2:5
b. God’s judgment is impartially in accordance with what man does (e.g., good works as an expression of faith, or evil works as an expression of self-concern) 2:6-11
1) Principle: God will give to every man (salvation or wrath) in accordance with what he does (good or evil) 2:6
2) Principle Applied: God will bring about future judgment or salvation for all people based upon what they do (e.g., show faith through good works, or live for self through evil works) 2:7-11
a) General Application God will give eternal life to those who seek God’s gifts by doing good, and wrath to those who seek their own advantage by doing evil 2:7-8
(2) God will give wrath and indignation to those who are selfishly ambitious, and do not obey the truth 2:9
b) Specific Application: God will bring about future wrath or salvation for all people in accordance with what they do 2:9-10
(1) God will bring about (eschatological) tribulation and distress upon anyone who does not do good, be they Jew or Gentile 2:9
(2) God will bring glory, honor, and peace (salvation) upon everyone who does good23, be they Jew or Gentile 2:10
3) Principle Confirmed: God is not partial in his judgments 2:11
c. God’s judgment is based on man’s obedience to the revelation of God’s will given to each man 2:12-16
1) Principle Stated: The reason God is not partial (γὰρ, cf. 2:11) is because man’s knowledge of the Law will not sway Him since He will cause men who have sinned in ignorance of the Law to be condemned (at the final judgment--Gentiles), just as He will cause men who sinned with knowledge of the Law to be judged by the Law (at the final judgment--Jews) 2:12
2) Principle Applied: God will judge those who sinned with the Law because they did not obey it, and God will judge those without the Law because their inner law will accuse them 2:13-16
a) Those with the Law: The reason God will judge those who sinned with knowledge of the Law is because one is not righteous (in his status before God) by knowledge of the Law, but by obedience to the Law24 2:13
b) Those without the Law: The reason God will judge those who sinned without knowledge of the Law is because their inner law will accuse them at the last judgment 2:14-16
(1) When Gentiles25 who are by nature26 without the Law do the works which the Law requires, they stand in a true positive relationship with the Law (are a law to themselves) in that the Law is written on their hearts27 2:14-15a
(2) The conscience and thoughts of Gentiles will accuse and defend them when they stand before God’s judgment 2:15b-16
3. The Jew: The Jew is demonstrated to not have a righteousness of his own in that God condemns him because he trusts in religious externals rather than God who would inwardly transform his life 2:17--3:8
a. The Jews’ possession of the Law is not sufficient because they hold to it externally, but do not obey it, thereby, bringing reproach upon God by the Gentiles 2:17-24
1) The Jews had an actual and presumed religious position by their having the Law 2:17-20
a) The Jews had positive advantages through the Law in that they were called a “Jew”, relied on the Law, boasted in God, knew His will, and approved the essential things (or things which matter)28 2:17-18
b) The Jews presumed advantages of the Law in that they thought that they guided the blind, gave light to those in darkness, corrected the foolish, and taught the immature with the knowledge of the Law 2:19-20
2) But the Jews’ hypocritical practice brought dishonor to God 2:21-24
a) The Jews were hypocritical with the Law in that they did the very things that they told others not to do 2:21-22
(1) The Jews were hypocritical in that they taught others but they did not teach themselves 2:21a
(2) The Jews were hypocritical in that they preached that others should not steal, but they stole 2:21b
(3) The Jews were hypocritical in that they told others not to commit adultery, but they committed adultery 2:22a
(4) The Jews were hypocritical in that they detest idols, but they rob temples29 2:22b
b) Therefore the Jews brought dishonor to God when they boasted of Him and then broke His Law since the Gentiles (saw His lack of protection and thus) blasphemed Him 2:23-24
(1) Even though the Jews boast in the Law, they dishonor God through their breaking of the Law 2:23
(2) The reason the Jews dishonor God is because the Gentiles blaspheme God when they consider Him in view of the Jews, just as Scripture30 said that they would 2:24
b. The Jews’ possession of circumcision is not sufficient because internal responses are more important to God than external responses 2:25-29
1) Circumcision has value if one obeys the Law, but if one disobeys the Law one’s circumcision is undone (becomes uncircumcision)31 2:25
2) But if one is uncircumcised (a Gentile), and he keeps the Law, than his uncircumcision is regarded as circumcision by God 2:26
3) Uncircumcised ones (Gentiles) who keep the law will judge those Jews who have the Law but do not obey the Law 2:27
4) The reason law abiding Gentiles will judge law breaking Jews is because Jewishness and circumcision are not external matters, but are internal matters of the heart whereupon God praises them rather than men 2:28-29
c. The problems raised by the Jews demonstrate their misconception of their relationship to God 3:1-8
1) First Objection: There is advantage to being a Jew because they were entrusted with the oracles of God 3:1-2
a) Question: Is there no advantage to being a Jew or being circumcised (if external responses are not important) ? 3:1
b) Answer: Yes, there is great advantage in that the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God 3:2
2) Second Objection: Israel’s unbelief in God’s word cannot nullify God’s faithfulness to his covenant to Israel 3:3-4
a) Question: Can Jewish unbelief (in the word of God given to them) nullify the faithfulness of God (to His covenant to Israel)? 3:3
3) Third Objection: God is unrighteous to judge Israel since their sin enhances his righteousness 3:5-8
a) Question: Speaking from a human perspective, if the Jews’ sin enhances God’s glory, why should God condemn them 3:5
b) Answer: This is a bad conclusion from a true premise (“May it not possibly be); such reasoning would prevent God from judging anyone and, in fact, justifies one’s condemnation 3:6-8
(1) The conclusion that God is unrighteous for His judgment upon evil should not even possibly be considered 3:6
(2) Again the objection is made that God should not judge one as a sinner if one’s lie causes the truth of God to abound 3:7
(3) The conclusion of such illogical thinking (which some falsely accuse Paul of thinking) is that one should do evil so that good may come, and this conclusion justifies the condemnation of God upon such a one 3:8
4. The World: The world is demonstrated to not have a righteousness of its own in that God condemns them because they rebel against Him and do wickedness as those who are not guided by the fear of the Lord 3:9-20
a. The Charge: In conclusion to Paul’s discussion of the Jews he affirms that they are not better than the Gentiles because both Jews and Greeks are under sin’s power34 3:9
b. The Proof--Scripture35: Paul supports his assertion that all are under sin’s power through Scripture’s descriptions of men’s depravity in speech and deeds because they turn away from God and thus, are not guided by a fear of Him 3:10-18
1) The Universal Extent of Sin36: Paul affirms that Scripture describes all men, without exception, as sinners who do not seek after God, but turn away from Him and do wickedness 3:10-12
a) No one is righteous37, not anyone 3:10
b) No one understands God or seeks after God 3:11
c) Everyone has turned away from God and has become useless 3:12a
d) No one does what is good, not anyone 3:12b
2) The Depraved Nature of Man: Scripture demonstrates that men do evil in their speech and in their deeds 3:13-17
a) Sins of the Tongue: Men are wicked in that their speech appears to lead to life but has deadly poison behind it, and is ready to come forth38 3:13-14
(1) The speech of wicked men has deadly effects reflective of inner corruption in that they are deceitful in their words smoothing their tongues over what is really a pit for death39 3:13
(2) The speech of wicked men is deceptive because there is poison under their lips like the venomous serpent40 3:13b
(3) Wicked men hold within their mouths, ready to come out, cursing and bitterness41 3:14
b) Sins of Deed: Men are wicked in that they rush to do evil upon other men, and do not know how to be peaceful 3:15-17
(1) Men rush to kill innocent men42 3:15
(2) Men leave a trail of destruction and misery upon others wherever they go 3:16
(3) Men do not know the path of peace 3:17
3) The Source of Sin: The source of (or reason for) man’s sin is that he has no fear of God before his eyes as a direction for his life43 3:18
c. The Application: The application of the Law (Scripture) is that all the world is guilty before God, and that the Law is not the source for righteousness, but the means for the full knowledge of sin 3:19-20
2) The reason the Law pronounces all as guilty is because righteousness does not come from the law46, only the knowledge of sin 3:20
B. Justification--The Imputation of Righteous: Justification is the imputation of God’s righteousness that is acquired by all who believe (as with Abraham) in Jesus Christ their federal head, and leads to the hope of final salvation 3:21--5:21
1. Justification Explained: The explanation of justification is that anyone who believes in God’s provision in Jesus Christ acquires a right standing before God 3:21-31
a. The Manifestation of Righteousness: The righteousness which comes from God has been manifested without being earned by the fulfillment of the Law in a continuous way with the witness of the OT for all mankind who trust in Jesus Christ 3:21-23
1) The righteousness which comes from God has been manifested without (being earned by the fulfillment of) the Law 3:21a
2) The righteous which comes from God has been witnessed to by the Old Testament Scriptures (the Law and the Prophets) 3:21b
3) The righteousness which comes from God is received by means of faith for all (without distinction) who trust in Jesus Christ 3:22
4) The reason the righteousness which comes from God is received by means of faith for all who trust in Jesus Christ is because all mankind has sinned
( ᾿῞μαρτον) and fallen short of sharing in God’s greatness (glory)47 3:23
b. The Provision of Righteousness: The provision of God’s righteousness in Jesus Christ’s death has satisfied God for both the sins of the past and the present 3:24-26
1) The Plan--Justification of Sinners: God graciously declares sinners to be righteous through faith in Jesus Christ who redeemed them, and satisfied God’s wrath 3:24-25
a) Sinners are justified (or declared to be righteousness) as a gift by God’s grace 3:24a
b) Sinners are justified through the redemption48 in Jesus Christ 3:24b
2) The Purpose--Vindication of God’s Righteousness: The public display of Jesus as the satisfaction of God’s wrath was to vindicate God’s righteousness in that He passed over men in the past, and justifies men in the present who believe in Jesus 3:25b-26
a) In the Past: The public display of Jesus as the satisfaction of God’s wrath was to vindicate God’s righteousness in that He, in his forbearance, passed over the sins of men in the past 3:25b-26a
b) In the Present: The public display of Jesus as the satisfaction of God’s wrath was to vindicate God’s righteousness in that he justly justifies men in the present who believe in Jesus 3:26b
c. The Resulting Inferences of Justification by Faith: The acquisition of God’s righteousness by faith for both the Jews and the Gentiles results in the exclusion of man’s boasting, eliminates distinctions, and does not nullify, but in fact establishes the Law 3:27-31
1) Faith Excludes Boasting: Since one is justified by means of faith, there is no room for boasting as if one were justified by works of the Law 3:27-28
a) Unlike a law of works which has room for boasting, the law of faith has no place for boasting 3:27
b) The reason there is no place for boasting is because Paul maintains that one is declared righteous by means of faith and not by means of works of the Law 3:28
2) Faith Eliminates Distinctions: God is the God of the Jews and the Gentiles because he justifies both by means of their faith 3:29-30
a) God is not only the God of the Jews, but is also the God of the Gentiles 3:29
b) The reason God is the God of Jews and the Gentiles is because he justifies both by means of their faith 3:30
3) Faith Establishes the Law: Justification by faith does not nullify the Law, but establishes it 3:31
a) From the true premise that one is not justified by the Law it is a wrong conclusion that faith nullifies the Law 3:31a
b) On the contrary, justification by faith establishes the Law 3:31
2. Justification Illustrated: The illustration of justification in Abraham’s life substantiates that justification is acquired by faith 4:1-25
a. Abraham’s justification was not obtained because of his works, but was obtained because of his faith in God 4:1-3
1) Foundational Question: How did Abraham, the physical forefather of the Jews, find himself justified if it was not through a means by which he could boast?51 4:1
2) Hypothetical Solution: If Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast over52, but this is not God’s view 4:2
3) Scriptural Support: Scripture affirms that God credited righteousness to Abraham because of his belief in Him53 4:3
b. An examination of Genesis 15:6 demonstrates that Abraham’s justification was only by means of his faith in God 4:4-22
1) Negatively: Abraham was not justified by good works, circumcision, nor by keeping the Law 4:4-15
a) Not by Good Works: Abraham was not justified by good works since that would be a payment rather than grace, and since God is acting to forgive sinners when he reckons them righteous 4:4-8
(1) Proof from Logic: When one works, his pay is not considered to be a favor (χάριν), but what is owed to him, but when one does not work, but believes in Jesus who justifies the ungodly54, his faith (in the God who justifies the ungodly) is considered to result in55 righteousness 4:4-5
(2) Proof from Illustration: David (who lived during the rule of the Law) proclaimed that God reckons righteous forgiveness for sinners56 4:6-8
b) Not by Circumcision: Since Abraham was declared righteous before he was circumcised, and his circumcision was a sign of his faith so that he might be the father of all who would believe as he did resulting their justification, he was not justified by circumcision 4:9-12
(1) God’s blessing was not only upon the circumcised, but upon the uncircumcised since righteousness was reckoned to Abraham while he was uncircumcised 4:9-10
(2) The intention of circumcision was that it would be a seal, or sign, of the righteousness from his faith which he expressed while he was uncircumcised 4:11a
(3) The divine purpose for Abraham was that he might be the father of the uncircumcised who believe as well as the circumcised who believe so that righteousness might be reckoned to all 4:11b-12
c) Not by Law: Because law brings about wrath and thus nullifies the promise, Abraham was not justified by keeping the Mosaic Law, but by righteousness which comes through faith 4:13-15
(2) Reason: The reason the promise to Abraham and his descendants is through faith is because inheritance acquired by law nullifies faith and promise because law brings about wrath rather than freedom from violation 4:14-15
2) Positively: Despite all the obstacles, Abraham was justified because he believed in the God who is able to do the impossible 4:16-22
a) Proposition of Faith: Righteousness is by faith in order that it (the promise) might be (fulfilled) in accordance with grace59 4:16a
b) Illustration of Abraham’s faith: Just as Abraham believed in God’s promise to him to bless all men through his seed, so is it that God counted righteousness to him, and it is available to all of the descendants of Abraham 4:16b-22
(1) The purpose for the promise being fulfilled in accordance with grace is so that all the descendants of Abraham (be they physical or spiritual) may be certain of the promise (of being blessed by Abraham) before Abraham’s God who brings life out of death 4:16b-17
(2) Obstacles to Abraham’s Faith Overcome: Abraham believed God’s promise to bless all men through his seed despite human disabilities, and in God’s ability 4:18-21
