The whole life of our blessed Lord as Man, is told in the words, "He humbled Himself". He began His life here in a manger and ended it on the cross, and along the way He had not where to lay His head.
We now take up a New Testament book, which, in some ways, compares with Genesis. In that one we had the first creation - the physical one. In Romans, we read of the new creation - Christianity - the finished work of Christ. Romans gives us the foundation truth of every believer's position, as Genesis gives us the foundation truth of the first creation. Genesis tells us of the origins of our physical birth. Romans gives us the origin of our spiritual birth. The Lord Jesus Who is the Creator of the first, is the Accomplisher of the second. In Jn 3:6-7 they are brought together. In Genesis, one man disobeyed unto death (Rom 5:19); in Romans, one Man obeyed unto death (same verse). In the first creation disobedience to God is the very nature of fallen man; in the second creation, obedience is the very nature of a person redeemed (1 Pet 1:2).
Rom 1:3 The good news from God (the gospel) concerns His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
Rom 1:5 Obedience comes from Christ, Who was totally obedient to God the Father. Read the last part of Jn 8:29. If we are not obeying God's Word, we are not living the proper life which God has intended for us.
Rom 1:7 Every believer is a saint, though an unhappy one if he is not obeying God's Word.
Rom 1:17-18 "Righteousness" means God's way of putting a sinner perfect in the sight of God. God's anger against sin was all spent at the cross for anyone who accepts Christ as Savior. He has nothing but love left for those who believe in Him! When a judge acquits a man, he makes him legally righteous, but he does not make the man into a different person. When God accepts a sinner He changes that person. He justifies him. He puts him in an entirely new position. He sees him without a sin on him. He sees him in Christ.
Rom 1:18-32 And on the other hand, God is angry at all those who refuse His righteousness. All the people of the world are referred to. Sin has ruined everyone.
Rom 1:19-20 No one can say that God is unfair in all this. A person who has never heard the gospel is not going to be held responsible for this. But he is going to be held responsible for what God has said to him through nature. People are without excuse. From verse 19 to 2:16 God is speaking of the heathen lands (the Gentiles).
JESUS is a VICTIM, perfectly suited to purify us... a
PRIEST, perfectly suited to intercede for us... a PROPHET,
Rom 2:1-16 The cultured or educated Gentiles.
Rom 2:2 God judges according to truth. Verse 6 according to deeds (what they did).
Rom 2:11 Without favoring one person over another. Verse 16 - according to the gospel which Paul preached. The whole chapter shows that the more light a person has, the greater the punishment if he does not accept God's gift. People say "yes, but what about the heathen?" This chapter puts things in their proper value. We should say to such a per-son "but what about you?"
Rom 2:17-end The Jews - they were much more responsible because God had given them the law, His Word.
We often trace things up to the Lord's hand, but not to His heart which moves His hand.
The subject of sin continues. God is proving that sin is in everyone. All have sinned (verse 23) whether Jew or Gentile - there is no difference (verse 22).
Rom 3:10-18 Taken from seven different Old Testament scriptures, these verses prove that the whole human race, in all ages, stands guilty before a holy God. (Paul must have read the Old Testament carefully).
Rom 3:21-end Big "BUT", God here opens up the great contrast. He gives us a Person - His beloved Son - to buy us back - (redeem us) to Him.
Rom 3:9 All are under sin, but the Lord Jesus was made sin for us, 2 Cor 5:21. See also 1Pet 2:24. How great the price that was paid to put it away!
The nearer I am to the heart of Christ, the warmer will be my own... to Him... and to others!
Today, another word starts to be used a great deal, "faith", which means "to trust, to believe". But always (in the New Testament) toward God, or Christ, or spiritual things. Sinners can only be cleansed from their sins by faith. Never by works.
Rom 4:1 Abraham is given as the greatest example of faith. He believed God.
Rom 4:28 Faith in God is entirely different from doing good works. These can never save a person.
Rom 4:9-22 Abraham received promises of blessing from God before there was a Jewish nation (so these blessings don't depend on the law, but on faith - believing God.
