A primer on Christianity, therefore first among the 7 earliest Epistles, although chronologically written last (in the spring of 58 A.D., the 4th year of Nero).

Written by Paul from Corinth in the spring of 58 A.D., the 4th year of Nero.

Delivered by Deaconess Phebe (16:1) ("servant" = Gr."diakonos").

Ch. 1:1 - "Paul" - Begins every epistle except Hebrews with his name.

            - "servant" = "bondservant" or "slave"

            - "...apostle" - eliminate "to be" = " a called apostle" cp. Gal

  Important "separated " = "set apart for service" - In stages of life, not necessarily an individual, isolated occurrence.

In Paul’s case, 3 stages - At birth (Gal 1:15,16)

                                      -At conversion (Ac 9:15,16)

                                      -For specific work (ministry) - (Ac 13:1,2)

2 - "promised afore" = Gr. "proepangello" - Only occurrence in Scripture

      "holy scriptures" = Gr. "graphe hagios" - Only occurrence in Scripture

            Unique wording as a prelude to "the mystery" in the O.T.

3 - "seed of David according to the flesh" - Our Lord is really the "seed" of the woman - Gen 3:15, Isa 7:14, Mt 1:22-25

4 - "son of God…according to the spirit of holiness" - NOT the Holy Spirit. This is in contrast to the "flesh" of v.3

    To understand, cp Mt 1:1-17 and Lk 3:23-28 ("as was supposed")

     - "declared"…by the resurrection" =  "marked out…by victory over death"  Rev 1:17,18. Note: "the resurrection" is not specific to Christ, but general resurrection with Christ as firstfruits. This is a prelude to 1 Co 15:12-19.

    - "with power" should be "in power" = Gr. "en dunamis" - The power over the physical, spiritual and moral world." Cp. this to Mt 28:18 where "power" = Gr. "exousia" = "authority"

5,6 - Paul uses the "we" of v.5 with the "ye" of v.6 to express unity.

       - "apostolic grace received as a gift". The "we" in v.5 denies ego on Paul’s part (see 1 Co 4:7)

      - "for obedience…." = for the purpose of faith-obedience

      - "for His Name" = on behalf of His name 2 Co 5:20 Jn 12:32

7 - To all God’s beloved ones in Rome, called saints" (as in v.1)

8,9 - "with my spirit" should be "in my spirit"

10 - Our requests in prayer are/should be subject to the will of God. (Mt 26:39)

11 - "spiritual gifts" = Gr. "pneumatikos" see 1 Co 12:7-11 "impart" = Gr. "metadidomi" = to give or distribute by sharing (Lk 3:11)

12 - "That is" = "I would rather say" - It explains and corrects any trace of ego (flesh) implied by v. 11 ("We will benefit each other")

13 - A longstanding desire - Ac 19:21 (six months earlier) or possibly six years earlier with Aquila and Priscilla in Ac 18:1,2

14,15 - A specific calling does not exclude other service. Paul’s ministry (Ac 22:21) didn’t quench his desire to witness to everyone.

16 - Double negative in the Greek = "I count it highest honor to proclaim the gospel." Note: the gospel is power.

        - "first" - The law and the gospel were presented to the Jews first.

17 - THIS IS THE DIVINE STANDARD, not Man’s standard of moral offenses and infractions of laws and/or traditions.

     - "the righteousness of God" = Jesus Christ   1 Co 1:30 (now receive the connection between Mt 6:33 and Jn 3:16-18)

    - "from faith to faith" - Faith is the starting point and the goal. Faith is necessary for righteousness (Jesus Christ) to be revealed as the condition for salvation and can only operate in those who believe. (See Rev 1:1, the book is written to God’s servants. See Mk 6:1-6 for the impact of faithlessness). Compare this phrase to Jn 1:16 (grace for grace), 2 Co 3:18 (glory to glory), Ro 6:19 (iniquity unto iniquity).

   Important: Heb 11:1 - Faith in God is its own proof. God has no obligation to prove anything to us. If we do not accept Gen 1:1 (which cannot be proven) it is pointless to go further. It is after we have faith that God reveals things to us (Heb 11:6) (2 Co 4:3)

     - "the just shall live by faith" - Quoted from Hab 2:4, this is not day-to-day life, but eternal life.

18 - God will reveal either His righteousness or His wrath.There is no third option. Rev 20:12,15.

      - "from heaven" - 2 Th 1:6-10 Rev 19:11-16

      - "ungodliness" - Gr. "asebeta" = lack of reverence for God

      - "unrighteousness" - Gr. "adikia" = wrongdoing

      - "hold" = Gr. "katecho" = to hold, withhold, or hold fast - The concept involves those who know the truth (hold it) and suppress (withhold) the truth.

ROMANS - "Faith To Faith"  1 Co 1:30

Chap 1:16 -18 - The gospel (Good News) of Jesus Christ is the salvation-giving power to all who continue to believe. It is through the gospel that the righteousness of God (Jesus Christ) is revealed to those who begin and end in faith. Wrath comes directly from heaven.

· WHAT IS FAITH? - Heb 11:1 Pr 3:5,6 1 Co 12:7-9 (a spiritual gift)

- Eph 6:16 (a Shield) - it includes:

         Salvation - Ps 18:35

         Truth - Ps 91:4

         Favour - Ps 5:12 - it includes:

               Life - Ps 30:5

               Mercy - Isa 60:10

               Preservation - Ps 41:11

               Remembrance/Salvation - Ps 106:4

· WHY WAS JESUS UNABLE TO DO MIGHTY WORK IN MK 6:1-6?

Connect Eph 3:17 (read 16-19) with Jn 15:4 (read 4-8)

·IF FAITH IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT, WHAT ABOUT Ro 10:17? The word "cometh" was added by the translators just as "to be" was added in Ro 1:1. Our hearing ("ears to hear") is by the word of God (Jesus Christ, Jn 1:1-5). Faith is by Jesus Christ (as Ro 1:16,17 also tells us)

· IF FAITH IS A SPIRITUAL GIFT, HOW CAN IT BE INCREASED?Faith cannot be increased (quantity), nor does it need to be. Just as we do not always operate within other areas of giftedness, our faith often wavers. In Lk 12:28, the word "little" (Gr. oligos) is a word of duration, not amount. Hence Jesus’ response to the question asked by His disciples (Lk 17:5,6)

· IS IT ALL ABOUT FAITH?   1 Co 13:2,13

· IF I HAVE FAITH, DOES IT MATTER WHAT I DO?   Jas 2:14-26

View FAITH and WORKS as a 2-part ticket. The FAITH portion reads "VOID IF DETACHED". The WORKS portion reads "NOT VALID FOR ADMISSION".

19,20 - Refers to those of v. 18. "in them" = "among them" or "within them"

          Everyone knows in their heart that there is GOD. Creation itself reveals the power and sovereignty of the Godhead. (Gr. Theiotes, the only occurrence of this word in Scripture. = Deity in the abstract to correspond to the "invisible" things). The result of this manifestation is that there will be no plea bargaining at the judgment when they are arraigned before the bar of Divine Justice ("without excuse")

21 - They are "without excuse" (Gr."anapologetos" a legal term) BECAUSE: They failed to worship God. Worship is a DUTY. (Ecc 12:13,14 Deu 6:13 Lk 4:8)   "glorified" = outward worship        "thankful" = inward worship

(note Jn 4:23,24)

     - "vain", "foolish" - 2 Ki 17:13-15 Jer 2:4-8,11

22 - "became fools" should be "were fooled" see Jer 17:9 to understand

23 - The foolishness of idol worship     Ps 106:19.20    Isa 44:8-20

    The 2nd commandment (Ex 20:4,5) refers to worship and is not a prohibition on statues, pictures, etc.

24 - "gave them up" same word used by Paul in 1 Co 5:5 (to turn over)

      "uncleanness" - of both flesh and spirit (see 2 Co 7:1) - Note the progression in this verse from heart (mind) to body (Jas 1:15)

      Note the words of Jesus to the Pharisees regarding "lusts" in Jn 8:44

Important: This is not God’s action, or acquiescence. It is a 2-stage process initiated by man’s choice. The second stage is a hardening of the heart which fosters a downward course in which sin begets more sin. Note the progression in David (2 Sam 11)

25 - Should be "who exchanged the truth of God for a lie…" This is the truth known in Ro 1:19,20. This is choice, not ignorance.

      -"creature" - Includes themselves and the idols, ie., they worshipped what they made, instead of who made them. The idols serve 2 functions: to claim to be what they are not (God), AND to lead astray and away from God.

