"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32

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Thursday, May 9, 2013

A Study in Paul’s Epistle to the Romans – “On the Road of Righteousness” Conclusion of the Epistle

Conclusion of the Epistle: Chapter Sixteen – Salutations of Saints, Commendations of Christians

By James Fire

And so we have traversed the length and breadth of this marvelous epistle by the apostle Paul; obviously we have not exhausted its full content, quite frankly because is the Word of God, and His knowledge and truth are unsearchable to the fullest extent of their depths.

Yet on a practical note, I believe what we have covered is somewhat competent and especially for new believers who are just beginning their journey through the Holy Bible.

In this last chapter there are a lot of salutations and administrative directives by Paul and one might think “what doctrinal truths can be gleaned by such a chapter as this?” That we shall soon see. Along with these twenty seven verses we shall also provide a summary outline of the entire book as a review for our readers and with no small encouragement from us at TTUF to dig into this book on their own time and seek the teaching from its Author (and I’m not referring to Paul, but the One who inspired him! See Eph. 4:21; Gal. 1:12).

With no further delay then, let’s get into this last chapter of Romans,
And here is the rest of it.


GOING FURTHER On The ROAD of RIGHTEOUSNESS! –


ROMANS 16:1-2
I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also
.


This sister saint, Phebe, whose name means “bright” was an example of the believer, serving the church – the body of Christ as a deaconess, ministering and administering to the needs of the church and its individual saints represented there in Rome; she came from the harbor city of Cenchrea, Corinth where she normally served, but she is found there in Rome, perhaps even at the request of Paul to serve the LORD and meet their needs there.

We must not become accustomed to our normal situation and believe this is the scope of service to the exclusion of other opportunities. Our servanthood extends beyond our usual habitations; we are at our LORD’s beck and call.

Phillip was evangelizing and ministering among the Samaritans (Acts Ch. 8) and there, along with Peter and John who came into the work among them, experienced great success in the ministry. In the midst of this spiritual prosperity, the LORD spoke to Phillip to leave that work behind and go out . . . into the desert (Acts 8:26). The LORD would have His servant leave such vibrant work as this, to go attend to whatever matters – if any – out in a barren wasteland?

As we know, Philip met with a eunuch of Ethiopia, a high ranking officer in the royal ministry of Queen Candace (Acts 8:27), a convert to Judaism as can be seen, for he had just returned from Jerusalem where he worshipped the LORD in such offerings as were represented in the treasuries he carried, along with his own entourage of soldiers and servants. Once Philip joined the eunuch in his chariot and expounded on the passage from Isaiah (Acts 8:28) which the Ethiopian read by preaching “unto him, Jesus”.

The eunuch was converted to the LORD, baptized and was sent on his way (Acts 8:36-39), no doubt an instant missionary to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to his countrymen there in Africa.
Let us then be mindful that if the LORD beckons us to venture from our usual haunts and our typical ministries into ‘uncharted territory’ that we answer the call, and not miss incredible opportunity!


A SUCCOURING SISTER SAINT –

ROMANS 16:2

2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also
.
This word “succourer” means a patron or protector; it intimates a person of great esteem and, or a person of significant wealth. It may be that Phoebe was a wealthy merchant, who by the success of her business was able to impart financial assistance to those in need, provide employment, and bring some level of protection for the saints who might otherwise be imperiled by the Romans or others. The term can refer to those who represent civil authority in protecting the rights of resident aliens.

This is a fitting office for are we not, as Christians – not of this world, even as our LORD Himself was not of this world (John 17:14); and like the Father that our LORD prayed to in that chapter, perhaps Phoebe was being used of the LORD to keep the saints there in Rome “from the evil” that might have befallen them, and perhaps of Paul as well. In that pagan culture, Christianity had become outlawed and any that refused to offer the customary offering to Caesar as ‘the god of Rome’ was in danger of martyrdom – and so, many of the saints were!

We are in fact, “pilgrims” and “strangers” (aliens) in this world and the admonition in Scripture is that though we are in the world we are not of the world, nor are we to be a part of those carnal, worldly pursuits; rather we are to pursue holiness and purity by the ability that the Holy Spirit gives us.

1 PETER 2:10-12
10 Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.
11 Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul;
12 Having your conversation honest among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation
.

