The Book of romans survey
Pr Edi Giudetti
It is Righteousness that is required of God, and it is nothing less than the righteousness of God that is required to access heaven, (Rom 1:18-3:32). It is Righteousness Received of God, but understand that it is nothing less than the righteousness of God that can be received, (Rom 3:21-8:39). And when all this is understood we come to see that It is the Righteousness of God Represented by those who have received his righteousness, and represented to the Entire world, (Rom 9:1-11:36). Finally, as the result of that Requirement from God and the receiving of God and the representation of Gods righteousness to the world, his Righteousness is Ratified, it is confirmed, it is backed and supported as absolutely true, (Rom 12:1-15:13).
The Righteousness of God becomes evident to ALL THE WORLD and most importantly to those who are made righteous by him.
So these are the outline points I do see in the book of Romans, and shall be the points that will outline this sermon to you, this morning. How I pray it will bless you and glorify my God.
No other portion of Holy Scripture so completely sets forth the great doctrines of the Christian faith as does Paul’s Epistle to the Romans. No other product of the pen has ever more powerfully confronted the mind of man with the great truths of God. All of man’s alibis, all of his pretenses, all of his attempts at self-justification are mightily struck down by the truths of this book. In this, his magnum opus, every argument which man can muster against the claims of God are thoroughly demolished with unanswerable logic by the Apostle Paul.
Romans has rightly been called “the Constitution of Christianity,” “the Christian Manifesto,” “the Cathedral of the Christian Faith.” There is nowhere to be found a more complete compendium of Christian doctrine. Herein are recorded the doctrines of justification, sanctification, divine election, condemnation, the perseverance of the saints, total depravity, the last judgment, the fall of man, the revelation of God in nature, the final restoration of the Jews, and many more. This epistle stands at the head of Paul’s epistles as the brazen altar did before the Holy Place. You could not enter the tabernacle until you passed the brazen altar. Likewise, you cannot enter the great doctrinal portions of the New Testament without first passing Romans. It is the gateway to New Testament truth. It is basic training for the Christian. By the Holy Spirit of God, it is the masterpiece of Paul.
The Righteousness of God Required
- The Righteousness of God is Required by the Godless (1:16-32)
16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. 17 For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.
It is the Gospel of Christ where the book of Romans begins and it is the righteousness of God that is revealed in it and through it.
As we read the first chapter of Romans and we consider of the passage that comes after Pauls wonderful introduction, we are struck by what certainly seems to be the progressive depravity of man when he first comes to trust his foolish heart in thinking there is no God.
This progressive depravity evidenced in Romans is so clear that many today would find it shocking. Brethren, we can see all around us today that the notion of God is as far removed from the minds and hearts of man than it has ever been since even before this letter was written.
Man has rejected God and continues to deny him and remove from him all evidence in his heart, so we should certainly be able to be living witnesses of the truth of Romans chapter one and the progressive depravity of man when he has rejected God.
Progressive depravity at every level demonstrated by Romans chapter one, should be witnessed as prima facie evidence during these very days, where God is dethroned in both the hearts and the minds of man.
Judge For yourself:
- We should witness both now and historically man come up with many designs and notions to confirm his rejection of God, even to the point where he gratifies himself as wise.
21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
We think of monkey to man evolution, an idea that scientists recognize has no qualifying evidence, yet is believed for one purpose, to sustain a rejection of God.
- We should witness both now and historically the worship of the Creator replaced by the worship of the created.
23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
Man has long turned from the worship of God to the worship of creation as God. The rise of hyper environmentalism is evidence of that.
I have a godly friend who once told me the story of an environmentalist that came to his door with questions. The godly brother of mine told him that he is a worshipper of the God who created everything the environmentalist worships.
- We should witness both now and historically what has been depraved in the heart and in the head, to manifest itself in the body and the actions. Belief SHOULD naturally represent LIFE. What is believed in the heart and mind of man will be made evident in the actions of man. One naturally follows the other. If the heart and mind of man is depraved, so too will be his actions, particularly that related to his own body.
