The Book of Romans
The Jewish People
"I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you:...Genesis 12:3
Who was Paul?
Paul was born about 10 A.D. in Celicia, Asia Minor, the farthest eastern corner of the Roman Empire in the port city of Tarsus. Paul was Jewish and he became a Pharisee whose love for God and fidelity to His law was his ideal. He felt the first Christians were damaging the unity of the Jewish community. He assisted in the stoning death of Stephen (Acts 7:58-8:3) and had authorization to persecute Christians as far away as Damascus. It was on the road to Damascus where Paul had an encounter with the risen Christ that would not only change his life, but the lives of many forever. He was beheaded by Nero around 67A.D.
Dates of the Epistle have ranged from A.D. 53 to A.D. 58
Who was Paul writing to?
In Romans 1:7 Paul writes, “To all God’s beloved in Rome, who are called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. And Romans 1:8 “First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.” Again in Romans 1:11.…that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.”
It is obvious that Paul appreciated the chance to interact with and benefit from contact with these believers, whose faith had become “common knowledge throughout the empire”. Romans 1:8-13
And how did Paul feel about these Christians? “I myself am satisfied about you, my brethren, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” Romans 15:14.…’by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.”
The Mystery of the Gospel
The Book of Genesis tells us how God began the process of selecting His “Chosen People”. Abraham and Sarah had a son named Ishmael who was conceived by an Egyptian handmaid. Thirteen years later, Abraham and Sarah had a son conceived by Sarah called Isaac. Isaac was chosen to be the patriarch of “the children of the promise”. This brought about a family feud between the Jews and Arabs that continues to this day.
“For God so loved the World that He gave His only begotten Son, so whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
To believe in Jesus takes the act of one’s will. We (the Gentiles) and the Jews who have not been hardened and temporarily blinded have chosen life. Therefore, John 3:16 is substantiated by God’s love not just for His chosen people (the Jews) but for all mankind. The Jewish people, in part, have been blinded to the identity of Messiah temporarily until the full number of Gentiles have come in, and then shall “all Israel be saved” Romans 11:25-26
So then, how were we allowed into the kingdom? Romans 11:7 “What then? Israel failed to obtain what it sought. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened as it is written, ‘God gave them a spirit of stupor, eyes that should not see and ears that should not hear, down to this very day.” and Romans 11:11 “So I ask have they stumbled so as to fall? By no means! But through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous.”
We have benefited from Israel’s partial and temporary blindness to Messiah Jesus, giving us the Gospel (Good News) and the opportunity to come to repentance and redemption.
The Israelites have indeed paid a high price for being God’s chosen. He has held them to a higher degree of holiness because they were given these privileges: sonship, the glory, the covenant, the giving of the law, the worship…the promise, and …the patriarchs. “Israel is my first-born son”. Exodus 4:22
So, time and again we see them humbled and broken. And time again we see God receiving them back with merciful love. For example, the holocaust not only failed to achieve its goal, it brought the Jewish people back to the promised land and reestablished Israel as a sovereign nation after centuries of exile. God fulfilled His promise, “ I will gather you from all the countries, and bring you into your own land” Ezekiel 36:24
“According to the revelation of the Mystery which was kept secret for long ages but is now disclosed and through the prophetic writings is made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith-to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.” Romans 16:25-27
…..”Those who were not my people
I will call ‘my people’
And her who was not beloved I will call ‘my beloved.’
‘And in the very place where it was said to them,
‘You are not my people,’
‘They will be called ‘sons of the living God.” Romans 9:…25-26
“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and wickedness of men who by their wickedness suppress the truth. Romans 1:18 “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malignity, they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them.” Romans 1:24-32
Even though no human initiative could reverse the consequences of sin that began with Adam, God Himself offers us a way out. If we accept His invitation to trust Jesus as a new Adam, with a faith that opens us to the transforming power of His death and resurrection, our relationship with God can be reestablished. Paul calls this readmission to God’s good graces “justification”. However, as long as we live, we are at risk of sinning and losing God’s fellowship again. But praise God, He sent us the Holy Spirit to give us the strength to carry out His will and remain in his favor. Romans 6:1-8:39
Sins primary effects -separation from God, mistrust, selfishness, even death-have oppressed humankind. This is the effects of original sin.
Salvation is a free gift of God though the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.
Romans 2:6-11 “For He will render to every man according to his works: to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, He will give eternal life; but for those who are factious and do not obey the truth, but obey wickedness, there will be wrath and fury. There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil, the Jew first and also the Greek(meaning gentile), but glory and honor and peace for every one who does good, the Jew first and also the Greek. For God shows no partiality.”
