By Glenda Ward
“Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”
The Book of Romans is a carefully presented statement of FAITH as given to the apostle Paul by our Heavenly Father. The apostle Paus was intelligent, articulate, and committed to his calling. He presented the case of the Gospel clearly and forthrightly to believers. Paul felt a bond with the believers in Rome. They were his brothers and sisters in Christ whom he had never met, yet he loved them, and he longed to see them face-to-face. Paul sent them a letter, the Book of Romans, to introduce himself and to make a clear declaration of the faith. In this letter, Paul presents the facts of the Gospel (Romans 1:3). He builds an airtight case for the lostness of humanity and the necessity for God’s intervention (Romans 1:18-3:20). Salvation is available to all, regardless of a person’s identity, sin, or heritage. We are saved by grace (unearned, undeserved favor from God) through faith (complete trust) in Christ and His finished work. Through Him, we can stand before God justified, “not guilty” (Romans 3:21-5:21). Our freedom comes from being saved – freedom from the power of sin (Romans 6:1-23), freedom from the domination of the Law (Romans 7:1-25), freedom to become like Christ and to discover God’s limitless love (Romans 8:1-39). It is explained how we fit into God’s plan (Romans 9:1-12,12) and how we should live in complete submission to Christ: using our spiritual gifts to serve others (Romans 12:9-21), and to be good citizens (Romans 13:1-14).
Paul sets the foundations of the Christian faith. All people are sinful; Christ died to forgive sin; we are made right with God through faith; this begins a new life with a new relationship with God. If we read and study Romans carefully, we will never be at a loss to know what to believe. As we read through the Book, we can reexamine our commitment to Christ and reconfirm our relationships with other believers. The Christian life has practical implications that will affect how we choose to behave each day. It is not enough just to know the Gospel; we must let it transform our lives and let God impact every aspect of our lives.
Sin is refusing to do God’s will. Since Adam’s rebellion against God, our nature is to disobey Him. Sin causes us to want to live our own way rather than God’s way. Because God is morally perfect, just, and fair, He is right to condemn sin. People sin by rebelling against God or by ignoring His Will. No matter how hard we try to live a good and moral life, we cannot earn salvation or remove our sin. Only Christ can do that by our salvation through faith in Him.
Salvation points out our need to be forgiven even though we don’t deserve it. God in His kindness, through His gift to us, His only Son Jesus Christ forgives us our sins. He provides us the way to be saved. Christ’s death paid the penalty for our sin. But for us to enter into a new relationship with God, we must believe that Jesus Christ died for us and that He forgives all our sins.
Growth as a believing Christian is by God’s power. Believers are sanctified – made holy. We are set apart from sin, which enables us to become more like Christ. Because we are free from sins control, we can grow in our relationship with Christ Jesus by trusting the Holy Spirit within us. We can overcome sin and temptation.
Sovereignty is overseen by God who cares about His people – past, present, and future. His ways of dealing with people are always fair and just. Because of God’s mercy, anyone and all can be saved. But we must all respond to His mercy and accept His gracious gift of forgiveness to be saved. Because He is sovereign, we can let Him reign in our hearts.
Service is to give credit to God for His love, power, and perfection in all we try to do to serve Him properly. Serving Him in His Will unifies all believers enabling them to show love and sensitivity to others. By ourselves we cannot be fully Christlike – it takes the entire body of Christ to fully express Christ. Christians can be a symphony of service to God. Believers show experience in life through their new faith. We learn of the centrality of faith to becoming a Christian and living the Christian life. Apart from faith, we have no hope in life.
Grace, not works, is the basis of our Salvation. Human work can never save a person (Galatians 2:16). Faith is a gift God gives to those who believe in Jesus Christ because He is saving us (Ephesians 2:8). It is God’s grace, not our faith, that saves. In God’s mercy He gives us faith – a relationship with His Son that helps us become like Him. It is through the faith He gives that He carries us from death into life (John 5:24). We must accept God’s gracious offer with Thanksgiving and allow Him to plant the seed of faith within us.
- Everyone has sinned. (Romans 3:23)
- The penalty for our sin is death. (Romans 6:23)
- Jesus Christ died for sin. (Romans 5:8)
- To be forgiven for our sins, we must believe and confess that Jesus is Lord. Salvation comes through Jesus Christ. (Romans 10:8-10)
What Has God Done About Sin?
New Life – Sin’s power is broken. (Romans 6:2-3); Your sin-loving nature is buried. (Romans 6:4); You are no longer under sin’s control. (Romans 6:6); We can be certain that sin’s power is broken.
New Nature – Now you share His new life. (Romans 6:5); Look upon your old self as dead; instead, be alive to God. (Romans 6:11); We can see ourselves as unresponsive to the old power and alive to the new.
New freedom – Do not let sin control you. (Romans 6:12); Give yourselves completely to God. Romans 6:13); are free. (Romans 6:14); You can choose your own master. (Romans 6:16); We can commit ourselves to obey Christ in perfect freedom.
In the remaining chapters of Romans (12:1-16:27) Paul gives guidelines for living as a redeemed people in a fallen world. We are to give ourselves to Christ as living sacrifices, obey the government, love our neighbors, and take special care of those who are weak in the faith. We learn how to live our faith each day. “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. 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” (Romans 12:1-2). Only when the Holy Spirit renews, reeducates, and redirects our minds are we truly transformed.
We are to be a living sacrifice to God. “to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever”. Amen
Glenda Ward is a member of Grand View Baptist Church in McDowell County. She is the mother of five grown children. Glenda is a Christian writer/author of “Something to Think About” – weekly Christian Articles. She writes Church Programs & Bulletins, VBS Material, Christmas and Easter Programs; all material based on the KJV of the Bible. Also testing the field in tributes, individual memorial writings, etc. You can read more good Christian news from Glenda HERE.