The Book of Romans: "The Just Shall Live By Faith"
Friday - Paul has not been to Rome. Church in Rome that has been existing for some years may have been founded from Christians on the day of Pentecost - might be refugees from the death of Stephen - Paul and Peter are not the founders of this church - letter written on Paul's 3rd missionary journey - pops over to Corinth, writes to the Romans.
From reading chapter 16, Paul writes this letter - writing as an apostle - stated in the first verse of first chapter - I'm not ashamed of the gospel - when I come, I'm not ashamed of it.
Paul said he was not ashamed of the name of Jesus. Wherever he could have an audience, he would speak about it. Righteous man will live by faith. This is the theme of Romans.
Paul says this is what he will present when he comes to Rome.
Salvation, Sanctification (growth in Christ), Jews rejection of Jesus, practical part (Galatians, Colossians, Ephesians) spiritual gifts, governing authorities), talks about relationships with others. Doctrinal and practical things. Second purpose - its a missionary letter asking for financial aid.
Paul (egotistical interpretation on occasion), but he says he would be willing to spread the gospel elsewhere if it was already current in that one spot.
He mentions Spain - visit, encourage, and then financial encouragement to get to Spain - when I have finished my work and put my seal on this fruit, I will go on my way to Spain.
Phoebe - letter carrier. The apostle Paul has introduced himself as a slave and apostle. Address as beloved of God in Rome. Calls them saints: its someone who's been saved by grace. We are saints.
Paul is addressing this church that he has never been too, but he has connections and he desires to go to Rome. Then he addresses the problem: bad news and good news.
We have a problem - sin- very dark (1-3). We have it laid out neatly like a mathematical equation.
Problem is nobody is righteous - 1) Gentiles are sinners. (vs 18) Principles - wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness. Man has worshipped earthly things rather than God himself. The Gentiles are sinners and without excuse. They have general revelation and a conscience.
Gentiles know that there's a God. Dogs don't have a conscience, but they learn what they can and can't do.
We are not without excuse.
Second thing in Romans -
JEWS are sinners. Chapter 2 - Paul lists the sins practiced by the Gentiles. All sins are equals. He also mentions the Jews - condemn themselves - you who judge practice the same things.
Do not judge others - that's God's business. Jews are self-righteous, legalistic. They are trying to impose what they think the law is.
If you keep the moral law of God, you're doing what the law requires you to do. God has no grandchildren - the faith of Abraham is not sufficient for me, I have to have personal faith in Christ to gain righteousness.
Vs. 23 - You who boast int he law, though you boast in the law, but dishonoring God, salt and light - no earthly idea with what a life with Jesus Christ is like.
Circumcision is not outward which is in the flesh - Jew won inwardly, circumcision of the heart, spirit, praise comes from God. You don't live righteous lives. Jews are condemned.
3) All are sinners - 3:23 - and fall short of the glory of God.
Jew and Gentile. What is the benefit of being circumcised. Great in every respect. None righteous, no, not one. All have turned aside - together they have become useless. 20 - no flesh will be justified in God's sight. Even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, there is no distinction - for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. We are a mess. We are sinners - making it as clear as possible.
What's our solution?
Salvation is our solution. We have a problem, God gives grace - a gift. Gift - something given without anything expected in return.
Gift - undeserved thing God gives us - grace - God's Riches At Christ Expense.
Solution - Chapter 4 and - God's gift to us. Now, what do I need to do? How can I reciprocate? We have a hard time deceiving. Paul gives an example - he uses a rhetorical question - what will we say about Abraham - father of the faith? Didn't he follow the law? Was he not circumcised? What do the scriptures say about Abraham. Abraham believed God - reckoned to him as righteousness - Abe believed in God. All he did was to believe - Gen. 15 - God comes to Abraham at night in a vision - people, sons, nations, covenant chapter 15 - sacrificed an animal, split pieces, God knowing that Abraham in his weak flesh said that he would keep it for him.
That's a foreshadowing of Jesus to come. Abraham - believe in God - he was circumcised - 17 - as a sign of our covenant, 8 days after birth, male children will be circumcised.
Not by circumcision are we saved. Uncircumcised. Law was given several months, days, years afterwards. Has to be because he kept the law perfect. Who gave the law? Moses. Moses lived 400 years after Abraham. It was by faith Abraham lived, not law.