(3) Outcome of Abraham’s Faith: Because Abraham’s faith was what it was, God counted righteousness to him 4:22
c. Application of Abraham’s Justification to Believers: That Abraham was counted as righteous by faith was not only written for his sake, but for the sake of those who believe in God who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead since he was crucified because of our transgressions, and raised because we are justified60 4:23-25
3. Justification’s Assurance61: The expectation of justification brings hope (assurance) of final salvation 5:1-11
a. The believer’s present peace with God and exultation of his future state are based in justification 5:1-2
1) Believer’s Peace: Since believers have been justified by faith, they have peace with God through their Lord Jesus Christ who brought them in this grace where they now stand 5:1-2a
2) Believer’s Hope: Believers now exult (rejoice) in the confident expectation of the illumination of man’s whole being by the radiance of God’s greatness (which is man’s designed destiny) 5:2b
b. The believer’s afflictions are not defeating, but serve to strengthen his hope in God which will be realized because of the Holy Spirit Who has been given to them 5:3-5
1) Hope is Gained through Trials: 5:3-4
a) Not only do believers have peace and hope, but they rejoice in their present trails 5:3a
b) The reason believers rejoice in their present trails is because they know that tribulation brings about perseverance (ὑπομονὴν), which brings about proven character, which brings about hope62 5:3b-4
2) Hope (which is gained through trials) is not disappointing because of God’s outpoured love through the Holy Spirit who was given to all believers 5:5
c. The believer’s hope is confirmed by God’s love demonstrated in Christ’s work in behalf of both sinners and believers 5:6-11
1) Christ’s death demonstrates God’s love for sinners because he died for them in their unrighteous, sinful state 5:6-8
a) Christ’s death demonstrates God’s love for sinners because while men were helpless to do anything which could commend them to God Jesus died for them63 5:6
b) Christ’s death demonstrates God’s love for sinners because he died for us when we were still in our sinful state rather than in a good, or even righteous state 5:7-8
2) Christ’s life demonstrates God’s love for believers because it assures them that they will be saved (as his friends) from his coming wrath 5:9-10
a) Christ’s life demonstrates God’s love for believers because his provision of justification assures believers that they will be saved from His coming wrath 5:9
b) The reason Christ’s justification of believers will save them from his coming wrath is because his past work of reconciliation was accomplished for us when we were his enemies through his death, therefore, since we are no longer enemies but friends, He shall certainly save us from his wrath by His life 5:10
3) Christ’s work of reconciliation is the basis for the believer’s praise 5:11
4. Justification Amplified64: The act of the representative head brings consequences upon the many under that head--Adam’s leading to death, and Jesus’ leading to life 5:12-21
b. Parenthesis Considered: The effects of Adam’s act is surpassed by the effects of Christ’s act 5:13-17
1) Explanation of the Effects of Adam’s Sin: The effects of Adam’s sin was that death reigned even before the time of the Law and even though no one sinned in the likeness of Adam’s sin 5:13-14
a) The reason one knows that Adam’s sin effected all men is because death reigned even before the time of the Law 5:13-14a
b) The reason one knows that Adam’s sin effected all men is because death reigned even over those who did not sin in the same offense of Adam 5:14b
2) Explanation of Differences between Adam and Christ: The abundance of grace surpasses the devastating effects of Adam’s sin in that it leads to life for those who receive Jesus Christ 5:15-17
a) The free gift is not like the transgression 5:15a
b) The reason the free gift is not like the transgression is because it does not lead to condemnation from one transgression to many people, but to gracious justification from many transgressions for those who receive Jesus Christ 5:15b-17
c. Proposition Completed67: The representative act of one (Adam and Christ) brings consequences on all: 5:18-19
1) Just as through one transgression (Adam’s) condemnation came to all men, so is it that through one act of righteousness (Christ’s) there resulted justification of life to all men 5:18
2) The reason this is so is because many were made sinners through Adam’s disobedience, and thus many will be made righteous through Christ’s obedience 5:19
d. Problem Considered: The entrance of the Law revealed the sinfulness of man’s sin, but this is surpassed by the sufficiency of God’s grace that results in eternal life 5:20-21
1) Purpose of Law: The Law was to reveal the sinfulness of man’s sin 5:20a
2) Purpose of Grace: Grace was to reveal the sufficiency of God’s righteous provision to abound over the results of transgressions (death) to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord 5:21
C. Sanctification--The Impartation of Righteousness68: Sanctification is a work of God whereby God imparts His righteousness in and through the believer by freeing him from sin and the Law, and by giving him assurance of victory through the Spirit 6:1--8:39
1. The Believer’s Relationship to Sin: The Believer’s relationship to sin is that he was separated from its rule and is to now live unto God through Christ 6:1-23
a. The Believer’s Freedom from Sin’s Domination: The believer’s freedom from the domination of sin is because he was identified with Christ through burial and resurrection 6:1-14
1) The Apprehension of the Truth: The believer’s death and resurrection with Christ is to be understood as his separation (death) from the rule of sin, and his newness of life toward God 6:1-11
a) The Questioned Asked: Since sin causes grace to abound (5:20), some might ask whether then we ought not sin in order that grace may increase towards them69 6:1
b) The Questioned Answered: The believer should not sin so that grace may abound because he has been separated from the rule of sin by his identification with Jesus’ death to sin and resurrection to new life 6:2-11
(1) Answer Stated: Paul answer that such a conclusion should not possibly be arrived at 6:2a
(2) Reason Stated: The reason we should not sin that grace should abound is because we have been separated (died) from the rule of sin, therefore we should no longer live in it 6:2b
(3) Reason Stated: The reason we should not sin that grace should abound is because we have been identified (baptized) with Jesus’ death to the power of sin, and resurrection to newness of life to God, and thus we should consider this as true about ourselves 6:3-11
2) The Application of the Truth: The application of the believer’s new relationship to sin and to God means that his life is not to be dominated by sin, but by God and His righteousness since he is not under the condemning realm of the Law, but the life giving realm of grace 6:12-14
a) Do Not Let Sin Reign: In view of their united position with Christ, believers are to stop letting sin reign in them so that they obey its desires70 6:12
b) Do Not Be an Instrument of Sin: In view of their united position with Christ believers are to stop presenting themselves to sin as instruments of unrighteousness, but are to start presenting themselves unto God as instruments of righteousness71 6:13
c) The reason believers are to stop yielding to sin is because sin is not their master since they are under the realm of grace rather than Law72 6:14
b. The Believer’s Enslavement to God’s Righteousness: The believer’s enslavement to God’s righteousness is because he has been freed from the enslavement to sin which leads to death 6:15-23
1) The Question Asked: Through a wrong conclusion from 6:14, one asks if a believer may sin because he is under grace73 6:15a
2) The Answer Stated: No, one should not sin because he is under grace since he will become enslaved to the wrong master leading to death 6:15b-23
a) Answer: The believer can by no means think he is free to sin under grace 6:15b
b) Answer Explained: The reason the believer is not free to sin under grace is because he is a freed slave unto God, therefore, to sin means that one will be enslaved to sin which leads to death rather than to God leading to sanctification and eternal life 6:16-23
(1) Paul affirms that one’s obedience determines one’s enslavement (either to sin resulting in death, or to God resulting in righteousness), and since believers are now freed slaves unto Christ, they should present themselves as slaves to righteousness resulting in sanctification 6:16-20
(2) Paul affirms that one’s enslavement determines one’s destiny (sin to death, or God to sanctification and ultimately eternal life) 6:21-23
2. The Believer’s Relationship to the Law74: The believer’s relationship to the Law is that he is free from it and its holy condemnation of man who is stirred to sin through it because he died to it75 7:1-25
a. Freed from the Law: The believer’s freedom from the Law is because he died to it 7:1-6
1) Principle of Legal Authority: The Law76 has jurisdiction over a person as long as he is alive 7:1
2) Illustration from Marriage: That the Law only has authority over a person while one is alive may be seen through the illustration of marriage in that a woman may not legally remarry another while her husband remains alive, but if her husband dies, she may legally marry another 7:2-3
3) Application of Marriage to Christ: When believers were identified with Christ’s death they were separated from the authority of the Law and joined to Christ in a new union designed to produce fruit for God 7:4-6
a) Fact of Marriage: When believers were identified with the death of Christ, they too were separated from the authority of the Law and then joined to Christ in a new marriage (of resurrection life)77 7:4a
b) Purpose of the Marriage: Believers were united with Christ in order to bear fruit for God through the newness of the Spirit, and not bear fruit for death in accordance with the letter of the Law 7:4b-6
(1) Statement of the Purpose: We were married to Christ that we might bear fruit for God 7:4b
(2) Illustration of Past Fruit: While believers were in their natural condition (the flesh) their sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work within them bearing fruit for death 7:5
(3) Illustration of Present Fruit: But now that believers have been released from the authority of the Law, having been separated from sin (Rom. 6), they ought to serve78 in newness (through the gift of the Spirit) and not oldness (through the letter of the Law)79 7:6
b. The Law’s Relationship to Sin and Death: The Law, being holy, reveals the sinfulness of sin; and in turn sin, and not the Law, is the cause of death 7:7-25
1) The Law and Sin: The Law being holy reveals the sinfulness of sin 7:7-12
a) Problem: Paul now asks if one is to conclude that the Law is sin since believers have been separated from it 7:7a
b) Answer: Paul argues that the Law is not sin, but is holy and reveals sin80 7:7b-12
(1) Paul categorically denies that the Law is sin 7:7b
(2) The reason the Law is not sin is because the Law defines sin just as the tenth commandment exposed the sin of coveting in Paul81 7:7c
(3) The reason the Law is not sin is because the Law only provokes sin just as sin took the opportunity through the commandment to provoke coveting in Paul 7:8
(4) The reason the Law is not sin is because the Law functions as a righteous judge of sin leading to death because of sin, and not life 7:9-11
c) Conclusion: Therefore Paul concludes that the Law is holy, righteous, and good 7:12
2) The Law being good is not the cause of death, but sin is 7:13-25
a) Statement: It is sin that causes death and not the Law which reveals the true nature of sin 7:13
b) Reason: The reason that the Law does not cause death is because it is spiritual whereas man is sold under the rulership of sin which causes his defeat82 7:14-25a
(1) Statement: Man is sold under sin as a ruler whereas the Law is spiritual 7:14
(2) Proofs: Man’s inability to have victory in that which is good only proves that man is sold under sin because he is impotent to prevent wrong (7:15-17), and impotent to do right (7:18-20) 7:15-20
(3) Result: The result of man being sold under sin and that the Law is good is the reality of the conflict between knowing and doing good83 7:21-25a
c) Summary: Although the believer can have victory over the conflict, he must realize that the two laws (principles) that he is constantly serving--the law of God and the law of sin 7:25b
3. The Believer’s Relationship to the Holy Spirit:84 The believer’s relationship to the Holy Spirit gives assurance of victory in his Christian life since he has been freed from the condemnation of sin and death, since he is aided by the Holy Spirit in suffering, and since he is loved by God leading to future hope 8:1-39
a. Freedom in the Spirit--The Past: The believer has been freed from the condemnation of sin (guilt and power), is spiritually alive and will be bodily alive in the future resurrection 1:1-11
1) Life in the Spirit freed the believer from the condemnation of sin and death on the basis of Christ’s death and not the Law85 8:1-4
a) Statement: In view of the believers new position, those who are related to Christ are no longer under condemnation86 8:1
b) Reason: The reason believers are no longer under condemnation is because the authority of the Spirit has set them free from the authority of sin and of (spiritual, physical, and eternal) death 8:2
c) Explanation: This freedom occurred when God condemned sin through Christ so that believers might fulfill the requirements of the Law by means of the Spirit 8:3-4
(1) The Law was unable to free man because of man’s fallen human nature (sinful flesh) 8:3a
(2) Therefore, God freed man by sending Christ with a human nature to deal with sin by condemning man’s sin (upon Him--in his human nature) 8:3b
(3) Purpose: The purpose of Christ’s liberation of man was so that he might fulfill the requirements of the Law through the enablement of the Holy Spirit 8:4
2) Life in the Spirit is contrasted as being in variance to life in the flesh for the believer87 who is spiritually alive and has the hope of a future resurrection of his body 8:5-11
a) Explanation of Contrast: When one lives one’s life with a mind set upon natural desires instead of those of the Spirit, one is in conflict with God because the two realms are in variance with one another 8:5-8
(1) Statement: The reason (γὰρ) believers are not to walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit is because in each case one’s mind (outlook, assumptions, values, desires, and purposes) is set upon different goals (flesh/Spirit) 8:5
(2) Explanation: The mind which is set on the things of the flesh is on that which leads to death, whereas the mind which is set on the Spirit leads to life and peace because the mind on the flesh is at variance with God and, thus, cannot please Him 8:6-8
b) Application to Believers: The Spirit’s indwelling of the believer places him in a supernatural state in that he is spiritually alive and will one day partake in the bodily resurrection 8:9-11
(1) Statement: If one is indwelt by the Holy Spirit (which is necessary for a true believer) then one is not in a natural state (“in the flesh” being unable to please God, cf. 8:8), but in a supernatural state under the direction of the Spirit (and thus able to please God) 8:9
(2) Consequence I: The immediate consequence of Christ being in believers is that they are spiritually alive even if their bodies are dead 8:10
(3) Consequence II: The ultimate consequence of the Spirit being in believers is that they will have a bodily resurrection just as Christ did 8:10-11
b. Believer’s Responsibility--The Present: The believer’s responsibility in Christ is not to live according to the flesh, but to endure suffering with the aid of the Holy Spirit 8:12-30
1) Don’t Live according to the Flesh: The believer is not to live according to the flesh, but put to death the deeds of the flesh by the Holy Spirit in order that he may share in Jesus’ future glorification 8:12-17
a) Exhortation: In view of the freedom brought by the Spirit (8:1-11), Paul urges believers to not live according to the flesh 8:12
