We saw that Paul introduces himself as a slave, and apostle, separated to the Gospel, and as a debtor.He describes his subject as Good News, promised by God in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ. He affirms that Jesus Christ was of the seed of David according to the flesh, confirming His credentials as Messiah, and as the Son of God with power, by resurrection, confirming His deity (Godhead).Paul describes his readers as called by Jesus Christ, beloved of God, and called saints.His purpose was that these saints should receive spiritual blessing with him, and that they should be established and strengthened.We saw that the passage teaches that the righteousness we need is not by human effort or achievement. The Power required for salvation is not human power, but it is God’s Gospel-Power. The righteousness required is different from human righteousness based on works – it is God-Righteousness based upon faith alone.
This is the outline of our present topic. We are going to see that the Holy Spirit through Paul introduces lots of evidence, as in a court case, to prove that everyone is guilty before God. (Romans 3:19-20)
These verses speak about death as the righteous judgment against sin. They also describe indignation, wrath, tribulation and anguish. Some of this comes on earth when Christ comes again in glory and power. Revelation 20 also describes the place of everlasting destruction, of judgment of the unrighteous – the lake of fire.
These verses teach us that the evidence of His power and Godhead are seen in creation. These verses speak about the fact that every person has a conscience – a knowledge of what is right and wrong – which makes them aware of their own sin before God.Even in parts of the world where the Gospel has never come, people have their own rules. E.g. Murder is wrong in every society, as is stealing and adultery etc. We do not need the Word of God to tell us these things are wrong (even though it does) because our own God-given conscience tells us so.
Instead of glorifying their Creator as God they turned to foolish, darkened thinking and began to worship idols – worshipping created things rather than the CreatorIn these verses we read that God judged foolish people by giving them what they want. He removed restraint from them and allowed them to dishonor and destroy themselves.They became filled with destructive sin, receiving the consequences of their actions in their own bodies (1:27) and bringing themselves under the sentence of the judgment of God (1:32)
They judge other people! They can easily spot the faults and failures in their neighbours.They overlook their own sins. Although they condemn other people, they do the very same things themselves (v2) perhaps in secret.They are self-seeking, that is, they are interested only in themselves. They are not really interested in God, because in their hearts they do not submit to His truth. They are hypocrites not realizing that the patience of God should lead them to repentance. They do not think they need to repent at all and so despise God’s goodness, using it as an opportunity to continue in their sin.They are storing up judgment for themselves because they do not obey righteousness.
The Jews “rested” on the law and made their boast in God. That means that they thought that simply being Jews by birth and having the Word of God meant that they were righteous. They felt like leaders and teachers of the ignorant, ungodly Gentiles who did not have the Law.Although they had the law, and even taught it to others, they were hypocrites because they broke the very commandments which they told others to keep. They were guilty of stealing, of adultery and other terrible sins, so that the Gentiles spoke badly of God because of them.
Circumcision was given to symbolize the covenant God made with Abraham. Though Abraham was old, and Sarah was also barren, God promised to give Abraham a son, and that his seed would be the means of blessing to all nations. God saw Abraham’s faith and blessed him because of that. Circumcision symbolized Abraham’s complete lack of strength to produce a son himself by natural means, and that his faith was in God to fulfill His promise.Circumcision was supposed to be an outward symbol of an inward condition of heart. The Jews though that the outward symbol was enough to make them righteous before God. The Bible here teaches that God paid no attention to the outward sign if the heart was wrong. What God was looking for was true circumcision of the heart – cutting off all hope in human strength and complete faith in Him.We can see that the Bible teaches that mere religion and outward righteousness are useless to make someone righteous before God. What God requires is true inward repentance and total faith in Him.
The verses could not be any clearer – Jews, Gentiles – everybody is under sin, and there is no one righteous before God. Not even one! This is evident in the direction of people’s lives (v11-12), the way people speak (v13-14), the way they behave (v15-17) and their lack of fear of God, and His word. (v18)Before you object that this does not somehow describe you, remember that not submitting to and obeying what God says proves your lack of fear of Him! The law speaks to condemn us – so that every mouth may be silent, without excuse or other answer, before the holy standard of God.The Bible is clear that no one will be justified by observing His commandments. His commandments are intended to make us know and feel our guilt!
