As I explained in my December 7, 2019 post, I am reading the entire Bible out loud over a one year period and proclaiming it over the land. I'm also writing down summaries of the chapters and books as I read. Here are the summaries for Romans.
Paul wrote to the Romans from Corinth around 57-58 A.D. He calls himself an apostle of God, set apart for the gospel, and thanks them for their faith. He prays for them and longs to see them to impart some spiritual gift. He is called to both Jew and Greek and wants to preach in Rome also, for he is not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ which is the power of God for salvation to both Jew and Greek.
He speaks of the wrath of God against the ungodly, but that if you judge them and do the same yourself, you too will be judged by God. Both Jew and Gentile are rewarded according to their deeds. A Gentile who keeps the Law instinctively is justified even though he is uncircumcised. A Jew who hears the Law and doesn't do it will be judged by it.
A Jew is one whose heart is circumcised inwardly, not an outward circumcision of the flesh. God trusted His oracles to the Jew, but he is not excused from keeping them. Both Jew and Greek are under sin. There is none righteous. No one can be justified by the Law, it simply reveals sin. But now, the righteousness of God is seen, apart from the Law, in those who have faith in Jesus--both Jew and Gentile.
Since we're justified by faith, not works, and not circumcision, we have peace with God through Jesus Christ. God sent Jesus to die for us while we were still sinners, yet we're justified by His blood, saved from God's wrath. Sin came into the world through one man, and righteousness comes through one Man. The Law revealed sin--and there was so much of it--but grace arose and reigns through righteousness. So is it good to sin so more grace comes? No! When we are baptized into Christ we are baptized into His death and rise in newness of life, so don't let sin reign in your body. We are dead to sin and alive to God, so present your body to Him as instruments of righteousness. you are not under the Law but under grace. If you serve sin, you're a slave to it. As a slave to righteousness you are free from sin and death, and have eternal life--the gift of God through Jesus.
Man only knew sin through the holy Law. It was meant to bring life, but it revealed sin. Paul explains the conflict within him. His inner man is joyfully willing to serve God, but his flesh wanting to sin. The Law condemns because the flesh can't keep it. But God sent Jesus to do what the Law couldn't do. He was an offering for sin so the requirement of the Law would be fulfilled in us who walk according to the Spirit, not the flesh. The Law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made us free from the law of sin and death.
Creation groans for the revealing of the sons of God and we groan too for the redemption of our body. The Spirit intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words, according to the will of God. Those whom God foreknew He predestined to be like Jesus. He call, justified, and glorified them, and causes everything to work out for good. Not everyone who is a Jew--a descendant of Abraham in the flesh--will be named a child of God. Its not children of the flesh, but of promise--like Isaac. Like Esau and Jacob. One He loved more. Like Pharaoh's hardened heart, the clay doesn't question why the potter made him this way.
Hosea and Isaiah prophesied of the Gentiles becoming His people as well as only a remnant of Jews being saved. Jews must also pursue righteousness by faith. Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to all who believe. It comes by hearing the Word of faith, which he preaches. It's close--its in their heart and mouth. Believe God raised Jesus from the dead and confess Him as Lord. He is Lord of all--both Jew and Greek. Has God rejected the Jews? No. He's saved a remnant.
Salvation has come to the Gentiles to make the Jews jealous. He explains it as natural branches (Jews) broken off a tree and wild olive branches (Gentiles) grafted in. Don't be arrogant against the Jews because they can be grafted back in if they believe, and you could be broken off like they were because of unbelief. Partial hardening has happened to Israel until the time of the Gentiles is fulfilled, so don't think more highly of yourself than you ought to, we all have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us.
Be subject to authorities for God has established them. Don't resist or you're resisting the ordinance of God. Give what is due to all men--fear, honor, custom, taxes. The commandment is summed up in this--love your neighbor as yourself. Put on the armor of Light and behave properly. Put on the Lord and make no provision for the flesh. Paul addresses the concern some have over eating unclean meat or meat offered to idols. He says don't judge each other in this for everyone has his own faith before God according to his conscience. Don't judge, but determine not to put a stumbling block in your brother's path. Those who are strong ought to bear the weak and not please themselves.
Paul prayed that God grant them to be of the same mind with one another according to Jesus. He's speaking boldly to them to remind them of his grace as a minister of Christ. He's aspired to preach where Christ has not been preached before, so as not to build on another's foundation, which sometimes prevented him from coming to them. He told of his plans to come to them after he goes to Jerusalem and asks for prayer and deliverance from disobedient Jews and that his service be accepted by the saints. He warns them to beware of those who cause dissension and obstruct the teachings. He ends with glory to God.
- The Law never justified anyone because all have sinned and fallen short of it.
- The Law revealed the sinful heart of man--all mankind.
- Now, apart from the Law, the righteousness of God is being seen in those who have faith in Jesus Christ.
- It was necessary for the Law to reveal man's condition, for the Light to shine.
- Death reigned over all because of the sin of the first man. It reigned without them knowing.
- The Law of God came and revealed the sin in man. It revealed the slavery of man to sin. The imprisonment it brings. The death that rules.
- A promise was made and faith in the promise brought life.
- The promise came, and the death of it--the One without sin--brought grace to all who believe.
- Through baptism into His death comes resurrection into new, eternal life.
- Now, walk free from the slavery of sin and walk freely in the life of His grace.
- The Law revealed sin and brought death, but the Spirit in us gives life.
- He groans within us. We groan. Creation groans for the sons of God to be revealed, for the redemption of our bodies, for the will of God to be done.
- The will of God is in our spirit. Its in creation, wanting to be revealed.
- For some, it was revealed as mercy. Some were hardened. But hear, know, believe and confess the way of righteousness that God has established--Jesus Christ--the end of the Law, the offering for sin, resurrected from the dead by God, for all who believe.
- It's unbelief, not sin, which breaks a branch off the tree. Turning from unbelief will graft it back in.
- Salvation is by grace, not works.
- Each one has gifts according to the grace given to them.
- Don't judge another's conscience. Everyone answers to God. Instead, determine not to put a stumbling block in your brother's path.
- Put on the armor of Light, put off the deeds of darkness.
- Give to everyone what is due--respect, honor, fear, custom, and taxes.
- May the strong and the weak saints accept each other as the Lord has accepted each one of us.
- Give and share with Jewish believers from whom you've received spiritual things.
- Pray for one another and watch out for, and avoid, those who bring dissension and obstruct the teaching of the gospel of Christ.
- Be wise in good and innocent in evil.