The Point of Romans–Part Two

In order to explain the obedience of faith that results in righteousness, Paul starts Romans with the basic assumption that only obedient people get to heaven and the disobedient and unrighteous get God’s wrath (chapters 1 and 2). Next he explains our predicament—we can’t obey because we are unrighteous (chapter 3).

Due to this little problem, Paul expounds on the obedience of Christ in dying and His resurrection for our justification (chapters 4 and 5). We are made right with God by faith.

The result of being made right with God is that we obey God by His Spirit(chapters 6-8). Paul then points to Israel’s example of how not to do it (chapters 9-11). Israel tried to get it by works of the law and not by faith.

(Those who think grace is the main point of Romans often wonder why chapters 9-11 exist. When righteousness and faith are in view it is obvious why they exist.)

Paul assumes we will take his advice and get righteousness by faith and the result is obedience to God which will manifest itself in following Paul’s commands for Christian living (chapters 12-16).

Paul concludes Romans by stating that the Scriptures have been made known and this knowledge results in the obedience of faith (16:26).

There is a notion that being saved by grace is strictly a New Testament idea and that salvation by grace means obedience is optional, at best. Many have used Romans to teach such falsehood.

This false teaching merely shows that few have ever actually read Romans apart from their assumptions and fewer still have been obedient to it.

2 thoughts on “The Point of Romans–Part Two”

  1. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2

    Paul is pleading with the readers of this letter to be diligent in the working out of their faith, by the constant renewing of their mind by the washing of the word. A big part of the obedience of faith is reading, knowing, and remembering God’s word. We need to retrain our brain, from the old way of thinking, into a renewed way of reasoning, that comes only from God’s word.

  2. Jeff,

    Excellent thoughts, and very refreshing. Makes me want to read Romans again!

    There is also a prophetic aspect to Romans in the last chapter (almost the last verse, if you don’t count the closing salutation):

    Rom. 16:20 “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly.”

    Christ’s death on the cross was the main bruising of the serpent’s head, a fulfillment of the first prophecy in the Bible, Gen 3:15. But there is to be another bruising through the church, a “second witness” if you please, that God’s ways, and God’s laws, are the way of life, and that Satan’s accusations are false.

    The last half of the book of Revelation deals with this bruising: the preparation of the church, the conflict, the persecution and struggle. The same elements that Jesus had to meet when going to the cross will be met by His church. The same victory will be seen. This is what will bring Satan’s kingdom down, not bombs or wars between nations.

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