People speak about a ‘moral law’, but they have only a vague idea of what is meant by the expression. They say, ‘Live by the ten commandments’ or, ‘Do to others what you would have them do to you’ (Matt 7:12 NIV). They quote scripture, but in so doing put themselves and others under bondage. That is not Christianity. The Christian has been delivered from the law.
‘How can a man be just with God?’ (Job 9:2). This is the great question in Romans. In the first eight chapters of Romans we learn the answer. Sinners want justification.
There are two aspects of justification, so there are two parts to Romans 1 to 8.
Justification ‘from sins’ – clearing me of my old state,’ (Rom 1:1-5:11)
Justification ‘of life’ – putting me into a new place before God. (Rom 5:12-8:39)
How does the New Testament distinguish between the earthly hopes and promises to Israel, and the heavenly hopes of the church? It is absolutely impossible to set aside the promises to Israel – the church odes not replace them [as modern ‘replacement theology’ and would suggest*]. God had made promises to His people which […]
Dublin – January 1878 To Mr P … You see the difference there is between the epistles to the Romans, to the Ephesians, and to the Colossians. In the epistle to the Romans, man is considered as living in sin, then we are dead to sin. It is deliverance from the old man in this […]
Even though he had never been to Rome, Paul’s heart was at home with many there. He knew the faith and service of some, and wrote to them as an assembly. As the apostle of the nations, he had his service for Christ for those in Rome.
He had a comprehensive service, embracing all the counsels of God, bringing the elements of the gospel together, to make the saints complete in Christ. The fruit will be hereafter. The apostle cites many who served diligently in the sphere in which God had placed them – from those who were of note among the apostles, to Phoebe, the deaconess or servant of the church at Cenchrea, who had been a helper of many. God does not forget any.
In the providence of God’s ordered path, Paul witnessed to all the authorities from the Sanhedrim to the Emperor, and the Lord’s grace sustained him in it. His apostolic service was to close in unwilling captivity, and Paul is delivered by the Jews to the Gentiles to suffer in grace, like his Lord, at their hands. Of course, Paul did not face it perfectly like the Lord Himself: He did so in the calmness of unvarying perfection, drinking the cup none else could, and that, if it could be, was more perfect than anything.
The Christian should not put a stumbling-block in his brother’s way. It is uncharitable to lead a weaker brother to violate his conscience – that would drive him away from Christ, as if Christ made the one for whom He died lawless. We should not despise the weak brother or sister because of the scruples which they would not have, if they understood deliverance. Conversely, the weak person should not judge the strong, charging him with evil because of his freedom. God will be the Judge. ‘Every one of us shall give account of himself to God’ (v.12).
I have been working on some of Darby’s papers on Romans. The summaries currently being produced are based on his paper Exposition of the Epistle to the Romans. I have now reached Romans 8 (hopefully in experience as well as doctrine). When completed, I want to add some extra notes from a simpler paper Outline of the Epistle to the Romans. Then further items from the Synopsis and other sources can be added.
Judgment falls on all men:
On the heathen – Rom 1:18-32
On the moraliser – Rom 2:1-16
On the Jew – Rom 2:17-3:20
We need to understand two aspects of man’s state of sin
Man as living in evil ways, alive to sin and lust. According to Romans, death must come in to free him from the evil – redemption by grace.
Man as dead towards God. Ephesians treats man as dead in sins and gives us new creation.