Rom 4:23-25 For us also. Faith (believing) in Christ's work alone saves our soul.
If I am searching for joy, I'll never find it, but if I desire to know Christ better, I'll find joy, peace and contentment.
Rom 5:1-2 "Therefore" - what a lovely word! What peace floods our soul! Through Christ, we, pardoned sinners, are lifted right up into the glory of God.
Rom 5:1-11 Never tell a sinner to make his peace with God. Peace was made at the cross of Calvary (Col 1:20). Peace becomes ours through faith.
Rom 5:10 Notice the two sides of God's salvation. One side (the past), through the death of the Lord Jesus. The other side (present) through the life of the Lord Jesus now. Up to the end of verse 11, "sins" (not sin) have been the subject. But starting with verse 12 "sin" is spoken about. "Sin" is the fallen nature, "sins" the acts of that nature. "Sin" is the root; "sins" are the fruit.
Rom 5:12-21 Adam was a picture of the old life. Christ is the new life. Each is head of a family. We all were born once into Adam's family. We must be born again into Christ's family. "Sin", "trespass", "disobedience", "condemnation" and "death" are contrasted (the opposite) with "righteousness", "justification" and "obedience". We are all in one or the other position.
Rom 5:21 Sin is like a king. Like a slave-owner. We were the slaves. Sin is a power outside us. It is an enemy. The world today, apart from Christ, is under the power or control of sin. Christ had to come down and defeat sin on its own ground (Rom 8:3). If you are in Christ (a believer in Him) you have entered into this victory, and are delivered from that awful power of sin (Rom 6:18; 7:24-25). But now "grace" is the king. Grace reigns! But we are not yet delivered from the presence of sin. This subject comes up tomorrow. Chapter 5 tells us what we have through Christ. Chapter 6 what we are in Christ.
His holiness made Him a stranger in a polluted world; His grace kept Him ever active in this needy world.
In this life, sin is always trying to get back into control over the believer. And now we are going to learn how to handle this serious situation. A struggle is described. Some would say that if a person was in this wonderful position of salvation, then sin didn't matter, but it does as verse 12 tells us.
Rom 6:1 He repeats here what others had said in trying to trip him up (Rom 3:8). So Paul carefully explains this very important teaching.
Rom 6:1-14 The believer has died with Christ, and has a new life in Jesus Christ. God's Word says that these are facts. Verse 11 tells us to believe this. If a real Christian's life does not show that he believes this, he does not lose his salvation, but he will not grow in his soul. If he believes what God says, then he won't feed that old nature.
Rom 6:15-23 Believers are God's servants. A new Master has replaced sin. Sin was a master in the old life, and demanded shameful living. Do you realize that in these verses is the secret of the power of living a pure life?
Rom 6:23 Sin earns wages - death. But the other side is a gift - eternal life - through Jesus Christ our Lord. In chapter 5 there are two heads of families (Adam and Christ). In chapter 6 two masters and in chapter 7 there are two husbands.
I am in Christ above... Christ is in me below... these are the power for my life.
ROMANS 7 verses 1-6
Rom 7:1-6 Paul uses the illustration of a woman married to a man. If he died, then she was free to marry another. (The husband is a picture of the law, the wife is a picture of a person). The law has only power over a believer so long as he lives and the law can't die, so how can the union be broken? The believer dies! Therefore the law (the former husband) no longer has power over one that is dead. A person who accepts Christ as his (or her) Savior, has died with Christ (6:8). But Christ has risen from the dead, we believers are now married to Him. We cannot have two husbands at one time. We'll only read these 6 verses today. Most believers never understand them. There is much bad teaching about what they mean. Don't expect to understand it by reading it quickly. Read and reread it, until you get it! The believer is the one who dies!
I can't have Christ as the center of my life, if He is not the center of my thoughts.
ROMANS 7 verses 7-25
Rom 7:7-25 In Phil 3:6 Paul had said that as far as the law was concerned, he was blame-less. That was before he became a saved man. But here, as a saved man, he is thinking of sin in a different way. He found that he wanted to do good, but he didn't have the power. In the old life (old nature) he discovered that he was bad through and through (verse 18). Here Paul had the mistaken idea that his new nature could overcome the old nature, and keep it down.
