Friday, November 26

Pauline Epistles: Romans
(chapter 4-6, essay 4)

At the end of the last essay we had left off with a distinction made between the Gentiles not aware of the Law, but sometimes obeying it, and Jews, who new the Law, but fail to obey it. Both can be saved by Christ. But where does the Law come in? How does faith? So we continue, but ponder these questions as we proceed.

Can man be justified by works? Paul examines one important patriarch, Abraham. Why? Well, it turns out Paul uses this to examine whether righteousness requires either obedience to the Law (for example circumcision). It turns out, Abraham was declared righteous because of his faith before he was circumcised. This is an important message for Gentiles (Romans). Those who live by the law, and have no faith, this way is "wrath" (v 15). I think "where there is no law there is no transgression" is speaking specifically about circumcision (and perhaps dietary laws). The Roman had no such laws, and as such, should not be faulted for breaking them. The faithful then are not in conflict with God (via the Law) since we have been justified by faith. We rejoice in our hope of the glory of God. We (do or should) rejoice in our suffering. As suffering => perseverance => character => hope. And hope doesn't disappoint because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit,whom he has given us (Rom 5v5). I tripped over that thought. I had expected Paul to say, hope would not be disappointed because of somesuch like "because it is God we are counting on". But no, it is because we have love in our hearts. I'm going to have to get back to that thought.

Going gaily on (so to speak), Just as sin entered the world via Adam, we were saved by one, Christ. But since Christ has justified our sin, should we do ahead and sin away? Heck no (duh)! We should count ourselves dead to sin, and alive to God in Christ Jesus, but become slaves to become slaves of righteousness.

How about the questions I asked before I started? Well, I think both questions were answered quite well. That means at some level I'm in synch with what Paul is trying to say, in that I'm responding to his prompting and asking the questions he is intending to answer.

I'll continue this tomorrow. It was a busy day today. I'll get back to Chapter 5v5 and continue on.