     -"Who is blessed for ever" = A Hebrew figure of speech meaning "The Blessed One."

26,27 - "For this cause" = "Because of this" - The willful disobedience and rebellion of vv. 19-25. Cp. Heb 6:4-9 with Jn 15:6 note also: Deu 21:18-21 and 1 Sa 15:23a with Ex 22:18. This is a critical concept - Lk 9:62  Mt 12:43-45. These are not the "lost sheep" that Jesus came for, these are the Israelites of Ps 81:12, those who chose incorrectly (Deu 30:19, Jer 8:1-3, Jn 3:18-20).

To understand: What we cannot redeem from the pawnbroker is given over to him. If the blood of Jesus and the presence of the Holy Spirit is insufficient to redeem you, God must leave you there because there is no higher price He can pay.

      - "vile affections" = Gr. "atimia" = infamous passions - The reference is to homosexuality and bestiality prohibited in the laws as pagan practices.

            Lev 18:22-25, Gen 19:1-9,  Judg 19:22,  1 Ki 14:24)

     - v. 27 contains two words which are unique in Scripture

         -"burned" = Gr. "ekkaiomai" = deeply consumed by fire

         - "lust" = Gr. "orexis" = excitement of the mind    Note  Jas 1:14,15

         - "recompense" = "retribution" = Death (spiritual, possibly physical)

Important- These 2 verses are not the least bit ambiguous in the condemnation of homosexuality and bestiality. Any such assertion is bogus. It is dealt with specifically and before the things listed in vv. 29-31 because its violates our "prime directive" of Gen 1:28

28 - "And even…mind" = A play on words in Greek indicating "As they rejected God, so God rejected them." This refers to the later stage of the process begun in v. 21, the hardening of the heart.

      - "convenient" = "fitting, appropriate" - Sin progresses to iniquity.

            Nu 15:24-31 illustrates weakness vs. rebellion

           Jer 6:27-30 illustrates the concept of "reprobate"

    - "did not like (to retain)" - Gr. "dokimazo" - to make a decision after a testing or approval process (the Gr. For "reprobate" is the negative of this word - "adokimos")

29 - "unrighteousness" = Gr. "adikia" = wrongdoing

      "wickedness" = Gr. "poneria" = iniquity, depravity (actions of an evil nature)

      "maliciousness" = Gr. "kakia" = (desires and disposition of an evil nature)

                       See 1 Ki 21:1-15 for both in Jezebel

    "envy" = Gr. "phthonos" = spiteful jealousy (Mt 27:18)

   "murder" = see Ga 5:21 for the same order

   "debate" = Gr. "eris" = strife

   "deceit" = Gr. "dolos" - translated "subtilty" in Ac 13:10, "craft" in Mk 14:1

   "malignity" = Gr. "kakotheia" (only occ. In Scripture) = a disposition for damage

   "whisperers" = Gr. "psithuristes" (only occ.) = those who slander secretly

30 - "Backbiters" = Gr. "katalalos" (only occ.) = evil speakers(not necessarily behind the back)

    "haters…"= Gr. "theostuges: (only occ.) = hateful to God, towards God

(1 Jn 3:12)

    "despiteful" = Gr. "hubristes" = insolent, having disregard for others

    "proud" = Gr. "huperephanos"= arrogant in thought

    "boasters" = Gr. "alazon" = arrogant in words and gestures

    "inventors.." = Gr."epheuretes" (only occ.) = inventors of new forms of vice (Jer 19:5)

31 - "Without understanding, covenant breakers" = Gr. "Asunetos, asunthetos"

      A direct reference back to v.21 See Pr. 4:4-8 to see the connection.

        Wisdom leads to honour. See Judges 13:1-5, 16:18-30

     "without natural affection ‘ Gr. "astrogos" = Gr. "hard-hearted to kindred

    "unmerciful" = Gr. "aneleemon" (only occ.) = without feelings of compassion, without pity (Pity is feelings, mercy requires action) Lk 10:30-35

32 - "knowing" = knowing thoroughly and accurately, therefore without excuse

          (v. 20)

       "judgment" = righteous sentence

       "commit" = practice

       "have pleasure in" = consent also to (note the translation in Ac 8:1)

Evil seeks disciples (Rev 12:1-4)   (Mt 23:15)

 Ch. 2  Paul turns his focus from the (Gentile, unsaved, unchurched) to the (Jew,believer, churchgoer). The Jew is subject to the condemnation of the Gentile. The Gentile who indulges in Jewish self-righteousness and pride will be punished as if he were a Jew. Refer to 1:19,20 which links to 2:1)

1- "Therefore" (no real break here in this letter. N.T. chapter breaks are added).

      See Lk 6:41,42

2,3 - God's judgment is absolute and righteous. It cannot be diverted to others. He is not distracted by finger-pointing   (Jas 2:8-13). The Jews are warned that judgment is not reserved for the Gentiles.   (Mt 3:5-12). 

4 - Mt 7:21-23  Lam 3:22-26  (vv.3,4 state the inner character of self-righteousness)

5,6 - "Treasuring" means gradual accumulation. We all do it - good or bad.

         Mt 6:19-21  Mt 12:34-37 (note that deeds include our words)

          Pr 10:2  Jas 5:1-3  contrasts physical and spiritual treasures.

7 - "patient continuance" = "patience" in "well-doing"

      Gal 6:9,10   Jas 5:7-11    Rev 2:1-3,18-19: 3:10;  13:10; 14:9-12   

      Note: As always, glory is connected with suffering in vv 7-10. Ironically, those seeking glory in this life will ultimately receive suffering.

8 - No middle ground. Obey truth or obey unrighteousness. 2Pe 2:10,17-22

9-11 - See Chapter Intro. The Jew has priority of privilege or penalty. Eze 9:1-7

         v.9 "tribulation" = Gr. "thlipsis" = Pressure ( contrast "rest" in Heb 4:3-11)

              "anguish" = Gr. "stenochoria" = Narrowness of room"  Ps 31:7,8

          v.10 "worketh" -"rest" must be preceded by labor  Mt 9:35-38

          v.11 Mt 20:1-16

12 - God will judge each individual according to their condition. Lk 12:43-48

  To understand:  Compare Lev 10:1,2 and 2Sa 6:1-7  (Jews)

                            with 1Sa 6:1-3,7-11 (Gentiles)

13-15 - A parenthetical statement of warning to the self-righteous.

     v.13 "Reading my letters and listening to my sermons won't get it done. It's about work, service, ministry"   Jas 1:21-27

            The Jew is not automatically just. The Gentile can be made just.

     v.14,15 "Some of those who have not received the law have a standard of right and wrong in their own conscience which acts as the law to them and they are capable of fulfilling it. Their heart is their Book. Their conscience is their witness. Their meditations are their prosecutors or advocates. God is their Judge.         See Jer 31:31-34  2Co 3:1-6

Many, past and present, without knowledge of the law, had standards of righteousness.

16 - Connects to v.12. "secrets" - Ps 51:6  Lk 11:37-40  Jn 3:18-21 Gal 5:19a 

17-24 - Paul addresses complacency and pride among the Jews (church).

     v.17 "Behold"="But if", or "Since"  followed by pointed questions.

      vv.17-20 "You are so smug about your standing, your knowledge, your ability and qualification to guide others. You are so holy and righteous."

                v.20 "form"=Gr."morphosis"=external appearance or form, e.g. "head" knowledge vs. "heart" knowledge  Mk 1:21,22

     v.21 "Are you preaching 'Thou shalt not steal' while robbing the congregation or cheating in business dealings?"

     v.22 "commit sacrilege"=Gr."hierosuelo"="rob temples" 1Ti 6:9-11 Eze 7:19

     vv.23,24   Eze 36:20-23   2Sa 12:7-14   2Co 5:20   Mt 5:14-16   Titus 2:1-5

25-29 - God is concerned with the inside.    1Sa 16:7   Ps 24:3-6  

     v.25 "if thou keep the law"= (A unique Gr. phrase in Scripture) "if the law is your standard of conduct". 

     vv.26-29   Gal 6:15

To understand more completely:

Circumcision - Gen 17:1, 9-14 - a token (symbol) of the Old Covenant. 

                        See 1Co 7:18,19 connected to Ro 4:6-12

The circumcision of the sacred Genesis instrument of creation of life was symbolic of death to the old way just as baptism is under the New Covenant. It is now the heart which is circumcised. God made this promise in Deu 30:1-6 after commandment in 10:16,taking it from a duty to a blessing.