26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
Do we see evidence of this today?
Friends even our laws have been changed to accommodate that which Paul refers to as being done out of a “reprobate mind”.
Chapter one concludes with a list of the manifested evidence of the heart that has rejected God and how it plays out in the life of those whose hearts are darkened.
Consider the list when you have a moment, from verse 29-32
Do you fit that description? Truly your actions and manner of life betrays the truth of where you are in relation to God. Your heart is revealed by your actions and decisions.
- The Righteousness of God is Required by the “good” (2:1-16)
Chapter 2:1-16 confirms that even those who think themselves good and are so willing to judge others as bad, even they too require the righteousness of God to be saved. Paul does not spare neither the evidently wicked nor those who think themselves better, but warns explicitly in verse 1.
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.
O my, I could stop there and preach sermon after sermon on how many people do just this. I could tell you with absolute certainty that everyone of us would stand condemned of doing exactly what the apostle says here. It amazes me more that the very people who fear judgement the greatest, are also the people who judge the most. I have not seen any evidence yet that refutes this reality. And as they judge, they actually condemn themselves doing the same things.
But Paul does not slow his argument against those who think themselves escaping true judgement, consider verse 3-5;
3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance? 5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;
So we see that Righteousness is Required by the Godless and by the Good, but not even the Jew escapes Pauls gaze.
- The Righteousness of God is Required by the Jew (2:17-3:8)
17 Behold, thou art called a Jew, and restest in the law, and makest thy boast of God, 18 And knowest his will, and approvest the things that are more excellent, being instructed out of the law; 19 And art confident that thou thyself art a guide of the blind, a light of them which are in darkness, 20 An instructor of the foolish, a teacher of babes, which hast the form of knowledge and of the truth in the law. 21 Thou therefore which teachest another, teachest thou not thyself? thou that preachest a man should not steal, dost thou steal? 22 Thou that sayest a man should not commit adultery, dost thou commit adultery? thou that abhorrest idols, dost thou commit sacrilege? 23 Thou that makest thy boast of the law, through breaking the law dishonourest thou God? 24 For the name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles through you, as it is written.
Paul continues to a third of the third chapter, ensuring that not only are the Godless in need of Gods righteousness, and not only are the Good in need of Gods righteousness, but so too are the chosen of God in need of Gods righteousness.
All the world is included as having the need of the righteousness of God, all the world seems to now stand condemned before a Holy God.
In case we miss the point, we have 3:9-18:
- The Righteousness of God is Required by ALL (3:9-18)
What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; 10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: 11 There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. 12 They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. 13 Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used 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 have they not known: 18 There is no fear of God before their eyes.
Has he missed anyone?
Are there any sitting in this congregation that think you can escape Gods judgement without his righteousness?
Any listening to this recording that think you are ok and think your own righteousness will be enough to get you into heaven after reading these first three chapters?
Or are you storing up wrath against the day of wrath and the revelation of the righteous judgement of God?
The Righteousness of God Received
If you have despaired of any hope of heaven after reading those first few chapters, then the apostle has achieved exactly what he set forth to do.
He did so that you might reach out in that despair to God for some hope of heaven.
You come to realise that it will not be YOUR righteousness that will gain eternal joy, but HIS righteousness. It is the MINIMUM standard of heaven.
How do you receive it?
- You must be Justified (3:21-5:12)
21 But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; 22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: 23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 24 Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:
Only by faith in Jesus Christ can the righteousness of God be given to man.
Jesus is the vessel through which we can be justified.
Have you ever been at work in a job where you are to deliver a certain outcome or product to you boss or customer that you simply don’t have the skills for? Someone else might have that skill, but you certainly don’t and you know you don’t. If you cant get that task done exactly how the client needs it done, you might get in trouble, or lose the client or even lose your job.