Rom 7:24 But that couldn't be done. He cries out for help. He realizes he needs a power outside himself. Only God could do it for him.
Rom 7:25 But another cry. This time from the heart. This time a cry of relief and triumph, and he knows he has been heard. He thanks the One Who came to his rescue, God Who has given the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. Nothing is more important for us as believers than to learn this for ourselves. Do not leave these two chapters (6 & 7) until you see this. The flesh, be it ever so good and refined, will drag us down to defeat and surrender to sin. But when we surrender to Christ, He has the victory, and all the credit (the glory) goes to Him.
The Priest, Christ, goes to God for us... we, to the Priest.
ROMANS 8, Verses 1-17
Chapter 7 was all weakness and defeat and all about "I, me or my" (mentioned 47 times!) Christ is mentioned twice. The Holy Ghost is not mentioned at all. This chapter is Spirit-saturated. The Holy Spirit is mentioned 18 times, Christ 13 times and "I, me or my" three times! The law could not set man free from the power of sin. But God has done it by sending His Son to earth to die on the cross. By His death, Satan, sin and death have been conquered.
Rom 8:1-4 The basis of the Spirit's work is the cross of Christ. And this shall be our theme of praise in eternity. The Spirit of God wants to have us think about Christ more and more.
Rom 8:5-13 The Spirit is contrasted with the flesh. People who are the Lord's are to live differently than those who do not know the Lord. The flesh fights against our new life all the time, but life in Christ brings us to new interests, and we have an aim in life... to please the Lord. The new life only wants to do this. The flesh never understands this because it does not understand God.
Rom 8:14-17 The Spirit makes us sure we are the sons of God.
We are in Christ an heir of glory (Rom 8:l7),
ROMANS 8, Verses 18-end
Rom 8:18-25 The Spirit makes us sure of the coming glory. If we are enjoying this fact, then the present problems through which we pass, don't upset us.
Rom 8:26-27 The Holy Spirit intercedes (prays) for us. Sometimes we don't know how to pray and we just sigh. The Holy Spirit puts this sigh into proper words before God!
Rom 8:28-30 The Holy Spirit carries out God's plan. These verses apply to all believers. For all believers love God. And God is gradually leading on all believers according to His purposes. If we realize that His love toward us never changes, we are well on our way to understanding these other things.
Rom 8:31-39 What a burst of adoration and thanksgiving. With this chapter, the great teachings about salvation end. If you have the time, it will be well worth it if you reread these eight chapters with the outlines. They are the foundation of Christianity.
If I know not Christ, it matters not if I know everything besides... but if I know Christ, it matters not if I know nothing besides.
God now speaks about the Jews. Israel originally was to have been the missionary group to the Gentiles (Is 42:6). And when the long-promised Messiah (Jesus) came, Israel crucified Him! Paul breaks this whole subject into three parts. Chapter 9 - first part. Israel chosen in the past to be richly blessed. It was not because they were good that they were chosen. They failed completely - they killed the One Who had come to earth to bless them! Chapter 10 - Israel at present. The nation is set aside. Chapter 11 - in the future (after the church has been taken to heaven), God is going to regather Israel. So past, present and future, chaps. 9, 10, 11.
Rom 9:1-5 Paul is heart-broken that most of the Jews are outside the place of blessing. They rejected the Savior, and they don't want anyone who follows Him. Notice in these verses how like the Lord Jesus Paul speaks... he walked so closely to the Lord.
Rom 9:6-13 In the early history of Israel, God chose one branch of a family for His special purposes. The behavior of that person had nothing to do with his being chosen. The Jews were arguing that God had to bless them (Lk 3:8 and Jn 8:33,39). So he points out that only one person was chosen (verse 7) in a family. God didn't wait to see how Jacob would turn out before He chose him (Gn 25:23, Mal 1:2).