We don’t invest in this world nor pursue the wealth of this world; while permissible at the direction of the LORD, these are not our focus, our passion, our calling. We are about heavenly business and royal edicts and godly ministry, all conducted in the glorious light of the LORD that shines with promise from that heavenly country and holy city whose maker is God:

HEBREWS 11:13-16
13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country.
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned.
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city
.


LISTING of the LORD’s MINISTERING FAMILY –
Paul continues in his salutations and recognition of the saints who were busy about such affairs of state in the kingdom of God, as he mentions Priscilla and Aquila . . .

ROMANS 16:3 - 5
3 Greet Priscilla and Aquila my helpers in Christ Jesus:
4 Who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles.
5 Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well-beloved Epaenetus, who is the firstfruits of Achaia unto Christ
.

Priscilla and Aquila are known to students of the Word as they have shown up in various places, ‘tent makers’ with Paul, laboring with their hands by day, and preaching the Gospel after work, tirelessly employed in the work of God. You can read about them in Acts. Ch 18 and mentioned elsewhere in 1 Cor. 16:19 and 2 Tim. 4:19.
Both here in Romans and in 1 Corinthians we learn that they had a church gathering in their house as was the custom for the early church.

Christians at this time did not have the resources to build their own buildings as distinctly Christian edifices; when the Gospel was preached and received by the Gentiles, they would resort to their own homes for gatherings; where the few Jewish converts that came to Christ in the latter period of the book of Acts met differed depending on their numbers. Occasionally they would be able to meet in synagogues, but more often than not in their homes or if they were persecuted (by their fellow Jews) heavily, they would be forced to meet in remote locations such as by a river side.

The first century church would eventually become heavily persecuted so that they would actually be forced to meet in the catacombs (underground cemeteries); one can imagine, being born of God’s Spirit, alive from the dead, and worshipping the LORD of LIFE – in the midst of such decay and corruption of rotting bodies as still as stone on slabs of the same. Perhaps many of them thought on how any day in the near future, they might join those statue-like ranks at their own martyrdom!
Paul salutes Epaenetus who was one of the first converts of Achaia; here Paul reveals the true shepherd’s heart: though he had seen countless scores of souls that have come to know the LORD in multiple cities and regions, he still remembers those first converts in cities he had visited before. The love of this apostle, the compassion, the keen mind, the humility is exemplified when he recounts the numbers of people that he brings salutations to in this passage.
Just as certainly as he remembered them by name for the intent of recognizing them in salutation, he likewise remembered them in his prayers; no doubt he found plenty of time to pray while imprisoned and in between the writing of his prison epistles.


KNOWING NO BOUNDS!! –


1 THESS. 1:2
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers
; see also Phil. 1:4; Col. 4:2, 12.


When he was imprisoned, incapacitated, seemingly of no avail for the Gospel, the apostle knew better (2 Tim. 2:9); the physical capture of any vessel of the LORD by enemy forces does not impede the LORD Himself in His work for He has many other vessels! Besides this, as just mentioned, Paul had time to pray for the saints during his incarceration, to intercede for the saints at the very throne of God; to wage a valiant warfare in the Spirit against the principalities and powers of Satan’s kingdom (Eph. 6:12). So even in this regard, such capture hardly slows the progress of the working Christian!

Perhaps there are those reading these studies who are incapacitated in some way; you’re not able to get out there and engage the world with the Gospel and work in the kingdom of God, and so you feel useless and inadequate. Brothers and Sisters, believe me, nothing could be further from the truth!
If you are a child of God, if you are born of God’s Spirit, if Jesus Christ is LORD of your surrendered life and your heart truly belongs to Him as a member of the Kingdom of God, then let me assure you – you have in your employment such Divine resources and ammunition that from that wheel chair, from that hospital bed or where ever you may find yourself right now – you can affect the world anywhere on the planet!

I have attended countless prayer meetings over the decades and they are seldom brimming over with attendants; this is not to say that prayer meetings are ineffective with fewer numbers, but to express the point that, in these days especially, prayer seems a forgotten ministry. Thus those few who will remain faithful and diligent and tenacious in this spiritual war are all the more PRECIOUS and VALUABLE!!

By your prayers fellow saints, you can have an affect on the missionaries in Islamic nations; you can by faith, move the hand of God (Who desires to have you yoke together with Him in such work) to touch the hearts of Chinese Communist officials and soften them in regards to Chinese Christians imprisoned and tortured and gain their release. By your intercessions you can pray for the healing of those sick all around you and see them raised up to health and vigor!
There are many excellent books that deal with prayer; here are a couple of my favorites:


Collective Works of E.M. Bounds on Prayer


With Christ in the School of Prayer - Andrew Murray

There are also resources for you whereby you can pray for nations and missionaries and the work that goes on for the Gospel across the globe:

OPERATION WORLD

You can also access such information online here.

