Category Archives: Romans

Romans 16:25-27 — The One Who establishes us

And so we finish off Romans.  I think it’s been one of the more fun books that I have blogged through.  And as we do, we finish up where we started.  With a reminder that salvation is ultimately the work … Continue reading

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Romans 16:17-20 — That we may not be naive

Here, towards the end of his letter to the Romans, Paul gives the church a warning. I urge you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching … Continue reading

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Romans 16:1-16 — Working hard, tested, and approved

Here in this passage, we see Paul sending greetings to different people in Rome.  These were people who Paul really appreciated.  Some supported him financially, others worked side by side with him in ministry, others had spent time in prison … Continue reading

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Romans 15:30-33 — Supporting those on the front lines

It is easy, sometimes, to forget that we are in a spiritual war.  But we are. And many people are out on the front lines sharing the gospel.  Some are doing ministry at home.  Others are in foreign countries.  But … Continue reading

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Romans 15:23-29 — Sharing with those from whom we receive spiritual blessing

Money is always a touchy subject.  And talking about tithing always is within the church.  A lot of Christians argue that tithing is not a New Testament teaching, and I believe they’re right.  (There are others that do differ with … Continue reading

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Romans 15:1-7 — Accepting others where they are

If there is one thing I think we’d all like, whether we admit it or not, it’s the ability to change others.  To make others act in a way more palatable or acceptable to us.  Maybe it’s bad habits people … Continue reading

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Romans 15:1-12 — Living as one

Paul sums up what he has been talking about in chapter 14 in this passage.  He starts by saying, We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us … Continue reading

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Romans 14 — Breaking conscience

There is one last thing that I should mention before leaving this chapter, and that’s the motivation of our hearts.  Why do we do the things we do? Paul makes it crystal clear here what our attitude should be.  He … Continue reading

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Romans 14 — Dealing with each other in love.

In chapter 13, Paul said, Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for whoever loves others has fulfilled the law. (13:8) And again, Love does no harm to a neighbor. Therefore love is the … Continue reading

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Romans 14 — Judging your brothers and sisters

If there is one problem within the church, it’s brothers and sisters judging each other. Now I want to be clear, this has nothing to do with black or white issues.  Paul had no problems with judging others when it … Continue reading

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Romans 13:8-10 — To fulfill the law

It has always seemed strange to me that Paul said, For whoever loves others has fulfilled the law.  (8b) After all, isn’t loving God the other half of fulfilling the law?  Jesus did say after all that the two great … Continue reading

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Romans 13:8-10 — A debt that can never be repaid

Paul’s use of words here are very interesting when you think about it. Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another.  (8) What is a debt?  It’s something that you owe to someone else.  Paul … Continue reading

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Romans 13:1-7 — Doing what’s right…no matter who’s in charge

In this passage, Paul talks about the Christian’s relationship to government.  And the basic principle that Paul gives is that we are to submit to those in authority. Why?  First and foremost, because ultimately, God is the one that put … Continue reading

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Romans 12:14, 17-21 — When people hate us

One thing that the early Christians had to face, and Christians have to face to this day is hatred and persecution. And Paul told the church how to handle it.  He said, Bless those who persecute you; bless and do … Continue reading

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Romans 12:9-16 — Living as a Christian…with the rest of the body

It would be easy to look at this passage and just think that these are things we are to do as individual Christians. But it’s important to note that Paul is saying all this within the context of the body … Continue reading

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Romans 12:3-16 — But don’t we need to go out?

I suppose I should address an objection that people might make concerning my last blog:  I said that one reason Christian fellowship is necessary is that we need each other.  We all have a role to play in the body … Continue reading

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Romans 12:3-16 — What destroys fellowship

It is so easy to think of the Christian life as an individual thing.  I suppose with the individualistic mindset of Western countries, this is particularly true.  But the Christian life is not meant to be lived alone.  We are … Continue reading

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Romans 12:2 — To know the mind of God

I like how some translations put the first part of Romans 12:2. Do not be conformed to this age.  (HCSB) So often we talk about “the age we live in,” and how things have changed.  And things have certainly changed. … Continue reading

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Romans 12:1 — A living sacrifice

This is perhaps one of the more famous passages in scripture.  Paul writes, Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of … Continue reading

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Romans 11:33-36 — A God who is beyond us

