Romans - Lesson 19

Class discussion on Romans 3:27–4:25

This lesson is a class discussion on the last lesson's lecture on Romans 3:27–4:25.

Lesson 19
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Class discussion on Romans 3:27–4:25

Discussion of Romans 3:27-4:25

A. Salvation is Only in Jesus

B. Competing Views of the Old Testament

C. Jesus is Now the New Focus

D. The Good News is About Christ and the Old Testament

  • This lesson offers a deep dive into Paul's Letter to the Romans, revealing its pastoral aims, Paul's intentions to visit Spain, Jerusalem, and Rome, and its relevance to early Christian dynamics and theological inquiries about the Law in Christ's time.
  • This lesson offers a fresh view of Paul's theology, focusing on Romans. It emphasizes the first-century context, highlighting Gentile inclusion and unity in Christ, challenging traditional views. Gain insights into Paul's message and its relevance today.
  • Explore the book of Romans for modern faith conflicts: balance tradition with contemporary practices, learn from history, and grasp Paul's ministry and Gospel's complexities.
  • Follow along with Dr. Moo as he begins a thorough review of Romans 1:2-5. You will learn how Paul emphasizes Jesus' earthly life, resurrection, and his appointment as the Son of God in power. This lesson examines the interconnectedness of faith and obedience, underscoring that while faith initiates salvation, genuine faith inherently entails obedience to Christ as Lord, maintaining a balanced Christian life.
  • By delving into Romans 1:16-17, you'll understand the Gospel extends beyond individual salvation, encompassing God's reign over creation and His establishment of justice. The Gospel challenges worldly powers, offering hope and transformation to all who embrace it.
  • Listen along as the class discusses questions and answers revolving around Romans 1:16-17.
  • In Romans 1:18-28, you learn that all people are held accountable by God, having knowledge of Him through natural revelation but some turn away. This passage highlights the manifestation of God's wrath against sin, the exchange of truth for falsehoods, and the absence of excuses for humanity's actions, ultimately emphasizing God's fair judgment.
  • Listen in as the class and Dr. Moo discuss aspects of Romans 1:18-28.
  • The lesson discusses Romans 2:1-11, it highlights the use of the diatribe device and the transition from focusing on Gentiles to Jews. It underscores the Jewish belief in their special status and their potential misunderstanding of God's judgment. The lesson reviews the focus of the text on key themes such as judgment, righteousness, and the relationship between faith and good deeds.
  • In this lesson, you'll review the significance of the Law, notably the Law of Moses, in God's judgment. Paul stresses that mere knowledge of the Law isn't sufficient for righteousness; obedience is key. The primary message is that salvation ultimately relies on God's grace and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as human efforts and consciences alone cannot secure salvation. This lesson highlights the importance of understanding these concepts in interactions with people of different religious beliefs.
  • The key takeaway in this lesson is that while being a Jew comes with a great heritage, it doesn't guarantee salvation. Obedience to God's law is crucial, and reliance on religious heritage or rituals won't save you. The lesson emphasizes the universal human condition of being under the power of sin, and people cannot be declared righteous in God’s sight by observing the Law or by the works of the Law. Only through faith in Christ are we made righteous.
  • This lesson explores the New Perspective on Paul, emphasizing that the Law was for Jewish covenant status, not just salvation. It promotes a holistic faith view, balancing vertical and horizontal aspects, Spirit-led obedience, and 1st-century Judaism diversity, enriching Pauline teachings in the church.
  • In exploring Romans 3:21-26, you'll gain insights into the relationship between righteousness, faith, and salvation. Paul highlights God's righteousness, which is accessible to all through faith in Jesus Christ. By weaving together themes of righteousness, faith, and inclusivity, Paul challenges conventional Jewish and Gentile perspectives, emphasizing the continuity of God's salvation plan while underscoring the centrality of faith in Christ for all believers.