c) Explanation: Paul explains that life that will come by mortification of the deeds of the body as being future joint-heirship and glorification with Jesus 8:14-17
(1) The Spirit’s leading indicates sonship 8:14
(2) Sonship does not indicate a relationship of slavery, but of family as a child before God which the Spirit Himself testifies to90 8:15-16
(3) Sonship indicates heirship--especially if believers are faithful by suffering against evil as Christ did91 8:17
2) Endure Present Suffering: The believer is to endure the present sufferings in light of the incomparable future glory in which he will partake 8:18-30
a) The reason why the believer should endure present sufferings is because the future glory far exceeds the present sufferings as demonstrated both in nature and the believer’s experience 8:18-25
(1) Proposition stated: The reason Paul discusses future heirship is because that future glory far exceeds the present sufferings 8:18
(2) Proof from Nature: Proof that future glory far exceeds the present sufferings is in nature which experiences present travail, but waits for future freedom with the ultimate redemption of man 8:19-22
(3) Proof from Experience: Proof that future glory far exceeds the present sufferings is in the believers waiting for the redemption of the body when they will experience adoption as sons 8:23-25
b) The reason why the believer should endure present sufferings is because of the present assistance of the Holy Spirit 8:26-27
(1) Nature of Assistance: Just as creation and believers groan for redemption, the Spirit groans with them as He helps believers with their praying through intercession 8:26
(2) Value of Assistance: The value of the Spirit’s assistance is that God, who knows the hearts of men, also knows the unspoken desires (groans) of His own Spirit92 8:27
c) The reason why the believer should endure present sufferings is because God works all things for good so that the believer is being conformed to the image of Christ 8:28-30
(1) Proposition stated: The reason the believer should endure present sufferings is because God works all things for good for His own 8:28
(2) Proposition Explained: God works all things for good for his own by conforming them into the image of Christ as God effectively brings them to stand with Christ as brothers from predestination, through calling, through justification, and through glorification 8:29-30
c. The Believer’s Security--The Future: The believer’s security in Christ is based on God’s love despite the various circumstances that may come93 8:31-39
1) In Relationship to the Father: The believer’s security is seen in his relationship to God the Father as protector, provider, and justifier 8:31-34a
a) Protector: In view of God’s working all things for good and the Christian hope in general (3:21--8:30)94, Paul concludes that God the Father is the believer’s protector 8:31
b) Provider: God, who gave his own Son for believers, is the believer’s provider and will give all things95 freely 8:32
c) Justifier: God is the believer’s justifier against those who might bring a charge against them 8:33-34a
2) In Relationship to Christ: The believer’s security is seen in his relationship to Christ’s intercession in behalf of them 8:34b
3) In Relationship to Circumstances: The believer’s security is seen in the light of various circumstances that may come 8:35-39
a) Paul affirms that trials cannot separate the believer from Christ 8:35-37
(1) Question Stated: Various trials (tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword) cannot separate believers from Christ’s love for them since they are God’s appointed way (cf. Psalm 44:22), can they? 8:35-36
b) Paul affirms that neither life, nor death, can separate the believer from Christ 8:38a
c) Paul affirms that various categories cannot separate the believer from God’s love in Christ Jesus 8:38b-39
(1) Angels nor demonic rulers (principalities)98
(2) Things present nor things to come (eschatological events)
(3) Angelic Powers99
(4) Heaven nor Hell (height nor depth)
(5)No other (ἑτέρα) created thing
D. Vindication--Israel’s Rejection of God’s Righteousness: God’s vindication of Himself as upright is in the light of Israel’s rejection of the righteousness of God by faith100 and the fact that He will mercifully restore the nation in accordance with his promises to the Fathers 9:1--11:36
1. Israel’s Rejection Considered: God’s rejection of Israel is not to be considered inconsistent with His promises or His justice 9:1-29
a. Paul continually grieves over Israel who rejects God’s righteousness 9:1-5
1) Statement of Sorrow: Paul solemnly affirms that he has great sorrow and continual grief over Israel 9:1-2
2) Proof of Sorrow: Paul proves his sorrow by affirming that he would rather that he was accursed and separated from Christ than for the nation of Israel to be separated who obtained many provisions from God and though whom Christ came 9:3-5
b. God’s rejection of Israel is not inconsistent with God’s promises as demonstrated by two lines of proof from the line of promise: 9:6-13
1) Statement of God’s Faithfulness: The problem is not that God’s word has failed because God is faithful to His promises101 9:6a
2) Substantiation of God’s Faithfulness to His Promises: God is shown to be faithful to his promises even though he did not bless all of the physical descendants of Abraham and Isaac because His promise only related to particular ones (e.g., Isaac not Ishmael, Jacob not Esau)102 9:6b-13
a) Proof I--Isaac and Not Ishmael: The reason God is faithful to His promises is because he only promised that the line would continue through the promised one (Isaac), and not though all of the physical descendants of Abraham (Ishmael) 9:6b-9
(1) Statement: The reason God is faithful to his promises is because not all of the nation Israel is true Israel 9:6b
(2) Substantiation: Paul substantiates his claim that not all Israel are Israel by affirming that of all of Abraham’s son, only Isaac was chosen 9:7
(3) Explanation: The reason only Isaac was chosen of Abraham’s sons is because only the children of promise counted, not the children of the flesh 9:8
(4) Substantiation: Paul substantiates that only children of promise are counted by noting that the word of promise from Genesis 18:10 was in reference to Isaac 9:9
b) Proof II--Jacob and Not Esau: God is faithful to his promises by choosing the line of Jacob over the line of Esau (even though they both came from Isaac and Rebekah--the line of promise) 9:10-13
(1) Circumstances of Choice: God made his choice of Jacob over Esau while the twins were still in the womb of Rebekah 9:10-11a
(2) Purpose of the Choice: God made the choice when the twins could do nothing of merit so that the choice would be because of God’s will 9:11b
(3) Statement of the Choice: God chose that the older (Esau) would serve the younger (Jacob) 9:12
(4) Confirmation of the Choice: Scripture confirms God’s choice to bless Jacob over Esau when in Malachi 1:2ff God affirms that He loved Jacob and hated Esau 9:13
c. God’s rejection of Israel is not inconsistent with God’s justice 9:14-29
1) Problem of God’s Justice: God is not unrighteous in conferring mercy upon whom He wills and hardening whom He wills 9:14-18
a) Objection: In view of God’s sovereign dealing with the line of promise perhaps some would ask whether God was unjust 9:14a
b) Answer: Paul answers, “No!” God is not unjust, but he can confer mercy just as He said to Moses (Ex. 33:19) 9:14b-15
(1) Answer: May it not possibly ever be that God should be unjust 9:14b
(2) Answer Substantiated: It is not unjust for God to confer mercy just as he said to Moses in Exodus 33:19 9:15
c) Inference: It is not Man’s efforts, but God’s mercy which counts 9:16-18
(1) Statement of Inference: God’s mercy does not depend upon man’s efforts, but upon God Himself who has mercy 9:16
(2) Substantiation of Inference: God raised up Pharaoh at a stage of history (not because of Pharaoh, but) because of God’s intention to make known His power throughout the whole earth 9:17
(3) Confirmation of Inference: Therefore, God sovereignly chooses whom He will have mercy upon, and whom He will harden 9:18
2) Posture of God’s Mercy: God’s mercy is shown that while He could bring all men to dishonor He bestows mercy on some Jews and Gentiles (as a remnant) 9:19-29
a) God’s Right Established: Even though one may conclude that man cannot be responsible since he cannot resist God’s will, Paul rebukes such a response by reminding the objector that as a created man he is to submit to the Creator 9:19-21
(1) Objection: Paul anticipates the conclusion that against God’s sovereign will how can man be responsible 9:19
(2) Answer: God rebukes man’s irreverence as the thing made (in the image of God) to the Molder 9:20
(3) Illustration: Paul affirms that creation (a pot) submits to the Creator (potter) 9:21
b) God’s Mercy Extended: God demonstrates His mercy in that He endures vessels made for destruction in order that he might glorify vessels made for mercy, and He will yet do this for the Nation of Israel in accordance with Scripture 9:22-29
(1) Demonstration of God’s Mercy: God demonstrates His mercy in that he endured vessels of wrath103 prepared for destruction in order that he might make know the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy prepared for glory104--even Jews and Gentiles in the church 9:22-24
(2) Prediction of God’s Mercy: Paul cites numerous OT passages (Hosea 1:10; Isaiah 10:22, and 1:9) to predict that God will once again show mercy upon the nation Israel even though they are in rebellion now 9:25-29
2. Israel’s Rejection is Culpable: The reasons Israel is responsible for her rejection of Jesus are (1) she refused righteousness by faith, (2) she ignored the OT teaching on righteousness by faith, and (3) she refused the opportunity of accepting righteousness by faith 9:30--10:21
a. Refused Righteousness by Faith: Israel’s rejection is culpable because Israel did not pursue God’s righteousness by faith in that their zeal for God was in ignorance as was demonstrated in their refusal to submit to Christ 9:30--10:4
1) Statement of Refusal: The reason Israel did not attain unto righteousness, as did the Gentiles, is because they pursued righteousness by works of the Law instead of by faith as the Gentiles did 9:30-33
a) The Gentiles received righteousness by means of faith 9:30
b) Israel did not attain unto the Law which produces righteousness 9:31
c) The reason Israel did not attain unto righteousness is because they did not pursue the Law by Faith, but by works because they rejected God’s provision--Christ 9:32-33
(1) Israel pursued the Law by means of works of the Law and not by means of faith 9:32a
(2) The reason Israel pursued the Law by means of works of the Law and not by faith is because they rejected Christ (Isa. 28:16) 9:32b-33
2) Paul’s Concern for Israel’s Ignorant Zeal: The reason Paul prays for Israel’s salvation is because they have an ignorant zeal for God as was demonstrated in their refusal to subject themselves to Christ who is the goal of the Law resulting in righteousness to all who believe 10:1-4
a) Paul’s desire and prayer is for Israel’s salvation 10:1
b) Israel does not have a zeal for God in accordance with true knowledge 10:2
c) Israel’s ignorant zeal for God is demonstrated in their not subjecting themselves to Messiah who is the goal of the Law resulting in righteousness to all who believe 10:3-4
b. Ignored OT Teaching on Righteousness by Faith: Israel’s rejection is culpable because Israel ignored the OT teaching that God’s righteousness is by faith for all peoples 10:5-13
1) Righteousness’ Availability through Faith: Although the Law required absolute obedience, righteousness was always available by faith, and was specifically as near as believing in Jesus 10:5-10
a) Righteous by the Law Described: One will live by the righteousness of the Law if one does that righteousness 10:5
b) Righteousness by Faith Described: Righteousness has always been available by faith both with Moses and now 10:6-8
(1) The message of trusting in YHWH was available in the proclamation of Moses (Deut. 30:11-14) in that there was/is no need to search for a mystery105 10:6-8a
(2) By way of application (through midrash, “that is”), God has also made available the message of faith in the revealed Jesus 10:8b
c) Righteousness by Faith Realized: Righteousness is available for those (Jew and Gentile) who will trust in Jesus as Lord raised from the dead leading to salvation106 10:9-10
2) Righteousness’ Universality to Both Jews and Gentiles: Righteousness has been available for all people who turn to the Lord whether Jew or Gentile because He is the Lord of all and blesses those who call upon Him 10:11-13
a) Statement of this Universality: Scripture (Isa. 28:16; 49:23) affirms that whoever believes in Him will not be disappointed (will find justification) 10:11
b) Reason for This Universality: Righteousness’ universality is to both Jews and Gentiles because the same Lord is the Lord of all showing no distinction, but blessing those who call upon Him 10:12
c) Restatement of Universality: Scripture (Joel 2:32) also affirms that whoever calls upon the Lord will be saved 10:13
c. Refused the Opportunity of Accepting Righteousness by Faith: Israel’s rejection is culpable because Israel refused the opportunity of accepting God’s righteousness by faith when it was proclaimed to her through her hardness 10:14-21
1) Proposition: Paul affirms that the gospel must be heard in order to be believed and has been preached through the apostles: 10:14-15
a) Questions: How can one believe the gospel when it is not preached 10:14-15a
b) Answer: The gospel has been preached in accordance with Scripture (Isa. 52:7) through the apostolic mission 10:15b
2) Situation: Paul affirms that the majority of Israel heard the word preached about Christ, but rejected the gospel 10:16-17
a) Statement: Not all of Israel obeyed the gospel which they heard 10:16a
b) Answer: Paul affirms that the gospel about Jesus was preached, but was not believed just as Isaiah the prophet foretold (Isa. 53:1) 10:16b
c) Inference: Paul affirms that the preached word precedes faith 10:17
3) Exoneration: Paul addresses excuses for Israel’s lack of response by affirming that Israel heard the message and remained stubborn in her response: 10:18-21
a) Excuse I: An objection is made that Israel never heard the message, but Paul affirms that they did hear it: 10:18
(1) Question: An objector questions whether Israel heard the gospel message 10:18a
(2) Answer: Paul affirms in accordance with Psalm 19:4’s affirmation about general revelation that the message went everywhere107 10:18b
b) Excuse II: An objector suggests that Israel did not understand the message, but Paul responds that this is absurd 10:19-21
(1) Question: An objector suggests that Israel did not understand the message 10:19a
(2) Answer: Paul answers that this is absurd because the Gentiles understood the message and were used to provoke Israel to jealousy (Deut. 32:21; Isa. 65:1), therefore, Israel hardened itself against the message (Isa. 65:2) 10:19b-21
3. Israel’s Rejection is Not Complete nor Final: Paul affirms that Israel’s rejection is not complete nor final because God will always have a remnant to whom He will mercifully fulfill his promises 11:1-32
a. Rejection is Not Complete: God’s rejection of Israel is not complete because God has always had a remnant as seen in Paul and Elijah, and has one now in accordance with his gracious choice 11:1-10
1) The Case of Paul: Paul cites himself as an example of the truth that God has not rejected his people since he is a part of Israel (physical descendant of Abraham of the tribe of Benjamin) 11:1
2) The Calling of the Remnant: Just as God had a remnant in Elijah’s day, he has one today of those whom he has graciously chosen, while the rest of Israel is hardened 11:2-10
b) Proof from Elijah: Paul offers proof from the past that God has not rejected his people when Elijah thought that he alone served God, but learned from the Lord that seven thousand other men served God in Israel 11:2b-4
(1) Elijah’s intercession: When Elijah pleaded with God against Israel he thought that he was alone as God’s servant 11:2b-3
(2) God’s Answer: But YHWH affirmed that he had a remnant of seven thousand men who were also his uncompromising servants 11:4