One of the things that amazes me is the people who think that if they were to argue with God, they could win. More than a few atheists, when posed with the question, “If God exists, what would you say … Continue reading

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Romans 11:1-32 — No room for pride

I have never understood the anti-Semitic sentiment held by some Christians, particularly in view of Romans 11. I think at the root of the anti-Semitic sentiment is a feeling of pride, and that is something Paul completely squashes in this … Continue reading

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Romans 10:16-11-10 — Refusing to believe

A couple of days ago, I talked about the paradox of salvation.  That though the path to salvation is so easy, yet it is difficult.  All we have to do is put our faith in God and Jesus’ work on … Continue reading

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Romans 10:19-11:32 — The irrevocable call of God

One of the most amazing things about salvation is that it comes about through the call of God, and that call is irrevocable. Paul clearly illustrates this through Israel.  He talked about how Israel had hardened their hearts to God … Continue reading

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Romans 10:14-15 — The need for us to go

We’ve talked about this not to long ago, so this should be short and sweet.  I’ve mentioned before that we were chosen before the beginning of the world to be God’s children. There have been, however, Christians who have taken this … Continue reading

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Romans 10:6-13 — All that’s left for us to do

The way to salvation is, in a sense, contradictory.  That is to say, it is so easy, and yet so hard. Paul writes, But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend … Continue reading

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Romans 10:1-5 — Why can’t there be another way to God? (part 2)

I seem to be doing a lot of these multi-part posts.  In case you’re wondering why I don’t just put it all in one post, I translate all these posts into Japanese, and it’s intimidating enough to translate a 500-600 … Continue reading

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Romans 9:30-33 — Why can’t there be another way to God?

One of the things that bothers people about Christianity is that Christ claims he is the only way to God.  That there is no other way.  And they say, “Why can’t there be another way?” There are many ways to … Continue reading

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Romans 9:9-27 — The problem and wonder of election (part 5)

I’d like to address one last question concerning predestination.  Assuming that what I have said is true, that none will ever come to God apart from his choosing to intervene in their lives, why is it that he doesn’t simply … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 4)

A question that often pops up when we talk about predestination is, “You say that God predestines who will go to heaven.  So that must mean that God must predestine people to hell as well.” I answered this to some degree … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 3)

In the last blog, we talked about how God basically tells people, “I have determined to judge you.  Now prove me wrong.  Prove that you’re not worthy of destruction.” And he waits patiently for their response. We see this kind … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 2)

We ended the last blog with the question, “If our salvation is based on God’s election alone, isn’t he then choosing capriciously who to save and who to damn to hell?” The short answer to this is no.  It’s not capricious. … Continue reading

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Romans 9:1-29 — The problem and wonder of election (part 1)

One of the toughest concepts the Bible teaches is that of God’s election of the saints.  It seemingly flies in the face of our free will.  It seemingly flies in the face of God’s love for all.  The best I … Continue reading

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Romans 8:35-39 — Though we suffer

I’d never thought of it this way before, but this passage is basically tying up Paul’s thoughts in verses 15-18.  In verses 15-16, Paul reminds us of the kind of relationship we have with God, not one of fear, but one in which … Continue reading

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Romans 8:29-34 — If God is for us

So often, even as Christians, we fight feelings of guilt and condemnation.  We make a mess of things by the decisions we make, and we think, “Why do I keep messing up like this?” Or we struggle with temptation, and … Continue reading

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Romans 8:29-30 — A reason for hope (part 2)

As I look at this passage, I see another reason for hope through the struggles that we go through:  that from eternity past, God had a plan for us. Paul writes, For those God foreknew he also predestined to be … Continue reading

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Romans 8:26-28 — A reason for hope

This is one of my favorite passages in scripture.  Actually, from here all the way on down to the end of the chapter is one of my favorite passages in scripture.  Why?  Because it’s a passage of hope. Many people … Continue reading

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Romans 8:16-25 — Why do we have to go through suffering?