  • In this lesson, you will gain insights into the potential challenge in translating Romans 3:23-24, particularly the term "all" and its connection to the debate on universalism in evangelicalism. Dr. Moo stresses the importance of coherence in biblical interpretation and explores the themes of God's righteousness, faith, and grace in justification. The lesson reviews the cultural background of redemption, drawing parallels with the Greco-Roman slave market and emphasizing the need to understand both the problem of sin and the Gospel solution.
  • Embarking on this lesson, you'll gain insight into the historical development and contemporary challenges surrounding the doctrine of justification. Through exploring classic Reformation principles and contemporary reassessments, you'll understand the tensions between Protestant and Roman Catholic perspectives, particularly regarding the infusion of righteousness and the role of grace.
  • The lesson explores the intricate connection between faith and works, justification, and sanctification in contemporary theological discourse. It delineates divergent views on justification, with scholars like Piper advocating for the preservation of biblical distinctions amidst modern theological trends. The lesson examines key questions regarding the meaning, basis, time, and means of justification.
  • Students in Dr. Moo's class ask multiple questions about justification.
  • By studying Romans 3:27-4:25, you gain insight into Paul's theology, where faith, exemplified by Abraham's righteousness, transcends works and ethnicity, emphasizing the universal scope of salvation through Christ.
  • Hear the questions the students ask regarding Romans 3:27–4:25. And discover Dr. Moo's answers to the questions posed.
  • In Romans 5 – 8, you gain insights into profound theological concepts like justification, identity in Christ, and the tension between present reality and future hope, guiding you to embrace your changed identity and hope for future transformation amidst life's trials.
  • Students as deep questions about Romans 5-8. Hear what Dr. Moo presents as answers to their questions.
  • Through Romans 5:1-11, you'll review the contrast between the Old and New Realms, understanding the essence of living in grace, finding hope amid suffering, and experiencing the assurance of eternal security rooted in Christ's sacrifice and God's love poured into believers' hearts by the Holy Spirit.
  • In Romans 5:12-21, Paul contrasts Adam's sin with Christ's redemptive grace, emphasizing humanity's hope and victory over death through union with Christ, while various interpretations of original sin underscore the universal need for redemption and Christ's pivotal role in restoring humanity to God.
  • Listen to the thorough questions the students ask regarding Romans 5:12-21.
  • The students ask excellent questions of Dr. Moo in this insightful discussion on Romans 6:1-14.
  • Through this lesson, you will gain a deeper understanding of the theological implications of Christ's death and resurrection as explained in Romans 6. You will explore different interpretations of Paul's language regarding the old self and the new self, considering the implications for the Christian life. Ultimately, you will be challenged to recognize your identity in Christ and to actively live according to that identity, rejecting the slavery of sin and embracing servitude to God.
  • Hear the questions the students ask of Dr. Moo regarding Romans 6:1-23.
  • In diving into Romans 7, you'll explore the Law's role in Christian life. Paul's discourse clarifies the distinction between law and gospel, emphasizing the Torah's significance in understanding divine commandments.
  • Class discussion on Romans 7:1-6
  • In Romans 7:7-12, Paul explores the Law's role in intensifying sin and contrasts it with Christ's liberation. His narrative prompts reflection on individual experience and collective identity, enriching understanding of Christian faith.
  • The class discusses the previous lesson on Romans 7:7-12.
  • This lesson covers interpretations of Romans 7:13-25; whether Paul's description is of pre- or post-conversion struggle with the Law.