Also see: 1Sa 18:25-27

Law vs. Grace - Jn 1:17     Those who reject Christ live under the law and are judged accordingly (Jas 2:10). Those who accept (Grace) Christ are called to a higher standard (Mt 5:20-48), but not required to be perfect (1Jn 1:9). Grace has always been available (Gen 3:8-13, 2Ch 7:12-15). If not, no one could have attained eternal life. Remember that Jesus Christ had to fulfill the law, meaning that no one before Him had done so.

Ch 3 - Paul anticipates questions arising from Chapter 2.

1,2 - Q- What's the advantage of being Jews?

        A - A lot. Mostly being the keepers of the Sacred Word. (Paul uses 1 example here. He revisits the topic in Ch.9:4 ff)

IMPORTANT: We are ministers and stewards of God's Word - NOT enforcers. Note Elisha's words to Naaman in 2Ki 5:1-19.

3,4 - Q - If some were unfaithful to the trust, doesn't that tarnish God's faith?

       A - No matter what, we must assume God is true. Man's shortcomings only enhance God's faithfulness. Rejection by the faithless does not negate God's promises.  Ps 51:4

5,6 - Q- If we make God look good by messing up,why does He punish us for it?

       A - No matter what, God must be just. He is the Judge of all the world.

7,8 - Q- Why not just say (as some have falsely accused me of saying), "Let's do bad things so good things will come?"  (Gal 5:13)

         Ex. "If nobody left any trash around, the custodian would be out of work."

               God did not create us to give Himself a job.   Rev 4:11 

9 - Q - Then are the Jews better?

     A - No.  "before proved"="before convicted"  in the O.T. which Paul now quotes

10-18 Paul uses the Scripture referred to in v.2. (not all are exactly quoted)

     10-12  Ecc 7:20   Ps 14:2,3   Ps 53:2,3

     13-18  v.13  Ps 5;9,10  (refers to workers of iniquity)

               v.14  Ps 10:7

               v.15  Pr 1:16   Isa 59:7,8

               v,18   Ps 36:1

19 - Paul has used O.T. Scripture to demonstrate that the words apply to the Jews, not just to Gentiles as commonly taught at that time.

      "guilty"=Gr."hupodikos"= "under penalty"  only occurrence in Scripture 

20 - "Therefore"= Based on the qouted Scripture

       No one is justified (declared "not guilty") by works under the law which defines sin, not salvation.   Gal 2:15,16

21-23 - Grace is for all because it is necessary for all.

       v.23 -  Omit "have". this is a reference to v.19 

              - "sinned" = Gr."hamartano" = to miss the mark, to go astray

              -"come short"=Gr.'hustereo"=to lack or fail Mt 19:20 Jn 2:3 Heb 12:15

24 - "freely...grace"=Gr."dorean...charis" the 2 words also translated "gift". Used together to emphasize the NATURE of grace, not its abundance.

25 - "set forth"=Gr."protithemi"="foreordained"  part of God's design

BEGINNING TO END - follow the progression of Scriptures

Gen 3:15 to Jn 1:1-8 to Gen 1:3 to 1Co 1:30 to Pr 8:22-31,35,36 to Gen 1:16 to Rev 12:1 to Gen 37:9 to Gen 1:14 (the Zodiac, created for the 12 tribes of Israel (Deu 32:8), is uniquely human) to Lk 21:25-28

      -"propitiation"=Gr."hilasterion" ( only 2 occ., here and Heb 9:5, rendered "mercyseat"="atonement" or "atoning sacrifice" to appease wrath and conciliate favor of the one offended (God). (Heb 10:10)

      -"blood" - suitable for covering. Water is transparent and life-sustaining.

                 Note     Lev 17:11   Jn 19:34  1Jn 5:5,6

     - "remission"=Gr."paresis" (only occ.)="passing over" (of past sins)

26 - In the present day (season) as well as those of Jn 3:16

27 - Reference to 2:17-23. Boasting is nullified by the law of faith (vv. 23,24)

28 - read with Jas 2:14-26    "without" = "apart from"

29 - "Is He" = "What is He"     See Eph 4:4-6  Gal 3:26-28

30,31 - Being saved by God's actions and not our own does not invalidate what has gone before; it confirms.  Mt 5:17-20

Ch 4:1 - "father...flesh"  Compare Ro 1:3   Jn 8:33-39   Gal 3:29

            All Jews considered themselves to be children of Abraham.

2 - Even if Abraham were justified by his works, and deserved to boast, it would still only be among his fellowmen.   1Co 1:27-29

3 - Gen 15:6, 22:1-12

4 - Wages for work are owed. Grace is not involved.

5 - Believers rely on God's strength - not their own. Isa 40:29-31  Phil 4;13

6-8 - "blessedness" = Gr."makarismos" = "happiness"

        Quoted from Ps 32:1,2  (2) Beatitudes

        "iniquities...sins" = "heart...actions"

9-12 - Abraham was counted righteous while uncircumcised. Circumcision is not righteousness, only a sign/seal of what is already present.God arranged it so Abraham would be father to both Jew and Gentile.

13 - The Promise (Gen 15:1-7) preceded the sign/circumcision.  Gen 17:11

14,15 - The Law could only condemn - not save. If it could, faith would be "made void" = Gr."kenoo" = "emptied"   and the Promise would be insignificant.

16 - "Grace" is contrasted with "wrath" of v.15

       "all the seed" = Jews and Gentiles   (Gal 3:29 again)

17 - A general reference to the sovereignty of God. A specific reference to Isaac.

       (25 years between Gen 15:5 and Isaac's birth,Gen 21:5).

18-22 - A description of Abraham's faith credited for righteousness in spite of some of his actions (Gen 16:1,2: 20:1-6)

        19 -  "neither yet" = "and"

                "deadness" = Gr."nekrosis" = the condition of a corpse

The chapter should end here. 4:23-5:11 is another subject.

23,24 - Abraham is an example for us and of us - if we believe. Everyone in Scripture is an example of something.  1Co 10:1-11   1Co 11:1

25 - "offences" = Gr."paraptoma" = to fall aside (for something which should be upright). As a carpenter checks with a plumbline.  Amos 7:7,8 

       "again"  Omit.

Ch 5:1 - This is properly translated. We have peace. It is not future. (Phil 4:6,7)

             Jn 14:27    Ps 120:7  correctly rendered "I am all peace."

2- "access"=Gr."prosagoge"="the introduction"  The "door" of Jn 10:7 now introduces us. See Eph 2:18;3:12  Heb 4:14-16

3-5 - What the Lord allows is right and good. There is a process and progression of testing and proving. Compare 2Pe 1:1-8

      v.5 - "is" should be "was"

6 - When mankind reached sufficient maturity, Christ came. Gal 3:23-25, 4:1-4

IMPORTANT: 7,8 - (Very powerful wording in Greek).It is extremely rare for one to be moved to sacrifice oneself for a "righteous" man (the Greek implies one who is just, but not inclined to be personable). It is unusual, but not unheard of, to be moved to sacrifice oneself for a "good" man ( kind,gentle,full of consideration for others) who appeals to our emotions and feelings (flesh).Compare this to what God did: we were neither righteous nor good, but completely in enmity.

9-11- "now"   Scripture treats salvation as past, present and future.

         v.10 - Note our condition - without strength,sinners,enemies

                 Note "death" and "life" -  from negative to positive as 4:25

        v.11 - Compare to v.3 (This completes the structure for this subject)

Ch.5:12-21  Life and Death

12 - No question of responsibility between Adam and Eve.

     - As in 3:23 omit "have"

     Parallel drawn between humanity of Adam and Humanity of Christ. "death" (Natural and Spiritual) ENTERED by sin. Compare v.2.

    - "all men"  Compare  4:16.

13 - Paul anticipates a question and answers it.

    - "imputed"=Gr."ellogeo" (Only 2 occurrences, here and Philemon 18)="put on account", i.e., written down.

     Note: There was sin, but NOT transgression, since there was no law to be transgressed. See 4:15 above.       (What about v.14?)

14 - Adam committed a transgression because he (and only he) was given specific instructions (Gen 2:16,17, thereby giving him something to transgress. The only prior instruction was to everyone else (Gen 1:28).

15,16 - One vs. Many - If many be dead through one man/act of sin, then the free gift resulting from the transgressions of many must be that much greater.

17 - one vs One (Ends parenthetical statement starting at v.13)

18,19 - Sin entered (with death) through one door (Adam). Righteousness entered (with life) through One Door (Jesus).  Jn10:9, 14:6 Understand Gen 3:24

20,21 - Sin ENTERED, but  Law "ENTERED"=Gr."pareiserchomai"="came in beside" (only other occurrence is at Gal 2:4 "came in privily"). Cp. to HolySpirit/Paraclete (see Jn 14:16).

