A Study in The Book of Romans
Quick Review of last lesson to include:
Sin: identification and why we need redemption
This week we are going to look at key verses and terms Paul uses in Romans.
Letís start our discussion with the word Peace.
The term peace is used in many ways throughout the Bible. I want to look at the ideas behind Paulís use of the word.
The primary and basic idea of the word peace is completeness and wholeness, soundness.
Paul uses it in this verse to represent the harmonious relationship between men who are sure of their relationship with God. It is talking in part about the "Peace of God" that we obtain through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
This is the free gift of peace. It is the harmonized relationship between God and man that has been accomplished through our faith in Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
It results in a sense of contentment because we are assured of our salvation, because there is now no longer anything between us and God.
It is the complete wholeness of God.
It includes tranquility, assurance, well being, security, health and prosperity.
All these are the "peace" Jesus left with us.
Psalms 34:14: "Depart from evil, and do good; Seek peace, and pursue it."
Next we are going to discuss salvation.
The Gospel is the power unto salvation.
Salvation in the New Testament sense is deliverance from the power of sin.
The Greek Word for salvation means deliverance or preservation from any danger.
Ex: Noah and the flood, earliest example of Godís salvation.
For us it is the deliverance or preservation from the power of sin in our lives.
Sin exposes us to illness, danger, worldís contamination, lostness, demon attack and death, both spiritual and physical.
Salvation is deliverance from sin: it includes wholeness, soundness and health. (just like peace!)
The basic concept is salvation from:
Salvation is the free Gift of God offered to all. John 3:15-17. 2 Peter 3:9
But it has to be accepted. Romans 9:10-13
Redemption is closely related to salvation. Romans 3:24
Redemption is the means by which salvation is accomplished, through the payment of ransom. In Old Testament times if you were sold into slavery or your property was sold to pay a debt, there was a ransom price to redeem it. It required paying the appropriate price for its redemption.
It required paying the appropriate price for our sin. In this case, the appropriate price was our eternal death. But Jesus paid it all when He gave His life for ours!
1 Peter 1:18-19
We were redeemed from the curse of the Law. Galatians 3:13-14
We now have the blessings of Abraham.
Which leads us to our next term; Adoption:
We have become the sons of the Living God, Joint Heirs with Jesus.
Paul uses the term adoption because he was addressing primarily a gentile audience.
Remember, He was the apostle to the gentiles.
He was writing to the church in Rome, which was made up of a large gentile population both Greek and Roman.
The Jewish population rarely used adoption, esp. in Old Testament times.
But is was very common in both Greek and Roman society, esp. in upper classes.
In Roman society, adoption was generally of a free Roman citizen, only rarely was a slave adopted. Remember last week, we discussed the racism and cultural hatred between nations. The Romans considered everyone not a born Roman citizen little more than and animal, that is why slavery was so prominent. Yet the adoption process in Roman society was so structured that it in many cases carried connotations of slavery. The person adopted was under the complete control and direct authority of the Patriarch of the family.
He had complete say over the adopted personís life and welfare. Generally it was a male who was adopted, esp. to ensure family inheritance and rule. It was used many time by the Caesarís to ensure a heir. It entailed duties, but also privileges and rights.
It was a very legally binding thing, more so than in our society today.
Paulís conception of adoption gives the Gentiles, us, many benefits.
Paul uses the term adoption to stress this relationship between us and God.
It is a binding relationship between us and God. We have been grafted into the vine as children because of the death and resurrection of Christ. Just as a Roman adoption cannot be undone, so our adoption into the family of God is final and cannot be revoked!
This entire process leads to the use of two more terms peculiar to Paul.
Justification and Sanctification.
God is the almighty God and Judge of the universe. He cannot tolerate or accept sin.
There must be a payment for it. In this role of Royal Judge, He had to have a legal just way to reestablish His relationship with us and our relationship with Him.
Justify in Hebrew and Greek is "to pronounce, accept and treat as just."
The Greek Word Paul uses is " to acquit".
It shows Godís justice in condemning and punishing sin, and His mercy in pardoning and accepting sinners, through Christ, whose gift of righteousness made keeping the law, which was impossible, unnecessary for acceptance by God.
Last lesson we discussed the identification of sin through the law, how all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and cannot be made righteous by keeping the law.
It is only through the sacrifice of the "Lamb of God", can we once again be made right.
And it is by Godís grace through faith that we are justified or acquitted. We receive pardon and remission of all sin. We are reconciled to God, we are no longer at enmity with God or He with us. As God cannot accept or tolerate our sin.
II Corinthians 5:17-19
It is a permanent reinstatement to favor and privilege lost by Adam, as well as forgiveness of our sins.
Jesusí death and resurrection fulfilled the claim of Godís law. By perfectly serving God here on earth and being obedient to death (Philippians 2:8). He bore the penalty of sin and
Redeemed us from the curse of the law.
Christ Jesus became our propitiation, our atonement, thus reestablishing our fellowship with God. Therefore we became the righteous of God through Christ.
Paul thought of righteousness in the Hebrew sense, that is the right relationship between God and an individual or with God and a people.
It is an attribute of God:
Psalms 71:15 "My mouth shall tell of Your righteousness And Your salvation all the day, For I do not know their limits."
Psalms 119:142 "Your righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, And Your law is truth."
Paul is talking about the reestablishment of our right relationship with God, that we have right standing with God.
He compares the sin of the Gentiles (Romans 1:18-31) and their inability for redemption and lack of excuses to that of the Nation of Israel, (Romans 9:31-32) and their strict adherence to the rituals of the law and their inability to obtain redemption through it. Both led to spiritual death. No one receives righteousness under his own power. Romans 3:23 "for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,"
What the law could not do Ė God did by sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh Ė so that the righteous requirements of the law could be met!
Therefore the righteousness of God is a free gift. We do not deserve it but obtain it through faith.
Once you are declared righteous we seek to do deeds of righteousness and grow in righteousness.
Which leads us to our last term for tonight:
I Thessalonians 4:3-7
Sanctification: the separation of the believer from evil sinful ways. It is Godís will for us as believers to be holy as he is holy.
I Peter 1:15-16
Romans 6:1-23 Ė Paulís explanation of sanctification.
It is learned from Godís Word and must be pursued by the believer all out!
John 17:17 "Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth."
Psalms 17:4 "Concerning the works of men, By the word of Your lips, I have kept myself from the paths of the destroyer."
Philippians 4:8-9 "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy meditate on these things.
9. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you."