c) Proof from the Present Day: Paul argues that in the present day the Lord has graciously chosen a remnant, while the rest of Israel are hardened 11:5-10
(1) Just as God had a remnant in Elijah’s day, so is it that He has a present remnant who are graciously chosen by Him 11:5-7a
(2) Although God has graciously chosen a remnant, the rest of Israel are hardened in accordance with Scripture (Deut. 29:4; Psalm 69:22) 11:7b-10
b. Rejection Not Final: The rejection of Israel is not final because God’s bringing blessings to Gentiles is for the purpose of provoking Israel to jealousy in order to bring them back as the future channel of blessing in accordance with His promise and His mercy 11:11-32
1) Blessings from Israel’s Rejection and Acceptance: Israel’s rejection brings salvation to the world/Gentiles, but Israel’s acceptance will bring far greater blessings to the world 11:11-15
a) Paul affirms that Israel’s stumbling did not bring about total rejection, but blessing to the Gentiles 11:11-12
(1) Israel’s stumbling did not bring about a fall which forever disqualified them 11:11a
(2) Israel’s stumbling brought about salvation to the Gentiles in order to make Israel jealous 11:11b
(3) Since Israel’s sin brought blessing to the world/Gentiles, their fulfillment will bring about that much more 11:12
b) Paul’s ministry to Gentiles also shows care for Israel in that he is willing to magnify his ministry to Gentiles in order bring some from Israel to faith 11:13-14
c) Paul affirms that Israel’s acceptance of the gospel will bless the world all that much more 11:15
2) Restoration Guaranteed by the Covenant/Patriarchs:110 Paul affirms that the earnest of the covenant’s/patriarchs’ blessings (“first/root”) guarantees Israel’s restoration (“lump/branches”) 11:16
3) Instruction from the Simile of the Olive Tree:111 Because of Israel’s unbelief Gentiles are able to be grafted into the olive tree and therefore, should not be haughty lest they be cut off 11:17-24
a) Admonition: Paul warns against arrogance by the Gentiles because although they were grafted in to partake of the blessings from Abraham with Israel, they could also be cut off from the goodness of the Lord as Israel was 11:17-22
(1) Fact: Paul affirms that the Gentiles were grafted into the olive tree to be partakers with Israel in the blessings through the Abrahamic covenant112 11:17
(2) Admonition: Paul warns that the Gentiles are not to exalt in their privileged position because they are there by faith, and God can just as easily break them off as he did the natural branches 11:18-21
(3) Conclusion: The Gentiles could be cut off from God’s goodness and suffer severity just as Israel has 11:22
b) Anticipation of Israel’s Future Restoration: Paul anticipates Israel’s future restoration because God will easily regraft them into Abraham’s blessing if they do not continue in their unbelief 11:23-24
(1) Contingency for Israel’s Regrafting: God will graft Israel into Abraham’s blessing if they do not continue in their unbelief 11:23a
(2) Reasons for Israel’s Regrafting: Israel can be regrafted because God is able to do the regrafting, and because natural branches are easy to regraft 11:23-24
4) Restoration Through Covenant: Restoration of Israel is certain because of God’s covenant with the nation and His mercy 11:25-32
a) Paul affirms that Israel’s hardness is partial and temporary until the fullness of the Gentiles113 has occurred 11:25
b) Paul affirms that Israel’s restoration will be complete when the Lord returns, as He promised, and takes Israel’s sin away 11:26-27
(1) Statement: Paul affirms that all Israel114 will be saved 11:26a
(2) Scriptural Support: Paul supports Israel’s future restoration through Isaiah 59:20-21 and 27:9 which affirm that YHWH will return and will remove sin from the nation in accordance with his covenant 11:26b-27
c) Israel’s Present Alienation in Light of Future Restoration: Although Israel is presently in alienation to God (enemies of the gospel/disobedient), they will be restored in accordance with God’s promise and by God’s necessary mercy 11:28-32
(1) Although Israel are presently enemies of the gospel, they are yet to be the recipients of God’s promise to the fathers 11:28-29
(2) Although Israel is now disobedient, they will be future objects of mercy just as God has done with the Gentiles because all need mercy because all are disobedient 11:30-32
E. Response of Praise:115 God is to be praised forever because His unsearchable wisdom, untraceable knowledge, and total riches lead to immense blessing for men 11:33-36
1. Divine Attributes Stated: God’s wisdom and knowledge lead to profound and immense riches 11:33a
2. Divine Attributes Delineated: Paul unfolds God’s attributes as unsearchable wisdom, untraceable knowledge, and as being beyond obligation to any man 11:33b-36a
a. Wisdom--God’s Unsearchable Judgments/Decrees: God’s judgments and ways cannot be judged from a higher vantage point 11:33b
b. Knowledge--God’s Untraceable Ways: Citing Isaiah 40:13 Paul affirms God’s transcendent knowledge and self-sufficiency 11:34
c. Wealth--God’s Ownership of All Things: Citing Job 40:14 [MT 41:11a] Paul asserts that man is not able to put God in debt since He is the Creator, Sustainer, Ruler and the Goal of all things 11:35-36a
3. Doxology: Paul prays that the greatness be God’s unto the ages 11:36b
III. Duties--Action of the Justified: The justified believer is to act according to his position before God as he is responsible in relationships (before the assembly, mankind, the state, and the weak & strong) to love as Christ loved him unto the honor of God 12:1--15:13
A. Toward the Assembly and All Men: The justified believer is to consecrate his life so that he acts responsibly in his relationships by loving one another as well as all men 12:1-21
1. Foundation of Conduct: The foundation of the believer’s conduct is to stop being conformed to this age, and to begin to inwardly consecrate his life to God so that he may be acceptable in God’s will 12:1-2
a. Consecration of the Believer’s Life: In view of God’s provision for believers Paul urges them to consecrate their lives as the logical action of worship 12:1
1) Its Importance: Paul urges believers to consecrate their lives 12:1a
2) Its Basis: The basis for consecration is all that God has provided for believers (the mercies of God expressed in chapters 1--11) 12:1b
3) Its Character: The character of consecration is one of living in newness of life (living) marked by the continuing process of sanctification (holy) so as to find God’s acceptance (acceptable) 12:1c
4) Its Reasonableness: Paul understands the consecration of one’s self to be the logical (reasonable) action of worship to God 12:1d
b. Manifestation of the Believer’s Life: Believers are not to be outwardly conformed to this age, but inwardly transformed in their minds so that they may discern and be acceptable in God’s will 12:2
1) Negatively: Paul urges believers to stop being outwardly conformed116 to this age 12:2a
2) Positively: Paul urges believes to start being inwardly transformed117 by renewing the character of one’s mind 12:2b
3) Goal: The goal of being inwardly transformed is so that one may be acceptable in God’s good, acceptable and perfect will 12:c
2. The Function of Conduct: The function of the believer’s conduct is to walk humbly and lovingly toward one another and toward the world 12:3-21
a. Conduct in Humility: The believer’s conduct is to walk humbly in view of his need because God has given each the ability to serve one another as a body 12:3-8
1) Exhortation to humility: Paul exhorts all in the church to not think arrogantly of themselves, but to think soberly of themselves as those who need faith in the mercy of Jesus 12:3
a) Basis of Exhortation: The basis of Paul’s exhortation to the church is the undeserved favor which he received by being called an apostle 12:3a
b) Content of Exhortation: Paul exhorts everyone in the church to not think inappropriately about himself (by comparing himself with others), but think soberly (humbly) about himself
c) Criteria of Evaluation: One is to think humbly of himself as one who has faith in Jesus because of his dependence upon His mercy118 12:3b
2) Reason for Humility: The reason one should be humble when seeing one’s self in relationship to others is because it is together that they make up the spiritual body of Christ (a single whole which is to serve one another) 12:4-5
a) Analogy of the Human Body: The human body has many members, and all do not have the same function, but it is one body 12:4
b) Application to the Body of Christ: As with the human body, so is it with the spiritual body of Christ in that the church has many members which are related to one another in the one body of Christ 12:5
3) Gifts for Conduct in Humility: Paul emphasizes that believers each have gifts which differ in accordance with God’s grace to them to be carefully exercised for the sake of the body 12:6b-8
a) Statement of the Various Gifts: Believers each have gifts which differ in accordance with God’s grace to them 12:6a
b) List of Various Gifts: Paul lists the various gifts which God has given to believers to be carefully exercised for the sake of the body: 12:6b-8
(1) Prophecy is to be uttered in accordance with the standard of “the Faith” 12:6b
(2) Service is to be done wholeheartedly 12:7a
(3) Teaching is to be done wholeheartedly 12:7b
(4) Exhortation is to be done wholeheartedly 12:8a
(5) Giving is to be done without any ulterior motive, but to relieve need 12:8b
(6) Ruling (in the church) is do be done with diligence 12:8c
(7) Mercy (toward the sick, poor, aged, disabled) is to be shown with cheerfulness 12:8d
b. Conduct in Love: The believer’s conduct is to be one of love before believers and unbelievers 12:9-21
1) Toward Believers: Believes are to love one another doing good and continually serving the Lord as they care for one another 12:9-13
a) Believers are to love without hypocrisy 12:9a
b) Believers are to hate what is evil and cling to what is good 12:9b
c) Believers are to be devoted to one another with brotherly love giving preference to one another in honor 12:10
d) Believers are to serve the Lord diligently rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, helping the saints and practicing hospitality 12:11-13
2) Toward the World: Believers are to continually testify to the world through speaking, thinking, and doing that which is for their good 12:14-21
a) In Speech: Believers are to bless (enrich) those who persecute them, and not curse them 12:14
b) In Attitude: Believers are to have an attitude of harmony among themselves rather than strife for the sake of the world which is impacted by their relations119 12:15-16
(1) Feelings: Believers are to be sensitive to others experiences: rejoicing with those who rejoice, and weeping with those who weep 12:15
(2) Thoughts: Believers are not to esteem themselves above those who are esteemed to be lowly 12:16
c) In Actions: Believers are to act in such a way as to do good to all men 12:17-21
(1) Believers are not to repay evil with evil to anyone 12:17a
(2) Believers are to respect what is right as a testimony to all men 12:17b
(3) Believers are to be at peace with all men as far as it depends upon themselves 12:18
(4) Believers are not to take their own revenge, but to leave vengeance with God and do good to an enemy with hope that he will be overcome with your grace and repent 12:19-21
B. Toward the State and All Men: Paul urges the justified believer to act responsibly toward the state and all men by loving them and by being spiritually awake as they realize that Christ’s coming day of salvation is near 13:1-14
1. The Submission to Civil Government120: The Believer is to submit himself to civil authorities and support them as an expression of his submission to God because they are appointed as ministers of God for man’s good 13:1-7
a. Proposition: Every Christian is to be in subjection to the civil authorities which govern 13:1a
b. Practice: Believers are to be in subjection to civil authorities through financial and honoring support because they are ministers of God providing praise for those who do good, and punishment for those who do evil 13:1b-7
1) Reasons to Be in Subjection: Believers are to be in subjection to civil authorities because they are appointed by God to praise those who do what is good, and to punish those who do what is evil 13:1b-4
a) The Divine Origin of Civil Government: Believers are to be in subjection to civil authorities because they are appointed by God, therefore, any resistance is against God and will receive his judgment 13:1b-2
(1) General Thesis: The reason believers are to subject themselves to civil authorities is because they are appointed by God 13:1b-c
(2) Resulting Inferences: Those who resist civil authorities resist God and will receive divine judgment upon themselves 13:2
b) The Divine Purpose of Civil Government: Civil government is God’s instrument for praising those who do what is good, and punishing those who do what is evil 13:3-4
(1) Proposition: One should only fear rulers when one does evil, not when one does what is good 13:3a
(2) Practice: Civil government will praise citizens for doing good and punish citizens for doing evil as a minister of God121 13:3b-4
2) Inference of Being in Subjection: In view of God’s design believers are to follow their conscience and support civil authorities through taxes, customs, and respect122 13:5-7
a) Subjection to Government: Paul concludes that it is not only necessary to be in subjection to civil government because of a fear of judgment, but for conscience sake before the Lord 13:5
(1) Admonition: Paul concludes (διὸ) that it is necessary that one be in subjection to civil government 13:5a
(2) Reasons: One should not only be in subjection to civil authorities out of fear, but for a good conscience before God 13:5b-c
b) Support of Government: Believers are to support123 civil government through taxes, customs, respect (fear and honor) because they are servants of God 13:6-7
(1) Statement of Support: It is for conscience sake that believers support civil government by paying taxes 13:6a
(2) Reason for Support: The reason believers support civil government by paying taxes is because these authorities are servants of God 13:6b
(3) Responsibilities of Support: Believers are to render whatever is due to civil authorities be it taxes, customs, fear, or honor 13:7
2. Exhortation to Love Neighbors124: Paul urges believers to love their neighbor and thereby fulfill God’s moral Law 13:8-10
a. Principle Stated: Believers ought to be in debt to no one except to love one another125 13:8a
b. Reason for the Principle: The reason believers ought to “pay up their debt” to love one another is because it fulfills the moral law of the Ten Commandments 13:8b-10
1) Statement of the Reason: The reason one ought to continue to love one another (his neighbor) is because in doing so he fulfills the moral law126 13:8b
2) Substantiation of the Reason: Loving one’s neighbor fulfills the Law because the second half of the Ten Commandments may be summarized under loving your neighbor, and because if one loves, one does not hurt one’s neighbor 13:9-10
a) From the Old Testament: The reason that loving one another fulfills the law is because the second half of the ethic stated in the Ten Commandments may be summarized as loving your neighbor as yourself127 13:9
b) From Logic: Since love does not do wrong to a neighbor, it is the fulfillment of the Law 13:10
3. Motivation to Godly Conduct128: Paul exhorts believers to upright conduct in view of the nearness of the new day of salvation 13:11-14
a. Cognizance of the Day: Paul urges believers to awaken from their immoral sleep as those who are aware that the night is almost past, and the day of their final salvation is near 13:11-12b
1) Instruction for Awakening from Slumber: Paul exhorts believers to awake from their (moral) sleep (to obedience) as they are aware of the (eschatological) time 13:11a
2) Reasons for Wakening from Slumber: One should awaken to obedience because the darkness is almost past and the light of one’s salvation is near 13:11b-12
a) Complete Salvation Near: One should awaken to obedience because one’s final salvation is closer than when one first believed 13:11b
b) Night is Far Advanced: One should awaken to obedience because the end of the darkness is almost gone 13:12a
c) Day is Near: One should awaken to obedience because the coming day of redemption is near 13:12b