         - Sin abounded, Grace superabounded. The worse we get, the more Grace is needed. As it overcomes, it outproduces Sin.

               "reigned/reign"   An issue of DOMINION, the subject of Ch.6

Ch. 6:1 - Back to 3:5. The question sets up the discussion of the death of the old man, the birth of the new.

2 - "God forbid"       Paul expresses indignation at the very thought.

      Death to the old man who no longer has dominion.

3,4 - Baptism symbolizes death to the old man.  See Col 2:12.

        Negative-to-Positive  "buried" to "raised up"

IMPORTANT: "newness"=Gr."kainotes" (only here and 7:6)="a new state, which is life". As translated, it could be construed as the prior state being life, which is now only changed, not replaced. 

5 - "together" (with Him) in the "likeness of His death" (we don't physically die when baptized). "likeness of His resurrection" (see next verse)

6 - Jesus had a new body. We have a new man (physically unchanged).

7 - Dead people are not subject to laws, prosecution, punishment, etc. In fact, even PENDING charges are dropped for dead people. We are cleared. Since ALL claims are dismissed, the power of Grace is perfect. (1Jn 1:9)

8,9 - This is victory over death. Death is not destroyed until Rev 20:14.

           see Isa 25:8 (note "will")       Hos 13:14

10 - "once"=Gr."ephapax"="once for all" (not to be repeated)

IMPORTANT: Heb 6:6 connects to Nu 20:11,12 (smote "twice"

                     re: the Rock see 1Co 10:4. The Rock was smitten once (Ex 17:6).

                   We now only need to "speak" as Moses was instructed in Nu 20:8.

                   Jesus was crucified "once". We only need to pray - not to re-crucify Him or get "re-saved". 

11 - Death to Sin = Life with God

12 - "Since you have eternal life, why limit youself by the lusts and shortcomings of the body and its mortality?"   Why give sin dominion?

13 - Warning: Even though sin does not have dominion, we can choose to submit to sin instead of God.   (Jas 4:7)

IMPORTANT: "instruments"=Gr."hoplon"="weapons" Same word in Jn 18:3

Paul extends the spiritual warfare metaphor through the end of the chapter.

    - "unto sin" should be "for sin"  (warfare in service to sin)

    - "from the dead" = "after being dead"

14 - We cannot be drafted into Sin's army, we can only enlist.

15 - Though we are under grace, we can still become slaves to sin and suffer the penalties,consequences and effects of sin.

16 - Obedience = Submission to the will of God. Understand Mt 6:24

     - "servants"=Gr."doulos"="slave, bondservant"

17,18 - "Thanks to God, your sin-service is past. You have obeyed, from the heart, the teaching unto which you were delivered." 

19 - Paul apologizes for using slavery as an example, because service to God is not the same as bondage, but it illustrates his point.

                          See   1Co 9:19;   2Co 3:17;   Gal 5:13

20 - Connect with v.18 after the explanation in v.19

21 - Note: "fruit" is never used of evil things in Scripture.

     - "then" refers to both time past and as an argumentative conclusion.

             Contrast Gal 5:19 "works" and Gal 5:22 "fruit"

22 - "now" in contrast to "then"

       Note: 2 steps- We must be freed from sin before becoming God's servants. We cannot serve two masters! 

    - "everlasting life" requires that "death" in v.21 refers to the second death of Rev 20:6; 21:8. This is necessary to fully understand v.23.

23 - "wages"=Gr."opsonion"="military rations" (used in Lk 3:14 for both food and money compensation). Wages are worked for! (see Ro 4:4). We apply ourselves diligently to sin.

     - "gift"=Gr."charisma"=" a gift of grace"

Eternal life is free. We have to work at death. 

Ch. 7 -

1- "man"=Gr."anthropos"="man or  woman"

2 - "to her husband...liveth" should be "to her living husband"

    Death cancels all engagements, breaks all bonds - Slave/Master,Husband/Wife

3 - Both occurrences of "man"=Gr."aner"="husband"

4 - This is why the analogy is to contracts. In marriage, the wife is freed by the husband's death. Spiritually, she is freed from the law (her spouse), by her own death. See Eph 2:11-16

    - "bring forth fruit" = "to bear offspring"  (Note Gal 4:19)

5,6 - Law/Gospel=Flesh/Spirit=Outward/Inward=Stagnation/Growth

        We were (v.5) / We are (v.6)=Oldness/Newness

     - We are liberated from death (eternal) by our death (to the law).

7 - Paul anticipates another objection. He zeroes in on Ex 20:17, the tenth commandment, but the application is not limited by this. 

   - "known"="recognized"

   - "With the law came a desire for what is forbidden" Gen 3:1-6 with 1Jn 2:15-17

         Understand Gen 6:5

8 - Sin took its opportunity. Definite prohibition creates definite transgression.

9,10 - "I" includes Paul as representative of humanity or individuals - progressing from infancy, freedom, and carelessness to an awakened conscience and the conviction of sin.

         v.9 "revived"=Gr."anazao"="awakened from a dormant state", i.e., present, but not active as a dormant plant.

IMPORTANT - 11 - The double promise of Gen 3 is the illustration.

    - Negative: "Ye shall not surely die." 

    - Positive: "Your eyes shall be opened and ye shall be as gods."

Sin's deception: No evil consequences. Increased life, vision, knowledge, happiness. 

12 - The answer to v.7. The law is from God, it is just, it is intended for good.

13 - To understand: Cain's murder of Abel carried no death sentence because there was no law. Sin becomes exceeding sinful by law.

14 - "I am a bondservant to sin."

15 - "Sin is my taskmaster, making me do what I don't want to do. I blindly obey sin without having time to think about it."

16 - "If even as I'm doing wrong, it's against my better nature..."

           "consent"=Gr."sumphemi"(only occ.)="to speak in unison,harmony" 

17 - "...then it follows that it's not me, it's the sin in me."

18-20 - "I know sin indwells my flesh. The experiences of my own life tell me that what is inside me isn't good. The desire to do well is always present and available. I can call it up anytime I want. It's the performance that comes up short."  Mt 26:41

21 - "Experience teaches me that this is a recurring, habitual thing. It's the law of my being." 

22 - "The law of mind vs. the law of limbs. The law of my being has a constant conflict between these two laws - my rational mind and nature against the sin dwelling in my flesh."

23 - "The law of limbs is the victor and is both my captor and the chain which binds me." (Double metaphor not apparent in English.)

24 - "Who is going to liberate me from this house of moral death which sin gives as its address?"

25 - Paul interrupts his discussion to give thanks to God. A tribute to the despair of v.24. See 1Th 5:18

    - Even after receiving the gift of grace and the new nature, we must understand the co-existence with the old nature.

Ch. 8:1 - "No" is emphatic. Jn 3:16         "condemnation"="death sentence"

           - "who...Spirit"  Omit

2 - The spiritual law of life, our new nature, commutes our sentence.

3 - It was impossible for the law to deliver us.  "weak"="impotent"

   - "likeness of sinful flesh" - Very precisely worded. His flesh was real, but not sinful.    "for sin"="as a sin offering"

   - "condemned in the flesh" - The perfect walk of Jesus Christ in the flesh was a living condemnation of sin. 

Important: Study Lev 16:1-27 realizing that Christ embodied BOTH the sin offering AND the (e)scapegoat.This is the true lesson of v.3.

Important: Study Jos 20:1-6  When the high priest (a type of Christ) died, he was freed from the law (Ro 6:7) AND those he represented (Ro 8:1 "those in Christ").

4 - "righteousness"=Gr."dikaioma"="decree of acquittal" i.e.,"ordained to life" (v.10). For all, available to all, fulfilled in some.  Mt 5:17,18

5 - Some live according to emotions, feelings and lusts. Others live according to the Word and will of God.

6 - Living after the flesh results in (eternal) death. Living after the Spirit results in (eternal) life and peace. (Ro 5:1) (Isa 26:3)

PEACE - Apart from CIRCUMSTANCE

DESIGNATION - Isa 9:6

DIFFERENCE - Jn 14:27  2Ki 22:18-20; 23:29,30

DESCRIPTION - Ps 23:4,5

DIRECTIONS - Ps 34:14; 119:165   Phil 4:6-9

DISCOURSE - 2Co 4

7 - "Living after the flesh is in opposition to the spiritual law of life (v.2) and does not submit itself to God."  Gal 5:16-18  Jas 4:4

8 - "Therefore..."  Ro 7:14-23

9 - Paul eliminates the possibility of shared dominion between Spirit and flesh.

