Thoughts from Romans 1-8
This morning we are going to drop down on a couple of passages from Romans 1-8 as
we consider some of the major themes of these chapters
-Written by Paul to the church in Rome who very eager to visit them that he might
encourage them in their faith in Christ and build them up
-A dense book wherein Paul in a very pastoral and caring way does a lot of explaining of key
concepts as it regards salvation. The book gets very practical in chapters 12-15 thought
-Romans 1-8 a major division of the book
-As I read and re read Romans 1-8 I noticed that link these chapters together
"Sin" -The word sin occurs 44 times in Romans 1-8
"Righteousness" - occurs 25 times in Romans 1-8
"Jesus, Christ, Jesus Christ" occurs 50 times in Romans 1-8
"Law" occurs 44 times
"Death/dead" occurs 43 times
"Faith" occurs 26 times in Romans 1-8, "Believe" occurs another 6 times
Outside of Romans 1-8, in chapters 9-15 these terms occur very infrequently. This reveals
to us the emphasis of Romans 1-8.
Further note: "God" mentioned, named, spoken of 163 times in Book of Romans. Reminding
us whose words we are reading, who we must heed, who we must reverence, who we are
AS FOR TODAY's lesson I have 2 sections that capture what Paul is trying to explain in
Romans 1-8: The bad news, the good news
Note: Key verse to Romans is Romans 1:17***** which says "For in the gospel the
righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as
it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”
****Note: Paul in his introduction starts by talking about the good news of how God has
made a way for us to be saved by faith in Jesus, but he quickly he backs up and talks in
great detail why we need Jesus so much. This makes sense because the preciousness of
Jesus is magnified by our knowledge of how desperate our condition without Christ is.
I. THE BAD NEWS
1. Apart from Christ we are all sinners, under the judgment of God, and far worse than
we care to think
In Romans 1 Paul says; "The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the
godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19
since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to
them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and
divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that
people are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as
God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were
darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools23 and exchanged the
glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and
animals and reptiles. 24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts
to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged
the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the
Creator-who is forever praised. Amen.
They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things
rather than the Creator-who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them
over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural
ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were
inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and
received in themselves the due penalty for their error. 28 Furthermore, just as they did not
think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved
mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29 They have become filled with every
kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit
and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful;
they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding,
no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32 Although they know God's righteous decree that those
who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also
approve of those who practice them"
We are far worse than we care to admit: Romans 3:9-18. READ
What shall we conclude then? Do we have any advantage? Not at all! For we have already
made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under the power of sin. 10 As it is
written:"There is no one righteous, not even one; 11 there is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God. 12 All have turned away, they have together become
worthless; there is no one who does good, not even one." 13 "Their throats are open
graves; their tongues practice deceit." "The poison of vipers is on their lips."14 "Their
mouths are full of cursing and bitterness." 15 "Their feet are swift to shed blood; 16 ruin
and misery mark their ways,17 and the way of peace they do not know." 18 "There is no
fear of God before their eyes.
Just so we don't get the wrong idea about Paul and think that he speaks as one "above the
fray": In Romans 7:7-25 Paul in a very personal way speaks of his own struggles with sin.
Often Paul, just like us, found himself doing the things he hated, the things he knew were
wrong in God's sight. This caused him a lot of grief
2. MORE BAD NEWS: No amount of effort on our parts, no amount of attempts to keep
God's Law can save us
In Romans 2 and following Paul challenges his Jewish hearers regarding any pride they
might have as it regarded the Law and there trying to keep it. His message is simple. The
Law is good, perfect, holy, righteous, but it cannot save, rather it condemns the one who
breaks it. Furthermore, the Law exposes our sins all the more. The Law of God exposes in
great detail the extent of sin in our lives
Side note: While the Law does these things the Law of God ultimately leads us to Christ
who perfectly kept the Law and who died as a blood sacrifice for our sins. He shed His blood
that our sins may be forgiven and washed away and that his righteousness may be
applied/imputed to us (Romans 5:12-21)
II. THE GOOD NEWS!
HAVING FACED THE BAD NEWS -that apart from Christ we are sinners and under the
judgment and wrath of God, ROMANS 1-8 IS FILLED WITH GOOD NEWS.
Note Romans 1:16-18 says; "For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power
of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.
17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed-a righteousness that is by faith
from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."
