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Lesson No. 46—Study well this masterpiece of the New Testament

LESSON THEME:—ROMANS

Romans 5:1-8

  • KEY WORD—”JUSTIFICATION.”

  • KEY VERSERomans 4:5.

  • KEY PHRASE—”A GUILTY WORLD NEEDS JUSTIFICATION BEFORE GOD.”

Home Readings.

Romans has been called the greatest epistle of the greatest apostle, because it contains the clearest and fullest teachings of Christian truth. Luther urged that it should be memorized. At any rate, let us read all of it often. For the family altar read:

WRITER—Paul. He was born of pure Jewish descent at Tarsus, the capital of Cilicia, in Asia Minor, 80 miles northwest of Antioch. While Christ was preaching he was receiving his education from Gamaliel, the great teacher of the Pharisees. Like all Jewish boys he learned a trade, that of tent-making. He became a leading persecutor of those whom he believed were following a false messiah, but was miraculously converted while on a heresy-hunting trip to Damascus. After his baptism and commission to preach the gospel, he retired to Arabia for study and meditation for three years. He then evangelized Cilicia for three years, worked one year at Antioch, went forth on his three great missionary journeys, founded many churches, wrote thirteen epistles, and after a life of constant and exalted sacrifices, sealed his testimony with his own lifeblood.

THE CHURCH AT ROME Founded not by Peter, for he confined his ministry to the Jews, Galatians 2:9, but most likely by visitors from Rome who were converted at Pentecost.

OCCASION

  1. The Jews and Gentiles were inclined not to recognize one another as having equal standing in grace.

  2. They were inclined to the error that the more they sinned the more grace would abound, Romans 6:1.

PURPOSE—To show that the need of Jew and Gentile alike is justification by faith, and sanctification by the Holy Spirit.

PLACE OF WRITING—Corinth, while on third missionary journey.

DATE—58 A.D.

GREAT FACTS:—

  1. Guilt.

  2. Justification

  3. Sanctification.

  4. Jews.

  5. Consecration.

Great Fact I. The World’s Guilt Before God.

Romans 1; Romans 2; Romans 3:20.

After Paul’s greeting to the church, and his thanksgiving for their faith, he then glories in the gospel, Romans 1:16, for its power, and for the righteousness it reveals and imparts. In Romans 1:19-23 he describes how some of the former worshipers of God, who were the descendants of Noah, drifted into heathenism. In graphic words he told of the seven downward steps that has landed the millions of the race into heathen darkness.

  1. They would not worship or obey God.

  2. They attributed to luck and chance things they should have traced to God.

  3. Their hearts became perverted and darkened.

  4. Relied upon their own wisdom instead of upon that which comes from above.

  5. Although cultured in other respects, in religion they became fools, or superstitious.

  6. Against the solemn warning in the Ten Commandments they set up idols in the forms of Jupiter, dogs, cats, serpents, etc.

With this turning away from the true and living God, the Gentiles went into the blackest night of vice and cruelty, so that virtue and conscience seemed almost extinct. Paul next reminds the Jews that although they possessed scriptures, the covenants and the Sabbaths, yet they so dishonoured God that His name was blasphemed among the Gentiles because of them, Romans 2:24. The conclusion is given in Romans 3:9-20.

LESSON—History, conscience and the scriptures all bear witness to the fact that “there is none righteous, no, not one.” In thought, word, deed or motive we are all guilty before God. Neither can the outward observances of religion, nor the Law save us. The Law simply gives us a knowledge of sin. The wife of a drunkard once found her husband with torn clothes, matted hair, and bruised face, asleep after a drunken revel. She had a portrait of him taken in all his wretched condition, and placed it beside another which showed him handsome and well dressed as he had been in other days. When he became sober and saw the two pictures he awakened to his true condition and arose to a better life. The picture did not save him, but it showed him his true state. Thus we should be aroused by Paul’s wonderful picture of the degradation to which sin leads.

Great Fact II. The Gospel Remedy Is Justification by Faith.

Romans 3:21-5:11.

Justification means that God freely gives that righteousness that man can neither merit nor otherwise obtain, and yet without which he must perish. “It is like a house that with open door invites ALL MEN to take shelter from the coming storm of judgement, but for THE BELIEVER it is like a broad and effectual shield that wards off all condemnation.”

  1. Grace is the SOURCE of justification, Romans 3:24, because it originated in the mercy and loving kindness of God. God provided It, Christ performed it, and the Holy Spirit applies it.

  2. The blood of Jesus Christ is the GROUND of justification, Romans 5:9, because Christ’s atonement met every claim of eternal justice, and God can justly accept us when clothed in His righteousness.

  3. Faith is the MEANS by which we receive justification, Romans 5:1, for faith lays hold upon God’s grace and Christ’s sacrifice, and claims them for its personal saving possession.

  4. Works are the EVIDENCE of justification. James 2:4, for real vital faith will manifest itself in real vital works. and holy deeds accompany Heavenly hopes.

The seven fold results of justification are seen in Romans 5:1-5.