As I look at Romans 8:16-17, it starts out very encouraging. The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.  Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ… Who doesn’t … Continue reading

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Romans 8:12-17 — Led into a whole new relationship

I think that as Paul wrote this, he probably looked back at his words on Romans 6, and felt he needed to make some clarification.  In Romans 6, he talked about how we used to be slaves to sin, but … Continue reading

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Romans 8:5-16 — When we belong to Christ

Looking at this passage at first glance, I wondered if verses 5 to 8 is referring to the non-Christian or a carnal Christian.  Is it referring to the person who doesn’t know God at all and follows after his sinful … Continue reading

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Romans 8:1-16 — Not one sentence of condemnation

One of my favorite films is A Few Good Men.  And one of the most striking scenes to me is the one where sentence is handed down to the defendants.  Just prior to this, a colonel had just incriminated himself as the … Continue reading

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Romans 7:14-25 — Hope

As I mentioned before in my last blog, I do believe there is room for hope in our fight against sin. The main problem Christians fight in their struggle against sin is despair.  And the question that most people ask is, “Am … Continue reading

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Romans 7:14-25 — Why we struggle with sin

Having given my prologue, let’s look at the text.  Like I said, I can see why some people say Paul is speaking as a Christian and others say that he isn’t.  Let’s start with the latter. If you look at … Continue reading

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Romans 7:14-25 — Is our sinful nature really dead?

There have been many questions I have struggled with as I’ve been going through the past several chapters.  One is the question I’ve put as the title of this post.  “Is our sinful nature really dead?” However you answer that … Continue reading

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Romans 7:7-13 — Just how bad is sin?

Paul says in verse 5, that while we were married to the sinful nature, the law aroused sinful passions within us. The natural question then becomes, “Is then the law bad?  Is it in fact equal to sin?  After all, … Continue reading

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Romans 7:1-6 — Married to Christ

One of the problems of interpreting Romans 7:1-6 is trying to determine who’s the husband in Paul’s illustration and who’s the wife.  I think it’s pretty clear from the illustration that we are the wife.  The question is, “Who were … Continue reading

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Romans 7:1-6 — The jurisdiction of grace

I must admit (for the second day in a row), I had a blog all written out to post, but as I looked at this passage again, I started to wrestle with it all over again about what it meant.  As a result, … Continue reading

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Romans 7:1-6 — Dead to sin? Dead to the law? Dead to both?

I must admit that I’ve wrestled with this passage more than almost any other I have come across.  The reason?  The illustrations and the words that Paul uses are almost impossible at first glance (and second, and third, and fourth) … Continue reading

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Romans 6 — True freedom

Why do so many people flee from following God?  I suppose it comes from a desire to be free.  What does freedom mean to most people?  It means being able to live however they want to.  But if they follow … Continue reading

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Romans 6 — Going back to misery

I wonder when Paul wrote this if he thought back to the story of Israel’s deliverance from Egypt.  He certainly makes the parallel in I Corinthians 10, when he compares the Israelites going through the Red Sea to baptism in Christ. But … Continue reading

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Romans 5:20-21 — A grace that reigns

These two verses show two things:  The weakness of the law, and the power of grace.  It says in verse 20, The law was added so that the trespass might increase. That sounds a little weird.  God gave us the … Continue reading

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Romans 5:15-21 — Good infection (aka, the Walking Living)

I’d love to take the credit for the phrase “good infection,” but I must give credit to C.S. Lewis.  I can’t even remember how he used it, but I did read Mere Christianity, and somehow, that term must have floated … Continue reading

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Romans 5:12-14 — Bad infection

This is admittedly a tough passage to completely fathom, though I get the general gist.  The most difficult part, I suppose, is our relationship to sin.  The big questions we need to ask is, “Are we sinners because we sin, … Continue reading

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Romans 5:1-11 — But isn’t God punishing me?

I talked about verses 6-8 in yesterday’s blog, but I think it would be good to place them back in their context, so that we can get the full picture of all that Paul is saying. Paul was talking about how … Continue reading

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Romans 5:6-8 — What grace is all about

I have memorized many Bible verses in my lifetime.  But one of the first passages I memorized was this one, and though I haven’t really tried to recite it in some time, I’m pretty sure I can still get it … Continue reading

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Romans 5:3-5 — Coming through the fire

Every once in a while, something in the Bible will puzzle me.  This passage certainly qualifies.  Paul writes, Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And … Continue reading

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Romans 5:1-2 — The grace in which we stand

It would be so easy to just zoom past these passages, having read them so often.  But I can’t help but linger here, and think about all Paul is saying here. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we … Continue reading

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Romans 4:16-25 — Fully persuaded

It’s always cool to find something new in scripture, even after having read it all my life. The verses that strikes me here are verses 16-17, and especially 17. Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by … Continue reading

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Romans 4:4-5 — Salvation: gift or obligation? (Continued)

I wanted to touch on this a bit more because it’s a point that people often struggle with.  It’s a simple point, but even from the time of Jesus, you see this kind of thinking in the minds of people. … Continue reading

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Romans 4:4-16 — Salvation: gift or obligation?