    "none of us" and "cannot" of v.8 = Jn 4:24

10 - "And" should be "But". This verse is a figure for resurrection. To understand, exchange "Christ" and "righteousness" based on 1Co 1:30.

11 - See 4:17. "dwelleth"=Gr."enoikeo"="indwelleth". Note that the "quickening" proceeds from and passes out through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    See Gen 1:2    Mt 1:18  Jn 3:5,6 (Omit "of the" in v.5)

    The connection is completed by 1Co 15:45 ("made a" = "made into")

12 - We have no duty or obligation to serve or satisfy flesh.

13 - "shall die" = "about to die"  "do mortify"=Gr."thanatoo"="are putting to death"

       Paul presents a warning wrapped in hope.

IMPORTANT: 14,15 - "son"=Gr."huios" as in v.3="begotten son". The "Spirit of adoption" is actually the "Spirit of sonship" (Gr."huiothesia"). This is important because adopted children are not born into the family. We are begotten of the Holy Spirit (Jn 3:6). A slave or servant could be adopted into a family (Gen 15:2-4), but could not use the term "Abba".

16 - "Itself" should be "Himself" (Gr."To Pneuma To Hagion" occ. 28 times) To HOLY SPIRIT

      "children"=Gr."teknon"  Used only of a natural child, male or female.

17 - We are begotten by the Holy Spirit in conformity to Christ (Ro 6:3-11). If we are with Him in bad times, we will be with Him in good times. We must have a shared experience. Jn 17:6-26

18 - No cross. No crown.    No suffering. No glory.     Jas 5:7-11

       Phil 3:7-10   1Pe 1:3-9   Heb 11:32-12:8   2Co 1:3-7   Rev 2:10; 7:9-17

19 - All of creation waits expectantly (Gr."apekdechomai") for v.18 to come to pass.

20 - Should be in parentheses up to "in hope" which closes v.19. This is a result of our dominion (Gen 1:28), our sin and the resulting curse (Gen 3:17-19).

       "vanity"=Gr."mataiotes"="emptiness", "disappointment"

21 - Creation will share in the coming glory. Rev 21:1  Isa 65:17,18

22 - Our suffering before glory is shared by creation. Man's sinful condition always affects the Earth.  Deu 28:38-43   Hag 1:3-11

23 - "firstfruits of the Spirit"  Eph 1:10-14 Our inheritance is pledged to us.

IMPORTANT: Vv.24-28 take the expectation (hope) in contrast to what we "know."

24 - "are" should be "were" We are justified now (see 5:9). We cannot be waiting in anticipation for what is present and visible.

25 - "with" = "through"  see Ro 2:7   Rev 13:10

26 - Omit "for us".  The Spirit bolsters our weakness and inadequacies. We cannot always know how or what to pray (Isa 55:8,9  1Co 2:16). The Spirit prays inaudibly ("cannot...uttered"=Gr.”alaletos”=”without tongue, speech, language or voice”) in intercession. The intercession can sometimes lead to praying in tongues which is the Holy Spirit joining (audibly) in prayer. 

27 - "And" should be "But".   "He" = "the Holy Spirit"

      "searcheth"=Gr."ereunao"="to search as a lion tracks by scent"

      Because the Spirit knoweth, it creates a link to the will of God.

28 - We know, because of our hope (see 8:18). The final result of all that occurs in our lives is our inheritance. This does not mean, nor imply, that we should pretend that the individual events of our lives never bother us. This is a reference to the sum total of "all things". "purpose"=Gr."prothesis"="what is set before one"   as in Heb 12:2

                                          2Co 11:18 - 12:10 

29 - Connects back to 8:14-17.   See Rev 1:5    1Co 15:20-23

30 - "Moreover" ="But"  Note the climactic sequence showing God's purpose for the "all things" in our lives.   1Pe 2:19-25

Foreknown,Predestinated,Called,Justified,Glorified

31 - Isa 54:15-17

32 - Paul proceeds with simple, yet powerful logic.

      "freely give"=Gr."charizomai"="given through grace"   Not "abundance."

33-35 - A series of 4 questions and answers, all using "shall"

    (33) - "Who shall bring us up on charges?" "The same God Who declares us 'Not Guilty?' "   "It is" should be "Shall" (also in v.34)

    (34) - "Who condemns us?" "Shall Christ Who is at the right hand of God as our intercessor, advocate and defense attorney?"

    (35) - "separate"=Gr."chorizo"="create a space; to put distance between"

             "love"=Gr."agape"= Love based on principle, not worthiness.

             (Note: Sin separates us from God - not from His love.)

             "tribulation"="pressure" as in 2:9. "distress"(translated "anguish" in the same verse)="narrowness of room"  See Ps 118:5 for the concept

             "peril"= Danger of physical harm

36 - Quoted from Ps 44:22. There is a price for serving God because the world is at war with God (Jas 4:4). Sheep are slaughtered in large numbers and spend their lives facing "untimely" death. THIS IS THE PLAN because...

37 - WE (the saints/sheep) gain victory (eternal life) through death. The natural loss is a spiritual victory as it was for Jesus Christ on the cross.

       1Co 15:53-55     Lk 9:23-25

    "more than conquerors"=Gr."hupernikao" (Only occ.)

      Over what?  1Co 15:26    Eph 6:11   1Jn 5:4

      For what? Rev 3:21

38,39 - After addressing the operation of things in the world in vv.35-37, Paul turns to the nature of things in the universe.

          -"persuaded"=Gr."peitho"="I have yielded to evidence and authority." (Translated "obey" in 2:8). Paul has complete confidence based on logic and reason, not "hope." This is something he "knows" in the present and will continue to know (perfect tense).

         -"life"=Gr."zoe"=ALL manifestations of life (physical,spiritual,eternal,etc.)

         -"angels"=ALL spirits, good or bad

         -principalities = rulers

         -"powers"=ANY manifestation of power.(Pl. of dunamis=mighty powers)

        -height/depth=(NOT physical) Nothing lofty, nothing profound Pr 25:2,3

NOTE: There are 7 things in the first group. There are 10 in the second. The total of 17= a combination of spirit and order = Gen 1:1-2:3 = creation = "creature" which is LAST in the list. The sovereignty of the Creator over creation is the final reason Paul is "persuaded." The list begins with "tribulation" and ends with "creation." A "mirror" of the Word. The love of God in (the risen) Christ Jesus is a "mirror" of Jn 3:16

CRITICAL: Romans 9-11 is a parenthetical digression. We will go directly to Ch.12 which connects to 8:39 by "therefore." We will return to Ch.9 after Ch.12. 

Ch. 12 - To understand, v.1 is ABSOLUTELY not about healthy eating, etc. (See Mk 7:15,16 and Jas 3:6). A sin against one's health does not make one spiritually unclean (Ac 10:9-15). By extension, people living in places with clean air and water have no "advantage" over those living in impure environments. Paul continues to deal with mind, thought and logic through 12:3.

1 - "by the mercies"= As a logical result of God's compassion (Ro 5:6-11)

    -"present"="to yield for service"

    -"bodies"=Gr."soma"="entire self"=Your everyday life.

    -"acceptable"=Gr."euarestos"="well pleasing" (see Ro 8:8)

    -"reasonable"=Gr."logikos"="logical" - Paul points out that it just makes sense based on the first 8 chapters. WE should be "persuaded." 1Co 14:6-20

2- "conformed"=Gr."suschematizo"="conformed to a pattern","made to resemble","reduced to a likeness of","made agreeable to"

    -This statement is made without restriction or qualification. Therefore it applies to every aspect of our lives - Speech,Thought,Dress,Activities,etc.

    Jas 1:26,27  Jn 17:14-19  1Jn 2:15-17;3:13;4:4-6  1Co7:31("schema")

   -We are sanctified, set apart and therefore "different." The concept was given in the O.T. (Lev 19:27,28) and the N.T. (1Pe 3:1-4) but often mistakenly taught as specific prohibitions and missing the fact that God's people should not resemble pagans (O.T.) or prostitutes (N.T.)

    -"world"=Gr."aion"="age"  The immutable, unchanging God cannot approve of His children being deeply concerned with "keeping up with the times." Attempting to adjust the Word of God to fit "modern" times is leaven (1Co 5:6-8). to devote oneself to making the Word of God "relevant" ignores Jn 12:32 - it is prideful. Christians are called to be changers of the world, not to be changed by the world. The world must be "overcome", not embraced. (Jn 16:33   1Jn 5:4,5)

   -"transformed"=Gr."metamorphoomai"="to be changed to a new state" NOT "to be changed from an old state" (Gr. metaschematizo). The emphasis is on what mankind must move towards.The former condition is universally unacceptable (Ro 3:23) and need not be specifically addressed. Jn 3:5-7  Mt19:16,17  Jn 3:16-21

  -"renewing"=Gr."anakainosis"="renovation, rebuilding, reviving" The process described in Jer 1:10.

