Romans, Lesson 9

Lesson 9

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omans 4: 1-25, Justification of Abraham.

Paul used Abraham to illustrate justification by grace through faith.

VV 1-4, 1 What then shall we say that Abraham our father has found according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 4 Now to him who works, the wages are not counted as grace but as debt.

Greek for accounted is ‘’logizomai’’ which means to credit an item into an account. Abraham is the father faith. God credited an item called righteousness into his faith account because of his faith. Abraham was justified by faith. Paul quoted Genesis 15:6, “and he believed in the Lord, and He accounted to him for righteousness”.

VV 5-8, 5 But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, 6 just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God imputes righteousness apart from works: 7 ‘’Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; 8 Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.”

Abraham was justified through faith in God and not by works. Paul quoted Psalm 32:1, “blessed is the man to whom the Lord does not impute iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit”.

VV 9-12, 9 Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness. 10 How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. 11 And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also, 12 and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised.

Does this blessedness (justification by faith) then come upon the circumcised only or upon the uncircumcised also?

Justification by faith is for the Jews who are circumcised and the Gentiles who are uncircumcised, because Abraham was justified before he was circumcised.

VV 13-15, 13 For the promise that he would be the heir of the world was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law but through the righteousness of faith. 14 For if those who are of the law are heirs, faith is made void and the promise made of no effect, 15 because the law brings about wrath; for where there is no law there is no transgression.

God’s promise of heirs to Abraham was not through biological descents and law keeping, but through those who are justified by faith in God. The law’s purpose is for salvation but for revelation of sin. Law brings sin and death, faith brings justification and life.

VV 16-17, 16 Therefore it is of faith that it might be according to grace, so that the promise might be sure to all the seed, not only to those who are of the law but also to those who are of the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all 17 (as it is written, “I have made you a father of many nations”) in the presence of Him whom he believed, God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did;

Justification is by grace through faith in God. Abraham is the father of faith. His true spiritual descendants are those who are justified by faith in God.

Ephesians 2: 8-9, ‘’for by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast’’.

Romans 10:9, ‘’if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’’.

VV 18-20, 18 who, contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be.” 19 And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb. 20 He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,

Against all odds Abraham believed and became the father of many nations. He and his wife Sarah was already too old to have a son but believed God at his words, giving glory to God. He received God’s promise at the ripe old of age of 86, circumcised at the age of 99 and had Isaac at the age of 100.

VV 21-25, 21 and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. 22 And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” 23 Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him, 24 but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses and was raised because of our justification

God’s imputed His righteousness to Abraham through faith was a foreshadow of Christ’s imputed righteousness to us through faith. Jesus Christ died on the cross for our offences and resurrected to life on Easter for our justification.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that You are Almighty God. We confessed that we are sinners. We asked for Your mercy and forgiveness of sin. We claim the promise of justification and salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans , Lesson 8

Lesson 8

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omans 3: 9-31, the Righteousness of God

VV 9-20, 9 What then? Are we better than they? Not at all. For we have previously charged both Jews and Greeks that they are all under sin. 10 As it is written: ‘’ There is none righteous, no, not one;11 There is none who understands; There is none who seeks after God. 12 They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” 13 ‘’ Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; ‘’The poison of asps is under their lips”; 14 ‘’ Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness.” 15 ‘’ Their feet are swift to shed blood;16 Destruction and misery are in their ways; 17 And the way of peace they have not known.”18 ‘’There is no fear of God before their eyes.” 19 Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. 20 Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.

Are the Jews better than the Gentiles?

No, both are sinners. Paul had established Jews and Gentiles to be sinners. No one is righteous before a righteous God. No one seeks after God or fear God. Everyone had turned away from away from God and followed their own ways. No one justified by the law because everyone is a law breaker.

Proverbs 9:10, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,

And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”.

Isaiah 53:6, “all we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all”.

Romans 3:23,”All have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God”

VV 21-23, 21 But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, 22 even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Greek for apart from is “choris” which means independent of. God revealed a righteousness that is independent of the Mosaic Law. This righteousness, witnessed by the Mosaic Law and the prophets, is the imputed righteousness of Christ to all who believed in Him. This is the doctrine of justification by faith. Greek for sin is “hamartia” which means to miss the bull’s eye. There is no indifference between Jews and Gentiles. Everyone missed the bull’s eye of God’s perfect standard of righteousness.

V 24-26, 24 being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, 26 to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

Greek for justification is “dikaiosis” which means to treat as if one has not sinned. Greek for redemption is “apolutrosis” which means freedom procured by payment of ransom. Greek for propitiation is “hilasterion” which is the mercy seat of the ark of the covenant between the two cherubim in the holy of holies. In the old testament, God meets the people of Israel at the mercy seat. Exodus 30:6.

God treats us just as if we have not sinned when we believe in Jesus Christ. This is grace, a free gift from God. Christ redeemed us by His death on the cross to pay the ransom for our release from slavery to satan. Jesus meets us at the mercy seat to be our mediator with God. God is just when He pronounced justification on the person who has faith in Jesus.

