Many church-goers today don’t want much doctrine to seep into their thinking. They want nice stories, uplifting platitudes, and fluffy comments on favorite verses. Well, they’d better not open the book of Romans!
In the sixteen chapters of this epistle, the apostle Paul sets forth the core theology of Christianity. This is the first great doctrinal book in the New Testament, and a 1st century course in biblical doctrine. It‘ a vital follow-up to the historical facts in the Gospels.
In its broad outline, Romans is easy to follow. Its first eleven chapters explain how God justifies us or makes us righteous through Christ.
Working our way through these chapters, we see:
- how humanity is corrupted beyond human remedy,
- how God makes us righteous through Christ,
- how we have freedom from the power of sin through the Holy Spirit, and
- how God offers the blessings of righteousness to Gentiles by grafting us into the living promises given to Israel.
The word “therefore” in 12:1 serves as the transition to the last part of Romans, which talks about our duty to live righteously:
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.”
These final chapters are as practical as any portion of Scripture, giving us instructions for Christ-like living.
I love Romans, and I think you will too. It explains our doctrine and our duty as those who are justified by grace through faith in our Lord Jesus.
Because we could not become righteous by our own efforts, God provided justification for us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.
“For if by one man’s offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ” (Rom 5:17).
We must receive the abundance of God’s grace, which saves us and enables us to reign in life through Christ Jesus.