  • In Romans 8:1-22, discover the Spirit's transformative power over sin, leading to a life free from condemnation, intimacy with God, and anticipation of future glory amid present sufferings.
  • Explore the theological insights on environmental stewardship, emphasizing Christian responsibility in light of Romans 8:19-22.
  • Gain insights into Romans 8:23-27, understanding destined glory despite present suffering. The Spirit intercedes, bridging current and promised futures, offering assurance amid weakness.
  • Romans 8:28 offers profound insights into the nature of God's providence and the believer's journey of faith. Beyond its surface meaning, the verse challenges misconceptions about 'good' and underscores the transformative power of God's grace. It invites believers to trust in God's unfailing love amidst life's trials, anchoring their hope in the assurance of His sovereign care and redemptive purposes.
  • Romans 9:1-5 highlights Paul's profound concern for Israel's salvation and the theological complexities surrounding God's promises. Reviewing salvation history, you'll learn that God's offer of salvation for both Jew and Gentile, fits within the Old Testament narrative.
  • Paul discusses Israel's role in God's plan, emphasizing grace over race. He illustrates divine choices and sovereignty, sparking debates on salvation.
  • Discover diverse views on election, Israel's struggle with faith, and the significance of overcoming theological narrowness in Romans 9:30-10:21. Gain insights into law versus faith in attaining righteousness and the importance of engaging deeply with Scripture for a comprehensive understanding.
  • Gain insights into faith versus works, Christ as the culmination of the Law, and the inclusivity of righteousness through Him. Embrace unity in Christ, transcending cultural divisions, and embodying love and holiness.
  • Gain insight into contrasting righteousness by law vs. faith in Romans 10:5-13. Accessibility of salvation through Christ bridges Old and New Testament teachings, emphasizing unity and continuity.
  • Gain insights into Romans 10:14-21, emphasizing faith, preaching, and Israel's reception of the message. Dr. Moo highlights Paul's use of Old Testament quotes and God's ongoing relationship with Israel, revealing the significance of faith and salvation.
  • Gain insight into Romans 11:11-15. Paul discusses Jewish rejection, Gentile salvation, and Jewish inclusion, aiming to provoke Jewish envy. The phrase "life from the dead" hints at spiritual renewal or future resurrection.
  • Gain insights into the Olive Tree analogy in Romans 11:16-24. Understand humility, faithfulness, and the purpose of warning passages in Scripture.
  • Discover the mystery of Israel's salvation in Romans 11:25-32. Paul reveals unity of Jews and Gentiles, challenging arrogance and emphasizing God's inclusive love.
  • Gain deeper understanding of Christian-Jewish ties, navigate theological challenges, address Israel-Palestine tensions, and embrace God's inclusive grace.
  • Gain deep insights into Romans 12:1-2: True worship extends beyond rituals, urging sacrificial living and transformation in response to God's mercy.
  • In Romans 12:3-8, Paul stresses humility, unity, and diverse gifts within the body of Christ, urging faithful stewardship for the edification of the body of Christ.
  • Gain insights into love's complexity in Romans 12:9-21. Paul urges sincere affection, alludes to Jesus' teachings, and prompts contemplation on love and judgment.
  • Gain insights into balancing submission to authorities with obedience to God. Understand the context of Paul's exhortation to Roman Christians and the complexities of submission, emphasizing humility, unity, and love in the Christian life within God's sovereignty.
  • In Romans 14:1-15:13, you learn about the division in the Roman Christian community, the concept of adiaphora, the balance between liberty and love, and Paul's emphasis on mutual acceptance and avoiding spiritual harm through personal conviction and respect for others' practices.
  • In Romans 15:14-16:27, you explore Paul's extended conclusion, his ministry to the Gentiles, his request for prayers regarding his journey to Jerusalem, the roles of Phoebe and Junias in ministry, and the diversity of the early Christian community.