Let us continue in our study:

The APOSTLE’S HEART TOWARDS THE SAINTS –

ROMANS 16:6-12

6 Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us.
7 Salute Andronicus and Junia, my kinsmen, and my fellow-prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.
8 Greet Amplias my beloved in the Lord.
9 Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved.
10 Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus' household.
11 Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord.
12 Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved Persis, which laboured much in the Lord.

The list goes on and on as the apostle recites the names of people that are beloved to him; may we likewise remember those saints we have encountered and do all we can to touch their lives, to communicate with them, encourage them in the Word and prayer.

Andronicus and Junia were fellow prisoners, and who knows what sort of ‘prison ministry’ these were involved with, but I’m certain, it had to be quite dynamic if it was anything like Paul’s imprisonment with Silas (See Acts Ch. 16) – and that’s what I call the real ‘Jail House Rock’!

Andronicus and Junia apparently were in Christ before Paul and yet while they knew Christ longer, it would seem that they had no problem submitting themselves under the authority of Paul’s office of apostle; a lesson to be learned by us ‘older saints’ when we see those younger “in the LORD” ministering in their God ordained offices.

Here we notice another aspect of the humility of Paul; elsewhere he spoke (“as a fool”) of all his hardships and trials in the midst of his incessant and continual ministry (2 Cor 11:23-30) and he accomplished more than any of the other apostles, yet not himself but Christ he admits (1 Cor. 15:9-11) – still, he is careful to note and commend the works of others. It wasn’t ‘all about him’ and ‘The Paul of Tarsus Ministries’ as is sadly too often seen in today’s ministry. He recognizes time and again that we are all members of the body of Christ and all with vital ministries (whether big or small – still vital) to perform for the LORD.

It reminds me of a story that I believe comes from the Jewish Talmud -


“Two angels appeared before the throne of God to fulfill some appointments that the LORD gave to them. To the one angel, He commanded that he go to a certain city and there reign as its king. To the other, the LORD God commanded that he go to that same city and sweep the streets of the dust.
”Both angels went to their task rejoicing, not for the tasks themselves, but that they could do God service.”

There is mention of what I believe to be two sisters there, Tryphoena and Tryphosa; their names mean “luxurious” and “luxuriating” respectively. Their labor in the LORD refers to that sort of work that brings “fatigue, working hard, to weary with toil and burdens; to labor with wearisome effort, to toil”. I wonder if Paul smiled as these words were penned, thinking of these two ladies, perhaps used to a life of dainties and luxury, laboring ‘in the mud’ as it were for the sake of their LORD! Such class distinctions disappear where the true body of Christ is present, for we are all one in Him, and are brethren – on equal standing!

GALATIANS 3:28

28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus
.


ARE YOU A LOVER OF THE WORD? –
There are yet more that the apostle sends greetings to:

ROMANS 16:13-16

13 Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.
14 Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them.
15 Salute Philologus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them.
16 Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you
.


My eye gravitates towards one of these saints, and his name is one that I would love to have for my own! James Joseph Philologus Fire! It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think? What does ‘Philologus’ mean, you might ask?
“One who is fond of words or of learning” (which I am!); and most especially being fond of the Word of God, and learning it is an appellation I would certainly be honored to have! In a very real sense, we should all have this as a ‘middle name’ for we are called to be able students of the Word of God!

2 TIM. 2:14-16

14 Of these things put them in remembrance, charging them before the Lord that they strive not about words to no profit, but to the subverting of the hearers.
15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness
.


The “rightly dividing” of the Word of Truth means to have a balanced perspective of the Holy Scriptures that in turn presents a balanced view of God, of ourselves, this world and that which is to come: everything with which we have to deal with. It’s when we divide the Word wrongly, that doctrinal errors creep in, even heresies and this is the stuff of cults! This is where people will divide themselves away from doctrinal purity and the full counsel of God! This is the stuff of apostasy!

This is the very reason why Paul determined to declare ALL the counsel of God (Acts 20:26-28) because in teaching line upon line, and precept upon precept (see Isaiah 28:10-13) throughout the Scripture, and gaining all the doctrine included in Holy Writ, we obtain the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth as God intends for us.