b. Conduct in the Day: Believers are to conduct themselves as those who are partakers of the day by refusing to walk in the immoral desires of the flesh, and by choosing to walk in moral uprightness in their position in Christ 13:12c-14
1) Change of Clothing Which Befits Daytime: Paul urges believers to put aside evil works and to put on armor for spiritual warfare129 13:12c-d
a) Put Off Works of Darkness: Paul urges believers to put aside evil works (works of darkness) 13:12c
b) Put On Armor of Daily Spiritual Warfare: Paul urges believers to put on the “armor” for spiritual warfare130 in the light in order to be on the Lord’s side in the fight 13:12d
2) Conduct Which Befits Daytime: Believers are not to walk in moral uprightness as those who are partakers of the coming day, and not as those who are in darkness with immorality 13:13
a) Positive Characteristics: Paul urges believers to behave in moral uprightness as one would in the light of the coming day 13:13a
b) Negative Characteristics: Paul urges believers not to behave in immoral ways: in carousing, in drunkenness, in sexual promiscuity, in sensuality, in strife, or in jealousy 13:13b
3) Principle of Life Which Befits Daytime: Paul exhorts believers to not be those who fulfill their fleshly desires, but to walk in their position in Christ 13:14
a) Positive--Put On Christ: Paul exhorts believers to put on Christ131 13:14a
b) Negative--Not to Fulfill Lusts of the Flesh: Paul exhorts believers to not make any provision to fulfill the desires of the flesh 13:14b
C. Toward the Weak and the Strong: Paul urges justified believers to act responsibly toward one another through love by forbearing one another, accepting one another, and by the strong helping the weak just as Christ served them for God’s sake 14:1--15:13
1. Exhortation to Mutual Forbearance: Weak and strong believers are to forebear with one another because both are accepted by Christ, both are serving Christ, and both will be evaluated by the true Judge in the future 14:1-12
a. Reason--Both are Accepted by God: Believers in the church are to mutually forebear one another, whether weak or especially strong, because God accepts the strong, and both are to have a clear conscience 14:1-5
2) Example I--Differences over Food: Although the strong are able to eat all things and the weak are not able to eat meat, Paul exhorts both to not judge one another and especially the weak not to judge the strong, because God accepts the strong and they will withstand his judgment 14:2-4
a) Differences Stated: Paul expresses the differences between the two groups as the strong being able to eat everything, where as the weak does not eat meat 14:2
b) Exhortation--Mutual Restraint: The weak and the strong are to show mutual restraint in their judging of one another--especially the weak of the strong because God accepts the strong 14:3
(1) Statement of Exhortation: Neither is the strong to judge the weak for not eating certain foods, nor is the weak to judge the strong for eating certain foods 14:3a
(2) Reason for Exhortation: The reason the weak is not to judge the strong for eating is because God accepts the strong (αὐτὸν) 14:3b
c) Illustration--Servant to Master: Just as no one is to judge another master’s servant, so are weak brothers not to judge the strong because God will judge him and he will do well 14:4
(1) Illustration of Household Servant: As in a household, no one is to judge a servant of another but his master 14:4a
(2) Application to Believers: The Lord as master of the strong will judge him well 14:4b
3) Example II--Difference Over Days: Although the weak regard one day as more important than another and the strong regard all days as the same, Paul urges each to have a clear conscience regarding these matters 14:5
a) Difference Stated: The weak regard one day as more important than another (sabbath), whereas the strong regard all days alike 14:5a
b) Exhortation: Paul exhorts each man to have a clear conscience regarding these matters 14:5b
b. Reason--Both belong to Christ: The reason the weak and the strong are to be accepting of one another is because both do what they do out of dedication to Christ who died and rose again for both those who die and those who live 14:6-9
1) Statement--Both Parties Act in Thankfulness: The reason the parties in the church are to be accepting of one another is because both express their convictions in thanksgiving to God 14:6
2) Reason--Both are serving the Lord: Both the weak and the strong express their convictions in thanksgiving to God because they are not living for themselves, but in order to serve God with their “life” or “death” 14:7-8
a) Negatively: Each believer expresses his convictions in thanksgiving to God because no one does what he does only for his own gratification 14:7
b) Positively: Each believer expresses his convictions in thanksgiving to God because each uses his life for service to the Lord 14:8a
c) Consequence: The consequence of the believer’s choices of consequence are to be for the Lord 14:8b
3) Reason--Purpose of Christ’s Death and Life: Jesus’ death and resurrection was so that he might be Lord of those who die or live for Him 14:9
c. Reason--Both will be Judged by God: Paul urges both groups not to judge or regard their brothers with contempt because everyone will stand one day before the Lord as their own judge 14:10-12
1) Reproof--Not to Judge Brothers: No one is to judge, or regard his brother with contempt 14:10a
2) Reason--All Stand before God: The reason no one is to judge his brother is because everyone will stand before the true judge some day as he gives an account of himself before the Lord (the judgment seat of Christ) 14:10b-12
a) Statement of the Reason: The reason on one is to judge his brother is because everyone will stand before the true judge some day (the judgment seat of Christ) 14:10b
b) Substantiation of the Reason: Citing Isaiah 45:23 Paul affirms that everyone will stand before the Lord one day offering praise to Him 14:11
c) Conclusion of the Matter: In view of Scripture’s affirmation that all will be judged by the Lord, Paul affirms that each person will give an account of himself to God 14:12
2. Exhortation for Strong Not to Offend the Weak:134 Strong believers, who can act out of faith in the purity of all things, are not to offend weak believers by causing them to stumble against their conscience, but are to build them up 14:13-23
a. Principle Stated--Do Not Cause Offense: Believers should not only cease from judging one another, but should determine not to place obstacles before brothers which would cause them to stumble 14:13
b. Principle Stated--Be Concerned for the Weak: Even though Paul concedes that nothing is in itself unclean, he exhorts stronger believers to not use their freedom to destroy weaker brothers, but to build them up 14:14-21
1) Concession to the Strong--Nothing Unclean: Paul affirms that in the Lord Jesus there is nothing which in and of itself is to be considered unclean 14:14a
2) Concern for the Weak--Unclean to the Weak: Even though nothing is unclean in and of itself, it can be so for those who consider it to be so for themselves; therefore, a believer should not use his strength to ruin a weaker brother because Christ died for him, and because love pleases both God and men 14:14b-18
a. Statement: Even though nothing is unclean in itself, things can become unclean if someone considers them to be unclean for himself 14:14b
b. Explanation: If a weaker brother considers something to be unclean, a stronger brother should not use it to destroy him because Christ died for him 14:15
c. Inference: A strong believer should not use his expressions of strength for evil because God’s rule is not in externals, but in the enablement of the Spirit for the good of others which pleases Christ and men 14:16-18
(1) Statement of Inference: A strong believer should not take that which expresses his strength before God and use it for evil 14:16
(2) Reason: The reason a believer should not take his strength and use it for evil is because God’s rule (kingdom) is not found in external expressions of strength (eating and drinking), but in a life directed by the Holy Spirit yielding uprightness, peace and joy 14:17
(3) Explanation: The reason God’s rule is found in a life directed by the Holy Spirit is because this is pleasing to Christ and men (Love God and Man) 14:18
3) Conclusion--The Strong to Build and Not Destroy: Paul urges strong believers to build up the weak and not to destroy them with their insistence upon emphasizing their freedom because such a use of freedom is evil 14:19-21
a) Positively: Paul concludes that the strong should pursue that which leads to peace and the building up of one another 14:19
b) Negatively: Paul exhorts strong believers to not tear down weak ones for the sake of expressing their freedom over food even though all things are clean, because such a use of clean things is evil 14:20-21
(1) Command not to Destroy: Paul exhorts strong believers to not tear down weak ones (the work of God) for the sake of expressing their freedom over food 14:20a
(2) Concession that All Things Clean: Paul again concedes that all things are indeed clean in and of themselves for believers 14:20b
(3) Concern for the Weak Brother: Even though all things are clean, they become evil if one uses them to offend a brother 14:20c-21
c. Practice Principlized--Act in Faith: Paul urges both the strong and the weak to act in faith before God because in doing so the strong are blessed, and the weak keep from sin 14:22-23
1) Strong: Paul urges strong believers to act with a clear conscience before God 14:22
2) Weak: Paul warns the weak to not act out of doubting because that which is not from faith is sin 14:23
3. Exhortation for the Strong to Help the Weak: Paul urges strong believers to unselfishly help weaker believers in line with the example and exhortation of Scripture so that in their unity they might show forth the greatness of the Father 15:1-6
a. Obligation of the Strong to the Weak: Strong believers are not to selfishly please themselves, but are obligated to aid the weak just as Jesus did, and Scripture directs 15:1-4
1) Obligation Stated: Strong believers are not only to please themselves, but are to love their neighbors by bearing the weakness of those without strength 15:1-2
a) Specifically: The strong are obligated to bear the weaknesses of those without strength rather than just benefit themselves 15:1
b) Generally: Each believer is to please his neighbor in a way that edifies him 15:2
2) Obligation Illustrated: Paul illustrates the teaching that believers are to unselfishly aid weaker brothers through the example of Christ which Scripture confirms and which is a guidepost for believers 15:3-4
a) Statement of Christ’s Unselfishness: Christ is Himself an example of One who did not only please Himself 15:3a
b) OT Confirmation of Christ’s Unselfishness: As the OT confirms (Ps. 69:9), Jesus, as Messiah, took upon Himself other men’s hate for the Father 15:3b
c) OT Illustration Legitimate: Paul affirms that all Scripture has its relevance and applicability to believers so that they will continue in their hope and thus live their lives as Christians with patient endurance of the weak 15:4
b. Petition for Unity: Paul prays that the Lord might enable the church in Rome to be unified around Jesus Christ so that they might bring honor to the Father 15:5-6
1) Statement of Petition: Paul now prays that the Lord might enable the believers in Rome to be in unity around Jesus Christ 15:5
2) Purpose of Petition: Paul prays for the church’s unity so that they might show the greatness of God the Father 15:6
4. Exhortation to Mutual Acceptance: In seeing Christ’s example of accepting both Jews and Gentiles, believers should readily accept one another as they focus upon their hope through the Holy Spirit 15:7-13
a. Exhortation to Acceptance: Paul exhorts the weak and the strong to accept one another so that God will be glorified 15:7a
b. Example of Acceptance: Believers are to accept one another just as Christ accepted them when He became a servant to the Jews and to the Gentiles in order to confirm God’s promises and to glorify God 15:7b-12
1) Statement of Christ’s Acceptance: The model by which believers are to accept one another is Christ who accepted them 15:7b
2) Explanation of Christ’s Acceptance: In accordance with the OT’s support Paul affirms that Jesus became a servant to the Jews and the Gentiles in order to confirm God’s promises and to glorify God 15:8-12
a) Significance of Christ’s Ministry: Jesus became a servant to the Jews and the Gentiles in order to confirm God’s promises and to glorify God 15:8-9
(1) Sphere of Christ’s Ministry: Jesus became a servant to the Jews for the sake of God’s faithfulness 15:8a
(2) Purpose of Christ’s Ministry: Jesus’ ministry to the Jews was in order to establish the divine promises made to the Jewish Fathers and for the Gentiles who are glorifying God for His mercy 15:8b-9a
b) Confirmation of God’s Work Among Gentiles: God’s work among the Gentiles is confirmed through OT scriptures (Ps. 18:49; Deut. 32:43; Ps. 117:1; Isa. 11:10) 15:9b-12
c. Entreaty of Joy and Peace: Paul now prays that the God who gives hope would enable them by the Holy Spirit to have unity (joy and peace) through their hope 15:13
IV. Conclusion: As a minister of Christ to the Gentiles, Paul expresses his desire to visit the Roman Christians and concludes his letter with personal greetings, pastoral counsel against false teachers, and a benediction which entrusts the Romans to God’s wise care 15:14--16:27
A. Paul’s Motivation in Writing: Paul’s motivation for writing this letter is to justify his boldness toward them because he was appointed a minister of Christ to the Gentiles 15:14-21
1. His Persuasion of Their Progress: Paul expresses his confidence in the maturity of the Christians in Rome (full of goodness, knowledge, and able to admonish one another) 15:14
2. His Presentation of His Ministry to the Gentiles: Paul has written boldly as a reminder to the Romans, who are mature, because God has not only given him grace, but has worked significant ministry through him to the Gentiles who did not know Jesus 15:15-21
a. His Boldness Described: Even though the Romans are mature, Paul has written quite boldly to them to remind them again of some points 15:15a
b. His Boldness Defended: The reason Paul has written boldly to the Romans is because he has received grace and been given significant ministry from the Lord to the Gentiles who did not know Him 15:15b-21
1) His Appointment as a Minister of Christ: Paul has written boldly as one who received grace and has been appointed as a minister of the gospel to the Gentiles so that they might be an acceptable offering to the Lord 15:15b-16
a) The Source of His Appointment: Paul has written boldly as one who received grace from God 15:15b
b) The Nature of His Appointment: Paul has been appointed as a minister of Christ Jesus who as a priest ministers the gospel of God 15:16a
(1) Office: Paul is a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles
(2) Mission: Paul is ministering as a priest
(3) Message: Paul is ministering the gospel (good news) of God
c) Purpose of His Appointment: Paul ministers to the Gentiles in order that his offering, which consists of the Gentiles, might be acceptable to God as it is sanctified by the Holy Spirit 15:16b
2) His Attainment as a minister of Christ: Paul does not boast in himself, but in the saving work of Christ through Him to many Gentiles who did not know Jesus 15:17-21
a) His Boastfulness Described: Paul boasts not in himself, but in the saving deeds of Christ Jesus and his service of Him (e.g., the things pertaining to God) 15:17
b) His Boastfulness Defended: The reason Paul boasts is to proclaim what Christ has accomplished through him in a large ministry to the Gentiles (who did not know Jesus) 15:18-21
(1) Accomplishment in Ministry: The reason Paul boasts is only to talk about what Christ has accomplished so as to bring about the good response of the Gentiles through the powerful working of the Spirit 15:18-19a
(2) Area of His Ministry: The result of the Lord’s ministry through Paul is that he has ministered the gospel in an arc from Jerusalem as far as Illyricum (modern Yugoslavia) 15:19b
