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Romans 1:1-7


Darlene

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Well, I've gone around and around with the Lord about doing a study on Romans. Too often I hear people talk about how their pastors or those that are gifted expositors of the Word, will spend a year or more preaching/teaching on this book alone. Suffice it to say, that sharing my personal study on Romans feels a little intimidating...lol

 

I'm obviously not a theologian, nor a preacher or anything like that that has a fancy title...I'm just me, who is like you, seeking to know Him on a more intimiate level.

 

I tried to suggest to Him that perhaps I might do another book in the Bible like Galations...it feels far less intimidating, and more of what *I* would like to do lol. As He would have it, over the past couple of months He has been burdening my heart that there are specific reasons that *I* need to study Romans, that will be critical in the growth of my walk with the Lord, and that I need to once again, throw caution to the wind and share some of my most vulnerable sides with y'all as I begin this journey with Him in Romans.

 

I just wanna state that *I* had no intention of starting this study today (Just wanted that for the record lol). But here I am, once again, wondering yet knowing, how I got here and am typing this first study.

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I don't know why You gifted (?) me with this inate ability to throw caution to the wind...to jump of that edge into the unknown with a whole host of people watching. I did that out in the world for so many years (most my life actually), until You and I had that most intimate encounter...where there was no one there but You and I...I was full of hopelessness and dispair, I had given up and was checking out, and for some reason, I one LAST time, hit my knees, and prayed a simple, 11 word prayer. "If You don't intervene in my life, I'm going to die".

 

Oh my gosh. How You intervened. Your timing was with precision and perfection as You reached down into the bottomless pit I was in, with Your Holy Hand, picking up my filthy, failure of a life, and enveloping me into Your arms, holding me close as I laid there terrified and ashamed and lost beyond belief.

 

"Peace" is what You spoke to my heart and it was such a foreign language...I couldn't grasp or understand it at all in my head, but it absolutely consumed my heart. As time went on and You began Your ministrations over me, and began to heal my mind, body and spirit, it was as if I was that butterfly that was so quick to run and flutter away from the Flame that is You. But even my heart couldn't deny You...it couldn't deny how powerful and consuming and total Your love is for me. I couldn't understand it, I couldn't quite grasp it but time after time after time Your love would absolutely captivate me. It would and still does, stun me, humble me, and somewhere along the line, I began to fall back in love with You.

 

So, Holy Father, right now, I ask for Your help, Your intervention, Your guidance, Your direction. I ask that You fill my heart and mind with Your precious Holy Spirit who You have gifted us and blessed us with, and who lives in each of our hearts. I pray that Your Spirit would give me the words that You would have me write. I pray that Your Spirit would open my spiritual eyes, and whoever eyes reads these studies, so that our minds might be renewed with Your Truths.

 

I sit here and *sigh* and think "Oh Lord, why me". But You want to know what? It's ok, cause I trust You, and more importantly, I love You with all my heart.

 

In Jesus Precious Name I pray,

 

 

 

I'm going to be doing this study in Romans a little bit different than I had done the Ephesians one. With Ephesians, I used commentaries that I trusted. With Romans, after praying about all this, I feel led to use as this foundation in this study, a book called "Romans...Verse-By-Verse" by William R. Newell. This particular book was highly recommended by a Christian friend of mine, so I'm going to use this as the guide with which I proceed. I'm also going to be referencing a man's work by the name of Watchman Nee. He was a Chinese man that spent the last 20 years of his life in prison, severely persecuted for his refusal to deny Christ by the communists in China. His writings are ones that my parents have always spoken highly of, so I trust their counsel.

 

I'm also going to be doing this over a 15 week period (God willing)...1 chapter each week. That may be kind of jam packed, but Spring is coming and I remember how last year the garden and livestock severely cut into the hours it takes me to do these studies each day.

 

So, with that...Bless the reading and study of Your Word, Lord.