  The new man is given a different heart, not a different mind.

             Heart - Ps 51:10 ("create")  Eze 11:17-20; 36:26,27

             Mind - Mt 22:37  Eph 4:20-24  2Ti 1:6,7  Ro 8:5-8

   -"your mind" should be "the mind." The mind must be willing to subject itselfto the Holy Spirit. (Jas 4:1-8). We may be indwelt, spiritually gifted, and knowledgeable and yet still function carnally, according to the flesh (1Co 3:1-3,16-21). Gal 5:18 ("led") and 24-26 address the renovated mind which chooses to obey and submit to the Holy Spirit, because Ro 8:4 indicates that it is possible for us to restrict righteousness by our "walk." There are MANY carnal Christians!

3 - "through"=Gr."dia"="as a result of" - Paul is grateful as the beneficiary of God's gifts and calling which give him the authority to speak "to every man." No exceptions as in v.3 or 4.

     "think more highly"=Gr."huperphroneo" Only occ.="to vainly overesteem oneself"   See Eph 2:8-10   Phil 2:3   1Co 4:1-7

4,5 - God has imparted gifts to each of us for the express purpose of functioning as a part of a body, dependent upon the other parts of the body, for the edifying of the body (Eph 4:7-13).

Note: This addresses the need for active, physical church membership. Being a "partner" to a television ministry alone is insufficient (Heb 10:24,25 and Jas 5:14-16)

6-8 - Refer to Jn 21:20-22 - Let us minister as our callings dictate. A "toe" desiring to function as an "eye" will consequentially disrupt the efficiency of the entire body  (1Co 12:4-27). refer to v.3 to understand a common source of this "leaven."

9-21 - INSTRUCTIONS

      9 - Acting like a Christian, with an unchanged heart and a mind in need of renovation is not in line with v.2.

         -  Detest what is evil. Glue yourself to what is good.

    10 - Love the members of the body as natural family members, supporting one another in good works.

    11 - Do not attempt to serve God without diligence and enthusiasm.

    12 - Remember Ro 8:28. Remember 1Co 10:13. Remember 1Th 5:17.

    13 - Assist those in need (not want). Seek out opportunities to show kindness to strangers (Mt 5:16).

    14,15 - Do not respond negatively to negativity. Show empathy.

    16 - Show sympathy and understanding. Don't be star-struck. Always remember where you came from.

    17 - Forget paybacks and getting even. Take time to think and exhibit goodness.

    18 - Make every effort to get along with others, but recognize the time to shake the dust off your feet.

    19 - An easily misunderstood verse. Omit "Dearly" and "rather"  

          We are not to seek revenge. We are to allow ("give place to") the wrath of God (Ro 1:18). The quote is from Deu 32:35.  Note that "repay"="recompense" This involves more than a "payback". It points to God's restoration as in Joel 2:25 and 1Sa 30:1-19. Many times the offending party is incapable of restoring what is taken, for example - dignity.

        Meditate on Pr 20:22 and avoid giving the enemy a 2-for-1 deal. It is spiritual warfare and the battle is God's (2Ch 20:15) 

    20 - Quoted from Pr 25:21,22. A call to witness. We are to feed with the Bread of Life and quench with Living Water. If we allow our light to shine forth after receiving burning words, the sender will be burned by our Light (Son-burned).

   21 - One of the simplest, yet most comprehensive verses in all of Scripture.

            Light overcomes (conquers) darkness   Jn1:5: 3:19,20

            Vv.19,20,21 point to action. We must pray without ceasing, but we must also act. Just as v.13 indicates that we should seek out opportunities to do good, we "teach" Jesus by kind words and actions toward those who consider themselves to be our enemies.

          Pr 15:1; 21:14   1Th 5:15   1Pe 3:8-18  Lk 6:27-37  Gal 6:7-10

We will now return to Ro 9-11 where Paul addresses Israel's failure relative to God's purpose. Despite the prophets, the law, and the Gospel, God's purpose (a source of joy for Paul) had to be accomplished  in spite of Israel (a source of sorrow for Paul).

 Ch. 9:1-5 A tightly structured group of verses expressing feelings inside of Paul that had to be written down before he could resume from 8:39. He begins with "I say the truth.." and ends with "Amen."

     (1) - Emphatically sincere - Say the truth; lie not; conscience bearing witness

     (2) - "heaviness"=Gr."lupe"="sorrow"

           "sorrow"=Gr."odune"="grief,depression"

               The condition of heart and spirit. 

     (3) - The condition of the flesh. Place parentheses around "For...Christ" 

            Paul identifies with his brethren, the Israelites (Phil 3:4,5), and says he would be willing to separate himself from Christ for their sake. See Ex 32:32 and Jn 15:13.

Note: "according to flesh"=Gr."kata sarka"="concerning the flesh" in v.5

     (4) - What was granted to Israel by God's will.

     (5) - Who belongs to Israel (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,Jesus Christ)

           A total of 7 things - adoption,glory,covenants,law,service,promises,fathers

          "Who is over all..." - Testimony to the sovereignty and Deity of God

6,7 - God's purpose has not failed, because of Gen 21:12

8,9 - Despite Ishmael being firstborn to Abraham, the promise (Gen 18:14) came to Abraham and Sarah, not Abraham and Hagar (Abraham's failure)

Note the separate promises for Ishmael and Hagar:

Ishmael  Gen 17:20  Hagar  Gen 21:17,18 

10-13 - God's purpose is not determined,changed,or thwarted by man's actions. The quote from Gen 25:23 is before the births of Jacob and Esau (see Jer 1:4,5)

         (13) - "Jacob" and "Esau" - reference to their national posterity

Important: No Hebrew word for "hate." It means to hold on lower esteem.

14 - So is God being unfair and playing favorites? ABSOLUTELY NOT!

15,16 - From Ex 33:19. God is sovereign and will accomplish His purpose.

          "him that willeth" = Isaac        "him that runneth" = Esau

17,18 - From Ex 9:16   see Jer 27:4-11

19 - Then how can He blame us for anything? We can't override Him.

20,21 - From Isa 45:9,10      Read Job 40:1-14

22-24 - "What if" = "Did you stop to consider that"  

The image of the potter continues. The "vessels of wrath" are contrasted to the "vessels of mercy." The vessels of wrath are "mended"=Gr."katartizo" (translated "fitted"). They should be made anew (born again).

Understand Jer 18:1-6 The Potter does not repair, He replaces! 

25,26 - Paul quotes from Hosea 2:23 and Hosea 1:9,10

           This is the "mystery" of Eph 3:1-6

27-29 - Paul quotes from Isaiah 10:22,23 (Septuagint) and Isaiah 1:9.

           Paul relates to Isaiah crying over the nation of Israel, a nation deserving of destruction, but in a covenant relationship with God.

Read Is 1:1-9    Ezra 9:5-9 

30 - "How can I sum this up?" - The Gentiles, apart from the rituals and regulations of the law came to know God in relationship.

31,32 - Israel became so involved with their activities concerning God that they forgot God (Understand all the Christmas activity that gives no thought to God). A lack of faith in the power of the Holy Spirit to effect change in us reduces us to flesh, remember Ro 8:8.

33 - Isa 28:16 - a "tried" stone = "tested" and "for testing". This goes all the way back to Gen 49:22-24. Those who are self-absorbed will find "The Way" to be "in the way."   1Co 1:17-24

Ch 10:1-4 - A warning to those who do not study the Word. Jn 4:24 tells us that God cannot be worshipped in flesh or in error. Enthusiasm and energy do not negate ignorance of God's true nature (Hos 4:6; 6:5,6). Doing what we perceive to be righteous acts does not save us (Mt 7:21-23). We cannot submit to the righteousness of God without submitting to Jesus Christ because they are one and the same (1Co 1:30). (Ac 9:1-18)  (2Ti 2:15)

5 - The law (Lev 18:1-5) "do"

6 - Faith (Jn 3:13) "heart"

7 - Pr 30:4  Eph 4:7-10

8 - Paul makes the point that even the law required that the law be in the heart.