“Jesus came not to abolish the law and prophets, but to fulfill them.” Matthew 5:17
The First Century Gentiles and Jews who followed Christ met together in unity. A dispute arose among the Jews whether the Gentiles should observe the Mosaic Law. The “Law” is actually the Torah…The Word of God given to Moses on Mt. Sinai. Of itself, the Mosaic Law was both good and holy because it revealed God’s will, but it provided no spiritual power for obeying it.
After much debate, it was agreed that the Gentiles did not have to obey the Mosaic Law.
“So the law is holy, and the commandment is holy and just and good.” Romans 7:12 But how can this be? Aren’t we saved by Grace? And what about Romans 7:7 “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means!”
Well then, if the law is good and God’s commandments are holy, why aren’t they the remedy for sin? Because God has a better way, a way in which sin can find no opportunity. We call that way Grace, and it is the only weapon against sin. And because of Grace we enter into a new relationship with the law. It remains a guide, but Jesus Himself has now given us His grace and power to keep us holy. See Romans 8:13-15
There is more to our lives than the future hope of heaven. We don’t have to focus solely on avoiding sin. Through the power of Jesus Christ we can live in love. More and more, we can love and forgive and reach out to those who are suffering, and pray for a world in turmoil.
All throughout our lives God rains His grace down on us through the power of the Holy Spirit. How can I tell if I am living by the power of the Holy Spirit at a given moment of the day, or if I am living by the flesh? We can examine ourselves periodically during the day to see if we are experiencing peace, joy, love, and the other fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23)
“To set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6
And when we perform good works we should do so without any regard for reward from man as stated in Romans 2:29 “He is a Jew who is one inwardly, and real circumcision is a matter of the heart, spiritual and not literal. His praise is not from men but from God.”
Our righteous acts must flow from the change brought about in us when we embrace Jesus and allow His Holy Spirit to work through us. Then the good we do now reflects the goodness that God has brought about in us.
The Bible is full of laws that are incorporated in our daily lives and many we use in our Christian walk.
1) Laws of Government- Judges 11:30-39 Judges 2:13-18 Job 1:5 Exodus 19:3-8 I Samuel 10:24
2)Laws of Theocracy-Census, Luke 2:1-3 Taxes, I Samuel 8:10-18 Ezra 7:24
3)Military Laws-Numbers 1:2,3;26:2 Numbers 31:3-7 Numbers 1:49 Treatment of Captives Numbers 21:2,3, 35 31:17-18 Deut20:14-18 Josh 11:14
4)Criminal Laws-Perjury Lev.19:12 Exodus 20:16 Obstructing Justice-Exodus 23:1,2,6 Lev.19;15 Psalms 82;2 Treason 2 Samuel 15:10-12 Adultery -Exodus 20:14 Deut 5:18 Rape Deut 22:22-25 Prostitution -Deut 23:17 Murder - Exodus 20:13 Gen 9:6 Exodus 21:12 Assault -Exodus 21:18,26 Exodus 21:19 Kidnapping- Exodus 21:16 Deut 24:7 Theft Exodus 20:15 Exodus 222:1-12 Deut 23:24,25 Arson- Exodus 22:6
5)Domestic Relation Laws - Marriage- Genesis 2:18,24 Genesis 1:27,28 I Cor 7:2 I Tim 3:2 Lev 21:7,22:13 Is 50:1 I Cor 7:10,11 Jer 3:8 Mat 19:3-9 Mark 10:2-13 Luke 16:18 Num 30:3-5 Eph 6:4 Deut 21:18-22 Prov 22:6 Deut 21:18-21 Prov 22:15 Estates- Num 27:9-11 Real Estate Lev 25:23-28 Mode of Transfer Deed Jer 32:9-14 Jer 32:10,12 Social Security-the poor- Exodus 22:25-27 Lev 19:9,10 Deut 15:7-11 Luke 3:11 Luke 14:13,14 Handicapped- Lev 19:14 Deut. 27:18 Luke 14:13,14 Lev 19:14 Luke 14:12-14
6)Contracts, Debts-Exodus 22:25 Deut 15:1-3 Neh.5:11 Deut 15:1-3 Exodus 22:25 Deut 23:19,20 Exodus 22:25 Lev 25:35-37 Deut 23:19,20 Ezeh 18:1-13
7)Religious Laws- Tithes-Lev 27:30-33 Genesis 14:20 2 Chr 31:4-12 mal3:8-11 Mat 23:23 lev 22:17-20 Num 15:1-4 Sabbath-Genesis 2:1-3 Exodus 16:23 Lev 23:3 Num 28:9,10 Deut 5:12-15 Neh 10:31 Ezeh 46:3
8) Legal Procedures-Judges - Exodus 18:13-26 2 Chr 19:4-11 Exodus 18:13-27 Deut 17:9-11 Deut 16:18-20 Tort Laws- Assault Exodus 21:18,19 Exodus 22:6 Lev 24:19,20
Paul’s ministry and travels reflect how the church has been from the earliest days. Christians in Macedonia and Achaia had donated to help the Jerusalem church which was struggling through a famine. In spite of differences in nationality, language and culture they felt connected to one another in Christ. The church today is present on every continent because of Missionaries like Paul.