Rom 9:14-29 No one can tell God what to do. Paul says that God could not be called unfair. He gives 3 reasons.
Rom 9:15-18 The scripture shows that God is free to do what He wants.
Rom 9:19-24 It would be like claiming to be equal with God instead of one of His creatures.
Rom 9:25-29 The Old Testament scriptures themselves prove that God was going to have a little remnant (group) of believing Jews, and that His love and grace would go out to the Gentiles.
Rom 9:30-33 It was known by the Old Testament scriptures that Israel would miserably fail and be set aside by God. God can do what He wants and if He did set them aside and bring the Gentiles into blessing, He will never give them up. (We'll see this in chapter 11). Those Gentiles who believe will be saved. The Jews tried to gain their blessings through their own works, and lost everything. The very Stone they stumbled over was the very One, and the only One, Who could have saved them. That Stone was the Lord Jesus Christ.
The believer realizes that the blessed Son of God became a man on purpose to be able to be judged, to suffer and to die for him.
Paul had been a Pharisee, and knew all about the law. However, once he was saved, and indwelled by the Holy Spirit (at the same time - Eph. 1:13), he came to know the total rejection of God by the Jews. (1) They rejected Jehovah; (2) they rejected the Christ of God, Who came as Messiah and (3) they rejected God, the Holy Spirit (Acts 7).
Rom 10:14 The Jews had a zeal (energy to serve) for God, but not the right way. They were going to establish their own righteousness. And just think of how many people there are today who are trying to do their best.
Rom 10:5-13 The gospel is easily received and is open to all.
Rom 10:6-7 No one needs to think that they have to go a long distance (up to heaven) or down into the abyss to receive Christ. Salvation is close, ready for anyone.
Rom 10:8-13 The lips to say, the heart to believe are all that is necessary on our part.
Rom 10:14-21 God has given the Jews every opportunity, and has done everything possible. There are four links in a chain between God and them... the apostles... preaching... hearing... and faith (believing). But they broke the chain, they would not believe.
The first man was turned out of paradise because of sin; but now a Man has come out of paradise to earth, to pay for sin, and He is going to bring us with Him into paradise forever.
Paul here looks into the future. He asks whether God is finished with Israel forever. No, they are going to be blessed in the end! After the Lord takes the church (we believers) to heaven, then He is going to turn back to deal with Israel.
Rom 11:1-5 Remember that Elijah thought he was the only one in his days who was faithful to God. And the Lord had to tell him that 7,000 others had not bowed down to idol worship. God always has His faithful ones or remnant.
Rom 11:6 Grace is the opposite of works.
Rom 11:11-35 Through the rejection of the Messiah, God turned from the Jews, and has now offered His salvation to the whole world. When the Lord Jesus comes for us, then God is going to start to work on some of the Jews again, and He is going to open their blind eyes.
Rom 11:12-16 Israel rejected the Savior, through this rejection much good has come to the Gentiles. What a grand and glorious day it will be when Israel returns to God!
Rom 11:17-33 Israel was the natural branch of a tree. Because of unbelief they have been cut out, and other branches (the Gentiles) have been grafted in. But here the new branches are warned that if they do not continue on, they will be cut out, and then it will be easy to graft in again the natural branches. And that is exactly what is going to happen. After we believers are taken to heaven, the Jews shall be brought back into blessing in the millennium.
Rom 11:33 Paul bursts into praise to God for working out such a glorious plan.
We shall be as like the second Man as we have been like the first.
The last five chapters take up different instructions for believers. This chapter tells the believer how he should live, labor and love. For every instruction in the Bible on how to live, there is always a definite doctrine as the foundation for it. The gospel has two sides, the believing side and the behaving side. However, they both go together, because our behavior shows what we believe.
Rom 12:1 A Life devoted to God is the natural life for each believer.
Rom 12:2 We are not to follow the world's talk, habits or customs, but be changed into living for Christ, then we will prove the good and acceptable and perfect will of God. We are not to live just to please ourselves, but the Lord.
Rom 12:3-8 We believers are to be together in one fellowship for we are one "body". Are you living this?