(3) Aim of His Ministry: Paul aspired to preach the gospel where Christ was not known in accordance with Isaiah’s pronouncement about those who would learn about the Servant of YHWH (cf. Isa. 52:15b) 15:20-21
B. Paul’s Intention to Visit Rome: Paul’s intention of visiting the Romans is finally being realized although he must first go to Jerusalem in order to deliver the offering of the believers of Macedonia and Achaia; therefore, he requests their prayers for him, and prays for their experience of God’s peace 15:22-33
1. His Desire To Visit: Although Paul’s desire to visit the Romans was hindered many times, he intends to come to them in order to enjoy their fellowship and to be aided by them in his further ministry to Spain 15:22-24
a. His Past Desire to Visit: Because of Paul’s extensive ministry among the Gentiles he desire for the Romans to know that he has often been hindered from coming to them 15:22
b. His Present Desire to Visit: Paul’s ministry is completed in the present regions and desires to realize his long standing desire to visit the Romans in order to enjoy their company and to be aided by them in his ministry to Spain 15:23-24
1) His Duty Accomplished: Paul does not have any further room for him to minister (his foundational ministry) in the present regions 15:23a
2) His Desire to Visit: Paul’s desire to visit Rome is now many years standing 15:23b
3) His Design for Spain: Paul intends to go to Spain for ministry and to stop among the Romans on his way to enjoy their company, and to be aided in his ministry 15:24
2. His Detour to Jerusalem: Paul’s detour to Jerusalem is to bring the offering of Macedonia and Achaia to the poor saints in Jerusalem whereupon he intends to visit the Romans with God’s full blessings on his way to Spain 15:25-29
a. The Purpose of His Visit: Although Paul intends to visit the Romans, he is now going to Jerusalem from Corinth to minister to the saints 15:25
b. The Circumstances of His Visit: Paul is going to Jerusalem with a material gift from the Gentile Christians of Macedonia and Achaia who desire to share with those who shared their spiritual riches with them 15:26-27
1) Action of the Gentile Christians: The reason Paul is going to Jerusalem is because the Gentile Christians of Macedonia and Achaia have made a contribution to the poor saints in Jerusalem 15:26
2) Motive of the Gentile Christians: The Gentile Christians of Macedonia and Achaia are motivated to share in their material things because they have partaken of the spiritual things of the Jerusalem Christians 15:27
c. The Plans after His Visit: After he has completed his ministry in Jerusalem, Paul plans to go by way of Rome to Spain with Christ’s full blessing 15:28-29
1) His Anticipated Travels: Paul plans to go by way of Rome to Spain after he has completed this ministry from the Gentiles to the Jerusalem Christians 15:28
2) His Anticipated Blessings: Paul knows that when he comes to the Romans that it will be with the full blessing from Christ 15:29
3. His Desire for Prayers: Paul’s request for prayer is that he would be delivered from the unbelieving Jews and accepted by the believing Jews so that he may then come to Rome in God’s will with joy and for a refreshing visit with them 15:30-33
a. Motive for Intercession: Paul’s motivation for the Romans to pray is the Lord Jesus, and the Love of the Spirit 15:30a
b. Nature of Intercession: Paul’s desire is that the Romans pray to God for him 15:30b
c. Content of Intercession: Paul requests that the Romans would pray for success in his ministry in Jerusalem among the unbelieving and believing Jews so that he may then come to them in accordance with God’s will with joy and for a refreshing visit 15:31-32
1) Deliverance from Unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem: Paul requests that the Romans pray that he might be delivered from the unbelieving Jews in Jerusalem135 15:31a
2) Acceptance of His Service by Believing Jews: Paul requests that the Romans pray that his service on behalf of Jerusalem may be acceptable to the believing Jews there136 15:31b
3) Completion of His Intention: The reason Paul requests that the Romans pray for his success is so that he may then come to the Romans by God’s will in a joyful manner and for refreshing visit with them 15:32
C. Benediction to His Letter: Paul prays that God, who is characterized by peace, would be with the Romans 15:33
C. Paul’s Greetings, Admonition and Benediction:137 Paul’s extends greetings to various believers in Rome and through a pastoral warning urged them all to be on guard against trouble-makers, whereupon, he entrusted them into the wise care of God 16:1-27
1. Recommendation of Phoebe to Rome138: Paul commends Phoebe, a servant of the church, to the Romans and asks them to welcome her warmly 16:1-2
a. Personal Description: Paul commends Phoebe as their spiritual sister in the Lord to the Romans 16:1a
b. Performance described: Paul commends Phoebe as a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea (Corinth) 16:1b
c. Purpose of recommendation: Paul recommends that the Romans receive her as a fellow believer in a worthy manner, and that they might help her in the areas where she has any need 16:2a
d. Reason for Acceptance: The reason Paul recommends Phoebe to the Romans is because she has helped many including Paul himself 16:2b
2. Salutation to Various Saints: Paul sends greetings to various Christian friends in Rome 16:3-16
a. Priscilla and Aquila: Paul greets Prisca and Aquila, honors them, and greets the church in their house 16:3-5a
1) Greetings Extended: Paul sends greetings to his fellow workers in Christ Prisca and Aquila 16:3
2) Character Described: Paul describes the character of Prisca and Aquila as those to whom he and the rest of the Gentile churches give thanks because they risked their own lives for the sake of Paul’s life 16:4
3) House Church Greeted: Paul also greets the church that is in the house of Prisca and Aquila 16:5a
b. Paul greets Epaenetus, whom he loves, and who was the first convert from Asia 16:5
c. Paul greets Mary who has worked hard for the believers in Rome 16:6
d. Paul greets Andronicus and Junias who are fellow believing Jews, outstanding missionaries, and were believers before Paul 16:7
e. Paul Greets Ampliatus whom he loves in the Lord 16:8
f. Paul greets Urbanus a fellow Christian worker and Stachys whom he loves 16:9
g. Paul greets Appelles who is a tested and approved one in Christ, and the church that is in the house of Aristobulus 16:10
h. Paul greets Herodion, a fellow Jew, and the church that is in the house of Narcissus 16:11
i. Paul greets Tryphaena, Tryphosa, and Persis who are workers in the Lord 16:12
j. Paul greets Rufus as one who is elect in the Lord, as well as his mother who is like a mother to Paul also 16:13
k. Paul greets Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Ptrobas, Hermas, and the believers (brethren) with them 16:14
l. Paul greets Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and the church (believers) with them 16:15
m. Paul exhorts the church to warmly greet one another with a holy kiss, and sends greetings from all the churches of Christ to them 16:16
3. Cautions Against False Teachers: Paul warns the Romans against self-serving false teachers from Satan who desire to sway them from their morally good obedience to the Lord 16:17-20
a. Statement of Caution: Paul urges the Romans to watch out for those who cause dissensions and hindrances in doctrine, and to turn away from them 16:17
b. Reason for Caution: The reasons Paul warns the Romans to watch out for these false teachers is because they are driven by their own fleshly desires, and they deceive the naive through their smooth and flattering speech 16:18
1) Their Master: The reason Paul warns the Romans to watch out for these false teachers is because their master is not the Lord, but their own desires 16:18a
2) Their Deception: The reason Paul warns the Romans to watch out for these false teachers is because they deceive the thinking of the naive through their smooth and flattering speech 16:18b
c. Reason for the Exhortation: Paul is giving this exhortation to the Romans because their obedience has become wide spread, and he desires for them to continue in that which is morally good rather than being influenced toward that which is immoral 16:19
1) Report of Their Church: Paul is giving this exhortation to the Romans because their obedience has become known to everyone 16:19a
2) Response in Conduct: In view of the good fame of the Romans Paul rejoices over them, but desires that they be wise in regard to what is morally good, and innocent in regard to that which is evil 19:19b
d. Promise of Victory: Paul assures the Romans that if they heed Paul’s warning, then God will crush Satan’s action speedily, and prays that the Lord Jesus’ grace would be with them in the conflict 16:20
4. Greetings of Paul’s Companions: Paul’s companions now send greetings to the believers in Rome 16:21-24
a. Timothy Paul’s well-known fellow worker greets the Romans, so do Lucius, Jason and Sosipater, a fellow Jew with Paul 16:21
b. Tertius, who wrote down the words Paul gave him139 greets the Romans in the Lord 16:22
c. Gaius, the host to Paul and the whole church in Corinth, Erastus, the city treasure (or manager), and brother Quartus greet the Romans 16:23
d. Paul prays that they would all experience the Lord Jesus’ grace140 16:24
5. Benediction: Paul concludes his letter to the Romans with an appropriate doxological benediction which places them in the care of the wise Lord Who is able to establish them in the gospel, and to whom belongs glory forever through Jesus Christ 16:25-27
a. Paul now places the Romans in the care of the Lord who is able to establish them in accord with his gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ--a mystery unknown in OT times, but revealed in the NT times to all nations leading to obedience in faith 16:25-26
b. Paul places the Romans in the care of the only wise God 16:27a
c. Paul proclaims that the glory belongs to God forever through Jesus Christ 16:27b
1 This argument is a personal composite and amplification of several outlines by Harold W. Hoehner and John D. Grassmick from unpublished class notes in 206 Romans, Dallas Theological Seminary, Spring 1983.
2 This was an abhorrent title to the Greek mind, but to the Semitic mind it was a title of honor.
3 He was set apart from birth (Gal. 1:15). Romans 1:1 expresses Paul’s realization of God’s separation. Paul was separated for service (Acts 13:2).
4 See 2 Samuel 7.
5 The spiritual gift which Paul desires to impart could be (1) God’s general, gracious gift in Jesus Christ [5:15,16], (2) gracious gifts given to Israel (note the plural in 11:29), (3) special abilities bestowed upon the church (12:6), or (4) a blessing or benefit bestowed through Paul’s presence.
The indefiniteness of τι implies that Paul does not have a specific “spiritual gift” in mind. He would see their need when there. Also, it was not Paul who bestowed gifts, but the Spirit of God (cf. 1 Cor. 12:4-7; Rom. 12:6). His hope is to be a spiritual benefit to the Romans--to “strengthen” (cf. 16:25) them in faith and obedience (cf. 2 Cor. 1:15).
6 Paul desires for the Romans to be strengthened (*****¥£áñ) as Christians in faith and obedience (cf. 16:25; also Lk. 22:32; Acts 18:23; 1 Thess. 3:2,13; 2 Thess. 2:17; 3:3; 1 Peter 5:10).
7 This refers to the whole realm of gaining new converts to the strengthening of the faith and obedience of those who have already believed.
8 Paul considers himself a debtor (ὀφειλέτης) to all people until he gives out the gospel. This is his duty before God as an apostle to the Gentiles (cf. 13:8; 15:1). Paul’s commission, and the world’s need fuel Paul’s obligation.
9 The two pairs of terms denote the whole of Gentile humanity, but they represent different groupings of the same totality. Greeks and barbarians probably referred to those who possessed Graeco-Roman culture, and all of the rest of the Gentiles (respectively). The Wise and the foolish probably referred to those who were intelligent and educated, and those who lacked intelligence and education (cf. Cranfield, Romans, 1:83-84).
10 Salvation in all of its past, present, and future aspects, but especially with an emphasis upon deliverance from the final judgment.
11 Paul emphasizes the “Jews first” demonstrating that he has not rejected Israel. This gospel offers the fulfillment of the promises to Judaism. Therefore, Paul always goes to them first (cf. Acts). Nevertheless, they reject the message, and “force” the movement to the Gentiles (in Acts). In view of 9--11, Paul still sees a future for this people of promise.
12 Even though the gospel is proclaimed by people, it is God who reveals its meaning (the righteousness which comes from Him).
13 Even though the term for righteousness (δικαιοσύνη) can not be completely separated from the concepts of moral regeneration (or sanctification), it most probably refers to being “acquitted”, or having a “righteous status conferred” upon oneself, and does not in itself contain a reference to moral transformation (cf. Cranfield, Romans, 1:93-96).
14 This is interpreting the genitive (θεοῦ) as objective (righteousness as God’s gift) rather than subjective (e.g., righteousness as God’s activity). This is a very difficult decision; see Cranfield for some in-depth discussion concerning these two views (Romans, 1:96-99). Righteousness is the moral character of God reflected in the gospel. All righteousness is a revelation of who God is. But Paul is emphasizing the righteous status which is given to men by God throughout the letter (cf. Rom. 5:17; 10:3; Phil. 3:9; 2 Cor. 5:21).
15 The phrase “from faith to faith” has numerous meanings as Cranfield notes, “‘from the faith of the OT to the faith of the NT’ or ‘from the faith of the law to the faith of the gospel’ ‘from the faith of the preachers to the faith of the hearers’, ‘from faith in one article to faith in another’, ‘from present faith to future’, ‘from the faith of words (whereby we now believe what we do not see) to the faith of things, that is, realities (whereby we shall hereafter possess what we now believe in)’, ‘from God’s faithfulness to man’s faith’, or as indicating a growth in faith ....” (Romans, 1:99).
However, it most probably is a rhetorical formulation to express “by faith” but in an emphatic manner, meaning that the righteousness of God has faith as its foundation, and goal. It means by faith alone (sola fide).
16 Verse 17 ends with a citation from Habakkuk 2:4. Although in its original context there was a sense of political deliverance for the nation of Israel, Paul uses it in the spiritual realm of the Gospel (cf. also Gal. 3:11; Heb. 10:38). Therefore, instead of speaking of “life” as political survival, he addresses the ultimate sense of life (e.g., an eschatological future with God; cf. Paul’s use of ζήσεται 2:7; 4:17; 5:17,18,21; 6:4,10,11,13,22,23; 7:10; 8:2,6,10,13; 10:5; 12:1)
17 Note that the standard of comparison is the gospel and not what other people might value. As Cranfield writes, “it is not a description of specially bad men only, but the innermost truth of all of us, as we are in ourselves” (Romans, p. 104).
The question considered here is not, “are the heathen lost”, but “can God justly condemn the heathen because of their unrighteousness”. While Gentiles are primarily in view, this is not an exclusive reference to them.
18 Paul is writing this epistle in Corinth (see the introduction). He may well have been stirred to develop this section because of the development of mankind which he saw daily before him.
Note that this is not the path of any particular person, but of mankind as a whole.
19 Romans 2:1-16 seems to be speaking to all of mankind (inclusive of both Jew and Gentile). The conjunction, Διὸ, is not only a conclusion to 1:32, but to all of 1:18-32 where Paul has exposed the unrighteous need of mankind. Note also that he uses the general term α῎νθρωπε for a reference to ‘mankind’. Nevertheless, Jews are not specifically addressed here. Their address is in 2:17ff. This is actually a logical pivot, or halfway-house to the Jews. The Gentiles are emphasized.
20 The problem with people is that we think that because God’s judgment is not upon me, that we are exempt, or must be O.K. This is very, very dangerous!
21 Note that these good works do not merit God’s favor, but are expressions of faith since they are seeking glory, honor, and incorruption. They are not said to deserve such things.