  1. Peace with God.

  2. Access into grace.

  3. Rejoicing in the hope of God’s final triumph over all evil.

  4. Glory in tribulation.

  5. Patience.

  6. Deepening religious experience.

  7. Love of God shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Spirit.

Justification therefore takes care of all the sin and guilt upon us, buries all this sin and guilt upon us, buries all this sin and guilt in the grave of Christ, and sits us in Heavenly places together with Him.

Great Facts III. The Sanctification of the Believer.

Romans 5:12-8:39.

As Christ in justification delivers us from the guilt of sin, so the Holy Spirit in sanctification delivers us from the power and habits of sin. From the first Adam we inherited a sinful nature and physical death. In Christ the believer receives a spiritual nature, eternal life and glory. The signs of sanctification are:—

  1. Crucifixion of sin, Romans 6:6;

  2. the Holy Spirit dwells in us, Romans 8:9,

  3. the Spirit leads us into all the privileges of Sonship, Romans 8:14;

  4. the Spirit pleads with God for us, Romans 8:26;

  5. We are more and more conformed to the image of God’s Son, Romans 8:29;

  6. Nothing is able to separate us from the love of God in Christ, Romans 8:28-29.

In the seventh chapter is seen the struggle in the soul between the law of God and the law of sin, between grace and corruption, but the blessed eighth chapter where the work of the Spirit is mentioned 19 times, is full of the believer’s deliverance, privileges and assurance. In Romans 8:28 the believer sits in God’s arm-chair, and in Romans 8:29 has around him God’s golden chain of Foreknowledge, Predestination, Calling, Justification and Glorification.

Great Facts IV. God’s Dealing With the Jews.

Romans 9; Romans 10; Romans 11.

Here the apostle sorrows over the Jews’ rejection of Christ, but assures them that the gospel does not set aside the covenants God has made with them. He claims, however, that God had a perfect right to turn to the Gentiles, because the Jews would not seek righteousness by faith, Romans 9:32. In Romans 10; Paul pleads with the Jews to confess with their mouths the Lord Jesus, and to believe on Him with their hearts. In Romans 11; we are told that the blindness of Israel is not a perpetual blindness, and that a time is coming when the Jews, as a nation, shall be restored to God’s favour, and become a still greater blessing to the Gentiles, Romans 11:12-15. In the meantime the Gentiles are not to boast for they could be as easily cast off as were the Jews, Romans 11:21.

LESSON—It is as if a king returned from a far country and found his whole kingdom in revolt. He first appeals to that section with which he has the closest and tenderest ties. But his claims are ignored and treated with contempt. Collecting, however, a loyal few he begins to subdue his own provinces. Thus, Jesus, King of the Jews, first came into His own, but when His own received Him not, He, with His apostles, turned unto the Gentiles, and not in vain as the history of the centuries has proved. However, the conversion of the Jews is one of the important events of the future, and will mean the enrichment of the world.

Great Facts V. The Christian’s Consecration and Duties.

Romans 12; Romans 13; Romans 14; Romans 15; Romans 16.

Out of gratitude to God for all His spiritual blessings, we are to yield our bodies as living, willing and daily sacrifices unto Him. The old dispensation was one of blood and death. Daily, weekly, monthly and yearly the altars ran with the blood of slain beasts. But the gospel says, “No more!” For there has been offered one sacrifice for sins forever, and what is wanted now is YOUR bodies, not the bodies of beasts and of birds, but YOUR bodies, and LIVING, not dead, Romans 12:1-2. In the spirit of meekness and faithfulness we should use the spiritual gifts God has given us, Romans 12:3-8. What the Christian’s attitude should be to those inside the church is given in Romans 12:9-16, and to those outside the church in Romans 12:17-21. The Christian’s attitude as a citizen is given in Romans 13:1-10, and watchfulness for the Lord’s return enjoined in Romans 13:11-14. The Christian’s attitude to those who are weak in the faith is given in Romans 14; Romans 15:3, and then this great epistle closes with personal matters, greetings and benedictions.

LESSON—Romans makes much of the believer being “In Christ.” In Christ for Pardon and purity, for rest and resurrection. These words were very familiar and precious to the early Christians. So much so that they inscribed them on the tombs of their departed friends. And mourners wiped away their tears when they saw over their loved one’s graves. “In Christ!

Questions on the Lesson.

  1. Why has Romans been called the greatest epistle?

  2. Give key word and key verse.

  3. Tell what you know about Paul.

  4. Tell about the church of Rome.

  5. What the occasion of the book?

  6. Give place of writing and facts.

  7. Give the seven downward steps to heathenism.

  8. Show that the Jews were no better than the Gentiles.

  9. Explain how the Law gives us a knowledge of sin.

  10. What does justification mean?

  11. What the source, ground, means and evidence of same?

  12. Give the seven-fold results.

  13. What does sanctification do?

  14. Give the six signs of same.

  15. Contrast seventh and eighth chapters.

  16. Why did God turn to the Gentiles?

  17. Show that Israel’s blindness is not perpetual.

  18. Contrast the old dispensation sacrifices with the gospel sacrifice.

  19. What should be the Christian’s attribute to those inside the church, to those outside and to those weak in the faith?

  20. Tell of the blessedness of being in Christ.

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