Dr. Douglas Moo, from Wheaton College Graduate School, offers an exegetical examination of the book of Romans. This course was recorded during a D.Min. seminar at the Carolina Graduate School of Divinity in May 2012.

Please note that the audio mp3 file numbers on downloaded files are two greater than each lecture number beginning with number 15.

Dr. Douglas Moo 
Class Discussion of Romans 3:27-4:25  
Lesson Transcript


Class Discussion of Romans 3:27-4:25

A. Salvation is Only in Jesus: 

This is more of general question related to the Jewish experience on what Paul is writing about. What do you make of the possibility that the Jews would have missed out because of an imbalance between relying on Law and relying on faith? Paul seems to be concerned about their salvation in overemphasizing the Law.  What do you make of that theologically? 

Dr. Moo: 
In a chapter like this, Paul is making clear that now that Christ has come, salvation is found only in relationship to Him. He is now the place where the promises are being fulfilled, and for Jew and Gentile alike. It is faith in Christ that will save them and enable them to become part of the New Covenant people of God. So, the Jews who do not believe in Christ are yes, cut off, to use the language he uses with the olive tree imagery in Romans 11. So, I think you have this kind of transitional period; Jews before they knew Christ had come and now after He has come, those Jews who were genuinely in relationship with God before Christ came, would recognize Jesus indeed to be the promised Messiah and followed through in a sense with faith in Him. Whereas, the many Jews who had a superficial religion, who were going through the motions, who were relying on their works rather than having a genuine circumcision of the heart that the Old Testament calls for; they would be the ones who would tend to reject Jesus and not recognize Him as the promised Messiah.

B. Competing Views of the Old Testament: 

One other thing while we are talking about this here. Talking about the circumcised and uncircumcised- you referenced Galatians 5 earlier. In the beginning of Galatians 5 it almost sounds like people were getting circumcised. They were converted to getting circumcised and seeing themselves in more favor with God as a result of that. Is there evidence as to whether it was prevalent? 

Dr. Moo: 
I think what you have going on in Galatians is very similar to the scenario I was just painting; competing views of what the Old Testament means. What you have in Galatia, you have Paul having gone through this region of Gentiles and converted them to Christ and emphasized that it is your faith in Christ that has put you into this new relationship. That is sufficient. 

Following him were these so-called Judaizers who said that Paul hadn’t given them the full story; let me take you back to the Old Testament. Yes, faith is great, but look what the Old Testament said: God gave His people the Law. Abraham was to be circumcised and all his descendants after him. So, if you want to be children of Abraham, if you want to belong to the people of the promise and experience the blessing of God, you have to be circumcised and you have to begin obeying the Law. Your faith in Christ is fine, they are saying, but you have to add to it circumcision and faith. 

So, it is a competing way of reading the Old Testament. The Judaizers are reading it as kind of a continuity. You have Abraham’s faith but then you have a circumcision and the Law, and its circumcision and the Law that remain permanent. Whereas Paul was saying, no, circumcision and the Law came in only for a time and ultimately the fulfillment of God’s promise to Abraham comes in Christ, whom you access by faith alone. So again, this is competing interpretations of what the Old Testament means that you have going on there. 

Acts 15 talks about this. For Jews, even for Jews who recognized Jesus to be the Messiah, for many of them it would be a very natural thing to say, yes Messiah is here, but that doesn’t change the requirement of circumcision or the Law that God gave His people. They felt that if the Gentiles wanted to become a part of that, they were welcome to become a part of it, but only on these terms. But Paul has a much more radical view of what the coming of Christ means. The coming of Christ was a new ballgame. As he put it in 3:21 “apart from the Law the righteousness of God has been manifested.”

C. Jesus is Now the New Focus: 

Can you say something about the difference between the New Perspective and what Paul is saying here in regards to the Gentiles and the Jews? [note: I can’t understand the question being asked, so I am not editing this even though it doesn’t sound like what is being asked]

Dr. Moo: 
Sometimes the New Perspective focuses so much on including the Gentiles, that we can’t neglect this other point. Paul is, in a sense, disenfranchising Jews; that Christ is the One with whom both Jew and Gentile have to reckon. It is not just that Jesus has come and so Gentiles can come in. Jesus has come and so He is the One to whom both Jews and Gentiles have to respond. It shifts the terms of what it means to be a Jew, in the ultimate sense of that word.

D. The Good News is about Christ and the Old Testament: 

So did the Jews understand the whole package that was being offered to them and why was Paul going to such depth in making this clear that the Gentiles were included in this?

Dr. Moo: 
It was pretty important to him. You remember right from the beginning of Romans, Paul wanted to make clear that the Gospel he was preaching was according to the Scriptures. For Paul, there could be no Good News if it wasn’t rooted in God’s continuing plan as it unfolds in the Old Testament. So, in Romans 4 bringing in Abraham as key to his reading of the Old Testament is a really vital point in his argument. I agree. I’m not sure I want to say it was the vital point, but it was a very important point one, to justify how he thinks the Gospel and faith in Christ fits with the Old Testament itself.