 

1Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,

 

2(Which he had promised afore by his prophets in the holy scriptures,)

 

3Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh;

 

4And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead:

 

5By whom we have received grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith among all nations, for his name:

 

6Among whom are ye also the called of Jesus Christ:

 

7To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

In verse 1, the study book "Romans...Verse-By-Verse (hereafter referred to rvbv), comments on how Paul's name is not associated with any other name...not Timothy, not Silas, etc...just Paul, because he stands alone. rvbv states "When essential doctrines and directions are being laid down, no one is associated with the apostle in the authority given to him". At the first council of the Church that is recorded in Acts 15, Paul was sent to the "uncircumcised" (Gentiles), while Peter was sent to the "circumcized" (Jews).

 

rvbv writes, A bondservant of Jesus Christ - Paul was bondservant before he was apostle. Saul of Tarsus' first words, as he lay in the dust in the Damascus road, blinded by the glory of Christ's presence, were "Who are thou, Lord?" And when there came the voice, "I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom thou persecutest," his next words were, "What shall I do, Lord?" - instant, utter surrender! It is deeply instructive to mark that although our Lord said, "No longer do I call you bondservants, but friends"; yet successively, Paul, James, Peter, Jude and John (Rev. 1.1), name them bondservants...

 

Paul refers to himself as a called apostle next. I had noticed that 3 times within these first 3 verses the word "called" was used...designated, set apart by an action of God. Called does not infer the meaning "invited" but perhaps more "destined". It makes me remember that what God wills, He completes. If He's called me and you, He will see it done.

 

Separated unto God's good news - In Galations 1:15 "God separated me from my mother's womb and called me through His grace to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the nations" and in the rvbv it illustrates how Moses was "marked" out to be used by God...John the Baptist of whom would be "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb...", Jacob, Samson, Samuel and Jeremiah were separated before they were even born to an appointed calling.

 

The "good news" belongs to God alone...Jesus consistantly would say during His walk here on earth that He did not come of Himself, but His Father who sent Him. The reason it's important to get this particular perspective in line is because as we read furthern into Romans we will begin to understand exactly who we are before our acceptance of Christ as our Savior, and GOD'S "good news" for us.

 

In verse 2 it just references the promises and prophecies told in the Old Testament that unfolded and were realized in the life, death, resurrection of Christ, and all that that encompassed.

 

Verses 3 and 4 address the facts of Christ's death, burial and resurrection as being the beginning of the "gospel". The gospel encompasses everything about Christ, and apart of Jesus, there would be no new news coming from Heaven.

 

Concerning his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, which was made of the seed of David according to the flesh; And declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead: states the fact of Christ as a Man (living flesh) fulfilling the promise of decending form David's seed, and Christ as the Son of God, who walked a holy life, pleasing to God, while on this earth. The account in Matthew 27:51-54 coroborates the "according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead" part of verse 4...the rent veil, the earthquake, the rent rocks, the open tomb. Upon His resurrection "many saints that had fallen asleep were raised and entered into the city appearing to many" (witnesses), substantiates the 'power', according to the Spirit of holiness.

 

Jesus Christ our Lord...the full name given, that encompasses three important facts...

 

1. Jesus...His personal name as Savior.

2. Christ...God's Annointed One.

3. Lord...His high place over all of us for whom His work was done...Lord over all things in heaven and on earth.

 

In verse 5 we have to receive personal grace before we can truly be of service to God. In 1 Cor 15:9-10, Paul talks about how he was the least and undeserving apostle because of his one time persecution of the Church. He goes on to state though that because of God's grace (intervention) in his life, and Paul's willingness to be obedient to honor God and His freely given grace by freely serving Him (there's that bondservant again), willingness to freely labor harder than the other apostles, that God's gift of grace was not in vain.

 

Paul didn't establish the "Christian" religion. He abandoned the only religion (worship instructions) God ever gave (to the Jews) and went forth with a simple message of Christ. All the work Paul did was for "His Name's sake", because Christ alone was the One who is the gospel. The gospel is not shared for mankind's sake, but for Christ's sake, who was beaten, hung on a cross, died and was resurrected, so that His Blood would be the final and complete cleansing that we as humans require because of our sins. I'll never forget hearing one missionary's message one time when he was wrestling with God over being burned out trying to win people to Christ. He shared how God told him loud and clear "I did not send you to the heathen because they deserve to live...they love their sin and revel in it. I sent you to the heathen for My Son's sake...does He not deserve the REWARD for His suffering?"...