Thus it’s vital that we allow all Scriptural references to be interpreted not by our own wisdom, insights, opinions and perspectives, but by the leading of the Holy Spirit as He directs us into the entirety of Scripture to shed light and understanding on any of its verses. In other words, we let Scripture interpret Scripture. It’s when one begins to have at the least, a manageable grasp of the whole of the Bible that one becomes able, by the Spirit of grace to “rightly divide” the Word of Truth and this tends towards spiritual maturity, provided that one is a “doer of the Word and not a hearer (or learner) only” as stated in James 1:22-23.


DISCERNING THE DIVISIONS –

ROMANS 16:17-18

17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts
of the simple
.

How many times have we heard it, saints? When we hear a teaching from the pulpit (or any other source of teaching) and we discern some kind of doctrinal error and mention it to others, only to be told that we are being “divisive” or “unloving” or “argumentative” or “contentious”, what have you?

In point of fact, our unity is expressed when we “hold fast the form of sound words” and if we do not hold fast to such pure, undefiled and without-error doctrine (this is the meaning of the word “sound”) that we are parting from the faith, that is, the body of doctrinal truth as represented in the Holy Scriptures and by such action cause division. We cause division when we believe and follow false doctrine.

What is Paul’s admonition for such that cause divisions and offences that are contrary to doctrine? He plainly says that we are to avoid them because they do not serve the LORD Jesus Christ, but their own appetites; these will use good sounding words and fair speeches to deceive who?

The simple hearted; this is why it’s vital that discipleship happens among the saints, pairing up the elder with the younger (preferably parents with their own children); it’s important that we as Christians know not only what we believe, but why we believe it. If a strong foundation in Christ is laid (1 Cor. 3:10-11), then doctrinal instruction in the Word will ensure (again, if one is a practitioner of the Word, not merely a philosopher) a stable walk, gifted with discernment and wisdom.
Such things are desperately needed in the days we live in, for the LORD Himself stated that deception would be everywhere to deceive if it were possible, even the elect (Matt. 24th chapter, particularly vs. 3-5; also 1 Tim. 4:1-3).

HOW FIRM A FOUNDATION –

I recall my own Christian experience when I first received Christ Jesus as my LORD and Savior; I was privileged to become acquainted with a Christian couple who were opening their house for biblical teaching which we heard via cassette tape (recorded from a radio program). I devoured such teaching and asked many questions afterwards to the delight of these two dear saints. When some certain questions arose, the wife told me she had just the teaching for me and I followed her to ‘the tape room’. When I entered, my jaw dropped because covering two of the four the walls were cassette tracks, each slot containing a cassette tape! I thought I had died and gone to heaven! Here was a treasure trove of good, solid teaching on the Word of God! There was also a filing cabinet that was stuffed with more teaching tapes!

I made it a practice, every week at Bible Study when I left that house to have with me anywhere from three to five tapes. I would listen to them two or sometimes three times, following along in my Bible, underlying key passages, jotting down notes in the margins or in my notebook and once done, I would return them for more!

This was my own personal seminary! The LORD educated me quite rapidly in the Word of Truth, and it wasn’t very long (about a year and a half I think) before I began to teach the Word to others. One thing I can say with absolute confidence: that the stability of my walk and the soundness of my foundation is because of the ministry of that Christian couple, in allowing me access to all of that good, clean and “sound” spiritual provender!

May I likewise encourage you dear saints, to be enthusiastic about your study of God’s Word! Find some reputable, sound teachers, and learn all that you can from them! Take notes, underline your Bible, and commit passages to memory. In your own quiet time of devotionals, prayerfully ask the LORD to grant you insight into His Holy Word. Also, share what you have learned with others that they also may be blessed!

If you can find another saint close by, someone who is mature in the LORD, seek to be discipled by them; since “you will know them by their fruit” look for those who have not mere head knowledge of the Word, but one in whom the fruit of the Spirit (Gal.5:22-23) is in evidence!
Also note that there are excellent resources to be found here on TTUF; just have a look at the WELCOME page to get a good overview of what we offer.


GAINING GOD’S GRACE, DEMOLISHING THE DEVIL –

ROMANS 16:19-24

19 For your obedience is come abroad unto all men. I am glad therefore on your behalf: but yet I would have you wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.
20 And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.
21 Timotheus my workfellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you.
22 I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord.
23 Gaius mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother.
24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen
.