In Matthew 24:2 Jesus said, “Do you not see all these things? Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another that shall not be thrown down.”
In April A.D. 70 Titus and his Roman army began the siege of Jerusalem trapping tens of thousands of Jews. Before the commencement of battle, Titus allowed anyone desiring to leave could do so without harm. The Gentile Christians had no loyalty to the city of Jerusalem and accepted Titus’s offer. This separation of Gentile and Jews planted the seed for anti-Semitism. The Roman army destroyed the city even to the tearing down of the walls so that not one stone was left on top of the other!
The Jewish People
Without the Jewish people there would be no Christianity. If you took away the prophets, the Word of God, Jesus, Mary, Joseph, the Twelve Disciples and the Apostle Paul you would have no Christianity.
The crucifixion plot of Jesus Christ was carried out by the high priest Caiaphas, a political appointee of Rome by Herod the Great. Caiaphas was an illegitimate priest who was not selected by the Jewish people. Therefore, Jesus was crucified by Rome as political insurrectionist considered too dangerous to live. He was a threat to Herod’s grip on Palestine.
Jesus was not a Christian. He was born to Jewish parents. He was dedicated in the Jewish tradition. He also became a Jewish Rabbi.
In Psalm 122:6 David states, “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May they prosper who love you.” Personal prosperity is tied to blessing Israel and the city of Jerusalem.
Scriptures verify that prosperity, Genesis 12:3 Psalm 122:6, Divine Healing, Luke 7:1-5 and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit (Acts 10) came first to Gentiles who blessed the Jewish people.
What you do to the Jews will happen to you. Where is the Roman Empire? The Greeks? The Babylonians? The Turks? The Ottoman Empire? And of course Hitler even had his followers burn him to ash as he did the Jews.
But it was Martin Luther whose anti-Semitism was deeply appreciated by Adolf Hitler. In his tract entitled “Concerning the Jews and Their Lives”. In it he stated: Let me give you my honest advice. First, their synagogues or churches should be set on fire. And whatever does not burn up, should be covered or spread over with dirt so that no one may ever be able to see a cinder or stone of it. And this ought to be done for the honor of God and of Christianity in order that God may see that we are Christians…
Secondly, their homes should be broken down and destroyed. Thirdly, they should be deprived of their prayer books and the Talmud in which such idolatry lies, cursing, and blaspheme are taught. Fourthly, their Rabbis must be forbidden under the threat of death to teach anymore…. Fifthly, passport and traveling privileges should be absolutely forbidden to Jews. Let them stay at home. Sixthly, they ought to be stopped for usury. For this reason, as said before, everything they possess they stole and robbed us through their usury, for they have no other means of support. Seventhly, let the young and strong Jews and Jewesses be given the flail, the axe, the hoe, the spade, the distaff, and spindle, and let them earn their bread by the sweat of their noses as is enjoined upon Adam’s children. We ought to drive the lazy bones out of our system.
If however, we are afraid that they might harm us personally, or our wives, children, servants, cattle, et cetera…then let us apply the same cleverness (expulsion) as the other nations, such as France, Spain, Bohemia ,et cetera…and settle with them for that which they have extorted from us, and after having it divided up fairly, let us drive them out of the country for all time.
To sum up, dear princes and notables who have Jews in your domains, if this advice of mine does not suit you, then find a better one so that you and we may all be free from this inseparable Jewish burden…the Jews.
Two days after writing this Martin Luther died.
Adolf Hitler loved Luther’s remarks. In fact, the first large-scale violent persecution of the Jews in November 1938, was a pious operation performed in honor of the anniversary of Martin Luther’s birthday. Hitler slaughtered six million Jews, claiming that it was “the will of God.” In contrast, Rabbi David Rosen said of Pope John Paul II, “ No pope has devoted himself as much to advancing positive relations between the Christian world and the Jewish people as this pope. He may indeed be described as a hero of reconciliation.”
