Summary: Message 50 in our exposition of Romans looking back over the book in summary.
Chico Alliance Church
Pastor David Welch
“Romans in Review”
Paul’s letter to the Romans answers some very basic and fundamental spiritual questions. What happened to our relationship with God? What are the consequences? How can it be restored? What difference should this make in how I live my life here and now? Paul introduces the good news of salvation in his introduction and immediately proceeds to demonstrate why we need saving. The bad news is that every person since Adam has deeply offended God incurring deserved wrath and reserving eternal divine judgment and condemnation. Equally bad news is that there is nothing that man can do to fix it. There is no way man can remedy the damage done to the relationship. The good news is that God, in cooperation with the Son and the Holy Spirit, took the initiative to remedy a seemingly hopeless situation. The work conceived by the Trinity from eternity past spans the gamut of time; past present and future. Paul addressed all of these questions in his letter to a group of Jewish and Gentile believers he had not yet met living in the Italian city of Rome. Paul began his letter with a personal note confirming his credentials and conveying his passion. He assured them his teaching was by the authority of his God-appointed apostleship. The culmination of what had been promised long ago was now fulfilled in Jesus and Paul wrote to affirm this marvelous good news of God’s plan of salvation.
Paul shared his passion to pray, promote spiritual maturity wherever he went and to preach the good news of the Gospel not only to the Romans but the entire Gentile world. This all consuming passion arose from a deep confidence and firm persuasion that the Gospel (good news of salvation) reveled by God and proclaimed by Paul was the power of God for salvation to everyone who believed. Paul maintained an unequivocal confidence in the power of the Gospel to change lives. He had no shame in proclaiming it or embracing it where he went. The power of the Gospel is in the fact that it reveals the plan of God to make men righteous again by giving them the very righteousness of Christ. In it the righteousness of God is revealed. Paul’s letter to these believers revolves around this idea of the righteousness of God. To be righteous is to conform to a set standard. The righteousness of God is perfect adherence to God’s revealed standard of living. A chart outlining the flow of the book is included at the end of these notes.
I. Receive the gift of Christ’s righteousness 1-4
A. Everyone desperately needs Christ’s righteousness 1-3:20
In the first two and a half chapters Paul addresses what happened between man and God. God created man to honor Him and give praise and glory to Him as the Creator. Man decided to listen to the creature (Satan first) and glorify the creation over the Creator and suppress the truth about God by living contrary to the Creator’s design.
Since God’s existence and divine attributes were clearly stamped and displayed in everything that He made and He implanted an internal intuition and sense about His existence, atheism and agnosticism, is without excuse. Man has to work at denying God’s existence. God revealed his wrath for such rebellion through his spokesman throughout history. The result of such refusal to honor God resulted in a fundamental darkening of men’s heart and mind resulting in a corresponding immoral behavior in an ever darkening downward spiral. The greater the refusal to come under God’s rule, the more God turns them over to a destructive lifestyle resulting in dishonored bodies, degraded passions and depraved minds. (Paul teaches all this in the first section of his letter.) Not only have men refused to honor God as God but eventually refuse to even acknowledge His existence at all and as a result become filled with all manner of unrighteousness deserving of God’s just punishment. Once you refuse to acknowledge a divine source for morality, anything goes. And today is an example of anything goes. There are those who even those adopt and try to adhere to some sort of personal moral standard and judge those who don’t measure up. In realty they can’t even live by their own code of ethics. They think because they operated by their own standard most of the time and since they are not being annihilated by God that they have sufficient righteous to warrant favor. Paul warns them not to think lightly of the present kindness and long-suffering of the Lord designed to lead them to repentance for failure to perfectly measure up to God’s standard. Romans 2:5-11
Jews who should know better (having the revelation of God’s standard in the Scriptures) actually do no better living according to God’s standard. For the very thing they condemn in others, they practice themselves. Paul, in a brilliant summary, demonstrates the span and severity of man’s dilemma. Romans 3:9-20