I have men who work for me, and without their skill, I certainly could not keep my clients happy. They simply do a better job than I can. Do you know people in your workplace that can do the job YOU CANT?
You ask them, you plead with them to please take the task themselves. Imagine them doing all the work and allowing you to present it to your boss or client as your own. You get the credit, even though you did none of the work.
That is what Jesus did. He took his righteousness and gave it to you, when you asked him to do, what you could never do.
25 Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; 26 To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.
The credit belongs not to you, but to Christ. YET you are the beneficiary, you benefit from the work Jesus has done.
YOU Are Sanctified (6:1-7:25)
From chapters 6 through chapter 7 Romans presents the justified man, woman and child as also sanctified.
In other words, they are purified, hallowed, approved and Romans explains through these two chapters how the received righteousness of God fits a legal framework that is logically consistent.
In short; If you are Born again, you ARE NOT who you once were. There is a complete change in you, you cannot do the things that you use to do and still be happy doing them.
Christianity is NOT a state of MIND, but a STATE OF BEING.
If you try to live your life the way you did before, in all manner of sin, you can’t HELP but be miserable and depressed. You will be Insecure and irrational to the point that shame brings your one desire to ultimately withdraw from other people.
In chapters 6-7 Paul explains what has happened and WHY it has happened. I pray you will read those chapters and the spirit of God helps you understand.
Let me try to explain just a little;
When you received the Righteousness of God you were not only “Justified” by Christ, but you are also “Sanctified” by him, you are made pure and being purified, it is both a position in which you stand (Pure) and a progress in which you live (Being purified).
You recall the job you were asked to do that you had to have someone else who could do the job, do it for you and as a result you received the benefit?
Well imagine now that after you received the benefit for that person’s work, you were actually changed into that persons characteristics.
The potential of that persons skills and abilities are now also IN YOU.
You now have the ability of that person, but the use of those abilities are not yet perfected and will not ultimately be perfected until the end. But each day you are being challenged and changed to perfect that ability.
You are now clothed in the righteousness of Christ (1 Cor 5:2-5), Positionally that is where you stand. But you are also to put on Christ daily, Romans 13 says;
But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
This is progressively how you grow. But if you do not attend to it faithfully, you will not grow but eventually lead a miserably sad life.
STOP THINKING YOU WILL GROW BY DOING NOTHING!
Just as a boy has all the potential ability of becoming a man, if he does not eat he will not grow but slowly die.
If you do not feed yourself on God’s word you will NOT grow, but slowly die, life for you will feel so meaningless and you will be miserable.
YOU HAVE Assurance (8:1-39)
Romans gives to us the eighth chapter.
I can only refer to it is the pinnacle of Romans.
There is a view in Romans 8 that can only bring you wonderful joy if you are born again.
1 There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
No matter what it is that life throws you, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus.
No matter your struggles in the flesh, There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus
You no longer need to fear death because There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus
You no longer need to fear the judgement of God because There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus
This is that assurance that chapter eight gives us, this is that confidence we need if we are born again.
The confidence is ONLY for those who are born again, those who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.
There is the natural state of those who are born again, they no longer desire to sin, which is contrary to the spirit.
Just that change in desire demonstrates a change of spirit. Consider the contrast in verse 5
5 For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.
More, so much more to say but we need to press on because we have not yet reached to view from the top of chapter eight.
Just when you might think all is lost and that perhaps your struggles with the flesh as a Christian has cast you off from God, we have verses 31-39.
31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33 Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. 34 Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. 37 Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I could stop there for you my brethren, but we are only half way through this book, and I fear that I cannot do justice to the balance of it in the time I have left.
Lets pray that the Lord will bring us both understanding and appetite.
The Righteousness of God Represented
Chapters 9 through 11 represent the righteousness of God.
Sovereignty of God Represented (9:1-33)
It does so in chapter 9 by demonstrating his sovereignty in regard to salvation. God is the one that is in control. He will have mercy on whom he will have mercy and Paul demonstrates why this is needful and right.
