Romans commentary

I finished reading the book of Romans in the KJV Bible last night. I’ve said before that I’m not a Bible scholar, however, there are a few points that stood out in my mind which I’d like to discuss. If I can remember the exact verses I’ll mention, otherwise it’s generalization or perhaps someone else can remind me of the specifics.

I’ve always been a bit reluctant when I hear “The good news” in reference to the Gospel. I didn’t understand exactly what it meant until I read Romans through and thought about it. Perhaps this is because I’ve never read it all the way through before but rather just in bits and pieces (see below). In Romans, we are told that the Gospel isn’t just for the Jews, but for everyone. Christ didn’t just die for those around Him or who knew of Him, but everyone. Those who didn’t know him can also be saved if after hearing they believe. This is the Good News and is the basis for our faith. Everything else, the commandments and ordinances as to how we are to conduct ourselves as Christians would be nothing without the Good News of Jesus. However, that doesn’t make them any less important either.

The idea of “once saved, always saved”. This does have some merit. However, it also has limits. Peter talks about this in some length using a grafted olive tree as an example. He likens the Jews to the original tree branches and the Gentiles/Romans as the grafts. Jesus is the trunk and God the root. He says some of the original branches have fallen away thus leaving room for grafts. He talks about getting nourishment to both the original branches and grafts. He also warns those who have fallen away they aren’t in God’s grace anymore. This shows that people who were once saved can loose their salvation. However, he also says that those who have fallen can be grafted back in again. This is wonderful news! You aren’t lost forever if you fall away. But that doesn’t change the fact that you can fall away and be lost after you are originally saved.

This fits in with the idea that it doesn’t matter how we act because God/Jesus looks at our hearts. Yes he does know our hearts. Still, it does matter how we act. In Romans, there is plenty of instruction for how a Christian should act to remain saved. Many of the 10 Commandments from the Old Testament are again given along with much more, especially toward the end of the book. Sadly, other than the Commandments or easy things that don’t interfere with our popular lifestyle, a lot of this instruction isn’t taught in most churches today. Not only that but violations aren’t enforced. I’m not legalistic but if we’re told in the Bible to do or not do something, we shouldn’t just do it if convenient. We shouldn’t make excuses. This is hypocritical even to idea that what we do doesn’t matter because He examines our hearts. If He examines our hearts, He knows it is an excuse. This is how false belief shows itself. It’s when Biblical obedience is inconvenient that true faith bears fruit.

Throughout reading Romans, and the prior Bible books, I’m reminded of the importance of reading in context. Anyone can take individual verses and twist them to meet their needs. However, when read in context, false teachings should easily be spotted. Reading the Bible through in order helps with this because often references are made to previous events. It is also interesting seeing the Bible unfold, especially the New Testament.

I’m saddened when professing Christians rely only on commentaries, daily devotional booklets, and other people’s ideas for their Biblical interpretation. These are important, but just as important is reading the Bible through for yourself. I’m amazed how many people have never read the Bible through. They can be missing a lot. How can you live a Biblical life if you’ve never really read the Bible? Especially in the US where we have such freedom and access to Bibles. Many people own a Bible, but few really read it. It’s not just a reference book, but a guidebook to daily life.

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