God is Setting All Things Right. So I am Blogging Through the Bible in a Year.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Letter to the Romans: Summarized #Romfor21stC

Romans can be summarized into four sections:

1. Romans 1-4: Life Before Jesus the Messiah

2. Romans 5-8: Life In Jesus the Messiah

3. Romans 9-11: Life Unified in Jesus the Messiah

4. Romans 12-16: Life Together in Jesus the Messiah


I feel these four parts build the entire message Paul wishes to give: the true children of God are not defined by their membership of a tribe, group or church. They are known by their actions.

1. Life Before Jesus the Messiah

Because the Gentiles suppressed the knowledge of God and became unrighteous, God chose Abraham’s descendants (the Jews) and gave them the Law of Moses to train them to become his ambassadors. They boasted in their election and disregarded the Law instead. So Jesus came to fulfill the Law and bring all the peoples of the world together in one election. Having not understood their first calling, the Jews misunderstood their second calling – requiring the Jewish rite of election and the Law of Moses for the Gentiles. Paul must remind them that the Law is no longer valid – though still upheld – and their election is no longer exclusive – though still relevant.

2. Life In Jesus the Messiah

The Law of Moses, though given by God, had a weakness. No one could obey it perfectly. Because the father of all, Adam, sinned all suffer the consequences – death – which comes as a result of sin. The Law of Moses, once intended to be the Jews’ guide for righteousness, became chains to the cycle of sin and sacrifice. Jesus took away this weakness by both perfectly following the Law’s requirements and becoming the sacrifice which took away our chains. He became a new Adam and all can enjoy the consequences – freedom – not to sin but to live as adopted children with grace covering our sins. This freedom cannot be taken away from us no matter what!

3. Life Unified in Jesus the Messiah

God (and Paul) still longs for the time that Israel returns to its first love. God invested so much in them that he does not wish for them to stay estranged. God’s election extends to Gentiles; however, if they fall into the same mindset as the Jews He would remove them and reinstate the Jews. God called the Gentiles with an ulterior motive – to cause jealousy within in the Jews so they would return. Then God would have his true Israel – a nation of Jews and Gentiles reconciling the world to God. What a God!

4. Life Together in Jesus the Messiah

Both the Gentiles and the Jews have a role in God’s kingdom – so bring out the best in each other. Love your neighbor as yourself. Be responsible citizens. Be tolerant of other believers and correct their misconceptions in love. Stay away from those who want to become one-trick ponies. Remember that God’s kingdom is not physical only. Let God’s service be your purpose in life. Then all will rejoice in God once and for all – no more as outsiders and insiders but as God’s children! May we all work together to accomplish that goal!