And Paul demonstrates that in light of Israel.
For these three chapters have Israel as their focus and re-presents Gods righteousness through them.
In 9:2 Paul says;
2 That I have great heaviness and continual sorrow in my heart. 3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh: 4 Who are Israelites; to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises; 5 Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen.
And Paul goes on to teach the history of the 12 tribes and his own choice in the matter in verse 9 saying;
For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sara shall have a son. 10 And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac; 11 (For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;) 12 It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger. 13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.
Paul defends scripture related to Gods sovereign choice a few verses later in verse 17 when he reminds us of what God said to Moses in that;
17… I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.
And when we would ask the question on how God find fault if he is the one that is ultimately in control. Paul chastises us in saying effectively “Who are you to reply against God?” (v 20-21) and then explains in verse 22;
What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory, 24 Even us, whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles?
Righteousness is demonstrated through his sovereignty and control. He shows himself righteous that you might know salvation is ALL his work.
In Chapter 10 Paul continues with Israel explaining that they missed understanding that it is not their own righteousness that would justify them, but the righteousness of Christ, in verse 4 he says;
For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth
And verse 9 brings home;
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
No doubt questions come to mind about Gods choice and how it works that ALL… who call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Yet it is true. It is a paradox we have no ability to understand this side of eternity, but the Bible teaches consistently that God is 100% in control of all things, and man is 100% accountable with a free will, as is demonstrated even in this chapter.
Chapter 11 culminates with Gods Righteousness Identified, by how he has dealt with Israel in order for you to have opportunity to be saved.
Israel was the chosen of God, they and they alone are the natural branch of the vine. Verse 17 tells us that they were broken off that YOU might be grafted in.
Remember that in the Old Testament there is no break and no room for the Church in the prophecy concerning Israel.
Recall that we have the coming of the Messiah prophesied and then we have the Judgement of God upon the world for its sin and then the millennium.
NO GENTILE nations in that plan identified in the Old Testament. No Church there either. Paul spoke of the Church as a Mystery in Colossians Chapter 1.
In 1 Corinthians 2 Paul argues for this mystery of the Church saying if the princes of this world knew of it, they would not have crucified the Lord of Glory. (1 Cor 2:7-8).
Look how Paul concludes the understanding of what happened to Israel and making the way for the Gentile nations to be saved, saying;
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. 26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:
Brethren, if Israel were not set aside there was no place in scripture for you and I. But they have been and we should be grateful. Little wonder why Paul concludes this chapter with;
33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
The Righteousness of God Ratified
But from chapters 12 to 15 we have the Righteousness of God Ratified through the example of those who have been saved by his grace and mercy.
We See him speak of:
The Life Transformed (12:1-21)
The Life Submitted (13:1-14)
The Life of Selfless Love (14:1-15:14)
These represent to us what the Christian life ought to be like as it Ratifies (gives confirmed example of) the Righteousness of God.
Those who call themselves Christian who do not live this way, blaspheme that Character of God. No pressure!
First witness is in chapter 12 as the Lord shows through Pauls writings about the LIFE TRANSFORMED.
I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
In two short sentences Paul lays out both the Charge, the Danger, the Means and the Purpose of The Life Transformed.
Charge: present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
Danger: be not conformed to this world
Means: be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind,
Purpose: that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Chapter 13 is the prime example of that same transformed life SUBMITTED to not only the Lord, but ALL ATHORITY.
1 Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. 3 For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Lastly the example of the righteousness of God Ratified in the life of believers is that theirs is to be a LIFE of LOVE from chapters 14-15.
It is a life that puts others first. It considers others as his focus in all things. He is not to live to himself but to live for others.
The Christian’s focus is to re-present the focus of Christ, not for himself but for everyone else.
Why? That our focus returns to the scriptures so we can live our lives in hope.
1 We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. 2 Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. 3 For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me. 4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.
Chapters 14-15 teach this, and we shall spend the rest of our lives learning it.