By Keith Leroy Brooks
Contents: Words of comfort to the church at Rome. The universe a revelation of the power and deity of God. The deplorable condition of a lost world.
Characters: God, Jesus, Paul.
Conclusion: God has made Himself known to all men by the things of His creation. Though men know He exists and might infer that it was their duty to worship Him only, they glorify Him not as God, but ascribe deity to the most contemptible of creatures and give themselves over to vile affections. Those who thus dishonor Him, will be given up eventually to dishonor themselves.
Key Word: Carnality, v. 24.
Strong Verses: 4, 16, 19, 20, 21.
Striking Facts: v. 4. The demonstration of the deity of Jesus Christ is His resurrection from the dead. The sign of the prophet Jonah (Matt. 12:39) was intended for the last conviction. Those who will not be convinced by that will not be convinced by anything.
Contents: The equal standing of Jew and Gentile before the justice of God. Morality apart from Christ useless as means of salvation. Jews knowing the law condemned by the law.
Conclusion: All men, Jew or Gentile, good or bad, are under doom for breaking the righteous law of God the heathen who are sinners and know it (1:18-32) the self-righteous who think they need no salvation (2:1-11), and the religionist who makes a mere profession (2:17-29) all stand on the same level before the justice of God and all in need of the salvation God has provided.
Key Word: No partiality (No respect of persons )v. 11.
Strong Verses: 4, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12.
Striking Facts: v. 4. The riches of His goodness are described in Eph, 1:7 "redemption through the blood of Christ and forgiveness of sins according to the riches of His grace." However moral or religious a man be, if he has despised this divine plan he is lost.
Contents: The common guilt of both Jew and Gentile. Justification by faith, not by the law.
Characters: God, Jesus.
Conclusion: The sum of all sin is coming short of the glory of God for which we were created therefore all the world stands guilty before God, unable by any works to gain acceptance with God. Justification before God is resolved thereby purely into the free grace of God through Jesus Christ to all who will receive it as a free gift.
Key Word: All under sin, v. 9.
Strong Verses: 4, 10, 11, 12, 20, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26.
Striking Facts: v. 22. The gospel excludes none that do not exclude themselves by refusing to appropriate the finished work of Jesus Christ. The best brand of self-righteousness will not stand before God. We must wear the righteousness which God has ordained and which is brought in by His Son. All men alike are welcome to God through Jesus Christ. He has but one plan of salvation.
Contents: Abraham justified by faith, not works. Justifying faith defined.
Characters: God, Jesus, Abraham, David, Sarah.
Conclusion: No man can pretend to merit eternal life, nor show any worth in his work which may answer such a reward. Disclaiming any pretension he must cast himself wholly upon the free grace of God by faith in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. To such a one faith is counted for righteousness.
Key Word: Justifying faith, v. 5.
Strong Verses: 5, 7, 8, 16, 25.
Striking Facts: vv. 24-25. Christ's death and resurrection are the two main hinges on which the door of salvation turns. He was delivered as our sacrifice for sin. He was raised for the perfecting and completing of our justification.
Contents: The results of justification. Life and righteousness through Jesus Christ.
Characters: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Adam, Moses.
Conclusion: Justification through faith in Jesus Christ takes away guilt and so makes way for peace, and gives access into the wondrous grace of God. Through Jesus Christ alone the believer comes into fullness of joy, being saved from wrath, solaced in His love, not only going to heaven, but going triumphantly.
Key Word: Justification, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 1, 5, 6, 8, 10, 19.
Striking Facts: v. 10. The dying Jesus laid the foundation, satisfying for sin, but it is the living Jesus that perfects the work He lives to make intercession. By His death He saves from penalty by His life from the power of sin.
Contents: Deliverance from the power of indwelling sin by counting the old life dead, and yielding to the new life.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul.
Conclusion: It is an abuse of the grace of God in Christ for the believer to think he can sin because he is justified by faith. We must cease from the acts of sin, denying the fleshly life the scepter over us, and surrender the soul to the conduct and command of the righteous law of God that our members may be instruments of righteousness unto God.
Key Word: Dead to sin, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 3, 4, 6, 11, 12, 13, 16, 22, 23.