VV 27-31, 27 Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? Of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith apart from the deeds of the law. 29 Or is He the God of the Jews only? Is He not also the God of the Gentiles? Yes, of the Gentiles also, 30 since there is one God who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then make void the law through faith? Certainly not! On the contrary, we establish the law.

Are Jews allowed to boast?

No! Boasting of the Jews is excluded because of justification by faith is independent of the law.

Is He the God of the Jews only?

No. He is God of the Jews and the Gentiles, and justifies the Jews and the Gentiles by faith.

Do we then make void the law through faith?

No, because the law is established by faith.

Matthew 5:17, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill”.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the doctrine of justification by faith. Thank You for the universality of salvation by grace and justification by faith. We pray for all those who are not walking with You to come back to You again, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 7

Lesson 7

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fter establishing God’s wrath on the on the ungodly, irreligious, and immoral Gentiles and God’s wrath on the self-righteous, religious, and hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, Paul continued asking and answering his rhetorical questions.

Romans 3: 1-8, will the Jews unfaithfulness nullify the faithfulness of God?

1 What advantage then has the Jew, or what is the profit of circumcision? 2 Much in every way! Chiefly because to them were committed the oracles of God. 3 For what if some did not believe? Will their unbelief make the faithfulness of God without effect? 4 Certainly not! Indeed, let God be true but every man a liar. As it is written: ‘’That You may be justified in Your words, and may overcome when You are judged.” 5 But if our unrighteousness demonstrates the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unjust who inflicts wrath? (I speak as a man.) 6 Certainly not! For then how will God judge the world? 7 For if the truth of God has increased through my lie to His glory, why am I also still judged as a sinner? 8 And why not say, “Let us do evil that good may come”? as we are slanderously reported and as some affirm that we say. Their condemnation is just.

Paul asked rhetorical questions and answered them. This is called the diatribe.

What is the advantage of having a Jewish pedigree if this did not make him right with God?

Much in every way! The Jews were given the oracles of God, the Bible, the inspired, inerrant, and infallible Word of God.

2 Tim 3:16. 2 Peter 1: 21, ‘’prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit’’.

Will the Jew’s unbelief nullify the faithfulness of God?

Certainly not! God is still faithful even though the Jews failed to believe in Jesus Christ. God will preserve a remnant of non-believing Jews to believe in Jesus during the tribulation. Paul said in Romans 11:26, ‘’and in this way all Israel will be saved’’.

Is God unjust when he inflicts wrath on sinners?

Certainly not! A righteous God had to judge and punish sin otherwise He will not not a righteous God. God is just to inflict wrath on sinners.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your promise that you will preserve and save a remnant of the unbelieving Jews back to You during the tribulation. Enable and equip us to read, study, meditate, believe, apply, and share the gospel message, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 6

Lesson 6

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omans 2: 12- 29, true circumcision of the heart.

VV 12-16, 12 For as many as have sinned without the law will also perish without the law, and as many as have sinned in the law will be judged by the law 13 (for not the hearers of the law are just in the sight of God, but the doers of the law will be justified; 14 for when Gentiles, who do not have the law, by nature do the things in the law, these, although not having the law, are a law to themselves, 15 who show the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and between themselves, their thoughts accusing or else excusing them) 16 in the day when God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.

Gentiles who are without the law will perish if they do not believe in Christ. Jews who had the law will also perish if they do not believe in Christ. Hearing the law will not justify but keeping the law will justify but no one is not able to keep the law. Everyone is a law breaker. Gentiles who did not have the law cannot claim ignorance because they have a conscience to tell them right from wrong. For the Gentiles, the law is written in their hearts through their conscience. Gentiles who did not have the law can still do right by following their conscience. On the day of judgment, God will judge the secrets thoughts and deeds of everyone through Jesus Christ.

Matthew 23:27, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness’’

VV 17-20, 17 Indeed you are called a Jew and rest on the law, and make your boast in God, 18 and know His will, and approve the things that are excellent, being instructed out of the law, 19 and are confident that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, having the form of knowledge and truth in the law.

The Jews boasts that they had instructions of the Mosaic law, know God’s will and were confident to guide, direct, and teach the Gentiles who did not know the law.

VV 21-23, 21 You, therefore, who teach another, do you not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? 22 You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law?

Scribes and Pharisees taught people to keep the law but they themselves broke the law by stealing, adultery, idol worship, etc. They boast in the law but dishonor God by breaking the law.

V 24, For “the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.

Scribes and Pharisees blasphemed God’s name among the Gentiles. Paul quoted Isaiah 52:5 b, ‘’And all day long my name is constantly blasphemed’’.

VV 25- 27, 25 For circumcision is indeed profitable if you keep the law; but if you are a breaker of the law, your circumcision has become uncircumcision. 26 Therefore, if an uncircumcised man keeps the righteous requirements of the law, will not his uncircumcision be counted as circumcision? 27 And will not the physically uncircumcised if he fulfills the law, judge you who, even with your written code and circumcision, are a transgressor of the law?