Have you ever wondered why the United States of America is the only true ally of Israel and the only Super Power in the world with more natural resources and human prosperity?
Gentiles are warned by St. Paul to be aware of any spirit of anti-Semitism, any attitude of arrogance toward the Jewish people lest the judgment of God fall on them. Romans 11:20-22
Here is an abridged version of a speech Senator James Inhofe gave before the United States Senate.
“Every new archaeological dig supports the fact that the Jews had a presence in Israel for three thousand years-including coins, cities, pottery, and other cultural artifacts. The Jewish claim predates the claim of any other people in the region. The ancient Philistines are extinct, as are the ancient peoples. They do not have the unbroken line the Israelis have. The first modern Israelis are direct descendants from the original Israelites.
Israel existed as a nation until the time of the Roman Empire. Even after the dispersions of A.D. 70 and A.D.135, a strong Jewish presence remained. The Turks took control seven hundred years ago and ruled until they were defeated by Great Britain in World War I as allies of the Germans. British Field Marshall Edmond Allenly took Jerusalem without firing a shot. Grateful for the contributions Jewish scientists and businessman had made to the war effort, Britain promised in 1917 to set aside certain captured lands (all present-day Israel and Jordan) for a Jewish homeland. There was no outcry over the plan because the land was considered worthless , unable to sustain any sizable population.
Arabs began to repopulate the land only after the Jews reclaimed it and the land had begun to prosper. No nation has longer standing historic claim until 1913; Lebanon,1920; Iraq,1932 Syria, 1941;Jordan,1946; and Kuwait,1961
Israel is a marvel of modern agriculture. She has brought more food out of a desert than any other land. The Arabs should befriend Israel, import Israeli technology, and make the Middle East like Israel, a food exporter.
The Israeli Defense Forces bring to the troubled Middle East great stability. If the Israeli Defense Forces were not able to bring peace in the region, The United States of America would need to commit thousands of troops at the cost of billions of dollars to secure a land that is critical to our national security in as much as the oil-rich Persian Gulf is at stake.
Six million Jews were slaughtered in Europe in World War II. Jews were persecuted in Russia under the Czars, under Communism, and even now. For their own protection and development, the Jews need their homeland. If not there, where? The entire nation of Israel would fit into my home state of Oklahoma seven times.
Israel is an impediment to groups hostile to America. Were it not for our strategic ally, Israel, they would overrun the entire Middle East. We have only one friend in the region we can count on. Israel votes with us in the United Nations more than any other nation, including England, Canada, France and Germany.
The war we face is not against a sovereign nation but against a fluid group of terrorists who move from one country to another. They are almost invisible. We need our alliance with Israel. If we do not stop terrorism in the Middle East, it will be on our shores. I believe the spiritual door was opened for an attack against the United States because the policy of our government bas been to demand and pressure the Israelis not to retaliate in a significant way against terrorist strikes launched against them.
Since its independence in 1948, Israel has fought four wars: the War for Independence (1948-1949); the 1956 War, the Sinai Campaign; the Six-Day War in 1967; and the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In all four cases, Israel was attacked. They were never the aggressor. They won all of these wars against impossible odds.
In Genesis 13:14-17, the Bible says; “The Lord said unto Abram…’Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art…for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever…’”
Here is a list of those who conquered Israel throughout history. It is quite clear that no nation could have survived to this day without Divine protection.
Assyrians conquered northern kingdom of Israel.
Hezekiah successfully withstands Sennacherib’s attack on Jerusalem.
Babylonians capture Jerusalem.
Nebuchadnezzar destroys city and first temple and exiles Jews to Babylon.
Cyrus allows Jews to return to Jerusalem from Babylon.
Alexander the Great conquers Palestine.
Ptolemy I captures Jerusalem.
General Pompey and his Roman legions conquer Jerusalem.
King Herod captures Jerusalem.
Jerusalem is demolished by Titus: survivors are exiled or sold into slavery.
Persians conquer Jerusalem.
Emperor Heracles recaptures the city.
Caliph Omar captures Jerusalem.
Seljuhs devastate Jerusalem.
Crusades led by Godfrey De Bouillon capture Jerusalem.
Kurdish General Saladin captures Jerusalem.
Mamluk sultans rule in Jerusalem.
Black Death plaque hits Jerusalem.
Ali of Egypt rules the country.
I hope these pages have edified you and help you in your spiritual growth. May God Bless You. Amen.