For I am not ashamed of the good news of Messiah, for it is the power of G-d unto redemption for everyone who trusts, for the Jew first and also for the Gentile. For in the good news, the righteousness of G-d is revealed by trusting Him, and in trusting Him; as it is written, “The righteous ones will live by their trust [future tense] in G-d.”
Romans 1:16-17 (my paraphrase)

Introduction

  1. We have seen that the battleground issues of the Apostolic Scriptures are:
  2. Kingdom of Light vs Kingdom of Darkness
  3. Gentles included by faith in Messiah vs Gentiles must go through ritual conversion
  4. The Epistle to the Congregation in Rome (Romans) deals with both of these issues.

Romans – Focus on Redemption

  • Romans magnificently lays out the entire plan of redemption. It painstakingly follows the progressive style of the Torah in making the case for redemption. Out outlines redemption like this:
  • Sin has separated us from HaShem.
  • That our disobedience to HaShem’s instructions is the definition for sin.
  • That a renewed relationship with G-d is what matters – not adherence to a religious system. The goal is to be “back in the Garden with Him” – thus it is through that faith that we are led back to the Presence of G-d.
  • The “Law’s” purpose was never to lead us back itself –  but to define the problem – and to reveal HaShem’s righteousness to us. Only Messiah can take us back.
  • G-d’s faithful promises to Israel are proof of His faithfulness to all called by Him.
  • To respond to our redemption with loving service [avodah] to HaShem.

The Problem and Solution

  • 1:16-22ff: The “Good News” reveals G-d’s righteousness. G-d’s righteous standard is lived out in faith. Trusting HaShem is the way to be restored to Him.
  • Our disobedience to G-d’s righteous standard is what drove us from His Presence. Our disobedience in the Garden revealed our lack of trusting of Him.
  • All men know that G-d has a righteous standard. All know that they have been removed from His Presence because rebellion revealed a lack of trusting of Him.
  • 2:1-9: Man’s rebellion continues. In it, man reveals his lack of trusting of HaShem. Rebellion/Sin keeps man from G-d.
  • 2:10-16: Disobedience to the written instructions, and the instructions that all know reveal that both Jew and Gentile still rebel against G-d.
  • 2:25-29: Gentile inclusion point: Being Jewish does not automatically restore one to HaShem’s Presence. One must be more than “ritually Jewish” – one must be in relationship with HaShem, which comes by His work on our behalf.
  • 3:1-4: G-d’s faithfulness to Israel reveals His faithfulness to all He has called.
  • 3:20-31: G-d’s work on our behalf is what restores our trusting of Him. He calls us into relationship and our trusting Him deals with our sin.
  • Our trusting of G-d is evidenced by outward righteousness – we cease rebellion and obey His instructions.
  • 4:1-4: Remember, it is not outward righteousness that restores us to HaShem’s Presence, we must trust Him to restore the relationship – Abraham is an example of this.
  • 6:1-7: Being redeemed and restored to G-d is not evidenced by rebellion. Continued rebellion is only evidence of a lack of trusting of G-d.
  • Don’t blame G-d’s instructions. Our disobedience to them is the problem.
  • 7:1-5: Our disobedience to G-d’s instructions reveals our lack of trusting of Him. Without a relationship with Him, we are dead. As rebellious people, when we knew what G-d instructed us to do, we rebelled against Him. Our trusting Messiah “resurrects us.”
  • 7:6-11: G-d’s instructions, which were meant for my good; because of my rebellion only brought me death. The commandment was not the problem. The problem was me.
  1. 7:12-16: G-d’s instructions continue to help see where I am not trusting Him. G-d uses them in spiritual work on my behalf.

G-d’s Faithfulness to Israel Reveals He is Trustworthy

  • 9:30-10:13: The Torah does not by itself produce righteousness. It points to Messiah. Messiah leads us back. He is the point.
  • 10:17: Do you want to trust G-d? Submit to Him. His Word brings trusting. He reveals His faithfulness to Israel.
  • 11:1-2: If HaShem has cast off Israel, then He will certainly cast off everyone… because we all sin.
  • 11:11-13: To Paul, the revelation of Gentile inclusion is the avenue for redemption not only for Gentiles… but for all Israel.
  • 11:25-29: The gifts and calling of G-d are irrevocable. Beware, those who damn the descendants of Jacob.

Result of Redemption? Loving Avodah

  • 12:1-2: Temple language. The language of redemption. We are redeemed in order to serve Him. Avodah is the service of love and relationship. One cannot say he loves G-d and still live in rebellion to His instructions.

Summary

  • Romans encapsulates the redemption message. It does so in terms of the two main conflicts of the Apostolic Scriptures: Leaving the Kingdom of Darkness, entering the Kingdom of Light; and both Jew and Gentile have been called to the Kingdom of Light.