Obedience is something frowned upon in our society as the spirit of rebellion is everywhere; questioning authority out of a sincere inquiry for truth is perfectly fine, but to repudiate truth for the sake of believing a deception that makes allowance for the pleasures of sin and self is always detrimental and destructive.
We along with Paul are “glad . . . on your behalf” who are obedient to the truth as found in the Word. It is a mark of spiritual maturity to be obedient in all things and as a result of this, have the deep wisdom of God revealed to the heart so that we are indeed wise concerning good and can recognize such God-given wisdom and goodness in others.

Being “simple concerning evil” means that we are not familiar with vile practices and conduct as we once were in the world; we possess an innocence, a purity, an absence of anything that would defile us. See Matt. 10:16; Phil. 2:15.

Paul declares this astounding statement almost in passing, as he acknowledges this truth as a foregone conclusion – which it is! That “the God of peace will bruise Satan under your feet shortly”!! This is coupled with “the grace of our LORD Jesus Christ be with you”. Certainly there can be no victory over Satan apart from God’s empowering grace, which alone enables us to acquire the help we need to overcome sin in our lives (Heb. 4:16). Since we are the body of Christ, and He has conquered over Satan in every way, we share in that victory; we who are “in Christ” stand fast upon this truth regardless of our circumstances or even our present condition – because if we are in fact, in Christ, then He who began this work in us, shall complete it (Phil. 1:6) and in that completion (when we see Him face to Face) we shall know utter victory over all things: sin, self and Satan!


STABLISHED, SECRETS, and SCRIPTURES –

ROMANS 16:25-27
25 Now to him that is of power to stablish you according to my gospel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery, which was kept secret since the world began,
26 But now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations for the obedience of faith:
27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen
.


Here we have the closing benediction of Paul and He acknowledges the LORD Jesus Christ as the One Who wields the power to establish us in accord with the Gospel. This power (“dunamis”) is the very power of God, and with it our LORD is able to so secure us resolutely in a sure direction that He is able to carry us from here to heaven; that’s the kind of ‘staying power’ that no demon of hell, or vain philosophy of man can deter or corrupt!
This is something that must have a sure foundation (1 Cor. 3:11), and again, this is none other than the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Gospel we believe must be wholly biblical and free of error; it must be the simple and unadulterated truth of God’s Word expressed and there cannot be any margin for error since this is foundational. Any errors or misrepresentations in such a foundation will sooner or later affect the structure of the entire Christian experience.

This “mystery” is something that is not discovered by human insight, but brought by revelation of God through the Scriptures of the prophets who were given progressive revelation of God’s plan for the ages – that He Himself would become a man, dwell among us, teach us personally of the Truth that is Himself and ultimately pay the price He didn’t owe for those who had nothing to pay!

This Gospel has been revealed to “all nations” and in this day and age, with some blessed exceptions in certain regions of the globe, is being rejected in very belligerent and blasphemous ways. The only ones adhering to the genuine Gospel are those that are ordained unto eternal life, those who out of a willing heart have received (or are receiving) Gospel truth.
As the apostasy increases, and truth is further disparaged, the time is drawing near when the LORD Jesus Christ will appear and bring judgment to this rebel planet for having summarily rejected His offer of grace and truth in the Gospel.

2 THESS. 1: 7-9

7 And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels,
8 In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ:
9 Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power
;


God calls us to obedience, but it is the obedience of faith, not works, Once genuine faith is genuinely placed in the Person of Christ and His finished work of the cross for the salvation of souls from sin, self and Satan as well as everlasting punishment and perdition, the outworking of such faith will produce good fruit and works, but its vital to understand that our salvation is by faith alone in God’s grace alone through Christ Jesus and His atonement alone.

So ends this chapter and this study of ROMANS: ON THE ROAD OF RIGHTEOUSNESS!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
SUMMARY OUTLINE OF The BOOK OF ROMANS (Using Thompson Chain Ref. as a Source):

KEY VERSES: Romans 1:16; 5:1

PART ONE: Doctrinal – Ch’s. 1 – 11
PART TWO: Practical – Ch’s. 12 – 16
MAIN THEME:

PART ONE: The PLAN OF SALVATION; Justification by faith and Sanctification through the Holy Spirit.
PART TWO: MAINLY EXHORTATIONS; Concerning Christian Duties.