 (Deu 30:11-20)

9,10 - The what and why of salvation. Involves choice, agreement and submission. Absolutely no mention of rules or behavior here or in Jn 3:16. Submission to the righteousness of God (Jesus Christ) gives birth to a new man with a new heart who is led by the Holy Spirit and exhibits the fruit of the Spirit instead of the works of the flesh (Gal 5:16-26).

11 - From Isa 28:16 (Septuagint)  "WHOSOEVER"

12,13 - "WHOSOEVER" (Ac 10:34) Quotes from Joel 2:32

         Note: Words like "everybody", "anybody", and the Biblical expression "all the world" (Lk 2:1) are used in context. Whosoever is absolute. To add exceptions and qualifiers denies the truth of 2Co 12:9.

14,15 - Paul presents a logical series of questions clarifying the reason for Mt 24:13,14 and Mk 13:10

      (15) The use of the word "sent" (=Gr."apostello") precludes a simple human decision to choose priesthood as a profession. God's preachers must be called (disciples), then sent (apostles) with the giftedness of the Holy Spirit (1Co 12:28). Quote is from Isa 52:7 (Septuagint)

16 - Quoted from Isa 53:1. Paul begins to highlight disobedience as the reason for Israel's failure despite receiving God's Word.

17 - IMPORTANT: "cometh" added by translators for readability but causes conflict with 1Co 12:7-9. Read thus: "Our Divinely implanted faith is brought out and strengthened by hearing (spiritually) the Word of God.

             Read Isa 43:8 to understand the spiritual nature of this verse.

18-21 - Paul emphasizes that "hearing" is not just physical, it includes understanding and obedience. He anticipates the questions and quotes relevant Scripture.

           (18) - Ps 19:1-4

           (19) - Deu 32:21

           (20,21) - Isa 65:1-5 

Ch. 11:1 - "If God had cast Israel aside, He would have included me, a Benjamite." Paul softens his rebuke by including himself as in 10:1. 

2-4 - From 1Ki 19:10-18. The failure of the majority did not alter God's covenant or his plan. He reserved a remnant of 7,000.

5 - The remnant is according to the foreknowledge and grace of God.

     "remnant"=Gr."kataleimma" Only occ.="those left down", i.e. rooted

6- Eph 2:8,9

7 - The failure of the nation does not automatically extend to the individual.

     "blinded"=Gr."poroo"="hardened" - A condition which does not allow acceptance of truth in the heart. Note the compound requirement in Ro 10:9. Truth may be known, yet remain unaccepted.

8 - From Isa 29:10  "unto this day" - The mystery is only now being revealed.

9,10 - From Ps 69:22,23  "table"=prosperity,provision. Not just material things as in 1Ti 6:9,10, but also the cornerstone provided by God, Jesus Christ. (The meaning includes those deceived by the Antichrist).

                See Ro 1:21   Eph 4:17-19   Jn 3:19-21

11 - "Did God select Israel just so they could fail?" Israel's failure under the law led to Jesus Christ coming to fulfill the law. His blood was precious enough to cover all sin, by everyone, past and present. The inclusion of the Gentiles provoked Israel to jealousy.

12 - If Israel's failure could work for good, how much more their success?

13,14 - Even Paul's calling as a Jewish apostle to the Gentiles can serve the same purpose to the glory of God.

15 - If rejection led to reconciliation, then restoration must be to a new existence. 

16 - A spiritual application of a natural principle. Gen 1:11,12

      "the root" See notes on v.5

17- Paul continues to speak to the Gentiles.

IMPORTANT: "wild olive tree"=Gr."agrielaios" Only here, v.25="oleaster"

Specifically, Olea Europaea Oleaster. A shrublike "tree" with thorny branches bearing little or no small fruit with big pits and very little pulp. Oleasters have no taproot (see below). Original roots are replaced by a new system of roots arising from knobs at the base of the trunk. NOT a cultivated olivetree growing wild! The use of "wild olive tree" instead of "oleaster", and the use of "good olive tree"=Gr."kallielaios" Only occ.="cultivated olive tree" in v.24 can lead us to focus on wild vs. good instead of Paul's focus on the physical, natural, ethnic difference. (There is a tendency to let the word "bodies" in Ro 12:1 obscure the fact that it is actually the "mind" which is the subject.) In Ac 13:26, Paul refers to the "stock" of Abraham (Gr."genos"="race") and he refers to the same people here with an even narrower focus. The "firstfruit" of v.16 is Jacob. If it were Abraham, it would include the Ishmaelites, Midianites, etc. If it were Isaac, it would include Esau and the Edomites. Paul's discussion here is strictly limited to the bloodline from Jacob, regardless of their personal attributes.

     The grafting process is not a new thing. God is unchanging and immutable. Note the mixed multitude as part of the Exodus in Ex 12:38 and remember that Rahab, a Canaanite, and Ruth, a Moabitess are part of the bloodline of Jesus Christ (Deu 23:3,4 is masculine in Hebrew).

    Failing to understand these things will not necessarily be unfruitful, but can result in a misapplication of Scripture.

TAPROOTS

  Some plants have primary roots that grow longer and thicker than the secondary roots. This large primary root is called a taproot. A taproot is an enlarged, somewhat straight to tapering plant root that grows vertically downward. It forms a center from which other roots sprout laterally. Plants with taproots are difficult to transplant.Taproots make a plant hard to pull from the ground.

    Taproots allow the plant to reach down quite far to find water to sustain itself. In drier climates, or areas where water tends to run deep, this can be crucial for survival. Many desert plants have incredibly well-developed tap root systems, allowing them to survive in even the most arid of climates. Mesquites, for example, have adapted to survive in the Mojave Desert and have many biological tools to help them reach and conserve water, including a taproot that can reach lengths of more than 80 feet.

    The presence of a taproot is why dandelions are hard to uproot - the top is pulled, but the long taproot stays in the ground, and resprouts. Commonly eaten taproots include carrots, turnips, radishes and beets.

Note: Ephesians 3:17-19 and Colossians 2:7 and understand,

 NO JESUS, NO TAPROOT!

      - "fatness"=Gr."piotes" Only occ.="oiliness" (oil=Holy Spirit as a Biblical figure)

18,19 - "Don't think you're being grafted in out of necessity, or that anyone was deposed just to make room for you."  See Jn 15:4-6

20 - "Don't be arrogant. They're gone for unbelief. You're here through Eph 2:8,9, so be humble and reverent".

21,22 - Those who receive God's grace may also receive His wrath. Heb 10:24-31

23,24 - The broken branches which do not continue in unbelief can be grafted in again. The power of grace can reverse a natural process (Note Sarah's ability to nurse at age 90 - Gen 21:7)  Heb 11:11,12

25 - Paul refers to the Gentiles as "brethren" to validate his words. To understand the "blindness" read Ac 9:43 - 10:17,34,35 and note that before the vision Peter was lodging with a tanner, a handler of dead animals and their skins (see Lev 11:24,39)

      Teacher's Note: Connect this verse to the query/response in Is 6:11-13.

26,27 - God cannot violate His covenant. From Isa 59:20,21 and 27:6-9

28 - "...the gospel" - A reference to v.11. The rejection of Jesus Christ by the Jews benefitted the Gentiles.

      "...the election" - God's covenant relationship through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob through to Jesus Christ.

29 - See 9:11. A gift, by definition, cannot be reclaimed. Nu 23:19.

     Note that in Rev 7:5-8, the tribe of Dan is omitted due to continuous idolatry (Lev 24:10-16  Judg 18:1,2,13-20,27-31  1Ki 12:28-33) but restored later to observe the covenant (Eze 48:32)

30-32 - See Ro 3:19-30

33 - Paul figuratively shakes his head in awe of God's workings. Isa 55:9-13

       "unsearchable"=Gr."anexereunetos"="inscrutable"

       "past finding out"=Gr."anexichniastos"="untraceable"

34 - "counsellor"="fellow counsellor" - God does not seek/need advice.

35 - God has never needed anyone's help and owes no one. Job 38,39

36 - God is the source, the supplier, and the sovereign. Col 1:12-17

       "Amen" - the end of Paul's digression.

WE NOW RETURN TO CHAPTER 13

Ch.13 - 1,2 -"higher"=Gr."huperecho"="supreme" Read Jn 19:10,11

                 Because sovereign, omniscient God works in ways we cannot understand, we should not withstand against His will. He may "raise up" Pharoah (Ex 9:16) or use Nebuchadnezzar as His "servant" (Jer 25:9). Even the Antichrist will be "given power" at the behest of God for God's purpose (2Th 2:11,12). Note that in Dan 4:24-26, God kept Nebuchadnezzar as king through 7 years of inactivity.  Lk 20:19-25       Jer 29:4-14

3,4 - Good, law-abiding citizens do not have to live in fear. Those who do evil and are not in subjection to God's "ministers" are in line for His wrath.  1Ti 2:1-4

Carefully note Ac 5:27-29 (obedience to man is not absolute)

5 - We should live responsibly in obedience to God, not just to avoid punishment. Remember that God is the knower of hearts. Jer 17:9-10

6 - "tribute" - paid by a citizen of a different locality.