Romans 3:21-22 follows this up saying; "But now apart from the law the righteousness of
God has been made known, to which the Law and the Prophets testify. 22 This
righteousness is given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe."
God has made a way to be reconciled to Him and "RIGHT" before Him- this way is by
FAITH, faith placed in Jesus Christ!!!!!
1. NEAT THING: SALVATION HAS ALWAYS BEEN BY FAITH- the example of Abraham
In our text, in speaking of how salvation is by faith alone, Paul tells how Abraham came to
be saved (Abraham's salvation and ours are connected)-- In Romans 4:1-3 Paul writes
"What then shall we say that Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh, discovered in
this matter? 2 If, in fact, Abraham was justified by works, he had something to boast
about-but not before God. 3 What does Scripture say? "Abraham believed God, and it was
credited to him as righteousness."
It was not the Law that saved Abraham (For Abraham pre dated the Law). God made a
promise to Abraham, Abraham believed God and God credited that to him as righteousness.
When it comes to Christ the God declares to us that to be reconciled to Him we must
confess and repent of our sin and put our faith in Christ as Savior and Lord. God rewards
this step of faith as He did Abraham.
More good news
1. Because of our faith in Christ the righteousness of Christ is imputed to our account
(which means that when God the Father sees us, He sees us in Christ, as holy, as ones
clothed with the righteousness of Christ. This is what makes us acceptable to God)
2. Because of our faith in Jesus: All our sins are forgiven. In Romans 4:7-8 (which comes
from Psalm 32) it says; "Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins
are covered. Blessed is the one whose sin the Lord will never count against them."
3. Because of our faith in Jesus we are the people of God -loved by Him (Romans 1:7), a
royal priesthood, a holy nation, precious to Him, possessors of eternal life, his sons and
daughters who have access to Him.
4. Because of our faith in Christ we have peace with God (Romans 5:1). This peace was
made by the shed blood of Christ (v.9)
In Romans 5:1-2 it says "Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have
peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by
faith into this grace in which we now stand."
To have peace with God is a blessing for it means that we are no longer regarded as the
enemies of God. The hostility is ended - ours toward God and God toward us- because of
our sin and rebellion against Him
5. Because of our faith in Christ the Day of Judgment holds no fear for us - Romans 8:1
In Romans 8:1-3 it says; "Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in
Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you
free from the law of sin and death. 3 For what the law was powerless to do because it was
weakened by the flesh,God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a
Judgment day is a real day. Romans is not the only book that mentions this. Jesus often
spoke of the Judgment to come. Our only recourse is to be reconciled to God, to turn in
faith and repentance to Christ.
2 CAUTIONARY NOTES
1. God's grace and the forgiveness we have in Christ is not a free pass for us to sin and
do whatever we want
In Romans 6:1-2 it says; "What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace
may increase? 2 By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any
We must not forget that we have been called to obedience, to holy living, to not living as
the world, to not having the same values and standards as those who do not know Christ.
In Romans 6:11-14 it also says; "In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive
to God in Christ Jesus. 12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you
obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer any part of yourself to sin as an instrument of
wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death
to life; and offer every part of yourself to him as an instrument of righteousness. 14 For sin
shall no longer be your master, because you are not under the law, but under grace."
We are to pursue holiness. The Word of God clearly tells us what is right in the sight of God
and what is wrong. We must offer ourselves to God and to righteousness.
2. Living for Jesus is not without it's challenges
a. Our own flesh
As noted early, from Romans 7 wherein Paul speaks of doing the wrong that he doesn't
want to do, while Satan is a defeated foe and we are alive in Christ, we still are going to
struggle with our flesh. The good news is this: God has given us his Holy Spirit, the Spirit of
God who helps us in our weakness. More good news: Jesus is our advocate- when we sin he
speaks to the Father in our defense (1 John 2:1-2)
As for our lives as Christians not being easy. Paul writes of this in Romans 8- but he writes
not in a dejected fashion but in a triumphant way saying
b. The hostility of Satan and the world
"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be
revealed in us" v.18.
We would do well to remember this! To remember that greater is He who is in and with us,
than he who is in the world. We do well when we remember that "And those he
predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also
glorified" Romans 8:30. God will finish the good work He began in us.
We do well when we remember "that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,
neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor
anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in
Christ Jesus our Lord" Romans 8:38-39