22 These are eschatological gifts of God (cf. 1 Pet. 1:7).
23 As expressions of faith (cf. 2:7).
24 See also James 1:22-25.
25 Note that the term is indefinite (“ο῞ταν γὰρ ε῎θνη”) therefore, Paul may not be talking about all Gentiles, but some Gentiles. Since these Gentiles have the Law written upon their hearts (cf. 2:15 with Jer. 31:33), it is more probable that they are believers who are part of the church and are not under the Law.
26 See 5:27, Galatians 2:15, and Ephesians 2:3 for a similar use of φύσις (“naturally”, or “by nature”). See Cranfield, Romans, 1:156-157.
27 See Jeremiah 31:33 [LXX 38:33] which reads, “δώσω νόμους μου εἰς τὴν διάνονιαν αὐτῶν καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίας αὐτῶν γράψω αὐτούς).
28 These may have been Matthew’s “weightier things of the Law” (Matt. 23:23; cf. Deut. 6:4ff; Lev. 19:18). Even though they knew these things, they rarely did them.
29 It seems that the Jews robbed pagan temples of idols and Jewish temples of tithes (cf. 1 Macc. 1:54; Josephus, Wars 2.9.4). Bruce notes that an example of this may be found in Josephus’ Antiquities viii, 81ff where a Roman convert to Judaism makes a donation to the temple at Jerusalem to four Jews from Rome who appropriated it for themselves (The Epistle of Paul to the Romans: An Introduction and Commentary, p. 93).
30 Just as God was reviled by the Gentiles when they took the nation into captivity because of their disobedience (cf. Isa. 52:5; Ezk. 36:20), so is it that the Gentiles revile God now as they override the Jews because of the Jews disobedience. As Cranfield writes, “Israel, whose special vocation it was to sanctify God’s name by its obedience and so promote the glory of God’s name, is actually the cause of its being dishonored” (Romans, 1:171).
31 Circumcision is the sign of the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 17). It was to be a physical sign of the uniqueness of God’s people through Abraham. Its physical nature was also sexual in order to emphasize (as a last minute reminder) that one was only to join one’s self with people of faith. When one becomes uncircumcised, one is not being considered as a partaker in the covenant promise of Abraham. When one is circumcised, he is a partaker of the covenant to Abraham.
32 The Greek is μὴ γένοιτο, or “may it not possibly be!” Paul is arguing that such a conclusion is wrong even though it arises from a true premise. Just because Israel failed does not mean that God is unfaithful.
33 In Psalm 51:3-4a David confesses his evil, “I know my transgressions ..., my sin is ever before me. Against Thee, Thee only I have sinned, and done what is evil in they sight.” Then he affirms that God is justified when he speaks (judgment), and blameless when he judges him for his evil. David’s unfaithfulness did not make God untrue; it confirmed God’s righteousness when he judged him.
It is also significant that God was faithful to David in spite of his grievous sin (cf. 2 Sam. 12:13,24-25; Ps. 89:35; Isa. 55:3; Lk. 1:32,69; Rom. 1:3).
34 If Israel, the prototype, failed, what hope is there for the world?
35 Paul develops a catena of OT quotations in confirmation of his charge that all are under sin’s power. This catena emphasizes the universality of sin’s hold on men.
36 This first strophe (3:10-12) is an abridgement and adaptation of the LXX of Psalm 14 (LXX 13) verses 1-3. It is also possible that Ecclesiastes 7:20 is in view (“Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who continually does good and who never sins”) in the last part of Romans 3:12.
In Psalm 14:1-3 the psalmist receives a revelation of YHWH’s appraisal of the human race as being foolish in that they are separated from the wisdom of God.
37 The term for righteous (δίκαιος) refers to righteous standing before God as well as moral righteousness (e.g., does justly as in Micah 6:8).
38 See the discussion by James on right speech (1:19,26; 3:1-12).
39 Paul is quoting the LXX of Psalm 5:9 [LXX 5:10] where he describes the ruthless enemies from whom he desires God’s help. The image is “Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving”.
40 Paul is quoting Psalm 140:3 (LXX 139:4) where he compares his enemies speech to the deadly strike of a serpent (“They sharpen their tongues as a serpent; Poison of a viper is under their lips”).
41 Paul is an adapted quotation of Psalm 10:7 (LXX 9:28 since they combine Psalms 9--10).
42 Verses 15-17 are an abridgement of Isaiah 59:7-8a, and describe the sins of God’s people Israel. Here Paul uses these to apply to all men.
43 This is from Psalm 36:1 [LXX 35:2b]; Sin speaks to the ungodly within his heart, and the ungodly have no fear of God before them. No fear of God leads to no fear of sin.
For relevant passages on the fear of God see Cranfield, Romans, p. 195 n. 1.
44 Here Law does not just refer to the Mosaic writings since the above scriptures in verses 10-18 came from the Writings and the Prophets. Here Law is used in a broader sense as torah, or the OT as a whole (cf. 1 Cor. 14:21; Jn. 10:34; 15:25).
45 The image is that of one being in a courtroom and being unable to give his defense after the evidence has been brought forward against him. He awaits his condemnation without saying a word.
46 This verse may be echoing Psalm 143:2.
47 Total depravity is the unmeritoriousness of Man in the sight of God. It does not mean that man has exhibited his depravity as thoroughly as he could, or that man indulges in every form of sin, or that man never performs acts that are good in the sight of men, or that man has no consciousness of what God would like. It means that corruption extends to every part of man’s nature including all the faculties of his being (mind, bodies, etc.). It means that nothing in man can commend him to a righteous God for salvation. Total depravity means the entire absence of holiness, and not the intensity of sin. Man will be restored in the eschatological future (cf. 5:2; 8:18,21,30).
48 The term is ἁπολυτρώσεως meaning to “be released through a payment.” The payment is to God as satisfaction for sin. In Egypt the nation who believed was released through the death of the first born of the king. In Christianity believers are released through the death of the “first born of the King”--Jesus.
49 This term (ἱλαστήριον) means to “satisfy” or “turn away” God’s anger. “Satisfaction” is the image of what occurred at the mercy seat in Heb. 9:5. All of the other theological terms revolve around this concept. Calvary was a public display of God’s propitiation.
50 The blood of Jesus Christ is a vivid way of expressing his death. There is also a sacrificial element which is emphasized through this expression (cf. 5:9; Acts 20:28; Eph. 1:7; 2:13; Col. 1:20; Heb. 9:11ff; 10:19,29; 13:12,20; 1 Pet. 1:2,19; 1 John 1:7; 5:6; Rev. 1:5; 5:9; 7:14; 12:11; Matt. 26:28=Mk. 14:24=Lk. 22:20; 1 Cor. 11:25; 10:16).
51 As Cranfield writes, “the purpose of this verse is to raise the question of Abraham as the most obvious possible objection to the statement that glorying has been excluded (3.27), in order that the truth of the statement might be decisively confirmed by the subsequent demonstration that even he has no ground for glorying, since he too was justified ἐκ πίστεως” (Romans, 1:226).
52 This is an assumed Jewish position (see Cranfield, Romans, 1:227 for support).
53 Moses’ account of this is in Genesis 15:6, “Now Abraham [had] believed (or was a believer) in YHWH, and He reckoned it to him (namely) righteousness. The Hebrew reads,
וְהֶאֱמִן בַּיהושּׂה־יּחְשְׁבֶהָ לּוֹ צְדָפָה. The “it” on “reckoned” is feminine agreeing with righteousness. This is a straight credit transaction (e.g., God credited him with righteousness--not his belief as righteousness, but because of his belief). The verb refers to Abraham as one who has believed or is characterized as believing--from Ur on (cf. Genesis 12:1,4; 14:21-24).
54 By including this statement Paul is intimating that Abraham was also “ungodly” (τὸν ἀσεβῆ, cf. 1:18).
55 The Greek reads, “λογίζεται ἡ πίστις αὐτοῦ εἰς δικαιοσύνην.”
56 Paul here appeals to Psalm 32:1ff to emphasize that God’s reckoning righteousness to a man apart from the Law is, in fact, the same as His forgiving sins (Cranfield, Romans, 1:233).
57 This promise included becoming blessing, a great name, numberless progeny, possession of the land of Canaan, and blessing to the nations of the earth (Genesis 12:7; 13:15f; 15:5,18; 17:8; 22:17f).
58 While “through” the Law could mean that the Law had not been given yet, it more probably means “through the instrumentality” of the Law in parallel with the second portion of the verse (“righteousness through the instrumentality of the faith”).
59 If the fulfillment of the promise would have been dependent upon man’s fulfillment of the Law, it would have ended in loss rather than fulfillment.
60 Jesus’ resurrection was proof of our justification. It vindicated the effectiveness of Christ’s substitutionary death. If Jesus had not been vindicated in the resurrection, then we would know that his substitution was not accepted by the Father.
61 These results of justification are stated for the purpose of assurance. This unit anticipates chapter 8. Therefore, Paul is answering the question, “Is justification a sure thing?” Paul answers, “Yes, justification will last through difficulties.”
62 As Cranfield writes, “To have one’s faith proved by God in the fires of tribulation and sustained by Him so as to stand the test is to have one’s hope in Him and in the fulfillment of His promises, one’s hope of His glory (v.2), strengthened and confirmed” (Romans, 1:261).
63 This was accomplished at just the right time in God’s sovereign freedom (cf. Mk. 1:15; Gal. 4:4).
64 The question which Paul is now answering is, “How could one person render the whole world savable?
65 Paul begins this unit with a protasis (ω῞σπερ) in 5:12, but develops thoughts until 5:18-19 when he picks up the comparisons again with the repeated phrase “even so” (ου῎τως καὶ).
66 There are five views to the meaning of “all sinned”:
(1) A denial of causal relationship between Adam’s sin and the sin of the human race.
(2) Pelagian: refers to man’s personal sins independent of Adam’s sin. Problems: (a) five times one sin is the cause of all in verses 15-19, (b) verse 14 would be misleading--”not the same sin as Adam”, (3) infants die.
(3) Mediate Imputation (Placaeus) = condition--the corrupt nature was first. Problems (a) “all sinned” not “all were corrupted”, (b) in verses 12-19 the race died from a transgression, not a condition of corruptness, (c) this does not do justice to verses 13-14 where there is no reckoning of sin with no law, (d) we are inherently corrupt, and (e) it is not logical.
(4) The Seminal Theory: the race participated in Adam (cf. Hebrews 7). Problems: (a) I sinned before I existed, (b) Why am I not responsible for Adam’s later sins?, (c) verse 14 would be misleading--not the same as Adam’s sin, (e) no seminal relationship in justification (e.g., we are not justified for personal righteousness)
(5) Federal Headship: Immediate imputation: Problems: (a) One is not responsible for others’ sins (Deut. 24:16; Ezk. 18:20--but these relate to civil government; cf. the typological image of Hebrews 7:9-12), (b) this is unfair (but this is talking about physical death not spiritual death; and would we have done any better?). Supports: (a) Adam is the natural representative head of all humanity--thus, when Adam sinned we did, (b) it fits the context with the analogy of Christ’s act of righteousness, (c) it does justice to verses 13-14, (d) it makes sense to see that Adam’s first sin was attributed to us, (e) the immediate imputation is implied in man’s estate, (f) the representative principle is illustrated throughout scripture--Esau, Achan.
67 Here Paul picks up again on his thought begun in 5:12.
68 There is an unbreakable connection between justification and sanctification. As Cranfield writes, “Paul is here concerned to insist that justification has inescapable moral implications, that our righteous status before God involves an absolute obligation to seek righteousness of life, that to imagine that we can ‘receive righteousness in Christ without at the same time laying hold on sanctification is profane absurdity” (Romans, 1:295).
69 The desire is to gain grace.
70 Although we died to sin, it did not die to us!
71 Paul is saying, yield yourself to God, then your members for God.
72 Law does not help when one is in trouble. It only makes the situation worse because it condemns.
73 In verse 1 the desire is to sin in order to gain grace; here the desire is to sin because we are under grace.
74 In 6:1-14 Paul explained that the believer is under grace. Now in 7:1-25 he explains that the believer is not under Law.
75 Paul is arguing that the Law, though holy, was not great enough to turn sin back. On the contrary, it incited sin to act out, and then needed to judge the sin.
76 This is the Mosaic Law (cf. 6:14; and the description “to those who know the Law”) and not Roman Law (cf. 13:1).
77 Review 6:1-11.
78 The Greek (ω῞στε plus an infinitive) expresses a contemplated result (e.g., what ought to follow-- ω῞στε δουλεύειν “that we ought to serve in newness of the Spirit”).
79 The “letter” may well have the sense of abuses, and misuses of the Law by legalist (Cranfield, Romans, 1:229-240), or it may more simply be the attempt to find life through the particular commands of the Law.
Under the Mosaic Law one is to obey in order to be blessed, but under the New Covenant one obeys because he has been blessed.
80 Sin originates within us. Salvation to the problem of sin is union with Christ in death and resurrection. Therefore, Paul is dealing with a misconception that sin originates with the Law since we have been separated from it. This is why he deals with the function of the Law (cf. 7:12).
81 Paul is arguing that he could have viewed himself as innocent in the face of the Law by external obedience if it were not for the commandment, “you shall not covet ...” (Ex. 20:17; Dt. 5:21) which exposed the sinfulness of his heart. It is this commandment that Jesus has in mind in the Sermon on the Mount when he explains the full sense of the Law (Matt. 5).
82 Much discussion rages over whether Paul is referring to his saved or unsaved state in Romans 7:14-25. The options are basically three:
1. The man is pre-Christian (Robertson): (a) terminology: “sold into slavery” “a wretched man”, (b) v.18- no power or capability to do good (no H.S.) (c) the contrast is between chapters 7&8 in that8:1 affirms no condemnation and chapter 7 is descriptive of pre-conversion (d) the past tenses in verses 7-13 are about past life in that the warfare in vv. 21-23 is not different than in verses 7-13, therefore, it must be the same.