7 - "dues"="debts"   "custom"=public support (income & sales taxes, etc.)

     Christians, individually and collectively, should pay their taxes, bills, pledges, etc. as part of their witness.

8 - "Owe no man..." - Debt is bondage. (See Ro 8:12, Gal 5:1). We are to be bound by love. Hence Paul's expression in Eph 3:1,4:1.

9 - Mt 22:35-40   Lk 10:25-37

10 - Connect this verse to Mt 5:17,18 and 1Jn 4:7-12

11 - IMPORTANT: "time"=Gr."kairos"="season" - We do not know the day or hour, but the Bible tells us of the signs and the season.

Mt 24:1-42        2Th 2:1-3

12 - A reference for preparing for battle, i.e., Spiritual Warfare.

Eph 6:10-18        "light" should be "the light"

13 - Compare to the "works of the flesh"  Gal 5:19-21

14 - Jesus Christ is "the light" of v.12.  See Jn 1:1-9

2Co 10:3-6    Making provision for the flesh allows us to rationalize disobedience and sin. This progresses to an accumulation of unconfessed sin, thereby creating a stronghold for the enemy.

Ch. 14: INTERACTIONS AMONG CHRISTIANS

1 - Those who are more learned and mature regarding the liberty in Christ (Gal 2:4), should be mentors, not critics, of those who are less mature and/or clinging to legalism (rules).

2,3 - If God has accepted a person as they are, who are we to reject them?

      Compare Daniel (Dan 1:8) and Paul (1Co 8:1-13)

       Compare Ezra (Ezra 8:21-23) (who prays and proceeds unarmed with large quantities of silver and gold) and Nehemiah (Neh 4:9-13) (who prays to God and takes up arms).

Here Paul begins to crystallize the concept of our personal relationship with God. With God examining our hearts instead of handing us a set of rules, many things are a matter of conscience based on our individual faith, standards and level of understanding. It is our duty to be led by the Spirit and heed Jer 17:9-10, not to judge one another. 

4 - It is God  who corrects, instructs and does the performance review.

5 - Some may have strict sabbath and/or holiday observances. Some may feel that we abide with Christ 24/7 so all days are alike. The key is "fully persuaded."   Belief, not convenience.

6-8 - "to the Lord" - in relationship to God as the Source and the Sovereign.

       We are accountable to God, not to each other, not to ourselves. We are accountable at all times, in all ways, in all things. Ps 24:1-5

9 - Omit "both".  Omit "and rose". 1Co 15:23-28  Eph 1:19-23  Heb 2:8

10-12 - Isa 45:23  Rev 20:12  We will all wind up facing judgment before God when the books are opened.

13 - An oft-repeated warning.  Mt 7:1-5  Lk 17:1,2  Mt 23:13-15

14 - Paul uses himself as an example of a mature Christian. See Ac 10:9-15

15 - If someone has dietary restrictions based on their beliefs, is it worth engendering division and strife? Is anyone going to hell because of their lunch order?

16-19 - We must recognize what God values (Ps 147:10,11) . We must seek common ground, not separation and conflict.   "follow after"="pursue"   1Co 1:10    Phil 2:1-5

20 - "For" = "On account of" 

       - "evil..." - When we do what we consider sinful, it is in fact sin for us.

21 - See 1 Co 6:12

22 -23 - Whatever is not of faith or in accordance with the principles of faith and salvation is sin for the believer.

Ch.15:1,2 - In matters of conscience, the mature Christian should forego preference and convenience if it will serve to build up a less mature Christian.

                            See 1Co 13:4-7

3 - Paul uses the Ultimate Example, quoting from Ps 69:9.

Our giftedness and callings are for service to God, not for our own gain or status. Phil 2:4-8.

4-6 - Connect 2Ti 3:14-17. God's Word is a letter from a loving Father to His children, not a licensing exam for those who want to practice Christianity. God does not exclude anyone. There are only those who choose not to be included.

7- Ro 5:8

8 - To His fellow Jews, Christ fulfilled the law and confirmed the promises referenced in Heb 11:13.

9-12 - All quotes are from the Septuagint (Gr. version of the O.T.)

   (9) Christ came for the Gentiles to glorify God. Ro 11:22 (Quoted from Ps 18:49)

   (10) Deut 32:43

   (11) Ps 117:1

   (12) Isa 11:10

13 - Believers have joy and peace through the Holy Spirit, not through their personal circumstances. Jn 14:26,27

14,15 - Paul points out that he's not being critical, but speaking as a mentor, coach or teacher might. He uses a unique word in Scripture, Gr. "epanamimnesko" ("putting you in mind") to convey the thought of reinforcing basics (the purpose of this entire epistle). Accomplished athletes and musicians continue to practice and rehearse. So must Christians never forget or neglect the basics. Rev 2:1-5.

16 - IMPORTANT: "the" should be "a"

      "ministering"=Gr."hierourgeo" Only occ.="serving as a priest"

       REVIEW Gal 1:1,6,7,11,12 - By Divine authority through Grace.

17 - Paul asserts his right to speak freely and boldly on these matters because his work is to the glory of God.

18,19 - "I'll spare you the details of what the Holy Spirit has accomplished by using me to spread the Gospel so widely."

20 - Paul devoted himself to the work of a pioneering missionary.

          Read and understand 1Co 3:6-11

21 - Quoted from Isa 52:15

22,23 - Paul's missionary workload had kept him busy, but was now drawing to a close.  "these parts" - ROMANS was sent from Corinth (Greece)

   "great desire"=Gr."epipothia" Only occ.="intense longing"

24 - No definitive evidence of Paul ever reaching Spain. He does not mention such a trip in his last letters. 

25,26 - Paul was delivering money to Jerusalem collected from Greek churches.

27 - Financial giving is part of worship and ministry. Note the purpose of tithing given in Mal 3:10.

28,29 - The promise to return after this particular mission.

30 - A request for intercessory prayer.

    "strive together"=Gr."sunagonizomai" Only occ.="to be a partner in struggle"

31,32 - "do not believe" = "disobedient"

33 - "peace" should be "the peace"

Ch.16:1 - ROMANS was entrusted to and delivered by Phebe.

       - "servant"=Gr."diakonos"="deaconess" - Used 22 times by Paul in the epistles, translated "minister" 18 times, "servant" in Ro 16:1, and "deacon" in Phil 1:1 and 1Ti 3:8,12 (where only men are addressed in terms of polygamy. It has never been a practice for women to have multiple husbands).

2 - Paul requests proper respect for Phebe's authority and office. (Ro 13:7)

     "succourer"=Gr."prostatis"="protectress" (defender of the weak)

3,4 - "Greet" = "Salute"   See Ac 18:1-3,18,24-26

5 - "in their house"  See 1Co 16:19

6-16 - (10 of the people mentioned in this section are women, about 1/3)

     (7) - Note "Junia" referred to as an "apostle"

     (10) - "approved" is a special designation. See "chosen" in v.13.

     (16) - "holy kiss"  See Jesus Christ in Lk 22:48

              "The" should be "All the"

17 - "Be alert to those who act like viruses in the body and avoid (turn away from) them." Take note of 2 Jn 9-11 and note that Jesus Christ never wished the Pharisees well; His love was manifested in words of warning for them. Rev 2:12-16

18 - Those out for their own gain will victimize those who are naive (not unintelligent).

19 - What is good and simple concerning evil?    Ro 12:9,21

              1Pe 3:11        Pr 3:7; 14:16

20 - Compare the benediction at 15:33

(Postscript #1) 21,22 - Tertius - Paul's stenographer

23 - chamberlain = treasurer (usu. translated "steward")

24 - Repeats the close of v. 20. Omitted by some manuscripts, but is really the end of the writing of Tertius in 58 A.D. There is a second postscript (vv. 25-27) added later, after Paul wrote the epistle to the Ephesians and "the mystery" had been revealed. The structure of Romans is incomplete without vv.25-27.

(Postscript #2) 25-27 - Doxology (expression of praise to God)

      Note the "now" in v.26 (Ephesians written from prison in Rome A.D. 62)

TO EPHESIANS