Greetings and Admonitions – Romans 16

Read the Passage: Romans 16

Roman Saints (16:1–16)

Sometimes believers are tempted to skip reading lists of names in the Bible, such as the lengthy genealogies and the greetings that Paul oftentimes includes at the end of his epistles. Continue reading Greetings and Admonitions – Romans 16

Neighbor Love – Romans 15

Read the Passage: Romans 15

Paul’s Exhortation (15:1–13)

Earlier, in Romans 14 Paul addressed the issue of Christian liberty, as he primarily wrote to those known as stronger brothers—that is, believers with a mature faith, full knowledge of the Bible, and a developed Christian conscience—and encouraged these mature brethren to “not put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our [weaker] brother’s way” (Rom. 14:13). Continue reading Neighbor Love – Romans 15

Liberty, Love, and Faith – Romans 14

Read the Passage: Romans 14

Christian Liberty (14:1–13)

Since sanctification is a process, oftentimes new believers do not grasp the implication of the gospel for their lives. Indeed, many new converts are prone toward either legalism or license. In Paul’s context, a prevalent issue was Christians’ keeping of the Old Testament ceremonial law, especially those laws related to eating certain foods and observing special days (cf. Col. 2:16–17). Continue reading Liberty, Love, and Faith – Romans 14

Christians and Government – Romans 13

Read the Passage: Romans 13

Submit to Authority (13:1–7)

In Rom. 12:17–21 Paul instructed the Roman believers about their duties toward their enemies, as he wrote that they were to live peaceably and not to avenge themselves. In their context, one of the biggest foes of the Roman church was the state, as the government was persecuting Christians. Continue reading Christians and Government – Romans 13

The Christian Life – Romans 12

Read the Passage: Romans 12

Living Sacrifices (12:1–2)

Paul’s pattern in all of his epistles is to begin by teaching theology and conclude by covering ethics. Indeed, this structure is quite logical, for ethics is applied theology. In the book of Romans, chapters 1–11 contains theology—namely, Paul’s teaching about the doctrine of salvation—and chapters 12–16 discuss ethics for the believers in the Roman church. Continue reading The Christian Life – Romans 12

Israel and Salvation – Romans 11

Read the Passage: Romans 11

God’s Remnant (11:1–10)

In Romans 9, Paul expressed his personal desire to see ethnic Israel saved, he showed that the present apostasy of Israel was prophesied in the Old Testament, and he defended God’s righteousness. Continue reading Israel and Salvation – Romans 11

Israel and the Gospel – Romans 10

Read the Passage: Romans 10

Zeal and Knowledge (10:1–4)

In Romans 9, Paul demonstrated that God’s promises of salvation to Israel were never solely genetic, even in their original context. Rather, salvation has always been by faith alone in order “that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works” (Rom. 9:11). Continue reading Israel and the Gospel – Romans 10

Election and Redemption – Romans 9

Read the Passage: Romans 9

Identity of Israel (9:1–13)

Paul begins this section about the restoration of Israel by expressing his personal concern for his own nation, even expressing a desire to trade his own salvation for the redemption of Israel. Of course, as Paul had just taught in Rom. 8:38–39, it is not possible to lose or to exchange one’s salvation (cf. John 10:28). Continue reading Election and Redemption – Romans 9

Work of the Spirit – Romans 8

Read the Passage: Romans 8

Flesh and Spirit (8:1–11)

Recall in Romans 7 Paul had taught that believers are “dead to the law through the body of Christ” (Rom. 7:4). Since the law no longer has judicial power over Christians, Paul now writes, “There is therefore now no condemnation to whose who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1). Note that Paul had only referred to the Holy Spirit four times in Romans 1–7; yet, the Spirit is mentioned twenty-two times in Romans 8 alone. Paul’s teaching in this chapter is that just as it is the Holy Spirit who justifies, so it is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies. Observe that Paul refers to the flesh nine times in Romans 8, included once in every verse between Rom. 8:3–9. Continue reading Work of the Spirit – Romans 8

Power of the Law – Romans 7

Read the Passage: Romans 7

General Illustration (7:1–6)

In Romans 6, Paul began his explanation about sanctification by addressing those who might object to his teaching on justification by faith alone. In sum, Paul taught that salvation by faith alone is not a license to sin; rather, the one who has been saved solely by Christ, apart from good works, will want to engage in good works because of: Continue reading Power of the Law – Romans 7