Circumcision is nullified when the law is broken. An uncircumcised Gentile who do right according to conscience is better than a circumcised Jew who breaks the law. Circumcision without an inward change of heart is hypocritical.

VV 28-29, 28 For he is not a Jew who is one outwardly, nor is circumcision that which is outward in the flesh; V 29 but he is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, not in the letter; whose praise is not from men but from God.

True circumcised is a spiritual heart transformation, an inward change of heart attitude. Paul in Galatians speaks of a war of the flesh with the Holy Spirit. Spiritual circumcision is the act of cutting the flesh from the Spirit, freeing the flesh from the Spirit.

Deut 10:16, ‘’Therefore circumcise the foreskin of your heart, and be stiff-necked no longer’’.

Galatians 5:17, ‘’For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish’’.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for speaking the truth to us through the words of Paul. We pray for a spiritual heart transformation and a change of heart attitude. Thank You for Your timely and life changing message to every generation, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 5

Lesson 5

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omans 2: 1-11, God’s wrath against the religious and self-righteous.

Romans 1:18-31 is God’s indictment on the ungodly, immoral, and unrighteous Gentiles. Romans 2:1-11 is God’s indictment on the self-righteous, religious, and hypocritical Jewish leaders, the scribes and Pharisees.

VV 1-3, 1 Therefore, you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things. 2 But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. 3 And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Turning to the scribes and Pharisees, Paul said, by judging people of the first group, they were condemning themselves because they practiced the same things. They had no right to judge others because they themselves were under God’s judgement.

John 8:7, So when they continued asking Him, He raised Himself up and said to them, “He who is without sin among you, let him throw a stone at her first.”

V 4, Or do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?

Greek for long-suffering is “makrothumia” which means patience. Greek word for forbearance is “anoche” which means to delay. The scribes and Pharisees despise the grace, goodness, and patience of God in delaying and withholding judgment.

VV 5-11, 5 But in accordance with your hardness and your impenitent heart you are treasuring up for yourself wrath in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, 6 who “will render to each one according to his deeds”, 7 eternal life to those who by patient continuance in doing good seek for glory, honor, and immortality; 8 but to those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness—indignation and wrath, 9 tribulation and anguish, on every soul of man who does evil, of the Jew first and also of the Greek; 10 but glory, honor, and peace to everyone who works what is good, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. 11 For there is no partiality with God.

God will judge them for their unrepentant attitude and hardness of heart. God will reward everyone according to their deeds, glory, honour, and peace with eternal life for those who seek after God’s glory. God will judge those who are self seeking, evil, and unrighteous, with punishment and eternal death. The gospel is for the Jews first and after that the Gentiles.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, we acknowledged that we are sinners in need of salvation. We pray that those who do not know You as their Lord and Saviour will repent and come back to You. We pray that You will give us soft, sensitive, repentant, and obedient hearts. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, Lesson 4

Lesson 4

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omans 1: 18-31, God’s wrath against the ungodly, immoral, irreligious.

VV 18-23, 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, 21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools, 23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Greek for wrath is “orge” which means God’s anger and hostility. God revealed His wrath from heaven against all ungodly and unrighteous people who suppressed God’s truth. Since God had revealed His invisible attributes to mankind through creation, no one cannot claim ignorance as an excuse for not believing in Him. Although they knew God, they did not glorify Him, their thoughts were futile, their hearts were darkened, and their actions were foolish. Instead of worshipping God, the creator, they worshiped birds, animals, and creeping things.

VV 24-27, 24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

God gave up on these people for their uncleanness, lusts, and vile passion Instead of believing in the truth of God, they believe in deception. Instead of worshiping the Creator God, they worship creatures and created things. Women and men practices homosexual activities without shame or remorse. Because of their unrepentant, God gave them up.

1 John 3:36, ‘’He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”

VV 28-32, 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

Since they did not pursue to know God, He allowed them to remain in a debased mind, and continue to practice all the sinful things in verses 30-32. God is righteous to punish such people with death.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for Your love, mercy, grace, and patience. Thank You for not giving up on us. Thank You for saving us, in Jesus’ name, Amen.

Romans, lesson 3

Lesson 3

Romans 1: 16-17, justification by faith, Part 1.

VV 1-17, 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. 17 For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith.”

Paul was not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God to save lives, first to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. The gospel revealed God’s righteousness and justification is by faith in Jesus Christ. Pail quoted Habakuk 2:4, “Behold the proud, His soul is not upright in him, but the just shall live by his faith”.

1 Cor 1:18, ‘’For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God’’.

Romans 3:21-24, ‘’But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus’’.

Romans 10:9, ‘’if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved’’.

Romans 1:17 was one of the verses that converted Martin Luther from an Augustinian Monk to a protestant reformer in the 15th centrury.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, thank You for the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thank You for salvation and justification by grace through faith in Christ. We pray for empowerment and boldness to share the gospel with others. In Jesus’ name, Amen.