A MASTERLY ARGUMENT:

In Part One the apostle proceeds to prove that the entire human race is surrounded by three insurmountable walls:

1) The Wall of universal guilt (Ch’s. 1-3)
2) The Wall of sinful tendencies (Ch’s. 7:15-24)
3) The Wall of the supposed sovereign election of God of a certain portion of the race to salvation and the divine reprobation of all others (Ch’s. 9:7-18)

In the midst of his argument showing the awful situation of the natural man, he points out the doors of divine mercy provided for in the plan of salvation, by which all men can escape the impending judgments of God if they will.

To overcome the Wall of Guilt, there is the door of Justification by faith; Romans 5:1.
To overcome the Wall of Sinful Tendencies, there is the door of Regeneration: Romans 8:1-4.
To overcome the Wall of Sovereign Election, there is the door of Universal Opportunity: Romans 10:13.

KEY CHAIN Showing the current of thought:

ROMANS 1:16; 3:22-23,28; 4:3; 5:1,18; 9:31-32; 10:3-4,6-9.

SYNOPSIS:

PART ONE: The PLAN OF SALVATION.

1) The need of, grounded in universal guilt of mankind:
Of the Gentile world – Ch. 1:18-27
Of the Jews, under condemnation of the Law – Ch. 2:8 to 3:20.
All alike sinners – Ch. 3:23

2) The method of Justification or Righteousness by faith – Ch. 3:21-28.
Universal – Ch. 3:29-30
Honors the Law – Ch. 3:31.

3) Illustrated in the life of Abraham – Ch. 4
Apart from works – vs. 1-6
Apart from ordinances – vs. 9-12
Apart from the law – vs. 3:31

4) The blessings of, made effective through the love of God as manifested in the sacrificial death of Christ – Ch. 5:1-11.

5) The Scope of the free gift of salvation expounded – Ch. 5:12-21.

6) The Free Gift does not encourage the continuance in sin, but demands rather the crucifixion of man’s corrupt nature and a life of holy service to God – Ch. 6:1-23.

7) In Chapter Seven Paul is evidently speaking of the struggle with sinful tendencies and fleshly lusts. Whether he refers to his own experiences before or after conversion, is a question concerning which Bible students differ in opinion. All agree that he vividly portrays the strife going on in the human heart, Ch. 7:7-24.

8) The culmination of the divine plan of salvation is pictured in chapter Eight. It is a new spiritual life of liberty and righteousness through faith in Christ. This is one of the great spiritual chapters of the Bible; in it the Holy Spirit is referred to nineteen times.

9) Parenthesis – Paul’s solicitude for his own people – 9:1-5.

10) The Mystery of Divine Election and God’s dealings with Israel.
Special privileges of Israel – Ch. 9:4-5; See also 3:1-2.
The distinction between the natural and spiritual seed of Abraham – 9:6-13
The mystery of the divine sovereignty – Ch. 9:14-24
The prophets predicted the failure of the Jews to live up to their privileges: the calling of the Gentiles and their acceptance of the divine plan of righteousness by faith – Ch. 9:25-33.

11) The Misapprehension by the Jews of the divine plan, resulting in their self-righteousness by faith – Ch. 10:1-3.

12) The Plan of Salvation by Faith expounded and its universal application set forth – Ch. 10:4-18.

13) God’s dealings with Israel – Ch. 10:19 – 11:12.

14) The Gentiles warned not to boast because of their privileges but to take heed lest they call under condemnation – Ch. 11:13-22.

15) The Restoration of Israel predicted and the mysteries of God’s way declared to be unsearchable – Ch. 11:23-36.

PART TWO: PRACTICAL.

Chiefly Exhortations and Instructions concerning Christian duties – Ch. 12 -16.

Ch. 12. This chapter presents one of the finest summaries of Christian duties foind in the Scriptures.

Ch. 13. 1) Civic and social duties (vs. 1-10)
2) The duty of living as “children of the day” (vs. 11-14).

Ch. 14:1-15:7. Duties to the Weak.
1) Charitableness in judging – Ch. 14:1-13
2) Carefulness not to give offence to, Ch. 14:15-23
3) Bearing the infirmities of, and not pleasing self – Ch. 15:1-7

CLOSING THOUGHTS -
Mainly personal experiences and greetings.

Ch. 15 cont’d -
Reasons for thanksgiving on the part of the Gentiles and the apostle’s wide-spread ministry among them, vs. 8-21.

Paul’s desire to visit Rome and his greetings to the various Christian friends – Ch. 15:22-16:16.

Final words and benediction – 16:17-27.

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