- Religion and Philosophy»
- Christianity, the Bible & Jesus
Apostle Paul's Letters to the Romans
A.D. 55-57- 25 Years After Jesus’ Death and Resurrection
During Paul's time as a missionary spreading the Gospel across nations, he makes an attempt to revisit the churches he started when possible for him to do so. One church, in particular, he longs to visit is the Christian community of Rome. However, his missionary work made it difficult for such a visit to Rome. In his stead, he writes to the Church of Rome. He wrote them to express his desire to visit, among other purposes. He was eager to write the Romans.
His other purposes for writing the Romans include: (1) explaining the Gospel of grace and (2) addressing the tensions between the Jewish and Gentile believers. In his letter, he notes to the Romans, a deep concern for their urgent attention and a model for Christians today.
In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes of:
-Sin of mankind
-Christ’s saving Grace.
Let's take a close look at his convicting letter to the Romans.
One may speculate, “Why he is writing to them of effects they should already know?” Could they have forgotten these things? More importantly, could we have forgotten these things? Indeed, the answer to both questions is “yes”. To answer the first question, we must first examine the points Paul makes to the Romans about their actions.
Paul explained to his fellow believers of how they should respond to their gift of grace. He explains of his disapproving stance on the conflict between Jewish and Gentile believers in Rome. He challenged the Romans to show grace and tolerance to fellow believers who may, for reasons of personal convictions, follow different rules of diet, holidays and religious practices.
Romans 1:1-7 (KJV)
The first verse of Romans chapter 1, (Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God) gives an authority to Paul, given by Christ. This verse describes Paul’s relationship to God. It states Paul’s mission to the work of Christ to be an apostle called to spread the Gospel. The following verses 2-7 ascribes Christ and his purpose in our lives. Jesus Christ is our saving grace. His purpose was to save us from befall of our sins. This scripture also calls all believers to be apostles of the Gospel. In our commitment to Christ, we are to spread the same Grace and peace, shown to us by Jesus Christ. These scriptures refer to Rome; however, it is an example to all believers in Christ.
Romans 7:14 (KJV)
Compared with the holy rule of manner in the law of God, Paul considered himself in reflection of Romans 3:23 (For all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God). He thought of himself short of perfect, somewhat carnal (For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin) By differentiating his real self from a saint, his spiritual part, from the self, or flesh, in which sin dwelt, and by observing that the evil actions were done, not by him, but by sin dwelling in him, the apostle did not mean that men are not accountable for their sins, but he imparts the evil of their sins, by showing that sin done against reason and conscience. Sin dwelling in a man, does not prove its sovereign, or having power over him. Paul is saying man can overcome this conceivable power of sin by the power of Christ’s presence in each believer. It can be interpreted by this scripture, Paul is referring to sin as evil. In today’s language, Paul is telling the reader to hate the sin and love the sinner (For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I). He is saying he himself is a sinner saved by Grace and has flesh like the reader to commit sin. However, the Christian is to shake off sin and turn to Christ when tempted with sin.
Romans 12 (KJV)
God’s will refers to His purpose for the life of the believer. It denotes His guidance or course in all of life’s choices. This dedication is an act of submission or obedience to His will for our lives whereby we come to be a "living sacrifice." (present your bodies a living sacrifice)
Romans 14-15 (KJV)
This is a considerate amount of lines to yield at once. These scriptures are best summed by Paul’s understanding that Christians do not continuously come to an agreement on some disputes in life that are not crucial to the Christian faith. In these two chapters, Paul teaches us in ways to handle this. This is reference to Jews and Gentiles having different religious traditions. To best sum this commentary, one can say Paul is saying it is best to have a personal relationship with God and understand that your fellow believers have their own personal relationship with Christ and we are to be reverent to those relationships. Sin is sin; however, one may have different beliefs of what may be interpreted as sin (That I may be delivered from them that do not believe in Judaea; and that my service which I have for Jerusalem may be accepted of the saints). If Paul were here on Earth today, I believe he would instruct the Church of Earth to consul one’s own heart and pray to God for understanding what sin is. I believe he would also instruct us to love our fellow believers and have respect of their convictions as they would for us. Remember, Christ died for ALL our sins, not just your sin or my sin (Now the God of peace be with you all. Amen).