Striking Facts: vv. 3-6. The manner of Christ's baptism is a figure of the believer's spiritual burial and resurrection. Immersion symbolizes the entrance by the gateway of Christ's death into the domain of His righteousness and resurrection life, and is the expression of the baptized one's faith that God has taken him from among the dead and given him newness of life.
Contents: The conflict of the flesh with the spiritual nature. Impossibility of victory through the law.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul.
Conclusion: The function of the law is to detect and condemn sin, not to deliver from it. In the life of the believer there will ever be conflict between grace and corruption fn the heart, between the law of God and the law of sin. Who shall deliver us? Jesus Christ is the all-sufficient Saviour and Friend, who has not only purchased our deliverance, but is our advocate in Heaven, through Whom we may be made victorious.
Key Word: Sold under sin, v. 14.
Strong Verses: 4, 12, 13, 23, 24, 25.
Striking Facts: The believer upon acceptance of Christ receives a spiritual nature which begins at once strife with the Adamic nature, which is not eradicated until we stand in Christ's presence. The strife is effectually taken up on the believer's behalf by the Holy Spirit, and if the believer will but yield to Him in the hour of conflict, He will take the victory (8:2; Gal. 5:16-17).
Contents: The new law of the Holy Spirit in the believer, giving deliverance from sinful nature. The full result of the Gospel in the believer and his security.
Characters: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: It is the unspeakable comfort of all those who are in Christ Jesus that no condemnation remains to them, and that the indwelling Spirit does in the believer what the law never could do. He gives deliverance from the power of sin, quickens for service, imparts assurance, and inspires prayer.
Key Word: Made free, v. 2.
Strong Verses: 1, 2, 14, 16, 18, 26, 28, 31, 32, 34, 35, 38, 39.
Striking Facts: vv. 26, 34. The security of the believer as to the Denalty of sin rests upon the one foundation of Christ's finished work (v. 32) and His intercession in heaven for the believer. The believer's security against the power of sin is the present work of the Holy Spirit within him and His intercession for us. Notice the two intercessors.
Contents: Covenants of Israel not set aside by Gospel. The seven-fold privilege of Israel. The blinding of Israel and God's mercy to the Gentiles.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Moses, Pharaoh, Paul, Rebecca, Isaiah.
Conclusion: God is absolute sovereign in disposing of the children of men with reference to their eternal state. He dispenses His gifts to whom He will without giving us His reasons, but we may rest assured He is a competent judge. Gentiles are permitted by Him, by the short cut of believing in Christ, to attain to that for which the Jews had long been "beating about the bush," but lost because of sin and unbelief.
Key Word: Election, v. 11.
Strong Verses: 20, 21, 33.
Striking Facts: v. 33. It is sad that the foundation stone should be to any a stone of stumbling, and the rock of salvation a rock of offense, but so He was to the Jews, and is still to multitudes. Those who do believe, however, shall not be ashamed, for their expectations in Him shall never be disappointed.
Contents: Israel's failure explained by unbelief. The plan of salvation.
Characters: God, Christ, Moses, Isaiah, Paul.
Conclusion: Sincerity is not a ground of safety; self-righteousness is not a ground of salvation. The design of the law was to lead people to Christ, Who is the end of it, and the only ground for salvation is to become interested by humble faith in Christ's satisfaction of the law, and so be "justified through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus."
Key Word: Salvation, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 17.
Striking Facts: v. 4. The law is not destroyed by the Gospel, but full satisfaction being made to the law by Jesus Christ (no one else could), for our breach of the law, the end is attained, and we are put in another way of justification, even faith in His finished work.
Contents: A spiritual Israel finding salvation. National Israel blinded. Warning to Gentiles. Israel yet to be saved nationally.
Characters: God, Jesus, Paul, Elijah, David, Abraham.
Conclusion: The Jews, at present cast off because of unbelief, will in due time as a people be taken into God's favor again, when the fullness of the Gentiles be come in and when the Deliverer (Christ) shall have appeared again. As a people they are for this age judicially blinded, although there is a remnant according to faith in Christ. The Gentiles grafted into the Church must not trample upon the Jews as a reprobate people, but remember that the law of faith excludes all boasting, either of ourselves or against others.
Key Word: Israel, v. 1.
Strong Verses: 12, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26, 32, 33, 36.
