57-58 A.D. – Romans
If you are from my church, you might be among those who are reading through the New Testament FOUR times this year. We’re doing that in a way called The New Testament: As It Was Written (that is, reading the New Testament in the order the books and letters were written by approximate date). I’m making a few notes my first time around but after that, I’m just going to read straight through without stopping to take notes.
Here are a few of my notes from Romans. To see other notes, visit Manly Meditations.
Ch. 2 – Paul distinguishes between practicing-sin-and-presuming-upon-God’s-kindness, and true-repentance-and-patiently-seeking-God’s-riches.
– What does it mean to seek glory? To do good?
– What does it mean to seek self? To do evil?
Ch. 3 – Paul discusses and clarifies the works of the Law vs. works of faith.
Ch. 4 – Paul continues to discuss faith vs. works. The distinction Paul makes is between works of the Law vs. faith alone (which, as noted in an earlier Pauline letter, faith alone includes works of love).
Also get this: The letter to Christians in Rome was read aloud, probably numerous times. Paul’s (and others) constant discourse on circumcision and uncircumcision was a normal topic of conversation for that culture. I assume no one thought it an embarrassing or shameful subject, and that believers engaged the topics in non-sexual and non-sensual ways.
Ch. 5 – What is the meaning of “even over those whose sinning was not like the transgression of Adam who was a type of the one who was to come.”? Note that Adam, the first man, had qualities seemingly different from men today. What might be those differences? Similarities?
Jesus “reversed” the Fall. It’s all about obedience.
Ch. 6 – Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father and the power of the Holy Spirit. Is there a connection for us? Yes, we too are raised to eternal life by the Father, having been baptized into Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit… all glorious!
Ch. 8 – The mind set on the flesh does not submit to God’s law – it cannot. There is a strong reminder that the resurrection included Jesus, the Spirit, and the Father. In other words, God, through the power of the Holy Spirit, raised His Son from being dead. And, of course, all Three were at the resurrection (as they were at the virgin birth).
Ch. 9 – The adoption belongs to the Israelites. Then what belongs to the Gentiles?
Ch. 10 – What is the Gospel? It is the word of faith that we proclaim: That if you confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart the God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth confession is made resulting in being saved.
Ch. 12 – Paul warns to be careful what you think about yourself, your self-will.
The three components of the will of God are:
– That which is good.
– That which is acceptable.
– That which is perfect.
Nonconformity to the world and transforming through mind-renewal are the TWO centerpieces of testing to discern God’s will.
Ch. 13 – Love is the fulfilling of the law. Works of darkness include orgies, drunkenness, sexual immorality and sensuality, quarreling, and jealousy. Don’t gratify the desires of the flesh. Remember chapter 8: The mind set on the flesh cannot submit to God’s law. And love is the fulfilling of that law.
Ch. 15 – Are you strong in your faith (or do you consider yourself strong)? Then bear with, and lift up, hurting brothers.
Ch. 16 – Paul occasionally, but forcefully, mentions avoiding those who cause division and create trouble (obstacles) that are contrary to the doctrine that is taught – by extension – by the church. This clearly applies to troublemakers in the church. He mentioned it in I Corinthians 5, that is, to not associate with anyone in the church who bears the name of brother yet is practicing any number of rebellious, sinful activities – not even to eat with them. This seems to imply that approving fellowship with sin-practicing, doctrinally incorrect “believers” is wrong – and that they should be avoided and disassociated from the church. The root meaning suggests NOT giving any form of approval or tolerance to practicing hypocrites. Of course, such people should be called out and restored to Christian fellowship.