 

For me, that really puts things in a Godly, Holy, perspective.

 

Verse 6 mentions "called" again...we belong, and our destiny is with Christ Jesus. He purchased us, we belong to Him.

 

In verse 7 the rvbv states, "Note that while God loved the whole world, it is the saints who are called the "beloved of God."...Sinners should believe that God loved them and gave His Son for them; but saints, that they are the "beloved of God". That's an interesting 'separation', and leave a connotation of a unique specialness that God has towards His children.

 

Paul consistantly uses this same form of address, "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ". He connect grace and peace together, with grace being from the Father as the Source, and our Lord Jesus Christ as the Channel and Sphere of Divine Blessing.

 

To be a child of God is more than just words. It's a priviledge and a responsibility, that when I think about it, feels very overwhelming. And yet, even as I feel that overwhelming feeling, I once again remember that all that and more, is signed, sealed and delivered in a Holy, Godly love. His love, when I finally REALLY started to learn what it really was, ultimately leaves me defenseless. I've always said one thing about myself...I can handle being attacked, I can handle smart mouths, I can handle alot of things like that that hurt. I know how to shut down and (at least temporarily) make it go away, but I've never, ever, ever found a defense against true love.

 

Heavenly Father,

 

I dunno how I got off track there at the end, but I just start thinking about how huge and immense the thought of You being God is, and I instantly start to feel so incredibly tiny and insignificant. I start to look at the true value of what Jesus did for me and all that You want for my life, and it's nothing short of an uphill battle...not because of You...not because You're so harsh and demanding. But, because of me...because of my own fears, my own "not truly understanding", my own stubbornness, my own pride, my own "wanting to be in control", whatever it may be.

 

And yet, You know exactly how to deal with me, how to work with me, how to press and nudge me into shape. On one hand I sometimes wonder how far I would be if I would have submitted many years ago, and then on the other hand, I guess I did the best I could do (obviously, cause it sure took me a long time to get HERE).

 

Regardless, thank You for today. Thank You for my relationship with You now. Thank You for Your patience, Your mercy, Your tenderness, Your faithfulness. You never give up on me (or any of us), and I'm so grateful in my heart for that.

 

I've been working on this study on and off for hours Lord. I feel like it's way too long, I feel very out of place, trying to put things into words, so I just ask that Your Holy Spirit would move over the words that I have written, and that You will somehow take my pitiful attempts to describe Your Word, and bless them.

 

For Your honor, Your glory, only You Lord.

 

And Jesus, it is only because of You that I have this relationship with my Father that I can't live without, so thank You too for all You did for me, and us. It is Your Name and Your Name alone that is worthy,

 

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Thanks for sharing your thoughts Darlene. I thought you'd be interested in seeing how verse 7 reads in NLT.

 

Rom 1:7 dear friends in Rome. God loves you dearly, and he has called you to be his very own people. May grace and peace be yours from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

I love the old saying "If God Calls you to it, He'll see you through it". It has proven true in my own life.

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Too long? Not at all! And bless you for being obediant to Him and doing this study...it is an answer to prayer. smile

 

It is funny you mentioned Watchman Nee. I have a special New Testament Bible that I cherish above others that he and Witness Lee did the notes and comments on called a Recovery Version http://www.recoveryversion.org/ They have a whole Bible version now that I would love to get some day. But this is the version that I will be using to follow along with this study! Some days His love and provisions for us just make me awestruck. It's so humbling. Thank you Father for lifting me up out of the rubble that I had made of my life. Thank you for blessing me with a place like this where we try our earthly best to be obedient to your calling for us. And bless Darlene as she conducts this study, provide her with protection from the evil one. In Jesus name, Amen.

 

Q

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