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Monday, March 12, 2012

(57) The Book of Romans

Church of the Empire.

Romans is the longest book written by Paul.  This book takes the deepest look at sin and salvation than the rest of his letters, hence the Roman Road ideology.  But not only does it focus on these two topics it expands on other topics more than the rest of his letters.  Such as it also talks about righteousness, faith, justification, redemption, atonement, reconciliation, and sacrifice.  It was the book Saint Augustine was reading when he converted and the same one Martin Luther was reading when he came up with the idea of justification by faith that would cause him to break from the Catholic Church starting the Reformation period.  There was more than just Paul that had something to do with the letter.  He orated the letter but it was written by Tertius and delivered by Phoebe.  Paul never made it to the church in Rome until he was imprisoned there at the end of his life.  It was written around 57 AD, 11 years before Paul's death, and about 5 years before he was imprisoned there.  He was in Corinth at the time.

Rome, one of the most famous cities and empires in history, started around 753 BC by twin brothers, Romulus and Remus who were legendarily raised by wolves.  It was actrualkly a repblic until Augustus came to power in 27 BC and remained an empire until its fall in 395 AD.  Around 300 AD the Empuire started to have problems and would eventually become two separate empires, the east would become the Byzantine Empire.  The church of Rome would also split at this point.  The west would become Roman Cahtolicism and the east would become Eastern Orthodox.  Most people think Christianity brought the downfall of the Empire.  But, it may alos perhaps be the thiong that kept it alive for so long.  God perhaps used Rome for His glory.  When the western Roman Empire became the Holy Roman Empire, the word of God spread into 20 languages.  But before the Church became powerful in Rome, many people would not accept Christianity (Acts 18:2) due to a strong paganistic culture.  However the ones that did become Christian and started the church there were very strong in faith (Rom 1:8) and very obedient to the Word (Rom 16:19).

Some of the main points are:
  1. We are all sinners and no one is perfect (3:10)
  2. If we believe and have faith we will have justification, our belief is correct (3:26, 5:1-5)
  3. Although we all died through Adam, we live through Christ (5:12-20)
  4. We may be dead due to sin, but we are made alive due to Christ (6:8-11)
  5. Be controlled by the Spirit, not your flesh (8:9-11)
  6. Salvation is for everyone (10:5-15)
It was written to prepare the church for Pauls' visit and future imprisonment.  The church was also very young and needed guidance with the essentials of believeing in Christ.  This is why it is so widely used to help those who are struggling to understand why they need Christ.  We are all sinners and we all need someone to help us.  Unfortuantely, many think they do not need anyone.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I really feel sorry for Paul. He seemed to be a victim of his own theology. He spoke about predestination and the election and how all of Israel was to be saved then turns around and calls them the Israelites who are not all Israelites. He loved his Jewishness but he still wrestled with so much trying to make things fit. At times you get the feeling he was working on what he believes while he still was on the move, not for sure how it all will be understood, even by himself. His writing at times seemed like a bunch of double talk. Even Peter had a hard time trying to figure him out. To me it seems like many things he had to say were very open ended. One of the most frustrating times seemed to be when he was willing to sacrifice his own salvation so that they made be saved. Of course I believe he was talking about his eternal life not the deliverance and the setting the nation free. Of course if he believed in a final salvation when and where God was able and would save all flesh, then I could understand his speech. But if he believed in eternal torment of the worst kind and understood all the implications then I would say he wouldn’t even go there …sorry boys you are on your own!

However if I had to pull one part out that is heart melting this would be my favorite verses.

"For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

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