2. The man is post-conversion (Calvin, Luther, Bruce): (a) There is a change from aorist to present tense in verses 7-13 and 14-25, (b) The context of Chapters 5-8 is of a Christian life therefore, it is unlikely for Paul to go backward, (c) this is inconsistent with Paul’s pre-conversion days (cf. Phil. 3:6 where there was no struggle), (d) verse 19 says “He wills to do good” and verse 22 says “He delights in” God’s Law, (e) it is constant with my Christian life as long as sin lives in me (Rom. 6:12-13; Gal. 5:7), (f) it is difficult for the unsaved man to diagnose the struggle so perfectly, (g) “I am sold unto sin” and “wretched man” fit here (cf. 1 Cor. 15:9; 1 Tim. 1:15)
3. Man’s (saved or unsaved) inability to have victory or please God (Mitten, Longenecker): (a) You can use both arguments--1. Unbelievers: ((a)) men in history have stated this problem (Plato, Ovid, Semica), ((b)) man knows what is right but they do not do it--2. Believers: it is a continuance of 5:20-21, namely, I was in Adam; Adam is still in me: chapter 6 affirms that legally I can say no to sin, chapter 7 says I do sin, and 8 says how I can say no to sin, (b) The argument has been from the vantage point of mankind in Adam (7:7-12).
83 In 7:25a there is a hint of the deliverance which is available for believers who are under this struggle. This will not be developed, however, until chapter 8.
84 After discussing the believer’s relationship to the Law he now argues that a greater law is working to push sin back--the law (or rule) of the Spirit.
Whereas chapter 5 presented the permanence of justification based upon one’s position in Christ, so now does chapter eight present the permanence of Sanctification based upon the Spirit.
85 Romans 8:1-4 summarizes Romans up to this point:
I. The dilemma of sin and condemnation is presented in 8:1-2 (cf. 1--3:20)
II. The substitution of Jesus is proclaimed as the means of justification 8:3 (cf. 3:21--5:21)
III. The ability of the believer to choose obedience over evil is provided for by the Spirit of God 8:4 (cf. 6--8).
86 The “therefore” of 8:1 does not refer back to verse 25, but the major premise of chapter 7:1-6 (see Cranfield, Romans, 1:372).
The freedom from condemnation is not only freedom from guilt (5:21), but from the power of sin (6--7).
87 Morris understands the negative descriptions of those in 8:5-8 to be qualities which a believer would not have, namely being in a state of death (8:6), having a hostile attitude toward God (8:7), and being doomed to not being able to please God (8:8). But these could be temporal expressions of fellowship rather than one’s position before God. It seems illogical for Paul to go back at this point to a discussion of the unbeliever and his inability to please God in his natural ability.
Rather the conflict is descriptive of the carnal and spiritual Christian: (a) The “us” in verse 4 relates to both groups (those according to the flesh and those according to the Spirit), (b) The overall argument relates to “believers’” freedom in Christ--(1) their freedom in the Spirit from condemnation so that they might obey as they walk in accordance with the Spirit (1-4), (2) walking according to the Spirit is explained in 8:5-11 (cf. the use of γὰρ in 8:5) (3) an application is given to the believer in 8:9-11--(c) This parallels well the struggle of the flesh with the Spirit in Galatians 5, and (d) verse 12 seems to relate living according to the flesh to believers (nb, “brothers).
It is possible that 8:8 is descriptive of the unregenerate (in the flesh “ἐν σαρκὶ”, cf. 8:9).
88 This death is spiritual separation (in terms of fellowship, and not necessarily eternal life as Morris sees it) from God for those who live according to the flesh. It seems as though this death will also be especially experienced in terms of a lack of rewards as we share in our inheritance when before the Lord (8:14-17).
89 This life is spiritual life in terms of a full experience of the inheritance as sons (8:14-17) for those who are separating themselves from the self-serving evil that their sinful body wants to do (13:b). Note the future, you shall live (ζήσεσθε).
90 Romans 8:16 “The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit ...” is often interpreted as an inner witness of our being children of God (e.g., the Spirit testifying to our spirit, cf. Cranfield), but the verb is συμμαρτυρεῖ describing joint testimony, and the dative τῷ πνεύματι is not that of “reference” or “recipient”, but of “direction” “along with” or “together with” (cf. Sanday and Headlam).
91 Paul seems to heighten the image that believers will not only be heirs, but joint heirs of Christ (συγκληρονόμοι δὲ Χριστοῦ) if they suffer with him (συμπάσχομεν) in order that they may be glorified with Him (ι῞να καὶ συνδοξασθῶμεν). This is why believers should not live according to the flesh (8:12).
92 The verse might better read, “He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, namely that (j*á expressing content rather than cause) the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to God’s will.”
93 Paul is discussing an external assurance that comes in view of external trials.
94 “These things” are not only a reference to 8:29-30, but probably 3:21--8:30 making this a conclusion from Paul’s argument thus far in the book.
95 “All things” (τὰ πάντα) may not only refer to being joint heirs (8:17), but the fullness of salvation (cf. 5:10), or all that is necessary for our salvation (Cranfield, Romans, 1:437).
96 Paul expresses this through “But” (ἀλλ ᾿) affirming as Cranfield writes, “So far from its being possible for any of these things to separate us from Christ’s love” (Romans, 1:440).
97 Cranfield correctly notes that, “The aorist participle indicates that the reference is to a particular historic acts, namely, that act by which He proved His love to us (cf. 5.6-8; also Gal 2.20)” (Romans, 1:141).
98 The term is ἀρχαί “rulers” (cf. Eph. 6:12).
99 This too probably refers to angels (cf. 1 Cor. 15:24; Eph. 1:21; 1 Pet. 3:22).
100 This unit fits into the main argument as follows: (1) Paul has concluded his main argument, namely, God’s righteousness is obtained by faith on the basis of grace. (2) Now a problem arises: since the Jews are the chosen people (etc.), how is it that they rejected God and God rejected them? How does God reject His chosen people? (3) Paul ministered first to the Jew and next to the Gentiles (1:16; 2:9), yet, the Gentiles responded and the Jews did not. This answers why God has mercy on the Gentiles: to provoke the Jews to jealousy. (4) Paul left the question of Jews in chapter three to finish the argument of God’s righteousness by faith. Now he returns to the Jew to explain that (a) God’s rejection is not inconsistent with the promises or with justice (chapter 9), (b) Israel is responsible because she repudiated righteousness by faith (e.g., the OT teaching of righteousness and the present day gospel [9:30--10:21], and (c) Israel will be restored and thus this is not final (11). (5) Why is it brought out here? God made promises to OT saints; if He did not keep them, is he faithful? Can we trust His promises to believers today (chapter 8)?
101 Paul probably refers to God’s word “failing” because the Jewish objection to the cast-away status of Israel was that this would mean that God’s promises failed in that God broke his covenant to Abraham and to the nation.
102 Paul is arguing that being a physical descendant of Abraham is not enough. God’s word has not failed. Israel is a remnant.
103 This description is not frozen. Although people may be vessels of wrath at the time of Paul’s speaking (e.g., Israel), God’s desire is that they will become vessels of mercy (9:30--11:36). Even believers are spoken of as having once been children of wrath (cf. Eph. 2:3; Cranfield, Romans, 2:492-497).
104 Romans 8:28-30.
105 Paul is amplifying Moses’ instruction that righteousness acquired by faith is here; we do not need to go somewhere to get it.
106 It seems as though confession and believing are one and the same thing from different view points: Confession from the context of the Jew and “believing” from the point of view of all men (including the Jew). In view of the Jews having rejected Jesus as from the devil (Mk.3) it is necessary for them to likewise confess (ὀμολογήσες) Jesus as “Lord” or YHWH. Perhaps it is in this way that a Jew could be freed from the curse upon his generation (resulting in salvation; cf. Luke 19:21; with Acts 2 and 3. NB -- this would have special significance in view of his discussion to Israel in Romans).
Believing in the finished and confirmed work of Jesus upon the cross leads to (results in) righteousness
In view of verses 13-14 the confession is most probably to God and not to men.
107 Paul is affirming that the gospel message has been widely preached to the Gentiles, so the Jews must have heard of it (cf. Col. 1:5f,23).
108 See chapter nine. Here people is λαὸν emphasizing the σπερμα, and not the τεκνα.
109 This does not refer to the nation of Israel in general so much as the elect from the nation of Israel: (1) Paul has affirmed in 9:6-8 that not all Israel is Israel, (2) in 11:15 this is a remnant according to election of grace, (3) in 11:2-3 Elijah and the seven thousand were a remnant (or God’s people), (4) 11:7b describes not those who are elected, but hardened--the rest of Israel, and (5) this makes sense with the other use of προγινωσκω in 8:29.
110 This imagery is a confirmation of verses 11-15, and sets up the imagery of the root and branches which follow in verses 17-24.
111 The elements of this tree are probably as follows: (1) the root would be God’s covenants (especially the Abrahamic covenant). J. Lanier Burns writes, “An equation of the root and patriarchs does not necessarily violate the emphasis on covenants. However, it does remove the emphasis on divine faithfulness that is central to the chapter. Perhaps the patriarchs would be an appropriate emphasis for the firstfuits” (“The Future of Ethnic Israel in Romans 11,” in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church: The Search for a Definition, edited by Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock, 206-207). (2) the branches are ethnic Jews and Gentiles, (3) cut off branches are unbelieving Jews and Gentiles, and (4) branches which are grafted in again are the full remnant of believing Jews.
112 Paul is not describing the Church here so much as Gentiles (cf. 11:11,13) who are allowed to share in the blessings of the Jews. Gentiles partake in the promises to Israel in that they are “partakers with them of the rich root (the Abrahamic covenant) of the olive tree (11:17). They do not replace Israel here. The two people are constantly distinguished from one another rather than joined to one another in this passage (and unlike Ephesians 2--3).
113 This fullness of the Gentiles has reference to the times of Gentile dominion (cf. Daniel), and perhaps until the elect from the Gentiles are saved.
114 There has been considerable debate about the identity of “all Israel.” The options are basically two: (1) “all Israel” refers to the elect of both Jews and Gentiles [e.g., spiritual Israel], or (2) “all Israel” refers to the whole of Israel, but not every individual [e.g., a large number of Israel who are in fact the remnant]. For “all Israel” to include the elect from among the Gentiles would contradict the contrast in 11:11-32 between the Gentiles and Israel. Therefore, “all Israel” must mean the nation with “all” not being any more comprehensive than the “fullness of the Gentiles” would be of Gentile salvation. Burns writes, “Therefore, in my opinion, the third stage is the conversion of the full number of Israel’s elect as preparation for the cleansing of the nation by its Deliverer in fulfillment of the new covenant” (“The Future of Ethnic Israel in Romans 11,” in Dispensationalism, Israel and the Church: The Search for a Definition, edited by Craig A. Blaising and Darrell L. Bock, 212-13).
115 It is difficult to be certain if this response is the conclusion of 11:1-24, 9--11, or the whole section on Doctrine (1:18--11:32). This outline has placed it as the large conclusion.
116 The term is συσχηματίζεσθε picturing the outward change of a chameleon. The prohibition is with the present tense expressing the cessation of some act that is already in progress (Dana and Mantey, § 290).
117 The term is μεταμορφοῦσθε speaking of the internal transformation of a butterfly.
118 See Cranfield, Romans, 2:613-616.
119 See also John 17:20-23.
120 It seems that the Jews were not submitting to the government, and the Gentiles were being persecuted. Paul does not write during a time of “good” government. Nero is in power. He is so crazy that he ripped open the womb of his mother to see the womb that bore him.
121 See also Genesis 9. This has some bearing on the issue of capital punishment. Certainly the government has a biblical basis for capital punishment. However, it does not say that it must use its authority all of the time.
122 See also Mark 12:17 = Matt. 22:21 = Lk. 20:25.
123 The verb is ἀποδιδόναι meaning to “give back” or “pay something which one owes as a debt.”
124 Paul has just expressed the Christian’s fulfillment of his political responsibility (the least part of love), not he sums up his particular ethical exhortation in the commandment of love.
125 Although this may at first sound like an “absolute” against all kinds of debt, it does not actually affirm that we should not ever borrow, but that we should be certain that we pay up our obligations (ὀφείλετε) except for that one which we can not ever repay--our obligation to love one another.
There are other passages that allow for borrowing: Matt. 5:42; Luke 6:35; 1 Cor. 6:7 (?); Ex. 22:25.
126 Paul seems to have the moral Law in view (Exodus 20; Deut. 5). While the promissory aspects of the Law are fulfilled in Jesus, and the code is discontinued through the advent of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2; 10), the ethic continues to be incumbent upon believers.
127 See Matthew 19:19
128 Paul is now (at the end of this more general part of his ethical exhortation) presenting the eschatological motivation of Christian obedience (cf. 12:12 where it was already mentioned, “rejoicing in hope”).
129 These verses are amplified in the following verse (13:13).
130 See Ephesians 6.
131 To put on Christ is to volitionally stand in one’s relationship with Christ, to consider one’s relationship as true, and thus to walk in that relationship (cf. Ephesians 4:24). Galatians emphasizes that this has already occurred (positionally--justification); now Paul makes a moral injunction to walk in this position (sanctification)
132 In view of Paul’s command the Christian community as a whole was strong, and the weak were a minority.
133 Although there are many views as to what makes these brothers the “weaker” ones, it may be best to understand that they were probably Jews who still held to the ceremonial Law. They were not Judaizers as in Galatians, but were unable with a clear conscience to give up the observance of such requirements of the law as the distinction between clean and unclean foods, the avoidance of blood, the keeping of the Sabbath and other special days (Cranfield, Romans, 2:690-699).
134 The theology of this section is what stands behind the decree of the Jerusalem council in Acts 15. Since this is so far from Jerusalem, Paul unfolds the theology rather than the decree itself.
135 See Acts 21:27ff.
136 See Acts 21:15ff.
137 Several things stand out in this unit: (1) the prominence of women, (2) the emphasize on Paul’s love for his people [vv. 8,9,12], (3) Paul’s recognition of the position of others in the Lord, (4) Paul mentions home churches five times (vv. 10,11,14,15), (5) Through the mention of so many names one may deduce that Paul “founded” the church in Rome through his converts.
138 This is an official letter of recommendation at this point. She probably carried the letter from Paul to the Romans.
139 Some consider Tertius to have composed Romans in accordance with this verse, but it is more probable that he was Paul’s secretary who either wrote the letter in long-hand from Paul’s dictation, or who first took Paul’s letter in shorthand and then wrote it out in long-hand with Paul’s final approval (see Cranfield, Romans, 1:2-4).
140 The inclusion of “the grace” here has rather weak manuscript support. Those manuscripts that do include it here (D, G, etc.) have the doxology (16:25-27) at the end of chapter 14, or else omit it altogether, cf. 16:20).
Related Topics: Introductions, Arguments, Outlines