Rom 12:9-21 Love for the believer is genuine love. It learns and draws its strength from God's love in Christ. "Without dissimulation" means "without pretending", "without deceit". How true are these verses of us?
We cannot receive God in grace and salvation without an answer of thankfulness and joy in our spirits.
Yesterday we read of how the believer behaves toward other believers... today, toward unbelievers.
Rom 13:1-7 Every time there is an election, the right man always gets in, therefore the believer does not vote. It seems hard to realize that it makes no difference what kind of government we are under, or what laws may be made. Whether we like them or not, we are to obey them. (Not of course, if they are contrary to God's Word). Satan is the god of this world (2 Cor 4:4) yet overruled by God. We are in the world, but not of it. If you are disobeying the government you are disobeying God. Read these seven verses again... they are God speaking to you and me.
Rom 13:8-14 Two reasons for goodness. The first is love (8-10) the second is because the Lord is coming soon (11-14). The day of the Lord follows the day of tribulation. It is drawing near.
The NEW NATURE is capacity... the HOLY SPIRIT is the power... when I am dependent and obedient.
How believers are to behave toward everyone, but with the Lord always in mind. Personal opinion often is the rule for how a person behaves, but this is not what God is telling us here.
Rom 14:13-23 People often look down on those who do not act the way they think they should act. Believers are not to be controlled by what they think, but by the Word of God. We should be conscious of the effect on others of how we are acting; and more importantly, that we are responsible to the Lord. Some who had been Gentiles before they were saved might have been idolaters. The poorer people could buy from the slaughter house, meat which had been offered to idols. The question came up, as to whether it was all right for a believer to eat this meat. A person who had just come to know the Lord Jesus as Savior does not know much about the Lord or about the Scriptures. An older believer was not to offend the conscience of the younger believer by eating this meat, even though he might eat it himself with a good conscience.
Justification is the work of Christ; sanctification, the work of the Holy Spirit.
Rom 15:1-7 Paul had learned that obedience is not self-pleasing. This is one of the most important things to understand. Paul brings the perfect Man before us as an example. Only a believer in Christ has the power to live the Christian life according to the Bible. Remember Paul was not only telling them how to act, he was showing them.
Rom 15:8-13 The believers who had been Jews might think that they knew more than the believers who had been Gentiles. And the Gentile believers might be thinking that the Jewish believers were holding on to a lot of traditions, which came from the Old Testament days. Paul turns them both to Christ.
Rom 15:13 Beautiful words to unite all the believers into a desire to please God alone.
Rom 15:17-21 Paul reviews his missionary work and he does not take credit for other missionaries' work. But he does point out Christ's work through him.
Rom 15:22-32 Paul outlines his future plans. This chapter has many lovely points. Here are a few. God is the God of patience (verse 5), the God of consolation (encouragement, verse 5), the God of hope (verse 13), the God of peace, (verse 33). Then we have the glory of God, the truth of God, the gospel of God, the Spirit of God, and the will of God. See if you can find the five of them. If you have the time, look for (A) references to the Holy Spirit, (B) references to hope, (C) references to Christ, (D) references to the many things with which we can be filled. As members of the one body, note that we are to (1) help, (2) please, (3) receive, (4) admonish (warn others), (5) minister (serve), and (6) pray for one another.
The Holy Spirit is the power that detaches us from everything which is contrary to God... and leads us to that which is invisible... to Christ.
Paul loved all the brethren and was acquainted with what many were doing. He was rich in friendships. And this is why he remembers so many, even if only by name (in a few cases). Men and women alike helped him greatly. Where praise was due, Paul never failed to give it. Wouldn't that be a nice way for us to act with other believers?
Rom 16:17-18 Paul was not trying to win popularity by flattering everyone. He has some sharp things to say about those who were causing divisions - making denominations. Today many believers are tolerant about those who cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine they have learned. Notice what should be done to these people.
Rom 16:25-27 Beautiful end to this mighty Epistle. May
we have grace from God to live according to its words. Then we shall
walk in the joy of the blessings of this final expression of praise to
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