Book of Romans
Paul continues his work in ministry and begins writing his letters. Romans is one of the thirteen letters that Paul wrote. This letter is addressed to the Romans around 55 A.D. Through Paul's letter, there is rich revelation and instruction to the Romans. These principles can also be applied to Christians.
So, Paul begins his writings in Romans, by talking about himself as a servant called to be an apostle. Then speaks of Jesus and who He is. He sums up a big part of the letter, not on church problems, but on grace and apostleship. He does attempt to correct certain problems in the church, however, but a lot of his focus in the letter is talking about God's grace for us. He finishes the introduction of the letter by giving thanks to God. Paul's intent to begin the body of his letter is to encourage that we need salvation because we're sinners. Paul talks about the wrath of God against sin (unrighteousness, ungodliness, etc.) and goes on to talk about the sins of God's people.
At first, it appears Paul is portraying God as the judge, who subpoenas Jews and Gentiles to justice. However, as Paul moves on in his letter, through chapter three, he reveals that God planned for Christ to save us from the penalty of sin and free us from sin's power and guilt. Paul explains next the process of being freed from sin and becoming a Christian. Paul also talks about Abraham's salvation apart from works, circumcision, and the law - and how he achieved or obtained salvation by faith. Salvation by faith, according to Paul, brings us peace with God through Jesus Christ. God showed His love for us, even though we were still sinners, by sending His Son to die for us. Since, we're justified by His blood, we're reconciled to God.
He also explains that we have death through Adam, but life through Christ (the last Adam). Then, Paul talks about the believers being dead to sin, but alive in Christ. ln chapter seven, Paul goes on to say that, believers are dead to the law by the body of Christ. Also, that the law cannot deliver believers from sin, but rather Jesus Christ that delivers us. We find next that what the law cannot do, the Son was sent to be in the flesh to fulfill the law. Paul states a good principle that being carnally minded is death, but being spiritually minded is life and peace. Those in the flesh cannot please God, and that the body is dead because of sin. The Spirit is life because of righteousness.
Moving on, we find out that those that are led by the Spirit are the Sons of God. We've received the Spirit of Adoption becoming Children of God, heirs of God, joint- heirs with Christ, and glorified together. After that, we learn about the Holy Spirit who leads to future glory, helps with our prayer to God, and communicates God's love (so that we're not separated from the love of God).
Paul switches gears for a while beginning in chapter nine, where he talks about Israel. He talks about Israel's past election (as children of promise and called as children of God), the rejection of the gospel (by not attaining righteousness), and their future salvation acceptance. Paul notes that God's promise to Israel didn't fail, and that God can do as He pleases with the people and the nations. It's no shock that God may reject Israel if they disobey, and show mercy if He chooses. Israel failed to respond to Christ, which led to unbelief and even disobedience. Paul then explains that the rejection of Israel is partial or temporary, and that Israel will eventually accept God. Also, that soon, they will come to belief in Jesus and be included in His kingdom, It seems like this is an issue of faith, because of the troubles of righteousness and lack of acceptance of Christ.
Paul switches things again in chapter twelve, as he talks about how to serve Ged. As Sons, we should realize that serving God should only be natural and because we love Him back. Paul declares that we should present our bodies as a living sacrifice holy and acceptable unto God -which is a reasonable service (serving God). Not only that, but that we should be humble and not think of ourselves too highly. Then Paul instructs that love should be kind and affectionate, and to abhor what is evil. We should love on another with brotherly love. To love with honor is the way Paul enforces it" Then, he starts teaching things that believers should do to develop character. Soon, Paul instructs about submission to authority, responsibility to other people, walking honestly, being careful not to judge one another, and denying yourself for others.
Paul then presents his reason for writing as well as his future plans to journey. Soon, Paul writes to Phebe, a servant, giving her instructions and admonishing her to preach and encourage others to do the same. This is the conclusion of Paul's letter to the Romans. This letter serves as an awesome picture of God's grace and love, as well as the love we should be sharing with others. Thanks be to Paul for painting such a wonderful depiction of how love is illustrated through our lives.