Striking Facts: vv. 25-26. The Church is a people taken from the Gentiles (Acts 15:14) and is a "full destined number" (Rev. 7:9)When the "fullness of the Gentiles" (not world conversion) is brought in, Christ is coming again, and will be soon manifested as Israel's long looked-for Deliverer.
Contents: Christian life and service. Consecration to Christ.
Characters: God, Christ, Paul.
Conclusion: Since we have been justified through grace, by faith in Christ, it is our first duty to surrender ourselves to God a living sacrifice, that there may be a saving change wrought in us and that we might be made serviceable in every way to our fellow men. We stand in relation not only to Christ, but to one another in Christ, and we are engaged to do all the good we can one to another and to act in conjunction for the common benefit.
Key Word: Consecration (present bodies), v. 1.
Strong Verses: 1, 2, 4, 5, 10, 12, 13, 19, 21.
Striking Facts: v. 1. The reference to "sacrifice" no doubt connects Lev. 1:6-9. The burnt offering typifies Christ offering Himself to God in perfect devotion to the Father's will. The offerer or the Priest got nothing of it it was all devoted to God. So the believer is to live a life completely dedicated to Him in which He has absolute right of way.
Contents: Believer's attitude toward civil government. Law of love toward neighbors.
Characters: God, Jesus, Paul.
Conclusion: Obedience to civil magistrates is one of the laws of Christ whose religion makes people good subjects. Love to our fellow-men is a debt that must always be in the paying, yet always owing, for love is inclusive of all duties and is the image of Christ upon the soul.
Key Word: Subjection, v. 1, and love, v. 8.
Strong Verses: 1, 7, 8, 10, 14.
Striking Facts: v. 14. Victory over the flesh may be always ours through personal dealings with Christ. To "put on Christ" is not imitation of Christ, but appropriation of Him. "Christ liveth in me" is the victory and if He has the right of way in us, we will make no provisions for satisfying the flesh.
Contents: Law of love concerning doubtful things.
Characters: God, Christ, Holy Spirit, Paul.
Conclusion: To do what conscience allows is not always right and to do what it questions is always wrong. The strong Christian should not be contemptuous toward the opinion of a weaker brother on a doubtful question, neither should the weaker man be censorious toward the stronger because of what conscience allows him. Both have a right to opinion and both are responsible to God for it.
Key Word: Judging, vv. 4, 10.
Strong Verses: 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 12, 17.
Striking Facts: vv. 8-9. To the Lord Jesus Christ, to Whom all judgment is committed, we are to do everything. To this end, He both died and arose, that He might be Lord of those who are living to rule them, and Lord of the dead to raise them up. We are therefore, answerable to Him in everything. Let us not intrench upon His right by arraigning our brothers at our own bar.
Contents: Jewish and Gentile believers under one salvation. Paul speaks of His ministry and coming journey.
Characters: God, Jesus, Holy Spirit, Paul, Isaiah.
Conclusion: The self-denial of our Lord Jesus Christ is the best argument against the selfishness of Christians. Let us not consult our own credit, ease, safety or pleasure, but give ourselves as He did, to bearing the infirmities of the weak, whether they be Jew or Gentile, agreeable or disagreeable, and striving to be likeminded in the Gospel to the glory of God.
Key Word: Gospel unity, v. 5.
Strong Verses: 1, 4, 13.
Striking Facts: v. 5. "According to Christ Jesus." Let Jesus Christ be the center of your unity. If in tune with Him, we will surely be in tune with each other, and we shall agree in truth rather than in error.
Contents: The outflow of Christian love. Closing salutations and benediction.
Characters: God, Jesus, Paul, many of the gospel helpers, Satan.
Conclusion: Courtesy and Christianity go together. Acknowledgment of favors and greetings of love are returns we should make to our fellow laborers in the Gospel for their joy and encouragement.
Key Word: Greetings, v. 3, etc.
Strong Verses: 17, 18, 20.
Striking Facts: vv. 17-18. Mark the believers attitude toward men who bring in doctrines contrary to Jesus Christ. We are to MARK them (See Isa. 8:20). We are to AVOID them (2 Tim. 3:5; 2 John 10). We are not to go to listen to them, nor admit them into the house to argue with them. This is the Scriptural plan for resisting their teachings.