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 Daily Bible Study  March 18, 2002 

Scripture and Commentary

Online Bible courtesy of Gospelcom.net
See Romans 1 in the New King James Version
See Romans 1 in the New American Standard Bible

Continuing commentary on Romans Chapter 1

Another of the telling aspects of Paul's understanding of Salvation is in his concern for the faith of the believers in Rome.  They were not even his converts, yet we see that he prays for them regularily.

Romans 1  (NASB)
8   First,  I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, because  your faith is being proclaimed throughout the whole world. 
9   For  God, whom I  serve in my spirit in the preaching of the gospel of His Son, is my witness as to how unceasingly  I make mention of you, 
10   always in my prayers making request, if perhaps now at last by  the will of God I may succeed in coming to you. 
11   For  I long to see you so that I may impart some spiritual gift to you, that you may be established; 
12   that is, that I may be encouraged together with you while among you, each of us by the other's faith, both yours and mine. 
13   I do not want you to be unaware,  brethren, that often I  have planned to come to you (and have been prevented so far) so that I may obtain some  fruit among you also, even as among the rest of the Gentiles. 
14    I am  under obligation both to Greeks and to  barbarians, both to the wise and to the foolish. 
15   So, for my part, I am eager to  preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome. 

Before we can even appreciate Paul, we need to understand that he had a Pastor's heart.  He did not preach because he was paid well, or because he had some sort of status.  He did it because of the heart of compassion that Christ had given him.

What is Salvation?

Romans 1  (NASB)
16   For I am not  ashamed of the gospel, for  it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the  Jew first and also to the Greek. 
17   For in it  the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, 

(Paul quotes Habakkuk 2:4 here and in Gal 3:11, as does the writer of Hebrews in Hebrews 10:38)

Paul makes it clear that salvation is a life of faith, and that faith is in the power of God, which is the good news.  This good news is not just any good news, but it is news that comes bearing power. Hallelujah!

How Many Roads are there to walk down

Yesterday we mentioned that Paul makes a solid distinction between the believers and the unbelievers, which is a theme that continues through Romans.
  • The believer lives by faith
  • The unbeliever lives in the lusts of his or her heart.

  • Verses 18 through 32 make some plain points about this. The difference between a saved person and an unbeliever is whether they desire to continue in their sin.  Many read these verses and think, "I'm guilty of this or that sin; does this mean that I hate God? I do this, but I don't want to!" The book of Romans is devoted in part to just that question.

    What Paul is doing here at the beginning is contrasting the believer and the unbeliever.  And Paul will present the way out in the chapters to come.

    Again, God's purpose is to bring all believers to a life of faith. Are you living a life or faith?  Are you seeking to please God?

    Introduction to Romans Study, and summary of today's study.

    Romans is a primer on the relationship of the Believer to The Lord Jesus Christ.

    Today we are continuing our study of the Book of Romans.

    About the Controversy between the Calvinist and  the Arminian posiions, let me state this:

    The chief concerns that are addressed in that debate: 

  • Can I lose my salvation (that is, if I commit a sin, will I find I am no longer saved)?
  • If I keep on sinning, will I be saved?
  • Is there victory over sin? 
  • If I neglect my relationship with the Lord Jesus, what happens to my salvation? 
  • Once I am saved, do I have license to keep on sinning? 

  • The further issues are: 

  • Once I am saved, how do I keep from sinning?
  • Is it something I do, and thus it becomes an issue of pride? Or is it a work that God does in our lives? 
  • Can we ever expect to overcome sin? If we do, how does it happen? How are we set free? 
  • If a person backslides in his faith, and doesn't come back to vibrant Christian faith, is he saved if he is in that condition when he dies? 

  • These are all important questions, and if we are not careful we wind up answering them from our doctrinal position rather than from a careful study of scripture. 

    I encourage you to use your resources to study these issues, and to approach them with an open heart.

    It is my desire to be open to as direct an understanding of the Scriptures as possible.

    Note that on different days, the placement of the commentary on the page will vary.  Sometimes, I will use the left pane and sometimes the right pane.


    Summary of Today's Study:

    1.  Paul had a pastor's heart.
    2.  Salvation is a life of faith.
    3.  There are only two ways to go, either a life of faith, or a life characterized by living in the lusts of our flesh  (and as we will see later on, in bondage to forces that oppress and destroy.)

    4.  Again, we did not break down the catalog of sins in verses 26-32.  But I would encourage you to read it through.  If you feel that, even though you are a Christian, you still fall into this, then you have some good news coming as we study Romans.

    I would encourage you to do something that helped me greatly.  Pick a version of the scriptures and start to type it out or to write it longhand, whichever you feel more inclined to do.  As you do so, you will learn the scriptures at the tip of your fingers!

    Scripture is quoted today from the New American Standard Bible.  We work with various versions, because we believe that being well studied in the scripture will enable us to rightly divide the word of truth. We encourage you to do likewise, because of the insights we have gotten. Familiarize yourself with one, and then go on to use others.  This commentary is copyright Rick Galbraith, March 17, 2002.  It is my "daily devotions," my own study of the Scriptures, and you are invited to share it with me.