Romans Lesson 1:An Introduction

posted Sep 12, 2014, 5:21 PM by Media Ministry   [ updated Dec 2, 2014, 2:20 PM ]

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Romans 1:1-17

•Motivation: the key issue!
•How we view God and think he views us is the bottom line.
•A balanced view of these things is paramount – Romans 11:22
•Where does our view of God come from?

The Nature of God

•In Genesis 1:1, the Hebrew word for God is Elohim – a plural word. Genesis 1.26 says, “Let us make man in our image,” again the plural usage. Elohim is used throughout the creation account of Genesis 1:1-2:3.
•Verses stating that God is “one” use the Hebrew word achid. The term, yachid, means “unique, the only one of its kind."
•Achid is found in passages like Genesis 2:24: “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.” Achid obviously can be used to express a unity that is compound in nature.

How Do You View God?

•Since the Triune God is the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, how do you picture God most naturally?
•Does it matter?
•If you answered yes, why?
•Helpful hints.

Background Issues in Romans

•The conflict between Jews and Gentiles
•Jewish misconceptions over basis of salvation.
–They confused physical election as a nation with spiritual election as individuals.
–Thought they were good enough to be saved. (See Luke 18:9-14.)

Threat of Legalism is Real

•“Beginning with the Spirit” at baptism (trusting grace) but afterwards “trying to attain your goal by human effort” (trusting works) - Galatians 3:3.
•Trust in externals rather than internals leads rapidly to legalism.
•Judaism in the captivity period led to problems -- Why? (see John 5:29).

Purposes of the Law

•Positive purposes:
–Basis of fellowship with God.
–Typology and religious nomenclature.
–Prophecies about the Messiah.
–Examples for future generations (1 Corinthians 10; Hebrews; etc.)
–Civil legislation to govern a nation.

Negative Purposes of the Law

•Designed to restrain sin and keep people separate from other nations.
•Increased sin by numerous statutes and be raising desire to sin (5:20; 7:7-8).
•Galatians 3:22 -- law made the whole world a prisoner of sin, in order that we might seek a Savior.

Negative Views of the Law

•How to view the OT became one of the biggest discussions in theology.
•See John 1:17 and Galatians 3:10-12.
•The OT (along with terms like “law” and “commands”) has often been seen as overly negative, without regard for biblical and historical context.
•The NT has often been viewed in an opposite extreme -- grace only.

OT Salvation: Grace through Faith

•Grace is God’s part, based on cross.
–Romans 3:25-26 and Hebrews 9:15 tell us that faithful people before the cross were saved by the cross, because it was a reality in the mind of God before it ever occurred (Revelation 13:8; 1 Peter 1:20).
–Time means nothing to God (2 Peter 3:8).
–Practical & Legal aspects (Hebrews 11:39-40)

Faith is Man’s Part

•Hebrews 11:6: three components of a saving faith.
–Belief (of the facts of the Bible)
–Trust (of the promises of the Bible)
–Obedience (to the command of the Bible).
•Simply stated -- just taking God at his Word.

Basis and Conditions Distinction (vital)

•God’s part (grace) is the true foundation or basis of forgiveness.
•Man’s part (faith) is only a condition of accepting this mercy.
•The former actually merits forgiveness, and the latter simply accepts it.
•This understanding keeps us God-reliant rather than self-reliant.

Do We Really Get It?

•Faith must focus on trusting the ground of forgiveness (grace, the cross), not in our response to the graceful conditions of God.
•This is true whether the condition was an animal sacrifice in the OT or a response specified in the NT.
•Neither action earns salvation, but gratefully accepts it (Psalm 51:16-19).

Attitudes Are Everything!

•Trust in self (our level of performance) leads God to then demand perfection of us (Galatians 3:10-12).
•Trust in God’s favor allows him to accept our faithfulness in place of perfection (Romans 1:17).
•Difference in legalism and faithfulness is what we are thinking while doing!

A Practical Illustration

•How did you feel right after you were baptized?
•We began with repentance and baptism, but we continue with repentance and prayer -- 1 John 1:7-9.
•Question: Do we feel as forgiven now as when we were just baptized?
•If not, why?

The Value of Romans

•Correct Motivation
–Fear of God valid (Proverbs 1:7)
–Hope of eternal reward (Revelation 21:3-4)
–Christian fellowship (John 13:34-35)
–Desire for purpose in life (leadership goal can be deceptive -- comment “he would fall away if not on Staff.”)
–Gratitude for God’s grace the only motivation that will sustain us for a lifetime.

Unconditional Love

•God does not say “measure up and I’ll accept you” (for no one ever measures up).
•Rather, he says, “I’ll accept you in Christ, and now you and I will walk and work together in my strength!”
•Difference between desire and duty; delight and drudgery; heart-deep and not simply habit-deep religion!

Become Evangelistic, Not Just Do It (Romans 1:11-17)

•Verse 13 - Paul lived to bring in a harvest.
•Verse 14 - He was deeply obligated to share. (Cure for spiritual cancer found!)
• Verse 15 - Paul was eager to preach.
•Verse 16 - He was unashamed of the only lasting good news in the world.
•Verse 17 - His righteousness came from God, not his own deeds.

Theme of Romans: 1:16-17

•Gospel full of power (dunamis).
•Saving grace & strengthening grace.
•Quote from Habbakuk 2:4.
–Read Habbakuk 3:17-18 for context -- all about trusting God no matter what.
–Faith only? (Fine, with the right definition.)
•Paul, the apostle of the “heart set free.”
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Media Ministry,
Sep 12, 2014, 5:21 PM
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