Pastor Tod Kennedy
From Romans 1, Foundations for ministry, God’s righteousness and faith in the gospel, rejection of God’s revelation
- Jesus Christ is the son of David (human) and the son of God (deity), and the Old Testament and his resurrection verify who he is.
- Paul, an apostle and servant of Jesus Christ, prayed and worked so the Roman believers would grow in the faith, be established in the faith, and that all will be encouraged in the faith.
- Paul was obligated to spread the gospel, was eager to do so, and not ashamed of the gospel.
- Eternal salvation can be gained by believing in Jesus Christ for it.
- God is righteous to forgive sins and grant eternal life because he judged all sin on Jesus Christ.
- The knowledge that God exists, his nature, and that he is the creator is available to all people.
- People who reject God do so of their free will, and when people persist in this rejection, God gives them over to their destructive sin patterns.
From Romans 2, Self righteous judging, God judges all people, religious hypocrisy
- It is wrong to judge others—to self righteously criticize, to ascribe guilt, and to pass condemnation as if one were the righteous standard and had that authority. God will judge those who judge others.
- God is the impartial judge of all people—believers and unbelievers.
- Many Jewish believers did not do what they said they believed, and so were self righteous hypocrites. Believers should understand Scripture and correctly apply it.
From Romans 3, All people are sinful, justified freely through faith
- God gave the Bible through Israel for Israel to record, to spread, and to protect.
- God is faithful to Israel even though she did not always believe him.
- All people, Jew and Gentile, fail to meet God’s righteous standard and are judged as sinful.
- God will justify anyone who believes in his Son, Jesus Christ.
- God will not justify anyone who attempts to gain justification by obeying the law.
- Romans 3 uses words that identify and explain our so great salvation—righteousness, unrighteous, condemnation, sin, sinned, justified, justifier, faith, believe, grace, redemption, and propitiation.
From Romans 4, Righteousness is credited through faith
- Abraham and David illustrate the truth that God gives His righteousness to people through faith (to people who believe him) and not by works.
- Faith righteousness was credited to Abraham before he was circumcised.
- God promised Abraham and his seed that he will be heir of the world through faith, before the Mosaic Law was given.
- Paul concludes that God works by grace through faith, not by law and works.
- Abraham is a lesson to all of us that we should believe God’s promises. Paul refers to Genesis 15:6 to demonstrate that justification is through faith—believing God’s promise.
From Romans 5, Justification gives many benefits
- I can know I am justified because I have believed Jesus died for my sins—he substituted himself for me—and arose from the dead (Romans 5.1,6,8,9,16,18).
- Since I am justified by God I also have peace with him because Jesus paid the sin debt and now I am God’s adopted son or daughter (Romans 5.1).
- I can confidently expect to see God’s glory in heaven. Furthermore, I can rest assured that tests and trouble make me a stronger believer if I trust God with my day to day life (Romans 5.2-4).
- Though I still may sin, because of my spiritual rebirth God no longer thinks of me as helpless, ungodly, a sinner, or His enemy (Romans 5.6,8,10).
- God my heavenly father lets me know that He loves me through the Holy Spirit who now lives inside of me (Romans 5.5).
- Even though death in all its forms came because of sin, it has no authority to dominate me because I possess the free grace gift of justification resulting in eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ (Romans 5.10,17,20-21).
- God’s word tells me what sin is, yet God’s grace is greater than sin and forgives me for my sin (Romans 5.20-21).
From Romans 6, Union with Christ makes the Christian way of life possible
- When anyone believes in Jesus Christ as savior, at that moment that person is united with Christ and identified with Christ (baptized into Christ) in Christ’s death and resurrection. The baptism of the Holy Spirit brings this about (Romans 6.3,4,5; 1 Corinthians 12.12-13; Galatians 3.26-27).
- Because Christ died to sin, we believers also died to sin with him. The one who dies is no longer under the authority of the previous master or king. In this case the sinful nature, personified as a ruler, king, or legal power no longer has authority over the believer. This is a fact (Romans 6.2,6,7,11,18,22).
- We believers need to know this, consider it as true, and apply it or act on this truth every day (Romans 6.6,9,11,12,13).
- We apply the truth of Romans 6 when we stop presenting ourselves to deposed king sin, and instead present ourselves to God for righteousness. We do this each time we are tempted to sin. We say no to sin and yes to God and righteousness (Romans 6.13-14).
- The result is that we, in fact, live in newness of life, in resurrection kind of life. When we apply this in experience we live as God’s slaves, we become more sanctified in life, and we recognize that eternal life is ours (Romans 6.4,5,22).
- The main point that Paul is teaching is that believers do not need to give in to temptations by “king” sin. Sin no longer has authority over us. We are now God’s slaves and as slaves we should obey him. Furthermore, we gain amazing benefits: benefits now from obeying God, and benefits in the future. All of this is possible because when we believed in Christ as savior we were baptized into Christ and so are in relationship or union with him.
From Romans 7, The sinful nature inside
- Jewish believers died to the Law. Therefore they are not under its authority as the way to live the Christian life. Paul built on this to teach that neither the Mosaic Law nor any other set of rules are the standard for Jews or Gentiles to live the Christian life (Romans 7.4,6,8,11,14).
- The Law is good because it teaches God holiness, teaches about sin, and teaches about God’s plan, but it provides no ability (Romans 7.7,12,13).
- The sinful nature uses the Mosaic Law, other rules, and even our conscience to try get us to sin (Romans 7.8,11,13).
- The person and work of Jesus Christ is the basis for the Christian life (Roman 7.4,25).
- Believers serve in the Christian life based upon our present relationship with Christ and through the Holy Spirit (Romans 7.4,6,25).
- Indwelling sin, our sinful nature, is the reason that we sin even when we do not want to and the reason that we do not always do what we should do. So we have an inner conflict between what God (law of God) and we want as believers (new man in Christ), and what our sinful nature wants (law of sin). This is a constant struggle and we lose if we attempt to serve God in our own power (Romans 7.15-25)
Romans 8, The Holy Spirit inside
- Christ’s death on the cross not only provided justification, it also provided sanctification. And the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus—the Holy Spirit living in us and empowering us—makes it possible to live righteously and serve God, not serve sin. We can live the resurrection kind of life now. The challenge to each of us is to consciously rely on the Holy Spirit to live in us and through us each hour of each day (Romans 8.1-13).
- The Holy Spirit gives each of us confidence that we are children of God. But if we do not know God’s word or if we reject God’s word about everlasting life we will be pushing against the Holy Spirit working in us and so may question our everlasting life (Romans 8.14-15).
- Every believer in Christ possesses an inheritance that we will come into in the future—we will be honored with Christ (Romans 8.17).
- The present world is characterized by suffering due to sin, but the future redemption of believers and the creation of the new heavens and new earth will free creation from the curse (Romans 8.18-25).
- There are times, especially during intense suffering, when we do not even know what to pray. At these times the Holy Spirit, who lives inside of each believer, in some way steps in and prays for us to our heavenly father (Romans 8.26-27).
- God promises to work all things in our lives together for our good. Not everything in our lives is good, but God works them all together for good (Romans 8.28).
- God has a salvation plan from start to finish for each believer. We are secure in this plan because it is based upon Jesus Christ and his completed work on the cross, his resurrection, and his intercession for us (Romans 8.29-34).
- God keeps every believer totally secure in his love. No one or nothing can break that love, and this love was demonstrated through Christ and we experience it because we are related to Christ (Romans 8.35-39).