Introduction to Romans

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Van, Jan 5, 2016.

  1. Van

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    Mar 4, 2011
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    Romans was apparently written about 57 AD in Corinth to the Church at Rome. In Chapter 1, verses 1 to 15, Paul greets the recipients of his letter and indicates his desire to join them in Rome.

    Paul introduces himself as a bondservant of Christ Jesus. The word Christ is the English translation of the transliterated Greek “Christos” which means anointed or anointed one. The word Messiah is the English translation of the transliterated Hebrew “Mashiyach” which means anointed or anointed one. Therefore anytime you see Christ in the text it reflects the author’s intent to say Jesus was the Anointed One sent by God to deliver His people from oppression and rule with justice.

    In verse 2, Paul reinforces the idea that Jesus is the Messiah by stating that Jesus was the one promised by God through his prophets, as written in the Holy Scriptures. For example, see Daniel 9:25 for a promise of a future Messiah. For another example, see 2 Samuel 7:12-16, the “Davidic Covenant” which was and will be ultimately fulfilled by Christ Jesus as stated explicitly by Luke (Luke 1:32).

    In verse 4 Paul applies the term “son of God” to Jesus. The Hebrews used the term “son of” to show a relationship, such as a son of death would be someone doomed to die. So “son of God” means someone with a relationship with God, such as angels, men doing God’s work (judges) but the crowning use of the term is reserved for the Messiah. In Psalm 2:2 we see that earthly rules oppose God and God’s Christ, His Anointed. But as we read further, we see in verse 7 that someone is declared God’s begotten son, but who is it? The resurrection declares it is Christ according to Paul here in Romans 1:4. The author of Hebrews says the same thing (Hebrews 1:5). Therefore Jesus is the Messiah, promised long beforehand through the prophets, and he shall be called the son of God (Luke 1:32). Note that Luke also records Paul’s thoughts on this subject in Acts 13:32-34.

    In verse 1, Paul refers to himself as a “bond-servant” a person who has been bought and belongs to another as a slave. In fact the actual Greek word transliterated “doulos” is usually translated simply as slave. The reason, I think, the NASB translators elected to use the term “bond-servant” is that while believers are bought with a price, the believer must honor the sale. This is what Paul indicated in Ephesians 6:5-6 when he said, “Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as to Christ; not by way of eyeservice, as men-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. If we do not recognize our debt, we will not agree to the sale. If we do not seek the perfection of God and recognize our imperfection, we will not agree with the sale. But if we seek a relationship with God, a right relationship and we understand the good news, the Gospel of God, then we too can become “bond-servants” of Christ, bought with a price. For we were all slaves to sin and our freedom from the eternal consequences of sin was purchased at great price.

    Can you say, with John Wesley, “ I feel I do trust in Christ, Christ alone, for salvation”? For that understanding, if truly understood, provides complete assurance that our sins have been taken away, that we have been saved from the consequences of the law of sin and death. If you seek the righteousness of God, a relationship not severed by our iniquity, Romans is the book for you.

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