Romans

Church History Comments

Impact of Romans huge—key book on Christian doctrine

Augustine

Luther

Wesley

Barth

Paul the apostle

Birth--Tarsus

3 Cultures

Jewish religiously--Phil 3:5, Acts 22:3f

Roman politically—Acts 22:25ff

Greek culturally—Acts 17:28; 1 Cor 15:33

Characteristics: upright (Acts 23:1), intellect (Gamaliel, 2 Pet 3:16), will (2 Cor 11:23f), compassion Rom 9:3, physically--Thecla.

One person can make a difference

Romans

Date: 57 AD; 3MJ from Corinth

Authorship: Paul

Purpose:  uniqueness

Coming to them—1:11ff

Needs support for Spain—15:28

Major Issue:  Jews & Gentiles

Propositio: Rom 1:16-17 main point—gospel
      Gentiles grafted in to olive tree 11:13, 17

Greetings: Rom. 16

Jewish: Herodion, my relative, Priscilla…

Women: Junias—apostle—16:7

Phoebe—servant, carrying letter, receive her—16:1

Tertius: amanuensis—16:22

Basically:  neither Jew/Gentile, male/female, bond/free

Rom. 12:1-2 sacrificial system reoriented to personal piety

Romans’ Themes: Harmartiology

Rom. 1-3 on Sin:  How do you tell if something is right or wrong? Rom. 1:18, 32; 12:9

Sin –how do we get rid of the notion of sin?

Victim, my parents, my genes, society, pushback—hypocrites, psychological, relativism, tolerance, freedom, love, second chance, supports our ideology

Importance of separating: cultural & transcultural

General External Revelation—1:20 no excuse

Does God ever give up on people?—1:24

Are we better? No; sinà repentance; cf. Rom 1:29-32;

2:4 kindness of God leads to repentance

Modern difficulty with the wrath of God because of moral issues –propitiation, anger appeased 1:18; 2:5f

Gentiles sinful Rom 1:28-32; spiral down

Jews sinful 2:21; 3:20-22

Romans’ Themes

Total Depravity – hamartiology

What’s the problem with “Total Depravity”? Rom 3:9

Gentiles sinful – Rom. 1

Jews sinful (Rom 2):  Jews as foil to Christians?
     sin/grace; law/faith/works;  flesh/Spirit

All sinful  - Rom. 3:9f; 20

Rom 1:16f Major theme—new way
   not human need/sufficiency, 
   movement beyond Judaism

How do you get rid of sin:  repent /confess/ forgive
    or deny/hide/rationalize/accept/defend/advocate

Justification by Faith – sola Fidei

Is sola Fidei a man made doctrine made up by Martin Luther? –Rom 1:16; 5:1; 10:8-9;  Gal. 2:16

Careful on the sola—James 2:21ff; Rom 2:6f; Mat 25 sheep/goats; Mat 7:7; Mat 12—who is my brother and sister?

Soteriology Terminology

Justification, 5:1 –legal term (regeneration)

Redemption, 1 Pet. 1:18f—debt term

Atonement, 3:25—covering, substitutionary, 5:8

Propitiation, 1:18—appease wrath

Expiation; 1 Jn. 2:2--cleanse

Reconciliation 5:10; 2 Cor 5:18ff--enemies

Adoption: Rom 8:18ff—family term

Sole fidei? cf. James 2:24, 1 Jn. 3:9; Mt 25

Paul’s view of Law

Old view: Jews as foil to Christianity: legalism/grace, law/faith, flesh/spirit, individual salvation

New View: Dunn/E.P. Sanders; law as exclusion
  /separation versus inclusion –group salvation

Rom 7:12 law good

Rom 3:28, 20, 22 law –expose sin not goodness

Abraham justified when uncircumcised; 4:9

Adam—universal sin; 5:12, 20—all dead/all live

Law not a means of justification—misuse

Sanctification

Is perfection possible? Mat 5:28 be perfect.

Paul’s struggle – Rom 7:21ff

Four approaches

Unbeliever’s struggle—pre-Christ days

Young believer’s struggle

Struggle in the flesh outside the Spirit

Mature believer’s struggle—Normal Xn life

2 Cor 10:5 every thought captive

Election – Predestination

Election

Rom 8:28-29

Eph. 1:4

Rom 9:11 Jacob/Esau; Jer 1:5; 1 Pet 1:2

Problems (see below)—Puritan terror: am I chosen?

Human choice and divine election?

Hyper-Calvinistic Hard determinism—Ultra-Reformed position – good part = sovereignty of God

All divineà problems --whosoever will passages

Contingency or Lucky Calvinists -reformed

Oxymoron/Antinomy/Paradox –

TULIP Calvinism

TULIP

T otal Depravity –image of God in people

U nconditional Election: predestination based in divine choice, nothing in us -- whosoever believes

L imited Atonement: Christ died for the elect, 1 Jn 2:2

I rresistible Grace: God irresistibly calls the elect-Choice

P erseverance of the Saints—eternal security; once saved always saved; --fall away? Solomon, Israelites

Election – Predestination cont.

Arminianism – foreknowledge à predestination, prevenient grace open to all.

Openness – future open and unknown even to God, pros/cons.  We partner with God. God choses some for special tasks—Paul, Isaiah, Jeremiah but not everything specified…open to possibility,

Election/Rejection of Israel not individualized in Rom 8-11 –point is to show building of God’s grace from 9à 11 (Doxology: 11:33ff).

Some difficulties

Rereading Romans 9-11 Election of Israel/Gentiles as groups

Problem of evil

Problem of prayer

Problem of God changing His mind

Stories of choice—Moses, David

“If” passages --Saul

Invitations seem open to all

Reflections

Systems and boxes:  knowing and not knowing—yet wonder/mystery

Transcendence and immanence

Holy other – relational

On breaking boxes and heretic hunting

On arrogance and humility Isa 40:28

Importance: sovereignty of God 8:39f/ choice 2:4

Christian Living

Rom 12:1f—self-sacrifice, transforming the mind,

Hating evil 12:9

Overcoming evil with good 12:21

Government – Rom 13—submit to gov.

Christian Liberty: Weaker Brother – Rom 14