In this passage, Paul takes on a very important issue.  Is salvation from our sins and eternal life with God a gift from Him, or an obligation on his part to give us what we deserve? Paul is very clear here.  He … Continue reading

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Romans 4 — Righteousness by faith: a new idea?

It would be easy to think that this idea of being made righteous by our faith is a new thing.  That it was an invention of Paul and the other apostles.  It was, in fact, a contention that Paul probably … Continue reading

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Romans 3:31 — Completely throwing out the law?

I suppose the logical question to all that Paul is saying is, “If the law can’t make us acceptable before God, can’t we just toss it?  I mean, it’s worthless if it can’t do that, right?” But Paul answers here, … Continue reading

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Romans 3:27-30 — No room for boasting

One of the big conclusions that Paul comes down to in this passage is found in verses 27-30. Where, then, is boasting?  It is excluded.  On what principle?  On that of observing the law?  No, but on that of faith.  … Continue reading

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Romans 3:25-28 — Forbearance and justice

Paul puts in some very interesting thoughts concerning those who lived and died before Christ’s sacrifice on the cross.  He said, God presented him as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in his blood.  He did this to demonstrate his justice, … Continue reading

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Romans 3:21-30 — To be accepted by God

Our deepest need, whether felt or not, is to be accepted.  And not just by anyone.  But to be accepted by God. When we are accepted by God, and we understand this in our souls, our life changes.  We find … Continue reading

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Romans 3:9-18 — But aren’t we exaggerating a bit?

I don’t think I can go on in this passage without addressing at least one major objection, that being, “Isn’t Paul exaggerating a bit here?  I mean…no one seeks God?  I know many people that are seeking God.  And no … Continue reading

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Romans 3:9-20 — But I’m not that bad

One thing that many people can’t seem to understand is how God could reject a person just because they don’t believe in Christ. “After all, there are a lot of good people in this world who don’t believe in Jesus. … Continue reading

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Romans 3:8 — It’s the result that counts, right?

Yesterday, we talked about ways of thinking that God condemns, and how some of the things people say today are similar to, but different from how they thought in Paul’s time. One thing they said was, Let us do evil … Continue reading

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Romans 3:5-8 — A damned way of thinking

No, I am not swearing.  The things we see in this passage are literally ways of thinking that will lead to people’s damnation. To be honest, I find it hard to believe that people in that time held these ways … Continue reading

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Romans 3:1-4 — God’s faithfulness

It would be easy for the Jew to conclude from what Paul said in chapter 2 that there was no value in being a Jew or being circumcised. Yet Paul makes clear in verses 1 and 2 that there is … Continue reading

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Romans 2:25-29 — A true circumcision

One of the main problems the Jews had in Paul’s time was that they forgot that God wasn’t so interested in outward appearances as he was in their hearts.  In particular, they thought it was circumcision that made them right … Continue reading

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Romans 2:9-16 — What happens to those who never hear?

One of the things that people argue when it comes to Christianity is, “How can God hold people accountable for what he has commanded if they have never even heard of the Bible? We find the answer here in this passage. … Continue reading

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Romans 2:1-11 — Pride and insolence

In this passage, we see two problems concerning the grace of God. The first problem is pride.  It’s an attitude of, “I don’t need God’s grace.  I’m good enough.  The people around me on the other hand…” Paul addresses this … Continue reading

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Romans 1:18-32 — The problem of sin

As Christians, we often talk about salvation.  But what are we being saved from?  What have we done that is so bad that we require salvation? We find the answer in this passage, one of the darkest in all of … Continue reading

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Romans 1:8-17 — The gospel

In this passage, Paul talks about his longing to come to Rome that he might share the gospel with them as he had in so many other places.  Not to say that they didn’t know the gospel, as they had … Continue reading

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Romans 1:1-7 — Loved and called by God

And so we hit Romans, perhaps the most important book in the New Testament, because it so clearly sets out what the gospel is. It was written by Paul to the church in Rome before he had had the chance … Continue reading

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