03. Paul’s Letter To The Romans 1v18 3v20
Paul’s Letter to the Romans<br />The Universal Need of the Gospel (Romans 1:18 – 3:20)<br />
Your Questions?<br />Any Questions from last topic or from preparation for today?<br />
Review<br />The Gospel Introduced (Romans 1:1 – 1:15)<br />Paul introduced himself – authority with humility<br />Paul introduced his subject – the Gospel<br />Paul greets his readers – the saints at Rome<br />The Gospel Defined (Romans 1:16 – 1:17) <br />The Good News of God-Righteousness to all who believe on Christ<br />
The Universal Need for Righteousness – Romans 1:18 – 3:20<br />The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against sin (Romans 1:18 – 3:20)<br />Against Idolatrous Heathens – the Gentiles (Romans 1:18 – 1:32)<br />Against Self-Righteous Sinners (Romans 2:1 – 2:16)<br />Against Religious People - Jews (Romans 2:17 – 2:29)<br />The Whole World Guilty before God – no exceptions (Romans 3:1 – 3:20)<br />Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (Romans 3:19 NKJV)<br />
The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against heathen Gentiles (Romans 1:18 – 1:32)<br />Read the following verses:<br />Romans 1:18,32 ; 2:5-9 <br />2 Thessalonians 1:8-9 and <br />Revelation 20:13-15<br />Discuss what is meant by the “Wrath of God.” <br />
The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against heathen Gentiles (Romans 1:18 – 1:32)<br />Read Romans 1:18-20<br />In what way is God known to His creatures, even if they have no “Bible?”<br />Read Romans 1:32 & 2:14-15<br />What do these verses also tell us about how God is known?<br />
The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against heathen Gentiles (Romans 1:18 – 1:32)<br />Read Romans 1:21-23, 25 & 28<br />How did the heathen Gentiles respond to their knowledge of God through Creation and Conscience?<br />Read Romans 1:24, 26 & 28<br />How does God respond to being rejected?<br />Read Romans 1:27, 29-32<br />What was the result of them being rejected by God?<br />
The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against Self-Righteous sinners (Romans 2:1-16)<br />Read Romans 2:1, 8<br />How do self-righteous people think of others?<br />Read Romans 2:2-6<br />How do self-righteous people think about themselves? <br />How do self-righteous people think about God?<br />What does God say about self-righteous people (v5)?<br />
The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against Religious People – the Jews (Romans 2:17-29)<br />Read Romans 2:17-20<br />How did the religious Jews compare themselves to others?<br />Read Romans 2:21-24<br />What does the Bible say about the Jews’ having the Law?<br />
The Wrath of God from Heaven is Revealed against Religious People – the Jews (Romans 2:17-29)<br />The ritual of Circumcision was a symbol of God’s agreement to bless the Jews<br />It symbolized cutting off human strength to rely upon God<br />Read Romans 2:28-29<br />What does the Bible mean about being a Jew “inwardly” and “Circumcision of the heart”?<br />What can we learn about the usefulness of Religion to make someone righteous?<br />
The Whole World Guilty before God (Romans 3:1-20)<br />Read Romans 3:9-12<br />What does the Bible say about the spiritual condition of humanity?<br />Read Romans 3:19-20<br />What does the law say?<br />Can a person be righteous before God by trying hard to keep the law?<br />
For next time…<br />How can a person be righteous before God?<br />The Basis and Terms of the Gospel (Romans 3:21-5:31)<br />Try to read the passage two or three times before our next meeting<br />Think about what the passage says about<br />Faith<br />Works<br />Grace<br />Redemption<br />Justification<br />Think carefully about your position before God<br />Read pages 33 – 38 in Alive & Free – try to answer any questions<br />Write down any QUESTIONS YOU WOULD LIKE TO ASK<br />